Beauty Beat: Under the Tuscan Sun

What’s that luxurious fragrance?


Trying desperately to rid myself of winter blues I imagine an olfactory vacation. I find myself in Italy, touring the Riviera port by port, the effervescent Mediterranean Sea as my backdrop. Sampling the bevy of Italian-inspired fragrances inspired by the scents, the food, not to mention the romance of the place, I discover that this season designers have made Mediterranean chameleons of women. Watch out, Mr. Ripley.

My first stop is Christian Dior’s new fragrance for women, Escale a Portofino, which was the original Mr. Dior’s favorite little port. What comes in the bottle is a rustling breeze of fragrant Italian citrus notes, to transport the wearer each year to a different location. Next stop, India, via the newly launched Escale a Pondichery. Though it’s not available until next year, it’s always best to plan your travels in advance. Available internationally in May.

Marc Jacobs also had Italy on his mind with the fifth edition to his women’s limited edition Splash fragrance collection, Marc Jacobs Lemon. Comprising iced Italian lemon opur, the purest form of oil hand-pressed from Italian lemons, and notes of mandarin and honeysuckle, it evokes a crisp, sun-drenched summer day stroll in the Amalfi coast, an iced Limoncello in-hand. La Dolce Vita indeed! Available now.

Remember afternoons speeding up the long driveways leading to your Italian Villa in an Alfa Romeo spider? Tom Ford’s Italian Cypress doesn’t just blend the elegant notes of this aromatic tree with vibrant citrus, fragrant basil, and rich Moroccan spearmint; it takes you back to the days of ship magnates, Sean Connery, and other playboys as they dock their yachts at their favorite playground, Capri. Worn shaken, not stirred. Available now.

The House of Versace has harvested rich and aromatic fruits and flowers, like bergamot, mandarin, sea lily, and olive wood to create their luxurious new women’s fragrance, Versense. It’s as provocatively Italian as the house itself. Like the first day of spring, it has a young fresh feel, and promises sunnier days to come. Available now

Gucci captures the essence of airy youth and a blooming spring garden in their new women’s fragrance, Flora. Named for Gucci’s famous 1966 Flora pattern, which was made famous by Grace Kelly and revived for the very successful accessories collections by Frida Giannini. The Italian house’s fragrance is a girlie girl blend of rare rose, and osmanthus blooms with a sexy citrusy edge and an earthy tone of patchouli and sandalwood. Now your it-bag can match your it-scent. Available now.

The Island of Vivara offshore Prócida is the inspiration for the designer synonymous with the jetset, Emilio Pucci. The house launched the Vivara Variazioni Collection this year, a trio of women’s perfumes. Sabbia 1 is the sunset scent, an alluring floral fragrance consisting of Florentine Iris, Tangerine, and Sandalwood. Sole 149, a crisp sparkling Prosecco, is a clean and green floral scent that lists tomato leaf as an ingredient. How much more Italian can you get? Finally, Aqua 330 is a marine-floral with a sexy freshness and a touch of salt, as if you just returned to your yacht from a dip (in your Pucci swimsuit, no less). With a vacation like this, how could you ever come back? Available now at Sephora.