Elixirs of Love

by Sonja on February 11, 2009

I adore perfume. I can’t imagine life without it. More accurately, I don’t want to imagine life without it. It helps me feel beautiful and feminine. It lifts my spirits, brightens my days, and sweetens my nights.

The right perfume can be seductive and entrancing. It can beguile and excite. When worn properly, one needs to move in and get up close to take in an elixir of love heated by the warmth of the skin. A fragrance may linger on a pillow… on a shirt left behind. It can evoke fond memories, and feelings of love that make a person swoon.

A beautiful floral fragrance is like a fresh bouquet in a bottle where the flowers never fade. Warm, sweet scents are comforting and can be subtly seductive. Many men adore these, especially vanilla, because it reminds them of their moms baking (although they may not realize that’s why they’re enamored).

Some women choose to wear a signature fragrance that they wear all the time. Think Marilyn Monroe and Chanel No. 5. But there are so many beautiful fragrances that I have a hard time settling on one so I choose to surround myself with several. I pick one (or two) according to how I’m feeling or what seems most apropos to the occasion. In honor of Valentine’s Day, a day when many a fragrance is given, I’d like to share a few floral and sweet fragrances that I find exquisite, including one that was just introduced.


REN Rosa Maya. I adore the scent of roses. That’s what takes my breath away with this fragrance. It has many notes, but rose is the one you notice first. It combines a citrus top note with rose, jasmine, osmanthus (an Asian white flower), woods, spices, and musks. I can wear this eco-friendly fragrance any time of day. It manages to be light, fresh, sensual, and complex all at the same time. This becomes even more lovely layered on top of REN’s rich Damask Rose Ramnose Biosaccharide Body Cream. Available at the REN website, beauty.com, Sephora, Barneys, and Fred Segal.

Elizabeth Arden Pretty. Elizabeth Arden just released Pretty this month. It is as advertised. It really smells pretty. It’s a delicate, fresh, flirty, fruity, feminine floral. They aimed to make something ageless and timeless and succeeded. I can see just about any woman wearing this and making it her own. It has a citrus top note with Italian mandarins and peach nectar,  a middle with flowers like jasmine and white peony, and a drydown of musk, wood, and amber. Available at elizabetharden.com and at many department stores.


Villainess Crushed Perfume Oil. When I wear this, I smell like a delicious, dark chocolate raspberry truffle that has an air of sophistication with the addition of sandalwood. This is a concentrated perfume in a silky oil base, in an exotic, vintage glass ampoule. I love to create a unique sweet floral by layering Crushed on top of Villainess Datura Whipped!, a lush body cream with a blend of gardenia, frangipani, tuberose, and pikaki lani. Available at villaness.net.

Kiehl’s Vanilla 1968. Kiehl’s introduced their classic essence oils in the early 1920s. Now they’re relaunching four of them in portable, roller ball vials. Vanilla 1968 (the year indicates when it was introduced) is sweet and comforting, an ideal base for layering on the other oils that Kiehl’s relaunched: Musk 1921, Coriander 1946, and Grapefruit 1976. They will be offering six more in the coming months. Available at kiehls.com, Kiehl’s stores, Saks, Neimans, and Nordstrom.

Trish McEvoy #9 Blackberry and Vanilla Musk. I’ve been wearing this heavenly perfume for years. It’s a sweet, succulent blend of blackberries, vanilla, musk, and white rose that I always get compliments on. The fragrance has been so well received that Trish has added a lotion, cream, scrub, and a sexier version called “Sexy #9.” Available at Saks, Neimans, and Nordstrom.

Do Tell

What does fragrance do for you? Do you covet one scent or many? What’s your favorite? Do tell.

P.S. Check out our regularly updated Beauty Resources page for some amazing beauty deals from companies like Benefit, beauty.com, and spalook.com.

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charm February 11, 2009 at 4:31 am

Many, many scents. Nothing too floral or too heavy but I do adore a little bit of musk. Michael Kors Island, Bulgari’s scents are mindblowing, but sometimes I like to smell herbally sometimes…

Charlotte February 11, 2009 at 4:46 am

My all time favorite is “All about Eve” by Joop. It smells like a bunch of flowers mixed with fresh fruit. But not too sweet. Gorgeous!

PS.: may it be that your blog has become kind of a beauty-blog? I always loved your outfit-posts so much that I am really sad that you focus on cosmetics so much. I don’t mean to be rude, but if i want cosmetics advice I get a womans magazine. I think blogging is all about creativity and I don’t see creativity in telling people what scincare to buy… Sorry for my clear words but this is how I feel. Pease show us your beautiful wardrobe again!

Ashe Mischief February 11, 2009 at 6:49 am

Right now my favorites are from my obsessed phase with Black Alchemy Phoenix Labs, particularly Samhain & the Peacock Queen (both seasonals). Though I also love Dorian quite a lot, as well as a few others. I find that I have a hard time remembering to wear them since they are in vials, as opposed to bottles where I can spray them…

It breaks my heart that Betsey Johnson’s first scent is discontinued, nor can I find it anywhere. I loved it, and men loved it on me.

K-Line February 11, 2009 at 7:54 am

I love rose! I’m into florals with a nice base note (something mossy) but I also really like bright florals like Penhaligon’s Bluebel.

Style Amor February 11, 2009 at 7:59 am

Oh yes, I love perfumes however I prefer scented lotions since I sometimes find that perfumes can be too strong and i’m allergic :/ Now something I can’t stand are anise scents and men who take a shower with a bottle of cologne EWWW

Much love,

violetville February 11, 2009 at 8:49 am

Oh I *love* perfume! When I was 12, I demanded that my family gift me Chanel No 5 for Christmas. It was the only thing I wanted (except maybe a puppy)!

I definitely tend toward signature scents. I wore Helmut Lang for years and am devastated by the fact that it is now almost impossible to acquire. I’m into sort of sultry scents, so I usually only wear perfume at night.

But for daytime, I love ‘ce soir ou jamais’ by Annick Goutal, but otherwise tend very far from florals or ‘fresh’ scents.

Right now I’m in love with CB I Hate Perfume. If I could order a new scent from him every day, I would! :)

Jade February 11, 2009 at 10:10 am

My “signature” is mademoiselle by chanel. Other favorites include: flowerbomb by viktor and rolf, and infusion d’iris by prada (so lovely and springy).

Sonja February 11, 2009 at 12:36 pm

❤ Charm, I steer away from too heavy and floral, too. Otherwise I’ll have a sneezing attack. I think a touch of musk is nice to keep it all grounded. Thanks for sharing your favorites! I’m a big fan of Bulgari, too. Haven’t tried Kors though.
❤ Charlotte, there are three of us writing for The Coveted now. Jennine started the blog and continues to post outfits and write about fashion all week long so fashion is still the main focus. I focus on beauty and post just a few times a week.
❤ Ashe Mischief, thank you for sharing your faves. Sorry to hear about the Betsey Johnson fragrance. Isn’t it heartbreaking when that happens?
❤ K-Line, that is a good mix. I just read about Penhaligon last night. Going to have to check it out.
❤ Glendy (Style Amor), I agree that many fragrances are just way too strong so the perfumed lotion is easier on the nose. The ones I listed aren’t that way. They don’t overwhelm. Regardless, I love to use a complementary lotion to help the fragrance last longer.
❤ Violetville, what a fantastic story! My mom wore Chanel No. 5 and I would sneak spritzes. Sorry to hear about Helmut. I hate when they do that. I adore Annick Goutal as well and wore her scents for years. Need to get a new bottle. I read about CB I Hate Perfume last night. Need to investigate further.
❤ Jade, Mademoiselle is gorgeous. I love that name Flowerbomb. I haven’t tried Prada’s perfumes. Will have to do that!

lisa February 11, 2009 at 12:40 pm

I’ve only become addicted to wearing perfume on a daily basis recently. It does, as you say, lift your spirits! My favourites are Chanel Chance (nice and light) and Vera Wang Princess (some pink guava notes in there, fades to a lingering chiffon vanilla as the day wears on). And I definitely agree that perfume smells best when you lean in and catch its scent-one of my pet peeves is people who wear so much of it that it overpowers you from 9 feet away.

Sonja February 11, 2009 at 12:57 pm

❤ Lisa, those sound so pretty. Will have to check them out. Pink guava and chiffon vanilla sounds fantastic. Isn’t that the worst when the first thing you notice about someone is their perfume because it’s so strong? Your perfume shouldn’t arrive before you do. :)

Ashe Mischief February 11, 2009 at 1:13 pm

“Your perfume shouldn’t arrive before you do.”

Unless you are in a James Bond movie, and he’s following the delicate and lingering scent of your perfume, intoxicated by its erotic powers, hunting through the crowd to find the woman who smells like it.

Sonja February 11, 2009 at 1:23 pm

❤ Ashe Mischief, you make a good point, especially if James Bond is played by Daniel Craig.

gail February 11, 2009 at 2:24 pm

My signature scent for years has beenPremier Figuer (L’Artisan Parfumeur). Others I wear often are: Spring Flowers (Creed), Green (Miller et Berteaux, Fleur de Rocaille (Caron), 31 Rue Cambon (Chanel), 24 Faubourg (Hermes). I also wear lotions - Laughter by Space NK and Geranium by Bamford are my current loves. I really can’t wear anything with vanilla. Oh, I forgot - I also wear Petite Cherie by Annick Goutal - it makes me smile! I guess overall I like woodsy or floral scents, nothing spicey, and they have to have a clean fresh smell, and they have to make me feel good when I wear them (what would be the point otherwise?!).

Sandra February 11, 2009 at 9:00 pm

I love the scent of rose. When I was in Italy, I picked up a bottle of rose perfume from a 600 year old pharmacy establish by monks - Santa Maria Novella. The BEST rose perfume ever.

I recently picked up a bottle of Rock and Rose by Valentino at Marshalls for $30. I have no idea why they have so many of them - the scent is amazing. I can’t imagine it wasn’t a big seller.

alixrose February 12, 2009 at 12:19 am

There are so many beautiful perfumes. My brother used to work at Macy’s// to get himself through college and he would always get me perfumes. I was the sweetest smelling girl on the block. I do find myself putting on the same one every day though. CoCo Chanel Mademoiselle, just draws me in.

It just doesnt seem right leaving the house without a little perfume.

Jasmine - Fashiongrail February 12, 2009 at 12:15 pm

My favorite perfume is Bobbi Brown’s Beach. I love the woodsy, floral scent of it. I’ve also been carrying around Gwen Stefani’s Harajuku Lovers Baby in my purse. LOVE the “fresh” smell it has.

Sonja February 12, 2009 at 1:11 pm

❤ Gail, sound like we have pretty similar taste. I adore green fragrances as well and can’t get enough of Petite Cherie. I’ve never heard of Laughter, but what a great name! And I agree that fragrance should make you feel good. Absolutely.
❤ Sandra, that is peculiar about the Rock and Rose. Perhaps they didn’t market it well. Hmmm. Gonna have to check that out as well as the Santa Maria Novella. That sounds quite intriguing.
❤ Alixrose, how lucky for you! I worked at a department store in high school and was constantly sniffing my way around the cosmetics department and buying up all the seasonal sets with fun bonuses. I love that they came out with Coco Mademoiselle. I adored Coco but it was just too strong. Mademoiselle is such a lovely take on a wonderful classic.
❤ Jasmine - Fashiongrail, I totally missed the Bobbi Brown has a fragrance. It sounds wonderful. And aren’t those Harajuku fragrances adorable? Such a smart idea!

gail February 12, 2009 at 6:33 pm

Hi Sonja,
Have you been to Space NK at Bloomies? Its fairly new, but you can check out the Laughter there. Neiman Marcus carried it at one time, but stopped years ago. I agree with you on Coco vs. Madmoiselle!

Sonja February 12, 2009 at 10:24 pm

❤ Gail, I didn’t realize that’s where Space NK is. I’m gonna have to get over to Bloomies pronto. I’m so happy that many companies have come out with lighter versions of their classics. I wonder why the stronger versions were so popular before but women, in general, want lighter versions now. Have our noses become more sensitive? There are even lighter versions of White Linen now – a fragrance that was once considered light in comparison to most.

MY Fashion Frenzy February 15, 2009 at 6:45 pm

wish i could spray on perfume. but can’t. makes me have sneeze attacks. i have to stick with oils and lotions :(

Sonja February 15, 2009 at 7:38 pm

❤ MY Fashion Frenzy, I hear ya! There are some perfumes that totally send me into a sneezing fit, or worse yet, the people around me. I generally opt for either a lighter perfume/EDT or opt for the lotions instead.

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