Sunday, 15 April 2007


I get given fragrances left, right and centre and it will take me eons to work through them all. One notable favourite of mine at present is that of Venezuelan fashion designer Caroline Herrera’s 212 which was given to me by my sister some years ago. I have only now come round to using it regularly after first taking it to Delhi for a friend’s wedding in 2003, partly because the packaging appealed to me (I’m the type that packs one hour before leaving so I had no time to faff around with glass containers for a long haul flight).

When I last met my mum she commented how wonderful I smelled (hmmmmm) and now women at work are commenting how great I smell (even greater hmmmmmmmmmmm) so maybe there is something to it. In fact my mum loved it so much she recently got another 212 for me at Duty Free (gerrrr-rate, now I will get round to using that one in 2012).

The packaging is clever and literally ties in with the message the product wants to convey – sensuality and magnetism. It’s a smooth, solid, palm sized, silver burnished metallic cylinder with the logo in blue glass (that’s fun to shine a light into - heh) that’s unleashed by removing a magnetic cap with a sexy click – no need to flip a 19th century cap or any annoying 20th century unscrewing. I love it!

The fragrance seems quite overpowering at first with a citric tang of bergamot, mandarin and green leaf suffusing your olfactory nerve. But after this energetic introduction, the spicy cardamom, flower petals and pepper takes over sensually. The base note consists of sandalwood, vanilla, bois de gaiac, musk and amber that lingers as some sub-conscious seductive tug for well over an hour (well, I imagine it does…bwahahaha).

The website has the usual macromedia advertising pretentiousness overlain with catwalk sashay music but it’s very simple to navigate and full of snazzy black and white photos of New York and personalities – Americans are very, very good at this display of confident, flamboyant self-assurance. I don’t normally recommend fragrances but this is the only one I have used that has generated the most positive reaction from others.

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