Fragrance

By Kim Taylor

(PJ Gach also contributed to this article)

Hey PJ,

You were wondering if there were any irresistible perfume offerings in my part of the west village: visit Aedes at 9 Christopher Street (www.aedes.com and 1.888.aedes.15). It’s the kind of frilly, unique store you expect to find on a cobble-strewn back street in Paris or Rome, and from the very moment you open the door, you’re transported into olfactory heaven.

The store carries rare specialty lines from France and Italy as well as high-end British and American lines. Carthusia, Lorenzo Volloresi, Matthew Williamson, Etro, Les Parfums de Rosine, Jean-Francois LaPorte, Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier, Damien Bash, Christian Tortu, Aesop, L’Artisan Perfumeur, and Miller Harris are just some of the quality lines you’ll see there (and sniff). Check out their web site if you can’t visit, but actually standing in this delightfully mind-boggling perfumerie is best.

What did I think of Vanille Exquise by Annick Goutal? Glad you asked, because I love it. It’s very warm and sweet, but in a sensual way as opposed to a cloying, sugary way…do you know what I mean? It has overtones of vanilla, almond and white musk, with angelica, benzoin, and wood undertones. It’s very feminine and soft-smelling, and slightly reminiscent of almond milk. It’s good for daytime and for dates-it’s flexible because it’s not too dramatic.

I tried Bond No. 9 too, a new androgynous scent designed as a tribute to Wall Street. Dubbed “the world’s first financial fragrance, “Bond No. 9 is partnered with Wall Street Rising, a nonprofit organization formed to support and revitalize lower Manhattan. The fact that portions of profits go to revitalizing the greatest city on earth makes me feel a little guilty to say that I just wasn’t crazy about the scent. Top notes are sea kale and cumber, followed by ozone, marine aroma, and lavender, then musk, vetiver, and ambergris. I felt I could achieve the same aroma from sticking my nose in a bottle of cloves or allspice; it’s quite spicy and overpowering, perhaps like Manhattan itself, yet…what I like best about Wall Street is the refinement that all that money inspires. This is not a refined, subtle scent; it’s a big, bold scent for those who like to “own the room” – for better or worse.

I also tried Donna Karan’s new apple scent, Be Delicious and was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t think smelling like an apple would really be my cup of tea, but the scent was crisp and clear with only a pleasing whiff of pectin. It would be an ideal Saturday-afternoon-in-the-park spritz. Very fresh and autumnal.

Let me know what you’ve tried, ok? See you at the Moroccan place soon for more wine and cigarettes! Cheers, – Kim

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Dear Kim:

I totally want to go to that shop, just make sure I don’t go overboard, okay? You know I get silly around fragrances.

Speaking of Annick Goutal – and what is it about her name that conjures luxury in my head? I mean the minute I think of her fragrances, I automatically think of mink coats and oodles of champagne! She is bringing out some fragrances for the home that are sophisticated and lovely. The Noà«l Candle set is fragranced with Siberian Pine (how’s that for luxe!) combined with a citrusy orange smell that reminds me of fresh cut oranges. Those scents together make me think of holiday mornings, when you can smell the trees in the air wafting from an open window when you’re sitting all warm and cozy in your house eating breakfast. It’s an warm, sophisticated scent that made my New York City apartment smell like a country home. The votives are rimmed with gold, and there’s five to a set. I placed them all over my living room, lit them, then shut the lights and watched the candle flames dance. It was divine. Too bad, I’m single, huh!

Speaking about being single, Urban Decay has just released a trio of fragrances that make being single really fun. I mean you can soo flirt with these scents. And yes, if you’re part of a couple, you can definitely get these fragrances to spice it up. I’m sorry for the bad pun, I couldn’t help myself.

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You see, Wendy Zomnir, she’s the Creative Director and Co-Founder of Urban Decay got celebrity perfumer Sarah Horowitz-Thran to create Urban Decay’s first fragrance. And Urban Decay, being the rebel that they are, created something that no one else has done. Instead of just one fragrance, there are three that all work together. You can layer them on in any combination for a scent that is just as individual as you are. The fragrances are; Pistol (flowery), Go (citrus and clean), and Sin (musky, warm).

One of the neatest things about these fragrances is that they’re body oils. This means they’ll last a long time. The other cool thing is that they’re roll-ons. You don’t have to worry about spillage, accidentally getting the scent on your clothes etc.

I loved mixing Sin and Go. It was this hot scent that I never smelled before, warm, sexy and modern. I then played around and created more and more fragrances. I never got tired of trying combos, and got lots of “What is that you’re wearing” questions. You can wear one scent by your ears, another on your décolletage and another by your wrists. Here’s a cool game, ask your partner to sniff and identify…hee hee. I can only imagine where that could lead! I made the mistake of letting my friend Diana try them out; I had to wrestle them back from her. The bottles are so tiny and cute; you could slip them in your back pocket or wristlet.

I’ll let you try them, but you HAVE to give them back, okay?

Another fragrance I tried this month was EVOL. That stands for Essence Of Vali; it’s an herbal fragrance that reminds me of spring. Lemony, a little peppery and it makes me feel that I should be walking down a starlight street with some arm candy. But, and here’s a big but, you don’t have to wear it at night. You know how some fragrances are only good for certain times of the day? EVOL, I think will become a new classic, like Chanel No.5. You can wear it to work and no one is going to think you’re out to seduce the copier. It hasn’t hit the stores yet, but all ready celebs like Missy Elliot, Jennifer Garner, Dido and Sarah McLaughlin are wearing it everywhere. It’s fresh and sophisticated. It was created by Valerie Bennis. This is her first perfume. She’s had a line of aromatherapy products (Essence of Vali) that can be found in up market spas across the country. You can purchase her fragrance from her website www.essenceofvali.com Or wait a bit and then buy it at a store, but I think they might sell out really quickly! You know she used to work in advertising, but left that to pursue her dream to create her own aromatherapy line.

Don’t you love it when someone follows their bliss?

I’d love to go back to the Moroccan place, but next time I’m going to order more than wine. You know I think all the outside tables will be gone, sniff! We could always try sneaking into SOHO house again! Who knows who we’ll walk into? Cheers! PJ

Originally published November 2004
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