Speed Sniff
Speed Sniff

There are so many fragrance launches each year it’s difficult to write about them all. Speed Sniffs is a way to bring you to the point reviews fragrances that are quick and easy to digest. After all, sometimes all one needs is a few lines to capture the essence of a scent. Speed Sniffs are perfume reviews without all of the faff and tell you whether the subject is something you want to sniff or not. So hurry up and read, because we don’t have much time…

Luxury goods brand Coach have overhauled their fragrance collection and it now consists of two pillars: Coach for Her and Coach for Him. There’s something rather clean and tidy about offering two fragrances and it seems like Coach have worked hard to ensure that their feminine and masculine pillar fragrances represent the spirit of the brand. They’ve worked with top notch perfumers and have even incorporated suede, a material so vital to the brand, in each of their fragrances. So the two scents from Coach are perfectly on brand.

Coach for Men, the masculine of the pair launched this summer and was created by perfumers Anne Flipo (MyQueen by Alexander McQueen and Basil & Neroli by Jo Malone London) and Bruno Jovanovic (Dries van Noten and Monsieur. by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle). It’s a fragrance “inspired by mavericks, rebels and all-American dreamers” and fronted by Actor/Director/Artist James Franco, which all sounds very interesting so let’s put it to the speed sniff test!

Solaris by Vanacci
Solaris by Vanacci

I’m always open to new and exciting ways to wear fragrance – methods that add to or change the standard way to wear scent, which is to spray (because dabbing is waste of everybody’s time, let’s face it). Of course there are many gimmicks out there and it is really difficult to beat a good old spray (or ten) but every now and then a decent alternative comes along that either changes the way one wears fragrance, or at the very least enhances it.

I was recently contacted by Vanacci, a British Company who make a range of scented jewellery, in addition to many other luxury accessories for men. Now, the idea of fragrant accessories isn’t entirely new and many niche fragrance brands offer some form of scented wearable, whether that be the high end jewels with scentable ceramic inserts of By Kilian or the scent-soaked leather bracelets offered by Maison Francis Kurkdjian. But what makes Vanacci different is their affordability, in addition to the fact that they use a special porous material called ‘Lockstone’ which absorbs fragrance and slowly releases it throughout the day. The idea is to have a fashionable accessory that carries with it, the scent of your favourite fragrance. Colour me intrigued!

What struck me about Vanacci’s Lockstone collection is just how attractive it is – the products, which include bracelets, cufflinks and pendants across a number of capsule collections are handsome and streamlined. They’ve managed to create scented jewellery that is simple and unobtrusive, and that can be paired with any outfit. In particular though, my eyes were drawn to the Solaris bracelets, which I must say, were particularly eye-catching. So, to put Vanacci to the test I trialled two of their Solaris bracelets over a few days so see whether; a) they really were as stylish as they looked; and b) they hit the mark as a suitably scented accessory. Let’s see how they faired…

Episode Two is Here!
Episode Two is Here!

If you enjoyed Episode One of Fume Chat then you’ll be pleased to know that second episode of the perfumed podcast hosted by Nick Gilbert and Me is ready to download. Episode Two is our first ‘Battle of the Bottles’ and we go head-to-head to duel our favourite fragrances from the Japanese-French fashion house, Comme des Garçons. Who will be victorious? Well, you’ll have to tune-in to find out! Click here to find Episode two on iTunes and here for a SoundCloud link.

The Marni Fragrance Collection
The Marni Fragrance Collection

Cast your mind back to 2012 when Italian fashion label Marni launched their first and eponymous fragrance, ‘Marni‘. Created by perfumer Daniela Andrier, the nose behind many of Prada’s most recent offerings, this debut fragrance opted to be a little bit subversive and create something that was both playful and practical, capturing the spirit of the brand whilst remaining relatively commercial. The result is a vibrant, spicy rose scent that stands out amongst the many others of its kind, due to its quality and effervescence.

Now, bring yourself back to the present day and let’s discuss ‘Marni Spice‘ the latest addition to the Marni fragrance collection, which includes the original scent and one other flanker called ‘Marni Rose‘. Much like the Marni Rose that precedes it, this latest edition has been created as a “new interpretation of the original bouquet”,  this time showcasing the spicier facets of the Marni signature. The brand describe the fragrance as a “lively and spontaneous dialogue between strength and delicacy”, and that seems fitting to me. Marni Spice displays a different kind of vibrancy to the original, hinting at an exciting kind of androgyny.

“Just like Consuelo Castiglioni, as a designer, plays with classical elements, producing unexpected results through an unprecedented balance of proportions, colours, prints and materials, perfumes play with classic elements in unexpected ways. The starting point is the ingredients: sophisticated and precious. Consuelo Castiglioni follows every aspect of the process, editing each fragrance as she would do with the collection for a fashion show”

– Marni

Björk Leaves a 'Surprise' on the Red Carpet
Björk Leaves a ‘Surprise’ on the Red Carpet

I like to scent things. It’s true, I do. Also, it’s The Oscars this weekend so it feels only right that I should tie the two things together. In my Scent a Celebrity Series, I try to pick perfumes that represent the personalities, characters and style of some of my favourite celebrities, whether they be real or fictional. This post is an extension of this idea, of sorts, but instead of looking at the celebrities, I’m casting my fragrant eye over something entirely more important – their fashion.

The Oscars mean one thing – the red carpet. And what does the red carpet bring? Fashion, and lots of it. Like most people, I’m not as fussed about the Awards themselves (although I am rooting for Eddie Redmayne and Julianne Moore for the Best Actor and Best Actress gongs this year) as I am the fashion. I may skip through the ceremony, but you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be tuning in to the red carpet in full, not to mention Fashion Police on the following day to get a full post game analysis of who wore what, and whether it was good, bad or ugly.

So, in anticipation of some truly awesome red carpet fashion this weekend (those celebrities better not disappoint), I have put together six of my favourite iconic Oscar looks (I couldn’t settle on five) and have scented them with some decadently glam fragrances to match. It’s all about to get a bit ‘Hollywood’ up in here, so get the popcorn on, throw on your most glamorous onesie and get set to enjoy some truly high-fashion red carpet and perfume moments.

Anglomania
“Anglomania is quite a blowsy scent, a fact that is only emphasised by the quite, erm, ‘breasty’ advertising image.”

Vivienne Westwood is the epitome of British eccentricity. A self-taught designer, mother of punk and general, all round odd ball, Westwood put British fashion on the map and her mixture of shabby chic and unusual tailoring has proved to be timeless.

Dame Viv has released five fragrances (not including flankers); Boudoir, Libertine *, Anglomania *, Let it Rock * and Naughty Alice, three of which have since been discontinued. If I’m being perfectly honest the fragrances from the line have been a mixed bag, Boudoir is a great, slightly filthy chypre, Libertine is a pretty decent floral citrus (it used to be a favourite of mine until my tastes developed), Let it Rock was a dreadful oriental and don’t get me started on Naughty Alice…..Anglomania is the best and most interesting of the bunch.

Anglomania is named after Westwood’s recurring collection of the same name and the scent is intended to evoke “Asian intensity with British heritage” [1]. It was released in 2004 and was created by the great Domique Ropion (Carnal Flower, Alien, Geranium Pour Monsieur to name but a few), it does exactly what it says on the tin.

Elie Saab Le ParfumElie Saab Le Parfum is the first perfume to be released by Lebanese fashion designer Elie Saab. It was composed by Francis Kurkdjian (Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male, Narciso Rodriguez For Her and Juliette Has a Gun Lady Vengeance etc) and is billed as a Woody Floral.

Ellie Saab Le Parfum is described as an ‘ode to light’.

From the Press Release:

“Composed as an ode to light, ELIE SAAB Le Parfum celebrates the splendor and the brilliance of radiant femininity with a floral solar woody theme. The permanent exchange between flowers and wood is what gives the fragrance such captivating resonance.”

This week my good friend Cara and I will be teaming up to create a special fragrant event as part of her Instability-in-Stability project. During the event we will both be discussing our scented memories as teenagers. Thinking about the subject matter I thought it would be apt to review the first fragrance that I fell in love with, the one that started the obsession; Kingdom by Alexander McQueen.

At the tender age of 16 (it feels so long ago now), I wasn’t really fussed about fragrance, I would wear generic ‘boy’ fragrances such as Hugo Boss and Paul Smith and the fragrances I wore were normally gifted to me by relatives. That was, until Kingdom came along…

Perfume and fashion go hand in hand in so many ways. The majority of major fashion houses have their own perfume lines and there are a number of scents that are inspired by clothing (No 5 & La Petite Robe Noire etc). One of the big ways fashion and perfume intertwine is through the search for vintage.

Vintage is huge in the fashion industry, fashionistas will search high and low to find that perfect vintage piece from Oscar de la Renta or Chanel. Perfumistas are the same, some will trawl through page after page on eBay trying to find just a few drops of vintage Miss Dior.