At the back of my childhood home we had a sprawling piece of land that my parents never really did anything with. At time it was vastly overgrown and my siblings and I would have to beat our way through the undergrowth with big sticks to get to the wooden fort my father made for us – our base where all mischievous schemes were planned. As you can imagine, all of this was tremendous fun and I have vivid memories of us playing in the tall grass and weaving in and out of the rows of cow parsley that stood tall along the borders – long stems exploding like floral fireworks out of the ground.
Cow parsley, or “Queen Anne’s Lace” as it is also know, is the inspiration for Miller Harris’ latest fragrance ‘DANCE Amongst the Lace’, which joins WANDER, LOST and HIDDEN in the brand’s Forage Collection. The idea of the collection is to celebrate the idea of nature existing in urban spaces – the interplay between the natural and the man-made. DANCE aims to capture the “surprising freshness and unique scent of cow parsley” – a plant that is found in many of London’s urban spaces. What they’ve created is an incredibly modern and easy-to-wear fougère that is perfect for summer.
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.
A well-fragranced home is an important thing in my book. A scented candle can create a pleasing olfactory ambience for when friends are over for dinner, whilst a room spray can provide scented refreshment to stale air and cover up unpleasant pet or cooking odours. Then there’s the reed diffuser, now these are interesting. I’ve always looked at reed diffusers as the background noise of home fragrance – they provide a fragrant hum in the background, adding a more subtle ambience to a room. These three methods of home fragrance – the candles, room sprays and reed diffusers – can be used together, of course, to compliment and contrast, but it is the reed diffuser that makes for the perfect base layer in one’s home fragrance arsenal.
I am guilty of being both a home fragrance lover and a Miller Harris fanboy, so it was no surprise that when the brand launched their dedicated collection of home fragrances, I was most intrigued. The crown jewel of this collection, which features room sprays (one of which is an aquatic oriental called ‘Periwinkle’ that I must have) to compliment their existing series of candles, is the ceramic reed diffusers. Available in four fragrances (Cadimus – a tuberose, Narcoflor – a huge floral bouquet, Verditer – an ode to figs, and Mossket – an earthy chypre), these diffusers are as much an enviable decorative object as they are a vessel of beautiful fragrance. I was sent Narcoflor to try and it’s officially a Candy Crush!
Miller Harris has had a very busy year – they’ve launched two capsule collections of fragrances: Scherzo x Tenderand Forage (Lost, Wander & Hidden), and to complete the hat trick, they now presents their third collection of fragrances this year: Peau Santal and Powdered Veil. Housed in bottles coated in intriguing shades of pink (baby pink for Powdered Veil and a more ‘nude’ (not a word I like to use because it only represents one type of skin colour, but other descriptors escape me, ‘blush’ maybe?) shade for PeauSantal), these two fragrances celebrate the intimacy and the ritual of glamming up – the lace of dresses, the powder of make-up, and the wood of dressing tables, and wardrobes. They are fragrances with distinct textures, of powder and skin, that arrive perfectly in time for winter. Let’s check them out.
I’ve been a bit naff at putting my Escentual columns up here over the last few weeks, so here’s a quick update!
Miller Harris Forage
Miller Harris have just launched a new collection of three scents that celebrate the clash between the botanical and the urban found in London. The collection is called Forage and consists of three fragrances; Wander Through the Parks, Lost in the City and Hidden on the Roof Tops. You can read my review of ALL THREE by clicking here and heading over to the Escentual blog. Enjoy.
Well that was the year that was! 2017 is finally drawing to a close and I think it would be fair to say that it has been a year unlike any other. Perfume-wise, it has been once again, an incredibly busy year, more so than any other in fact, with a big cohort of mainstream brands launching new pillar fragrances this year – the likes of MUGLER, GUERLAIN, CHANEL (all capitalised for some reason) and Hermès, just to name a few. There have been flankers, celebrity scents, and ridiculous bottles aplenty, making for an interesting and fragrant year.
Seeing as the blog had a total makeover in 2017, this year I’ve decided to rejig The Candies a little bit too. Normally I would pick my best feminine, masculine and unisex fragrances from the mainstream and niche arms of the industry however, year-on-year I have found it harder to fit my favourites into these categories. The problem being that nowadays, the gender lines have blurred considerably within the realms of perfume, especially in niche. Also, I’ve said many times that a fragrance has no gender so it seems silly to categorise my awards as such . So this year I’ve simply picked ten fragrances – five mainstream and five niche, that each take the title of the best perfumes of the year, presented in no particular order.
In terms of other changes, there’s now a ‘Top Candy’ which goes to my favourite perfume of the year (it will be a most coveted award, I am sure), and ‘Best Body Product’ has been replaced with ‘Candy Crush of the Year’ to reflect my Candy Crush posts that celebrate my fragrant obsessions throughout the year. Oh and there’s now a ‘House of the Year’ award which goes to my favourite perfume house of the year. That about covers it, so shall we get started then? Yes, let’s! A drumroll please…
Instead of a Christmas gift guide this year, I’m switching out my regular Candy Crush posts for just as regular Christmas Crushes instead. In these posts over the coming weeks you’ll find some wonderfully scented gifts just in time for the holiday season, with products that I am crushing on. So get ready for some marvellous Christmas gift inspiration!
Are you ready for Christmas Crush round two?!
I’ve probably bored you all half to death with my lyrical waxings on my Miller Harris obsession, but please indulge me one last time. Over the last year or so this brand, which I probably would have ignored or even described as ‘wishy-washy’ 12 months ago, has done a massive about face, launching a veritable feast of beautiful high quality fragrances that do the one thing that all fragrances should: smell good. They have found a character and a personality that they lack were lackingebefore and do you know what? I’m here for it! Everything they are launching smells great – some of it’s unusual, but for the most part it’s all accessible, well-composed and gorgeous in every way. A round of applause for Miller Harris, please.
Now, before you judge me with your smutty little minds, I am of course referring to wood fragrances and not any other form of wood, metaphorical or otherwise. I’m not sure what may have led you to think of anything else – certainly not the somewhat tongue in cheek title of this post, that’s for sure! Anyway, the truth is that I’ve never really got wood before, as in, I’ve never really enjoyed wood fragrances that much (again, minds out of the gutter please, people). They’ve always felt too subtle or too plain for my exuberant tastes, so for the most part I’ve ignored them or passed them off as lovely, but not for me. That however, has changed very recently.
Over the last few months I’ve started to find wood fragrances a little bit sexy. I’m attracted to them and they are just the kind of thing I find myself wanting to smell on a man. But it’s actually more than that, they’ve also become the type of thing I want to wear when I’m feeling mighty fine, or when I want to feel mighty fine. So in this post I’m going to showcase some beautiful wood fragrances that are more than just a little bit sexy – in fact, they’re all very sexy in their own individual ways. So, please put on some Barry White and close the curtains because things are going to get a little bit hot and steamy up in here as we investigate seven wood fragrances with some serious bom-chicka-wah-wah factor.
What happens when you give two perfumers the same passage of text and ask them to make a fragrance with no olfactive brief? The answer is two fragrances that are as different as day and night and it’s an experiment undertaken by a surprising house: Miller Harris. Now, if you’ve not been sniffing the recent launches from Miller Harris you have been missing out. They’ve been very quietly doing some phenomenal work (I point your noses in the direction of Rose Silence and Le Cèdre,to name just two, but trust me when I say that there are many more exciting things to sniff) and it really seems that they are forging an identity for themselves, after years of muddled direction. Miller Harris now has a personality and a character, and I’m here for it.
For their latest project (launching in January 2018), Miller Harris is releasing two fragrances inspired by a passage of text from F.Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night. The idea is that the brand handed this passage to two perfumers, Mathieu Nardin (the creator of lots of their recent works such as the aforementioned Rose Silence and Le Cèdre – check him out, you must) and Bertrand Duchaufour (y’all know who he is) and asked them to make a fragrance each inspired by the text. That’s it. No olfactive direction, no concept, just simple literary inspiration. The result is Scherzo (Mathieu) and Tender (Bertrand) and they really are quite surprising.
It’s taken about two years of intense rose-sniffing but I have become wholly and completely obsessed with rose perfumes. I’d even go as far saying that rose is my favourite note. In fact, I’m going to say exactly that: rose is my favourite note in perfumery. I simply cannot get enough and whilst I’ve already written a guide to rose perfumes and even battled them on Fume Chat, I feel as I haven’t quite got my adoration for the note out of my system yet. So with that in mind, here’s a bit of a different approach to an article that allows me to wax lyrical about roses once more.
Roses are one of the most versatile ‘notes’ in perfumery. I say ‘note’ but there really is a vast array of rose materials used in perfumery, some to give a rosy impression and others to add complexity to other compositions. I want to celebrate this versatility of rose but instead of just compiling a guide to roses I’ve decided to showcase the many gradients of rose by creating a day of roses. The idea is very simple: these are roses for morning, noon and night and if you want, you could simply pick one for the time you need it, or if you’re adventurous you could transition through all nine during the day. Whatever you choose, I hope you’ll agree that there really is a rose for every minute, moment and mood.