I’m a self-proclaimed fragrance snob who often scoffs at the idea of wearing anything sold at a chain store. Fragrance is personal and I feel that scents lose their ability to be special when a big brand churns out a new scent each season that's made to appeal to millions of women. But beauty is a business and the bottom line is important and that’s the way it works. Or perhaps my romantic notions of fragrance and the way it makes me feel is entirely too corny.
However, there are two mainstream September launches that has my jaded and snobby self actually excited. First up is Kenzo’s Flower In The Air created by Alberto Morillas. It’s a fresh rose scent with hints of bergamot (always a favorite of mine), pink pepper, cedarwood, and musk. It’s been almost a decade since Flower by Kenzo was launched and even though the sister scent will be sold at a department store, the time, effort, and TLC it took to create Flower In The Air is obvious in the juice itself. There’s a distinct lack of harsh rubbing alcohol undertones or watered-down notes, which I often smell in mass-distributed perfumes.
Next on deck is Paul Smith’s Portrait For Women created by model and perfumer Barnabé Fillion. The crisp blend of bergamot, black tea, peach, and jasmine resonates as a spring scent, but once the leaves start to turn and the air becomes a bit brisk, the sweetness will happily transport you to a meadow filled with roses. Neither scent is from an obscure, indie brand, but even hipsters who only swear by all things locally sourced and artisanal will become seduced.