Make me a fragrance that smells like love – Christian Dior.
I haven’t written a blog post about fragrance in quite a while, let along shared my thoughts on beauty products of any kind. My mind has been wrapped up with books, travel, life and all sorts of things. As usual, beauty takes a back seat. That doesn’t mean that I’m not still in awe of it every time I get the chance to see a new work of art in the beauty department and it certainly doesn’t mean my obsession with fragrance has wavered in the slightest. There are odd days that I completely forget to spritz a cloud of magical air around me as I rush out of the door for work, but mostly I remember adding the last touch to my outfit and I remember to choose wisely, depending on my mood, the way I want to perceive myself and the most obvious, how I want to smell that day. Right now, there are four firm favourites on my radar and they each bring something a little different to the table. Nevertheless, you might be able to determine the kind of mood that I’ve been in lately…
POISON GIRL UNEXPECTED
My love affair with Poison Girl Unexpected began with the original Poison Girl in 2016. It was nothing like I’d ever smelled before and it lured me into a world of exciting possibilities; it made me want to head to the big city and stay out all night long until the sun came up. It made me want to live on the edge of danger and freedom. It became an obsession that I didn’t mind having. Fast forward two years and its younger sister was added to the collection; a tamer, milder, but no less electrifying addition that had me wanting more. Although it definitively belongs to the same family, the floral heart of Poison Girl Unexpected makes it softer, less dangerous. Rose and peony are the at the crux of the perfume combined with fragrance favourite, jasmine to adhere to the oriental nature of the Poison Girl family. The initial hit of orange and ginger make for a sharp entrance that lingers and transcends the entire experience, lasting throughout the day even when the fragrance mellows to its base notes of Tonka bean, vanilla and musk. It is a beautiful, sensual, dramatic fragrance and (despite its eau de toilette status) lasts from day to night for those unforgettable spontaneous moments that always make the best stories.
BOTTEGA VENETA EAU DE PARFUM
If you want a brand that exudes exclusivity and sophistication, it is Bottega Veneta. I had never even heard of this fashion powerhouse until I worked with the fragrances during the time I lived in Melbourne. Born in Vicenza, Veneto, in 1966, the brand began with Italian traditions that are deeply entwined in every product that has been created since, including its fragrance. The signature collection, which Bottega Veneta EDP is part of, encompasses every ideal the company holds dear. Based on discretion, craftmanship, luxury quality and its motto “When your own initials are enough”, this bottle transcends its perfumery nature; it makes you feel as though you belong in the Venetian countryside at a time when the luxuries in life were far simpler. Whenever I spray the fragrance, it takes me back to my days of Australia. More than that, it makes me want to catch the next plane to the Italian countryside where the combination of flowers, earth, wood, fresh meadows and mown hay is all that surrounds me. The perfume is a leathery floral chypre which evokes a sensuality and longevity that transcends throughout time; its combination of complexities and contradictions are what make it addictive and hard to describe. It belongs to no family but is a standalone – a perfume of power and independence that calls upon its own history and moulds it into a modern simplicity that has its consumers entranced.
My absolute favourite fragrance for Christmas 2018. I was told that it would be a bestseller for the height of shopping, but I couldn’t have comprehended how much I adored the latest in Jimmy Choo fragrance. It is completely different to the earlier perfumes. It is still a sweet fragrance, but not sickly sweet in the usual gourmand style. Instead, it has a darker hue, one that is rebellious and daring. Fever is another perfume to grab when it is already dark outside, and you want to remember the magic that occurred when the sun has disappeared and the only things in the sky are camouflaged clouds and the odd twinkle of a star in the distance. The start of this perfume’s journey begins with an eclectic mix of sensual black plum nectar, wild lychee and juicy grapefruit. They are powerful and sophisticated, bubbling with a tamed threat of unleashing the inner party animal who has an obsession for all things sparkly. The scent flows to the oriental heart notes: classic vanilla orchid and jasmine which blend together to make the smell last until the finality of the wood notes which, with any luck, will be what surrounds you as you wander home in the early hours of sunrise, heels in hand. The woody aroma of Tonka bean and sandalwood linger with a richness and depth that continues long after the last hint of dawn has gone.
When I first smelled the elusive Nova bottle that surprised us one day, I was less than impressed. Here was a brand new Dior perfume that was Top Secret, that nobody knew about because it was kept completely under wraps and it was… more than disappointing. Little did I know that one year later it would become one of my favourite fragrances to spritz daily. The beautiful thing about Joy is that it is more than just a perfume; it is a complete concept, a new way of thinking and something that captures the origins of Dior fashion house with a modernity that shines through and through, quite like the lucky star hidden beneath the lid of the fragrance bottle. Inside the bottle is a liquid that captures joy itself. With zesty bergamot, mandarin, grasse rose and jasmine from across the globe, the fragrance kickstarts a love affair that is sweet and fresh which slowly develops into the warmth of creamy sandalwood like an enveloping hug from an old friend. As the notes settle into white musk, it transcends the gift of time, showing that an extremely modern perfume can have the tradition and poise of notes that were popular during the decades between the 60s and 80s. Joy is a fragrance for all women: feminine, beautiful, playful and a complete joy to wear.
As it so happens, these are the perfect fragrances to wear as the nights draw in and the days shorten. The deeper sensuality of the leathers, plums, bergamots and vanillas forever remind me of crisp leaves, warmer coats and the inevitable parties that are just around the corner. Time will tell if these fragrances remain the top four but for now, they cannot be upended, and the best thing is they have been in my collection for at least nine months. Sometimes you don’t need to find a new favourite in fragrance, you just need to fall in love with one that you’ve already got.
What are your favourite fragrances right now?
Love, Faye xo