As I was happily unboxing my new Oscar de la Renta Extraordinary perfume, my mom, who was curiously eyeing me from afar, started sharing memories of her own Oscar de la Renta fragrance run-ins. On she went with tales of her perfume of choice when she was younger. Though Extraordinary is a new Oscar de la Renta release, I understood what she was saying and could imagine (although maybe not accurately) what kind of scent she seemed to be in love with. After all, de la Renta’s fragrances have been addictive for decades on end. Extraordinary is no different- I’m obsessed. So much so that I’ve been using it for the past month straight. It’s not even part of my vanity anymore. It’s haphazardly sprawled in the living room, contrary to my mom’s daily “reminders” of keeping a clean, tidy house, just so I can spritz a few dabs right before I step out.
Oscar de la Renta has always been a magnificent designer creating gowns worthy of every woman’s fantasy. I’ve always personally looked up to Oscar too. It’s tough to thrive in this dog eat dog world where overnight success is all but demanded, and I appreciate those rare stories of starting from the bottom and finally reaching the pinnacle of success. De la Renta had one of those stories. I remember reading that one of Oscar’s first fashion jobs involved him picking pins off the floor of a fashion house. Look at what he has built since. A lot of people in this day and age will stick their noses up at a job they think is beneath them so I am especially drawn to that story of his. Unfortunately, greats come and go and the passing of Oscar was a sad day in fashion. He was truly a visionary.
Oscar once said that “A fragrance is an integral part of a person, it is the most intimate way of telling people who you are.” So it should come as no surprise that the fashion house was able to translate the idea of the Oscar woman into bottled essences. This particular scent, which was released just a year ago, was Oscar’s vision of the woman of today and the power that she wields- a confident, self-assured woman, who dresses for herself, and is in charge of her own life.
Maybe that’s why I relate so much to this scent, not because I think of myself as all of those things, but because I desire to be all of those things. Those are traits I want to embody as a woman and a human being in general. It’s about pursuing passions, acing a career, and holding your own.
The scent itself is much more visceral than just the idea of a modern day woman, don’t worry. The scent is a sparkling floral woody that has notes of Vanilla Orchid, Cherry Blossom, Hydroponic Long-stem Rose, Magnolia Flower, Blonde Woods and Amber Resin. But the true star ingredient of this pink mix is the peony- also the star of every social media star’s Instagram feed.
And as my mom wrapped up her nth Oscar story, I realized that favorite perfumes will always bring back certain memories and certain feelings, even decades after the fact. And my own memories with Oscar de la Renta are just about to start.
Photography by Tippi Sy
Hair and Makeup by Rachel Torres
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