Last night I was at the launch event for Hot House Beauties fragrances, Kuba Rose and Crystal Honey, created by Isabel and Ruben Toledo for Lane Bryant. According to the press release, issued in August:
Isabel and Ruben Toledo have envisioned a place where artistry meets joy of life, culminated in an olfactive journey that is effervescent, romantic, and remarkably timeless. This vision comes to life with their creation of a magical world of scent led by botanical characters Kuba Rose and Crystal Honey, hothouse beauties with a story to tell. The Hothouse Beauties exude love, couture, art and joy of life; fundamental values to the Toledos. These deeply personal fragrances are joyful, vibrant expressions, and a true declaration of the lasting love Isabel and Ruben have for each other.
The Toledos indeed appear to still be very much in love. They were impeccable, gorgeous and utterly charming… chatting and posing for photos with pretty much everyone. We discovered that, in the 80’s, we were neighbors living just a few blocks away in West New York, NJ and likely passed each other many times along Bergenline Avenue.
The fragrances, which were developed with Givaudan, a Swiss fragrance house, are described as “floral, fruity gourmand (Kuba Rose) and “floral, fruity musk” (Crystal Honey).
I’ll be honest…. when it comes to colognes and perfumes I’m very difficult. Just ask my fiance who had me sniff bottle after bottle that I’d turn my nose up at. Scents that are too strong or floral irritate me and sometimes even cause headaches. Also, what smells great in the bottle doesn’t always smell great on me. So I was apprehensive when asked to try Kuba Rose or Crystal Honey. Crystal Honey is light and refreshing so I opted for a spritz on my right wrist. Kuba Rose is also light and delightfully musky so I had that spritzed on the left and waited to see which one would clash with my chemistry…. none did. I also found out that Isabel sometimes layers both. So I wound up buying them in the eau de parfum rollerball (16.50 each, available at Lane Bryant.)
Italian bergamot, red grapefruit, red currant, and boysenberry.
Sheer rose, jasmine, peony, tuberose and gardenia.
Vanilla bean, warm musk, exotic sandalwood and patchouli.
Pink grapefruit, green Italian mandarin, pear nectar, green apple, and white starfruit.
Dewberry, juicy raspberry, pink jasmine, apple blossom, and mountain magnolia.
Warm musk, cedarwood, liquid amber and sandalwood.