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1, 3, 6, 7, and 8

By: Jeb Gleason-Allured, Perfumer & Flavorist magazine
Posted: January 8, 2009, from the January 2009 issue of P&F magazine.

Presented with the swatch that would inspire Bill Blass Couture 7, Delphine Jelk was struck by its sense of spontaneity: "So I went to citrus, very sparkling."

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"I love to work with spices," she adds, noting that it is her signature. "I like to work on masculine fragrances like woods and spices, and in this case I tried to blend them in a feminine way. It’s easier to use them in masculine fragrances. There’s a little bit of fruit on top, like mandarin, some grapefruit, and the ginger is really sparkling like when you cut fresh ginger. It’s a little bit limey on top."

Guéros gestures to the dress that inspired Couture 3: "When you see a dress like that with so much detail, so many layers, a very nice evening dress, immediately you think about a sophisticated fragrance. I cannot imagine a sporty fragrance for that kind of dress. So you think ‘what could be feminine and sophisticated’—a floriental, floral-woody or oriental."


The number 6 was Blass’ favorite, and Guéros’ Bill Blass Couture 6 is itself based on one of the perfumer’s favorite locales—Morocco—suggested by the red roses and dark flowers on the dress’ pattern (pictured). "It’s very interesting to work with patterns," he says, "because you have something physical to touch. I have been to Morocco many times and I love it very much. There’s a big history between Morocco and roses, of course. I wanted to recreate that impression, with the spices and woods and flowers. The top note is very spicy. And then you have the nice floral heart. And, finally, patchouli, sandalwood."


Presented with the swatch that would inspire Bill Blass Couture 7 (the number of one of the designer’s homes), Jelk was struck by its sense of spontaneity. "So I went to citrus, very sparkling." The fresh scent is paired to the resort wear’s silky, flowing, sequined pattern (pictured). "I used quite sophisticated citrus, cedrat, pink pomelo and bitter orange instead of lemon, and flowers like magnolia and orris." The perfumer’s goal was to achieve refreshing and effervescent tones without employing marine notes. "You have slightly anisic notes coming from tarragon," she adds. "In the background it’s almost woody, incensey."


New fragrances will be introduced to the Bill Blass Couture collection each season, the latest of which is 8, based on a swatch (pictured) from the house’s 2009 collection. At press time, the scent had not been pared down from the original three demos formulated by Jelk, Garnuch and Guéros. Having three perfumers respond to the same fabric has made for interesting contrasts in style and signature.