Scented Stories: Amsterdam

#ScentedStories - Amsterdam

#ScentedStories – Amsterdam

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.

A few weeks back, I paid a nostalgic visit to the British seaside town of Aldeburgh with my family and to honour the sentimental, and smelly, significance of this particular place, I documented the sights and smells of the trip on my Instagram account, and then later collated them on this blog. A new series, ‘Scented Stories’, was born and over the coming months I intend to further explore this fragrant little place we call Earth with additional instalments that look at the specific scents of interesting places. I encourage you, dear readers, to share your experiences too.

For this latest instalment, I took a spontaneous mini-break to the land of clogs, legalised cannabis, Gouda cheese and trams, so many trams. If you haven’t guessed it yet, I am of course referring to the fascinating city of Amsterdam. So with my iPhone and passport packed, and my husband by my side, I took a short hop across the North Sea for a three day exploration of a picturesque, and laid-back city unlike any another. Below you will find my #ScentedStories snaps, including fragrant captions, as well as some standard holiday selfies, and glamour shots for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

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New Escentual Post: Around the World in 80 Sprays

Around the World in 80 Sprays

Around the World in 80 Sprays

I’ve been away for a couple of days so there won’t be new posts from me this week, excluding my usual weekly column for Escentual. As you may have read, I have started to share ‘Scented Stories’ of the sights and smells of the places I visit on my Instagram page, and subsequently on my blog. These thoughts of scent and travel got me to thinking about what other cities may smell like, and specifically what perfumes can evoke different fragrant elements of these varied landscapes.

For my Escentual column this week I’ve taken an imaginary trip around the world to eight amazing cities, some I’ve personally visited and some I am yet to. To create a fragrant picture of each city I have selected ten fragrances that relate to the scented nuances of these places. Some are literal, capturing the smells one encounters when visiting these cities, and some are a little bit more abstract, evoking thoughts and feels from within my imagination. So, pack your passport and your sunblock, and click here, to go around the world in 80 sprays!

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Scented Stories: The Seaside

#ScentedStories

#ScentedStories

My favourite medium of Social Media is Instagram, so it will be no surprise that my Instagram account (you can follow me here, BTW) is filled with many, many pictures of my favourite things, specifically a variety of images related to perfume, food and my family. You can say a lot with a simple picture and I personally find it to be a fantastic way to represent the spirit, or essence of a fragrance by pairing it with a piece of art, or a carefully-selected background. I’m a bit in love with Instagram, if I’m being honest with you, whether I be using it to flirt with perfume photography or simply stroking my ego with a cheeky, but essential selfie…

One thing I’d like to start doing via my favourite medium is record some of my everyday scented experiences using photography and a smelly commentary. I’m calling the series ‘Scented Stories’, or ‘#ScentedStories’ for the social media savvy amongst us, and I’d like to invite you along with me to explore the smellier things in life. Photos and captions will initially be posted on my Instagram and then collated in a blog post here. But this isn’t just about me (not everything can be, I know…) and I’d like to hear/see your #ScentedStories too! So, tell me about the interesting smells you come across and share your photographs, comment away, and let’s traverse this wonderfully, and beautifully fragrant world together.

For my first Scented Story I have documented a recent trip to that most wonderful of places – the British seaside. When we were kids, my father would take my siblings and me to a small town in Suffolk called Aldeburgh. Unlike many seaside towns, Aldeburgh is quaint, laid back and fairly untourist-y, but it does have all of the things one expects from such a place, namely; a beach with painful pebbles (murder for the feet, let’s face it), plentiful ice cream, tacky gift shops and, most importantly, killer fish and chips. To rekindle fun times spent by the coast, we (as in my siblings, father, step-mother, husband and I) have started taking semi-regular trips back to Aldeburgh with my nephew and below the jump is just a small photo essay, complete with scented commentary, of this year’s trip. Enjoy!

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New Escentual Post: Subversive Summer Scent

Subversive Summer Scent - Fragrances for the Sunny Season that are a Bit Unique...

Subversive Summer Scent – Fragrances for the Sunny Season that are a Bit Unique…

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

Scent a Celebrity Series: The Studio Ghibli Edition

Scenting the Characters of Studio Ghibli

Scenting the Characters of Studio Ghibli

“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.

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Engagement Distance – Bogue Profumo MAAI Perfume Review

Engaging with MAAI @ Bloom Perfumery

Engaging with MAAI @ Bloom Perfumery

I interrupt our usual programming of new perfume reviews for something that isn’t entirely brand new – MAAI by Bogue Profumo. I actually received my sample of MAAI quite a while ago. It was generously sent to me by a very lovely perfumista (she knows who she is) and with so many things, it got caught up in my sample pile and didn’t receive too much attention. You know how it is, fellow fragrance nerds, there’s simply so much out there to smell that not everything can receive the attention it deserves. Anyhoo, a few weeks back I was prepping my review for Papillon Artisan Perfumes’ marvellous Salome, and very much felt in the mood for modern fragrances with a classic or vintage feel. MAAI immediately sprung to mind and here we are…

MAAI comes from the Italian niche house, Bogue Profumo, ‘bogue’ being French slang for ‘bug’, as in a computer virus. Founded by perfumer Antonio Gardoni, Bogue offers “neo-classic perfumery through experiments: through infusing resins, woods, roots and metals in alcohol” and MAAI (which is named after the Japanese martial arts term that describes the distance between two opponents, translating as ‘interval’) is his boldest work. In a fortuitous coincidence of events that aligned rather nicely with my rediscovery of my sample of MAAI, I recently found myself at Bloom Perfumery, Covent Garden experiencing Gardoni unveil the hidden secrets of fragrance. The experience was rather enlightening.

Believe me when I say that Gardoni is an incredibly affable and creative individual who approaches perfumery from a completely different angle to most. His approach seems entirely experimental, right from the way that he infused the alcohol used in MAAI with resins, incense and juniper, to the intense multi-aldehyde accord he created for the fragrance, the results seem to come together in a completely organic manner. I admire his spirit and enthusiasm, and the fruits of his olfactory projects, as evidenced in MAAI and his other fragrance ‘O/E’, are really quite something!

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Super Scent: My Top Five Estée Lauder Fragrances

Super Scent: Estée Lauder

Super Scent: Estée Lauder

Super Scent is here! In case you missed my little teaser on Friday, Super Scent is a new, list-based series run in conjunction with my blogging comrade, Persolaise. 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!

We are kicking off the series with one of the biggest players in the perfume world – Estée Lauder. Now, Lauder’s name has been on the lips of a many perfume lover of late, mainly due to the fact that they have famously bought out the venerable houses of Le Labo and Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle, but we’re not here to talk about that ¹. No, we’re here to take a look at just a small selection of some of the brand’s very own fragrances. So, sit back, relax and enjoy the Estée Lauder edition of Super Scent – a run down of my five favourite Lauder scents from five to one. Oh and click here, to check out Persolaise’s list too.
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