By Ashley Kowalewski Just as the holidays are a treat…
By Deborah Fulsang
Your calendar is booking up with parties, from the annual all-inclusive holiday-slash-Christmas-slash-Hanukkah-slash-Kwanza office soirée to your best buddy’s annual cinq-à-sept. You have, of course, been planning your ensemble, from the glitterati statement necklace to the chandelier earrings, your velvet dinner jacket to best evening jeans. But before you book that blow-out and mani, do consider your scent. Men and women listen up: Your fragrance should be as sultry and smart, elegant and unexpected as the anecdotes we’re sure to share when you’re charming everyone on this season’s party circuit.
Flirty and witty
We love the fresh yet nuanced spritzes from the latest Contemporary Collection from Brit-scent house, Atkinson’s of London. There’s Rose in Wonderland, Posh On The Green, and Lavender On The Rocks. All three deliver personality, cologne-like sparkle and a modern point of view. The last one is our fave: sparkling and herbal, with notes of geranium and basil, lavender and woods. It’s a sexy, gin cocktail of a perfume tailor-made for impressing acquaintances during the pre-dinner chit-chat hour. Atkinson’s London 1799, Lavender On The Rocks, $240 (100 ml), www.atkinsons1799.com
Sassy and intriguing
We admit to our love of a classic Manhattan; when made with attention to detail, it offers up a beautifully balanced taste profile: smoky, fruity, rich and divine. The same can be said of Arquiste’s new scents for J.Crew, No. 57 and No. 31. With the first fragrance, you get “whisky, but mellow,” says perfumer Carlos Huber. “It smells like the essence of whisky but not the acerbic part. It’s dry; cinnamon bark, not candy, with vanilla; it’s the whisky and oak — lush and cozy.”
For No.31, he speaks of red vermouth notes and an eau-de-vie accord note paired with Bulgarian rose, plum and oakmoss.
For the brand’s new Architects Club, the cocktail inspiration is crisp, cold gin martini, but one served up in the leather-lined Claridge’s Bar in London. “But it not boozy; it’s the fragrance part of the boozy notes,” Huber explains, “the herbal notes, the floral notes, without that edge.”
Delicious on all counts.
Arquiste for J.Crew No. 57 and No. 31, $92 each. Arquiste Architects Club, $190 (100 ml), www.arquiste.com
Luxe and charming
If you don’t suffer fools lightly and are a sucker for the well-dressed and articulate, we think you’ll enjoy this collection of fragrances from the imitable Thierry Mugler. Aptly named, the brand’s new Les Exceptions lineup takes inspiration from perfumery’s artistic roots but then delivers wonderful newness thanks to perfumers Olivier Polge and Jean-Christophe Herault.
There’s a sense of tradition in each of this quintet’s fragrance personalities, but there’s nothing staid about them either. They’re modern yet nuanced, winking to a vintage past but sexy and cool too.
We’re hard-pressed to pick a favourite — although we always lean to a well-executed chypre with its irresistible mix of citrus and resinous woods, and this one’s worth indulging in with its succulent pear note. In fact we’d like to grab this whole collection and run. Our advice, get thee to the store and start spritzing. Whether you love a gutsy elegant floral or a spicy soul-soothing oriental, your scent appetite will be more than sated.
There’s something for everyone here, and we have a feeling that in the intimate environs of a sparkling cocktail party, any one you choose will be appreciated by anyone in your immediate company.
Thierry Mugler Les Exceptions, $185 (80 ml) each; $127 (80 ml) refill. Choose from: Chyprissime, Over The Musk, Fougère Furieuse, Supra Floral, Oriental Express. Exclusively at The Bay.
PHOTOS: FEATURE IMAGE (WWW.SHEKNOWS.COM), ATKINSON’S (WWW.IMAGINENETWORK.TV), ARQUISTE (WWW.CLARIDGES.CO.UK), MUGLER (THALIA LEZANO/WWW.FGITORONTO.ORG)