Selfridges launch Fragrance & Candle Space scent-destination for perfumistas – and we hosted the opening party!

We were utterly thrilled when Selfridges London asked The Perfume Society to host the prestigious opening party to celebrate their brand new Fragrance & Candle Space. Located on the ground floor of the department store, it’s a brave new sensorial world of scent exploration, offering a unique space in which to discover all manner of exciting brands, and some houses that were even new to us! Tickets had been eagerly snapped up – and with 100% turnout on the evening, clearly we weren’t the only ones anxious to experience this new olfactory arena…

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The new department is spacious, elegantly modern in design and is set to expand even further later in the year when the back of the department is fully opened up. Currently housing the candle and home fragrance collection of Lola James Harper – one of our favourites ever since we first visited their press launch earlier this year and soon with their incredibly evocative fine fragrances to follow; we also spied the exquisitely revamped L’Artisan Parfumeur, the intriguing, music-inspired Justbox, the oft’ swooned over (and we certainly sniffed out why) The Fragrance Kitchen (their Spike Odyssey scent is a world exclusive) and So Oud. But seriously, you need to head there pronto to check out the full range of fabulousness.

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As glasses clinked and bubbles sipped, our Co-Founder Jo Fairley gave an introductory speech welcoming our VIP Subscribers to the event, and we led groups around key stands in the venue whose founders and brand representatives had honoured us by travelling to Selfridges especially for the party, talking about how they began, what their fragrances are inspired by and behind-the-scenes info of their processes.

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From Linda Pilkington (who began Ormonde Jayne literally at her kitchen table), to one of the iconic (arguably first ever heroes of niche) Frederic Malle team; from the charming and so-talented founder of Lola James Harper, Rami Mekdachi; and onwards to the ever-wonderful Diptyque (complete with a travelling trunk of fragrant goods we lusted over for some time…)

Of course there was plenty of sniffing, and our groups were reluctant to tear themselves away from each stand – it’s staggering to see (and smell) the hundreds of hard-to-find fragrances on offer there. On leaving, guests were handed the incredibly generous goody bag – honestly, it had to be seen to be believed. We heard gasps of delight as people opened theirs – provided by brands mentioned, above, for our party, containing a number of fragrant treats to check out at home. But as we left, the tills were still ringing with ticket-holders snapping up their scents of choice – a prospect made all the more agreeable by the £25 gift voucher also included in the goody bag!

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If you’re reading this and feeling slightly sick that you couldn’t make it or hadn’t been quick enough to secure a ticket, may we suggest you take some time out to saunter down to Selfridges and sniff out the new Fragrance & Candle Space for yourselves? You’re bound to come away with a list of must-have perfumes to lust over, at the very least.

Want to join us at future scented soirées? Why not become a VIP Subscriber – or gift a subscription to a fellow scent-lover? Only £25 for a full year, not only will you be invited to equally fabulous and exclusive events and in-depth workshops – you get a complimentary introductory Discovery Box of scents to explore (plus any others you decide to buy will be available at our special VIP rate); on-going special offers and discounts in some of your favourite stores and access to the downloadable version of our award-winning magazine, The Scented Letter, too! It’s kind of win-win-win-win…

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Cire Trudon’s new Cyrnos candle conjures the smell of Empress Eugenie’s sun-drenched villa…

‘Sunshine and showers’ seems to be the phrase most often escaping the lips of weather-forecasters of late – yes it may be fully Spring time in the UK, but sunshine is most definitely not guaranteed. Thank goodness, then, for the consistently stylish scented offerings from Cire Trudon (who know a thing or two about candle-making, having been at it since 1643) – the latest being ‘Cyrnos‘ (which translates to ‘Corsica’ in Ancient Greek), presented in the most sunshine-y yellow glass holder we think we’ve ever seen, it truly seems to glow before it’s even been shown a flame. From the vibrant colour, you may imagine it to be a highly citrus-fragranced affair, but read on, for all is not quite what it seems…

Cire Trudon say: ‘Between 1850 and 1914, the French Riviera was the place to be for the intellectual and political elite. Ruling families, intellectuals, aristocrats and artists travelled there there to enjoy the practically guaranteed sunshine during there during the winter.

Empress Eugenie, Napoleon the 3rd’s widow, fell for this small corner of paradise. In 1894, she built a villa – named Cyrnos – in Cap Martin, located near Monaco. The name was a tribute to the Bonapartes’ homeland, her late husband’s family. Drenched in sun, and overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, the villa is set in an idyllic stage. The limestone rock made the garden’s construction particularly difficult, only achieved through strong will, and lots of dynamite. The Empress’s ambition was to create a park that looked as though it had always been around. Cyrnos, Cire Trudon’s latest creation conjures the solar beauty, the dazzling scent, and the art of living in this truly unique place.’

With her penchant for landscapes harbouring contrasting plants and their multitudionous scents, the Empress finally achieved this vision: mature pine, olive, and palm trees fringed by wide-ranging flowerbeds full of colour amid the arid landscape typical of the region. The smell of cystus, myrtle, mastic, and rosemary fill the air, mixing with the lavender blooms carried from the garden. Though she lived mostly alone, the Empress hosted any number of prominent monarchs at the time, such as Queen Victoria, as well as avant-garde intellectuals types like Jean Cocteau.

Gorgeously vibrant and uplifting, the sunshine is captured in Cyrnos not through the obvious choice of citrus, but with sun-warmed herbaceous wafts of loveliness that follow you around the house all day, and have us wishing for a personal invite to that all too tempting-sounding villa itself…!

cire-trudon-cyrnos-candle-bCire Trudon Cyrnos candle £70
Buy it at John Lewis

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Cire Trudon La Promeneuse – a scented lantern with divine wax cameos…

La Promeneuse by Cire Trudon is a brand new way to diffuse fragrance in the home – or even outside – and has to be one of the most stylish (and innovative) decorative objects for this purpose we have seen for quite some time.

A lantern designed by artist Pauline Deltour, La Promeneuse features the key style points Cire Trudon are famed for – grooved antique green glass, vintage gold colour brass, intricate wax cameos scented with eight of the house’s best-selling candle fragrances and a specially designed tea-light that sits, perfectly poised, on a porcelain base.

The scented cameos are quite unique – and although it almost feels like a sin to melt something so beautiful (they really do look just like carved cameo brooches) the way they fill the room with fragrance soon puts any such doubts to rest…

CireTrudonCameoPlacing the cameo onto a specially made brass ‘spoon’ that rests atop the ceramic dish, the glass cylinder is then lifted to revel the tea-light within. Once lit and the glass replaced, the cameo begins to gently warm and finally melt into a pool of molten, scented wax. We particularly like the fact that although the burn time of the wax cameo and the tea-light beneath is approximately eight hours – you can halt the process at any time, so choose to burn for ten minutes, an hour or the full amount – it’s entirely up to you. Perfect for those times you want a quick hit of scent and not commit to a longer candle burning session.

The burn times of the cameo and tea-light has been synchronised so that you never have to guess how long you have left – once the candle has extinguished itself, you know it’s time to change the cameo, and they’ve even made that a doddle: simply wait for the remaining wax to solidify, and lift the brass ‘spoon’ once more, and the whole thing will lift out, leaving a clean dish to fill with the next fragranced cameo. The initial purchase of the lantern comes with everything you need to get started, and is beautifully packaged (of course) in a Cire Trudon box.

The design of the lantern is both contemporary, with its clean lines and modern textures – and yet has that hint of history present in the deep library-esque colours and the vintage look of the cameos themselves. Because of the tea-light being protected by the glass, La Promeneuse can be taken outside, too – we’re already imagining sitting outside as the lighter Spring evenings drift into the hazy warmth of Summer, sipping a glass of wine and breathing in the scent of slowly melting cameos as we watch the flickering flame…

base_01_promeneuse_1600x1600Cire Trudon La Promeneuse £250
Buy in store it at John Lewis

Written by Suzy Nightingale

A soothing candle to boost your inner strength

The latest addition to the Aromatherapy Associates Inner Strength range comes in the form of a sensuously uplifting candle.

There’s something incredibly relaxing and peaceful about lighting a scented candle as it is, but this is a whole other ball game.

The blend of restorative essential oils – namely frankincense and cardamom – create an atmosphere to focus and nurture your mind, calm your thoughts and boost your physical strength through times of stress. Let’s face it, we all need a little fortification at times.

The blend was initially created as a Bath and Shower Oil by Aromatherapy Associates Founder Geraldine Howard while she was undergoing cancer treatment and as a lovely touch, 10% of sale profits are donated to Defence Against Cancer, a foundation that works to help pioneer new treatments.

Aromatherapy Associates Inner Strength Candle, £35 for 27cl
Buy it at: Liberty

Written by Alice Jones