New Escentual Post: Aramis Adventurer Perfume Review & Competition

Aramis Adventurer

Aramis Adventurer

For my Escentual column this week, I’ve taken a look at Adventurer, the latest masculine fragrance from resolutely-man-focused perfume brand, Aramis. I will say now that Adventurer is not my style, but it is a nicely pieced together sport scent that manages to avoid all of the usual clichés with a touch of class and maturity. Click here to read my review in more detail.

Also, if you head on over to Escentual’s Facebook page, you can enter to win a brand spanking new bottle of Aramis’ Adventurer. All you need to do is leave a comment (there, not here) telling Escentual the place where you would like to have your ultimate adventure. The competition ends on 03 September 2014 and the usual T&Cs stated by Escentual apply. Good luck!

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Flesh Tones – Narciso Rodriguez NARCISO Perfume Review

Flesh Tones - Narciso by Narcisso Rodriguez

Flesh Tones – Raquel Zimmerman for NARCISO by Narcisso Rodriguez

“Black, white and nude are my essential colors. Each time I start a collection, I start with these colors; they are the elemental colors we refer to from the beginning.”

- Narciso Rodriguez

Scent often presents itself to me in colours. I am not for one second claiming that I am a possessor of any form of Synesthesia, but like most people I’m sure, I often assign a shade or hue to a particular perfume or ingredient. For example, Frederic Malle’s Portrait of a Lady is the most shocking, ruby-like red, whereas 4160 Tuesdays’ Urara’s Tokyo Cafe comes out of the bottle in strands of fuchsia pink and dark green. Of course, a perfume’s packaging has an impact, leading one to think of a specific colour, and despite the way one’s mind may think they smell, it’s impossible to see a fragrance such as Mugler’s Angel as any other colour other than blue.

On some occasions the colour of a perfume’s packaging perfectly matches the shade of the smell it contains. This aesthetic and olfactory synchronicity can add to the overall experience of a fragrance, joining together the tactile and the ephemeral to make something that is ultimately more enjoyable. NARCISO, the latest fragrance from American fashion designer, Narciso Rodriguez is one such fragrance and it marries a bottle and a fragrance of white, nude and black to create an immersive olfactory experience that, even in its flesh tones, is distinctly colourful.

NARCISO, which takes its name from the designer and the Greek myth of Narcissuswas created by perfumer, Aurelien Guichard (Chinatown, Eros & Petit Fracas) and intends to celebrate “a woman’s powers of seduction with the utmost luxury”. It follows Narciso Rogriguez for Her as the brand’s second pillar fragrance for women and seeing as for Her is already considered as a modern classic, NARCISO has some big shoes to fill. NARCISO may be pale in colour, but does it pale in comparison to Rodriguez’s popular flagship fragrance? Only time will tell.

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Sharp Suits & Relaxed Denim – Alford & Hoff Eau de Toilette Perfume Review

Jon Kortajarena in Colin Firth & Tom Ford's A Single Man

Sharp Suits & Relaxed Denim – Jon Kortajarena & Colin Firth in Tom Ford’s A Single Man

The debut fragrance from new perfume and skincare brand, Alford & Hoff would have escaped my notice completely if it weren’t for the presence of venerable perfumer, Rodrigo Flores-Roux’s name on the ticket. Flores-Roux is responsible for some exceptional work on behalf of the likes of Tom Ford (Fleur de Chine, for example) and Arquiste (Boutonierre no.7 and Flor y Canto etc.), amongst many others. So it was with a keen sense of interest that I approached this oh-so-masculine-sounding fragrance penned by Flores-Roux, for an entirely new brand.

Alford & Hoff is the brainchild of athletes, Barry Alford and Jefferson Hoff. They aim to create luxurious fragrances and skincare products for “a new generation of men”, positioning their wares at the higher end of the designer market and at the lower end of niche. Their first fragrance, Alford & Hoff Eau de Toilette is described as being “confident, passionate, stylish, successful, [and] masculine in a modern way”, and reportedly contains “95 of the finest ingredients.”

That’s all well and good, but how does this modern ode to masculinity, created by one of the industry’s most exciting perfumers, smell? Well, it’s described as being a “fresh, woody” fragrance, and it most certainly lives up to the standards expected by the genre. Will it be a defining scent for the modern generation of men, or does it ultimately fail to break through the cliches of its style? You’ll have to read on to find out….

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New Escentual Post: A Vetiver Mini Guide

A Vetiver Mini Guide

A Vetiver Mini Guide

Is there any perfume ingredient more enjoyable than vetiver? I mean, sure, floral notes can be great, and oriental materials are often sumptuous and exotic, but vetiver is consistently good as well as being completely distinct. As a celebration of this most important and most beautiful ingredient, I compiled a mini-guide of vetiver fragrances for my Escentual column last week. The guide takes a look at a classic, modern and contemporary example of vetiver and is an essential peek at the world of perfumery’s staple ingredient. Click here to head on over to Escentual to read the guide, and don’t forget to let me know about your vetiver fragrances whilst you’re there!

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Smelly News: Cara Delevingne for Tom Ford Black Orchid

Cara Delevingne for Tom Ford Black Orchid

Cara Delevingne for Tom Ford Black Orchid

American Beauty and Fashion brand, Tom Ford have announced British model, Cara Delevingne as the face of their flagship fragrance, Black Orchid. Shot by Director and Photographer, Mario Sorrenti, the new campaign shows Delevingne, in true Tom Ford-style, floating naked amongst a pool of purple orchids whilst clutching a bottle of the brand’s iconic perfume.

This new campaign is a more sensual and sexy take on the Black Orchid image, which in its previous incarnations took on a more vampish and glamour puss aesthetic. As always, Ford looks to push buttons, and tasteful nudity aside, Delevingne is a clever choice of face, as she is very much the ‘it’ girl of the moment, traipsing the catwalk for a number of designers as well as courting the worlds of film and music.

What do you think?

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Earth, Water, Wind, Fire and the Divine Light – Elemental Scents

The Fifth Element

The Fifth Element

One of my favourite films is Luc Besson’s 1997 futuristic sci-fi ‘The Fifth Element’ – a look at the future through a French lens. I love everything about this film, from the Jean Paul Gaultier-designed costumes to Chris Tucker’s bizarre, yet engaging performance as a camp and sexually confusing radio-host. I even don’t mind the sight of Bruce Willis in a vest (Gaultier, of course), but that’s a less important fact, and one that I’m sure you will judge me for later.

I watched the film recently and whilst delving into Besson’s pre-apocalyptic vision of the future, my mind turned to perfume, as it so often does. If you’ve not watched The Fifth Element, firstly shame on you, but secondly, it is essentially a film about saving the world by gathering together the four fundamental elements (earth, water, wind and fire), along with the elusive fifth element (Milla Jovovich) to create the Divine Light and destroy the Great Evil. Sounds pretty fab, huh?

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Smelly News: Thierry Mugler to Launch Limited Edition Angel Glamorama

Angel Glamorama

Angel Glamorama

“A sexy and glam-rock star is born, in the image of Georgia May Jagger, the new face of Angel.”

This October, renegade fashion brand and purveyor of olfactory marvels, Thierry Mugler will launch a limited collector’s edition of their flagship fragrance, Angel. Entitled ‘Angel Glamorama’, the limited edition bottle (the juice remains the same as the original) has been created to celebrate the inauguration of model, Georgia May Jagger as the new face of Angel.

Housed within a black lacquer bottle adorned with a shower of star-like blue sparkles, the Angel Glamorama edition is described as being “like a star plucked from the milky way” and displays the perfume in an entirely more edgy and glam-rock aesthetic. The Angel Glamorama edition will be refillable, enabling the consumer to top-up their fragrance via the Angel Source or via a refill bottle.

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