New Escentual Post: Alaïa Paris by Azzedine Alaïa

Alaïa Paris by Azzedine Alaïa

Alaïa Paris by Azzedine Alaïa

It’s not a new thing for a fashion designer to launch an eponymous fragrance, or any fragrance for that matter. In fact, at this point, the idea is decidedly old hat. But the worlds of fashion and perfume are so inextricably linked that it still makes perfect sense for such a thing as the ‘designer fragrance’ to exist. After all, we simply cannot deny that perfume is the ultimate fashion accessory. Can you imagine leaving the house without any? Sacré bleu! It doesn’t bare thinking about!

Tunisian-born designer Azzedine Alaïa has waited a long time to launch his debut (and semi-eponymous) perfume, ‘Alaïa Paris‘ (penned by the talented Marie Salamagne, no less), and having spent some time with the fragrance this week I would say that it has been worth the wait. With Alaïa Paris, the aesthetic of the designer is perfectly in tune with the olfactory composition, making for a scent that, whilst not boasting any particularly bold statements, is unique and interesting enough to represent the style of such a venerable designer. Click here to head on over to Escentual to read my full review. Don’t forget to comment with your thoughts if you have tried Alaïa Paris.

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New Escentual Post: Acqua di Parma Colonia Club Perfume Review

Outdoor Pursuits in Colonia Club

Outdoor Pursuits in Colonia Club

I’m starting to really get into Acqua di Parma as a fragrance brand. Their classic Colonia is an iconic eau de cologne that’s difficult not to love and last year’s Rosa Nobile has quickly made its way into my regular rotation. There’s an effortless simplicity to all things Acqua di Parma that appeals to my calmer and more refined sides. Of course, they may be a paired-back brand, but that doesn’t mean that Acqua di Parma is exempt from releasing lots of flankers, and their famous Colonia is available in a number of interpretations, ranging from intense versions to oud and leather fusions.

This summer, Acqua di Parma are extending their fragrant wardrobe by launching Colonia Club, a new twist on Colonia that is inspired by the idea of an private members sports club. The result is a surprisingly complex eau de cologne that is somewhere between a salty marine scent and a minty fougére. I think its great and it also proves that sporty fragrances don’t have to smell like sweaty Lynx-soaked boys (or Axe-soaked for my American buddies). Click here to head over to Escentual to check out my full review.

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New Escentual Post: Lolita Lempicka Sweet Perfume Review

Sweet!

Sweet!

The ‘Candy’ in my pseudonym may be a glaring link to the fact that I have a huge sweet tooth. I’m being deadly serious here – when it comes to sugar there is no time for humour. From food to fragrance I must admit that I enjoy a bit of the sweet stuff and no brand does  sugar more prolifically than Lolita Lempicka. With their latest launch, the appropriately named ‘Sweet‘, they have gone sugar and cuteness overload with a fragrance based on a “cherry-cocoa lipgloss accord”. Need I say more? Click here to check out my review in this week’s Escentual column.

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Aloof Amber – LM Parfums Cicatrices Extrait de Parfum

Aloof Amber

Aloof Amber

Just a speedy review from me today. I was recently sent a sample of Cicatrices, the latest Extrait de Parfum from LM Parfums. It’s interesting for me, to try something completely new from a brand that I’ve had no exposure to previously – it’s almost like opening a tiny window into a new world. Sometimes there’ll be a marvellous fantasy land just behind the curtains, and sometimes, all there is to be found is a barren wasteland of cold, depressing nothingness. Cicatrices definitely isn’t the latter, but it’s not quite the former either.

LM Parfums is a French brand created by Laurent Mazzone, a figure within the fashion industry who has worked with “some of the greats of French perfumery” to create his line of fragrances. His latest fragrance, Cicatrices is named after the French word for scars and is described as an “intimate oriental” that boasts notes of amber and liquorice. Available in Extrait de Parfum, Cicatrices is a rich fragrance with top notch ingredients and a pleasing sense of depth.

“Beautiful, rich and complex this is a scar of the most delicate kind – a fragrance that leaves its mark, locking in the emotion of a moment for all time.”

– LM Parfums

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Salt and Steel – Paco Rabanne Olympēa Perfume Review

Olympēa - Paco Rabanne's new Goddess

Olympēa – Paco Rabanne’s new Goddess

Criticise Paco Rabanne all you want, but you can never say that they don’t have a knack for tapping into the zeitgeist. Their fragrance launches are a perfect example of how marketing drives the success of a modern perfume, with irresistible packaging and expensive advertising campaigns drawing the consumer in. Take 1 Million for instance – a perfectly decent woody amber fragrance that most likely wouldn’t have had the phenomenal success it has if it weren’t packaged inside a faux piece of gold bullion and marketed with a club-culture inspired ad that tapped into the image and money-obsessed nature of modern youth. They are anything, if not clever.

Their latest launch for women, ‘Olympēa‘, which arrives as the feminine counterpart to 2013’s Invictus, comes with all of the trappings of a typical Paco Rabanne launch right from the show-stopping bottle shaped like a laurel crown to the high-budget visuals, but the scent itself appears to have a bit more depth than one would usually expect. Created by perfumers Anne Flipo, Dominique Ropion and Loc Dong, Olympēa is described as the “fragrance of a modern day goddess” and a “statuesque idol of conquest and victory”. That is quite the description, I must say, and in truth, the fragrance is more intimate and cuddly than the concept would lead one to expect, but that’s not to say that Olympēa is without interest, in fact, it’s really quite intriguing.

“The fragrance of a modern day goddess, Paco Rabanne Olympea Eau de Parfum makes a statement of strength, power and seduction. Between myth and reality is where you’ll find Olympēa, a statuesque idol of conquest and victory. Her fragrance is just as commanding as she is, featuring a legend-inspiring salted vanilla accord that elevates her above the clouds.”

– Paco Rabanne

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The Two Fridas – En Voyage Perfumes Frida Perfume Review

Frida by En Voyage Perfumes

Frida by En Voyage Perfumes

Few artists are as iconic and confrontational as Frida Kahlo. From her dominant monobrow to her flirtation with androgynous clothing, Frida was never afraid to challenge preconceptions. Her work, which comprises of many self-portraits, is often brutal, displaying herself or her subjects in pain, or with their organs exposed, representing in some ways, her own damaged body that was catastrophically injured in a bus accident early on in her life. She challenged the world’s idea of what it means to be a woman, and defined her own idea of feminine beauty. Frida was a renegade and a free spirit, but she was also a prisoner of her own physical presence. Most of all, she was an artist with a fearless form of expression

The other Frida, the fragrance created by Shelley Waddington for En Voyage Perfumes, that is, also questions our preconceived notions. It takes the familiar note of tuberose and presents it as something otherworldly. It’s still recognisably ‘tuberose’ (which is music to the ears of this particular tuberose fiend), but it is so much more than just another take on a popular note, in fact, I would call it a detailed essay into the psyche and inspirations of one of the most unique artists ever to have lived. Frida was a rare bird and a unique voice from a richly cultured nation. Frida, the perfume is as complex and fascinating as its muse, and for that reason, it’s most definitely a worthy sniff.

“Viva la Frida Vida! This perfume celebrates the life of Frida Kahlo; the woman and artist, her suffering, her Mexican heritage and her love of nature. Frida was feminine, fearless and a revolutionary; she cross dressed, smoked cigars, and has been a part of pop culture for over 50 years. A world-travelled sophisticate who had love affairs with both men and women, Frida remained happiest at Casa Azul, her traditional family home. Tuberose, a flower that the Aztecs called the Boneflower, is an important note in this perfume as an homage to Frida’s brutal calamities and artistic transformation.”

– En Voyage Perfumes

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New Escentual Post: Amouage Sunshine Woman Perfume Review

Let the Sun Shine...

Let the Sun Shine…

A little late to the party (again) with this one, but what I lack in speed, I make up for with my fanboy enthusiasm. This summer I’ve been rocking of a lot eau de colognes, light florals and zingy citrus scents, so the first spritz of the warm, bakery tones of Sunshine Woman was quite a surprise. This is an unusual summer fragrance that flirts with gourmand tones of almond and vanilla, whilst also getting friendly with some hot and waxy white florals. So, if you want something a little bit different to the usual citrus follies of summer, then Sunshine may be something to consider. Click here to head on over to Escentual to read my review.

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