“Perfumed escapism” – that’s what Nick Steward, founder of indie brand Gallivant, aims to bring to the world with his collection of city-inspired scents, and let’s be real, if there ever was a time when we needed to be transported elsewhere by perfume, now is it. With so many people under lockdown or working from home, and unable to travel, all because of the global Covid-19 pandemic, Gallivant provides virtual tours of faraway places, all through the medium of olfaction. Gallivant makes this big old world a much smaller and more accessible place, all with just one spritz of their transportive perfumes.

With their latest launch, Gallivant whisks us away to Uzbekistan and the noble city of Bukhara. This “fairytale city on the Silk Road”, as Gallivant puts it, is home to beautiful, colourful architecture, talented artisans, welcoming people and a melting pot of spices, fabrics and fruits. Gallivant worked with perfumer Ralf Schweiger (Lipstick Rose by Frederic Malle; Eau des Merveilles by Hermès, and so many more iconic scents) to distill the city of Bukhara into olfactory form. Together they chose the luxurious and elegant note of iris as Bukhara’s core material. To be honest, they had me at “orris”.

On this week’s episode of Fume Chat, we are exploring the material vetiver. This clumpy grass is one of the most beautiful smelling and versatile perfume materials, with a vast and varied odour profile. We sniff some key vetiver materials and some iconic scents. So, get ready to hear us say the word “vetiver” about a million times and brace yourself for a full vetiver education. Listen below the jump:

Candy Crush is where I write about scent-related things that I’m currently obsessed with.

This week my Candy Crush is a celebratory limited edition from Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle. Before we get to that, let’s talk about the brand for a second. Celebrating 20 years this year, Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle is perhaps the most important and game-changing perfume brand to launch this side of the millennium. From its launch in 200, Malle brought a unique point of view to the industry and a revolutionary approach that put both the perfume, and the perfumer at the very centre of everything. Malle set the tone and standard for all other niche brands that followed.

It was a breath of fresh air, or maybe fresh perfume.

Goldfield and Banks is a unique perfume brand. Their ethos focuses on a fusion of Australian materials, some of which have seldom been used in perfumery before, and a French approach to perfume creation. The results are contemporary and exciting, with some surprising twists along the way. Botanical beauty is the approach and each of their fragrances are incredibly wearable, as well as showcasing a unique point of view.

Bohemian Lime is the latest launch from the brand and it takes inspiration from Byron Bay, the tropical and free-spirited coastal town where, as the brand evocatively puts it, “Australia first meets the sun”. The fragrance, which Goldfield & Banks call “carefree” and “lush” is an ode to the Australian finger lime, with herbal accents of coriander, warm woods and vetiver. Let’s take a sniff and see whether it’s as delightfully refreshing as it sounds!

What perfume would the Mona Lisa wear? What would she smell like? What is behind that enigmatic smile? The popularity of the Mona Lisa is the fact that it leaves so much unsaid – for years people have wondered who she is (although it is now pretty much agreed who the subject of the painting is), what she was thinking and why this, of all paintings, is the most famous in the world. All good questions to ponder, if you ask me.

Niche brand Histoires de Parfums appear to have their curiosity piqued by Ms. Mona too, and they’ve taken the enigma that is the Mona Lisa and tried to capture her essence in perfume form. The name ‘7753‘ refers to the dimensions of the painting – “a hidden number for a hidden smile” as the brand puts it – and the scent aims to recreate the emotion of the subject. Whether that rings true or not, I can confirm (spoiler alert) that it is a cracking tuberose that I’ve been enjoying immensely!

It’s Friday, which means it’s time for another episode of Fume Chat – the perfume podcasted hosted by The Candy Perfume Boy and Nick Gilbert. Episode 3 is all about bergamot. You see, at Fume Chat, we really love bergamot, it’s true. But what is it? How is it used in perfumery? And why is it so prolific in the perfumes we smell? Find out all of the answers to these questions and to many questions you’d not even asked in our latest episode. Oh and we also sniff some of our fave bergamot scents too!

Men should wear roses. This is a fact – a non-negotiable reality and I will not be considering any other viewpoint at this time. In truth, men do wear roses, especially in the Middle East, where such things are the norm however, over here I think there’s a touch of reluctance for many men to consider wearing something that leans feminine. Toxic masculinity’s a bitch, right? Anyway, Maison Francis Kurkdjian want to make rose-wearing acceptable for the menfolk – to give them the power to wear a rose – and their latest launch, L’Homme À la Rose is a great start on this noble quest for rosiness.

Created as a masculine counterpart to Kurkdjian’s popular À la Rose, L’Homme is described by the brand as a “free interpretation of rose“. It is not the brand’s first masculine rose (the first being Lumière Noire Pour Homme) but it’s perhaps their most intriguing, presenting the masculine rose in a fresh guise that does not shy away from being pretty. That’s right, gents can (and should) feel pretty too and I have a good feeling that L’Homme À la Rose may be just the scent to help with that.