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.
One of the things I am most proud of in my fragrance career so far is my affiliation with Escentual.com. 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!
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
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 random.org; 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 Escentual.com 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!