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Best fragrance of the year

Balenciaga Paris (50ml, $145)

There was a time when Balenciaga was considered one of the three grands of French
fashion, with Chanel and Dior. The designer label has come back with a vengeance under its
current creative director, Nicolas Ghesquire, and this violet chypre (woody) fragrance
with pepper and moss accents is a true standout. The legendary perfume company, Coty, is
in charge of Balenciagas re-entry into the fragrance world and this is one of the finest
scents theyve ever produced. Individual, elegant and guaranteed to attract compliments.
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Best packaging
Lola, Marc Jacobs Velvet Edition ($120)
American designer Marc Jacobs scored a major hit in the US and Australia with Daisy. Now
Lola, described as its predecessors confident and slightly vampy older sister, has hit the
big time in both countries, too. The original bottles bright leather and fabric stopper attracted
much praise for its cuteness and this limited edition release with its soft velvety cap is also
sure to please. Spritz on the warm floral scent and youre good to go in any weather.
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Best date fragrance
Lady Million by Paco Rabanne (80ml, $156)
Paco Rabannes 1 Million, a sexy mens scent released two years ago, has been a monster
hit with males all over the world. It was always on the cards to launch a womanly
Adams rib counterpart, and Lady Million really fits the bill. The duo were inspired by the
movie The Thomas Crown Affair, and the floral accord (orange blossom, jasmine
absolute and gardenia) is ravishing. The design of the faceted bottle is based on
The Regent, widely considered the most beautiful diamond in the world and currently at
home in the Louvre.
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Best floral fragrance
Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia Cologne (100ml, $170)
Jo Malones new in-house nose, Christine Nagel, is renowned for her feminine fl oral
fragrances such as Dlice de Cartier and Miss Dior Chrie. Shes also come up trumps with
this romantic scent that takes its inspiration from John Keats poem, Ode to Autumn.
The opening burst of King William pear is mellowed by freesia, wild rose and honeyed
quince. Musk and patchouli help the fragrance linger longer day and night.
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Best fragrance under $60
In Bloom by Reese Witherspoon from Avon (50ml, $59.99)
If you associate gardenia with nanna scents, this fruity floral will certainly help you to move
on. Soft and pretty but very glam, the peach, magnolia and jasmine notes make this
fragrance easy to wear year-round.
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Best comeback fragrance
Halston Woman (30ml, $90)
Its been 20 years since Roy Halston Frowick, the man credited with putting US fashion in
the limelight, died. Yet the elegance, simplicity and good taste that were his
design hallmarks have endured. The original Halston for Women was released in 1975 and
this modern adaptation is a winner, too. A fl oriental woody scent, the top notes of
Sicilian bergamot and blackcurrant give way to a sexy dry-down of patchouli, sandalwood
and deep amber.
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Best perfumed products
Coco Mademoiselle Moisturising Body Lotion (200ml, $95); Velvet Body Oil
(200ml, $105); Foaming Shower Gel (200ml, $82)
Many women prefer a more subtle approach to fragrance. The soft trail created by a body
lotion or the subtle smell of a shower gel give a beautiful scented aura. No-one knows
this better than Chanel, who recently released this trio of luxury bathing products fragranced
with one of its best-selling perfumes. Together with the iconic Chanel No 5,
Coco Mademoiselle was recently included in a list compiled by the UKs Daily Mail of the 20
best perfumes.
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Best celebrity fragrance
Halle by Halle Berry (50ml, $39.95)
The winner of the best celebrity fragrance gong at the 2010 US FiFi awards, the so-called
Oscars of fragrance, this elegant, oriental scent is as stylish as its namesake. Feminine
heart notes of freesia, hibiscus and mimosa balance the sensuality of sandalwood and
cashmere musk.
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Best designer fragrance
Acqua di Gioia by Giorgio Armani (50ml, $110)
The latest fragrance from Giorgio Armani is sweet but not sticky, floral but not heady.
Oceanic notes give this contemporary classic a fresh, energising and aromatic quality that
acts as a great pick-me-up. Great longevity, too.
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Best gender bender fragrance
Voyage dHerms (35ml, $130)
This white background unisex cologne from master perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena is a
smart white citrus underscored by a dirty marine-tinged amber. Clean yes, to a point
but also sexy and sophisticated, whether you and your partner are on the road or at home.
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