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Archive for Perfume

NEW Fragrance Review : Yves Saint-Laurent Belle d’Opium via [basenotes, vex in the city, and nstperfume]


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Belle d’Opium Yves Saint Laurent commercial

via [YouTube]

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YSL Belle D’Opium

My Mum is a huge fan of the original YSL Opium fragrance, it’s her favourite perfume. I on the other hand am not. I find it far too spicy, heavy and heady for my sensitive snout and I was a little apprehensive about trying Belle D’Opium, the new sister fragrance to this iconic scent.
I’ll never forget the day I bought Opium for my Mum knowing how much she loves it. I had a sniff one day and it almost blew my head off! It takes one hell of a woman to rock Opium and Belle D’Opium despite being dubbed as the ‘next generation’, younger version doesn’t quite match up to the original. It still has those woody tones to it, but I find it lighter and easier to wear.

Am I the only one reminded of that those Turkish Delight adverts that used to come on in the 80s when they look at this promo shot? I don’t find the image very alluring, despite that clearly being its intention.

Its notes are a combination of casablanca lily, sandalwood, jasmine absolute, white pepper, gardenia and hookah accord, it’s less spicy than the original Opium, yet, still a warm scent which compliments this time of year and which I think would bode well as an evening perfume.
I’m a big fan of the bottle, which I think is sexy, unique and looks attractive amongst my other perfume bottles. I am indeed a sucker for pretty packaging!

Love the bottle!

My initial thoughts on the scent itself? It doesn’t last very long, it had all but faded away within an hour, leaving a faint trace of amber-like goodness in its wake. I think this will be disappointing for fans of the original as it’s basically a watered down version. I don’t dislike the scent but it doesn’t blow me away. I’d rather keep re-purchasing my beloved Bath & Bodyworks Sensual Amber for a fraction of the price instead, which lasts for hours and dare I say it, smells much nicer!
No doubt my Mum will still love this being the Opium obsessive she is!

Prices start at £39 for 30ml

}}2.{{ via nstperfume.com

Yves Saint Laurent Belle d’Opium ~ fragrance review

Posted by Angela  

Yves Saint Laurent Belle d'Opium advert

On first smelling Yves Saint Laurent Belle d’Opium, two words came to mind, and they weren’t “must buy.” No, they were “hairspray oriental.” I like some of Opium’s flankers — the lovely Fleur de Shanghai* is a treat on a summer’s night. But rather than referring to Belle d’Opium as a flanker, YSL calls it the “next generation” of Opium. If that’s the case, somebody please talk to Opium about birth control.

Perfumers Honorine Blanc and Alberto Morillas developed Belle d’Opium, giving it notes including Casablanca lily, sandalwood, gardenia, white pepper, jasmine, and narguile accord. After a generous spray of Belle d’Opium, I smell a hint of orange before gardenia takes over. The gardenia isn’t the wet, tropical gardenia of Estée Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia or even Jovan Jungle Gardenia, but is a thin, synthetic flower coated in Aqua Net. A thread of tobacco and fruit run through the gardenia. The tiniest bit of jasmine hums along, too. Because of a little resin and amber, Belle d’Opium does smell like a high-pitched relative of Opium, but without Opium’s drama and deep, clove-y spice.

Just when I thought I had Belle d’Opium pegged as a synthetic, screechy gardenia-based oriental, a thin, woody musk asserted itself. The fragrance began to reorient itself to what some perfume companies have been calling a “modern chypre,” smelling more to me like bug spray than bergamot-oakmoss-patchouli-wood-labdanum of a real chypre. This foul accord has torpedoed too many department store launches over the past three years, and I hope it ends soon. For me, it’s a one-way ticket to a migraine. I’ve read reviews of Belle d’Opium lamenting its lack of persistence, but on me it lasts a good four hours.

In an article in Elle magazine**, perfumer Calice Becker compares mainstream perfumes to formulaic romantic comedies. “With mass perfume, it’s the same: We go for the stars that we know everyone likes.” But the same article goes on to quote Vera Strubi, the former president of Thierry Mugler perfumes. About Angel‘s launch, she says, “That’s when I realized that if you want a fragrance to be memorable, it can’t please everybody.”

Yves Saint Laurent Belle d'Opium perfume bottle

Opium took a bold stance over 30 years ago, and it still sells well, offending and delighting across the globe. Belle d’Opium, on the other hand, tries to be a romantic comedy, if with a vaguely oriental feel. I doubt Belle d’Opium will never win an Academy Award. Heck, I’d be surprised if it made it to Dancing With the Stars.

Yves Saint Laurent Belle d’Opium is available in 30, 50 and 90 ml Eau de Parfum.

*If anyone at Yves Saint Laurent is reading, please bring back Fleur de Shanghai!

**April Long, “As You Like It.” Elle, November 2010, page 242.


Belle d’Opium (2010)
by Yves Saint Laurent

Belle d’Opium Fragrance notes

Casablanca lily, Sandalwood, Gardenia, White pepper, Jasmine, Narguile

via [Basenotes]

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“Perfumes: The Guide” by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez via [Allure and Luckyscent]


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Perfumes - The Guide  by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez

Perfumes – The Guide
by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez

Perfumes: The Guide (Hardcover)Perfumes: The Guide (Hardcover) by Luca Turin (Author) Tania Sanchez (Author)
Buy used from: $23.00

The Scoop
Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez are experts in the world of scent. Turin, a renowned scientist, and Sanchez, a longtime perfume critic, have spent years sniffing the world’s most elegant and beautiful–as well as some truly terrible–perfumes. In Perfumes: The Guide, they combine their talents and experience to review more than twelve hundred fragrances, separating the divine from the good from the monumentally awful. Through witty, irreverent, and illuminating prose, the reviews in Perfumes not only provide consumers with an essential guide to shopping for fragrance, but also make for a unique reading experience.
Perfumes features introductions to women’s and men’s fragrances and an informative “”frequently asked questions”” section including: 

  • What is the difference between eau de toilette and perfume?
  • How long can I keep perfume before it goes bad?
  • What’s better: splash bottles or spray atomizers?
  • What are perfumes made of?
  • Should I change my fragrance each season?

Perfumes: The Guide is an authoritative, one-of-a-kind book that will do for fragrance what Robert Parker’s books have done for wine. Beautifully designed and elegantly illustrated, this book will be the perfect gift for collectors and anyone who’s ever had an interest in the fascinating subject of perfume.


Adore or odour?


L’Heure Bleue
Chanel No 5
Chanel Pour Monsieur
Knize Ten


Creed’s Love in White
Chanel Gardenia
Michael Kors

The Classics

Some of these five-star landmarks definitively changed the history of perfume, and some stand the test of time because they continue to smell fantastic, decade after decade.

By Tania Sanchez

Chanel No. 5 (1921) and No. 5 Eau de Toilette (1924) Two monuments of perfect structure and texture.

Mitsouko by Guerlain (1919) Dark, rich, and exquisitely beautiful.

Habit Rouge by Guerlain (1965) A soft and rasping scent, like stubble on a handsome cheek.

L’Heure Bleue by Guerlain (1912) Guerlain at its best; a wearable praline.

Opium by Yves Saint Laurent (1977) The most distinctive spicy oriental ever.

Pleasures by Estée Lauder (1995) This antidote to the loud fragrances of the 1980s; smells fresh out of the bath.

Shalimar by Guerlain (1925) The perfect little black cocktail dress, translated into fragrance.

Angel by Thierry Mugler (1992) A huge, brassy belly laugh of a scent.

Vol de Nuit by Guerlain (1933) This is what quality smells like.

White Linen by Estée Lauder (1978) The smell of snow in sunshine.

Five-Star Scents

We rank fragrances, giving five stars to masterpieces, four stars to excellent fragrances, three stars to solid, yet uninspiring ones, two stars to disappointing scents, and one star to fragrances so vile they insult the smeller. And we call them like we smell them. One startled PR assistant asked coauthor Luca Turin, after he requested an actual perfume and not just press releases, “What will your opinion rest on?” He answered, “A triangular appendage in the middle of my face—called the nose.” 

By Lucia Turin and Tania Sanchez

Badgley Mischka
Gorgeous Fruity
The first thing I noticed was a big, breathtaking fruity top note, which I promptly forgot about, since what doesn’t have a big fruity top note these days? The second time, I was floored by the lushness and freshness, reminding me of ripe fruit before everything goes to brandy—peaches, mangoes, lychees, pineapples. Like church bells on Easter morning, this is simple and perfect and sure. It’s like a novel in which the hero discovers that his friend is the most beautiful girl in the room, and only familiarity prevented him from seeing it was time to face the facts: It’s love.

Beyond Paradise by Estée Lauder
Symphonic Floral
What is so impressive about Beyond Paradise’s masterful portrait of a fresh, fictional, ideal tropical flower is that the image holds steady for hours. It takes a lot of work to make something this accomplished appear this easy. Lovers of exotic beach-fantasy florals put out by niche firms should pick up the weird sci-fi rainbow nipple bottle at the Lauder counter and give it an honest try.

Calyx by Prescriptives
Guava Rose
Calyx maintains a perfect balance between clean crispness and rosy sweetness without ever falling into either camp completely. For a scent of the ’80s—1986, to be exact—Calyx also manages to smell incredibly fresh and modern. This scent helped inspire the next generation of fruity, clean florals, although none have really improved on it. It’s one of those rare fragrances you could wear your whole life.

Chinatown by Bond N.Y.C. No. 9
Gourmand Chypre
The plucky Bond No. 9 has produced its masterpiece. Chinatown is one of those fragrances that smells immediately, compellingly, and irresistibly great. It’s both oddly familiar and surprising. Some people find it too sweet. To my nose it smells like a corner of a small French grocery in summer, in the exact spot where the smell of floor wax meets that of ripe peaches. A treasure in a beautiful bottle.

Lolita Lempicka by Thierry Mugler
Herbal Angel
With most of the many fragrances inspired by Thierry Mugler Angel, the first thing you think on smelling them is: Hello, Angel. Not this time. Lolita Lempicka keeps the sweet, woody stuff but skips the push-up bra. The fragrance is snappy and smart, the ideal accompaniment for flirtatious banter from prim girls in glasses. It’s also a clever feminine that clever men can wear. I once got on a subway just as a pretty young man stepped off in a cloud of it. Bonus: darling bottle.

Kaleidoscopic Floral
I have no idea whether this perfume will still be around in ten years, but I will make sure I have enough of it to last me a lifetime. Missoni is one of the most accomplished fragrances to be created in years. The fragrance alters as it dries on the skin; it’s beautifully modulated, and then it has a luminous, almost minty accord. The subsequent effect is a perfume that feels very much alive, somehow composing itself as it goes along. Most other perfumes are rapidly fading photographs; this one is a movie.

Tommy Girl by Tommy Hilfiger
Tea Floral
No fragrance in recent memory has suffered more from being affordable than Tommy Girl. It’s as if it were deemed less desirable for being promiscuous. Tommy Girl’s origins were explained by its creator Calice Becker, who asked a chemist to sample the air in the Mariage Frères tea store in Paris to figure out what gave it its unique fragrance. To this tea base an exhilarating floral accord, traje de luces, was added to form Tommy Girl. Hilfiger’s public relations team asked Becker for a reason to label the fragrance as typically American. A botany expert was called in, and, to everyone’s surprise, the composition fell neatly into several native American varieties of flowers.

Reprinted by arrangement with Viking, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., from Perfumes: The Guide by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez, copyright ©2008 by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez.

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Cuter Ammunition for Your Beauty Arsenal. Stay strapped! via [Marie Claire]


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Lucky Charms: Beauty’s Hidden Treasures

Magical thinking: Fashion finds that transform into perfumes and glosses.

Magical thinking: Fashion finds that transform into perfumes and glosses.

1. Dressed to Thrill Diesel Fuel for Life Unlimited EDP, $58.

2. Bag-Ette Dior Lady Dior Parisienne Chic Palette, $95.

3. Key to the Kingdom Vera Wang Princess Sparkling Crème Parfum Key Chain, $38.

4. Bandit Queen Urban Decay Stoned Poison Ring With Lipgloss, $50.

5. Muse Times Two Yves Saint Laurent Palette Duo Pour Les Levres, $65.

6. On the Fly Bath and Body Works Butterfly Flower Solid Perfume, $19.50.

7. Sunny Honey L’Occitane Honey & Lemon Delicious Gloss, $9.

8. Heaven on Earth Victoria’s Secret Heavenly Bloom Solid Fragrance Ring, $30.

9.Cat Trick MAC Hello Kitty Mirrored Key Clip, $16.

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Fragrance Reviews and Film Trailer for Gucci Guilty via [elle, mimifroufrou and socialitesanonymous]


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Gucci Guilty


Gucci is taking a new approach to fragrance promotion.  The Italian fashion powerhouse has created a film to promote their new fragrance Gucci Guilty.  Check out the trailer for the film below:

Frank Miller’s “Gucci Guilty” Commercial Starring Evan Rachel Wood and Chris Evans

Starring Evan Rachel Wood and Chris Evans.
Directed by Frank Miller.
Soundtrack by Friendly Fires.

Also, click here to enter to win a VIP trip to the MTV VMA‘s and meet Evan Rachel Wood and Chris Evans for a night of Guilty Pleasures with Gucci!


Gucci Guilty, it turns out, carries a message with it which is at the antipodes of a Catholic guilt trip. Turning the fallen-Eve concept on its head, Gucci is launching a perfume which is advertised starting with these words “The Guilty woman is...” Not “This woman is guilty of…”

“The Guilty woman is a glamgirl, daring and audacious; she likes to seduce; she is perceived as sexy. She is obsessed by fashion; she likes to go out and party; she only thinks about gratifying herself. Gucci Guilty…never feel guilty taking pleasure!”…

The fragrance is described as a floral oriental.

I tested it a bit the other day. For now, I’ll confirm that it has a very sexy drydown. In a previous tweet, I said in an early reaction to it that it is “a subtle, sexy, feminine signature rather than a big-statement perfume. Great bottle which can be used as a mirror.” Later that day, I thought that I should have added the terms “very sexy,” and that the name “Guilty”, with its sulfurous connotation, now made more sense. But here the sexy feeling deepens rather than jumps on you in the opening stage.

Notes:  mandarin, pink pepper, peach, lilac, geranium, amber and patchouli.

The advert featuring actress and singer Rachel Evan Wood is supposed to be sizzling. I couldn’t help but think how much her makeup made me think of that of her boyfriend and now fiancé, Marilyn Manson.

See our previous post about it here.

Via tendance-parfums.com

Chris Evans and Evan Rachel Wood Promote Guilty

Gucci’s Frida Giannini launches the brand’s latest fragrance with a pop-art nod to American culture: Hollywood stars, fast cars, and high indulgence

By Rachel Rosenblit

Frida GianniniPhoto: Benoit Peverelli

Giannini wears her own Gucci dress and bracelet. See photos of Chris Evans and Evan Rachel Wood from the shoot below

Graphic novelist Frank Miller is often called a “visionary”—a loaded, hot-air term for many but nearly an understatement for him. He dreams up worlds we’ve never fathomed, like the anarchic, crime-ridden metropolis where prostitutes mobilize in his codirecting debut, Sin City, and refashions history into timeless allegory, as with the 480 b.c. Battle of Thermopylae, sensationalized to controversial effect in 300. His noir-camp aesthetic is gritty, base, and grandiose­—and when his drawings are brought to life on-screen, he exhausts the most cutting-edge CGI to re-create every outline, every hue. A film conceived by Miller is visual candy in the most magnificent way.

One world Miller has never dared enter is fashion, let alone fragrance. But Frida Giannini, Gucci’s creative director (and visionary in her own right) had big plans for Gucci Guilty, her new patchouli-based mandarin-lilac concoction for the “daring type—a woman who likes to take risks, not sit around and wait for things to happen,” she says. In Giannini’s four-year tenure, she’s known the payoffs of taking risks. Her fall collection mixed wintry monotones in whites and steel grays with nods to postmodern whimsy: camel hair combined with neoprene, leather woven with fox fur. It drew a fluid line between sensuality and strength: a tight, body-conscious dress with cutouts and, not two looks later, an androgynous-cool tomboy trouser suit. Giannini’s Gucci girl is a lover of classics with touches of flash, a boho hippie beholden to luxury. But where fashion fantasies leave off, the allure of fragrance can pick up, flush with the promise of sense memory, lust, and covetable identity. To capture a milieu of Guilty-ness—worthy of inspiring the most irresistible transgressions—Giannini didn’t want just an ad campaign; she wanted a graphic novel turned 3-D short film, an auteur’s take on fantasy in the guise of a 60-second commercial.

“Frank Miller is absolutely unique,” Giannini says. “He designed an entire city around Gucci Guilty. I received the storyboards directly from him and could immediately see his vision. I could smell the streets in the movie.”

Action: Driving a white ’53 Jaguar, a woman clad in tight black leather speeds across a skyscraper-flanked bridge to the hauntingly remixed electropop of Depeche Mode’s “Strangelove” (“I give in to sin/ Because you have to make this life livable…”). She screeches to a halt, steps out of the car (close-up on her Gucci leather-and-croc platform stilettos), and flashes back to a pulse-pounding encounter between herself and a smoldering stranger in a bar.

The smoldering stranger is Chris Evans, the 29-year-old actor whose classic good looks and carved-from-granite pecs helped casting agents envision him as the chiseled comic book heroes in Fantastic Four, The Losers, and next year’s Captain America: The First Avenger. Evans spent the summer filming What’s Your Number?, a romantic comedy costarring Anna Faris, in his hometown of Boston, where his family and friends still live. “I missed my high school reunion because I was filming the ad for Gucci,” he says, “but I still hang out with every person I would’ve wanted to see. Nobody moved away; they’re all still dating each other. There’s something in the water.” Evans is close with his mom (“She’s quite a lady—a ballbuster. Real Boston”), cries at Legends of the Fall (“every time”), and loves “smelling something and immediately being taken somewhere,” he says, “like, Oh my God, it’s camp! Or—Jesus—third-grade gym!” Evans is a breath of charisma, a first date you’d love to have. But in Miller’s ad, he kills with just a look.

“He’s an exceptionally wholesome, sensitive guy, but his face becomes so powerful in front of the camera,” Giannini says.

“I’ve spent my whole career designing the hero,” Miller says, “and [Evans] seems to fit the shoes beautifully.”

Enter the femme fatale: Evan Rachel Wood, the 22-year-old Golden Globe–nominated actress and star of Thirteen, The Wrestler, and Across the Universe. Choosing Wood to be the Guilty one was a slick move on Giannini’s part: Not only is she “such a talented and beautiful girl,” as Giannini says, but she brims with intrigue, famous for her unsubtly subversive transformation from a perky blond actress with a wide smile to a mysterious pinup girl with a penchant for blood red lips and black tattoos. Now engaged to Marilyn Manson, Wood starred in the singer’s “Heart-Shaped Glasses (When the Heart Guides the Hand)” video as a wide-eyed fan who has sex with Manson amid a downpour of blood.

“Guilty is about a guilty pleasure,” Wood says. “Full throttle, living in the moment, living dangerously. A girl with a bit of wild side. Scent plays a big role in what you’re turned on by. When you fall in love with someone, and you take a piece of their clothing or smell that pillow—it kills you.”

Wood recently finished filming HBO’s upcoming ’30s-set miniseries Mildred Pierce, a remake of the 1945 film noir starring Joan Crawford, an actress Wood says she’s “idolized my whole life.” Crawford didn’t exactly comprise a tidy Hollywood package, and neither does Wood—but no one could deny either woman’s devotion to her livelihood. By channeling the same fierce integrity that they would bring to a feature film, Wood, Miller, and Evans have lent Gucci’s newest fragrance an inextricable artfulness.

“A guiding rule of mine was that there would be nothing that wouldn’t be gorgeous—the car, the woman, the buildings,” Miller says. “I was on the lookout for the tiniest speck of anything that would’ve looked less than lovely. With Frida on the set, I hardly had to—she’s got an eagle eye. She knows exactly what she wants.”

“I think everyone, in the past, has had a moment—something romantic or sexy or sensual—that lasts for the rest of their lives,” Giannini says. “That’s the provocation for the commercial: the essence of the strong experience. I hope these images will stay in people’s minds for a long time.”

Below, the stars of the Gucci Guilty campaign, shot for ELLE.

On her: Python lace-embroidered shiftdress, $4,795, printed stockings, $95, white gold charm bracelet, $525, white gold and diamond horse-bit bracelet, price upon request, all, Gucci, at select Gucci stores nationwide. Her own ring. On him: Dress shirt, $355, wool pants (sold with matching suit jacket), $2,650, both, Gucci, call 800-456-7663.

Photographed by Dan King

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The OpuluxeLtd.com’s Daily Obsession: NEW By Kilian Collection created by Kilian Hennessy via [beautysnob and fragrantica]


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New By Kilian Collection


KILIAN_SP10 New  Product_Discovery set 02.jpg
By Kilian just launched Kilian
($140) which is a set of smaller vials of all of By
Kilian’s unisex scents —

* Prelude to Love, Invitation

* Love, Don’t Be Shy
* Beyond Love, Prohibited
* Liaisons
Dangereuses, Typical Me
*Cruel Intentions, Tempt Me
* A
Taste of Heaven, Absinthe Verte
* Straight to Heaven, White Cristal

* Back to Black, Aphrodisiac

Love, love, love the
names! As anyone who knows me knows I’m a sucker for cutesy names
(especially when it comes to nail and gloss shades), and luxe
packaging. By Kilian was started by the heir to the LVMH empire, Kilian
, so it’s only fitting that the celeb-favored fragrances
are luxuriously packaged (Keith Urban was just seen picking some up
for Nicole Kidman at Harrods!). This set comes in a gift box with black
tassels on each end of the box (very sexy and Agent
Provocateur-esque). I received small vials of all the scents to sample
and loved them so much that I bought the collection as a graduation gift
for my friend studying perfumery in Paris. If you’re the kind of
person who changes your fragrance with your moods this is the perfect
set as each of the luscious fragrances are wholly unique (though all
seem to have been created with many different notes, so I wouldn’t
suggest the set for anyone looking for ultra-light, non-complex

Prelude to Love: Invitation to Kilian  Hennessy`s Fragrant Empire

Prelude to
Love: Invitation to Kilian Hennessy`s Fragrant Empire

Kilian Hennessey, heir and grandson of the founder of The LVMH
group, luxurious brand Hennessey known worldwide for their production
of quality brandy, dared to start a brand, which will have aromas as
their main concern, just like the quality brandy.

He spent his childhood
with creations from his family’s wine cellars Cogniac, enjoying aromas
and watching his ancestors’ art.

After he graduated (“Schools of Higher Studies in the Information and
Communication Sciences” in Sorbonne), he wrote semantic theses on
language in common to gods and mortals. In his study “Angel’s share” he
met with the world of perfumery.

Angel’s Share is what the house of Hennessey explains as percentage
which evaporates from Cogniac cellars, as if angels themselves drank
that share, which is the gift to gods.

The perfumes presented
by the house of By Kilian are aromas which Kilian Hennessy has been
carrying with him since he was a child. They originate from the wine
cellar; they are sweet and alcohol-like, with an intoxicating, woody
scent of cognac vet. After he graduated, Kilian trained with the
greatest noses in perfumery and worked for the prestigious perfumery
houses such as Dior, Paco Rabbane, McQueen and Armani.

The collection “L’Oeuvre Noire” which includes 6 perfumes was
introduced in 2007. Each of the perfumes has both their title and
subtitle. Perfumers who worked on the collection are Calice Becker and Sidonie Lancesseur . The collection encompasses
the following perfumes:

A Taste of Heaven by Kilian – Absinthe Verte –
fragrance for men
Beyond Love by Kilian – Prohibited – fragrance
for women
Cruel Intentions by Kilian – Tempt me – unisex
fragrance Liaisons Dangereuses by Kilian – Typical me –
unisex fragrance
Love by Kilian – Don’t be shy – fragrance for
Straight to Heaven by Kilian – White crystal –
fragrance for men

The 7th perfume, Prelude to Love – Invitation, a fragrance for men
and women, will be joining the collection “L’Oeuvre Noire” in September

Prelude To  Love <br/>Invitetion by Kilian

This fragrance is based on the theme “Love and its prohibition”, and
is an olfactive memory of the first date. Cheeks blushing, heart is
beating like crazy. This exciting moment is refreshed with a bouquet of
beautiful citruses. Sweetness of bergamot, with delicate aromas of
orange from Seville, embraced by sparkling citruses, twists your mind
seductively and sends you a direct invitation for love.

The heart of the perfume Prelude to Love – Invitation includes intensive
ginger and accords of pepper, supported by neroli and orange blossom.
The base notes incorporate irresistible iris from Florence, which breaks
all possible barriers and prohibitions with its magnificent aromas.

The perfumer of this edition is Calice Becker. The perfume is available as 50ml edp
refill edition and as 1 liter refill fontaine edition.

Press Release By Kilian
Official Site By Kilian

Author: Sandrina (sandrina_bambina)

Fragrantica Member

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Beauty News: Hermès Launches NEW Perfume via [elle]

Hermès Launches New Perfume

The new scent, Voyage d’Hermès, captures the
essence of travel

Hermes Perfume

Photo: Steven Krause

When in-house Hermès perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena was asked to mix up a
new fragrance for the storied luxury brand that captured the essence
of travel, he avoided thinking in terms of specific global
destinations. “I wanted to convey the emotions surrounding a journey,”
he says. “The anxiety you feel before going away, the thrill of the new
experience, and the comfort of having something familiar to carry with
you along the way.” The resulting juice, Voyage d’Hermès, is a captivatingly woody, musky
scent that can be worn by both men and women wherever they go. “I don’t
believe that notes need to be gender-specific,” Ellena says. “What
smells good simply smells good.” Bottle designer Philippe Mouquet had a
similarly romantic-yet-utilitarian notion in mind when he set to work,
drawing inspiration from a flip-case magnifying glass he found on a
path while walking in the woods. The fact that the finished flacon also
resembles a stirrup—hearkening back to Hermès’ origins in 1837 as a
luxury saddlery—is, he says, just “a lucky coincidence.” When you think
about it, that’s often what the best journeys are all about.

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The Underground Scent Disciple Movement of the EAU AFICIONADOs via [elle]


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Notes From the Ungerground

An inside look at the new scent-obsessed culture

By Maggie Bullock

Photo: Model outline: Guy Aroch, all still
lifes: Steven Krause


It’s not hard to come up with a reason to linger at the Four Seasons
Resort on Maui’s Wailea Beach: white sand fine as face powder; poolside
mango smoothies; and the occasional sight of Pierce Brosnan gliding to
shore on a paddleboard with mesmerizing precision. Still, some people
who come here couldn’t care less about such frivolous distractions.
They’re here for the scent. Not in the naturewalk sense, either—they
come specifically to inhale the sandalwood, maile vine, and jasmine in
Palena’ole, a custom-blend eau that hovers in an all but subliminal
nimbus around the entire property. (The local breezes, though lovely,
smell primarily of nice, plain beach air; the hotel augments Mother
Nature with discreetly hidden electronic diffusers.)

Jane Hendler, cofounder of the Carmel, California, niche perfumery
Ajne Rare and Precious, and the creator of Palena’ole, says flying
halfway across the Pacific (or farther) just to experience a fragrance
isn’t all that strange. Not among her devotees. “One of our clients has
a spray for her pillow and one for her sheets, perfumes for each of
the seasons, and a minifridge in her bathroom in which to store them,
so they feel cool on her skin,” Hendler says. “But that’s nothing. One
man told us he had a dedicated fragrance room with more than 1,000
bottles. Another customer buys a new bottle of our Savoir—that’s
$180—once a month. I’m not complaining, but it’s, like, what, are you drinking

If Hendler stirred up a potable version, they just might. A new
class of fragrance consumer is mushrooming faster than you can say
World Wide Web”: perfume fanatics, supersniffers who collect, study,
debate, and review every eau they can get their hands on. They seek out
esoteric notes, celebrate superior drydowns, host sniffing parties,
and swap samples of their latest discoveries. Perfumers—once an
anonymous breed tucked away behind the billboards and beribboned boxes
of fragrance marketing campaigns—are their Picassos. Bergdorf’s beauty
floor is their MoMA.

“They’re like wine lovers, cheese lovers, car enthusiasts,” says Ron
Robinson, the owner of Apothia, the beauty boutique at L.A.’s
celeb-beloved Fred Segal—and the innovator behind its culty, eponymous
fragrance collection. “They love anything that’s going on,
olfactorywise.” Selling to them requires more than waving a scent strip
under their ultraattenuated noses. “This isn’t like trying to explain
the difference between grapefruit and patchouli,” he says. “They want to
know the nuances: Does grapefruit come into play in the beginning or
end? What is the balance?”

The answer to the obvious question—if fragrance has been around for
centuries, why now?—is the same reason a million other seemingly unique
hobbyists suddenly belong to 10,000-member fan clubs: the Internet. On
blogs like Nowsmellthis, BoisdeJasmin, PerfumePosse, and countless
others, previously isolated fragrance freaks have found a buzzing
community. “That started a whole new culture,” Robin son says. “Like a
book club, you get new perspectives.You increase your knowledge.”
Knowledge they have in spades. The blogosphere is equally atwitter about
the appointment of Thierry Wasser, Guerlain’s new nez, as it
is about, say, the recent, unexpected reappearance of a little known
Chanel juice called Beige (launched by Coco along with Rouge and Bleue
back in 1929, but apparently not forgotten).

The Web also provides common ground for an obsession that
nonsniffers might regard as, er, unusual. When a writer on Nowsmellthis
conducted an experiment to see how much perfume he owned, spritz for
spritz, he figured that, at 735 sprays per 50 milliliter bottle, his
relatively conservative 27-bottle stash was enough to provide 14.5
years of daily doses. “When I first did these calculations, I spent
several days in a semidepressed state,” he writes. “How could I resist
buying more perfumes?” His online cohorts were quick to assuage his
guilt—27? Next to nothing. Think of what footwear fanatics spend on a
bunch of meaningless shoes!—and the conversation quickly
turned to how to best array the bottles you have, while continuing to
purchase more. One said her 190-plus bottles were in the fridge, while
“hundreds of samples and decants are in drawers in my bedroom,
organized in alphabetical and size groups.”

For some fragrance fanatics, scent is simply the sense with which
they compute everyday life; its impact on their experiences—processed
in the hippocampus, the brain’s memory bank, and the amygdala, its
emotional control panel—more instinctual than intellectual. A nostalgic
70-year-old commissioned Jane Hendler to re-create the discontinued
dews of her youth, including one that, “when she wore it down the
street, made men turn their heads and follow follow her,” Hendler says.
Robinson remembers the Bay Rum his grandfather wore in the ’50s and
recalls meeting his wife while wearing the British brand Czech &
Speake. (Apothia still sells it.) Others just seem to have been gifted
with superior sniffers. Why else can certain noses discern Arpege
versus Armani on a morning subway commute, while others detect little
more than eau de B.O.? Hendler says scent immediately shifts her to the
right brain, into a spacey, creative mode. “Some people get almost
high. They find it transporting, disorienting. They could drive right
off the curb,” she says. “That’s what they love about it.”

“It would be wonderful to have an orchestra follow us around all day
and play a movie soundtrack to match our mood,” says Tania Sanchez,
who, along with her fragrance (and life) partner, perfume critic Luca
Turin, wrote the 2008 scent fanatic bible, Perfumes: The Guide (Viking).
“Wearing perfume is a little bit like that. It scores the day. It
makes breathing, ordinarily a purely functional thing, bring a little
bit of beauty into you with each breath.”

Sanchez is the perfect example of an Internet-enabled scenthead. When
she stumbled upon the fragrance boards at Makeupalley.com, she had
just a small collection. Now she owns some 2,500. (Of course, she’s
quick to point out, “I needed them to write the book!”)

“The thing about perfume is that, for most of us who like it, it’s
been difficult to tell anybody why,” Sanchez says. “Thanks to the
Crayola box, you’ve got these weird 11-year-olds who know the
difference between burnt sienna and raw umber. But they don’t know if
something smells like fennel as opposed to, say, oak moss. One of the
joys of getting online was getting this vocabulary and being able to
talk about something you really love, finally, with other people.” With
Turin, Sanchez developed one of the most distinctive voices in
fragrance writing. In Perfumes: The Guide, which rates some
1,500 juices on a five-star scale, one celebrity fragrance is
categorized as an “evil tuberose,” a “hair-singeing horror, probably
first rejected for use as industrial drain cleaner.” The five-star
Prescriptives Calyx, on the other hand, is compared to “a perfectly
tuned choir out of which you cannot distinguishany individual voice.”

“Most of us get on this journey saying, I’m going to buy one perfume
and wear it forever. I just have to find The One,” she says. “But it’s
not like polygamy if you happen to buy multiples. You start to buy
more, and then suddenly it’s hard to be in denial… you’re a
collector.” Obsessionwise, though, Sanchez has nothing on “the Karens.”

As the organizers of Sniffapalooza, a sort of online fragrance fan
club whose members meet for in-person sniffing expeditions everywhere
from New York to Paris to Florence, Karen Dubin and Karen Adams are two
of the most visible leaders of the eauosphere. Dubin’s collection (“I
stopped counting at 350, and that was years ago,” she says) is
currently unavailable for viewing, due to an apartment renovation.
Instead, she suggests meeting at Aedes de Venustas, a gilded fragrance
boîte on Christopher Street in Manhattan that looks straight out of a
Victorian Gothic novel, and which stocks hundreds of smallish,
artisanal fragrance brands from around the globe. “That’s kind of like
seeing my collection,” says Dubin. “I own almost everything in there
anyway.” (This is not hyperbole.)

The Karens are sort of an odd couple. Dubin, a casting director for
commercials, is a petite, type-A New Yorker who talks a mile a minute.
Adams, who lives in Connecticut and works in her husband’s dental
practice, is tall and as mild-mannered as her partner is verbose. They
have different tastes in sniffs, too: Dubin falls for anything vetiver;
Adams is addicted to post-hippie patchoulis. What they have in common,
however, is a seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of and unquenchable
curiosity about scent. Their short list of Aedes favorites is anything
but; the highlights include L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Pouivre Piquant
(“purifying, powdery, cleansing”) and Parfums DelRae’s Bois de Paradis
(“like candlelight on skin”).

Sniffapalooza started six years ago when Dubin organized a Bergdorf
binge for three online friends. Now its network is 500,000 strong.
Believers fly in from Germany, Switzerland, and France for
Sniffapalooza events. And while the Karens started out politely asking
perfumers and fragrance companies for face time and products, now the
industry comes to them. On their last major tour, in Florence, Adams
says, “we got the royal treatment”: breakfast at Ferragamo’s
residential palace; chocolate mint tipples and an all-access tour at
Santa Maria Novella, Catherine de’Medici’s favorite farmacia;
iris-infused chocolates at the farm that produces powdery bulbs for the
boutique brand i Profumi de Firenze; and a custom-blending lesson with
celebrated Italian blender Laura Tonnato.

The Sniffas (as Hendler calls fragrance disciples) aren’t just along
for the ride, either. “They do their research,” says Robert Gerstner,
the co-owner of Aedes de Venustas. “They have color-coded lists,
spreadsheets—pages and pages of everything they plan to smell at each
stop. They’re not going home saying, ‘Oh, I forgot to smell this one!’ ”

The Karens insist that, to Sniffas, perfumery is as an art, without
distinctions of high and low—whether the box is emblazoned with
interlocking Cs or bears Hilary Duff’s face. “We’re not snobs,”
Dubin says, vehemently. “We want to smell everything from Wal-Mart to
Bergdorf.” Still, it doesn’t take long on the fragrance blogs to figure
out that, in their world, professing to love something that’s readily
available on any old department store counter is considered vaguely
lazy, gauche—not unlike bringing a bottle of Trader Joe’s
cheap-and-cheerful Charles Shaw to an oenophile’s tasting party. Sniffas
want to know the story behind a perfume. They want concept, insight.
“Sniffas want the most sophisticated, the most complex fragrance,”
Hendler says. “Ingredients like oris root and agarwood, which are rich,
deep, more of an acquired taste—like a great, big cabernet.”

Buzzworthy ingredients woo them, too: guyac wood, sampac wood, and
rare sandalwoods. (Yes, they know the difference.) Recent It
Ingredients have included yuzu, lychee, guava, and, oddly, salt. “If
someone says it’s rhubarb and rubber, I wanna smell it!” Dubin says.

Sanchez has a name for those who demand the weird and wacky: stage
fivers. “Every fanatic goes through a stage where they’re desperate to
find really strange stuff,” she says. “It applies to all types
ofconnoisseurs—it’s like people who need to climb over dusty boxes and
use a password to get into a restaurant.” A former stage fiver, Sanchez
has evolved to stage six, that of the equal opportunity connoisseur.
“If you can’t see that Stetson is a really great fragrance because it
costs $12 at the drugstore, then that’s a problem,” she says.

Still, with increased awareness has come a ravenous demand for the
new and the now. Niche perfumery is up 60 percent since 2005, despite
the fact that the niche prices start at roughly $100 for 50
milliliters, while the average cost of a scent that size is $31.

This is good news for businesses like Apothia and Aedes, which have
specialized in smaller brands since their inception. But Robinson
appreciates the boom for more than just its bottom line: He sees it as a
chance for perfumery—not just sales imagery—to take center stage. Ad
campaigns that tell you little more than “you’re going to look like
this model on the side of this bus” are, he says, “a disservice to the
customer. They tell you nothing about how beautiful the process of
creating a scent really is.” Robinson is working on an eau that
celebrates his 30 years at Fred Segal. His brief to his perfumer, he
says, includes “coming to work early in the morning in the ’70s when
the gardeners were watering all of the flowers on the side of the
building. It smelled so fresh. And in an alleyway in the back, there
was this whiff of pot: Rock stars were always dropping by the fabric
store next door to get supplies for their costumes.” The fact that the
architecture of a scent can layer his memories, creating something with
a beginning, middle, and end—“that’s pretty cool,” Robinson says. “But
it takes a certain kind of person to appreciate it.”


Learn the Lexicon
Brush up on heart notes and
drydowns at Basenotes.net, a virtual scent encyclopedia, or
OsMoz.com, an exhaustive online directory operated by the French
fragrance firm Firmenich. If your nose can’t tell osmanthus from
olibanum, educate it: Look for individual essential oils at your local
health food store. “Once you’ve smelled the root of an iris, you’ll
know when you smell it again,” says Apothia’s Ron Robinson.

Shop Like An Expert
Most fragrance boutiques and
luxury department stores hand-spray samples upon request. Tania Sanchez
suggests toting your own empty glass vials—if they run out of sample
sizes, you’ve got your own. Aedes.com and Luckyscent.com sell hundreds
of one-ounce samples for only a small shipping charge. And when you’re
ready to invest, Sephora’s newest gadget, the Scentsa Fragrance Finder,
takes the guesswork out of selection by searching by favorite note or
fragrance category.

Hit the Road
Sniffapalooza isn’t the only game
in—er, out of—town. In Paris, Perfume Paths offers tours of Serge
Lutens’ atelier and Guerlain’s gilded, glorious Champs Élysées boutique
and spa. In London, Perfume Pilgrims explores the city’s scent-lover
spots, from secret incense shops to age-old apothecaries.

Enroll Now
Cinquieme Sens, a 32-year-old French
olfactory institute that once trained only professionals, opens a
Manhattan outpost this fall. Choose a two-day course on fragrance
traditions and techniques or a daylong “discovery” class specifically
for the lay enthusiast.

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