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More! More! More! That’s what we want! Give us more!

Us greedy perfume lovers are very lucky because the perfume industry serves us up an all you can smell buffet with every kind of fragrance imaginable. There are fresh aperitifs, rich main courses evocative of exotic cuisines, and not to mention the desserts – oh the deserts! The perfumery dessert cart is filled with chocolate parfaits, rose macrons and candy floss knickerbockerglory sundaes. What’s more, this entire buffet is endless and brands are constantly us up more – more in the form of new treats, all for our insatiable appetite for scent.

This need for more doesn’t just apply to the volume of scent though, no, it also extends to the intensity of the fragrances we wear and one can guarantee that, when a brand launches a popular scent there will be an ‘intense’ or ‘extreme’ version that follows. Often, these flankers can be a little bit superfluous but sometimes they can do something really wonderful by giving more of the scented goodness that made the original so good. A perfect example of an ‘extreme’ done well is the new Straight to Heaven Extreme from By Kilian, which takes the booze and woods of the original, and intensifies them, resulting in something utterly excessive.

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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.

Every year Jo Malone London treats us to a quirky limited edition collection that explores an intriguing aspect of perfumery. To date we’ve enjoyed an entire tea party, taken a stroll through a herb garden and rocked the ages, amongst many other things. These collections are always really fun and they’re where Jo Malone London really stretches its olfactory legs, almost as if they get to test out their crazier ideas in these low-risk limited editions.

This year Jo Malone London brings us English Fields, a collection of five fragrances inspired by, and evocative of, cereals and grains. Created by perfumer Mathilde Bijaoui, who says that “to have cereals and grains as the main focus is a first” for her and that this is “somewhere in perfumery [she] has never been before“, English Fields is a celebration of a savoury style of gourmand that is not usually explored within perfumery. Across these five fragrances, Jo Malone London gets bready, grainy and a little bit yeasty, presenting new and intriguing facets, all housed within the most handsome pastel shaded bottles dipped in matt, concrete-esque paint.

Let’s sniff through this quirky little collection…

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I love Prada. I think their fragrance output is one of the most consistent, both in terms of quality and when it comes to projecting a strong house identity. You can smell a Prada fragrance and know that it’s a Prada, and this comes down to two key elements; Daniela Andrier as the unofficial house perfumer (who has created the entirety of the collection); and the key ingredient of orris. Combined, these two elements make a Prada fragrance by crafting a house signature that is distinct, luxurious and beautiful. Whatever they do, whether that be a classic like Infusion d’Iris or a contemporary like Candy, Prada never compromises its signature, nor its quality.

Speaking of signatures, Prada launched their flagship fragrances La Femme & L’Homme Prada in 2016. They have since become staples of the brand, epitomising the Prada woman and man. After receiving the intense treatment last year, La Femme & L’Homme are now subject to the ‘l’eau’ treatment, resulting in two fragrances that take a lighter approach. We have one which is a golden, sparkling floral and another that stretches iris powder into something fresh and cool. Both smell absolutely great and show just how versatile that inimitable Prada signature is.

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Happy Valentine’s Day! What better way to celebrate than with a review of a perfume housed within a bottle shaped like a pink heart, eh?

I’ll be perfectly honest and say that when I first became aware of the Australian niche brand Map of the Heart a few years back, I didn’t feel particularly enthused. Here’s just another gimmicky niche brand, I thought – all bottle and no substance. But as we all know, one should not be so judgemental when it comes to perfume because there is always the potential to be surprised! Anyway, Map of the Heart is based on the premise that our hearts are the centre of all we are – as the brand says “our heart is everything pure, good and evil. It aches, it desires, it is who we are.” Map of the Heart is a journey exploration of humankind through the medium olfaction, with six fragrances to date, each one representing a different aspect of humanity (freedom, valour, passion, peace, darkness etc.). Each fragrance is housed within a bottle that takes the anatomical form of the human heart – a flacon designed by the legendary bottle designer Pierre Dinard, no less – the man behind the vessels for Opium, Obsession, Cheap & Chic, and Rive Gauche!

Map of the Heart’s latest fragrances is Pink Heart v.6 and it represents the heart of ecstasy. The brand describes it as “a scent of the imagination and is at once hallucinogenic and hypnotic”. Pink Heart centres on the note of narcissus, presenting an experience that is “narcotic” and “hyper-real”. Having sniffed all of the scents in the collection, Pink Heart strikes me as the boldest and most vivid, but also the most fun. It’s an opulent, excessive fragrance that takes a note so usually associated with glamour and darkness, and spray paints it in the cutest shade of baby pink. So without further ado, lets get to the heart of the matter (bad pun – sorry) and give Pink Heart a big old sniff.

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ALIEN FLORA FUTURA has landed! After an exhausting intergalactic trip from its home planet – a lush world filled with pink flora and fauna, this latest extraterrestrial in the ALIEN collection has arrived, and it comes in peace. Now, if you’ve read this blog before you will know that I am a MUGLER fanboy and that ALIEN is one of my all-time favourite scents, so this flanker is very likely to be something I am very interested in. Anyway, let’s face it, when it comes to fragrance flankers, nobody does ’em better than MUGLER. No Sir, so I think it’s fair to say that there are high expectations all round. High. Expectations.

FLORA FUTURA is described by MUGLER as a “new, fresh and sparkling fragrance with an enveloping floral scent”. As the blush pink quartz bottle may suggest, this is an entirely new type of ALIEN – one that is divergent from the original, taking its spirit but interpreting it in an entirely new olfactory guise. This is not the ALIEN you are expecting but with MUGLER one is to expect the unexpected and with this latest instalment, MUGLER promises a counterbalance to their solar goddess – a fragrance that is more of a lunar nymph. This is ALIEN FLORA FUTURA.

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I don’t usually make a big thing of Valentine’s Day. In fact, you’d probably be hard-pressed to find much Valentine’s Day-related content here on this blog! There’s no particular reason for this, I guess I’m just for celebrating and sharing the love every single day, not just once per year. But Valentine’s Day is a good opportunity just to send a little bit of a reminder to someone, to let them know that you love them. We all get bogged down in the humdrum normativity of everyday life and we sometimes forget to take a moment to make our special person feel, well, special. So Valentine’s Day is here for that: to let someone know that you love them, and that can only be a good thing.

What better way can there be to say ‘I love you’ than with the gift of fragrance?  None, I tell you. None! Fragrance is such a generous gift. It’s thoughtful, luxurious and incredibly personal. Of course, you could always just get someone their favourite fragrance to top them up but isn’t that a little bit boring? Isn’t Valentine’s Day for being a little bit adventurous and treating your loved one to something new? Something freshly launched? I certainly think so! With that in mind I’ve put together a very quick gift guide (because it’s not long until 14 Feb now, let’s face it) of three fragrances you may want to consider for your loved ones, whether they be a guy, a gal or not fussy about gender labels on their fragrances. So read on for some scented Valentine’s Day gift inspiration!

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In the somewhat limited lexicon of perfume description, one relies quite heavily on the concept of character when attempting to translate odour into words. I’ll often find myself personifying a fragrance, bringing in characters from popular culture to best describe the spirit of a scent. Heck, I’ve even done it the other way round and have paired scents with famous characters. Perfume can convey the attitude, emotion and style of a character – characters that resonate with us and allow us to identify with a perfume. These character-filled scents are the ones that lead us to spritz something on and declare it “just so me”.

St Giles is an exciting new brand that understands the character of perfume. So much so, in fact, that their debut collection consists of five personalities in olfactory form. From the mind of Michael Donovan, a luxury PR legend, St Giles brings us The Tycoon, The Actress, The Mechanic, The Stylist, and the subject of today’s review: The Writer. These five fragrances were created to “stimulate and amplify the many different aspects of our character” celebrating “the parts that make us who we are, fusing the reality and the fantasy”. They are five characters one wants to get to know – each translated into perfume form by the incomparable Bertrand Duchaufour – and whilst they are all beautiful, The Writer is the standout. So let’s sniff.