Helping Hands: fragrance houses producing hand sanitisers

Due to the current global pandemic of the Covid-19 virus, many fragrance houses are turning their production of perfume to that of hand-santisers, which are much-needed and now often difficult to obtain for health workers and those at risk.

All medical advice still clearly states that washing your hands with soap and water for twenty seconds or more is still the best way to ensure your hands are properly clean – but in situations when soap and water are not easily used, and as an extra precaution, the supply and delivery of hand-santisers to those in need is now more important than ever.

Hand-santisers should ideally contain 70% professional grade alcohol base to be effective, and most over the counter hand sanitisers contain varying amounts and types, often between 60% and 95% and usually isopropyl alcohol.

Because alcohol is used as the base of the majority of fragrances, fragrance houses have to pre-order this in bulk, and so it makes perfect sense for them to be using their stocks of this material – once taken foregranted, and now a precious commodity – to turn it into hand-santisers.

It turns out that all Dior, Givenchy, and Guerlain liquid soaps and creams have a viscosity very similar to that of hand-sanitiser gel, which means LVMH is able to continue using their usual filling machines, plastic bottles, and pump dispensers to mass-produce hand-santiser, which they have been distributing free of charge to French health authorities and hospitals.

 

 

Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive of LVMH, said that ‘Through this initiative, LVMH intends to help address the risk of a lack of product in France and enable a greater number of people to continue to take the right action to protect themselves from the spread of the virus.’ And they have been highlighting the work they’re doing on social media with the hashtag #LVMHJOINSFORCES.

 

 

Sarah Baker has made gorgeously scented hand-santisers available to the public, that conform to the  WHO recommended hand-rub formulations. Named ‘Jazz Hands‘, a set of four long-lasting 50ml bottles, fragranced with her perfumes Greek Keys, Charade, Jungle Juice and Atlante, can be purchased for £40. The price includes a £5 donation to Médecins Sans Frontièrs (Doctors Without Borders), and Sarah will send all those who purchase a pack of Jazz Hands a special discount code, allowing you to take the full price of the hand-santisers off a 50ml bottle of perfume of your choice.

Ormonde Jayne started making batches of hand-santiser several weeks ago, gifting them to all their employees and families, and are now giving away a free spray bottle of hand-santiser with any purchase from their website. Founder Linda Pilkington commented that, ‘As a privately owned perfume house that manufactures its own perfume, we are in a unique position, having a denatured alcohol license, to be able to manufacture a hand sanitiser. Our formula contains 80% denatured alcohol, 20% aniseptic aloe vera and tea tree oil.’ And she continued, ‘On behalf of all the Ormonde Jayne team, we wish you all the most important things in life, good health and happiness.’

 

 

In America, other indie brands are stepping forward, including L.A-based perfumer Sarah Horowitz , who has introduced the Stay Safe Sanitizing Spray ($10 for a 1-ounce bottle or a free 0.34-ounce bottle with every online order over $75. The spray consists of an 80% concentrate of organic alcohol, which isl mixed with essential oils often used for their antibacterial properties, such as clove, lemongrass, lavender maillette and patchouli.

Last week we also reported that fragrance house Miller Harris were donating their entire stock of soap and hand wash to AGE UK and other vulnerable communities, and enouraging other brands to help if they are able.

How heartening, at times of crisis, that fragrance houses have stepped up so swiftly to help and do what what they can – we’re all in this together, after all.

By Suzy Nightingale

Guerlain’s Muguet Millésime 2018

In France, May 1st is celebrated with a public holiday – officially called La Fête du Travail (National Labour Day) but also known as La Fête du Muguet (Lily of the Valley Day). It comes from a tradition that supposedly dates back to the reign of King Charles IX, when in 1561, the King was presented with a bunch of muguet (lil of the valley) flowers as a token of luck for the coming year. Courtiers were so charmed by the token, they began gifting each other sprigs of the flowers, and so the tradition grew, remaining to this day a way of wishing loved ones a properous and joyful year ahead.

Incredibly, for 110 years now, Guerlain have presented their own fragrant token, in the form of an exquisite (and highly collectible!) limited edition bottle of Muguet – a practice initiated by Jacques Guerlain in 1908.

For 2018, Guerlain have decorated the emblematic ‘bee bottle’ design with a kiss of frost (how fitting, for our currently freezing weather), and as Guerlain explain, ‘…the Bee Bottle contains in its heart the Muguet note, reinterpreted by Thierry Wasser, whose bergamot, jasmine and rose accents announce Spring.

Top notes: green notes
Heart notes: note of lily of the valley, lilac
Base notes: rose, jasmine

To magnify this exceptional piece, Guerlain has called on Maison Guillemette, one of the reference addresses in Paris for jewels and head accessories. Guillemette, founder and creator, celebrates the Muguet with a floral ethereal finery.

A lucky charm of exception that celebrates with refinement Lily of the Valley and the beginning of Spring.

Each year the Muguet eau de toilette is magnified in a bottle sublimated by the know-how of a craftsman to become an exceptional piece.

This year, Maison Guillemette, a Parisian creator of accessories, has imagined a voluptuous and delicate floral finery. It is adorned with a bunch of organza petals cut and sewed by hand; a true prowess of meticulousness and creativity.’

Collectors, Guerlain-a-holics and lily of the valley lovers, form an orderly queue – we’re right behind you, and desperately hoping this heralds the proper start of Spring…

Guerlain Millésime Muguet 2018 £370 for 125ml eau de toilette
Available at Harrods and Selfridges

Written by Suzy Nightingale

 

Guerlain’s 1828 Royal Extract returns to Harrods

In 1828, a pillar of the perfumed establishment was founded by Pierre-François-Pascal: the mighty Guerlain. That founding year also saw the creation of Pascal’s ‘Royal Extract of Flowers‘ – the name evoking the fact that Guerlain once supplied the greatest courts in Europe with precious fragrances.

And now, with the help of Guerlain’s in-house perfumer, Thierry Wasser, Royal Extract has been reimagined today, exclusively revived this time for Harrods

Having once been reintroduced for an ultra-limited run in 2014, it would be safe to say we’re very excited about getting our noses around this properly. We previously hosted two exclusive events at the Guerlain Archives in Paris, where our Perfume Society guests got to smell Wasser’s re-creations of some of the most beautiful (and sadly, long-discontinued) scents that span their history: it should be worth the wait!

So, what exactly does it smell like?

Guerlain say: ‘A bouquet of scents, rose, jasmine and tuberose, which thrill and surprise. The heart releases a heady peach note that unfolds to voluptuous notes of vanilla, heightened by iris and balsamic notes. All of Guerlain’s perfume expertise is displayed in this majestic and captivating amber fruity eau de parfum dedicated to Harrods.’

The original version having been dabbed on the décolletage of aristocrats and fanned across ballrooms, it’s always thrilling to think of a wearing a fragrance of the past  – to smell of history – but usually rather difficult to live with in actuality. Some may turn their noses up at ‘reformulated’ perfumes, but regulations, modern taste and scarcity of protected ingredients all play their part, and this is no mere copy of the original but a ‘re-orchestration’, if you will.

Guerlain Royal Extract £320 for 125ml eau de parfum
Exclusive to Harrods

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Guerlain's 1828 Royal Extract returns to Harrods

In 1828, a pillar of the perfumed establishment was founded by Pierre-François-Pascal: the mighty Guerlain. That founding year also saw the creation of Pascal’s ‘Royal Extract of Flowers‘ – the name evoking the fact that Guerlain once supplied the greatest courts in Europe with precious fragrances.
And now, with the help of Guerlain’s in-house perfumer, Thierry Wasser, Royal Extract has been reimagined today, exclusively revived this time for Harrods
Having once been reintroduced for an ultra-limited run in 2014, it would be safe to say we’re very excited about getting our noses around this properly. We previously hosted two exclusive events at the Guerlain Archives in Paris, where our Perfume Society guests got to smell Wasser’s re-creations of some of the most beautiful (and sadly, long-discontinued) scents that span their history: it should be worth the wait!
So, what exactly does it smell like?
Guerlain say: ‘A bouquet of scents, rose, jasmine and tuberose, which thrill and surprise. The heart releases a heady peach note that unfolds to voluptuous notes of vanilla, heightened by iris and balsamic notes. All of Guerlain’s perfume expertise is displayed in this majestic and captivating amber fruity eau de parfum dedicated to Harrods.’
The original version having been dabbed on the décolletage of aristocrats and fanned across ballrooms, it’s always thrilling to think of a wearing a fragrance of the past  – to smell of history – but usually rather difficult to live with in actuality. Some may turn their noses up at ‘reformulated’ perfumes, but regulations, modern taste and scarcity of protected ingredients all play their part, and this is no mere copy of the original but a ‘re-orchestration’, if you will.

Guerlain Royal Extract £320 for 125ml eau de parfum
Exclusive to Harrods
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Fancy a second helping…? We chose three favourite fragrant features to celebrate our birthday

As part of the continuing celebrations for our third birthday (already – can you believe it?!) we’d love to share with you three of our favourite posts from over those momentous years.
We cover everything from just-launched fragrances to the history of perfume itself, with exclusive interviews and those ever-insightful (dare we say psychologically revealing?) chats in which the world’s top noses reveal their ‘five favourite smells’ and we delve deep in to the psyche of a perfumer’s imagination.
With an ever-growing features list that spans an encylopaedia of scented ingredients, a stack of fragrant reads and a worldwide perfume shopping guide – our archive is teaming with thousands (millions?) of words, so we can hardly blame you if you missed them the first time around!
We sadly can’t supply birthday cake for all, but might we suggest you treat yourself to a slice of something delicious and settle down with a cuppa for an evocatively fragrant catch-up of some of our favourite moments…?

Year One: that time we won an award that we weren’t even nominated for…
‘It’s not every day you get to say ‘today, as we breakfasted at BAFTA…’ but this morning, that’s exactly what we did while attending The Jasmine Awards – the premier awards for journalists writing on the subject of fragrance, and ‘The Oscars’ of the perfume world…

And (believe it or not), we were actually rendered speechless for quite some seconds – for at The Perfume Society, we were utterly thrilled/flabbergasted/over-the-moon (insert your own synonyms for giddy happiness, we’re still thinking of them!)…’
What got us so giddy? Read on to find out!

Year Two: that time we ate a scented supper created by a Michelin-trained chef…

‘American author, writer and pioneer natural perfumer Mandy Aftel is a force of nature, an inspiration to many and a good friend of The Perfume Society. So when she recently announced she’d be making a rare trip to our shores, we leapt at the chance chance to welcome her. And more than that, to introduce her to the brilliant chef behind our Scented Suppers – Pratap Chahal – who was, himself, inspired to explore the world of fragrant cooking through reading Mandy’s books…’

How can you eat perfume ingredients? Get set to drool

Year Three: that time we found out what makes Guerlain’s Thierry Wasser tick…

‘We’re proud to say that he has not only become a friend to The Perfume Society, over the years – but proudly carries a Perfume Society VIP Subscriber card, number 001, in his wallet. We caught up with Thierry on his travels – and he found some time to share the answers to our ‘nose’ questionnaire…’

Thierry’s tip for improving your own sense of smell? Find it, here
So what’s in store for the next few years? Well, we don’t need a crystal ball to tell you we’ve some fantastically exciting events coming up, a wealth of intriguing Discovery Boxes for you to delve in to and all manner of finger-on-the-pulse perfume news and exclusive features in our award-winning magazine.
And just like you, we’re always hungry for more…
Written by Suzy Nightingale
 

Angelina Jolie: Guerlain Parfumeur – a new fragrant personification of iconic, female fortitude…

Since 1828, the French house of Guerlain has been synonymous with perfumes inspired by and created for strikingly strong women. As Jacques Guerlain himself once said: ‘We create perfumes for the women we admire.’ So who better to personify that independent, wilful yet utterly elegant spirit than Angelina Jolie, whom Guerlain have just announced as their personification of their new fragrance… Guerlain Parfumeur Mon Parfum.
Master Perfumer at Guerlain, Thierry Wasser, created Guerlain Parfumeur by drawing direct inspiration from Angelina Jolie, expressing the idea of ‘…the notes of a woman,’ and the embodiment of modern femininity within her choices, emotions and dreams.

Angelina Jolie [photo by Wall Street Journal]
First known as an actress, Jolie is now a filmaker in her own right while also serving as Special Envoy to the UN Refugee Agency, co-founder of the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative and human rights activist, with many emotional and familial ties to France and the house of Guerlain itself. The deal was struck in 2015, with Jolie having long been a fan of Guerlain since childhood, with evocative scent memories of her mother’s love for a Guerlain powder. But Jolie also represents the continuation of a house that has ever pushed the boundaries while striving for modernity and perfectly executing a timeless, fearless femininity… Indeed, Jolie’s compassion is also at the fore, with her decision to donate her entire salary from the collaboration to charity.
guerlain-are-you-her-type-perfume-1920sThink of Guerlain’s most famous fragrances – scents that have stood the test of time and will likely outlive us all – and a powerful woman will be behind the inspiration for the perfume, somewhere. Such as the exuberantly mysterious Mitsouko from 1919. Composed by Jacques Guerlain the perfume was based on the novel ‘La bataille’ and the eponymous heroine and wife of a Japanese Admiral, caught in the web of a tangled love affair with a British officer. A masterful balance of the juicy peach and rounded oakmoss of the base, Mitsouko retains its ambiguous juxtaposition of alluring warmth and cool reserve – an echo of the story’s heroine who must control her raging emotions with dignity as she awaits news of which, if either, of her lovers will return from the war.
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If Mitsouko represents an attempted control of the vagaries of the human heart, then Shalimar gives free reign to overwhelming passion and devotion – a romance poem written in perfume and representing the legendary love of Emperor Shahjahan and his wife Mumtaz Mahal, meaning “Jewel of the Palace,” and also composed by Jacques Guerlain, in 1925. During their marriage the couple were inseparable, but having given birth to thirteen children, she died during the birth of their gourteenth. Devastated by her death, Shah Jahan had the Taj Mahal built in memory of his wife and their undying love; and Shalimar is named after ‘The Gardens of Shalimar,’ her favourite place. One of the best-selling perfumes in the world to this day, Shalimar seamlessly weaves citrus freshness in to a beguiling floral heart garlanded by gauzy jasmine and may rose, with a charismatic dry down that wavers between the warmth of opoponax, tonka bean and vanilla, and a misty coolness of iris and ambergris.
These scented stories are merely two of the redolent, towering and immediately evocative fragrances in their rich tapestry – and with Jolie at the helm of their forthcoming fragrance – due for release in March 2017 – for Guerlain, the future is definitely a continued celebration of female strength…
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Flash, bang, wallop, what a picture! More fragrant Instagrammers we think you’ll enjoy following…

Maybe it’s because our eyes are increasingly too weary to look at an endless scroll of words on a teeny screen.

Maybe it’s that with the prospect of Twitter soon allowing limitless soundbites, we’re slightly falling out of love with that social medium (while still posting regularly, anyway!). Half the fun is keeping it brief, eh?

And although we still hold Facebook dear, it seems that we’re not alone in finding Instagram a most enjoyable way to keep our finger on the pulse-point of fragrant thoughts and happenings. Scent may be about the nose, primarily – but it can be visually thrilling, too.

Among our own 6,500+ followers (and counting), there are some brilliant scented Instagrammers – and we thought we’d share a second wave of those we think you’ll love: vintage bottle collectors, brilliant brands and sexy shops. Just click on the blue name to find and follow. (And follow us here…)

1. Grandiflora Fragrance

GRANDIFLORA
Grandiflora is Sydney’s most famous florist – and last autumn, founder Saskia Havekes launched her own signature fragrance line, a-swirl with white florals. Many of these posts combine our two greatest loves: stunning floral displays and beautiful bottles.

2. Atelier Cologne

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Christophe Cervasel and Sylvia Ganter, the co-founders of this ‘intense Cologne’ line, are both very visual – you’ve only got to look at the montages they create for each new fragrance launch. But their Instagram feed is super-colourful and fun – and features odd little ‘flicker-book’ or video, further bringing the collection alive. (See also main visual for this post from Atelier Cologne‘s Insta-feed.)

3. Memoirs of a Perfumista

MEMOIRS_OF_A_PERFUMISTA

Nyal Dillimore is scent-obsessed full-time mum who dreams of opening her own perfume boutique and has a real eye for an arty Instagram shot or stylish montage.

4. Beaufort London

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From one of the new ‘rising star’ perfume houses, this Instagram feed is characteristically dark, moody and occasionally captures really atrocious weather (well, the name is inspired by the BeauFort wind scale). We’re blown away. (Almost literally.)

5. Odette Toilette

ODETTE_TOILETTE

A great way to catch up with one of our favourite perfumistas, the extremely witty and clever Lizzie Ostrom, author of Perfume: A Century of Scents. It follows her scented adventures and travels. (Above, see ‘Paula’, her travelling scent trunk – which is alas too heavy to lug around, as Lizzie explained to us in The Scented Letter). Great vintage bottle shots from Lizzie’s collection are regular highlights.

6. Scent of the Day

SOTD

This Instagram feed features mini-reviews of masculine scents – one for every day, as the name suggests. Sometimes packshots, often taken by the perfumista himself. One for the chaps, perhaps.

7. Peony Melbourne

PEONY_MELBOURNE

This Australian perfume shop’s feed has us wanting to cash in some airmiles for a visit Down Under. Absolutely swoonworthy flower shots show up alongside beautiful bottle pix, fabulous architecture (because we’re not only interested in perfume, right?) and even the odd scoop of ice cream. What. Is. Not. To. Love?

8. Guerlain

GUERLAIN_INSTAGRAM

The official Instagram account of the legendary French perfume house also brings us news of skincare and make-up, but it’s the go-to destination for official Guerlain news about upcoming fragrance launches. (And we really like the short films which often feature.)

9. Vetyyver

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Subtitled ‘A German perfume diary’, this guy’s a seriously cool photographer, documenting an impressive collection. If you’re looking to fine-tune your own Instagram shots and filter choices, there’s a lot to learn here.

10. Iscentyouaday

I SCENT YOU A DAY

An ultra-dedicated perfume blogger (who also happens to be a big fan of ours!), Iscentyouaday pledges to review a perfume a day (and succeeds) – her sub-title is ‘1001 Days of Perfume’ – and while featuring more than the odd cat picture (what IS it about fragrance fans and cats?), her Instagrams are sweet and often alert you to worthwhile posts such as ‘Perfume for Paupers: How to Smell Good on a Budget. And we like to think we’re all about encouraging new talent as well as showcasing established names.

Happy scrolling…!

Written by Jo Fairley

Would you love a signed bottle of Mitsouko…? Just tell us why…

When Guerlain‘s perfumer Thierry Wasser visited London earlier this year (to be interviewed by The Perfume Society‘s Jo Fairley at an amazing Selfridges evening), he personally signed customer’s fragrance purchases.

So – especially for you – we bought a 75 ml bottle of Guerlain Mitsouko eau de parfum, queued up – and got Thierry’s signature…

Our idea was always to offer this bottle to our VIP Subscribers – and we hope you’ll be inspired by reading the story about ‘The Return of The Scented Glove’ in The Scented Letter (Issue 3) to enter to win…

So… Using the form below, tell us why you love Mitsouko. Tell us why you’d like to wear it, or what it means to you – or why you’ve always longed for a bottle… Write a review of Mitsouko, ideally (if you don’t already know it, visit a Guerlain counter, and try it for yourself…) Your entry can be as long as you like (we suggest pasting it into the form).

We will choose from the entries, and when The Scented Letter (Issue 4) is unveiled, at the end of October 2014, we’ll share the winning entry and send out the bottle…

In his entry about Mitsouko in Perfumes: The Guide, the perfume critic Luca Turin wrote: ‘On every occasion when I am asked to name my favourite fragrance, or the best fragrance ever, or the fragrance I would take with me if I had to move to Mars for tax reasons, I always answer Mitsouko…’

And you? Why do you love this nearly 100-year-old classic fragrance…? Or why would you love the chance to fall in love with it…? We’re longing to hear from you…

Terms & Conditions
Winners will be informed by e-mail. There is no cash alternative to this prize, and the judges’ decision is final. You must be happy to have your review/comments shared on perfumesociety.org. By sending the form above, you agree to all of this.