Luxuriate in The Velvet Collection Discovery Box

Our latest Discovery Box has to be the most sumptuously indulgent yet! The Velvet Collection has just launched, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to share a little more about it with you, here… Prepare to sink into a state of scented bliss!
One of the most incredible powers perfume has is to make us feel swathed in luxury, as though we could reach out and stroke it. So when describing a perfume, we borrow language that evokes how they make us feel when wearing them, and most often those words are textural – suede-like, supple leather, soft cashmere, crisp cotton… and the most luxurious of all: velvet.
So how perfect to use this utterly sumptuous word in the title of our latest Discovery Box – The Velvet Collection

In our latest curated collection of fragrances and scented goodies – nine perfume samples, two extra beauty treats AND a full-size Green & Blacks Velvet Edition chocolate bar in this one! – ‘velvet’ becomes a stepping-stone into exploring a sensuously scented world. Velvet makes us think of joyous opulence, abundant allure; richly hued and silky to the touch, but with enough of a fur-like feel to make us purr contentedly. Reassuring to wrap around you and reassuringly expensive, velvet also reflects the light with subtle nuances and complexity of character.
We’re so privileged at The Perfume Society to meet and interview some of the top perfumers in the world, and we always ask them what we can do to improve our sense of smell, to enhance the way we perceive a perfume. We feed these tips back to our How to Improve Your Sense of Smell Workshops (see Events section for news of these), and the most consistent advice is that we should try to think of textures, colours and places to envisage and ‘fix’ a scent in our mind.
And we wonder: which of these will become your second-skin, the fragrance you want to reach out and stroke as you fix the scent-sensation in your mind…?
Map of the Heart Gold Heart – a warm gleam of comforting spices
Avery E – frosted red fruits swathed in swags of flowers
Vince Camuto Amore – frozen clementines wrapped in amber
Lalique Reve d’Infini – white roses powder-dusted by a swansdown puff
Connock London Andiroba – rainforest fruits discovered in lush greenery
Valeur Absolue Rouge Passion – precious flowers tingling with ginger
Ruth Mastenbroek Firedance – scarlet roses smouldering shamelessly
Floral Street Chypre Sublime – bohemian romantics artistically cavorting
Atkinsons Pirates Grand Reserve – dashing cads plundering exotic goods
PLUS: the exquisitely scented and ultra-nourishing Cochine hand lotion (in White Jasmine & Gardenia) a handy travel-size of Philosophy’s iconic Purity 3-in-one-cleanser and Green & Black’s scrumptious new Velvet Edition chocolate bar!
All of this can be yours to try in the comfort of your own home – no high-pressure, zero hassle and the time to make up your own mind, and for just £19 (VIP price £15) + P&P
So we suggest you treat yourself, close the curtains and give in to the luxurious allure of The Velvet Collection Discovery Box

The first gourmand: Brillat-Savarin – an 18th Century chemist who knew you are what you eat (and smell!)

Long before ‘gourmand’ foodie-inspired fragrances were even dreamed of and while smell was still perceived as the poor cousin of our other senses, one 18th Century polymath was championing the exquisite pleasures that taste and smell bring to everyday life. And more than mere pleasure alone: in fact, he heralded the proper appreciation and scientific study of these long-foregranted senses…
‘Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.’ So said Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, 1755-1826, a French lawyer and politician whom, apart from law, studied chemistry and medicine, and eventually gained fame as an epicure and gastronome.
 

 
His seminal work Physiologie du goût (The Physiology of Taste), contains Savarin’s philosophies and observations on the pleasures of the food, which he very much considered a science – long before the birth of molecular gastronomy and serious studies of taste and smell had begun. And smell was very much at the forefront of the gastronomique experience, Savarin had worked out; exclaiming:
‘Smell and taste are in fact but a single composite sense, whose laboratory is the mouth and its chimney the nose.’
Previously considered the least important of the senses – indeed, smell remains the least scientifically explored, though technology is making huge leaps in our understanding – Savarin proclaimed that,’The sense of smell, like a faithful counsellor, foretells its character.’
 

 
Published only two months before his death, the book has never been out of print and still proves inspirational to chefs and food-lovers to this day.
 

 
Preceding the remarkable leaps in knowledge high-tech equipment has allowed and revealing how entwined our sense of smell is to the taste and enjoyment of food, Savarin also observed how our noses protect us from eating potentially harmful substances, explaining ‘…for unknown foods, the nose acts always as a sentinal and cries: “Who goes there?”‘ while coming to the conclusion that a person’s character may be foretold in their taste and smell preferences… ‘Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.’
We devoted an entire issue of our award-winning magazine The Scented Letter (now available in print, and with online subscriptions worldwide!) to taste and smell – as of course we are gourmand fans in ALL the senses. And so it is heartening to know that Brillat was on our side here, with this extremely useful advice we selflessly pledge to carry through life:
‘Those who have been too long at their labor, who have drunk too long at the cup of voluptuousness, who feel they have become temporarily inhumane, who are tormented by their families, who find life sad and love ephemeral… they should all eat chocolate and they will be comforted.’
Wise words, indeed. We plan to enjoy all the sweet temptations that come our way, in scent form and in chocolate. Talk about having your cake and wearing it, too!
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Charlie & The Chocolate Olfactory – 7 Easter scents for cocoa addicts

We could have begun by saying ‘instead of an Easter egg this year, why not treat yourself to a new fragrance…?’ But sod that, life is too short: buy the choccy egg AND the perfume. For those of us who not only enjoy the softly yielding slide of chocolate as it melts in our mouths, but would quite frankly like to bathe in the stuff, it is to the Gourmand family we turn – pulses quickening, pupils dilated and ready for the dose of dopamine (a pleasure-inducing neurotransmitter released by the brain when we eat – or perhaps even smell – chocolate).

Indeed, scientific researchers have concluded that chocolate doesn’t have to be eaten to stimulate that hit of happiness and promote a sense of wellbeing – it seems the mere whiff of chocolate alone may lead us by the noses to react favourably to a situation. A team of scientists led by Lieve Doucé at Hasselt University in Belgium conducted a study that involved releasing the scent of chocolate in selected bookstores, and noting particular changes in their customers purchasing habits. The scent was subtle yet strong enough to be noticeable, and dispersed for half of the shop’s opening hours. Apparently customers not only spent longer browsing the shelves, on average, but spoke to the staff more frequently, too. Published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, their conclusions were that ‘…customers were 2.22 times more likely to closely examine multiple books when the chocolate scent was present in store, compared with the control condition.’ Sales of books related to food and drink along with romantic novels reportedly increased by a whopping forty percent, suggesting a sniff of chocolate had a direct influence on the genre of books they were buying, too.

It seems that smelling of a chocolate-like fragrance could well have you perusing bookstores and being more loquaciously friendly, while also being more romantically inclined – a win-win-win situation if we ever heard it. Though perhaps make time to eat some chocolate, as well. Just to be doubly sure, you know…

 

10014163Inspired by Mugler‘s childhood memories of fairground smells, this candy floss, caramel and chocolate concoction was groundbreaking when first launched in 1992 – often cited as the first true ‘gourmand’ – and retains that power to this very day. Once sniffed, never forgotten, it’s the much copied mixture of berries and patchouli that cuts through the sweetness and swaggers onwards for hours, years, miles…

Thierry Mugler Angel £50 for 25ml eau de parfum
At Boots

photo 5
Originally released as a limited edition for Valentines Day it quickly sold-out, and when chocoholics across the pond began demanding it from American perfume retailer Luckyscent, indie-perfumer Sarah McCartney took the hint. Made with an intense dose of pure cocoa absolute mixed with a touch of strawberry, the sugar’s cut through with a tart tingle of bergamot. It’s the next best thing to writhing around in a huge box full of reassuringly expensive chocolates while being dusted with cocoa powder, but don’t let us stop you trying that, too.

4160 Tuesdays Silk, Lace & Chocolate RRP £40 for 30ml eau de parfum (currently on offer at £24)
At 4160 Tuesday

anima-dulcis-arquiste_1024x1024Redolent of dipping just-cooked cinnamon-dusted churros into an unctuously glossy pot of chilli-spiced chocolate sauce, wearing this perfume conjures colourful Mexican festivals and sultry dances that sashay long into dawn. The unmistakably carnal tang of hot-body-like cumin and night blooming jasmine lend a distinctly animalic edge that could well lead to other dopamine-inducing activities, we feel duty bound to warn you.

Arquiste Anima Dulcis £125 for 55ml eau de parfum
At Bloom

photo 4There are times when one wishes to smell as though you have glided straight from a couture catwalk – an immaculately put together, properly grown-up lady with clicky heels, a perfect coiffure and very likely carrying one of those handbags that snaps shut with a terrifying metal clasp. I’m not going to lie to you – this is not the scent for that occasion. But yet there are also times when one wishes to smell like a Bourbon biscuit (yes there are, be quiet ye snobs) and revel in childhood memories of licking the spoon clean of cake batter and then skipping giddily around the garden dressed as a fairy on a sugar high. And this is my incredibly pocket-friendly guilty pleasure for exactly those kind of days.

Al-Rehab Chocomusk £1 for 3ml perfume oil
At Al-Rehab

photo 1Milk chocolate aficionados are sure to love the cocoa absolute mixed here with meltingly creamy Brazillian Cumaru wood, infused with marzipan-esque tonka bean, smoothed with comforting vanilla, gently warmed by an amber accord and wrapped in a silver foil-like white musk. A sophisticated way to enjoy your favourite treat, we suggest informing the family they can cook their own flippin’ Easter banquet if they want it, and ramping up the pleasure of freedom while wearing this, retiring to a velvet chaise lounge with a good book and a bar of chocolate, the better to indulge your frivolous side. And don’t forget to lock the door.

Parfumerie Générale Musc Maori £81.50 for 50ml eau de parfum
At Les Senteurs

Dark-Chocolate-LOF-Hero.jpg_1024x1024Sometimes you need a scent that simply does what it says on the tin (or, well, bottle) and The Library of Fragrance excel in this, with a huge selection of perfumes made to be worn alone or layered-up to create your own bespoke blend. Perfect for those who wouldn’t dream of purchasing a bar that doesn’t scream 80%, shudder at the mere mention of white chocolate and raise an eyebrow while silently judging those who prefer the milky blends; here’s a hit of satisfyingly chocolate noir. You needn’t fear an overdose, either, as the formula’s subtle enough that it can be re-sprayed whenever the need arises. Layering suggestions include trying it with their Musk scent for a crisp white sheet freshness, or with the Fig for a fruity finish; but a favourite combo is dousing with Frankincense for a smoky incense wallow in chocolate as a spiritual awakening.

The Library of Fragrance Dark Chocolate £15 for 30ml eau de toilette
At Bootsphoto 2If you have ever experienced lifting the gilded lid of a beautifully packaged box of Charbonnel et Walker‘s Sea Salt Caramel Truffles, you’ll know the smell can immediately transport you to a world of soon-to-be satiated lust. Chocolatiers to the Queen, no less, we imagine HRH doesn’t leave these hanging about the place too long, and bet they don’t make it to a Tupperware container, either. Nothing is more disappointing than lifting that lid only to find the sad rustle of empty paper casings because some blaggard has beaten you to it, so huzzah for Shay & Blue founder Dom De Vetta for enticing perfumer Julie Massé to create this photo-realistic longer-lasting fragrant interpretation of the addictive cocoa confection. Caramel and bourbon vanilla rock on the precipice of sweetness before being dashed through with a hint of freshly-hewn sandalwood and an ultra-intriguing definite note of the salt crystals to set your taste buds salivating.

Shay & Blue Salt Caramel £30 for 30ml eau de parfum
At John Lewis

Written by Suzy Nightingale