"American women like a certain kind of fragrance, stronger and very personal," you told WWD. "I sometimes say it's a little bit like an elevator fragrance. When a woman gets onto an elevator, you can smell this fragrance. It's a bit too much."
You see, Mr. Armani, as an American woman living abroad, your perception touched a delicate nerve. Each day, I fight the good fight against brash American stereotypes, usually regarding our perceived loudness and lack of sophistication. But clearly, there is still much work to be done to change these misconceptions.
In fact, many of the fragrances my colleagues and I have lifted to the pages of national magazines and the Web have been impeccably airy and light. And much to your (and my) relief, Mr. Armani, they're the kind of scents you need to get pretty close to in order to take in.
Lean in and check out a few of my faves. (They don't linger after the elevator doors close.)
Estée Lauder Pure White Linen. It smells how it sounds: Clean, crisp and completely appropriate for both barbecues and boardrooms alike. $67.50
Bobbi Brown Almost Bare. No surprise, Bobbi Brown's sheer floral is much like the rest of her line – timeless, unobtrusive and wearable. $60
Clinique Happy. Milky, citrus-y, flowery and sheer, this is the olfactory equivalent of your favorite clean white tee. $39.50
Kiehl's Musk Eau de Toilette Spray. Fashion and beauty insiders always namedrop this cult scent when talking about their bare-bones, effortless beauty must-haves. It smells amazing, but in an understated, too-cool-for-school kinda way. $38.50
Stay tuned for my review of Mr. Armani's upcoming scent, Idole d'Armani, out this September. A spicy floral with all sorts of refreshing notes -- Sicilian clementine, juicy pear, ginger and Egyptian jasmine -- Idole d'Armani is poised to be the kind of floaty, ephemeral fragrance the style maker loves so much.
Leave a comment with your favorite understated fragrance.