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.
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
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
As we enjoy the summer months we tend to reach for an entirely different wardrobe of fragrance. Those heavy ambers and comforting gourmands are pushed to the back of the closet in favour of light colognes, sparkling citruses and solar florals. But a change in wardrobe for summer doesn’t have to be predictable, in fact, there are loads of fragrances out there that, whilst not being marketed for summer, suit the season perfectly. You don’t have to wear cologne, or citrus, or flowers, no, you can wear something a little bit more substantial and entirely unique.
For my Escentual column this week I have put together a list of subversive summer scents – fragrances that suit the summer season but in an unexpected way. They range from the good, clean fun of a scent inspired by homoerotic artwork to an essay in decaying flowers, with some couture and pancakes thrown in for good measure. So, if you’re looking to stand out this summer, click here to head on over to Escentual and read all about my subversive scent picks for the sunny season. Continue reading
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
“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.”
It occurred to me the other day that it had been a long while since I put together an instalment for the Scent a Celebrity Series. In fact, a quick search of the blog tells me that it was way back in February when we last took a dive into the world of scent selection for celebrities. That is too long, if you ask me. How else are the celebrities and fictional characters of this world expected to navigate the perplexing domain of fragrance? They can’t scent themselves, surely not? No, they can’t. So let’s remedy that with a brand new instalment of some long overdue celebrity scenting.
For this edition I am heading into the magical, mystical and ever fascinating world of Studio Ghibli. Creating some of the very best Japanese animation ever, Studio Ghibli has entertained children and adults across the globe, breaking language and cultural barriers with their stories of love, childhood fantasy, strength and suffering. Director Hayao Miyazaki has created iconic characters that are loveable, loath-able, and all that’s in between. In this piece you will find some of my favourite Ghibli characters from a range of my favourite films – all of them scented to perfection.
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.