Comme des Garçons is a brand that gets a pretty regular rotation in my wardrobe. In fact, I’d go as far saying that it would would quite be odd for a week to go by without me picking out one of their scents to wear. For me, they strike that perfect balance between novel and innovative, and pleasant and wearable, which means that I reach for them quite a lot, mostly for those in the regular lineup such as the original Parfum, 2, 2 Man (I just topped up on my bottles of both the 2s, in fact), Amazingreen and Blackpepper. Long story short, I enjoy the brand and the scents are staples for me.

With that in mind, a new Comme des Garçons fragrance is somewhat of an event for me – I’m always intrigued to see what they do and whilst not all are ones I adore (see Floriental, Copper and Concrete), I do always enjoy how they subvert expectations. A Comme des Garçons fragrance always has something to say and their latest launch, Rouge (currently exclusive to Dover Street Market and launching nationwide next year), is no exception. Described, in typical CdG style as an “encounter between religious fervour and earthen reality” Rouge attacks the the colour red from surprising angles, using a central note of beetroot to present something so familiar in an entirely unfamiliar way. To say it’s interesting and unique is somewhat of an understatement…

Through deliberate overdose and rapturous expression, Rouge presents an unexpected unison. an olfactive congregation of desire archetypal associations of the colour Rouge seen and subverted through the distinctly disruptive gaze of Comme des Garçons.

Comme des Garçons
Please note that this post may contain indirect references to trauma and abuse that certain readers may find triggering.

I can recall the image so vividly. She stood there, framed by the deep oak of our front door. Her hair, bobbed and big in that ’90s style (not quite a ‘Rachel’, but almost), fizzed with hairspray. The dress was an event – a floor length Lacroix gown, in black with panels of lace (also black, of course). Her ears and her left shoulder sparkled with giant Butler & Wilson spiders – costume jewels that made me think of Morticia Addams. I can see their diamond-cut shapes catching the light, even now. But what I remember the most is the scent – an atomic cloud of Chanel’s Allure that announced her arrival and made sure she was present, in some way, long after her departure.

This is the most prominent memory I hold of my mother. It is bathed in scent – she is framed by a silhouette of Chanel, and if you remove the dress, the jewels and the person, what’s left is still a vivid picture of the person I remember. The shadow of a person painted by the fragrance she wore, almost like an olfactory negative of the space she filled at that time. In this image she is glamorous, she is smiling, she is kind, she is a mother.

The memory is not real.

As you may know, I am lucky to work with my close friends Nick Gilbert and Pia Long at Olfiction, a fragrance consultancy and perfume house. Yes, it is a dream come true. What you may not know is that we at Olfiction have been working on a candle brand for the last two years or so and today is the day that we share that brand with you. So, let’s not keep her waiting. Please welcome to the stage Boujee Bougies!

Christmas Crush is where I celebrate the scented things that would make lovely gifts for the festive period!

A few weeks back I kicked off my Christmas Crush gift guides with a beautiful candle from Acqua di Parma and now, I’m continuing with yet another festive home fragrance, this time from Goutal Paris. Let’s be real, the annual Goutal Christmas candle is somewhat of an event, with a gorgeous new design launched every year. 2020 does not disappoint – well, 2020 as a year most definitely disappoints, but the 2020 Une Forêt d’Or Scented Candle does not.

It’s not often that I experience love at first sniff, but in the case of Oak Wood, my immediate thought upon spraying it on my skin was “oh, I love this” and my secondary thought was “I’m going to wear the heck out of this”. Spoiler alert: I do and I did. But hold up, let’s talk a bit about this fragrance before we go right into the nitty gritty of whether I love it or not (I do, obv.). Sunspel is a luxury British clothing brand that focuses on high quality wardrobe staples and knitwear. Their aesthetic is very neutral and smart (and a little Scandi?). Oak Wood fits in nicely.

Sunspel tasked British perfumer Lyn Harris (formerly of Miller Harris, now of Perfumer H) to create their debut fragrance. The brand had previously created signature sweatshirts for Harris, featuring the names of two of her Perfumer H fragrances (I really want one of those, btw) so it feels like an organic partnership. Harris said she wanted to “create something that represented the beauty of the English countryside” because for her “that’s what really represents the brand, Sunspel”. The name Oak Wood was her working title for the fragrance.

When I review a scent I don’t just think about the words I want to use to describe it, I also consider how I’m going to capture the essence of the scent in the accompanying images. To photograph Oak Wood, I took a long walk with my husband and Pugsley, our pug. We ventured onto the thrift that is a short walk from our house and got lost in the winding paths that led us through the growing saplings that represent a forest in its infancy. We walked past reeds and brush, treading on gravel paths scattered with fiery leaves decaying in the autumn air. I was wearing Oak Wood and it felt so poignant in such a beautiful space. It all just felt right. These photographs represent Oak Wood and the feelings of that day.