With the pandemic, testing fragrances has become much harder. Many of us cannot go to shops to test perfumes (or understandably, we do not want to) and even if we do go into a shop, getting hold of a perfume tester isn’t easy. There are a lot of barriers in the way and at Escentual, we want to make it so much easier for people to explore our range of fragrances. So, enter #EscentualScents – a monthly discovery box (curated by yours truly) that you can purchase to explore the world of fragrance. We are so excited!
Brioni is a brand known for effortless Roman chic and elegant tailoring. It has a certain ease to it – you know, that simple, stylish quality that Italian men just have? That’s Brioni. The brand has has a number of fragrances over the years (all discontinued) and for 2021 they are launching a new signature fragrance: Brioni Eau de Parfum. To create this new signature, Brioni partnered with the Lalique group and worked with Robertet perfumer Michel Almairac (who has his own brand Parle Moi de Parfum), who pieced together a perfume with “few raw materials“. The result is a simple and elegant perfume that feels perfectly on brand.
I’m going to start this review by telling you that Brioni Eau de Parfum, had absolutely no right being this good. Yes, I know that’s a massive spoiler for how this review is going to go, but hey, I can’t always keep you hooked on suspense can I? So often, mainstream masculine fragrances are cheap, dull, derivative, or all of the above, which leads one to approach something like Brioni without much excitement, but let’s just say now that it is absolutely none of those things – in fact, I’d say it was luxurious, satisfying and stylish, and definitely a cut above its contemporaries.
It’s been a while since I did one of this new fragrance round-ups, so here is a selection of a few things that have launched during the first part of the year that are of interest. They include: H24 by Hermès, Osmanthe Kodōshān by Maison Crivelli, Molecule + by Eccentric Molecules, and more! Check it out by clicking here or via the embedded video below the jump!
I’ve always had an affection for Escentric Molecules as a brand. In particular, I appreciate how they’ve demystified perfume in ways that very few brands have. By offering up single materials alongside perfumes that explore those same materials in traditional compositions, Escentric Molecules (which is the brain child of perfumer Geza Schoen) has gone a long way to educate consumers about what they’re smelling. I like that – I get so tired of the bullshit in perfumery – of the mystery and magic marketed by brands who tell us their fragrances contain rare essences plucked from the butt cheeks of unicorns during a full moon….
Instead of cloak and dagger unicorn-related BS, Escentric Molecules presents something much more honest and authentic. It’s a straight talking brand from a perfumer who absolutely speaks his mind. So yes, it’s a brand I like and one that I find myself reaching for quite often, because not only are their fragrances intriguing (I love Escentric 04, 05 and Molecule 03 and 05, FYI) they’re also incredibly wearable.
If you don’t know the brand, you might still have heard of Molecule 01. This phenomenally successful fragrance, which outsells most fragrances in any store it is stocked, is simply one material diluted in alcohol. That material is Iso E Super, a warm, woody material that adds smoothness and depth when combined with other ingredients. The fact that Iso E Super plays so well with others is the inspiration for Molecule +, a new collection that explores how Iso E Super reacts when paired with another material, specifically a natural ingredient.
H24 is the first masculine pillar fragrance to be launched by Hermès since Terre d’Hermès in 2006. I think we can all agree that those are some pretty big shoes to fill and I’m sure Christine Nagel, Hermès’ in-house perfumer, did not approach the task lightly – standing in the shadow of Jean-Claude Ellena’s modern classic must be somewhat daunting! But, Nagel seems unphased by such things and much like Ellena before her, she seems determined to put her own stamp on the olfactory style of Hermès. What was once cerebral, water colour and delicate, is now full-bodied (Myrrh Eglantine), whimsical (Twilly) and modern (L’Ombre des Merveilles). It’s a big shift and H24 is a great example of how Hermès as a perfume brand has changed since its perfumer evolution.
H24 is described by Hermès as the “olfactory expression of the contemporary man, in motion, agile, vibrant, and in perfect symbiosis with his environment.” Nagel has talked about how she was inspired by Hermès’ artistic director of menswear, Véronique Nichanian, and the creative overlaps in their work, especially their individual relationship with materials. H24 intends to reflect the innovation and technical expertise found within Hermès’ modern menswear collections, using classic materials, both natural and synthetic, to create a signature for the man that wears Hermès today. Terre d’Hermès is Jean-Claude Ellena’s vision of the Hermès man in 2006 and H24 is Nagel’s in 2021. As one would expect, they are two entirely different visions.
Thank the heavens that winter is over – and what a winter. We went back into lockdown here (our third) in December, just before Christmas, and we’re still in it. Like many others, I’ve found this last lockdown much harder. I’ve taken solace and comfort in perfume, as always, so in my latest IGTV video I take a look back at the scents I wore in Winter 2020/21. Check it out by clicking here or via the embedded video below the jump!
Trend alert: the note du jour for perfume brands at the moment is osmanthus. This humble little flower, which possesses a very complex and unique odour profile, whilst also appearing sunny and pretty to look at, is working its way into many fragrances, both mainstream and niche. But what is it? What does it smell like? Why is it having a moment? And where can you smell it? Well, read on to find out…