Well, well, well, yesterday was quite the day! As you may have read the Jasmine Awards were held yesterday at BAFTA and I am completely thrilled to tell you that I picked up not only one, but two awards at the ceremony. I was lucky enough to walk away with the Best Digital Experience award for my piece ‘Six Scents to Put Hairs on Your Chest’ and the Independent Soundbite Aware for my article ‘Eau so Masc’. I am still in shock, if I’m being entirely honest, but I am so thankful to all of the judges for celebraating my work and incredibly grateful to have been nominated amongst some of the best perfume writers in the business, many of which I am lucky enough to call my friends.
Here we are then, at the very end of 2016. It feels, especially after the losses of George Michael, Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher, to name but a few, within the last week, a very bittersweet year. I say bittersweet because it’s not just the loss of the huge number of great talents this year, the likes of Bowie, Prince, Victoria Wood… (the list is endless), but also because the world seems to be a much harsher place than it did one year ago. Whatever your politics, I think we can all agree that 2017 is the year that we all need to work together to make our world a better place.
From a fragrant perspective, 2016 has actually been a pheomenal year. I’d be lying to you if I said that it was easy for me to pick out my very favourite scents of the year because I really did like a lot this year, and it feels like there certainly was a huge amount of good stuff, whether that be unique and interesting new things, or familiar styles that were executed very well. But you will be pleased to know that I was able to narrow down my choices and pick out the winners of The Candies 2016. I do need a stiff drink after all that work though…
If this is your first time attending The Candies, I shall explain how things work. Firstly, you may attend in your pyjamas and you do not need to worry about drinking too much and making a fool of yourself, in fact, such actions are encouraged. We have a number of awards to give out, each of which is split out by Mainstream and Niche, and then by gender. There are also awards for Best Top Down Design and even a Sour Candy Award, which names and shames the worst perfume of the year. This year we also have the addition of the Best Scented Product Award which celebrates the best smelly product for your body or home. It’s a full programme, so let’s get started!
Fume Chat Episode 05 is here and it’s a good ‘un! In our latest episode Nick and I battle some of our favourite celebrity fragrances in a duel that travels from the sublime to the ridiculous and back again. Perfumer Pia Long joins the discussion as the guest judge and brings her very own celebuscent weapon of choice. So find your blonde ambition and get ready to hit me baby one more time, because we’re going on a lovely journey through the glowing world of celebrity fragrances.
I think I may have said it before but I’m going through a rose thing at the moment – this moment being the last two years, in fact. I’ve always appreciated rose, but over the last few years I’ve amassed a collection of rose fragrances ranging from the beautiful simplicity of Acqua di Parma’s Rosa Nobile to the gourmand delicacy of Elie Saab’s Essence Nº1, and all that’s in between. So it’s not too difficult to convince me to sample and fall in love with something chock full of rose. Enter Origin by Aqualis.
Origin is one of four fragrances from new niche brand Aquãlis (the others being Coda, Utopia and Freedom). The brand is the brainchild of Steyn Grobler, a South African native who has spent his career working in the luxury realm, with brands such as Boadicea the Victorious to name just one. For his own fragrance brand, Grobler has created the ‘Evolution’ range which, through olfaction, expresses significant moments in his life. Origin, the stand out in the collection, pays homage to his half-Namibian origin and is described as a “galactic explosion of matter”. Sounds intriguing, huh?
It’s hard to think of a ‘his ‘n’ hers’ perfume duo more iconic than Jean Paul Gaultier’s flagship masculine and feminine fragrances, Le Mâle and Classique. Together they capture the cheeky, sexually-charged and contemporary spirit of fashion’s naughties designed. They changed the way we think about perfume presentation and have managed to remain undated, despite their ever-so-90s aesthetic. Today our fragrant power couple have gone under the knife with olfactory surgeons Daphne Bugey (Classique Essence de Parfum) and Quentin Bisch (Le Mâle Essence de Parfum) to be fitted with an entirely new look, and smell. Click here to check out my full review of the Jean Paul Gaultier Essence de Parfums over at Escentual.
I’ve embarked on a new series within my weekly Escentual column. It’s called ‘From the Archives’ and it aims to shine a spotlight on hidden gems – those fragrances that are neither new or iconic, but are still pretty damn good. My first dip into the archives is a modern curiosity: YSL’s Cinéma. Cinéma interests me because it’s a classic case of subverting expectations. It serves Hollywood glamour, yes, but it’s far from a noisy blockbuster, in fact Cinéma celebrates an unconventional screen siren in the form of mimosa. Click here to read my full review.
For my column this week, Escentual asked me to delve into the world of Montblanc Legend, a fragrance created to capture the illustrious spirit of the Montblanc brand. I was also tasked with sniffing the two flankers in the series; Legend Intense and Legend Spirit. All three are well-composed masculines that throw in a few intriguing twists, especially Spirit which has a wonderful fresh banana note! Click here to head on over to Escentual to read my full review.
That’s right, Folks, Random.org has spoken and we have a winner in The Candy Perfume Boy’s fifth birthday giveaway. The very lucky winner takes away a £100 voucher to use at Escentual on just about anything they like. Before I say who that lucky, lucky person is I’ll take an extended X-Factor-style agonising pause to say thank you to everybody who entered (I thoroughly enjoyed reading your favourite fragrance discoveries over the last five years) but also to say an even bigger thank you to everyone who has read the blog since its inception in 2011. There have been good times, hard times and times where I didn’t even know whether I could keep it up, but you have each encouraged me to keep plodding on, so thank you! Anyway onto the winner…