Elizabeth And James Nirvana Black And Nirvana White: The Perfect Scents For Soul Sisters

When my best friend alerted me to Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's new perfumes, I knew they'd mirror our fragrance tastes to a T.
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When my best friend alerted me to Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's new perfumes, I knew they'd mirror our fragrance tastes to a T.

I've always been obsessed with the Olsen twins. After all, we practically grew up alongside them. 

Now in their late 20s, Mary-Kate and Ashley are full-fledged fashion icons and astute businesswomen who've built an empire on top of their existing empire. They design not only ultra-luxe The Row, but mid-price Elizabeth and James and even JCPenney's diffusion line, Olsenboye. And from the looks of it, it's the sisters calling the shots 24/7.

I'd been waiting for them to branch out into grown-up perfume. After all, perfume is the gateway drug to luxury purchases. I was surprised to hear that MK&A were planning to launch two fragrances alongside their Elizabeth and James line, not The Row. I just figured they'd release a scent to complement their expensive, perfectly tailored garments.

Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black and Nirvana White were released for a short period of time at Sephora; they'll officially launch in mid-January. My best friend and former roommate Amy Gee, now a resident of Chicago, alerted me to their availability online. Because I am a crazy person, I called Mall of America Sephora immediately and ran to get my bottle. I probably would've ordered it un-sniffed because I admire the Olsens so, which is really a testament to their carefully cultivated celebrity image.

Amy and I lived together for almost six years, if you count our neighboring dorm rooms. She and I are practically sisters at this point, and I've always thought we compliment one another perfectly, both aesthetically and in personality. Where Amy's personal style is minimalistic and effortlessly stylish, mine is more frenetic; one day it's tight-as-hell pencil skirts, the next, worn-out Levi's and giant sweaters. Style-wise, she's the Ashley and I'm the MK.

Our perfume preferences are quite different, too: Amy likes rose, lychee and almost-powdery florals, while I prefer vanilla, amber and tuberose notes. Therefore, Nirvana Black and Nirvana White were practically made for us.


Here's Amy on Nirvana White, her E&J fragrance of choice:

I never thought of myself as the type of girl who was attracted to floral and sweet scents, and you know what? I think I've been lying to myself. I'm currently rotating through three different scents: Chloe Eau de Parfum, Coco Mademoiselle and Givenchy Dahlia Noir. My signature scent usually changes every year or so and I rarely buy the same bottle twice. When I saw Sephora's exclusive release of Elizabeth and James Nirvana White, I had a feeling that we could be a good match, and I ordered it right away. For me, it's a perfect mixture of peony and musk, which is similar to most fragrances I have worn. It's light enough to wear every day without getting sick of it.

I chose Nirvana Black for obvious reasons: its sandalwood, vanilla and violet. It feels a little masculine, like the dry-down of a really fancy aftershave, but totally sexy and feminine, too. Apparently MK & A tested hundreds of sandalwoods until landing on the blend used in Black. Lately I've been layering it with Kate Walsh's Boyfriend for extra sexiness.


Nirvana Black and Nirvana White come in super-chic bottles resembling Zippo lighters. Be warned that the lasting power is not particularly great--my only qualm with the perfumes. 

They claim the two can be layered together, but I'm not sure I would recommend that. Nirvana White is much brighter, and Nirvana Black more mellow, staying closer to the skin. However, they definitely complement one another, and if you’ve got a pseudo-twin like I do, maybe you’ll fall in love. I kind of like the idea of Amy and I wearing matching perfumes though we’re living apart.

Do you love the Olsens? Are you a Mary-Kate or an Ashley? Is this considered a celebrity fragrance? Which one do you think you are: Black or White?