Earlier this year, I started a series called The Perfume Diaries, which was my way to attempting to write about fragrance a bit differently. It’s hard to write about fragrance sometimes without it feeling a bit dry and disconnected. I’m technically proficient at my job as a beauty editor, so I can tell you what the notes are, how the fragrance was constructed, and what the top, heart, and base notes are. That gives you an idea of how the fragrance would smell. All of us respond to certain ingredients more than others. The challenge for me is to explain how the fragrance should make you feel.
Jimmy Choo has a new fragrance, ILLICIT, a gorgeous “floriental” (floral + oriental; it’s an industry buzzword) that’s designed with the spirit of their brand in mind. It’s described as a woman who is “alluring, hypnotic and lives her life to the full.” Designed by perfumer Anne Flipo, it opens with a spicy combination of ginger and bitter orange, blossoms to a heart of rose and jasmine, then dries down to a gorgeous honey-amber base with a touch of sandalwood. The first whiff is like a pop of champagne, then it dries down to a warm, sensual, feminine scent that beckons someone closer.
Here’s a quick story of someone I think would wear it.
11:50 pm, December 31st. There are exactly ten minutes to midnight. Ten minutes.
There’s so much pressure on those ten minutes, Callie thought to herself.
She took a quick accounting of the situation. She was in New York, the most exciting city in the world. The ink freshly dry on her divorce papers a week earlier, her friends had asked her what she’d been dying to do the entire time she was married to James.
James, as boring as beige wallpaper, who’d never wanted to try anything new in bed, who belittled her passions, wanted her to stay small. Stay beige. Like wallpaper.
She’d told them she wanted to come to this brilliant place, to feel alive and sexy again. She wanted to wear something sparkling, kiss a gorgeous man, and start all over again. Next thing she knew, she was in the hottest nightclub in The City That Never Sleeps after a whirlwind day of blowouts, shopping, giggling, and dizzying shopping. Which is how she found herself in this exact moment, pressed into the velvet banquet of the VIP section with other beautiful celebrants, in the most alluring dress she’d ever worn. The night was dizzying, the noise deafening, and the countdown was starting shortly. She’d been shell-shocked by it all, retreating for a few moments away from the crowd to take stock of the situation.
Because in addition to the pressure to celebrate, there was the heart-racing appearance of Giles. He’d accompanied her friends with his friends and now they were all the kinds of friends that shared a VIP section with Very Sexy People, the kinds of “friends” who might actually go back to their hotel rooms together later. He’d flirted with Callie aggressively, and she hadn’t been sure how to act. Callie had lived in beige for years with someone who thought she should dress appropriately all all times, and here she was in the company of an exciting, dark, tall man whose very scent made her cross her legs with excitement. Giles was British, impossibly charming, worldly, and very un-beige.
Five minutes. Five minutes left.
Callie thought of every year she’d spent living in Beige Land. She thought of the all-white house where she’d danced wildly when James was out of the house, dreaming of a life that was bigger and more colorful, carefully arranging things so he wouldn’t complain when he came home. This was her chance. Step up. Seize the moment.
As her friends beckoned her to join them, she looked to Giles with a sensation she began to realize was utter, blatant desire. He looked back at her from the balcony with other revelers, grinning.
It’s now or never, Callie. Three minutes.
Callie rose to her feet, and kicked off her shoes. Stepping onto the velvet seating, feeling the soft crush between her toes, she rose to the top of the table, shimming her sparkles down over her hips to the rousing cheer of her friends. She danced as wildly as she’d ever danced in private, now for the world to see. Hips writhing, her past melted away in a blur of color, in a daze of happiness. She was free of beige. Everything from this moment and beyond? Color.
As the clock counted down to midnight, she felt Giles behind her and sank backwards into his arms, kissing him deeply, drinking in this strange new lover. She felt alive. Everything felt so odd, intensely sensual, and breathtakingly new again.
As he drank in the scent at her neck, she knew the night would be better than anything she’d ever known. Her body and soul stirring, everything felt so right, a little dangerous…and incredibly, deliciously illicit.
More. She definitely wanted more.
This post was created in partnership with Interparfum Luxury Brands. All opinions expressed within are strictly my own.