A few weeks ago, I was in the presence of a woman I feel comfortable describing as the chicest in New York City. Not only was her outfit simple and impeccable, but she also exuded the kind of restrained polish my loud, awkward self can only aspire to. On top of all that, she smelled amazing — pretty much exactly how you would imagine by looking at her. Because there is no not-weird way to compliment someone on their smell, it took me a while to gather the courage to ask her what she was wearing that took her chicness from an aspirational level to a downright impossible level, but ask I did. The answer: Frederic Malle's Portrait of a Lady.
After I sent an overdramatic email to Stephanie, a sample was sent over to the Fashionista office — I'm a big believer that you should always try a fragrance on before committing — and now I'm completely hooked. The rose essence isn't overtly girly, and the musky base feels sophisticated and sexy. When I wear it, I feel as if I've harnessed some of that polished refinement. It's certainly expensive, but a little goes a long way.
Frederic Malle "Portrait of a Lady," $365 for 100ml, available at Net-a-Porter.
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