Inside Perfume

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Marc Jacobs’ second men’s fragrance came out today with a… BANG! Sorry I had to say it! The new fragrance is called BANG. Now that Jacobs has the strength of his very successful women’s fragrances, Daisy and Lola, under his belt, he is certainly not aiming below the belt with BANG! Or is he? I guess it’s all in how you look at it. Jacobs was very focused on what he wanted to make with this men’s fragrance. He was insistant on making something that HE enjoyed and the HE wanted to wear, with the name HE wanted. It’s not an exotic scent, it’s very “black and white” he says. In his own words:

“…to take something quite classic and then dent it or bang it, that just kind of felt quite literal and quite right.”

The fragrance is being heavily publicized with a huge ad campaign featuring Jacobs himself oiled up and glistening, almost nude on a bed of shiny mylar! The website,, features exclusive photographs and videos from behind the scenes of the photo shoot, a great Q&A with Marc Jacobs. Finally, an interactive, social Facebook game, BANG YOU’RE IT! In the Facebook game you upload your own photo and it applies the “BANG effect,” the iconic dented metal design featured on the new bottle. You’re invited to “BANG” other people’s pics and they “BANG” yours, earning points and chances to win prizes.

The fragrance is described as elegant and sensual, peppery woody spicy, and full of energy. Top notes of three peppercorns, a heart of masculine woods, and base notes of benzoin resin with vetyver, white moss and patchouli.

Marc Jacobs BANG is available exclusively at Bloomingdale’s today.

You know when Calvin Klein unveils a new fragrance it’s a big deal. Calvin Klein doesn’t make trendy perfumes, they make classics. Their hits of the past are still vastly popular, especially with people that don’t necessarily follow the world of fragrance. In October 2010, Calvin Klein will launch Beauty worldwide. Beauty represents many firsts for Calvin Klein fragrance though. It responds to a gap in their fragrances, targeted at their Calvin Klein Collection customers, hoping it will be considered more prestige. It’s also the first Calvin Klein launch done completely by Coty, since taking over the license from Unilever Prestige in 2005. In an interview with WWD, Catherine Walsh, senior vice president of American Fragrances at Coty Prestige, said that Beauty is “…very elegant, and that’s why we wanted to work with Diane (Kruger),” spokeswoman for Beauty. She continued: “This woman we’re trying to portray – she’s not someone who doesn’t have experiences in her life. We wanted this woman to be worldly and well-traveled, a confident woman and a woman who had strength.” The scent was created by Sophie Labbé of International Flavors & Fragrances, with top notes of ambrette seeds, a heart of jasmine, and a dry down of cedarwood. The bottle alone is beautiful, with the simple, clean, elegant style Calvin Klein is known for, and it’s likely to live up to the staying power that Calvin Klein fragrances are known for as well.

Lola by Marc Jacobs

Let me tell you about Lola. No not Madonna’s daughter Lourdes, but the latest hit perfume by the legendary American designer Marc Jacobs. Though she’s the second born, she is the older, more sultry sister of Jacobs’ first perfume Daisy, which was a mega-hit giving him “street cred” in the perfume world. Lola is a sensuous, fruity floral fragrance that opens with “sparkling fruitiness: pink peppercorn, pear and ruby red grapefruit.”  The heart notes are described as ultra-feminine florals: rose, fuschia peony and germanium.” Finally, Lola’s “warm and seductive” base notes consist of “vanilla, warm tonka bean and creamy musk.”

Here is Lola, in her own words, on the concept and design:

Marc Jacobs designed Lola as an electrifying, over-the-top bouquet exploding from the bottle. Twisting layers of fabric, he fashioned the sumptuous swirls of a lavish floral bouquet. The iconic high gloss cap shines with astonishing proportions and playful colors making it irresistible to touch.

Illustrating his inventiveness, Jacobs designed two unique bottle shapes. The subtle faceted voluptuous glass bottle is a rich violet that expresses the sensuality of the fragrance. The carton is an artistic interpretation of the lush iconic floral bouquet – a bright fuschia berry and plum palette plays against a dramatic matte black background.

Lola embodies imaginative elements creating a lasting impression and a must have luxury.

What’s to be said of all this flowery delight? Lola has been available since 2009, there are ample reviews out there. Here are a list of my favorites:

Burberry And GQ Celebrate Burberry The Beat For Men In Los Angeles

Burberry The Beat For Men followed a women’s version in September of 2008. Created by perfumers Olivier Polge and Domitille Bertier, The Beat was inspired by the music of bands like the Fratellis, Razorlight, Kasabian and Arctic Monkeys. The perfumers actually listened to their music while creating The Beat, making it a scent shaped by the youthful generation it’s made for.

Marketing for The Beat was stylized in a retro London fashion, as British is the signature style of Burberry. Artistic Director Christopher Baily is one of the top visionaries of out time.

From the Burberry The Beat For Men website:

The Scent:

Vetiver Bourbon Leatherwood Cedrat-Black Pepper-Violet Leaves

Burberry The Beat For Men is a fresh woody fragrance.

Leatherwood: A distinctive smoky scent characterised by a textured woodiness and lather accents.

Vetiver Bourbon: A multi-faceted woody note, combining subtle elegance with unmistakable style.

Cedrat, Black Pepper & Violet Leaves Accord: The fresh and sharp intensity of cedrat contrasts with spicy black pepper and is accentuated by the energising scent of violet leaves.

The Concept

The fragrance is about the guy who lives in the moment. A respect for British heritage, history and modernity. Masculine energy, innovation and creativity. Attitude expressing individuality.

‘We wanted to create a fragrance that expressed disbehevelled elegance – an unforced look, style and attitude that is young, modern, masculine and dynamic. Articulating the creativity, positivity, energy and open-minded, individualistic, effortless approach of The Beat man.’

-Christopher Bailey


Megan Fox

Megan Fox

Transformers star Megan Fox is reported to be replacing Beyoncé as a the face of Emporio Armani. Beyoncé had started modeling in ads for Emporio Armani Diamonds ads in 2007. She even appeared for Armani at some public events. I figured that since Beyoncé is now going to have her own perfume, independent of a designer, she would no longer be promoting for Armani. Fox will be the spokeswoman of Emporio Armani Diamonds and a new fashion collection.



The Dutch designer duo Viktor & Rolf  have risen to fame since the turn of the century with a dynamic and narrative outlook on fashion. They always dreamt of creating a brand that “could create a universe beyond fashion collections.” L’Oreal gave them the chance in 2002 with a licensing deal to produce perfumes for them. Beginning with a bang in 2004, they rolled out Flowerbomb, a scent with an explosion of a thousand flowers at once. The concept began with just the name. The bottle design looks like a grenade suitable for a princess, bringing the concept full circle. Flowerbomb has notes of pink berries, tangerine, bergamot, and citrus. In 2006, they followed up with Antidote, a men’s fragrance premiered at a fashion show. Cast in the theme of the tuxedo clad, London gentleman, Antidote has notes of citrus, amber, patchouli and jasmine. Finally, word is out that Viktor & Rolf will be unveiling a new women’s perfume some time this month in Paris. News to come as it becomes available.

IdoleArmaniArmani is a very big name in fashion of course, and has had great success with men’s fragrance. Aqua di Gio really set the bar high for men’s fragrances, remaining a top selling fragrance for over ten years now. Aqua di Gio and Code were both top five performers for the brand, yet Code for women only reached number six. Well, Armani is hoping to break their record for women’s fragrance now and create one that not only ranks in the the top five, but remains a favorite. Idole d’Armani is a grand effort by Giorgio Armani, and his beauty licensee L’Oréal, to “find a clientele that will be more faithful and will stay with the fragrance, a scent that will become a classic,” he said in an interview with WWD. Here is a excerpt about the scent from the article:

“Idole d’Armani, a spicy floral fragrance developed with Bruno Jovanic of International Flavors & Fragrances, opens with Sicilian clementine, juicy pear, ginger and Indian davana. Its heart is absolute saffron, Egyptian jasmine, and loukoum rose, and the drydown is of patchouli and vitiver.”

Both the scent and the bottle, designed by Armani himself, are said to celebrate the woman’s inner strength and femininity.

An ad campaign for Idole d’Armani featuring Kasia Smutniak will appear on television in September, and in print in October. The eau de parfum will be available at 20,000 doors worldwide in September as a 1 oz. bottle for $39.50, a 1.7 oz. bottle for $62, and a 2.5 oz. bottle for $75.

versenseApril showers bring us a fresh, green creation from Versace. Versense is the quintessential, luxurious perfume Versace is known for, redesigned to consider the younger woman. Though it’s a trend that seems to be settling into the industry across the board, I think we all benefit from the lighter, floral creations that are emerging (i.e. Flora, Daisy, etc.).
Versense was created by Alberto Morillas from Firmenich (Bright Crystal & Versace our Homme) in collaboration with Donatella Versace, who takes part in the creation of all Versace scents. In an interview published in WWD Donatella said:

“Versense perfectly represents the Versace woman. I created a fragrance to make her feel incredibly lighter… It’s a feminine fragrance that defines and explores a strong Versace woman who looks to the future, is always glamorous, decisive and sensual — even with her choice of perfume.”

Versense comes in the same flacon as the Versace Women perfume, but with a fresh, green colored juice. The idea is that is continues to embody the luxurious feel of Versace Women but revamped for a younger woman. Plus, one unique feature I found interesting about the packaging is that the plastic spray stem is invisible within the fluid. This is a new technology that we may start to see around now.

Versense will be available April 10, in the U.S. at 1,500 doors such as Macy’s, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s.

hermes1In May, Hermès will introduce a new collection called Les Colognes Hermès. The three scents are unisex, and one of these already exists. Eau d’Orange Verte, originally titled Eau de Cologne d’Hermès, was created for Hermès in 1979 by Françoise Caron. The other two, Eau de Pamplemousse Rose and Eau de Gentiane Blanche, were created by Hermès perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena.

Eau d’Orange Verte has notes of orange, mandarin, lemon, mint leaves, black-currant buds, oakmoss and patchouli.

Eau de Pamplemousse Rose is said to be “somewhat classic,” with notes of grapefruit, orange, rhubofix and vetiver.

Eau de Gentiane Blanche is said to be “a counterpart to traditional cologne,” without any citrus notes. It does contain notes of gentian, white musk, iris and incense.

The bottle design for Les Colognes Hermès is the same as the original, derived from a carriage lantern, and housed in a Hermès signature orange box, sealed and wrapped in a ribbon-like sleeve.

The trio will work its way out into the world starting in May at Hermès stores, and then Hermès fragrance doors. By early 2010, Les Colognes Hermès will reach 300 U.S. doors, including: Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom and Sephora.


YSL La Nuit de L'Homme

YSL La Nuit de L'Homme

In 2006, Yves Saint Laurent  came out with L’Homme Yves Saint Laurent. Today it is “in the top 15 men’s fragrances worldwide,” according to WWD. A new era has come though, and YSL Beauté is now integrated with L’Oréal. With their first fragrance release since the transition, YSL introduces a new era for L’Homme as well, La Nuit de L’Homme.


L’Homme was described as “A fragrance for the urban and charismatic 21st century male.” With La Nuit, YSL wanted to carry on some codes, but give it a distinguishable identity as well. The role of La Nuit is to “portray more classic masculinity… more edgy, daring and sensual,” as put by YSL executives in WWD. They continue: 

“The new scent is a fresh oriental, whereas its predecessor is a fresh woody.”

Top notes: cardamon and bergamot
Heart: cedar and lavendar
Base: vetiver and coumarin 

La Nuit de L’Homme is due to launch now in Europe, and will make its way to the U.S. in March and April, beginning exclusively at Bloomingdale’s.


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