Honey fragrances – get ready to bee inspired…

Our theme this month is honey – warm, luxurious and comforting, honey works wonderfully in fragrances to emphasise floral notes, or add touches of amber richness.  There’s a whole hive of honey and beeswax scent notes in fragrances, and perfumer  Christine Nagel explains why she loves using it…

‘Honey has two facets – half devil, half angel. In Ambrée structures, it has a sweet, comforting effect, taking you back to childhood. But a small touch in a feminine structure can be extremely sexy…’

There are so many varieties of honey, each taking their smell (and colour) from the flowers on which the bees that produce it have feasted.  Orange blossom honey.  Eucalyptus honey.  Acacia honey:  the variations are almost limitless, sometimes woody, flowery, herbal or even tobacco-y.  The ancient Arab perfumers were the first to capture honey’s sweetness in perfumery, but today the honey featured is generally a synthetic note – one that’s drizzled sensually over quite a few fragrances in the past few years.

Now, can you envisage getting sweet on any of these honey-centric scents…?

Guerlain L’Art & La Matière Tobacco Honey

There’s something about honey which goes beyond delicious to downright irresistible in this fragrant nuzzle-me-closer scented experience, which had us purring from first spritz. Imagine a fine tobacco that’s been kept dry in a precious, carved wooden box, yet somehow suffused with nectar; enrobed in a nugget of glowing amber, but sliced with shards of light. Defiantly rich, yet it it floats in drifts around you like a gilded cloud.

£295 for 100ml eau de parfum guerlain.com

Parfums de Marly Oajan

Talk about a honeyed charm, this fragrance has it by the jar-full! Silky honey slinks to a sizzle of cinnamon, with apricot-tinged fruity osmanthus sweetly gliding to the smoothest amber, resinous (incense-like) labdanum and and rich benzoin. Swirled with addictive vanilla and toasty tonka bean, the earthy patchouli and dried fruity note of davana grounds the base. An all-day wist or neck-sniffer, for sure.

£245 for 125ml eau de parfum selfridges.com


Floral Street Sunflower Pop

Celebrating their collaboration between the Van Gogh Museum, Floral Street unveil a scent inspired by the artist’s most famous painting. The very definition of optimism, it’s sunny to look at and sunny inside, vibrant with fresh mandarin, Calabrian bergamot, and accords of vegan honey and Bellini cocktails. We’ll raise a glass to a fresh scent that allows us to hang onto summer for a wee while longer.

From £110 for 100ml eau de parfum floralstreet.com

Or

Enter our GIVEAWAY here for the chance to win the Sunflower Pop products!

Floris Honey Oud

A really good introduction to how oudh can be used in a nuanced way – almost as a seasoning instead of the main flavour – this one is actually delicious (as in, if it came in a jar, you’d want to lick it off your fingers, or slather it on buttered toast and guzzle it, ). The spiced honeyed note intensifies as oudh softly adds depth.. Intensely nuzzle-able, there’s nothing whatever to frighten the horses, here, even if you’ve avoided oudh!

From £30 for 10ml eau de parfum selfridges.com

[NB: Also available to sample as part of the Floris Private Collection set, for only £35, and including some of their most iconic scents].

 

 

 

 

Thameen Bravi

What if the diva lost her voice and needed the power of perfume to regain her bravado? This imagined story was the starting point for the third in Thameen’s ‘Britologne’ series, Bruno Jovanovic adding aphrodisiac ginger’s tingle to decadent tuberose, seducing with the decadent wild honey, and wonderfully smoky toasty-ness of walnut throughout, this packs a seriously addictive gourmand punch. Encore!

£250 for 100ml Cologne elixir selfridges.com

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Easter Egg Hunt – WIN Maison Tahité Cacao2 worth £90!

We’ve set a fragrantly themed trail of clues to lead you around our website – simply follow your noses, find the hidden easter eggs and in our fragrant prize draw, one lucky person will WIN a 100ml bottle of Maison Tahité Cacao2, worth £90!

Maison Tahité is a new niche house specialising in stunning, contemporary versions of gourmand fragrances – using deliciousness rippled through every creation, the collections span Cocoa, Coffee and Vanilla. As it’s Easter, of course we’re focusing on the chocolate, and their Cocoa collection investigates the aromatic universe of this divine raw material, also known as “the food of the gods”. By stimulating the release of endorphins, Cocoa pushes us to listen to our senses and indulge in hedonism. Its enveloping aroma is an invitation to enjoy every moment of life, without the guilty feelings often connected with the “sin” of eating chocolate.

 

 

Perfumers such as David Maruitte, Paul Guerlain and Luca Maffei have developed this theme for Maison Tahité in a series of tempting creations; and we know you’re going to fall hard for the sumptuous Cacao2, created by David Maruitte. Maison Tahité says:

‘For those who love strong sensations. An enveloping and reassuring, still intensely emotional fragrance. Fully embodying the Cocoa collection, it sublimates all the nuances of this divine ingredient: Cinnamon reveals its spicy side, Toasted Notes fascinate us, while Cedar and Vetiver enhance its character. Just like biting a bar of extra dark chocolate.’

You have until midnight Wednesday 3rd April to enter – simply list your answers of the pages you’ve found the eggs on:

Easter Egg Hunt 2024

Tell us where all the eggs are hidden on the site.

Name (Required)
Terms & Conditions: No cash alternative to the prize will be offered. The prize is not transferable. Only entries accepted from U.K. residents, prize cannot be posted elsewhere. Entries only accepted until midnight Wednesday 3rd April 2024.

 

 

Fragrant clues to egg hiding places around our website:

1 – This house specialises in deliciousness, with collections of Cocoa, Coffee, and Vanilla scents to tempt you…

2 – This Fragrance Family is the most recent, and these ‘foodie’ fragrances smell almost edible!

3 – This ingredient is found in Maison Tahité Cacao2 – rich, smooth, and meltingly delectable…

4 – Reading this taste and flavour-full book (originally developed for people who’ve lost their sense of smell / taste due to Covid) will have you drooling…

5 – Historically, this was the sweetest-smelling king, who presided over a perfumed court…

Don’t forget you have until midnight Wednesday 3rd April to email us your answers. So, we wish you all a very happy Easter, and good luck!

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 so-neglected 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.’

 

past-writers-Brillat-savarin-21-e1490182893127

 

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. Indeed, he understood that taste and smell must work together in harmony for full satisfaction of the senses, Savarin observed that ‘Smell and taste are in fact but a single composite sense, whose laboratory is the mouth and its chimney the nose.’

 

brillat1826tp

 

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.’

 

cultura-jean-anthelme-brillat-savarin-aphorismes

 

We once devoted an entire issue of our award-winning magazine The Scented Letter 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.’

 

Screenshot-2017-02-07-15.54.49

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

Easter Egg Hunt to WIN Atelier Materi Cacao Porcelana, worth £210!

We’ve set a fragrantly themed trail of clues to lead you around our website – simply follow your noses, find the hidden easter eggs and in our fragrant prize draw, one lucky person will WIN a bottle of Atelier Materi Cacao Porcelana, worth £210!

 

 

 

 

Cacao Porcelana is an incredible, ultra-chic gourmand scent – it’s chocolate, but NOT as your nose thinks it knows it. If you don’t think you’re one for gourmand creations, be prepared to have everything you think you know about chocolate turned on its head when Cacao Porcelana reveals the bitterness of the beans, rippled with rum and swathed in rings of tobacco…

White cacao beans are a rare ancestral variety of cacao also known as the ‘Nectar of the Gods’. The beans are removed from the pods, fermented, then sun-dried and roasted. White cacao yields sensuous notes of walnut and milk with hints of tonka bean.

After opening on sweet, syrupy top notes, Atelier Materi’s Cacao Porcelana unpacks its bitterness, sustained by powdery and woody notes. Light tobacco, patchouli and sandalwood scents give Cacao Porcelana a sensual, even fleshy signature.

 

We are sure you’ll fall hard for this delicious scent – surely the chicest way to enjoy chocolate, ever?! Here’s how you could be in with a chance of smelling delectable this Easter…

How to hunt: Simply read the scent-themed clues and set off in search for all the colourful eggs pictured below (FIVE in total) scattered across our website, then enter your details and answers telling us the location of each egg below. We will only contact you by phone if you are a winner.

One winner will be chosen –  due to postal restrictions, only entries from U.K. residents, sorry!

Closing date: Sunday 9th April 2023 at midnight.

ostereier_farben_viele

Fragrant clues to egg hiding places around our website:

1 – Brush up on your history to this ‘sweetest smelling king of all’…

2 – This Working Nose‘s first scent memory is of cakes that ‘…smelled like Anis and Vanilla, made by the Carmelite nuns in my town.’ (He’s famous for creating some of the world’s most-known scents, and now has his own house, Mizensir).

3 – This ingredient is found in Cacao Porcelana – an unexpected soft smokiness adding to its sensuality?

4 – This Fragrance Family is the most recent, including the note of chocolate, these ‘foodie’ fragrances smell almost edible!

5 – Reading this book (originally developed for people who’ve lost their sense of smell / taste due to Covid) will have you drooling…

We wish you all a very happy Easter, and good luck!

Terms & Conditions: No cash alternative to the prize will be offered. The prize is not transferable. Only entries accepted from U.K. residents, prize cannot be posted elsewhere. Closing date for entry is midnight 09/04/2023. After this date no further entries to the prize draw will be accepted.

 

Gourmand Scents for Shrove (4160)Tuesday(s) & Beyond

Pancakes or 4150 Tuesdays perfumes? We’ll take both, thanks! And now we have many of these in 50ml or full-size bottles stocked in our shop, it’s even easier to dip in to the deliciousness.

Because we are often what we eat – or at least, our taste preferences can be mirrored in the foods we crave – we thought why not widen this and say ‘we are what we smell’? So, let us match your favourite pancake toppings to some delectably more-ish perfumes from the always delightfully eccentric British niche house of 4160 Tuesdays. Definitely not only for Pancake Day itself – this house has something for every perfumista’s palate. Scents to indulge yourself with far beyond Shrove [4160]Tuesdays…

 

‘…lemon and orange and real honey absolute for a fresh, tasty top note that makes you lick your lips. So perhaps it’s a gourmand – a scent that smells of tasty food – but the pancake bit is quite subtle – plus they are British pancakes, the sort with no sugar in the batter. Oh who are we kidding? Really it’s all about warm bodies.’

4160 Tuesdays Sunshine and Pancakes from £32 for 15ml eau de parfum

 

‘It leads out with cedrat, orange, tangerine and bergamot essential oils,  juicy fragrance reminding us of eating a lemon top ice cream on a summer day. In reality, after its happy introduction, it’s a gently but perfectly constructed floral chypre with an iris-narcissus-lily of the valley heart, with a generous topping of white chocolate mousse, tonka absolute and musks.’

4160 Tuesdays Fluffy Lemon Top from £85 for 50ml eau de parfum

 

 

‘A long time ago in a village perched on a hill, there was a house above a chocolate shop where a beginner perfume-maker’s friend lived… Over the Chocolate Shop is the gloriously rich aroma you can inhale as the chocolatiers make their first batch of pralines in the early morning. Melting cocoa butter, a dash off coffee, hazelnut extract and a drop of vanilla absolute.’

4160 Tuesdays Over the Chocolate Shop from £100 for 50ml eau de parfum

 

 

‘A light, fruity floral fragrance which smells like a refreshing glass of fruit punch with a hint of cherry jam.  So how do we create a cherry jam note? What we did was to blend citrus essential oils, flowers, woods and raspberry. We’re pleased with its scrumptiousness.’

4160 Tuesdays Fruits of the Tree of Knowledge from £25 for 15ml eau de parfum

 

 

‘…the ideal blend of tart with sweet, smooth with sharp, bright with soothing. It’s made with one part tart to 29 parts comfort – the perfect balance between two contrasting themes, a pudding in a perfume. It’s all the delights of smelling rhubarb crumble with custard, a sparky citrus fruit and Yorkshire rhubarb-inspired creamy vanilla delight.’

4160 Tuesdays Rhubarb & Custard 1:29 £100 for 50ml eau de parfum

 

A bumper crop of vegetable patch perfumes to spray your five a day!

There’s a veritable glut of vegetable notes cropping up in perfumes lately, from beetroots and carrots through to artichokes and even cauliflowers in this brand new gourmand category of scents. If you’ve over-indulged on rich food, consider a salad, and (far more enjoyable) getting your greens in fragrant form.

Like any other trend, newness in fragrance can be traced back through cultural patterns, a certain shift in the zeitgeist that suggests something’s in the air. One of the major happenings has been a gardening and grow-your-own vegetable boom in the UK that began during lockdowns and shows no signs of slowing. Google reported that searches relating to how to grow vegetables doubled during May 2020 to May 2021, while new research from beauty and naturopathic product producers Weleda, meanwhile, reveals that in 2021, ‘26.7 million Britons grew their own fruit, veg and herbs’, with almost two thirds claiming that ‘connecting with nature has had a positive impact on their mood.’

Leaps in technology have given perfumers access to new aroma molecules, which for the first time allow natural extracts of vegetable notes to be used in perfumery. To read even more about this remarkable vegetable revolution in the perfume world, take a look at the Spray Your Five a Day feature, which appeared in the late summer issue of The Scented Letter magazine; but meanwhile we urge you to seek out some of this bumper crop as your New Year’s scent resolution…

 

 

 

Salvatore Ferragamo Giungle di Seta (pea)
Inspired by Ferragamo’s exotic silk prints, the verdant sweetness of pea shoots entwine jungle vines, tempered by the powdery familiarity of peony: nature, tamed.

£86 for 100ml eau e parfum ferragamo.com

 

 

Shay & Blue Clementine (watercress)
Succulent citrus wreathed in swags of laurel leaves and the bright, peppery green of watercress; flagging spirits further revived via petitgrain’s piquant sunshine.

From £25 for 10ml eau de parfum shayandblue.com

 

 

Freddie Albrighton Someone Else’s Flowers (watercress, radish)
Rain-washed radishes, watercress and plucked peapods photosynthesise to a florist’s shop of snapped stalks and tin buckets: happy-making bouquets yet to be.

£102 for 50ml eau de parfum freddiealbrighton.com

 

 

Diptyque Eau Rose Eau de Parfum (artichoke)
Artichoke was added to enhance the original rose oil – fleshy, green, slightly bitter, it speaks of melancholy moments wandering walled gardens, arboreal amour.

£140 for 75ml eau de parfum diptyque.com

 

To the Fairest Élan Vital (greens/nettle)
A settling of greens and grounding vetiver on forest-y floors, the gathering of soft moss and patchouli to line a cosy bolthole with, a cover of golden leaves.

£85 for 50ml eau de parfum tothefairest.com

 

 

Comme des Garçons Rouge (beetroot)
Familiar notes are daringly subverted as blood red berries and earthy beetroot meet supremely calming swirls of iced incense and charred leather.

£120 for 100ml eau de parfum harveynichols.com

 

 

Jack Perfume Covent Garden (carrot)
The insouciant naughtiness of Withnail’s ‘Camberwell carrot’ becomes a market stroll, munching on vegetables as an aromatic, ginger-tinged breeze excites.

£95 for 100ml eau de parfum ab-presents.com

 

 

Bohoboco Wild Carrot Oud (carrot)
Carrots ripped out with roots, clods and bundled in newspaper, nestled in the crook of a leather-clad elbow, biked to a pipe-smoking lover down winding country lanes.

£96.50 for 50ml parfum frmoda.com

 

 

 

Maya Njie Voyeur Verde (fennel)
The comfort of cut grass and freshly washed car leather, aniseed sweets sucked on
the back seat, windows rolled-down to drink in forest air – home in time for tea.

£95 for 50ml eau de parfum mayanjie.com

Try a sample of Voyeur Verde in the Maya Njie Discovery Set for £34

 

 

L’Atelier Parfum Verte Euphorie (carrot)
The instant WHOOSH of sunshine-y citrus presages leafiness and crunchy carrot in the heart, earthy sweetness swathed in fluffiness on the softly musky base.

£59 for 50ml eau de parfum qvcuk.com

 

 

Roger & Gallet Verveine Utopie (fennel)
Fronds of licoricey fennel tickle the senses, the herbaceous verdancy rippled with spices and fringed with decadence as wormwood-infused absinthe has its way.

£127.50 for 500ml extrait de Cologne escentual.com

 

 

Stories No.2 (tomato leaf / greenhouse)
The soothing steam of a childhood memory: grandfather’s greenhouse, his pipe smoke encircling tomato plants, rose cuttings, the joy of running barefoot.

£75 for 30ml eau de parfum in our Shop

 

 

DS & Durga Bistro Waters (bell peppers)
A savoury special of juicy green peppers and aromatic, just-chopped herbs with undercurrents of fancy cocktails to follow, late-night lock-ins and snogging the chef.

£148 for 50ml eau de parfum libertylondon.com

 

 

Paco Rabanne Fabulous Me (pumpkin)
Eschewing showiness, a warm snuggle that speaks of cosiness, silky sandalwood wrapped around fleshy pumpkin; rhubarb’s tartness tempering the sweetness.

 

 

4160 Tuesdays Le Jardin de Monsieur McGregor (cucumber/celery)
Mr McGregor’s pipe smoke trail traces a rambunctious bunny through a Lake District garden: leafy greens, creamy mushrooms and nibbled strawberries.

£70 for 30ml eau de parfum 4160tuesdays.com

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Gourmande Jayne: Ormonde Jayne get figgy with it

Linda Pilkington, founder and CEO of London-based niche perfumery Ormonde Jayne, is never one for sitting still. Whenever we meet her, she’s dashing back and forth at 100 miles an hour, always brimming with creativity and new ideas, the latest being Gourmande Jayne

‘Gourmande Jayne’ is a natural extension of Linda’s scented world –  a blog ‘defining scent and good eating’ that features lifestyle tips, fashion and beauty, advice for gardeners, travel diaries as Linda hunts for new fragrance ingredients, how-to videos and deliciously scented recipes she’s constantly inspired by – showing the world how to bring fragrance into every area of life, to enhance to joy of every day. Quite frankly, we’re not sure how she find the time, but we’re awfully glad she does!

We’re especially loving the recipe for Baked Figs with Goat’s Cheese (and the serving suggestion – ‘serve warm with a glass of wine!’) which we first got to taste at the wonderful Ormonde Jayne Christmas Showcase (watch out for our Christmas issue of The Scented Letter Magazine for more new on the fragrant goodies in store!)

See the recipe, below, and watch Linda prepare hers by visiting the Gourmet section of the blog. We promise you it taste (and smells!) amazing, and it’s just the thing for warming your cockles when the wether’s a bit cooler, but you don’t feel quite ready for rib-sticking stews just yet. We’re holding off the donning of tights for a while, and holding on to thoughts of summer holidays by eating these, and quaffing wine while we’re at it. Only because it’s suggested, of course…

Gourmande Jayne Baked Figs with Goat’s Cheese

Ingredients:
Medium size figs
Soft goats cheese
Chopped walnuts
Chopped fresh sage
Clear honey
Salt and pepper

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 200 C – Cut off fig stems and cut an X at the top of fig half way down.
Using a teaspoon, stuff soft goats cheese into the fig. Sprinkle with the fresh fine chopped sage and chopped walnuts.
Drizzle with a little honey and small amount of add salt and pepper to taste.
Place in a baking dish.
Place in oven for about 5 minutes.
Serve warm with a glass of wine!

Written by Suzy Nightingale

[Recipe and photos by Linda Pilkington]

Givaudan bring together fragrance, flavour & body language…

What’s your body language saying about the fragrance you wear…?

Givaudan‘s Fine Fragrance perfumers have created a new ‘Delight’ collection in collaboration with flavourists – the first fragrance house to specifically use body language research in order to better understand the pleasure we feel when wearing perfume.

The idea began when Givaudan encouraged a close collaboration between their flavourists and perfumers in Paris, New York, São Paulo, Dubai and Singapore. Two arms of the industry who never usually work together, the project also required the input of a non-verbal communications specialist. And their goal?

‘Imagine your favourite flavour and the great feeling you get when you taste it: a powerful physical and emotional reaction that makes you crave more. Now imagine if we could bring that same level of desirability and moreishness to fragrances… That’s exactly what Givaudan has been doing as part of a new global initiative called Project Delight.’

Intriguing, right? There’s a definite correlation between that heady rush of pleasure we’re consumed with when smelling a scent we love – we might describe it as ‘delicious’, ‘moreish’, or even ‘addictive.’ With no true language of its own, we liken fragrance to food and taste all the time – and of course many of the same ingredients are used across flavour and fragrance – so it completely makes sense that Givaudan are focusing on studying the two together.

As a starting point, they analysed ‘…those moments where lip-smackingly good flavours collide with equally delicious aromas,’ composing evocative fragrance bases such as the candyfloss memories of a fun fair, the perfect buttered croissant we associate with a Parisian breakfast, the smoky-creamy mingling of a Brooklyn brunch and the glittering fizz of night out with cocktails. And Givaudan report ‘the result is a revolutionary and exclusive set of bases for perfumers to work with… scents that are both aromatic… and appetising.’

Senior Flavourist for Givaudan, Arnaud, explained the exciting thing for him was that, ‘as a flavourist, I work in a realistic, true to life way, while a perfumer works in the world of abstract and interpretation. In our collaboration on Project Delight, we wanted to mix these two strengths and add a realistic touch to our fragrance palette.’

As part of their research, Givaudan carried out a groundbreaking consumer study, assessing non-verbal responses (such as salivation, surprise or swallowing) to different fragrances. The first time this type of methodology has been used in fragrance development, the research enabled their perfumers to develop a new range of special ‘Delight’ fragrance bases which, rather excitingly, further tests went on to reveal ‘…triggered higher levels of pleasure and craving than other bases currently available.’

In the future, will we be craving certain scents with the same hunger we feel for food? Well according to Givaudan, you’d better tuck in your napkin and get ready for the pleasure in a whole new way, because ‘we have begun a voyage of discovery and will continue to explore further, opening up new possibilities for perfumers to entice consumers with new fragrances that spark pure pleasure…’

Written by Suzy Nightingale

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

Terre de Lumière – feel the warmth of "the golden hour" as we take a sneak-peek at L'OCCITANE's new fragrance…

Dappled sunlight dipping low, skin still warm, running through corn fields in a crisp, white gown as the sun sets… ah, how the dreary days of January make us yearn for such simple pleasures. Even going outside without a coat and brolly right now would be a luxury! But fear not, for L’OCCITANE have bottled the sunshine from that ethereal, other-worldly time of day often termed “the Golden Hour“, and infused the glow into their new fragrance (to be launched in February): Terre de Lumière
L’OCCITANE say: ‘As the day draws to a close, the sky is set alight, embracing all the shades of gold. Beauty is suspended in time and this stunning spectacle reaches its height. Light infuses the ingredients in this fragrance, enhancing them in a rich, faceted creation that evokes the intense sensoriality of a walk through the fields of Provence at the Golden Hour.’
Sunset
Oh yes, take us there now, please…!
We were lucky enough to be present at the press launch of this perfume, and so excited to discover this will be the very first gourmand fragrance for the brand. We predict gourmand as a genre will be huge news once again in 2017 – the comforting, deliciously food-inspired fragrance family seems only natural to turn to in times of uncertainty – and far from the 90s scent bombs that truly began this trend, gourmand has taken a fresh turn of sophistication and wearability – for men and women alike.
Terre de Lumiere
Top Notes: bergamot, ambrette seed, pink pepper
Heart Notes: lavender, honey
Base Notes: acacia flower, bitter almond essence, tonka bean, white musk
Renowned perfumer Calice Becker was chosen for Terre de Lumière, closely collaborating with Shyamala Maisondieu and Nadège Le Garlantezec; Calice explains how the talented trio worked on the fragrance so that it ‘…plays on the tension between masculine freshness and delicious feminine softness. It’s a very innovative scent, the first gourmand aromatic fragrance from L’OCCITANE, absolutely addictive.’ Talking about the inspiration for composing the scent, Calice describes the Golden Hour as the time ‘…when the light is at its most beautiful. It is also when scents are at their height.’
Perfumers
And so what does it smell like? Well, close your eyes, imagine the setting sun still warm on your skin (move closer to the fire or add another layer of clothing, if necessary!) and let us take you to the glowing fields of Provence…

Aromatically zesty from the first spritz, there’s almost a sigh of delight as the fizz of bergamot and pink pepper suddenly melts into the true heart of honey infused with lavender and balanced by the milky freshness of acacia blossoms, the almond-like nuttiness of tonka beans and the balsamic warmth of the earthier base. Perfectly evoking that moment when the day slips impercitibly to dusk, it’s the sensation of contemplative contentment while sitting on a hay bale, having romped barefoot in flower meadows and paddled in cool streams. Deliciously revivifying and fragrantly soothing all at once, we bet you can’t wait to try it…
…And on that note, we suggest [*wink wink*] that you keep your eyes peeled for an exciting announcement, for you could be one of the first people to Discover Terre de Lumière with us. [*hint hint*]
Written by Suzy Nightingale