By Kim Taylor

French prestige has reached our shores in the form of Molinard fragrances. Each retailing for $185, with the exception of Habanita (Black) for $295, these perfumes are the Chanel handbags of fragrance. Founded in 1849 in France, this line includes Iles D’Or (a youthful fruity floral), M De Molinard (a floral green), Habanita (an elegant oriental and exotic floral mix), Verveine (a fresh green for nature lovers), Nirmala (fruity floral with vanilla and cedar), Un Air de Molinard (citrus with beautiful florals) and the classic Gardenia. Found at fine department stores and boutiques.

Lauded perfumeur Susanne Lang has a new vanilla set that will send vanilla-lovers soaring to the stratosphere with sheer pleasure–and will even convert those who aren’t completely sold on vanilla. Only Susanna Lang can improve upon an already beloved scent, and she makes this vanilla set fun for experimentation and layering. This is a standard that will enhance any fragrance collection, as it includes endless possibilities for vanilla mixtures. The scent includes vanilla with nine delectable options: coconut, champagne, chocolate, musk, orchid, sugarcane, wood and warm sugar. you’ve never had vanilla like this! $95 at the trusted source for unique perfumes,

Calvin Klein’s new Euphoria melds black orchid with pomegranate, persimmon, lotus blossom, violet, amber and champacca for a heady and unforgettable fragrance. This unusual fragrance lives up to its name as well as the designer’s past masterpieces, and is both a day or night fragrance, especially suited for winter weather. $62 at fine department stores.

The Ajne parfumerie and apothecary in Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA offers something rarely found these days: perfumes crafted by master alchemists containing lush, extravagant portions of essential oils, and blended without any synthetics. These perfumes are blended in denatured organic grape spirits, organic jojoba oil, and aloe vera gel – and can also be blended in any product of your choosing. Jane Hendler and husband Rex Rombach are the artistes behind this old-world apothecary and perfumery, and utilize botanicals such as lotus, jasmine, rose and lavendar in their soaps, skin care lines, and fragrances. Two recommended fragrances rich in aroma are Desir and Savoir. Desir contains Moroccan jasmine, cocoa, blood orange, and ancient oud (one of the world’s most costly essential oils), and Savoir is an intoxicating blend of boronia from Tasmania, champaca from India bergamot and rare, lovely florals. A 5-ounce parfum in Ajne’s signature black heart bottle ranges from $110 to $140. Visit for a wealth of fantastic fragrance, soap and skin care products.

Cacharel has a new fragrance called Promesse, which is rife with sparkling top notes (mandarine, bergamot) and has a heart of blackberry, sambac jasmine and orchid, based on amber, musk, cedar and sandalwood. The sturdy pinkish-purple bottle is as playful as this light scent. Ideal for daytime bewitching! $60, available at Henri Bendel’s and Barney’s NY.

Originally published January 2006
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