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So here we are, on the very last day of 2018! This year has been an odd one – the world feels as if it is collapsing in on itself and for that reason, it has been quite stressful. Personally and professionally it has been turbulent – lots of great ups and some downs too. So it’s nice to do something as frivolous as focus on the best and worst perfume of the year.

That’s right, it’s time for my annual Candies – my virtual award show for the greatest and the, err, not so greatest perfumes of the year. Here you will find my ten favourite perfumes, with other awards such as Best Flanker and the much-coveted Sour Candy, which is awarded to the worst perfume of the year. So pour yourself a drink, it’s gonna be a long night – JK, you’ll breeze through it in ten minutes, promise.

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There are a few perfume ‘genres’ that I have never really ‘got’: green, woody and amber. Well, with time (and through this blog) I’ve learned to appreciate green and to love woods, but for the most part amber still eludes me. Amber, for those of you not familiar with it, is a blend of benzoin (a balsamic resin obtained from the bark of a number of trees within the Styrax genus), labdanum (a sticky brown resin sourced from shrubs) and vanilla that creates a warm, glowing sweetness that is soft, fluffy and gauzy in texture. It is the backbone of big oriental fragrances such as Shalimar, but it’s also used as a standalone theme in many modern perfumes.

More than being an iconic perfume genre, the amber is also the perfect scent for this cold weather. I like to think of ambers as winter warmers – those gloriously toasty and enveloping scents that get stuck in one’s winter scarf, wafting a hedonistic aura around the wearer. So as the winter draws in, it makes sense for everyone to have an amber in their wardrobe. But what happens when you don’t really like amber? Or, you think that you don’t like amber?

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Tis the season to be jolly, almost, which means one thing and one thing only: Candy Crush becomes Christmas Crush as I share a few of my favourite gift ideas for the upcoming holidays. These are the fragrant things I’d like to find under my tree this year and perhaps, you would too!

Red is the colour of passion, danger, and blood.
The colour of lipstick, anger, and roses.

But now, this Christmas, red is the colour of CHANEL Nº5. Now, I don’t know about you but when I think of the iconic Nº5 my mind instantly moves straight towards the colour gold. Perhaps it’s the amber-coloured juice, or maybe it’s just the olfactory sparkle of the fragrance, but Nº5, to me at least, has always smelled of shimmering flecks of gold. But Nº5 and the colour red red actually have a bit of a history, and more than just a touch of chemistry…