perfume seduction: 13 posts

Black Swan, White Swan

What are your Black Swan and White Swan scents? If you’re craving a bewitching perfume, what do you choose?

When I first tried Repetto perfume, this sparkling gourmand floral made me think of the Sugar Plum Fairy, all sweetness and joy. I wished for more drama and magic, something more suitable for the Black Swan enchantress Odile.

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Some choices were obvious when I glanced at my perfume shelf. Annick Goutal Néroli is my White Swan perfume, a delicate, pretty orange blossom that wears like a sheer veil. But if I’m in a Black Swan mood, then I reach for Vero Profumo Rubj. It’s one of the sultriest, darkest florals in my collection, and it is as provocative as it is alluring.

The same duality can be found in my favorite roses: Parfums de Rosine Un Zest de Rose is a smiling, ethereal blossom, but if I want something more dramatic, then Serge Lutens La Fille de Berlin would be my potion of choice. Another Black Swan rose I love is Etat Libre d’Orange Rossy de Palma, a hailstorm of earthy, spicy petals.

Etat Libre d’Orange RienClinique Aromatics Elixir, and Yves Saint Laurent Nu are my other Black Swan perfumes, mostly because they are intriguing and unpredictable. Just like Odile.

Image: a still from the film, Black Swan, starring Natalie Portman

French Magazine Recommendations : Sexy Perfumes For Her and For Him

Reading French magazines never feels as indulgent as spending a lazy Sunday afternoon with a pile of American Marie Claires or Vogues. “It’s language practice,” I say to my husband, who gives me a look indicating that he’s not buying any of it. Little does he know that it’s also an interesting cultural study, because whatever the globalization adherents believe, France and USA remain distinctive, right down to their fragrance preferences. One example is the choice of perfumes that French magazines consider sexy.

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“Parfums sexy” editorials were all over the magazines leading up to Valentine’s Day and now they’re resurfacing again in preparation for the summer holidays. I suppose that when you have 30 paid vacation days, why not use some of that time for seduction.

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Perfume for a Bombshell

I have a new article in the Financial Times Magazine’s fragrance column, Smouldering Scents of Seduction. The topic this month blends my favorite themes–perfume and classical Hollywood. In helping me understand what makes for the ultimate bombshell fragrance, I turn to Farran Smith Nehme and Laren Stover. Nehme, whom you might know as The Self-Styled Siren and film critic writing for the New York Post, has an impressive knowledge of classical cinema, while Stover wrote the best-selling The Bombshell Manual of Style. They are also perfume connoisseurs and great interview partners. It’s all tongue-in-cheek, of course, and I hope that you will enjoy our discoveries.

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What is the hallmark of the ultimate bombshell perfume? I wonder this as I’m enraptured by the first glimpse of Ava Gardner in the 1946 film noir The Killers. She sits at the piano, wearing a black satin gown that elegantly drapes over her curvy figure. She gives Burt Lancaster one look and he is ready to follow her anywhere, even if it will lead to trouble. Such is the power of a bombshell. My typical day is more about routine than glamour, but perfume is my way to pretend otherwise. Please read the rest by clicking here.

What perfumes have bombshell potential for you?

Image: Ava Gardner in The Killers.

Perfume and Dating : Searching for Love Potion

Some years ago, during a period of intense dating activity, I haphazardly selected a first-date perfume that, to use common idiom, drove men wild, turned men on, made men mad with desire.  I was never one to deliberate over a perfume choice, other than to question whether the strength of something was appropriate for close quarters, so my choice of a date perfume was a random, last-minute one.

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What was this magic brew?

I will have to string you along a bit longer, while I take an excursus into the topic of what perfume do men like (and what perfume do women like) and what is the sexiest fragrance.  I’m going to knock that last one flat and say that the sexiest fragrance is the one that makes you feel attractive and confident, fun and engaging.  It should work to enhance your personality, rather than to drag it down.

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Perfume and Romance : Top 10 Valentine’s Day Favorites

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What is a romantic perfume? A few years ago, I structured my Valentine’s Day post around the perfume notes that I found romantic and seductive: jasmine, saffron, sandalwood and furs & ambers, leather, honey, fig. I still like the idea of conveying a certain mood through scent, but I realize that there is much more to the romance of perfume than its list of notes. The most romantic perfume is not a magic potion designed to seduce him, but rather a fragrance that makes me feel beautiful. An opulent composition like Annick Goutal Grand Amour does the trick on some days, while on others the austere Bulgari Black seems more appropriate.

However, a range spanning Grand Amour to Black encompasses just about all fragrance genres. To narrow them down to a list of ten, I included those perfumes that both make me feel good and elicit compliments from my friends, family and my Valentine. In other words, they are the fragrances I enjoy wearing and sharing with those around me. And what is more romantic than sharing pleasure!

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  • SHMW in Woods : Scents and Words: This sounds like you don’t think of Tam Dao as cedar dominated/ I like Tam Dao but probably love the sandalwood in Ormonde Woman most. It seems such a ‘real’… March 30, 2017 at 8:04am

  • Nora Szekely in Woods : Scents and Words: Hi Victoria and perfume lovers, Sandalwood is hands down my favourite ever since my grandmother brought me back a sandalwood fan from Asia when I was a little girl. I’m… March 30, 2017 at 4:29am

  • Alicia in Cedarwood : Perfume Note: I just realize that we are talking only of cedar, thus I will change Coromandel by my equally beloved Cuir de Russie. There are too many Lutens fragrances with cedar… March 29, 2017 at 8:08pm

  • Alicia in Cedarwood : Perfume Note: How I love woods in fragrances! Let me count the ways. Coromandel is my companion when I write and research in winter evenings; Bois de Violette is my autumn and… March 29, 2017 at 7:53pm

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