Saturday, February 11th, 2012

By Caitlin, Fragrance Contributor

Caitlin recently completed her master’s degree in British Literature at St. Andrews in Scotland. She’s just moved back to the U.S., currently residing in Pennsylvania, and now works for a local non-profit. She studed French during her undergraduate years and even lived in Paris for a years. She loves traveling, but now that she has to hold down a “real job” now, she travels by way of new perfumes. She says fragrance has a way of transporting you to a new place, which is one of the reasons she loves perfume! You can follow her on Twitter!

Have a Fragrant Valentine’s Day!

It doesn’t matter what your plans for Valentine’s Day are. Whether you like to go out for an elegant evening or prefer to do a cozy night in (or if, like me, you plan to curl up with a Colin Firth movie and a bottle of wine) there’s no reason you shouldn’t be happy about the way you smell!

For a splash of delicate sensuality, try By Kilian, Liaisons Dangereuses ($225.00). With top notes of ripe plum and rose of Damascus, this fragrance evokes the sense of a leisurely stroll through the grounds at Versailles. Like the French court, this fragrance is decadent, yet not completely reckless or hedonist. Liaisons Dangereuses settles into the smoothest of blends as the florals mix with the base notes of vanilla and white musk. I find that this fragrance wears close to the skin, and all the better too! Spraying this on is like wearing the most charming secret.

For an elegant night out, try Tom Ford, Noir de Noir ($195.00). This is another rose-centered fragrance, but the striking thing about Noir de Noir is the sense of effervescence it conveys. The effervescence is an interesting touch, as it gives the impression of keeping the rose somehow alive on the skin. Darker notes like patchouli and something chocolatey (yum!) creep in during the dry down, but the rose note just lasts and lasts. Noir de Noir is like a glass of champagne with a rose petal floating on top. In other words, the essence of luxury.

Forget the red hot candies, go for Serge Lutens, Rousse ($120.00) if you’re looking for a taste of spicy sweetness. Rousse is a showcase for cinnamon, but the fragrance never becomes too overpowering, as it uses a base of amber, vanilla and musk to anchor the spice. At times the heat of the cinnamon comes across quite strongly. At other times, the amber and musk peek through, adding mild sweetness and depth to the composition. For a fragrance focused on spice, Rousse is more sexy than foodie. Cinnamon has never been so sophisticated or so compelling.

If you’re in the mood to go bold, try L’Artisan Parfumeur, Poivre Piquant ($145.00). This offering from L’Artisan combines white pepper with milk and honey and is for true spice lovers. This opens with a blast of powdery pepper but, the next time I lean in to smell my wrist, I only get soft notes of milk and honey. This fragrance never settles into a smooth blend and it isn’t meant to. This is a composition that not only embraces discord, but celebrates it. The juxtaposition of intense spice with mild sweetness is striking and addictive—I can’t stop smelling my wrist when wearing this. In the end, discord renders Poivre Piquant surprisingly seductive.

Note: I realize that full bottles of each of these fragrances are pretty pricey and I am by no means recommending that you rush out and drop $200 on a bottle of perfume! I myself have samples of each of these. I recommend Luckyscent for samples of the L’Artisan and By Kilian, and The Perfumed Court for Serge Lutens and Tom Ford.

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6 thoughts on “Have a Fragrant Valentine’s Day!

  1. Caitlin

    Since writing this I learned that Serge Lutens moved Rousse to the Paris exclusive line–bummer for those of us not living in Paris! However, I was able to snag a full bottle of it from Luckyscent just last week, so keep an eye out because some online retailers may still have it in stock.

  2. Wonderful choices! We’ve only recently gotten a By Kilian counter near me and I’m trying to hide from it, but their scents are lovely. Noir de Noir and Poivre Piquant are each enchanting, original scents.

  3. Donna

    Poivre Piquant stays peppery on me, I don’t get the milk at all.

  4. Leah E.

    I really appreciate the lead on the samples website! I love perfume, and have a baby collection going, but I very rarely find a perfume I love so much that I want a full size of it. The last time that happened was for Atelier Vanille Insense. But now I have a bajillion options!!

    • Caitlin

      No problem, the samples are honestly lifesavers! The only bad thing is I sometimes get overwhelmed because I just want to sample EVERYTHING. :)

  5. denise

    I own 3 bottles of by Killian perfume: Love= sweet marshmallow and orange notes, Back to black= incense and tobacco but my favorite is Beyond Love= a creamy tuberose scent.Love the gorgeous black bottles and the refills that are available for half the price. But Serge Lutens is my favorite perfumer!Nice post