Nigel in the Snow

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.

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Go Coco Go

Coco Chanel on The Warpath

I love Chanel, I mean how can you not, it’s Chanel! I love so many of their perfumes but so far I have found no love for Les Exclusifs de Chanel. This is partly due to the fact that I haven’t spent much time investigating them, but each time I dive in and test them my general impression is that they’re nice and obviously very high quality but they don’t draw me in, and I’m yet to find the one for me.

The somewhat awkwardly named Jersey was released last year and is the latest addition to the Les Exclusifs line and it takes it’s awkward name from the fabric that Chanel “daringly appropriated from menswear by Coco Chanel for women’s fashions.” [1] That may be so, but I can’t get over just how dreadful the name is, it doesn’t befit the style and class that I expect from Chanel, but then again they did name one of the other Les Exclusifs ‘Beige’, so perhaps they don’t have a 100% brilliant track record when it comes to names.

Chanel describes Jersey as being “As light and liberating as the modern fabric for which it was named…An inspired composition, Jersey is evocative of a meadow lush with lavender – an essence previously worn only by men. A tender trail of Vanilla and Musk brings femininity to the forefront, and a rare, sophisticated new scent is born.” [2] I would describe it as ‘a granny lavender on the warpath’.

Francis Kurkdijan

Francis Kurkdjian with his travelling box of tricks

The upcoming release of Denyse Beaulieu’s book ‘The Perfume Lover’, in which she documents the complete creation of her very own bespoke perfume, created by the super-talented Bertrand Duchaufour no less, got me thinking about the whole idea of bespoke perfumes.

A bespoke perfume is the holy grail for most perfumistas, it is the haute couture of perfumery. To have a perfume designed exclusively for you, with your tastes and scent preferences in mind, must be one of the greatest perfume experiences on this green Earth. I’ve often wondered what my bespoke perfume would be like, what it would be called, and most importantly would I be faithful to it?

The obvious downside of a bespoke perfume is the price, Roja Dove’s bespoke service costs a minimum of £20,000 [1], Floris offers the service for £2,750 [2] and other houses, such as Miller Harris, offer the service but don’t list a price, and we all know what that means. I’d hate to think how much a bespoke Guerlain costs! For most, the bespoke perfume is an unobtainable dream.

Fragile

“Perfume is the first garment we wear on our skin.”
Jean Paul Gaultier

Fragile, the Eau de Parfum, was Jean Paul Gaultier’s second feminine fragrance, it was released in 1999 and followed the phenomenally successful Classique. Created by Francis Kurkdjian, Fragile couldn’t be more of a stark contrast to the warm, powdery oriental tones of Classique.

Where Classique is evocative of Gaultier’s loud, abrasive style of couture, Fragile plays on classic French perfumery. There is nothing ‘boudoir’ about it, it is incredibly enigmatic and feels almost unsuitable for everyday wear. Fragile is a perfume of the night.

Like a lot of the other fragrances in the Gone, But Not Forgotten Series, Fragile was a big love for me early on in my perfume journey. It was also my first tuberose, and whilst it may not be the best example of nature’s rawest and most carnal of flowers, it is lovely and it did kick-start my love for the flower.

Thierry Wasser

Guerlain is one of my favourite perfume houses, heck it may be most people’s favourite perfume house, and they’ve certainly had their up’s and down’s over the years. But despite many blips, discontinuations and the odd controversy, things definitely seem to be looking up over at Maison Guerlain. One of the smartest moves they have made in recent times is snatch-up the very talented Thierry Wasser for their in-house perfumer.

Since joining Guerlain, M. Wasser has created; two new major feminines, one major masculine, a new cologne and several flankers, limited editions and exclusives. He has tinkered with Guerlain’s heritage whilst adding his own contemporary stamp for the future.

February sees the release of two new flankers signed by M. Wasser; Shalimar Parfum Initial L’Eau and Homme L’Eau Boisée, and as with everything he has done since he started with Guerlain (OK maybe not everything) they are top notch. ‘L’Eau’ very much seems to be the fashion at Guerlain at the moment, but to write these two new editions of as simply lighter, watered down versions of the originals would be a grave mistake.

Firework

First things first, I must say a massive thank you to all of you who entered the competition. I really enjoyed reading about everybody’s favourite posts and your comments just go to show how great all of my readers are!

Onto the more exciting stuff, starting with a reminder of the prize:

The Prize

A 10ml bottle of Caldey Island Lavender
A 5ml Vintage Asja by Fendi
A big sample of Tocade by Rochas
A big sample of Santal Massoïa by Hermès
A big sample of L’eau D’Issey Florale by Issey Miyake*
Two samples of Angel EDT by Thierry Mugler*
A sample of Sweet Redemption By Killian
A sample of Mon Parfum Chérie Par Camille by Annick Goutal*
A sample of Havana Vanille (now named Vanille Absolument) by L’Artisan Parfumeur
A sample of Tea for Two by L’Artisan Parfumeur
A sample of Vitriol d’Oeillet by Serge Lutens
A sample of Theseus by Lorenzo Villoresi
A sample of Bang Bang by Marc Jacobs*
A sample of Yuzu Man by Caron*

Savage Beauty

To put it simply; Antonia is liquid emotion.

Have you ever known that you would love a fragrance before you even tried it? I have on quite a few occasions, the most recent of which was with the second feminine fragrance from ultra-luxe niche line Puredistance. A perfume wonderfully named ‘Antonia’. I had already fallen head-over-heels for the beautifully arresting Puredistance I, and everything about Antonia; the reviews, the description and the very brief sniff I’d had in Harrods, led me to believe that Antonia was a perfume that I would love.

I’ve also been really impressed with the Puredistance line and their ethos. I find it refreshing that they seem to focus all of their attention on the perfumes, there are no gimmicks and they manage to offer exclusivity without snobbery. It’s also very clear that they have a passion for quality, which really translates into their three offerings, all of which are incredibly different, but share an impeccable attention to detail and fit together like three contrasting compositions.

Antonia, or ‘La Dame Verte’ as I call her, is the second feminine in the line and is a Parfum Extrait with a not-to-be-scoffed-at 25% concentration. Antonia is described by Puredistance as “a green floral with a great lushness and warmth of heart, but at the same time pillowy and as gentle as can be” [1]. Like the first feminine in the line ‘Puredistance I’, Antonia was created by Annie Buzantian in New York and shares her name with the mother of Puredistance founder Jan Ewoud Vos.