Elixirs of Love

I adore perfume. I can’t imagine life without it. More accurately, I don’t want to imagine life without it. It helps me feel beautiful and feminine. It lifts my spirits, brightens my days, and sweetens my nights.

The right perfume can be seductive and entrancing. It can beguile and excite. When worn properly, one needs to move in and get up close to take in an elixir of love heated by the warmth of the skin. A fragrance may linger on a pillow… on a shirt left behind. It can evoke fond memories, and feelings of love that make a person swoon.

A beautiful floral fragrance is like a fresh bouquet in a bottle where the flowers never fade. Warm, sweet scents are comforting and can be subtly seductive. Many men adore these, especially vanilla, because it reminds them of their moms baking (although they may not realize that’s why they’re enamored).

Some women choose to wear a signature fragrance that they wear all the time. Think Marilyn Monroe and Chanel No. 5. But there are so many beautiful fragrances that I have a hard time settling on one so I choose to surround myself with several. I pick one (or two) according to how I’m feeling or what seems most apropos to the occasion. In honor of Valentine’s Day, a day when many a fragrance is given, I’d like to share a few floral and sweet fragrances that I find exquisite, including one that was just introduced.

Floral

REN Rosa Maya. I adore the scent of roses. That’s what takes my breath away with this fragrance. It has many notes, but rose is the one you notice first. It combines a citrus top note with rose, jasmine, osmanthus (an Asian white flower), woods, spices, and musks. I can wear this eco-friendly fragrance any time of day. It manages to be light, fresh, sensual, and complex all at the same time. This becomes even more lovely layered on top of REN’s rich Damask Rose Ramnose Biosaccharide Body Cream. Available at the REN website, beauty.com, Sephora, Barneys, and Fred Segal.

Elizabeth Arden Pretty. Elizabeth Arden just released Pretty this month. It is as advertised. It really smells pretty. It’s a delicate, fresh, flirty, fruity, feminine floral. They aimed to make something ageless and timeless and succeeded. I can see just about any woman wearing this and making it her own. It has a citrus top note with Italian mandarins and peach nectar, a middle with flowers like jasmine and white peony, and a drydown of musk, wood, and amber. Available at elizabetharden.com and at many department stores.

Sweet

Villainess Crushed Perfume Oil. When I wear this, I smell like a delicious, dark chocolate raspberry truffle that has an air of sophistication with the addition of sandalwood. This is a concentrated perfume in a silky oil base, in an exotic, vintage glass ampoule. I love to create a unique sweet floral by layering Crushed on top of Villainess Datura Whipped!, a lush body cream with a blend of gardenia, frangipani, tuberose, and pikaki lani. Available at villaness.net.

Kiehl’s Vanilla 1968. Kiehl’s introduced their classic essence oils in the early 1920s. Now they’re relaunching four of them in portable, roller ball vials. Vanilla 1968 (the year indicates when it was introduced) is sweet and comforting, an ideal base for layering on the other oils that Kiehl’s relaunched: Musk 1921, Coriander 1946, and Grapefruit 1976. They will be offering six more in the coming months. Available at kiehls.com, Kiehl’s stores, Saks, Neimans, and Nordstrom.

Trish McEvoy #9 Blackberry and Vanilla Musk. I’ve been wearing this heavenly perfume for years. It’s a sweet, succulent blend of blackberries, vanilla, musk, and white rose that I always get compliments on. The fragrance has been so well received that Trish has added a lotion, cream, scrub, and a sexier version called “Sexy #9.” Available at Saks, Neimans, and Nordstrom.

4 comments
  1. Quite interesting… Does Chanel have any Love Potion #9 perfume, do you know anything about that? :]

  2. Many, many scents. Nothing too floral or too heavy but I do adore a little bit of musk. Michael Kors Island, Bulgari’s scents are mindblowing, but sometimes I like to smell herbally sometimes…

  3. Right now my favorites are from my obsessed phase with Black Alchemy Phoenix Labs, particularly Samhain & the Peacock Queen (both seasonals). Though I also love Dorian quite a lot, as well as a few others. I find that I have a hard time remembering to wear them since they are in vials, as opposed to bottles where I can spray them…

    It breaks my heart that Betsey Johnson’s first scent is discontinued, nor can I find it anywhere. I loved it, and men loved it on me.

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