The Prettiness of Rose – Acqua di Parma Rosa Nobile
A few weeks back I reviewed Essence Nº1: Rose, one of the latest fragrances from Elie Saab and by all accounts a beautifully gourmand take on the humble rose. I love rose, in perfume and in pretty much everything else, and I admire the fact that one flower can be used so diversely, due mainly to the man wonderful nuances it displays as a material. It’s a true fact that not all roses are the same, and for every gourmand rose there’s an oriental rose or a photorealistic one, or even a ton of oud-soaked roses, creating a wide range of olfactory signatures that stem from one flower. The humble rose is anything if not impressive in this respect.
If Elie’s Saab new creation celebrates the gourmand facets of the rose, Rosa Nobile, the latest launch from Acqua di Parma, honours the beauty of rose in a simple, yet utterly satisfying manner. Rosa Nobile is an olfactory performance that celebrates the prettiness of rose in a dance of purity and simplicity. It speaks in pastel shades of pink and with a lightness of touch that is almost coy, but most of all, serves as an incredibly beautiful take on the queen of flowers.
“Strolling in the shade of centuries-old trees, among lodges and staircases, a sensuous fragrance drifts – the strong notes of the rose. Its scent forms part of Italy’s noble gardens which, like a queen, it pervades with natural elegance. Acqua di Parma takes their unequalled charm to give life to an Eau de Parfum introducing new touches into the universe of Le Nobili, a collection of women’s fragrances inspired by the most beautiful flowers of exclusive and private Italian gardens, where art and beauty blend in perfect balance. Each one a unique fragrance, selected for its noble femininity, for its fine perfumed essence, and for its quality. Compositions designed by Acqua di Parma using precious ingredients. Each one is unforgettable. Iris, Magnolia, Gelsomino and the new Rosa Nobile.”
After an extended hiatus, due to nothing other than my incredible lack of decent organisational skills, my favourite series, Desert Island Sniffs is back! In this series, we explore the lives of people inextricably linked to the perfume industry and the fragrances that have significant sentimental value to them. By discussing the scents that are of importance to people, we can get a unique insight into what makes them tick and a distinct idea of their character. All in all, these sniffs can be utterly fascinating.
If you’re not familiar with this series, the concept is very simple – I invite important members of the perfume industry, such as brand owners, creative directors and perfumers, to be stranded on their very own desert island, along with 5 carefully curated perfumes of their choice. It may be a tricky job narrowing a life down to such a small number of perfumes, but I can assure you that it is an entirely worthwhile exercise!
The perfumes they choose should be those that have had a significant impact on their scented lives and map specific points in their journey of olfactory discovery. In addition to their 5 Desert Island Sniffs one is kind enough to allow them to take a luxury item (only one, mind) and a ‘perfume bible’ to keep them company. By the end of this series there is going to be some rather fabulously smelling desert islands out there!
As a perfume blogger and general all-round scent nerd, I often get asked a lot of questions about the subject. These range from enquiries about my personal tastes to questions regarding fragrance in general; how it should be used and what is wrong, and what is right. I enjoy these sorts of conversations and it’s great to share knowledge, after all fragrance is an ever evolving subject and I too, still have a lot to learn!
For my Escentual column this week, and the latest installment in my ‘Escentual A-Z of Fragrance’, I’ve shared, and answered some of the questions I am most frequently asked. So, if you’d like to know whether layering your fragrance is a ‘yay’ or a ‘nay’, or if you’ve always wondered if a higher price tag really does mean a better quality of perfume, simply click here to find out. Also, if you have any other burning perfume-related questions, please feel free to ask in the comments box below.
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!
Smelling Black Opium, the latest from YSL, one finds it hard to believe that this fragrance comes from one of the most iconic and innovative designer fragrance brands of all time. Just think about it for a second, Yves Saint Laurent brought the world Opium, Paris and Rive Gauche, arguably three of the most important feminines released in the modern age. Not to forget the fact that they have also created cult classics such as Nu, M7 and Rive Gauche Pour Homme – perfumes that paint YSL as a brand with no fear, and a thirst to be different and divisive.
Black Opium is not an important fragrance, nor is it a particularly good one, and it seems that I’m not the only one to think so. Yesterday, Saint Laurent Paris (the fashion arm of YSL) distributed a press release on behalf of Creative Director, Hedi Slimane that distanced him from any involvement with the fragrance, stating that “no creative direction has been given by Hedi Slimane on the market launches and on the choices of artistic elements, or the definition of image, related to the product lines or the advertising campaigns of Yves Saint Laurent Beauté, including the ones of Black Opium”. All I can say is ‘ouch’, that’s not a good sign.
With each release, YSL seems to be creating more and more duds (does anyone even remember 2012’s Manifesto? Exactly) whilst simultaneously unleashing a regular wave of flankers of their flagship fragrances. Black Opium is the third permanent flanker to the Opium name since 2010 (the others being Belle d’Opium and Opium Vapeurs de Parfum) and was created by perfumers Honorine Blanc, Olivier Cresp, Nathalie Lorson and Marie Salamagne – a waste of talent, if there ever was one. YSL describe Black Opium as follows:
“2014’s Most Anticipated New Fragrance [..] Black Opium, the new feminine fragrance by Yves Saint Laurent – new glam rock fragrance full of mystery and energy. An addictive gourmand floral.”
I’m back from Japan, yay! We, as in the husband and I, may have only been gone for 9 days but we have taken away a lifetime’s worth of wonderful experiences that will make for very precious memories in years to come. I will be detailing some of the fragrant-elements of our honeymoon in the next week or so, but whilst I fight the jet lag and before normal blog-service resumes, I’d like to share with you a recent interview I gave for Givaudan’s iPerfumer website.
If you’re not familiar with iPerfumer, it is an iPhone and Android app that keeps you updated with fragrant news and launches, as well as making perfume recommendations. I was asked to take part in a brief interview for the iPerfumer blog, in which I chatted perfume (of course) including my top 5, favourite launches this year so far, and how I decided to start blogging about the subject. If that sufficiently piques your interest, you can read my interview here!