Oud is a note that seems to have had a great deal of popularity over the last few years. Most perfume houses have an ‘oud’ in their line-up, in fact many have several – anybody who’s anyone has got one. Despite it’s prolific presence in today’s perfume landscape, it cannot be denied that oud is a wonderfully powerful material, that when used properly can be one of the most beautiful smells known to man.
Oud is the jigsaw piece that helps fuse European and Eastern styles of perfumery together, and whilst the oud that is used in western perfumery is much cleaner (and largely synthetic) than that used in the east, it has coloured the face of perfumery in bright arabian hues and taken us on exotic voyages to faraway lands.
Oud/Oudh/Aoud/Agarwood is a “dark, resinous heartwood”  that forms in infected Aquilaria trees. The infection is due to a specific type of mould, that changes the colour and density of the wood, leaving a strong, dark resin (the oud) in the core.
Due to its rarity and variation in quality and scent profile, oud is a very difficult and expensive ingredient to work with, hence why the majority of oud fragrances use a synthetic substitute.
Nigel expertly posing in yesterday’s falling snow.
The snow has come to Britain, and in true British style everybody has lost their shiz. Seriously, we knew the snow would be coming this weekend on Thursday and ever since the supermarkets have been packed and the shelves have been emptied. Petrol pumps have been drained and the grit has been stock-piled.
I don’t what it is about us Brits that makes us so panicky when it comes to snow, it’s never really that bad, yet the whole country seems to come to a standstill with the slightest flake of the white stuff. Seriously guys, relax, snow is awesome, yeah it’s cold and it totally SUCKS to drive in, especially if your car is a Matchbox Toy like mine (i.e. a Fiat 500), but there is nothing more fun than taking walks in the snow, making Snow Angels and throwing snowballs at your weedy boyfriend!
In order to make the most out of the snow (which has already started to thaw), I thought I’d compile a list of five scents that are best suited to wearing in the snow. Us Fumeheads do like to match our scents to the occasion, and snow is no exception. The scents that I have picked all have a snowy aura, but they also bring warmth and comfort in a time when those qualities are needed in abundance.
Awards night is always a tad emotional…
2011 has been a big year for the perfume industry, it has seen a total of 1200  new perfume releases and as expected with such a high volume of perfumes being unleashed onto the market, it was a mixed bag – some were great, some were good and some were downright terrible. Sifting through the plethora of perfume releases this year has been great fun and for this end of year round-up I have picked out those fragrances that I feel are the very best of 2011, my ‘best picks’ if you will. These fragrances are the ones that deserve to be celebrated for their artistic merit, flair and quality, oh and because they smell good too!
There are a four main categories; Best Feminine, Best Masculine, Best Niche and Best Flanker, each with a winner, and because there were quite a high amount of fragrances worth celebrating this year I have also included a number of runners up for most categories. In addition to the first four categories I have included an extra one entitled ‘The Candy Perfume Boy’s Best Discoveries of 2011’ which celebrates three fragrances that I have discovered and fallen in love with this year.
Before moving on to my ‘Best Picks of 2011’ I would like to thank each and every one of you who reads and supports this blog. As The Candy Perfume Boy is just about to reach 50,000 hits in the next day or so, I must take a moment to reflect on how great this experience has been so far. I truly value everyone who visits and interacts with me on this blog and my absolute highlight of this year has been the interactions and friendships I have formed through The Candy Perfume Boy and Twitter (you all know who you are!). They are as important, if not more so, than the perfumes that have brought us all together.
Mona di Orio
The news of the death of Mona di Orio on Friday was both shocking and incredibly sad, it marked a great loss for the perfume industry and for all within the perfume-loving community. Mona di Orio was an exceptionally talented perfumer, and from all accounts a truly wonderful person, I did not know her personally, nor did I ever have the chance to meet her, I have however, gained a huge sense of enjoyment through her fragrances and I am extremely thankful for her contribution to the perfume industry. The Les Nombres d’Or collection is nothing short of a triumph and her legacy will live on through her perfumes. My thoughts are with her friends, family and co-workers at this very difficult time
I had originally scheduled a review of Tubéreuse for the end of next week, but in light of the recent events I thought it would be fitting to reschedule it and include it here, as a tribute to Mona di Orio’s extraordinary talent.
This week I have been listening to the new Kate Bush album ’50 Words for Snow’, a striking and beautiful conceptual piece centred around falling snow. Kate Bush is a dab hand at creating a landscape with her music and in my mind these landscapes have been reflected in two of the Mona di Orio’s creations from the Les Nombres d’Or collection. Oud is the golden, shimmering sunset depicted in Kate’s conceptual piece ‘A Sky of Honey’ from the album ‘Aerial’ and Musc is the eerily quiet snow covered landscape depicted in ’50 Words for Snow’.
On the album’s title track, Kate encourages Stephen Fry to cite 50 words for snow (it sounds absolutely bonkers, as you would expect from Ms Bush, but it works), some of the words are real, some are made up and they become completely ridiculous & fantastical as the song progresses (‘Faloop’njoompoola’ anyone?). My favourite of these snowy terms is No 47 ‘Blown From Polar Fur’ (honourable mentions go to ‘Wenceslas Air’ and ‘Bad for Trains’) and it perfectly reflects the snowy nature of Musc.
Musc is part of Mona di Orio’s Les Nombres d’Or (The Golden Numbers) collection which refers to the golden ratio, a mathematical theory of proportion that is showcased in the collection via fragrances centred around a single note, masterfully accentuated by other ingredients.
Oud is the latest addition to Mona di Orio’s Les Nombres d’Or collection, which focuses on creating perfumes centred around a single note in an intelligent and creative way. The fragrances within the collection are; Oud, Vanille, Tubereuse, Vetyver, Musc, Ambre and Cuir. The names may lead you to think that these fragrances are typical, single note scents, but that is far from the truth, each one is very much a composition with an interesting take on the eponymous note.
Les Nombres d’Or
“Seven sensational yet easy, relaxed fragrances from the Mistress of Perfumery.
Inspired by the ancient aesthetic theory of the Golden Ratio, Mona has created a suite of eaux de parfumss which have all her signature notes of glamour, mystery and romance but which are constructed with with the ultimate luxury of classic simplicity.” 
Oud in particular has received a lot of positive hype in the perfume blogosphere since it’s release earlier this year. Enthusiastic reviews from the likes of Olfactoria’s Travels and Eyeliner on a Cat, bloggers who’s opinion I hold in high esteem, had raised my hopes for this scent and I couldn’t wait to make my merry little way across to Les Senteurs in London to try it.
I have always wanted to ensure that The Candy Perfume Boy is a diverse blog that not only features perfume reviews but also showcases interesting articles and pieces on different aspects of perfume/fragrance. One of the things I’ve wanted to do for a while is a series of guides to particular perfume notes and genres, including information on the fragrant facets of the note/genre as well as a list of ‘reference perfumes’ that showcase the note/genre in different and interesting ways.
I’m a tuberose freak, so it makes sense that I start with one of my favourite notes. Why do I love tuberose? Well, as you probably know, I’m a bit of a ‘Fragrant Magpie’, in the sense that I am attracted to those perfumes that are shiny, loud and showy and tuberose is most definitely shiny, loud and showy!
Tuberose is a night-blooming white flower, which despite the name, has absolutely no relation to rose whatsoever. The name actually comes from its swollen, tuberous roots. Tuberose has been used in for perfume for many years but it is also used as wedding and funeral flowers in some cultures.
On a side note, Tuberose is a flower that I’ve always wanted to grow, but it is really difficult to find in garden centres over here and a lot of places haven’t even heard of it, which is a shame because I need me some of those pretty white flowers on my balcony!
Tuberose is a complex smell that can be described as; lush, green, cool, almost camphorous and also buttery, rubbery, exotic, sweet, tropical and like white hot flesh.