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3 New Fragrances for Spring 2016

The latest perfumes from Hermès, Prada, and Ferragamo, tested.

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Spring is in the air, but it’s not alone. A fresh crop of luxury fragrances have debuted, and it seems trends are favouring unexpected sources of sweetness this season. From a gutsy rhubarb to almond-anise, and blackberries-and-cream, we review three new perfumes to consider adding to your collection.

Hermès – Eau de Rhubarbe Écarlate: Rhubarb has a long history. First used as a medicine in China in 2700 BCE, it wasn’t considered a food plant until the British popularized adding its scarlet stalks to desserts in 1778. Hermès Eau de Rhubarbe Écarlate draws more upon rhubarb’s character as a pie-filling than the interesting, puckering vegetal tang it packs when fresh and raw. At first spritz, one can detect a hint of citric candy-sourness before the scent settles into its sparkly and fruity self. A powerful middle note of stewed-sweet raspberries dominates, without a trace of greenness or the bitter quality of old stalks in the garden plot to temper its enthusiasm. An overall exuberant pinkness lingers for hours, perhaps overstaying its welcome.

Prada – Infusion d’Amande: Infusion d’Amande is one of three new editions to Prada’s Infusion collection, which debuted in 2007 with the line’s signature Infusion d’Iris, the distinctive unisex-floral base of which haunts every new iteration. Spring is generally associated with “fresh starts” and this fragrance captures that spirit of optimism and impeccability; it’s clean and soft, with a cheerful marzipan top note that’s not too sweet, but rather tempered with white musk and warm tonka bean. It’s not a “cookies in the oven”-type gourmand, rather, imagine a food blogger’s clean-scrubbed, white marble kitchen counter; amaretti prettily arranged on a light blue plate as if conjured from thin air. A touch of spicy anise rounds out the vision. Demure, with low silage, it’s an excellent perfume for the office or for mothers with scent-sensitive children—adorable, elegant, and quietly distinctive.

Ferragamo – Signorina Misteriosa: The third in Ferragamo’s Signorina franchise, Signorina Misteriosa’s ad campaign includes an evocative short story about an “unsmiling” beauty confidently striding through the streets of Florence in an “Oriental-style” black dress. Her presence incites wild blackberries to grow in the city streets—and indeed, sweet wild berries dominate this scent; heady and sun-warmed, paired with orange blossom and a creamy, vanilla panna-cotta heart. It’s a strong, sweet scent, and long-lasting, though its initial, almost cotton-candy blast matures into a smart, young sexiness that feels appropriate for a date or decadent party. Squat, black, and beribboned, the bottle looks like a merry window en route to collect a big inheritance—which suits the scent: beguilingly dissolute.


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March 31, 2016