Chanel: Coco Noir

Hold up- what?! Coco...Noir? Two words that are music to my ears!
I cant believe my luck, Chanel are attempting to answer one of my secret prayers with the new release of Coco Noir and I'm chomping at the bit to get my mitts on this one!

The newest additional to Chanel's line of stellar and legendary fragrances was inspired by Jacques Polge's visions of exploring Venice at night. The sexy new creation is steeped in baroque history and is described as mysterious, adventurous, and dark. Poised between Coco and Coco Mademoiselle, the fragrance will feature top notes of grapefruit, bergamot, orange. The heart composed of sensual notes of  jasmine, rose, geranium and patchouli are rounded at the base with tonka bean, white musk, incense, vanilla and sandalwood.

An elegant black glass bottle completes the aesthetic of Coco Noir, keeping the familiar square shaped glass flacon that just exudes class and luxury.

Coco Noir will be available from Farmers on September 2nd, 2012. Prices to come when more details are available.

Venice at Night

Lady Gaga: Fame

Lady Gaga is due to release her first fragrance "Fame" in August 2012 for the US market and tentatively, October 2012 at Farmers for New Zealand. Just in time for Halloween and we cant wait!

The fragrance is shaping up to be one of the most anticipated perfumes on the celebuscent scene and has some pretty clever twists to it.

"Innovative technology allows this first ever black Eau de Parfum to turn invisible once airborne. This black-to-clear patent-pending fluid technology is a fantastic innovation that will be unveiled simultaneously with Lady Gaga Fame".

As to the scent itself, it sounds like a honeyed, fruity floral with a twist of dark herbaceous-ness.

"Lady Gaga Fame is based on push-pull technology, a unique aromatic structure that makes the ingredients interact to accentuate various aspects of each note simultaneously -- unlike the traditional fragrance pyramid -- and allows the scent to achieve a genuine metamorphosis. It’s unique because it’s not pyramidal with a top, middle and bottom note,” he said. “It has a trampoline structure — notes are rising at different rates that are quite random. Some accords will come out if you rub it, other accords will come out later. It has random propulsion and doesn’t have a classic linear drydown. We call it push-pull, and it will smell different on different people. There is a different volatility for different notes, and they’re of differing strengths. They work together harmoniously, but then they undergo metamorphosis on the skin, so you’re constantly surprised".

The fragrance is composed of three accords: dark, sensual, and light. The dark accord, which was inspired by the poisonous plant Belladonna that belongs to the Solanaceae family, evolves into an opulent and sensual accord of honey, saffron and apricot nectar. And finally, the light accord, composed of a rich floral scent of crushed Tiger Orchid and Jasmine Sambac, depicts timeless beauty, completing this fragrance composed of floral and fruity elements."

Fame is an Eau de Parfum which will be available in 3 sizes: 100ml (dubbed "The Ultimate Masterpiece"), 50ml, 30ml and a 10ml rollerball. Prices range from $79-$19 (USD).

Prices in NZD to be confirmed closer to the projected October release at Farmers.

The Many Faces of Miss Dior Cherie- The EDP's

Due to Dior's insane method of naming and reformulating fragrances, there is much confusion surrounding the many versions of Miss Dior Cherie. To help you find your way through the wilderness of Miss Dior's, here is a quick guide to finding the fragrance you want.

1. Miss Dior Cherie Eau de Parfum 2005

This is the original Miss Dior Cherie EDP, the most coveted among the Cherie's that has those delectable caramel popcorn and strawberry notes. All you need to remember when searching for this bottle, is that the name is engraved in silver on the front of the bottle.

2. Miss Dior Cherie Eau de Parfum 2007 Reformulation

This is the 2nd version and is slightly reformulated. You can tell this bottle apart from the first one by the paper label on the front of the bottle which has replaced the silver engraving, and of course the slight change in scent.

3. Miss Dior Eau de Parfum 2011

As you may have noticed, they changed the name! Miss Dior Cherie is now known as Miss Dior. Not only the name has changed - the formulation has changed too.

4. Miss Dior Cherie Eau de Parfum 2011 Couture Edition

This was a special edition that is the same as the new Miss Dior, but has the identifying cosmetic characteristic of having a fabric bow instead of silver.

Guerlain: La Petite Robe Noire

Very exciting news for Guerlain fans- I have received word from the lovely Kay at Kirkcaldies, that La Petite Robe Noire is coming to little old NZ! At this stage the release is looking like it could be in time for the 2012 Christmas season.

For now, lets take a look at whats in that cute little bottle...

Launched in 2009 and created by Thierry Wasser, La Petite Robe Noire translates as "Little Black Dress" and  is a flirty, fanciful fragrance with notes of cherry, patchouli, berries, almond, smoked black tea, tonka, licorice and vanilla. Presented in the same shaped bottle as the legendary L'Heure Bleue and Mitsouko, it features a whimsical sketch of a little black dress on a graduating purple-to-pink hue front.

More details to come later...

Truth or Dare by Madonna Review

Truth or Dare pays homage to Madonna's mother, and is an obvious reference to the heavy hitting tuberose-laden Fracas by Robert Piguet, the fragrance her mother wore. It incorporates another favourite scent- gardenia. Madonna wanted to recreate the memory of how her mother smelled to her, and with the help of perfumer Stephen Nilsen, she's done a good job of translating this olfactive memory into a modern day fragrance. It plays up the religious influence of her name and Catholic upbringing, with a bottle designed to resemble a flacon of Holy Water and the resinous aspects of church incense.

Like an opening night performance, she starts off with a blast- in this case tuberose and white florals that are bold and emblazoned, but not suffocating. The tuberose misses the mark to create the well rounded buttery quality that replicates Fracas, feeling somewhat thin and engineered. While 'thin' usually signals 'cheap', like almost anything Madonna touches, it has managed to translate into shiny and new. Much like taking scraps of raggy lace and rubber typewriter bands and turning them into fashion statements and tools of empowerment. You don't feel cheated, but you're aware that we are indeed living in a material world and money inevitably has the last say when it comes to accessibility. Madonna even admitted this is what kept her from arriving earlier in the fragrance realm, emphasizing that there were issues around creating something that was quality enough to bear her name, yet affordable in the mass market that she could stand behind.
The gardenia appears green and waxy, spread a bit too thin to be lush- but there's so much going on, that you're still entertained. Like the entertainer, she may be a bit thin on vocal ability, but she sure knows  how to put on a hell of a show and make it work. Orange Blossom lends its fullness, and spicy lily nips at your nose unexpectedly, imparting a kick of peppery heat to keep the florals from becoming too heady. It reins in the tuberose and tries to tame the indolic jasmine that seems to take center stage- much like the 10yr old Madonna wearing a swimsuit and neon paint, go-go dancing at a school recital under a black light. Parents were horrified, and anyone who doesn't know what real jasmine is will be too. Indolic jasmine can smell like mothballs and in this fragrance, it acts as a conductor, sending vapours out in exhausted, forceful pants like the last vocals of Love Don't Live Here Anymore. This is where the fragrance seems to linger most, in a stage of suspended animation while the crowd screams for more, then hushes in anticipation of the spoken message.

Madonna Snr / Madonna

Without darkness there can be no light, and Truth or Dare creates a tangible example.
Resinous amber and benzoin lurk beneath the florals, giving it a dusty, (easily interpreted as powdery) vintage and austere feel to it. If you let your imagination go, you can almost feel the heavy, hard uncomfortable pews in church, designed to keep you upright and reminded that Christ endured and so must you. Yet, like a well-delivered sermon, its heavy and weightless all at once, sunken and concealed beneath the florals giving a dimension of depth, yet buoyant to keep them uplifted towards the light. The two opposites of light and dark, fluid and unmoving, create an intriguing duality that validates the seemingly corny name, rendering it wholly apt.

Skin musks and vanilla absolute buffer the zone between the two, never becoming individually obvious, instead interacting as necessary shepherds throughout the transitioning of the two extremes. The vanilla sweetens up the composition from top to bottom, making the white floral's appear juicy and succulent.

As the fragrance dries down, the benzoin and amber become more prominent and linger like the last wisps of smoke from a censer, somewhat textured and scratchy.
Sillage and longevity are reasonable. Despite being loud at first unleashing, it smooths out within minutes and unless you douse yourself in it, it should be easy enough to wear without offending.

Truth or Dare is a well crafted fragrance that isn't dumbed down for the masses. In fact, many of the masses can be heard with their protests of "old lady smell" which translates into "mature". It has the facets of a classic with a fresh and modern interpretation that should enjoy a long shelf life, providing an alternative to the sugar laden nose candy offered up by other celebs. Madonna can take a bow for a job well done, she has managed to convey the sentiment for which she strove and balanced it perfectly with her strong, persuasive, brashy-to-classy style.

Truth or Dare will be available exclusively at Farmers from May 28.

30/50ml/75ml Eau de Parfum, 200ml Body Lotion, 200ml Shower Gel

Bye Bye Gucci....

You may or may not have heard, but the latest victims to fall on the discontinued pile are from the house of Gucci.

Gucci's Creative Director, Frida Giannini has a new vision for the brand, which does not include some of our favourite Gucci scents.

On the chopping block are:

Gucci Eau de Parfum
Gucci Eau de Parfum II
Gucci Envy
Gucci Envy Me
Gucci Envy Me 2
Gucci Pour Homme
Gucci Pour Homme II
Gucci Rush
Gucci Rush 2

Now, to be fair, some of the bottles are outdated and definitely do not fit the new glamour of Gucci and Rush has to be one of the ugliest, cheap-looking bottles out there- but one would have hoped they would be simply be re bottled and re branded.

We cant be too sure when the axe will fall, some of these fragrances are still on our shelves. But its probably wise to start stockpiling your favourites now and not wait until they've gone before you start to panic and pay inflated prices on Ebay.

The Scent of Madonna...

Update 23/03/2012: Farmers has confirmed they will have the exclusive launch for this fragrance in NZ around May 28!

Well, she does it ...again- this May.

Madonna is finally joining the cult of celebrity fragrances and in collaboration with perfume giant Coty and perfumer Stephen Nilson, her debut fragrance, Truth or Dare will be released globally in May of 2012.

The fragrance is presented in what appears to be an opaque, milky coloured glass flacon, reminiscent of a flask of holy water, marked only with a logo comprising of the letter M and a cross above it. The scent itself is said to be a white floral with notes of  gardenia, tuberose, neroli, jasmine and lily, with a contrasting dark side of benzoin, vanilla, caramelized amber and musk.

Madonna took inspiration from her mother's perfume:

I have always been obsessed by fragrance and for years wanted to create something personal that was an expression of me, but that other people could relate to as well. Something classical and timeless and yet modern. My oldest memory of my mother is her perfume. I carry it with me everywhere. She always smelled like gardenias and tuberose, an intoxicating mixture [that was] feminine and mysterious. I wanted to re-create this scent, but with something fresh and new about it as well. Something honest and yet daring—hence the name Truth or Dare” said Madonna to WWD.

The name Truth or Dare is a reprised title, from a documentary style movie released in 1991 that chronicles Madonna's sellout Blond Ambition tour. (The alternate title "In Bed With Madonna" was used in some non-US countries.) It is also the name of Madonna's new lifestyle brand that will include lingerie, footwear, fashion accessories and of course, fragrance.
Madonna and her daughter Lourdes already have an established fashion line called Material Girl, however the Truth or Dare enterprise will be targeted at the more mature 25-50 age group.

Truth or Dare  Eau de Parfum will be available in 30, 50 and 75mls and exclusive to Macy's from mid-March, 2012. We can expect to see it in New Zealand around May 28th.

A first look at the print advertising for the Truth or Dare fragrance. The global release date has been brought forward to April 2012.