Fragrance

By Kim Taylor

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Parfums Caron’s Tabac Blond
New Yorkers have a lot to feel thankful for this month, including Manhattan’s Parfums Caron Boutique, the charming jewel box nestled in all of its splendor near Hermes and Floris on the upper east side at 675 Madison Avenue. Stopping here to sample the Caron perfumes from Baccarat crystal perfume urns is a rite of each new season.

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Caron was founded in 1904 by French olfactory genius, Ernest Daltroff, who wanted to create strong, memorable perfumes that weren’t too heady. Felicie Vanpouille joined him in 1909 to embark upon collaboration and a grand love affair that would last until Daltroff’s death. The avant-garde Tabac Blond was created in 1919 to dissipate the odor of tobacco from stylish get-togethers, and to underscore female emancipation, since women were smoking too. The result is a feminine, delicious mixture of blond tobacco, leather, vanilla, carnation, linden, iris, vetiver, ylang ylang, cedar, patchouli, amber and musk. Prices vary by size, so visit the Caron Boutique at 675 Madison Avenue or call 1-877-88Caron.

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Bond No 9′s high standards and plethora of fragrances render it a perfume brand to visit monthly. Founded in 2003 by Laurice Rahme, formerly president of Creed USA, Bond No 9 now boasts more than 20 scents. This month, the new Bleecker Street perfume is on display. Bond No 9 celebrated the opening of a 4th store in a Greenwich Village boutique at 399 Bleecker Street (just a perfume bottle’s throw from the Magnolia Bakery) with the introduction of a perfume named after this charming street.

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Laurice Rahme told W Magazine, “When I went to visit Magnolia Bakery, the kids who served cupcakes asked me, ‘When are you going to make a perfume that smells like cake?’ So, I asked Dave Apel (the perfumer from Givaudan) if he thought we could make a sensual perfume that reminded us of cupcakes. We worked with vanilla note and other dessert notes, like cinnamon.” Rahme says Bleecker Street is “the first gourmand fragrance that’s also woodsy and oriental, which is very untraditional.”

What scents conjure up the west village? The custom-blended unisex eau de parfum includes violet leaf, cassis, thyme, jasmine, suede, oak moss, cinnamon, patchouli, amber, vanilla and cedarwood. It’s a pure whiff of heaven. $198 for 3.3 oz, available at Saks Fifth Avenue and Bond No 9 boutiques.

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Annick Goutal’s Nuits d’Hadrian Annick Goutal perfumes are so remarkable that they practically require a special occasion for wearing, yet ordinary days are transformed into memorable through the sheer quality of this line. This month, Les Nuits d’Hadrian is in the spotlight because its sensual, soft, volumptuous notes are ideal for leaning in for family hugs at Thanksgiving. Composed of green mandarin, tangerine, cypress, cumin, ylang ylang, patchouli and amber, Les Nuts d’Hadrian is considered a citrusy oriental. There is truly nothing quite like this scent, except possibly for a patch of garden near a cypress tree in Tuscany on a warm day. $65, available at Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Bergdorf Goodman, Henri Bendel and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Hermes’s Vetiver Tonka The caramelized quality of this hazelnut, vetiver, neroli and bergamot mixture enlivens the senses and imparts freshness. Hermes master perfumeur Jean Claude Ellena combines the sugary notes of dried fruit with the sweetness of cereals and Nigerian tonka beans. The aroma of grilled hazelnut caps off the concoction. Treat yourself to this, and then be very thankful. Visit the Hermes stores at 11 E. 57th Street between Fifth and Madison, and on Madison at E. 62nd Street.

Originally published November 2005
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