The Candy Perfume Boy – A Five Year Retrospective and a £100 Giveaway!

The Candy Perfume Boy Turns Five!

The Candy Perfume Boy Turns Five!

Woah! I can’t quite believe it but this month The Candy Perfume Boy turned five years old. That’s right, we’ve been going at this fragrance blogging malarky for five whole years and what a wonderful time it has been. Since July 2011 we have chucked a few perfumers and brand owners onto desert islands, scented The Muppets, Björk and Kate Bush, delved deep into notes such as tuberose, violet and oud, and talked about Thierry Mugler one heck of a lot. What a wonderful five years!

To celebrate this big milestone, I’ve put together a quick retrospective of some of my favourite articles, one for each year, published on The Candy Perfume Boy since its inauguration in 2011. I’ve also asked my friends at Escentual to share some of their favourite columns AND to top it all off they’ve been generous enough to offer up a £100 voucher as a giveaway to celebrate. So let’s hop to it!


2011: ‘A Cosmic Drag Queen’

In 2011 I was still finding my feet as a writer. Looking back at the posts from that first year now, I feel a mixture of nostalgic pride, mainly at the excitement I felt starting the blog, and sheer horror at the photographs and formatting I used. I think those things have improved immensely over time. What has changed though is my mission to make fragrance fun – a vision that is captured most aptly in my review of Thierry Mugler’s Angel entitles ‘A Cosmic Drag Queen’. Click here to give it a nose.

2012: The Candies 2012

The year 2012 saw the inaugural edition of The Candies, my annual awards ceremony that names and shames the very best, and the very worst of perfume in a given year. It’s a fun occasion that involves getting dressed up, smashed out of one’s face and covered in a cacophony of scent. My kind of night, to be honest. The big winners in 2012 were Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s OUD and Madonna’s Truth or Dare, with Lady Gaga being the recipient of the much-feared ‘Sour Candy Award’ for her appalling attempt at an edgy celebuscent. Click here to ogle the other movers and shakers of 2012.

2013: ‘The Candy Perfume Boy’s Guide to Violet’

In 2013 I won my very first Jasmine Award and to this day I’m still as proud as punch. I was very excited that I won for one of my ‘Guides’ because they are and always have been the most popular series of posts on The Candy Perfume Boy. They may be the toughest of things to pull together but when I see the discussions they provoke, I’m always over the moon. Click here to read ‘The Candy Perfume Boy’s Guide to Violet’.

2014: ‘Poor Unfortunate Smells’

Scenting people, whether real, cartoon or fictional is one of my favourite past times. When I see a character in a movie or a pop star on stage I often wonder what fragrance they might wear. This curiosity has found its way into the ‘Scent a Celebrity Series’, in which I pick a schleb and choose some scented companions for them. My fave instalment in the series is ‘Poor Unfortunate Smells’, which is all about the Disney villains. Why? Well, it was simply an excuse to wax lyrical about Ursula the Sea Witch and use the phrase “Serving Witchy Cephalopod Realness”. Click here to dive under the sea and party with Disney’s dastardly villains.

2015: So….Headspace Technology is Pretty Cool

I’ve always been fascinated by headspace. Seriously, how cool is it that a perfumer can literally take an olfactory snapshot of something nature and recreate it molecule by molecule in a lab? We wouldn’t have half the perfumes we have today if it weren’t for this amazing technology and in this piece I take a look at what makes Headspace so wonderful. Click here to give it a read.

2016: ‘Eau so Masc’

I’ve always been a firm believer that perfume has no gender. Sure, perfume styles can be more typically masculine and feminine because they have historically been worn as such but ultimately, when it comes down to it people can just wear whatever the heck they want. In ‘Eau so Masc’, a piece from earlier this year, I had a good old moan about gender in perfume, throwing in some humour for good measure. I think it’s one of my all-time favourite pieces. Click here to give it a read.

Escentual's Top Picks

Escentual’s Top Picks

One of the things I am most proud of in my fragrance career so far is my affiliation with Every week I get to write a column one of the best beauty retailer in the UK – an site that I had frequented and bought from for many years prior to ‘getting the gig’ as it were and I’ve continued to use them as my go to fragrance shop up until this very day. Escentual get fragrance. They have an amazing selection and they allow me the freedom to write about scent in my own unique way. They are simply awesome.

To celebrate TCPB’s fifth birthday, I asked the Editorial team at Escentual (the glorious and talented Emma, Chelsey and Ceryn) to come up with a list of their favourite fragrance pieces to share with you. Here’s what they picked!

M is for Mugler

“In this retrospective of one of his favourite houses, Thomas’ illimitable love for olfactory quirkiness glimmers in every word. He describes scent in such a way that you almost believe you’re surrounded by it. Oh, and he won a Jasmine Award for this one. No big deal.” – Emma

Scents for Dark Nights

“I could cosy up to this blog post for forever and a day. If, like me, you live for dark nights, Thomas elegantly wraps up your senses in your favourite winter scarf with every fragrance depiction. Simply divine.” – Chelsey

Around the World in 80 Sprays

“Not only does this piece demonstrate Thomas’ wealth of fragrance knowledge, but it also paints a beautiful picture of his relationship with the olfactory world, pinning a fragrance’s ability to transport you anywhere.” – Ceryn

Guerlain’s Fragrance Icons

“This isn’t just one of my favourite posts from Thomas – it’s one of my favourite fragrance editorial pieces of all time. Here, Thomas honours an exceptional house with prose that is pure poetry. One not to be missed.” – Emma

X is for X-Rated Fragrance

“Prude or no prude, we’re all intrigued when it comes to taboo topics. Firmly on the classy side of x-rated content, I can’t put into words how much I am in lust with this piece. I dare you to read on, you may feel inspired and completely empowered…” – Chelsey

And Now for the Exciting Bit - The Giveaway

And Now for the Exciting Bit – The Giveaway

To celebrate my fifth birthday, the lovely people at Escentual have given me a £100 voucher for their site to give away to one lucky reader within the UK. All you need to do to enter the draw is leave a comment telling me that you are based in the UK and about a fragrance you love that you have discovered in the last five years. The draw closes at 22:00 GMT on Friday 05 August 2016 and I will announce the one lucky winner during the following week.

Finally, before I bid you good luck and farewell, I would like to say a massive thank you to every single one of you that has read, commented on and shared this blog. I honestly could not have got this far without your encouragement and I hope you will continue to be part of my fragrant family for many years to come. I’d like to say a personal thank you to Nigel (my darling husband), Nick Gilbert, Pia Long, Grant Osborne, Dariush Alavi, Jo Fairley, Rakesh Aggarwal, the Escentual Editorial team (Emma, Ceryn and Chelsey), Liam Moore, Liz Moores, Miguel Matos, Lila Das Gupta, Tara Smith, Vanessa Musson, Sarah McCartney, Neela Vermeire, The Fragrance Foundation, all of the brands and PR teams I’ve worked with, my lovely family and anyone else I’ve forgotten (sorry!) for everything over the last five years. I am endlessly grateful.

Terms & Conditions

1) the draw will close at 22:00 (GMT) on Friday 05 August 2016; 2) only one entry per person – repeat entries will not be counted; 3) the winner will be selected at random via; 3) the winner will be announced on Monday 08 August 2016; 5) the winner will be asked to provide The Candy Perfume Boy with their email address; 6) if the winner has not made contact with The Candy Perfume Boy within 7 days of announcement, I reserve the right to redraw; 7) only those based in the UK are eligible to enter (sorry); 8) the winner’s details will not be shared with any parties other than Escentual; 9) the prize is a £100 voucher code for and is rewarded with no cash alternative; 10) relatives of or persons associated with The Candy Perfume Boy are not permitted to enter; 11) the voucher expires 60 days from the date of issue; 12) the code can be used as many times as you like until the value has been spent; 13) exchange or substitution is available for the voucher; 14) the voucher code is redeemable against any purchases; 15) the discount is only redeemable against products within the basket – it will not work against shipping costs; 16) only one code can be used at time; 17) codes cannot be applied retrospectively if an order has already been placed; 18) the code may not be compatible with any cashback websites (your cashback provider may not pay out your cash-back if this voucher is also used). Good, I’m glad we got that out of the way!


66 thoughts on “The Candy Perfume Boy – A Five Year Retrospective and a £100 Giveaway!

  1. Congratulations! Discovering that fragrances could be gourmand changed my perfume experience drastically, and finding people who shared the same love of all things delicious has been a joy. I think I’ve come away from your blog with far too many additions to my wishlist (and collection!) but I hope you’ll continue to write and enjoy what you do. Here’s to many more!

    I’m in the UK and the fragrance I’ve discovered in the last five years has been my Petite Robe Noire – perfect for just about every situation, just like it’s namesake 😉

  2. Congratulations of five years of tremendous blogging! I just love your posts with your humorous way of writing. Here’s to many more years!

    Probably my favourite perfume discovery within the past five years has been Timbuktu. It’s so unique with its cool incense vibe. I am based in the UK.

  3. Congratulations! I hope there will be many more years of your blog! Most of my discoveries have been in the past five years, but one of my favourites is Richard James Sailed Row (it will be something else in a week’s time). And yes, based in the UK. Best wishes!

  4. happy happy birthday. keep up the goodwork.
    best fragrance I discovered in the last five years is Kiste by slumberhouse. I am based in UK

  5. A very happy scented birthday to your wonderful blog Thomas. I sometimes read your posts and think “Now THAT’S how it should be done.” It’s not just your witty, accessible tone of voice, but also your prose that draws me back time and again.

    I suppose my favourite scent discovery of the last five years is First by Van Cleef and Arpels, but I couldn’t live without Papillon, Tauer or 4160 Tuesdays either.

    Here’s to many more birthdays!
    Sam x

  6. Congratulations on the five years of blogging! I’ve been reading for three of those years, I think. I really am the worst kind of shy lurker, who only delurks for a giveaway…

    I am based in the UK and I’ve discovered all of my favourites in these past five years, having only fallen into the rabbit hole a little over three years ago. My greatest love is Shalimar in extrait de parfum and my most recent discovery (I’ve just finished my 5 ml travel spray and now I need a full bottle) is Hiram Green’s Moon Bloom. Just typing its name makes my heart beat faster.

    • That is absolutely fine. You can lurk and delurk as much as you like. I’m lucky to have you as a reader!

      Shalimar in Extrait really is special, isn’t it? I smell it and just think wow, this is the most beautiful smell.

      You’re in the draw!

  7. The fragrance I discovered is “Mystere” de Rochas a complicated Chypre that starts with a strong note of coriander and the middle notes a basket of florals including herbs like rosemary which dominates .The oakmoss along with the cypress make an unusual base which I love .

  8. Happy Birthday! Your blog is so special to me. You really opened my eyes to many of my favorites. Too many to mention but I would have never tried Angel or Alien without you. Thank you.

  9. Happy birthday. I hope you can forgive but Mugler fragrance does not sit well on me. Looking at you Angel in all your guises. Womanity really scared me. My enduring fragrance love is Mohur, the most exquisite rose of all. Thank you for sharing your witty trenchant and knowledgeable views. I live in the UK.

  10. I’ve actually discovered both this blog and the perfume I want to talk about in the same day, which is today! A very happy birthday and long may your sniffings continue. I can’t wait to post this and tear into your article on gender in perfume, it’s a bugbear of mine too and I’m avid for some validation!

    I happen to be based in Cambridge, UK. It’s a strange city in that nobody seems to wear perfume at all in the daytime, but everyone seems to wear 1 Million at night. Tourists know Cambridge for its groaning weight of history, but if like me you were part of the vibrant student life then summer in Cantab calls to mind not so much dusty, empty halls as May Balls, drunken punt accidents and the ineffable student social occasion known as a “garden party”. Today happened to be the first time I smelled Michael Kors’ Rose Radiant Gold, and I can honestly say I can’t think of a more perfect scent for a Cambridge garden party. It’s a drunken, exuberant whirl of a thing, all champagne kick and crushed-rose lushness. It’s chiffon dresses with flirty skirts, and shoes carried by hand on the bowling-green lawns you’re only allowed to walk on once a year. Some perfumes are a portrait; this one is someone I’ve seen and known and been.

    • Hi Felix! Welcome to The Candy Perfume Boy. I hope you enjoy it.

      Funnily enough, my father is based in Cambridge too. I’m often there. It’s a lovely city.

      Rose Radiant Gold sounds lovely. I need to give it a sniff. You describe it so wonderfully.

      You’re in the draw!

  11. Congrats, Thomas, not just on the number of years you have been blogging, but on your prodigious – and thoroughly award winning! – output in that time.

    I have only discovered this scent in recent weeks, thanks to the endlessly enabling Val, but I go totally weak at the knees when I wear Aroma M’s Geisha Noire – I truly think it might be my Holy Grail Scent, long after I gave up believing in such things.

  12. Congratulations on 5 years! I’m based in the UK, and I have you to thank for discovering the amazing Narciso Eau de Parfum. It’s been my signature for 3 years now, and in that time I’ve had no fewer than four bottles.

    Here’s to 5 more years of CPB!

  13. I have only recently started to get into perfume but your articles have been an amazing help! I think my favourite perfume oil I have discovered in my journey is definitely Dorian from BPAL; the smell is comforting get odd like nothing else, it feels cosy yet possessive of you, black tea, vanilla, old furs, floorboards and lavender.

  14. (I might have accidentally commented already but I am not sure, my computer did a funny turn when posting.)

    I have only just begun my perfume journey, but your posts have definitely helped navigate the olfactory world around me, thank you!
    I’d say my favourite discovery of the last year or so I have been trying perfumes is BPAL’s Dorian: cosy but possessive, vanilla, black tea, furs, floorboards, lavender…

  15. Congratulations! When I read your blog, it feels like I can smell the scents you describe. I have tried quite a few new scents thanks to you (always hoping they have already made it over to Germany)! Keep up the great work!

  16. Congratulations! I’ve adored perfumes for as long as I can remember (which is probably much longer than many readers.)

    My current loves are too many to mention. Having explored niche perfumes for years, I’m now convinced that price does not always reflect innovation. So I’m going to select Marni as my pick of the last five years; a fragrance that is always both interesting and appropriate. Along with Mure et Musc which it echoes, I can’t ever imagine tiring of it. I am onto my second bottle – and that is really saying something in my case.

  17. Congratulations, and happy birthday. I love your posts!
    I am in the UK and have discovered many in the past 5 years but Caligna from l’artisan parfumeur is a special one to me, very different from anything else I know, away from the trends.

  18. I’ve been following your blog for a while having followed my nose from other blogs (get it, followed my nose….oh never mind).

    Anyways, I enjoy your irreverent but passionate take on all things olfactory related. You do away with the fluff and get to the point in a good way, that being that we like to smell damn good.

    Enough with the sycophancy ;o) I can’t pinpoint when I discovered the idea of wanting to smell nice, though it was possibly influenced by my Mum. She has never been into expensive things except when it comes to perfume. She likes quality and always wore Opium by YSL. I suspect my love of strong, blow your socks off smells comes from her.

    I’m eclectic in my taste, I’ll try anything. Men’s, women’s, niche, cheap, expensive.

    My biggest discovery of the last five year? Avignon by commes de garcon. I love that candle snuff meets church melding of scents. Which influences my other big fave in recent years, Hellstone by Lush. I love everything Lush. And Hellstone is brilliant. Probably it’s the Olibanum, the waxy accord it gives. I love them both. That’s actually two, but i’m greedy when it comes to scent.

    And yes, i’m in the UK.

    • Nose puns are most welcome here, Graham, and feel free to continue with the compliments, haha!

      It’s lovely how your mum allowed herself the treat of perfume and what a choice with Opium!

      Hellstone is really something, isn’t it? Spicy and strange. Oh and being greedy with scent is the best way to be.

      You’re in the draw.

  19. Pingback: Fragrant Reviews Round-Up: July 2016 | The Candy Perfume Boy

  20. Congratulations, and many thanks for the draw.
    I’m based in the UK and recommend one of my favourites, Oriza L. Legrand’s Relique d’Amour. It smells like nothing else.

  21. Congratulations on five fabulous, fragrant years of blogging.
    One perfume I fell in love with in that time? Just *one*? Good lord. Um. Chergui. That’s pretty much true love. (And I’m in the UK.)

  22. Your blog has absolutely inspired me to be more adventurous in my perfume choices, and my current obsession is ELdO The Afternoon of a Faun. It takes me straight back to my teenage years wandering around the local woods with my friends, making bonfires and singing along with a badly-played guitar. Thank you for your wisdom, I would’t have found it without your recommendation, and congrats on the 5 year anniversary! I am in the UK 🙂

    • I’m so happy to hear that, shespoke! It’s always good to be experimental, i think.

      The Afternoon of a Faun is one of the most beautiful fragrances I’ve ever smelled. I love that you have such a wonderful association with it.

      You’re in the draw!

  23. Congratulations on five years of great blogging – I think I have read every article several times! I love how new you keep it with the different series: scenting screen icons, monthly round-ups, guide to key notes, and the recent article on perfumes to help you understand musk was really useful.
    I am in the UK, would love to be entered for the draw and in the past five years I have discovered a few loves: Portrait of a Lady, Tobacco Rose, Narciso EDP. (And to think I considered myself a rose hater…)
    Wishing you many more happy years of blogging.

  24. Congrats! I have discovered you only recently, as I have not really been following blogs- need to start catching up!
    Based in the UK too and would love to enter!
    So as for the great discovery in the last 5 years- Diptyque Philosykos. I always avoided this brand, and I always thought I hated the fig note. And then last year I got a sample of this in a swap as an extra. A sad, little sample at the bottom of the box. I sprayed it on- and it was a love at first sniff. It really encouraged me to look out and try stuff I thought I would not really fancy all that much and venture into trying new types of fragrances that I might have previously thought were not for me, so it was an eye-opening experience.

  25. Happy Birthday TCPB !

    I must confess I just came to know about you a few minutes ago! I have been browing through and am thouroughly enjoying it thus far!

    My favourite scent is difficult to choose but After waying pros and cons Diesel only the Brave Tattoo comes up triumphant!

    Here’s to the next 5years!

  26. I was actually gonna write about L’air du Desert Marocain and how I am completely obsessed with it, like I want to be buried smelling like this stuff. Buuut…

    So when I was back in uni, I had struck up a friendship with this guy. We eventually became really good friends, best of friends. You could say I had developed a bit of a crush on him. I hadn’t come out yet and I wasn’t really sure he was gay or bi or if that night where we ended up spooning meant anything (lol). We eventually fell out, for reasons I don’t even remember anymore, moved to different cities and just lost contact with each other. Anyway, one of the things that’s still pretty vivid in my mind was the way he smelled. He had a particular scent to him and when I got really into fragrance, I would always try to search for that smell whenever I had time to kill and I find myself in the beauty department at a John Lewis or something. I’ve worked in fragrance for 3 years and developed quite a nose. Being able to guess pretty accurately what someone’s fragrance is makes a really good party trick but I never really got to pin down that scent.

    Last summer, I had just moved to a new flat and when I was getting my internet installed, the engineer smelled exactly like my best friend from back in uni. This 6’4 Russian dude who looked like Hodor’s blonde cousin was probably unaware of all the uh ~weird feelings~ he was giving me with the way he smelled. So eventually I find out it’s Mugler Pure Malt, (or “Muhg-lr” as he said). “Are you fucking kidding me?” I shout at myself internally. I’ve passed that shit loads of times in John Lewis and I know I’ve smelled it. But it had been a hot summer day. It was right before that fun London Tube Stike-Heat wave combo and it kind of made sense. The most vivid memories I have of the scent was right around when we’d have just biked around town with our friends. Sweat. Gross right? Haaaaaaaa.

    That night I quickly bought a bottle. When it finally arrived a couple of days later, I immediately spray it on. It didn’t smell like him, heh. I mean it did, kind of. A little bit. But it wasn’t him. Reminded me of a clinically lit John Lewis, instead of 2am biking around town, trying to find an off licence to buy booze from. As I’m writing this I’m having a little bit of a chuckle at how silly this all was!

    Anyway, thought I’d share that!

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