March Break in Miami
With travel restrictions easing and thousands of Canadians booking spring vacations south, it’s no surprise that Miami is at the top of the list. The city is an epicentre of culture, music and art drawing celebrities, designers and artists from around the world who find the miles of pristine white beaches, Art Deco buildings and Cuban-influenced cuisine inspiring and rejuvenating. More than 1 million Canadians spend six months wintering in Florida each year contributing an estimated $6.5 billion to the local economy. State tourism officials say Canadians make an average 3.5 million visits annually having a huge impact on the economy.
It’s not surprising to spot celebrities like LeBron James, Matt Damon, Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin or Shakira strolling along Ocean Drive in the evening. Most A-list celebrities own homes on Star Island, an ultra-exclusive enclave of mansions and sprawling modern estates with private docks and turquoise pools. Madonna is credited with helping put Miami Beach on the jet-set list in the ‘90s when she owned a home there. Her good friend, Gianni Versace so loved the energy of the city that he bought Casa Casuarina, an American property built in 1930 at 1116 Ocean Drive that he renamed it the Versace Mansion.
He lived there from 1992 until his death in 1997. Today, it is a luxury boutique hotel named The Villa Casa Casuarina boasting ten unique suites and a gourmet restaurant. A night at the opulent hotel will set you back $1,134.00. There are rumoured to be secret doors and passageways throughout the mansion – a door that used to lead from Versace’s bedroom to an entertainment den has since been closed off. If you look online, you can still find copies of the lavish 1993 coffee table book “South Beach Stories” by Gianni and Donatella Versace.
Night life in Miami begins about 10 pm with its neon lights, sidewalk cafes and thumping club music. The impact is multiplied during that annual Art Basel festival that runs mid-June showcasing modern art installations and works from 250 of the world’s leading galleries. Thousands of tourists flock to the city to hear conversations with the finest artists, curators and to see emerging artists.
Scents of Miami
With such a creative vibe, it’s no surprise that perfumers find inspiration in this city. Swedish niche perfumer and artist Johan Bergalin was so enamored with his visit to Miami that he set out to create a signature fragrance that would capture the energy and creativity of the city. “Miami is a metropolis with deep roots in art and cultural diversity,” he says. “Surrounded by sunshine, white sand and the ocean, it’s no surprise it was referred to as Paradise Lost in the 1980s. During this period, Hotel Mutiny stood out as a lush oasis within the apocalypse and hosted a free trading zone and never-ending party with gorgeous models, kingpins and legendary artists. The tv show Miami Vice was a major influence on fashion that included Armani and Hugo Boss jackets in pastels worn with rolled up sleeves.”
Johan’s ode to Miami is a fresh, aquatic fragrance for him or her that blends notes of lemon, ginger, aldehyde with rose oxide, calone and amber xtreme. The secret ingredient? A cocaine accord – made up of botanical ingredients that mimics the scent of the high-priced drug. It’s the brand’s bestselling fragrance in Canada.
Master perfumer Jacques Cavallier may have had the Italian Riviera in mind when blending Riva Solare for Bvlgari but the composition equally reflects the spirit and joy of Miami Beach. This sparkling citrus scent for her combines notes of bergamot citrus, orange blossom, Osmanthus, solar notes and mandarin orange. It could easily be a signature cocktail at Miami’s perennial hip hotel the Delano. The soft blue bottle reflects the serenity of an azure blue ocean and the yellow cap, the bright sunshine.
Fans of water sports will find endless opportunities in Miami Beach from flyboarding to diving and kayaking. You can even strap on an aquajet backpack and soar over the ocean like in a classic James Bond film. Missoni Wave captures this spirit with its sea notes, Sicilian mandarin, citrus, clary sage, Haitian vetiver and patchouli. It’s bright, clean and refreshing.
Of course, if lounging under a striped sun umbrella along the beautiful beach is more your speed, look no further than Versace’s Dylan Turquoise fragrance. This is Donatella’s vision of an endless summer. This fresh and light fruity-floral scent for women blends notes of Primofiore lemon, Italian mandarin from Sicily with jasmine petals & freesia. But it is the juicy guava notes that wrap around the white flowers and woods that gives it a fresh, delicious character.
After a relaxing day at the beach, recharge at a poolside bar with a rum cocktail. With its rich Cuban culture, Miami offers some of the best rum-based beverages. Atkinsons’ channels this spirit with its Pirates’ Grand Reserve fragrance that boasts a healthy dose of rum, cocao, vanilla with patchouli and Virginia cedar. One sniff and you’ll immediately think of the islands.
If you aren’t able to visit Miami Beach this year, you can still take an olfactory trip with one of these fragrances. Each conveys the character of the famous beach and jumping nightlife. And if this is your favourite style of fragrance look for scents with notes of calone, solar accord, ozone, tropical fruits, sand accord, rum, tiare flower and orange flower. You’ll be dreaming of a beach getaway in no time.
Bvlgari Allegra Riva Solare is available exclusively at holtrenfrew.com and select Holt Renfrew stores.
Missoni Wave is available at thebay.com and select Hudson’s Bay stores.
Atkinsons Pirates’ Grand Reserve is available at holtrenfrew.com and select Holt Renfrew stores.