Let’s talk Juliette Has a Gun. This is a brand that sits at the intersection of mainstream and niche, with a novel olfactory output that is luxurious yet accessible, presented at a relatively reasonable price point (in niche terms, let’s be real). The brand, which was started by Romano Ricci, Nina Ricci’s great-grandson, launched in 2006 and has since unleashed a number of rebellious perfume characters that don’t take themselves too seriously. Scents like Miss Charming, with her innocent smile of strawberries and rose, and Lady Vengeance with her velvet claws painted in a deep shade of red, each showcased Juliette as a brand with a punky attitude and a unique approach to perfume. Juliette Has a Gun is an irreverent brand that may not take itself too seriously, but certainly is serious when it comes to perfumery.
I’ll admit that some of the more recent launches from Juliette Has a Gun have been a bit lacklustre. They’re always pleasant and wearable, but scents like Vanilla Vibes, Lipstick Fever (all lippie, no ‘fever’, that one) and Not a Perfume Superdose haven’t, in my opinion, lived up to the excitement of the brand’s earlier scents. It seems like they’ve moved away from creating distinct olfactory characters to something more straightforward – the quality is still there, but the playfulness isn’t as vivid. Anyway, that said, I am always keen to see what Juliette is up to and always happy to get involved with whatever mischief she may have got herself into.
With that in mind, Juliette’s latest, the intriguingly named ‘Musc Invisible‘, caught my eye. Described as “a soft, warm and cosy composition, as comfortable and unfussy as your favourite pair of jeans”, Musc Invisible showcases Juliette at her most casual. She’s taken off her heels and replaced that killer red lip with a ballerina pink gloss, thrown on a super fashionable street look and is off to take a number of posed pictures for the gram, boyfriend in tow (someone’s gotta take the shot, right?) This is Juliette dressed down but is it interesting? You’ll have to read on to find out!
At the beginning of each year, Escentual task me with predicting what the big perfume trends will be. This year is no different, so I’ve dusted off my crystal ball, put on my best Mystic Meg costume (of which I own several) and gazed into the future. What did I see? Well, you’ll have to click here to head over to Escentual to find out!
We’re just over a week into 2021 and we already have the first big perfume launch of the year, which means this is my first perfume review of the year (exciting!) and it’s for a brand new CHANEL fragrance (very exciting!!) – a CHANEL Exclusif, no less (ARGH SO EXCITING!!!). This CHANEL fanboy is very please to be kicking off the year with something so wonderful – so, let’s take a few moments away from the world and enjoy a spot of scented beauty.
The latest addition to Les Exclusifs is Le Lion and it’s a long-awaited one, having launched in some territories almost one year ago! But now it’s here! As with all of the Exclusifs, Le Lion takes inspiration from the house itself, and this time the lion, the fifth sign of the zodiac and Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel’s astrological sign, is the theme. In the 1920s, Coco fell in love with the city of Venice, being inspired by its art and culture, and like Chanel herself, the city existed under the guardian sign of the lion. The lion became an emblem for Chanel, both in her personal spaces (her apartment at 31 Rue Cambon was filled with lions crafted from marble, bronze and wood), but also in her clothing, with the symbol engraved on the buttons of tweed suits or the clasps of bags. The lion is a symbol of Chanel’s tenacity and endurance and this is the theme that the fragrance explores.
Le Lion the perfume, seeks to capture this tenacious personality but also the rich and exotic spirit of Venice, the city of the lion that Coco loved. CHANEL perfumer Olivier Polge was intrigued by the emblem of the lion rather than the animal itself, crafting a warm amber fragrance (I’m not using the “O” word, this is my replacement) with a “solar aura” and a “gentle strength”. Le Lion stands out as a uniquely intense and warm fragrance within Les Exclusifs, which tend to lean light, ethereal, abstract, and it is quite surprising in its richness. The big question though, is whether it was worth the wait? Well, read on and you shall see!
I think we can all agree that 2020 was a flaming dumpster fire of a year. Truly, it was trash. I’d say we could take a look back at the year, but I don’t want to turn around and face it, what with a global pandemic that has killed, at the time of writing, 1.79 million people, and all of the horrendous things that have gone along with it. So I’m not going to do that and instead we’re going to spend a few minutes taking our minds away from the world with the greatest distraction there is: perfume.
Every year I hold “The Candies”, my annual perfume awards. Well, they’re not really awards. Nobody actually wins anything, and the only person that gets tipsy on champagne during the process is me *hiccup*. No, The Candies are essentially a round-up of my favourite scents of the year. They’ve evolved somewhat over the years, with varying categories, but now in the vein of keeping things simple, The Candies showcase my ten favourite perfume launches of the year and also my least favourite, which is dubbed the “Sour Candy” (however, not this year because the last thing we need in our lives is negativity, am I right?). So here they are, The Candies 2020.
OK, OK, before we actually get into the smelly things I have enjoyed this year, let’s do the thing I said I wasn’t going to do and take a quick look back at 2020, but from a perfume perspective. Surprisingly, it has been a good year for perfume, and I say surprisingly, because the pandemic has changed so much of how the industry works. Many fragrances that were due to launch, didn’t, and have been pushed back. Stores have been shut and when they’ve been opened, testers haven’t been freely available. What’s more, many of us have been in and out of lockdown (currently on our third here in the UK, wooo!) and working from home, so wearing scent hasn’t felt like a priority, especially when we’re not going anywhere… So there have many barriers to perfume in 2020 but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been intriguing and beautiful fragrances launched, because there have.
In this week’s episode of our podcast, Fume Chat (the penultimate episode of the series, eek!), we chat with Oscar-nominated actor and self-proclaimed “Perfumed Ponce”, Richard E Grant. In the interview we talk about his scented upbringing and how he created a perfume brand. We also sniff three of the scents in his Jack collection!
This is a super exciting project that I am thrilled to be a part of. As you may know, I write for Escentual as their Fragrance Expert and also advise them on all things fragrance. Over the last two years, we at Escentual have run two blind fragrance trials with journalists, influencers and bloggers, all with the aim to promote discussion about new fragrance launches – it’s been really successful and immense fun. Well, now, #EscentualScents comes to you and this time, you can get in on all of the action and fun!
In my final #christmascrush gift guide this year, I take a look at some beautiful perfume discovery kits that will make excellent presents this Christmas. With going in to stores to test fragrances becoming harder with the pandemic, these kits allow you to give the gift of choice and they can be an excellent tool in helping narrow down a full bottle purchase, either as an additional gift or if your recipient wishes to treat themselves to something at a later date. The cost of some of these kits are even redeemable against a full size purchase. Check out the video below or visit my Instagram page by clicking here.
In my latest IGTV video, I sniff through new brand Matiere Premiere, by perfumer Aurélien Guichard (Bond Nº9 Chinatown, Narciso Rodriguez NARCSIO, Gucci Guilty). It’s a beautiful collection and of course, as always, I fall head over heels for the rose because I’m boring and predictable, and I love rose :shrug. Anyway, to watch the video, either click here or head below the jump!
Carine Roitfeld is the former Editor-in-Chief of French Vogue and if her debut collection of perfumes are anything to go by, she is clearly someone who enjoys perfume. The idea behind the collection is seven fragrances inspired by seven lovers in seven different cities. In all honesty, I’m a bit ‘meh’ about the concept, and I’m certainly more than a bit ‘meh’ about the bottle which, despite its hefty weight and magnetic cap (we love a magnetic cap, we do), is just, dare I say…..ugly? 😐
Anyway, aesthetically challenging packaging aside, the Seven Lovers Collection shows that Carine Roitfeld certainly has taste when it comes to perfume and she has used it wisely when collaborating with perfumers Aurélien Guichard, Yann Vasnier and Pascal Gaurin, to create her collection. Out of the seven, I’d say four were interesting (George, Lawrence, Har-Wai and Orson), which isn’t a bad hit rate, let’s be honest. My favourite by far was George, which is inspired by an encounter in a bookshop in London. I must ask Carine which bookshops she’s been visiting because they certainly sound like a lot more fun than your average Waterstones! George is a modern chypre that harks back to some wonderful green scents from the past. I’m obsessed – so much so, in fact, I can forgive that bloody bottle (I promise not to mention it again)…..well, almost.