Do you ever have those fragrances that you want to love, but just don’t? They often appear entirely suited to your desires and tastes, and often come lauded with high praise, but for some reason they just don’t click with you. For me, Dior’s Diorissimo was one such scent. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve picked up a tester, spritzed some on and waited for sparks to fly. They never did and I couldn’t understand it. I love white florals. I love Dior. Why didn’t Diorissimo and I run off into the sunset together to a symphonic burst of Hollywood music? Sigh.
Don’t lose hope, Dear Reader because, as with all true love stories in movies, the boy gets the girl, or alternatively the boy gets the boy (and the girl gets the girl), OR in my case, the boy (of the Candy Perfume variety) ‘gets’ the perfume. So what finally ignited the spark between that elusive Diorissimo and me? I have one word for you: vintage. It is widely known that the current version of Diorissimo is a pale interpretation of its former self, due mainly to restrictions of key ingredients used to create that unmistakeable lily of the valley effect. With this in mind I headed straight to eBay to seek out some vintage Dior to see what all of the fuss is about.
I couldn’t believe my luck when I saw it: 50ml of 1980’s Diorissimo Eau de Toilette, almost full for £25 with no bids. I didn’t bid on it at first, thinking that it would go and I stupidly allowed this gem to go unsold. Never mind, fate was on my side and I managed to win the bottle on its second listing. I honestly have never been so excited to receive a perfume package in my life. Could this vintage be the Diorissimo for me? Would it finally click into place, and would Diorissimo and I have that Hollywood ending I was looking for? Seeing as we’re talking in movie analogies, let me drop a spoiler: the boy gets the perfume.
I think most perfume lovers have a soft spot for the house of Guerlain. Their fragrances have an undeniably coquettish spirit and often, a wonderfully delicious sensibility as well. Guerlain makes fragrances with humour that smell good enough to eat, but with just enough abstraction to prevent them from being literal gourmands. The history of the house is rich and varied, spanning almost 200 years and boasting a lineage of fragrances that range from the animalic wonder of Jicky to the playful glacier fruit of the unapologetic La Petite Robe Noire.
For my Escentual column this week I have put together a piece that looks at Guerlain’s fragrance icons – 12 fragrances that demonstrate just how important, classic and innovative the legendary Parisian house is. It was difficult not to include absolute every fragrance in Guerlain’s back catalogue, I tell you, but I think the 12 included are some of the absolute best that the house has to offer. Click here to head over to Escentual to read the piece and do leave a comment, I’d love to hear your thoughts on which Guerlain fragrances are iconic to you.
It’s time to put on the Marigolds and start scrubbing because the new fragrance from MOSCHINO is here, and it’s very much channelling spring clean couture. The concept of this eye-catching new scent, the superbly named ‘Fresh Couture‘, is an interesting one. Packaged within the familiar form of an everyday household item, namely a bottle of spray cleaner, Fresh Couture has been created to “juxtapose the most mundane and commonplace of all products, the household cleaner, with something so precious – the juice of a luxury brand’s fragrance”. It is this “dichotomy of high and low”, i.e. the luxury of a fragrance and the value-lacking vessel of a functional cleaner, that is Fresh Couture’s inspiration, and it’s served with Creative Director, Jeremy Scott’s playful signature.
Unlike MOSCHINO’s other kitsch fragrance, the cute teddy bear that is ‘TOY‘ (all style and no substance, as much as I hate to admit it), Fresh Couture is delivered with a definite concept behind the juice. The whole thing plays, unsurprisingly on the idea of freshness in a feminine way boasting notes of citrus, flowers and woods. What could be more MOSCHINO than a “surprising and ironic perfume”, says the brand, and whilst I may not be on board with the idea of this being surprising or ironic, I’m perfectly happy to concede that Fresh Couture says ‘MOSCHINO’ right from head to toe. I should mention that it’s also quite a bit of fun, too.
Summer may be but a distant memory now, but that doesn’t mean that we should forget about it entirely! With the mercury heading downwards and the knitwear usage on the up, it’s a good time to be a little bit nostalgic about summer or, if that’s not the case for you, it’s at least a perfect opportunity to rock something warm and delightful. Amouage’s tremendously delightful lavender, Sunshine Man is just the scent and it’s certainly got my olfactory senses running in overdrive. Check out my review on Escentual.com here.
I like vetiver but I don’t own many vetiver fragrances. A brief sweep of my collection highlights the truth that I only own four vetiver-centric scents; Grey Vetiver by Tom Ford in Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette concentrations, Carven’s reissued Vetiver and a bottle of Guerlain’s Vetiver (a must for any card carrying perfume nut). In fact, that’s not the truth at all because all four of these technically belong to my husband who, for the record, does enjoy a good vetiver. So why the vetiver snubbing at Candy Perfume Towers? In all honesty, I do not know. Perhaps I’m too busy focusing on my florals and macerating over my Muglers to really allowed vetiver to show me its veritas. Who knows?!
There is a new vetiver in town though, that may just sway my opinion. Well, I say new, but once again I am being creative with the truth. This vetiver is a flanker to a cult vetiver and I have to admit that it’s rather blinking good. Most of you will be familiar with Lalique’s famous Encre Noire (Nathalie Lorson; 2006), a dark and brooding vetiver that is often regarded as one of the very best the genre has to offer. Well now, Encre Noire has spawned a child – an intense and more raw version of itself that has one mission, and one mission only: to smell damn good.
The scent is called Encre Noire À L’Extrême and it is pretty much what you would expect from a fragrance boasting that sort of name: a richer, more intense and more extreme version of the original. To celebrate the tenth anniversary of Encre Noire, perfumer Nathalie Lorson has reinterpreted the iconic vetiver fragrance, or as Lalique put it Lorson pens “a new chapter in the saga”. Pushing the signature of the original “to its limits”, Encre Noire À L’Extrême is a fragrance that “plays on contrasts to express every facet of masculinity through powerful, seductive accords.” I’d say that it does a pretty good job of it too!
New Escentual Reviews: CK Eternity Now & Armani Eau de Cédre
The mainstream wheel of the fragrance industry is forever a turning, it seems. For my last two Escentual columns I’ve focused on some scents that I would categorise as nicely done, without being groundbreaking (which, not every single fragrances has to be). Firstly we have the new Eternity Now duo from Calvin Klein, which consists of a sticky tropical fougére with industrial undertones for him, and a peach bubble bath for her. Check out my review of the duo here. Secondly, there is the new Eau de Cédre from Armani, a soft and supple citrus-woodsy thing that is inspired by a velvet jacket. Click here for my review. Continue reading →
Super Scent is back! In case you missed our first instalment a few months back, Super Scent is a list-based series run in conjunction with my fellow perfume nerds, Persolaise and Basenotes. 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!
For episode two we are all taking a scented peek into the fragrant back catalogue of one of the world’s most iconic couturiers: Christian Dior. Many great masterpieces of scent have been unleashed by Dior who, for the most part, create bold and iconic fragrances that dare to be more than mainstream. So, sit back, relax and enjoy the Dior edition of Super Scent – a run down of my seven (we simply couldn’t limit it to five on this occasion) favourite Dior scents from seven to one. Oh and click here, to check out Persolaise’s list, and here for Basenotes’.