The Deliciousness of Rose – Elie Saab Essence Nº1: Rose Perfume Review

The Deliciousness of Rose - La Saint Honoré by Ladurée

The Deliciousness of Rose (La Saint Honoré by Ladurée)

Elie Saab burst onto the fragrance scene in a blaze of golden glory. His debut perfume ‘Le Parfum‘ was penned by none other than industry veteran, Francis Kurkdjian and it presented a radiant woody floral that utilised a solar orange blossom note to capture the unending beauty of Saab’s couture. This perfume kick-started a genre of radiant, glowing fragrances such as Carven’s Le Parfum (also by Kurkdjian) that now permeate the department store shelves, and it has deservedly found quite a following and spawned a number of flankers.

This year, Elie Saab and Francis Kurkdjian have teamed up once again to do something new – specifically to release a more exclusive collection of unisex fragrances entitled ‘La Collection des Essences’. Consisting of four perfumes, Essence Nº1: Rose, Essence Nº2: Gardenia, Essence Nº3: Ambre and Essence Nº4: Oud, the collection has been created to showcase “perfumed expressions of haute couture”, and unlike many exclusive collections (most of which are yawn-worthy and blatant money spinners), this one does exactly what it sets out to do with four fragrances that certainly capture the spirit of ‘Eau de Couture’.

“La Collection des Essences expresses a supreme elegance, a concise refinement that melds light and colour, depth and subtlety, volume and transparency. Four bold and exclusive statements with precise, dense and dazzling formulas.”

- Elie Saab

I have managed to try the whole collection and I must say that I am impressed, as I expected to be – I am, after all, a bit of Kurkdjian fan-boy. The Gardenia is a sharp, green and fuzzy take on the flower that sits somewhere between photorealism and abstraction, whereas the Ambre is a spicy, cosy and piquant amber, in a similar vein to Byredo’s 1996, and the Oud avoids the typical rose/super-spicy cliches as a woody and animalic oud that wouldn’t feel entirely out of place within Kurkdjian’s own collection. It is the Rose however, that has me hooked with its beautiful gourmand tones, that really are quite striking, despite their simplicity.

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Smelly News: Mumtaz Mahal Jewels Exhibited at La Maison Guerlain

The Jewels of Mumtaz Mahal

The Jewels of Mumtaz Mahal

“In india, jewellery has always been an indispensable part of one’s outfit. It is said to hold the power of the gods and goddesses.”

The story of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan is the stuff of legend. Their epic love story is represented by one of the world’s most famous buildings – the Taj Mahal – a palace that was created as a mausoleum to the princess following her death, upon the orders of a distraught Shah Jahan. The Mughal Empire may now be a thing of the past, but the story of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan, and the Taj Mahal lives on.

Historic perfume house, Guerlain has a strong link to this tale. Their flagship fragrance, Shalimar was inspired by the story and named after the Shalimar gardens created by Shah Jahan in Lahore. The Jacques Guerlain creation from 1925 is perhaps as well-known as the heartbreaking legend of the Emperor and the Princess, and it is widely considered as a true classic of perfumery, and the crown jewel in Guerlain’s wardrobe of wonderful fragrances.

“Three months to dream and admire the jewellery worn 400 years ago by a great rani worthy of the Thousand and One Nights.”

Speaking of jewels, a chance encounter between Laurent Boillot, the President and CEO of Guerlain, and Indian entrepreneur, Vinita Jain has resulted in a very special exhibition at La Maison Guerlain – Guerlain’s flagship boutique at No. 68 Champs-Élysées, Paris. From 03 September to 14 November 2014, visitors can view three special pieces – a ring, necklace and head jewel – worn by a princess famed for her beauty and essential artefacts in one of the greatest love stories of all time.

Click below the jump to see the other pieces that will be exhibited at La Maison Guerlain this autumn.

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Gone Fishin’ – We’re Off to Japan!

Gone Fishin'

Gone Fishin’

As you read this, my husband and I will be headed to Heathrow’s Terminal 5 to start our long journey to Tokyo (the land of Studio Ghibli, y’all!!) for our honeymoon. It promises to be the holiday of a lifetime and we both simply cannot wait to touch down in Japan and explore the sights, sounds and smells of one of the world’s most amazing cities. Oh and not forget the food – we are most looking forward to the food, for sure (and by ‘we’, I most definitely mean ‘me’).

I promise to report back on the scented aspects of our trip (and will respond to comments) upon my return however, whilst we’re away, things will be relatively quiet on the blog. I’ve scheduled a dose of Smelly News for this Wednesday and a review of something new from Elie Saab for Friday to keep you occupied, but for the most part I will be taking a bit of a break from the blogospehre. Of course I will be tweeting (@candyperfumeb0y) and there will also be my weekly Escentual column to enjoy, so make sure you don’t miss that either.

Normal service shall resume on WC 29 September 2014. Until then, I bid you all adieu!

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New Escentual Post: Narciso Rodriguez NARCISO Competition

More Thoughts on Narciso Rodriguez's NARCISO and a Giveaway!

More Thoughts on Narciso Rodriguez’s NARCISO and a Giveaway!

A few weeks back I reviewed NARCISO, the latest fragrance from American fashion house, Narciso Rodriguez. It would be safe to say that I was pretty impressed with the abstract musky floral and it has quickly shown itself as a perfect representation of the Narciso Rodriguez brand and the muted colour palette favoured by the designer. In summation: it’s pretty good.

For this week’s Escentual column, I’ve shared a few more thoughts on NARCISO, which you can read by clicking here. More importantly however, Escentual are hosting a giveaway for three 50ml bottles of NARCISO. If you want to enter, all you need to do is leave a comment stating your favourite fragrance note on my Escentual review here. The competition closes on Wednesday 16 September 2014. I wish you all good luck.

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A Drip of Caramel on the Lips/A Walk Along the Icy Shore – Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt Perfume Review

Wood Sage & Sea Salt

Wood Sage & Sea Salt

Jo Malone always strikes me as more of a lifestyle brand than a fragrance house. They produce an array of lovely scented goodies for the house and body that are housed within beautiful packaging. They look, feel and smell luxurious in a straight forward kind-of-way and have an unfussy approach in all that they do – an approach that does not seek to challenge. Their fragrances aren’t the most groundbreaking in the world, but they always come across as pleasant in a pure sort-of-way.

The brand’s latest fragrance, ‘Wood Sage & Sea Salt’ almost feels like a departure from the clean and pure simplicity that is inextricably linked with the name Jo Malone. Created by perfumer Christine Nagel, this new instalment from the British brand intends to celebrate the “treasure of the English coast” and be evocative of the “windswept shore” in a fresh, salty and mineral scent that really is unlike anything else one can find in the collection. Sure, it’s still a ‘clean’ cologne in the Jo Malone style, but it’s also a fascinatingly abstract piece of work that comes as a complete surprise.

“Escape the everyday along the windswept shore. Waves breaking white, the air fresh with seal salt and spray. Alive with the mineral scent of the rugged cliffs. Mingling with the woody earthiness of sage. Lively, spirited and totally joyful.”

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Angel’s New Face

Beware of Angels - Georgia May Jagger for Thierry Mugler's Angel

Beware of Angels – Georgia May Jagger for Thierry Mugler’s Angel

I had a bit of a strange, fragrance-related realisation this week, specifically that Thierry Mugler’s Angel is my favourite perfume. Sure, I’ve always said that I could never be tied down to a single perfume and whilst I have a top 5, when asked, I always say that I simply couldn’t narrow my perfume love to just one fragrance. Also I’m well aware that I regularly bang on about the sentimental importance of Angel’s sister scent, Alien – so it’s easy to see why I would not be a good poster boy for fragrant monogamy. All of that said, Angel is always the perfume that I come back to, and it’s the only fragrance that I can wear for weeks on end without thinking of anything else.

But what spurred this realisation, I hear you ask? Well, I had a serendipitous encounter at a rather wonderful Mugler event that affirmed Angel in her personal number one status. It’s not every day that I get asked to attend a tea party with a supermodel AND the creator of my favourite fragrance, but it is something I certainly could get used to, and I simply couldn’t turn down Thierry Mugler’s offer of hanging with perfumer Olivier Cresp and model Georgia May Jagger, to celebrate Jagger’s position as the new face of Mugler’s signature fragrance.

Hosted in a private suite at the surprisingly inconspicuous Sanderson Hotel (looks like a tower block on the outside and a Dalí-esque play house on the inside, complete with cosmic list), the tea party staged an ode to Angel, to Mugler, to Oliver Cresp and to Georgia May Jagger. We were treated to a visual history of the fragrance and of Mugler’s fashion, viewing some of his most famous catwalk shows filled with supermodels, actresses and radiant muses draped in Mugler couture – an abundance of waspish waists and structured shoulders were to be seen. It was all very glam, dahling.

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Smelly News: The Library of Fragrance to Launch in the UK

The Library of Fragrance

The Library of Fragrance

“Rather than trying to capture the ‘essence’ of an aspirational ideal or glossy advertising image, The Library of Fragrance presents scents that are ‘real’ and ‘familiar’ and can be chosen to reflect the preferences of the wearer, instead of those dictated by a perfumer or designer. Selecting a scent to wear becomes as easy as asking yourself, ‘what sort of things do I like?’.”

New York based perfumery, The Library of Fragrance (also known as Demeter Fragrance Library in the US) is due to launch in the UK next week. This encyclopaedic series of perfumes captures the smells that surround us on a day to day basis, ranging from marshmallows to dirt. They are straightforward and novel fragrances that always smell wonderfully accurate, whether they’re trying to recreate the odour of rain or play doh. I like to think of them as fun and fragrant pick me ups that do exactly what they say on the tin.

The Library of Fragrance has appeared in UK niche stores in limited distribution in the past, but this September sees a nationwide launch at pharmacy chain Boots, in store and online. A capsule collection of 28 fragrances (which can be layered to suit the wearer’s tastes) will be available at launch, ranging from the coziness of Amber to the delicious calories of Vanilla Ice Cream. Each fragrance will be available in 30ml Cologne sprays for £15, with a special 2 for £25 promotion featuring exclusively at Boots.

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