I like vetiver but I don’t own many vetiver fragrances. A brief sweep of my collection highlights the truth that I only own four vetiver-centric scents; Grey Vetiver by Tom Ford in Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette concentrations, Carven’s reissued Vetiver and a bottle of Guerlain’s Vetiver (a must for any card carrying perfume nut). In fact, that’s not the truth at all because all four of these technically belong to my husband who, for the record, does enjoy a good vetiver. So why the vetiver snubbing at Candy Perfume Towers? In all honesty, I do not know. Perhaps I’m too busy focusing on my florals and macerating over my Muglers to really allowed vetiver to show me its veritas. Who knows?!
There is a new vetiver in town though, that may just sway my opinion. Well, I say new, but once again I am being creative with the truth. This vetiver is a flanker to a cult vetiver and I have to admit that it’s rather blinking good. Most of you will be familiar with Lalique’s famous Encre Noire (Nathalie Lorson; 2006), a dark and brooding vetiver that is often regarded as one of the very best the genre has to offer. Well now, Encre Noire has spawned a child – an intense and more raw version of itself that has one mission, and one mission only: to smell damn good.
The scent is called Encre Noire À L’Extrême and it is pretty much what you would expect from a fragrance boasting that sort of name: a richer, more intense and more extreme version of the original. To celebrate the tenth anniversary of Encre Noire, perfumer Nathalie Lorson has reinterpreted the iconic vetiver fragrance, or as Lalique put it Lorson pens “a new chapter in the saga”. Pushing the signature of the original “to its limits”, Encre Noire À L’Extrême is a fragrance that “plays on contrasts to express every facet of masculinity through powerful, seductive accords.” I’d say that it does a pretty good job of it too!
Today I am sharing with you my two most recent posts for Escentual.com. This week’s post is a celebration of the clocks going back (wasn’t that extra hour in bed very much needed, people?!) in the form of musings on scents to wear on those dark nights. I love wintry weather, even more so when there’s a good scent to accompany the chilly air. In this post you’ll find scents to wear by the fire, in bed, out in the open and for trick or treating.
Last week I took a look at the new exclusive collection from Annick Goutal: ‘Les Absolus d’Annick Goutal’. These three fragrances take inspiration from the orient and each are centred on a famous material, specifically; amber, oud and vanilla. They’re a mixed bunch, if I’m honest, but each has elements of interest that would make them a worthwhile sniff. Check out my review here. Continue reading →
If you’ve ever thought that the plastic flowers that adorn the bottles of Marc Jacobs’ popular fragrances Daisy, Lola and Dot were more than slightly OTT, you may want to turn away for the rest of this review. With his latest feminine fragrance, entitled ‘Decadence‘, Jacobs has pulled out all of the bottle design stops and has fashioned a flacon that resembles one of the designer’s much sought after handbags, capturing the familiar shape of his bags. After all, what is the ultimate accessory next to fragrance? Here the designer bag and the designer scent combine to create something that will have the eyes of many fashion fans bulging and their mouths shouting “gimme”! As the press release says, it’s “the ultimate statement maker”, and a statement it certainly makes.
Decadence, the fragrance, was composed by Annie Buzantian (Puredistance I & Marc Jacobs Dot) and is billed as something “glamorous and indulgent” and “impulsively luxurious”. The whole thing seems aimed at a more serious audience and isn’t as youth-courting as Jacobs’ earlier fragrances. In an industry where only the young matter, it’s good to see something that isn’t aimed at tweens, but Decadence is far from mature and appears to simply offer an alternative to the wishy washy bottles of clean florals that saturate the market. But just how decadent is it?
We live in an incredibly fragrant world. The sights and sounds we encounter every day are accompanied by a layer of smell that adds texture, colour and depth. Without this fragrant fourth dimension, our experiences of the planet would be less vivid, and certainly less enjoyable. I therefore, think it’s vital that we stop to smell the roses, as it were, and appreciate the joys that the smells around us, both pleasant and unpleasant (and occasionally revolting, gross and repugnant), bring. Even in our busiest moments, we should take stock of the wonderfully fragrant world we live in.
The Scented Stories series pays homage to this scented fourth dimension of that permeates every atom of our good, green Earth. So far on our olfactory odyssey, we’ve traversed the hash-soaked canal district of Amsterdam and traipsed (rather uncomfortably) over the chunky pebble beach of a quaint British seaside town. On both occasions, we have sniffed some intriguing odours and enjoyed the good, the bad, the ugly, and the downright disgusting smells of life in interesting places. We have been beguiled, moved and disturbed, often in one sniff, and we’ve had a great time.
The fragrant quest continues and our latest Scented Story takes place on the Italian island of Sardina for a very special occasion. A few weeks ago my sister-in-law (Nigel’s lovely sister) and her equally lovely partner finally tied the knot, and they did so overlooking a wild ocean flirting violently with the rocky coast. The days leading up to the wedding, and of course, the big day itself, made for a once in a lifetime experience – one that was wonderfully fragrant, of course. There was food a plenty, even more wine, and most importantly, fun times with friends and family. Below is our story.
New Escentual Reviews: CK Eternity Now & Armani Eau de Cédre
The mainstream wheel of the fragrance industry is forever a turning, it seems. For my last two Escentual columns I’ve focused on some scents that I would categorise as nicely done, without being groundbreaking (which, not every single fragrances has to be). Firstly we have the new Eternity Now duo from Calvin Klein, which consists of a sticky tropical fougére with industrial undertones for him, and a peach bubble bath for her. Check out my review of the duo here. Secondly, there is the new Eau de Cédre from Armani, a soft and supple citrus-woodsy thing that is inspired by a velvet jacket. Click here for my review. Continue reading →
Super Scent is back! In case you missed our first instalment a few months back, Super Scent is a list-based series run in conjunction with my fellow perfume nerds, Persolaise and Basenotes. In each instalment we will each be giving a run down of what we consider to be the very best scents available from a particular, well-known brand. The idea is to individually rank our top offerings and marvel at how similar or different they are. We also hope that you will chime in with your top fragrances from each brand in these posts too!
For episode two we are all taking a scented peek into the fragrant back catalogue of one of the world’s most iconic couturiers: Christian Dior. Many great masterpieces of scent have been unleashed by Dior who, for the most part, create bold and iconic fragrances that dare to be more than mainstream. So, sit back, relax and enjoy the Dior edition of Super Scent – a run down of my seven (we simply couldn’t limit it to five on this occasion) favourite Dior scents from seven to one. Oh and click here, to check out Persolaise’s list, and here for Basenotes’.
On Monday, Persolaise and I will both be publishing the second instalment of Super Scent, our series that gathers together a list of our top scents from a particular brand. In instalment one, we took a look at one of the biggest players in the fragrance market – the iconic Estée Lauder. This time we’ll be analysing the back catalogue of an equally notable brand, one who has; deep routes in the realms of couture, their very own in-house perfumer, and a number of the world’s greatest perfumes. As for hints, that’s all you’re getting for now! Continue reading →