DREAMING OF SUMMER IN RIO?

Surrounding myself with the latest scent of luxury from BVLGARI.

Aimed for younger audience, OMNIA PARAIBA is the latest addition to BVLGARI’s Omnia Collection. From the color of the packaging itself, I can tell that this time around, Bvlgari might attract younger generation who’s looking for a more serious fragrance. 

Named after Brazilian semi-precious stone, Paraiba Tourmaline, which is known for their blue-greenish color, the fragrance is fruity and fresh at the first whiff, but will turn to soft & elegant woody scent at the end. 

Focus on the passion flower (check out the gorgeous pic I got from Bvlgari’s press kit above) known for their aphrodisiac properties, perfumer Alberto Morillas who created this fragrance, were also inspired by Brazilian jungle, beaches & ocean. So, imagine a very tropical scent that embodies a vibrant & joyful feeling. 

The fragrance is available in 25, 40 and 65 ml of EDT.

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA & BVLGARI

A CLASS OF THEIR OWN

Do you remember your very first fragrance?

Well…mine is “White Linen” from ESTEE LAUDER. I remembered the scent till now, the refreshing and clean fragrance. I guess I was always fell for those kind of scents. Launched in 1978, White Linen is still available until now. 

The fact is, for over 50 years, Estee Lauder has been launching many fragrances. The first one was YOUTH DEW. Introduced in 1953, it was actually a scented bath oil that could also be used as perfume (they said it was a taboo for women wearing perfume at that time, whaaatttt?). 

This year, they launch THE HOUSE OF ESTEE LAUDER CLASSIC PARFUMS COLLECTION. Consist of 8 fragrances, they’re bringing back the classics, like: ESTEE (from the year 1968), AZUREE (from 1969), ALIAGE (from 1972), CINNABAR (1978), SPELLBOUND (1991), TUSCANY PER DONNA (1992), INTUITION (2000) and BEYOND PARADISE (2003). Their packaging are new, but the scent stay the same.

ESTEE is the second fragrance that Mrs Estee Lauder created after Youth Dew. So, imagine the history of this fragrance. This took 7 years to make, FYI. 

AZUREE is a very warm fragrance, inspired by the Mediterranean. 

Since the 70′s style is back, ALIAGE will be the perfect scent to reflect that era. Cool & energetic.

Very oriental, CINNABAR (now pronounced: China Bar) is mysterious and sensual.

Imagine the first feeling of falling in love, that’s SPELLBOUND.

One of the very classic, TUSCANY PER DONNA (Tuscany for Women) was inspired by the Italian Countryside. 

 Created by Evelyn Lauder, INTUITION is one warm & very feminine scent.

Last but not least, the very addictive BEYOND PARADISE. The most modern scent from all of 8 (maybe because it was created not too long ago), this scent reminds me of all things tropical. 

My favorite? ESTEE. I believe I have an old soul trapped inside, LOL. Classic without being too powerful (we have to admit some of the classic fragrances tend to have very strong unforgettable scent). I love the fact that this was created by Mrs Estee herself, inspired by the light she saw from two crystal chandeliers shimmering in a glass of champagne. It’s a very wonderful scent, perfect for day use in this hot weather. 

PRODUCT PHOTOS: ESTEE LAUDER (except the last one was taken by me)

WHEN PLEASURE MEETS LUXURY

This week, I was invited to the exclusive luncheon event of SERGE LUTENS fragrances. It was a great event, they turned the second floor of Tugu Kuntstkring, Jakarta, into a SERGE LUTENS exhibition. Once I entered, they displayed his biography, some of his works (including his two rare books), and (of course) his fragrances collection. 

I think I remember these Shiseido’s ads. In his biography, Serge as a photographer, signed on for a collaboration with Shiseido in 1980. Later in 1982, he conceived “Nombre Noir”, his very first perfume, also for Shiseido. Ten years later, in 1992, he led his first true olfactory revolution in the field of perfume through his creation “Feminite du bois”. And his creations continue until today. 

Currently, Serge Lutens in Jakarta’s stores (Galeries Lafayette and Central Department Store), only carry Eaux and Spray Bottles’ range. Not very complete range, but not bad for first timer. I found some scents are so not me, I also believe some are too strong for this climate. FYI, Serge Lutens doesn’t differ femme & homme fragrances, so you can say they’re genderless. Yup, Serge believes that feeling good has nothing to do with gender and one fragrance can’t simply belong to one gender or the other. My suggestion, search for one that suits you best.

After many sniffs at the event, am I glad I found one that suits me best! “L’Eau Serge Lutens” from EAUX range. Created by Serge in 2010, he calls this creation, an anti-perfume, a connection between perfumes & literature (no wonder I felt such a strong connection towards this specific scent). Leaving a very clean scent, just like when you slipped on newly washed clothes, or lay your cheeks on newly changed pillow sheet, it’s exactly what prompted Serge when he created “L’Eau Serge Lutens”. On the release given to media, Serge said “This creation is my response to a world that is over-scented”. Whoa!!! Exactly my thought. There were times when I just want to smell clean not artificial, and I can say it did a superb job. I recommend this for those who just realized the importance of wearing fragrance (read: beginners), and for those who (this might be a bit harsh, but do spare me) anti-perfume. Trust me, (I copied this from Serge’s statement on the release) “It’s like a breath of fresh, oxygen-filled air”. Clean air one, of course!

Check out the bottle and the packaging. As I’m a firm believer that luxury doesn’t have to scream out loud, the simplicity of Serge Lutens’ bottles had me. Slim and very portable, they can be applied with the stopper like cologne or for the girl on the go (like me), every purchase came with the sprayer option. Save the royal ritual of splattering cologne at home and bring the sprayer to go.  

 PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA 

MAKE YOUR POINTE

Inspired by the world of ballet and (of course) the ballerinas, Les Parfums de Rosine presents BALLERINA. 

Nothing against commercial perfumery, but if you ever got tired of them and looking for special perfumes that tell real stories behind the creation, you might love Les Parfums de Rosine. You see, Marie-Hélène Rogeon (the perfume maker that created Les Parfums de Rosine) is a grand grand daughter of Louis Panafieu who created fragrances for Emperor Napoleon III. And she loves all kind of roses which she delivered into variety of perfumes. What amazed me the most, she can built a lot of different aromas from roses, making it a classic, fresh to sensual fragrances. 

Her latest creations available in my home country are: Ballerina No 1 (the pink bottle), Vive La Mariee (the white bottle) and Ballerina No 2 (the grey bottle). As I’m an avid fan of beautiful packaging, they already had me at the bottles. Matte, opaque porcelain bottles embellished with tulle around their necks, do remind me of tutus. Youthful, sweet without being frilly, that’s what I thought of Ballerina No 1. Even though I wasn’t into ballet since I was a little girl (weird, right?), but I do not mind watching ballet and certainly I wouldn’t mind of the soft powdery scent from Ballerina No 1. Rose was indeed in the heart note of this, with florals (freesia, peony, violet), fruits (pear, peach, bergamot, raspberry) and base note such as milk, vanilla, musk, and sandalwood. Truly love this feminine fragrance. 

However, Ballerina No 2 seems to represent more mature prima ballerina (imagine, Black Swan). More woody and stronger, thanks to the base note of sandalwood, patchouli, ambrette seeds, vanilla & amber. Yes, rose is still in the very heart note of this perfume, along with florals like magnolia, violet, eglantine and iris. At the top note, there are bergamot, raspberry and orange blossom.

Separating itself from the Ballerina Collection is Vive La Mariee. The bottle is similar with different placement of tulle skirt. More bride than ballerina, it did remind me of a bride’s bouquet. Using Rose Mousseline, roses with white flower smell, I can imagine a bride wearing this on her most glorious day. But then again, if you already way overdue to wear that silk veil (like me, LOL), this soft floral perfume will remind you of that happy celebration. 

Photo: Shinta Rosvita

LIFE IN ROSY HUES

As Valentine’s Day is approaching so fast, this will be the perfect scent to accompany that bouquet of roses.

If someone asked me why I’m so picky when it comes to my perfume choice, I’d gladly answer: “That scent is going to stick with me the whole day, as I’m not really into fragrance touch-ups or changing my day to night fragrance. And I’ll make sure that fragrance won’t annoy me (read: cause dizziness) or worse… annoy someone close enough to sniff me." 

Scent of roses always intrigued me, I guess I’m a romantic that way. But as my journey of scents continues, particular roses won my heart. Bulgarian rose to be precise. For special reasons (their qualities and method of productions), Bulgarian-grown roses produce the world’s best and most expensive oil. And Maison Francis Kurkdjian described Damascena Rose from Bulgaria as one of his Olfactory Description from his latest fragrance, À la Rose. No wonder, it had me at the first sniff. Apparently 250 precious Centifolia Roses from Grasse were also enriched this feminine scent. 

Along with citrus (bergamot & orange), flower (violet & magnolia blossom) and a touch of musk plus cedar wood, À la Rose is like love in a bottle. It hugs me in a subtle and soft romantic way, feels very light and velvety like touching the actual fresh rose petals.   

Photo: Shinta Rosvita 

THE ART OF CLEANING

It’s a fountain cleaning ritual in the House of Caron. 

Every two months, these precious perfume fountains will be clean by their staffs. And last week, I was invited to witness the special ritual in their first boutique in Plaza Indonesia, Jakarta.

These precious perfume fountains were created in glass and crystal by Baccarat. They’re the perfect storage for the extracts, therefore they need to be clean to keep their transparency and to preserve the highest quality of their perfumes.

First, they’ll empty the leftover perfume extract from the fountain and pour it into a special container using special paper filter. FYI, the leftover will be pour again inside the clean fountain if they didn’t change color or texture. Then, they’ll pour 60% alcohol into the fountain. Using a special brush, they started to brush the inside of the fountain. After the alcohol was put away, they will dry it with clean tissues, making sure that it dried 100% (as leftover alcohol will interfere the extract’s scent). The same extract (one fountain will always filled with the same extract) will be poured inside the fountain, about 500ml of them. They also cleaned the outer side of the fountain, using dry tissue. Voila! Clean and shiny, it’s ready to fill the Caron’s bottle. 

WHEN EVERY FRAGRANCE HAS THEIR OWN STORIES

After their home Paris, New York and Dubai, now Jakarta, Indonesia has our own CARON PARIS flagship store.

Located in Plaza Indonesia level 2, it actually had opened since the first of September. But they made the grand launching just last night. I was invited to the event and I believe this is the first time I ever took so much pictures in one place. Not just a place, the CARON Paris boutique is so….Paris. What can I say? Just look at the pics above and see if you agree with me. 

When I stepped into the store, the Parisian charm and the scent of luxury perfumes greeted me. Let’s just say every corner of the boutique had me at hello. Pretty artsy displays, yet very informative with every fragrance description and for me, the best part is their Fountain Perfumes. Something new for me, but CARON’s Fountain Perfumes is actually legendary. They offered their customers to fill a bottle (and you can pick the bottle there) and the fragrance will be dispensed from a little bronze tap. FYI, these Fountain Perfumes ‘dispenser’ will be clean by a special sort of ceremonial cleaning process every month in the store. Wow, I’d love to see how they clean that. 

As Indonesian, I’m proud that CARON Paris considered Jakarta as a potential market. I mean, CARON is one of the major perfume houses and Jakarta’s store is number 6 in the world. How awesome is that? Its’ unique history amazed me too. In 1904, Ernest Daltroff opened CARON’s first door in 10 rue de la Paix, Paris. His love for his colleague, Felicie influenced his constant fragrances creations. He and Felicie created “N’Aimez que Moi” in 1916, “Tabac Blond” in 1919, “Fleurs de Rocaille” in 1933 and the men fragrance “Pour Un Homme” in 1934. Each fragrance has their own stories, and the one that intrigued me is “Royal Bain” which was created in 1941. Back then, it was created exclusively for a Californian billionaire who wanted to replace his extravagant champagne baths. This one of the very first unisex Eau de Toilette is believed to bring happiness. Ever since they were created, those fragrances remains the same for their formulas and scents (they only changed the packaging nowadays to suit a more modern era). Until today, they work with their own perfume creator. 

In the 30’s Ernest also developed a manufacturing process for “Poudre Libre”, the loose powder. His method remains a trade secret until today, making their loose powder ‘the finest in the world’. I got the chance to try their loose powder and I love it. The expensive scent of Bulgarian Rose and its’ delicate feather puff added the pleasure of powdering your nose. If you love more indulgence, try their special “Powder Puff”. It was made of genuine soft goose down, but don’t worry, no goose was harmed. They plucked the bottom part of the feathers which will eventually fell off by time, anyway. 

Yup, you can find more than just perfumes in CARON’s boutique. They have porcelains and glass collections too. Every single one of them are just too fine to describe. Go visit their boutique, because seeing is believing! 

SHADES OF BLUE

When I met you in the summer..to my heartbeat sound…

That Calvin Harris song “SUMMER” straightly went to my mind when I got the chance to sniff at this new range of fragrance from COMME des GARCONS, “BLUE INVASION”. 

Three ‘blue’ unisex fragrances, BLUE ENCENS, BLUE CEDRAT & BLUE SANTAL presented in blue gradation bottles, were created to accentuate radical contradiction of fresh and non fresh, cool yet warm. Very unexpected, with cooling look yet warm notes like cedarwood & sandalwood. 

They all come in Eau de Parfum 100 ml Natural Spray. And, my favorite will be BLUE SANTAL. I found it unique and more feminine amongst the other two. Now available at The Papilion Duo, Jakarta, Indonesia.

SCENTS & SENSIBILITY

Thanks to Living at The Papilion, I was able to meet the person behind the fragrance I’m wearing.

Francis Kurkdjian, Master Perfumer, Co-Founder of Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris was here in Jakarta, Indonesia yesterday. And lucky me, I was invited by Living at The Papilion to meet him and had a chat with him & fellow press. Check out my twitter @shintarosvita for my pic side by side with Francis!

Anyway, Francis was here to introduce Maison Francis Kurkdjian new scented range for the body. Five new body creams were added to his collection: Aqua Vitae, Amyris, APOM, Lumiere Noire Femme and OUD. Each was created in perfect harmony with the same name fragrances.

Why body cream? “Body cream is important. Some people just like to wear body creams only. And I think it’s important to have consistency in the range. They’re a favorite in the US and Europe. Very good for the skin as they’re very rich,” said Francis.

Surprise, surprise…In my lazy (OK, super lazy) days when I didn’t even bother to spray any perfumes, I always count on my shower gel and body cream. But what do you expect if you purchased those typical shower gels or body creams from the grocery racks? Scents will be gone once you walked out that door. So, imagine my happiness when my favorite perfume now has a scented body cream. Not just enhancing the perfume, the body cream is nourishing and moisturizing (thanks to Shea Butter extract as one of the main ingredient). And lately (thanks to aging), my skin needs more than just ordinary body lotion which didn’t work well like it had before. So, body cream in thicker texture is my skin savior, especially if I have to spend time indoor with AC on for 24 hours. My favorite? Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Vitae Scented Body Cream. Carrying the same fragrance whose name it bare, (Aqua Vitae) with notes like Lemon from Calibria, Mandarin from Sicily, Tonka bean and Gaiac wood, it’s fresh, light yet sensual like a second skin.

Always remember that layering is a trick to wear the perfume you already have, BETTER! This will extend your favorite Maison Francis Kurkdjian scent throughout your day, especially in our weather.

FACTS ABOUT FRANCIS:

  • He teaches (for five years now) at a perfumery school named ISIPCA Versailles (outside Paris), which he graduated from in 1993.
  • Most of his students are female (considering there are more male perfumers out there).
  • Between 1995 and 2013, he already designed more than 40 fragrances for luxury & fashion brands, such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Lanvin, Dior, YSL and Elie Saab.
  • His average time to produce one fragrance is 18 months (even though he admitted that he’s not a very patient person when it comes to work).
  • He only wears a fragrance that he’s currently working on. Once it was created, he won’t wear it anymore. He confessed that he’s only using Maison Francis Kurkdjian Liquid Detergent to wash his clothes.