If there ever was a time for Tom Ford to launch two new colognes, now was it. The relentless heat of summer appears to be continuing, well, relentlessly, and light, citrus-centric and floral colognes really are the genre du jour at this time of year. When the sun beats down indiscriminately in the sky and the muggy air really starts to the take the biscuit, the humble eau de cologne really is the only way forward.
Of course, Tom Ford’s fragrances are generally contemporary and high-fashion twists on traditional themes, therefore any eau de cologne launched by the brand isn’t likely to be conventional. Just take Ford’s Neroli Portofino, for example – a vibrant and clean neroli-based cologne that does the unthinkable – it lasts, and lasts. Tom Ford’s colognes may tip their cap to history, but as with all things he touches, they are exceptionally modern.
Much like last year’s Oud Wood Collection, Tom Ford is capitalising on the phenomenal success of Neroli Portofino to create the Neroli Portofino Collection. This capsule collection within Ford’s series of Private Blend consists of the aforementioned Neroli Portofino and two new colognes as stable mates – Costa Azzurra and Mandarino di Amalfi. One represents the early morning sun over a glimmering ocean, whilst the other is that same ocean scene as the sun dips below the horizon.
New from L’Artisan Parfumeur – Caligna, Séville à L’Aube in 50ml Size
Niche brand, L’Artisan Parfumeur have launched three of their popular fragrances; Caligna, Séville à L’Aube and Al Oudh in 50ml size for the first time. The perfumes, a fresh/woody fig, erotic orange blossom and barnyard oud, respectively are easily some of the brand’s most intriguing creations, and it’s handy to see them in a smaller, less wallet-damaging size.
Caligna, Séville à L’Aube and Al Oudh are available on their 50ml sizes for £70 on the L’Artisan Parfumeur website.
Good news, folks! Stella McCartney is re-launching her eponymous fragrance, ‘Stella‘. The composition of the perfume, originally launched in 2003 and created by perfumer Jacques Cavallier (Alexander McQueen’s Kingdom, Issey Miyake’s Le Feu d’Issey and Yves Saint Laurent’s Nu), thankfully remains unchanged, whilst the bottle has undergone a very slight revamp with a number of new sizes available. Stella launches exclusively to Harrods in the UK today.
To celebrate this welcome relaunch (I’m a personal fan as it’s my beloved sister’s signature scent), Stella McCartney has teamed up with fashion photographers Mert & Marcus, and model Lara Stone to create a provocative print and television ad campaign that shows the woody rose fragrance in an entirely more edgy light. One image (NSFW, FYI) displays Stone completely nude and covered with strategically placed flacons, positioning Stella’s relaunch as entirely unmissable.
New Escentual Post: Wonderoud by Comme des Garçons
I know what you’re thinking: “not another blooming oud”, and if we were talking about any other fragrance brand rather than the esteemed Comme des Garçons, I’d be right there with you having a moan. But we are in fact talking about a brand that takes their perfumes very seriously and their latest, the rather showily named ‘Wonderoud‘, is a rather nicely-executed oud that will make even the most grumpy perfumista sit up and take an intrigued sniff.
For my Escentual column this week, I’ve taken a closer look at Wonderoud and given it the once over for your pleasure . My findings, as you can guess, are mostly positive, but to read the whole review, please click here. Don’t forget to let me know what you think of Wonderoud, if you’ve tried it, and if not, what your very favourite oud fragrance is (mine is Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s incomparable OUD, FYI).
New brand, Alford & Hoff have launched their first perfume, ‘Alford & Hoff Eau de Toilette‘ exclusively to Harrods. Created by “gifted athletes”, Barry Alford and Jefferson Hoffman, the Alford & Hoff brand is directed at a “new generation of men” and includes both fragrance and a line of skin care products (currently available in the US) consisting of the “highest quality ingredients”.
The fragrance was created by venerable Givaudan perfumer, Rodrigo Flores-Roux (Neroli Portofino, Boutonierre no.7 and Black Cashmere), andis a fresh-woody fragrance described as being “confident, passionate, stylish, successful, masculine in a modern way”. It is the brand’s signature fragrance and reportedly contains “95 of the finest ingredients.”
“A juxtaposition of light and dark, clarity and richness, texture and polish, Alford & Hoff EDT is a modern scent, luxurious and fresh on top, smooth with an ultra-sexy core and deep, rich woody background.”
@FragrantReviews – Fragrance Reviews in 140 Characters or Less
Four years ago today, my good friend, Nick Gilbert and I embarked on an exciting perfume project with a view of turning the world of fragrance reviewing on its head. We set out to use the medium of Twitter to create entertaining and bitesize reviews in 140 characters or less – the result was @FragrantReviews – our smelly baby that launched both of our writing careers.
Writing these reviews is surprisingly challenging. It’s tough to dissect and truly represent a fragrance in such a small medium, but it’s also immense fun and I think I wouldn’t be speaking out of turn if I said that both Nick and I really enjoy putting these fragrant tweets together. They can be funny, they can be poetic and they can occasionally be mean, but one thing they never are is boring.
We’re now at over 3,000 followers, and to celebrate our fourth birthday, I’d like to share with you ten of my favourite Fragrant Reviews – five from Nick and five from me. They range from the olfactory time capsule of Eau de Toast to the utter hideousness of Viktor & Rolf’s BonBon and capture some of our big loves and a number of our, well, not-so-big loves. I hope you enjoy this brief retrospective and will have a go at chiming in with your own 140 character reviews in the comments box.
A short film from Penhaligon’s detailing the ‘alternative’ story of the creation of their latest masculine fragrance – Bayolea.
In honour of the launch of their latest fragrance, Bayolea, eccentrically British perfume house, Penhaligon’s have teamed up with creative collective, ‘Just So’ to create an animated film. Shot on a “shoestring” and in conjuction with stop motion animator, Daniel Gill (numerous TV ads, Fantastic Mr Fox and Frankinweenie), the Bayolea film takes place in the basement of Penhaligon’s Covent Garden Piazza store and contains a degree of fragrant magic.
“Working with Just So felt right from our first meeting and an initial concept has been interpreted wonderfully by Daniel. The entire project has felt like creating magic and I feel the film will have a life of its own; above product promotion yet still very Penhaligon’s”
- Matthew Huband,
Penhaligon’s Head of Global Marketing