Natori Calls — NATORI Eau de Parfum
Designer Josie Natori has been bringing the sexy back for years with her line of lingerie and loungewear — think silk chemises that feel like a second skin but still pack a fashion punch with intriguing prints, intricate details like appliqués and beadwork, and flattering cuts (from necklines to hemlines). When I heard about her new eponymous fragrance, then, I expected a mysterious, luxurious, complex scent that would make me feel ultra feminine and sensual without being too over-the-top (after all, true sexiness is way more subtle, elusive and intriguing). Even the bottle’s design seems to praise the female form with curved sides that resemble the shape of a voluptuous woman. The lotus flower was actually the primary source of inspiration in the flacon’s design. Chinese poets compared blooming lotus flowers to the emergence of a nude woman from a steamy bath. The purple color, meanwhile, has been linked to everything from royalty to wisdom and bravery (think of the Purple Heart award in the military). According to legend, it was also Cleopatra’s favorite color — talk about a sexy advocate.
The bottle is so enchanting, so sculptural, that you’ll actually marvel at how much aesthetic value it adds to your vanity table or dresser. But what about the potion inside this magical bottle? What does it smell like? Josie Natori’s olfactory interpretation of sexy is a floral oriental, with top notes of rose petals and dark plum, a heart of ylang ylang, purple peony, and night-blooming jasmine, and base notes of black patchouli, amber, and satin musk.
It’s not what I expected but, then, sensuality and sexuality are subjective notions — and while this may be another woman’s idea of the most carnal and irresistible scent, it’s not really mine. The rose notes are barely discernible, and the perfume doesn’t rely on the aphrodisiac powers of vanilla or the delicate femininity linked to white floral bouquets. I found the ylang ylang to be the most potent note, while the amber and black patchouli notes made the olfactory experience more spicy and exotic. If you loved YSL’s Opium, however, then you’ll probably appreciate this robust scent.
NATORI Eau de Parfum Spray, $80 for 1.7 oz. and $110 for 3.4 oz. Available exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue stores and at Saks.com