New Escentual Post: Jean Paul Gaultier Classique Intense Review

Classique Intense

Classique Intense

I’m still alive! Due to being away for work this week, I haven’t been able to turn my attention to The Candy Perfume Boy. I assure you that normal service will resume next week, with more reviews and news from the perfume world. Whilst I may not have had time to put together a post for the blog this week, I have still written for my weekly Escentual column, and this week’s subject is the fabulous, glamorous and radiant new fragrance from Jean Paul Gaultier – ‘Classique Intense‘.

This new scent, penned by none other than Francis Kurkdjian, isn’t your typical ‘intense’ version that amps up the heavier notes and makes for a thicker and long-lasting experience. No, this is Classique with the glamour dials turned right up – a radiant floral vanilla that is the shows topping starlet to the original’s backstage boudoir. Between all that glitter and gold lies a beautifully composed fragrance that is a worthy addition to the Classique lineup. Read my review here.

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Perfume as Art – Maison Francis Kurkdjian féminin & masculin Pluriel Perfume Review

Pluriel

“Mirror Image” – féminin Pluriel & masculin Pluriel by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

“Perfume is not art.”

- Francis Kurkdjian

At the recent launch event for Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s latest duo of fragrances there was a lot of discussion around art and its relation to the world of perfume. Kurkdjian, who is ever a frank and fascinating speaker, asserted that perfume is not art because it is created to please consumers and where art is given a value by the market, perfume prices are set by their creators. This isn’t to say that Kurkdjian is belittling perfume by any means, in fact it seems that he takes a purely practical view of the subject, comparing his collection to an olfactory wardrobe, containing a plethora of pieces ranging from the everyday staple of the white T-Shirt (Aqua Universalis) to the more occasionally worn leather trousers (Absolue Pour le Soir).

Also at the event, Art Curator, Karine Giannamore spoke at length about what constitutes a masterpiece, piecing together simplicity, hard work, innovation and emotion, as the key ingredients that create a timeless work of art. Giannamore states that a masterpiece “has to be new [and] has to be original” but also must be “cemented in tradition”. This collision of the innovative and the traditional is exactly what Francis Kurkdjian has played with for his two new fragrances – féminin Pluriel and masculin Pluriel.

“What makes a work of art? A masterpiece? A Timeless work of art? Something so good or beautiful that it cannot be affected by changes in society or fashion.”

- Karine Giannamore

The Pluriel (Plural) duo has been created as a mirror image – two fragrances that perfectly capture the essence of femininity and masculinity, or as the brand puts it; “the eternal feminine and masculine.” With each fragrance, Kurkdjian takes a traditional theme and adds a contemporary twist to create a pair of perfumes that feel thoroughly modern and very much in keeping with his clear and radiant style. For féminin Pluriel and masculin Pluriel, Kurkdjian has crafted two new pieces for his olfactory wardrobe – two fragrant garments that are as modern, chic, timeless and elegant as anything a couturier could construct.

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Looking Good and Smelling Fine – Black Tie Perfumes

Dapper

Looking Good and Smelling Fine [Image of Me at My Father's Wedding via Peter Buncombe]

Awards Season is set to end this Sunday with the 86th Academy Awards (a.k.a. ‘The Oscars’) and the stars will be out in full force, donning their finest garb having spent hours preening their faces and coiffing their hair. Of course, us mere mortals will simply be watching the ceremony at home in our pyjamas, possibly scoffing on some popcorn in a nod to the wonders of the silver screen. Still, we can live vicariously through the glamour of the winners and losers, can’t we?

Thinking about the Oscars and the upcoming Jasmine Awards (for which I need to pick myself an outfit) led me to ponder over which perfumes are best suited to formal occasions. Most of the time I’m of the belief that one should wear whatever they heck they want when they want, but in situations where dress codes are enforced and one has to be smart, it can be beneficial to pick out a scent that is suitably dapper to match.

For this post I’ve put together some of my favourite ‘smart’ perfumes for black tie or formal occasions. They range from the smart casual to the well-tailored and the dramatic, and between them they serve as a mini-guide to picking that perfect scent for a special occasion. Most are unisex so are suitable regardless of whether you’re a guy or a girl and can be paired with a suit, tux or fancy dress to ensure that you’re looking good and smelling fine.

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New Escentual Post: N is for Nose…

N is for Nose...

N is for Nose…

Thanks to people like Frederic Malle, perfumers are becoming much prominent figures within the industry. We now celebrate the creative and technical minds behind the perfumes we smell, putting their names on the bottles and turning some of them into God-like rockstars of the business (I’m looking at you Bertrand).

For my Escentual column this week I am continuing my Escentual A-Z of Fragrance with ‘N is for Nose’ – a look at some of my favourite perfumers. In this piece I talk about some of their most noteworthy work, ranging from the masterfully symphonic compositions of Dominique Ropion to the edgy work of Yann Vasnier. Click here to head on over to Escentual and read the piece. Oh, and don’t forget to tell me about your favourite perfumers whilst you’re there!

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The Candies 2013: The Very Best and Very Worst Perfumes of 2013

The Candies 2013: The Very Best and the Very Worst Perfumes of the Year

The Candies 2013: The Very Best and the Very Worst Perfumes of the Year

Can you believe that 2013 is coming to a close already? I certainly can’t! It only feels like yesterday that I was sat at my laptop, tapping away at the first reviews of the year and looking forward to the exciting new smells that next 365 days would bring. It has, all-in-all, been a very good year, with lots of interesting new perfumes launched, and on a more personal note too, as this year I took on the exciting role of Fragrance Expert for Escentual.com.

The perfumes have come thick and fast over the year, and once again the industry has seen an increase in the overall number of perfumes launched. Over the year we’ve seen our fair share of masterpieces, duds, flankers and celebrity money makers in, and as with any other year it has been a roller coaster ride of an experience sifting through just a tiny portion of what has been released.

In this post – my annual perfume awards (‘The Candies’) – I’m taking a look at my fragrant highlights of the year and those perfumes that have impressed, moved and surprised me. I’m also highlighting the specific scents that have failed to meet the mark this year and are disappointing enough to warrant naming and shaming. So sit back, don your red carpet gown (or suit), pop the champagne and enjoy The Candies 2013.

[Please also head over to my fragrant brothers and sisters who are sharing their very best perfumes of 2013; Persolaise, Olfactoria's Travels, Eyeliner on a Cat, Fragrant Moments, Perfume Shrine, I Smell Therefore I Am, SmellyBlog and The Fragrant Man.]

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When Vanilla Glows – Elie Saab Le Parfum Intense Perfume Review

Elie Saab Le Parfum Intense

Elie Saab Le Parfum Intense

When Elie Saab released his Francis-Kurkdjian-penned debut fragrance – ‘Le Parfum‘ – in 2011, it quickly garnered praise as one of the most impressive feminine designer launches of the year. Since then it has maintained its popularity, spurring the release of an Eau de Toilette version in 2012 and a brand new intense edition for 2013.

“Inspired by the magical moment of dusk, mysterious and captivating, the floral oriental Elie Saab Le Parfum Intense tells the story of a woman who comes alive as the sun goes down. She is confidence incarnate, and wears her Elie Saab couture like a second skin.”

For Le Parfum Intense, Saab has opted for a perfume that is richer and less diffusive than the original. This particular presentation of Le Parfum serves as a headier and more intoxicating version where the intensity of white flowers is amplified, along with vanilla to create a truly couture experience.

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Smelly News: Carven Parfums’ Fragrance Masterclass with Francis Kurkdjian at Selfridges

Carven Le Parfum

Carven Le Parfum

Following the release of their new fragrance – ‘Le Parfum‘ – historic french brand Carven have scheduled a fragrance masterclass with perfumer Francis Kurkdjian at the luxury London department store Selfridges. Having created Le Parfum and a number of other luxury fragrances, Kurkdjian is a fascinating individual with a unique insight to the perfume industry.

“The afternoon event invites guests to enjoy a glass of champagne and canapés whilst Francis journeys through the intimate and captivating charm that encapsulates the couture spirit of the legendary Parisian fashion house, Carven. Guest will discover the history, delicacy and grace of the Carven woman and discuss the raw ingredients of the beautiful new Carven female fragrance, Le Parfum.”

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Crisp & White – Carven Le Parfum Perfume Review

Carven Le Parfum

“She simply has the delicacy and grace of a time gone by in a body of today.”

The house of Carven appears to be going through a period of resurrection. In 2009 Guillaume Henry took over as Artistic Director of the house, lifting it out of its long-served period of retirement. Now, following the reinstatement of the brand’s fashion line M. Henry has turned his keen eye to the world of Carven Fragrances with the re-issuing of the brand’s classic scents ‘Ma Griffe’ (1946) and ‘Vétiver’ (1957).

In addition to the revival of Carven’s historical fragrances the brand have launched an entirely new flagship fragrance to capture the spirit of the brand. Simply entitled ‘Carven Le Parfum’, the fragrance sets out to embody the energy of Henry’s designs for Carven and create in perfume, the idea of the ‘Carven Woman’.

Le Parfum, which was created by perfumer Francis Kurkdjian (he of Maison Francis Kurkdjian and Le Mâle fame), is described as; “the concept of a sillage that combines several paradoxes, a fresh and ethereal fragrance that is, at the same time, ultra feminine. A fragrance that is as structured as Guillaume Henry’s line of clothing” and created for the Carven woman, who Kurkdjian says is “beautiful without even thinking about it.”

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New Escentual Post: K is for Kurkdjian…

The Latest Instalment in The Candy Perfume Boy’s Escentual A-Z of Fragrance: K is for Kurkdjian…

For the latest instalment in The Candy Perfume Boy’s Escentual A-Z of Fragrance I have taken a look at one of perfumery’s greatest talents – the one, the only Francis Kurkdjian. Taking a look at some of his best works and including interesting tidbits from his recent Perfume Lovers London talk, the piece serves as an introduction to a perfumer that certainly divides opinion.

So please head on over to Escentual by clicking on the image above and don’t forget to let me know your thoughts on Francis Kurkdjian and his perfumes in the comments box there or even the one here!

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Wedding Bells and Candle Smells – Maison Francis Kurkdjian APOM & Aqua Universalis Perfumed Candles Review

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Home Fragrance

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Home Fragrance

As I get older I realise that I love my home comforts more and more, and a good night for me is one spent in with great food, a movie (which doesn’t necesarily need to be great) my Nigel and my cats. To perfect a relaxed evening at home all one needs to do is light a lovely smelling scented candle – and If there’s one thing I love just as much as perfume it’s a scented candle.

The great news for us perfume lovers is that many fragrance houses offer home fragrance lines, including scented candles, that capture the scent of some of our favourite perfumes and some that offer up entirely new odours. One fragrance house whose candle offerings are particular intriguing is Maison Francis Kurkdjian.

As part of our wedding day Nigel and I are dead set on including some Maison Francis Kurkdjian candles in our ceremony – after all it would be a crime for our wedding not to be impeccably scented now wouldn’t it? So we know what brand we want, and we know we want floral candles so that narrows the selection down to two candles; APOM and Aqua Universalis.

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