In my latest IGTV video, I have a quick round-up of perfumes that are super cuddly, cozy and warming – they are my top picks as winter warmers. Featuring enveloping and glowing scents from CHANEL, By Kilian, Comme des Garçons, this edit brings you a scented selection to help fight the cold. Check it out by clicking here or via the embedded video below the jump!
With the pandemic, testing fragrances has become much harder. Many of us cannot go to shops to test perfumes (or understandably, we do not want to) and even if we do go into a shop, getting hold of a perfume tester isn’t easy. There are a lot of barriers in the way and at Escentual, we want to make it so much easier for people to explore our range of fragrances. So, enter #EscentualScents – a monthly discovery box that you can purchase to explore the world of fragrance. We are so excited!
February’s box – Chypre – is now on sale.
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!
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!
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!
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
This week a slightly delirious Thomas and Nick talk through some wonderfully smoky fragrances that are perfect for the autumn/winter seasons. Oh and they smell some materials that add a touch of smoke. It’s basically an episode about smoke. Listen wherever you find your podcasts, by clicking here, or below the jump!
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.
Following on from my deep dive into the aroma chemical Cashmeran last week, this week’s IGTV is all about that very thing: Cashmeran. I talk through the material, what it is and how it smells (incredibly multi-faceted, FYI), and sniff some interesting examples. See it below the jump!
It’s time for a new Fume Chat podcast episode. CHANEL has just released their new Nº5 campaign featuring Nick’s doppelgänger, Academy Award winning actress, Marion Cotillard. To celebrate we’re taking a deep dive into the history of the most famous perfume in the world (the icon, the legend CHANEL Nº5) – we discuss its creation and sniff the five versions currently available. Join Thomas and Marion, sorry, no, join Thomas and Nick in this iconic episode. Listen below the jump (or wherever you get your podcasts)