Issey Miyake Fusion – make your own music on the nature-inspired drum machine!

The new Issey Miyake fragrance, Fusion d’Issey, has inspired an immersive and interactive experience created in partnership with The Perfume Shop, to celebrate the launch…

We’ve been banging our drum about the many ties between music and fragrance for years – in fact, we recently dedicated an entire issue of our magazine, The Scented Letter, to Music & Perfume  – so we’re delighted to see Issey Miyake showcasing Fusion in such an imaginative and multi-sensory way…

Sounds of Fusion is, they explain, ‘the first drum machine inspired by nature in Fusion, where users are invited to create their own music composition using the sounds of elements in Fusion.

 

 

The experience immerses into an interactive home page inviting users to take part in an intuitive and easy creative soundscape page where they can create their own unique piece of music.

Sounds of Fusion” offers a new playground for both novice and experienced music creators. It takes its roots in the popular organic and nature-inspired music genre.

The experience is composed of:

4 main themes inspired by nature: air / lava / water / stone sounds

8 different sounds representing the main themes, as different interpretations of each one

A play and pause button, there to start or stop the player

A record/share button allowing to download the composition when one’s done, and share it on different social media channels

The digital platform is live now and open to anyone who is keen to become his/her own music creator inspired by organic sounds.

Be inspired & share your Sound of Fusion!’

 

 

 

So, why not spritz your scent and get inspired to create your own track to share with friends online? With Issey Miyake you’re invited to ‘Dive at the heart of the elements where the strength of nature is expressed through images and for the first time… through sounds. Just listen: water flowing on rocks, wind blowing through leaves, boiling lava, crackling rocks…’

For those of you who’ve not managed to get your noses on the new fragrance yet, Fusion juxtaposes hot and cold, a fascinating exploration of the perfumer’s alchemy in conjuring coolness from citrus and coconut milk, the breeze of a solar-filled mineral accord (think sunlight sparkling on water). Earthiness exudes from the smooth sandalwood, while resinous patchouli provides the heat of the base.

 

Issey Miyake Fusion d’Issey £49 for 50ml eau de toilette
theperfumeshop.com

By Suzy Nightingale

Givaudan create 1950s fragrance for new Makeup Museum

We’re delighted to see so many museums re-opening, and now anxiously await the launch of the new Makeup Museum in New York – a place we want to visit even more now we know that Givaudan have created a special 1950’s-inspired fragrance to scent the space…

Having signed up as an official sponsor, Givaudan were comissioned to make a fragrance to set the scene for the Makeup Museum’s debut exhibition, entitled ‘Pink Jungle: 1950s Makeup in America.’

Emily Bond, head of Fine Fragrance North America at Givaudan, explains the reason they’re making this a multi-sensory space is because, ‘Perfume has always been an integral part of beauty. It is important to showcase fragrance in this exhibit.’

‘We want people to know the story behind a fragrance,’ Bond continues, something that digs deeper than just a pretty bottle and shows ‘Who created it, how it’s developed, and how techniques have evolved over the years.’

It was Givaudan Perfumer Caroline Sabas who was tasked with creating the perfume, and she’s made an exclusive 1950s-inspired fragrance, suitably named ‘Pink Jungle’, which will be used to scent the exhibition space.

 

But what will the perfume smell like, we wonder? Well both Givaudan and The Makeup Museum aren’t revealing the notes as yet, so as not to spoil the scented surprise, but you can head to our fragrance history page for the 1950s to read about the types of fragrances popular then, which may well provide us with some clues.

Our next question is: will we be able to buy the fragrance to fully live our glamorous 1950s boudoir dreams? We’re certainly crossing our fingers and praying to the perfume gods!

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Wet Dog: a malodorous mystery solved by perfumer Christophe Laudamiel

We’re currently loving exploring ScentCulture.tube – a website offering ‘an incisive look at a research project that reveals the secrets of creative practice in perfumery.’ So how do perfumers solve a mysterious scent mystery when working on their composition?

‘In most cases, a perfume is meant to be a pleasurable odour,’ the ScentCulture piece begins, ‘Technically, it is a mixture of essential oils, aroma compounds, and solvents used to provide an agreeable scent. Yet, the process is more complex than often explained.’

 

 

In a fascinating film called Wet Dog: Chasing the Villain, offering a unique insight into (okay, we’re calling it) one of the most inventive and brilliant perfumers working today; we get to see how Christophe Laudamiel works with raw materials and traces the mysterious presence of sudden appearance that’s certainly less than ‘pleasurable’…

Together with fellow perfumer Christoph Hornetz, during the development of ‘a jewel-like perfume’, they suddenly discover ‘…an unpleasant facet, an annoying animalic note. Laudamiel calls it a “wet dog” that only appears after some delay. The two perfumers are puzzled. The phenomenon seems to be really special, if also undesired. They investigate the composition, ingredient by ingredient. In the end, the detective search for malodor delivered a suspect for which Christoph Hornetz had noticed the same unexpected effect in other previous instances.’

 

 

We wont spoiler it for you, but the chemical compound they trace it to is actually often described as ‘tropical coconut, tonka bean and tobacco’. So how do we get from delicious to dawg? The clip linked above tells the detective story of that puzzling perfume mystery…

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Old Saint Thomas’s Hospital A-Z of Herbs: A Historical Compendium

Old Saint Thomas’s Hospital is now more familiarly known as ‘The Old Operating Theatre Museum’ But did you know the full name includes ‘Herb Garret‘? First used as a herb-drying and storage building to treat patients in 1821, they’ve now shared their A-Z of Herbs online, and it makes for fascinating reading…

Saint Thomas’s Hospital (now the museum) contains one of the oldest surviving operating theatres in the world, and because the very first use of the London building was as a’ herb garret’, the museum’s curator, Karen Howell, has created a historical compendium of how the herbs were used to treat ailments and afflictions in the past.

Florence Nightingale was involved in the work of St Thomas’ and even set up her famous nursing school there – at 9a St Thomas’s Street in south east London. Having m oved locations to Charing Cross (which the railway since purchased and took over) and finally to Lambeth, where the modern hospital now stands – The Old Operating Theatre stood undiscovered until 1959: a time capsule unlike any other, the heads of opium plants were found still drying in the rafters, and the museum now hosts a world-famous collection of medical memorabilia – including a vast selection of the herbs that would have been used there.

 

 

It’s absolutely fascinating to see how many of the ‘herbs’ (in fact, all sorts of ingredients) are now used in fragrances – and indeed, Colognes were once swigged as scented cure-alls as well as being splashed on the skin to keen one feeling fresh. We recommend sticking to the spritzing of them, now, though, and the  museum warn that ‘In this A-Z you will find many attitudes and recipes that are historical. Please, do not try these at home. The following document is meant only as a historical resource.’

Of course our eyes went straight to rose – the ‘queen of flowers’ and treasured for centuries for its sublime scent. But did you know one of the first ever medical papers referring to rose used it as a skin treatment…?

Rose – Rosa Gallica

‘The Apothecary’s Rose. One of the first medical papers including Rose was written by the Iranian medic Abu Ali Sina a.k.a. Avicenna (980-1037) who used egg yolk with rose oil as a skin treatment. The French surgeon Ambroise Pare (1509-1590) mixed Rose oil with turpentine and egg yolk to make a healing ’digestive’ dressing that replaced the cauterisation method to close gunshot wounds. Roses contain a quercitannic acid that is also found in the tannin of oak bark which was an antibacterial  treatmnt for bronchial infections, gastritis, diarrhoea, dysentery, eye infections, depression and anxiety. It required 10,000 pounds of roses to produce just one pound of oil but Mrs Grieve in A Modern Herbal instructed that a simple Rose Confection is to be made by beating 1 lb. of fresh Red Rose petals in a stone mortar with 3 lb. of sugar. It is mostly used in pill making”.

The St Thomas’ Hospital Pharmacopoeia of 1772 incorporated Rose into many prescriptions: ‘The Balsamic Bolus’ included conserve of Rose, the ‘Eyewash with Vitriol’ included Rose water and the ‘Common Gargle’ was simply made by mixing eight ounces of Rose tincture with one ounce of Rose honey.

The infused dried leaves of the Dog Rose were traditionally used as a substitute for tea and within the UK, during World War 2 when fruit was scarce, a vitamin C loaded Rose Hip Syrup was developed that became an important and nutritious children’s health supplement.’

So from roses to myrrh, guiac wood, bitter orange to juniper, you’ll also learn about the herb that’s name delightfully translates as ‘the roadside sick-making plant’ and just how many of these scented plants were used to treat syphilis. It’s eye-opening stuff, for sure, and will certainly make you think the next time you reach for the bottle…

If you would like to visit The Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garret, they are currently open for the summer of 2020 with new guidlines in pace – find out how to book tickets online.

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Lancôme Trésor: Isabella Rossellini reveals the iconic scent’s secrets

Isabella Rossellini spoke revealingly about Lancôme Trésor – her all-time signature scent – to makeup artist Lisa Eldridge, and we were utterly gripped!

Read on to learn more and watch the wonderful interview, and find out why Isabella was much, much more than just the ‘face’ of this fragrance…

In an idyllic farmhouse ‘in the wine region’ of France, the iconic actress, model and spokesperson for Lancôme, Isabella Rossellini, spoke so movingly about her fragrant memories of another icon being launched: the magical Trésor. While showing us around the stunning building and outdoors, she holds up just-hatched chickens (yes really) while waxing lyrical about her incredible career and personal memories.

 

 

Originally launched in 1952, Trésor (meaning ‘Treasure’ in French) was completely re-worked by brilliant perfumer Sophia Grosjman (known as ‘the Picasso of perfume’ for her brilliant techniques.)

Unusually for 1990, Lancôme were keen to let their ‘face’ of the fragrance have a hands-on role. ‘No more were we “silent beauties”,’ Isabella recalls, ‘I had a voice, an opinion. And if I was going to talk about this perfume, I wanted to know everything, from the composition to how the bottle was made.’

Talking about how she was involved with the process of choosing the final version of the fragrance, Isabella reveals that she had a definite front-runner when blind-smelling the lab samples.

‘I smelled this one that was my absolute favourite, so original, so magical. It got down to the final submissions. But of course in market research you have to please a lot of people…’ Isabella explains. ‘I thought please GOD… and well, it WON!’ she exclaims. And Isabella was so thrilled she asked to meet this ‘nose.’

 

 

‘She looked like a sorceress, sitting there with this black hair…’ Isabella laughs, ‘and she said in this thick Russian accent, “you know, Bella, a few years ago I saw this film, Casablanca, and I was inspired by the romance, the adventure, the mystery, and that night I worked on a fragrance, which became Trésor.”’ And the star of that film? Isabella’s mother, actress Ingrid Bergman! Even more extraordinary when you find out this was two years before Isabella even became involved with Lancôme.

Was Fate calling Isabella to this fragrance, perhaps…? Well certainly it has become her scented calling card. ‘I spray it everywhere, in my home, in hotel rooms… my children always say they know where I am as they can follow my scent trail…’

The fragrance has been a huge success ever since it launched, truly becoming a modern classic in the hallowed halls of perfume legend. So much so, that when Chandler Burr curated his exhibition on perfumes at the Museum of Art & Design, in New York, the central installation allowed visitors to smell Trésor at different stages during its olfactory development.

To find out more, watch the interview for yourself, in full, below, and then read our review to see why you need to try Trésor at least once in your life (or once a day, if you’re still smitten as Isabella clearly is!)

 

 

For those of you haven’t yet tried Trésor (or any of its other iterations), now is a great time to discover – or to re-discover its beauty if you’d worn and loved it, then, and we also have an entire page dedicated to the history of Lancôme and their fragrances for you to explore.

Top Notes: Rose Petals, Apricot Blossoms, Peach Tree Flowers
Middle Notes: Lilly of the Valley, Vanilla, Heliotrope, Iris
Base Notes: Sandalwood, Musk

One of those scents that just seem to sing on the skin, Trésor is a love letter to seemingly effortless sophistication. The rose shimmers with light, dancing across the fuzzy velvet of soft apricot skins and succulent peach to a luminous heart of white flowers dusted with powder and a smooth, long-lasting trail of creamy musk. For those seeking even more luminescence, the Trésor eau de toilette radiates freshness atop a wonderfully milky leather base; and the La Nuit Trésor smoulders with black rose, ripe raspberry and smoky frankincense.

Each one has a delightful story to tell on the skin, but we have so loved hearing Isabella’s own story of the fragrance, first-hand…

Lancome Trésor £54.50 for 30ml eau de parfum
Try it at lancome.co.uk

Written by Suzy Nightingale

We’ll meat again… Puperami: the meat-scented spray luring back lost dogs

We’ve reported previously on all manner of weird and wonderful novelty fragrances (from gravy-scented candles to perfume that smells of pizza or blue cheese), but (thankfully) this latest Peperami-infused one is not meant for humans…

Following news of a missing dog – who survived two days without food and water after falling into a hole, and was apparently lured out with the smell of a salami stick – Peperami have announced plans for a prototype pork-scented ‘Puperami: Eau De Lurette’. The idea being that people whose dog has gone missing will be able to lure their own missing pups by spraying the scent in and around the local area, in hopes of the dog catching a meaty whiff and reappearing.

The story goes that owners Sarah Adams and Declan Kemp from Edinburgh had been walking their five-year-old dog, Coco, in their local park at about 10pm when he ran off. Despite the pair’s desperate attempt to search for the Pekingese Cross, they could not find her and ‘feared the worst’.

The couple took to social media to upload a post about their missing furry friend, which was shared thousands of times. Coupled with the help of search and rescue dogs and locals, Coco was found two days later.

‘On the day of rescue, Sarah and her partner set off around 8am to search for their pup, taking a piece of Peperami with them in the hope that she would smell it and start barking.

It ended up being the pawfect solution, with Coco sniffing out the meaty snack and making small whimpering noises, before locating her stuck down a sewage hole over five foot deep.

Pulling her out by the scruff of her neck, the pair then called the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to alert them of the dangerous ditch, who then shortly arrived with fire service personnel to cover the hole with logs.’

A spokesperson for Peperami said; ‘We’re thrilled to hear that Coco has been found safe and sound, thanks to the help of Peperami. Although our pork snacks aren’t suitable to be digested by dogs, we’ve been inspired by the story and looking into how we can replicate the same smell of our original salami stick in spray form. The ‘Puperami: Eau de Lurette’ prototype will aim to help future dog-owners find their furry friends.’

For those of you clamouring to stock up on the porky perfume, we must sadly report that the press release states ‘…although anything is paw-sible, as the product has only entered initial stages of development, a price nor timeline has been set defining when it will become available at re-tail stores.’ So your meaty fragrance dreams will just have to wait, for the moment…

By Suzy Nightingale

 

Perfume Bottles Auction 2020: WOW! We love these (and you can now bid online to win!)

From Mae West’s signature scent stored in a cigarette packet, bejewelled bottles from the 1800’s to novelty perfumed powder puffs chaped like 1920’s flapper girls… the Perfume Bottles Auction will delight and tempt every fragrance fiend…

The annual Perfume Bottles Auction really is a date in the diary of serious scent collectors – with the most stunning examples of artistic and rare fragrance flaçons you wever will see (outside of a museum, anyway).

Since 1979, organiser and founder of The Perfume Bottles Auction, Ken Leach, has been working ‘to create public and corporate awareness of the artistry to be found in vintage perfume presentation.’ His antique shop’s show-stopping merchandise ‘has served as a source of inspiration for glass companies, package designers, and celebrity perfumers, before ultimately entering the collections of perfume bottle enthusiasts around the globe.’

This year, because of the on-going global pandemic, it has presented something of a challenge to the organisers, but happily the entire catalogue is now online for you to view (and gasp outloud at!) with the auction to take place via live stream on Sat, Jul 11, 2020 8:00 PM BST.

What’s more, in response to the global crisis, the LiveAuctioneers website is dontaing to COVID causes such as Meals on Wheels COVID Response Fund and global relief efforts, with over $50,000 already donated.

Here’s just some of what we’d be bidding on (and would be gracing the dressing table of our dreams…) in this year’s incredible collection of lots…

 

How completely wonderful is this novelty ‘cigarette packet’ style packaging for what was Mae West’s signature scent? Made in 1933, the box is covered in iconic quotes from the bombshell movie star, and the lot includes five ad cards and a counter display. A case of ‘come up and smell me sometime…?’
Estimated price: $2,000-3,000

 

In 1937, Pinaud trademarked the name ‘Scarlett’, releasing the ‘Flirt’ perfume in 1939, with a matching Clark Gable ‘Bittersweet’ scent when the film premiered that year. The bottles were available with a choice of scents, including Apple Blossom, Maghnolia and Honeysuckle, and came with an autographed photo.
Estimated price: $1,000-$2,000

 

Lalique were instrumental in revolutionising perfume bottle design and production, and we love their contemporary fragrances (and the way they incorporate their heritage into bottle production today), but this 1929 bottle for Lucien Lelong in frosted glass with enamelled swags and silvered metal case is just exquisite!
Estimated price: $7,000-8,000

 

Our co-founder, Jo Fairley, loves Schiaparelli Shocking perfume so much she wore it on her wedding day – and did you know the pink for the box was designed by Schiaparelli herself, and gave name to what we still call ‘shocking pink’ to this day? Dating from the 1930s, the auction includes 3 figural soaps, a 1938 ‘Shock in the Box’ perfume, a Salvador Dali-designed face powder and scented boy lotion bottle. Truly, our heart’s desire!
Estimated prices from $200-600 per item

 

Fragranced dusting powders were all the rage once, and we don’t think we’ve ever seen a more fabulous version than this 1920’s Goebel glazed porcelain powder dish. Imagine being a movie starlet or ballet dancer and reaching for this to dust away shine with puffs of perfumed powder – it’s enough to make us swoon with delight!
Estimated price: $600-$800

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Scented candles for summer: bring the sunshine in!

Scented candles have become a staple for many a home these past few months – establishing a sense of calm or uplifting spirits when we may have felt rather trapped indoors – and affirming the long established massive rise in sales of fragranced candles year ’round…

It seems practically a century ago, now, but in 2018 it was reported that the U.K. ‘candle economy’ was already worth £1.9bn. With some online retailers recently reporting that sales of scented candles over the Covid-19 lockdown period have massively spiked, Emma Fishwick, account manager of consumer trend monitors, NPD UK Beauty, said that this proves ‘…how important home comforts are to us. We have seen from our data that consumers are increasingly turning to self-care to improve wellbeing during the Covid-19 pandemic. People are utilising scents to create a calming ambiance while confined at home during this period of uncertainty.’

Many of us will be missing out on a summer holiday abroad this year, too, as travel restrictions continue, and so we’re going to focus on the positive changes we can make to ensure our homes feel even more welcome, or sending lovely scented gifts to friends we miss. And we feel sure we wont be alone in stocking up further on some of these beautifully evocative, so-summer-y scented candles that guarantee to let the sunshine in

Inspired by Empress Eugenie’s historic, sun-drenched Corsican villa, this wafts forth a grove of salt-tinged lemon trees, ripe figs and smooth cedar.

Cire Trudon Cyrnos candle £74.95
Buy it at harrods.com

Their best-selling fragrance has been transformed into a candle, so now you can fill your home with the luminious floral bouquet of Turkish rose garlanded with crisp lily of the valley and beautifully powdery peonies.

Parfums de Marly Delina candle £65
Buy it at harveynichols.com

 

Acqua di Parma teamed with California-based La DoubleJ for this limited edition Arancia di Capri candle, transporting us directly to the Italian Med via sparkling, cardamom-speckled citrus.

Acqua di Parma + La DoubleJ Arancia di Capri candle £60
Buy it at ladoublej.com

Escape to tropical climes with the scent of Madagascan ylang-ylang, Moroccan jasmine, rose and heavenly frangipani for intimate summer evenings (or whenever you just want to unwind).

Sana Jardin Revolution de la Fleur candle £48
Buy it at sanajardin.com

A stroll along an English coastal resport on a sunny day is perfectly evoked with banks of windswept wild flowers, lush countryside grassiness and slightly spicy undertones to warm your cockles as the sun sets over the sea.

Laboratory Perfumes Gorse candle £45
Buy it at cultbeauty.co.uk

By Suzy Nightingale

Acqua di Parma + La DoubleJ take us to the beach

Acqua di Parma, in collaboration with La DoubleJ, have dressed an entire beachfront with the new Blu Mediterraneo by La DoubleJ capsule collection for a summer of pure Italian style…

 

 

At PSHQ we’re literally salivating over these pictures of the Bocelli family’s bathing establishment, because although we may not be able to wiggle our toes in the sand and gawp at the azure waters, this stunning collab allows us to travel in spirit via the radiant fragrances and vibrant colours of the new capsule collection.

 

 

In the utterly stunning location of Alpemare Beach Club, Forte dei Marmi in Tuscany (which looks like it should be the set of a Wes Anderson film, don’t you think?) for the first time ever, Acqua di Parma have dressed the beachfront for the entire Summer season! And now, you can dress your home to transport you to the Med every time you see those so-happy pops of colour or catch a waft of the glorious scents.

 

 

Comprising fabulously luxurious body products such as the Shower Mousse (£37 for 150ml), lightly scented with the lemon, myrtle, jasmine and salty marine breeze notes of Mirto di Panarea, a Body Scrub (£50 for 200ml) fragranced with their Fico di Amalfi grapefruit, bergamot, lemon and fig (which is basically like sexy marmalade), and even a range of Travel Accessories (we have our eyes on the Confetti Blue Beach Towel, £255 – would it be a bit extra to say we dream of spritzing this with one of the Blu Mediterraneo collection (from £49) and ‘travelling’ with our noses as we sit in our back gardens?) we’re spoiled for choice!

 

 

We say: if you can’t be there in person, let perfume whisk you there right now. So spritz that sunshine-filled fragrance and light that candle, because the beach will wait until you can get there again, but your mood can be lifted in mere seconds by the magic of summer scents…

By Suzy Nightingale

 

ODORBET: a growing vocabularly for your nose…

The ODORBET is a brand new, open resource for all odophiles – and they want YOUR help…

Conceived by artist and author Catherine Haley Epstein and art and olfactory historian Caro Verbeek, the ODORBET is an online place to collect (and delight in) smell descriptions, with a larger aim ‘…to re-narrate history from a sensory perspective by reconstructing and presenting historical scents and tactile poetry in museums and beyond.’

Thanks to those who have already submitted, they’ve gathered 240 words and phrases so far, from controubutors all over the world, and these are being gradually shared at random, in three-word installations.

So why does it matter? Why can’t we just make do with the same old words we normally use?

Well, as we know all too well at The Perfume Society, describing a smell is actually really challenging. There are very few commonly used words that don ‘t fall back on likening a scent to something else – saying it’s fruity, for example, or likening it to a well-known texture such as velvet. By limiting our vocabulary, we’re restricting the ways in which we can accurately communicate and share our feelings about what we’re smelling, and ultimately, how we connect to those smells emotionally and intellectually.

‘We are compiling this Odorbet to provide more springboards for broader thinking around the landscape of the nose and scent,’ they explain, because we know that ‘…how we think is deeply affected by the words we use. For example, “climate change study” has a vastly different connotation than “imminent disaster planning.” We know there is passive, neutral and aggressive ways of stating things that will inspire correlating behavior.’

What’s more, the descriptions reveal fascinating historical and cultural scent snippets you’ve perhaops never heard of, and will want to nose around finding out more about, as we certainly did!

Let’s have a peek at a few submitted so far, and think about which others we might want to add, ourselves…

Want to join in? Submit your lesser-known smell descriptors to ODORBET, and read their blog posts to find out more. We can’t wait for the next set of scent words to be released for us all to share!

By Suzy Nightingale