The Candy Perfume Boy’s Guide to Vanilla

The Candy Perfume Boy's Guide to Vanilla

The Candy Perfume Boy’s Guide to Vanilla

The Candy Perfume Boy’s ‘Guide to…‘ series is an award winning fragrant exploration of the individual notes that make up the vast and multi-dimensional spectrum that is the world of perfume. In each episode, we take a detailed look at a particular ingredient, analysing its odour profile and the ‘must sniff’ perfumes that serve as reference examples within the genre.

So far in the series, we’ve taken a gander at the lusciousness of lily, variety of violet and the tenacity of tuberose. We’ve also ogled at oud, chomped on chocolate and orbited the world of orange blossom. All-in-all, it’s been a fun and fragrant exploration of some of perfumery’s most beloved ingredients, but our journey is far from over and we have many more smells to sniff. So buckle up as we take off for our next fragrant expedition – a mission to Planet Vanilla.

In this latest instalment of The Candy Perfume Boy’s Guide to, we’re going to explore all that is vanilla – a note that is as well-known as it is delicious. The use of vanilla in perfume is most certainly plentiful and to serve you, dear reader, I have separated the wheat from the chaff to present you with 8 vanilla perfumes that are absolute must smells on your fragrant journey. I promise you that they all smell absolutely fabulous!

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Butchouli – Tom Ford Private Blend Patchouli Absolu Perfume Review

Tom Ford's Patchouli Absolu - Serving up 'Tom of Finland' Realness

Tom Ford’s Patchouli Absolu – Serving up ‘Tom of Finland’ Realness

The trajectory of the use of patchouli in perfume is a sad one. Most associate the earthy, oily and sour smell of the note with the hippy head shops in the 1970s however, one would find it almost impossible to come across such an impression in a modern fragrance, as it seems that all of the mirk and filth has been extracted from today’s perfumery landscape, leaving behind a sea of sanitised patchouli notes that are nice, but certainly not a patch on the real thing.

Tom Ford is a man that likes patchouli. Since he launched Tom Ford Beauty with Black Orchid in 2006 he has treated us to not one, not two, but three patchouli-based fragrances. His patchoulis, Purple Patchouli (2007), White Patchouli (2008) and the latest, Patchouli Absolu, present a diverse array of blends that showcase the marvelous versatility of an age-old note. Whether he be showcasing the sweet and fruity tones of Purple Patchouli or the high-class floral tones of White Patchouli, Tom Ford refuses to offer up a clean or unrealistic take on the note, and for that he must be applauded.

Patchouli Absolu takes patchouli back to its roots and displays a multi-faceted take on the note that it is extremely complex and thoroughly modern. At the core sits a trio of patchouli ingredients – Patchouli Oil, which gives a “raw and primal texture”, Patchouli Coeur, the “absolute extract of the plant” that provides a “refined earthiness”, and a “breakthrough iteration of patchouli” called Clearwood, that offers a pure rendition of patchouli. Patchouli Absolu is a true patchouli delivered in the signature opulence and luxury of Tom Ford’s Private Collection.

“Patchouli Absolu is Tom Ford’s personal ode to an ingredient that is intertwined with his own story. The iconic olfactive note of the 1970s, it evokes louche sensuality and after-dark glamour, as well as the heady blending of masculine and feminine that defined the era. This Eastern oil perfumed the skin of late seventies’ glitterati and bohemians alike, pervading the air of jet-set parties with a provocative, dark glamour. Patchouli fragranced the world that was to shape Tom Ford’s singular vision of style.”

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The Prettiness of Rose – Acqua di Parma Rosa Nobile Perfume Review

The Prettiness of Rose - Acqua di Parma Rosa Nobile

The Prettiness of Rose – Acqua di Parma Rosa Nobile

A few weeks back I reviewed Essence Nº1: Rose, one of the latest fragrances from Elie Saab and by all accounts a beautifully gourmand take on the humble rose. I love rose, in perfume and in pretty much everything else, and I admire the fact that one flower can be used so diversely, due mainly to the man wonderful nuances it displays as a material. It’s a true fact that not all roses are the same, and for every gourmand rose there’s an oriental rose or a photorealistic one, or even a ton of oud-soaked roses, creating a wide range of olfactory signatures that stem from one flower. The humble rose is anything if not impressive in this respect.

If Elie’s Saab new creation celebrates the gourmand facets of the rose, Rosa Nobile, the latest launch from Acqua di Parma, honours the beauty of rose in a simple, yet utterly satisfying manner. Rosa Nobile is an olfactory performance that celebrates the prettiness of rose in a dance of purity and simplicity. It speaks in pastel shades of pink and with a lightness of touch that is almost coy, but most of all, serves as an incredibly beautiful take on the queen of flowers.

“Strolling in the shade of centuries-old trees, among lodges and staircases, a sensuous fragrance drifts – the strong notes of the rose. Its scent forms part of Italy’s noble gardens which, like a queen, it pervades with natural elegance. Acqua di Parma takes their unequalled charm to give life to an Eau de Parfum introducing new touches into the universe of Le Nobili, a collection of women’s fragrances inspired by the most beautiful flowers of exclusive and private Italian gardens, where art and beauty blend in perfect balance. Each one a unique fragrance, selected for its noble femininity, for its fine perfumed essence, and for its quality. Compositions designed by Acqua di Parma using precious ingredients. Each one is unforgettable. Iris, Magnolia, Gelsomino and the new Rosa Nobile.”

- Acqua di Parma

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Desert Island Sniffs, Episode 3: Liz Moores

Desert Island Sniffs

Desert Island Sniffs

After an extended hiatus, due to nothing other than my incredible lack of decent organisational skills, my favourite series, Desert Island Sniffs is back! In this series, we explore the lives of people inextricably linked to the perfume industry and the fragrances that have significant sentimental value to them. By discussing the scents that are of importance to people, we can get a unique insight into what makes them tick and a distinct idea of their character. All in all, these sniffs can be utterly fascinating.

If you’re not familiar with this series, the concept is very simple – I invite important members of the perfume industry, such as brand owners, creative directors and perfumers, to be stranded on their very own desert island, along with 5 carefully curated perfumes of their choice. It may be a tricky job narrowing a life down to such a small number of perfumes, but I can assure you that it is an entirely worthwhile exercise!

The perfumes they choose should be those that have had a significant impact on their scented lives and map specific points in their journey of olfactory discovery. In addition to their 5 Desert Island Sniffs one is kind enough to allow them to take a luxury item (only one, mind) and a ‘perfume bible’ to keep them company. By the end of this series there is going to be some rather fabulously smelling desert islands out there!

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New Escentual Post: Q is for Questions

Q is for Questions…

As a perfume blogger and general all-round scent nerd, I often get asked a lot of questions about the subject. These range from enquiries about my personal tastes to questions regarding fragrance in general; how it should be used and what is wrong, and what is right. I enjoy these sorts of conversations and it’s great to share knowledge, after all fragrance is an ever evolving subject and I too, still have a lot to learn!

For my Escentual column this week, and the latest installment in my ‘Escentual A-Z of Fragrance’, I’ve shared, and answered some of the questions I am most frequently asked. So, if you’d like to know whether layering your fragrance is a ‘yay’ or a ‘nay’, or if you’ve always wondered if a higher price tag really does mean a better quality of perfume, simply click here to find out. Also, if you have any other burning perfume-related questions, please feel free to ask in the comments box below.

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A Tokyo Honeymoon

Shibuya by Night

Shibuya by Night

As you may, or may not know, I got married earlier this year. The wedding day was a truly joyful and fun experience (which you can read all about here), and as much as my husband and I were sad for it to be over, we have very much enjoyed the relief of not having to organise another event like it in a hurry! We’ve also had the excitement of a honeymoon to look forward to, and when deciding where to go there really was only one destination that would satisfy us completely – Tokyo

Japan is a place that feels far removed from any other place we have visited so far. The people and the culture seem to strive for perfection in a way that many Western countries do not and I have always been personally drawn to the conflicting sense of orderliness and chaos that seem so embroiled in the people. The food, the manga, the insanely high tech toilets – everything about Tokyo and Japan seemed new, otherworldly and exciting, and we wanted to experience it.

So on 15 September we hopped on a plane for a 9 day trip to Tokyo, Japan. From the word go we had an awesome time. Within the first 15 hours of the holiday we’d had complimentary champagne at 30,000 ft, shared a plane with Maroon 5 and experienced a small earthquake – all in all, it seemed like it was going to be a once-in-a-lifetime trip filled with new experiences, and do you know what? It absolutely was! We dressed up for Disney, went gaga for Ghibli and simply had an amazing time. What more can you ask for in a honeymoon? Let me tell you all about some of my favourite bits.

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New Escentual Post: Autumnal Scents

Fragrances for Autumn

I’m desperately trying to get back into the swing of things following the honeymoon but I fear that I am failing miserably! I jest, of course and the truth is that writing, like all creative mediums, doesn’t always come at will and cannot be forced, and that really is OK. I have a few posts in draft that will be upcoming this week or next, one of which will be a scented look at my trip to Tokyo however. It isn’t quite ready yet, but will be worth the wait, I assure you.

Next week should be a full week with reviews of two new fragrances – one from Acqua di Parma and one from Tom Ford – along with some more new and exciting Smelly News. In the meantime, please head on over to Escentual to read my latest column, which is a look at some of my favourite autumnal fragrances (I’ve officially switched to the autumn wardrobe now). As the sun has decided to steal away its warmth and hibernate for the rest of the year, these scents are perfect little warmers in shades of red, purple, orange and brown. Enjoy!

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