Six Scents to Make You Appreciate Musk
Six Scents to Make You Appreciate Musk

I’m often asking people to sniff things and when I do, a common response is “it’s a bit musky”. This always strikes me as an unusual answer, mainly because many of these fragrances would not be classified as musks in the typical sense. Perhaps people see ‘musky’ as anything that is slightly funky, or perhaps it’s just anything that is difficult to describe and where musk seems like the safe descriptor. Whatever it is, this got me to thinking seriously about what musk really smells like and what it brings to a fragrance.

What I do know however, is that musk is a spectrum, one that ranges from laundry-like purity to animalic pornography. It’s a wide scope for sure and one that traverses a huge range of fragrances. In this post, which is the start of a new series entitled ‘Six Scents’, I take a look at six fragrances on the musk spectrum, moving from the cleanliness of a spin cycle to the shocking sin of a scent between the thighs. Buckle up, fragrance nerds, because this is going to be quite a ride!

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The Candy Perfume Boy’s Hitlist: Q3 2015
The Candy Perfume Boy’s Hitlist: Q3 2015

It’s that time again. That’s right, we’re at the end of a quarter (specifically quarter three of 2015), which means that it’s time for another instalment of The Candy Perfume Boy’s Hitlist. First things first though, an apology. Over the last month or so I have been more than a bit sporadic with updating this blog and posts have been scarce. Unfortunately, writing about perfume is a passion of mine that sometimes has to take a back seat when work and everyday life gets in the way. Right now, I’ve been going through some stressful home things (nothing bad, in fact it’s good, but still stressful), so please accept my apology for my lackadaisical approach to The Candy Perfume Boy.

Anyway, that’s enough of the apologies. Let’s jump into the hit list for quarter three, with a quick recap what this is all about for those unfamiliar with ‘how we do’. In these posts I take a look back at the fragrances, launches, blogs, books, brands or perfumers that have been taking my fancy over the last quarter. There are no rules. Well, there are three rules with this series; 1) the subjects must be linked to fragrance somehow (a rule that I’m allowed to bend); and 2) the hitlist is to be published towards the end of each quarter; and 3) the list must include my favourite things, as if I were a fragrant sort-of Oprah, which I like to think I am, but for the record, am not.

@FragrantReviews
@FragrantReviews – Fragrance Reviews in 140 Characters or Less

Four years ago today, my good friend, Nick Gilbert and I embarked on an exciting perfume project with a view of turning the world of fragrance reviewing on its head. We set out to use the medium of Twitter to create entertaining and bitesize reviews in 140 characters or less – the result was @FragrantReviews – our smelly baby that launched both of our writing careers.

Writing these reviews is surprisingly challenging. It’s tough to dissect and truly represent a fragrance in such a small medium, but it’s also immense fun and I think I wouldn’t be speaking out of turn if I said that both Nick and I really enjoy putting these fragrant tweets together. They can be funny, they can be poetic and they can occasionally be mean, but one thing they never are is boring.

We’re now at over 3,000 followers, and to celebrate our fourth birthday, I’d like to share with you ten of my favourite Fragrant Reviews – five from Nick and five from me. They range from the olfactory time capsule of Eau de Toast to the utter hideousness of Viktor & Rolf’s BonBon and capture some of our big loves and a number of our, well, not-so-big loves. I hope you enjoy this brief retrospective and will have a go at chiming in with your own 140 character reviews in the comments box.

Click here to check out Nick’s favourites.

The Grooms
The Grooms

It is often said that one’s wedding day is the best day of their life. Up until 10 May 2014 I would have said that this was a simple cliché and that there are many more enjoyable moments to experience in life – the birth of a child, perhaps or the many successes and milestones that one achieves as time passes. But the truth is that my wedding day – the day that I married my best friend and partner in life and in love, was truly the very best day of my life.

Tears were shed, smiles were abundant and laughter was a common sound. Joy was the theme of the day and as we shared our love and made our commitment to each other in front of the people dearest to us, we felt a happiness that is difficult to put down into words. Let’s just say that my new husband and I had an absolute blast and we danced the night away, hoping that it would never end. In our hearts, it never will.

As with any wedding we opted for a theme, picking the colours white, gold and green to match our (rather natty) Vivienne Westwood bow ties (yes, I’m name dropping – she did our socks too). We also chose a pair of origami cranes, a symbol that represents longevity and good fortune in Japanese culture, as the emblem that appeared in numerous formats throughout the day. All-in-all it was a tasteful and understated affair that matched our personalities perfectly (if I do say so myself).

Of course, The Candy Perfume Boy’s wedding was always going to be a fragrant affair and I would let you all, and myself down if Nigel and I hadn’t opted for at least a few nods to the art of olfaction during the day. I would therefore like to share with you some of the scented treats that we gifted to ourselves and our guests, ranging from the difficult choice of what scent to wear to the more frivolous decisions, which may or may not involve smelly bubbles. So please join me in this little taste of our special day that I like to call; ‘How to Scent a Wedding’.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Home Fragrance
Maison Francis Kurkdjian Home Fragrance

As I get older I realise that I love my home comforts more and more, and a good night for me is one spent in with great food, a movie (which doesn’t necesarily need to be great) my Nigel and my cats. To perfect a relaxed evening at home all one needs to do is light a lovely smelling scented candle – and If there’s one thing I love just as much as perfume it’s a scented candle.

The great news for us perfume lovers is that many fragrance houses offer home fragrance lines, including scented candles, that capture the scent of some of our favourite perfumes and some that offer up entirely new odours. One fragrance house whose candle offerings are particular intriguing is Maison Francis Kurkdjian.

As part of our wedding day Nigel and I are dead set on including some Maison Francis Kurkdjian candles in our ceremony – after all it would be a crime for our wedding not to be impeccably scented now wouldn’t it? So we know what brand we want, and we know we want floral candles so that narrows the selection down to two candles; APOM and Aqua Universalis.

Summer Survival Scents
Conquer the Heatwave!

The heatwave is finally here and as we all enjoy (or suffer in) the heat now is a good time to pull out those fragrances that refresh, revitalise & defeat the blazing heat of the sun and stuffy, humid air. It’s a time where perfume can be your greatest weapon when attempting to conquer the unrelenting enthusiasm of the sun.

My Escentual Post last week looked at two new releases that are perfect for summer (Guerlain Nerolia Bianca and Dior Homme Cologne 2013) and it got me thinking about those fragrances that I swear by in the summer – or as i like to call them: ‘my summer survival scents’.

Some days it seems almost too hot to do anything, but these scents can be an essential part of your summer survival kit. All you need is some cooling citrus, a few fresh fancies, a couple of manly mints and a generous dose of flowers and fruit, and you’ll be all set to tackle the heatwave of 2013!

Aqua Universalis
Universal Water

Last week, after six weeks of painful but also enjoyable unemployment, I started a brand new, and very exciting job (hence the lack of posts). Now like any sane fume-nerd my initial though on gaining new employment was “what perfume am I going to wear on my first day?!” That’s right, not “will I like the job?” or even “what shall I wear”, it was, as it always is, all about the perfume.

So why not just where whatever I fancy on day one? Well the thing is, when entering a new environment it is important for one to ease people in gently, it does not pay to projectile vomit ones personality in people’s general direction. I have found that it’s always best to go for something relatively low key that is still perfume-y enough to let people know that you mean business, and what do you know a few days before my first day just the thing landed on my doorstep – Aqua Universalis by Maison Francis Kurkdjian.

If you’re not familiar with the idea behind über talented perfumer Francis Kurkdjian’s solo project then you should get to familiarising yourself pretty quick because you’re missing out. The house provides an ‘all for one’ fragrant shopping experience with fragrances for the morning and evening, and wonderful scented things for the body (leather bracelets et al) and the home (candles, incense papers, laundry detergents and scented bubbles). With his ‘Maison’ Kurkdjian is selling a completely scented lifestyle like no other.

Aqua Universalis is Kurkdjian’s take on the much maligned genre of laundry clean fragrances. Made to fulfil the average consumer’s desire to feel clean and shower fresh, a style of fragrance that very often ends up producing cocktails of vile, strong musks and calone that sends fumenerds heading for the hills. Aqua Universalis is not one of these fragrances, it is an intelligent and natural take on ‘clean’ that most importantly still smells like a perfume.