Winter whites, floral perfumes with warmth

Winter whites, floral perfumes with warmth

By Deborah Fulsang

Winter white. There’s something definitely elegant and appealing about the minimalism of it all. Maybe it’s the unclutteredness of it—in January we all want to start afresh with a clean slate after all. Hence the recent Ikea flyers and the Closets of California mailers filling my mailbox both digital and literal.

Even with fragrance, many of us want to clean house; we’re craving freshness.

A crop of new perfumes from A-list design houses embodies this minimalist mindset in olfactory character as well as packaging. Theirs is a distinctly feminine take on simplicity, however, their florals characters possessing a freshness as well as a chic timelessness that makes even the Oriental and Chypre lover in me take note.



Balenciaga’s latest spritz takes its minimalism seriously: Its latest is dubbed simply, “B.” Its flacon too pays homage to architectural simplicity with a clear Lucite arch of a cap and a placard-like label atop a columnar bottle of crackle-finish glass inspired by the marble of the brand’s original 10 Avenue George V Paris salon.

Scent-wise, B’s message is crisp and modern. It’s a floral with a fresh green modernity and a warm woody trail. Officially, it’s lily of the valley and violet leaves evolving into powdery iris and moody cashmeran woods.



Then there’s the chunky beauty of Narciso Rodriguez’s new eau de Parfum. Squat and square and symmetrical, this is one bottle that will forever be display-worthy on the chicest of dressing tables. The juice too conjures up visions of white blooms—it’s a creamy floral of gardenia and rose made softer and more voluptuous with musk.



Givenchy’s latest, Dahlia Divin, is again, a white floral with a woody base, this time hearted in jasmine with sandalwood, vetiver and patchouli. The addition of Mirabelle plum brings a slight chypre essence to the parfum. The bottle, like the Balenciaga and the Rodriguez designs mentioned, celebrates clean lines and the timeless appeal of white.

Balenciaga Paris, $120 (50 ml) EDP,, at Holt Renfrew, Sephora, and select Hudson’s Bay stores.

Narciso Eau de Parfum, $106 (50 ml),

Givenchy Dahlia Divin, $105 (50 ml), at Shoppers Drug Mart, Hudson’s Bay; $125 (100 ml), exclusively at Hudson’s Bay


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Deborah Fulsang has spent the last two decades as a journalist covering news and trends in the worlds of style—in fashion and beauty, design and décor, food and entertaining. Her long-held love of fragrance led her to launch The Whale & The Rose, a destination for all things perfume-related. Now, when she indulges in a crazy-expensive bottle of fragrance, she can do so guilt-free. Well almost. It’s all in the name of research after all.