New Escentual Post: U is for Unisex…

U is for Unisex

U is for Unisex

“Perfumes don’t have a gender” – I cannot tell you how many times I have said this, whether on this blog, or in casual conversation, and I stand by it. It is my firm belief that, seeing as a fragrance neither has balls or boobs, it cannot be assigned a particular gender. That said, perfumes do possess characteristics that can be perceived as either more masculine or feminine, depending on whose nose is doing the sniffing. To combat all of this brands try to dispel the gender myth (or do they reinforce it?) with unisex or genderless fragrances.

For my Escentual column this week, and the latest instalment in my ‘Escentual A-Z of Fragrance’ (only V, W, X, Y and Z to go, y’all) I’ve pondered the origin of the modern unisex perfume, and have also included some of my favourites for your reading pleasure. So if you’re wanting to dip your toes into a world where the gender lines don’t matter much at all, then simply click here and head on over to the Escentual blog to read my post. Don’t forget to tell me what your favourite unisex scents are.

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The Fragrance Foundation Awards: The Finalists 2015

The Fragrance Foundation Awards

The Fragrance Foundation Awards

Tomorrow is the fragrance industry’s biggest night – The Fragrance Foundation Awards, or the ‘Oscars of the Fragrance World’ as they are often referred to. The glitterati of the perfume world will be donning their, well, glitter I suppose, and will be heading out for a night of fragrant celebration. The awards, which are in their 23rd year, serve to recognise “excellence within the fragrance arena, from Packaging and Advertising through to Best New Fragrance” and are the most important event in the industry’s calendar.

This year sees established brands and young, indie brands being recognised for their work. Who will win? Well, we’ll just have to wait until Thursday to find out! I will be in attendance at the awards and will be tweeting up a storm as the names of the winners are called. Follow me on Twitter @candyperfumeb0y to see my tweets, or for a more general view of the evening, you can find all award-related tweets via the official Fragrance Foundation awards hashtag – #FragranceAwardsUK. For a full list of the 2015 finalists, simply click below the jump. Who will you be rooting for? Let me know in the comments box at the bottom of the post!

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Le Cinéma Olfactif – Folie Á Plusieurs Mood Indigo, Love Exposure, La Haine & The Virgin Suicides Perfume Review

Le Cinéma Olfactif - Movies Capture in Scent by Folie À Plusieurs

Le Cinéma Olfactif – Movies Capture in Scent by Folie À Plusieurs

Perfume is so often sold as a gimmick hiding behind a loose concept, so it’s quite easy to become despondent and bored of the lengths niche brands will go to fill a gap in the market. We’ve got to the point where we have perfumes named after blood types and fragrances bottled in flacons crafted in the shape of the human heart, for Pete’s sake. I get that a brand needs to have an identity, and needs to say something unique, but so often the result is nothing more than pretentious fluff that is more style than substance – a fatal flaw of the industry.

That said, every now and then, a brand comes along with a solid concept that is executed to perfection, and most importantly, ties in with the juices in the bottles. Germany brand, Folie À Plusieurs is one such instance of substance working in tandem with style, and their fragrances are as strong as the concept from which they were born. The fragrances are inspired by great works of cinema and aim to capture in scent, specific moments in movies that are poignant, whether that be because they are beautiful and moving, or even because they challenge or disturb.

The five scents in the collection are created by rebellious perfumer Mark Buxton – the man behind Comme des Garçons’ great works (CDG Eau de Parfum, 2 & 2 Man etc.) and Le Labo’s Vetiver 46, and are easily some of his best works. Inspired by memorable moments in Michel Gondry’s Mood Indigo, Sion Sono’s Love Exposure, Matthieu Kassovitz’s La Haine and Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides, Folie À Plusieurs oeuvre opens up a world where cinema and fragrance meet in a collision of senses, resulting in a whirlwind of experiences that really strike a chord with the viewer/sniffer. Be prepared for some NSFW content below the jump…

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Perfume with Wings – adidas ORIGINALS by Jeremy Scott Perfume review

adidas ORGINALS x Jeremy Scott

adidas ORGINALS x Jeremy Scott

I do like a nice surprise, especially when perfume is concerned, and definitely when my cynical perfume blogger hat is firmly atop my head. adidas ORIGINALS by Jeremy Scott, the first fragrant collaboration between the legendary sportswear brand and the pop-culture dabbling designer, is one such surprise and I have no shame in admitting that I really do like it much more than I thought I would. As will be a shock to nobody, I’m not a hugely sporty person, and my personal style certainly couldn’t be described as ‘pop-fashion’ (as Scott’s designs are). Further to this, Scott’s first olfactory creation for MOSCHINO (the disappointingly ‘style over substance’ scent that is TOY) didn’t fill me with too much hope for a masterpiece. All-in-all, I didn’t expect to think much of this new collaboration. I was wrong, of course.

adidas ORIGINALS by Jeremy Scott makes a statement right from the moment one removes it from the “thermoformed velvet” placement inside it’s shoe box-like outer packaging. The bottle, which is shaped like one of Scott’s ‘winged’ adidas high-tops will divide opinion but personally, I think it’s really cool and it’s as much a decorative object as it is a vessel for the fragrance. Speaking of the perfume, adidas and Jeremy Scott have worked with perfumers Maurice Roucel (Musc Ravageur, Gucci Envy & Iris Silver Mist) and Philippe Roques to create a blend that reportedly “defies expectations with a unisex formula that contrasts masculine and feminine” – and you know what? They’ve done exactly that!

“Fashion designer, Jeremy Scott defines pop fashion. His brand of rebellion-humurous, optimistic-polished is irresistible to international pop stars and style-makers alike. His vision for remixing and elevating popular culture – with spectacular results – tells the story of the possible made real. There are no limits. There is no questioning. Reality will bend. His first fragrance, Jeremy Scott for adidas ORIGINALS, embodies the high-contrast world of pop fashion where imagination is everything.”

– adidas ORIGINALS

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The Eau de Cologne Edit

The Eau de Cologne Edit

The Eau de Cologne Edit

Here in the bonny isles of the United Kingdom, the weather is flirting with us. For the last couple of weeks, Mother Nature has been coquettishly winking at us, flashing days of sunlight and pure bliss on to these green and pleasant lands. Of course, we’re in that definite transitionary period between seasons. Spring is here, and Summer is waiting in the wings, but the cold and grey of winter is persistent on some days, meaning that the weather’s dalliance with summer love hasn’t quite taken hold – but soon, it will.

I don’t know about you, but these short flashes of summer and glimpses of warmth, and vitamin-enriched days of halcyon make me reach for the lighter things in my fragrance wardrobe (and there are some hidden amongst my show-stopping sillage bombs, as hard as that may be to believe). At this time one craves bracing citrus, the sweet headiness of flowers and the airiness of musk, all of which lead one to think of one perfume genre in particular, a genre that is one of the industry’s oldest and most classic styles – the humble Eau de Cologne.

Eau de Colognes speak of lighter, fresher and more vibrant signatures. They are lighter, usually boasting a concentration between 2%-5% and utilise fresh citrus notes (mandarin, lemon and bergamot etc.) alongside herbs (rosemary and thyme) and florals (neroli, lavender, jasmine, orange blossom). The Eau de Cologne is ephemeral and designed to be splashed on at multiple times throughout the day in order to re-awaken, revitalise and refresh the sense. In short, they are an olfactory jolt to the system.

To celebrate the changing of the seasons, I’ve collected together six of my favourite Eau de Colognes for your reading pleasure. They range from the classics, which really are light and traditional, to more modern and contemporary twists on the genre, that manage to smell both unique and long-lasting. So brace yourself, folks, for ‘The Eau de Cologne Edit’ – six scents that will get your nose positively aching for summer.

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New Escentual Post: Bvlgari Aqva Divina Perfume Review

Aqva Divina

Aqva Divina

For my Escentual column this week I have reviewed ‘Aqva Divina‘, the latest fragrance from jewellery makers, Bvlgari. I’ll say that this one was a definite surprise for me. Bvlgari’s most recent offerings have been a bit bog-standard – not bad, but not really noteworthy either. This one however, is really good (one of my faves for summer 2015, in fact). It’s a salty, marine floral a la Womanity, but more tropical and creamy white. Think of Aqva Divina as the Aphrodite to the Mugler’s Pink Terminator Cyborg. Anyway, if that suitably piques your interest, then click here to read my review.

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@Fragrantreviews Roundup

Tweet Tweet

Tweet Tweet

As you may, or may not be aware, my good friend and scented-partner-in-crime, Nick Gilbert and I run @fragrantreviews – a Twitter account that reviews fragrances in 140 characters or less. We have great fun throwing out smelly little soundbites into the Twittersphere and seeing as I’m swamped with work and therefore, unable to bring you a full post today, I thought I would treat you to a roundup of some of my recent @fragrantreviews tweets, which can be found below the jump. Enjoy!

For more info on @fragrantreviews and to read ALL of mine and Nick’s reviews simply click here. Also, don’t forget to join me in my Periscope experiment this evening at 20:00 GMT. Full details on that can be found here.

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