Long-lasting citrus-fresh, Cologne-style scents (which won’t wilt in the heat)

We adore the freshness of a citrus-infused Cologne, but soul-reviving though that sparkle of freshness is in summer, they traditionally don’t last very long on the skin. Now, there’s a whole banquet of thirst-quenching and uplifting citrus scents to try, which last WAY longer and keep our spirits up for HOURS, hurrah!

There’s no doubt that in July, juicy citrus scents are the order of the month, we feel – yes, of course when it’s sunny they feel so appropriate, but even when the weather’s not playing ball (as of late) it’s time to let those citrus scents shine! Wearing juicy-smelling citrus Cologne-style fragrances brings the feeling of joyous sunshine in a fragrance, no matter the weather. Now, put the brollies away and get sparkling with these contemporary twists on the traditional Cologne…

 

 

 

 

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Media Forte

Francis Kurkdjian’s Aqua Cologne Forte collection is suffused with light and freshness, its philosophy seeking to help us cultivate ‘a healthy mind in a healthy body’. Thus, we welcome Media Forte, ‘the embodiment of balance and harmony’, a deceptively simple construction that is tangibly fresh and citrus bright, showcasing Italian bergamot, radiant hedione and aromatic sweet fennel, grounded in a green moss facet, patchouli and woody musks. Spray, breathe, chill.

From £115 for 35ml eau de parfum selfridges.com

 

 

 

 

Shloksha Bouquet Monument

This scent stands out from the rest of the stunning collection for its vivacious vibrancy and freshness. Excitingly zingy, they describe it as ‘young, aquatic and sparkly with an amber base’ (we’d say it makes you feel ten years younger to wear it, energy-levels-wise!’ From the juicy exuberance of the opening fruitiness there’s a floral bouquet as it warms, the petals fizzing as they bloom, with that warming amber glow of a base as the lasting, resonant trail…

£54.95 for 30ml eau de parfum in our shop

 

 

 

 

LABORATORIO OLFATTIVO Pompelmo

Master of understated simplicity, Jean-Claude Ellena taps into his Italian background here, where – as he explains – ‘several beverages celebrate bitterness.’ Front and centre is grapefruit, considered in Asia to be a sacred fruit which was offered to the gods; Jean-Claude worked on the fruit’s ‘lively and sour freshness’, while stressing its bitter scent.’ Pink pepper, resinous lentisque, patchouli, white musk and vetiver feature in the olfactive chorus line of this fresh, shareable masterpiece.

£90 for 100ml eau de parfum Cologne harveynichols.com

 

 

 

 

Experimental Perfume Club Bergamot / Incense

A bergamot full of complexities. This brings out all the facets of this radiant citrus fruit via contrasting ingredients, with frankincense and olibanum bolstering the dry warmth and slight smokiness of incense oil. Juniper berry plays to its bright, zingy nature, with a tingle to the nose. Tea notes and a supple iris absolute calm and soothe.

Currently £92 for 50ml eau de parfum experimentalperfumeclub.com

(Try Bergamot / Incense with eight other EPC sample sizes in their Discovery Set Essential, £50 for 9 x samples in our shop

 

 

 

 

Robert Piguet Cravache

Originally launched in 1963, we celebrate the revivification of Piguet’s classics, now under the guardianship of genius nose, Aurelian Guichard. Here, the citrus zing has the sparkle turned up to eleven, with quenching mandarin, bitter orange and bright petitgrain zesting up even the dullest of days. Granted the addition of jasmine, orris, sage and saffron, the clarity of the composition remains, even in the snuggle of tree moss-lined woodiness as it warms.

£205 for 100ml eau de parfum fenwick.co.uk

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Manfred Thierry Mugler 1948 – 2022 Written in the Stars

Legend has it that before he became famous, the artist, ballet dancer, designer and all-round creative visionary Manfred Thierry Mugler, once visited a fortune teller. So the story goes, she gazed intently at his palm and noted the lines formed a star. Telling him to incorporate the shape in all his designs to ensure his success, he did as she suggested and, well, the rest is history. Whatever the truth of this tale, the star emblem can be found woven throughout the cosmos Mugler created, and forms the shape of what continues to be one of the best-selling fragrances of all time…

Manfred Thierry Mugler died at the age of 73, on January 23rd. Shockwaves have rippled through the fashion and fragrance worlds alike. A message posted on the official Mugler fashion house Instagram account read:

‘It is with deep sadness that the House of Mugler announces the passing of Mr Manfred Thierry Mugler. A visionary whose imagination as a couturier, perfumer and image-maker empowered people around the world to be bolder and dream bigger every day.’

On the catwalk, Mugler’s designs might burst forth in a froth of feathers and acres of pastel tulle, cocooned in form-fitting armour and cinched-in waspie waists or swathed in fetishised, curve-accentuating fabrics on gleefully strident fembot style models. Never expected, always extraordinary, his clothes were vibrant, unapologetically fun and totally unforgettable.

Mugler was also the man behind countless signature looks of celebrities – including outfits for the Too Funky music video by George Michael and Demi Moore’s dress in the 1993 film Indecent Proposal. He also dressed the likes of Grace Jones, David Bowie, Celine Dion, Kate Moss and Diana Ross, with Ross paying tribute to him on Twitter, writing: ‘I will miss you Thierry Mugler this was a wonderful time in our lives.’

Mugler designed costumes for Beyonce’s I Am… World Tour, and the iconic singer paid tribute to Mugler on her official website, posting a black and white picture of the designer with the words ‘Rest In Peace’ above; while Kylie Minogue posted a comment on his Instagram, saying: ‘Deepest condolences (heart emoji) A true visionary. Thank you for your art Manfred.’

Thierry Mugler Angel

His art didn’t stay put on the catwalk, or in high-end clothing boutiques. It burst free again in the massive way his fragrance, Angel, shook up and forever changed the fragrance industry.

What makes an iconic fragrance? To bring about a scented shift, to become a true icon, it can never be a ‘me-too’ crowd-pleaser, it must do something new, take risks. Those ‘classics’ we revere and nod sagely at nowadays were once the punk rock of the perfume world. Angel was an olfactory ‘shock’, when it launched in 1992 – causing a sensation. It was also, crucially, given the gift of time.

In the early 1990’s the fragrance world was all about beachy, clean aquatic scents (now making a comeback in a new wave of water-inspired releases), so the emergence of a brashly swaggering, chocolate-dipped fruity funfair-inspired concoction was all the more shocking.

It should be noted that Angel wasn’t an immediate success. Indeed, one wonders if it had been launched in today’s more impatient marketplace if it would have been allowed to survive that first year. Thank goodness Mugler had the vision to stick with it, and Angel waited until the world caught up with what was the first true ‘gourmand’ or food-inspired fragrance.

To create Angel, Thierry Mugler approached Jacques Courtin-Clarins, head of the celebrated Clarins skincare and fragrance empire. Having revolutionised the world of fashion, the designer was seeking a partner who could bring his brand to life through a fragrance. So Angel was born, with its good-enough-to-eat notes, and an unprecedentedly high concentration of 30% ultra-rich, woody patchouli, added to keep the fragrance from becoming overly sweet.

 

 

The patchouli was the brainwave of perfumer Yves de Chiris, who knew he needed something to counterbalance the heart of sugary confections – the candyfloss, caramel and chocolate – which were inspired by Thierry Mugler‘s vivid, fairy-lit memories of a childhood fairground. Together with renowned perfumer Olivier Cresp, they created something more than a mere perfume.

On his personal Instagram account, Olivier Cresp wrote: ‘Thierry Mugler was a true genius in fashion, photography and shapes in a broad sense. I’ve always been amazed by his ability to project through his many projects, he was a great visionary. 2022 is the year of Angel’s 30 years, so let everyone honour her by staying in touch with her through perfume. Working alongside him was a privileged and unique moment that I am very proud and happy of.’

Thomas Dunckley (a.k.a The Candy Perfume Boy) once wrote about his first experience with Angel, saying ‘The very first time I smelled Angel, right at the beginning of my perfumista journey, I was shocked, appalled and disgusted all at once. Who would want to wear this? I thought. But I kept finding myself coming back to Angel, there was something about her, she lured me in and wouldn’t let me go, I was helpless. I became obsessed and after many sniffs I finally bought a bottle, wore it with pride and didn’t look back.’

In later years Thomas commented that Angel ‘is always the perfume that I come back to, and it’s the only fragrance that I can wear for weeks on end without thinking of anything else.’ He continues:

‘Angel isn’t just your typical perfume, she is a legend, a legend in exactly the same way that N°5 and Shalimar are legends. She’s also not just a legend, she is a fierce vixen and a complete diva.’

As Pierre Aulas, Mugler‘s Olfactory Artistic Director comments: ‘What makes Thierry Mugler fragrances successful? The power of the unexpected, the force of audacity and unbridled creativity’.

Angel will always remain an iconic fragrance, with new generations similarly discovering, being shocked by and eventually falling in love with her. Even if you’d never smelled the scent itself, the bottle will be forever emblazoned in our collective consciousness – one of very few flaçons to be instantly recognisable the world over from its shape alone.

As those in the fashion and fragrance spheres continue to mourn Manfred Thierry Mugler’s death, social media is filled with images of celebrities wearing archival pieces and fans lovingly clutching their bottles – ensuring his name, and Angel’s perfumed presence, will be eternally written among the stars. So, if you’re already a fan, fling caution to the wind and douse yourself in an extra spritz; or, if you’ve never quite dared wear it, now’s the time to don that fragrant armour and swagger-forth, deliciously scented and celestially blessed.

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Shay & Blue launch Kings Wood…

Shay & Blue have been exciting fragrance lovers since 2012, founder Dom De Vetta’s previous roles being Senior Vice President at Chanel and Global General Manager of Jo Malone London, joining with talented Grasse perfumer, Julie Massé, to create his very own fragrance house.

We were thrilled to get the opportunity to exclusively preview their latest – Kings Wood – in our New Man Discovery Box, and now the fragrance has officially launched, we’re able to fully celebrate. Scroll down to watch our Unboxing review of the fragrance…

Shay & Blue say: ‘Kings Wood is a unique men’s fragrance. Different and distinctive it is a real statement of confidence. Bursts of fresh pineapple are blended with the natural aromatic of fearn leaves to create layers of freshness with an intriguing depth. The base notes of fine leather and English oak leave an impression of classic masculine refinement.’

We’ve noticed a resurgence of heritage woods being used in contemporary fragrances – and here, English oak is showcased in all its majestic glory, and the pineapple makes for welcome change to those who prefer something a little more adventurous than citrus in the opening notes. Crisply green fern leaves are enhanced by a sprinkle of warm pepper on a luxuriously smooth and reassuringly solid base, and the supple leather in the dry-down just makes us want to snuggle up for a deeper sniff…

We filmed an Unboxing session live on our Instagram channel, and have now uploaded this to YouTube so everyone can enjoy – watch it, below! We get sniffing Shay & Blue Kings Wood around 23:50 on this video if you want to skip straight to it, and Part 1 of the Unboxing is also available on our channel if you want to sniff-along with all the scents.

We’re absolutely loving the pineapple in Kingswood, it’s a different kind of fruity – lusciously juicy but with a spikiness that cuts through the smoother, richer notes. But did you know that pineapples were once a symbol of wealth and welcoming, being so expensive they could be rented (at extortionate prices!) for hosts anxious to prove their importance, and still adored for their thirst-quenching exoticism?

If you want to try a sample of Kings Wood along with our other carefully curated fragrance selection, you can buy The New Man Discovery Box here. And we know those of you who’ve already got in touch to tell us how much you love Kings Wood will be anxiously counting the hours until it officially launches on 1st September, so you can finally get your hands on a full-size bottle in-store.

Shay & Blue Kings Wood £85 for 100ml natural spray
Buy it at shayandblue.com

Written by Suzy Nightingale