On today’s WWD, “Rooney Mara Fronts for Calvin Klein’s New Scent,” they give up the goods on CK’s latest. “The floral woody juice, concocted by Givaudan working with Ann Gottlieb, has top notes of Italian cedrat, bergamot, Tunisian neroli, green pear and watery plum; a heart of pink peppercorn, violet leaf and gardenia petals, and a drydown of Texan cedarwood, incense, vetiver and velvet musks” — according to the article.
The rollout is said to include all social media (instagram, twitter, facebook) as well as various commercials, as per the usual Calvin Klein fragrance launches.
Just a little bit more: “Downtown is aimed at a consumer sweet spot age of 25 to 35, added Catherine Walsh, senior vice president, American Fragrances for Coty Prestige. “This group of consumers lives by its own rules,” she said. “We’ve put together a superaspirational scent. Globally, consumers see downtown as a place they want to be. They identify it with youthfulness, edginess and cool.”
Calvin Klein always brings the megafragrance. Totally interested to see the commercials next!
10:15 am • 17 May 2013
Paper Passion fragrance by Geza Schoen, Gerhard Steidl, and Wallpaper* magazine, with packaging by Karl Lagerfeld and Steidl.
“The smell of a freshly printed book is the best smell in the world.”Karl Lagerfeld
I’ve seen this so much, and still have never smelled it. I imagine it is soft, quiet and a bit introverted.
11:34 am • 15 May 2013
Reprint: WWD Private Lives - Michelle Amir (March 8, 2013)
WWD’s Private Lives is one of my favorite parts of their monthly magazine, Beauty Inc. Unfortunately, it’s subscription-based and half the links aren’t accessible to regular folks. I decided to cut and paste this in its entirety because (a) FASCINATING! and (b) PERFUME STUFF! Voila:
PRIVATE LIVES: Michelle Amir
Michelle Amir, personal assistant to Elizabeth Arden’s U.K. managing director, has fond recollections of the very first doll outfit she made: an old fashioned Little House on the Prairie–style dress with blue stitching on white calico. “My mum taught me to sew and I’ve been making dolls’ clothes since I was about five years old,” she recalls. “I was practically too small to use the sewing machine!”
These days she uses her seamstress skills to run up costumes for the vintage dolls she shoots for her rather unusual hobby of doll photography— creating images of dolls engaged in everyday domestic tableaux, from trips to the hair salon to a spot of shopping.
Her colleagues all knew she was obsessed with dolls, so one day last autumn, Arden’s celebrity brand manager asked Amir to come up with designs to clothe some limited-edition bottles of Nicki Minaj’s debut fragrance, Pink Friday. (The flacons are modelled on a bust of the pop star.) “I thought it was just a throwaway comment but I made some sample outfits,” says Amir. The rest, as they say, is history.
Amir designed, and at time of writing, is hard at work over a sewing machine, running up four different outfits to dress some 400 bottles for the scent’s launch at Selfridges in London. “Actually, it’s more like 660,” she notes between stitches. “We have to make extras for press and bloggers.”
Each of the four creations has a name. Whip It Like Minaj consists of a studded peaked cap and plunging bustier in black PVC, while Duchess of Pink, a pink tutu and beret, incorporates Minaj’s signature ice-cream motif. Starships Minaj features a fashion-forward blue hood. The fourth outfit remains a secret, to be unveiled by Minaj via Twitter to her 15 million followers at the fragrance’s U.K. launch on March 15. Although the component pieces can be made in bulk and Amir is getting a helping hand from her colleague, finance assistant Hollie Barbury, the project is proving far more time consuming than she ever believed possible. In the run up to delivery, she’s had to reassign two days a week from her day job to cope with the additional workload. While she concedes that “never in a million years did I think I’d be making doll costumes at the office,” for Amir, it’s all in a day’s work. “Even if it means working weekends and staying up all night to get it done,” she says, “we’ll do it!”
4:31 pm • 14 May 2013
"It was heartbreaking, but the details of how that friendship fell apart and what exactly transpired at school in the days and weeks after my fashion makeover have not stayed with me. What have are these memories: my mother’s White Linen–scented hug as I cried in her arms that afternoon, her hands on the steering wheel of the brown Volvo as the song from my choice of radio station blared (“Like a Virgin,” naturally), her encouraging smile as I tried on some Jordache ankle-zip jeans, making me feel beautiful in just the way I wanted to at that moment."
— From a wonderful essay for Mother’s Day - Gifts from Mom: Dress You Up in My Love by Wendy Herlich. Scent is so predominant in the memories of our mothers.
10:12 am • 14 May 2013
"I’m a Chanel No. 5 girl forever and ever. It’s comforting. I think of my childhood, I think of my mother, I think of the beautiful women shopping in Bergdorf where I used to spend my paycheck as a young model. I mix it with The Body Shop White Musk. I put White Musk on each wrist and Chanel on my wrists, my neck and my navel. I learned that from Liv’s babydaddy: if you put scent in your navel, it really sticks with you."
Bebe Buell to XOVain. Full interview here.
11:35 am • 10 May 2013
Well, this is definitely odd. A positive sort of odd, but unexpected to say the least.
11:58 am • 15 April 2013
Er, whoops? *shrug*
So I started running about a year ago but in the past month, I’ve been running hardcore, which is both a pain in the ass and a literal pain in the ass. I’ve been seriously slacking on the perfume front, on the writing front, on the everything front - I don’t want to go out or socialize because it’s such a detractor from the Hal Higdon schedule. Most of my weekends have sort of slipped away as well, and I find myself not really wanting to write anything, and I definitely don’t want to smell a lot of different things. At all. It’s sort of a listless, hyperactive period in my life which is as unsettling as it sounds. And I have started walking like I need a hip replacement (crikey, it’s only the beginning!).
Hopefully I’ll get a burst of inspiration soon after I acclimate to all the physical exertion. In the meantime, I keep spritzing Chanel Gardenia on in the morning and frowning when I run through cigarette smoke on the street. I ordered a couple samples from Lucky Scent including L’Antichambre’s Le Tabac and Heeley’s Cardinal, both so exquisite and wonderful, extremely special perfumes that I would love to delve into further. I’ll put aside some time to share in the coming weeks (oh like anyone reads this! ha!).
11:13 am • 3 April 2013
"For most of his life, Gorham, 35, had been haunted by the memory of his father, who abandoned the family when he was a boy. So after he gave up his sports career at the age of 25 (the Stockholm-born athlete couldn’t secure a European passport to officially play in their league), Gorham approached the renowned Swedish perfumer Pierre Wulff about recreating his father’s scent. Wulff listened to Gorham describe the fragrance and figured out that it was probably Geoffrey Beene’s Grey Flannel. “He told me that the world didn’t need another perfumer,” Gorham says. But something had clicked: he realized he wanted to create scents that would evoke a better, bygone era, but still be relevant to the present. He registered the name Byredo, short for “By Redolent."
— From Prince of Perfume; Gisela Williams on Byredo’s Ben Gorham
9:33 am • 2 March 2013
Meeting Pink MahogHany
Pink MahogHany is a niche fragrance house that I “met” on Twitter. The creationist herself, Chavalia, sent me a couple samples (reviews to come!), but I wanted to share her answer to a few of my questions, especially how she got into creating her own perfumes!
Can’t wait to share my thoughts on two of her intro fragrances (full sizes available coming soon this year).
How did you get into creating your own perfumes?
My perfumery background isn’t one of lavish splendor where I was taken to the fields of flowers to smell them and knew how to identify them at a young age and perfected a craft - instead my story consists of smelling anything I could get my hands on. I was an only child for quite some time, but I had an aunt and uncle who were very much like older siblings to me. My aunt and I used to go outside and pick berries, and my grandmother had us to help her shell peas she would gather from her garden. These scents stuck with me even until today, evoking memories I wanted to capture in segments with the scents I create. I loved the outdoors, the smell of freshly cut grass, and the smell of genuine leather. My most vivid memory, however (and probably the most embarrassing) is sniffing the couch seats after guests would leave and being able to tell my aunt and uncle who sat there. They used to “quiz” me by keeping me out of the living room while the guests were there, and once they left, they would come get me and put me to the test. Turns out, I was always right! I started experimenting with blending back in 2008, and have honed my perfumery skills over the years to what I consider more refined and complete blends.
Are you from Texas originally?
Yes, I am Texas born and raised! (Yee-haw) just kidding - lol
Do you ever create custom scents for clients, or do you keep with your own regimen?
I do create custom/bespoke scents for clients - particularly travel sizes for brides and bridal party favors, birthdays, anniversaries and other significant occasions. I have had several requests for alcohol-free sample versions of fragrances from my current collections, and I don’t like to leave those who are sensitive out of the equation. I also understand my fragrances may not be for everyone, so I keep the following motto in mind - If you can smell it, I can create it!
The idea of sniffing the couch cushions is so funny to me, but also so stripped of pretension. It’s that mix of modesty and humor that makes me so excited to learn more about the brand. Her motto is “A good fragrance calls…an exceptional fragrance whispers.”
Check out the site: http://pinkmahoghany.com
11:22 am • 6 February 2013
Adam Levine is launching a fragrance…
First reaction: Why the… why? Second, read the notes:
The women’s scent, a floral woody eau de parfum done with Givaudan, has notes of spice, Indian jasmine petals, Australian sandalwood and rose petals, with a drydown of creamy vanilla. The men’s eau de toilette, also by Givaudan, features mandarin, grapefruit and lemongrass accented with amber, sandalwood and cedarwood. Both bottles resemble microphones, in shape and with weighted caps of silver mesh and a black stem resembling the wire of a microphone.
Third… uh, why, again? Fourth, at least he’s creating jobs at Givaudan, I don’t… even know.
11:03 am • 4 February 2013