Fragrance

By Candice Sabatini

Both fashionistas and fume heads – of which I’m both – have been waiting with excited anticipation of the release of the new Balenciaga Paris Perfume.  Ever since news broke last year of this first licensing agreement with Coty, as well as the first Balenciaga fragrance created under the direction of designer Nicolas Ghesquiere, the fashion and beauty world have been buzzing with anticipation. Could there be peace and happiness between Ghesquire, known for his love of edgy design as well as the smell of furniture wax, and Coty, the fragrance house known for their classic and lovely, but not edgy fragrances? Bringing in Olivier Polge, as perfumer, in my opinion was the right choice and what we have is a lively new perfume that pleases many, including me.

This is one of those perfumes that shouldn’t be judged by the first spray – or from a spray on paper – because it changes drastically after it settles into your skin. That said, the opening notes are green and peppery, but soon give way to florals with violet dominating. However, while this isn’t as edgy as I’d imagine Chesquiere to be, it’s not your Grandma’s violet by any stretch. I heard it described as retro and modern and I’d agree. It’s soft, delicate and sweet, but not too sweet.The final notes are a powdery woodsy scent with a slight chypre. I love that this perfume lasts and lasts, as I hate having to re-apply a scent every few hours, however, it’s not a strong scent. It doesn’t “scream” as you walk by others, but speaks quietly to those near you, and it says only the nicest things.

Available: Saks 5th Ave, and http://www.balenciaga.com

There are two kinds of women in the world, those that love Opium, and those that adore it above all others. Created in 1978, Yves St. Laurent’s iconic fragrance has been the lusted after fragrance of millions of women as well as of the men who lust after them.

The exotic blend of lush florals, intense spices with a controversial name was a symbol of YSL’s love of Asian design and oriental fragrance notes. It offended the Chinese community who demanded a name change, though that flare up paled in comparison to the photo of the fiery red headed model, Sophie Dahl, who appeared bare breasted and wearing only a pair of sexy stiletto heels in the Opium ad campaign. But after all the hoopla, which piqued everyone’s curiosity, the final result was and is a fragrance that stands apart and is the favorite of so many.

Not to worry, nothing’s changed in that famous brew of mandarin, bergamot, jasmine, vanilla, myrrh, sandalwood and patchouli. It’s merely time for a bottle update. That famous lacquer like bottle, inspired by Inro, has now evolved into an all glass bottle which is partly etched, but also  allows us to see inside via a clear round window, which shows a spiraled black cord.

Available: Major department stores and http://www.yslbeautyus.com

Originally published May 2010
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