Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Hearty Valentine's Fragrances

Valentine’s Day is just a month away, so I decided to put together a little “anothology” of 10 of the most obviously V-Day perfumes of all: they are other full of aphrodisiac notes, declare romance and passion with their names, or wear their heart on their sleeves so to speak – with heart-shaped bottles and packaging.

Caron introduced N’Aimez Que Moi in 1916 ”To keep up morale among the troops and their lady friends”. The names means “Love Me Only”, and meant to nurture faithfulness. So pour some of this extrait from an ancient Urn and imagine yourself as a soldier in the trenches smelling a letter from your fiancé back home smelling of a delicate, heart-twiching perfume among the roaring of gun fire and battle-dust. N’Aimez Que Moi is not just roses and violets – the base is soaring with longing in the finest Caron tradition. The parfum is available from the Caron boutiques in Paris and New York. To contact the New York boutique email the friendly and knowledgeable Cathy and Diane or call 1-877-882-2766

The name means “Infatuation with Love”. This modern classic from the late 1980’s is romantic though quite linear – maintaining a floral, powdery musky-clan accord of bergamot, rose, magnolia, vanilla and musk. What else there is to ask?

L de Lolita Lempicka is another fabulous fragrance from Maurice Roucel, who also created Tocade and Musc Ravageur. The main notes here are orange, cinnamon, immortelle and vanilla. But mostly vanilla. The bottle is heart shaped and decorated with sea motives and charms, and as we all know – men react irrationally to vanilla!

100% LOVE
The name says it all, but Sophia Grojsman says it with perfume. The main element is the seductive, deep amber note of rockrose (labdanum), adorned with roses and cocoa. 100% Love is sensual and earthy and feels surprisingly natural. It is also available in a more concentrated format, named 100% Love MORE (pictured to the left).

This natural perfume is the newest from Mandy Aftel’s perfume house. Tango is as passionate as the Argentinian dance it’s inspired by, yet, like the dancer feet in the stilettos - it is classy and elegantly restrained.
Tango opens with the mysterious, rubbery, smoky notes of toasted seashells and myrrh, and gradually smoothes into a creamy floral bouquet of champaca and tuberose.
To make it even more Valentine-ish, wear it in the heart shaped pendants that are offered for a limited time via Aftelier.com.

A heart shaped bottle for a perfume with a heartbeat. Chamade is the drumroll of surrender – and in this perfume it is surrender to love. The bottle is shaped as a heart, and the stopper is a spear of an arrow. Chamade pulsates with cassis and greenery (galbanum, hyacinth) and heady florals (ylang ylang, jasmine) that are tamed and surrendered by earthy, ambery base notes (oakmoss and the most effortless aphrodisiac of all that Guerlain uses so well – vanilla).

This was the first perfume I ever picked “blind”. I ordered it from the Yves Rocher mail-order catalogue when I was quite a novice in interpreting ad copies and lists of unotes that I never heard of. I was intrigued by this offering of Mirabelle plum, cassis, grapefruit and amber and was determined to try it. When the smooth pink bottle that resembles an abstract conch arrived - I was thrilled to discover that I like it and found it similar to how I imagined it to be (quite a revelation for the time, actually). It was equally sweet and refreshing, youthful and sensual and I wore a lot of it back in the day.
You can now get it in crème parfum for only $2.95 or as a heart shaped candle for $3.00. Other body and bath products are available, including an iridescent body lotion.

An erogenous mix of rose, magnolia and jasmine, paired with citrus top notes and a woody base of cedar, benzoin and vetiver. Nick Jennings, the nose of Sharini Parfums, is a French natural perfumer, and uses only organic essences and alcohol in his perfumes.

It wasn’t until I watched Inside Man in the theatre that I finally understood the Indian connection of this perfume. The film opens with the most smooth-voiced Indian pop song, and I couldn’t help think of Shalimar and of Indian sweets – full of butter, vanilla and rosewater. Shalimar, however, is more than just a vanilla scent. It’s a complex love potion that was inspired by a tragic (aren’t they all?) love story of an Indian king and hi wife, to whom he planted the gardens of Shalimar – and after her death, raised the monument of Taj Mahal. Shalimar in pure parfum is something that is to be experiences at least once in a life time. While the base is the smoothest, richest and best quality vanilla (or at least it used to be) – there are other elements involved, such as birch tar and castoerum and bergamot, and of course – rose, jasmine and iris. The flacon itself is a beautiful gem all on its own.

Natural perfumer Lesle Faye’s The Kiss captures the agony and the ecstasy of passion’s fiery embrace. With notes of Mimosa, Oak Moss, and Frangipani. The Kiss is available in three sizes and forms:
Roll on $45
Atomizer $75Crystal Flacon $125

Tune in to SmellyBlog in the next couple of weeks to get more ideas for what to do and wear, smell and give to your sweetheart(s) on Valentine's Day.

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