Friday 30 October 2015


The argument of cost versus quality is one that shows no sign of letting up. It goes alongside natural versus synthetic and niche versus mainstream. So, let me say right at the beginning that I don't care whether a perfume is perceived as "cheap", only that it smells good. I wear a fragrance, not a price tag, and we don't walk around with the perfume bottle dangling from a chain. With this in mind I'd like to show you two "inexpensive" choices that are great stocking fillers and are guaranteed to be used to the final drop. They are from the famous House of Worth, and are probably not in your collection at the moment.

Wednesday 28 October 2015

The Library Of Fragrance Stripped Bare

It's been fourteen months since the Library of Fragrance launched in the UK, and in that time it's had to fight hard to secure a portion of an ever expanding perfume market. Already very well known in America, after one year of trading have they succeeded in converting the British audience? Their uniqueness has actually turned out to be one of their biggest challenges but, with people now becoming more perfume-savvy, this is about to change. So, it's time to take another look at the company that creates the fragrances of everyday life, and even gives you the opportunity to blend your own "erotic" scent.

Saturday 24 October 2015

Lizzie Ostrom's Century Of Scents

When Lizzie Ostrom (aka Odette Toilette) first told me that she was writing a book about perfume I remember thinking, how will you get the character of this eccentric into print? Lizzie is anything but predictable, and she has made her reputation by taking perfume and turning it on its head. Anyone who has witnessed her in action knows that her quirky style and approachable manner is what keeps you coming back for more. So, would this translate into print? There have many dry, dusty and pretentious books about perfume over the years which use language that even Countdown's Dictionary Corner would struggle with, but this is not one of them.

Wednesday 21 October 2015

PURPLE FANTASY - Guerlain's 2001 Reality

Guerlain's love of the "limited edition" is nothing new, and actually some might say that the status of "limited edition" can act as a good testing ground for new fragrances. If you remember, Terracotta Le Parfum was only supposed to be available during Summer 2014, but its popularity meant that it quickly became part of the main range. Unfortunately sometimes fragrances fail to attract a following and disappear after only one outing. Jean-Paul Guerlain, as I've mentioned before, created some of the company's most popular fragrances. With an output that was so large, some of his loveliest perfumes got buried along the way. One of these was Purple Fantasy, a special release from 2001 which was another interpretation of his love for all things feminine. Always known for being ahead of his time, is Purple Fantasy a lost Jean-Paul classic that pushed too far on its first release? Let's see how it fares fourteen years later!

Friday 16 October 2015

Sylvaine Delacourte's White Orchid

One thing that has always been at the very heart of every Guerlain product is the scent. Whether it's a lipstick, a compact powder or even a makeup primer, every one has a very definite fragrance. Now, finding that your makeup has a wonderful aroma is something which Guerlain have always excelled at, but their efforts in skincare scent really push the boundaries.

No one that has ever smelt them will forget the famous rose in the Super Aqua range, the freshness of the old Pure Dew Cleansing Foaming Gel, the delicate lily in the Secret de Purette collection, or the edible chocolate that accompanied the Happylogy series. However, the crowning glory must surely go to the White Orchid fragrance that is found inside Orchdée Impériale. Let's seperate the scent from the serum for once, and truly appreciate this intoxicating perfume that debuted in 2006.

Tuesday 13 October 2015

NAHÉMA - An All Consuming Passion

Jean-Paul Guerlain’s creative output was truly astounding, and his contribution to the perfume industry is legendary. A true romantic and a self-confessed ladies man, he loved turning to flowers for inspiration, and in particular his beloved rose. In 1975 he created the incredible Parure and in 1983 the exquisite Jardins de Bagatelle, but what came in 1979? Well, after reportedly working on the fragrance for four years, Nahéma was finally unveiled to the world. A Floral Oriental if you live in the UK, or a Fruity Floral if you live in France, even this friendly disagreement lends itself perfectly to the spirit of Nahéma.

Tuesday 6 October 2015

Guerlain's Fond de Cuve

When Guerlain reopened the Champs-Élysées boutique in November 2013 there was an interesting addition to their range, and one which seems to have gone largely unnoticed. This in itself is quite apt, because the first version of this product was only available if you actually worked for Guerlain.

Saturday 3 October 2015

The Other Side of Guerlain

This year has cemented the never ending demand for country exclusives or limited editions, and I have lost count of the number of emails and phone calls asking me, "What is the latest Guerlain release?" After the usual list of Mon Exclusif, Ne m'Oubliez Pas and Cour des Senteurs, I always politely enquire what fragrances by Guerlain they have used in the past. It is at this point that the miracle happens. People suddenly realise that there are fragrances from before 2013 that are still in production!

Magazines, societies and fan groups have become so preoccupied with the latest releases that they are forgetting the classics that have made the perfume industry the diverse tapestry that it is. So, let's just quickly revisit a few of the classic Guerlain fragrances that can be found in every department store whether you live in London, Manchester or Aberystwyth. Say hello to four wonderful perfumes, three by the genius Jean-Paul Guerlain, and PLEASE go and try them. If you're in London then send me an email and I'll show you them myself.