Mark international Fashion Week season with a new fragrance. Lisa Haynes sniffs out the latest designer scents.
By Lisa Haynes
The glamorous month-long Fashion Week calendar has kicked off in style, stopping off at New York, London, Milan and Paris.
But if your show tickets got lost in the post, you could still come up smelling of roses - or something equally gorgeous, by seeking out the designers' 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 (£45), Daisy Marc Jacobs Eau So Fresh EDT (£48), and Oh, Lola Marc Jacobs Sunsheer EDP (£47). Available nationwide from February 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, £23, 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 £35, available at department stores (0800 083 6313).
:: Donna Karan Celebrating multi-faceted women, Donna Karan collaborated with both a perfumer and famous architect to design Donna Karan Woman's arty curvaceous bottle. EDP, from £62, available exclusively at www.harrods.com.
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 £48, available at Tom Ford counters nationwide (0870 034 2566).
:: Paul Smith On home soil, 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, £34, exclusively available 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 £55, 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 £32, available nationwide (0800 083 6316).
Milan :: Marni Arriving fashionably late to the designer perfume party, Marni's signature fragrance flaunts a trademark eye-catching pattern. Marni pairs hot and cool spicy notes for a two-toned duality that works like a bold print. EDP, from £68, exclusively available at www.harrods.com.
:: 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 £40, exclusively available at Selfridges.
:: 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 £35.70, available at www.feelunique.com.
:: 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 £30, available nationwide.
Paris :: 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 £75, available at Chanel counters nationwide.
:: 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's decorated with a delicate white flower embellished with leaves. EDT, from £50, available at Debenhams from February 18.
:: 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 £47, available at YSL 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 £40, available nationwide (0800 652 1615).
Tried & tested Drench dehydrated winter skin with a restorative body oil. Our testers trial three skin softeners: :: Mandara Spa Honeymilk Dream Nourishing Miracle Oil, £7 (Sainsburys).
I was worried a body 'oil' might be a bit greasy, but this felt - and smelt - amazing. My skin was really smooth and supple after just one application, and using it felt like a real pampering treat.
4/5 :: Caudalie Divine Oil, £27 for 100ml, £27 (uk.caudalie.com).
Having initially been sceptical about using a body oil, this Divine Oil is now one of my favourite beauty products. It absorbs swiftly into the skin leaving it feeling moisturised and without sticky residue. The floral scent lingers hours after application.
5/5 :: Darphin Nourishing Satin Oil, £38 for 100ml (www.darphin.co.uk).
Featuring red ginger essential oil, this satin solution is as silky and smooth as the name implies. With a pleasing scent, it sinks into skin with a few circular movements and provides a spa-like experience as you massage into the body.
5/5 Buy it now Give your nails a high-fashion makeover with Butter London's Backstage Basics kit. The bespoke box set includes Nail Foundation Flawless Basecoat, Hardwear Quick Topcoat, Powder Room Acetone-Free Lacquer Remover, Nail File and you choose your favourite Nail Lacquer colour, £35 (www.butterlondon.com).
Beauty bulletin :: Salon finery Show thinning tresses some love. Nioxin are holding hair sanctuary evenings for Thinning Hair Awareness Week, launching February 18. Salons across the UK will be holding hair pamper evenings in February to raise awareness of thinning hair and treating clients to an evening of TLC. An expert from Nioxin will be on hand to offer advice and tips on how to get the best out of your hair and a healthy scalp. For local, participating salons visit www.nioxin.com :: Recessionista alert Buying scents online minus your nose needn't be a risk with Debenhams. Look for the 'try a new fragrance guarantee' badge and you'll receive a free sample alongside a full-size fragrance. Simply try the sample and return the full size if it's not to your taste. Visit www.debenhams.com