Thursday, 22 October 2020

LINDERHOF AM MORGEN by Charles Wong

Creating the follow up fragrance to your debut scent is arguably one of the hardest feats that any company will ever have to do. The need to balance your existing customers’ expectations alongside a desire to attract new followers to the brand is often a difficult road to navigate. Veer too far away from the original and you might find yourself having to start again from scratch. The latest person to attempt this is Charles Wong. After successfully launching the elegantly refined Aurora back in 2018, he has taken inspiration from the Swan King himself and journeyed to Bavaria to realise the romantically extravagant Linderhof am Morgen.

Monday, 19 October 2020

Keeping A Light Shining On Broadway

If there’s one thing that this pandemic has taught us it’s that every ounce of security can be ripped away at a moment’s notice. One of the sectors that has been particularly hit is theatre and, as someone who was an actor for twenty years, it is devastating to see friends and ex-colleagues suddenly left with no means of financial support. However, in an industry where “the show must go on”, a Broadway duo has come up with an inventive way to provide income for themselves and also other abandoned creatives. We Light literally is a "light in the darkness” and their Cast Party Candle is helping to keep the Broadway spirit alive.

Thursday, 15 October 2020

GRAVITAS by Naughton and Wilson

Can you imagine releasing your own fragrance into an already oversaturated market? Will anybody buy it? Will the reviewers like it? These are important concerns for the large corporations that launch thousands of perfumes every year, but it’s even more nerve wracking when you’re an independent company. Someone who knows all too well about the sleepless nights is Dan Naughton, one half of Naughton and Wilson. Known to the world as YouTube’s MrSmelly1977, he launched the classically-inspired Gravitas in January 2020 and, in a world that is definitely out of sync, it provides a well needed dose of yesteryear refinement.

Monday, 12 October 2020

Credit Where Credit Is Due

The feeling of pride that we all experience when we do, or create, something special is instilled in us from childhood. However, we’re also taught the flip side of this, and that is that taking the credit for someone else’s work is wrong. The perfume industry’s history is littered with misappropriations, and we’ll never know the perfumers who created some of the world’s most famous fragrances, but it surely can’t still be happening? The short answer is yes, it does, and that was unfortunately highlighted in Too Good To Go’s latest campaign. So, let’s take a look at why the old-fashioned “credit where credit is due” is being ignored.

Thursday, 8 October 2020

AURELIA by Filigree & Shadow

We’re all guilty of judging a book by its cover, a restaurant by its reviews, or even a fragrance by its name. We form preconceived ideas based on the information that we’re given and, more often than not, find ourselves disagreeing with our first impression. This becomes doubly hard when you’re trying to pick a fragrance from a choice of thirty-three, but that’s exactly what I had to do with Seattle based perfume house Filigree & Shadow. Unknown to me the founder also included a Lucky Strike extra with my final choice and, powerless to resist, I’ve actually fallen under the spell of the musically inspired Aurelia.

Monday, 5 October 2020

An Autumnal Soap Duo from Te Cosmetics

If there’s one thing that has truly changed in 2020 then it’s surely that the world has rediscovered the humble bar of soap. When antibacterial gels and hand washes started to disappear from the shops there was a sudden realisation that these gloriously scented bars still lived on the supermarket shelves, although often relegated to the bottom. The resurgence of soap has been picking up speed in recent years but it rapidly accelerated, and many independent companies were also suddenly spotlighted. One such brand was Te Cosmetics, and their range of glacial clay soaps make hand washing an absolute joy.

Thursday, 1 October 2020

SPERANZA by Sarah Ireland

There are certain regions of the world that seem to feature heavily as the inspiration for fragrances, and it’s often a fine line between originality and riding on the coattails of someone else’s success. A perfume with a huge dose of citrus for example can regularly be found sporting a reference to the Amalfi Coast, but these hesperidic uplifts often fail to excite as the scent develops on the skin. However, Sarah Ireland has gone in a wonderfully diverting direction with her interpretation of the region, and Speranza Eau de Cologne succeeds wonderfully in transporting you to the historic hillsides around the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Monday, 28 September 2020

SPITE by Chronotope

Launching a perfume brand is a delicate balance of luck and judgement. You’re at the mercy of an audience that is constantly being bombarded by the newest, the biggest, and the brightest fragrance releases. Trying to capture a small part of this market has been attempted many times, and so it was a huge gamble when Carter Weeks Maddox decided to launch his delayed Chronotope brand right in the middle of a global pandemic. He needn’t have worried though because his blend of originality and transparency has taken the niche sector by storm, and Spite will definitely be clawing its way into your collection.

Thursday, 24 September 2020

USE ABUSE by Jusbox Perfumes

The routine of tuning into Radio 1, flicking through the latest issue of Smash Hits, or eagerly awaiting the next episode of Top Of The Pops was the only way that the majority of us found the latest music in the 1980s. We were in the pre-internet age, bedroom walls were covered with posters of your favourite bands, and there were many attempts at a Morten Harket haircut! The explosive colours matched the wonderfully outrageous wardrobes, and this was a real period of “excess all areas.” So, hold onto your hats because it’s time to discover Use Abuse, the eighties-inspired powerhouse fragrance from Jusbox Perfumes.

Monday, 21 September 2020

BÅRE by ånd

An aspect of daily life that recent months has highlighted is one of community. Neighbourly support mechanisms were suddenly brought back into service, and many wondered why we had allowed them to disappear in the first place. When it comes to business, this idea of support is called Corporate Social Responsibility, but often amounts to nothing more than bucket rattling. One company that's shaking up the perfume industry’s perception of “giving back” is ånd. Under the direction of Simon Constantine, it’s time to discover how fragrance can offer independence and also bask in the beauty of Båre.

Thursday, 17 September 2020

BUKHARA by Gallivant

Experiencing the sights, sounds, and smells of an unknown country is one of the things that I love so much about travelling. Being in a totally unknown environment, and veering away from the tourist route, always creates incredible memories. With restrictions still in place on which countries we can visit, it’s thanks to ingenious perfumers and visionary creative directors that we can be transported instead through scent. Step forward Nick Steward, who is continuing his anthology of inspirational cities with the release of his latest Gallivant fragrance. So, grab your passport because we’re about to discover the magic of Bukhara.

Monday, 14 September 2020

STEPHAN'S SIX - SIMON CONSTANTINE


Following in the footsteps of a parental duo that redefined scented bath and body products is an enormous challenge, but it’s one that Simon Constantine has fully embraced. LUSH was the family firm and it’s where he created the successful Gorilla Perfumes, but in September he announced that he was leaving to concentrate on his latest project, ånd fragrances. So, with a renewed desire to encourage accountability and sustainability through scent, I thought that it was time to discover his perfumed memories during “Stephan’s Six”.

Thursday, 10 September 2020

ENVIDE by Karen Timson

The release of a second collection of fragrances brings with it double the amount of nerves that are experienced with the first one. Not only are you thinking about the response to the latest release, you’re also banking on it continuing the success of the original ones. As businesses grow so to do the demands for newness and originality, and this is where a solid scented inspiration is paramount. Karen Timson is no stranger to seeking out the unusual and, with her latest duo of Grecian inspired perfumes, once again weaves storytelling into scent. It’s time for you to discover the violet-imbued Envide.

Monday, 7 September 2020

STEPHAN'S SIX - MATT MELEG


The world of perfumery is no longer the sole domain of those lucky enough to train at one of the prestigious French schools. Self-taught perfumers are becoming more common and have actually helped to push the boundaries of trend and fashion within fragrance, often actually leading the way for the more commercial houses. One of the latest to enter the industry is Vancouver based Matt Meleg, and I wanted to find out some of his scented secrets during "Stephan's Six".

Thursday, 3 September 2020

OXFORD by Ruth Mastenbroek

The past few months have been challenging, liberating, and deeply emotional in equal measure. Having to reach inside ourselves to find the strength to carry on, when we’re so often used to relying on the support of others, has been a new experience for many of us. This feeling of being without the usual scaffolding that we surround ourselves with has meant that we’ve had to draw on our own hidden reserves, and it has become a time of great personal change. It’s this idea of independence and self-discovery that is at the very heart of Ruth Mastenbroek's 2015 fragrance Oxford, and there’s never been a better time to discover it.

Monday, 31 August 2020

STEPHAN'S SIX - GAY SOPER


There are few actresses that deserve the title of “The Queen of the West End” more than Gay Soper. With an incredible career that has spanned more than fifty-five years, including a definitive performance as Madame Thenardier in Les Misérables, Gay is a welcome fixture of London’s theatre scene. A member of the original London production of Godspell, and the iconic voice of BBC Television’s The Flumps, I thought it was time to find out her scented secrets during “Stephan's Six.”

Thursday, 27 August 2020

JASPÉ by Teo Cabanel

The thought of owning your own perfume company, or creating your own collection of scents, is something that goes through the mind of every fragrance fan at one time or another. It usually subsides as quickly as it appears, but sometimes forces outside of your own control make the decision for you. Imagine finding out that you are going to be given a perfume company and that its future rests solely on your shoulders. The pressure would be incredible. Well, that’s exactly what happened to Caroline Ilacqua when she inherited Teo Cabanel. With a collection of eleven scents now available, it's time to discover Jaspé.

Monday, 24 August 2020

STEPHAN'S SIX - CARTER WEEKS MADDOX


The perfume industry is usually thought of as a kind of diaphanous world of late lunches and canapés. Well prepare to have that blown out of the water by Carter Weeks Maddox, the founder of the latest niche brand from Florida called Chronotope. This self-taught perfumer is going to take us from Estée Lauder to bathhouse slings, and everything in-between, as we discover more about him during “Stephan’s Six”.

Thursday, 20 August 2020

TOUJOURS ESPOIR and ÉTOILE CÉLESTE by Villa des Parfums

When we think of Grasse the first thoughts that come to our heads are of idyllic flower fields, women collecting blooms in their aprons, and the thrill of working in perfume’s spiritual home. We’ve had this story recounted so many times to us that it’s become the accepted narrative of the town, but it’s literally this “rose tinted glasses” view of the scented destination that often means we miss the challenges that they actually face. This was the reason that Parfums de Vie was founded and why, ten years later, the charity launched their wonderful duo of non-profit fragrances under the name of Villa des Parfums.

Monday, 17 August 2020

VIA VENETO by Strada Parfumerie

How often have you fallen in love with a city and thought, “I wish that I could bottle the way I’m feeling?” Well, this is exactly what perfumers try to do when they use places as the inspiration for fragrances. The success of this style of scent depends upon your having a connection with the city or, if the location is new to you, the perfume simply being fantastic. Many companies have attempted this and unfortunately many of them have been less than successful, but that hasn’t stopped more trying. The latest to pick up their passport is Strada Parfumerie, and it’s time to head to Rome to experience Via Veneto.

Thursday, 13 August 2020

INFINITE by Ilsa Fragrances

In the current climate of transparency within the perfume business it’s becoming more acceptable for the unseen creatives to finally step forward and take a bow. This long overdue change is introducing many more names to the eager fragrance community, and it’s also seen a lot of those creatives branch out and launch their own perfume brands. However, finding the theme to ultimately hang the fragrances on is no easy task. It will be the perfumed persona that customers will latch onto, and it needs to resonate. Ilsa Fragrances has taken female empowerment as its cornerstone and woven it into Infinite No.1 and Infinite No.2.

Monday, 10 August 2020

FOUGÈRE INTENSE by SP Parfums

The niche sector of perfumery still looks like a rapidly growing market, even in the current uncertain climate. New companies continue to appear, also vanishing with a similar speed, all hoping that they will be become the latest “new young thing.” To many it felt like a certainty that there was room for ever increasing brands but, more recently, it definitely seems like only those with dedication, talent, and drive can succeed. One perfect example of this is German born Sven Pritzkoleit. He’s once again taken the traditions of French perfumery and mixed them with some contemporary magic to create the beautiful Fougère Intense.

Monday, 3 August 2020

OPTIMISM DIFFUSER by Eloise Hall

One of the challenges when creating a home fragrance is deciding whether it will be season specific or suitable for all year scenting, and choosing whether that aroma will be uplifting and expansive or comforting and embracing is often one of the most difficult decisions to make. The characteristics of summer citruses and winter warmers means that they often get associated with a particular time of the year, and so creating a scent that can truly transcend the seasons is a difficult task. That's why it was a great treat to discover the perfect ambience all-rounder in Eloise Hall’s wonderful Optimism Diffuser.

Thursday, 30 July 2020

RACINE DE VETIVER by Jessica Buchanan

When we think about the scent of certain ingredients our minds often unconsciously latch onto the smell of a fragrance that shares its name. How many times have you seen companies launch perfumes with gardenia, sandalwood, even oud proudly displayed on the front of the bottle? These are all blends of ingredients that give a scented experience that may, or may not, mirror the smell of the original. One perfumer who has excelled at harnessing, amplifying, and exploding an ingredient is Jessica Buchanan with her latest fragrance called Racine de Vetiver. Forget your preconceptions because you’re in for a real treat.

Monday, 27 July 2020

APSU by Ulrich Lang

If there is one fragrance style that is guaranteed to excite as well as uplift then it has to be one of those gloriously green scents. These perfumes that were once abundant in the electrically charged galbanum have, in more recent years, relied on man-made ingredients to conjure up cut grass and green leaves. However, when you skilfully combine the two then you can end up with a scent that transcends summery playfulness, adds in a dash of autumnal vegetation, and hints at tropical humidity. This is exactly what you get with Ulrich Lang’s 2016 fragrance Apsu. It may not be the latest, but it’s definitely one of the brightest.

Thursday, 23 July 2020

CUIR DE RUSSIE by Farina Gegenüber

You’ll often hear it levelled against the big perfume companies, and sometimes even the niche houses, that they’re constantly imitating somebody else’s successful style. Deliberately copying a fragrance is a different matter altogether, but what I’m talking about is taking a popular trend and putting your own spin on it. If you think about the many fern-like perfumes that came after Fougere Royale, or even the amber-heavy orientals that were hot on the heels of Shalimar, you can see how being inspired by the latest hit is nothing new. It was the same story in 1925 when Farina Gegenüber launched their fabulous Cuir de Russie.

Monday, 20 July 2020

COURT BOUQUET by The Crown Perfumery

The history of perfume houses is one of the parts of the fragrance industry that fans love. Finding out about your favourite company, and the struggles they may have overcome, can really help to cement the bond between you and your favourite scent. Unfortunately the news isn't always as positive as we might wish but, if you look hard enough, there's always a reason to celebrate. This is what happened with Barry Gibson and The Crown Perfumery. Whilst the company may no longer be in its original form, you’ll definitely recognise what it has become. Let me introduce you to the time capsule that is Court Bouquet.

Thursday, 16 July 2020

BLACK POWDER by Jusbox Perfumes

Inspiration comes in many forms and that couldn’t be truer of the perfume industry. When you consider the thousands of fragrances released every year it becomes clear just how important it is to choose the correct subject. Many wonderful creations are undiscovered due to badly conceived marketing or a basic disinterest in the concept, but there's a company that has absolutely nailed it in every respect. Combining a love of evocative scents with a rapidly accelerating analogue trend, Jusbox have given us a fragranced vinyl experience that will have you reaching for your turntable. It’s time to discover Black Powder.

Monday, 13 July 2020

JASMIN MAJORELLE by Le Jardin Retrouvé

One of the facts about perfumery is that everybody has very definite opinions on certain ingredients. This can often be because of a questionable fragrance in our youth, that possibly featured a particular flower, or even the memories that it may conjure up. It’s this idea of jumping to conclusions without smelling that can occasionally see us miss out on some wonderful perfumes. One of the most “judged” ingredients has to be jasmine. This potent flower has been used for centuries but not always with a delicate hand. One man that did know how to tame it was Yuri Gutsatz, and Jasmin Majorelle is a testament to his skill.

Thursday, 9 July 2020

FRAGONARD MAGAZINE - Their Gift To You

During the past few months you’ll all have seen the increase in the quantity of online perfume discussions, interviews, and articles. This has all helped us to stay connected to our favourite companies and, whilst the quality may have been variable, at least they’ve tried. This is the first time that many brands have offered this kind of material, but one French company is now in their eighth year of giving customers an incredible magazine for free. Fragonard has seen many changes during its ninety-four years of fragrancing the Côte d’Azur, but none was more welcome than the launch of their very own publication.

Monday, 6 July 2020

OLD SPORT by 4160 Tuesdays

When you buy your latest fragrance from a department store on online, you’re one of the important people that decides if the industry’s idea of what is going to be a “trend” is actually correct. They’ve got it wrong in the past, and it's absolutely guaranteed that they'll get it wrong at some point in the future, but the current explosion of fougère fragrances was definitely correctly foretold. This classic style of scent had been side-lined over the years in favour of the latest and brightest releases but they’ve recently started to fight back. One great fougère that should be in everybody’s collection is Old Sport by Sarah McCartney.

Thursday, 2 July 2020

4711 REMIX COLOGNE by Alex Lee

Summer is the time of the year when we all hunt out the latest effervescent spritz to accompany us through another beachside holiday or weekend getaway. This year might see our vacation being considerably closer to home, but that doesn’t have to stop us creating our own little bit of sunshine. The fragrances that come out at this time of the year are all traditionally designed to uplift and energise us, and there is one company that has once again absolutely delivered on this promise. Now in its third year, Mäurer & Wirtz have released their latest 4711 Remix Cologne, and this time it’s a twist on the classic lemon.

Monday, 29 June 2020

LA TERRE by Floratropia

One of the battles that the perfume industry faces is having to balance the desire for sustainability against the demands for appearance. Many customers will say that they want less packaging, because they’d prefer a company to fit in with their own environmental concerns, but when confronted with a basic bottle they often feel that a little of the glamour is missing. It’s this challenge that causes problems for many companies, but is actually one where niche brands are managing to gain ground. One of the latest is Paris based Floratropia, and their debut collection of four fragrances takes sustainability to the next level.

Thursday, 25 June 2020

THE EVERYMAN DISCOVERY BOX from The Perfume Society

Buying a fragrance as a gift can be difficult for anyone, but it becomes even harder if that person happens to be a man. I know that it sounds like I’m making a huge generalisation here, but the majority of men will find one scent and remain loyal to it until you manage to prise it out of their hand. Women are much happier to browse the latest releases, play with the free department store samples, and choose a new perfume for a new season. In an attempt to help take the hassle out of the high street, The Perfume Society has launched the latest in their Discovery Box series and it truly is designed for Everyman.

Monday, 22 June 2020

SANDAL & PEONY by Sven Pritzkoleit

There will always be a demand for new and exciting fragrances from our favourite perfume houses, but quality is definitely sacrificed in many of the drives for quantity. If you bear in mind that some companies are releasing in excess of eight fragrances a year, then you can see how ideas might begin to dry up. Niche brands have a slightly easier job, because they’re not confined by trend, but even this market can find itself compromised when it starts chasing the accolades. One perfumer who manages to stay truthful to his style is Sven Pritzkoleit, and his latest Sandal & Peony fragrance shows that he is at the pinnacle of his game.

Thursday, 18 June 2020

PENDRAGON by Karen Timson

Tradition seems to be a dirty word in perfumery these days. A constant demand for innovative fragrances and ingredients has seen “classic” styles relegated to the realm of “old fashioned.” Chypres and Orientals are constantly being renamed to appeal to a modern audience, but one category that is enjoying a well-deserved resurgence is fougère. This was temporarily relabelled aromatic by many brands but the traditional name has thankfully been dusted off. One of the perfumers embracing the style is Karen Timson, and her Pendragon fragrance promises some much-needed Arthurian legend.

Monday, 15 June 2020

SANTAL SKY by Kierin NYC

One of the interesting things about the fragrance industry is its continual return to certain key ingredients. The constant demand for “newness” and “pushing the boundaries” is all very well for transient shoppers but, by also focusing on those perfume building blocks, attracting steadfast fans is the difference between success and failure. Sandalwood has long been revered as one of the most sensual woods that can be used in the creation of a scent, and so it’s not surprising that many companies have attempted their own version. One of the newest to try and capture its magic is Kierin NYC with their Santal Sky.

Monday, 8 June 2020

ESCENTRIC 05 by Geza Schoen

One of the aspects of perfumery that has become incredibly popular in recent years is the desire for information about the actual ingredients that are used to create our favourite scents. There’s a real interest in wanting to know more about what goes into that bottle, and what all of those separate aromas are like. Many of the perfume brands now offer customers the chance to smell the raw materials that go into the latest release, but only one company actually builds a whole fragrance around an individual ingredient. Escentric Molecules has just released the fifth in their collection and it takes Cashmeran as its inspiration.

Thursday, 4 June 2020

PRIMA by Carthusia

There have been many attempts to create fragrances that embody a place or a building, but these are always a little hit and miss. It’s very difficult to sum up in scent a particular environment because everybody will have a slightly different recollection or impression. To do it successfully you need your audience to be able to draw on a more universal memory. One example of a company doing just that is Carthusia with their theatre inspired Prima fragrance. With theatres currently closed, the chance to relive the smell of the greasepaint and the roar of the crowd was one that I simply couldn’t resist.

Monday, 1 June 2020

ATTUNE SKINCARE - An Aromatic Explosion

The scent that you get when you open a face cream, or any beauty product for that matter, is seen by many as being just as important as the promised effects. It’s like the thrill of breaking the foil on a new jar of coffee, and being the first person to experience that aroma as it escapes from the sealed compartment. The fragrances within these potions and preparations can invigorate or relax, depending on what ingredients are chosen, but they can also be designed to appeal to a specific market. Attune Skincare is one of the latest to focus on the power of scent, and their citrus aromatic offering is absolutely stunning.

Thursday, 28 May 2020

VIOLETTE EAU DE COLOGNE by Galimard

It’s easy to forget the more traditional forms of fragrance when we’re constantly bombarded with the latest and the loudest ground-breaking perfumes. You read about “new” ingredients, different ways of wearing scent, but sometimes a return to a simpler time is actually what’s needed. We’ve become so accustomed to the “volume” of a perfume that to wear something subtle can be a terrifying thought, but it’s worth the risk. A scent that delicately sits closely to the skin, and that almost becomes a part of you, is a wonderful experience, and that is exactly what you get from Violette Eau de Cologne by Galimard.

Monday, 25 May 2020

MUGUET 56 by Daniel Pescio

As soon as we mention florals in the same sentence as perfume our minds instinctively turn to feminine fragrances. We have been brought up to believe that flowers are for girls and woods are for men, in the same way as choosing pink and blue, but thankfully things are changing. A willingness to challenge stereotypes has seen many men reaching for florals. Sometimes it’s to disarm but mainly it’s simply a love of this style of fragrance. One perfumer that has an incredible skill and creating florals is Daniel Pescio, and this is perfectly displayed in his beautifully constructed lily of the valley perfume, Muguet 56.

Thursday, 21 May 2020

SAPPHO and NERO by Lush

It’s not unusual to see numerous fragrance releases from a company in a single year. After all, it’s all about keeping their customers engaged. However, to launch an additional collection of five in one go is a little less usual. It doesn’t happen often because the amount of planning and execution that is required is immense, and it’s also a very risky decision. It takes a brand that isn’t afraid of a little hard work, and that company is LUSH. Their new Florence Collection is a series of five scents that are designed to realign the body's humours. The question is, how would this translate to contemporary fragrance?

Monday, 18 May 2020

SHOWER PUK by Geoff Thornton

Anybody that has followed me regularly will know that I have a deep love for the humble bar of soap. This started as a child when I would regularly reach for the Imperial Leather at home or, even more exotic to small fingers, the Coal Tar at my grandfather’s house. I’m not saying that I liked the thought of washing as a child, I don't think that any of us did, but I loved the smell that these fragranced bars provided. In recent years and months we’ve seen soap make a resurgence that could never have been planned, and it’s coincided with the launch of the wonderfully scented and beautifully packaged Shower PUK.

Thursday, 14 May 2020

ELDRITCH MIST by Screaming Mandrake Perfumes

One of the ongoing challenges for the perfume industry is persuading customers to invest their time in a company and their products. There is so much choice, which just keeps getting bigger, and so standing out from the crowd becomes harder. When you also add in the actual price of the fragrances then you begin to understand why customers are reticent to switch allegiances. One niche brand that continues to perform well in these challenging times is the Wicca-inspired Screaming Mandrake Perfumes, and their latest Eldritch Mist fragrance promises to allow the wearer to flee to “the peace and safety of a new dark age.”

Monday, 11 May 2020

OCEAN COMMOTION by Prosody London

Scent has always been great at conjuring up memories and emotions, and it’s one of the reasons that certain perfumes will resonate so deeply with us as individuals. We all have our own favourite aromas that remind us of special times and, when you find these within a fragrance, it’s often what cements your love affair with that particular perfume. Scents that are evocative of a place are always slightly harder to capture, because it’s so personal, but Keshen Teo has managed it perfectly with the release of his latest fragrance, Ocean Commotion. An early hint of summer fun, it’s time to dive into the water.

Thursday, 7 May 2020

HOPE and GRATITUDE by Ruth Mastenbroek

It’s very difficult to maintain a feeling of normality during challenging times, and this is especially apparent at the moment. Many of us thrive on our interaction with friends and relatives, but that’s had to be momentarily halted for obvious reasons. This sudden change of lifestyle, and the support that goes with it, can have dramatic effects on people’s mental health, especially when they’re working on the frontline. With an increased demand for their services, charities that offer a helping hand are under enormous strain. This is where Ruth Mastenbroek and her family are helping in the form of their Hope and Gratitude candles.

Monday, 4 May 2020

MONSIEUR DE PROVENCE by Prestige de Menton

You’ve probably heard the saying “all that glitters is not gold,” and it’s definitely one that can be applied to the fragrance industry. Jewel encrusted bottles that look more like an ornament than a perfume seem to be a must-have fashion accessory, but the contents can often be questionable. Looking at this from the other direction, “don’t judge a book by its cover” should also be applied to the simple way that some companies present their fragrances. One example of this is the enduring Monsieur de Provence by Prestige de Menton. It may be understated to look at but the perfume is a fantastic survivor of a bygone age.

Thursday, 30 April 2020

DARK QUEEN by Sarah McCartney and ÇaFleureBon

The fashion for bloggers, vloggers, and reviewers to release their own fragrance seems to be at an all-time high at the moment. It’s clear that the majority of these are just a blatant attempt to cash in on their already entrenched audience’s admiration and, as such, the results can often be overly emotive or decidedly underwhelming. That’s why it was with some trepidation that I approached the latest release from ÇaFleureBon. The third in her celebratory series, and once again created by Sarah McCartney of 4160 Tuesdays, is Dark Queen a force to be reckoned with or a sibling to be ignored?

Monday, 27 April 2020

TIARELLA by Fragonard

One of the questions that I get asked most often is “Which perfume do you wish that they would bring back?” Now this usually ends up relating to the particular fragrance house that you’re talking about, and so the answer is a little weighted in their favour. When you’re given free rein to decide then the decision becomes more about whether you go down the “scholarly” route or choose something more personal. So, in the current climate of reduced launches, I asked myself this question and the answer may surprise you. The fragrance that I would like to see come back is Tiarella by Fragonard.