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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Smelly News: Jo Malone to Launch Lace Bottle Collection

Dark Amber & Ginger Lily Cologne Intense - The Lace Edition

Dark Amber & Ginger Lily Cologne Intense – The Lace Edition

This May, London-based lifestyle brand, Jo Malone is launching a series of limited edition lace bottles for some of their most bridal-appropriate fragrances. Available in Peony & Blush Suede, Orange Blossom, Red Roses, English Pear & Freesia, Lime Basil & Mandarin, Nectarine Blossom & Honey, Wild Bluebell, Pomegranate Noir, Velvet Rose & Oud, and Dark Amber & Ginger Lily, the Lace Editions are etched in three different designs and serve as a wonderful gift for the happy couple or simply a treat for the Jo Malone collector.

Whilst we’re on the subject of weddings (love is in the air, it seems!), Jo Malone are also offering complimentary wedding consultations at their boutiques, in which brides and grooms-to-be (along with up to five family members or friends) can discover just how to “scent their wedding”, through the Jo Malone collection of fragrances, body products and candles. Further info can be found on the Jo Malone website, and for info on how I scented my wedding, simply click here.

“Our scents can be symbolic too. The peony flower, embodied in Peony & Blush Suede, is the quintessential flower for a bride, thought to be good luck for marriage. Similarly, Orange Blossom is a traditional part of a bridal bouquet as it symbolises good fortune and happiness together. Layer the two scents with Fragrance Combining™ to create a blooming full floral or pick Wild Bluebell as your something blue.”

– Jo Malone, London

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The Candy Perfume Boy’s Perfumed Periscope Experiment

Join me on Periscope

Join me on Periscope

Forget your Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram, because there’s a new social media app in town, and it goes by the name of ‘Periscope’. But what does it do? Well, in short, Periscope allows people to live stream to the world directly from their smart phone, meaning that social media users can broadcast whatever it is that they are doing, whether that be watching TV, baking a cake or, as I did the other day, riding their bike. Viewers can then comment, ask questions, ‘like’ the video, or ask the broadcaster to show them the contents of their fridge, as seems to be the tradition.

In an attempt to embrace this new medium I’d like you to join me in a perfumed Periscope experiment. At 20:00 GMT on Wednesday 15 April 2015, I will be broadcasting live from my living room. The subject will be my top five fragrances for summer 2015 and I will be discussing the scents, and why I like them, as well as answering viewer questions (within reason, obviously) and just generally interacting with whoever wishes to watch. Of course, this could all go horribly wrong, but I want to see whether we can use Periscope for something fun and informative. My question to you then is – will you join me?

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Cut From the Same Cloth – Marni Spice Perfume Review

The Marni Fragrance Collection

The Marni Fragrance Collection

Cast your mind back to 2012 when Italian fashion label Marni launched their first and eponymous fragrance, ‘Marni‘. Created by perfumer Daniela Andrier, the nose behind many of Prada’s most recent offerings, this debut fragrance opted to be a little bit subversive and create something that was both playful and practical, capturing the spirit of the brand whilst remaining relatively commercial. The result is a vibrant, spicy rose scent that stands out amongst the many others of its kind, due to its quality and effervescence.

Now, bring yourself back to the present day and let’s discuss ‘Marni Spice‘ the latest addition to the Marni fragrance collection, which includes the original scent and one other flanker called ‘Marni Rose‘. Much like the Marni Rose that precedes it, this latest edition has been created as a “new interpretation of the original bouquet”,  this time showcasing the spicier facets of the Marni signature. The brand describe the fragrance as a “lively and spontaneous dialogue between strength and delicacy”, and that seems fitting to me. Marni Spice displays a different kind of vibrancy to the original, hinting at an exciting kind of androgyny.

“Just like Consuelo Castiglioni, as a designer, plays with classical elements, producing unexpected results through an unprecedented balance of proportions, colours, prints and materials, perfumes play with classic elements in unexpected ways. The starting point is the ingredients: sophisticated and precious. Consuelo Castiglioni follows every aspect of the process, editing each fragrance as she would do with the collection for a fashion show”

– Marni

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The Soul of the Panther – In Conversation with Mathilde Laurent, Cartier’s In-House Perfumer

La Panthére - The Charisma of Cartier

La Panthére – The Charisma of Cartier

In the office of Cartier’s in-house perfumer, Mathilde Laurent, there sits a proud statue of a velvet panther. Serving more than ornamental purposes, this handsome wild cat stands guard over something really quite precious – not expensive perfumes, extravagant jewels or fastidiously crafted timepieces, no, this panther protects something altogether more priceless – the heritage of the house of Cartier. It seems to be working too, because in the modernist glass cube of the Jean Nouvel-designed Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain building that houses Laurent’s laboratory (i.e. where the magic happens) as well as a conceptual art space, this spirit of the brand is alive and kicking.

Cartier is not a house hung up on the past, however. They acknowledge their heritage and look firmly forward to the future, seeking to create perfumes that bring something new to the industry as well as to express emotion. Currently, the house has an extensive back catalogue of scent which is widely available (Eau de Cartier, Déclaration and Le Baiser du Dragon etc,) as well as an exclusive collection entitled Les Heures de Parfum. Since joining the house, Laurent has taken Cartier in a new direction, most notably creating the thoroughly modern Baiser Volé and La Panthère, as well as the aforementioned Les Heures de Parfum. In these new fragrances, Cartier and Laurent fuse tradition and heritage with a thirst for pushing the boundaries and adding something new, and worthwhile to the industry. This marriage between history and modernism, and Cartier and Laurent, serves to preserve the spirit of this legendary house – to protect the soul of the panther, as it were, and drive it forward for the years to come.

Recently, I was lucky enough to be invited to Paris to meet Mathilde Laurent and sit down with her, and a group of fellow journalists at the Fondation Cartier, to discuss her work for the house. During the enlightening discussion Laurent spoke about IFRA and the impact reformulations are having on the industry, as well as covering her creative process in detail, in addition to discussing the inspirations behind fragrances such as La Panthère and L’Heure Perdue, the latter of which is the latest addition to Les Heures de Parfum and a gorgeous condensed milk cuddle of a scent. I left Cartier with a new-found respect for the house and a desire to discover Laurent’s work in more detail. In the ensuing discussions, you will see that Laurent is refreshingly candid and a marvellously talented and creative individual – a true representative of the ideals of Cartier.

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