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A Note on Fragrance, A Feminine Point of View

By: Amy Marks-McGee
Posted: May 23, 2012, from the June 2012 issue of GCI Magazine.

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A recent, notable concept in line with the life theme is the UK fragrance podcast Life in Scents. The broadcast is described as “a new take on the interview show. [In] each edition, a high-profile guest remembers the smells that have meant something to them through their life, from the day-to-day odors of growing up, to fine fragrances and peculiar peccadilloes,” and it was created by Odette Toilette, founder of Scratch+Sniff events, and radio producer Jo Barratt.

Yet another, possibly more esoteric, interpretation of the essence of life is blood. In Trendincite’s March 2009 newsletter Tidbits, a piece titled “What’s Your Type” explored blood as a trend. Recently, Giovanni Castelli and Antonio Zuddas created Blood Concept, a line of four unisex fragrances corresponding to the basic blood types: A, B, AB and O. According to the company, “The human body is totally pervaded by a liquid vital rush that brings us what we are most fond of: Life. Filled with legends and meanings‚ blood is soaked with mystery, fascination and respect: it’s the most tested and studied part of the human body. Hiding the multitude of secrets that reveals our inner and unique way of being. Blood Concept is a ceremony devoted to the pulse of life and its visceral boost. It is actually the river of life.” A is classified as an aromatic scent, B a woody spicy, AB as a mineral and O as leather. The fragrances are packaged in metallic bottles with a simple white letter representing the blood type and a dropper applicator to reinforce the message. Expect the birth of more variations on the life theme.

Midas Touch

Rose, love and life are all sophisticated subjects, and gold follows suit in these fragrance trends. Trendincite’s March 2008 Tidbits newsletter featured a piece called “Gold Mine” that highlighted gold as the vogue ingredient used to communicate luxury. A few years later, gold is making a statement in fine fragrance, particularly in naming conventions and packaging designs, as well as in nail care products.

A Dozen Roses Gold Rush, Bebe Gold, Kim Kardashian Gold and Michael Kors Gold limited edition are all examples of 2011 fragrance launches that were inspired by gold’s luxury, glamour and timelessness. Michael Kors Gold includes magnolia, freesia, violet, tuberose, peony and ambergris notes, while Bebe Gold combines fresh florals, sensual sandalwood and golden amber. Kim Kardashian Gold features bergamot, grapefruit, pink pepper, jasmine, rose, violet, patchouli, sandalwood, amber, benzoin and musk. A Dozen Roses Gold Rush scent is comprised of “blackberry, neroli, ylang ylang, bittersweet chocolate, ebony woods, gold rush rose and A Dozen Roses’ signature rose absolute,” which further supports the universal appeal of rose. 

Fashion designers such as Diane von Furstenberg and Fendi were inspired by their signature accessories and used the color gold as a design element in their fragrance packaging. Diane Eau de Parfum is “housed in a bottle featuring interlocking golden rings evocative of another signature Diane von Furstenberg accessory: the Sutra bracelet,” while Fan di Fendi’s bottle “features Fendi’s emblematic double F logo—a reference to the Forever buckle on the iconic Baguette bag, and the cap recalls the black lacquered clasp of the Peekaboo bag.” The ultimate and most opulent design is Donna Karan’s million-dollar DKNY Golden Delicious perfume bottle created by celebrity jeweler Martin Katz. The apple-shaped bottle is carved out of 14-carat yellow and white gold and adorned with “2,700 brilliant white diamonds and 183 golden yellow sapphires.” Unveiled by YouTube beauty vlogger Elle Fowler, it will be showcased around the world and then sold with proceeds going to Action Against Hunger charity.