Greece is the word: Diptyque’s mythologically inspired Eau de Minthé

Diptyque were inspired by an ancient Greek myth on the concept of metamorphosis for Eau de Minthé – a perfect starting point for this fragrant collaboration of the house’s director of marketing and product creation Myriam Badault alongside perfumer Fabrice Pellegrin, and a completely new twist on mint and the Fougère family.

Diptyque say the scent ‘…reinvents an emblematic perfumery accord, fougère, by drawing on the scent of mint. At the very heart of the composition, its aromatic freshness enhances the lively floral notes of geranium while the patchouli confers profound depth.’

In fact, completely forget everything you think you know about mint – we get the name from a Greek myth’s nymph – who Badault was inspired by, because ‘I like to tell stories and share my discoveries, mythology and ancient times are among our strong inspirations, and we found this very nice story about the nymph Minthé and her love affair with Hadès.’

Diptyque are known for their fabulously evocative visual style, often collaborating with artists to bring their fragrances alive, and for Eau de Minthé, Badult knew exactly who to choose. ‘I have a whole collection of comics based on myths,’ she explained, ‘the young author is Clotilde Bruneau. We asked her to write the storyboard of the film. It was a very enriching experience.’

Having watched the beautifully illustrated movie (above), we urge you to seek out this surprisingly complex take on mint, that we feel can be enjoyed whatever the weather. Herbaceously creamy swirls are stirred into the dappled shade of a traditional fougère structure and infused with a genderless, contemporary edge of thorny rose oxide. Cool as a long cold drink on a hot day, crisp as the first touch of frost on green leaves, the verdant notes swoon to skin-warmed whispers of soft muskiness that delight the whole day through.

Diptyque Eau de Minthé £120 for 75ml eau de parfum diptyqueparis.com

By Suzy Nightingale

 

 

Meet the Jo Malone London Gent – John Boyega

Following in the footsteps of the ‘Jo Malone London Girls’ –  Poppy Delevingne and Karen Elson – get ready to greet the new fragrant face and ‘Jo Malone London Gent‘: London born movie star, John Boyega.

Jean-Guillaume Trottier, Global President of Jo Malone London, explained they chose Boyega because, as a ‘…born and bred Londoner, John is intelligent, inclusive and witty. He shares our core values of generosity and creativity and is unafraid to speak his mind. His vivacity and whole-heartedness make him a wonderful fit with Jo Malone London and I am delighted to welcome him to the family.’

The boy from Peckham’s done well, that’s for sure: from recieving BAFTA’s 2016 Rising Star Award and the Chopard Trophy at Cannes, Boyega captured worldwide attention for his starring role as Finn, forst in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (which happens to be the highest-grossing US film of all time), and again in Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (the highest grossing film, worldwide, of all time).

But it’s not just the big-hitters he’s known for, as Boyega has also graced indie smashhits such as Detroit and Attack the Block, now bringing his vibrancy, vigour and versatillity to the proudly homegrown brand, and along with redefining what it means to be a contempirary gent right now, Jo Malone London say he ‘mirrors our scents which always accentuate the surprising and the bold. Whilst known for being a huge presence and personality, Boyega himself values understatement and originality in scent.’

And we’re sure you’re going to want to know this gent better, so are delighted to share with you a Q&A, below, as well as a sneak peek at his first film for Jo Malone London…

What made you join the Jo Malone London Family?

John Boyega: ‘I love the creativity and storytelling element of Jo Malone London. It’s something I resonate with, it’s how I work best: with discussion, collaboration and down to earth honesty. Jo Malone London always delivers unexpected and unique ingredient choices and scents. It’s refined, but it’s surprising too. My life is the same, a subtle contradiction: my job, my profession, and then I still come home to this town, I still go to the supermarket late at night in my pyjamas. In some ways, everything’s changed, but then again nothing has.’

What is your relationship to scent?

‘Scent is part of my everyday style. My personal style is quite casual but I like to mix it up with interesting fits with Japanese influenced jackets, fitted trousers and chains. I like that I can change up my scent to suit my style. I’m guilty, I like to layer my fragrance. You can make some really interesting smells. If my life was a bottle of cologne it would be called: Conflicts and Success. A new Boyega line.’

What is your first memory of scent?

‘My first job was before school, I would deliver post, milk and sweets. And then I used to sell a bit at school. Sell a little bit of candies, Rockies, Haribo’s. So, my childhood smells like those old school sweets, those drumsticks, gobstoppers, spicy soup.’

What Jo Malone London products would you recommend?

Bronze Wood & Leather Cologne Intense is a solid favourite. It’s a really good scent. I like to wear it on a day-to-day basis. It doesn’t attract too much attention, but at the same time it gets people looking and smelling.
I also like a bit of oud; oud is a lovely smell.’

What do you look for in a script?

‘I look for a number of things in a script. But for me, the main thing is the character arc. I don’t want my character to begin and end the movie the same. I want a change, something different. Something that happens with the character, that means you have to go on an interesting journey with him.’

What’s your favourite part of being on set?

‘My favourite part about being on set is collaborating with the people. I’ve always watched films and never had clarity in my younger days on how the magic starts and is created. So, to be a part of that and witness it is the biggest rush.’

What is something you didn’t expect about being famous?

‘One thing I didn’t expect about being famous is the fact that some things don’t change. Sometimes you have to wait in the queue like everyone else and that’s fine. I mean, I guess I got told so many things about being famous I thought that everything was going to change for me. But I still go shopping late at night in my PJ’s. Nothing’s really changed.’

What wouldn’t you go a day without?

‘I won’t go a day without wearing a comfortable pair of socks. It doesn’t matter if they’re different socks because sometimes in the wash, things get confusing. But as long as they’re both comfortable. I’m cool. I also wear scent every day.’

What do you miss most about England when you’re not here?

‘Sometimes I miss the weather, because I want to put on a jacket. And not always be surrounded by blue skies and sun. I miss the moody faces, I can’t lie, there’s something about the reality and honesty that I like. I just miss London, I miss home.’

What’s the first thing you do when you get back to London?

‘The first thing I do is take a drive. I go back around South London, then drive around Crystal Palace, all the way around Dulwich, go down to Brixton. Just go for a drive, get the feel of the city, see what’s going on. Put the radio on. I just catch a vibe.’

So now, settle down, and get ready to see the Jo Malone Gent in action! (If you happen to have a bottle of Bronze Wood & Leather Cologne Intense nearby, you could always spray that all over for some multi-sensory cinema action, as now at least we know his current favourite fragrance…)

So for his latest – scented – starring role, expect to see Boyega further ‘navigate new territory, celebrating Britishness, storytelling and fragrance as he takes on a new kind of spotlight as the first Jo Malone London Gent.’

Cinematic scents

Many famous faces have graced the mini-films of fragrance adverts over the years – for some, their first acting role, for others a moment of evoking the ethos of the house at the very peak of their fame. But did you know several fragrance adverts over the years have also been directed by famous names?

Settle back in your velveteen seats, grab some popcorn and let’s go to the scented cinema…

Sofia Coppola (nominated for Best Director for Lost in Translation in 2003) directed this advert for Miss Dior Cherie, featuring Natalie Portman. Super-stylish, it confirms Coppola’s lifelong appreciation of haute couture, and perhaps evokes her visually stunning film Marie Antoinette in its old-world baroque splendour.

Wes Anderson and son of legendary director Francis Ford Coppola, Roman Coppola, had previously worked together on films like The Darjeeling Limited and Moonrise Kingdom. Here, they made three short adverts (comprising one longer film) for Prada Candy L’Eau fragrance. An homage to the French New Wave, the visual aesthetic is pure Wes Anderson, and were fully gripped by the classic ‘two men in love with one woman’ storyline
.

This Chanel short film for Coco Mademoiselle saw Keira Knightly and director Joe Wright teaming up for the fourth time – they’ve also worked together in Atonement, (for which, Wright was nominated in 2008 for Best Director), Pride & Prejudice, and Anna Karenina. Just so beautifully lit, the colours and cleverly composed shots look like poetry on the screen.

Renowned surrealist director David Lynch surprised the fragrance and film worlds alike by directing this advert for Yves Saint Laurent Opium in the early 90s. Spanish model Nastassia Urbano stars, with a striking resemblance to Ingrid Bergman (and her daughter, Isabella Rossellini, who was to star in his 1986 hot movie, Blue Velvet). All the hallmarks of sensuality are there, along with a visual deconstruction/seduction of a body on film.

Comic book writer turned film maker, Frank Miller, uses his iconic deliberately over-stylised look (very reminiscent of Sin City) to great effect in his advert for Gucci Guilty. Starring Evan Rachel Wood and Chris Evans, inky blackness and searing white light are juxtaposed to create a highly sophisticated homage to film noir.

Fragrance and film feature strongly in The Scented Letter‘s recent Perfume & Culture edition, too, in Lights, Camera, Aldehydes!, award-winning blogger and author Persolaise was inspired by his twin passions for film and fragrance – matching some of his favourite fragrances to the films he chose to watch. And in Perfuming a Part, I lift the velvet curtain on the actors and film directors who use fragrance as a tool to create a mood or get into a role…

The Scented Letter Perfume & Culture edition £15 / £12.50 for VIP Club members.

By Suzy Nightingale

Recreating ‘Perfume: The Story of a Murderer’

Occasionally, you’re scrolling through Instagram and something particularly catches your eye. Today it was, firstly, a still from the magnificent film adaptation of Patrick Süsskind’s Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. And secondly, the rather intriguing text beneath…

‘Sexy gingers wanted!’ Redheads all around the world, we are looking for you! Mediamatic is looking for sexy gingers who let us extract their scent during Playhouse: Sex S(m)ells! Inspired by Patrick Süsskind’s ‘Perfume: The Story of a Murderer’ we will recreate the perfume from the book. Interested and not afraid of people inhaling your smell? E-mail to: [email protected]

Well now. In the novel (and resulting film adaptation) of Perfume, the protagonist, Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, is born with an extraordinary sense of smell. Those of you who have read the book or seen the film will be aware that his methods of capturing people’s scents are rather, um, murder-y, as the title may suggest. Lest potential volunteers are put off by this, the Institute for Art and Olfaction add a helpful footnote:

‘The redheads don’t actually need to be sexy, but exhibitionism is a must. We’re going to attempt Jean-Baptiste Grenouille’s experiments, minus the murder!’

So that’s reassuring!

Earlier this year, the Art and Olfaction team arrived in London for their annual Award ceremony, celebrating independent and artisanal perfumers and artists who work with the sense of smell. Prior to the awards, there were many workshops, talks and performances taking place in Los Angeles, where the IAO are based, culminating in an Experimental Scent Summit in London, which we were delighted to take part in. The next award ceremony (2019) will be in Amsterdam, and ahead of this the IAO team will be taking up residence for the next month. As they explain…

Mediamatic and the institute for Art and Olfaction Team up for a summer program exploring innovative topics around olfaction. Over the course of a month, the IAO Los Angeles team will be in residence at Mediamatic in the first part of an ongoing research and programme on open scent culture and olfactory art.

Join us in our Aroma Lab for perfume blending workshops, follow our live on-site podcast production, learn about sex smells and join our aromatic game show, or a range of other activities presented by the IAO’s Los Angeles-based team.’

We can’t wait to see what they produce. Would you be brave enough to volunteer to have your scent ‘extracted’? We’re thinking it would certainly make for a unique ‘What I Did On My Summer Holiday’ diary entry, if nothing else!

Written by Suzy Nightingale

 

Enjoy a little #takeyourchance film-fest from Chanel

‘Take a chance on me / that’s all I ask of you honey’ sang ABBA, and many millions of perfume lovers have fallen for the charms of Chanel’s Chance since it was first launched in 2003. Created by Jaques Polge, this ‘unexpected floral’ is distinctive from the iconic, chunky bottles of previous fragrances, the round bottle representing a wheel of fortune, for ‘…to be lucky, you have to take a Chance.’

But did you know there are four differing versions to choose your own Chance?

Chanel have now revealed the new Chance campaign for 2018: a series of four delightfully playful mini-films, offering an invitation to ‘take your chance’, each film starring a vibrantly contemporary woman – highlighting the four differing facets of the fragrance, depending which version you plump for.

‘4 fragrances, 4 colours, 4 states of mind represented by 4 women’ say Chanel. So now, the only question remains: which Chance will you take…?

WITH ANGELA YUEN TAKE YOUR CHANCE
‘With CHANCE EAU TENDRE, a floral-fruity fragrance that blends the grapefruit-quince accord with the softness of jasmine and the smoothness of white musk notes, Angela Yuen is the epitome of delicateness. Originally from Hong Kong, the talented 23-year-old actress currently stars in the film The White Girl, directed by Jenny Suen.’

Watch the interview here

Chance Eau Tendre from £62 for 50ml eau de toilette

WITH SELAH MARLEY LIVE YOUR CHANCE
‘With CHANCE, this floral fragrance that blends pink pepper, jasmine and ambery patchouli, Selah Marley shines with optimism. Daughter of singer Lauryn Hill, the 19-year-old American model is a frequent figure at CHANEL events and walked the runway for the Paris-Cosmopolite Collection.’

Watch the interview here 

Chanel Chance from £62 for 50ml eau de toilette

WITH BELEN CHAVANNE FOLLOW YOUR CHANCE
‘With CHANCE EAU FRAÎCHE, this floral-sparkling fragrance that melds notes of citron, jasmine and teak wood, Belen Chavanne is bursting with freshness. The 28-year-old model and actress from Argentina is regularly seen at CHANEL events and is a loyal fan of the House.’

Watch the interview here

Chance Eau Fraîche from £62 for 50ml eau de toilette

WITH LILY NEWMARK INVENT YOUR CHANCE
‘With CHANCE EAU VIVE, this floral-zesty fragrance stirred by the vivifying notes of grapefruit and blood orange, Lily Newmark’s vitality is contagious. The 22-year-old Anglo-American film and television actress currently stars in the film Pin Cushion, which competed at the Cannes Film Festival and was directed by Deborah Haywood. She can also be seen in the 2018 film Born a King directed by Agustí Villaronga.’

Watch the interview here

Chance Eau Vive from £62 for 50ml eau de toilette

Buy them all at chanel.com

Shot in the stunning Italian city of Venice, the films were directed by award-winning Canadian director Eva Michon, and there’s even a dedicated CHANCE CHANEL channel (try saying that quickly ten times!) set up on Instagram @chancechanel , where you can join in the celebrations by following #TAKEYOURCHANCE and #CHANCECHANEL

Want to know more about the fascinating history of Chanel’s perfumes (and how they changed the face of fragrance?) Read our page dedicated to Chanel’s perfumes

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Do you Cinéhaïku? Enter the MEMO Paris weekly poetic short film competition to win $500 or $10,000!

Cinematically inclined scent-o-philes are encouraged to indulge their creativity with a plunge in to the world of short films… As Clara Molloy, founder of MEMO Paris perfumes breezed through town, today, to launch Eau de Memo (watch this space!), she told us all about a rather exciting competition that we know many of our artistic readership would love to get involved
MEMO Paris perfumes have established a weekly competition of poetic films – merely between 20 and 30 seconds in length, yet expressing timeless stories far deeper than the actual time frame may suggest. Through MEMO’s dedicated Cinéhaïku website, film directors both amateur and professional are invited to express themselves through a simple exercise: adapt the rules of haiku to an audiovisual format.
So what, exactly, is a Haiku? Well, Jack Kerouac put it as ‘A sentence that’s short and sweet with a sudden jump of thought in it, is a kind of haiku,’ though if you want a more in-depth description, there are countless websites dedicated to the art and history of this poetic medium. But how to translate this in to a short film? The rules to follow are on the Cinéhaiku competition page under how to participate, but basically it’s a 20-30 second snippet of something that ‘captures a lived moment.’

Each week, from March 6 to June 29, 2017, a winner will be chosen by Cinéhaïku members and awarded a $500 prize. The prize-winning films are then automatically entered into the Cinéhaïku Festival to compete for the annual prize. The overall winner of the year’s best Cinéhaïku will be invited to France to receive a quite incredible $10,000 prize awarded by a professional jury selected from the world of art, film and literature, and the winner will also be given a separate, dedicated space in the festival.
Cinéhaïku say: ‘The annual Cinéhaïku festival will showcase all of the weekly winning films at a temporary exhibition held from July 7 to 21, 2017 throughout the town of Gordes, in the Luberon region of southern France. The Cinéhaïkus will be broadcast on screens along an aesthetic trail, providing festival-goers with a true moment of poetry suspended in time.’
Our film would just have to be about perfume and the sense of smell, of course – but what would you haiku…?
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Sarah Baker fuses art, film & fragrance in a decadent soap opera feast for the senses. Watch the film and smell the perfumes…

London-based artist Sarah Baker is fascinated in the cult of celebrity, depictions of glamour and the extravagent shoulder-pads-at-dawn dramas played out in American soap operas. Though Baker’s career has thus far mainly revolved around making her own films, in to this heady mix of art and film she wanted to weave another layer of storytelling  – this time through the medium of scent.
Working with the prestigious Institute of Art and Olfaction in Los Angeles, Sarah Baker began to develop her own perfume line, collaborating with renowned perfumers, with Baker overseeing production from her East London Studio and the four fragrances finally launching at a decadent art show/party in December. Says Baker, ‘Each perfume is inspired by luxurious fashion motifs that evoke lavish scenes; while gazing at the printed bottles and smelling the perfumes, one could, for instance, be instantaneously transported onto the deck of a yacht in the Mediterranean….’
Sarah Baker Perfumes take us on a journey from the fizzing ozonic freshness of grapefruit and hedoine’s cooling breeze in Greek Keys, to the frankincense, florals and castoreum ferocious animalic growl (underpinned by fuzzy fur) in Leopard. Taking a softer turn, we have milky musk, coconut, vanilla and an ambrox sexiness of bare skin glimpsed in Lace; finishing with the full-on smokiness of open fires, heather-strewn hills, leather, hops and tobacco of Tartan. An eclectic and genuinely evocative collection, the Greek Keys and Leopard were made by perfumer Ashley Eden Kessler; Lace and Tartan by 4160 Tuesdays very own Sarah McCartney. At once enlivening, challenging and comforting – they are all a true feast for the senses.
Sarah Baker Perfumes are currently £60 for 50ml eau de parfum, and available at sarahbakerperfumes.com
The worlds of film, fashion and fragrance are set to collide this Saturday, with the showing of Baker’s 2013 film Impirioso the story of a wealth and fame obsessed fashion heiress who murders her husband when he sells the family fashion business, in the style of an ultra-glam 80s mini tv series.
And vital news for fragrance fanatics – you’ll be able to smell all the perfumes following the film. Sarah Baker explains that, in fact, ‘…Impirioso is actually the artwork which inspired me to make perfumes. It’s not about perfumes at all, it’s about a woman who murders her husband (based on Patrizia Reggiani) . Instead of using Gucci documentary/biopic-style I created a fake fashion brand “Rocco Rosso” and with it the logo and costumes, hats, home wares. It inspired me to finally make a real product, I had always wanted to produce a perfume, and that’s when I started working with Saskia from Institute for Art and Olfaction.’
You can watch the trailer for the film by clicking here
After the screening you’ll be guided across the road to Storefront – the installation where Baker’s perfumes are displayed, for smelling, wine and chats. It all sounds gloriously glamorous, and, even better – tickets for Impirioso are FREE, but booking is required.
The Hat Factory Arts Centre, Luton
Saturday 14 January
4.30pm
Trains run regularly from St Pancras Station and it’s a 1 min walk to the screening from Luton Station.
Written by Suzy Nightingale