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

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
 
 

Scent in stone: Comme des Garçons get CONCRETE

What comes to mind when you picture concrete? Urban cityscapes are bound to be involved, but for design-led style leaders, Comme des Garçons, they always like to play with traditional expectations, and their latest fragrance is anything but conventional (but oh-so wearable, we’re glad to report!)
We had the pleasure of being present at the press presentation of CONCRETE – the new CDG scent launching today and exclusively first available at Selfridges. ‘A versatile material finds an unpredictable form’, they say, and from the pleasingly tactile concrete-clad bottle that will age as flagstones do – leaving a part of yourself imprinted every time you touch it – to the intriguingly soft juice inside (as we said: unexpected!) we have to concur…

So what does CONCRETE smell like? Well there’s the CDG signature of peppery notes, though this time very much white pepper, we’re thinking… then a mineral-ic waft of slightly metallic mistiness, but the framework here is bound to the rich, soothingly creamy essence of sandalwood and the most transparent rose, created by synthetic rose oxide – a molecule that turns old-fashioned rose on its head and adds acres of crystaline lightness and air to the mix.
CDG say that ‘…layers of resinous warmth are lacquered with metallic seams’ – by which we understand that the scent smells somehow both warm and cold at the same time. And it really does! We’re super-impressed and see this as a totally sharable fragrance you could easily wear every day.
CDG are renowned for collaborating with ground-breaking contemporary artists and Graham Hudson has been working with the house for 10 years, this time creating an exclusive installation in the Beauty Hall (and window) of Selfridges, Bond Street.

Comme des Garçons CONCRETE has been imagined as a kind of love story in scent and its artistic expression through all the senses. Music plays on records as sculpted figures and textural shapes abound. The installation is only up for a week, so do pop along and see it while you have the chance!

Comme des Garçons CONCRETE £115 for 80ml eau de parfum
Exclusively at Selfridges until 25/09/07
Written by Suzy Nightingale

L'Eau my goodness! Jimmy Choo capture thirst-quenching freshness…

The much lusted-after luxury shoe of choice may not be within everyone’s budget, but fear not, Cinderella, for the designer house have launched their next fragrant wave with Jimmy Choo L’Eau – so even if you can’t grab the glittering heels (or, for that matter, actually walk in them!) you can still shine in the scent itself.
And shine you will, for this sparkling concoction is created by perfumer Juliette Karagueuzoglou, who explains: ‘Jimmy Choo L’Eau captures the scent of a delicious thirst-quenching hibiscus flower blended with barks, fruits and vibrant woods, to create a radiant feminine sensuality.’ A floral bouquet with surprising freshness at the start thanks to the bubbles of bergamot and hibiscus, the breeze carries juicy notes of nectarine and blowsy peony petals, with a dry down that just begs to be pulled closer for a snuggle of cedarwood and softly pillowed musk.
We’re loving the elongated elegance of the Venetian glass inspired bottle, too – similar to the previous flacon but all extra willowy grace (how we wish we were in heels, in fact!)
Jimmy Choo L’eau from £36 for 40ml eau de toilette
Buy it at The Perfume Shop
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Jean Paul Gaultier's Classique & Le Male – no mere makeover, watch how they create their sense-appeal…

Are you ready for a new body…? Jean Paul Gaultier have recreated their iconic Le Male and Classique perfumes ready to face a new era. No mere makeover, the bottles have a streamlined, highly contemporary look and the juice inside has been equally re-shaped.
Watch the hypnotic behind-the-scenes production libe video, below, and get ready for a new you…

For perfumer Daphne Bugey, intensifying the irresistible nature of Classique was her passion in this project – lightening the spicy ginger to give it more bite and using a very particular jasmine Sambac with orange flower and chantilly-cream like musk in the base for a gourmand that’s full of surprises.
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Jean Paul Gaultier Classique £64 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at The Perfume Shop

The original Le Male was all about the sensation of hot salty skin, but perfumer Quentin Bisch wanted to ramp up the sex appeal of that cardamom, lavender and costus vanilla with the intense carnality of a suede-esque leather.

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Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male £49 for 75ml eau de parfum
Buy it at The Perfume Shop

Written by Suzy Nightingale

My Burberry Black will be steaming up SnapChat – TONIGHT (Tuesday 23rd) at 6pm! (And see the sultry video right here…)

Burberry’s ground-breaking campaign for their brand new female fragrance, My Burberry Black, is exclusively launching today at 6pm, and by all accounts things are set to get rather steamy…
Burberry say: ‘A first for the brand, Lily James will takeover Burberry’s Snapchat account today, culminating with the reveal of the TV and print campaign across multiple platforms. Furthermore, marking the brand’s first sponsored Snapchat lens, a My Burberry Black lens – created to immerse users into the aesthetic of the campaign – will run for 24 hours from (Tuesday) 23rd August. The lens opens with an interactive scene of the user under an umbrella, sheltered from a rainstorm. The user is then prompted to ‘blow a kiss’, triggering a beauty filter which adds a beautifying golden light to the images.’
Legendary photographer Mario Testino shot the campaign, under the creative direction of Chief Creative and Chief Executive Officer Christopher Bailey – and featuring British actress Lily James in her first ever global advertising campaign.
Lily James follows hot on the fashionable heels of more seasoned Brit super-stars Kate Moss and Cara Delevingne as the current faces of My Burberry. With a soundtrack by British singer-songwriter Duffy, performing ‘I Put A Spell On You’ – you’re absolutely bound to be bewitched. Watch the just-released video right here…

And as for the fragrance?

My Burberry Black – an intense and sensual interpretation of the iconic fragrance My Burberry. Created by Chief Creative and Chief Executive Officer, Christopher Bailey, in collaboration with renowned perfumer Francis Kurkdjian, the fragrance is inspired by the black Burberry Heritage trench coat.
Capturing the essence of a London garden at dusk, My Burberry Black fuses the scent of sun-drenched jasmine flower and peach nectar with the sensual touch of candied rose. The fragrance settles with notes of amber patchouli for an intense and memorable base.’
With such heritage and contemporary appeal hand-in-hand, it’s got us actively looking forward to Summer showers and perhaps some steamy windows…

Written by Suzy Nightingale
[©Copyright Burberry/Mario Testino for campaign image and ©Copyright Burberry for all other images]

Etro to weave a touch of luxury with Shantung at Liberty

Etro are one of those word-of-mouth fragrance ranges doing marvellous things under the radar – interesting perfumes beautifully packaged, but whispering about their charms rather than shouting from the rooftops.

Inspired by and named for exotic regions, traditional patterns and luxurious fabrics, they are whimsically unique poetic perfumes and fit perfectly into the brand’s fashion-led history of delicately intricate yet impactful designs.

Etro say: ‘A textile of words, a landscape of colours, a whisper of iconic style in each perfume. Each essence evokes a new place, a new frame of mind, the rediscovery of forgotten myths and memories… a treasure trove of associations, words, colours, moments and memorable places. Abandon convention, the challenge is rediscovery: the sensuality of a floral bouquet, the nocturnal notes of wood and spice, and, above all, the unique nuances that speak to individual style. This originality and unconventionality has characterised the entire Etro perfume collection for a quarter of a century.’

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Founded by Gimmo Etro in 1968, the house is built on a lifestyle concept with exquisite materials being their mainstay, and perhaps most widely known for their use of the paisley pattern – since 1981 a motif the brand has cleaved to and made their symbol.

The latest to join the expanding fragrance collection (now burgeoning with over 25 fragrances) will be  Shantung – a symbiotic relationship with the scent being exclusive to Liberty in the UK – a store known for their love of luxurious fabrics. Inspired by the beautifully rich yet flowing silk, Etro give the scent a kind of sub-heading of ‘Fairie Flowers’ – a reference to the gossamer-light touch of peony woven through with a sheer rose, fresh mandarin, blackcurrant and cedar with the whole composition kissed by the softness of cashmere woodiness in the dry-down. Launching in the coming weeks at Liberty, we think this will be a fragrance to transition you through from Spring and right through the warmer months of Summer ahead…

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Etro Shantung £118 for 100ml eau de parfum
Exclusively in-store at Liberty

Written by Suzy Nightingale