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Oscar de la Renta Esprit d’Oscar Eau de Parfum Spray — The Feminine Mystique

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Think of your favorite Oscar de la Renta gown. Envision the strapless white sundress with the coral red floral print worn by Jennifer Lopez in Elle’s October 2008 “Dream Catcher” spread. Travel back in time to the moment when you saw the honeysuckle pink silk taffeta dress with the voluminous skirt and black belt detail that Sex and the City‘s Carrie Bradshaw wore to the opera with then-boyfriend Aleksandr Petrovsky or relive the magical, romantic feel of the lacy white bridal gown Carrie donned during her Vogue photo shoot in Sex and the City: The Movie. Remember the breathtaking, strapless white ball gown with the voluminous, tiered ruffled skirt, dramatic train, and bold black floral print that Dominican model Arlenis Sosa wore while posing next to Oscar de la Renta and Oscar the Grouch in Harper Bazaar‘s August 2009 “From Seventh Avenue to Sesame Street” editorial. Picture the luminosity of the greige strapless gown with the gold bead and sequin details that Cameron Diaz wore to the 2010 Academy Awards. If you’re a celebrity style connoisseur, remember the sleeveless, V-neck, floor-length, yellow silk dress with illustrations of oversize white flowers outlined in black all along the skirt’s hemline that Kerry Washington chose for the 2007 premiere of I Think I Love My Wife or the Pre-Fall 2008 bright, floral print silk gown that she wore to the 23rd annual Women’s Project’s Women of Achievement Gala. Delight in the way that Oscar breathed life into polka dots with the fanciful, sleeveless, crisp white gown with the black polka dot print that an Audrey Hepburn-esque Anne Hathaway modeled in Vogue‘s November 2010 issue. Savor the exquisite delicacy, the ethereal grandeur of the grey dress with the voluminous, bouncy, full tulle skirt that Emma Watson wore to the world premiere of the latest Harry Potter film. Bask in the grandeur of the classic, banded silk organza gown with the thin shoulder straps, the one wavy ruffle along the bust line, and the textured, mermaid-like train that Penelope Cruz wore to the 2011 Met Gala.

Oscar de la Renta’s ability to sweep women off their feet has transformed him into a fashion legend, his knack for transporting them into a fantasy universe where they feel as giddy as tiara-clad preschoolers hosting pretend tea parties, his gift for creating silhouettes that are rife with opulence, sensuality, poise, and elegance.

Fittingly, the new Oscar de la Renta Esprit d’Oscar Eau de Parfum Spray ($78 for 1.6 oz. and $98 for 3.3 oz., at department stores nationwide and on OscardelaRenta.com) swathes you in a seductively feminine aroma. The sculptural glass bottle captures the mood created by the juice, with curved edges all along the cylindrical bottle, a flower-shaped cap featuring rounded petal forms that celebrate the softness of a woman’s natural shape, and a pearl-like sphere at the center of the cap meant to represent a single dewdrop.

The floral-oriental fragrance, meant to constitute a modern interpretation of the OSCAR fragrance originally unveiled in 1977, Esprit d’Oscar features top notes of Sicilian lemon, bergamot, and citron; a fresh floral heart with a mix of Egyptian jasmine, orange flower, and tuberose; and base notes of musk, heliotrope, tonka bean, and vetiver. 

Unlike many fragrances with citrus top notes, Esprit d’Oscar doesn’t smell overwhelmingly zesty and tart when you first spray it on — instead, it seems watery, fresh, and sweet. As the fragrance blooms, the velvety jasmine and the freshness of the orange blossom start their deliciously enchanting dance, creating a powdery soft, tender, almost innocent aroma. And the base notes, of course, ensure that the fragrance lasts a long time on the skin, while also imbuing it with an understated sensuality and a creamy warmth. As with Donna Karan’s Cashmere Mist, for example, this fragrance feels like a tender embrace, like cozy cashmere draped over naked skin, thanks to the musk, tonka and heliotrope base notes. But, unlike Cashmere Mist, Esprit d’Oscar is overtly and unabashedly feminine, and yet this is an effortless interpretation of femininity, one that’s not chock full of potent-smelling flowers like Bulgarian rose, lavender, freesia, and sweet pea, but instead feels light and natural.

This is one of the most delightful fragrances I’ve tried in ages. Every time I wear it, someone comments on its pretty smell or asks what fragrance I’m wearing. It’s sophisticated, dreamy, inviting, coquettish, and magical — just like the perfect de la Renta gown. 

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