Looking Good and Smelling Fine [Image of Me at My Father's Wedding via Peter Buncombe]
Awards Season is set to end this Sunday with the 86th Academy Awards (a.k.a. ‘The Oscars’) and the stars will be out in full force, donning their finest garb having spent hours preening their faces and coiffing their hair. Of course, us mere mortals will simply be watching the ceremony at home in our pyjamas, possibly scoffing on some popcorn in a nod to the wonders of the silver screen. Still, we can live vicariously through the glamour of the winners and losers, can’t we?
Thinking about the Oscars and the upcoming Jasmine Awards (for which I need to pick myself an outfit) led me to ponder over which perfumes are best suited to formal occasions. Most of the time I’m of the belief that one should wear whatever they heck they want when they want, but in situations where dress codes are enforced and one has to be smart, it can be beneficial to pick out a scent that is suitably dapper to match.
For this post I’ve put together some of my favourite ‘smart’ perfumes for black tie or formal occasions. They range from the smart casual to the well-tailored and the dramatic, and between them they serve as a mini-guide to picking that perfect scent for a special occasion. Most are unisex so are suitable regardless of whether you’re a guy or a girl and can be paired with a suit, tux or fancy dress to ensure that you’re looking good and smelling fine.
Thanks to people like Frederic Malle, perfumers are becoming much prominent figures within the industry. We now celebrate the creative and technical minds behind the perfumes we smell, putting their names on the bottles and turning some of them into God-like rockstars of the business (I’m looking at you Bertrand).
For my Escentual column this week I am continuing my Escentual A-Z of Fragrance with ‘N is for Nose’ – a look at some of my favourite perfumers. In this piece I talk about some of their most noteworthy work, ranging from the masterfully symphonic compositions of Dominique Ropion to the edgy work of Yann Vasnier. Click here to head on over to Escentual and read the piece. Oh, and don’t forget to tell me about your favourite perfumers whilst you’re there!
In a continuation of my bite size fragrance family guides on Escentual, my column this week takes a look at the dapper, debonair and definitely manly world of the fern-esque Fougère. Despite my love for all things feminine, floral and ridiculously over-the-top I do happen to quite like a good Fougère, whether it be something as abstract as Guerlain’s Jicky or a scent as handsome as Jean Paul Gaultier’s Fleur du Mâle. In my world the Fougère is the best kind of masculine.
This Guide to Fougère takes a whistle stop tour of the genre, taking a look at three key examples; one classic, one modern and one contemporary. Amongst these interpretations one will find something elegant, something rebellious and something altogether more brooding. If you fancy reading the piece (and topping up on your Fougère fix) please click here to head on over to Escentual. Don’t forget to let me know what your favourite Fougères are whilst you’re there!
So if you’re just recovering from Christmas Day and New Year (personally, I’m still trying to shed that darn turkey-weight) you’ll be shocked to know that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. That’s right, you blinked and missed January so now it’s time to think about showering that special someone in your life with lots of lovely gifts to say those important three words.
Of course you don’t have to give gifts to say “I love you” and you don’t need one special day in the year to do so – I for one try to make an effort to profess my undying adoration for my beau at least once a day (normally just after I’ve been served dinner). But if you’re looking for a little token for your love, then what better way to show your love than with the gift of perfume?
Roses are the traditional flower to gift on the day of Saint Valentine, so for my Escentual column this week I have pieced together a veritable bouquet of beautiful rose scents for you to give as lovely fragrant gifts. They range from the straight-up photorealistic rose to the hedonistic oriental rose via a brief stop at the raunchy bedroom rose. So, please click here to head on over to the Escentual blog and read ‘A Gift of Roses’.
Perfume Pic of the Week No.5: Le Tentation de Nina Macarons
I love Ladurée, I love macarons and I most certainly love perfume. So it will come as no surprise that I am quite keen on the above picture, which very quickly become my perfume pic of the week when I stumbled across it, whilst preparing for my upcoming review (due to be up next week) of the latest Nina Ricci fragrance – the macaron inspired ‘Le Tentation de Nina‘.
Nina Ricci (the brand, obv), perfumer Olivier Cresp and Vincent Lemains (the Head Pastry Chef at Ladurée) have teamed up to create a macaron “inspired by a perfume” and a perfume “inspired by a macaron”. The macarons, which are winking at you in the above picture, are a devilishly delicious-sounding blend of lemon, raspberry, Bulgarian rose absolute and almond, all of which is topped off with a dash of gold leaf. The perfume is very much in the same spirit and lists similar notes. Does it perfectly capture the spirit of the most darling of pastries? Well, you’ll have to wait until my review for that little nugget of information…
Perfume Pic of the Week No.4: The Wedding Scent Shortlist
A scary fact dawned on me this weekend – the fact that it is not long at all until my dear fiancée and I get married, 103 days in fact. And I mean properly hitched, thanks to our lovely politicians allowing for gay marriages to take place for the first time in the UK in 2014. It’s a brave and wonderful world that we’re leaving in and I hope that all around the world others will have the same opportunities that I am ever so fortunate to have.
Now I’m very excited for my pending nuptials of course, but there is a lot to organise and whilst Nigel and I are very much on top of things, the pressure definitely feels on to get things done in the little time that we have left. We’ve sorted the flowers, cake, venue, Butler & Wilson bling, favours and a whole host of other things – but there’s still a lot to do and I’m hoping not to turn into a Groomzilla anytime soon!
Of course, one of the most important decisions for me to make is what perfume to wear on the big day. I posted a little while back, pooling some of my ideas together for the big wedding scent hunt. So how far have I come now? Have I finally picked my wedding scent? Or am I just as clueless as I was when I first started this little journey? Well the answer is…
Scentcraft – Scenting the Witches of American Horror Story: Coven
“The Scent a Celebrity Series is my vain attempt at picking perfumes for those who don’t know any better, yes I mean celebrities. Let’s face it, most celebrities are incapable of choosing decent clothing, boyfriends, girlfriends, movies, (insert-celebrity-mistake-here) let alone having the ability to make decisions about something as important as their scent – that’s where I come in. Never fear my dear schlebs, I will ensure that you are appropriately scented, all you need to do is listen.”
Have you been watching American Horror Story: Coven? If you haven’t, or God forbid that you’ve not seen any seasons or episodes of this wonderful anthology series then shame on you! The premise is simple, each series tells a different story with the same ensemble cast playing a different set of characters. So far the show has killed a ton of people off in a murder house, shoved some unfortunate people in a properly dodgy asylum and most recently taken a deep insight into a coven of witches in New Orleans. Yes, it’s utterly brilliant.
Following a request on Twitter I have decided to scent four of the most fabulous witches of American Horror Story: Coven (i.e. Season 3). These characters and actresses represent the best of the show and range from the effortless glamour of Jessica Lange as one heck of a ruthless witch to the more than slightly unhinged but ever so fashion-forward supreme wannabe played by Frances Conroy. So sit back, read on and fall under the spell (or should that be ‘smell’?) of Scentcraft…
It’s been a little while since I last created an entry for my Escentual A-Z of Fragrance and it felt about the right time to further explore the alphabet of perfume with a look at an iconic perfume house. In the A-Z we’ve taken a look at esteemed perfume brands such as Amouage, Dior and Guerlain, but the one I was really looking forward to sinking my teeth into was the house of Thierry Mugler. I was so excited in fact, that I couldn’t even wait until we got to the letter ‘T’!
In my Escentual column this week the letter of the moment is ‘M’ for Mugler. I take a brief look at the history of the house and talk about the house’s five unique, high-fashion and downright weird perfumes; Angel, A*Men, Cologne, Alien and Womanity. So please hop on your Battlestar Muglactica and head over to the Escentual blog (by simply clicking the image above) to explore the world of Mugler. Don’t forget to tell me which Mugler scent floats your boat whilst you’re there!
For my Escentual column this week I was tasked with selecting some of my favourite ‘winter warmers’ for men and with the weather being as turbulent and dreadful as it is, I was definitely up for the challenge! My picks include; a new classic from Amouage, a wild card from Dior and a severely underrated scent from Jean Paul Gaultier – to name just a few.
So boys and girls (because, unsurprisingly, the list is pretty unisex), if you’re in the mood for some olfactory comfort blankets, head on over to Escentual by clicking the image above to read all about my favourite manly fragrances for winter. Don’t forget to tell me what winter warmers you’ll be rocking this season, too!
Perfume Pic of the Week: Vintage Shalimar Eau de Toilette
So it’s a brand new year and after a short break its time to get one’s nose firmly back to the grindstone (booo!). This year I am hoping to be more dedicated to regular posts on The Candy Perfume Boy after a slightly turbulent 2013, with reviews and routine instalments in my ‘Scent a Celebrity‘, ‘Guide to‘ and ‘Desert Island Sniffs‘ series. I’ll also be sharing my weekly Escentual column and updates on the hunt for my wedding scent with you – all-in-all, I hope for it to be a very exciting year!
One new addition to The Candy Perfume Boy’s roster in 2014, is the ‘Perfume Pic of the Week’. Starting today and running every Monday, I hope that this visual feature allows us to connect more and discuss all elements of perfume ranging from new and exciting launches to perfume advertising, bottles from my collection and anything else that is smelly and intriguing.
The inaugural Perfume Pic of the Week is an image of some vintage Shalimar Eau de Toilette I picked up in Tesco of all places (other supermarkets are available). My online snooping dates it as being from the late ’90s/early ’00s, but if you have a better estimate then please say. I’ve included the Shalimar here because a vintage purchase is most unusual for me, simply because I avoid the chase for vintage formulations as a general rule of thumb.