Clive Christian launch Noble VII duo at Harrods – inspired by the magnificent Queen Anne gardens of his home…

The fragrance world have long known the name of Clive Christian, but perhaps not so much about the man, and we were lucky enough to be treated to an intimate afternoon tea in Clive Christian’s staggeringly beautiful Mayfair office, hosted by the brand’s ambassador; Clive’s daughter, Victoria Christian, and with a visit from the man himself. Over glasses of Champagne and the most elegant sandwiches and pastries, we took a deeper look into the brand’s story – and a unique sniffing session inspired by the rituals of the brand’s historic and royal roots…
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Having rescued the historic Crown Perfumery from ruin and restored its former glory, Clive Christian’s signature fragrance 1872 commemorates the brand’s Victorian heritage – and today the perfume house remains a testament to the artisanal practices of centuries past while still forging ever forwards and creating contemporary fragrances that stand the test of time. The bottle designs and sumptuously heavy crown tops echo that heritage, and the house proudly retains a royal seal of approval to this day.

We were particularly fascinated to learn that the pairs of fragrances are couples in more than name alone – when layered, the masculine with the feminine, if so desired – create your own bespoke blend and harness the interplay of notes between them as they settle on your skin. We tried this ourselves and the results are outstanding. We urge you to play!
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We’re cannot, sadly, re-create the amazing sensation of sitting with your eyes closed and having Victoria waft the scents across a room to you with a large fan [Shhh! VIP Subscribers: do watch our Events page as we are so hoping to make this happen…]
During the talk, Clive Christian spoke of the contentment he finds in tending the magnificent gardens of his Queen Anne house, and the incredible inspiration he’s gained by restoring them to their former glory with a planting scheme that echoes the history of the place. Inspiration that now blossoms fully in the two latest fragrances to be launched…

Noble VII Cosmos Flower

  • Top notes: Pink pepper, rum, mandarin, apple
  • Middle notes: Plum, ylang-ylang, jasmine, osmanthus, cosmos flower
  • Base notes: Benzoin, cocoa, amber, caramel

A delicious forray into a Michelin-grade gourmand, Cosmos Flower exudes all the overt decadence of that magnificent bloom. Mouth-watering fruits get the olfactive tastebuds tingling before melding into a richer plum and and perfectly balanced floral heart, with the peachy delicacy of the osmanthus really showcasing the cosmos flower’s depth. The cocoa of the base is beautifully dry, with smooth benzoin swooning into a bitter caramel that makes for a truly complex and properly grown-up ‘foodie’ fragranced banquet. As a pure perfume, this gave us many happy hours of totally addictive wrist-sniffing…
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Clive Christian Noble VII Cosmos Flower £350 for 50ml pure perfume
At Harrods

Noble VII Rock Rose

  • Top notes: Citrus, bergamot, black pepper, neroli
  • Middle notes: Lavender, violet, herbs, rock rose
  • Base notes: Cocoa, patchouli, amber, vetiver

A classically styled and mistily refined fougére with a surprisingly modern edge, here we find citrus, bergamot and neroli sprinkled with black pepper in the opening, while the heart is composed of superbly dry lavender, violet and the intriguing scent of rock rose. With a base of the darkest cocoa, patchouli and amber, the vetiver seems to sparkle as a cyclical return to the airily fresh beginning. A fragrant journey we’d happily share with any gentleman we deem worthy (if they can wrest it from our grasp!)
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Clive Christian Noble VII Rock Rose £350 for 50ml pure perfume
At Harrods
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Take two bottles? We'd rather take ten! Travel Sprays to swoon over…

Have you ever had the vice-like grip of panic squeeze your heart as the realisation dawns: you have ventured out of the house without perfume?
Good. You’re one of us. And we have an ultra-stylish solution…
The idea of leaving home without having fabulous fragrances at hand to spritz on the go is, frankly, appalling, for us, too. Not only do we need to refresh as the heat rises (in close proximity on public transport, other people’s hygeine – or lack of – becomes all too apparent); but if you’re travelling somewhere, it’s the perfect time to try out a whole new perfume personality.
Just as a colourful sarong jauntily knotted about one’s waist and hair intricately braided with shells might seem the very thing against a backdrop of white sands and cerulean-blue seas, it’s kind of awkward silence making worn to a wet Wednesday’s management meeting: for this very reason, any kind of break is the perfect time to try out new scents – an olfactory dressing-up box for malcontent adults anxious to broaden their fragrant horizons.
With airline travel restrictions frowning suspiciously at even toothpaste and lipgloss and the hideous hassle of lugging heavy full-size bottles around, that means it’s time to bring out the miniatures, samples and travel-sprays just begging to be tried on, and the perfect size to spritz and go.
Wether you’re flying out to some exotic palm-fringed island, living it up in a luxury boutique hotel or merely planning a staycation nearer home – we have the ideal perfume packing list just for you.
Take two bottles…? We’d rather take ten!
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Satisfyingly weighty and with an interchangeable wardrobe of best-selling MFK scents for him and her; we recently learned the slatey grey metal is based on the rooftops of Paris, while the glowing gold is inspired by the burnished statues of that great city. Infinitely chic, totally desirable.
Maison Francis Kurkdjian Globetrotter atomiser from £85, refills (see leading image) from £60 for 3 x 11ml
Buy it at Harvey Nichols
4582195Luxuriously hefty in the hand yet still perfectly portable; the central compartment is interchangeable with a number of the most popular fragrances able to be popped inside for your every whim. This one is a tantalising cocktail of blood orange, blackcurrant and hot spices.
By Killian Playing With the Devil Travel Spray £110 for atomiser & 4 x 7.5ml refills
Buy it at Harrods
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Cool as a cucumber… drenched with mouth-watering juiciness and a clean-skin nuzzle note of fluffy mimosa drying down to the most comforting milky almond and toasted nuttiness as it warms, the 30ml travel size is perfect for re-applying the whole Summer long.
Shay & Blue Almond Cucumber £30 for 30ml natural spray
Buy it at Shay & Blue
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Inspired by Neela’a lifelong passion for perfume and a semi-autobiographical journey through India in exqusite scents, these ‘Take Two’ travel sizes are ideal for keeping about your person at all times. Available in Trayee, Mohur, Bombay Bling, Ashoka and Pichola, for double the pleasure.

Neela Vermeire Take Two €112 for 2 x 15 ml flacons
Buy them at neelavermeire.com
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A gentleman needs to travel stylishly, too, and Dunhill have released an incredibly artful rechargeable spray for their ICON fragrance. Sleek yet racy, bergamot and neroli refresh while black pepper steps up the pace before a stunning infusion of cardamom and lavender beguile.
Dunhill London ICON Eau de Parfum Luxury Travel Set £60 for spray & 2 x 30ml eau de parfum refills
Buy it at John Lewis
Travel-Spray-3Dinky sizes of three top-selling Miller Harris classic scents slot securely inside a magnetically fastened holder. Choose from (our Summer fave) Coeur de Jardin: crisp, fruity and hesperidic, Italian bergamot and lemon, textured pear and peach; Feuilles de Tabac & Noix de Tubéreuse to slip easily in even the smallest bag
Miller Harris Pret-a-Partie travel collection £95 for re-fillable travel spray and 9ml eau de parfum of your choice , or £50 for 3 x 9ml refills
Buy them at Miller Harris

I_231165275_50_20151126Effortlessly cool in that nochalant, laid-back feminine ethos of the design house, we think the white flacon entwined with gold thread is at its cutest in the 30ml travel size. Voluptuous mandarin quenches jasmine before desire is dusted with a skin-soft iris powdered base.
Carven L’Absolu £42 for 30ml eau de parfum
Buy it at House of Fraser
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Designed using the principles of the Bauhaus movement in which the function dictates form, the Bakelite case snugly houses your choice of Frederic Malle’s 10ml refill bottles. A great opportunity for those who’ve always longed to take the plunge into the original King of Niche houses.
Frederic Malle Bakelite Traveler Spray Case £30
Buy it at Liberty
10872434-1404833788-896600Distinctive, unique and ultra long-lasting, Amouage excel at operatic oppulence in scent form. Reflection Man would be our choice for the chap with nothing to prove, rosemary, red pepper berries and bitter orange leaves harmonising with a bright neroli jasmine heart and woody base.
Amouage Reflection Man Travel Spray 2 x 10ml eau de parfum refills £95
Buy it at Amouage
ac0600_giftThe ultimate in personalised travel accessories, the leather case can be engraved with the initials or name of your choice. Plumping for Vanilla Insensée with its addictive twist of creamy vanilla, smooth wood and shady moss – this is a sheer gourmand to wear like a billowing silk scarf.
Atelier Cologne Vanilla Insensée Personalised Travel Spray €160 for 30ml Cologne Absolue
Buy it at Atelier Cologne
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Stella McCartney goes POP!

Described as ‘Bold. Authentic. Irreverent’, POP follows on the kitten heels of STELLA – an absolute modern classic that’s been loved at one time or another by practically every woman we know. Stella McCartney is now celebrating the modern woman: ‘…feminine, naturally confident and modern, with her signature scent STELLA. Living and creating by the same ethos as her brand, Stella McCartney designs and evolves her collections each season while remaining true to herself. The fashion house’s first fragrance is inspired by her enduring vision.’
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Stella McCartney says:POP is about a mindset rather than an individual woman. This is echoed in the campaign and video, which capture the free spirited attitude of the young women who wear it. A celebration of friendship and doing things your own way, the campaign stars four creative talents: musician Grimes, actress and campaigner Amandla Stenberg, animal activist Kenya Kinski Jones and performing arts student Lourdes “Lola” Leon.’
POP reinterprets tuberose, chosen for its iconic bold scent, by emphasizing its brighter, crisper, solar floralcy. This newfound vibrancy is balanced with sandalwood; the unexpected combination of the floral and woody notes resulting in an undeniably feminine scent that makes a statement without being overwhelming.’
You can read The Perfume Shop’s exclusive interview with Stella right here, or just sit back and watch the ad campaign, below.

Vibrantly joyous with soaring florals, tuberose has somehow been masterfully tussled into an almost crytalised note of supreme freshness. It’s white flowers encased in ice, melted by sunshine and infused with sandalwood for a completely new take on what it is to be confidently sexy today. We fully expect POP will be attracting a whole new throng of perfumistas to the house, and tempting many a die-hard STELLA fan, too…
STELLA MCCARTNEY POP EDP
Stella McCartney POP from £42 for 30ml
Buy it at The Perfume Shop
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Mint – in cocktails and scents alike, it's the coolest herb to get fresh with…

As the UK is currently experiencing something of a heatwave, we thought we should point you toward our ever-growing Ingedients Page listings, and perhaps the most deliciously refreshing of all herbal ingredients…
Used for centuries the world over to cool, soothe and refresh, mint comes into its own in the sweltering heat of a city, or to splash on while wandering the white beaches of an exotic island (and we know where we’d rather be, right now!)
As predictable as rain during Wimbledon and the entire transport system screeching to halt at every change of temperature, mint is suddenly the must-have herb – in cocktails, cuisine and scents alike.
Mint
But what other ingredients will you love to learn about, next?
Bursting with fascinating facts and hints of perfumes to try with your favourite perfumery notes in, think of them not only as a fantastic resource for learning more about raw ingredients used in perfumery – a walled-garden of fragrant knowledge, if you will – but a great way to find some new ideas to expand your fragrance wardrobe. After you have used our genius fragrance finder, FR.eD, of course!
So kick off your shoes, unbutton that shirt, and let’s get breezy
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Balance Me benefits – exclusively for VIPs!

We think it’s about time you pampered yourself, don’t you…?
With the distinct lack of sunshine and everyday stresses taking their toll, it’s vital not simply to stop and smell the roses every now and again – but to slather yourself in exqusitely scented things. As one of our VIP passionate perfumistas, you know the myriad of benefits that come from smelling fabulous at all times. With this in mind, we’ve arranged an exclusive VIP offer – just for you!
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Balance Me is an award-winning aromatherapy‑inspired skincare range beloved by beauty editors around the world. All their products are created with bespoke blends of essential oils selected for their natural aromas as well as their mood‑boosting and skin-enhancing properties. They want you to feel good, look good and smell great – and for further mood-boosting, are offering VIP Subscibers a 10% discount on all orders.
With the code lasting until 31st December, you could even stock-up on stocking gifts if you want to get super-organised!
CODE: VIPTPS
Exp date: 31st December 2016
Terms and conditions: This code entitles the bearer to 10% off at www.balanceme.co.uk  and expires midnight 31/12/16. This code cannot be used in conjunction with any other VIP or LOYALTY codes. Users must be logged in to redeem VIP codes and the code must be entered at the checkout stage. For full terms and conditions please see the Balance Me website.

Mitchell and Peach – outstanding in their field(s) of lavender. We loved them so much, we invited you, too!

For five generations, the incredibly photogenic Mitchells have been farming the same land deep in the heart of Kent – The ‘Garden of England’ – and cultivating everything from apples, strawberries, cobnuts, honey and chamomile. But it’s the lavender they’re perhaps most famous for – a swathe of purple shocking commuters into delighted squeals who glimpse it from their packed train carriages (ourselves included!) and gaze longingly as it hurries past…
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Imagine how thrilled we were, then, to receive an invitation to a press day at Mitchell and Peach. We immediately envisaged ourselves wafting through the fields wearing white summer dresses and straw hats, perhaps carrying a wooden trug brimming with the fragrant blooms – like a 1970s shampoo advert bathed in sunshine. Of course it rained (of course!) cometh the day, but it was absolutely impossible not to feel ridiculously happy surrounded by such beauty (seriously, even their barns are beautiful) – and by people who clearly cared so much about their crops and the gorgeously scented products they now make with them.
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From 1923 to 1972, the Mitchells ran a thriving market stand on the south-west corner of old Covent Garden in London. Having celebrated 100 years at Foxbury Farm, it still remains the centre of their estate to this day, and continuing in the family’s tradition while diversifying their offerings, Ian and Jod Mitchell (see main picture) planted fine lavender on the estate.
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Such great quality were the essences distilled from this plantation, they were inspired to create a bath and body range, planted more lavender to keep up with demand and trial crops including chamomile – so wonderfully soothing and far more fragrant than you’d imagine when the petals are crushed beneath your fingers – and beehives for their fragrantly delicious honey. Here’s “Brett the Bee Man” (below) who guided us around the hives and so proudly explained his work…
Brett the Bee man at Mitchell and Peach
 
Far from the slightly fusty image some may have of a family business in such idyllic surroundings engaged in creating fragrances, skin-care and scented grooming products, this is no kitchen-table job. The perfumes are exquisite and so reminisent of their surroundings, yet totally contemporary and wearable by all. The streamlined, stylish packaging also enhances their no-nonsense ethos, and we left seriously impressed by everything we’d seen and smelled (and tasted – we highly recommend lavender as a swizzle stick!)
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In fact, so impressed, we knew we just had to invite our VIP Subscribers along to share the treat with us – and what a treat it proved to be. Even the sun shone for our return visit…
13‘A sophisticated floral structured around rose, ylang ylang, peony and lavender, emboldened with larkspur and sweet fennel. This outstanding perfume is hand-blended in England with pure essential oils from the Mitchell estate. The result is a distinctive fine fragrance with a singular depth, warmth and elegance.’
Mitchell and Peach Fora No.1 £75 for 50ml eau de parfum
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‘A bright “green floral” inspired by the lush countryside of Foxbury Farm, the home of Mitchell and Peach. This unique scent is hand blended with natural extracts including soft citrus, coriander leaves, basil, mint and floral oils from the Mitchell Estate. It possesses an uplifting, aromatic freshness redolent of ‘mown meadows’, with a hint of musky cedar wood to lend complexity and depth.’
Mitchell and Peach English Leaf £55 for 50ml eau de toilette
Buy them at Mitchell and Peach
Written by Suzy Nightingale
 

Illuminum 95%…. the delicious link between taste and smell

Illuminum are ‘pushing the boundaries of the possible’ and exploring the myriad links between between taste and scent. Ever ones to enjoy explorations in both of those areas, we set out to discover more…

Did you know that 95% of what we perceive as a taste sensation is actually constructed from our sense of smell? It sounds astonishing, but anyone who has taken part in our immersive How to Improve Your Sense of Smell Workshops can attest to the power of that discovery [our next one is in Brighton, August 21stcome and join us!]
Indeed, anyone who has ever suffered from a cold and then attempted to eat some comforting bowl of nourishment – only to discover it tastes of almost nothing (or simply unpleasant) – will suddenly have realised the intricate connections between smell and taste…
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Illuminum London proudly straddle the worlds of art and fragrance, pushing the boundaries of how we experience scent and altering our pre-conceived perceptions of smell itself. Having collaborated with many artists, designers and architechts over the years, it seems only natural they should now be working with chefs and exploring that vital link between food and fragrance. Illuminum invited innovative chefs Jackson Boxer, Yuki Gomi and Tom Wolfe to create three distinctive fragrances that explored the interfaces of this connection, playing with our notions of what we think our nose knows.
Illuminum say: ‘Outside the world of perfume, it is chefs who use their sense of smell on a daily basis to spark or guide their imagination. For Illuminum, this cross-disciplinary collaboration with three thoughtful practitioners, each with a clear view of the role and potential of scent, is a unique opportunity to transcend the borders of experience, expectation and practice in order the fashion the new. Formulated in partnership with expert perfumers, the three new scents demonstrate the brand’s ethos of carrying a passion for perfume into fulfilling realms of shared experience, including the worlds of art and culture. For Illuminum, fragrance is an art form in its own right.’
Illuminum Bruswick House

‘Founder of the Brunswick House restaurant and bar in London’s Vauxhall, Jackson Boxer brings his individuality to bear on every facet of the guest experience. Here, within a unique architectural emporium, the antiques themselves are for sale as part of a spirited homage to good taste.’ Explains Jackson:  ‘Food and wine have long provided the framework around which I construct memory. Since I mainly perceive this through scent, the opportunity to create a fragrance with Illuminum that would not only stir me, but also represent a range of hard-to-articulate feelings about cuisine, was fascinating.’ His fragrance features labdanum, oak and cedarwood for a warmly woody Ambrée to set the nose tingling…
Illuminum Yuki&bottle
‘For Yuki Gomi, master of Japanese cooking, teacher, and founder of Yuki’s Kitchen, the ‘95 Percent’ series collaboration is an opportunity to reconnect with a childhood spent in the foothills of Mount Fuji, home to all the subtlety and poetic suggestiveness of Japan’s culinary tradition.’ For Yuki‘s scent, the notes osmanthus, green tea, tangerine and vetiver are entwined to entice the senses…
Illuminum Tom Wolfe
‘London-based Tom Wolfe pioneered the fusion of food with art and product design, carving out a uniquely flamboyant niche in the capital’s culinary landscape. This collaboration with Illuminum is a chance to show off his dazzling talent for drama, story, spectacle and cultural allusion.’ Tom Wolfe #234 twists fennel infused with bergamot, geranium and neroli and a base of pine tree with amber to intrigue…
Illuminum 95% fragrances £80 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy them at Selfridges
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Love to Smell… love us, too! Have you watched the fragrant friends?

Imagine having incredibly knowledgable, engagingly funny and totally un-snobby friends who like nothing more than inviting you ’round their house (or meeting up at a local coffee-shop) and gassing about the latest “OMG, you have to smell this” fragrant find… Well, some of us are lucky enough to have those friends (or hey, even be those friends!) but not everyone is so fortunate. We know this from meeting so many of our subscribers at events, or having them run up to us and say, ‘Oh thank god, people who understand me!’

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Two of our favourite ‘fume-heads  – fragrance expert Nick Gilbert [formerly Ambassador for Penhaligon’s and now freelance consultant] and Pia Long [perfumer, fragrance marketer and now freelance writer with monthly column in Perfume & Flavorist magazine] teased us a little while ago with the trailer for their new show – all about sharinf the things they have most enjoyed sniffing, lately. Now the YouTube channel Love to Smell has officially launched, viewers have access to those kind of friendly people talking about perfume in an informative but completely fun way – and were thrilled to find out they explored our Introductory VIP Discovery Box in their first full episode. It turns out, they love what we do, too…

PS: [HINT] Perhaps if you sniff around a little, you’ll find a brand new, just-launched to VIPs box to discover…? [END HINT]

In their Show Notes section of the accompanying blog, Nick and Pia talk a little more about what drew them to The Perfume Society, before discussing some other ‘try-me’ sizes of frgrances:

‘So we really love what The Perfume Society is up to – as you may have noticed, we love to smell… and love perfumes and talking about them. And The Perfume Society is more or less a club for people to get excited about smells. One of the best things about getting more into fragrances is the social aspect – talking to others, training your nose to be better at smelling; comparing notes and attending fragrant events. You will learn so much about fragrances, perfume history and the ingredients, too…’

With four episodes already out there – the next ones concentrating on subjects as diverse as Foam Burst shower gels and new perfume house Amouroud – we urge you to grab a cuppa and make time for Love to Smell – a fun, fragrant show that doesn’t take itself too seriously and makes you want to share the scents you love, too!

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Paul Schütze – a beautiful journey through art, photography, music and now… perfume

We first met the artist Paul Schütze some years ago, during his Silent Surface exhibition – a gallery of works exploring banned books and the power of words. The centrepiece was a magnificent tome on a plinth, the pages entirely blackened as though burned, and from which the most incredible aroma wafted – the more instense the closer you got. A scent evoking old libraries, dusty pages and fresh ink filled the room, and apparently many visitors asked if they could buy the fragrance itself. Having never seen the exercise as a commercial venture – the aroma as much an artwork as those on the walls – Paul hadn’t really considered such a thing, back then. But how things change…

Fascinated by the ability of aroma to provoke distinct emotions and long-distant memories, Paul began working even more closely with the concept of integrating artworks and instillations with our innate sense of smell – an unseen hand of the artist. Last year, Paul collaborated with Sir John Soane’s Museum on a candlelit tour devoted to exploring the sensorial heritage of the house, with Paul using aromas to evoke the sense of the family having just left the room – olfactory time-travel, if you will.

13181389_588833121284256_228160111_nWhile still working on his music and stunning photography (seriously, have a look at his Instagram account for a taste of the visual treats), Paul worked extensively on creating exquisite formulas, himself  – transforming his fragrance dreams into a reality, while slowly traversing the tricky areas of perfume regulations.

Now, the trio of fragrances have been realised – each of them chosen to describe a moment in time recalled by the artist ‘for it’s unique particularity’. And there’s no doubting these fragrances are unique.

Behind The Rain

Behind the Rain: black pepper, conifer, olibanum, grapefruit, lentisque, linden, moss, patchouli, sweet fennel, vetiver.

The moment of being caught in a Monsoon-like downpour – sheltering beneath a tree on some exotic island’s beach, the petrichor scent of the rain istelf, drenched foliage and sweetly sodden earth, then plants blooming as heat returns and the liquid steams…

Cirebon

Cirebon: bergamot, bigarade, cedar, cyclamen, magnolia, pettigrain, sandalwood, Tunisian orange flower, vetiver.

An hallucinogenic evocation of one sultry night in Java – the memories of an orchestra playing, their music drifting across the water on the scented breeze; a synaesthetic merging of the senses as sound and smell become one as they swirl around you…

Tears of Eros

Tears of Eros: ambergris, benzoin, cardamom, cedar, incense, green clementine, guaiac wood, hyacinth, labdanum, orris, pink pepper.

A rememberance of the artist working in his Parisian studio – the smouldering embers of incense from Sanju Sangendo, Kyoto, among discarded clementine skins, the heat releasing the sharp pithy notes along with the juicy freshness of the skin; a potted hyacinth on the window ledge blurring the cool air of the city beyond…

Strikingly characterful and bold, yet hauntingly ethereal, they seem almost to recall the manual method of developing photographic prints themselves – an image deepening with details, shadows emerging as they warm on the skin. Like his artworks, there’s an avant garde starkness shot through with a stately elegance – a way to transcend through scent.

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Paul Schütze perfumes £135 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy them at Roullier White

Written by Suzy Nightingale

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

When is a rose not a rose….?

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

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

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©Roberto Greco

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aether
©Roberto Greco

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

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

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

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

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

Written by Suzy Nightingale