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)

“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”.

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!

 

I’m always crushing on something scented or other. My nose knows no limits. Candy Crush is where I showcase the beautifully scented things I’m crushing on right now so you can hopefully develop a crush too.

It’s been over 25 years since MUGLER launched ANGEL, their divisive flagship perfume. Since then the signature ANGEL accord of patchouli and vanilla has been copied thousands of times over, birthing the likes of Coco Mademoiselle (CHANEL) and Flowerbomb (Viktor & Rolf) amongst many others. MUGLER too, have spent their time reimagining ANGEL, offering up a host of flankers, swirling their flagship scent into gourmand treats ranging from the boozy to the fruity, and all that’s in between.

In 2011, MUGLER launched an Eau de Toilette version of ANGEL (created by Perfumer Amandine Marie) that was lighter and more diluted (but not fresher) than the original. I’m not sure how well this version resonated but I suppose it didn’t feel different enough to really justify its existence. Perhaps MUGLER felt the same because for 2019 they have launched an entirely new ANGEL EDT created by Perfumer Louise Turner. New juice, new bottle, same old ANGEL.

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Prologue

Paris-Riviera is the fourth fragrance to join LES EAUX DE CHANEL, a collection of modern colognes, each inspired by a destination of historical significance to the house’s founder, Gabrielle Chanel. With LES EAUX DE CHANEL, CHANEL say that it is not the destination that matters, but the journey. It is the idea of escaping – of exploring, losing oneself and finding oneself. It’s about traversing unchartered territory and experiencing new things.

1928. Gabrielle Chanel had her vacation villa La Pausa built on the Côte d’Azur, a few years after opening a new boutique in Cannes. With its breathtaking landscapes and exciting lifestyle, the French Riviera had become the new society hotspot. PARIS-RIVIERA evokes this sweetness of life in a floral and solar trail.

– CHANEL

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I’m always crushing on something scented or other. My nose knows no limits. Candy Crush is where I showcase the beautifully scented things I’m crushing on right now so you can hopefully develop a crush too.

I wear Nº5 L’Eau a lot. It’s easily one of my favourite CHANEL fragrances and it gets a huge amount of skin time in comparison to many other things in my vast collection. What I like about L’Eau is how it captures the spirit of Nº5 but has enough of its own character to be its own entity entirely. Nº5 L’Eau is fresh, sparkling, crystalline, luminous, lovely *insert lightweight, gleaming adjectives here* and next to BOY, it is my most worn CHANEL. So, it’s no surprise that I’m crushing on these new Nº5 L’Eau body products now, is it? Nope.

Hermès’ Un Jardin series, which was started by the previous in-house perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena, is an ode to nature that doesn’t necessarily rely on nature to showcase the botanical. Through both natural and synthetic ingredients, the collection takes one on a journey through many gardens around the world, capturing specific and often surprising elements of these landscapes. For Un Jardin En Méditerranée, the piquancy of tomato stems evoke fig trees in a Tunisian garden, whilst in Un Jardin Apres La Mousson paints a watercolour of rainsoaked concrete through melon and spices, creating a mineral, atmospheric beauty. In my favourite, Le Jardin de Monsieur Li,  plasticky notes of kumquat and jasmine create a collage image of an imaginary garden – one that could only exist in the mind. Each of these ‘jardins’ is full of suprise.

Now Hermès has Christine Nagel as their nose and with their latest garden, Un Jardin sur la Lagune, Nagel continues the story. Her first jardin is inspired by a dream – a secret Venetian garden imagined in the deepest part of her subconcious. Nagel describes this garden as a “cycle of trees and flowers, nature still enduring within it”. From an olfactory perspective, la Lagune is a soft aquatic floral pieced together with transparent colours – cooling and warming as the sun moves across this most dreamlike of olfactory gardens.