Comme des Garçons are real innovators when it comes to the olfactory arts. They’ve created some of the most unique and daring mainstream fragrances on the market and within their more niche lines have explored single notes of themes with the painstaking focus of a curator. They are a brand that does not lend itself to trends or marketing influence, they simply make beautiful and intriguing things. Much in the same that Rei Kawakubo plays with the form in her fashion, Comme des Garçons aims to subvert structure in their olfactory output too, always with fascinating results.
For their latest launch, Comme des Garçons are exploring “destruction, construction and creation” by taking inspiration from one of the most ubiquitous materials on earth: concrete. Named after the material, Concrete the fragrance aims to bring new contrasts to the idea of a material that is known for its solid composition, demolishing all preconceptions. So if you’re expecting something rocky, hard and brutalist in this fragrance, you may want to think again…
Before we get on to the scent itself it’s impossible not to pay homage to the awesomeness of the bottle, which is actually coated in concrete. That’s right, actual concrete! This gives a satisfying heft to the signature pebble design but also a really surprising softness that is tactile and pleasant. I love it and what’s more, it comes covered in bubblewrap to protect it, hinting at the fact that there may just be a hidden fragility to this usually hard and robust material. Genius.
There have been a ton of big launches in the first half of this year, one of which is the eye-catching (pun intended) Kenzo World (created by none other than Mr Francis Kurkdjian). Check out my review on Escentual now.
It took a lot for me to type that sentence and I think it may take more to publish it. There’s a negative stigma around mental health and it can take a lot of guts to come out and admit that one has struggled. Mental health is a topic people don’t like to talk about much, which is a massive travesty because mental health is something that’s very important to talk about it. So talk about it we shall and if you’re wondering what on Earth this all has to do with a Jo Malone Candle of all things, then bear with, Dear Reader, bear with…
I’ve always been an anxious person and for the longest time I just thought the level of nerves I felt was normal. I mean everybody gets nervous before speaking publically or attending interviews, right? But it wasn’t just those situations that made me feel nervous – sometimes it would be paying for something in a shop or talking to somebody I didn’t know. At my worst it was any interaction with another human, even with people I knew. Luckily for me I was able to seek help and remove myself from the situations that exacerbated my anxiety. I now have mechanisms in place help to deal with anxiety and for the most part, I am a happy person. Because of this I am very lucky.
It’s taken about two years of intense rose-sniffing but I have become wholly and completely obsessed with rose perfumes. I’d even go as far saying that rose is my favourite note. In fact, I’m going to say exactly that: rose is my favourite note in perfumery. I simply cannot get enough and whilst I’ve already written a guide to rose perfumes and even battled them on Fume Chat, I feel as I haven’t quite got my adoration for the note out of my system yet. So with that in mind, here’s a bit of a different approach to an article that allows me to wax lyrical about roses once more.
Roses are one of the most versatile ‘notes’ in perfumery. I say ‘note’ but there really is a vast array of rose materials used in perfumery, some to give a rosy impression and others to add complexity to other compositions. I want to celebrate this versatility of rose but instead of just compiling a guide to roses I’ve decided to showcase the many gradients of rose by creating a day of roses. The idea is very simple: these are roses for morning, noon and night and if you want, you could simply pick one for the time you need it, or if you’re adventurous you could transition through all nine during the day. Whatever you choose, I hope you’ll agree that there really is a rose for every minute, moment and mood.
Do you like to stick to the same scent? Perhaps you have a particular style of fragrance you gravitate towards? Or maybe you like to stick within the gender lanes. Well, it’s time to step out of that comfort zone and try something a little different. Check out my handy guide on Escentual now.
That means that each Wednesday morning I’ll be bringing you a brand new fragrance-related video on my YouTube channel. Last week I debuted the channel with a video review of AURA by MUGLER (watch it here if you missed it), which has already clocked up nearly 1,000 views. Thanks so much all of the support. It was pretty daunting putting myself so out there and I’m really glad everyone has liked my vlogging efforts (that should be ‘effort’) so far.
For this week’s vlog I’m focussing on some rather lovely scents for summer. It’s been super hot here over the last couple of weeks and it’s really that time of year where we all push those heavy orientals and winter warmer scents to the back of the cupboard, and pull out those lighter more refreshing things. But one can still rock some pretty intriguing stuff in summer, not just your usual citruses and colognes, and if you’re stuck for scented inspiration this season – look no further!
Apologies for a little bit of radio silence over the last two weeks. I’ve been busy with work and other things so posts have been a little bit on the sporadic side. Fear ye not though, there’s a lot of interesting content coming your way over the coming weeks, with reviews of big launches, some nice in-depth articles and of course, vlogs! In fact, you’ll have a brand new vlog to enjoy tomorrow, so do look forward to that. In the meantime you can listen to the latest episode of Fume Chat!
In episode 20, Killian Wells the American perfumer behind cult brand Xyrena heads into the Fume Chat studio for an exclusive interview. Killian was in town for the Perfume exhibition at Somerset House, so we chatted to him about his involvement with the installation, specifically focusing on Dark Ride, his scent that was featured, whilst also grilling him about the many RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni his has created scents for. It made for quite the conversation as I’m sure you’ll agree!