Not just a passing fad

THE glamorous month-long Fashion Week calendar has hit the runways, stopping off at New York, London, Milan and Paris.

Not just a passing fad

But if you miss the shows, you could still come up smelling of roses — or something equally gorgeous — by seeking out the designer’s scents instead.

Lanvin even incorporated fragrance into the spring/summer 13 catwalk with models carrying ornate perfume bottle-shaped handbags.

Fashion and fragrance have gone hand-in-hand for almost a decade — a trend that started in 1921 when Coco Chanel commissioned a perfumer to create a scent that embodied the House of Chanel.

He produced several versions, including the now iconic No.5, named after the number of the sample Chanel liked best. Originally bestowed as a gift to regular clients, the perfume’s popularity prompted her to begin selling it and No.5 still remains one of the best-known fragrances in the world.

“A signature scent is more about the image of the brand, rather than following fashions,” explains Louise Turner, Roberto Cavalli perfumer.

“It should be classic, recognisable and pass the test of time.”

Unlike the trend-led runway fashion, these fragrances won’t date after just one season. And the designer perfume bottles are something to behold on the dressing table too.

Get carried away with the latest catwalk scents from the four corners of the fashion globe.

NEW YORK

Marc Jacobs

Sunny and upbeat, Marc Jacobs has dressed up his popular fragrances in a rainbow of spirited spring colours. The limited Sunshine Editions include Daisy Marc Jacobs EDT (from €57.23), Daisy Marc Jacobs Eau So Fresh EDT (from €36.90), and Oh, Lola Marc Jacobs Sunsheer EDP (from €36.90). Available nationwide from Feb 27.

Calvin Klein

A label known for its minimalism, Calvin Klein displays a rebellious streak with the Shock limited edition. The CK One Shock Street fragrance features custom bright graffiti designs by artist, Miss 163. EDT, from €29.20, available nationwide.

Vera Wang

Queen of bridal gowns, it will be love at first sight when you meet Vera Wang’s latest Lovestruck scent. The extravagant bouquet bottle design of Lovestruck Floral Rush is inspired by a purple couture gown. EDP, from €44.53, available at department stores.

LONDON

Tom Ford

Famed for his elegant, feminine silhouettes, the designer likens his latest Violet Blonde fragrance to “a beautifully dressed woman whose refined presence charms, then fascinates, and ultimately seduces you”. EDP, from €62, available at Tom Ford counters nationwide.

Paul Smith

Paul Smith is inspired by the English Rose for a romantic spring edition.

His catwalk designs may be tomboyish, but Paul Smith Rose is pretty in pink with a polka dot bottle design. EDT, €40, is at Debenhams.

Burberry

Marking Burberry Body’s first anniversary, the British uber-brand has introduced Rose Gold for some birthday bling. Like a piece of jewellery, Burberry Body Rose Gold is encased in a multi-faceted lacquered bottle. EDP, from €56.25, available nationwide.

Vivienne Westwood

Just like the grand dame of fashion’s catwalks, Vivienne Westwood’s fragrances are playful, mischievous yet seductive. The bottle of Cheeky Alice resembles the flask of a magic potion, adorned with a heart bracelet in trademark Westwood red. Her scent sister, Flirty Alice, joins the line-up in April. EDT, from €40.66.

MILAN

Gucci

The design house does eveningwear like no other and the latest alluring fragrance follows suit. Gucci Guilty Black pour Femme is an intense oriental floral with red hot sensuality. EDT, from €60.

Prada

Few environments are more stressful than backstage at Fashion Week, which might be why Prada unleashed the calming Infusion d’Iris, inspired by a search for balance and harmony. The fresh scent is designed to be worn as a ’tender veil’ for an aura of sophistication. EDP, from €54.50.

Roberto Cavalli

Sexy and provocative, Cavalli’s famous animal print signature has been incorporated into the Just Cavalli fragrance design. A pink python skin collar is playfully wrapped around the bottle stopper for a wild touch. EDT, from €38, available nationwide.

PARIS

Valentino

The fashion house’s designs are ethereal and feminine and Valentino’s latest scent is just as elegant.

Valentina Acqua Floreale is a rosy-hued floral fragrance housed in a crystal bottle that is decorated with a delicate white flower embellished with leaves. EDT, from €52.85, available at Debenhams.

Yves Saint Laurent

A fragrance bottle that’s sensuously silhouette-shaped, Manifesto’s bottle is belted with an amethyst-coloured jewel. The bold accent is the same purple colour Yves Saint Laurent associates with passion and seduction. EDP, from €58, available at YSL counters nationwide.

Chanel

Like a little black dress, Coco Noir is magnetic and uncompromising. The fragrance notes are described like the black velvet of a famous Venetian craftsman who dyed his cloth in successive layers to bring radiance out of the darkness — think sandalwood, vetiver, frankincense, patchouli, vanilla, tonka bean and musk. EDP, from €92, available at Chanel counters nationwide.

Balenciaga

Florabotanica may be a floral fragrance but you wouldn’t know it from the minimalist bottle. The highly graphic black and white stripes echo a Balenciaga design signature, but the scent is deceptively romantic with accords of rose and carnation, described as enchanting and provocative. EDP, from €50.80.

* RECESSIONISTA ALERT:

Buying scents online minus your nose needn’t be a risk with Debenhams. Look for the ‘try a new fragrance guarantee’ badge on selected lines and you’ll receive a free sample alongside a full-size fragrance. Try the sample and return the full size if it’s not to your taste. Visit www.debenhams.ie

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