The scented spotlight: 3 niche houses you need to know

Not everyone happens to live near a niche perfumery (or even a department store with a diverse selection) – and even if you do, it’s sometimes overwhelming to work out where to even begin.

That’s why we like to highlight houses you might not yet have tried, or perhaps have been curious about but didn’t want to spring for a full bottle before you’ve even sniffed any of their fragrances. And this, dear friends, is why perfume samples are essential to fragrance lovers with noses hungry for more, more, MORE! (Scroll down to find out how to get your hands on these).

Today we’re going to focus on our pick of favourite fragrances from three niche houses, all of which you are able to try in the just-launched Precious Perfumes Discovery Box – containing NINETEEN fragrances. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves: which of this small selection of dazzling gems will your spotlight hit first…?

Jovoy Paris Amber Premier is a stunning evocation of velvety, swathing warmth, featuring rose, spices and (of course) the amber accord that gave the fragrance its name. Golden, glimmering it wraps your skin in deliciousness, and  you’ll be sniffing your wrist all day long.

Jovoy Paris Touche Finale plunges you into a world of glamour, fluffy mimosa brushing fruity rose, batting its eyelashes provocatively with flirty heliotrope. A re-interpretation of the classic Poudré, Jovoy describe it as ‘…a tribute to the seductive souls who each have their own rituals of preparation.’ Think dressing rooms, swansdown powder puffs and vintage lipstick. Mwah!

Widian Black I is an Arabian adventure of the senses, starting with a cool/ hot juxtaposition of cardamom, vivid cinnamon and languid drifts of incense as creamy sandalwood and smoky cypress lead you deeper into the journey. The deep and sensual base notes of musk and cedarwood really round this out, a perfect balance that leaves a lasting trail…

Widian Black II invites you to explore a secret garden filled with memories, blue skies beckoning you forth with notes of citrusy mandarin and lush plums swagged with roses. Smooth as silk sandalwood and soft musk whisper to a mysterious base of vanilla and moss, for a scented walk you’ll never want to end.

Widian Black III The third iteration of this opulent house opens with sparkling bergamot and an unusually fruity spearmint before utterly seducing you with supple, aristocratic leather (the ultra expensive kind) and a most elegant dry woodiness, almost transparent in its sophistication. Sweet vanilla, moss, and patchouli then become increasingly addictive as it warms with a throb.

Widian Black IV If subtle is your key to seduction, you’ll definitely be reaching for this graceful little number. Bergamot cuts through the sweetness of blackcurrant and plump prune as delicate rose petals and white flowers flutter to a downy base of vanilla and white musk infused with creamy leather and snuggly sandalwood.

Widian Black V Travelling back to the roaring 1920’s and Bright Young Things, immerse yourself in the breezy freshness of lemon and succulent peach sprinkled with spicy cinnamon. A flower garden at the heart proffers bouquets of tuberose, heady orange blossom and a solar accord (so trending!) on a refined, more-ish base of cedar, caramel and vanilla.

Fragrance Du Bois Oud Jaune is one of their best-selling scents, and you’ll soon discover why. Opening with wafts of exotic blossoms, you’ll dream to a breeze of monoi, ylang-ylang and luscious fruits before swooning to a heart of jasmine, orange blossom and white flowers.  And in Precious Perfumes you get a FULL SIZE Perfume Pen to try, worth £39 alone!

With the Precious Perfumes Discovery Box, you get an astounding NINETEEN niche fragrances in all, two of them alone worth £36 each, plus the full size FRAGRANCE DU BOIS PERFUME PEN worth another £39.To be honest, we’re not sure how we managed to fit so many in, so it would be madness not to get it (and some extra for presents) frankly. Hit that link to find out more and grab yours today!

Precious Perfumes Discovery Box £40 (£35 for V.I.P. club members). BUY IT NOW!

By Suzy Nightingale

Fragrance Du Bois: sexy, sustainable & so right now

With their headquarters in Paris and a number of privately owned sustainable plantations in Asia, Fragrance Du Bois are quite unashamedly oudh-obsessed – and are world experts in the protection and harvesting of what’s sometimes known as ‘liquid gold’.

Derived from the dark resinous wood of the Aquilaria tree, oudh (often spelled ‘oud’) is an utterly fascinating material – a resin that occurs in less than 7% of trees, in the wild. Which explains why the material is so precious – and, sought-after. In fact, so Fragrance Du Bois tell us: ‘Due to illegal logging, wild resources have been severely depleted. So, since 2004, all species of the Aquilaria tree have been protected under CITES [Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species].’

So Fragrance Du Bois have taken a stand by putting themselves at the forefront of condemning the use of oudh from illegal sources – and, beyond that, have made it their mission to educate the perfume industry and fragrance buyers alike. ‘Only pure oudh oil, produced from trees nurtured and managed on our own plantations, is used in our fragrances,’ they explain. ‘This means that we can absolutely guarantee that it is from a sustainable and ethical source.’

Using some of the best noses in the world to craft their fragrances, apart from their emphasis on sustainability, the house are known for their elegant and always surprising use of this precious material – and we were delighted last night to be invited to a showcase at Jovoy Mayfair, to experience some of their soon-to-be-launched latest collections

Fragrances for the hair have been flourishing these past couple of years (one of our favourite layering techniques), and Jovoy tell us that many customers ask for ‘hair perfumes’ as soon as they walk through the door – fascinating to see what once was a trend has now grown into a full-blown fragrance category of its own. How timely, then, that Fragrance Du Bois are launching three Hair Mists of their own in early November – featuring three key best-selling fragrances of the range: Oud Rose, Oud Orange and Oud Jaune.

A red velvet-lined case, meanwhile, held five of the seven exciting new fragrances launching in February 2020, and of course we had to get a sneaky sniff. Capturing the essence of the fashion capitals of the world, there’s the beautifully cool Milano and two moods of New York: 5th Avenue, a breezy, sophisticated day-perfect scent; and New York Intense: a moody, sensual, sensational atmosphere that felt sweetly hushed and utterly addictive.  Cannabis Blue captured a heady, smoky atmosphere shot through with fruity, fresh eucalyptus, and Velvet Amber was reach-out and stroke-me sexy with a heftier dose of oud and oodles of supple velvet/leather in the base. We cannot wait to finally get to wear them!

Want to try some of their fragrances for yourself at home? We know not everyone happens to live within easy reach of a niche perfumery, so we are thrilled to stock the Fragrance Du Bois Discovery Set in our shop.

Each fragrance expresses true mastery of this unique ‘liquid gold’ (as oudh oil is known). You’ll fall in love, we guarantee it – even you oudh naysayers!

Be transported to exotic fragrant lands, happy in the knowledge that Fragrance Du Bois is also looking after caring for the environment, planting a tree for every full size fragrance purchased! What’s not to LOVE? Go on: sniff these FIVE FABULOUS FRAGRANCES for yourself…

Fragrance Du Bois Discovery Set £20 for 5 x 2ml eau de parfum

By Suzy Nightingale

A nose around Jovoy Mayfair – niche fragrance heaven!

It’s coming up for Jovoy Mayfair‘s first birthday, so what better time to celebrate their arrival in the UK than by having a nose around, seeing what’s new, and thanking heaven for this niche haven in the heart of London…?

(PS: Our VIP Club Members are being offered a generous 15% discount at Jovoy between until 24th October 2018click here see how to claim this exclusive offer, though you’ll have to use your V.I.P. log-in to view it.

The opening of Jovoy on Mayfair’s Conduit Street in 2017 was definitely a cause for corks popping. Those of you lucky enough to go scent shopping in Paris will surely have come across Jovoy there – it opened in 2006 on the rue Castiglione – where it proved a game-changer in fragrance retail: a destination for perfumistas (from around the world, nowadays) showcasing perfume houses which had, until then, been largely unavailable.

Jovoy was the ‘baby’ of François Hénin, who previously worked exploring the olfactive riches of Vietnam, distilling raw ingredients for the perfume trade. François had his finger on the quickening pulse of the fragrance world, sensing a shift away from the ‘signature scents’ and more traditional, classic houses Parisians had tended to wear in the past.

One of the things we love best about Jovoy Mayfair is the ‘staff picks’ wall – think of it a little like those windows and display shelves in bookshops where the knowledgable staff pick out new and unusual things they think you’ll love. It’s such a great place to start sniffing, especially if you’re a little nervous about walking into a niche boutique for the first time (or simply don’t know where to begin!)

Jovoy are also happy to decant some of your favourite new finds into small sample bottles, so you can try them at home and properly get to know them – a fantastic service that we’re sure means many come back to buy the full size.

Here’s a few new scents you may find there, currently…

Jovoy say: ‘The latest perfume from Arte Profumi explores vetiver. Itself a highly prized and valuable raw material, Sine Tempore uses two different vetiver extractions (Haiti and Java) along with subtle does of lime and cardamom to shoot the root through with an insistent and citric, green note.’

Arte Profumi Sine Tempore £215 for 100l eau de parfum

 

Jovoy say: ‘Hoja de Cuba is another in Berdoues’ series of Grand Crus perfumes, one that takes its cues (as the title insists) from the streets of Havana, the tobacco fields and the Cuban cigars so synonymous with them. A blend of tobacco from Turkey, allspice from Jamaica and vetiver from Haiti.’

Berdoues Hoja de Cuba £67 for 100ml eau de parfum

Jovoy say: ‘Rock ‘N’ Rouge is a game of looks exchanged between a ballerina and a member of the audience. Temptation pierces through the gloom in the theatre and Eros shoots his keenest arrow. Desire cuts across the stage and rolls like a thousand fiery marbles out towards the theatre stalls. There, in the glare of the first change in the lights, the star’s eyes set fire to those of the man who observes. And, as though by magic, all the rest of the audience disappears. He and she are the only ones who remain, without knowing each other, without ever touching. United by seduction, they are unconscious protagonists of a feline pas de deux, charged with electricity.’

THoO Rock ‘n’ Rouge £220 for 75ml eau de parfum

Did you know Jovoy also have their own amaaaazing candles (presented in glass domes within a scarlet red vintage style hatbox affair? Well now you can also get them in a customisable box: choose four fragrances (making 64 possible combinations). ‘Create your own candle set choosing one or several fragrances among the four classic candles by Jovoy: Ambre 1er, Datcha, Gardez-Moi and Marron. Each black coffret case is populated of four 80g red candles, each with approx 20 hours of diffusion. The hardest part will be to choose how many of each.’

Jovoy Custom Candle Set £80 for 4 x 80g

While we touched on the subject of nerves earlier, let’s be real about this. Not everyone feels confident about striding in to a ritzy scent shop. We’ve spoken to lots of our loyal readers and even VIP Club Members who still can feel a bit dubious about going in any fragrance shop alone.

Rest assured, Jovoy Mayfair excel at making you feel comfortable – there’s zero pressure, they’re happy to let you browse or give advice where required, and there are pots of blotters and pencils dotted all over the place, to encourage spitzing (and of course writing the name of the fragrance on the blotter so you don’t shove it in your bag and forget which it was, later… You all do this, don’t you? *waggles eyebrows*)

Downstairs, there’s a comfy sofa for relaxed wrist-sniffing situations, and a more private ‘frgarance fitting’ experience should you wish, as well as a fragrance dispensing machine and exhibits of rare (and sometimes priceless!) perfumes to make your jaw drop.

We’ve hosted several events at Jovoy since they opened, including a remarkable alcohol and fragrance pairing evening (which was every bit as wonderful as that sounds) and, most recently, our co-founder Jo Fairley interviewing maverick perfumer Geza Schoen about his Beautiful Mind Series fragrances. Sp, do keep an eye on our Events page to join us on another occasion.

Incidently, Jovoy have their very own Private Label fragrance range – for Jovoy is actually a revived and re-imagined fragrance house that once scented the bohemian A-List of 1920s Parisian bohemians. You can read about the history of Jovoy on our page dedicated to them.

In the meantime, we encourage you to venture forth into independent fragrance retailers and see an array of scents you’d never even dreamed existed! rom Neela Vermeire to Atelier Flou, L’Essence du Bois to Olfactive Studio, Jacques Fath to Perfumer du Monde, via Volnay, Jeroboam, Aedes de Venustus, Eight & Bob, Masque Milano and so many more (with a growing number of store exclusives, too).

Jovoy Mayfair 21 Conduit Street, London W1S 2XP

Written by Suzy Nightingale