Speed Sniff: Iris d'Or
Speed Sniff: Iris d’Or

There are so many fragrance launches each year it’s difficult to write about them all. Speed Sniffs is a way to bring you to the point reviews fragrances that are quick and easy to digest. After all, sometimes all one needs is a few lines to capture the essence of a scent. Speed Sniffs are perfume reviews without all of the faff and tell you whether the subject is something you want to sniff or not. So hurry up and read, because we don’t have much time…

Do you ever sniff a fragrance and it stops you dead in your tracks? Sometimes you really have to spend time with a fragrance to really work out its nuances, but with others you have an instant reaction to it. When this reaction is positive it makes for a magical moment where one knows that they’ve found a scent that speaks to them in an entirely new way. This is exactly how I felt when I smelled Iris d’Or from Bvlgari’s new Splendida collection.

Candy!
Candy

I talk a lot about new stuff on the blog, mainly because there is so much new stuff out there!  I do like to keep you up to date with all the wonderfully smelly fragrances out there that are in need of sniffing, so what I bring to you is often new.  Sometimes though, I like to talk about the classics or simply those important fragrances that have done something different or have changed the face of perfumery in some unusual way.

So today I want to talk about a fragrance that isn’t new – one that I’ve had a strange relationship with.  It’s a fragrance that shares my name (well my pseudonym anyway) and it’s one that I’ve liked but I’ve never bitten the bullet and bought.  That fragrance is Prada Candy and in this post I want to share five reasons why it’s my latest obsession, despite the fact that it is far from new.  But first some history.

I was recently contacted by Fragrance Direct the online fragrance retailer who asked me to pick a scent from their extensive selection to write about.  Now I can handle most things, Dear Reader, but choice is not one of them.  Present me with a range of options and I am completely stumped.  Do I go for something new and a blind buy of something that I’ve never tried?  Or do I top up on a beloved fragrance that is running low?  Hmmm, no I know what to do, I’ll go for something I’ve always been unsure of wearing – and that’s what I did.

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Oud Minérale

Tom Ford knows his way around the note of oud. Within his own brand he has a mini-collection of oud fragrances amongst his many Private Blends, each of which takes the style of oud in a very different direction. He’s also the man behind YSL’s M7 which was one of the first mainstream fragrances to promote the use of oud (whether it was the first is up for debate). So it’s safe to say that oud is very much a signature of the Tom Ford brand and it’s a style of fragrance (and I say style instead of note because it’s really more of a genre than a singular ingredient).

The latest addition to Tom Ford’s oud oeuvre is Oud Minérale – a fragrance that intends to approach oud from a much fresher angle. The brand describe it as a scent that merges “rare and precious oud with the fresh exuberance of the ocean”, which may lead one to think that perhaps this is an oud too far. After all, smoky, animalic, middle eastern oud is on the polar opposite end of the fragrance spectrum to anything remotely aquatic. But to think that, whilst justified, would not be correct because Oud Minérale is a clever little composition that manages to find the common ground between these two opposing styles.

prada-la-femme-prada-and-lhomme-prada-1
The Hottest Couple in Town: La Femme Prada & L’Homme Prada

I do like a bit of Prada, it’s true. Their fragrances are so in synch with their brand, offering modern luxury, innovation and often a splash of humour, right from the elegant Infusions all the way to the mischievous Candy. In fact, one of my current summer obsessions has been their Infusion de Cedre, which is that rare thing: an aldehydic floral for men. Anyway, I digress. Prada have just launched two new pillar fragrances: La Femme Prada and L’Homme. The Femme is a wonderfully voluptuous white floral in a golden sheen, whilst the masculine is much softer, warmer and greyer. Click here to head on over to Escentual to read my full review.

Neroli Portofino Forte - One
The Super-Smart, Super-Suave and Sartorially Elegant Neroli Portofino Forte

TOM FORD has certainly explored the world of his bestselling cologne, Neroli Portofino with undeniable fervour. The range consists of a dazzling array of interpretations, ranging from the original Eau de Parfum to last year’s honeyed Fleur de Portofino, and all that’s in between. This year, TOM FORD is sandwiching the original between two exciting new concentrations, with the lighter Neroli Portofino Acqua to its left and the intense Neroli Portofino Forte on its right. Both take the bold neroli-musk accord of the original and present it as something either more accessible or luxurious, but always interesting.

A week or so ago we took a look at the Acqua, the lighter, less spendy and more accessible take on NP and this week we are throwing caution completely to the wind with Neroli Portofino Forte, which is pretty much the opposite of Acqua in every respect, being stronger, more expensive and less widely distributed. So, how does a more intense take on TOM FORD’s neo-classic cologne fair in the sniff test? Well, there’s only one way to find out: read on.

Neroli Portofino Forte is a bold, exhilarating intensification of the Neroli Portofino Experience. The classic scent is rarified with rich, sublime depth as the amplified concentration of its floral core is lavishly heightened to utmost opulence. With the bold and impassioned introduction of coastal Italian woods and smooth leather in its composition, Neroli Portofino Forte marks an exquisite monument in the Neroli Portofino collection.

– TOM FORD

 

La Perla In Rosa Eau de Parfum
La Perla In Rosa Eau de Parfum

This July, famous intimate wear brand, La Perla will launch 2012’s Le Perla In Rosa, in a new Eau de Parfum concentration. This new version is billed as a heaver interpretation of the original and is described as being a “mischievous new elixir” for the “naturally playful and seductive young woman”. La Perla in Rosa Eau de Parfum will launch exclusively to Harrods on 31 July 2014.

“Delightfully audacious, she is full of life and loving every minute. Slipping into feathery layers of lace and silk. She adores the way the lingerie caresses her skin. She feels pampered, confident and exquisitely feminine. A sensation of pure joy intensified by the radiant bouquet of La Perla in Rosa Eau de Parfum”

– La Perla

Rozy - "Like a Rose Tattoo"
Rozy – “Like a Rose Tattoo” (Image via Vero Profumo and Freddie of Smellythoughts)

“Blue songs are like tattoos
You know I’ve been to sea before
Crown and anchor me
Or let me sail away
Hey Blue, here is a song for you
Ink on a pin
Underneath the skin
An empty space to fill in
Well there’re so many sinking now
You’ve got to keep thinking
You can make it thru these waves
Acid, booze, and ass
Needles, guns, and grass
Lots of laughs lots of laughs
Everybody’s saying that hell’s the hippest way to go
Well I don’t think so
But I’m gonna take a look around it though
Blue I love you

Blue here is a shell for you
Inside you’ll hear a sigh
A foggy lullaby
There is your song from me”

– Joni Mitchell –

Swiss perfumer, Vero Kern does not make perfumes – she crafts olfactory characters. Her extraordinary perfume line, ‘Vero Profumo’, is built on these perfumed personas and consists of; Rubj – the dramatic, yet distant actress, Onda – the stoic matriarch, Kiki – the flirtatious Parisienne, and Mito – the stone nymph that comes alive at night. But what of Rozy, the latest addition to Vero’s wardrobe of olfactory personalities? Well Rozy, is the bad girl – a tattooed biker chick with a rebellious soul.

Taking inspiration from Italian actress Anna Magnani’s performance in the Tennesse Williams-adapted film ‘The Rose Tattoo’, Rozy is the most unconventional of rose perfumes that showcases a darker, and altogether more daring side of one of perfumery’s most beloved flowers. In both its Voile d’Extrait and Eau de Parfum concentrations, this latest addition to the remarkable Vero Profumo collection is, as expected, a striking, complex and bold character.

Femme Totale
Femme Totale

I have a list in my head of celebrities that I think should release a fragrance. I know that I really shouldn’t be encouraging the stars to explore the world of perfume, after all the majority of their fragrant output is utterly dreadful, but I do believe that there are a good few schlebs out there who would invest enough time and artistic integrity to make an exceptional fragrance.

One such celebrity sitting on my mental celebrity fragrance list was Dita Von Teese (along with others such as Björk and Kate Bush FYI) and it seems that she may have read my mind having decided to take the plunge into the world of celebrity perfume. As expected the result is a perfume that perfectly captures the style and personality of the celebrity for which it represents.

Dita Von Teese Eau de Parfum officially launched in 2011 but we didn’t see it in the UK until May 2012. It is described as a “timeless” perfume and it very much draws on the old school glamorous florals of the past, specifically those of brands such as Houbigant and Caron. Dita is reputed to have been very involved with the creation of her Eau de Parfum and for an entire year spent almost every day working with perfumer Nathalie Lorson in the lab.

“I wanted it to be a perfume that smelled exactly how I imagined it. A scent needs to reflect all the different facets of my personality. It had to be elegant, glamorous, sophisticated, sexy, dark and mysterious.”

Dita Von Teese

Written inside the perfume’s box is a quote from Dita that reads; “Perfume sets the mood…and I am in the mood for glamour.” and that very much sets the tone for a scent chock full of glamour, style and classic beauty. With Dita Von Teese Eau de Parfum, the world’s favourite burlesque star presents a perfume that the “femme totale”, a woman in full form.

Last week’s Saturday Poll asked you about your birthday perfume traditions, and specifically whether you asked for, and received perfume for your birthday or whether you liked to treat yourself. It seems that the majority of you (59%) take the matter into your own hands and treat yourselves to a lovely perfumed-gift on your birthday. Very sensible if you ask me!

I was lucky enough to receive a bottle of L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Al Oudh from Nigel this year, who obviously was feeling the perfume love. I also treated myself to bottles of Amouage’s Honour Woman (a major lemming of mine for a whole year) and Guerlain’s Pamplelune. So yes, I was well and truly spoiled.

On to this week’s poll…

I enjoyed last week’s Saturday Poll so much I have made the decision to make it a weekly feature. The reason I had originally intended to hold the poll on a monthly basis was simply because the WordPress poll client (Polldaddy) only allows a certain number of responses per month before requiring a rather pricey upgrade. But it seems that I should be able to run the poll comfortably within the monthly response limit, yay!

Anyway, enough of the boring stuff and on to the results of last Saturday’s poll. I asked you to pick your favourite fragrance from Mona di Orio’s Les Nombres d’Or collection. Vanille rained supreme with 29% of the vote an Oud wasn’t too far behind with 27%.

On to this week’s poll…