Seductive: 34 posts

Everyone has their own idea of what they find sexy, but there are a few fragrances that feel sultry and seductive to me.

Tom Ford Atelier d’Orient Shanghai Lily : Perfume Review

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I’ve been slowly testing the new Atelier d’Orient quarter, which was launched earlier this season in Tom Ford’s Private Blend collection. While I was enjoying Plum Japonais, Fleur de Chine and Rive d’Ambre well enough, Shanghai Lily stood out the most. I fell for it so hard that on any given day if I don’t have other perfume wearing plans it ends up on my skin. There are a few fragrances from Tom Ford’s Private Blend collection that hit the spot–Champaca Absolute, Velvet Gardenia, Cafe Rose, but Shanghai Lily is quickly becoming my favorite.

Anna-May-Wong

I like my flowers with a twist, and Shanghai Lily is a white floral with a dark mood. The jasmine and tuberose are warmed up and cossetted with plenty of spices and dark resins, which is already interesting. But the best part is that nothing about Shanghai Lily is heavy or oppressive. Instead, it sparkles from its gingery top notes to the incense accented drydown.

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Neela Vermeire Creations Bombay Bling and Trayee : Perfume Reviews

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Suzanna reviews two India inspired fragrances

Neela Vermeire is an Indian perfume lover living in Paris whose “creative partner” is none other than perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour, king of the travel-themed fragrance.  The Neela Vermeire Creations line consists of four fragrances themed around different periods of Indian history: Mohur, TrayeeBombay Bling, and Ashoka. I’ve already reviewed Mohur, and today I will talk about Trayee and Bombay Bling.

Umrao-Jaan

After Mohur, my favorite was Trayee, a fragrance inspired by the Vedic era that uses notes of Ayurvedic medicine and religious rituals.  Trayee is a smoky perfume featuring a stunning incense note.  Also in there is a “ganja accord” that I will call “green bud” for those who might recognize it, and a sense-awakening jolt of ginger, cinnamon, and clove at the top.  Here and there, Trayee reminded me of black tea leaves (this is not listed) steeped plain, without sugar.

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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.

Serge Lutens La Fille de Berlin : Perfume Review

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Several years ago I walked around an exhibit devoted to Marlene Dietrich’s collection at the fashion museum in Paris, The Musée Galliera. Among her famous pant suits, feather dresses and sexy lingerie (you had to look through a peep hole for a glimpse of her lacy underthings), were bottles of  cosmetics and tanning oils. One was labelled rose, and another–jasmine.  I don’t remember who made them or what the bottles looked like, but the image of Dietrich stretching out her gorgeous long legs, her glistening skin catching the fine granules of sand, is what surfaces in my mind whenever I hear the star’s name. I can almost smell the rose tanning oil and salt on her warm skin.

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I don’t know if in creating La Fille de Berlin, the dream team of Serge Lutens and Christopher Sheldrake thought about Dietrich, and I have never visited Berlin to understand their source of inspiration completely. For me though, it’s a perfume that I imagine Dietrich wearing. It’s beautiful and surprising, but with a dark side. A classical Lutens, in other words.

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