November is one of my favorite months of the year. I love the smell of the cold, crisp air and the promise of winter to come. I also love November because it contains my favorite holiday—Thanksgiving. What’s not to love about a holiday that’s full of wonderful food that smells great and reminds us to be thankful for the blessings in our lives?
I suppose it’s not surprising that I would love a holiday with as many olfactory treats as Thanksgiving has to offer; I usually start looking for warmer, deeper scents around the same time I’m gazing longingly at scrumptious holiday desserts.
I don’t think that you have to change your scent with the season unless you feel like it, but there’s something about a change in the weather that provides the perfect atmosphere to indulge myself with new and wonderful fragrances.
David Yurman Eau de Parfum
Luxury jeweler David Yurman released his first fragrance earlier this year and I think it’s a great fit for the brand. Yurman’s jewelry is immediately recognizable; there’s nothing understated or shy about it and his perfume opens with a big, look-at-me blast of heavy florals. The notes are listed as mandarin, fresh green petals, cassis, peony, water lily, natural rose otto, patchouli, exotic woods, and soft musk. The initial impression is intense, so spray lightly. The top notes blend together seamlessly and after they settle in (which takes about half an hour or so), the perfume relaxes into warm, woody deliciousness. I imagined the perfume almost as a socialite who, after making a grand entrance, couture and jewels blazing, decides to steal away to the library for a tête-à-tête with her lover. David Yurman perfume smells expensive, smooth, and sensual—just what you would expect from this luxury line.
If you want a tête-à-tête in someone’s library, you will want this fragrance. Similarly, if you liked some of the heavier fragrances popular in the 1980s, you’ll like this, although the final fragrance has a lot more subtlety than you might expect.
The bottle is exquisite and unusual. A gold insert—faceted to remind you of a precious stone—floats in heavy crystal, and the cap was designed to look like a piece of jewelry from the Cable Collection. If I ran into David Yurman at a holiday party, I’d want to congratulate him on a truly unique and beautiful design, and thank him for producing a one-ounce purse spray that comes in a faceted bottle I’d be proud to pull out of my purse.
Eau de Parfum, $75–$160 is available at Yurman stores and Neiman Marcus.
Sensuous by Estee Lauder
Sensuous was released with great fanfare this summer by Estee Lauder and I just wish I’d paying more attention so that I could have discovered this little gem of a fragrance earlier.
Sensuous has top notes of ghost lily, magnolia, jasmine petals; middle notes of molten woods, amber, sandalwood; and base notes of black pepper, mandarin pulp, and honey.
The first spray of Sensuous is pungent and honey-sweet, a nice departure from the fruity florals that are so popular at present. Sensuous is all smooth, creamy sweetness with a nice peppery tang. I expected a dark, masculine wood in the dry down, but instead I found a lighter, smoothly-polished wood—a little bit floral, a little bit spicy, altogether smooth and elegant. This is an easy perfume to wear and I mean that as a compliment to the fragrance. You won’t spray it on and think—“Oh, wrong perfume for today, what was I thinking?” I can’t tell you how often I’m complimented on this fragrance by people used to me constantly wafting around in every type of perfume you can imagine, not all of which elicit nice comments. They love Sensuous, and in short, so do I. It smells great, it’s long lasting without being overpowering, and—joy of joys—it’s affordable!
The bottle is a little throwback and reminds me of a perfume bottle from the 1930s. It’s round and pink with flowing grooves on the back of the bottle and has a pink gold-colored hexagonal cap. As I love the 1930s, this isn’t a negative for me, but the bottle may feel old-fashioned to some.
Body lotion, shower cream, and Eau de Parfum, $28.50–$69.50, with additional products available for the holidays. Sensuous is widely available at most department stores, including Macy’s.
Parting Note: Perfume puts the finishing touch to elegance—a detail that subtly underscores the look, an invisible extra that completes a woman’s personality. Without it, there is something missing.—Gianni Versace
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