First things first: Christian Dior had me at the bottle. I didn't care what it smelled like. The bottle is minimal, elegant, with a glossy black Deco cap that refastens with a magnetized twist and “click.” It would look great on a mantle, a dresser, or on your desk. ANYWHERE. (The seed was apparently planted by Hedi Slimane before he left Dior Homme, so it figures.)
I first spied the super exclusive range of La Collection Privée scents at Dior's Avenue Montaigne store during Paris Fashion Week (I don't own a suit, and had to buy one in a pinch for Carine Roitfeld's MAC bal [pic #2] , and when in Rome... right?!). Surprise of all surprises, Emily and I started spraying all of them with abandon to find our favorite—we love a game of 'Pick One or Die'—with Emily settling on Bois D'Argent, a honey-patchouli blend she first sniffed on a salesperson at Kirna Zabête (he smelled amazingly unique, she pressed him for details), and me, on the pine-colored Eau Noire. I'm pretty obsessed with fragrances, and the more different-smelling, the better. I liked Eau Noire because it didn't remind me of anything I'd ever tried: there's a spiciness that I'd call “curry-ish' or “cumin-esque' (apparently, it's a Provence mix of lavender and thyme), and a lingering, sugary warmth (cedar, vanilla bourbon, liquorice), which makes it ideal for winter. And for evening—it's sensual and kind of mysterious, in that you can't really place the smell. India? A log cabin? It's going to please some and alienate others, but isn't that what life's about? (Tell me if I'm alone in my affection for oddball scents.) Eau Noire's providing me with a little excitement as I part with my more flagrantly summer-y scents (Rose 31 and Violet Blonde) for the season. Plus, it really classes up my bookshelf, where, obviously, I've chosen to display it.