CK One Shock

Ahh flankers, there is nothing within the glorious world of perfume more guaranteed to make my eyes roll. Don’t get me wrong, there are some pretty good flankers on the market, take Guerlain’s Shalimar Parfum Initial or Chanel’s No 5 Eau Premiere for example. But on the whole the majority of flankers stink (see Marc Jacobs Bang Bang), they are a cheap way of marketing a new fragrance without having to come up with a new name or bottle and tend to carry no ingenuity whatsoever.

CK One Shock for Him and for Her are the latest in a long line of flankers to Calvin Klein’s iconic Unisex fragrance CK One, originally launched in 1994. With CK One Shock they have released “Two sassy new fragrances that flaunts youth innate sense of provocation” [1] Calvin Klein has proved to be the king of flankers over the years, the majority of which have been pretty terrible so I did not approach these two with high hopes.

Sweet RI have to admit that I’m a bit of a newbie when it comes to By Kilian, I have pretty much dismissed the line up until now, predominately due to the high prices (a rookie perfumista error, I know) but my financial restraints prevent me from considering über expensive fragrances, so I don’t try them just in case I fall in love, which is pretty much always the case.

But thanks to some excellent reviews by my Evil Scent Twin, Birgit from Olfactoria’s Travels I have found myself officially intrigued. I wanted to see what all of the fuss is about so I managed to blag a few samples from the By Kilian counter in Harvey Nichols.

Seeing as I’m such a latecomer to the By Kilian party, it seems fitting that I should start at the end, with the last fragrance in the L’Oeuvre Noire (The Black Masterpiece) collection, Sweet Redemption (The End).

Ahh the 80’s, a time of excess where everything was big; the clothes, the music, the hair and of course the perfume.

The perfume in the 80’s was loud, proud and would announce it’s arrival a long time before you entered a room, and stay a long time after you left. There were big bouquets of aldehydic florals and massive oriental spice bombs. I shouldn’t forget the HUGE jammy roses and the loud syrupy tuberoses either.

These fragrances, affectionately known as ‘Perfumes with Shoulder Pads’ by the #fumechat Tweeters are representative of the era, and whilst they may not be entirely popular today I have a real soft spot for them.

Ambre Narguilè

There is one thing I love more than perfume and that is food, especially that of the baked/cake variety. It stands to reason then, that one of my favourite perfume types is the gourmand. Food smells in perfume can sometimes be abstract or representative but the best gourmands are those that present food in a completely literal way. Ambre Narguilé is one of these gourmands.

Ambre Narguilé is an unexpected gourmand.

This week my good friend Cara and I will be teaming up to create a special fragrant event as part of her Instability-in-Stability project. During the event we will both be discussing our scented memories as teenagers. Thinking about the subject matter I thought it would be apt to review the first fragrance that I fell in love with, the one that started the obsession; Kingdom by Alexander McQueen.

At the tender age of 16 (it feels so long ago now), I wasn’t really fussed about fragrance, I would wear generic ‘boy’ fragrances such as Hugo Boss and Paul Smith and the fragrances I wore were normally gifted to me by relatives. That was, until Kingdom came along…

Oud/Aoud/Oodh/Agarwood is a ‘dark, resinous heartwood that forms in Aquilara and Gyrinops trees when they become infected with a type of mold.’ [1] The smell of Oud really varies and from my experience it can smell medicinal, animalic and funky like a barnyard or intensely peppery and spiky.

Over the last couple of years there has been a plethora of fragrances released based around oud, a note which has been used in middle eastern perfumery for thousands of years. Oud has very much become the note du jour and it seems that almost every fragrance house has done ‘an oud’.

One house that kicked off the trend is Montale, created by perfumer Pierre Montale and tucked away in a corner of the very upmarket and glamourous Place Vendôme in Paris, Montale focuses on rich oriental fragrances and exotic blends using the famous oud.

This review is of two of Montale’s most well known scents, Black Aoud and White Aoud. These two scents strike an interesting contrast with each other and show the versatility of the oud note.

It seems fitting that my initial post on this blog should be a review of the latest edition of Shalimar by Guerlain; Shalimar Parfum Initial.

My first thought when seeing the news about Shalimar Parfum Initial was ‘Nooooooooooo, it’s PINK, you can’t pinkify Shalimar!!’ Well, as it turns out you can, and the end result isn’t half bad at all.

Shalimar Parfum Initial was created by Guerlain’s In-House Perfumer Thierry Wasser and was made for his niece after she requested he make a version of Shalimar for her. The idea behind Parfum Initial is very similar to that of Chanel’s Eau Premiere for No 5 – a modern, lighter version of the perfume for younger customers who are not quite ready for the original. Guerlain describe the scent as an ‘Initiation into Shalimar’ [1] but it also serves as an initiation to the brand, for those who are unfamiliar with or intimidated by the classic Guerlains.