Musings on the culture of keeping up appearances

All the Rage

Category: Fragrance

Fashion News: Lady Gaga goes Lady Godiva -- sort of

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga appeared in Hong Kong -- part of her "Born This Way" tour -- in a long dress made of purple hair on Saturday. Compared with some other get-ups she's worn -- like the famous meat dress -- this doesn't look too bad. It kind of reminded me of another Lady who went our wearing hair -- though in Lady Godiva's case it was hair and nothing else. [Catwalk Queen]

Azealia Banks tweeted that she is to perform at the Met Gala, which she is attending as designer Alexander Wang's celebrity date. But then the tweet mysteriously disappeared, leaving folks wondering, will she or won't she perform? [N.Y. Post]

The Fragrance Foundation is to give this year's FiFi Awards (kind of like the Oscars for perfume) in ceremonies May 21 in New York. The five finalists in the "Women's Luxe" category include a couple of celebrity names among the design houses. The five are: Beyoncé Pulse, Coty Inc.; Bottega Veneta, Coty Prestige; Prada Candy Eau de Parfum Spray, PUIG USA; Someday By Justin Bieber, Give Back Brands; and Tom Ford Violet Blonde, Tom Ford Beauty. Jane Lynch is scheduled to emcee the event. [FiFi Awards]

Olivia Palermo is featured in May's Vogue Italia. [Vogue Italia]

Amber Rose is the subject of the latest cover story on, the "instantly shoppable" fashion website. Since she's photographed wearing clothes from Emporio Armani, Michael Kors and Roland Mouret, they are looks a normal, noncelebrity person might want to wear. []

Designer and “Fashion Star” mentor John Varvatos won the 2012 Spirit of Design Award at the Philadelphia University Fashion Show on Saturday. [WWD] (subscription required)

Tracy Reese's seven-piece capsule collection for Anthropologie is for "girly girls." [Racked]


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-- Susan Denley

Photo: Lady Gaga arrives at a hotel in Hong Kong on Saturday wearing a dress made of purple hair. Credit: Kin Cheung / Associated Press

Fashion News: Is Kim Kardashian a doll, or what?

British beauty retailer got its shoppers to vote on best-female-celebrity-assets -- and by that I mean hair, lips, nose, cheekbones and such -- and came up with a composite of the ultimate beautiful celebrity. Adding up the winning parts (from Keira Knightley, the Duchess of Cambridge, Angelina Jolie, Megan Fox and more) the resulting image looks just like Kim Kardashian. [Telegraph]

And, interestingly, Kim and her sisters Khloe and Kourtney might be made into Barbie dolls, or at least pals of Barbie sometime soon. [UsWeekly]

Demi Moore is on the cover of the February issue of Harper's Bazaar, in a plunging Tom Ford dress, next to the words "Love & Life: Demi Moore." But reportedly the accompanying article makes no mention of Ashton Kutcher or the divorce. [The Cut]

Alexa Chung told Jimmy Fallon that her new fashion-centered show, "24 Hour Catwalk," which debuts next week, is "incredibly mean." Sounds like a must-see. [Telegraph]

Some are saying "Jersey Shore's" Season 5 premiere contained the worst style moments ever. No kidding. [New York Daily News]

JWOWW -- that would be Jenni Farley of "Jersey Shore" -- has introduced her new fragrance, called, of course, JWOWW by Jenni Farley. It's described in a press release as having top notes of Anjou pear, sparkling citron, fresh air; middle notes of rose petals, geranium blossom, sheer muguet; and bottom notes of sandalwood, deep musk and white moss. It's available at Kmart and on in a gift set including a moisturizer for $29.99.

More important in the fragrance world, however, is news that Louis Vuitton confirms it is soon to do its own dabbling in perfume and has hired a master perfumer. [WWD] (Subscription required.)

Drew Barrymore is sporting a new radiant-cut diamond weighing in at just under 4 carats and designed by Graff Diamonds. It's from new fiancé Will Kopelman, an art consultant. [People]

Mila Kunis is the new face of Miss Dior handbags. [Los Angeles Times]

Whoever bids on the collection of artifacts from the Titanic that is scheduled to be auctioned off April 11 will find a sampling of early 20th century fashion among the goods. Earrings, perfume bottles, spectacles and a man's vest with all the buttons preserved are among the items. [Los Angeles Times]


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Frugal Fashion: Denver Broncos' Tim Tebow in check

--Susan Denley

Photo: Kim Kardashian, the ultimate celebrity. Credit: Lisa Maree Williams / Getty Images

Old Spice or Axe? It's time to buy men's fragrance gifts

ScentIt seems that this is the season to buy fragrance gifts. Writer Adam Tschorn checked in with the market research firm NPD Group and found that one-quarter of all annual sales of prestige fragrances take place the two weeks before Christmas. "Prestige" fragrances are those sold at department stores or trendy boutiques. But by inference, the Old Spice my north-of-60 brother-in-law prefers and the Axe for the twentysomething man on my list probably sell like crazy this time of year too.

Thinking about the sales got me thinking about the differences in the scents. Why does my older brother-in-law like Old Spice but won't go near Axe? Why is it exactly the opposite with the twentysomething?  Why does my spouse refuse to wear anything but Tiffany for Men, with its woody essence and spice notes?

Fortunately, Tschorn sheds light on some of this in his story in this Sunday's Image section, as he tried to answer the question, "What should a man smell like?" And why? What prompts fragrance choices for men?

I read the story and had new insight into the men in my life. Brother-in-law likes Old Spice because it reminds him of happy times in the past; Twentysomething is swayed by Axe's sexy, low-brow advertising campaign; and Spouse instinctively knows that woodsy-spicy is going to appeal to me more than, say, the odor of barbecue.  

Most women don't like the latter, researchers say. And indeed, much as I like barbecue, I think more of that woodsy-spicy stuff from Tiffany is going to end up in Spouse's Christmas stocking.

--Susan Denley

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Photo: "If a guy is putting on the amount of fragrance he thinks he should be putting on, it's probably too much," says Dr. Alan R. Hirsch, director of the Smell & taste Treatment and Research Foundation. Credit: Getty Images/ PhotoAlto

Elie Saab’s elegant new fragrance

Lebanese couturier Elie Saab has been creating ethereal gowns and memorable dresses for his devoted clientele (he sells more couture gowns than any other couture house) as well as Hollywood celebrities for the Halleberrypast 25 years. Who can forget the sheer-bodiced, burgundy gown with floral appliqué worn by Halle Berry in 2002 when she accepted her lead actress Oscar? Or more recently, the whisper-soft, lilac lace dress Mila Kunis wore to this year’s Oscars?

The Beirut-based designer is adding a beauty component to his couture house with his first fragrance, called simply Elie Saab Le Parfum (out in September). The scent was created by famed perfumer Francis Kurkdjian, whose other notable creations include Jean-Paul Gaultier’s Le Male, Narciso Rodriguez For Her as well as his eponymous collection of men’s and women’s fragrances, candles and home scents.

For Saab’s first scent, Kurkdjian said that he knew it was something he had to get absolutely right. “I had an intuition that it would change something within the fragrance market, or maybe something in my career,” said Kurkdjian, sitting in light-filled suite at the Sunset Tower Hotel. “This scent sums up what I think about femininity. It’s beautiful, approachable and easy to understand.”

With strong input from Saab, who was opposed to scents such as vanilla and heavy and cloying wood notes being used in the perfume, Kurkdjian set out to create something inspired by the lightness of the fabrics and fluidity found in Saab’s gowns. “The scent should leave a light trail, just like the trail of a gown,” Kurkdjian said. Milakunis

Saab’s new scent smells primarily of orange blossom and  jasmine, while patchouli and cedar wood give the fragrance a nice depth, without getting too heavy. “There’s a duality between the orange blossom and wood that mixes femininity with strength. It was a challenge to find the twist. It’s very simple, but very sophisticated.

Another challenge came in the form of the perfume’s color, which was customized to echo the delicate pastels Saab uses in his collection. The more rich and complex a fragrance is, the darker in color it will become. Kurkdjian extracted the color from the perfume without compromising the scent and then carefully added  a hint of color back into the formula to achieve the right shade of rosy blush.

But regardless of the pressure and challenges a perfumer can face when creating a signature scent for a well-known designer, Kurkdjian said that making a scent for someone else is far easier than doing his own line.

“It’s much easier to deliver someone else’s vision,” he said. “The brand is already there. It’s like being an actor and the lighting and set is all ready. You’re given the script and you have to read your lines and deliver.” Speaking of acting, the Paris-based perfumer spends ample time in Los Angeles, where he said the people are nice and the lifestyle is easy. When asked if he ever finds inspiration in the flowers and landscape of L.A., Kurkdjian said he’s more inspired by the vibrations of people rather than literal smells. “I like L.A. I love the ocean and long stretches of beach, the way the air smells.... it reminds me of France.”


Smell Test: Cartier's Baiser Vole

Christina Aguilera launches a super sweet new scent

Boxer Manny Pacquiao launches a men's fragrance

 -- Melissa Magsaysay


Top: Elie Saab Le Parfum / Elie Saab

Left:  Actress Halle Berry waves as she arrives at the 74th  Academy Awards at Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, March 24, 2002. Lucy Nicholson /AFP/ Getty Images

Right: Actress Mila Kunis at the 83rd Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles on Feb. 27, 2011.  Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times

Fashion Report: Selena Gomez may follow in Justin Bieber's fragrance footsteps

Rihanna was spotted walking down a New York Street this week, beating the heat by wearing an oversized shirt -- with no pants. You might expect to see such a look at the beach, or on Lady Gaga just about anywhere. [People]

Aselena Justin Bieber's new perfume broke sales records for a fragrance launch -- three weeks after he introduced it at Macy's New York, "Someday" has racked up more than $3 million in sales. Now his girlfriend, Selena Gomez, is said to be teaming with licensing firm Adrenalina to work on her own fragrance brand. [Telegraph]

Uniqlo, which is ending its relationship with Jil Sander, plans to collaborate next with Jun Takahashi. The first fruits of the new deal are set to hit stores next spring. [WWD]

High-end swimwear brand Shay Todd has opened on Los Angeles' Melrose Avenue. The shop boasts a spa and tea garden along with swimsuits and tunics. [Mondette]

Dylan Lauren is one lucky woman. Her father is Ralph Lauren, so when she married recently, her gown was a fairy-tale creation from dear old Dad.The handmade, figure-hugging dress was a mix of duchesse satin, tulle, silk and georgette, with a voluminous train. [Telegraph]

Former Vogue Paris editor Carine Roitfeld has teamed with star photographer Mario Testino to style the September issue of V Magazine. She'll reportedly dedicate a whopping 72 pages to screen legend Elizabeth Taylor. [Telegraph]

Award-winning designers Prabal Gurung and Joseph Altuzarra have created capsule jewelry collections for Atelier Swarovski. But you have to go to Manhattan to buy them. They'll only be offered there, at the Swarovski Crystallized shop, starting July 27. [Racked] 

Anna Wintour and other Vogue editors plan to attend Tokyo's Fashion's Night Out, which is scheduled for Nov. 4 -- almost two months after New York's FNO on Sept. 8. [WWD]


Justin Bieber breaks sales records 

Rihanna models for Armani

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-- Susan Denley

Photo: Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez at the 2011 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles on July 13. Credit: Christopher Polk / Getty Images / ESPN

Your Morning Fashion and Beauty Report: A weekend for dream weddings, thanks to Kate Moss, Jamie Hince and Monaco's Prince Albert

This is going to be a weekend for weddings: Supermodel Kate Moss and rocker Jamie Hince of the Kills plan to marry at her home in the Cotswolds, and it will be interesting to see if any pictures leak out before a spread on the event is published in Vogue's September issue, under exclusive contract. We do know that the fallen-from-grace John Galliano designed Moss' gown, and that she plans to wear Louboutins. And we also know that the couple wore blue -- he a teal jacket, she a romantic vintage aquamarine dress -- to their rehearsal dinner Thursday night. [Telegraph]  

Acharlene Meanwhile in Monaco, Prince Albert is to wed former South African Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock in a multiple-day extravaganza involving a civil ceremony Friday, a religious ceremony Saturday, a performance by the Eagles, a light show and fireworks -- all estimated to cost upward of $65 million. The guest list is eclectic, including Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, Desmond Tutu, Nicolas Sarkozy, King Gustav of Sweden, Naomi Campbell and Karl Lagerfeld. There is to be a wedding gown by Giorgio Armani and dinner for 500 prepared by Alain Ducasse. It's the most exciting event in Monaco since Albert's father, Prince Rainier, married Grace Kelly in 1956. And it appears it's going forward, despite lots of rumors that the bride may be having second thoughts about the marriage.  [People]

"L.A. scares the crap out of me." So says Emma Watson in an interview with British Harper's Bazaar, whose August cover she graces. "I feel if I have to work out four hours a day, and count the calories of everything I put in my mouth, and have Botox at 22, and obsess about how I look the whole time, I will go mad, I will absolutely lose it." Gosh, Emma, L.A. really isn't all that bad!  [Telegraph]

Los Angeles interior designer Kelly Weartsler is opening up a new boutique in August, at the corner of Melrose and Croft Avenue, not far from Melrose Place. It's a spacious corner location and likely will house items for the home and her ready-to-wear collection. [Mondette] 

Nathan Clark, inventor of Clark's Desert Boot, has died at age 94. Ten million pairs of the boot have been sold since it was introduced in 1949. [WWD]   

Coty Prestige is launching its newest Jil Sander scent, Eve, described as a fruity chypre oriental with notes of grapefruit and red currant. [WWD] (Subscription required.) 

Three Canadian companies have been ordered to pay about $2.5 million to Louis Vuitton and Burberry for selling knockoffs of their handbags. [WWD] (Subscription required.)

And counterfeit "designer" bags seem to be proliferating, with very, very good fakes fooling women who've spent hundreds of dollars thinking they were getting the real deal. [The Cut]

-- Susan Denley

Photo: Monaco's Prince Albert and fiancee Charlene Wittstock arrive at that other recent royal wedding, that of Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton in April. Credit: Associated Press


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Smell Test: Cartier’s Baiser Volé

Cartier’s newest women’s fragrance, Baiser Volé, has all the alluring components that make me want to pick up a perfume and smell it, regardless if I am battling terrible allergies-bordering-on-a-sinus-infection. The bottle is so classic and elegant and the silver top flips up like an old Zippo lighter, the “juice” or perfume is a pretty pale blush color and the name translates to “stolen kiss,” which kind of makes me swoon and definitely eager to spray.

The scent is devoted to all things lily. The top note captures the greenness of the lily leaves, the middle is the floral of the petals and the base is the pistil, which is powdery and delicate. This isn’t like any lily scent I’ve ever smelled, which are generally really light and sweet or heavy, cloying and almost syrupy. Baiser Volé is a powdery lily that dries to take on a little bit of spice in the dry down, before becoming too old lady. And the best part is that unlike a lot of strong floral scents, this one doesn’t give me a headache, even despite my already compromised sinuses.

Cartier Baiser Volé is available in 3 sizes: 1 fl oz $75, 1.6 fl oz $100 and 3.3 fl oz $145, beginning July 1 at Nordstrom stores and

-- Melissa Magsaysay


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Photo: Cartier Baiser Volé/Cartier

Christina Aguilera launches a super sweet new scent


CA Royal Desire Flacon
“The Voice” coach and seasoned singer Christina Aguilera may have said goodbye to two of her team members on last night’s episode of the singing competition, but the platinum blond diva is all smiles and seductress when it comes to the launch of her third fragrance – a regal sounding scent called Royal Desire.

The women’s perfume will launch in early July, exclusively at Kohl’s stores, where Aguilera already has two other scents, her Christina Aguilera signature scent and Christina Aguilera By Night, both of which launched at the same time in November 2010 surrounding her role in “Burlesque.”

Like her two previous perfumes, Royal Desire is classified as a fruity Oriental scent with notes like yuzu and lily, but the real standout element here is a top note of sugary sweet marshmallow that’s very much heightened by honeysuckle and black currant.  The result borders on cavity inducing, but the musk and sandalwood in the base notes kicks in, in the dry down and evens everything out. But regardless, this is for the woman who likes a super girly, ultra sweet scent similar to the light body splashes at Victoria’s Secret – not bad for someone searching for a summery fragrance.

The tall pink box with a brown bow is supposed to represent a gift and be regal in design, according to press material. And Aguilera’s concept for the scent was meant to capture sensuality and luxury to leave the user feeling like a queen.  The bottle resembles the curves of a woman’s body with a voluptuous base, while her other scents have a voluptuous top. Not unlike the bronzed singer/TV vocal coach herself who’s been wearing everything from sassy hot pants to jewel-toned bandage dresses on “The Voice”.

Royal Desire will be available in early July and exclusive to Kohl's stores. $37 for a 30 ml bottle, $47 for a 50 ml bottle.


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Melissa Magsaysay


[UPDATED] Your Morning Fashion and Beauty Report: Justin Bieber's new perfume bottle looks familiar; Duchess of Cambridge causes (another) fashion frenzy


In Britain, the Duchess of Cambridge has created a frenzy for High Street retailers such as Reiss. Just a couple of days after the duchess wore the brand's body-hugging, nude-colored "Shola" shift dress to meet the Obamas, the style went flying off the racks and sold out. Even knockoff versions in British stores are going quickly, indicating that the Shola likely will be seen everywhere this summer. [Daily Telegraph]

Pop star Lily Allen must have been bitten by the fashion bug while posing as the face of Chanel. She has a vintage store in London called Lucy in Disguise, and she's launched a vintage-inspired clothing line by the same name. Think '70s-style jumpsuits, '30s-inspired tea dresses and frilly and full '50s-style skirts. [Vogue UK]

LRG co-founder Jonas Bevacqua was found dead on Monday in his Laguna Beach home. The Irvine-based clothing label fused a West Coast skate lifestyle with streetwear and hip-hop sensibilities, creating a new and influential genre that struck a chord with music and sports stars. [Los Angeles Times] [Updated June 8 at 11:13 a.m. This item originally incorrectly said Bevacqua was found in Laguna Hills.]

Jessica Biel spills her beauty secrets, including the power of Dove soap and the use of a gray eyebrow pencil to fill in her brows. The Revlon spokeswoman is promoting the cosmetics brand's new line of eyelash-growing makeup, called Grow Luscious. [Bella Sugar]

Justin Bieber just unveiled his first women's perfume, called Someday, and the rose-shaped top looks strikingly similar to the bottle for Marc Jacobs' Lola. Apparently, both have fruity floral notes too, but Jacobs isn't phased. Let's see what he thinks when thousands of screaming teens are clamoring for the Bieber bottle. [Style List]

Stretch out that long-weekend tan with a bevy of golden bronzers that add a hint of shimmer to the skin. []

The street-style factor at the Sasquatch music festival in Washington state may have Coachella beat. Concert-goers were slightly more rugged and certainly inspired by the indie vibe of the Pacific Northwest. []



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Boxer Manny Pacquiao launches a men's fragrance

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Photo: The Duchess of Cambridge, wearing the Reiss "Shola" dress, meets First Lady Michelle Obama. Credit: Associated Press

Your Morning Fashion and Beauty Report: Victoria's Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley tops Maxim's 100 hottest women list

Arosie Maxim released its annual list of the world’s 100 hottest women. Coming in at No. 1 is Victoria’s Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, left, who is also starring in "Transformers: Dark of the Moon." The former Kate Middleton came in at 26, ahead of Sofia Vergara at 29 -- huh? I mean, Kate's pretty but Sofia is a bombshell. Jennifer Lopez, recently named People magazine's most beautiful in the world, didn't make the list. Nor did fashion "it" girl Blake Lively -- though her "Gossip Girl" cast mate Leighton Meester did, at No. 16. Among others on the list are All the Rage regulars Kim Kardashian, Mila Kunis, Emma Watson, Katy Perry, Lindsay Lohan, Christina Hendricks and January Jones. [Entertainment Weekly]

Christian Dior's new men's scent Leather Oud joins a host of other fragrances touting the ingredient: Oud Wood, Oud & Bergamot, Secret Oudh, Crystal Oud. So what is oud? It's a resinous heartwood that forms in some trees when they are infected by mold. And it is often burned or used for scent in parts of the Middle East. [Telegraph]

Speaking of scents, the one worn by Catherine Duchess of Cambridge (aka Kate Middleton) on her wedding day has already sold out worldwide. But those who want to smell like a future queen can preorder from the next batch at  The fragrance, White Gardenia Petals by Illuminum, contains notes of coconut, muguet (otherwise known as lily of the valley), ylang ylang, amber wood and jasmine, and retails for $140. [People] 

Bally marks its 160th anniversary this year with a capsule collection, the launch of an online site in China and new brick-and-mortar stores.  [WWD] (Subscription required.) 

Next up for Target? A capsule collaboration with Missoni, scheduled to be in stores Sept. 13 through Oct. 22. [Vogue]

Missoni's been busy collaborating. Emili Vesilind told All the Rage readers earlier this week about the Italian atelier's baby buggy accessories for Bugaboo. [Los Angeles Times]

Marie Osmond had gotten remarried -- to her first husband Stephen Craig. And she wore the same wedding gown as she did at their original nuptials in 1982. Recycle a husband, recycle a dress. [People] 

For Mother's Day, Bloomingdale's on Lexington in NYC has decked its windows with photos of fashion designers' moms. One, for instance, shows Michael Kors as a kid with his mother Joan. [WWD]  

Eva Mendes and Naomi Watts are new "faces" of Pantene -- or maybe we should say "manes," since it is their lovely locks the hair care brand will be showing off.  [People] 

U.K.-based retailer Superdry plans to roll out stores in the United States. [WWD] (Subscription required.)

 -- Susan Denley

Photo: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley at CinemaCon in April. Credit: Steve Marcus / Reuters 


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