IN THE HOUSE
Far from a neat addition to a brand’s fashion offering, designer fragrances are stars in their own right.
THE NEW CLASSIC
Christian Dior (the house and the founder) has long been infatuated with scent. The late couturier even lived in a chateau among the heady fragrance fields in Grasse, further proof that fragrance to Dior is as integral to the brand’s DNA as fashion or beauty.
It’s perhaps why Dior’s in-house perfumer, François Demachy, took 12 years from the initial concept to concoct the brand’s first women’s fragrance in almost 20 years, Joy. The scent is a complex blend of citrus and florals such as rose and jasmine, which together craft a light juice that’s neither intense nor subtle. Even with the echoes of musk, the dry down is never cloying or subversive. It may whisper its arrival, but make no mistake: it’s a new blockbuster. Dior Joy EDP, 90ml for $240.
THE MODERN FLORAL
It may be a by-product of the upsurge of niche perfumery, but floral scents have somewhat fallen off the radar in favour of (dare we say it) cooler, more simplistic juices. But the launch of Miu Miu Fleur D’Argent proves that for a designer fragrance to be relevant, it need not abandon its core. Tuberose, a typically more mature white floral, lies at the heart of Miu Miu’s latest scent. Far from being your archetypal floral fragrance, this interpretation – the creation of the Miuccia Prada and expert perfumer Daniela Andrier – is spiked with musk and akigalawood, which pleasantly rounds out the juice. It unfolds on application as a playful, but ultimately feminine scent; true to the heart of Miu Miu.
Miu Miu Fleur D’Argent EDP Absolu, 50ml for $155.
THE NEXT NICHE
A Venetian garden served as the inspiration for Bottega Veneta’s latest fragrance offering, which harks back to the brand’s symbiosis of design and nature. Originally launching with six unisex fragrances, the brand has added an additional nine fragrances to the collection. While it may seem excessive, it’s neatly divided into four botanical families: flowers, woods, herbs and fruits in a nod to the gardens that inspired it. The names too, call out the central note – from pear and azalea to rose and cypress, the latter (pictured) packs a zesty punch of notes. The quintessential spring scent, it cleverly balances dark and mysterious green notes with an unmistakable freshness.
Bottega Veneta Parco Palladiano II Cipresso, 100ml for $450.
THE POWER SCENT
Every so often a fragrance comes along that seems to perfectly mirror a moment in time. Enter Carolina Herrera Good Girl, a punchy scent that’s as feminine as it is bold (the flacon, for instance, is a towering stiletto). “My mother always says: ‘You don’t have to be masculine to be powerful,’” says Carolina Herrera de Báez, creative director of the House of Herrera Fragrances. “We wanted to create something unique, a perfume that captures and celebrates the duality of modern women.” Carolina Herrera Good Girl EDP, 80ml for $195.
THE POTENT BLEND
Adding further weight to the trend of ‘hero’ ingredients in scents, Prada’s most decadent fragrance collection, Les Infusions de Prada, starts with the same base juice, which is subtly transformed by a singular ingredient. Focusing on ‘personalities’ rather than gender norms, the eight-piece offering (the newest addition is classic Mandarine) marks a return to simplicity in fragrance: a notion as refreshing as the scents themselves.
Prada Les Infusions de Prada Mandarine EDP, 100ml for $199.
THE NINETIES THROWBACK
Calvin Klein’s newest scent and the first fragrance under the creative direction of Raf Simons is a lesson in minimalist design with maximum messaging. With Lupita Nyong’o and Saoirse Ronan as faces of Calvin Klein Women – chosen for their talent, creativity, intelligence and powerful voice – there’s no doubt it aims to be as disruptive as the 90s classic CK One. With the clever play of eucalyptus, orange flower and cedarwood, here’s hoping.
Calvin Klein Women EDP, 50ml for $100.
THE CLASSIC REMASTERED
When you know you’re on to a winner, there’s little need to change it up, which is precisely what the team over at Viktor & Rolf surely had in mind on release of its latest fragrance, Flowerbomb Nectar. While the new juice is spiked with a smoky accord to bolster the intensity, the floral heart of the original remains intact. Flowerbomb followers will fall in love all over again.
Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb Nectar EDP Intense, 50ml for $169.