If shoes are the ultimate accessory (and I do believe they are), then fragrance is a close second. Marry a fragrance created by one of the world's preeminent shoe brands - e.g. Jimmy Choo's new Flash - and you've piqued my interest.
Billed as an-ultra modern white floral, Flash is sweet, effervescent and above all, high-energy. The juice is suited to a young woman, with notes of pink pepper, strawberry, tuberose, jasmine, and white lily, with heliotrope and white woods at the base; while the faceted bottle feels ultra-glam, and in fact, its inspiration came from a modernist chandelier from the 1970's - the perfect harbinger for the perfume itself.
Jimmy Choo Flash ranges in price from $75-98. Shop it exclusively at Nordstrom.
Fragrance is a hyper-specific and very personal aspect of my day. As a rule, I eschew mass market scents (the idea of smelling like another woman in the room makes me want to die) and instead tend to lean in the direction of niche fragrances, which are often expensive and hard to find. But last week, at a Demeter Fragrance Library event with founder and CEO Mark Crames, I was reminded that a unique scent needn't require such a significant investment - in fact, his brand's collection of linear, single note scents makes the idea of bespoke fragrance both easy and accessible (no small feat).
While each Demeter cologne is different, they share one trait: Each is comprised of the smallest combination of ingredients possible to express a single, identifiable smell or idea. These notes are ultimately the building blocks that master perfumers use to create complex prestige fragrances, but in the case of Demeter, they often evoke an otherwise uncapturable memory, and allow you to experiment with fragrance in a way you never thought possible.
I have, quite literally, a wardrobe of Demeter scents appropriate for any mood, which is appropriate to their mission - to expand the use of fragrance, every day, everywhere. Among my favorites:
CleanSkin (3 spritzes), mixed with Lilac and Sandalwood for the perfect sexy floral that wears close to the skin (Mr. Crames himself helped me select this trio!)
Riding Crop for it's subtle, sexy evocation of worn leather
Rice Paddy, not yet available, marries young, green shoots, emerging rice and water in a way that's wholly unforgettable. You've never smelled anything like it.
Explore the world of Demeter Fragrance Library online at DemeterFragrance.com or in Duane Reade Look Boutiques citywide. Scents are available for $15-$20, making it easy to explore - guilt-free - every sensory whim.
It's been eight long years since the theatrical release of Frank Miller's epic Sin City, but the aesthetics of the film linger with me always. Thankfully, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is in the works and will release this October, 8 years after the original. If you simply can't wait until then, the new Gucci Guilty Black film should tide you over nicely.
Directed by the same Frank Miller, and starring Chris Evans and Rachel Evan Wood, the vid is dramatic and sexy - traits it shares with the scent it's intended to celebrate.
There are many things that I love to indulge in but two of my favorites are clearly fine fragrance and a beautiful pair of shoes. Thereby, it's almost by default that my most recent obsession is the upcoming collaboration between renowned fragrance editor Frédéric Malle and close friend and famed shoe designer, Pierre Hardy.
Both French, and thus infinitely more chic than all people, places and things American, these two tastemakers have collaborated on a gorgeous series of limited edition Travel Spray Cases, seen below.
Designed to hold any 10ml spray vial in the Editions de Parfums Collection, these pocket-size perfume atomizers are perfect for carrying your favorite Editions de Parfums fragrance along wherever you go. Available in a series of colors, a total of 1,000 of the individually hand sprayed cases (500 within the US) will be sold exclusively via Barneys New York (the New York and Beverly Hills stores only) and the Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle boutique for $285 beginning in April, so mark those cals accordingly!
I long to live a life where Agent Provocateur lingerie qualifies as a REQUISITE, not a splurge - and one day, I will. But until that day, I'll bide my time and satiate my desires with the brand's latest introduction - a trio of day fragrances dubbed Eau Provocateur.
These cleverly crafted scents provide a thoroughly modern interpretation of the brand's three existing signature perfumes: Eau de Parfum, Maitresse and L'Agent. My favorite of the three is easily Maitresse Eau Provocateur, which boasts top notes of Rose, Jasmin Sambac, and Iris, middle notes of Acacia (a thorny shrub) and Granny Smith Apples and a seductive base of Amber, Sandalwood, and Tonka. Maitresse in its original incarnation is an astonishingly SEXY scent - the kind one should likely wear with nothing at all - but this iteration allows you to enjoy the heart of the fragrance at any hour of the day and with any company - gender be damned.
Eau Provocateur, L'Agent Eau Provocateur and Maitresse Eau Provocateur will be available for $70/each at select department stores starting on April 15.
Let me tell you something, y'all. When Cartier invites you to an event at the uber-posh Upper East Side hotel The Surrey, there's no saying no. Not if you have any sense, that is. And if said event is to celebrate the launch of the brand's latest fragrance, all the better.
Meet Baiser Volé (that translates to "Stolen Kisses," for the non-Francophiles among us), the latest eau de parfum created by Cartier's in-house nose Mathilde Laurent. A solifleur, Baiser Volé is an olfactory interpretation of my very favorite flower - the lily -because, as Laurent explains, "The lily is the favorite flower of men. It is the flower that men name when asked, “What is your favorite flower?” Practically 8 out of 10 men say the lily." Who KNEW, guys? This is likely the ONLY thing that I have in common with men, to be clear.
Once you've sniffed Baiser Volé, however, you'll know why gents LOVE the lily. The fragrance manages to be innately feminine, phenomenally sexy and surprisingly fresh...simultaneously (no small feat, my friends.)
If you're in the market for a new fragrance this summer, consider Baiser Volé. It's available now as a Nordstrom exclusive, and if you snag a bottle now during their annual Anniversary Sale, you'll even receive a complimentary rollerball, perfect for your handbag or desk. You can learn more about the scent by watching the beautiful short film below.
I've long been committed to the fine art of floral fragrances - dab a little InekeAfter My Own Heart (a lilac DREAM for Spring) or Frederic Malle Carnal Flower (the ultimate man-getting green tuberose) on my pulse points, and I'm a happy camper. But after sniffing Kiehl's iconic, cult fave Musk Essential Oil on my girl Keri, I became nothing short of obsessed.
This insanely sexy, yet classic and clean fragrance is the ultimate seasonless musk as far as I'm concerned. Sold in a portable, sleek and concentrated roller ball applicator, it's innately layerable, but can just as easily be worn alone. I love it so much, I simply cannot be without it. THUSLY, I've already snagged multiples for my purse, my desk and my bedroom vanity. If you'd perhaps prefer to start with just one bottle, snag online for $26.00 at Saks Fifth Avenue.
With the exception of a job interview, I can think of FEW occasions more nerve-wracking than a promising first date. And, to be candid, I've been on more than my fair share of first dates as of late (let's not discuss the dearth of seconds and thirds). As you might expect, I've gotten my first date beauty routine down to an absolute science and thought that the time was ripe to share my secrets with the world:
Soft, moisturized skin is an essential base to any makeup, so treat skin to Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask ($21) the night prior to your big date. It's chock full of Avocado and Apricot Kernel Oil to deeply quench any pesky patches of winter-dry skin.
It goes without saying that the word of the day is, indeed, touchable and that goes for your hair as well - warm one pump of Kerastase Elixer Ultime ($50) between your palms and smooth through strands for shine and softness that can't be beat.
Fragrance is so, so personal that I beg you to never take recommendations from friends. Go to a great department store or a fine fragrance boutique near you (if you were wondering, I live my life for Aedes in New York and Scent Bar in Los Angeles) and sniff until you find a scent to love that's explicitly YOU. That said, MY newest favorite is the clean but sensual Tom Ford Private Blend Pure Musk ($190) - it's perfect for a date as it inspires the ever-so-subtle 'lean in'.
On a first date, I'd recommend focusing on a neutral, glossy lip and playing up your peepers. Available in a sweet array of colors, MAC Technokohl Liner ($14.50) is my go-to liner to anchor a smokey eye.
I've oft waxed poetic about MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in By Candlelight (now discontinued, other shades available here), and it's still a makeup bag MUST in my book, delivering a glow that seems like you're lit from within.
What are your best first date beauty tips? Leave a comment and tell all.
I love NOTHING like a love a good scrub, and if that scrub is the decadent new Balenciaga Black Body Scrub ($95), ALL THE BETTER.
This finely ground (read: gentle), beautifully scented (with the heady aroma of Balenciaga Paris - violet and oak moss) and foaming exfoliator leaves skin ultra-soft and delicately fragranced. But what may indeed be even better than the Black Body Scrub is the substantial, architectural glass jar it's housed in - nothing could be more luxurious.
If you're in need of a good exfoliation, Balenciaga's Black Body Scrub is available online at www.balenciaga.com or in fine department stores.
p.s. Balenciaga fans in New York, make sure to visit the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute on the Upper East Side for the beautifully curated Balenciaga: Spanish Master exhibit, on display through February 29, 2011.