What’s Olfactory Is New Again!

A New Perfume Transports Me To The Early ’90s


Kate Moss on cover of Harper's Bazaar December 1992.


La Parfum: White flowers, cedar woods and a drop of honey with notes of orange blossom, jasmine, patchouli and rose.

Elie Saab’s signature perfume, Le Parfum, reminds me of standing in the basement newstand at  Lazarus, where I would go to drool over winter editions of Vogue, Harper’s Bazzar, Elle and a then oddly formatted W.

The original Joop! women's fragrance, who's balmy woodland mist inspires me to reflect back on a the Clinton years, swim practice and shopping with my mother.

Specifically the powder spiced scent brings me back between the pages of December ’92 Harper’s  Bazaar, a Kate Moss clad Christmas cover. The issue contained a pull out sample of Joop! which is almost identical to spicy and strong fragrance by Saab! From mid November, when I bought the issue until at least February, the glossy accompanied me to study halls off campus lunches, sleepovers and swim practices, and eventually saturated its scent into every stitch of clothing and book bag pocket.

Le Parfum takes me back to those formative years when the only item you could get Fendi in Columbus was perfume. I thought NY was a magical place, almost fantastical as fashion labels came to me only in print, syndication, like MTV’s house of style and Jeanne Beker  Fashion Television on VH1.

My mother and I would stalk Donna Karan knitwear until it cleared 75% off. One sweater I still have is a DKNY cable knit cardigan bought at a bargain $75, but at the time,  was a serious splurge.

Strange how our nose can travel in time, where fashion seeks to redefine it.


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