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20+ Fragrances You Should Consider Trying Before You Pick a Favorite
Fragrance, by definition, is moody. It should be defining and sensual, create a positive response, and (hopefully) produce sexual attraction.
But how much of the right scent in the right place makes you memorable, powerful, or confident? The best scent should appear to be part of your very DNA. Sounds easy enough -- but it's not!
Know this: Enormous amounts of behind-the-scenes love, science, herbology, passion, romance, and sexuality are poured into testing these olfactory creations. To keep up with the high-end rarity of the luxury boutique fragrance markets, big-name fashion houses have rolled out some exquisite couture scents for those who rule the world. And now so can you.
The fragrances that follow are worthy of our attention. The herbs, flowers, oils, and foliage that go into these masterpieces have a very long list of top, mid, and base notes. I've noted a few standout ingredients but didn't want to get too much into the weeds.
One quick note: Spray on fabric, not your bare chest and neck for lung longevity and to avoid skin spotting. Also, the more formal, decidedly evening fragrances are strong and can arrive well before you do. So one small spritz between the wrists then smushed behind your ears is precisely just enough for daytime use. Let's see where that takes you.
Kiss the ring of refined decadence. Atelier Versace Fragrances bestows us with a super luxe collection of six flacons available only at the company's private boutiques and Saks.com. Cedrat de Diamante ($330) boasts a heightened zest of Italian lemon with injections of pink grapefruit and natural aromatic woods of cedar and vetiver. Figue Blanche ($380) serves up fresh fig and Italian mandarin pulp, enhanced by sensual neroli, bergamot, and jasmine. How and when these ingredients get picked, plucked, and unearthed is key to these royal scents. (Versace.com)
The Nue Co.
The Nue Co.'s Forest Lungs ($95) is the only fragrance to master the balance of elegance and wellness, as it's meant to be breathed in while you achieve a state of Zen. It's woody and smoky, with clean resin featuring tart citrus notes of vetiver, cedar, pine, patchouli, and bergamot. Functional Fragrance ($95) is perfect when you need to smell suave, centered, and focused. I have a hunch that this is the brand that could very well flip the "not me" naysayers into full-on fragrance whores. (TheNueCo.com)
Smudge by Heretic
I'm a big believer in pushing people's bad energy the hell away from me. Enter the very cheeky-chic brand Heretic. Smudge (with clary sage, frankincense, and patchouli) had me at "hello," merging powerful, safe, and OMG sexy AF. You might be more the Scandalwood, FlorGasm, PistilWhip, or Dirty Ginger type. Or all of the above. (Prices vary; HereticParfum.com)
Tom Ford has singlehandedly created a demand for unattainable opulence by reinventing the luxury category with scents like Fucking Fabulous ($350) and Lost Cherry ($350). Personally, I love Neroli Portofino Forte ($350), a double concentration of florals, neroli, and Italian woods. (TomFord.com)
Ligne St. Barth Homme
Ligne St. Barth Homme could be another contender. It's extraordinarily manly, fresh, and nonchalant. Meant for the dynamite who might go from beach walk to country club lunch to denim-chic happy hour cocktail. It's rich in old family shaman heritage with rosemary and lime, and the aromatic notes of aniseed and orange blossom, hay, royal fern, and moss diffuse beautifully. ($155, BeautyHabit.com)
Eau D'Italie presents an unstoppable sex scent, Jasmine Leather (doesn't it sound like a winning contestant's name on RuPaul's Drag Race?). It features elemi, saffron, jasmine, patchouli, and cedar, which defined a level of Renaissance-era class when people scented leather wardrobes. ($170, BeautyFrontier.com)
Byredo offers a similar snarky must-have set of exquisite fragrances such as Velvet Haze ($180), Sellier ($330), and Tobacco Mandarin ($330) with coriander, cumin, and creamy leather to create a narcotic-like seduction and addiction. (Byredo.com)
Serge Lutens has always embraced haute everything with detailed, seriously exotic notes. Tarab ($400) is Arabic for "lifting off the ground in a blissful trance." Inside the coveted collector's bottle is a masterful blend of dab-on Turkish rose, Cambodian oud, and cypriol. Rare. (SergeLutens.com)
Gucci is the ultimate expression of super-rich, frisky pleasure. Close your eyes. Memoire d'une Odeur ($120) transcends gender and explores the power of memory with musk, Roman chamomile, and Indian coral jasmine -- the latter known to unleash its scent at night. The Alchemist's Garden (prices vary) is a luxe artisan collection with names delivering the excellence they suggest with A Nocturnal Whisper, Oud, or The Last Day of Summer with cedar, cypress, nutmeg, and piqued notes of patchouli and vetiver. (Gucci.com)
Prada launched the Olfactories line to exude artsy, plush, and individual. You ready for Double Dare ($300), Tainted Love ($300), or Midnight Train ($300) with sweet Texan cedarwood, Andalusian citrus, Indonesian patchouli, and amber? Have your calling cards ready. (Prada.com)
Bleu Noir by Narciso Rodríguez
Bleu Noir by Narciso Rodriguez is mercurial and meant to seduce with blue cedar and black ebony, heightened by a musky vetiver. The sexy bottle is of degrade translucence. This, friends, is a true showstopper for this fab Cuban fashion couture superstar. Si, papi. Me gusta. (Prices vary; FragranceNet.com)
Eau D'Italie presents an unstoppable sex scent, Jasmine Leather (doesn't it sound like a winning contestant's name on RuPaul's Drag Race?). It features elemi, saffron, jasmine, patchouli, and cedar, which defined a level of Renaissance-era class when people scented leather wardrobes. ($200, EauDItalie.com)