By Stephanie Nolasco
After a long day of hitting the keyboard, dealing with disgruntled co-workers, and wondering how this week’s paycheck will cover rent and that little black dress you had to buy for the weekend, no place offers more of an escape from the cubicle blues quite like a watering hole where there the doctor, meaning the bartender, is always in. One sip of a martini and you’re suddenly whisked away from the office and all the tension instantly melts away like an hour-long massage. Whether you prefer good ol’ fashion gin or want to go classy with a flute filled with Cristal, drinks and happy hour always go hand in hand. Yet, like that shot of tequila or absinthe-filled goblet, one’s perfume offers that same feeling of going from a plain Jane into a statuesque siren whose scent can hypnotize anyone in the room. What happens when you combine drinks with your signature fragrance? You get one fine lady who looks as good as she smells!
“Liquor and drink notes are so popular in fragrances right now because of the huge popularity of cocktails and great spirits,” notes Kevin Verspoor, perfumer from drom Fragrances. “First, the industry hasn’t produced such fine liquor since the beginning of Prohibition and this level of quality beverages is very popular with the public. The other part is that mixed drinks have reached a point of being a fine art again.” Fortunately, one doesn’t need to go in hiding in a speakeasy just have a sip of spiked punch while wearing their favorite imported perfume. Today’s technique of fragrance-making has greatly evolved, consisting of many notes that capture the aromas of popular cocktails. With drinks and fragrances being so similar in craft, it’s no wonder that their popularity continues to be prominent. As the temperatures continue to rise in New York City and bars are becoming more filled with patrons ready to quench their thirst, we’ve complied the top scents with drink notes that you won’t want to spill to your girlfriends.
What’s Your Poison? Sake
Sake, known as Japanese rice beer (or wine, depending on who you ask), has become a bar must-have in New York City since last year, which explains why so many leave work early to jumpstart happy hour just for a sip of this Eastern favorite. Whether you prefer it chilled and paired with tuna rolls or steamy enough that it’s freshly brewed spices warms you up on a sudden icy evening, sake’s crisp, clean taste is easily savored by many. However, be warned. This crystal clear concoction can easily give a mean kick, as if you’ve been karate chopped in the throat. Nevertheless, those going oriental on a Friday night can enjoy this blend of rice, water, and yeast in a Fuzzy Peach or Electric Lemonade for a sweet sensation that no amount of alcohol could mask. Kanpai!
Like the Japanese brew it was named after, Sake by Fresh is light, seemingly gentle, yet unforgettable. It perfectly pays tribute with a note of musk, which creates warmth while toning down any feminine florals one would expect from a woman’s perfume. At the same time, it’s cool and refreshing on the skin. White peach absolute and smoky white langsat fruit from Asia unite, resulting in a sophisticated, sensual scent that’ll have shoppers feeling sexy enough to wear black patent stilettos and fire engine red lipstick. The velvety aroma of lotus flowers, zesty grapefruit, spicy ginger, and long-lasting Lily of the Valley are also featured in Sake, an ideal match for a body hugging silk dress that have crowds bowing down to you
Shop: At Saks Fifth Avenue and http://www.saks.com
What’s Your Poison? Amaretto
There are several legends that attempt to explain the origins of Amaretto, the lip smacking almond liqueur that’s also, like the name implies, “a little bitter.” Some tales claim that a baker prepared this luscious, dark caramel-hued drink for the Italian king of Saronno during the 16th century, while others state that an artist’s muse attempted to seduce him with this elixir of love. However, amaretto didn’t become popular in the United States until the 1960s and it’s still enjoyed on the rocks or in a cocktail like a Sicilian Kiss or a Godfather. Those with a sweet tooth particularly enjoy amaretto in tiramisus. Nevertheless, both ladies and gents can’t resist this unique blend of herbs, burnt sugar, and toasted almonds soaked in apricot kernel oil. With Italy being the country of fashion trends, it’s no surprise that even their alcoholic beverages would inspire a scent made for a glamour girl.
Hollywood actress Marilyn Monroe may have adore champagne and Chanel No. 5, but it looks like this blonde preferred Italians. Not only was she a fan of Ferragamo shoes, but her favorite couture designer was Emilio Pucci. If she were still alive in 1966, she may have fallen head over heels for Pucci’s Vivara perfume, which became popular among socialites for its powerful, exotic bouquet of Indonesian patchouli, Arabian jasmine, and orange flowers, reminiscent of the Mediterranean. Yet, its Vivara’s note of sun kissed amaretto that takes shoppers away from the bustling city to the tranquil Italian Riviera surrounded by aquamarine seas. Today, Vivara is being sold in a limited edition black bottle and it can still bring out the screen goddess in you.
Shop: Sephora and http://www.sephora.com
What’s Your Poison? Limoncello
Even though mixologists in New York City are always coming up with the latest “it” drink, some of us just want something that’s more traditional, and nothing delivers the comfort of home like your Sicilian grandmother’s famous tonic. Limoncello is no longer found in obscure Italian bistros hidden away from the crowds of Canal Street. The tangy, sunkissed lemon liqueur of Italy, famously known as limoncello, is widely demanded during the spring and summer seasons, all thanks to thick skinned lemons being soaked by Everclear and sugar, creating a milky, soothing homemade treat that’ll having you belching some opera notes by the end of the night.
In time for warmer temperatures and happy hours over a plate of pasta, CLEAN has debuted Summer Linen, a limited edition fragrance that features the main reason why when life gives you lemons, you take out the cocktail shaker. Italian limoncello is so strong in this perfume that others will wonder how you’ve been boozing up while still looking fabulous. It also feels fresh on the skin, as if you’re wearing your favorite t-shirt straight out of the dryer. The scent of warm breezes, ripe plums, bergamot, and limoncello is sexy without being overly sweet and feminine. Best of all, it lasts all day, so you won’t have to sniff your wrists to double check when the humidity is at its worst. Bring on the heat!
Shop: Sephora and http://www.sephora.com
What’s Your Poison? Absinthe
What would drive artist Vincent Van Gogh to cut off his ear and reportedly mail it to a brothel mistress as a token of affection? Madness or not, we’re blaming it on the green fairy, the jade muse, or simply absinthe, the Parisian hallucinogen favored by bards and painters. While the emerald elixir of creativity and scandal hasn’t been proven to make anyone see pixies or rabbit holes, the anise-flavored herbal beverage was blamed for causing insanity among loyal sippers. After 95 years of being banned in the United States, absinthe made its grand return in 2007 and is now legal to consume. One French fashion designer has even found an alternative way for social drinkers to become absinthe minded.
While absinthe-inspired scents are nothing new, few attempt to appear like the real thing. Christian Lacroix’s Absynthe is a bright, golden green, as if it’s bubbling with all the fantastical dreams one can only experience firsthand. Inspired by the “green faerie of absinthe,” the fragrance does include welcoming notes of absinthe, anise, smoked woods, and myrrh, transforming you from a curious New Yorker into a Parisian bohemian ready to step into Wonderland. The rich scent of black licorice perfectly matches the real deal and lingers throughout the day like verses of a poem that you can’t get out of your head. Compared to other absinthe fragrances, Absynthe is very affordable for budget-conscious fashionistas. Experience the mystery of la fae verte without regret.
What’s Your Poison? Champagne
Who says you have to wait for the biggest night of the year to savor French bubbly? Champagne isn’t just for New Year’s Eve or other lavish events. The celebration wine is for those nights when you want to feel like an A-list celebrity at your favorite hot spot. It doesn’t matter if it’s rose, blanc de noir, or vintage, there’s never a bad time to pop bottles and savor the finest drink anyone can savor. However, before you take out the Don Perignon, do note that you can still start any day or night on a sweet note without maxing out your credit card.
Like absinthe, champagne perfumes aren’t new in the fragrance world, but many of them are teeth shattering sweet without being sophisticated and delicious. Sula Champagne Sugar created by notable perfumer Susanne Lang, contains notes of champagne, cotton candy, and a hint of rose, but don’t be fooled by its childlike faà§ade. We noticed some powerful ginger that starts off strong upon contact with skin, but tones down with time. It’s candied, but not girlish, so women of all ages will appreciate it, yet it’s spicy without it appearing like your grandmother’s old cologne. Sula Champagne Sugar doesn’t pretend to be anything that it’s not and with hundreds of perfumes to choose from, we couldn’t ask for anything more. Besides, who wouldn’t mind spending less than $40 to have champagne every day?
Shop: Anthropologie and http://www.anthropologie.com
What’s Your Poison? Rum
Every gal in New York City’s nightlife knows when she’s had rum for the first time. Call it a watermelon daiquiri, Cuba Libre, or Mai Tai, the sugarcane-based spirit is a key ingredient in many tropical, girly drinks that masks the intensity of alcohol before one could realize it hours later. Light and gold, or dark and spicy, rum can add body to a cocktail while satisfying a sweet tooth. Therefore, it’s no surprise that this Caribbean delight would find its way not in Swarvoski-encrusted flasks, but in women’s perfumes, especially one that’s promises shoppers to Carried-them away.
Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker is no stranger in combining cocktails and scents. Her first perfume Lovely highlights an apple martini note that’s both fun and whimsical for women of all ages. Parker herself even participated in the process of creating Lovely’s soft and powdery aroma, which became a hit in 2005. Five years later, Parker returns to the bar and goes not for Cosmos, but rum. Inspired by her alter ego Carrie Bradshaw, she released SJP in February, a light fruity-meets-floral scent that’s dominated by ripe strawberries on top of blooming gardenia and a touch of vanilla soaked in rum. The result is more like red berries coated with orange meringue. While we were hoping for more Manolos and less butterflies in SJP’s packaging, the youthful aroma it holds is simply fabulous. We couldn’t help, but wonder why other celebrities don’t take note?
Shop: Macys and http://www.macys.com
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