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designer perfume

Beauty

Jimmy Choo Launches Second Fragrance FLASH

Jimmy Choo launches its second fragrance FLASH this month and as you would expect from the iconic brand, it’s glamour and seduction all the way.

Created by perfumer Christine Nagel (Christian Dior Miss Dior Chérie, Dolce & Gabbana The One and numerous Jo Malone fragrances), FLASH is a fresh, sparkling yet intense solar floral fragrance that exudes luxury and decadence.  As suggested in the name, the inspiration for the fragrance comes from the thrill of the red carpet, fabulous international nightclubs and high octane glamour, with the paparazzi fighting for the Jimmy Choo girl’s attention.

Jimmy Choo Creative Directors Sandra Choi and Simon Holloway designed FLASH to be part of the ritual of dressing up to go out – another covetable Jimmy Choo accessory to match the perfect shoes, bag and dress.  They said: “FLASH is about the cool rush of excitement and the sense of power a woman feels when dressed in a pair of sexy shoes”.

Perfumer Christine Nagel looked to stylish, urban women in the world’s style capitals to find inspiration for the scent.  She said: “I imagined the sounds of heels, clicking on the streets of New York, London and Paris”.

While Jimmy Choo was all about the snakeskin for its first fragrance in 2011, the FLASH packaging reflects the look that Jimmy Choo is currently best-known for – glitter luxe.  The glass bottle is inspired by a modernist chandelier from the 1970s, however, the circular shapes also reference a retro camera flash.  The cool blue-silver colour is a nod to the ultraviolet lights of a nightclub and the flash of paparazzi bulbs.

FLASH opens with top notes of pink pepper, strawberry and leads to a heart of Tuberose, Jasmine and White Lily.  White woods are at the base and as the fragrance develops, it leaves a warm, complex, spicy vanilla trail.

It’s a powerful, alluring fragrance for a night out, beginning with sparkling vibrancy and becoming more sultry and seductive as the evening goes on.  I have been wearing FLASH for almost two months and it has become a firm favourite for winter evenings out and when I need a bit of extra polish and confidence during the day.  It’s effervescent, heady, captivating, sophisticated and an absolute joy to wear.

Natasha Poly is the glamorous face of the campaign, shot by Steven Meisel with a Studio 54 meets Tamara de Lempicka vibe of excess and hedonism.

FLASH is sure to appeal particularly to Jimmy Choo’s younger customers who identify with the brand’s fun, daring, free-spirited side.  However, it shouldn’t be overlooked by more classic, understated perfume enthusiasts, as the fragrance is surprisingly timeless and complex.

Jimmy Choo Flash will be available exclusively at Debenhams from 14th January 2013, then nationwide from 28th January.  Prices start from £36 for 40ml and the range also includes a body lotion and shower gel.

* PR sample

Beauty

Marc Jacobs Launches Summer Splash Cocktail Collection

For this summer’s Splash Collection, Marc Jacobs has left the pâtisserie behind and hit the happy hour for cocktails!

Inspired by the first sip of a cocktail on a summer’s day, the light, refreshing fragrances include Cranberry, Ginger and Curacao.

The juicy ingredients makes the cocktail fragrances sound good enough to drink, preferrably on a beach in the Caribbean or at a glam rooftop pool.

Cranberry has a citrus floral punch with notes of pink grapefruit, cranberry pulp, tangerine, ginger flower, honeysuckle, vetiver and exotic woods.

Ginger brings a spicier element to the summer and is perfect if you like a bit more intensity than the breezy, fruity scents.  Notes include ginger, nutmeg, cognac oil, geranium bourbon, rhubarb, sandalwood, amber crystals and musks.

Curacao makes cocktails look pretty, but to me it never seems to taste or smell like anything other than sugar. Somehow Marc Jacobs noses have distilled the tropical essence of Curacao and turned it into a floral chypre worthy of sundowners in the city or a beach bar.

Curacao is an exotic blend of blood oranges, lime, mandarin, violet, pear, apricot, white moss, amber musk and sandalwood.

The lucid watery blue colour in the huge glass bottle looks just like a crystalline pool that I would love to dive into.  Bring on the summer, Marc!

Marc Jacobs Splash eau de toilette fragrances are priced at £45 for 300ml and are available from 24 April at Selfridges and selected retailers.

Beauty

Chérie Loves: Balenciaga Paris

Balenciaga is loved among the fashion elite for its uncompromising, fiercely intelligent collections, so surely Balenciaga Paris eau de parfum would be complex, niche fragrance palatable to a select few…

In fact, Balenciaga Paris plays to the softer side of the maison and is a wearable modern classic with an underlying edge.

Balenciaga Paris eau de parfum manages to pay homage to the heady world of haute couture created by the master, Cristóbal Balenciaga in the ’50s and ’60s, while encapsulating current Creative Director Nicolas Ghesquière’s futuristic vision.

Created by legendary nose, Olivier Polge, the first impression of Balenciaga Paris from the bottle is a powdery scent reminiscent of parma violets and a retro vanity table.

The first note comes with a metallic kick and brings to mind the powerful alhehydes found in Chanel No.5.  The fragrance then softens and the chypre violets (a rare combination invested by François Coty) become apparent.

Gradually the fragrance becomes fresh and lucid with cool florals – violet, iris and carnation – evoking the scent of Spring.  The slightly smoky base is always present but never overpowers the florals with notes of cedar wood, vetiver, patchouli and moss.

Balenciaga Paris is a cool, sophisticated scent that requires a certain amount of character and rebellion to keep it from being too conservative.

Nicolas Ghesquière’s close friend and muse Charlotte Gainsbourg perfectly embodies the Balenciaga Paris femme with her chic gamine look, bohemian life and fearless spirit.

Balenciaga Paris has launched a 20ml bottle that is perfect for travels.  It stays true to the craftsmanship of the original architectural hand-blown glass bottle.

Balenciaga Paris is the kind of subtle, alluring fragrance that will never go out of style – a true modern classic in the making.

Balenciaga Paris is available now at House of Fraser and other selected retailers at £34 for 20ml EDP.