The Candies 2015: The Very Best and The Very Worst Perfumes of the Year
The Candies 2015: The Very Best and The Very Worst Perfumes of the Year

How is it the end of 2015 already? Seriously, I feel like things were only getting started! Anyway, seeing as it is very nearly the end of the year it can only mean one thing: The Candies! That’s right, it’s now time to take a look back at 2015 to identify the good, the bad and the downright ugly perfumes of the year. As always, it has been an active year for the industry and we’ve seen some great stuff. We’ve also seen some pretty dreadful stuff as well. It will make for exciting reading, I’m sure,

This year, I’ve done a bit of tinkering around with the awards we have on offer. Most have stayed the same however, we have said goodbye to the Best Celebuscent Award because really, celebrity fragrances appear to be on the out and I honestly don’t think I’ve even reviewed one this year. We’ve also said goodbye to the Best Advertising Campaign Award which has now been replaced with the Best Top-Down Design Award, an accolade that celebrates those perfumes that get the juice, bottle and advertising spot on. Finally, I’ve also added a new award this year for Best New House, which aims to highlight the best new fragrance brand launched within the year. Other than that all is the same.

So without further ado, ladies and gentleman of the perfume loving community, please take your seats, adjust your undergarments and fix your weaves as we are about to commence The Candies 2015. We require silence within the auditorium, selfies are banned and everyone must be suitably perfumed. Them’s the rules. There will be snark, there will be gushing sentimentality and there will be more hyperbole than you can shake a stick at, so gird your loins, dear readers, and get ready for the alternative perfume awards!

Also, please be sure to head on over to Persolaise’s blog to check out his round-up of perfume in 2015.

Diorissimo: A Flower Encased in Steel
Diorissimo: A Flower Encased in Steel

Do you ever have those fragrances that you want to love, but just don’t? They often appear entirely suited to your desires and tastes, and often come lauded with high praise, but for some reason they just don’t click with you. For me, Dior’s Diorissimo was one such scent. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve picked up a tester, spritzed some on and waited for sparks to fly. They never did and I couldn’t understand it. I love white florals.  I love Dior. Why didn’t Diorissimo and I run off into the sunset together to a symphonic burst of Hollywood music? Sigh.

Don’t lose hope, Dear Reader because, as with all true love stories in movies, the boy gets the girl, or alternatively the boy gets the boy (and the girl gets the girl), OR in my case, the boy (of the Candy Perfume variety) ‘gets’ the perfume. So what finally ignited the spark between that elusive Diorissimo and me? I have one word for you: vintage. It is widely known that the current version of Diorissimo is a pale interpretation of its former self, due mainly to restrictions of key ingredients used to create that unmistakeable lily of the valley effect. With this in mind I headed straight to eBay to seek out some vintage Dior to see what all of the fuss is about.

I couldn’t believe my luck when I saw it: 50ml of 1980’s Diorissimo Eau de Toilette, almost full for £25 with no bids. I didn’t bid on it at first, thinking that it would go and I stupidly allowed this gem to go unsold. Never mind, fate was on my side and I managed to win the bottle on its second listing. I honestly have never been so excited to receive a perfume package in my life. Could this vintage be the Diorissimo for me? Would it finally click into place, and would Diorissimo and I have that Hollywood ending I was looking for? Seeing as we’re talking in movie analogies, let me drop a spoiler: the boy gets the perfume.

J'adore Touche de Parfum
J’adore Touche de Parfum

I’m not sure why, but as the festive season approaches I often find myself yearning for fragrances from the house of Dior. Perhaps its the glittery glamour of scents such as Pure Poison and J’adore, or the unconventional warmth of Hypnotic Poison that get me dreaming of Dior, or maybe it’s just that I usually scour stores for a gift set bargain. Whatever the reason, I find myself drawn to Dior and this Christmas la maison has something particularly special to offer: J’adore Touche de Parfum.

Created as a new interpretation of Dior’s flagship fragrance (is it their flagship, or Miss Dior? I can’t keep up), Touche de Parfum is an oil based composition that can be worn under J’adore or all on its lonesome. Personally, I think it is the best version of J’adore to date and I have been literally bathing myself in its golden, glamorous tones over the last week. Also worth noting is the clever bottle, which draws up and delivers a drop of oil all with one simple twist of the stopper. Click here to head on over to Escentual to check out my review.

Super Scent: Dior
Super Scent: Dior

Super Scent is back! In case you missed our first instalment a few months back, Super Scent is a list-based series run in conjunction with my fellow perfume nerds, Persolaise and Basenotes. In each instalment we will each be giving a run down of what we consider to be the very best scents available from a particular, well-known brand. The idea is to individually rank our top offerings and marvel at how similar or different they are. We also hope that you will chime in with your top fragrances from each brand in these posts too!

For episode two we are all taking a scented peek into the fragrant back catalogue of one of the world’s most iconic couturiers: Christian Dior. Many great masterpieces of scent have been unleashed by Dior who, for the most part, create bold and iconic fragrances that dare to be more than mainstream. So, sit back, relax and enjoy the Dior edition of Super Scent – a run down of my seven (we simply couldn’t limit it to five on this occasion) favourite Dior scents from seven to one. Oh and click here, to check out Persolaise’s list, and here for Basenotes’.

Click here to read my review of Floriental by Comme des Garçons
Click here to read my review of Floriental by Comme des Garçons

I’ve been busy on my Escentual column reviewing a number of big new launches. In this post (above and below the hump) you’ll find a round up of reviews including; Comme Des Garçons’ Floriental, the Acqua di Parma Ingredients Collection (Colonia Ambra, Colonia Oud & Colonia Leather), Dior’s Sauvage, Valentino’s Donna, Van Clef & Arpels’ Ambre Imperial and Narciso Rodriguez’s for Her L’Absolu. Enjoy.

The Candy Perfume Boy's Guide to Rose
The Candy Perfume Boy’s Guide to Rose

Oof, this is a big one, dear readers. I have been tentatively putting this guide together for nearly 12 months and, after lots of tantrums and rewrites, I finally feel that it is ready to share. The notable thing about rose, and the reason for my drama, is the fact that it’s such a wide genre, with so many different interpretations and styles of just the one ingredient. In truth, I could put together a guide for each type of rose, covering the gourmand rose, or the oriental rose etc. in great depth. But that’s a level of detail that would take a lifetime to perfect and with tradition in mind, I have compiled a Guide to Rose that can be a starting point to the genre – an essential overview that highlights the very best of the many styles of rose.

Now, if you’re new to The Candy Perfume Boy’s Guide to series, here’s a little overview of what to expect. The series is an award winning olfactory guide to the popular notes found in many of the perfumes we love and wear. Each instalment takes a look at a singular note, its odour profile and the ‘must sniffs’ (i.e. the reference fragrances) that are essential members of that particular family. So far we’ve traversed the domains of; Tuberose, Orange Blossom, Lily, Jasmine, Lavender, Violet, Oud, Chocolate and Vanilla. Today, it’s time for rose, rose and nothing but rose.

Dior Homme Eau for Men

I think it’s no secret that Dior Homme is one of my favourite masculine fragrances and my love for it is possibly due to the fact that it isn’t particularly ‘manly’ in the traditional sense of the word. Using a strong and powdery iris note that is reminiscent of old make up bags, Dior (and more specifically, perfumer Olivier Polge) created a perfume that celebrates the modern man who is in touch with his feminine side. It is nothing short of a masterpiece and easily one of the greatest masculine fragrances of our time.

For 2014, Dior have launched Dior Homme Eau for Men, a lighter and more urban interpretation of the original. What’s interesting about this new Eau de Toilette is that it manages to be lighter in concentration and in character without dumbing down the olfactory profile of its forbearer. If you would like to read my full thoughts on the new launch, please click here to head on over to Escentual. Let me know what you think of the scent whilst you’re there!

Spring Couture
Spring Couture

Spring is here and that means it’s time to break out those springtime floral fragrances. OK, I know that I need no excuse to rock a floral fragrance and will do so all year round (why the heck not, right?) but for those of you who like to stick to a more seasonal fragrance wardrobe then now is the time for flowers. And what a wonderful time it is – the sun is shining (most of the time), the flowers are growing and the bees are buzzing – all of which can be accented by the expert application of a spring floral.

For this spring, venerable fashion house Christian Dior is launching a more floral version of their popular flagship fragrance Miss Dior (formerly known as Miss Dior Chérie and a completely separate fragrance from 1947’s Miss Dior which is now known as ‘Miss Dior Originale‘ – got that?). The perfume is called Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet, a spring floral that is billed by Dior as being more “delicate and light” than the original.

Dior’s in-house perfumer François Demachy describes Blooming Bouquet as being “like a springtime bouquet with a hint of elegant and light woody notes” making for a composition that ensures that “Miss Dior keeps her promise of love”. That’s a pretty apt description as far as I am concerned, however I would concede that Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet is much more of a floral musk than it is a woody floral. But in terms of being perfect for the spring season, this bouquet is absolutely spot on.

Fahrenheit Le Parfum by DIOR
Fahrenheit Le Parfum by DIOR

DIOR seem to be in a phase of reinvention at the moment, having revamped a significant number of their classics. Over the last few years they have introduced a fair degree of flankers (reinterpretations) of some of their most iconic scents and for 2014 they have launched both Hypnotic Poison (see my review here) and Fahrenheit in richer and more intense concentrations.

Few masculine fragrances are more iconic than DIOR’s 1988 scent Fahrenheit and this new concentration – Fahrenheit Le Parfum – is a worthy purveyor of the name. For Le Parfum, the original’s blend of fresh greens and off-kilter tar has been expertly tinkered with by DIOR’s in-house perfumer Francois Demachy to create a more up-to-date and warmer version of Fahrenheit. Click here to head on over to Escentual and read my review.

Hypnotic Poison Eau de Parfum (2014)

I adore Dior’s Hypnotic Poison something rotten. Out of the entire Poison series it is the most unusual and approaches the idea of a deadly/venomous perfume in a surprisingly un-vampish way. What makes this interpretation of Dior’s Poison theme so interesting is that it wants to cuddle just as much as it wants to coil it’s evil little fingers around your heart. It is nothing short of a modern marvel of perfumery.

For my Escentual column this week, I am reviewing the newly launched Eau de Parfum concentration of my old faithful Hypnotic Poison. This version promises to be more ‘delicious’ than the original and its bottle made from molten lava (well, molten lava-esque glass) suggests something much deeper and darker than the original. Does it deliver on these promises? Well, you’ll have to click here to find out…