Monday 15 April 2024

KARTUSHYA HAND & BODY WASH by Jonathan Ward

A bottle of Kartushya Hand & Body Wash by Jonathan Ward
For two years we washed our hands at the same time as singing “Happy Birthday”, so as to achieve the optimum results in the battle against Covid. Now, I’ve always been someone that enjoys the process of washing my hands, creating the lather, and watching the bubbles leave my skin perfectly perfumed… and also clean. So, this instruction was very easy to follow. Since the world reopened for business, soaps and hand washes have remained an important part of our lives, more for reassurance than performance. However, it’s time to reintroduce some luxury into the bathroom courtesy of Jonathan Ward and Kartushya.

Monday 1 April 2024

THE ARTISTE COLLECTION by Ma Lumiére

The Belmondo and Piaf candles from Ma Lumiere
Certain seasons suit certain products, but candles seem to transcend them all. Whether scenting your home, your wedding, or even an outside soirée, the perfect candle can set both the mood and the atmosphere. The candle industry is one that saw a massive boom during the Covid years, with many kitchen-top companies arriving and disappearing with the same speed, but there are a few artisan brands that are still flourishing. In a competitive market, a company needs to offer something unique. That’s exactly what Ma Lumière have done with its Artiste Collection, and the exquisite results are fantastically affordable.

Monday 25 March 2024

ORANGE BLOSSOM PETAL by 1000 Flowers

A bottle of Orange Blossom Petal perfume by 1000 Flowers
Many fragrances take their names from singular ingredients or, as became the fashion when Jo Malone London started the trend, a combination of defined notes. Who can ever forget Lime Basil & Mandarin? This is a great way to focus the customer on the style of fragrance that they are going to smell and, in the case of singular names, the star ingredient. However, there is always the risk of preconceived ideas based on previous smelling experience. So, when 1000 Flowers launched Orange Blossom Petal, they cleverly implied a delicacy to the usual robust orange blossom, and the result was a delightful semi-floral experience.

Monday 18 March 2024

JARDIM REAL by Granado

A bottle of Jardim Real perfume from Granado
There is always something so refreshing in perfumery about finding fragrances that speak of another time, another era, when life was “simpler” and distractions were few. Of course, the actual real life experiences would have been far from simple, just focused in a different way to ours, but scents that don’t follow today’s trends really are a welcome relief. With many historical brands choosing to jettison portions of their back catalogue in favour of trend-following releases, discovering a company that actively honours its past and dedicates time to its creations is a breath of fresh air, and it helps that we’re heading to Brazil.

Monday 4 March 2024

ENGLISH CHERRY BLOSSOM by Shay & Blue

A bottle of the perfume English Cherry Blossom from Shay & Blue
There are few things in life that you can be truly sure of, with the exception of the changing seasons. However, with the continuing issues around climate change, even these are getting a little out of kilter. Though the start and end dates might now seem to vary from year to year, the order at least remains the same. Most people take summer to be season one, followed by autumn and winter, but by spring we’re all definitely ready for a little hint of returning sunshine. That’s why spring is the perfect time to reach for a much-needed bottle of blossom, and you can’t go far wrong with English Cherry Blossom from Shay & Blue.

Monday 19 February 2024

VERDANT by Eau de Boujee

A bottle of Verdant perfume from Eau de Boujee
Every industry has its own set of rules that are supposed to be followed without question, and in the perfume industry that relates to which ingredients are suitable for which season. As a general rule of thumb you are supposed to concentrate on vanilla and ambers in winter, woody notes in autumn, citruses in summer, and green notes in spring. Now, if you’ve been following me for any length of time then you’ll know I think this is absolute nonsense. Wear what you like, when you like, for whatever reason you like, it’s as simple as that. So, with this in mind, it’s time to discover Verdant from Eau de Boujee.

Monday 12 February 2024

UN PATCHOULI by Obvious Parfums

A bottle of Un Patchouli fragrance by Obvious Parfums
Simplicity in scent is something that's often attempted by the perfume industry but, with the exception of companies like Shay & Blue or 4711’s Acqua Colonia collection, results can be quite linear and uninspiring. The complexity of traditional methods ends up being replaced with single notes, or a blend of similar aromas, so there isn’t any excitement in the finished fragrance. One of the companies that have managed to embrace “simplicity” but also still retain “style” is Obvious Parfums. With the moto that their fragrances are “simple, sophisticated and respectful”, it’s time to discover the distinctly different Un Patchouli.

Monday 5 February 2024

SLEEP EASY PILLOW & ROOM MIST by College Green

A bottle of Sleep Easy Pillow & Room Mist from College Green
The days of fragrance being solely used for the production of perfumes is long gone, as can be seen in the multitude of scented products that are available in every high-street store. From soaps to diffusers, and car fresheners to candles, our love of fragranced items seems to have no bounds. It’s this demand for ever more interesting ways to scent our homes that brought about the Pillow Mist craze, although many companies have since moved away from this “difficult to market” product. However, always up for a challenge, College Green have just launched a new Sleep Easy Pillow & Room Mist, and the result is first class.

Monday 29 January 2024

CITRUS OUD by Teniqua

A bottle of the perfume Citrus Oud from Teniqua
The perfect perfume can release long-hidden memories, conjure up forgotten experiences, or even act as the scentscape to new adventures. Its ability to push deep into our senses is just one of the reasons why it’s often thought of as a magical potion. Perfume also often patiently waits to be discovered, or rediscovered, at the exact moment it’s needed. A moment too soon and it can be overlooked, but experienced at the ideal time can create a bond that will last forever.
Citrus Oud from Teniqua was originally launched at the end of 2021, but 2024 was my year to discover its magic.

Monday 22 January 2024

ROCKIN' ROSE by EAU.MG

A bottle of the Rockin' Rose perfume from EAU.MG
Perfumery, like anything else that has an artistic bent, is often less about creating something new and more about presenting something in a different light. The ingredients that are open to a perfumer are, with the exciting advances in synthetics, almost limitless, but there are a few core ones that always demand attention. Patchouli, iris, vanilla, jasmine - all of these have an inbuilt familiarity that feels safe, but showcasing them in original ways is what customers are look for. Now, rose is such a well-known ingredient that finding an original take on it can be hard, but that’s exactly what you get with EAU.MG’s Rockin’ Rose.

Monday 15 January 2024

CÅKE by ånd fragrance

A bottle of Cåke, the new perfume from and fragrance
We place a lot of importance on words and titles in everyday life, and the same is also true in the world of perfumery. The difference with the latter though is that words can very much be open to personal interpretation. If you think about “note lists” versus “ingredient lists”, “fragrance families” versus “fragrance styles”, or even “eau de parfum” versus “eau de toilette”, you’ll begin to see how it’s not as clear cut as it might first seem. So, this brings us to the latest release from ånd fragrance. Cåke is the name but, if you’re expecting a gourmand overdose that means a trip to the dentist, then you’ll be happily relieved.

Monday 8 January 2024

PINEDE by Tessa Williams

The New Tessa Williams Travel Collection Candle called Pinede
A New Year always brings with it the usual set of resolutions, which honestly have very little chance of being achieved, the excitement of a whole twelve months of new perfume releases, and also a little bit of tradition. Before heading into the ever-expanding world of fragrance, many people look forward to switching out their festive home scents in favour of some January newness. It’s a relatively inexpensive treat after the excesses of the holiday season, and one that you can easily achieve with the last of the Christmas money. This January I’ve plumped for the comforting Pinede Candle from Tessa Williams.