Wonderful news for fragranct fans of Angela Flanders – they’re re-opening with a surprise pop-up exhibition and limited edition fragrance…
With there still being so much doom and gloom around in this strangest of years, we react to each piece of good news with the urge to pop the Champagne corks – and here’s something we definitely want to celebrate. The much-beloved London-based niche fragrance house, now with Angela’s daughter, Kate, at the helm, is staging a perfumed pop-up entitled ‘Bleu Anglais.’
Featuring a display of the gorgeous textiles Angela so loved (and began stocking in the original shop, even before she’d made her first perfume), it’s part of the Shoreditch Design Triangle Festival, which runs from the 12th – 20th September 2020.
Angela Flanders perfumery say:
BLEU DE CHINE PERFUME
BLEU ANGLAIS TEXTILES
‘We re – open our Spitalfields shop with launch of a limited-edition fragrance Bleu de Chine and a pop – up with antique and vintage Chinese indigo textiles from Bleu Anglais.
Bleu de Chine is a sophisticated scent inspired by the vintage Chinese indigo paste resist textiles, sourced by textile expert Noel Chapman of Bleu Anglais.
The perfume, created by Angela Flanders in 2014, includes notes of bergamot, lavender and patchouli. These last two ingredients, when perfectly blended together, create a third, indefinable scent which is a perfect match for these individual textiles.
This cool and aromatic scent features top notes of invigorating bergamot, soothing lavender, and a base of mature patchouli aged for richness and depth, with a heart of bois de rose which lends its spicy woody, floral beauty.
Bleu de Chine creates a soothing yet exotic atmosphere in the home either as a diffuser or a perfumed candle, and is also available in eau de toilette or eau de parfum.’
With small and independent businesses needing our help more than ever, if you can go and visit, do go and gaze at the fabulous fabrics and, of course, make sure to try the stunning Bleu de Chine scent. It’s exactly the kind of artistically-inspired pick me up we need right now…
When fragrance ingredients become scarce, suddenly our favourite scents can be rendered obscure – something fans of Angela Flanders Aqua Alba know all too well. But those craving this perfectly seasonal, warm and smoky fragrance can now rejoice, as it’s back, baby!
Originally released as a limited edition in 2012, Angela Flanders Aqua Alba soon achieved something of a cult following – and no wonder, for this loamy swirl of amber-rich magnificence celebrates the very art of blending, distilling the distinctive flavours of whisky – translating them into a fragrance that captures the character without smelling as though you’ve had one too many. Indeed, the name Whisky stems from the Gaelic word meaning ‘water of life’, and the dark, peaty notes of Aqua Alba perfectly evoke i’ts magically restorative properties.’
Brown Oak Moss – one of the key base ingredients for Aqua Alba – suddenly became unavailable, meaning that the original formula needed to be completely re-worked from scratch. Flanders’ daughter, Kate Evans, has now painstakingly amended that original formula with new accords that still create the spirit and true character that so many fell for, which has been, she admits, ‘…quite a journey.’
Kate reminisces that ‘It was a fascinating process to watch Angela create Aqua Alba originally, inspired by her conversations with Jim Beveridge, Master Blender at Johnnie Walker Whisky; and attempting to replace the lost ingredient while remaining as true to the original as possible has been quite an olfactory challenge.’
So what did Kate discover to re-create the distinctly cosy mossiness of the first fragrance?
Angela Flanders say: ‘Distinguished, comforting and rugged, Aqua Alba draws on elements of the Scottish landscape that so imbue whisky with its distinctive flavours – peat smoke, heather, wind blasted wood, soft green mosses… Labdanum and patchouli represent the moss and earth, overlaying a heart of heather and gaiac wood, on a base of sweet amber, oudh and smoky peat.’
Says Kate, ‘With such a loyal following for this particular perfume, and a waiting list for the new iteration we are thrilled to have it ready in time for this winter season.’ Not nearly as thrilled as though of us who have waited breathlessly for it to return…
‘I’ve inherited this incredible legacy and I want it to live on,’ Kate Evans explains, somewhat hesitant but with a glow that hints at how proud she is to have not only been bequeathed the award-winning London perfumery her mother, Anglea Flanders founded, but also marking the first fragrance she has created herself: the truly lovely, Lawn.
To be sure they were big scent-shoes to fill, and as the first perfume to be launched in the new era for the house it could be nothing less than a tender tribute to all Kate’s mother held dear, and yet full of Kate’s own personality, too.
Angela Flanders say: ‘Lawn captures the image of a dewy, green garden seen through gauzy lawn curtains stirring in the breeze before the heat of the day scorches through. To conjure that calm, fleeting sense of newness, Kate chose fresh top notes of black pepper and bergamot, while sappy-green galbanum and earthy patchouli evoke plants fresh with dew. Tuberose, jasmine and lemon balm at the heart unfold with the warmth of the wearer, just as the sun simmers through a misty dawn.’
A former television costume designer, Angela Flanders started her eponymous Colombia Road perfumery in 1985, ‘In the early days, we worked together in her studio. As a fledgling business it was very hands-on,’ Kate recalls. As Kate opened her own fashion boutique, Precious, (just up the road from her mother’s perfumery) the close collaboration of mother and daughter became even stronger. ‘Whenever Anglea created a new fragrance, she’d call me in,’ and Kate explains she felt the more she learned about perfume, through watching (and smelling) her mother first-hand, she suddenly found she had ‘…become her second nose.’
When Angela sadly passed away on 2016, she left not only a remarkable legacy but a renewed responsibilty for Kate, who felt, she admits, that she had to do her apprenticeship all over again. ‘I had a lot of re-learning to do, so for eighteen months I immersed myself in Angela’s formulas, getting back in touch with her methods and retraining my nose.’
Vicci Bentley was a long-time friend and admirer of Angela Flanders’ work (and had worked on a previous perfume with Angela herself) as well as being an award-winning fragrance writer and expert; and, it turns out, had a hand in encouraging Kate to continue the perfumery by working on her own composition.
These gauzy mornings
there’s a reason why you push your bed pillow-close
to the open window so that the cool, the light
bathes you awake five o’clock and eager
to leave diseased dreams and watch
the calm, silver sheet of the
dawning lawn catch the
unhurried tumble of
a petal’s feather curl
for in the blink of that first, not-quite time
you still believe in the lightness of your footfall
stepping out onto the fresh, the wet
beneath your soles, between your toes;
inhaling silver, tasting green as
each liquid call in the chorus
trickles down to touch the
newness in you
until the truth of the day scorches through
~ by Vicci Bentley
‘Mum always loved sensual fabrics, so as a tribute to her I’d been toying with the idea of creating a fragrance based on cloth, texture and touch. With its dual meaning of of mown grass and floaty, diaphanous fabric, Lawn was the perfect catalyst,’ Kate believes.
And yes, there’s a real sense of fine white cotton sheets, freshly washed and hanging out to dry already in the first glimse of the morning sun, of sheer muslin curtains gently rustled by a breeze. Dewy freshness trancends the notes from top to bottom as green galbanum melts like morning mist, revealing a swift twist of pepper-speckled jasmine blossoms, ethereal, translucent tuberose and cooling lemon balm. Wearing this feels like strolling through a garden at dawn, wet moss beneath bare feet, the heat of the day teasing with tendrils, and an earthy patchouli to ground the base.
‘I wanted to come to the perfumery fresh and find my own way with it. The concept for Lawn was something we didn’t already have in the collection.’
‘I’m immensely proud of what Angela created and honoured to take on the perfumer’s role now. Sometimes, when I’m in the studio, I feel she’s looking over my shoulder.’
And we’re sure that Angela Flanders would be immenseley proud of her daughter, too…
Angela Flanders Lawn £65 for 50ml eau de toilette, £75 for 30ml eau de parfum
Want to try some more of Angela Flanders fragrances? We’ve got three stunning scent ‘trilogy’ collectionsback in stock! Mini sizes, beautifully boxed, they’re perfect for travelling – and for trying something new.
As the nights draw in and we shiver in to the colder months ahead, those bright florals don’t seem quite so suitable, somehow. Just as we might choose to layer a pretty dress with a more seasonable sweater, so to can we layer our fragrances to better suit our moods…
With this in mind, British perfume house Angela Flanders have helpfully launched Dark Flowers Duos, ‘four seductive duos of flowers and woods. Wear each one individually or layer them to create a unique scent.’ In fact, you can create three scents with each duo, by choosing to wear alone or combine them both for a deeper plunge. As Angela Flanders suggest, ‘Why not transition your scent from day to night? Start by wearing the floral fragrance on its own during the day. Follow by later spraying on the woody fragrance to intensify your scent and give it more staying power.’
Four Dark Flowers Duos are currently available, each comprising a floral and a complimenting fragrance to perfectly enhance the other, but of course if you maximise the pleasure by purchasing them all, your scent-combination options become endless! Which layering options would you choose? Mimosa & Sandalwood
Soft sun-drenched notes of mimosa blend seamlessly with warm and smooth sandalwood. Jasmine & Vetiver
Sultry jasmine and grassy vetiver… This sensual blend is a marriage made in heaven. Tuberose & Patchouli
Deep and earthy patchouli combines beautifully with creamy and heady tuberose. Lily of the Valley & Hungary Water
Lift your mood by layering green and dewy notes of lily of the valley with invigorating Hungary water. Angela Flanders Dark Flowers Duos £50 for 2 x 10ml eau de parfum
Buy them at Angela Flanders
Written by Suzy Nightingale
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