5 metallic-themed scents we're getting hot & heavy with

Can you imagine the smell of a cold knife? Of molten gold or hammered bronze? Not readily identifiable and posessing almost no scent of their own, yet we can easily conjure a metallic smell if we think about it hard enough.
Synthetic iris notes in a perfume or ambergris can be metal-like, in texture as well as the smell – providing a glinting sheen that cuts through a composition to render it otherworldly or luxuriously opulent, weirdly familiar or (depending how it’s handled) thrusting a literal backbone of steel in to the heart of a scent.
Metallic shine has reflected throughout beauty and fashion, and now the fragrance world has come to dip its fingers in the glistering pot. Always amazed at how perfumers can relay texture and temperature through intricate blends of ingredients, fragrances with metal notes may sound scary at first, here are six metallic scents that are beautifully worked and warming our cockles right now…

Inspired by the birthplace of classic chypre ingredients and copper sharing its etymology (kupros) with the island of Cyprus, it seems only natural to link the two. Shimmying beguilingly with bergamot and pink berries, the slippery liquidity of iris and resinous patchouli melt into the warmth of suede, extreme amber, ambroxan and addictively more-ish tonka bean absolute.
Juliette Has a Gun Metal Chypre £220 for 75ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Harrods
Completing the trio of their precious metal inspired scents, the latest is pure sophistication with a haze of jasmine absolute, white musk and orchids – each petal seeming to unfurl with the heat of your skin. Gauzily gorgeous, you’ll certainly feel expensive, and expect to be enchanted for countless hours.
Ormonde Jayne White Gold £375 for 120ml eau de parfum
Buy it at selfridges.com
Incredible how some ingredients absolutely smell of particular temperatures, and the warming gleam of precious gold has definitely been evoked here with sun-drenched mandarins and a cashmere soft woodiness that wafts elegantly the whole day through. We loved it when the weather matched and are enjoying even more, in nostalgia.
Michael Kors 24K Brilliant Gold £42 for 30ml eau de parfum
Buy it at House of Fraser
The French have an expression: ‘Qui a de la platine‘ (literally, he who has platinum) that describes a brilliant and eloquent man, From the classic lavender/rosemary freshness of a fougére pepped up with pettigrain to a striking clary sage and geranium accord at the heart, our interest peaks at the ambery dry down. To be worn by smooth-tongued silver foxes, we feel.
Chanel Platinum Égoïste £52 for 50ml eau de toilette
Buy it at chanel.com
Perfumer Alberto Morillas infuses Damask rose absolute and jasmin with billowingly soft white musk and tendrils of incense for the kind of opaquely resonant olfactory experience you’ll be wanting to wrap yourself in season ’round. Can a perfume smell both warm and gleamingly pink without being too girly? This one does so, effotlessly.
Bulgari Rose Goldea £38.50 for 25ml eau de parfum
Buy it at johnlewis.com
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
 
 

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

Rare Jean Paul Gaultier collection up for grabs!

Perfume collectors can range from the casual – ‘I’ll just add a couple of special bottles here and there’ – to the fragrantly fervid – ‘I absolutely must have them ALL!’ – but one Jean Paul Gaultier fan’s perfume collection is bound to tempt auction bidders when it goes under the hammer, comprising over 5,000 rare and unopened items…
Including all the official bottles, counter displays, associated merchandise and even uncirculated prototypes, the dedicated collection will be sold by Special Auction Services in Newbury on Tuesday 5th September 2017.
Estimated to be worth over £7,000 in total, the envy-inducing collection surely quickly outgrew the dressing table of the vendor’s late mother, having begun over 15 years ago when she was browsing an airport’s Duty Free shop and spotted the Classique bottle’s likeness to Madonna’s infamous cone bra – a pop star she’d loved since the 80s.
The anonymous vendor says: ‘Initially mum intended on wearing the perfume but she never did. On researching the brand, she discovered just how many different designs had been brought out and she became hooked on collecting them all. Growing up in Belgium and being fluent in French made it significantly easier for her to obtain bottles from European collectors and trade shows.’

Jean Paul Gaultier scents are known for their flaboyant, eye-catching designs, offering limited edition seasonal changes of outfit for the flacons and thereby especially appealing to bottle collectors worldwide. Talking about his mother’s growing obsession, the vendor continues, ‘Anytime friends or family went on holiday, we looked out for the new season’s collection and she also was an avid Ebay-er and made most of her purchases online. It started out with just the bottles, and then the displays to match. Over the years, one cupboard became one room, which in turn became one floor of the house!’
The collection is to be sold in group lots, highlights include a large collection of Jean Paul Gaultier miniatures (estimate £150-250); nine unopened limited edition perfumes, including five 100ml bottles titled Charm, Gold, Automne-Hiver, Rock Star and a glittered Classique, together with four 75ml including two Curvaceous Corsets in orange and a rechargeable natural spray (estimate £150-200), and a set of shop displays for the purse and pocket sprays, a bath range with bottles, soaps and creams, a cantilevered Couture Box with spray and soap as well as other items (estimate £100-150). Phew!

Jessica Forrester, Expert at Special Auction Services says, ‘It is fantastic to see such a varied range of such an iconic brand. The fabulous shapes and designs have a huge appeal and very much reflect the Collector’s love of fashion, architecture and photography.’
Which of these bottles do you have – if unopened or rare, perhaps they’re worth a pretty penny, too? Sadly we fear none of our bottles remain unopened for very long – we can never wait to spray…
For further information about this spectacular scent sale, see specialauctionservices.com
Written by Suzy Nightingale