Thursday 27 October 2016

Two Scents For Autumn

With the clocks about to go back an hour, if you live in the United Kingdom, and the nights starting to really draw in, we are right in the middle of Autumn. The leaves beginning to change colour is always the cue to get out the woolly scarf, start preparing to carve your pumpkin and look forward to bonfire night. After that we find ourselves hurtling full speed towards Christmas. So, before we get all festive I thought it would be good to look at two perfumes, decades apart, that are guaranteed to make you want to start kicking those piles of Autumn leaves. Grab your scarf and gloves; we're going for a walk.

In 1981 Odette Breil-Radius was asked to compose a fragrance that was the "male counterpart" to the famous Je Reviens by Worth, the result was Worth Pour Homme. Now, in 1981 the company was under the control of Société Maurice Blanchet Parfums De Luxe (snappy name!), but it is now owned by Shaneel Enterprises. Okay, we're a few reformulations down the line but don't let that deter you from trying this one. At the beginning of this fougere you get a huge hit of citrus and lavender, although straight away the oakmoss is pushing its way through. The juniper, which was very fashionable a few years ago, helps to temper the rose, but it's the masculine base that is the most interesting. A typical earthiness is given a more sexy edge with the addition of labdanum. This gives an exciting dirtiness to the freshness. When it launched it was described as "the quintessentially masculine fragrance" and could be "worn with confidence”.

A truly great perfume needs to have a story, a journey, and must either challenge or content the wearer. Danielle Ryan, of Roads Fragrance, lists her inspirations as, "places, people, memories, eras, emotions, experiences and art", and pulling all of these together has resulted in a truly eclectic selection that both defines and defies convention. Leave your preconceived ideas about perfume at home and jump into the unknown. Bitter End, which was released in 2014, is described as "a beautiful, but barren, place of isolation". An exciting new approach to the aromatic family, it perfectly captures the quality of wet foliage and moss whilst still circling the wearer with an expansive airy quality. The violet in this fragrance "completes" the composition and, along with the olive, provides a subtly reflective scent.

The thing to remember about Autumn scents is that they can either add to or counteract the freshness that the changing season brings. I like to embrace the crispness and enjoy that transient period between summer effervescence and winter sumptuousness, but you should make your own choices. Worth Pour Homme is available from and Bitter End can be found at Selfridges or Avery Fine Perfumery.

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