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Donna Karan (DKNY)

Donna Karan perfumes were born out of the fashion design business of Donna Karan.  She was born and raised in New York, attending the Parsons School of Design (hey, Tim Gunn!) and beginning her career in fashion with Anne Klein, eventually heading up the design team.

She launched her own design shop in 1985.  Noted for her easy to wear, mixable, luxe fabrics, her vision was to create clothing that she would wear.  She stepped down as the CEO in 1997, but continued to design, though less frequently as the years went on, eventually selling the company to LVMH in 2001.

Donna Karan perfumes were launched with the introduction of Donna Karan for Women, which she launched in conjunction with Estee Lauder.  She has used some legendary perfumers to create her fragrances – Maurice Roucel, Pierre Negrin, Calice Becker, Alberto Morillas, Anne Flip and Yann Vasnier, as well as others.

Several of her perfumes have become legendary and also discontinued, though many were re-launched in about 2008.  Donna Karan Chaos, originally introduced in 1996, is still selling on eBay for 3 or 4 times what the re-launched version sells for in retail stores.  It is a cult favorite, with notes of coriander, lavender, sage, carnation, cinnamon, saffron, musk and amber.   Donna Karan Black Cashmere (the original) is another cult favorite, in the little black bullet bottle; it had notes of saffron, carnation, pepper and Wenge wood.

Donna Karan releases regular updates in her Delicious series, kind of like jelly beans, but it is Chaos, Black Cashmere, Cashmere Mist, DK for Women and DK for Men that are the best perfumes from the Donna Karan line.

Try a sample of Donna Karan Chaos (vintage) to experience what she brought to the perfume world when she first ventured into it.  Try a Donna Karan Cashmere Mist sample for a lighter expression of her original perfumes.