Looking for the One... Perfume He Doesn't Hate
So we knew we faced a challenge. But, determined to keep Amy and Sasha's love alive, we took their problem to master perfumer Francis Kurkdjian, who had a potential solution: a fragrance that starts out light (for Amy) but then turns a little darker and sexy (for Sasha) in the drydown—the smell that lingers on your skin after the scent has evaporated a bit. Kurkdjian suggested 12 fragrances he thought might do the trick.
So on a bright Monday morning in the O offices, Amy and Sasha submitted to a scent intervention. We separated them; then, Sasha patiently sniffed each of the 12 fragrances, finally deciding on five he'd want to smell on his wife. Amy sampled his picks to find at least one that appealed to her, too. There was tension—and a lot of scent—in the air....
Sasha and Amy sniffing their way toward some common scents.
The 12 Contenders
The Sniff Test
Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Universalis Forte
Bergamot, lemon, jasmine, rose, wood, musk
Photo courtesy of Maison Francis Kurkdjian
Sasha says: It's light.... I can barely smell it. [Holds the scent strip under his nostrils, snorts deeply, pauses] When I get a good whiff, I really like it.
Amy says: Oh, I find this very heavy. And to me, heavy is not sexy.
Viktor & Rolf BonBon
Tangerine, black currant, orange, orange blossom, jasmine, peach, wood, caramel
Photo courtesy of Viktor & Rolf
Sasha says: Yes, I would like this citrusy, orangy smell on Amy. But the bottle is strange [narrows his eyes suspiciously].
Amy says: Cute bottle—shaped like a bow! [Sniffs, then crinkles her nose] Smells like a flower arrangement that's about to go bad.
Narciso Rodriguez for Her L'Absolu
Jasmine, musk, amber, sandalwood, patchouli
Photo courtesy of Narcisco Rodriguez
Sasha says: For some reason, this reminds me a little bit of a Ping-Pong ball. Which I like.
Amy says: Is this musky? I know musk is supposed to unleash my primal powers of attraction. [Sighs] Whatever.
Bobbi Brown Beach
Jasmine, sea spray, mandarin
Photo courtesy of Bobbi Brown
Sasha says: Subtle but also kind of complicated—crisp, sweet, flowery, a little tangy. The more I sniff it, the better it gets.
Amy says: What does this make me think of? Oh, it's baby lotion.
Issey Miyake L'Eau d'Issey Eau de Toilette
Lotus, freesia, cyclamen, rose water, peony, carnation, white lily, musk
Photo courtesy of Issey Miyake
Sasha says: Hmm, perfect! This is a dark night full of stars. Deep and sexy. My favorite!
Amy says: This one is so light and clean. Does that count as sexy? I would definitely wear it. Yeah, I like it a lot!
The Passion Potion
So L'Eau d'Issey Eau de Toilette it was. "Intensely sexy," Sasha said. "Fresh and soft," chimed in Amy. And they found it mutually alluring. Kurkdjian was pleased, and unsurprised. "L'Eau d'Issey is bright, airy and breezy, a true floral fragrance," he said. "Yet, the base is complex, with woods, amber and muskiness that give it sexiness and mystery." In other words, just the right formula for one couple's conjugal bliss.