October '08
You owe it to yourself to look good
By Liz Armstrong
Six Scents, Seven New York, Gareth Pugh, Bernhard Willhelm
Smell good, help the world. That's somewhat random, but we dig the slogan of Six Scents, the first in an annual fragrance collaboration between Seven New York, Metaproject and perfume megalith Symrise. Six designers—Bernhard Willhelm, Gareth Pugh, Alexandre Herchcovitch, Cosmic Wonder, Jeremy Scott and Preen—each whipped up some juice, proceeds of which go toward funding Designers Against AIDS. Our two favorites couldn't be more opposite (go figure). Jeremy Scott's Illicit Sex may be a smidge too obviously titled, but wow is it a coquettish, pretty little cookie. But when we're in a dark mood, we'll take Cosmic Wonder's Spirit of Wood, which smells like a snapped twig enjoying its solitude in the moonlight. $85 at Seven New York, Colette and Six Scents.
Karl Lagerfeld, Kapsule
We all know perfumes are supposed to tell a story. But leave it to Karl Lagerfeld, who has a ballroom-size library, to conceive of them in terms of actual books. Kapsule, his new series (“volumes,” as he calls them, each around €37 at Colette) of three perfumes, come in miniature square-esque bottles that sit flat on the vanity or stand upright on shelves to expose spines bearing his signature.
When modern science catches up to old mysticism, it must be hard for all the alchemists and witches out there not to dance around saying, “Told you so!” Tourmaline—a stone long revered in the spiritual world for its electrical properties thought to protect, fortify and heal—is starting to show up all over the place, but only Orlane is touting its ability to emit infrared light with their new Thermo-Active Firming Serum. Naturally raising the skin’s temperature (and no, it doesn’t burn), it aims to stimulate collagen synthesis and smooth out the cell matrix. But who cares about all the medical talk? We listen to witches. Around $300 at department stores.

Strange Invisible
Strange Invisible is one of few companies in the perfume industry named correctly and with zero histrionics. Perfumer Alexandra Balahoutis’s concoctions are strange, which is why we love her. While other companies have latched on to weirdness these days, most of them have gone the route of plastic, giving us the smell of technology. No, what we want is natural oddity, a total freak show. Musc Botanique is this, made entirely from organic materials (which is extremely difficult to do without producing a gnarly vial of hippie oil) to create the smell of ceremonial animal sex in a field of wild herbs. $135 for 50 ml eau de parfum, $185 for 7.5 ml parfum at Barneys New York.
  It may be a little “Let them eat cake”-ish to slather your face in products inspired by champagne, truffles and caviar, but new organic skincare company Om Aroma's collection is too yummy to ignore. The cleanser ($48 at eluxury.com) gently exfoliates with champagne grapeseeds and lathers up nice and foamy, making it our choice cleanser for colder months, when our skin needs a good scrub without being all mean stepmom about it. Hydration from the moisturizer's white truffle extract ($95) gives a nymph-like luminescence that further confirms our belief in the magic of mushrooms (read into that as you like) and, grossly extravagant though it may be to dab on eye cream ($72) containing actual caviar extract, to put it bluntly, we look amazing.