Archive for the ‘Fragrance’ Category

LV scents trigger wanderlust

October 6th, 2016


After a long absence, fragrance is back at Louis Vuitton. Seven new scents capture the essence of travel that is in the DNA of the luxury brand.

Once upon a time, like every other major luxury brand, Louis Vuitton had its own line of fragrances, introduced in 1925. The last launch came in 1946, after the end of World War II.

Now, after a 70-year absence, fragrance is back in the big way with the launch of a seven-scent collection created by renowned third-generation Grasse perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrud.

The beautiful scents are made from all-natural ingredients using CO2 extraction to maintain the fragile essence of plants and flowers used.

The names of the fragrances tell a story of a journey through life and travels in keeping with the brand's roots in creating sturdy, stackable and waterproof trunks for travelers.


Ceramic keys, above and below, make it easy to smell the individual fragrances before selecting a few to try on.


The excursion starts with Rose Des Vents, evoking a field of roses in Belletrud’s home of Grasse, France, leading to Turbulences, with the scent of tuberoses, to stir excitement about the road ahead. Dans La Peau possesses an infusion of leather reflecting LV’s association with travel luggage. Apogee’s lily of the valley scent represents the pinnacle of travel, while the warm vanilla scent of Contre Moi (“Close to Me”) is one to snuggle up with when missing home. Matiere Noire (“Dark Matter”) blends dark wood and white narcissus and jasmine to create an air of mystery, and Mille Feux (“Thousand Lights”) is and ode to a starlit sky or Aurora Borealis, the light that contributes to the magic of travel.

The fragrances are presented in elegant apothecary-style bottles designed by Apple watch designer Mark Newson to reflect the heritage brand, combined with contemporary magnetic cap and illusion spray stem.

To mark the introduction, the Louis Vuitton Waikiki store recently presented an open house allowing shoppers to sample the new fragrances through a smart display including ceramic keys that allowed all to easily take in the individual scents before deciding which they wanted to try on their skin.

A display near the entrance at the Waikiki Louis Vuitton store.

Work on the fragrances began four years ago, and it was well worth the wait. All the fragrances are so great I wanted to try them all. Although unisex, a couple scents, such as Dans Le Peau and Matiere Noire struck me as more masculine. In the store, I was drawn mostly to the florals, but now I have taken to wearing Mille Feux most of the time, taken by the spark of the thousand lights of fireworks. The candy-like fragrance includes an infusion of raspberry, with osmanthus, iris and saffron.

Each 100 milliliter bottle is $240; 200 milliliter bottles are $350. Refills are available at $150 and $300, respectively. A mini set of all seven scents in 10 millileter sizes is $290. And a travel set of four 7.5 milliliter pocket atomizers is $240. Available at Louis Vuitton Waikiki and Ala Moana Center.


A display of Gump's perfume bottles through Oct. 18 reflects a shared luxury heritage that continues on the Waikiki site that was home to the Gump Building from 1928, and Louis Vuitton today.

Coinciding with the introduction and tied in with the local roots of the Gump Building that now houses the Louis Vuitton store, LV is also presenting a mini display of four Hawaiian carved wood perfume vessels created by Fritz Abplanalp in the mid-1930s. That's when Alice Spalding Bowen, a gallery manager at Gump's—Honolulu's original luxury store—had the idea of creating fragrances unique to Hawaii, for affluent steamship travelers.

Abplanalp used ohia, monkeypod, milo and hau woods to create the floral cases that housed vials of Pikake, Plumeria and Fern Lei fragrances. The bottles will be on display through Oct. 18, on loan from the Honolulu Museum of Art.


Also displayed is "Lei in a Bottle: Collecting Hawaiian Perfume Bottles," a book by Gwen and Evan Olins, tells the story of Hawaiian perfume bottles from the 1930s through '60s, including the Gump's story.

Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her fashion coverage in print in Saturday's Today section. Contact her via email at and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

Atelier Cologne fortune, fragrance

February 17th, 2016


Giselle Zelauy shows Atelier Cologne prizes that were available by selecting a winning fortune cookie.

Atelier Cologne launched its new Collection Orient with an "Orient Express" Lunar New Year celebration Feb. 13 at Neiman Marcus, complete with the romance of herb, spice and floral fragrances, fortune cookies and secrets revealed in tea leaves.

Atelier Cologne founders and creators Sylvie Ganter and Christophe Cervasel traveled to Asia and the Middle East to come up with five new Colognes Absolue inspired by the regions' beauty, people and customs, and precious raw materials.

I've always been a fan of the brand's fresh citrus scents and that of Silver Iris, but all of the new fragrances have a beautiful mystique. What maqkes it so confusing is that I always end up liking four fragrances and can't decide which I like most. But I've walked away wearing them and by the end of the afternoon, after experiencing all the notes as they emerge, it becomes apparent which I like best. Of these, I'm leaning toward imosa Indigo, though I'd like to try Poivre Electrique and Encens Jinhae again.

I've met Sylvie and Christophe many times and the couple revels in coming up with romantic stories for each fragrance. The stories often involve chance encounters between strangers who might connect in playful to clandestine ways.

Atelier Cologne's lineup of new fragrances.

The new scents in fresh white packaging, are:

Encens Jinhae: A floral woody fragrance featuring Jinhae cherry blossom, Samarkand incense and Sicilia lemon.

Philtre Ceylan: A woody citrus with black tea from Ceylan, bergamot from Calabria and green mint from India.

Poivre Electrique: A spicy woody fragrance with black pepper from Vietnam, bitter orange from Tunisia and incense from Samarkand.

Mimosa Indigo: A leather floral with mimosa indigo from India, mandarin orange from Italy and white leather accord.

Tobacco Nuit: A woody frarance featuring tobacco flower from Turkey, clementine from Italy and labdanum from Egypt

Also new is Bergamote Soleil: With bergamot from Calabria, jasmine from Egypt, lavender from Provence, cardamome from Guatemala andheart of vetiver from Haiti.

The tea leaves in my cup forecast a busy, worrisome April and summer of creativity.

True to the Orient Express theme of the event, patrons were able to enjoy a tea leaf reading as well as an opportunity to pick a lucky fortune cookie to win prizes from Atelier Cologne.

Although I have consulted mediums before, it was the first time I had a team meeting which spiritual intuitive medium Sarah Chamberlain described as a dying art form.

Europe had a history of tasseography, divination from spatters of wax, lead and other substances, which evolved into tea-leaf reading in the 17th century, after Dutch merchants introduced Chinese tea to Europe.

Chamberlain said her grandmother read coffee grounds and although her grandmother died when she was only 6, she later discovered she had a natural gift. I was intrigued by the way she was able to make sense of what you or I would see as a random scattering of tea leaves what she told me sounded like it could turn out to be fairly accurate. She indicated a stressful April which is a time that we will be launching something new at the newspaper and a time that I also plan to be traveling.

She was able to see birds, airplanes, guardian angels, dancers, stress and all these things through the end of the year. She also sees Big Ben at the end of the year, and I've really been wanting to go to London this year. I already know it's not happening in spring because I'm making other plans, but fall is a possbilitu. I'll revisit the reading at the end of the year to see how much comes true.

If you're interested in talking to her, she does readings at Sedona at Ward Centre. You can call the store for more details.

I love the stories that fuel the creation of the fragrances. I was drawn to this page because of the dream catcher imagery. I just made a dream catcher with a group of friends. This turned out to be one of my favorites, the cherry blossom fragrance with a story that reads: "The wind was blowing. The graceful petals of the cherry blossoms were dancing like snow flakes. Suddenly, she got closer to him and dove into jet black eyes. He thought that his spell started to take hold. Her beauty was unique. Despite feeling guilty, he kissed her."

I also love Atelier Cologne's refreshing citrus fragrances, including the newest, Bergamote Soleil.

Spiritual intuitive / medium Sarah Chamberlain reads tea leaves for an Atelier Cologne shopper.


Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage is in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

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