Looks can be deceiving
We know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but what about fragrance bottles? We take a whiff of new fall scents to find out.
1 Covet by Sarah Jessica Parker
The look Just like SJP herself, this bottle is superstylin’. The standout feature on the sophisticated packaging is the smoky, topaz-bejewelled halo that hovers around the cap. We suspect the scent will be a pleasant mix of floral and subtle musk notes.
The verdict It’s a bit more earthy than we expected, but not unpleasant. We detect some lemon, lavender. It’s slightly more masculine than Parker’s first fragrance, Lovely, but still very, uh, lovely. $52–$68, at Macy’s (111 N State St at Washington St, 312-781-1000).
2 Diamonds by Emorio Armani
The look Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and if this bottle had a MySpace page, it would quickly make it into many women’s “Top 8.” It’s simple, clean and shaped like a giant jewel. This scent should be just as crisp, perhaps with a hint of powder.
The verdict It’s much more complex than we imagined. There are fruity notes, a mix of rose and freesia, and even a little bit of vanilla. Luckily, it’s not too overwhelming, so you can form new friendship with this perfume. $50–$70, at Macy’s.
3 Intimately Beckham by David and Victoria Beckham
The look Posh and Becks are one stylish couple, often flaunting the latest fashion trends for the paparazzi, so it’s somewhat surprising that this bottle is rather subdued. Here’s hoping the scent will be sophisticated as well, but we expect it to be as overbearing and obnoxious as a Spice Girls song stuck on repeat.
The verdict Color us shocked. It took a couple of sprays before we could even pick up on any specific scents from this fragrance. Once it sets in, though, you’ll get pleasant hints of roses, lilies and other white flowers. $25–$55, at Sears (2 N State St at Madison St, 312-373-6096).
4 Colonia Intensa by Acqua di Parma
The look With its clean label and shiny cap, this packaging is sleek with a bit of a 1950s vibe. We’re guessing it’ll smell like something dad would’ve worn to prom. Then again, any cologne that has the word Intensa in its name is likely to be intense. This Italian perfumer’s first foray into men’s cologne looks like it’ll have a masculine aroma of leather and honey.
The verdict It’s much sweeter than we anticipated, and has a little spiciness to it. It’s so unassuming that it could be worn by both men and women. $71–$109, at Saks Fifth Avenue (700 N Michigan Ave at Huron St, 312-944-6500).
5 Polo Explorer by Ralph Lauren
The look Forget the polo grounds; this bottle looks like it’d fit in better with a fleet of SUVs. We’ll be shocked if this scent isn’t strong, manly and a little spicy.
The verdict Woodsy with hints of amber, this cologne doesn’t stray too far from what Ralph Lauren has offered men with his past line of fragrances. It’s definitely masculine, but also a little tender and soothing with notes of sandalwood and amber. $48–$68, at bloomingdales.com.
6 Vintage by John Varvatos
The look The detailed leather label wrapped around this bottle gives it a rugged and cool look. This one’s obviously going to smell like leather, possibly with a small hint of tobacco leaves.
The verdict Vintage means “old,” and at first sniff, this stuff reminded us of Old Spice. Our leather-and-tobacco prediction was spot-on. Your grandfather is going to love this one. $70, at sephora.com.