“Would you erase me?”
Today The Candy Perfume Boy and Olfactoria’s Travels have teamed up in a display of perfume synchronicity to review the latest release from Omani luxury house Amouage, an amber named ‘Opus VI’. Birgit of Olfactoria’s Travels is well known for her status as ‘The Queen of Amber’, a title which she has most definitely earned so please do head on over to her blog to read her take on Opus VI.
Amouage is a line that I have decided to take my time over. I have sampled almost everything briefly and others in quite a bit of depth. I have even fallen head over heels for two, namely Gold Woman and Honour Woman. The reason I am taking my sweet time with Amouage, a line which I love by the way, is simply because each of their perfumes are so rich and complex they demand a great deal of attention. This is great for me because i get to unravel the mysteries of Amouage over a long period of time, and soak up all of the wonder and magic they have to offer. However, one of the major downsides of this slow-paced Amouage sampling is that I am quite unfamiliar with The Library Collection.
The Library Collection currently consists of six opuses, each of which “represents the insatiable quest for knowledge” and “celebrates integrity, uniqueness, and a love of the arts” . Opus VI is the latest addition to the collection and is inspired by Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, his greatest movie along with The Science of Sleep (I have to say that – I’m in love with Gael García Bernal). Opus VI was created by Dora Arnaud & Pierre Negrin under the creative direction of Christopher Chong and is described as “an amber, leather and woody fragrance inspired by the destruction and reinvention of knowledge and memories. Symbolising the end of a love affair.”  Very deep stuff indeed.
The Etat Libre d’Orange Muses
Celebrity fragrances, or ‘celebuscents’ as they are so often called, are the scorn of many a perfumista. The majority are cheap, thoughtless compositions with the sole intent of making a quick buck for a celebrity desperate to cash in on the latest trend. As you can imagine, most of the time the celebrity has very little input in the development of their fragrance, preferring simply to be ‘the face’ rather than ‘the brains’.
There are of course exceptions, and some celebrities do insist on being more involved by playing the role of creative director. Celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker and J Lo are widely reported to have been directly involved with the creation of their early fragrances and this involvement shows in the final product. But these celebrities are few and far between.
One brand in particular has taken the idea of the celebuscent to a new level by choosing to partner with unusual celebrities who take on the role of muse and work with the perfumer to create their fragrance. This brand is Etat Libre d’Orange, those funny French olfactory freedom fighters whose compositions feel like a breath of fresh air within the industry.
For their celebuscents Etat Libre d’Orange chose two unexpected, subversive celebrities; Oscar Winning British Actress & Androgynous Style Icon Tilda Swinton and Pedro Almodóvar’s Picasso-esque Muse Rossy de Palma. Two strong, unique women for a strong and unique brand.
“Ladies with an attitude, fellas that were in the mood…”
This review has been a long time coming. I have mentioned Fracas on this blog many a time, even going as far as to include it as one of my ‘reference tuberoses’ in The Candy Perfume Boy’s Guide to Tuberose, and seeing as I’m a major tuberose fanatic it is almost criminal not to have written a full review.
What’s worse is that I have a confession to make, one that I am deeply ashamed of. Up until a week ago I didn’t actually own a bottle of Fracas. I know, it’s disgusting isn’t it? A tuberose nut like me not owning a bottle of THE most classic tuberose fragrance of all time. I hope that you will able to forgive me.
In my defence, I have owned a small bottle of the Parfum but it got on my nerves because I am not a huge fan of the dabbing…. But you’ll be glad to know that I have seen the error of my ways and there is now a brand new bottle of Fracas taking pride of place on the perfume shelf at The Candy Perfume Towers.
Fracas, released in 1948, was the third perfume to be released by French Couturier Robert Piguet. Like the two fragrances to proceed it, Bandit and Visa, it was created by Germaine Cellier and is considered by many to be the reference tuberose fragrance, the one that all others attempt to be in someway or another. But none, I repeat none can ever live up to Fracas – the diva of the tuberose world.
“It’s time to play the music
It’s time to light the lights
It’s time to meet The Muppets on The Muppet Show tonight.”
I love The Muppets and I’m not ashamed to admit it, not for one second. Muppet Treasure Island is one of my all-time favourite films (probably right behind Sister Act), mainly due to the fact that it mixes two of my favourite things together; Muppets and PIRATES. I also love it because it reminds me of my childhood when my siblings and I would watch the video tape (remember those?) over and over and over again.
On Friday, the boy and I decided to see the latest Muppets movie, inventively titled ‘The Muppets’. As expected The Muppets were on top form and the movie was funny, adorable and wackily outrageous. To me, The Muppets are infectious, they get inside your head and force you to smile, laugh and be happy.
Ever since seeing the latest Muppet adventure on Friday I have had Muppets on the brain, and the little thought bubbling inside my noggin was “what fragrances would The Muppets wear?” Over the weekend I have been mentally assigning fragrances to our beloved furry friends, who are REAL and in no way puppet/marionette hybrids, and here are the results.
In 2010 the king of dark, brooding orientals and baroque florals, Serge Lutens, decided to launch an ‘anti-perfume’, a perfume that was designed to give you “a lasting sensation of wearing a ‘clean’ scent” . Cue a huge outcry from the perfume community and hardcore Lutens fanboys (and girls); “He’s doing WHAT?! A clean scent?! Looks like Uncle Serge has finally lost it” they said.
Aristotle said “There is no great genius without a mixture of madness” and It is clear to me that Uncle Serge hasn’t lost it, instead it seems that he has quite the sense of humour. I can just see him sat in his office above his flagship boutique in the Palais Royal, chuckling away at the thought of the die-hard Lutenites trying L’Eau for the very first time. In my head he utters Miranda Hart’s catchphrase “such fun” as he tries to stifle his giggles.
This year Lutens has decided to take the joke that little bit further with the addition of L’Eau Froide, and as the name suggests, this time the water he is playing around with is is cold. Where L’Eau is described as a new kind of clean, L’Eau Froide is “Some fresh air in the rusty old water pipes.”  I told you he had a sense of humour! L’Eau was an essay in cleanliness and purity but L’Eau Froide is an essay in austerity and is just as gothic and Lutensien as you would hope it to be.
“Nuit de Tubéreuse – Evocative of stifling, humid Parisian nights.”
In perfume nothing is certain, tastes change and develop, and those fragrances we once loved can quickly fall out of fashion and become yesterday’s news. Just as we can lose love for fragrance we once admired we can also find love for those that we’ve hated, ignored or felt unimpressed by. I like to call this big perfume turn around ‘The Big 180’ as in the big ‘180 degrees turn around’.
I’m sure many of you have experienced the big 180 before, we’ve all had that moment where you pick up a sample or tester of a fragrance that you have smelled a million times before, knowing full well that the juice inside has failed to impress, or even disturbed you in the past. But this time something between you and the fragrance just clicks. Suddenly you understand the fragrance in a way you never did before, stars aligns within the universe and a new found appreciation is formed.
I had a big 180 recently with a perfume I genuinely disliked, namely Nuit de Tubéreuse by L’Artisan Parfumeur. I’m a HUGE fan of tuberose (see The Candy Perfume Boy’s Guide to Tuberose) and everything about L’Artisan’s most recent tuberose offering offended my nose; I found it to be sour, almost sticky in texture and unpleasant. It just so happened that another L’Artisan fragrance, the upcoming Séville à l’aube that led me to revisit this maligned tuberose and that’s when the big 180 happened.
Perfume fate seemed to happen last week. As I was planning The Candy Perfume Boy’s Guide to Oud, the postman bought me two oud-ie goodies – the first being my new bottle of Tom Ford’s Oud Wood and the second being a sample of By Kilian’s latest perfume ‘Amber Oud’. So it seems like last week was fated to be the week of the oud, and in keeping with that theme it only seems fitting to give Amber Oud a whirl.
Firstly, By Kilian has to be commended for their PR practices. Last year they offered members of The Kilian Club on their Facebook Page a complete set of samples from the L’Oeuvre Noire collection and now they have been kind enough to send everyone a sample of their latest fragrance ‘Amber Oud’, with the sole intent of introducing it to Kilian fans. Now, that’s good PR!
Amber Oud is inspired by greek mythology and is the latest addition to By Kilian’s Arabian Nights collection. It was created by Calice Becker and joins Incense Oud, Pure Oud and Rose Oud to become the fourth pillar within Kilian’s oud-quartet. Kilian says that Amber Oud “is borned in Heliades tears”  and with this new fragrance his objective “was to deconstruct/reconstruct the traditional “Amber” by taking the animalistic qualities of a dark “Oud” and adding richness through an overdose of “Vanilla” from Madagascar and “Benzoin” from Laos.”