WE’LL ALWAYS HAVE PARIS

Just in time for Mother’s Day – and to anticipate WAG’s June garden issue – our area retailers are offering a bouquet of perfumes.

We’ll start with a favorite of mine that borders on obsession — Yves Saint Laurent’s Paris. Small wonder: “Perfumes: The Guide” (Viking), Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez’s idiosyncratic bible on fragrance, describes the intoxicating elixir as a “ rose composed of ionones, those wonderful materials that smell fruity, powdery and woody all at once….Buy it, but put it on at your peril.” Naturally, when I heard Saint Laurent has just introduced the limited edition Paris Premières Roses, I had to run over to Bloomie’s to get it. (Nordstrom sells it, too.) How to describe this deeper experience? If Paris is Joan Collins in Alexis Carrington Colby mode, Premières Roses is Joan Crawford in her heyday. Splash it on to feel at once feminine and empowered.

Another heady floral classic, and another fav, is Estée Lauder’s Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia. Neimie’s has been advertising a bottle whose cap is encrusted with greenish stones. But for several hundred dollars less, you can still spritz yourself with it and feel like the heroine of a romantic novel in a scented night garden with gardenias at her throat and amour on her mind.

Sensing an enthusiast, the ladies behind the fragrance counters at Bloomingdale’s as well as Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom at The Westchester in White Plains could not have been more helpful in their suggestions to pay tribute to the ultimate flower – Mom herself.

For delicate gardenia buffs, try the brand-new Flora by Gucci in Gracious Tuberose. Staying with the light fragrances, you might want to scent Lalique’s Fleur de Cristal, whose bottle is lightly etched with lilies of the valley.

Sentimentalists will no doubt want to consider the powdery Quelques Fleurs Royale, which adorned the late, deeply lamented Princess Diana. Modernist will want to sniff out Tom Ford’s edgy new Neroli Portofino. And last but certainly not least, there’s Valentina by Valentino, as alluring to the eye as it is to the nostrils.

Neimie’s will even wrap the fragrance – or any other gift you purchase in the store – and have it waiting at the table when you take Mom to the Zodiac for afternoon tea (3-5 p.m. on Mother’s Day, May 12).The tea is $46 (includes Champagne) or $35 per person. Reservations can be made by calling (914) 428-2000, ext. 2365 or emailing christina_salerni@neimanmarcus.com.

The fragrances range in price from $95 to $335. For more, visit bloomingdales.com,
nordstrom.com and neimanmarcus.com

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