Mary Wells: Topping It All Off With Hermès, Vuitton and More


Only 13 days until Christmas! wOw’s Gypsy brings you the best of the best in accessories and fragrances …


Nancy Williams, the manager of Louis Vuitton in Vancouver, told me Louis’s big colors for handbags these holidays are cassis, purple, red and gleaming patent brown – and silver and gold. I would hire Nancy Williams to run all my stores if I were Louis. She has “it.” “It” is very hard to find. She also said that she sells a lot of Louis’s jeweled dingle dangles to hang on her bags as they are doing everywhere else in the world that Louis has settled. Hermès  has its own dangle, but  they call it their pom pom. It’s soft. They also have — believe it or not — a new “Kelly Long.” It’s in leather so it is not all that expensive — but it is a “Kelly” so it is not a casual purchase. And they have a modestly priced bull’s-eye canvas and leather bag I bought for myself for Christmas and hid away until this month. I just couldn’t say no.

Chanel just came out with a stunner: a black patent bag covered in silver circles in a way that is smoother and more sophisticated than most silver decorated bags. I predict it will sell out – boom!

You can buy dingle dangles and pom poms without buying bags — and that is a hip inexpensive gift idea for sprucing up the bags you gave as gifts last year.

Scarves have become art. Sometimes they are a thrill. And they are all over the world at all prices. I limited myself to Hermès scarves because my computer can’t handle the flood of them this year. I wanted to frame them all! What a good way to give art to someone this year. 


Finally, today, I must tell you about what is happening in the fragrance world. Because it is dividing into two different worlds for both men and for women. There is the world in which women choose a sensuous, provocative, exciting fragrance that is especially lovely in a horizontal atmosphere and in which men choose rich, stirring, clearly masculine fragrance. 

There is a newer world in which men and women prefer lighter, cooler, more unusual fragrances that suggest surprise and adventure and laughter and freedom of spirit.

There is no law that I know of that says you must choose which world you will be in. You can leap or slither back and forth. But it is wise to wear a fragrance that signals what is going on in your unconscious at the time. I have experienced a lot of fragrances for this report and I roped in a batch of friends. I think it is true to say we can’t smell anything very well at the moment – we are fragrance drunk – but we know it will pass. We had reports from the stores but we needed to know which was which to give you our opinions of what is the best of the best fragrances of Christmas 2008. We are only reporting on fragrances we all really like. But they are each unique. They do, however, fall into the classifications above.

For women’s sensuous world we like Tom Ford’s Black Orchid and his new White Patchouli, Prada’s Infusion d’Iris, Dolce & Gabbana The One, Fendi Palazzo and Estée Lauder Sensuous — although there was some disagreement about Sensuous not really being sensuous.

For the masculine world we like Tom Ford For Men, Gucci Pour Homme, F by Ferragamo, Creed Virgin Island Water and Euphoria by Calvin Klein.

Hot from Tom Ford, New York: his newest fragrance, Extreme. This male fragrance is rich, riotous, full of suggestion and the sexiest of his fragrances yet. It is an experience. You could try it out all by yourself in your next bath — spray it around. Woo. It is correctly named and a lot of men would be very flattered to get it tied in a bow. Be careful with Tom’s look-alike black boxes. His fragrances are stirring and very male but they are also very different.

For women in a lighter spirit we like Marc Jacobs’s new Daisy, Michael Kors new Island Capri, David Yurman’s Eau de Parfum.

We especially like the Hermès lineup of unusual fragrances: Brin de Réglisse, Paprika Brasil, Osmanthe Yunnan, Vetiver Tonka, Ambre Narguile, Poivre Samarcande. We had quite a disagreement as to which is best — this is an important provocative line that has been in development, adventurous yet easy and elegant and never boring, never heavy, never old.

We also like Pure Tiffany for women a lot – it is in the same world as the Hermès line, it is so clear, almost spiritual, so lilting, so very good up close! It says a lot about you.

For men in the lighter spirit we like Cartier Roadster, but even more we like Sport from Tiffany, again another very modern fragrance from them and we like the same Hermès fragrances for men as we do for women. They are truly modern.

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