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It was in a field of centifolia roses in the heart of Grasse that I fell in love with Anima Vinci. I hadn’t even smelled the fragrances at this point, but standing amongst the heavily scented roses whilst house founder Nathalie Vinciguerra passionately talked about her debut collection of fragrances I knew that what I was about to experience was very special indeed. You see, Nathalie knows fragrance and she is also incredibly passionate about it. Having worked at Penhaligon’s & L’Artisan Parfumeur as Head of Fragrance Development, Nathalie oversaw a slew of excellent scents (the likes of Juniper Sling and Sartorial) and now her expertise and olfactory vision are being wonderfully applied at her own brand, resulting in the brilliant Anima Vinci debut collection.

The brilliance continued with the latest addition to the Anima Vinci lineup – Tudo Azul – an energising fragrance inspired by the Brazilian caipirinha cocktail (yes please). “Tudo azul” is a phrase that roughly translates as “it’s all great” and it sums up a fragrance that is all about the carefree vibes – about laying on the beach soaking in the sun and sea breeze whilst sipping on exotic cocktails (once again, yes please). That’s where Tudo Azul takes you and I for one am here for the journey!  I just need to pack my Speedos…

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Well that was the year that was! 2017 is finally drawing to a close and I think it would be fair to say that it has been a year unlike any other. Perfume-wise, it has been once again, an incredibly busy year, more so than any other in fact, with a big cohort of mainstream brands launching new pillar fragrances this year – the likes of MUGLER, GUERLAIN, CHANEL (all capitalised for some reason) and Hermès, just to name a few. There have been flankers, celebrity scents, and ridiculous bottles aplenty, making for an interesting and fragrant year.

Seeing as the blog had a total makeover in 2017, this year I’ve decided to rejig The Candies a little bit too. Normally I would pick my best feminine, masculine and unisex fragrances from the mainstream and niche arms of the industry however, year-on-year I have found it harder to fit my favourites into these categories. The problem being that nowadays, the gender lines have blurred considerably within the realms of perfume, especially in niche. Also, I’ve said many times that a fragrance has no gender so it seems silly to categorise my awards as such . So this year I’ve simply picked ten fragrances – five mainstream and five niche, that each take the title of the best perfumes of the year, presented in no particular order.

In terms of other changes, there’s now a ‘Top Candy’ which goes to my favourite perfume of the year (it will be a most coveted award, I am sure), and ‘Best Body Product’ has been replaced with ‘Candy Crush of the Year’ to reflect my Candy Crush posts that celebrate my fragrant obsessions throughout the year. Oh and there’s now a ‘House of the Year’ award which goes to my favourite perfume house of the year. That about covers it, so shall we get started then? Yes, let’s! A drumroll please…

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The Candy Perfume Boy has afforded me with a huge number of wonderful opportunities and amazing moments over the years, but to date, none have been more awe inspiring than a trip that happened earlier this year. I was invited to attend the launch of an entirely new brand called Anima Vinci in none other than Grasse: the home of perfumery in the South of France. Who could say no to a morning spent picking rosa centifolia in a small field in the centre of Grasse, followed by a trip to Art et Parfum, the home of legendary perfumery Edmond Roudnitska? Not this blogger, that’s for sure!

Anima Vinci was founded by Nathalie Vinciguerra, a Corsican native who has dedicated her career to perfumery, working at Penhaligon’s and L’Artisan Parfumeur as Creative Fragrance Director. During her time with these brands she developed over 40 fragrances, so Nathalie knows perfumery, that much is evident and her fragrance brand celebrates both passion and energy (two things Nathalie has in abundance) through five fragrances that pay homage to key olfactory families. In Latin, Anima means ‘soul’ and Vinci means ‘to conquer’ and if these five fragrances do anything it’s conquer the senses and energise the soul. Anima Vinci is a brand you’re going to want to know about and in this piece I hope to introduce you to the five wonderful fragrances in the collection.

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I’ve got wood on the brain, Dear Reader.

Now, before you judge me with your smutty little minds, I am of course referring to wood fragrances and not any other form of wood, metaphorical or otherwise. I’m not sure what may have led you to think of anything else – certainly not the somewhat tongue in cheek title of this post, that’s for sure! Anyway, the truth is that I’ve never really got wood before, as in, I’ve never really enjoyed wood fragrances that much (again, minds out of the gutter please, people). They’ve always felt too subtle or too plain for my exuberant tastes, so for the most part I’ve ignored them or passed them off as lovely, but not for me. That however, has changed very recently.

Over the last few months I’ve started to find wood fragrances a little bit sexy. I’m attracted to them and they are just the kind of thing I find myself wanting to smell on a man. But it’s actually more than that, they’ve also become the type of thing I want to wear when I’m feeling mighty fine, or when I want to feel mighty fine. So in this post I’m going to showcase some beautiful wood fragrances that are more than just a little bit sexy – in fact, they’re all very sexy in their own individual ways. So, please put on some Barry White and close the curtains because things are going to get a little bit hot and steamy up in here as we investigate seven wood fragrances with some serious bom-chicka-wah-wah factor.