What do Acqua di Parma’s new fragrance Bergamotto di Calabria La Spugnatura and beloved cartoon icon Spongebob Squarepants have in common? OK, I admit that this is probably not the question you expected to be asked in this review, but bear with me, it’ll make sense, maybe. The answer is simple: they’re both made from sea sponges. What do you mean that doesn’t make sense? Surely it’s obvious? Surely?!

OK, I’ll clear things up for you. La Spugnatura is actually a limited edition version of Acqua di Parma’s popular Bergamotto di Calabria fragrance, which sits within their Blu Mediterraneo collection. What makes this edition different is ‘La Spugnatura’, a traditional and labour-intensive method of extraction which involves, you guessed it, our good friend Spongebob. OK, not Spongebob, but actual sponges. In this process, bergamot fruits are cut and separated from their peel, the peels are then pressed (very carefully) onto sea sponges, which absorb the fruit’s essence. These sponges are then squeezed into terracotta jars. The result is beautiful, brilliant bergamot.

Bergamotto di Calabria La Spugnatura is a limited edition fragrance that features this special bergamot material and because it’s so exceptional, it’s also housed in a gorgeous vessel. For this edition, Acqua di Parma has created a handmade porcelain bottle, adorned with a white and gold bergamot pattern. It’s absolutely beautiful and it really does add to the special feel of this unique, limited edition. But does it smell extraordinary too? Let’s sniff!

Patchouli, patchouli, patchouli! That’s the word of the week over on my Escentual column. I’ve rounded up some of my fave patchouli scent to show you just how versatile (and utterly fabulous) this material can be. Check out the full post over on Escentual.

What’s your favourite patchouli fragrance? Let me know in the comments!

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!

June’s box – New Launches – is now on sale.


Vetiver is a fascinating material. It is, at once, entirely distinct, but also completely versatile, allowing itself to be pulled into various directions – each different, but each distinctly ‘vetiver’. It’s a chameleon in that way, noticeable in its bright greens, browns and yellows, but it has the ability to take on many forms to conceal itself. Vetiver’s versatility comes from its complexity – it has a wonderfully complex odour profile with facets of citrus, grapefruit, smoke, grass, hay, mineral, salt, earth, nut, malted sugar and more. Vetiver is remarkable.

For St. Vetyver, the latest fragrance from super cool indie brand D.S. & DURGA, we are whisked away to a balmy evening in the Caribbean with a vetiver that celebrates the golden, boozy and warm facets of this wonderful material. The brand calls this an “island vetyver” that “pays homage to the famous Caribbean colognes of sailors and lovers of the sea” that boasts a pure aged distillate of vetiver. It all sounds rather exciting and to be honest, they had me at ‘vetiver’, but when they threw some sailors into the mix, I was fully sold on the concept…

So is this a fantasy vetiver that transports us to tropical islands? Let’s find out.

It’s Monday, and you know what that means? It means it’s time for a new IGTV video (if I remember to do so, which I have, in fact, done so today!). This week I’m sniffing five new fragrance launches that you need to know about. They include, something pink and fruity from Moschino, something chic and contemporary from Shiseido, and something jammy and tart from Jo Malone London, plus a few more wonderful things. To watch, click here, or head below the jump for the embedded video! Enjoy!

We’re kicking off a new series on Escentual – it’s called ‘My Life in Perfume’ and in it, we ask people to share the perfumes they have worn throughout their life, from their first perfume, to the perfumes that opened their eyes to what perfumery can be. The first person featured in the series is……me! I share the fragrances that have shaped my life, from my very first loves, to the fragrances I am loving right now (there are a few embarrassing photos thrown in for good measure too). Check it out by clicking here!

In my IGTV video this week, I’ve talking through a selection of scents to wear this spring. For me, spring is all about dusting off the cobwebs of winter and stepping out into the cool air. In this selection you’ll find scents that brings you all of that, with freshness, greenery, floralcy and transparency a plenty. Check it out by clicking here or via the embedded video below!


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 had 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.