Lacoste Rouge

Lacoste Rouge joins the trio of Vert, Blanc and Bleu

About a year back, Lacoste launched a trio of fragrances – White (Blanc) a fresh crisp fragrance, Blue (Bleu) an aquatic scent and Vert (Green) a more relaxed perfume ideal for the weekend. Inspired by the legendary Lacoste Polo shirt that dates back to 1927, these scents wear the  iconic crocodile logo on the left hand corner of the bottle almost like the logo on the left chest of the Tee. Rouge (Red) is the latest addition to this family and was launched earlier in 2012 as an intense high-energy scent. Red Roobios Tea, Mandarin liqueur, fruity mango and spicy notes like black pepper, ginger and cardamom make this quite a lively juice. (The 75 ml EDT is priced at Rs 3000/-)


Costume National Pop

The Costume Pop fragrance comes in a palette of vibrant colours

Inspired from the cool and minimalist line Costume National specially designed for the band ‘OK GO’, the scent features lively notes like raspberry, blackcurrant and grapefruit. If you love surprises you will love the white soft touch box that masks the colour of the bottle. So until you unravel the package you wouldn’t know if your fragrance is bottled in a lively orange or a bright turquoise blue flacon. (Rs 6500 / 100 ml)

Kokorico Jean Paul Gaultier

Kokorico – One of 2012’s most distinctive fragrance bottles

Jean Paul Gaultier and unconventional are synonymous – from Men’s skirts to tuxedo overalls there’s hardly anything he hasn’t experimented with. The fragrance line has not been far behind; Le Male completely broke stereotypes int he 1990s with its male torso bottle and a potent mix of ingredients that you could smell from one end of the fragrance counter.

Kokorico is an all-new fragrance from Jean Paul Gaultier and has just recently won The Fragrance Foundation of France’s award for the Best Men’s fragrance as part of its list of winners for Les Parfums 2012. This fragrance is all set to be launched in India. You will love the conversation bottle shaped like the silhouette of a man.

While the fragrance lists a medley of notes like fig leaf, patchouli, vetiver and cedar it is the cocoa bean that dominates this scent and sets it apart. It works best as an evening wear fragrance and would make a great all-day office wear scent if longevity was better. (Price on request)

Fifi Awards 2012 – List of finalists

Prada Candy one of 2011's finest women's fragrances

The Oscars of the fragrance industry are back! The 40th edition of the Fragrance Foundation’s Fifi awards will take place on May 21, 2012. The semi-finalists have been announced and the winners in these categories will be picked from the 5 or so fragrances shortlisted. There is also a consumer choice category for which voting will be on till May 14. More info on the Fifi awards blog

Top 5 Women’s Luxe

  1. Beyoncé Pulse – Coty Inc.
  2. Bottega Veneta – Coty Prestige
  3. Prada Candy Eau de Parfum Spray – PUIG USA (Available in India)
  4. Someday By Justin Bieber – Give Back Brands, LLC
  5. Tom Ford Violet Blonde – Tom Ford Beauty

Top 5 Men’s Luxe 

  1.  Armani Code Sport – Giorgio Armani Beauty (Available in India)
  2. Gucci Guilty Pour Homme – P&G Prestige (Available in India)
  3. John Varvatos ★ U.S.A. – Elizabeth Arden
  4. L’Homme Libre – Yves Saint Laurent
  5. Un Jardin Sur Le Toit – Hermès – Beauté Prestige International

Top 5 Finalists Women’s Nouveau Riche:  

  1. Dahlia Noir – Parfums Givenchy
  2. Dolce & Gabbana The Velvet Collection: Velvet Vetiver, Velvet Wood, Velvet Love, Velvet Patchouli, Velvet Sublime, Velvet Desire – P&G Prestige
  3. Jersey – Chanel
  4. live in love – Oscar de la Renta
  5. Maison Martin Margiela (untitled) – L’Oréal
  6. Tom Ford Jasmin Rouge – Private Blend – Tom Ford Beauty

Top 5 Men’s finalists – Nouveau Riche 

  1. Boss The Collection: Cotton & Verbena, Silk & Jasmine, Wool & Musk, Velvet & Amber, Cashmere & Patchouli – P&G Prestige
  2. Incense Oud – by Kilian
  3. L’Homme Cologne Gingembre – Yves Saint Laurent (Available in India)
  4. New York Oud – Bond No. 9 New York
  5. Tom Ford Jasmin Rouge – Private Blend – Tom Ford Beauty
    YUZU – Caron

How to buy a fragrance

  • One of 2011’s best men’s fragrances – Carolina 212 VIP Men

    Don’t sniff too many fragrances: Unless it’s an unplanned visit to a fragrance store, be clear about what kind of  fragrance you are seeking (office or party, summer or aquatic etc) and don’t even go close to the rest. Always keep aggressive salespersons in check and don’t let them decide what you want unless you are not sure yourself!. Try not to smell too many scents; even with the coffee beans they all start to smell the same at some point.

  • Shortlist what you fancy: and keep that list to a maximum of 3 or 4 fragrances and request the sales person to spritz that on different different points of the hands and not too close to each other! Don’t make your purchase on the basis of how these scents smell on the blotter. They usually smell very different on your skin.
  • Let the fragrance interact and settle down on your skin: Most fragrances are sold on the first impression that is usually created by the top notes but these notes usually vanish very quickly and its the base notes  that linger.
  • Take a walk: leave the counter, walk around the mall or the store for a while (Longer the better) and let the scent settle down and allow the real fragrance to emerge. You can also test the longevity and staying power of the fragrance.
  • Now you’re good to go: If you’ve selected the fragrance you like, check for offers and gifts/giveaways so that you can get the best deal!

Best party fragrances for women 2011

Forget the Jimmy Choo handbag, the fragrance makes a great party accessory too!

Prada Candy (EDP Rs 4950 / 80 ml): Crafted for the unconventional young woman (Who isn’t these days?) this is a bold attempt from one of the most distinguished fashion houses. The bottle may evoke the packaging of classic beauty products but the bright band of pink saffiano leather that hugs the bottle reveals the funky streak. The fragrance combines a cocktail of musks with an explosion of almost edible caramel – high quality ingredients in excessive proportions. Sweet, instantly likeable yet very feminine – does that describe you?

Burberry Body (EDP Rs 3050 / 35 ml): British actress Rosie Huntington Whiteley is the face of this all-new fragrance from Burberry and with cleverly placed images of her all over fragrance stores this is likely to be the fragrance most gentlemen are likely to buy for the woman in their lives. It’s Burberry’s most sensual fragrance yet and it opens with peach, rose and sandal before finishing with warm vanilla and musk note. A versatile fragrance that is perfect for all day use and has enough refined ingredients to make you stand out at a party.

Jimmy Choo (EDP Rs 5900 / 100 ml): No brand has been to more red carpet events in the last decade than Jimmy Choo. Handbag, shoes and now with the brand’s debut fragrance, you are ready for the best parties in town. The packaging is standout – a bottle inspired by jewel coloured Venetian Murano glass. The fragrance is bold and full of warm, rich and woody depths with a seductive Orchid heart. Perfect for the confident woman who is likely to be on every guest list that counts.

Gucci Guilty (EDT Rs 4100 / 50 ml): You will love the bottle – A stunning fusion of glass of metal with Gucci’s signature interlocking G that reveals the bottle’s glass interior under the bottle’s gleaming metallic surface. An intense floral-oriental fragrance, it opens with a sparkling burst of citrus and a hint of black pepper that make way for fruity and floral notes like lilac before finishing with a rich amber base. Modern, with a daring sensual edge and yet very wearable for any night on the town.

Belle d’Opium (EDT Rs 3500 / 50 ml) by Yves Saint Laurent: Opium is probably one of the most enduring women’s fragrances ever created and there’s a good chance you might have spritzed some of your mother’s Opium for your first party in high school. Belle Opium may not be able to fill those big shoes but two accomplished perfumers (Honorine Blanc and Alberto Morillas) come together to craft a lighter, contemporary interpretation of this classic with notes like lily, sandalwood white pepper and jasmine and the result is an all-new fragrance experience that is distinctive enough to let you make a big impression.

This feature was published in the December 2011 issue of Wedding Vows, a leading South Asian Wedding & lifestyle magazine  

Best sporty fragrances for men

Italian sporting equipment designer Renato Montagner gave the Issey flacon its very sporty look and feel

You can always use an extra dose of energy from any source. These sporty scents are just what you need to kick-start the day especially after a wild weekend and make for great summer fragrances that are crisp and easy to wear:

  1. L’Eau d’Issey pour Homme Sport: Cool blue bottle inspired by sporting gear with the fresh whiff of grapefruit and bergamot.
  2. Lacoste Challenge Refresh: Interesting bottle cap design inspired by a tennis racquet with spicy high-energy notes like cardamom, oregano and rosemary
  3. Porsche Design Sport: Nice mix of citrus, woody and aquatic notes; the Porsche hot wheels can wait!
  4. Dior Homme Sport – Christian Dior: Grapefruit, Amalfi lemon with the strong presence of ginger
  5. Davidoff Champion Energy: Same Dumbell shaped bottle of Davidoff Champion in a frosted white and red hue with citrus and cold spices.

Click here to read a related feature on GQ