The red poppy has no scent, yet it is immortalised as an iconic sensual powdery and musky floral perfume launched in 2000: Flower by Kenzo. Over the years, Kenzo has created a series of various iterations of Flower, each one distinct yet familiar with the undertones of the original. This May, Kenzo launches a new version: Eau de Lumiere, inspired by another scent-less blank slate, a ray of light. Like rainbows, the morning sun, a shining prism. Eau de Lumiere is bright, fresh, soft, floral, angelic. Notes of this pink juice: Bulgarian rose, jasmine sambac, bergamot, white musk.
Creative genius Alessandro Michele had a hand in this latest concoction from Gucci. Like his fashion creations for the label, this juice is colourful, shiny, and poppy. It still has the signature Gucci sexy muskiness, but lighter, brighter, fruitier, more sparkling, fresher. Like a glass of rose at the hippest party in town. The notes: opens with fruity red berries, white floral gardenia at its heart; winds down with patchouli and brown sugar. Sillage is moderate, and relatively long-lasting.
Gucci’s new limited edition EDP is the latest addition to its Bamboo fragrance line-up. The brand says: “Soft and intense at once, the scent blooms with notes of exotic Casablanca Lily and Tahitian Vanilla. Sandalwood and Grey Amber balance the femininity with a woody contrast, to create a statement of strength and sophistication.” The Beauty Gazette: “Fruity with a hint of musk. A relatively sparkling floral with a hint of gourmand notes. Moderate sillage. Slight smokey undertones.”
Ever since Alessandro Michele took over the reins at Gucci as its creative director, the label has been on a roll. Churning out gorgeous clothing, accessories, bags and shoes with an interesting vintage patina, accents and details. Unfortunately, most fashion labels and their corresponding perfumes are often not the brainchild of the designer. Still, I was keen to find out how the shiny new Gucci scents fair. Especially when they have been inspired by Michele’s sartorial work. Like most Gucci perfume launches, the Platinum range comes in a pair. My thoughts on the Gucci Guilty Platinum EDT: Nothing like the original Gucci Guilty, it is a warm, fruity-floral (if such a thing were possible). Gucci says: “Top notes – geranium and pink pepper; heart notes – lilac and peach; base notes – amber and patchouli” My thoughts on the Gucci Guilty Platinum Pour Homme EDT: Fresh, citrusy, a whiff of pine needles, warm. This may be made for men, but I’d wear it. This juice turns a little sweet on my skin, which gives it …
Chloe parfums are fail-safe. Catching a whiff of this range of ultra-feminine, powdery, full-bodied white floral scents is always a pleasure. In the world of mass-produced brand-name perfumes, Chloe always holds its own. Its signature floral-soapiness is distinct. This new olfactory cocktail – Chloe Fleur de Parfum – is a fresher, more floral (the notes evoke pink roses maybe) youthful, and brighter version of the beloved Chloe Eau de Parfum. How Chloe describes this perfume: “A tender floral blend. Chloé Fleur de Parfum is a generous bouquet exclusively composed of the most tender and quintessential part of flowers, their hearts. The fundamental note comes from the rose heart. The heart of verbena flower adds a fresh and luminous verdant dimension while the heart of cherry blossom diffuses milky almond notes. Tender. Modern. Feminine.”
Says Gucci: “The new scent pulsates with the original fragrance’s inspiration: bamboo, one of the House’s most celebrated and elegant design signatures, and its references in the Gucci woman. The rich woody floral finds new edge with a bright mandarin note. Lighter than the original essence, Gucci Bamboo Eau de Toilette offers alluring insight into the Gucci woman’s sensual, romantic side.” Says me: A pretty fruity-floral; bright, fresh, a little sparkly, a hint of clean linen, peachy, slightly sweet. An everyday scent.
Gucci says: “The Flora Anniversary Edition opens with fresh mandarin and pear edged with the vibrancy of pepper.” My thoughts: A juicy floral with that signature slightly animalic Gucci sexiness (think of that oomph of Gucci Guilty) . A good everyday scent if you love that extra sensuality to complement your outfits. I am loving the brand’s pretty signature florals printed on the base of the bottle.
This new Pour Homme is made to be worn with a sleek tux. Giorgio Armani Parfums: “Alluring, powerful, fiery, the classic Code base of tonka bean has been amplified by a sensual woody-ambery accord and notes of burnt styrax wood. …The green mandarin essence, crisp green apple and cardamom essence…the freshness continues with aromatic lavender notes and nutmeg essence coloured by … orange blossom at its heart…Warmed by tonka bean absolute with its accents of tobacco…enveloped in a suggestive woody-ambery accord. The supple leather of notes of the styrax essence meld … with praline sweetness.” My thoughts: I did not get a single whiff of freshness. What hit me immediately is a heavy tonka bean, and ambery sweetness. With just the slightest hint of tobacco. This eau de parfum is not made for the faint-hearted man; you would need enough confidence and sophistication to wear it. And for sure, it is made to be worn with at least a shirt and pants. This is not your T-shirt and jeans fragrance. And because this perfume …
To be honest, I don’t usually like the bottled juices of run-of-the-mill luxury labels. They pretty much all smell the same if you ask me. Just because the marketers only want the perfumers to make tried-and-tested accords that they know (or think) will sell, based on past successful blockbusters. Anyway back to Hugo Boss’ latest offering. It is actually quite good for a regular department store juice. An EDP, here’s what it says on the box: “A boost of freshness and feminity where floral notes collide with revitalising black tea. Top notes: boosted boysenberry and Himalayan red grass Heart notes: revitalising black tea and jasmine Base notes: feminine osmanthus” — My thoughts: Light and youthful floral with a berry accord that is not sickly saccharine sweet. Probably because a hint of the tea accord lends it some earthiness. Smells better when sprayed on clothes; relatively long-lasting.
Spritz and go? A no-brainer right? Not really. There is an art and science to wearing scents. Especially in humid weather. Here’s what to note: 💦 Slathering on unscented body lotions first to help a perfume “stick” is one way. But in this hot and humid weather, body creams might be the last thing you want to wear. An alternative is to let the scent “cling” elsewhere, such as your clothes and hair. I find that scents hardly last all day on my skin – unless it is super duper expensive such as Frederic Malle’s potions. A point to note though: spritz scents onto clothes from an arm’s length away. So only tiny droplets settle on your dress or blouse, not a direct spray that leaves behind a splotch that is inpossible to remove (from silks especially). 💦 Imagine the warm spots of your skin as “diffusers”. They are keep the scent molecules wafting towards your nose and others’. 💦 Sprtiz, dab, press; but don’t rub on perfumes. The scent molecules should settle on …