A Nose for Fashion : My Article in the New York Times

I have a short article on Carolina Herrera’s new Confidential fragrance collection in the New York Times. It will appear in print in the Magazine’s issue dedicated to beauty (on stands June 14th). The selection of features in the Beauty 2015 edition will cover makeup, skincare and all things lovely, so please take a look.


As for Herrera’s Confidential, it’s based on an interesting concept melding fragrance and fashion and includes 5 scents. Oud Couture, above, was inspired by the traditional Middle Eastern layering technique that uses oud as a base for other more effervescent notes. The perfumes will launch later this month.

Image via T Magazine


  • Archived under: News


  • The Scented Salon: This bottle is quite attractive. I love a new oud release and will try to sample this one. Unlike a lot of people, I am not tired of new perfumes with the name “oud” in it, nor am I put off by the fact that rarely is there any real oud in the composition itself. I simply love the smokey/woody note that is so unique in every brand’s hands. June 5, 2015 at 9:14am Reply

    • Sandra: Ditto! June 5, 2015 at 10:55am Reply

    • Victoria: I have a soft spot for cobalt blue bottles like this one, and I like that they’ve done blue instead of red, black or brown, the usual shades perfume houses seem to pick for oud. June 5, 2015 at 12:19pm Reply

    • Victoria: And no, I don’t mind oud either. Sometimes the brand calling their perfumes oud feels a bit too much like they’re trying to catch the Middle Eastern market, but really, if the fragrance is good, I don’t care. With the new regulations in place many traditional base notes are no longer allowed (or allowed in tiny amounts), and oud and oud like accords fill the much needed niche for dark and rich. I do hope that perfumers continue to experiment with it more and not just use it in the typical “Middle East inspired” perfumes, i.e. rose + oud or amber + oud. I’m still waiting for a true gourmand oud! Or a wearable oud and tuberose. Perhaps, there is something like that out there, so if anyone knows, I’d love to hear about it. June 5, 2015 at 12:46pm Reply

  • Jillie: Seeing this brought back memories of the first Carolina Herrera perfume – a powerhouse typical of the 80s and rather like Jardins de Bagatelle on steroids! I progressed to her Flore in the 90s, which some people say is reminiscent of Diorissimo, but not so green.

    CH’s range of perfume since then has been expanded hugely.

    This collection looks stylish, and I would be interested in having a sniff, if only for old times’ sake. June 5, 2015 at 9:32am Reply

    • Victoria: I don’t enjoy all fragrances, especially the multitude of CH flankers that are just confusing, but Herrera has some good perfumes. The original was, of course, a bombshell. They don’t make ’em like this anymore. I like your description of it as Jardins de Bagatelle on steroids! June 5, 2015 at 12:20pm Reply

      • Victoria: P.S. Our Elisa wrote a really nice review of it last year:
        https://boisdejasmin.com/2014/04/carolina-herrera-by-carolina-herrera-perfume-review.html June 5, 2015 at 12:22pm Reply

        • Jillie: A fantastic review! She’s captured it so well, and I am impressed that CH does not seem to have paled over the years.

          When I wear perfume, I want to be able to smell it – I am tired of the current fashion for diluted fragrances. Not that I would drench myself and asphyxiate everyone around me (I am quite considerate of others!) but I would like my scent to last a little and not vanish within an hour. June 6, 2015 at 2:00am Reply

          • Victoria: I agree with you. One thing is a light, ethereal perfume that’s meant to be refreshing or to convey a certain mood, but many launches feel thin, as if a part of their formula got left out by mistake. I also don’t want the 80s flashback perfumes–fun, though, they are, but some character and presence would be great. June 6, 2015 at 4:22am Reply

  • Ann: Wow, The New York Times! Nice job, V.

    I really liked their last issue dedicated to travel and beauty is even more my thing. I’ll have to get it. June 5, 2015 at 9:56am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you, Ann! I liked the collection, so it was fun to cover it. June 5, 2015 at 12:21pm Reply

  • Adrienne: Hello Victoria. I have a wide and varied collection of about 30 perfumes, from Chanel No 5 to Eau De Protection, Femme to Seville a L’Aube, Nahema to Lagerfeld’s Sun, Moon and Stars, and my all time foci rite Diorissimo. Recently I wanted to use something abundantly floral and yet not cloying and heavy, somewhat light and evoking the early days of Summer flowers, a bouquet that demands a lengthy inhalation. Any ideas? Layering of existing ones perhaps? June 5, 2015 at 10:30am Reply

    • Victoria: I wouldn’t layer the ones you have, since they are all very different and complex. Since you seem to love symphonic fragrances, I immediately thought of a white floral but nothing too heavy. For instance, La Chasse aux Papillons by L’Artisan or Chanel Beige. Have you tried those? Both smell like a cloud of petals. Marc Jacobs for Her is a more watery floral, but it’s also very good.

      Of course, there is always Frederic Malle Carnal Flower if you want to the ultimate flower. Or Serge Lutens Datura Noir for a coconut laced flower, which smells very summery. June 5, 2015 at 12:25pm Reply

      • Adrienne: Thanks Victoria. I think I will see if Luckyscent has all of those and I will try them. Frederick Malle Carnal Flower has been on my list of ‘maybe’, so now is my chance. I’m not too keen on coconut, vanilla, or food related perfumes, but the others sound like great suggestions. Sometimes I just want to capture the fragrance of a hot summer day in my garden. I’ll let you know which one takes my fancy. Thanks so much for your time. June 5, 2015 at 3:04pm Reply

        • Victoria: I love this fantasy too, so the moment I think “a garden on a warm day,” I think of La Chasse aux Papillons. Some people complain that it doesn’t last well on them, though, but on me it lingers for the whole day.

          Annick Goutal Songes is another idea. June 5, 2015 at 3:49pm Reply

  • Sandra: Congrads on your article!!
    Can we get a sneak peek on what you think of the new CH line?
    Beautiful bottle by the way June 5, 2015 at 10:44am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you, Sandra.

      It’s a good collection, similar to other exclusive collections in that it’s based on raw materials (neroli, tuberose, rose, amber, oud, patchouli), but I like the way it was done. Polished, elegant. June 5, 2015 at 12:38pm Reply

  • Alicia: Adrienne, perhaps Federic Malle, En passant. Guerlain Chant d’Aromes, de Nicolai, Odalisque June 5, 2015 at 11:02am Reply

    • Victoria: Oh, I forgot Nicolai! Number One or Juste Un Reve would also be my choices. June 5, 2015 at 12:42pm Reply

      • Adrienne: Hmmmm, I can see my credit card getting a bit of a warm up in the near future. Thanks for those extra suggestions Victoria. June 5, 2015 at 3:23pm Reply

        • Victoria: Hope that something from this list works. If not, when our next “Recommend me a Perfume” returns, we can look for something else for you. June 5, 2015 at 3:50pm Reply

    • Adrienne: Thanks Alicia. Now my head is spinning with all these choices. A friend of mine wears Nicolai…..I had forgotten about that one. I will add your suggestions to my list. I appreciate your input. Thanks. June 5, 2015 at 3:21pm Reply

  • Tracy Wohlgenant: Hi, Victoria,
    This is unrelated to this article, but I adore your blog and can spend hours “visualizing” scents, due to
    your beautiful descriptions. I used to wear Molinard de Molinard
    parfum…which is pretty difficult to find nowadays. I’d love a
    suggestion for a replacement. I saw one of your reviews where you
    said “…if you don’t like smelling like a carpenter’s shop, which I
    do, but I must be in the minority.” I, like you, LOVE the smell of a
    carpenter’s shop. I love leathers. I love rich, wintery, deep
    scents. The closest I’ve come lately is Tom Ford’s Tuscan Leather,
    but it has no staying power and is a little too ‘on the surface’ for
    me. What would you recommend?
    Thanks so much for your thoughts! I also wear, in Spring and Summer,
    Annick Goutal’s Mabdragour Poupre, which I love and adore.
    Your wise two-cents?
    Thanks a million.
    Tracy June 5, 2015 at 3:47pm Reply

    • Victoria: The moment you said “a carpenter’s shop” I thought of Donna Karan Black Cashmere. It’s a scent of cedarwood, with incense and leather. Another fragrance I recommend is Serge Lutens’s Cuir Mauresque, which is a dark, rich leather, but it nevertheless feels radiant.

      If you want something classical, there is always Robert Piguet Bandit. Or Knize Ten. The last one is made for men, but to me, it works equally well on men and women. It’s beautiful. June 5, 2015 at 4:32pm Reply

      • Tracy Wohlgenant: Thank you so very much! I’ll look into those suggestions…or should I say, “I’ll nose around with those suggestions.”
        Very much obliged, Tracy June 9, 2015 at 12:51pm Reply

  • Aurora: It must have been very gratifying to write an article for the NYT, well done, Victoria!
    I will definitely look for that issue and am already looking forward to reading your prose on the Confidential line. Just as you mention above, I too gave up on keeping up with her flankers, with their silly names, confidential is marginally better, but if this new line has all these attractive natural materials, they’ll be very much worth trying. Are they released in Europe at the same time as the US? June 5, 2015 at 5:41pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you. I think so. The line launches in NYC mid June. June 6, 2015 at 4:28am Reply

  • Cornelia Blimber: So you are expanding your wings more and more, with one wonderful article after the other!
    I hope you never will fly away from us. June 6, 2015 at 7:01am Reply

    • Victoria: 🙂 I can’t fly away from you! I’m with you for a long haul. June 6, 2015 at 7:26am Reply

      • Hamamelis: Very good to know that! Back to bed now, caught a flue 🙁 June 6, 2015 at 2:10pm Reply

        • Victoria: Please get better! June 8, 2015 at 2:03am Reply

          • Cornelia Blimber: Beterschap! June 8, 2015 at 5:26am Reply

        • Karen: Hope you are on the mend! June 8, 2015 at 6:59am Reply

        • Hamamelis: Thank you all for your well wishes! Out of bed for a few hours and cheering myself up with BdJ. Apperently flue battling uses up serotonine so I feel a bit down, nothing serious, just a flue symptom. Try to think of a pefume that uplifts my mood. June 8, 2015 at 8:31am Reply

          • Victoria: If you’re not feeling well, maybe skip perfume and just enjoy some aromatic tea (orange blossom!) and a favorite movie. Or wear a drop of your absolute favorite fragrance. Something that invariably makes your heart skip a beat. June 8, 2015 at 10:43am Reply

            • Hamamelis: That would be Heure Exquise, a drop sounds good. And some melisse herb tea, I already feel better. Thank you! June 8, 2015 at 11:10am Reply

              • Victoria: Good to hear this! The combination sounds wonderful, by the way. Iris and melissa… June 9, 2015 at 9:52am Reply

  • AndreaR: I agree with you. Today I popped into the elegant perfume store, Bertolone in Venice , Italy. I was trying to explain in English to the delightful propriotor and his wife, who don’t speak much English, that the fragrances I brought with me, Eau de Rochas and Annick Goutal’s L’ll au Tea had vanished instantly in this hot, humid weather . He said he understood and spritzted me with Hubigant’s Orange en Fleurs. Searching the the right word in English, he called it persistent. He was correct on that account and I’ve enjoyed it all day. My husband got a chuckle out of the entire encounter, saying that perfume is indeed a universal language.
    Congrats on the article, Victoria. June 6, 2015 at 12:53pm Reply

    • Victoria: A great story, Andrea. Orange blossom fragrances are perfect in warm weather, as most white florals.
      Thank you! June 8, 2015 at 2:03am Reply

  • AndreaR: Oops, this was in response to Jillie. June 6, 2015 at 12:55pm Reply

  • Karen: Adding my voice to the chorus of congratulations! You must be thrilled to be a part of the NY Times magazine focused on beauty/fashion (always a fun read)! Was in NYC yesterday and walked by the Carolina Herrera store on Madison Ave (visited the Frederic Malle shop and had a wonderful and productive visit!!) and saw the most beautiful gown in the window – would be perfect with this new perfume which sounds gorgeous! June 7, 2015 at 8:49am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you, Karen. It’s a fine team to join!
      Herrera’s look is distinctive. I love her signature white shirt paired with a full skirt. Especially if the skirt is satin or some other opulent material. June 8, 2015 at 2:12am Reply

      • Karen: Yes! It’s a look I’ve copied several times – but I learned not to do it with a black skirt (great aunt’s gorgeous long black silk taffeta ball skirt) as I was mistaken for the serving staff!! (albeit by a rather intoxicated man). Sewed a shocking pink long, full silk skirt after that – then saw a photo of Carolina Herrera wearing a shocking pink blouse and red skirt and loved that combination!

        She is so beautiful and sometimes I just get tired of kooky looking men dressed in all black saying this is what women should wear. June 8, 2015 at 7:06am Reply

        • Victoria: White shirt and black skirt is a tricky combination in this regard. Or else you have to accessorize in some unusual way.

          Yes, it’s good to have another strong willed and confident woman in this milieu. June 8, 2015 at 10:38am Reply

  • Kate: Many congratulations, Victoria, on having an article in the NY Times – such a coup – for them!!! June 7, 2015 at 1:32pm Reply

  • Karen: Just read the print version! Again, many congratulations! June 14, 2015 at 11:27am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, Karen! June 19, 2015 at 10:17am Reply

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