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Michael Kors Fragrance and Leg Shine

By Gesel Pereyra-Mangilit as written for The Daily Tribune (www.tribune.net.ph).

A jar of cream was being passed around the table for everyone to try.

''This is one of the items from the Michael Kors Fragrance Collection, the Glimmer Body Crème,'' Jenny Teves, marketing manager for Rustan's Cosmetics and Toiletries Division, said.

''Doesn't it look like Crumpy?'' she added. Yeah, this looks good enough to eat, I said, as I took a dollop and slathered the concoction liberally on my arms. The pungent smell of what I could only vaguely describe as creamy sampaguita or perhaps an orchid, mixed with an exotic, musky scent, instantly soaked the Teak Bar & Bistro's moody ambiance.

''The intoxicating, floral scent that predominates the fragrance is the tuberose India, which is right in front of you. We had it specially shipped so we could decorate the place with it. By the way, you would notice that the packaging matches the interiors of the place. That's the reason we chose Teak to launch it in," said brand assistant Gladys Gonzales.

Next came the Leg Shine, a solid glimmering stick that you let glide down your leg, down the shin, thighs and calves, giving you that runway look or an instant back-to-vacation glimmer. Judging from the oohs and aahs, Michael Kors has hit it right on the mark with this one. ''It's a real turn-on when you look at a woman and her shin has some shine to it,'' said Michael Kors back in December 2001, when he launched his Michael Kors Leg Shine. That the fashion designer was right when he said body highlighters will be the modern lipstick two years ago is an understatement. Just by checking out the local beauty counters flooded with an array of body shimmers, tinters and highlighters --although not one that's specially made for the legs, at least none that I know of -- that retail for a fraction of the price, you would really believe that it has become not only a fashion/beauty accessory, but a must-have for the real fashionista.

It would have been timely to have launched the product during the summer season, when all that leg shimmer would be shown to advantage with shorts and itsy-bitsy bikinis. But it will surely serve its purpose when Rustan's launches it sometime in June, when all the rains leave us nostalgic about summer and all the fun we've had cavorting in the beach. If that's not the case, then just think about not having to put one that darned pantyhose anymore when you go to work because Leg Shine also evens out imperfections, the secret to Kors' signature no-stocking look.

But who is Michael Kors anyway? I remember watching Joan Allen (Oscar-nominated for her stunning portrayal of First Lady Pat Nixon in Oliver Stone's Nixon, though best known as John Travolta's doctor wife in Face Off), walking down the red carpet at the 2001 Oscar Awards wearing a sleek coral beaded halter gown by the famed designer. Though his few forays into evening wear design has left quite a good impression, there have also been a few hits and misses. One of the latter was the pleated, Grecian-style, orange chiffon gown Jennifer Lopez wore to the 2004 Golden Globe Awards.

It was in sportswear though that Kors left his indelible mark. Known for his use of sumptuous cashmere and other fabrics for casual sportwear, the American designer, a Long Island native and former student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, is said to be master of easy chic since he started his own label in 1981. Early on in his career, most of his clients were pampered Park Avenue and East Hampton ladies who preferred his clean and modern lines. That is, until he expanded his brand to include Michael, an upscale menswear collection. The shift generated a great deal of industry buzz and, soon enough, his slick black leather peacoats and chunky cashmere sweaters garnered Kors the 2003 Council of Fashion Designers of America Award for Menswear Designer of the Year. Even Jennifer Lopez's daywear consists mostly of Michael Kors creations (turtlenecks, wide leg pants, knee skirts).

When Kors set out to create his Fragrance Collection, the same casual sense of style became his signature. It is described as warm and sensual, sophisticated yet wearable. It is the reinvention of the intensely aromatic tuberose India, one of the world's most costly perfume ingredients. Arousing and yet stabilizing, uplifting and yet sedative, the oil is of special worth for those, who are restless, anxious and depressed or in whom sexual desire, due to tension or overwork, sometimes feels lost or dormant. This oil is said to induce relaxation, and help in protecting personal energy and personal boundaries. Most importantly, it might be effective in treating impotence or frigidity.

Wow.

Personally, I feel a bit overwhelmed by the scent, but for those who prefer intense, flowery scents, this could be the one for you. Only be careful not apply it liberally as the scent can last for ages. If you're into high-end designer stuff, then Kors is for you.

The Glimmer Body Crème retails at P3,100, while the Leg Shine is at P1,700. Other products from the collection are Fabulous Body Lotion (P2,800); Body Shower (P2,500); Deodorant Anti-Perspirant (P1,250); and the Eau de Parfum Spray (P4,300), which also comes in a - ml refillable Purse Spray in a chic suede pouch (P5,600).

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