Fragrances For… The Last of the Summer Sunshine

Last of the Summer Sunshine? Well the last few days the weather’s actually been more ‘summer’ like than it has been for several weeks! As the last days of summer slip into autumn’s more golden light, it can be hard to mark where one season ends and another begins – these fragrances are filled with a glorious luminousity that captures those gilded days and helps us cling to the sunshine a while longer…

 

 

 

GUERLAIN
Aqua Allegoria Flora Salvaggia
Who hasn’t fantasised about running through a meadow of wildflowers, wind in our hair? That’s the vibe that Guerlain seek to evoke with this second of 2021’s Aqua Allegoria, composed to conjure up the ‘poetry’ of the scent of wild flora, lifted by a drift of clean musks. We know many a collector of these Guerlain creations, who’ll be thrilled to add this gilded bottle (with its lavender-tinted juice) to their summer scent wardrobe.
From £69 for 75ml eau de toilette
guerlain.com

 

 

HOLLISTER
Canyon Escape For Her
Another trend we’re noticing in fragrances this year is a shimmering sunrise of desert-themed scents – the olfactory oasis here blooming with rose, orange blossom and dusty iris, freshened up top with juicy mandarin, blood orange and a ripple of cool cactus, smoothed beneath by cedarwood and a soft waft of musk. We imagine sun-blushed skin, floral crowns and the glamorous yet laid-back escapism of the Californian desert while sniffing this so-happy scent.
£16.50 for 100ml eau de parfum
very.co.uk 

 

NARCISO RODRIGUEZ
Narciso Eau Neroli Ambrée
Neroli is one of the most instantly sunshine-y, happy-making notes on the scentscape (we took an office poll last year, and it came out on top for evoking bright light and happy, holiday memories). The brilliant Aurélien Guichard packs pleasure into every spritz, here – a veritable whoosh of optimism, tempered with comfort, in this slinky, silky dream. Orange blossom and soft woods sigh contentedly to the so-iconic white musk trail.
£65 for 50ml eau de parfum
johnlewis.com

 

CALVIN KLEIN
Eternity Men Summer
If you couldn’t get away this year, this really feels like a holiday in a bottle. Evoking the unique air temperature of a summer’s dawn, the airy exhilaration of bergamot oil sparkles like the first fingers of sunlight illuminating the sea, the glittering waves bringing coconut water and a smooth, creamy breeze of Australian sandalwood – and you’ll be glad to know this precious ingredient was sustainably sourced. Eternity always feels like a perfect summer’s day, bottled forever.
£60 for 100ml eau de toilette
superdrug.com

 

PARFUMS DE MARLY
Greenley
A distinctly greener vibe for this much-loved niche house, bringing the feeling of a Cologne but with the benefit of far greater staying power in a concentrated eau de parfum. Bursting with citrus up top, the petitgrain grants an immediate freshness, a fruity interpretation of cashmere wood fused with crisp apple and the shady cool of violet. Amberwood ripple throughout, making this feel like a much-needed stroll through the woodlands when you need to escape.
£160 for 75ml eau de parfum
harrods.com

 

Fragrances for… comfort & protection

Sometimes we all need some extra comfort, the protection of a reassuring hug. So, if you’ve been feeling particularly anxious, over-worked or just more than usually stressed (and frankly, who can blame you?!) we suggest reaching for one of these recently released scents to help soothe your cares away in fragrant form…

 


INITIO PARFUMS Musk Therapy
Initio fragrances ‘initiate perfume as an object of power’ – a concept we very much connect with. We could all do with some therapy after the past year, and the feather-soft white musk here fluffs around the edges of magnolia (we told you last year this flower would be blooming!) Blackcurrant provides a piquant edge, immediately smoothed and soothed by the assuring purity of sandalwood. Spray whenever you need a ‘me-moment’ of escape.
£205 for 90ml eau de parfum
harrods.com

ISSEY MIYAKE A Drop d’Issey
Almost 30 years on from the launch of the iconic l’Eau d’Issey, it’s still blazing a trail. This exquisite droplet-design bottle is created from recycled glass, the outer box with 70% recycled paper, many ingredients are sourced via ethical and sustainable partnerships – and oh, did we mention that Ane Ayo’s creation smells sublime? A gauzy, feminine veil pairing lilac and orange blossom, star anise and jasmine, resting on creamy musks, biovanillin and Ambrox.
£56 for 50ml eau de parfum
boots.com

 

AMAN Haru
Aman’s sculpturally-bottled scents are inspired by their peerless, understated luxury destinations around the world – in this case, Aman Tokyo. ‘Haru’ translates as ‘spring’; Tokyo is renowned for its cherry blossom festival, thus perfumer Jacques Chabert (who has applied his talents across all the Aman scents) layers the floatiest petalled floral notes with apricot and green tea, fluttering towards a dry-down that whispers with tobacco and maté tea, delivering a sense of calming harmony.
£220 for 50ml eau de parfum
shop.aman.com 

BVLGARI Splendida Patchouli Tentation
We happen to be fully signed-up members of the filthy patchouli fan club at TPS, marvelling that many are still put off by the ‘hippy headshop’ legacy. Fear not, naysayers, this contains a patchouli accord exclusively designed for the house – but it’s a gauzy shimmer of orris-dusted white peach on a sumptuously soft caress of white musk. Enough to convert anyone, we feel, and fresh enough for the most humid of days.
£78 for 50ml eau de parfum
selfridges.com

 

PARLE MOI DE PARFUM Haute Provence / 89
Endless vistas of Provençal lavender fields and their ‘glorious explosion of purple, mauve, lilac and blue’ were the inspiration behind this wonderfully soothing, aromatic ‘memory of France in high summer.’ Until we can wander those fields first-hand, this cool, dry and immediately nostalgic scent spirits us there with every spritz. Refreshing watermelon and hypnotic narcissus only add to the bucolic charms, and once again we praise the nose of Michel Almairac. Mais oui!
£98 for 50ml eau de parfum
lessenteurs.com

 By Suzy Nightingale

 

Fragrances for… celebrations

Fragrances for celebrations have a certain pizzazz about them – a sparkle that sets them apart from the ordinary. Whether you’re celebrating a summer sporting win, seeing your loved ones again or simply getting through the 2020 / 2021 thus far; these scents will add the POP of Champagne corks in perfume form…

GIORGIO ARMANI SÌ EAU DE PARFUM INTENSE
It isn’t every afternoon you get to hang out with Cate Blanchett on Zoom, but for the launch of this intense, super-sophisticated incarnation of Sì, the Academy Award-winning actress was joined by perfumer Julie Massé to introduce this stunning Chypre-Ambrée-fruity masterpiece. Sì’s signature blackcurrant nectar is paired here with armfuls of Ispartra rose and velvety davana, imparting serious va-va-voom, before your senses are enveloped by patchouli, benzoin and sustainably-sourced vanilla. Fabulissimo!
From £60 for 30ml eau de parfum intense
armanibeauty.co.uk

 

GUERLAIN MON GUERLAIN SPARKLING BOUQUET
A jewel-like bottle, a shimmering scent: in this latest addition to the Mon Guerlain family (which is expanding fast), a pear accord in the overture has been magnified to juicy, fruity, joyful effect, to sparkle ‘like a mischievously irresistible smile’, Guerlain promise. But the resonances of the original Mon Guerlain are apparent throughout – the floral heart, with its aromatic lavender flourishes, the jasmine scampering everywhere, the vanilla and sandalwood in the so-feminine base.
£70 for 50ml eau de parfum
guerlain.com

 

JIMMY CHOO I WANT CHOO
Juicy succulence explodes in a whoosh of mandarin and velvety peach, while jasmine gets twisted with red spider lily in the heart – a flirtatious pairing that sashays all the way to a scrumptiously warm, sweet benzoin-soaked vanilla base. It’s vivacious enough to boost your spirits, and effortless enough to grant you a cloak of ‘I just woke up like this’ glam. Think of it as your fragrant filter: everything’s better with it on!
£45 for 40ml eau de parfum
theperfumeshop.com

 

LANCÔME LA VIE EST BELLE SOLEIL CRISTAL
How we love seeing soleil in the name of a fragrance: a glimmer of sunlit hope and promises of outdoor living (without the blankets and hot chocolate). A solar brightness gives a new twist to the bestseller, here, via radiant mandarin, extravagant white flowers and a trail of Madagascan vanilla and patchouli, from Bali. And oh, the bottle’s spectacular, with a shimmering, almost holographic finish that echoes the luminosity of the scent inside.
From £29 for 15ml eau de parfum
lancome.co.uk

 

VALENTINO BORN IN ROMA YELLOW DREAM FOR HIM
And we think lovely for anyone! This feels like wearing the scent of yellow for sure – a zip of zest radiating sunshine as Italian mandarin and pineapple accord awaken the senses. Lusciously juicy – actual mouth-watering will occur – a surprising gingerbread accord captures your interest in the heart, the whole composition irresistibly smoothed by creamy, black speckled vanilla bean swirled through your coffee as you saunter through Rome’s streets, perhaps? From the Italian architectural bottle inspiration to the scent: we’re so there. (PSST! You might like to get your hands (and nose) on the Seasonal Scent Subscription Box…)
£75 for 100ml eau de toilette
boots.com

 

Fragrances for… feeling eau so sophisticated

Feeling sophisticated is in, not that it ever went away. Well, perhaps a little during lockdown. Now we’re (mostly) out of lounge wear and yearning for something a little more stylish, instead of squeezing into heels (we’ve not even tried) grant yourself an immediate hit of elegance and chic with these recently-launched scents. Sophisticated and effortless? Yes please!

 

 

CHANEL_LE_LIONCHANEL
LES EXCLUSIFS LE LION DE CHANEL
With a launch postponed from last summer, the fragrance world was on tenterhooks for the Olivier Polge’s Le Lion – but it absolutely does not disappoint. Au contraire, all hail to this absolute masterpiece: a smoky swirl of resinous, leathery labdanum, sweet vanilla, with bright flashes of bergamot for contrast. Purring on the skin for hours – at least till sun-up – this is a scent to be worn as we dance on tabletops. (Just watch us. And smell us.)
From £169 for 75ml eau de parfum
chanel.com

 

 

CLIVE_CHRISTIAN_MATSUKITACLIVE CHRISTIAN
MATSUKITA

There’s such a tale behind this woody-Chypre reimagination of the famous Crown Perfumery perfume, first created in 1892 and inspired by a fabled Japanese princess who wowed the Victorian royal court. Conjuring up that elegance, grace and mystery for a new generation are fresh top notes of pink pepper and bergamot, spiced by nutmeg, a floral heart of Chinese Imperial jasmine and smoky black tea, on a whispering base of amber, musk, mosses and woods.
£325 for 50ml eau de parfum
clivechristian.com

 

 

ESCENTRIC_MOLECULE_PATCHOULI.ESCENTRIC MOLECULE
M+PATCHOULI
Geza Schoen tells us that he loves patchouli for its ‘moody beauty’ and its cool, rather aloof woodiness. And do cast aside any notions of hippy-dippiness, please: here, he takes Indonesian patchouli oil and Patchouli Coeur, which has patchouli’s love-it-or-hate-it camphorous quality edited out via a process of fractionation, giving ‘a sophisticated, clean patchouli that pairs fantastically well with Molecule 01’. The perfumer’s words – but we couldn’t put it better ourselves.
£95 for 100ml eau de parfum
Perfume Society Shop

 

 

CARTIER_PASHA_EDITION_NOIRECARTIER
PASHA EDITION NOIRE LTD EDT
Classics reinvented are another definite trend for the year ahead, and Cartier’s iconic Pasha has a vibrant new edge with this limited edition. The green and citrusy freshness feels like the dawn of a new day, while the amber and cedar base is resonant yet ultra-fine. Interesting fact: the name comes from the ‘pasha’ onboard a ship – someone ‘who had the most charismatic personality, who stood at the helm and set the course.’
£94 for 100ml eau de toilette
cartier.com

 

 

PENHALIGONS_WILLIAM_PENHALIGONPENHALIGON’S
THE INIMITABLE MR PENHALIGON
Vetiver lovers: put on your smartest attire and sashay forth for a meeting with Mr. Penhaligon himself. We’ve been wondering when he’d make an appearance in the Portraits collection, and here he announces his presence with a distinguished blend of bergamot garlanded with jasmine in his buttonhole. The heart will have you pledging your affections, that cool vetiver encircled with cedar and curls of incense swirling to the base of ambrox, warm as his handshake.
£204 for 75ml eau de parfum
penhaligons.com

Escentric Molecules M+ – why more is MORE (and how the cult house continue their scent revolution)

Escentric Molecules M+ fragrances are a trio that’s once again revolutionising the world of scent. It all began with the cult Molecule 01 – the iconic scent that can be said to have kickstarted the obsession with niche fragrance, and of course made us more aware of the genius behind aroma molecules and why ‘synthetic’ isn’t a dirty word.

If you’re new to the Escentric Molecules world, you might like to start by reading exactly how they started (and why Geza was so dedicated to trying something new – and quite shockingly brave at the time!) in our page dedicated to everything Escentric Molecules.

TL;DR: Schoen shook up the perfume world by creating a scent with one ingredient – an aroma-molecule non-existent in nature, called Iso E Super. Ultra-smooth, swoon-inducing, gently musky and vanilla-like, the synthesised ingredient had already been used since 1973 by perfumers in small doses – though it remained an industry secret: that special something that made a fragrance utterly irresistible.

Now it’s time to discover how more can be even more, and why you need these in your life, because as perfumer Geza Schoen himself puts it:

‘Molecule 01 is an exceptional molecule: radiant, velvety, cocooning. It’s mysteriously effective on its own, but I started to wonder if there might be another way to play with it. What if I could take the molecule and add just one other beautiful ingredient and see how they danced together in the bottle?’

Molecule 01 + Patchouli – has a cool, rather aloof woodiness to it.

Molecule 01 + Iris – iris is luxury, with a creamy powderiness.

Molecule 01 + Mandarin – radiates off the skin, with a citrus zing.

You could begin your fragrant journey with the M+ Discovery Set, where for only £20 you can explore each of these new fragrances at home. A brilliant gift idea to treat someone else, too! But when you’ve smelled them, we know you’re going to swoon for at least one, and then there’s nothing else for it but to decide which full-size bottle you’ll treat yourself to. We’re absolutely thrilled that not only did Escentric Molecules ask us to help launch their fragrances, but you can now buy the full-size M+ collection in our Perfume Society shop.Escentric Molecules M+ Patchouli £95 for 100ml

Geza says: ‘Patchouli is a unique natural. Unlike 99% of perfume ingredients we associate it with a particular period, with the sixties and seventies and that bohemian spirit. It has a cool, rather aloof woodiness to it. I love it for its moody beauty.

I’ve used two qualities of patchouli here. The biggest chunk is Patchouli Coeur which is a very clean, soft patchouli oil fraction with the camphor-like topnote removed. I have also included a patchouli oil from Indonesia to round it out with a little bit of a topnote.

The result is a sophisticated, clean patchouli that pairs fantastically well with Molecule 01.’

Escentric Molecules M+ Iris £95 for 100ml

Geza says: ‘It’s not easy to describe iris’ smell as such, but if you smell a fragrance without it, and then with it, you understand immediately what it does. It adds a creamy powderiness. It brings a physical dimension to a fragrance.

I have had a long-standing love affair with iris. Every Escentric fragrance has an iris note somewhere in there. To me, iris is luxury. The iris pallida absolue I’ve used here is one of the most expensive ingredients in perfumery. You can find iris extracts for way less than that. But they do not have the great and subtle beauty of this absolue. It’s radical to put this much in a fragrance. The sillage is fantastic. This is a bomb, but a subtle bomb.’

Escentric Molecules M+ Mandarin £95 for 100ml

Geza says: ‘Mandarin is all about the instant hit. It’s so alive, the way it radiates off the skin with that citrus zestiness. But there’s more to mandarin, it’s very fruity and aromatic as well. It’s a beautiful ingredient. Its transparency means that it vanishes quickly. I’ve touched it up with a little extra shading to extend it, adding a mandarin ingredient used in flavourings to give it super-juiciness. Then as it begins to fade, Molecule 01 syncs in, bringing a warm, erogenous feeling to play with that zinging freshness. That’s unusual – for a topnote ingredient like Mandarin and a base note like Iso E Super to dance together naked like this, without other notes coming between them. And then the mandarin is almost gone and you are left with the elevated simplicity of Molecule 01.

That’s what I love about Molecule 01 + Mandarin – it may be a dance of two but the story changes completely from beginning to middle to end.’

So, the only thing to do for this journey or Escentric Molecules M+ discovery is to put that first foot (nose?) forward, and find out which molecular pairing ‘dances naked together’ best on your own skin…

Escentric Molecules M+ – a trio of NEW fragrances! Molecule 01 + naturals

Escentric Molecules have just today launched THREE M+ fragrances – iterations of their best-selling Molecule 01 – a fragrance that first showcased the artistry and depth of synthetic aroma molecules and changed the face of the industry forever.

As pefumer and founder Geza Schoen says, ‘‘Molecule 01 is an exceptional molecule: radiant, velvety, cocooning. It’s mysteriously effective on its own as Molecule 01, But I started to wonder if there might be another way to play with it. What if I could take the molecule and add just one other beautiful ingredient and see how they danced together in the bottle?’

That perfumed pondering has led to three brand new explorations of Iso E Super – each of them blended with naturals, because, as Geza says, ‘Only naturals have the complexity and radiance to work in a dance of two like this, while maintaining the simplicity of the concept.’

We’re thrilled to be launching the M+ collection during a live event tomorrow, when our Co-Founder, Jo Fairley, will be putting your questions directly to Geza, but for now, let’s dive into the whole thought process and let Geza explain more…

 

 

1. As a brand that has always launched in binary pairs, this is a real change for Escentric Molecules, what made you want to do this triptych?

‘It’s three fragrances by accident. Not by any particular design, but as I started to work on the project I realised
I was considering a base, a heart and a top note. M+ mandarin gives you a huge top note experience, M+iris highlights the heart as M+patchouli emphasises the base note, all the fundamental roles of a fragrance.’

2. Why now?

‘It’s actually another accident! It all started with my partner’s wish for the best possible singular iris note within a fragrance. She asked me to create this for her. I thought about it for a while and then decided to add very little else
to the iris combination used so as to not detract from the powdery beauty of the orris root absolue itself. The simple
inclusion of Iso E Super with the orris blew us both away. M+ iris was born. Even then, I didn’t immediately think of it as a Escentric Molecules fragrance. It was only after experiencing Sophie wearing it and the reaction she got from others that the concept of developing it for commercial release formed in my mind.’

3. How did you choose the + elements for the fragrances?

‘From the reaction Sophie’s Iris fragrance got, I started to think about other combinations that may work in a similar minimal marriage. I experimented with many, deciding on patchouli as it is probably the ultimate, elegant woody
note in perfumes, M+ mandarin was chosen for it’s almost shocking aromatic zesty boost, using this particular mandarin oil that is just so beautiful.’

4. You have some very loyal molecule fans who have been with you since the beginning – how do you think
they will react to this, or have they been asking for something like this?

‘No one particularly asked for this. Making it available as an EM product is just a continuation of our principles that we
only release products when we have something that we love and believe has to be released.„..’

 

Escentric Molecules M+ mandarin

‘Mandarin is all about the instant hit. It’s so alive, the way it radiates off the skin with that citrus zestiness. But there’s more to mandarin, it’s very fruity and aromatic as well. It’s a beautiful ingredient. Its transparency means that it vanishes quickly. I’ve touched it up with a little extra shading to extend it, adding a mandarin ingredient used in flavourings to give it super-juiciness. Then as it begins to fade, Molecule 01 syncs in, bringing a warm, erogenous feeling to play with that zinging freshness. That’s unusual – for a topnote ingredient like Mandarin and a base note like Iso E Super to dance together naked like this, without other notes coming between them. And then the mandarin is almost gone and you are left with the elevated simplicity of Molecule 01.

That’s what I love about Molecule 01 + Mandarin – it may be a dance of two but the story changes completely from beginning to middle to end.’

Escentric Molecules M+ iris

‘It’s not easy to describe iris’ smell as such, but if you smell a fragrance without it, and then with it, you understand immediately what it does. It adds a creamy powderiness. It brings a physical dimension to a fragrance. I have had a long-standing love affair with iris. Every Escentric fragrance has an iris note somewhere in there. To me, iris is luxury. The iris pallida absolue I’ve used here is one of the most expensive ingredients in perfumery. You can find iris extracts for way less than that. But they do not have the great and subtle beauty of this absolue. It’s radical to put this much in a fragrance. The sillage is fantastic. This is a bomb, but a subtle bomb.’

Escentric Molecules M+ patchouli

Patchouli is a unique natural. Unlike 99% of perfume ingredients we associate it with a particular period, with the sixties and seventies and that bohemian spirit. It has a cool, rather aloof woodiness to it. I love it for its moody beauty. I’ve used two qualities of patchouli here. The biggest chunk is Patchouli Coeur which is a very clean, soft patchouli oil fraction with the camphor-like top note removed. I have also included a patchouli oil from Indonesia to round it out with
a little bit of a top note. The result is a sophisticated, clean patchouli that pairs fantastically well with Molecule 01.’

If you loved the original Molecule 01 and want to join the M+ fragrant adventure – or if you’ve yet to discover – we can tell you this: it’s an incredibly beautiful and diverse trio with something that everyone call fall for…

By Suzy Nightingale

Avon Herstory celebrates Changing Faces charity

Avon has partnered with the UK’s leading charity for people with visible differences, Changing Faces, to launch Herstory – a fragrance celebrating women all over the world.

Five powerful and inspiring women with visible differences proudly feature in the Herstory beauty campaign. This reflects Avon’s commitment to Changing Faces, wanting to give everyone with a visible difference a #PledgetoBeSeen.

Avon explain that ‘The Herstory launch coincides with Face Equality Week (18-22nd May) a time to celebrate people with visible differences and to challenge people’s perceptions,’ and wonderfully, Avon will also be donating 50% of Herstory sales to Changing Faces ‘…which will go towards funding the charity’s Support and Information Line which offers advice for people with a visible difference.

Talking about why they wanted to highlight visual diversity, Avon say that ‘Representing the scent of inspiration for all women, Herstory commends the long lineage of women who have helped shape the present. It celebrates the experience of being a woman, opening the conversation for women to share their own authentic story of the past and present, whilst coming together to write the stories of the future.’

So we know the way this campaign looks is beautifully different to the Photoshopped and unrealistic images of many adverts, but what does Herstory smell like…?

 

 

‘The bold and modern Chypre represents today’s strong and modern women, recognising each unique and empowering story of women. Herstory is built by the passion of pink pepper, the boldness and sophistication of the iris, and the personality of the patchouli.

Pink pepper stands for passion, representing the energy and stamina to fight for your dreams.

Iris for courage: At the heart of Herstory is the noble Iris flower – the emblem of fine fragrance and symbolising wisdom, courage and feminine confidence.

Patchouli Prisma reveals personality: elegant and powerfully woody, it encourages a woman who writes her own story.’

Avon Herstory RRP £11 for 50ml eau de parfum – only £8 for a limited time, so snap them up now!

Changing Faces Ambassador and Avon model, Brenda, says: ‘Having alopecia and losing my hair left me feeling very out of place – I felt I had no control. Yet since I decided to embrace it, my confidence has rocketed.

Now I work with my hair loss rather than hide away from it. By working with Avon on the Herstory launch campaign, I hope to show others that we define what beauty is and being unique is something that should be celebrated.’

 

 

‘Avon understands that beauty can be very powerful and so it’s imperative that it’s inclusive too,’ says Stephen Rendu, Marketing Director at Avon. ‘We are very proud to be working with Changing Faces again and their ambassadors to launch Herstory and inspire women with visible differences to feel included and empowered.’

Smelling great and doing good at the same time? We applaud Avon and Changing Faces for this beautiful – in every sense of the word – fragrance and campaign, and urge you to try it for yourselves…

By Suzy Nightingale

The Fragrance Room – Harvey Nichols new perfume place to be!

Harvey Nichols Knightsbridge have just opened a fabulous NEW fragrant hang-out: Exclusives and boutiques and workshops, oh my! We got the low-down on this exciting new scent space within the department store, now with a whole host of new houses to explore in DOUBLE the room…

Harvey Nichols have long had a passion for perfume – often showcasing niche brands that never dreamed of being stocked in such a world-famous store, finding the most unique names that are hard to find anywhere else along with their curated selection of the finest fragrance houses this planet has to offer perfumistas. With innovative art installations and all manner of fragrant events already under their belt, and an array of gorgeous shop-in-shop boutiques queing up to join in the fragrant fun – it was time to expand the space and really commit to a larger integral fragrant experience. Behold: The Fragrance Room

 

 

Bigger, better, bolder than ever before, this new department has now been unveiled and includes over 100 fragrance houses, including in-store boutiques from Creed, Maison Francis Kurkdjian, Serge Lutens and Kilian. With a roll-out of inclusive, immersive experiences for customers, the new concept will include a sensory fragrance discovery wall – to help customers navigate the often tricky fragrance families – boutique activations, including fragrance workshops with the Fragrance Foundation to celebrate National Fragrance Week and opportunities to meet brand founders and perfumers through interactive events and partnerships.

 

 

Jo Osborne, Director of Beauty and Concessions at Harvey Nichols, said that because fragrance has been such a significant part of their business, since the 2016, they’ve taken the decision to massively expand their fragrance offering.

‘…we have outgrown the current area but are fortunate enough to move to a space double the size. The new department allows us to offer some of our bestselling brands an opportunity to create their own boutique space and the rest of the department to curate unique and fine fragrances from across the world, which we know our customers will love. We are excited to work with new and existing brands to offer exclusive activities, such as expert consultations and welcome various brand founders such as Francis Kurkdjian and Geza Schoen.’

The first phase is already open, and when fully complete at the end of this month (March 2020), the space will be a whopping 1,600 sq ft – showing exactly how important fragrance is to Harvey Nichols. And that’s great news for all of us who love perfume, don’t you think?

Harvey Nichols say: ‘With a portfolio of UK exclusive brands including Maison Crivelli, 28 87 Barcelona, V Canta by Terenzi, Ormaie Paris and Ella K, the deapartment will be home to a library of fragrance brands from across the world.’

Additional fragrance houses joining Harvey Nichols for the first time include Hermessance, Nassomatto, Parfums de Marly, D.S. & Durga and Initio, among others.

We don’t know about you, but our shopping (and must-sniff) list just got a LOT longer…

By Suzy Nightingale

The weird & wonderful world of novelty fragrances

Did you know that many companies have created novelty fragrances to promote anything and everything from fast-food brands and Stilton cheese to Captain Birds Eye fish fingers? (Yes, really!)

Fragrance is such an individual choice, don’t you think? We all have completely differing reactions to certain notes or combinations – what’s one person’s yum is another’s yuck, and that can be based on anything from childhood memories and cultural or long-buried associations to the simple fact of personal preference. What’s more, there are scents that may remind us of favourite foods or sweet treats we enjoy – the Gourmand family of fragrances have held sway since the 90s.

It would take the concept of ‘niche’ to a whole new level, however, for fragrance fans to actively seek out scents that smell of fried chicken, pizzas and sprouts – no matter how much we might love munching them. Well… you’d think so, wouldn’t you? But increasingly, brands are latching on to the power of perfume to promote their products.

Have YOU tried any of these, or purchased one as a joke gift for a friend…?

 

 

Birds Eye recently offered consumers the chance to win a limited edition eau de toilette inspired by Captain Birdseye himself – played by Italian-born actor and seafarer Riccardo Acerbi, who was unveiled at the start of 2018 as part of an £8m marketing campaign for the brand. ‘We know the British public have a soft spot for our captain,’ explained Birds Eye spokeswoman Annalisa Fanali, and so they gave him his own signature scent, ‘inspired by the hypnotic and evocative power of the high seas.’

Named Ahoy! the fragrance promises top notes of grapefruit and mandarin with patchouli, thankfully nothing fishy to smell here. Fifty bottles of the scent were up for grabs in the competition, which ran on Birds Eye’s Facebook page in the run-up to Christmas. If you weren’t a lucky winner, one imagines you wont be able to pop down the shops and pick yourself up a bottle in the immediate future, which is a shame because it sounded rather appealing. Unlike some of the previous novelty fragrances, below…

 

 

In 2012, having revolutionised the pizza world with stuffed crusts, the fragrance world was perhaps not ready for Pizza Hut Perfume. What began as a joke on their Facebook page escalated to an actual scent being created, which they temptingly described as ‘boasting top notes of freshly baked, hand-tossed dough.’ The limited edition perfume was designed to commemorate Pizza Hut Canada, and only 110 bottles were produced and shared with fans. ‘Will we be seeing Pizza Hut perfume in department stores any time soon?’ their press release asked. ‘Only time will tell.’ Spoilers: nope.

 

 

Currently showcasing their vegan-friendly range, those missing their whiff of something meatier were recently offered a unique opportunity to ‘fill your home with the scent of Gravy’ in a KFC Candle. Another limited edition (no, really?) candles were limited to only 230 editions and again, used as a competition prize on social media. We cannot comment on the authenticity of the gravy scent, sadly, but certainly the wax colour looks… somewhat disturbingly… realistic.

 

 

Now this will raise eyebrows (or twitch nostrils), but I don’t think this next one’s as crazy as it perhaps sounds. Eau de Stilton was launched to promote the cheese as part of a marketing campaign all the way back in 2006, and apart from genuinely loving the bottle design, while the sound of a blue cheese-inspired scent might seem off-putting, I think certain undiluted jasmine oils smell like strong cheese – due to the huge amounts of ‘indoles’ found in the aromatic molecules, which to some noses even smells sightly fecal. It goes to show, it depends how something is described before we actually smell it. I’d have given this one a go!

 

 

Those fast-food chains really love their fragrances, it seems, because in 2015 we saw Japan promoting a Whopper-scented Burger King Perfume. Alas only available for one day, reportedly, it’s another meaty scent I cannot report first hand (or nose) on, and I will have to try and get over the huge disappointment of that, somehow.

While the majority (if not all) of these are novelty items – released in strictly limited editions to create a media buzz around the brand – it’s an interesting concept that engages us in a different way, and the fragrances will still have been created by a perfumer working to a brief (albeit rather more bizarre than they are used to!) Of course those highlighted above are to be taken with a pinch of salt (and vinegar, as far as the captain’s concerned), but it will be fascinating to see if any other brands pick up on the perfume buzz and create their own ‘scent of’.

What would you like to see (and smell) next…?

Written by Suzy Nightingale

This fragrance is the bee’s knees – literally!

Scientists have discovered that certain types of bees actually create their own ‘perfumes’ in order to attract a mate. And what’s more, a niche brand has just launched a Bee fragrance that’s already creating a buzz…

A new article in Science Daily reveals that scientists at the University of California have discovered male orchid bees don’t sipmply flit among the flowers collecting pollen to make honey back at the hive – they’re also using their wings ‘…to disperse a bouquet of perfumes into the air.’ And their studies have concluded that ‘the aromatic efforts are all for the sake of attracting a mate.’

Associate Professor Santiago Ramirez, UC Davis Department of Evolution and Ecology, explained that while they already knew many animals produce pheremones, the unique factor for the orchid bee is that ‘the majority of their pheromones are actually collected from plants and other sources like fungi.’ Science Daily suggests that ‘Orchid bees are master perfumers,’ and goes on to explain that the scientists reserach suggests that ‘the perfumes males concoct are unique to their specific species’.

Ramirez,and recent Ph.D. graduate student Philipp Brand, from the Population Biology Graduate Group, have been studying the mating habits of orchid bees for some years, in the course of their studies, ‘unraveling the complex chemicals responsible for successful procreation.’ What they didn’t expext to find, though, was a brand new discovery that possibly explains the evolutionary divergence of bee species: environmental perfumes (and we’re not talking ‘clean’ or ‘green’ beauty claims here, folks!)

In the study, which was first published in Nature Communications, Brand, Ramirez and their colleagues set out their case to suggest that the evolution of sexual signaling in orchid bees can directly be linked to ‘a gene that’s been shaped by each species’ perfume preferences.’

Brand commented that, ‘Our study supports the hypothesis that in the orchid bee perfume communication system, the male perfume chemistry and the female preference for the perfume chemistry can simultaneously evolve via changes in a single receptor gene.’ And this could explain why a single species split into two distinct species that we knew were linked, but had no idea why they had diverged. Ah yes, the power of that scent sillage is strong, it seems, even for bees. But how did one bee’s perfume-making prowess suddenly woo more of the female bees to his partiular, er, honeypot?

 

Green Orchid Bee

 

Explains Ramirez: ‘Imagine you have an ancestral species that uses certain compounds to communicate with each other,” said Ramirez. “If you have a chemical communication channel and then that chemical communication channel splits into two separate channels, then you have the opportunity for the formation of two separate species.’

Do make time to read the full article in Science Daily – it’s a fascingating read, and yet another notch in our understanding of the power of smell. But let’s not only focus on fragrances that makes bees feel like getting busy (buzzy?) with it; we perfume-loving humans have a brand new sweet-smelling scent to explore that’s perfectly themed – and although not inspired by the reasearch, as far as we know, happens to be perfectly timed, too. The Canadian-based niche house of Zoologist have just launched the latest in their animal-centric scents: behold Bee

Perfumer Cristiano Canali has created a perfume that showcases luxurious amounts of labdanum, dollops of honey, a leathery orange blossom dusted with powdery mimosa, delciously rounded by nutty tonka and heady heliotrope.

Zoologist Bee, £195 for 65ml extrait de parfum (1ml samples £3)
Try it at Bloom Perfumery

So which honey-based fragrances are likely to get you buzzing? Read our page all about the history and use of honey as a fragrant ingredient, and discover other perfumes to try, for the scent perfumer Christine Nagel describes as ‘half devil, half angel…’

Written by Suzy Nightingale