x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

The Beauty Spy: On 1980s scents

The Beauty Spy is happy to share her secrets on 1980s scents.

Tina Chang / The National
Tina Chang / The National

The 1980s revival seems to be lingering in fashion and in the air. First I'm sporting shoulder pads so wide I'm fearful of taking out passers-by. And if they don't get 'em my fragrance will. Yes, those big beastly brews of the Eighties are back with a vengeance. Belle d'Opium is one of these remarkable reincarnations. It's like Opium's younger, more energetic sister - still full of heady incense and woody notes - but injected with a few florals to make it more wearable. Be warned, however, it still packs a punch - so don't douse yourself. I would recommend a couple of spritzes and a walk through the mist, so it's less concentrated.

Another olfactory blast from the past is Poison. The first time around I didn't appreciate the scent's complexity - but at the time I was still attending the roller disco and championing the styles of Pepsi & Shirlie. Now I'm sporting this season's Lanvin - and am in love with Christian Dior's new Hypnotic Poison Eau Sensuelle. The scent is no stranger to the makeover territory - there have been half a dozen versions. But this time it's nicely sweeter, thanks to the amped-up vanilla accord.

Anything marked "musky" fills me with fear - as a child of the Eighties I remember the entire gym class dabbing The Body Shop's White Musk behind the ears at the end of lacrosse practice. We must have annihilated our teachers' nasal hair, and I haven't been able to come to grips with that smell since. That is, until now. I've just had the pleasure of sniffing Narciso Rodriguez's latest Musc Collection, which has the sultry undertones as expected but is nicely infused with jasmine and orange blossom.

Estée Lauder's Beautiful celebrates its 25th birthday this month. And it has long been floating around in my perfume drawer. (Yes, I do have an entire drawer dedicated to scents - and why not, I tell my other half, it's an extension of one's wardrobe, after all.) Anyway, it appears I'm not alone - one bottle of Beautiful is sold every 13 seconds. Not bad considering its age. The talented Tom Ford was, of course, way ahead of this trend. A few years back, when he launched Black Orchid, his aim was for women to still be able to smell the scent on their blouse the next morning. How very Eighties, I thought at the time; but I realise it's so very now. And a vast improvement on the shed loads of L'eau de nothingness that have been launched of late.


Three of the best volume-boosting mascaras

Lancome Hypnose Top Coat, Dh160 The formula has a subtle shimmer that catches the light, so it not only adds oomph to boring black, but also ensures lashes really stand out. 

DiorShow Extase Mascara, Dh155 This could be the "Avatar" of mascaras - it promises a 3D effect, courtesy of a pearl pigment that when applied doubles in size and makes lashes come alive.

MAC Plush Lash Mascara, Dh77 The specially designed bristles shaped into a "V" apparently prune, lengthen and separate lashes. Whatever, the results almost rival a false set. 


Love, Chloe

If we haven't shown our love for the French fashion house enough, Chloé's latest fragrance says it loud and clear. Modelled by the brand's regular face, Raquel Zimmerman, Chloé combines the flowery base notes of its classic perfume with a talc scent. It is neither overpowering nor non-existent, with the right amount of lilac, pink pepper and subtle almond. 

Exclusive to the Chloé boutique, Emirates Towers, from October 19 to November 1, then at retailers nationwide; Dh335 (50ml) and Dh430 (75ml), Chloé, Dubai Mall, 04 339 8200; Emirates Towers, 04 330 0700