Well, if last week was an unofficial ‘collections’ week, this week is most definitely ‘celebuscent’ week. So far we’ve gagged for Gaga and been perfumed by Pharrell, and now it’s time for another star to treat us to their fragrant wares. This time it’s Barbadian songstress and provocateur, Rihanna. Now, Ri-Ri is no stranger to the world of celebrity fragrance and has, at this present moment in time, a grand total of 6 fragrances under her belt. She has clearly been very busy.
I’ll be honest and say that, whilst I’m quite familiar with Rihanna’s musical outings, I’m less au fait with her olfactory output. That said, I have heard a lot of good things about Rogue, her feminine fragrance launch from 2013 and seeing as our girl Ri has just launched the masculine counterpart to Rogue, aptly entitled Rogue Man, I thought it would be a good opportunity to give both fragrances a test drive.
Rogue was developed by perfumer Marypierre Julien (Rihanna Rebelle) and is described as being a “flirtatious and sensual oriental”. Rogue Man was penned by perfumer Frank Voekl (Le Labo Ylang 49, Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream and Oscar de la Renta Esprit d’Oscar) and reportedly “intoxicates men with a choreographed clash of fragrance notes that are both masculine and ultra-sexy”. So how do these two rebellious perfumes fair as celebuscents? Well, let’s put them to the test!
“Fragrance is paint for the nose. People who make fragrances, the air is their canvas.”
- Pharrell Williams
Is there any one person on the planet bigger than Pharrell Williams right now? I think not. He’s either produced, sang or guested on some of the biggest songs of the last few years, not to mention the fact that he’s a fashion icon with a penchant for Vivienne Westwood Buffalo hats from the ’80s and socks with no shoes. In short, Pharrell is a bit of a dude and it was only a matter of time before he branched out from music and fashion, into the world of fragrance.
Thankfully for us (us being the perfume lovers of the world), Pharrell has teamed up with the fragrance arm of unconventional fashion house Comme des Garçons to create his very first perfume. Comme des Garçons are well known for high quality fragrances that approach the art of olfaction with a distinct, and unique viewpoint, celebrating woods, incense and spices in a varied series of artistic olfactory entries. So, it would be correct to say that Mr. Williams made a sensible choice and is in very safe hands.
Pharrell’s debut fragrance is named G I R L, after his 2014 album of the same name, from which it also takes inspiration. G I R L was created by perfumers Antoine Lie (Etat Libre d’Orange’s Sécrétions Magnifiques, Rossy de Palmaand Tom of Finland) and Christian Astugeville, and is described as being “a woody scent of high quality and complex construction”. Much like Lady Gaga’s Eau de Gaga, which I reviewed earlier this week, G I R L is a most atypical celebrity fragrance that tries to defy the clichéd conventions of a tired and overexposed genre.
Buying perfume as a gift can be a tricky business and often people shy away from picking out fragrance for their loved ones because it can be such a personal choice. But it really doesn’t have to be that hard – in fact, the end result can be a perfect and personal present for that special someone in your life, whether that be something they are familiar with or even something entirely new.
To debunk that myth that buying perfume as a gift is a faux pas waiting to happen, for my Escentual column this week I’ve put together a small 3.5 step guide on how to do it properly. So, if you’re looking at gifting perfume this Christmas, whether that be to a perfume lover or not, or even if you’re just gifting because you feel like it (and you’re obviously a generous soul), click here to read my guide on How to Buy the Perfect Fragrance Gift.
“What is a perfume’s story? What smells do explorers experience? And what do dreamers imagine when smelling perfume? Aren’t we each making our own story?”
- ODOU, Issue Three
ODOU, the Jasmine Award winning magazine dedicated exclusively to the world of smell, has just released its third issue, and it’s a good one! Obviously, this is no real surprise as the first two issues curated by Editor Liam Moore, were absolutely fantastic (with the first gaining a number of Jasmine Award nominations and a win, I hasten to add) and approached the art of perfume, and olfaction from an entirely new angle.
Issue three sees articles from esteemed writers such as Persolaise, Neil Chapman of The Black Narcissus (whose article in Issue one took the Jasmine Literary Award last year) and Joshua Ang of The Smelly Vagabond. This is the story issue, and it takes a look at a diverse range of tales from a perfumer, a dreamer, an addict, and many more. Through this issue of ODOU, we can take a look at many lives and how the world of smell interacts with them, painting a picture of the human condition through breathtaking imagery, fascinating stories, and of course, beautiful smells.
I’ve contributed a small piece to Issue three, detailing my very own perfume story, specifically the tale of how I fell in love with the world of fragrance. The piece is called ‘My Kingdom for McQueen’ and I’m very proud of it, but if you want to know more you’re going to have to read all about it in ODOU. To pick up digital or hard copies of ODOU Issue three, or the other two issues, you simply need to click here to visit the magazine’s website.
Oooh, I do love a good scarf and now that winter is finally bedding in, it’s the perfect opportunity to step out of the house wrapped within the warm confines of many a piece of neckwear. In fact, leaving the homestead isn’t particularly necessary (nor much fun in the cold) and I have been known to float around the house, scarf wrapped around neck, simply enjoying the fabulous warmth (and aesthetic) that it brings. I am, if anything, a bit of a poser, after all.
Scarves go incredibly well with fragrance and one of my favourite things to do is sniff a well worn scarf and try to identify the many perfumes that are imbued so deeply within the fibres. The truth is that, scarves may be a fashion item, but they also make wearing fragrance more pleasurable, due to the simple fact that they retain odour, as well as almost amplifying a fragrance so that it can be smelled at numerous intervals throughout the entire today.
In this piece, I’ve picked out some of my favourite scarves and paired them with matching fragrances. These pairings identify the synergies between the textures, colours and signatures of fragrances, and neckwear, but also take a look at some fragrances that simply smell great when lavishly sprayed on any old scarf. So, if you’re looking for a nice winter warmer of a fragrance to pair with your very best winter scarf, then read on, dear reader, read on.
New from Penhaligon’s: Ostara Eau de Toilette (Illustration: Melissa Bailey)
This spring, quintessentially British perfume house, Penhaligon’s will launch ‘Ostara’, the brand’s latest collaboration with venerable perfumer, Bertrand Duchaufour. Charting a fragrant journey of daffodil from “bulb to bud to bloom”, Ostara is described by the brand as a “modern interpretation” of an “incandescent flower”.
“An iconic feature of the British countryside, the daffodil symbolises the optimism and revival of spring. In 1802, the distinguished poet William Wordsworth wrote about a sea of daffodils in his poem, ‘I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud’. Excerpts have been included on the outer packaging of the fragrance to reflect the radiance of the flower.”
T’was the night before Halloween, when all thro’ the house, nothing was stirring, not even a maniacal serial killer with a insatiable thirst for blood. That’s how the song goes, right?! Halloween seems to be getting bigger every year and whilst the shops may be stocking up for Christmas already, they’re also struggling for space with all of the Halloween schtuff that’s occupying the shelves.
In celebration of All Hallows’ Eve, I’ve put together a guide of ghoulish, witchy and zombie-riffic fragrances that will make perfect fragrant companions to any costume this Halloween. In the guide you’ll find scents that are evocative of evil clowns and convey the smells of wet dog. It’s an interesting guide for sure… Click here to head on over to Escentual for a nosey.