Christmas Crush is where I celebrate the scented things that would make lovely gifts for the festive period!

A few weeks back I kicked off my Christmas Crush gift guides with a beautiful candle from Acqua di Parma and now, I’m continuing with yet another festive home fragrance, this time from Goutal Paris. Let’s be real, the annual Goutal Christmas candle is somewhat of an event, with a gorgeous new design launched every year. 2020 does not disappoint – well, 2020 as a year most definitely disappoints, but the 2020 Une Forêt d’Or Scented Candle does not.

This picture shows what I’ll be doing a lot of this week: walking my little pupper, Pugsley. I’ll be taking a week to recharge my batteries so no posts this week, although I’m sure there will be some activity over on my instagram! I’ll be back next week!

It’s not often that I experience love at first sniff, but in the case of Oak Wood, my immediate thought upon spraying it on my skin was “oh, I love this” and my secondary thought was “I’m going to wear the heck out of this”. Spoiler alert: I do and I did. But hold up, let’s talk a bit about this fragrance before we go right into the nitty gritty of whether I love it or not (I do, obv.). Sunspel is a luxury British clothing brand that focuses on high quality wardrobe staples and knitwear. Their aesthetic is very neutral and smart (and a little Scandi?). Oak Wood fits in nicely.

Sunspel tasked British perfumer Lyn Harris (formerly of Miller Harris, now of Perfumer H) to create their debut fragrance. The brand had previously created signature sweatshirts for Harris, featuring the names of two of her Perfumer H fragrances (I really want one of those, btw) so it feels like an organic partnership. Harris said she wanted to “create something that represented the beauty of the English countryside” because for her “that’s what really represents the brand, Sunspel”. The name Oak Wood was her working title for the fragrance.

When I review a scent I don’t just think about the words I want to use to describe it, I also consider how I’m going to capture the essence of the scent in the accompanying images. To photograph Oak Wood, I took a long walk with my husband and Pugsley, our pug. We ventured onto the thrift that is a short walk from our house and got lost in the winding paths that led us through the growing saplings that represent a forest in its infancy. We walked past reeds and brush, treading on gravel paths scattered with fiery leaves decaying in the autumn air. I was wearing Oak Wood and it felt so poignant in such a beautiful space. It all just felt right. These photographs represent Oak Wood and the feelings of that day.

It’s time for a new Fume Chat podcast episode. CHANEL has just released their new Nº5 campaign featuring Nick’s doppelgänger, Academy Award winning actress, Marion Cotillard. To celebrate we’re taking a deep dive into the history of the most famous perfume in the world (the icon, the legend CHANEL Nº5) – we discuss its creation and sniff the five versions currently available. Join Thomas and Marion, sorry, no, join Thomas and Nick in this iconic episode. Listen below the jump (or wherever you get your podcasts)

The raw materials in the perfumes we wear are fascinating but they can often be confusing and inaccessible. In Material Focus I try to demystify these essential building blocks of perfumery, covering how they smell and how they’re used.

Let’s be real for a second, it can sometimes be utterly mystifying to read a notes list. Often you’ll stumble across materials that you’ve never heard of and some that frankly, don’t exist (“black gardenia” anyone?!). You see, many of these materials aren’t things we encounter in every day life, so it can be hard to place them, and when we can’t place them, or relate to them, they can feel meaningless. I’m all about making perfume accessible, so in this new series I’ll be looking at some of the nifty aroma chemicals that are used widely in perfumery, covering how they smell and how they’re used, so when you encounter them in the wild, you know exactly what they are.