As a beauty editor, you'd imagine that my apartment would be filled with tons of eyeshadow, lipstick, mascara, and makeup brushes, but because of my unusual home habits there are only two things I can admit to hoarding: nail polish and perfume. Yet, my introduction to Valentino's Valentina was like no other fragrance experience.
Our rendezvous started in the brand's New York City showroom with an up-close look at the spring 2012 ready-to-wear collection. Surrounded by mannequins outfitted in the lace designs of Pier Paolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri, I began to develop an idea of what the Valentino woman smelled like -- sweet and sophisticated.
Next, I was ushered into a hallway where I caught my very first glimpse of Valentina. The pink-hued fragrance was poured into a round glass bottle adorned with three flowers in white, ivory and nude. And it's signature gold and black pearl top added an interesting edge, as represented by the face of the scent, Freja Beha Erichsen.
Valentino Valentina perfume, $80-$108, available at Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdales, Saks, Nordstrom, Valentino boutiques.
As I made my way into a lounge decorated with leather white couches and floral and fruit arrangements, I could finally get a whiff of Valentina. I played a game of guess the note with a perfumer, deconstructing the fragrance into its top, middle and base. Spending my summers picking fruit in open fields back in South Carolina, it only took seconds for me to call out the strawberry, jasmine and cedar. However, I was stumped by the white truffle which blended seamlessly with bergamot, amber and orange blossom. The combination left behind a soft and sensual scent that made me think of Erykah Badu's song "Kiss Me On My Neck." Not overpowering, but tempting. I had fallen deeply in love.
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