Thursday, 21 March 2019

PERFUMES: THE A-Z GUIDE by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez

It’s hard to believe that eleven years have passed since a perfume book was published that revolutionised the fragrance industry. Up until that point there had been magazine articles, reviews, and the world of blogger criticism was exploding, but there had never been a book that truly critiqued scent. This is where Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez came in with Perfumes: The A-Z Guide. Now in its umpteenth edition in the UK, and finally rereleased in America, it's time to revisit this legendary publication to see whether it can still claim to be, in the words of David Sexton, “nothing less than an essential possession.”

Monday, 18 March 2019

CHAMELEON by Zoologist

When a perfume company takes a very particular inspiration for its fragrances it can often run into difficulties with breaking out of a perceived style. This has been one of the challenges with Victor Wong’s Zoologist range, but it’s one that is about to be blown out of the water. The brand became known for highly scented animalic fragrances that often veered more towards “olfactory artistry” than “wearability” and, with the exception of Hummingbird and Camel, were very anchored in a niche clientele. This month sees the launch of Daniel Pescio’s Chameleon and his balance between style and substance is absolutely spot on.

Monday, 11 March 2019

Three New Aqua Allegorias from Guerlain

It’s always very difficult to pin down the seasons, especially with the current unexpected variations in temperature, but there is one annual fragrance release that definitely makes it feel like spring has arrived. Guerlain’s Aqua Allegoria range has earned a reputation for lifting us out of the winter blues and hinting at the warmth that is to come, and this year there are three to choose from. Flora Cherrysia, Ginger Piccante, and Coconut Fizz join the existing lineup and perfectly compliment the ten already on offer. Created by Thierry Wasser and Delphine Jelk, let’s see what Guerlain has created for 2019.

Monday, 4 March 2019

ROSE POLAROID by SP Parfums

The pressures that are on companies to keep producing exciting and original fragrances have never been greater. Our constant demand for “new and diverting” has to be carefully tempered with “familiar and accessible” in order to make the cash registers ring. It’s this mainstream offering of safe, middle ground scents that has seen an increase in customers looking to independent and niche perfumers for their excitement and creativity. Sven Pritzkoleit of SP Parfums is a perfect example of this and last year saw the release of his wonderfully engaging Rose Polaroid. Six months later it’s time to revisit this flash-bulb floral.

Monday, 25 February 2019

BEAUTIFUL BELLE by Estée Lauder

When a company decides to launch a new fragrance, the decision faced is whether to branch out in a totally new direction or to trade on familiarity. A scent that is already well known has the advantage of being recognisable and, with careful branding, you can really capitalise on this. One company that have built an entire series around this idea is Estée Lauder and their Beautiful collection. The quote, “You are never too old to reinvent yourself” could have been written about Estee Lauder’s Beautiful Belle, the latest addition to the series, but will it be a permanent addition or a merely a two-year novelty?

Monday, 18 February 2019

BERGAMOT by Herba London

Independent perfumers seem to be multiplying at an astonishing rate in the United Kingdom but “quantity” doesn’t seem to have diminished “quality” in this ever-expanding market. Whilst some have a small team to help with every aspect of the production, others really are one-person operations. However, being independent from large corporations means that these perfumers are free to create without the constraints of trend or fashion, and the results are often remarkable. Last year saw the launch of Herba London, founded by Peter de Bique, and his debut collection of eight fragrances was outstanding.

Thursday, 14 February 2019

WILD FLOWERS & WEEDS by Jo Malone London

Jo Malone London started a tradition back in 2011 when they released their first “Brit Collection”, a series of fragrances that were designed to celebrate an aspect of British culture or history. From tea to the Tudors, and herbs to hyacinths, the company have always attempted to add a little fun into February and this year is no exception. Céline Roux, Vice President of Global Fragrance Development for Jo Malone London, called upon perfumers Yann Vasnier and Louise Turner to collaborate on the 2019 collection and the result is Wild Flowers & Weeds. So, will the company’s ninth year blossom or will it wilt?

Monday, 11 February 2019

Valentine's Day 2019 - Scents For Gents

When it comes to recommending fragrances for Valentine’s Day it seems that the emphasis is well and truly on gifting for ladies rather than gifting for men. Many magazines will choose their favourite women’s scents but what about those that need to buy for the man in their life? Well, this year I’ve chosen five scents for you to pick from and, with three of them available on the high street, there’s easily something for everyone. None of these are technically “new” releases, but they might be new to you. So, for Valentine’s Day 2019, it’s time to say hello to Guerlain, Penhaligon's, Bella Bellissima, Chanel, and 4160 Tuesdays.