The Fragrance Room – Harvey Nichols new perfume place to be!

Harvey Nichols Knightsbridge have just opened a fabulous NEW fragrant hang-out: Exclusives and boutiques and workshops, oh my! We got the low-down on this exciting new scent space within the department store, now with a whole host of new houses to explore in DOUBLE the room…

Harvey Nichols have long had a passion for perfume – often showcasing niche brands that never dreamed of being stocked in such a world-famous store, finding the most unique names that are hard to find anywhere else along with their curated selection of the finest fragrance houses this planet has to offer perfumistas. With innovative art installations and all manner of fragrant events already under their belt, and an array of gorgeous shop-in-shop boutiques queing up to join in the fragrant fun – it was time to expand the space and really commit to a larger integral fragrant experience. Behold: The Fragrance Room

 

 

Bigger, better, bolder than ever before, this new department has now been unveiled and includes over 100 fragrance houses, including in-store boutiques from Creed, Maison Francis Kurkdjian, Serge Lutens and Kilian. With a roll-out of inclusive, immersive experiences for customers, the new concept will include a sensory fragrance discovery wall – to help customers navigate the often tricky fragrance families – boutique activations, including fragrance workshops with the Fragrance Foundation to celebrate National Fragrance Week and opportunities to meet brand founders and perfumers through interactive events and partnerships.

 

 

Jo Osborne, Director of Beauty and Concessions at Harvey Nichols, said that because fragrance has been such a significant part of their business, since the 2016, they’ve taken the decision to massively expand their fragrance offering.

‘…we have outgrown the current area but are fortunate enough to move to a space double the size. The new department allows us to offer some of our bestselling brands an opportunity to create their own boutique space and the rest of the department to curate unique and fine fragrances from across the world, which we know our customers will love. We are excited to work with new and existing brands to offer exclusive activities, such as expert consultations and welcome various brand founders such as Francis Kurkdjian and Geza Schoen.’

The first phase is already open, and when fully complete at the end of this month (March 2020), the space will be a whopping 1,600 sq ft – showing exactly how important fragrance is to Harvey Nichols. And that’s great news for all of us who love perfume, don’t you think?

Harvey Nichols say: ‘With a portfolio of UK exclusive brands including Maison Crivelli, 28 87 Barcelona, V Canta by Terenzi, Ormaie Paris and Ella K, the deapartment will be home to a library of fragrance brands from across the world.’

Additional fragrance houses joining Harvey Nichols for the first time include Hermessance, Nassomatto, Parfums de Marly, D.S. & Durga and Initio, among others.

We don’t know about you, but our shopping (and must-sniff) list just got a LOT longer…

By Suzy Nightingale

Penhaligon’s fascinating fragrant history

Penhaligon’s are one of the most famous fragrance houses in the world, a proudly British brand with the most fascinating fragrant history…

Hot towels and steamily scented delights were the order of the day for customers flocking to the famous Piccadilly Turkish Baths on Jermyn Street and it was here that William Penhaligon started working as a hairdresser in the 1860s. Originally from Penzance, Cornwall, his shrewd eye for business led to him opening a rival salon just down the street a few years later. There, Penhaligon began creating his very own fragrances, lotions and potions for a most discerning clientele to enjoy.

1891 saw what was then ‘Penhaligon’s & Jeavons’ move to the even more prestigious premises of 33 St James Street and 66 Jermyn Street, with the two stores linked together at the rear. They announced to the press that not only were they the sole suppliers for the original Penhaligon’s ‘hit’ fragrance of Hammam Bouquet, but that both shops boasted a new- fangled invention of… electric lighting – still a novelty at this point in retail!

Clearly a whizz with the scissors and the scents, Penhaligon was appointed Royal Barber and Perfumer to the Royal Court during Queen Victoria’s reign and by 1903 his business was granted its first Royal Warrant from Queen Alexandra. Nearly a century and a half later, Penhaligon’s has added Royal Warrants from The Prince of Wales (granted in 1988) and the Duke of Edinburgh (granted in 1956) to their regal roll call.

140+ years old they may be, but that doesn’t mean the techniques they use are stuck in a time-warp. Penhaligon’s consistently make the most of the newest fragrance technology – from CO2 extraction to Nature Print Technology and beyond – promising that ‘each bottle contains a blend of the very old and very new.’ Those distinctive bottles tap into their history, too; clear glass and brightly coloured bow-ties adorning the stoppers are a direct echo of William’s original design.

Still made and produced in England, many of the original fragrances can still be found in the current collection, including Hamman Bouquet. Lately, however, Penhaligon’s have collaborated with some of the greats noses of modern times – including Bertrand Duchaufour, Olivia Giacobetti, Olivier Cresp and Alberto Morrillas.

Lately, a whole ‘family’ has been added to their already impressive stable of fragrances, the Penhaligon’s Portraits. Displaying more than a dash of exquisite eccentricity, we’re invited to get to know the characters, like The Ruthless Countess Dorothea, who is ‘A most ferocious matriarch, known for her sharp mind, even sharper wit and a secret fondness for the company of young men and scones.’ While described in mischievously historical tones, it’s a tingling, ginger-infused shot of oppulence on a cosy, slightly boozy base. And all the Portraits fragrances have their fingers on the button of contemporary fashions – much like the house of Penhaligon’s itself.

Penhaligon’s is a treasure trove of scents to discover – rich in both heritage and modern mischieviousness – and how many perfumeries still standing (and thriving) since the 1800’s can you think of? We love the way each boutique has its own distinct personality, too, with lavishly appointed interiors uniquely themed to suit each location.

Have you been to visit the newly re-vamped Penhaligon’s Wellington Street store in Covent Garden? We rather swooned over the decor (while sniffing out all the latest scents). Whichever boutique you visit, we’re sure you’ll love getting to know the entire ‘family’ of fragrances…

By Suzy Nightingale

A peek inside Penhaligon’s Covent Garden home

Penhaligon’s opened their very first boutique in London’s fashionable Jermyn Street in1872 and have since gone on to open locations spanning the globe – you can read all about their fascinating history on our page dedicated to Penhaligon’s.

Instead of merely reproducing the same look in each store, Penhaligon’s work with the history and location of each building, making sure to reflect differing aspects and using unique materials and interior decor for every single one. And now, we’re delighted to take a sneak peek into their newly refurbished home in Covent Garden’s Wellington Street...

And you know, it really is just like walking into a home – albeit that of a fragrance fanatic! – with rich, gleaming wood floors, fixtures and finishes, and a supremely elegant style to the architecture. The space feels airy, yet with enough intimacy to ccomfortably explore the scents arrayed on the walls and a magnificent central display table.

We think there’s a Gerogian-meets-contemporary vibe to the whole store – clean lines preventing clutter, and allowing the eye (and nose) to rest on everything there is to explore. And with the ever-gowing range of family members in the Penhaligon’s fragrance wardrobe, you can be sure there’s something fo all tastes – from the more modern scents of recent years in the Portraits collection, right through to the vintage archival fragrances they made their name by, and have made British perfumery famous for generations.

Many Penhaligon’s store offer private Fragrance Profiling appointments, including Wellignton Street, where you will be asked a series of questions to match you to the perfect scent – a service they now offer online, too, for those not able to get to boutique – something many couples like to experience for their wedding fragrances, or to find a great gift for a loved one or mark a special occasion.

We love visiting perfumeries who make an effort to dress their spaces differently – gone are the days when everyone wanted idetikit, could-be-anywhere boutiques; and it’s always lovely to have a relaxed atmosphere to soak up the scents, don’t you agree?

Penhaligon’s: 41 Wellington Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 7BN

By Suzy Nightingale

The scent of spring at Les Senteurs

The beautiful Les Senteurs Belgravia boutique is currently bursting with blossoms – swagged with the most stunning flowers (currently ‘spraying’ forth from a huge perfume bottle outside!) and drawing Instagram selfie-hunters and scent lovers the world over.

There, they regularly host Meet The Perfumers events, allowing guests to discover some of their most unique and captivating houses in a truly privilleged way – by meeting the very people who founded the brands, and the perfumers who create their scents (often the founders and perfumers being one and the same in niche, artisanal fragrance houses!)

We were honoured to be invited to their most recent meet-and-greet, to hear first hand how the houses were launched, and the inspiration behind their fragrances, on this occasion Jeroen Oude Sogtoen and perfumer Frederik Dalman of Mona di Orio, Margaret Mangan and perfumer Meabh McCurtin of Cloon Keen, and Sylvaine Delacourte of Sylvaine Delacourte Paris (formerly Creative Director with Guerlain).

The discussion ranged from asking the brands how they began, ‘what is niche now?’ and ‘what does luxury mean in perfume?’ through to smelling some of their incredible creations – all displayed on the large, tiered table at the front of the shop (kind of a ‘lazy Susan’ for scent, which we desperately wish we owned!)

With spring very much in the air, we couldn’t resist also asking them what smells instantly mean spring for some of them…

The wonderful young Irish perfumer, Meabh, immediately replied, “Wisteria! It’s just everywhere this time of year and I love it’, and when we asked her to explain what it smells like to her… ‘Creamy, spicy, with a definite warmth at the centre. There’s something about that smell that just makes me feel happy, it’s a comforting scent. And of course it looks so cheering when everything else is a bit grey.’

For Sylvaine, her favourite scent of spring also revealed the next note to be explored in her forthcoming new collection of fragrances – each collection focusing on one main ingredient and exploring the incredibly differing characters that can be coaxed from that starting point. ‘For me it has to be orange blossom. It reminds me of being in Morocco when it’s everywhere in the air, in your food… I have four candles coming, one for each season, and for spring of course I chose orange blossom for those happy memories.’

Indeed, Sylvaine loves orange blossom so much she revealed it will be that next raw material she works with. ‘One of my perfumes will be leather with orange blossom… I cannot wait for you to try it, to see how different it can be.’ And for the future, Sylvaine will be experimenting by working on something entirely different… ‘I want to to use a note a don’t like. I wont say what it is now. I don’t hate it – for me that would be impossible – but I really don’t like it. I want to challenge myself!’

These events are a complete privillege to attend – there’s nothing quite like hearing directly from the perfumer and the founders of a house to get a more complete understanding – and new found love – for their work, and what they’re trying to accomplish.

Even when the perfumers aren’t there, it’s always worth making a trip to Les Senteurs, because (as all the houses noted) nothing competes with talking to experts in perfumery – like the incomparable James Craven, the scent archivist of Les Senteurs – if you’re looking to learn more about perfume, or just to try a new scent for spring. You really couldn’t be in better hands…

Les Senteurs, 71 Elizabeth St, Belgravia, London SW1W 9PJ

By Suzy Nightingale

A nose around Jovoy Mayfair – niche fragrance heaven!

It’s coming up for Jovoy Mayfair‘s first birthday, so what better time to celebrate their arrival in the UK than by having a nose around, seeing what’s new, and thanking heaven for this niche haven in the heart of London…?

(PS: Our VIP Club Members are being offered a generous 15% discount at Jovoy between until 24th October 2018click here see how to claim this exclusive offer, though you’ll have to use your V.I.P. log-in to view it.

The opening of Jovoy on Mayfair’s Conduit Street in 2017 was definitely a cause for corks popping. Those of you lucky enough to go scent shopping in Paris will surely have come across Jovoy there – it opened in 2006 on the rue Castiglione – where it proved a game-changer in fragrance retail: a destination for perfumistas (from around the world, nowadays) showcasing perfume houses which had, until then, been largely unavailable.

Jovoy was the ‘baby’ of François Hénin, who previously worked exploring the olfactive riches of Vietnam, distilling raw ingredients for the perfume trade. François had his finger on the quickening pulse of the fragrance world, sensing a shift away from the ‘signature scents’ and more traditional, classic houses Parisians had tended to wear in the past.

One of the things we love best about Jovoy Mayfair is the ‘staff picks’ wall – think of it a little like those windows and display shelves in bookshops where the knowledgable staff pick out new and unusual things they think you’ll love. It’s such a great place to start sniffing, especially if you’re a little nervous about walking into a niche boutique for the first time (or simply don’t know where to begin!)

Jovoy are also happy to decant some of your favourite new finds into small sample bottles, so you can try them at home and properly get to know them – a fantastic service that we’re sure means many come back to buy the full size.

Here’s a few new scents you may find there, currently…

Jovoy say: ‘The latest perfume from Arte Profumi explores vetiver. Itself a highly prized and valuable raw material, Sine Tempore uses two different vetiver extractions (Haiti and Java) along with subtle does of lime and cardamom to shoot the root through with an insistent and citric, green note.’

Arte Profumi Sine Tempore £215 for 100l eau de parfum

 

Jovoy say: ‘Hoja de Cuba is another in Berdoues’ series of Grand Crus perfumes, one that takes its cues (as the title insists) from the streets of Havana, the tobacco fields and the Cuban cigars so synonymous with them. A blend of tobacco from Turkey, allspice from Jamaica and vetiver from Haiti.’

Berdoues Hoja de Cuba £67 for 100ml eau de parfum

Jovoy say: ‘Rock ‘N’ Rouge is a game of looks exchanged between a ballerina and a member of the audience. Temptation pierces through the gloom in the theatre and Eros shoots his keenest arrow. Desire cuts across the stage and rolls like a thousand fiery marbles out towards the theatre stalls. There, in the glare of the first change in the lights, the star’s eyes set fire to those of the man who observes. And, as though by magic, all the rest of the audience disappears. He and she are the only ones who remain, without knowing each other, without ever touching. United by seduction, they are unconscious protagonists of a feline pas de deux, charged with electricity.’

THoO Rock ‘n’ Rouge £220 for 75ml eau de parfum

Did you know Jovoy also have their own amaaaazing candles (presented in glass domes within a scarlet red vintage style hatbox affair? Well now you can also get them in a customisable box: choose four fragrances (making 64 possible combinations). ‘Create your own candle set choosing one or several fragrances among the four classic candles by Jovoy: Ambre 1er, Datcha, Gardez-Moi and Marron. Each black coffret case is populated of four 80g red candles, each with approx 20 hours of diffusion. The hardest part will be to choose how many of each.’

Jovoy Custom Candle Set £80 for 4 x 80g

While we touched on the subject of nerves earlier, let’s be real about this. Not everyone feels confident about striding in to a ritzy scent shop. We’ve spoken to lots of our loyal readers and even VIP Club Members who still can feel a bit dubious about going in any fragrance shop alone.

Rest assured, Jovoy Mayfair excel at making you feel comfortable – there’s zero pressure, they’re happy to let you browse or give advice where required, and there are pots of blotters and pencils dotted all over the place, to encourage spitzing (and of course writing the name of the fragrance on the blotter so you don’t shove it in your bag and forget which it was, later… You all do this, don’t you? *waggles eyebrows*)

Downstairs, there’s a comfy sofa for relaxed wrist-sniffing situations, and a more private ‘frgarance fitting’ experience should you wish, as well as a fragrance dispensing machine and exhibits of rare (and sometimes priceless!) perfumes to make your jaw drop.

We’ve hosted several events at Jovoy since they opened, including a remarkable alcohol and fragrance pairing evening (which was every bit as wonderful as that sounds) and, most recently, our co-founder Jo Fairley interviewing maverick perfumer Geza Schoen about his Beautiful Mind Series fragrances. Sp, do keep an eye on our Events page to join us on another occasion.

Incidently, Jovoy have their very own Private Label fragrance range – for Jovoy is actually a revived and re-imagined fragrance house that once scented the bohemian A-List of 1920s Parisian bohemians. You can read about the history of Jovoy on our page dedicated to them.

In the meantime, we encourage you to venture forth into independent fragrance retailers and see an array of scents you’d never even dreamed existed! rom Neela Vermeire to Atelier Flou, L’Essence du Bois to Olfactive Studio, Jacques Fath to Perfumer du Monde, via Volnay, Jeroboam, Aedes de Venustus, Eight & Bob, Masque Milano and so many more (with a growing number of store exclusives, too).

Jovoy Mayfair 21 Conduit Street, London W1S 2XP

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Ormonde Jayne White Gold

The London house of Ormonde Jayne take alchemical notions and conjur a trilogy of Gold-inspired fragrances, the completion of which arrives in the majestic form of White Gold. But how do you bottle gold? Or, at least, capture the shimmering beauty of precious metal in a fragrance?

The genius of fine perfumery is to take something abstract, a colour, texture or emotion, and convey this through the subtle manipulation of our senses – a message from the perfumer to the fragrance wearer that we somehow understand at once.

When we try to imagine or describe the smell of gold itself, we may well struggle. What does it smell like, other than, well… metal? And yet certain combinations of ingredients definitely smell gleamingly ‘golden’, blushing rosily or cooler, more silvered in tone.

If there’s a signature for Ormonde Jayne fragrances, it surely has to be the pink pepper. It shimmers as a temperature in White Gold, warm sunshine that lends a luminescence to everything around it, but filtered through lacey curtains, casting intricate shadows on a perfectly polished wooden floor. A luscious haze of green leafy-ness suffuses skin-soft orris butter and jasmine, dipping slightly deeper into a dry-down of lightly burnished amber, whispers of white musk, vanilla and a deliciously mossy shade.

Top Notes
leaf green molecule, pink pepper, mandarin, bergamot and clary sage

Heart notes
jasmine absolute, carnation absolute, orris butter, orchids and freesia

Base notes
Madagascan vanilla, ambrette absolute, cashmeran, white musk, amber, moss, tonka, labdanum, opoponax, vetiver, cedar wood

We say: Glorious to wear in scorching heat, it billows but never becomes too much, with a magnificent and long-lasting trail that feels like streaming a gauzy tulle train behind as you walk. On cooler days the silvery-tones shine through, a rustle of white silks, an echo of laughter in a marble hall.

Because they mix and hand-pour everything themselves, Ormonde Jayne are able to be utterly lavish with their percentages: White Gold is poured at an extravagant 30% of pure oil in every bottle! That’s pretty much unheard of in perfumery. In addition to being hand-poured in their own London laboratory, Ormonde Jayne promise that their fragrance is free from Phthalates, not tested on animals and with no added colour.

Ormonde Jayne say: ‘White Gold captures the beauty of white jasmine absolute, white musk and orchids. Enter the assertiveness of Grasse jasmine absolute purring alongside white musk… Wear it as your second skin, day and night, any season and any occasion. White Gold is for you, own it and be ravishing.’

No, it isn’t ‘cheap’, but we say you’ll only need one or two sprays to last the entire day and night through (and into the next day, still relishing the scent on your hair, a scarf or perhaps the person you expressed your amorous affections to… so use with caution!) Also, you must try this on your skin, so do visit the exqusitely re-appointed boutique within the Royal Arcade, Bond Street. Or send for a sample to see how gold can shimmer on your own skin…

Ormonde Jayne White Gold £375 for 120ml parfum.

Meanwhile, and talking of luxury, have you seen the new ‘Gourmande Jayne‘ website? Encompassing founder Linda Pilkington‘s own passions, it explores fragrantly Gourmet recipes to try at home, sumptuous Fashion and tips for a beautiful Lifestyle. Well worth your exploring!

Written by Suzy Nightingale

 

A visit to the Sixth Floor – where the scented story continues

Over a year since it first threw open its doors, seven new boutiques have opened at Harrods prestigious Salon de Parfums, all the better to seduce your senses. So we thought it was time for an update.
Armani Prive, Penhaligon’s and Burberry have settled into luxuriously appointed spaces alongside Bond No.9Sospiro and Frédéric Malle (we loved the scent booth – what looks like a full-sized shower cubicle, in which perfume is sprayed and wafted for you!)
A worldwide exclusive sees the launch of beautifully presented, Japanese-inspired brand, Floraïku (above) – brought to you by the creators of MEMO, immersing visitors in a Japanese style tea ceremony as they learn about the fragrances and two layering scents the house call ‘shadows’ to amplify their individual characters…
Meanwhile, back at Armani Privé, you can be ushered through gilded doors to strecth out on a chaise lounge and invited to enjoy the immersive ‘Privé Experience’, relaxing as you breathe in gentle wafts of scent until you find your favourite.
Both Sospiro and Frédéric Malle will be offering personalisation and monogramming services within their boutiques, while perfumistas visiting Penhaligon’s and Bond No.9 will be able to create, to varying degrees, their own custom fragrance. Surely the ultimate gift…?
 
It may seem a bit of a marathon trek up the escalators to the Sixth Floor of the world-famous department store. (Although we’ve figured out a nifty short-cut: up to Fifth, through shoes, and up the final escalator).
But however you get there, and wherever you’re coming from, we promise you it’s worth the trip – particularly when you can browse and sniff in a completely unhurried manner (where else can you legitimately lie down and relax in a shop, without getting thrown out?!) and be treated to advice from true experts on-hand.
Harrods Salon de Parfums is on the Sixth Floor at Harrods, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7XL
Written by Suzy Nightingale
 
 

JO LOVES keep the flame burning with customisable candles

What makes a thoughtful gift even more special? Customisation, of course.
Nothing says “I swear I didn’t just pick this randomly off a shelf at the last minute” like a gift that’s been personalised – it’s proof positive that actual genuine thought has gone in to the process!
And to get you ready this Valentines Day, JO LOVES have your back.
A beautifully fragranced candle is always a great choice for those who aren’t sure which scent a loved-one likes best or just because a gorgeously long-lasting haven of scent is always gratefully received. But with their name personally emblazoned across the front? Well, your gold star rating in The Good Books just went off the chart…
‘Surround yourself with the scent of white Norma Jean rose laced with subtle strands of peppered citrus and soft cedarwood. Fresh and elegant, this fragrance literally blooms as it floats through the air. Each Jo Loves Home Candle is accompanied by a silver and glass lid to keep the wax dust free, and beautifully presented within a luxurious gift box. Hand poured in England, each 185g candle burns for approximately 40 hours.’
If you’re not a V-Day type person, then why not use this opportunity to think ahead for Mother’s Day, a forthcoming birthday or even (we’ll whisper this in case we cause convulsions) next Christmas? Whatever the occasion, this exquisitely scented candle can be customised with a name from 20 January exclusively at the JO LOVES London boutique or online at their website.
JO LOVES Customised Candle
JO LOVES White Rose & Lemon Leaves Candle £65
Buy it exclusively at JO LOVES Boutique and joloves.com
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Acqua di Parma serves sun-seekers a dose of Italian luxury in new Miami boutique

Jet-setters chasing the sun in Miami – and those lucky enough to live there – can now revel in the luxurious surroundings of Acqua di Parma’s newely opened boutique. Designed to evoke the spacious elegance of a stylish Italian home, the 1,000 square foot space boasts a sleekly luxurious interior outfitted with the brand’s signature style – Calacatta marble contrasts with dark Wenge wood to highlight the famous Acqua di Parma yellow of the walls. At the heart of the store, a huge leather-covered pyramid showcases bottles of the brand’s most famous and timeless Colonia fragrances.
Acqua di Parma Boutique Miami - Interior
Fans of the brand need not confine themselves to trying the Colognes and body products, as the much-ancipated barbershop provides gentlemen with original barber’s chairs in a devoted area that evokes all the traditional charm of a classical Italian barbershop, of course finished with the flawless contemporary touches for which the brand are known. Shaving and skincare products from their Collezione Barbiere have been created to accompany each phase of this ritual performed – you will be glad to hear – by an expert barber for a truly hands-on Acqua di Parma experience.
Located in the prestigious Brickell City Centre – right in the heart of Miami and one of the city’s most desirable zipcodes – it’s sure to become a must-visit for fragrance fanatics and style-seekers. And of course Acqua di Parma offer the perfect cooling scents to spritz if the temperature gets too steamy.
Acqua di Parma Boutique Miami - Colonia's
‘We selected Miami as our first city due to its international recognition in art, design and culture which are values that define the essence of Acqua di Parma,’ explained Giovanni Lepori, President North America. ‘With events such as Art Basel and Design Miami we knew this was a city we wanted to be a part of.’
We rather see ourselves wafting about in a silk maxi dress while wearing their Arancia di Capri – an aromatically uplifting blend of orange, mandarin, and lemon essential oils with the sparkle of petit grain infused by cardamon and resting on a base of sweetly smooth musk. In fact, yes, book us the plane tickets now, please!
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Acqua di Parma Arancia di Capri from £64 for 75ml
Buy it at Acqua di Parma