Stella Eau de Toilette
Stella Eau de Toilette

Stella, Stella, Stella, how I love thee. It’s true, I do and as far as eponymous signature fragrances go, or woody roses for that matter, Stella is hard to beat. I’m also a bit biased because my sister wears it, but that aside, I’m fully committed to admitting that Stella McCartney’s debut fragrance is a good egg. With that in mind, I was very intrigued to road test the new Eau de Toilette version of Stella, not least because that spotty pink bottle is to die for, but also to see whether it was faithful to the original, and most importantly, whether it was at all necessary.

Stella Eau de Toilette is the centrepiece of my Escentual column this week, in which I sink my teeth into this new scent to ascertain whether it is just ‘Stella Light’ (that sounds like a beer, doesn’t it?) or whether it is something different altogether. To read my review, and the results of this highly scientific analysis, simply click here to head on over to Escentual. If you’ve tried the EdT, or you simply a fan of the original, do please leave a comment either here or there – I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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New from Penhaligon's: Ostara Eau de Toilette
New from Penhaligon’s: Ostara Eau de Toilette (Illustration: Melissa Bailey)

This spring, quintessentially British perfume house, Penhaligon’s will launch ‘Ostara’, the brand’s latest collaboration with venerable perfumer, Bertrand Duchaufour. Charting a fragrant journey of daffodil from “bulb to bud to bloom”, Ostara is described by the brand as a “modern interpretation” of an “incandescent flower”.

“An iconic feature of the British countryside, the daffodil symbolises the optimism and revival of spring. In 1802, the distinguished poet William Wordsworth wrote about a sea of daffodils in his poem, ‘I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud’. Excerpts have been included on the outer packaging of the fragrance to reflect the radiance of the flower.”

Vintage Shalimar Eau de Toilette
Perfume Pic of the Week: Vintage Shalimar Eau de Toilette

So it’s a brand new year and after a short break its time to get one’s nose firmly back to the grindstone (booo!). This year I am hoping to be more dedicated to regular posts on The Candy Perfume Boy after a slightly turbulent 2013, with reviews and routine instalments in my ‘Scent a Celebrity‘, ‘Guide to‘ and ‘Desert Island Sniffs‘ series. I’ll also be sharing my weekly Escentual column and updates on the hunt for my wedding scent with you – all-in-all, I hope for it to be a very exciting year!

One new addition to The Candy Perfume Boy’s roster in 2014, is the ‘Perfume Pic of the Week’. Starting today and running every Monday, I hope that this visual feature allows us to connect more and discuss all elements of perfume ranging from new and exciting launches to perfume advertising, bottles from my collection and anything else that is smelly and intriguing.

The inaugural Perfume Pic of the Week is an image of some vintage Shalimar Eau de Toilette I picked up in Tesco of all places (other supermarkets are available). My online snooping dates it as being from the late ’90s/early ’00s, but if you have a better estimate then please say. I’ve included the Shalimar here because a vintage purchase is most unusual for me, simply because I avoid the chase for vintage formulations as a general rule of thumb.

The Spirit of Chanel
The Spirit of Chanel

Never underestimate the power of Birgit of Olfactoria’s Travels. Having tried Chanel’ N°22 many times along my perfumista escapades I had never really found the love for it that I, and others thought I would. I mean it is a big aldehydic floral, and I’m sort-of into that kind of thing (OK, I love that kind of thing), but no N°22 never seemed to grab me, that was until an ever-persevering Birgit slipped a sample (and a number of hints, in an entirely non-pushy way I should add*) my way.

Now I will just put it out there that I have learned to love N°22, to me it epitomises the spirit of Chanel. It’s classy and elegant, but just that little bit rebellious. But whilst I enjoy it, I’m just not sure I’ll ever be running out to buy a bottle, my feelings very much lay in the ‘oh wow this is great but I don’t think I need it’ camp. That said, I am still definitely making my mind up about it and if there is one thing I have learned being a fumeophile it is that one should ‘never say never’!

N°22 was originally released in 1922, created by Chanel in-house perfumer Ernest Beaux (he of N°5 fame) it was intended as a lighter version of N°5. Chanel describes N°22 as “a skin scent […] full of grace […] (that) also bears the imprint of their (Chanel & Beaux’s) audacity.” N°22 now sits within the Les Exclusifs de Chanel line and I would probably rate it as my favourite Les Exclusif offering so far.

Insolence

“This extreme freedom, indifference to commentary, spontaneity and even her excesses make her magnificent. She is who she is; she is irresistibly set against prejudice and convention and is unafraid to be unreasonable. Her motto: whoever loves me will follow!”  [1]

One thing that I absolutely pride myself upon is that when it comes to perfume the subject of gender means absolutely nothing to me. I’m as happy rocking YSL’s ‘so masculine it’ll put hairs on your chest’ M7 as I am splashing on Robert Piguet’s oestrogen-fuelled Fracas. But there is one perfume so feminine that even I, yes I with the pink stripy blog think twice about before spraying on. That perfume is Guerlain’s Insolence.

I’m not saying that I don’t wear it, that would be silly and against everything I have ever said about perfume and gender, but I do really have to be in the mood for it and there have been times when I’ve felt just a little self-conscious/Candy Perfume Girl-ish whilst wearing it. Insolence is unapologetic in its femininity, and why should it apologise? Insolence is a girl that knows what she wants and most importantly she knows how to have a good time.

Insolence, which was created by the great Maurice Roucel no less, was released in 2006 and is a fruity floral with a difference – it actually smells good. Roucel presented Insolence as an essay on Guerlain’s L’Heure Bleue, taking the classic anisic gourmand iris and giving it a modern twist. The result is an intelligent, yet ridiculously ditzy (how’s that for an oxymoron?) perfume that smells current whilst giving a firm nod to Guerlain’s esteemed heritage.

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…