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Perfumers have fallen in love again with the chypre family of notes-that sophisticated blend of patchouli and oak moss. For his first women's fragrance, fashion designer John Varvatos has created a voluptuous scent that he calls a “floral chypre.” The amber liquid contains notes of Georgian apricot, Damascus plum and golden mandarin. The heart is composed of lily, Indian mango blossom and Turkish rose, and the base is formed with the chypre blend, tonka beans and wild honey. If it all sounds good enough to drink, it just might be: The fragrance also contains a hint of the aromatic Italian digestif grappa. With his wife, Joyce, as his muse, Varvatos wanted to create an old-world scent with a modern twist. He has also created a perfume version (a rarity in fast perfumery today) with a 50-percent concentration. (Grappa sold separately.) RITA SILVAN
John Varvatos Eau de Parfum ($90 for 50 mL)