It isn’t often I find a new fragrance that I just want to nuzzle into. Really take a deep inhale and get the old pulses racing a little. But Nars Audacious (£125, exclusively at Harrods) – its first scent – does just that to me. An elegantly seductive, not-to-be-resisted, saucy little number that’s confident and beguiling – and even celebratory, given that it has launched in the 25th anniversary year of the brand.
It’s based around white frangipani and the smoke of incense, so you instantly get the gist that there’s something pretty sultry about it. Also included is the tiare flower from French Polynesia – where François Nars has his private island – a note that’s already a key part (and smell) of the iconic Nars Monoi Body Glow (£44, narscosmetics.co.uk). Fragrance fiends may want to know that it’s the work of Olivia Giacobetti – the woman responsible for Diptyque’s Philosykos and En Passant by Frédéric Malle. Others will simply want to know that it’s totally swank-tastic stuff. Don’t fight it, just give in to temptation.
But since this is our fashion special, I feel I should also flag up two other great new fragrance offerings by fashion brands (and, yes, I consider a beauty brand such as Nars to be a part of fashion). First up is YSL Beauty Libre (from £56, yslbeauty.co.uk). I don’t often gel with big blockbuster fragrances – they’re usually too safe and smell too much of vanilla or, worse, loo cleaner. But this is different. This is date-night stuff – a hip gyration in a bottle. It’s liquid Marvin Gaye. It really couldn’t be sexier if it tried. But it’s modern. This is no overly floral concoction – maybe it’s the good dose of neroli that gives it an almost masculine touch – but the combination with orange blossom and lavender is a sure-fire winner.
Then there’s Dior’s Joy Eau de Parfum Intense (from £83, dior.com), a new version of last year’s Joy. In truth, I prefer this one – it’s just that little bit punchier and a whole lot more come hither. That’s thanks to some extra woody notes and neroli (again) added by in-house nose François Demachy, alongside the more signature floral notes of rose de Grasse and jasmine.
Beauty assistant: Alice Robertson