In the hit song ‘Who Do You Think you Are?’, the wise prophet, Gerri Halliwell, once said “giving is good, as long as you’re getting”, and whilst this may not be entirely true, as it is always lovely to give gifts too (Christmas is all about giving, apparently), it would be a lie to say that receiving presents isn’t pretty awesome. In fact, I’m happy to admit that I’m a bit of a monster at Christmas and have been known to supply lists to my family, of things I would, much to their dismay, even though I have eased off over the last few years, in a vain attempt to be less of a brat. But still, one must think of themselves every now and then and it doesn’t hurt to have a strong idea of what it is that you want in life.
Anyway, I digress. Everyone is doing gift guides at the moment and I find them difficult because there is just so much out there to choose, and so many people to choose for, that putting together a comprehensive selection of what to buy for whom, is pretty much mind boggling for me. So, in lieu of an actual gift guide, and seeing as my favourite subject is myself (I kid, of course, kinda…), I present to you my personal wish list of fragrant treats for Christmas. Perhaps this will serve as inspiration for gifts you’re buying, or maybe it’ll just be an insight into just how much of a demanding little sod I am. Either way, I hope you enjoy my joyful gathering of scented gifts.
Oooh, I do love a good scarf and now that winter is finally bedding in, it’s the perfect opportunity to step out of the house wrapped within the warm confines of many a piece of neckwear. In fact, leaving the homestead isn’t particularly necessary (nor much fun in the cold) and I have been known to float around the house, scarf wrapped around neck, simply enjoying the fabulous warmth (and aesthetic) that it brings. I am, if anything, a bit of a poser, after all.
Scarves go incredibly well with fragrance and one of my favourite things to do is sniff a well worn scarf and try to identify the many perfumes that are imbued so deeply within the fibres. The truth is that, scarves may be a fashion item, but they also make wearing fragrance more pleasurable, due to the simple fact that they retain odour, as well as almost amplifying a fragrance so that it can be smelled at numerous intervals throughout the entire today.
In this piece, I’ve picked out some of my favourite scarves and paired them with matching fragrances. These pairings identify the synergies between the textures, colours and signatures of fragrances, and neckwear, but also take a look at some fragrances that simply smell great when lavishly sprayed on any old scarf. So, if you’re looking for a nice winter warmer of a fragrance to pair with your very best winter scarf, then read on, dear reader, read on.
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 lift), 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?