Thursday 17 December 2020

My Favourite Five From 2020

The past twelve months have certainly not been what any of us could have expected. January started off with all of the usual excitement but, very quickly, the world changed dramatically. With restrictions, lockdowns, and a mammoth shift in our everyday lives, it would have been easy to just pull the covers over our heads... but we all soldiered on. The situation was certainly not easy for the fragrance industry either, but they still managed to launch some spectacular products. As we approach the end of 2020 I thought it would be a good moment to look back at twelve months of articles, channel my inner Blyton, and pick My Favourite Five.

Our first stop has to be the release of Båre from ånd fragrances. Masterminded by Simon Constantine, the original creator of LUSH’s Gorilla Perfumes, it's one of five fragrances that actually gives back directly to the communities that provide the ingredients. Båre takes its inspiration from The Great Bear Rainforest® in Canada and contains three ingredients from the forest - Douglas Fir, Shore Pine, and Western Red Cedar. Combining the feeling of hot vegetation and wooded expansiveness, I still stand by my original comment that “Simon Constantine has created a little piece of magic.” Read the original article by clicking here.

This brings us to St Paul’s from Exaltatum. Now I fell head over heels with last year’s Pergola fragrance from the company and so wondered how Eglija Vaitkevice, the founder and perfumer, could possibly better it. However, she once again showed a remarkable talent for translating places into perfume and history into scent. She took this London landmark and combined floral altar offerings with resinous frankincense to create a “baroque inspired scent that really is a fragrance to worship.” Exaltatum is a remarkable house and I urge you to explore their collection. Read the original article by clicking here.

During the pandemic we were encouraged to wash our hands more than we’ve ever done before. Now, some companies took this as an excuse to trade on fear, bump up prices, and generally exploit the situation. That’s why I decided to focus on five soap brands in April that had been supportive and kept their prices low. I chose Ancienne Ambiance, Heritage Soap, Castell Apothecary, Baron, and Vinolia. All of these were companies that I personally use, which is why it was a pleasure to recommend them. Read the original article by clicking here.

We’ll jump now to October and the inspirational story of Kurt Phelan and Lance Horne. They were two of thousands caught up in Broadway’s theatre shutdown, but they fought back by launching a candle company called We Light. Every product is created by a team of out-of-work performers, so it's literally a lifeline for so many. I reviewed their beautiful collaboration with Jim Caruso’s Cast Party. Imagine the scent of a leichner makeup, a deserted auditorium, and the whisper of a Guerlain rose perfume somewhere in the stalls. It really sets the scene for theatre’s return. Read the original article by clicking here.

This brings us to arguably the most important release of 2020, Assassin Belarus from Jonathan Ward. The candle was premiered at an event on 17th March and it became the last physical beauty launch of 2020. However, it’s not just the significance of the timing… it’s also because it is one of the best home scents that I have ever smelled. Inspired by espionage, it has a gun barrel coldness mixed with the warmth of resinous excitement. I originally described it as “addictive yet distant, sensuous yet aloof,” and I still think that it is the finest release of the year by an extraordinary candle artist. Read the original article by clicking here.

So, that brings us to the end of My Favourite Five for 2020. I’m going to be taking a two week break now but I’ll be back on 4th January for more fragrant fun. Have a wonderful Christmas, a safe New Year, and thank you for all of your support.

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