Remember how Calvin Klein’s genderless CK One was the smash hit of the 90s? Well, the brand’s set to ensnare a new generation of cool kids with unisex CK2 EDT (R665 for 30ml, R835 for 50ml and R1170 for 100ml) and I can totally see it hitting home.
A fresh ozonic-aquatic-grassy type of scent, CK2 is spiked with a zing of wasabi that’s tempered by something cool and metallic. It’s a difficult scent to describe but, trust me, it doesn’t smell ‘odd’ or ‘strange’. Rather ‘fresh’, ‘energising’, ‘addictive’ and definitely more feminine than male.
Notes include mandarin, violet leaf, wet cobblestones and concrete, orris root, rose, sandalwood, vetiver and incense. To my nose, it’s a lot like L’eau Par Kenzo or Davidoff’s Cool Water with a teensy weensy touch of Mugler’s Womanity and a dash of spice. I love that it’s very clean smelling but doesn’t feature any powder or soap and boasts a super subtle, ‘diluted’ spice note.
Moving on, if you love YSL’s sexy, rock n roll-inspired Black Opium you might appreciate her slightly less wild sister, Nuit Blanche EDP (R830 for 30ml, R1 140 for 50ml and R1 500 for 90ml). While it’s still sweet and coffilicious, Nuit Blanche is a bit less sugary than the original, but a lot more creamy and sheer. You could easily wear it on a cold winter’s day whereas the original is definitely more of a ‘night time’ only scent.
The notes? Rice, Bourbon pepper, orange blossom, coffee, vanilla, sandalwood and white musk with the coffee, vanilla and musk taking centre stage. As far as staying power goes, Nuit Blanche is incredible and has great ‘throw’. If you’re part of a gourmand-lovin’ Angel/La Vie est Belle/Flowerbomb crew this is a fragrance you’ll want to sniff.
Now let’s talk Carolina Herrera! Her popular CH fragrance has never really done it for me but Central Park EDT (R1 520 for 100ml), the new limited edition summer flanker, is quite different. A woody-floral, it’s made young and ‘juicy’ thanks to a lovely plum top note that’s spiked with white pepper. The heart is all about lush, creamy white flowers (jasmine, tuberose and orange blossom) resting on a sheer, woody base of cedar, amber and white musk.
The overall effect is a sophisticated yet casual floral with a touch of spice that dries down to a comforting musk you could easily wear day or night, regardless of the season. If I had to describe it as an item of clothing, it would be something like a simple cashmere pull over in a preppy shade like lilac but with a fun finish like a yellow ribbon trim. Easy going, laid back and cheerful, but you can see it’s expensively made.
Also, can we get a shout out for the adorableness of the wicker-wrapped bottle? It would totally match the picnic basket you’ll take with you when you hit Central Park and run into the entire cast of friends (except Rachel ‘cos she’s too fancy now) ‘cos that’s exactly what happens when you go there, right?