So you think you hate… rose?

There will be those of you will be clutching your pearls at the mere mention that others entertain the notion of hating rose, I know. While ‘the Queen of flowers’ reigns supreme for some, other people refuse to even sniff a scent that’s proferred before them if they know it has rose in it…

Of course it’s completely okay to dislike something on your skin – and if your friend loves wearing rose but you would rather snuggle a skunk than wear it yourself; well we all have our own olfactory forms of Kryptonite, so don’t yuck their yum. But I bet you’re thinking of old fashioned roses (again, beloved by some) of the dusty, slightly musty kind, most often found in drawer-liners and grandma’s dressing table.

The fact is, roses are said to feature in at least 75% of modern feminine fragrances, and at least 10% of all men’s perfumes – and they might not even be listed in the notes described. Chances are, even if you think you hate rose, many of your favourite fragrances could have it tucked away inside.

For perfumers, they’re an absolute cornerstone of perfumery – sometimes powdery, yes, but also fresh, raspberry-like, woody, musky, myrrh-y, almost glassily modern or just blowsily feminine.  In classical myths, the rose was linked both with the Greek goddess Aphrodite and her Roman counterpart, Venus.  When Cleopatra welcomed Mark Antony to her boudoir, her bed was said to be strewn with these aphrodisiac blooms and the floor hidden under a foot and a half of fresh-picked petals. Who could resist rolling around in that?

The roses most commonly used in perfumery are the Turkish rose, the Damask (or Damascene rose) and Rosa Centifolia (the ‘hundred-leafed rose’), which is grown around Grasse in the south of France, and generally considered to produce the highest quality rose absolute. This rose is also known as Rose de Mai, because it generally blooms in the month of May, and  – romantically – ‘the painter’s rose’, because it features in many works of the old masters.

Around 70% of the rose oil in the world comes from Bulgaria;  other significant producers are Turkey, Iran and Morocco, and precious, limited quantities from Grasse. The task of the rose-picker is to pick the dew-drenched blooms before 10 a.m. at the latest, when the sun evaporates their exquisite magic. So fast does the rose fade, in fact, that some farmers in Turkey and Bulgaria transport their own copper stills to the fields, heating them on the spot over wood fires to distill the precious Damask Rose oil, which separates from the water when heated in only the tiniest of quantities: 170 rose flowers are said to relinquish a single drop of absolute.

Given that rose is very likely already found in some of your favourite scents, and with modern noses and advanced techniques meaning rose can smell incredibly unique – completely unrecognisable in some respects – depending on the quality, provenence, how much and where it’s used within the perfumer’s formula… Don’t you think it’s time you revisted the rose?

Molton Brown Rosa Absoluta
Sultry red rose gets up close and personal with warmly spiced patchouli and ripe fruits. Wrapped in violet leaf, the seductiveness is barely tamed, but the overlasting impression is an overtly modern attitude with a nod to vintage va-va-voom. Think vintage velvet smoking jacket worn with jeans, or couture gown with biker boots and a devil-may-care attitude.
£45 for 50ml eau de toilette
moltonbrown.co.uk

Ella K Mémoire de Daisen In
Oh this is a veritable cocktail of fabulousness – a fizz of zesty citrus freshness shot through with the tartness of kumquat. Then velvety soft rose, powdery peony, and hypnotic hedione shimmering through nutmeg-spiced black tea. Plum’s succulent fleshiness becomes suffused in a lullaby of comfort: a whisper of white musk, Iso E Super, and delicate violet cradling a deliciously warm woodiness.

Try an 8ml mini (along with nine other fragrances!) in our Harvey Nichols & The Perfume Society Discovery Box for only £45

The Modernist Nihilism
A rabble-rouser by name, it’s actually icily sophisticated – like Tilda Swinton in scented form. Citrus-infused aldehydes feel like a Champagne bottle smashed against a wall, then soothed by the cashmere soft benzoin caress of the base. A contemporary and surprising take on rose that may end up seducing you, too…
£150 for 50ml eau de parfum
modernistfragrance.com

Prosody Rose Rondeaux
Delightfully decadent, seductively fruity and woody, the top notes of luxurious iris, bergamot and raspberry gradually reveal a delicate rosy heart ruffled with patchouli warmth, and a shapely base of blackcurrant and musky sandalwood. Romantic and radiant, it’s incredible to discover how sophisticated this all-natural and organic fragrance really is on the skin.

Try a sample, along with ALL their fragrances, in the Prosody Discovery Set for £28

Parfums de Marly Delina
Despite being in one of the most swoon-worthy bottles we’ve seen, we know it’s all about the scent inside, and luckily this one more than lives up. Quentin Bisch uses armfulls of Turkish roses, peonies and lily of the valley, but it’s the heart of succulently fruity lychee, rhubarb and bergamot that sets this apart (and juices flowing). Offset with nutmeg and vanilla, swathed in white musk and cashmeran, it has converted many a naysayer to the ways of the rose.
£190 for 75ml eau de parfum
selfridges.com


Fragrance du Bois Oud Rose Intense
A heady scent capturing the excitement and intrigue of a romantic rendezvous – from chaste kisses to rumpled sheets. Fresh bergamot forms a complex, aromatic and suitably fruity beginning, succumbing to essence of rose and woody geranium, sighing into smooth sandalwood and amber, with the all the purring nuances of 100% organic and sustainable oudh (aka ‘liquid gold’) in the gasp-worthy base.

Try a sample (with four other stunning fragrances) in the Fragrance du Bois Discovery Set for £20

Angela Flanders Taffeta
Capturing that time when dusk falls, Taffeta embodies mysterious light, chilled air – one’s senses alive with possibility. Dewy hyacinth is speckled with the hushed rasp of peppery lavender, adding a dry rustle to the beautifully powdered iris and lipstick rose in the heart. Smoky tendrils of vetiver flicker between the shadows and surprising freshness of the base.
£69 for 30ml eau de parfum
angelaflanders-perfumer.com

By Suzy Nightingale

Your introduction to Spring’s floral fragrance trend…

It’s offical: flowers are back in the fragrance world. Perhaps you thought they never went away (indeed, they’re the backbone of practically all fragrance formulas) but we can assure you that Spring 2018’s launches point the way to fully embracing petal power in exciting and conemporary compositions – from bohemiams frolicking in wild flower meadows, to vampish vixens smouldering beguilingly: these flowers certainly aren’t granny’s knicker-draw anymore…

Probably the most easily identifiable notes in perfumery, you may recognise some florals at first-sniff – rather reassuring in these days of sometimes confusing contemporary scents – and they are perfect to indulge in wearing on days the sky’s the same colour as the pavement. But floral scents have several sub-categories, now – from the fruity to the so-called ‘floriental’ – so where does one category end and another begin, and which ones should you explore first depending on your personal preferences?

Rose has long been considered the ‘Queen’ of perfume, the two main varieties being rosa centifolia, found in the South of France, and rosa damascena (known as Damask rose) primarily from the Middle East, with a dozen exclusively grown May roses from Grasse famously within every bottle of Chanel No.5.

James Craven – the fragrance archivist of niche perfumery Les Senteurs, tells us that many customers (particularly women) come in confidently declaring they ‘hate rose fragrances,’ and he breathes deeply while subtly showing them some scents that beautifully harmonise the rose with other complimentary material. As they inevitably adore one of these, James then charmingly admits it’s simply swathed in the stuff – a strong case for always being led by your nose and not your preconceptions, we feel!

Jasmine is the second most-used, entwining its heady white blossoms within virtually every floral fragrance you care to mention – tiny though the flowers are, their scent is animalic, often called ‘indolic’ (referring to indoles also found within gardenia, honeysuckle, lilac, and tuberose), and utterly addictive. One ounce of fragrance, such as the classic Jean Patou’s Joy, can lavishly contain 10,600 jasmine flowers!

– For less va-va-voom in a scent, look for the powdered green of violet, delicacy of lily of the valley, suede-like softness in iris, waxy freshness of magnolia, and cashmere-like fluffiness of mimosa. Sprinkled with hot spices and exotic extractions (crossing into ‘Floriental’), juiced-up with fruit (becoming ‘Fruity Floral’) or buried within deeper, more mysterious creations – there truly is a floral fragrance for every one of us, with many men now delving into fragrances where floral notes are centre-stage.

Ready to get petal-powered? Discover some of the specially curated Brand Discovery Boxes we’ve chosen, in which the characters of florals have been fully explored – from the vampish divas to more softly swooning – there truly is a bouquet for everyone to adore…

Cochine is Vietnam’s first luxury fragrance brand – and one that we are totally obsessed with! Created to inspire you, Cochine’s collection captures the romance of a sun-warmed exotic garden as its enchanting florals unfold into the evening air. Specially selected from their portfolio of unique botanical scents, you’ll find yourself enraptured by roses, jasmine, gardenia and the newest fragrance – Tuberose & Wild Fig.
Cochine Floral Collection £35

Discover Molton Brown‘s interpretation of some of perfumery’s most precious ingredients with this colourful selection of their best-selling scents, from delicate floral Blossoming Honeysuckle & White Tea to dreaming of dozing beneath fragrant canopies of flowers with the exotic Ylang Ylang, and many floral facets in-between…
Molton Brown’s Art of Fragrance £12.50

Hand-crafted in England, created from the essences of real flowers, fruit and spices, Shay & Blue‘s invite you to explore their most-loved scents. Pocket-sized and beautifully presented in their signature blue and white stripes, the set also boasts Framboise Noire – a mesmerising floriental of cassis berries, jasmine and patchouli.
Shay & Blue Precious Miniatures £65

This limited edition collectible box has been designed especially to showcase Les Infusions de Prada in six of the most adorable and desirable 8ml miniature eau de parfum bottles… Featuring notes of iris, orange blossom, heliotrope and the often overlooked carnation (think spicy and hot yet dry and fascinating) it’s a perfectly refined way to get your nose around floral ingredients.
Prada Parfums Les Infusions de Prada £36

Written by Suzy Nightingale

War of the Roses: Jo Fairley judges a fragrant Fume Chat 'fight' between Nick Gilbert and Thomas Dunckley…

Fume Chat is one of our favourite podcasts (for the uninitiated, think of podcasts as online radio shows you can subscribe to and download to listen later), from the offset aiming ‘…to have fun with fragrance – after all, it’s just perfume, so why it take it so seriously?’ Regular hosts Nick Gilbert and Thomas Dunckley (a.k.a. fragrance blogger The Candy Perfume Boy) may be perfume experts in their own right, but they genuinely bring a sense of the joy of discovery along with down-to-earth accessible information to their weekly show.
Most episodes sees the fragrant twosome sniffing exciting new scents both old and new or discussing topics relevant to the world of perfumery – a brilliant recent episode was dedicated to Aroma Chemicals (or Synthetics) and exploring what the giddy hell they actually are and where best to sniff them out.
Our favourite episodes have to be the ‘Battles’, in which Nick and Thomas each bring to the table their favourite examples of a particular perfume genre. Often they’ll get a guest to decide the outcome (and overall winner of the battle!) and the latest – The War of the Roses –featured none other than our very own co-founder and editor, Jo Fairley as the judge. We wont spoil the surprise, but suffice to say it was a close battle and you’ll be wanting to scatter rose petals at the feet of the victor…

 
Do go and have a listen by clicking the Fume Chat logo, above – who do YOU think will win? – and have a pad handy, because the way Nick and Thomas so breathlessly describe their favourites makes us want to go and sniff (and douse ourselves in) them immediately…
(If you’re not an Apple user, you can find the Fume Chat RSS feed here).
Written by Suzy Nightingle
 

Which are the most fragrant roses on earth? Read our guide to a heavenly scented garden…

Is anything more disappointing than spotting a voluptuously gorgeous rose, cupping it gently in your hands and going in for the sniff… only to discover it’s completely without scent? Obviously we adore fragrance here at The Perfume Society, and roses just have to be in our Top Three Flowers Ever – so as part of our on-going celebrations we’d love to share with you a particularly fragrant feature on the very best scented roses you can grow, to make your garden smell like heaven on earth…
Written for us by Country Living Gardens editor, Stephanie Donaldson, The Most Fragrant Roses on Earth was previously an exclusive feature in our award-winning magazine, The Scented Letter… From interviews with the world’s top perfumers, a round-up of the latest launches you absolutely must sniff right now and a plethora of perfumed features – we have our finger firmly on the pulse to bring you all the news your nose should know.
Available in flickable-format online to subscribers, so many of you told us you were laboriously printing it out at home, page by page, that we listened and also made it available in a gorgeously glossy print version to satiate your scent-reading lusts (and save your printer cartridges!) In fact, we’re honoured to have readers worldwide, with the launch of our International Subscription, and now you can join the ever-growing throng to see the sort of thing you’ve been missing out on so far.
So, settle back with a cuppa and breathe in the heady scent of possibility for the rose garden of your dreams…




 
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Coach are on a roll with their sublimely sueded rose. How did brilliant 'nose', Juliette Karagueuzoglo capture the scent of their style…?

Encapsulating the entire essence of a fashion brand within a bottle of perfume is a challenge for any perfumer, but one talented nose Juliette Karagueuzoglo was more than equipped for, working with veteran perfumer Anne Flipo – also her mentor – Coach manages to be both infinitely wearable and flirtily feminine, and we were thrilled to catch up with Juliette for a behind-the-scenes sniff at the creation of a uniquely vibrant, sueded rose…
But where does a perfumer even begin on an important project like building the Coach fragrance? ‘I knew I wanted to start from the rose and the suede.’ Juliette explains, ‘because to me we have this feeling with the colours and materials Coach use, and I wanted to evoke a rose that wasn’t dusty – something more energetic, open, bright, younger and having the right balance with the suede to create a sense of texture and contrast.’
When composing the distinctive smell of “leather”, perfumers must create their own accord, some of the materials being similar to previous leather notes used in fragrances, but for Juliette it’s important to start from scratch each time she needs to create a leather effect.
juliette_kara-250x333
 
Explains Juliette, ‘There are so many ways of creating something that smells like leather, you have many materials to express that leather, so it depends entirely what mood you’re going for and what the brief calls for. They might be asking for a “light suede” or a “darker suede” or a more animalic, woody or even metallic leather. So many expressions of the same thing. It’s like a rose. You ask ten perfumers to do a rose and you won’t get the same result twice! But that’s the beauty of it, that’s where the magic is. As a perfumer we get to express our personality and as a client that’s where you get the point of difference.’
Just as in the world of fashion a particular colour or combination is suddenly deemed ‘a thing’ and ‘so now’; in fragrance too this cycle of trends comes and goes – an ingredient or note long out of favour or previously thought of as old-fashioned will rise like a perfumed Phoenix once again. We wondered why there was this sudden resurgence of rose as a note in fragrances, and why younger people are now exploring it now that contemporary perfumers are exploring it in new ways?
coach
Juliette muses, ‘Well a lot of that is technology driven I think, we find new ways of getting the very best from an ingredient, better ways of harvesting, and it makes it fresh and exciting again. There are some rose fragrances that are beautiful but very much of their time. Like YSL’s original Paris. I mean I love it, but that’s not the rose of today and so now it almost smells vintage.’
And what else did Juliette balance against the rose and suede/leather notes for Coach? ‘We used raspberry leaves in the top for freshness and patchouli with soft woods. I think that combination just works, it’s rounded, never obvious, there’s a feeling of sophistication but it’s still fun and youthful.’
Juliette explains that ‘…although there are still preconceptions of what rose smells like in a perfume, I think things have changed dramatically. Rose can be anything you want! It’s all about the balance.’

COACH_FRAGRANCE_AND_BOX

Coach the Fragrance from £35 for 30ml eau de parfum natural spray
Buy it at The Perfume Shop

Written by Suzy Nightingale

The Merchant of Venice Rosa Moceniga – our fragrant voyage to the city of romance…

Imagine how thrilled we were to be invited to a prestigious gathering of press, buyers and distributors from around the world on an enchanting voyage with The Merchant of Venice – to celebrate the birthplace of fine perfumery and the launch of their most recent perfume: Rosa Moceniga – a scent with an intriguing tale of rediscovering the lost rose of Joséphine Bonaparte. Join us – and swoon at the pictures! – as we recount our journey…
Venice is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and birthplace to perhaps the earliest commercial appreciation of fine perfume – the moment when Catherine de Medici married King Henry II was a turning point in modern culture. Travelling to France with her huge retinue, she imported the taste for previously unheard of Italian luxuries: perfume (and Royal perfumers from her court), a fork for eating with, ballet and extravagant Italian fashions.

IMG_0181
Best taxi ride ever…

With turquoise canals casting shimmering reflections on golden buildings of sun-bleached grandeur, everywhere seems softly lit, as though by candlelight. Arriving at Marco Polo airport and travelling to the city, you’re immediately on the water in a Vaporetto (taxi boat) and living La Dolce Vita. It’s impossible not to be overcome with the incredible romance of it all – surrounded on all sides by history, feeling as though you have stepped straight in to a Canaletto painting.
IMG_0092
The fragrance house put on a special production of The Merchant of Venice in the Jewish Ghetto of Venice – to celebrate #shakespeare400 and their 30th anniversary

Venetians are fiercely proud of their heritage as a great trade route – the destination and meeting point of merchants from all over the new world, desperate to attain shipfuls of oppulence to carry back and trade within their own lands. As such, it’s the perfect home for the perfume house fittingly named The Merchant of Venice. Trading, themselves, not only on the heritage of perfumery but turning that love into exquisitely presented and diverse, contemporary scents.
The magnificent Palazzo Mocenigo

Owned by the passionately perfume-obsessed Vidal family, the brand is one of several distributed by Mavive – established in 1986 by Massimo Vidal, and currently under the careful stewardship of the third and fourth generation of the Vidal family. With their headquarters in Venice, Mavive is intimately connected with this truly unique city – and for us, they threw open the doors to celebrate their 30th anniversary while proudly showing us their fragrant wares.
IMG_0119
Historic perfume-making materials at the Museo del Profumo within the Palazzo

One of the many culturally significant projects the Vidal family have concerned themselves with is the careful preservation of the largest collections of perfume flacons (dating back before Christ!), perfume-making equipment and related materials in existence.
Taking on ownership of the magnificent Palazzo Mocenigo in the heart of Venice, they turned what was once a slightly crumbling textile museum into the Museo del Profumo – displaying perfume bottles, raw materials and ancient manuscripts in themed settings around the palace – most of them on full public view rather than shut away in cabinets.
IMG_0151
Fabulous flacons on display

Touring the Palazzo with the eloquent son of the family, Marco Vidal, was like stepping back in time, with each fabulously evocative room scented as they would have been, with distinctive perfumes made to ancient recipes diffusing the atmosphere with clouds of fragrance.
IMG_0141
An historic diffusing jar for scenting one’s palace…

So significant is this collection, students from ISIPCA – the famous perfume accademy in France – travel to the Palazzo to complete their final studies in the history of perfumery. As do textile students – the Vidal family have maintained and added to the costume collection, with over 35,000 pieces – and makeup historians, for yet another floor is dedicated to cosmetics. Truly a must-visit for any fragrance (or costume/makeup) fantatic!
IMG_0178 copy
Marco Vidal shows us around the museum

After our mind-blowing tour of the luxuriously and sympathetically refurbished rooms, we finally got to hear the story behind their latest launch – Rosa Moceniga. Marco introduced Andrea di Robilant, author of Chasing the Rose, framed by an archway of rambling roses amidst the main hallway of the Palazzo and eager to tell us his part in this intriguing tale…
chasing-1-w960h672Andrea explained that while rummaging through his family’s papers for research during his autobiography of his great-great-great-great grandmother, Lucia Mocenigo, he found genuine treasure: a description of a once-lost rose that smelled of peach and raspberries – symbol of a deep friendship between Lucia and Joséphine Bonapart, the precious cutting a gift to a fellow rose-lover.
IMG_0155
Author, Andrea di Robilant

What began as a light-hearted search for the bloom led to years of further research and finally, stumbling across that very rose in the now completely wild and overgrown gardens in Venice. A chance meeting with Marco Vidal led to the realisation their stories were now intimately connected – the Vidals owned the Palazzo the rose was named for, and not only that – they made perfumes. Their fragrant future was sealed, and now Rosa Moceniga blooms once more with every spritz of this beautiful scent…
Screenshot 2016-08-24 14.26.47
And what does the final perfume smell like? Romantically nodding to the past but with its head firmly in the present, this lush flower bouquet is sheer as the finest silk scarf with fresh Sicilian lime and blackcurrant leaves garlanding the main event – that delicately fruity, luminous rose. Definite notes of peach and raspberry entwine with softly powdered cedar and amber for a magnificently elegant dry down. Venetian history infused with that golden sunlight and bottled.
IMG_0140
Murano glass smelling vessels

The final day included a trip to the stunning flagship store of The Merchant of Venice. Wood-panelled and with historic books and perfume materials dotted around the walls, the perfumes are presented not merely with paper blotters – oh no. Hand-blown Murano glass sniffing jars are proffered, allowing the notes to blossom as they would on skin and offering a more realistic smelling experience.
IMG_0144
The Merchant of Venice flagship store

In the breathtaking surroundings of Teatro La Fenice – the Venetian Opera House – we were shown films on the history of the Vidal family’s involvement with perfume and the many fragrance houses they are custodians of, before the family themselves took to the stage to give thanks to their many supporters for celebrating their anniversary.
IMG_0136
Teatro La Fenice

The evening concluded with an olfactory themed banquet in a private room upstairs, saffron sprinkled throughout the courses with abandon and floral cocktails quaffed.
IMG_0131
The olfactory dinner

We left in no doubt of the huge significance Venice holds in the heart of perfume history, the great care and attention the Vidal family place on preserving this heritage for future generations to enjoy while greatly expanding their diverse fragrance wardrobes, and the fact that we would most definitely be returning to this incredible city drenched in the culture of scent as soon as we possibly could.
IMG_0135
The Vidal family – perfume obsessives, every one…

Until then? We’ll be spraying Rosa Moceniga and sighing dreamily at the memories…
I_247679559_50_20160708
The Merchant of Venice Rosa Moceniga £120 for 100ml eau de parfum
Buy it exclusively at House of Fraser
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Do you suppose your ‘toeses’ could be ‘posies of rosies’…? It’s a tongue-twister come true with Margaret Dabbs wild rose scented polishes (and we want them ALL!)

As children, we used to endlessly repeat tongue-twisters, one of our favourite (of course it would be flower themed) being:

“Moses supposes his toeses are roses,
but Moses supposes erroneously;
for nobody’s toeses are posies of roses,
as Moses supposes his toeses to be…”

We’re not sure from whence the rhyme originally sprang, but it was clearly from the mind of a scented beauty visionary, for now your ‘toeses’ can indeed be ‘posies of roses’. Or, well, at least they can smell like roses while being painted in an array of sumptuous nail polish shades, in a veritable bouquet (over seventy in the collection, so it’s a BIG bouquet) of rose-scented, floral-themed colours and names, by the hands-down Queen of ‘Fabulous Hands’ (and feet), Margaret Dabbs.

Margaret Dabbs says: ‘Themed around the names of English flowers, the 72 beautiful shades of polish take inspiration from the wonders of nature. The soft, light pastel tones of spring-time jasmine and apricot blossom contrast delightfully with the classic, rich winter-time reds of crimson rose and poinsettia. Vibrant summer shades such as fuchsia and gerbera daisy give the range a vivid diversity of colour, which will guarantee the perfect finish to your manicure.’

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 16.20.56
Using a unique formula personally created by Margaret ‘to promote nail health and vitality’, vitamin E strengthen and protects the nail bed, with wild rose botanical extract not merely there to smell pretty – it reduces inflammation, helps prevent infections and (the best bit, for us) leaves the oppulent, lasting scent of wild roses on the nails long after the polish is dry. Free from potentially harmful indredients such as formaldehyde, toluene or DPB, Margaret assures the formula is so good for your nails that they’ll remain healthy – even after removing the varnish.

As you know, we’re always ready to get our noses into products that use scent in a unique way, and this summer we predict many a beach, garden or pool-side will witness scenes of people sniffing their manicures (and pedicures, if they’re flexible enough!) Instead of supposing they have heatstroke and need to be taken indoors for a glass of water and a nice lie down – now you know they’ll simply be enjoying the scent of wild roses (on their toeses)…

06FC619F-535B-4A49-B7B5-53631D652D07
Margaret Dabbs London Nail Polish £14 each

Buy them at margaretdabbs.co.uk and Margaret Dabbs London Clinics.

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

L’Occitane celebrate 40th anniversary with (pre-launch!) discovery of Violette & Rose De Mai

To celebrate an amazing 40 years of their existence, L’Occitane are offering you the opportunity to discover the brand new limited edition fragrance – Violette & Rose De Mai.

Fragrant fans of L’Occitane who join them in stores on Tuesday 19th & Wednesday 20th April (tht’s next week, folks) will be treated to a sneak-preview of the Spring-fresh new perfume before it even launches. What’s more, each customer buying any full size L’Occitane fragrance on the day will receive a gift worth over £20*. Tempting? We thought so…

Exclusively created by perfumer Violaine Callas for the Chelsea Flower Show, the scent seeks to capture ‘…the essence of Provence in a single spritz. The fragrance delicately opens with soaring notes of bergamote and rhubarb, paired with citrus orange. The heart unites the powdery violette leaves to the graceful Rose De Mai from Grasse. A warm base then rounds off this delicious scent, leaving behind a woody trail of santal and musk.’

With stores nationwide, find your nearest L’Occitane by clicking here. We wish you a happy sneaky-sniffing session and hope you enjoy!

Written by Suzy Nightingale

* Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Official launch date nationwide: 21st April