When Thom Watson, the man behind the frankly awesome male grooming and beauty blog, MANFACE, asked me to write a piece on masculine fragrances for him, I didn’t hesitate for a moment before saying yes. MANFACE is an incredibly handsome website that acts as an essential guide for all gents that like to take care of themselves, whether that be with grooming products or fragrance, or both. So yes, I was very honoured to have been asked and I of course obliged with gusto.
In conjunction with Thom, I’ve put together an essential guide to masculine fragrance that takes a look at some of the most popular male fragrance families, such as; fougère, leather, woody and oriental etc. In the piece you’ll find some of my favourite masculine scents, as well as some of Thom’s too. If that all sounds good to you and your interest is suitably piqued, then click here to head over to MANFACE and check out the essential masculine fragrance guide.
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.
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!
Beware of Angels – Georgia May Jagger for Thierry Mugler’s Angel
I had a bit of a strange, fragrance-related realisation this week, specifically that Thierry Mugler’s Angelis my favourite perfume. Sure, I’ve always said that I could never be tied down to a single perfume and whilst I have a top 5, when asked, I always say that I simply couldn’t narrow my perfume love to just one fragrance. Also I’m well aware that I regularly bang on about the sentimental importance of Angel’s sister scent, Alien – so it’s easy to see why I would not be a good poster boy for fragrant monogamy. All of that said, Angel is always the perfume that I come back to, and it’s the only fragrance that I can wear for weeks on end without thinking of anything else.
But what spurred this realisation, I hear you ask? Well, I had a serendipitous encounter at a rather wonderful Mugler event that affirmed Angel in her personal number one status. It’s not every day that I get asked to attend a tea party with a supermodel AND the creator of my favourite fragrance, but it is something I certainly could get used to, and I simply couldn’t turn down Thierry Mugler’s offer of hanging with perfumer Olivier Cresp and model Georgia May Jagger, to celebrate Jagger’s position as the new face of Mugler’s signature fragrance.
Hosted in a private suite at the surprisingly inconspicuous Sanderson Hotel (looks like a tower block on the outside and a Dalí-esque play house on the inside, complete with cosmic list), the tea party staged an ode to Angel, to Mugler, to Oliver Cresp and to Georgia May Jagger. We were treated to a visual history of the fragrance and of Mugler’s fashion, viewing some of his most famous catwalk shows filled with supermodels, actresses and radiant muses draped in Mugler couture – an abundance of waspish waists and structured shoulders were to be seen. It was all very glam, dahling.
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?
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.
Last time we took a look at the humble Violet, and other excursions in the series have seen us delve into the worlds of; the vampish Tuberose, the dreamy Lavender, the prolific Oud, the delicious Chocolate and the incandescent Orange Blossom. If you have any suggestions of what notes or genres you would like to see next then please let me know in the comments box below.
For this latest instalment in the ‘Guide to…’ series, we will be exploring the universe of the lily. I have always felt a great sense of warmth towards lilies – they’re a flamboyant flower, decked out in unmissable colours and usually exuding a ‘knock you off your feet’ volume, and range of smell. These are flowers that demand to be noticed and thrive off attention. They share with you their beauty and all they ask in return is that you sit up and take notice.
It is often said that one’s wedding day is the best day of their life. Up until 10 May 2014 I would have said that this was a simple cliché and that there are many more enjoyable moments to experience in life – the birth of a child, perhaps or the many successes and milestones that one achieves as time passes. But the truth is that my wedding day – the day that I married my best friend and partner in life and in love, was truly the very best day of my life.
Tears were shed, smiles were abundant and laughter was a common sound. Joy was the theme of the day and as we shared our love and made our commitment to each other in front of the people dearest to us, we felt a happiness that is difficult to put down into words. Let’s just say that my new husband and I had an absolute blast and we danced the night away, hoping that it would never end. In our hearts, it never will.
As with any wedding we opted for a theme, picking the colours white, gold and green to match our (rather natty) Vivienne Westwood bow ties (yes, I’m name dropping, she did our socks too). We also chose a pair of origami cranes, a symbol that represents longevity and good fortune in Japanese culture, as the emblem that appeared in numerous formats throughout the day. All-in-all it was a tasteful and understated affair that matched our personalities perfectly (if I do say so myself).
Of course, The Candy Perfume Boy’s wedding was always going to be a fragrant affair and I would let you all, and myself down if Nigel and I hadn’t opted for at least a few nods to the art of olfaction during the day. I would therefore like to share with you some of the scented treats that we gifted to ourselves and our guests, ranging from the difficult choice of what scent to wear to the more frivolous decisions, which may or may not involve smelly bubbles. So please join me in this little taste of our special day that I like to call; ‘How to Scent a Wedding’.