‘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.
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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.
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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!
We’ve known La Montaña founder Cassandra Hall (see below) for more years than we care to mention. Formerly a PR dynamo in the beauty and fragrance world, she quit England for a Spanish mountaintop and a ‘quieter life’, a few years ago.
Cass, however, isn’t someone to sit on her hands or lounge around. So it was almost inevitable that she’d find something exciting to do – and happily for us, she was led by her nose.
La Montaña – which you can read about here– was inspired by the myriad scents Cass and her husband Jonathan encounter on their mountainside, leading Cass to create a beautiful collection of home fragrances.
Right now you can discover one of them – Winter Oranges – when you buy any two Discovery Boxes on our website. You’ll receive one of these exquisite candles – worth £36 – for free, when you order. It’s a wonderful gift from Cass (and us) to you – and we know you’ll love the exotic blend of cinnamon, orange zest, red apples and clove. (Just perfect for the approaching festive season…)
With her passion for scents and aromas – many of which she has captured in La Montaña – we knew Cass would be the perfect person to share her five favourite smells for the latest in this popular interview series. So here goes…
1. Coffee. I’m no caffeine addict – a maximum of two a day and never after 12 noon, which makes me an oddity in Spain – but my morning routine centres around the perfect coffee. The aroma makes me feel centred, alive and alert. NB best not to speak to me until I’ve drunk it!
2. The fig tree in our garden in Spain.It has a magical gift of sending out waves of fragrance – fruit mingled with wood – at the optimal moment, when you’re sitting on the terrace reading, or watching the sunset.
3. Sheets dried in mountain air.Having no outside space in our flat in London, this is a pleasure I relish when I can. We have a super-king bed, so pegging them out is a workout but I genuinely look forward to going to bed on clean-sheets day. (There might be a candle in this, one day…!)
4. The smell of dawn on the mountain.I have to mention this aroma, because it was the inspiration for our whole brand. First Lightis our signature scent. It’s a blend of wild fennel (all around the house), rosemary, orange and mountain pepper, with a beautiful amber-y rockrose. On the rare occasion that I’m up at that hour, it’s a sensory delight.
5. Dogs. Our dogs are gone now but I have wonderful memories of them in every way, especially of their personal fragrances: Dudley’s paws smelled absolutely of digestive biscuits, and Dixie’s of basmati rice. If you catch me trying to sniff a packet of digestives in the supermarket, think kindly of me!
As regular readers know, we occasionally like to ask fragrant figures which are their favourite smells in the world. So a few weeks ago, when Benjamin Almairac breezed through town to unveil some newness created for their brand Parle Moi de Parfum by his legendary perfumer father Michel Almairac, we chatted to him about his ‘touchstone’ smells.
There’s very little that’s truly conventional about this perfume house – notwithstanding the perfume credentials of Benjamin’s distinguished papa, who is famed for conjuring up fragrances including Bottega Veneta Eau de Parfum (2011),Chloé See by Chloé (2013), Jimmy Choo Man Ice (2017) and earlier this year, the sublime new Van Cleef & Arpels Santal Blanc, among dozens of others.
Parle Moi de Parfumbrings us the fragrances Michel has dreamed of creating over the decades of his career, now offered through a brand he set up with his two sons, Romain and Benjamin. Whether they cause you to raise an eyebrow – or smile – they’re certainly interesting choices…
1. Sniffing glue. In France, when you are young and at school you use a glue stick and you feel like you’re becoming a young junkie at seven years old because basically everyone in your class is sniffing glue.
2. Fresh cut grass. It’s classic and poetic.
3. Petrol. Specifically two-stroke engine mixed oil petrol, which is specifically for motor bikes – not classic petrol – which you use for an old scooter or a motor bike. It takes me back to when I was a kid and I used to fix motorbikes with my father in the south of France, where there are plenty of spaces in the mountains to ride on them.
4. Fresh laundry. Who doesn’t love the smell of fresh laundry? Everybody does.
5. The air in Shanghai. I spoke to a lady this morning who was born in Shanghai, where I used to live, too. It reminded me that there is a special scent of the atmosphere in this Chinese city. It’s hard to put my finger on exactly what that smell is, but it’s full of contrasts: clean but dirty, polluted but fresh. There is the scent of a lot of flowers, and the aroma boiling rice rice everywhere. And actually, I find that in each city I go to, there is a different scent. For London, for Paris, for Delhi. (The last of which is definitely not so nice…)
Last night (5th September 2019) we were honoured to host an evening in Covent Garden to launch Molton Brown‘s Perfume Gallery Pop-Up.
But if you couldn’t make it, you’re invited to pop in to the pop-up anytime between now and Sunday afternoon – the intriguing venue is packed with olfactory treats and definitely worth a perfume pilgrimage, if you’re within sniffing distance of the venue on Burleigh Street, just off The Strand.
Installed in a historic townhouse, the installation showcases Molton Brown‘s very clever new fragrance profiling system, created in tandem with, trend forecasting and innovation agency The Future Laboratory. Projected onto a white circular counter (see above), you’re invited instinctively to choose from a series of images at the end of which you’ll discover which ‘psychological perfume profile’ you match.
There are dozens – and mine was spookily accurate: I am an ‘Enigmatic Provocateur’, according to my profile, which in turn suggested that I would love Russian Leather. What’s interesting is that while beautiful, this fragrance wouldn’t have been my first choice – but I’m finding it the perfect, smoky choice as the seasons (*sob*) shift. Having settled on Russian Leather as my ‘prescription’, I chose the richer, smokier, somehow sweeter eau de parfum concentration, which mellows beautifully on the skin. This so-clever profiling system will be rolled out to Molton Brown stores across the country – but you can already test it out for yourself online, here.)
Tickets for private, 30-minute Fragrance Consultations are priced £10, redeemable against purchase made on the day. (And additionally, you’ll receive three complimentary samples of eau de parfum or eau de toilette, along with an extra gift – worth £35 in all. Click here to book via Eventbrite.
There are three floors of sensory delights – don’t miss the flower installation on the landing to the top floor (above). Importantly, the pop-up also marks the unveiling of Molton Brown‘s new look, with stunning and unique resin caps for each bottle – and new eau de parfum versions of many of the existing fragrances. 27 for now, but more to come, to complete the line-up.
Creators Jérôme de Marino, Jacques Chabert, Carla Chabert and Maïa Lernout (the nose behind the new Flora Luminare fragrance) – are all celebrated, as we believe perfumers always should be; indeed they feature on a series of fabulously photographed postcards arrayed on a wall at the rear of the ground floor of the pop-up, for you to take away.
We can’t recommend too highly that you wander through the installations, to see – and smell – fragrance through a different lens.
Molton Brown Perfume Gallery, 12 Burleigh Street, London WC2E 7PX