Bunch o’ limited edition collector bottles 2015, part 27

More limited edition collector fragrance bottles, with the usual disclaimers: in most of these cases, the juice is unchanged, just the bottle is “special” (or not, as the case may be), and some of these may not be available in the US. Today’s post includes collector editions from Serge Lutens, Lancome and Givenchy.

Serge Lutens La Vierge de Fer, engraved bottles

From Serge Lutens, engraved bottles of La Vierge de Fer, in four designs (two above, two below): “The Romanov coat of arms, this double-headed eagle knows that two heads are better than one when it comes to promoting the opening of the new Serge Lutens boutique in Moscow…”

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Serge Lutens Feminite du Bois vintage & new ~ fragrance review

Shiseido Féminité du Bois brand image, doubled

Just as Picasso had his Blue period, Serge Lutens had his “Bois” period, and Féminité du Bois was its foundation. Féminité du Bois established a new “flavor” in women’s perfume: sharp cedar counterbalanced with fruit and spice.

Like the gastronomic rediscovery that salty and sweet go well together (hello salted caramel and bacon chocolate), Féminité du Bois’s honey- and spice-dipped shaved cedar feels intuitively right. Serge certainly thought so. He followed it up with a raft of Bois fragrances…

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5 Perfumes: A Skank Sampler

skank sampler

Ready to wade into skanky waters but want a little hand holding? You’ve come to the right place. “Skank”1 usually refers to a hint — and sometimes more — of body odor in a fragrance, occasionally with overtones of halitosis and rotting flesh. (I hope you aren’t eating lunch right now.) Artfully administered, skank can throw a perfume’s beauty into relief. It can feel intimate and sexy. But when you’re not in the mood for it, skank could be just plain disgusting. Skank tolerance is personal. Some perfumistas wear their skank as a badge of honor, like chile lovers brag about downing Scotch Bonnets, but others won’t tolerate a noticeable drop of civet or funky musk.

Here is a skank sampler. Please comment if other skanky perfumes come to mind. I’ve rated them on a Skank Scale of one to ten. One approximates “post-tennis glow,” and ten is “zombie apocalypse…”

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Top 10 Fall Fragrances 2015

yellow leaf

It’s mid-September, and I’ve been flipping through various beauty-and-fashion magazines to keep up with things. I’ve been particularly struck by all the “New Season, New Scent” headlines. I know, I know — this is how the fragrance business stays in existence, yet this autumn I’m craving comfort and familiarity far more than novelty.

Looking back five years (!), I’d still wear most of my picks from my Top Ten Fall Fragrances of 2010, but I’ve also made a few “new” favorites since then. Here are my very personal picks for the months ahead.

I’m looking forward to an off-season seashore getaway soon, and I’ll be packing Diptyque Florabellio

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Annick Goutal 1001 Ouds, Arquiste Nanban & Serge Lutens Renard Constrictor ~ fragrance reviews

Montgomery Ward catalog page

When you were a kid, did you ever flip through the Montgomery Ward catalog in late summer and plot your persona for the next school year? I loved it. I studied the catalog models and chose the outfits I thought would dazzle other seventh graders, even though I’d be lucky to rate a sack of hand-me-downs and shoes from Kmart.

These days, new clothes don’t hold a lot of allure for me, but I adore perusing the new fall fragrances. I’m in Paris right now, and I’ve been lucky to sniff some of the latest releases. Even though the heat is sweltering, warm fragrances and dreams of fall beckon. Here are a few I’d love to take home that I’d never find at Montgomery Ward…

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