Fragrances named after cities is not exactly a new idea, but it’s not an overused one either. Paris, the City of Lights has long inspired perfume – think 24, Faubourg from Hermès and the Yves Saint Laurent tribute, YSL Paris. But last month, the concept took on a new ruffle with news that the city of Beverly Hills will market three scents capturing its unique well-healed lifestyle to boost the city’s own bottom line.
The only fragrances officially endorsed by the City of Beverly Hills, and the only perfumes marketed by a city itself, the trio launches officially on December 30.
The fragrance project was conceived by Beverly Hills Mayor Jimmy Delshad, who notes that other businesses have profited from the name, so why not the city itself.
The three scents are designed to “evoke what life is like for the Beverly Hills woman,” said Geoffrey Thomson, managing director of JT Brands, the company partnering with Beverly Hills to bring the scents to market.
Officially unveiled at a party held last month at the Greystone Mansion, located, where else, but in Beverly Hills, the three scents incorporate native flowers and plants such as California wild rose, peony, white cedar and blackberry.
Each scent will be priced at $120, available at department stores and BHBeauty.net.
As you might recall, this is not the first time Beverly Hills appeared in the name of a fragrance. Giorgio Beverly Hills was a HUGE hit in the 80s epitomizing big statement fragrances with long lasting trails. More recently was the launch of the Beverly Hills 90210 fragrance, now available at discounters.
The City That Never Sleeps
Fast paced, multicultural and dynamic, New York City is home to its own city-centric fragrance brand, Bond No 9, named for the address of the company’s Manhattan headquarters. Now offering nearly 45 unique scents, Bond No 9’s cadre draws inspiration from individual neighborhoods in New York City such as Central Park, Wall Street, and Noho. The latest scent – new this month – is called Washington Square, named for the historic public space inspired by our first president’s spirit of rebelliousness, and chronicled by novelist Henry James in his time-honored book of the same name.
The launch of Bond No. 9 Washington Square corresponds with the debut this month of the park’s reopening after an involved refurbishment. The fragrance itself pairs old-fashioned purple rose with tarragon, vetiver and an unexpected leather accord, resulting in an “assertively dissident scent” with female-male crossover appeal. It’s housed in Bond No 9’s signature star flacon detailed with a photo-negative image of Washington Square’s landmark arch. The 1.7 oz size is available at www.bondno9.com for $150.
The City of Lights
By all accounts the original inspiration for the fragrance/city connection, Paris has many fragrance tributes. Designer Yves Saint Laurent launched the now classic YSL Paris in 1983 in homage to the glamour and allure of the city he loved so well. The signature note is the aroma of a rose in full bloom, which is blended with violet, bergamot, iris, vetiver and vanilla. Still sold worldwide, the YSL Paris 1.6-oz. eau de parfume spray is priced at $77 on www.yslbeautyus.com.
Hermès introduced 24, Faubourg in 1995, and named it after the address of its flagship boutique located along the designer laden rue du Faubourg St. Honoré in Paris. One of my favorites, 24, Faubourg is a bright floral, amber scent formulated to evoke a sun-drenched voyage to Mediterranean countries. It’s available in a 3.3-oz eau de toilette spray for $140 at www.hermes.com.
Just a short walk from 24, Faubourg, Paris’ famed Avenue de Champs-Elysées inspired Guerlain to create a scent of the same name. The tree-lined avenue is the home of the venerable Guerlain boutique. Celebrating the vibrant spirit of Paris, Champs-Elysées is a sparkling floral enhanced by the mimosa blossom, reportedly never before fully contained in a scent. It’s available as a 1.7-oz. eau de toilette spray for $70 at www.Sephora.com.
On the Road
City destinations anchor two travel-inspired fragrance collections brought forth by headlining gal pal, Paris Hilton, and Guerlain. Fascinating fans around the globe with her jet-set lifestyle, Paris Hilton will introduce her Passport collection in Spring 2011. The scents will transport wearers to three of Ms. Hilton’s favorite destinations – Paris, South Beach and Tokyo. Priced around $45.00 for each 3.4 oz eau de toilette, the fragrances will be available at department stores near and far.
The Guerlain Voyage Collection, launched in 2009, presents a travel diary from Paris to Moscow, New York and Tokyo. The hustle bustle of the newly prosperous Moscow is captured in the Paris-Moscow scent with musk, fruit and wood notes. Paris-New York interprets the city of countless styles and possibilities with a woody oriental fragrance. And Paris-Tokyo reflects the subtle intricacy of the Land of the Rising Sun with a green, floral composition. Each member of the Voyage Collection is available as an eau de toilette for $225 at the 18 Guerlain Boutiques in the U.S.