The Candy Perfume Boy's Guide to Lily
The Candy Perfume Boy’s Guide to Lily

The Candy Perfume Boy’s ‘Guide to…‘ series is an award winning fragrant exploration of the individual notes that make up the vast and multi-dimensional spectrum that is the world of perfume. In each episode, we take a detailed look at a particular ingredient, analysing its odour profile and the ‘must sniff’ perfumes that serve as reference examples within the genre.

Last time we took a look at the humble Violet, and other excursions in the series have seen us delve into the worlds of; the vampish Tuberose, the dreamy Lavender, the prolific Oud, the delicious Chocolate and the incandescent Orange Blossom. If you have any suggestions of what notes or genres you would like to see next then please let me know in the comments box below.

For this latest instalment in the ‘Guide to…’ series, we will be exploring the universe of the lily. I have always felt a great sense of warmth towards lilies – they’re a flamboyant flower, decked out in unmissable colours and usually exuding a ‘knock you off your feet’ volume, and range of smell. These are flowers that demand to be noticed and thrive off attention. They share with you their beauty and all they ask in return is that you sit up and take notice.

Perfume Pic of the Week No.11
Perfume Pic of the Week No.11: Etat Libre d’Orange La Cologne

Etat Libre d’Orange is easily one of my favourite perfume brands. I adore their punkish, renegade and often rude approach to perfume and unlike so many niche houses their gimmick comes with a ton of substance, meaning that the vast majority of their scents are unique and expertly crafted. Their offerings range from the fascinating yet vile Sécrétions Magnifiques to the heartbreaking beauty of The Afternoon of a Faun, and all that is in between pretty much rocks too.

With their rebellious past in mind, it is interesting to see that their upcoming launch for May 2014 ‘La Cologne‘ (or ‘Cologne‘ as it also seems to be named) is billed as “a nice scent”. Very few details about the scent are known, but one can’t help but wonder whether those punky rebels over at the Orange Free State are turning over a new leaf, one where they wish to accomodate the tastes of all perfume lovers, even those that prefer something a little bit cleaner.

Perfume Pic of the Week: The Meditative Rose by Salvador Dalí
Perfume Pic of the Week: The Meditative Rose by Salvador Dalí

In a weird case of serendipity I have been in the mood to do things on a regular basis over the last week; wear rose perfumes and stare at Salvador Dalí’s 1958 work ‘The Meditative Rose. The painting captures the ethereal beauty of the rose, floating high in the sky, casting a tranquil scene that aptly sums up how I feel about rosy fragrances within my collection.

I’ve always seen roses as having a soft and calming presence and much like the two small figures in Dalí’s painting I find myself feeling quite contemplative when wearing any perfume with roses. Over the last week I’ve been relying heavily on Montale’s Black Aoud, a perfume that pairs the sharpness of leather and oud with the most powdery of roses. It’s exotic but comforting and allows one to shroud oneself in a red blanket, which is especially handy in this weather.

Movember Masculines Part 3 - Dior Homme
Movember Masculines Part 3 – Dior Homme

So Movember comes to an end and as another week of mo-growing passes my column over at Escentual takes a lot at another important masculine fragrance that represents just one facet of the modern man. This week’s scent is Dior Homme, a scent that many readers will be familiar with and whilst it may seem like an obvious choice, due in part to its high critical acclaim, it is most definitely worthy of the spotlight.

Dior Homme represents the sensitive man of today. It’s a highly stylish fragrance that speaks of well-groomed and sharply dressed young chaps, but it is by no means a vapid fashion scent for the masses. The softness of feminine notes makes Homme a truly interesting and comfortable fragrance amongst a sea of dull aquatics and faux-wood affairs. It is simply remarkable. Do click on the image above to read this week’s column.

In addition to this, for the very final week I’ve taken a look at the more contemporary and more than a little bit unusual ‘Fat Electrician’ by Etat Libre d’Orange. This is a John Waters, pencil-thin moustache of a fragrance and is also one of the most intriguing vetivers one can buy. Please click on the image just below the jump to view.

Extra! Extra! Read All About It! The Apopcornalypse is Nigh!
Extra! Extra! Read All About It! The Apopcornalypse is Nigh!

Extra! Extra! Read All About It! The Apopcornalypse is Nigh! That’s right, you heard me – ‘The Apopcornalypse’. The human race has long fantasised and obsessed over the end of days, having written, sung and even created movies about it. Now it’s time for the perfume world to join in and represent their version of the apocalypse through the medium of olfaction.

The punky pop art perfumer lovers over at Etat Libre d’Orange (in collaboration with perfume Quentin Bisch) have created their perfumed version of doomsday – the aptly named ‘La Fin du Monde’ (The End of the World) – centered around the slightly baffling note of popcorn, and for Escentual this week I have put together my thoughts on this judgment day scent.

If that doesn’t convince you to head on over to Escentual (by clicking the image above) then perhaps I should say that they are also giving away 5 x 50ml bottles of La Fin du Monde in a special competition. So hurry up, you’ve got a review to read, a competition to enter and a comment to leave! Let me know your thoughts.

I is For ‘I Do’…

I have weddings on the brain at the moment, mainly for two reasons: firstly, this week’s Escentual post (click on the image above to view) takes a look at some fragrances suitable for rocking on the ‘big day’ for both brides and grooms; and secondly, because after what seems like a million years being engaged, Nigel and I have finally set a date for our big gay wedding.

We are both incredibly excited about exchanging our vows next May and are finding ourselves to be surprisingly organised in terms of planning everything – we’ve picked our outfits (matching, obviously), the theme, the best man and woman, the cake, the venue and pretty much everything else. There is however, one small detail that we have not been able to agree on as yet – the wedding scents.

We have just under 11 months until the big day and I think we’re going to need most of that to make a decision. Do we go for something old? Something new? Something blue? OK, maybe we won’t go for anything blue (there will be no Bleu de Chanel at my wedding thank you very much) but there is an interesting decision to be made in terms of whether the perfumes should be new – in order to create a scented association with the day – or whether they should be old and already hold a significant amount of sentimental value.

E is for Etat Libre d’Orange

In continutation of my A-Z for Escentual.com today’s post focuses on the naughty world of Etat Libre d’Orange. From the weird and wonderful to the downright disgusting Etat Libre d’Orange is a brand that never fails to shock, surprise and wow with their range of exciting and unique perfumes.

Click on the image above to head over to the Escentual Blog and read about my favourite picks from one of my most loved brands.

The Afternoon of a Faun
Nijinksy’s The Afternoon of the Faun

The best perfumes are those that have a transportive quality. They take you to another place in space or time, linking back to often forgotten memories or cementing themselves as catalysts for new memories. Perfume is often referred to as “liquid emotion” because of this ability to conjure up the past and one often finds that a single spritz is all that is needed to play out forgotten moments right in front of your nose.

I grew up in a small village surrounded by fields, farmland and woods so much of my formative years was spent exploring the countryside, climbing trees and getting as muddy as possible with my siblings. To this day I don’t think there is anything quite like the smell of an English wood; the cool, damp of earth, the fusty wetness of moss and sweet, mineralic quality of tree bark. It is the smell of childhood.

Those punky rebels at Etat Libre d’Orange in collaboration with performance artist Mx Justin Vivian Bond and perfumer Ralf Schwieger have created a perfume that captures the spirit of a forest walk. Named The Afternoon of a Faun after Nijinksy’s controversial ballet, the theme of the fragrance is the “relationship between the suggestive fantasy and seductive reality” [1] and what better genre of fragrance to explore suggestion, fantasy, seduction and reality than the classic chypre?

Candies 2012
The Candies 2012

I can’t believe it but it’s the end of 2012 already, which means that it’s time for us perfume bloggers to put together our lists of the very best and very worst perfumes of the year, honestly, where did the time go?! This year I’m affectionately entitling my awards ‘The Candies’ as a short, punchy alternative to The Candy Perfume Boy Awards. Neat huh?

Across all genres there have been many interesting, exciting and unique perfumes unleashed on to the market along with the usual amount of celebrity dreck, dud flankers and down-right-bizarre niche offerings. All-in-all it’s been a busy year with over 1,300 launches. Impressive but exhausting!

Below you will find my awards for Best Masculine, Best Feminine and Best Unisex Fragrances for both niche and mainstream houses. In addition to this I’ve also included awards for Best Flanker, Best Celebrity Fragrance and Best Ad Campaign. But we’re not just celebrating the very best of perfumery in 2012 here, no sir, we’re also highlighting the very worst with the Sour Candy Award, reserved solely for the naffest perfume of the year.

So I hope you’re wearing your very best frock (or tux for the boys, or frock if you prefer, it’s up to you really) and sipping on some fine Champagne as The Candies 2012 are underway…