Latest Launches

Fresh off the shelves and ready for sniffing, we present the fragrances we’ve been trying most recently. From empowering or coffee-infused to an elegant pastoral scene; invoking a notorious pair of jail-breaking lovers or inspired by beloved drag queens – the perfume world is certainly never boring, darling…

MISSGUIDED
BABE DREAMS
A juicy fizz of bergamot, pink pepper and red fruit accord veritably bursts from the bottle – which looks for all the world like a classy energy drink, suitably enough. Velvety rose powdered with orris and violet is further cushioned by a plumptious base of patchouli, sheer amber and creamy vanilla. A sweet-tinged Chypre that many a modern miss would surely love to wear, look out for the other Babe infusions similarly promoting self-confidence in fragrant form.
£28 for 80ml eau de parfum
theperfumeshop.com

XERJOFF
GOLDEN DALLAH
Exploring that universal sigh of relief from enjoying a hot beverage, and incorporating the historic trade routes of the coffee trade itself, Xerjoff begin a new collection with the release of this fragrant evocation. Dallah is an overtly feminine offering, entwining sumptuous rose with a haze of incense, sprinkling hazelnut, cocoa and tonka for a deliciously sweet nibble, infused with Cambodian oudh and amber to enhance the toasted coffee beans. Ravishingly more-ish!
€235 for 50ml eau de parfum
xerjoffuniverse.com

XYRENA
CHOICES BY TATIANNA
It isn’t every day that news of a drag artist’s debut fragrance crosses our desks – but we’re here to share everything and anything that comes our way. Pop artist, drag perfumer and ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ star Tatianna teamed up with LA fragrance house Xyrena to confect this aquatic signature scent, a fusion of sea salt and water lily, sharpened by lemon, key lime and tangerine, warmed by ozone, cedar and musk. Breezy, yes – but glam (naturally).
£47.40 for 50ml extrait de parfum
xyrena.com

DUSITA
ERAWAN
What an elegantly hazy scent this is, with high-pitched notes of petitgrain and lily of the-valley drifting into a cool breeze of Haitian vetiver. Pissara, Dusita’s founder and perfumer, blends Siamese nobility with fine French perfumery traditions, all inspired by beloved late father’s poems. So sweet hay steams in the early morning mist, then drifts of herbaceous clary sage embrace cedar, oakmoss and vanilla. It feels like wearing a whisper: quiet, but hopeful.
£168 for 50ml eau de parfum
lessenteurs.com

EX IDOLO
LOVE & CRIME
Based on the true story of a once-notorious couple – basically the Bonnie & Clyde of Boston burglaries in the 1900s – founders Tanya and Matthew Zhuk immortalise their daring prison break. This darkly delicious gourmand evokes May Coyle hiding a saw in a cake, enabling her beau, Thomas Howard, to escape. Pink pepper juxtaposes red mandarin, icing sugar dusts a floral bouquet and star anise spikes natural cocoa in the base of this quirkily wonderful concoction.
£95 for 30ml eau de parfum
At Fenwick Bond Street

Spotlight on: Yves Saint Laurent

Yves Saint Laurent was a ground-breaking designer who delighted in shaking up the mainstream, always in his  stylish and undeniably sexy way, with this ethos effortlessly transferring from fashion to fine fragrance.

Producing several of the best-selling perfumes of all time, with stunning bottles that have become collectors items in their own right; not many fragrance houses can claim to have a founder who dared pose naked for his own fragrance advertising campaign, because ‘perfume is worn on the skin, so why hide the body…?’

It all began at the tender age of seven years old, when Yves Saint Laurent began designing clothes for his sister’s dolls, expressing a natural talent and indulging a dream of a career in the glamorous world of fashion design. A deacde later, and he’d enrolled on a graduate fashion course at college, winning both 1st and 3rd prize in the prestigious International Wool Design competition at only 18 years old. His talent was showcased to the world and a young Saint Laurent was offered the role of haute couture designer for the House of Dior. A dazzling debut, interrupted by a brief period of national service in the army, led Saint Laurent to opening his very own couture house, still aged just 21, and enabling him to truly express his fashion expertise.

1962 saw the dawn of the Yves Saint Laurent brand and his masterful couture creations for the rich and famous. But clothing was never the only way Yves Saint Laurent wanted to dress women – in 1964 he created his first fragrance, Y, a collaboration with perfumer Jean Amic. It was an olfactory expression of the elegance and luxury of his couture fashion – a fragrance tailored for the beautiful women he dressed. In its original packaging, the green chypre juice was housed in a bottle cut to reflect the silhouette of a woman’s head and shoulders. The letter ‘Y’ cleverly placed to represent the neckline on her dress.

In 1971 Yves Saint Laurent continued to shock when he launched his first fragrance for men, Pour Homme – posing nude for the visual, in stark representation of the values of the Yves Saint Laurent House, comfort and sophistication coupled with modernity and audacity. In the same year, he created a fragrance for the independent, free-spirited woman who shopped at his new boutique: Rive Gauche. At a time when fragrances were presented in classically feminine bottles, best stored on the dressing table at home, it was the first fragrance to be launched packaged in a tin can!

 

In 1977 Yves Saint Laurent wanted to glorify another facet of YSL femininity; sensuality and seductiveness – and women the world over were seduced by YSL’s Opium . An opulent swathe of ambrée ambers and vanilla by perfumers Jean Amic and Jean-Louis Sieuzac, this audaciously-named fragrance sparked immediate controversy. As the scandal and the hype grew so did demand. Global press took straight to the newsstands to criticise Yves Saint Laurent’s determination to shock, but scandal only served to fuel desire; testers were stolen, posters were ripped down and stores sold out of stock in a matter of hours on the launch date.

Fast-forward to  2014, when the latest reinvention of the YSL woman was launched in the form of Black Opium, composed by four master perfumers (Marie Salamagne, Nathalie Lorson, Olivier Cresp and Honorine Blanc), with an overdose of black coffee accord to instantly invigorate the senses, contrasting with voluptuous white floral heart notes and a gourmand vanilla base.

The following year, Black Opium scooped Best New Fragrance for Women in the UK’s prestigious Fragrance Foundation Awards – and since then, the fragrance has acquired countless ‘collectors’, thrilled by limited editions and new ‘spins’ on this smouldering scent.

There are few people who’ve not owned and loved an Yves Saint Laurent fragrance, or who don’t have one of these – classics and modern must-haves alike – in their collection. We’d be hard-pushed to pick a favourite… so, we wonder, what would yours be? And while you’re pondering which perfume to choose, you can read all about their history in more detail on our page dedicated to Yves Saint Laurent

Roland Mouret describes his first fragrance – Une Amourette

Mischeviously irreverant Etat Libre d’Orange were the fragrance house megastar fashion designer Roland Mouret chose to collaborate with on his first fragrance – Une Amourette.
We went along to a private launch in Mouret’s flagship Mayfair boutique to find out more, and it’s every bit as fabulously naughty as you might hope…
It may not be the first fashion designer/fragrance house collaboration, but it’s definitely the only one we know of where the designer suggests spraying it between your thighs!
Mouret explains: ‘A seductive fragrance – it’s a powerful scent that makes and leaves its mark as you move. You’ll want to wear it at the pulse point between your thighs and as you walk, cross your legs… the warmth and friction unleash an aroma that will capture your attention through the most primitive sense : smell.’
Well, we can’t say we followed this advice at the launch itself (a fragrance ritual probably best undertaken in the privacy of your bedroom, we feel) but it’s a rather compelling suggestion and we may have to try this for ourselves. Courtesans were well known for employing similar scent-seduction tactics in the 18th Century, so perhaps it’s about time we gave it a go.
Roland Mouret say: ‘Infusing the sweet smell of neroli essence with traces of cardamom, this sensual fragrance opens with spicy notes of pink peppercorn, before revealing an earthy undertone of patchouli oil enriched with vanilla, that gives this fragrance a tantalising fin.’
Intrigued? Why not watch the man himself explain more, as Roland Mouret talks about working with Etat Libre d’Orange…


Talking to Roland at the launch, he went on to explain that he wanted Une Amourette to smell like ‘the scent of the other [your lover] on your skin…’ We may have blushed. But what a perfect juxtaposition – the mingling of two people’s warm skin, along with a Cologne and a decadent perfume, in one scent. Mouret also talked about the scent memories of his childhood, growing up in France, the smell of chic people mingling with voluptuous bouquets of flowers and drifts of incense from the churches he attended.
On the more usual pulse point to test perfumes – our eager wrists – then, here’s how it smells:
It begins like a lover’s caress, the sense of entangled sheets and warm skin, unmistakable carnality with indolic white flowers and roses scattered across the bed. Bone dry, the spices make their presense known immediately, with cardamom lingering throughout and a peachy succulence and creamy vanilla peeping above the naughtiness, somehow rendering them all the more provocative, like a glimpse of bare flesh beneath velvet coverings. A cool breeze of iris feels infused with a metallic shimmer, and the opoponax (incense) smooths the way insouciantly for an animalic dry-down of akigalawood that lasts the whole day through.
Roland Mouret Une Amourette by Etat Libre d’Orange from £82 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at rolandmouret.com
Written by Suzy Nightingale

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.
jean-paul-gaultier-classique-essence-de-parfum-eau-de-parfum-100-ml-detail
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.

jean-paul-gaultier-le-male-essence-de-parfum-eau-de-parfum-75-ml-detail
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.’

Etro-Shantung-EDP-Poster
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…

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

Written by Suzy Nightingale