The 10 Best New Fragrances of Spring 2012

I've decided on my spring fragrance this year—have you?
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Michelle Villett
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I've decided on my spring fragrance this year—have you?
Carolina-Herrera-Spring-2012-backstage

So the weather outside may be frightful. (Did anyone leave the house last night? OMG, I nearly caught hypothermia on the way home.) But that doesn't change the fact that next week we'll be in May. MAY! How that happened, I don't know—but May flat out requires a scent to go with. Meaning a spring one. Yes, even if the weather isn't quite co-operating yet.

I'm not really a signature scent person—the more beauty products, the better, I always say*—so switching up your fragrance with the seasons is definitely something I encourage. *And this sentence in turn will encourage earnest commenters like the one who dropped by last week to tell me I am "vapid," "insecure," and that "nobody needs this many products in their life." Ha!

That may all be true, actually, but whatevs—I am here to be servicey, and today's service is to tell you what's new in spring scents. In case you're in the market for one. I've got mine already picked out, so read on...

Ralph Lauren Big Pony Collection for Women

Ralph-Lauren-Big-Pony-Collection-for-Women

I was always jells of the boys for having these Big Pony fragrances. The preppiness of it all makes me happy in an OCD kind of way. Now there's a whole collection just for women... and you might think they'd all be pretty sporty, but you'd be wrong. Only #1 is (it has grapefruit and blue lotus). Big Pony #2 is a "fruity sensual" (with cranberry and Tonka mousse, whatever that is); #3 is a "radiant floral" (pear and mimosa); and #4 is a more traditional oriental (with wild cherry and purple amber). They actually have a quiz here to help you decide which one suits your personality. It might be fairly accurate because it chose #4 for me, which was the scent I liked best too.... with #2 a close second.

PS - For the sake of my top 10 list, I'm counting these as one scent... since a top 13 just isn't very catchy.

Diane by Diane von Furstenberg

Diane-by-Diane-von-Furstenberg-EDT-and-EDP

Do you work in an office? Because this could be the ultimate springtime office scent. Kinda like the signature DVF wrap dresses. It's available as both an EDT and an EDP, and Diane describes it as "powerful and seductive, without being aggressive." I don't get anything seductive—and who wants to be seductive in an office?—even though there are lots of woody notes (patchouli, myrrh, musk). Maybe they've been tempered by the frangipani and violet. Anyway, together they make for a very pleasant, clean, quietly sophisticated scent. Truthfully, this one is not at all "me," but take that with a very large grain of salt because I come from the very non-office-esque world of magazines.

Valentino Valentina

Valentino-Valentina-Eau-de-Parfum

This one's a floriental, and it was WAY sweet for me on first spritz. That's the opening strawberry-citrus note (one which, in my experience, can get a bit too Toddlers and Tiaras at times). But if you give it a chance, this thankfully dries down to something a lot more fresh and wearable, kind of like a white floral. The other notes are bergamot, jasmine, orange blossom, tuberose, cedar and truffle, and they make for an extremely pretty—if understated—scent. The flower-adorned packaging is also gorge.

L'Eau de Chloé

Is there anything prettier than a Chloé perfume bottle? I think not. This scent is an updated version of the 2008 Chloé. I can't remember what that smelled like, but I'm totally digging this. It kind of reminds me of Calyx a little in that it has this big, bright opening of lemony citrus (supposed to be frozen lemonade, in fact). It's a chypre for sure, so quite green, but there is also lots of rose and a faint hint of spiciness from some barely-detectable patchouli. This is another great daytime spring scent—for work OR play.

LEau-de-Chloe

Stella McCartney L.I.L.Y

Stella-McCartney-L.I.L.Y

So Stella made this one as a tribute to her mom, Linda. And Lily (L.I.L.Y) was apparently Paul's nickname for her—which stood for Linda I Love You. (Awww....) Lily, of course, is the main note here too. Isn't it funny how Stella takes these old-lady flowers, first rose and now this, and totally modernizes them? That's what happens when you mix lily of the valley with pink and black pepper, truffle, oak moss, patchouli, ambrette and white musk. You might not be a floral person, but I SWEAR this will grow on you. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how light, clean, non-generic and in fact, SEXY, this is. Yes, lily of the valley can be sexy. I said it!

Lancôme Ô de L'Orangerie

Lancome-O-de-LOrangerie

I ripped this one out of its packaging right away when it arrived. Orange blossoms? Yes, please. (There needs to be more scents with that note, don't you think?) Anyway, this is meant to transport you to an orange grove in France, or some such thing, and it does a pretty good job. Think green floral: the notes, besides the blossom, include orange zest, jasmine, benzoin and cedar. Now excuse me while I go check prices on flights to Nice.

Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia Satin Edition

Giorgio-Armani-Acqua-di-Gioia-Satin-Edition

Here's one for you acquatic fragrance fans. It's a new edition of 2010's Acqua di Gioia, and it's supposed to be more sensual and mysterious. Personally? I'm detecting more fruitiness than anything, but I admittedly have an "immature" nose. The notes here are fresh crushed and frozen mint leaves (YUM!), aquatic jasmine, lemon zest, brown sugar and cedar. Bonus: when you spray it on, it leaves behind the barest hint of subtle shimmer.

Givenchy Very Irrésistible Electric Rose

It feels like there has been a zillion versions of Very Irrésistible since the original first bounced on the scene in 2003. The latest is going for a rock 'n roll vibe and has notes of blueberry, lemon zest, anise, rose, green violet and cedar. It's a solid fruity floral to my nose—and Liv Tyler is back as the face. Perhaps you've seen the ads all over? When you buy it you get a free download of Liv singing a remixed version of INXS' "Need You Tonight." Is that a draw? I don't know... you can also hear it on YouTube.

Busted Image

Anna Sui Fairy Dance Secret Wish

Confession: I LOVE Anna Sui fragrances. Every single one she's ever made, in fact. And it's not just because the packaging is so darn cute (yes, I am five years old and I LIKE fairies sitting at the top of the cap). Anyway, the scents themselves always deliver for me: they're feminine, fresh, clean and pretty—but not heavy, hit-you-over-the-head florals. So the latest, Fairy Dance is definitely entering my rotation. It's supposed to be about a sunny day in an "enchanted" rose garden. (Again: it appeals to your inner five-year-old.) But who cares when the notes of tangerine, mango, pink pepper, rose, peony, bamboo, sandalwood, vetiver and vanilla all smell so wonderful? C'mon, try it!

Anna-Sui-Fairy-Dance-Secret-Wish

Tom Ford Lavender Palm

Tom-Ford-Lavender-Palm-Eau-de-Parfum

So even though I love the Anna Sui, it still doesn't hold a candle to my pick of the season... the only Tom Ford scent that I've ever loved. Like, head over heels love. (That's why I'm bring it up again because yes, I know I mentioned it before. It's THAT GOOD.) Don't let the lavender scare you off. Tom interprets it in a wholly masculine way (sorta like how Stella modernizes her rose and lily of the valley... but better). The bergamot, lemon, lime blossom, clary sage, frankincense and woods make it completely sensual and sexy. But even though this is a unisex scent, you don't feel like a man or anything while wearing it. Just kind of breezy and earthy and California-like... which is how I want to smell, and feel, this spring. You?

Tell me:

What scent(s) are you wearing for spring?
Have you tried any of these guys yet?
Do you have a favourite scent category—florals? Orientals? Acquatics?