Sexy & Maternal Perfumes for Mother's Day 2013 {Perfume List}



This year, we are choosing a Sensual, Sexy Mother theme for inspiration, to propose a list of perfumes which are both maternal and sensual for Mother's Day. This is a great way to remind yourself olfactorily that you do not need to choose between either of the two states of mind but can find them combined in fragrance form. Perfumers have thought about it in some cases where an explicit Mother-Child relationship has been studied for illustration in a fragrance composition, or more indirectly inspired the creation of a perfume as in the famous case of Arpège de Lanvin; Jeanne Lanvin was a passionately dedicated parent and this led to the foundation of her couture house as well as the creation of her first perfume, the celebrated Arpège, a descendant of Chanel No.5 but with a personality of its own...

The ages-old stereotype of the dual relationship between the mother figure and the peripatetician figure can in this manner be overcome by a civilized object, perfume, as underlined previously in our review of Penhaligon's Ellenisia.



The lanvin Arpège minaudière created in 2012 and inspired by the iconic flacon. 

{Arpège by Lanvin} (Arpeggio) born in 1927 is a historic landmark in the world of perfumes and an early inspiration in the tradition of mother-and-child perfumes. Jeanne Lanvin was a devoted, loving mother to her daughter Marguerite di Pietro, who would become known also as Marie-Blanche de Polignac, and initially would design and sew clothes for her that attracted the attention of new clientèle. The foundations of the fashion house of Lanvin were therefore established on children's fashion. Arpège was named by her daughter, a musician, who thought that the perfume reminded her of an arpeggio. The black glass flacon by Albert Armand Rateau bears the mother-and-child logo of the house designed by Paul Iribe.

The composition itself is a floral aldehyde, a descendant of Chanel No.5 only richer, more Baroque, and more golden, or as Robert Calkin stresses, with more florals and animalic ingredients at the same time than its ancestor. It is one of the lushest and most elegant compositions that are. Its sensual aspect is undeniable yet this natural facet is sublimated by its opulence. A personal twist I add is buy the eau de toilette concentration which has more of a golden ball and paradisiacal garden strewn with flowers quality and let it age for 6 months. 

Fragrance notes: aldehydes, bergamot, neroli / Bulgarian rose, tuberose, jasmine, ylang ylang / Florentine iris, vetiver, amber, patchouli, vanilla.


{Nocturnes de Caron} (1981)

The depth of the sandalwood note - a traditional maternal note in perfumery due to its milky overtones and warmth, together with the sophisticated florals convey both the intimacy of the maternal feeling and the womanly sensuality of the person wearing it. A moving and tender sillage. Signed by perfumer Gérard Lefort.


 {L'Artisan Parfumeur Drôle de Rose} (Funny Rose) (1996)

Created by perfumer Olivia Giacobetti, this is a tender and sensual fragrance based around a powdery rose meant to evoke that mythical moment of representation of a mother in one's childhood: the time of the day when your mother is getting ready to go out for the evening. L'Artisan Parfumeur wanted this instant to be reflective of the scene of a child sitting on the edge of a bed, eating candy while watching her/his mother going through her beauty ritual. Cosmetic notes of face powder, rouge and lipstick scented with powdery rose and violet flll the room. She bends and kiss the child before leaving behind her a sillage which will become the Proustian encapsulation of this instant. 

Fragrance notes: rose, aniseed, orange blossom, white iris powder, violet, almond, honey, leather 


{Sonia Rykiel Woman} (2003)

A nostalgic, powdery feminine perfume of rose and violet with the added exotic twists of a date accord and an oudh note. Signed by perfumer Anne Flipo.

A spicy oriental with notes of violet, date, pink peppercorn, jasmine petals, solar flowers, Bulgarian rose, Indian black pepper, agarwood or oud, leathery base, amber, musks. 

{Penhaligon's Ellenisia} (2004)

Perfume review of Ellenisia by Penhaligon's


{Clarins Par Amour} (2005) (Out of Love) Signed by perfumer Raphaël Haury. A rosey, woody perfume with a distinctive signature. It was originally part of a mother and daughter duo with Par Amour Toujours ---> Discountinued or in limited distribution. You can check online and discount stores.

{Serge Lutens Louve} (2007)

Perfume review of Louve by Serge Lutens (She-Wolf)

{Humiecki & Graef Clemency} (2009)

Launch of Clemency by Humiecki & Graef

{Annick Goutal Mon Parfum Chéri par Camille} (2011)

Perfume review of Mon Parfum Chéri par Camille by Annick Goutal (My Darling Perfume by Camille)

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{Prada No.14 Rossetto} (2013)

Perfume review of No.14 Rossetto by Prada (Lipstick)


 Alternate Lists from past years

 14 Safe Fragrances To Offer On Mother's Day Or Any Other Day (2008)

 11 Efortlessly Chic Spring Perfumes

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2 Comments | Leave a comment

  1. It's nice to see the Rykiel get some attention. I love the date note, which is so little used in perfumes. It's a perfume that, if it were selling at $200/bottle, would have more fans, I think!

    pitbull friend
    • Ha, ha, that's a good point! Marketing can certainly play some magic tricks on the brain as it's been demonstrated by some studies showing the happiness it creates in us to spend extra money on a luxury item when it's actually the same as a more standardly priced product.

      Another perfume with a date note that I quite like is Germaine Monteil Royal Secret II. I think it can still be found at discounters.

      Chant Wagner

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