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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Perfume in the Glossies: September

This month, Allure again pleasantly surprises with the amount of perfume-related coverage. There is a an essay, Scents of Self, by the detective writer Kate Atkinson (One Good Turn), in which, after a somewhat unnecessary intro on the history of perfume through the ages and the countries, Atkinson talks about the fragrances of her heroines, her love for Arpege, Joy, Coco, and her decreasing ability to actually smell them, as well as about childhood and other memories associated with some smells (I love that she too finds the smell of lilac melancholy: "the near tragedy of lilacs"). She concludes the article with the following advice:
"Don't mess about with whole wardrobes of scents; go for one clear message (...) I know one day (...) one of my daughters will be stopped in her tracks by the scent of Arpege, and for a second I will exist again for her, fully formed."
Another remarkable article in the issue is Message in a Bottle by Brooke Le Poer Trench, about fashion houses and their fragrances. The author quotes perfumers (Grojsman, Wasser), perfume consultants (Gotlieb) and designers (Kors, Giannini) to explain the link between the fashion and the perfume and the appeal of scents for the brands and their clients. Le Poer Trench then provides a perfume-chronology for seven fashion houses (Dior, Chanel, Wang, D&G, Calvin Klein, Lauren, Armani) as well as a categorisation of some designer scents according to the scent families. Some interesting tidbits:
"...we conducted a quick survey in Times Square with two fragrances - Daisy by Marc Jacobs and the new Gucci by, yes, Gucci. Twenty women were asked to close their eyes, sniff, and guess which is which. Seventeen out of 20 got it right"
"A very chic aunt who was always surrounded by a cloud of tuberose inspired Michael Kors's signature scent."
"Chanel's saying "I had a chance, and I took it" inspires the name Chance..."
"It's a modern vision of sexiness", [Olivier] Cresp says." [about Light Blue for Femme]
Other perfumes mentioned in the issue: Eau d'Italie Bois d'Ombrie, Mark Jewel; "musical notes" of Mariah Carey's, Usher's and Sean Combs's scents. Fashion publicist Bonnie Morrison loves Angeliques Sous la Pluie by Frederic Malle. Model Helena Christensen thinks Le Labo Rose 31 "has a hypnotic and very intoxicationg scent.Everyone asks me about it when I wear it." The issue also come with a sample of Donna Karan Cashmere Mist.

All in all, for a publication not specializing specifically in perfume, this a wonderfully perfume-full issue. Kudos to Allure yet again.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Allure does a good job on fragrances, I think. Last week I flew to Phoenix for a week and took just one scent with me--the only bottle I had that the airline inspectors would allow--Maharinih by Perfumes de Nicolai.

It stood up well to the 115-degreee heat, but on day 3 it was a bit sharp and I didn't want to wear it every day. Changing from one scent to another (to another and another!) works better for me.

While my son won't associate a scent with me, perhaps he will associate me with being kind to strangers and telling him about Raven stealing the Sun and Woman Drawing Down the Moon. That would be enough for me.

2:40 PM EDT  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

Dear QC-
LOL, Maharanhi for 7 days !
I love the stuff, but a girl has to have limits...
I like your stories w/ your son.
My boys do associate many scents with me [do they have a choice?], but I think they'll remember the latter, too.

I get Allure, and I agree- they're trying !
Perhaps, I'm just not fitting their age demographic anymore...
Just too old.

5:18 PM EDT  
Blogger katiedid said...

Looks like I need to pick up a copy next trip through the grocery check out. I let my subscription to Allure lapse last year, since there weren't a ton of original fragrance articles, just same the PR friendly regurgitations all the other mags have, too. Sounds like they're making an effort to fix that?

5:26 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I think that even if a mother wear 1000 different perfume (*ahem*), a child would still associate one or a couple or a combination of scents with her just the same.

8:26 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Allure is difinitely trying. I suppose "populist" ideas like calling Malle's column "Fragrance Guy" (??) are inevitable, but still their perfume content is better and bigger than in any other glossie.

8:28 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Perhaps the fashion-perfume article was full of cleverly subtle new release placements (new Gucci, new Prada, etc), but if so, it was done very subtly, and as it was quite informative, I don't mind that.

8:29 PM EDT  
Blogger Melissa said...

I also switch around scents constantly but my mother, who is gone now, almost always wore Tabu.

A couple of years ago my SIL gave me an overnight hair treatment that smelled so familiar, but I couldn't quite place the scent. That night I wore it to bed and my night was filled with dreams of my mother. She'd been gone so long that I hadn't dreamt of her in years. I can't express how grateful I was to have a chance to hang out with my mom again.

I wasn't all that thrilled with what the product did to my hair, but I did go out and buy a bottle of Tabu. I never wear it, but I do sniff it once in awhile and smile.

10:19 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I believe I understand how you feel about Tabu. There are some scents that I keep around for similar reason, to smell and feel comforted.

10:23 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

Hey, you blogged on Allure too! Their fragrance coverage stuns me. Do you think there's someone at the top who's really into fragrance? I find their articles and choices very sophisticated relative to the rest of the vibe of the magazine. Whatever, I'm happy.

9:37 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I don't know what's up with them lately, but I hope they keep up the good work!

9:37 AM EDT  

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