March 24 2011
Generally speaking, the sort of scents that I like are not found in the main aisle of the beauty hall. But passing through a London store recently, I found myself offering my wrist to a beauty consultant poised with a bottle so beautiful I couldn’t resist stopping for a closer look. Featuring a tangle of thin metal threads with a scattering of ruby-red stones and framed between two sheets of plexiglass, I would have bought La Prairie’s Life Threads Ruby (£75, 50ml eau de parfum) on visual appeal alone. And then the scent drifted up from my wrist to the back of my nose and the deal was sealed.
For those who know their notes, it is a floral oriental, containing ylang-ylang, rose, jasmine and orange blossom. It reminded me of Donna Karan’s Cashmere Mist – a fragrance that I sometimes wear in winter – only not quite so sweet and a whole lot more tenacious.
Life Threads Ruby is not a shouty fragrance but a whisper of quiet, super-refined luxury. Its molecules seemed to mingle with the fibres of my coat and linger there for days. (As another delicious bubble drifted up from my coat sleeve, it occurred to me that navy cashmere is exactly what this scent would be if it were a fabric.)
La Prairie’s Life Threads collection – and I’m still not sure how Ruby slipped under my radar – is a line of fragrances inspired by jewels and precious metals. Emerald, Sapphire and Ruby, I subsequently discovered, each unveil a different facet of love (no prizes for guessing that Ruby stands for passion). In the unlikely event that I ever get bored with the latest addition to my scent collection, at least I will never tire of looking at the bottle.