In a major goodby kiss blowing at an age-old tradition which dictates that a woman ought to be married to her perfume, for life, fashion designer Oscar de la Renta says that those times are over. In fact, more than that de la Renta thinks that it is easier today to shift perfume than fashion style. Hence for him the creation of a collection of 6 perfumes called Essential Luxuries, which were all composed by perfumer Calice Becker of Givaudan.
“We don’t change the way we look on a daily basis, but we may want to change the way we smell, [...] “A woman now wants to represent herself in many different ways, at different times. There is a world that is wide open to women, with a lot of choices. I no longer think a woman is married to one fragrance.”...
Where we can follow him is that once upon a time, women and men of certain means would much more commonly change their clothes several times a day, in order to fit the occasion. We see this type of habit expressed today much more with perfume. While some people still think that a signature perfume is highly desirable, it has become rarer and rarer to encounter enduring sillages. The phrase "perfume wardrobe" has really come to mean that, with the twist that it is now more and more approached with the mentality of one belonging to the leisure society of yore. Yes, you can wear five different perfumes in a day in 2012 just like you used to slip on fresh clothes.
The Essential Luxuries library is about autobiography and here "essential luxury" means something sentimental as the 6 fragrances reference Oscar de la Renta's most treasured people, places and still, things. But we know that things can and often hold sentimental value.
Santo Domingo is about the fashion designer's birthplace, the Dominican Republic. It features notes of citruses, sweet and spicy mandarin, coriander, patchouli and tobacco.
Granada refers to the gardens of the Alhambra, which hold special meaning for the couturier since it is there that he proposed to his wife after the gates had been closed. The place is also present through the tile motif that appears on the brand's fragrances. Notes for this "romantic citrus floral" are bigarade, bergamot, jasmine, orange and rose.
Oriental Lace is defined as a "dark Oriental". It is an allusion to his ready-to-wear collection. It has notes of hoya carnosa, "a chocolate-scented vine which de la Renta grows in his Punta Cana home", as well as honey, bitter almond, dark cacao, clove and patchouli notes.
Mi Corazon is an affectionate homage to his daughter Eliza and their common love of ylang-ylang. Notes are ylang-ylang, tuberose and peach.
Sargasso is a marine scent "named for the deep blue-green sea surrounding the beach of the designer’s Punta Cana home" with notes of juniper, lemon and cucumber. The designer said that it could form the basis of the scent of a skin care line in the future.
"Each scent will retail for $150 for 3.4-oz. bottles. All are eaux de parfum except Sargasso, which is an eau de cologne. The scents, which will launch on Sept. 6 at Fashion’s Night Out, will be exclusive to Saks Fifth Avenue’s Fifth Avenue flagship, saks.com, Oscar de la Renta boutiques and oscardelarenta.com to start."
Via WWD; picture via press release