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The Many Scents Of A Woman – What’s Yours?:

My good friend Sarah and I went to lunch and shopping in Beverly Hills this past weekend. After a glass of champagne and a chicken Caesar salad at Barney’s, we made our way down to the lower level of the store to check out the massive, new cosmetics and fragrance department. 

In her spare time, Sarah, a PR executive, is a well-known fragrance reviewer and blogger. I asked her, “What’s new in fragrance that would appeal to women in their 40s and 50s?” Sarah reported that the hot trend now is obtaining a “line” of a designer’s fragrance – so women can match their many moods and lifestyles. 

We first looked at Tom Ford’s newest line. It includes Violet Blonde, White Patchouli, Sahara Noir and Black Orchid. A very sexy line (like Tom himself), with retail prices starting at $210. Not cheap.

Wildly popular Sahara Noir’s top notes are bergamot, mandarin orange, violet, ginger, and basil; middle notes are grapefruit blossom, tobacco and black pepper. Base notes are amber, cedar, patchouli, oakmoss, and leather. Sounds like the tasting notes on a wine called “Four Play” I had last weekend in Los Olivos. 

With instant best-seller Violet Blonde, Ford “…presents a stunning, new scent for a new era of feminine glamour. It’s an opulent and dressed-up fragrance that reveals a new face of violet; ravishing intriguing elegance, crafted according to the finest traditions of European perfumery.” Who’s writing the copy for this stuff? Pretty convincing.    

Ford’s Santal Blush, introduced last year, is my new scent. Ford describes it as  “…a textured fusion of creamy sandalwood and exotic Eastern spices, enhanced with intoxicating florals and sumptuous woods to create soft, naked glamour with a mysterious spirit of modern earthiness.” It was a winner in Allure Magazine’s Best Fragrance Awards in 2012.

One reviewer says, “Santal Blush is meant for a confident, sophisticated woman who is just as comfortable being strong as she is feminine. I don’t know why, but I envision a woman with some curves, who is not in her 20s, works hard, but the world still thinks she’s sexy without her having to flaunt it.” I agree. 

Another new line is Estee Lauder’s “Aerin.” The granddaughter of Estee, Aerin has grown into a beautiful, sophisticated woman, now in her 40s. Sarah was particularly interested in checking her line out, since it debuted a few weeks ago. It includes “Gardena Rattan,” “Evening Rose,” “Ikat Jasmine,” “Lilac Path,” and “Amber Musk.”  Aerin believes that, “The effect of scent is really interesting; it can create a mood and change a feeling immediately.” 

Amber Musk, an instant favorite of mine, is described as “a warm inviting scent you want to wrap yourself in – like a soft cozy blanket on a cold snowy night. It blends sensual florals, distinctive amber and creamy musk.” No snow here. I’ll wear it when I take my annual trip to Lake Tahoe in January.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Lilac Path “captures the spirit of Spring and makes it last. It weaves a delicate story of crisp greens, rich blossoms and delicate petals.” I loved it. It’s tough to get a true Lilac scent. It reminded me of warm Spring nights in my home town of Chicago. Intoxicating.

Aerin’s fragrances retail for $110 each. Much better price point than Ford’s. But still pricey.  

To round out this story, I did a little research on the overall top fragrances for any time of day. According to Hollywood Life by Bonnie Fuller, some of the top fragrances for Fall 2013 include:

• Chanel No 5: $98

• Valentino Limited Edition Assoluto Oud: $150

• Coco (Chanel): $98

• Allure (Chanel): $85

• Modern Muse (Estee Lauder): $58

Hot Flash Universe is the go-to source for women over 40 seeking insight into the hottest, most current trends, products, and issues. Topics are approached with candor, intellect, and a healthy dose of humor.

Barbara Bishop is President of Santa Monica-based BBPR, Inc. For comments or suggestions, email Barbara.bishop@bbprinc.com.

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