byredo flowerheadFor the latest scent from Stockholm-based fragrance house Byredo, Creative Director Ben Gorham has drawn inspiration from his cultural heritage with a fragrance inspired by his own experience at a traditional Indian wedding ceremony.

Flowers traditionally play a major symbolic role in Indian weddings, where flower heads are strung together on giant leis, which are exchanged between bride and groom as a token of respect. At the heart of Flowerhead is wild jasmine sambac, a fresh white floral scent, combined with a ‘snapped-stem’ green accord, sensual dewy tuberose and rose petals for luck. These floral mid-notes are offset by three piquant top-notes: Sicilian lemon, angelica seeds and lingonberry.

“A lot of the work I’ve done in the past started off with specific references – personal memories and things associated with my background and upbringing. As I became more experienced in the craft of making a perfume the dialogue with the perfumer evolved into a common language and I was able to venture outside of these specific references and to develop a fiction,” Gorham told Style.com.

A few years ago Gorham developed an interest in his heritage, which is part Indian. This project was sparked five or six years ago when Gorham gave away his cousin at her Indian wedding, which was his first traditional Indian wedding. This fragrance was about capturing that idea of an Indian bride, rather than just the wedding and decided to name it Flowerhead because the bride is completely covered in floral hair arrangements.

Available at Barneys and Byredo

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nirvana perfume

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen launched a fashion brand named Elizabeth and James after their remaining siblings. Since their clothing launch went so well they decided to do what would naturally come next; launch a perfume, or two. Nirvana White and Nirvana Black was released in December and are sold exclusively in Sephora stores and online, at Sephora.com.

The fragrance campaign offers a more visual representation. Shot by Ryan McGinley, who has a penchant for capturing the carefree nature of naked youth. I am not entirely surprised that the ad campaign features a naked female model, sleeping and sprawled across a swaddle of rosy pink, glossy sheets, with a dog lying across the back of her legs, but that’s just me.

Nirvana Black saw 50 different incarnations before the twins were happy with the scent – ‘and that’s 50 versions not including the various tweaks we made to individual notes,’ said Ashley. Nirvana Black is a woody fragrance, dark and somewhat masculine, intended for both genders. The fragrance is built around accords of violet, sandalwood and vanilla. This perfume would be perfect in colder temperatures due to its heavier scent.

Nirvana White is a musky – floral fragrance composed of peony, lily of the valley and musk. The scent is very reminiscent of an armful of lily petals spiked with a warm, heady musk.

hbz-olsens-elizabeth-and-james-comp1

As you can see, the bottle design strives for simplicity and a modern but not too modern look. It reminds me a bit like a 1950′s cigarette case. I keep going back and forth between the two scents. One plays to my more feminine side, while the other plays into my city-girl vibe. I honestly can’t say which I like better. I might just have to get both.

Purchase Nirvana White and Nirvana Black at Sephora.

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chicken parmIn theory chicken parmesan is great. What’s not to love? You’ve got fried chicken and melted cheese. However, for me, it just doesn’t work.

Part of the problem is that most chicken parm recipes have you douse the crisp fried chicken with sauce before covering it with cheese and then baking it. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems a little silly to fry something to get it crisp only to cover it with liquid and make it soggy. I don’t fry it. I only brown it slightly in some olive oil to give it a little color.

Combine the chicken with your  favorite sauce, top with a little mozzarella cheese and toss it in a hot oven. You’ll have a dish of moist, juicy chicken breasts that are cheesy on top with a thick, flavorful sauce bubbling underneath.

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Olive oil
  • Jar of your favorite sauce (I like Rao’s)
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Grated parmesan cheese

 

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350′. Season the chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Place the chicken in a hot skillet with olive oil and brown on both sides (about 2 minutes per side). Place chicken in a foil-lined baking dish and cover with the sauce. Place in the oven covered for 20 minutes. Remove cover and sprinkle the chicken with both the mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Place back in the oven and bake uncovered for an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and is bubbly.

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