It’s rare for Chanel to release a new fragrance, so when we heard there was an intensified of Coco Mademoiselle launching, we were hoisting the flags. Ushered into their suave Bond Street showroom, we were taken through the fragrance journey and got ready to plunge into the deeper, darker and even more captivating version of the original…
Perfumer Oliver Polge has constructed his composition around a far higher proportion of patchouli leaves atop a richly resinous amber base, swirled through with toasty tonka bean and addictive vanilla in their absolute (strongest) form.
Lovers of the orginal need not fear – your dose of Sicilian orange and Calabrian bergamot is still there, as are the fullsome garlands of rose and jasmine in the heart. It’s a tribute to Polge’s mastery that each element can be identified, but the character is definitely more mysterious, wavering between the freshness and a mischeviously seductive trail that lingers all day.
While in the showroom – surrounded by balloons and a grand piano, no less! – we were honoured to be among the first to see the new advertising campaign, once again starring Keira Knightley (incredibly, the muse of the iconic perfume for more than a decade, now) who cavorts and pillow-fights her way through what looks like the best party ever. Embodying the spirit of Coco Mademoiselle Intense, the film shows Knightley effortlessly transitioning from sophisticated modernity to exuberantly playful – just as we feel while wearing it…
Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Intense from £82 for 50ml eau de parfum
Mischeviously irreverant Etat Libre d’Orange were the fragrance house megastar fashion designer Roland Mouret chose to collaborate with on his first fragrance – Une Amourette.
We went along to a private launch in Mouret’s flagship Mayfair boutique to find out more, and it’s every bit as fabulously naughty as you might hope…
It may not be the first fashion designer/fragrance house collaboration, but it’s definitely the only one we know of where the designer suggests spraying it between your thighs! Mouret explains: ‘A seductive fragrance – it’s a powerful scent that makes and leaves its mark as you move. You’ll want to wear it at the pulse point between your thighs and as you walk, cross your legs… the warmth and friction unleash an aroma that will capture your attention through the most primitive sense : smell.’
Well, we can’t say we followed this advice at the launch itself (a fragrance ritual probably best undertaken in the privacy of your bedroom, we feel) but it’s a rather compelling suggestion and we may have to try this for ourselves. Courtesans were well known for employing similar scent-seduction tactics in the 18th Century, so perhaps it’s about time we gave it a go. Roland Mouret say: ‘Infusing the sweet smell of neroli essence with traces of cardamom, this sensual fragrance opens with spicy notes of pink peppercorn, before revealing an earthy undertone of patchouli oil enriched with vanilla, that gives this fragrance a tantalising fin.’ Intrigued? Why not watch the man himself explain more, as Roland Mouret talks about working with Etat Libre d’Orange…
Talking to Roland at the launch, he went on to explain that he wanted Une Amourette to smell like ‘the scent of the other [your lover] on your skin…’ We may have blushed. But what a perfect juxtaposition – the mingling of two people’s warm skin, along with a Cologne and a decadent perfume, in one scent. Mouret also talked about the scent memories of his childhood, growing up in France, the smell of chic people mingling with voluptuous bouquets of flowers and drifts of incense from the churches he attended.
On the more usual pulse point to test perfumes – our eager wrists – then, here’s how it smells:
It begins like a lover’s caress, the sense of entangled sheets and warm skin, unmistakable carnality with indolic white flowers and roses scattered across the bed. Bone dry, the spices make their presense known immediately, with cardamom lingering throughout and a peachy succulence and creamy vanilla peeping above the naughtiness, somehow rendering them all the more provocative, like a glimpse of bare flesh beneath velvet coverings. A cool breeze of iris feels infused with a metallic shimmer, and the opoponax (incense) smooths the way insouciantly for an animalic dry-down of akigalawood that lasts the whole day through. Roland Mouret Une Amourette by Etat Libre d’Orange from £82 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at rolandmouret.com
Written by Suzy Nightingale
With bottles that wouldn’t have looked out of place on Marie Antoinette’s dressing table, the French perfume house Parfums de Marly definitely have that aristocratic je nes se quoi about them, and the bottle for their latest fragrance, Delina Exclusif, may be the most ravishingly regal of all!
It’s to the famous ‘perfumed court’ of King Louis XV we are transported to… Parfums de Marly say: ‘The XVIIIth Century was the indisputed reign of King Louis XV. France was the flagship of fragrances, with Grasse and Paris as its leading places. Everyday, the king requested a different scent for his apartments and streams of aromatic scents sprang from the royal fountains. Renowned for its scent extravagances, the court was named “la cour parfumée” (the perfumed court). The best fragrances of all time were invented during this era by the king’s dedicated perfumer ‘Jean Fargeon’.’
You can read more about that perfumed court, the history and inspiration behind the house of Parfums de Marly, on our page dedicated to them. But for now, let’s hit the (fabulously decadent) bottle…
The delicate pale matte-pink puts us in mind of rosebud lips and faintly flushing cheeks, and topped with a silken rope swag – tassled of course – it hints at the beguilingly feminine fragrance within…
Described as a grown-up twist on the original (which launched last year), the top notes shimmer with bergamot, pear and lychee (in place of the fruitier rhubarb) before descending elegantly to a veil of smokily refined incense, amber and vanilla in the base. From ten minutes in we found it transformed from a come-hither look across a ballroom to a swish of heavy satin across the polished wood and then a full-on candlelit encounter and the aftermath, with powdered wigs askew.
One to be worn by budding Courtesans and those well-versed in the language of fans, we feel – and firmly plant ourselves in this category. Parfums de Marly Delina Exclusif £210 for 75ml eau de parfum
Exclusive to Selfridges
Written by Suzy Nightingale
Globally renowned for their fine time pieces, Swiss watch-makers have long been considered the best in the world, with the house of Franck Muller now complementing their luxurious wares with an exquisitely made collection of fine fragrances…
Frannk Muller are famous for their ‘bold designs, creativity, originality and expertise to produce exclusive timepieces characterised by complicated movementscommissioned the UK fragrance house CPL Aromas to create the perfumes, working with leading perfumers, Beverley Bane (for those of you who attended our Perfume Society Patchouli-mania event, Beverley was the perfumer who spoke so engagingly about her work there!) Julie Pluchet and Dominique Preyssas. Beverley says: ‘The intricacies of watch making match the art of creating a fragrance. Perfumery creativity is about precision, balance and using the best quality materials available to produce exquisite fragrances. Franck Muller is dedicated to finding the best materials and the best craftsmen to create watches that push the boundaries in beauty and technology.
Fragrances are complex and precise creating a whole that is beautifully balanced, rounded and full of character. Each fragrance like a Franck Muller watch tells a story- from the best Italian citrus oils in the top note through to heart notes of hand-picked floral absolutes and finally exotic resins priceless and precious woods.
CPL’s Aromafusion technology links beautiful classic perfumery materials with modern cutting edge technology pushing the boundaries of perfumery, much like a Franck Muller timepiece.’
Encompassing five eau de parfums, each fragrance in the collection was inspired by a famous Franck Muller watch design, the bottles themselves following the Cintrée Curvex shape that is the brand’s trademark elegant silhouette. What’s more, fusing the finest raw materials with CPL Aromas’ unique and exclusive Aromafusion™ captive ingredients means that ‘…the fragrances can never be copied.’ Color Dreams – The wonderfully bright pastel colours of the lively dial inspired the perfumer to create a kaleidoscope of celestial notes evoking the East. Crazy Hours – The watch breaks all the rules of watchmaking – to reinterpret the way to look at time which inspired the perfumer to create an intense contrast of crispy citrus and a sensual wood accord to provide an unexpected sophistication. Double Mystery – This exuberant watch replaces the hands with jewels concealing time in luxury with distinguished elegance, which inspired the perfumer to create hidden richness and splendour using the most luxurious ingredients. Aeternitas – Is the most complicated watch in the world, and will keep time for 999 years. This inspired the perfumer to create a long-lasting and very complex perfume. Conquistador – The dark masculine character of this watch inspired the creation of an extremely sensual perfume with unorthodox authority. CPL Aromas say: ‘When master watch-makers meet master perfumers, both accustomed to working with complexity and precision, combined with beauty and fascination, the outcome was bound to be interesting…’
Vartan Sirmakes, co-founder and CEO Franck Muller Group, commented: ‘I am delighted to be launching the Franck Muller perfume, bringing together two masters of their respective fields, the union of the most creative worlds of Haute Horlogerie and Haute Parfumerie. A fitting partnership which also marks the 25th anniversary of unending development, craftsmanship and innovation, and truly represents the identity of Franck Muller.’ Frank Muller Parfums £170 for 75ml eau de parfum
Available at Jovoy Mayfair and now, Fortnum & Mason
Written by Suzy Nightingale
Simply named Trudon, the new perfume line hailing from heritage-rich house of Cire Trudon, takes three of the world’s top perfumers – Lyn Harris, Antoine Lie and Yann Vasnier – and challenges them to new inspirations in fine fragrance. Taking the themes of religion, royalty and revolution, five fragrances reveal contemporary chapters: in each scent, one natural ingredient is allowed to take centre stage. Utterly intriguing, and completely sharable no matter your gender, we couldn’t wait to find out more…
Part of Cire Trudon’s collaborative ethos is to work with unique talents, promote creative freedom and showcase artisanal expertise. Handpicking three of the best perfumers was therefore a considered choice. And even the way they were given the brief was unique from the very beginning… As Trudon explain, ‘Individually given a brief by a sophrologist, each nose was taken to a Parisian landmark; chosen for its evocative meaning; each venue catalysed singular ideas and sources of inspiration.’
As one may expect from such a perfectionist design team, the attention to detail and harmony of the packaging is simply stunning. The 100ml bottles evoke the design of Cire Trudon’s scented candles. Created by Pauline Deltour, even the rippled-glass cap echoes the elegant silhouette of La Promeneuse, their diffuser that melts scented wax cameos in a ceramic dish over a candle’s flame.
But enough of the preamble, we wanted to get our noses stuck in! Bruma Top Notes: black pepper, lavender, galbanum Heart notes: violets, purple peony, iris, jasmine sambac Base notes: labdanum, Haitian vetiver, tonka bean Trudon say: ‘Bruma (“solstice” in Latin) is intrinsically tied to the sun. And to royalty. An icy solstice, Bruma feeds on the moon and the forest to evoke the inner metamorphosis of a character in contact with the nature surrounding her.’ Antoine Lie says: ‘A noble figure leaves the comfort of her rooms on horseback at night to discover a part of herself in another, nearly supernatural place. Her appearance is evoked by the notes that transcribe her femininity as well as her elevated rank. The rider crosses a clearing, passing from the half-dark into the nocturnal light, shrouded in mystery, enigma and a distinguished sensuality that is almost animal-like. Her beauty is suddenly revealed by a spiritual energy.’ Olim Top notes: bergamot, lavender, anise Heart notes: pink peppercorn, clove Base notes: patchouli, benzoin, myrrh, musk Trudon say: ‘Olim (Latin for “once”) recalls the first four registers of the old Parliament of Paris, including the numerous texts and laws delivered to the King’s court between 1254 and 1318 under different reigns, particularly St. Louis (1214-1270). Olim shines light on the evolution of royal power and the decline of 13th-century French feudalism.’ Lyn Harris says: ‘A spirit, a veil of elegance, and beauty… the scent is full of history. Better still, it has the power to reveal history. Cold notes, reinterpreted in a modern way leave a lasting impression in those around and purity on those who wear it.’ II Top notes: green leaves, orange bigarade Heart notes: pines, pepper, juniper Base notes: cedar, incense, Ambroxan, Cashmeran Trudon say: ‘II is the alliance par excellence, the unique link that ties two beings together. II transcends and calls to the pious, revealing its fragrance like an emerald impulse.’ Lyn Harris says: ‘This perfume’s vibrant greenery is a forest painting: pines, juniper and cedar covered in moss and berries on a damp, earthy floor. ￼ is a modern take on eau de Cologne; a green, peppery scent with orange bigarade from Brazil. It’s something for everyone that unites and brings two people together.’ Révolution Top notes: elemi Heart notes: angelique Base notes: cedar, papyrus, patchouli, cade, incense, pure cistus, opoponax Trudon say: ‘The streets of Paris during the French Revolution, an odour of smoke and musket powder. Rage and intense emotions on the faces of the crowds. Houses are afire, the cobblestones awash in oil, sweaty riders are robed in black leather. A touch of incense softens the air, suggesting peace is near.’ Lyn Harris says: ‘Révolution captures a moment in his- tory, a period when smells were raw and prevailed everywhere. History is alive in this composition where smoke, wood, leather and incense reign. Yet modern elements in the formula let the scent breathe. A form of harmony is born out of these contrasting notes, leaving an elegant, clean, smoky wood-scented backdrop that remains on the skin.’ Mortel Top notes: black pepper, pimento, nutmeg Heart notes: Somalian frankincense, Mystikal, Virginia cedar Base notes: pure cistus, myrrh, benzoin Trudon say: ‘The artist, living between shadow and light, is a mortal creature. Halfway between the religious and the revolutionary, with an unquenched thirst for eternity, Mortel is a revolutionary drive that combines virile force and natural harmonies. A fatal attraction.’ Yann Vasnier says: ‘A winter’s night. A heavy metal door opens on a huge room. A man appears in the distance; intense heat and light are pulsing from a forge. Light is reflected on the skin and gestures of this man, who is engaged in a rite: standing in front of the blaze, his eyes seek a form buried in the magma before he can recreate it in the open air. The furnace throws giant, moving shadows. In the midst of his activity, sleep finally overcomes the fiery eyes of the artist-craftsman.’ We say: This is a perfume collection we’ve been waiting in fragrant anticipation for ever since we first heard about them, and suffice to say, we weren’t disappointed! Remarkably refined, characterful yet with restraint, these are scents to see you through the seasons and to be fully explored by trying them all on the skin. With such a stellar line-up of noses behind them, and Cire Trudon’s history, it’s hardly surprising the frgrance world is going gaga for them…
Rather fittingly for a campaign inspired by memories, there’s a definite retro hint to Trussardi‘s latest launch, Riflesso – something we at The Perfume Society tend to call ‘sexy man smell‘ – but done so in a modern way. The bottle follows the same lines, in fact – vintage chic with contemporary cool. The leathery-ness comes through in soft waves through a misty fougére style top-half of the fragrance. Think cool herbacious breezes and tumbles in heather-strewn hills with a man wearing a leather jacket atop a cashmere sweater…
And when you’re done thinking about that (take your time – we certainly did) why not feast your eyes on the fabulous ad campaign starring model Andre Hamann, below?
We had to watch the campaign several times to check the quality, but feel assured our hard work has been worthwhile. You’re welcome. Trussardi say: ‘With its woody and oriental notes of bergamot, pink grapefruit and green apple, Trussardi Riflesso tells the story of a man who considers sport a lifestyle. Life is not a competition, but an expression of self-confidence, which is shown through notes of geranium, violet leaves and lavender, before making a nod to tradition with olfactive hints of Italian leather, vetiver and tonka bean.’
Scroll down for a Q&A with perfumer Véronique Nyberg to find out more about the inspiration and composition…
Want even more? We’ve been given access to the behind-the-scenes footage from the advertising film and campaign, with all images shot by photographer/director Mark Segal telling the story of the new Riflesso world, and which we’re thrilled to share with you, here…
Senior Perfumer Véronique Nyberg was chosen to compose Riflesso, and took time to answer some questions regarding her inspiration and the way the fragrant ingredients were chosen. She began by discussing
What inspired your creation?
‘I was inspired by leather – an iconic symbol of Trussardi’s heritage that is part of its DNA. Leather is masculine and sexy. It can be rough or soft, and it’s very versatile. That was the starting point for my creation combined with other fine materials able to represent Trussardi’s signature style, dynamism and tradition.
It’s been fascinating, almost like being in a movie! Adrenaline, motorcycles, sports cars, a classy environment, Italian landscapes, family warmth, and the beauty of the Trussardi tradition. Everything inspired me in this sophisticated yet dynamic world, which I interpreted by using the finest materials and latest technologies, such as the innovative Jungle Essence that was part of the uniqueness of my creation.’ How do you describe the head notes?
‘A burst of freshness and pure energy, thanks to the sparkling notes of Italian citrus fruits and crisp undertones of green apple.’ And the heart?
‘It is a modern interpretation of style, where elegant traditional masculine elements such as geranium, violet leaves and lavender are reinterpreted from a different approach to the Jungle Essence technique that provides a subtler version of the lavender flower.’ On the dry down…
‘It is the quintessence of Trussardi’s trademark elements: precious woods like vetiver for refinement, soft leather for its unmistakable quality and tradition, and a hint of tonka bean for sensuality.’ Why was tonka bean used in the base?
‘It’s sensual, warm, and smooth with an addictive touch that blends perfectly with the vibrancy of woods and the texture of leather. I couldn’t ask for anything better to complete the fragrance and make it a stylish tool for seduction.’
How do you define Riflesso?
‘The Italian lifestyle: an ability to enjoy life with class and enthusiasm…’
Trussardi Riflesso from £47 for 30ml eau de toilette
Exclusively at Debenhams
Written by Suzy Nightingale
Jean Paul Gaultier has never been a designer to shy away from the risqué, the clothing and fragrances both reflecting his cheeky *wink wink* personality, and everything – from Madonna’s infamous ‘cone bra’ to ground-breaking perfume ads showing same-sex couples kissing – show his exuberant attitude to life and utter delight in creating provocative statement pieces.
The corset-clad bottles of his first female fragrance, Classique, have become true icons in the flacon Hall of Fame, with the scent itself more than standing the test of time by reinventing the curvaceous torso bottle with seasonal changes of wardrobe, so to speak, as highly collectible limited edition bottles and ramped-up versions of the original juice.
Now, Jean Paul Gaultier are launching a brand new fragrance with legs of its own – literally. We think the high-kicking limbs atop the Scandal bottle are rather reminiscent of the once banned cancan dancers at the Folies Bergère, don’t you?
‘Jean Paul Gaultier knew how to disrupt, only he could create… Scandal! The fragrance of a woman who is free and strong. First Gaultier gave us the corset dressed torso bottles; now here are the legs! ‘
Perfumer Daphné Bugey worked with Fabrice Pellegrin and Christophe Raynaud to create ‘…a perfume that could entirely embody day and night,’ fusing blood orange, honey, patchouli and gardenia to a musky base reflecting the light and shade found in ‘the endless fun of Paris.’ At first the gardenia shines through, diffusing the honey as though backlit by golden sunshine and punctuated with the darkly glimmering juice of a fleshy blood orange. As the sun dips lower, the patchouli comes out to play, weaving a honeyed, chypre trail that still billows with the gardenia’s flirtatiousness.
‘The heart of this fragrance is about life. In the daytime, it is a gourmand, fresh honey with a floral heart of Gardenia and the sparkling hook of Blood Orange. At night it is a sensual and seductive honey blended with the woody base of patchouli.’
The advertising campaign is suitably saucy, mixing sex and politics (how very French!) featuring model Vanessa Axente playing a character who apparently leads a rather scandalous double life…
‘By day, our Madam Minister is consumed in serious matters, head buried in her highly confidential files. By night, she creates her own classified, private files. Two worlds that should have remained separate… until the day the paparazzi snapped the picture that flooded the social networks … Scandal!‘
Jean Paul Gaultier Scandal from £44.50 for 30ml eau de parfum
Buy it at The Perfume Shop
Written by Suzy Nightingale
Gucci have been blowing us away with their fabulously opulent catwalk collections, and now continue that trend with the launch of their sumptuous new scent, Gucci Bloom…
The first fragrance developed under the complete control of Gucci’s Creative Director, Alessandro Michele, this is a lusciously modern white floral we couldn’t wait to get our noses on. Alessandro Michele says: ‘I wanted a rich white floral fragrance, a courageous scent that transports you to a vast garden filled with many flowers and plants, a bouquet of abundance. The garden is as beautiful as women are; colourful, wild, diverse, where there is everything. Gucci Bloom smells of this garden in order to travel to a place that is not there.’
So what does it smell like? Well it’s gloriously soaring right from the first spritz, with the mysterious scent of the (exclusive to Gucci, as far as we know) note of Rangoon Creeper – a white flower that only opens at dusk, gradually transforming to pink and finally a deep, blood red. A sparkling bouquet of tuberose and juicy jasmine garland the fragrance throughout, before soft musk slowly rolls in to billow beguilingly…
Now, feast your eyes on the eye-poppingly gorgeous mini-film – and if the sun’s not shining where you are right now, we’re sure you’ll feel a virtual glow.
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!
At the turn of the century, violets would be carried as hand-tied posies by fashionable ladies about town, given as tokens of regard by prospective lovers and treasured for their elegant and discreet connotations of love. In the past few decades, we have perhaps come to think of violets as a bit stuffy, a little fuddy-duddy as fragrances to wear now. Get ready to change your opinion, however, for the house of Berdoues have come to waft a new wave of contemporary vivaciousness, with Millésmme Fleur Violette.
Far from the ‘shrinking violets’ we may think of, or perhaps the famous sugared sweeties that tasted of perfume, violet is beloved by perfumers, who will tell you that although the majority of the flowers aren’t scented, just crumple those glossy green leaves and you’ll be met by a juicy, tender scent they adore to use in modern re-tellings of the violet’s story…
Paying homage to the delicacy of the plant, Berdoues Violette is part of their Collection Grand Crus – extra special ingredients celebrated in fragrant form. A raw material that’s both delicate and fragile, violet has been inspiring the perfumers of this historic house since 1902.Berdoues say: ‘The fragrance is a bold, modern expression of the leaf of the French violet, magnified by blending Iris from China with Patchouli from Indonesia. In 2017, Sophie Berdoes, from the fourth generation of the family, wanted to bring Violette into the here nd now. She dreamt of a powdery, contemporary and chic violet, more lifelike than its fairytale forebear.’
Brilliant nose Benoist Lapouza was chosen to compose this ‘here and now’ violet, and can we just say that the ceramic bottle addorned with bold strokes of violet paint and topped with a vintage-style atomiser is just drop-dead dressing table worthy. Oh my!
Not that it’s all about the bottle, for the fragrance itself is both softly cocooning and cut through with a citrus zest to lift the powder to a fizzy, almost sherbert like sensation when spritzed. Swirled throughout with supple, suede-like iris and warmed by a base of ultra-smooth patchouli and vetiver – think uber-cool Parisian chic but the kind of person who wears a Victorian style Alexander McQueen jacket with their favourite pair of jeans, or a suede jacket nochalantly thrown over a couture gown. Basically, the kind of gal we’d like to be. But dapper dandies must absolutely try this on their skin, too – we adore a gent who dares to wear a floral with style, and this is definitely shareable.
Berdoues Violette £110 for 100ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Harvey Nichols
Written by Suzy Nightingale
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