An absolutely darling Diptyque 34 Boutique pops up at Liberty

This morning (22nd September), the Perfume Society gang was lucky enough to see the preview of Diptyque’s lovely pop-up store in Liberty.
Reminiscent of how they first started out –as a ‘bazaar’, with links to fabrics and design –creativity was abounding in the room.
As they tell us: ‘Diptyque has always fostered a passion for objects with a soul. As soon as the first store opened at 34 Boulevard Saint Germain in Paris, the founders – Christiane Gautrot, Desmond Knox-Leet and Yves Coueslant – displayed their surprising finds side by side with their original upholstery fabrics. Italian glass bead necklaces, hand-sewn change purses, potpourris blended according to the owners’ changing inspirations…’ (And with Liberty having started in the same way, it’s a natural ‘home’ for this lifestyle pop-up.)
They had a host of new innovative products just bursting with gorgeousness, so we’re going to give you a quick run down…

La Madeleine

The new candle – with a scent composed by Fabrice Pellegrin –  is inspired by the little lemon-y cakes from Cazelle Bakery, a Parisian bakery founded in 1905. Apparently their famed madeleines are mouthwateringly delicious, ‘A simple sponge cake that’s so irresistible even the raw, melted butter dough gets your taste buds dancing’, is how Diptyque put it. And the candle smells just so, all citrus-y, creamy vanillas – practically edible.
La Madeleine candle £55 for 220g
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Carrousel

Now this has got to be one of the cutest, most delicate examples of prettiness we’ve seen this year. It’s an object that adds life to a candle’s flame: the stand – with its intricate metal bird cut-outs – sits atop any 70g candle, and once the wick is lit the heat generates a current of air that makes the stand turn slowly. The birds dance around the candle and their playful shadows are projected: a small wonder to amaze both adult and child.
Carrousel (limited edition) £30
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Essences Insensées 2016

Every year since the launch of their successful Collection 34, Diptyque have created a scent based on a particular floral harvest. In 2016, the fields of May roses in Grasse were exceptionally abundant, inspiring Fabrice Pellegrin to create a scent bursting with petals from the Centifolia rose,  sweetened by accents of honey and red fruits. Whoever declared rose ‘boring’ clearly had yet to sniff this delight.
Essences Insensées 2016 £105 for 120ml eau de parfum
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Reflet

A beautiful object that creates a glow around your candle like no other. A round plate of oxidised mirror sits behind the candle, giving the flame a hypnotic, mesmerising, malachite halo. It was inspired by the back wall at the 34 Boulevard Saint Germain store (also made of oxidised mirror) and adds an enchanting element to the ritual of lighting a candle.
Reflet candle holder (limited edition) £110
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Fabrics

Long before Diptyque was ever known for their fragrance, they were renowned for the upholstery fabrics designed by the founders themselves. Taking inspiration from the fabric archives, illustrator Charlotte Gastaut created contemporary interpretations of the brand’s original designs – and let us tell you, they’ve never looked more at home than in Liberty. Available in pillow covers, fabric totes and pouches.
Pillow cover (limited edition) £50
Pouches (limited edition) £28
Fabric tote (limited edition) £35
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The Diptyque Liberty pop-up will be open until Christmas 2016
 

BYREDO's 'Unnamed' perfume – the scent you can call your own (and now create your bespoke ad campaign!)

If you have ever dreamed of a perfumer naming their creation after you or wanted a tounchingly bespoke gift for a loved one, BYREDO have come up with the genius idea of leaving the label of ‘Unnamed‘ completely blank – so you can call it whatever you like! Tapping in to the hot trend of personalisation, the bottle comes with a Letraset sheet of transfer letters to rub on, and really the only limit is your own imagination…
Ben Gorham, Founder and Creative Director of BYREDO, explained: ‘The names of the BYREDO fragrances often describe the origin of an idea, a thought that leads to a brief presented to the perfumer. With fragrance being completely subjective these names spark the imagination of the perfumer and finally the customer. They each experience the fragrance even before they smell the ingredients in the bottle. We still find it fascinating that people interpret our fragrances in so many ways.’
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Ben continues, ‘To celebrate BYREDO’s 10 year anniversary we created an unnamed fragrance that allows our customers to choose a name meaningful to them, and customize the label of their bottle. This is our way of celebrating the notion and uniqueness of smell and an opportunity to thank our partners, retailers and staff as well as the loyal customers who have supported and grown BYREDO to what it is today.’
Of course we absolutely had to give ours an eponymous name…
And what of the scent itself? A blend of warm pink pepper and an icy cool gin accord, the shade of a pine forest evoked with iris roots blanketed by moss, rivulets of spice-sprinkled fruits trickling through verdant undergowth and underpinned by the soft trail of frosty woods.
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Now you can even go online and create your own ad campaign to celebrate the launch of ‘your’ fragrance. What would yours be called, and who will you choose as the ‘face’…?
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BYREDO Unnamed £90 for 50ml eau de parfum
At Liberty
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Aether perfumes – time to stop and smell the molecular roses…

When is a rose not a rose….?

Niche perfumery can sometimes fall in to the very tropes they so desperately try to avoid – highlighting expensive, natural ingredients and hiding, or at least not announcing, the incredible molecular technology (often just as expensive as raw ingredients) at play in the majority of perfumes we have been falling in love with since the early 19th Century. Part of the problem is the language involved – ‘synthetic’ just doesn’t sound sexy. But these clever molecules add depth, space and longevity to fragrance – ultimately, some being as complex and multi-faceted as several hundred ingredients mixed together at once. While of course the perfume industry still celebrates the multitude and quality of naturals, it’s vital – now, more than ever – to educate ourselves on, and stop being squeamish about, the modern methods of extracting and shaping these invisible bubbles of pleasure.

The just-launched Aether perfumes are unique – a wardrobe of fragrances dedicated to paying tribute to synthetic molecules – while showcasing their elegance, diversity and ability to convey distinct and intricate emotional messages through scent. Offering a new way to experience fragrance for we beings who so desperately cling to known and expected smells, the collection is an eye-opening (nostril-widening?) demonstration of how molecules are not something to hitch up your petticoats and stand on a chair (in the manner of a Tom & Jerry cartoon) in fear of. Far from it – these are scents we know somehow, emotionally, if not by name alone – could many people automatically bring to mind the smell of Cetalox or Oxane?

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©Roberto Greco

Under the creative guidance and artistic direction of Nicolas Chabot – perhaps best known for his rescuing and reinvigorating of the heritage house Le Galion – perfumers Amélie Borgeois and Anne-Sophie Behaghel have created five fragrances that break the boundaries of “known” smells, crafting ‘egoless perfumes, creative atmospheres where everything is delightfully extravagant, whimsical, playful…’

Aether say: ‘If each molecule has a rather distinctive smell, who could guess exactly what the smell of the aldehyde C12 or ISO E Super would be? Sometimes a shimmering bubble and sometimes dazzling beauty, the molecule – this almost nothing in infinity – is the sacred young muse of the collection. At ÆTHER, no flower-show or flight of lyricism around the historically traditional raw material; rather the evocation of metallic vegetation, unknown woods, imperceptible sounds, moments to come … These scents of imperial fancy do not envy the wake of others, but prefer a luminous halo, a magical ring, an aura of humor and mystery…’

Closing your eyes, forgetting what you think you know and allowing the fragrance and sensation to wash over you is the pleasure, here. And what pleasures there are in store…

Muskethanol: ‘A semblance of realism: a handful of golden sand poured in alcohol (damascenone) that starts to glow, as if by magic, a thousands sequins, a silver shimmer similar to the sea. The disturbing impression of sand that has been rendered almost abstract. A sand of steel, futuristic, perhaps from another world (cetalox, muscone).’

Ether Oxide: ‘Far away, very far away, you vaguely smell a beautiful fresh and contemporary wood; closer, there is strange “ether accord” (ethyl acetate), a sort of gentle steam, which approaches the skin like a breath of burning wood (ambroxan, ISO E Super). An emanation of love. “And if peace had a smell?” She asked me, a little worried. “It might be like this” I replied.’

Rose Alcane: ‘One could imagine it so textured, so vivid, so real (Rose Oxyde). Beautiful flower in a cowhide. A rose for girl and boys who do not love roses madly, but who do not hate to be surprised. Through beautiful floral mechanics, the miracle of alchemy transforms, right under your nose, a super fresh rosebud into a metallic flower.’

Aether
©Roberto Greco

Citrus Ester: ‘One of those days that seems to stretch out forever, and you are not quite sure there is going to be a second. The moment quivers with energy. An energy ghost, bright (methyl grapefruit) and caring, tinged with a slight taste of primordial fruit (firascone, rhubafurane). Life, the beginnings of life.’

Carboneum: ‘The dreams of a child: the man in a diving suit resurfacing from the ocean wrung out by the waves, before being propelled into space by a magnetic force. A strange harmony representing neoprene (Benzoate Methyl, Sudéral, Timbérol)! One also smells the texture of foam, a little rough (Globanone). The next night it had the same dream.’

We admit we’re very excited by Aether and their unashamed celebration of molecular fragrance beauty – an art form, yes, but not for art’s sake alone: each of them are totally wearable (and sharable) by even the most molecularly-inexperienced fragrance lover.

Forget what your nose thinks it knows – about rose, or any other scent, and give in to curiosity…

Aether perfumes £140 for 100ml eau de parfum
Buy them at Liberty

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Häagen-Dazs limited edition floral-themed ice creams at Liberty London (well we HAD to try them, for research, didn’t we…?)

We’re well known for supporting innovative ways of incorporating scent into our everyday lives – with perfume (obvs) but also frgrancing our homes and enjoying perfume in all its myriad ways of enriching our experiences of almost anything. So of course when we heard about Häagen-Dazs releasing a limited edition Spring collection of ‘floral-themed’ ice creams exclsuive to Liberty, we just had to go and taste for ourselves. It’s reasearch, darling! Also our offices are right next door, and it’s nice to make time to go and see your neighbours, right?

Häagen-Dazs say: ‘Häagen-Dazs Lychee Raspberry Rose is a fragrant delight that is a perfect balance of aromatic rose, sweet lychee and intense raspberry, whilst Apricot Lavender is a delightful combination of fruit and aroma, blended to refresh and relax. In keeping with the Häagen-Dazs quality gold standard, both varieties are made from a base of only four kitchen-friendly ingredients: fresh cream, real milk, sugar and free-range eggs.’

PINT LRR_3DHaving taken over the iconic Carnaby Street window of Liberty’s (see main picture) with a stunning floral display designed by Rebecca Louise Law, a bespoke flower-installation artist based in London’s Columbia Road – a bevvy of blossoms entice floral fans within to celebrate the launch, and we were willing to be enticed, let’s admit it.

Attention to detail is everything with both brands, and so the union of Liberty and Häagen-Dazs resulted in really pretty illustrted tubs being specially comissioned and designed by Jardins de Babylone – a team of botanical artists from Paris – so they make a perfect match for their salubrious surroundings.

What did our research reaveal…? Well, we’re pleased to report the floral notes are subtle enough to be distinctive without at all tasting like you’re ‘eating perfume’ – it’s a whispered hint on the palate and perfectly balanced by the creaminess and cleansing slivers of fresh fruit. After extensive testing, the office team are slightly favouring the Apricot/Lavender combination; though we may have to test again, just to be really sure which our favourite is…

PINT AL_3DThe Häagen-Dazs Little Gardens range is available exclusively at Liberty London (Regent Street, W1B 5AH) at an RRP of £5.95. They’re available for the next couple of weeks only while stocks last – but we suggest you get your [ice-cream] skates on, for as you may imagine, they’re proving very popular…

To find out more, visit Häagen-Dazs.co.u

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Etro to weave a touch of luxury with Shantung at Liberty

Etro are one of those word-of-mouth fragrance ranges doing marvellous things under the radar – interesting perfumes beautifully packaged, but whispering about their charms rather than shouting from the rooftops.

Inspired by and named for exotic regions, traditional patterns and luxurious fabrics, they are whimsically unique poetic perfumes and fit perfectly into the brand’s fashion-led history of delicately intricate yet impactful designs.

Etro say: ‘A textile of words, a landscape of colours, a whisper of iconic style in each perfume. Each essence evokes a new place, a new frame of mind, the rediscovery of forgotten myths and memories… a treasure trove of associations, words, colours, moments and memorable places. Abandon convention, the challenge is rediscovery: the sensuality of a floral bouquet, the nocturnal notes of wood and spice, and, above all, the unique nuances that speak to individual style. This originality and unconventionality has characterised the entire Etro perfume collection for a quarter of a century.’

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Founded by Gimmo Etro in 1968, the house is built on a lifestyle concept with exquisite materials being their mainstay, and perhaps most widely known for their use of the paisley pattern – since 1981 a motif the brand has cleaved to and made their symbol.

The latest to join the expanding fragrance collection (now burgeoning with over 25 fragrances) will be  Shantung – a symbiotic relationship with the scent being exclusive to Liberty in the UK – a store known for their love of luxurious fabrics. Inspired by the beautifully rich yet flowing silk, Etro give the scent a kind of sub-heading of ‘Fairie Flowers’ – a reference to the gossamer-light touch of peony woven through with a sheer rose, fresh mandarin, blackcurrant and cedar with the whole composition kissed by the softness of cashmere woodiness in the dry-down. Launching in the coming weeks at Liberty, we think this will be a fragrance to transition you through from Spring and right through the warmer months of Summer ahead…

Etro_Shantung
Etro Shantung £118 for 100ml eau de parfum
Exclusively in-store at Liberty

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Love Instagram? You need to know about Ulrich Lang’s Aperture Insta-comp

If you’re at all visually-minded, Instagram has probably become your favourite social medium. But now budding Mert & Marcuses (or Sam Taylor-Johnsons) can have a shot – literally – at coming up with a photo which perfectly captures the new fragrance from Ulrich Lang. And perhaps win a really terrific prize, as a result…

Ulrich Lang‘s fragrances are beautiful – but so are their ‘photographic’ boxes. This latest, with its moodily setting sun, is by rising star photographer, 20-year-old Olivia Bee. (You could call her precocious, actually: Olivia shot her first ad. campaign, for Adidas, aged just 14.)

The fragrance inside – Aperture (which is US-based Ulrich’s most sensual launch yet) – has been unveiled at Liberty, where you can enjoy smelling it for yourself. Very wearable, with an underlying sexiness, it’s a woody-spicy ‘shareable’ scent.

And Ulrich would like you to feel inspired by Aperture‘s notes, or the scent of the finished fragrance, to create a photo of your own.

Top notes: aldehydes, pink pepper, black pepper, white pepper
Heart notes: tobacco, jasmine, cedarwood, hints of lily of the valley
Base notes: musk, vetiver, ambergris, animalic notes, amber

To enter, you simply upload a photo that captures the spirit of these notes onto your Instagram account, remembering to hashtag it: #luxelibertylang

At the end of September, the top 25 photographs with the most ‘Likes’ will progress to the final judging and a short-list of Liberty‘s top five favourites, with Olivia Bee then choosing an overall winner. (The winner will be contacted in mid-October, with the news.)

Not feeling artistic? (More used to uploading pictures of your cat, or dinner…?) Why not just cast your vote by ‘Like’-ing what’s already been uploaded?

We just did…

Aperture by Ulrich Lang £125 for 100 ml eau de parfum
Try it at: Liberty

www.ulrichlangnewyork.com

Please note: You must have a high-resolution version (300dpi or higher; no smaller than 12″ x 8″) of your photograph available to send over if you win. Liberty recommend that you take a photo on a camera and then upload it to Instagram rather than taking it directly through the app. The packaging requires a horizontal format, so take a photograph with landscape orientation. Click here for more terms and conditions.

A fan of Diptyque? Liberty would like to invite you to a special event…

We’ve got a pretty hectic programme of events for The Perfume Society coming up for the Autumn (watch the EVENTS page – it includes a nationwide book tour to celebrate the very exciting launch of The Perfume Bible, and much, much more!)

But we’re always happy to steer perfume-lovers in the direction of other exciting scent events, and this one’s been organised by London’s Liberty department store. On 9th September, in the Heritage Suite (from 6-8 p.m.)

It’s the perfect setting since Diptyque (who you can read all about here) began as a sort of ‘bazaar’ on Paris’s Left Bank, before growing into the fragrance and candle brand so many of us know, love (and scent our houses and bodies with) today.

So Liberty is inviting you to experience ‘the unique identity of Diptyque through the new exclusive range – La Collection Treinte-Quatre‘… You will discover the “bazaar spirit”, which was so dear to the founders of the brand, as told by Brand Expert Adrian Miller-Yache.’ (We’ve seen the collection, and it’s utterly beautiful.)

There’s a booking fee of £35, but all guests will receive a luxurious gift on the night of the event – and the fee’s redeemable against any Diptyque product purchased on the night of the event.

You book via the Diptyque counter in Liberty +44(0)20 7734 1234 x 2483, or e-mail beautyevents@liberty.co.uk.

Written by Jo Fairley