April 14, 2012

Narcisco Rodiguez, Stunning Femininity....Bottled Up

Narciso Rodriguez for Her
 was created by Christine Nagel and Francis Kurkdjian for the fashion designer of the same name, renowned for his graceful, gently elegant and feminine trademark styling. The Narciso Rodriguez line might cause some confusion because there are three concentrations of Narciso Rodriguez for Her: the EDT packaged in black bottle, the EDP packaged in pink and the parfum in a rectangular clear vial with a dropper but one doesn’t encounter that format too often.

Some perfume companies make the EDT a simply lighter version of their EDP but Narciso Rodriguez is indeed almost two different scents. The notes of both overlap but the arrangement is slightly different as is what dominates. That said, I like both the EDP and the EDT and consider them a place of honour in my go-to perfume wardrobe.
Both have an amber, slightly vanilla and more dominant chypre accord which is artfully fused to tones of wood, musk and citrus, all kissed with a floral – mostly a sweet orange blossom. This makes NR almost a hybrid – it is at once Oriental Floral and then a woody Chypre with warm, sweet tones of musk and some citrus for good measure. In the EDP there is also rose and peach, a tiny accent of pink roses, along with a touch of honey.

If you like Lovely (Sarah Jessica Parker) or Guerlain’s Idylle, you will love Narciso Rodriguez’s EDP and EDT . Where it differs in a basic way from Lovely is it is a bit less earthy and scented of clean sweat and very much more complex. Where it differs from Idylle (which is a stunner) it is far more feminine. It is feminine in a clean but still mysterious way. If you wear it, you will cut a swathe through a room leaving an echo of quite womanliness. It’s a memorable scent and a signature scent if those who wear it but it’s knowing and poised –a less is more – totally nuanced perfume that is a true classic.

April 12, 2012

Feminine, Sweet and Sexy, Jean Paul Gaultier's Classique


Jean Paul Gaultier Classique
Eau de Parfum, Eau De Toilette

If packaging either very much repels or attracts you, you will not be unmoved by the fabulous female torso-bottle that is the iconic Jean Paul Gaultier bottle, that in turn houses the similarly iconic JPG Classique. I confess, for many years, I was a put off by the JPG bottle; my slight feminist bent a bit put out by the overt sexuality of the bottle. But then, feminist judgment left, and femininity took over. One day, after having dismissed the bottle (and scent inside) for being frivilous, I made a bee-line for Jean Paul Gaultier’s Classique. How could I have held off on this perfume for so long! What a treasure!  The nose behind this treasure, it must be said, is Jacques Cavallier

The famous glass torso housing this wondrous fragrance is available in two decants: Classique Eau Parfum and Classique Eau de Toilette although over the years (since the 1990’s), there’s been some 18 or so, variations on the theme but Classique is your best bet. Unless you know JPG you might not, having seen the perfume in its metallic packaging which looks very much like a can of salmon have a clue of what lies therein. But open it up and beyond the glass, buxom bottle is a world of dreamy femininity.

Purportedly created in memory of Jean Paul Gaulthier's chere Grand’Mere, Classique was mean to capture both raunch (inspired by said-grand mere’s pink corselet, discovered after she had departed to wherever mature femme fatales ultimately reside) and sweet vanilla comforts (inspired by the homier, nostalgic, and decidedly more maternal memories of grandmother).

Sweet, fruity, vanilla and musk are the main wafts and yet done, as only the French can do such combinations, with total sophistication. Classique is, if you pardon my audacity, as if you were indeed clutched to the bosom of a madonna/matron/showgirl –all at once. I would go as far as to say: motherly stripper but that’s too far in either direction. Suffice to say it’s sweet but not cloying, sexy but not tender – it’s a gentle sigh of a womanly woman who knows her strength lies in knowing who she is and what men like in that way French women seem born with. With Classique, you too, can aspire to this Eve-old wisdom.

The Fragrance Notes

What greets you Jean Paul Gaultier’s Classique are roses, tethered to orange blossom, musk, a tiny hint of ginger and star anise, the delicacy of orchid and a base note of amber and vanilla. This scent could be over the top or too sweet but it somehow offers a coquettish strut – rather than a heavy footed thud. It is a floral oriental in the best of ways. It comes on strong and settles in a powdery je-ne-sais quoi that is flirtatious, maturing to captivating. If you wanted a signature scent in the sea of signature scents, this is a good place to start

April 11, 2012

Younger Than Springtime .....White Lilac and Rhubarb from Jo Malone


Jo Malone announced a new collection of limited fragrances named London Blooms, coming out in March 2012. London Blooms collection was inspired by the art of botanical gardening and beautiful English lawns. The collection presents three fragrances signed by Christine Nagel: Peony & Moss, White Lilac & Rhubarb and Iris & Lady Moore. Their floral compositions are created with the aim to provoke feelings of happiness, romance and good mood.
White Lilac & Rhubarb is a feminine and romantic fragrance composed of notes of rhubarb, white lilac, rose and heliotrope. Bottles and packaging of the collection are decorated with floral illustration of vintage vibe. The fragrances are available as colognes in bottles of 100 ml.

Trust Jo Malone to 'get' an English garden primal perfume (primal in an elegant English way of course) and bottle it. The scent of this perfume is all at once floral and earthy - almost as if you spent the day digging out tulip bulbs and were bathed in spring sunlight with and fallen lilac blossoms all around you and a basket of fresh cut rhubarb nearby.

This is one of the most romantic of all Jo Malone scents although being Jo Malone, it is fresh and feminine versus sultry and sweet. A great day time perfume and in a wonderful nod to one of my favorite scents:lilac and a favorite taste: rhubarb. Airy, light, and eventually, captivating if you give it a chance.

Vanille Noire Eau de Parfum Yves Rocher This is a stunning treasure that is a third the cost you'd expect but it's part of t...