Smelly News: Les Exclusifs de Chanel to Launch Misia

New from Les Exclusifs de Chanel: Misia

New from Les Exclusifs de Chanel: Misia

Well here’s some news for you! Chanel is adding a new fragrance to its exclusive collection ‘Les Exclusifs de Chanel’. The fragrance is called ‘Misia’ and is the latest addition to the Chanel Exclusives since 2013’s 1932. The name pays homage to Misia Sert, piano player, artistic saloon owner and best buddy (well, friend) of none other than Coco Chanel, the founder of the Chanel brand.

Misia is the first fragrance created for Chanel by Oliver Polge (Dior Homme), the son of famous Chanel perfumer, Jacques Polge (Coco, Coco Mademoiselle, Antaeus and Egoiste etc.). The fragrance has been designed to be evocative of the 1920s, with prominent notes of Turkish rose and rose from Grasse. Misia is a fragrance “for the free and confident woman.”

Continue reading

Shalimar at a Stretch – Shalimar Souffle de Parfum Perfume Review

Shalimar Souffle de Parfum - The Latest Incarnation of Guerlain's 1925 Classic

Shalimar Souffle de Parfum – The Latest Incarnation of Guerlain’s 1925 Classic

“The sickness of making flankers every five minutes is very upsetting, but if I don’t want to get kicked out for not doing my job, I have to do it”

- Thierry Wasser ¹

Thierry Wasser, in-house perfumer at Guerlain, recently likened the penchant brands have for creating numerous flankers to a “sickness” and when looking at the numerous incarnatons of the house’s flagship fragrance, Shalimar, it’s easy to see why.  In the last five years we’ve seen seven, that’s right, seven new Shalimar flankers ranging from the sublime Parfum Initial and Ode à la Vanille to the less interesting Parfum Initial L’Eau, and on occasions the brand has stretched the Shalimar association pretty thin.

With their latest flanker, Shalimar Souffle de Parfum, the link has become so emaciated it may have finally snapped. Sniffing the flanker, it’s pretty difficult to pick out exactly how the two fragrances are alike. Shalimar is a grand dame of the oriental world, showcasing bubbling bergamot, smoky-sweet vanilla powder and tons of heavy resins. Souffle de Parfum on the other hand is, well, the complete opposite of that. It may not be worthy of the Shalimar name, but does that mean that it’s a bad fragrance?

Guerlain describe Souffle de Parfum as a “gently perfumed caress” ² and a “breath of extreme sensuality” ², with the ‘Souffle’ here referring to the French word for breath, as opposed to anything culinary-related. It has been designed to celebrate the lighter facets of Shalimar, specifically focus on the shining citrus that famously graces the Oriental Queen’s top notes, and the plush vanilla that sits at her core. In that respect, Souffle de Parfum succeeds, merging these two themes together to create something that may, or may not be Shalimar, depending on how one looks at it.

Continue reading

New Escentual Post: S is for Serge Lutens

S is for Serge Lutens

S is for Serge Lutens

When doing an A-Z Guide to Fragrance, as I have been doing for Escentual over the last two years, one finds some letters to be difficult. For example, ‘Q’ stumped me for quite some time, until I thought that it could be representative of ‘Questions’ (as in fragrant FAQs), and I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to do for ‘X’ or ‘Z’, but they’re a little way off yet so let’s not panic. Anyway, some are hard to pick a theme for, whilst others are pretty easy. ‘S’ was one of the easy ones.

‘S’ could stand for ‘Shalimar’ or it could stand for ‘Sandalwood’. In fact, it could stand for many things. In my mind however, ‘S’ could only, and should only be representative of one thing in fragrance and that is ‘Serge Lutens’. Since the early ’90s, this olfactory enigma has been presenting us with some of the most beautiful, challenging, confusing and fascinating fragrances. He’s a man who speaks in riddles but presents olfactory tales in captivating prose. He is Serge Lutens, and there’s not much more to say than that. Click here to read this week’s Escentual column.

Continue reading

I’m Too Sexy for my Cuir, Too Sexy for my Cuir – Tom Ford Tuscan Leather Perfume Review

Too Sexy - Tuscan Leather by Tom Ford

Too Sexy – Tuscan Leather by Tom Ford

Leather fragrances all fall somewhere on a spectrum that spans from ‘Expensive Handbag’ to ‘Cow Hide’, with a great distance of space between both polar ends. On one side we have the likes of Bottega Veneta Eau de Parfum and Dior’s Cuir Cannage, olfactory interpretations of luxury leather goods, and on the other we have fragrances such as Mona di Orio’s Cuir, which is essentially chorizo in a bottle. Somewhere smack bang in the middle of this spectrum of suede is my favourite kind of leather – the “hell yeah I’m sexy” kind of leather.

To me, the ideal sexy leather fragrance is undeniably Tom Ford’s Tuscan Leather. Even the name is evocative of tumbles in the hay under the hot Italian sun – what could be more enticing, right?. Released in 2007 as part of the original crop of Private Blends, Tuscan Leather is not only dashingly handsome, it’s also the perfect scent for this chilly weather we’re having – it’s warm, enveloping and totally sexy. Too sexy, in fact. It’s use has to be restricted in our house because it is, without being distinctly raunchy, completely and utterly delectable. Did I mention that it’s sexy?

Continue reading

Smell-O-Vision: Yves Saint Laurent Paris to Murano

 Legendary fashion house Yves Saint Laurent (now known as Saint Laurent Paris) has teamed up with historical Murano glass makers, Verrerie Verini, to create an exclusive edition of their 1983 fragrance, Paris. The perfume remains the same however, the bottle has been crafted into a multifaceted gem with varying hues of red and pink, almost like a sparkling piece of hard candy.

The edition is likely to set you back a fair few pennies (reports are that it is £5,000 – eek), but that doesn’t take away from just how gorgeous it is. Above you can find a video from Vogue Paris which shows the manufacturing process for this limited edition. It’s quite fascinating how these skilled artisans are able to make such beautiful glassware with such precision using traditional methods. Enjoy!

Continue reading

New Escentual Post: R is for Reformulation

R is for Reformulation

R is for Reformulation

There is no subject in the world of perfume more likely to encourage a collective sigh than reformulations. Often one will hear cries of how the classics have been ruined by ever increasing regulations and the tightening of purse strings of brands who do not respect their heritage, and I don’t disagree. But it’s not all bad, and IFRA regulations are encouraging perfumers to be more creative with the way they make perfumes. Not to mention the fact that we’ve also seen some scents brought back from the verge of death in new formulations – fragrances such as Guerlain’s legendary Mitsouko, for example.

For my Escentual column last week (I’m a tad late putting it up here, apologies) I’ve continued the journey of my A-Z of perfume with the latest stop at ‘R’, which of course, stands for ‘Reformulation’. In the piece, I take a look at the reasons behind formula changes, from restrictions to regulations, as well as some of the revelations that the subject has to offer. So, if you’re in the mood to have a peek into the secret world of reformulation, please click here to head on over to Escentual.

Continue reading

Once Upon a Time – Chloé Love Story Perfume Review

New from Chloé: Chloé Love Story

New from Chloé: Love Story

“A night in Paris. Sparkling lights and music. A crowd. And her.”

- Chloe Love Story

Here we are with the first review of a 2015 fragrance launch. That didn’t take long, now did it? Well technically, this one was available in some countries at the back end of last year, but it is only reaching the UK this month, but let’s not split hairs, shall we. The perfume we will be looking at today is Love Story by Chloé, the latest offering from a brand that I haven’t featured on the blog before (much to my surprise, actually). Let’s rectify that right now.

In perfumista terms, Chloé is best known for their eponymous signature scent launched in 1975 under the direction of Karl Lagerfeld. Chloé was, and is, a gigantic white floral chocked to the brim with syrup and powder – fearful (but beautiful) stuff for sure. It would be fair to say that the house’s output since hasn’t been as bold, but is still very pretty however, more so in the modern style of perfumery. I remember being particularly impressed with Love, Chloe (a very subtle powder scent) and I’d definitely put this new one, Love Story on that list as well.

For Love Story, Chloé has envisaged a feminine fairytale starring actress, Clémence Posey (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), directed by Mélanie Laurent (as seen in Inglourious Basterds), snapped by Inez Van Lamsweerde and scented by perfumer, Anne Flipo (MyQueen, Chloé Fleur de Narcisse and Manifesto). Housed within a padlock shaped bottle, a sign of love seen on the bridges of the city of lights, Chloé’s Love Story is a contemporary spring floral full of life and romance – an Eau de Parfum dripping with dazzling prettiness.

“Love Story is a modern story of seduction. Her. And him. Their paths cross, a few mumbled words, a beautiful moment.”

- Chloe Love Story

Continue reading