By Liz Bekesz
Mediterranean legend tells of the beautiful nymph Paeonia, who was so courted and adored by the gods that a jealous goddess turned her into a peony, the “flower with a thousand petals.” Today, the peony is still a Mediterranean treasure, making its annual appearance each May, dressed in all its gorgeous, dazzling colors. Honor Paeonia – and her enchanting namesake bloom – with Pivoine Flora Eau de Parfum from L’Occitane. This sensual, feminine fragrance is enriched with a peony extract sourced exclusively from peonies grown in the famous Riviere nursery, in France’s Drome region. Pivoine Flora opens with a burst of bergamot and grapefruit, and grows more sensuous at its heart, where rich magnolia and violet mingle with the many petals. The finish is an inviting trail of warm, musky vanilla woods. Purchase at L’occitane boutiques and online at usa.loccitane.com.
Laughter Jour is the third and newest addition to the Space NK fragrance collection. This fresh and fruity floral joyfully bursts open with Italian bergamot, grapefruit, and pear; it then gives way to violet flower, rose, lily of the valley, jasmine, and peony, before drying down to soft musk, cedarwood, and sandalwood. Free of parabens, sulfates, synthetic colors and silicones; appropriate for sensitive skins. Housed in a charming lavender-hued bottle with ribbon and mirror detail, Laughter Jour is sheer optimism, inside and out: crisp and clean; friendly and fresh; light and luminous. It’s the scent that’ll whisk you away to the English countryside’s first bright and sunny days…all summer long. Available at Space NK and at http://www.spacenk.com.
From Lavanila Laboratories, purveyors of products naturally nourishing and lovingly luxurious, comes “two times the healthy body care” in The Healthy Body Wash 2-in-1 Shower & Shave. Lather up with a sumptuously scented, antioxidant-packed formula that promotes softness without irritation – and without harsh chemicals. This ingeniously efficient formula cleans and moisturizes, while simultaneously creating a soothing barrier for a supremely close, easy-gliding shave. Key ingredients include Coconut Oil, a natural anti-bacterial that keeps skin clean, without stripping away its essential moisture; Organic Rosehip Oil, an excellent tissue hydrator, and Organic Aloe – a tried and true classic for soft, supple skin. Free of sulfates, petrochemicals, phthalates, silicone, parabens, and other nasty stuff you need not apply. Try the summer-perfect, delightfully scented Vanilla Passionfruit, with a hint of peach nectar, or the Vanilla Coconut, tropically topped with bright tiare…an instant exotic escape! Available at Sephora and at http://www.sephora.com.
Have you never had high tea in a rose garden? Live the moment with Happ & Stahns Perfumers 1842 Rose Alba, a charming floral with vintage appeal, created by Marypierre Julien of Givaudan. The delicate, feminine fragrance features pink peppercorns and Darjeeling tea splashed with grapefruit, a dash of wisteria, and a citrusy ancient Alba Rose accord. Amber wood and cashmere musk soften the scent, lingering as the base. The eau de parfum is housed in an inkwell bottle complete with pincushion top and Victorian era-inspired pins; the more concentrated parfum arrives in a crystal tear catcher replica. Available exclusively at http://www.anthropologie.com.
An airy fragrance with “sparkling, ethereal light,” Flora by Gucci eau Fraiche is an exuberant, yet refined summer-weight interpretation of Flora. Its light blue-green hued liquid is coolly contained within a 1970’s style geometrical hexagon, then topped with a shiny white stopper and wrapped up with a chic black bow. This fruity floral opens with top notes of citrus and bergamot, heightened by kumquat; it then moves to a heart of sensuous rose and osmanthus, made even more tempting with the inclusion of fresh, inviting green and water notes. The dry-down reveals a base of sandalwood and patchouli, teased with a touch of pink pepper, like the other Flora family members. Youthful and spirited; light and free, Flora by Gucci eau Fraiche transports you to that fresh springtime of youth…no matter what your age or season. Available at Macy’s, and online at http://www.sephora.com.