We’re back, and back with a bang! Join us for the latest in our series of InstaLive interviews with auspicious creatives from the world of fragrance, on Wednesday 9th September 2020 (12.30pm UK time). Our co-founder Jo Fairley will be spending lunchtime chatting all things fragrance with Sophie Labbé.
Sophie has worked on so many famous fragrances (at least some of which you’re bound to have owned and adored). Most recently, she’s noted for her latest collection of Signorina creations for luxury Italian powerhouse, Salvatore Ferragamo.
We’ll put readers’ questions to Sopie during the Instagram Live online interview with Josephine Fairley (which will later appear on our YouTubechannel). But to get you thinking…
• When did you first know you wanted to become a perfumer?
• What is the hardest part of your job?
• When you close your eyes and see ‘Signorina’, what does she look like, to you?
• How has the perfumer’s life and world changed over the past six months?
Just fill in the form below to send Sophie your questions – and of course we’ll be posting the interview on our YouTube page, after the event…
We know that perfume is important to everyone who visits this site – but somehow, during lockdown, it became even more so for many of us. So a few weeks ago, we posed the question: ‘What does perfume mean to you?’ – and asked you to share your feelings and thoughts.
We were truly touched by the photos and comments which were posted across social media. We’ve chosen five, each of whom win a beautiful Miller Harris candle, to scent the home. (Because we’re all home so much of the time, now.)
Readers posted what perfume meant to them, by simply sharing a photo of a fragrance, or of a whole fragrance collection, with a few lines of explanation why perfume become more important than ever over the past few months.
We’d love to thank everyone who participated and shared images and stories across their social media – it filled us with hope and joy watching them unfold. Here are our top five favourites, which we hope you enjoy…
Do check out the beautiful little film created by @jen_jardi
‘For me, perfume is a way of capturing and storing special moments. Moments secreted away in small, beautiful bottles, there whenever you want to return, just for a minute, to another time or place. My collection of perfume isn’t just perfume, it’s a way of remembering yesterday and expressing how I’m feeling today. What are your favourite scents? Do you have a particular fragrance that reminds you of a place or a person? My favourites (featured in the animation): CreedVirgin Island Water: the only scent I wear on holidays, I can smell the beach and cocktails when I spray this. Ralph LaurenRomance: I saturated my wedding dress in this, I adore this perfume and smelling it takes me back to August 11th 2012. Nivea EDT: This scent is like a hug from my Nanna. She’s not with us anymore, but if I spray this and close my eyes I feel like she’s in the room. DiptiquePhilosykos: cosy, snug and festive – can’t smell this and not feel Chirstmassy, even in July!”
‘Perfume is my happy place! It’s what fascinates me, what I spend my money on, take photos of, chat about, wear ALL THE TIME and what puts me in a good mood! Perfume is powerful indeed and has helped me through some challenging day. Never underestimate the power of perfume. What does perfume mean to you?’ – @sarahgallogly
‘#perfume is my escapism. Over the last few months in my little Buckinghamshire flat, I’ve needed some escapism. I have discovered a great appreciation for Roja Parfums Ahlam – helping me to feel luxurious, even when it’s not on your doorstep. What is your #perfumeismy?’ @fragrancetwentyeight
‘#perfumeismy Raspberry & Vanilla Pocketscents. This beautiful little fragrance has been one of my best and most worn fragrance throughout the lockdown period and this challendging time. It’s a very calming walm fragrance that takes you somewhere lovely. And that’s the magic of fragrance for me, it’s ability to take us away from the world and transport us to different times and locations. Not just with scent memories but also wherever our subconscious wants to take us. Somewhere peaceful by the sea, in a meadow, or even cuddled up with a cow, smelling sweet flowers in the warm sun. Smell is very powerful and very spiritual.’ @scentedsnowdrops
‘#perfumeismy destination everyday. Starts my day or ends my day. Brings back memories of people places and thinks. Violet scent, my grandmother. Shalimar my mother, roses my childhood garden.’ @macbethme
In celebration of the latest scent-sational candle from MALIN+GOETZ, the Tomato candle – literally like stepping into a greenhouse (in a very sophisticated way!) – we’ve teamed up with the Brooklyn-born fragrance house and skincare experts to bring not one, but TWO lucky winners a summer scent candle gift hamper WORTH £168!
Each hamper will contain the following…
Inspired by a passion for gardening, this candle is a beautifully bright interpretation of home-grown tomatoes ripening in the summer sun. Unbelievably evocative.
A herbaceous scent that evokes a summer herb garden with notes of sage and lavender. An aromatic delight.
A sparkling floral scent where a garden in bloom springs to mind with a blend of rose and geranium. Like all of M+G’s candles, it burns for absolutely ages, filling the air with its ravishing rosiness.
A woody scent of an apothecary ingredient with a clean and earthy aroma. Very grounding, very welcome in these strange, uncertain times.
For your chance to win, simply enter below
* This prize draw runs from 09:00 7th August 2020 – 23:59 21st August 2020. A winner will be chosen and contacted on 22nd August 2020. UK and Northern Ireland participants only.
Live Instagram Q+A on Wednesday 22nd July 2020 at 12.30p.m.
We are beyond delighted that for the next in our series of InstaLive interviews with affluent creatives from the world of perfume, we are going to be joined by Brigitte Wormser, one of three co-founders of the ultra-contemporary French fragrance house, J.U.S.
J.U.S: a name created from the first letters of ‘Joyau, Unique and Sensoriel’ (a ‘unique sensory jewel’), we are invited to open ourselves up to a new sensory experience. With a roll-call of top perfumers (Céline Ellena, Fabrice Pellegrin, Aliénor Massenet, Aurélien Guichard, Alexandra Carlin), who were given total freedom when creating the J.U.S fragrances, so each represents the perfumers’ self expression.
We’ll put readers’ questions to Brigitte during the Instagram Live online chat with Suzy Nightingale (which will later appear on our YouTubechannel). But to get you thinking…
How has #lockdown impacted on the creativity needed to dream up and launch new scents?
What are the plans for future J.U.S creations?
Where did the up cycling element of J.U.S originate?
We’re delighted to have teamed up with the oh-so-fabulous Sheerluxe to gift one lucky fragrance lover the opportunity to win a collection of fragrances worth over £600. Imagine it: an entire scent wardrobe, in one glorious prize…
We’re delighted to be teaming up with niche luxury perfume house, Fragrance Du Bois, to celebrate the launch of their latest original collection of hand-blend perfumes, the Nature’s Treasures Collection – and we’re offering not one, BUT TWO, lucky winners the opportunity to get their hands on a 100ml bottle of Cannabis Blue (worth £249!)
Fragrance Du Bois is renowned for using sustainably sourced 100% organic oudh oil and natural ingredients, and Cannabis Blue is no exception. Created by master perfumer, Christian Provenzano, who formulated a cannabis accord by using smoky guaiac woods, seductive patchouli and oudh facets, he then combined this with aromatic elements of cardamom and Sichuan pepper, contrasted with herbaceous tones and zesty grapefruit to give this fragrance the edge.
On Monday 6th April 2020, we were incredibly honoured to host our very first Instagram Live perfumer interview, with the fabuleuxFrancis Kurkdjian. And what a pleasure it was…
Our Co-founder and Editor, Jo Fairley, spoke to Francis from her own home and asked him your brilliant questions that you so kindly sent into us. We were delighted with the range of fantastic questions you supplied to make this such a great interview – so thank you for taking the time to do so. The Maison Francis Kurkdjian team have kindly advised that that they are going to try and have all of your questions answered, so we should be able to share these with you soon.
In case you missed the live event, we thought we would share a (lengthy) snippet with you here! Enjoy – and stay tuned for news of our next episode, because we have some AMAZING names lined up…
‘A cult phenomenon that revolutionised the world of perfume.’
At The Perfume Society, we’re hugely proud to have been invited to unveil Escentric Moleules 05 to the world. Created by maverick perfumer Geza Schoen – see our exclusive video interview with him, here – it’s the latest in a series of ground-breaking fragrances that have acquired a cult following.
To mark the unveiling, we’re delighted that FIVE lucky winners have the chance to to win a full-size Escentric – PLUS an ‘accompanying’ molecule, in either 01, 02, 03, 04 and 05.
Consists of a pure and singular molecule, Iso E Super, a skin-sexy yet incredibly comforting scent.
Focused around Iso E Super, this fragrance is maximised with lime peel, green jasmine bud, orris, balsamic notes and fresh musk.
Consists of the pure and singular molecule of Ambroxan, a chemical structure identical to ambrox which is derived from ambergris, a subtle yet sensual scent.
A hint of gin and tonic and of Australian lemonade called almdudler amplifies the freshness the sensual Ambroxan.
Vetiveryl Acetate, also known as the hybrid molecule, is made up of half natural vetiver oil derived from grass roots in India, and half synthetic acetic acid which removes the bitter and leathery edge of vetiver, resulting in a slightly grassy yet much smoother version of vetiver.
Paying tribute to the three roots in perfumery; vetiver, ginger and orris, perufmer Geza Shoen explains how ‘I wanted Escentric 03 to bring out the scent impressions of these roots and how they harmonise with each other.’ A spicy and vibrant fragrance with a deep green woodiness to its base.
Javanol, a sandalwood-type molecule which has a psychedelic freshness.
A fresh interpretation of sandalwood with bitter top notes of pink grapefruit, zesty lime and juniper with pink pepper for an extra dose of freshness, with an orris heart, and the balsamic sweet woody base of Javanol.
Cashmeran, an unusual yet complex character for a single molecule, but comforting and aromatic none-the-less.
‘With Escentric 05 I wanted to create a different kind of summer fragrance. Instead of the usual aqueous notes, I was inspired by walking up from the sea on a hot afternoon through dry aromatic Mediterranean herbs and trees.’ – Geza Schoen
Enter below by Thursday 16th April 2020 for your chance to win a pair of these fantastic fragrances.
Please note: there is no cash alternative to this prize. Fragrance can only be shipped within mainland UK and Northern Ireland.
With the Oscars 2020 fast approaching, we bring you Charabanc, the world’s first luxury car fragrance accessory. And yes, there’s a link…
Because not only is Charabanc the world’s first luxury car fragrance AND accessory – they’re also the only British brand to star in the Oscars nominees’ goodie bags this year.
With stellar figures including Leonardo DiCaprio, Al Pacino, Cynthia Erivo and Scarlett Johansson up for nominations (among a roll-call of other legends), this luxe British brand is set to make quite a splash in Hollywood.
Fragrances are inspired by journeys of some of the worlds most iconic drives. So those nominees will receive Across Pennine Fells, a leafy scent of freshly-cut grass, sage, lavender and cedarwood which leads us through a mossy valley, housed in the Racing Green Pomander, which pays tribute to Britain’s international motor racing colour.
They will also be enjoying Monument Valley Drive, opening with raspberry and violet leaves inspired by the raspberry blush sunset and the amber horizon, with notes of saffron, thyme, jasmine and black leather and housed in the Signal Red Pomander.
Now make like an Oscar nominee yourself – because we’ve teamed up with Charabanc to bring one lucky person TWO A-Lister luxury car fragrances, worth £290!
For your chance to win, simply enter here.
Please be advised that this competition has now closed.
Freelance fragrance writer Amanda Carr goes in search of the prettiest perfume displays in London to see how real-world shops are offering a sense-drenching alternative to online shopping…
One of the perks of being a roving fragrance reporter is that during the festive season, we get to experience the jingly sparkle of Christmas in London’s best stores and call it work. Yes, it’s actually our job to visit the perfume counters to check out the festive fragrance displays in order to understand the gift-buying zeitgeist.
All reports indicate that the high street is having a tough time due to our online buying habits, and Christmas is an vital time for perfume sales. Nicky Valentine, Sales and Marketing Director for Orange Square, which distributes many niche perfume lines such as Creed and Maison Francis Kurkdjian, told us: ‘Christmas accounts for almost a third of our annual business. We use the festive period to stand out in retail with luxurious Christmas touches, personalised engraving and beautiful gift boxes.’
As we whizzed through London’s best fragrant destinations recently, all twinkling with festive fun, it’s clear that stores are absolutely out to thrill with beautifully opulent window and counter top displays.
On London’s Bond Street, every store is trying to out-do its neighbour with with extravagant decorations, from animated digital snowscapes on the front of Dior, to the illuminated red bow wrappings at Cartier, to the charming fantasy of Jo Malone London’s doll-sized townhouse, complete with miniature scent elves delivering tiny scented parcels in the windows at Fenwick London. It’s a breathtaking, festive extravaganza, all for free. Short of dressing up your laptop with tinsel, you wont get that experience e-shopping.
Jenni agrees: ‘At WGSN, we talk a lot about the physical store creating an “In Real Life” experience that can also be shared online, and windows and counter-top displays that tell a story and create something experiential, for example enabling you to create your own fragrance will be ultimately very shareable on social. That creates a buzz. As Jenni continues. ‘Stores have to educate, entertain and host shoppers now and that is what windows are about, delighting customers with something that they can not get online – a story, an experience.’
Walking around London at Christmas still gives us a huge festive buzz and this year fragrance stores have excelled themselves. So if you’re visiting over the next few days, or just need some decorative inspiration yourselves, these are the highlights you shouldn’t miss.
The Sleek Scented Experience
Stand aside Santa, because it’s all about the scented experience at Selfridges, where the new Fragrance Workshop space opened just as the festive rush began, Here, decorative clutter has been swapped for stylish clean lines and interactive, workshop-style experiences, which feel engaging and easy to shop. We loved the Maison Margiela Replica collection’s personalised pouch, where you can add an image of your loved one to the use-again fabric sack your perfume will come in. Look out for the sleek Selfridges gift wrapping boxes (which no one would ever want to throw away), featuring a cheerful elastic band ribbon in the signature yellow-hue of the store.
Offering similar Christmas chic, The Experimental Perfume Lab’s elegant Formula Library allows you to blend your own creations with help from one of its workshop experts, and empowered females should visit the fun Juliette Has A Gun play table, which holds its entire collection. It’s an immersive and refreshingly modern way to shop Christmas. Just don’t forget you’re supposed to be buying for other people too.
Gorgeous, glamorous, gold
There’s a feeling of gilded glamour to many displays this year, with brands designing artful presentations that put festive gold centre stage. Harrods’ Dior window features an oversized, gold-flake sculpture of its J’Adore bottle, which wouldn’t look out of place in Tate Modern. Angela Flanders charming perfumery store, tucked away in East London, features its magical Golden Lady sculpture, a tumble of gilded baubles, perfume bottles and glowing jewels atop a gold-faced mannequin, which comes out every year to signal the start of the festive season for the Columbia Road market. Is it wrong to want the display as much as the perfume?
One of our favourites is from diptyque, where its Lucky Charm concept, by the German-based artist Olaf Hajek, has been crafted for windows and counter tops in the form of a majestic golden tree, with spreading branches and an elegant, gilded trunk. Tiny perfume bottle and candle charms hang like colourful jewels from its branches and are designed to evoke harmony, luck and protection for the New Year. It’s more sculptural work of art than window prop and as we chatted to the Liberty diptyque team, where it looked particularly beautiful, it seemed we were not the first people to enquire if the entire display was for sale (we were, ahem, asking for a friend).
The Christmas Tree Makeover
A big trend for this year has been table-top sized Christmas trees, designed to be the perfect conduit for showing off exquisitely designed bottles. Penhaligon’s has a traditional Christmas ‘Naughty Or Nice’ look for its store decorations, all snow capped pine branches and bedecked chimney mantels where Santa’s fur-trimmed boots dangle just above the coals, at least we hope that’s Santa. But it’s the eye catching, cut-out fir trees we want to take home with us, with their tiny platforms for the bottles sit, glittering like festive baubles.
Over at Fortnum & Mason, Grossmith London has created a miniature wooden Christmas tree where cute, 10ml bottles of its Sylvan Song fragrance, exclusive to the store, dangle temptingly. But perhaps our favourite, modern tree makeover comes from Floral Street, where its flower printed bottles sit on a revolving perspex tree, overseen by a giant festively florescent star, because when you have bottles as beautifully decorated as Electric Rhubarb and Wonderland Peony (just a couple of our favourites) why would you want to hide them away? There are also some lovely printed ‘scent baubles’ to hang on your own tree, which have 10ml bottles of assorted scents in, nicely combining tree decorating with gifting.
An Advent Adventure
The beauty advent calendar, now a huge self-gifting event that marks the start of Christmas, has had an impact on windows too, with Chanel featuring a snow-dusted, advent calendar door that opens enticingly to reveal a bottle of Chanel No.5, the grown-up equivalent of a children’s animated festive window. Covent Garden is now bursting with fragrance stores, including seasonal pop-ups (Tiffany‘s has an ice rink and giant snow globe) and is well worth a visit. Atelier Cologne’s advent calendar windows – it has two types for sale – are a delight and feature our favourite festive wreath design of blue laurel leaves and lusciously plump tangerines, the visual equivalent of its √ citrus cologne.
A delicious dash of colour
Finally colour, used to shoot a zing of festive joy into even the most jaded of shoppers, Miller Harris’s Covent Garden store has a forest of pine branches hanging from the ceiling, which offer a modern festive foil to its shelves of bright packaging. Gifts can be wrapped in colourful scarves – more sustainable than throw-away paper and definitely something you could do at home if you have a pile of vintage ones you never wear – and embellished with giant neon-bright pom poms, which are made in store.
Dolce & Gabbana’s Festive Market, on the ground floor of its Bond Street Store, is an absolute ‘must see’. Every surface features an extravaganza of intense pattern and colour that is home to not just its entire fragrance collection, including the boutique exclusives and beauty range, but also the most charming (if somewhat aspirationally-priced) ceramic scented candles we’ve seen this Christmas. (We adore the flamboyant owl.) There’s also beautifully packaged pasta, panettone and preserves, so if you’re lucky, you may end up with some D&G spaghetti as well as some scent in your stocking!
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