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Gold, pink and blue!

Check out my roundup of the Moschino Fresh Couture collection on Escentual + a giveaway. Click here to read.

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The Candies 2015: The Very Best and The Very Worst Perfumes of the Year
The Candies 2015: The Very Best and The Very Worst Perfumes of the Year

How is it the end of 2015 already? Seriously, I feel like things were only getting started! Anyway, seeing as it is very nearly the end of the year it can only mean one thing: The Candies! That’s right, it’s now time to take a look back at 2015 to identify the good, the bad and the downright ugly perfumes of the year. As always, it has been an active year for the industry and we’ve seen some great stuff. We’ve also seen some pretty dreadful stuff as well. It will make for exciting reading, I’m sure,

This year, I’ve done a bit of tinkering around with the awards we have on offer. Most have stayed the same however, we have said goodbye to the Best Celebuscent Award because really, celebrity fragrances appear to be on the out and I honestly don’t think I’ve even reviewed one this year. We’ve also said goodbye to the Best Advertising Campaign Award which has now been replaced with the Best Top-Down Design Award, an accolade that celebrates those perfumes that get the juice, bottle and advertising spot on. Finally, I’ve also added a new award this year for Best New House, which aims to highlight the best new fragrance brand launched within the year. Other than that all is the same.

So without further ado, ladies and gentleman of the perfume loving community, please take your seats, adjust your undergarments and fix your weaves as we are about to commence The Candies 2015. We require silence within the auditorium, selfies are banned and everyone must be suitably perfumed. Them’s the rules. There will be snark, there will be gushing sentimentality and there will be more hyperbole than you can shake a stick at, so gird your loins, dear readers, and get ready for the alternative perfume awards!

Also, please be sure to head on over to Persolaise’s blog to check out his round-up of perfume in 2015.

Quirky Perfume Gifts
Quirky Perfume Gifts

This is my fourth gift guide this Christmas season and you would be forgiven for thinking that this means that I, myself am quite organised with my Christmas shopping this year. Well, my friends, you would be as wrong as Donald Trump on foreign policy (#Topical). In fact, I have been pretty appalling this year and have managed to buy one present. That’s right, one single measly gift. Hopefully I can make amends for my lack of organisation and yuletide consumerism with this, my final gift guide for 2015.

So far we’ve picked out some delightful scented candles and oohed and ahhed at some cheap and mindblowingly expensive gifts. We’ve even done a round-up of Escentual gifts for perfume lovers too! Now we’re at the very last one and I wanted to finish of my guide to gifting with a look at some unconventional perfume gifts, for the quirky perfume lovers in your life. Below the jump you’ll find five fragrant gifts that are a little bit different. So, if you need something scented that is a must have for that loveable weirdo in your life, I’ve got your back this Christmas.

Couture, yes, but fresh!
Couture, yes, but fresh!

It’s time to put on the Marigolds and start scrubbing because the new fragrance from MOSCHINO is here, and it’s very much channelling spring clean couture. The concept of this eye-catching new scent, the superbly named ‘Fresh Couture‘, is an interesting one. Packaged within the familiar form of an everyday household item, namely a bottle of spray cleaner, Fresh Couture has been created to “juxtapose the most mundane and commonplace of all products, the household cleaner, with something so precious – the juice of a luxury brand’s fragrance”. It is this “dichotomy of high and low”, i.e. the luxury of a fragrance and the value-lacking vessel of a functional cleaner, that is Fresh Couture’s inspiration, and it’s served with Creative Director, Jeremy Scott’s playful signature.

Unlike MOSCHINO’s other kitsch fragrance, the cute teddy bear that is ‘TOY (all style and no substance, as much as I hate to admit it), Fresh Couture is delivered with a definite concept behind the juice. The whole thing plays, unsurprisingly on the idea of freshness in a feminine way boasting notes of citrus, flowers and woods. What could be more MOSCHINO than a “surprising and ironic perfume”, says the brand, and whilst I may not be on board with the idea of this being surprising or ironic, I’m perfectly happy to concede that Fresh Couture says ‘MOSCHINO’ right from head to toe. I should mention that it’s also quite a bit of fun, too.

The Cheap and Chic Edit - Fabulous Fragrances Under £30
The Cheap and Chic Edit – Fabulous Fragrances Under £30

Was it not Prince who once sang “you don’t have to be rich, to be my girl”? I think it was, and I definitely believe that he was onto something. You see, a blindness to luxury and cost isn’t just for musicians who go by symbols, no, it’s also for perfume lovers too. I am of the firm belief that the correlation between cost and quality in a fragrance is skewed at best. One could buy a heart stopping fragrance for £200 + (Frederic Malle’s Portrait of a Lady, for example), but they could also trot on down to Debenhams and pick up something equally as fabulous for less than £30.

So yes, something very pricey can be good, but it can also be terrible, and the same goes for the cheaper end of the scale too. With this in mind, I’ve dedicated my Escentual column this week to my favourite cheapie fragrances that are incredibly well made, and most importantly, quite glam. Inspired by Moschino’s Cheap and Chic (a fragrance that I’m having a love affair with), my ‘Cheap and Chic Edit’ focuses on six affordable fragrances under £30 that’ll make you feel like a million bucks. Click here to read the post, and don’t forget to let me know what your favourite cheap, yet chic fragrances are.

Some Fragrant Alternatives to Real Roses, Chocolates and Plushies
Some Fragrant Alternatives to Real Roses, Chocolates and Plushies

It’s Mother’s Day in the UK this Sunday, which means that we’ll all be setting some time aside to celebrate the most special ladies in our lives – our mums, or mother figures. It’s important to shower these wonderful women with cards, gifts and love just to show them how blooming great they are. After all, where would we be without them? They are the guiding lights in our lives and play a massive part in shaping us in to the lovely beings we are today. So yes, they deserve lots of love and recognition.

At this time of year I often dedicate my Escentual column to a Mother’s Day Gift Guide, and this year is no different. For 2015 I’ve opted to focus on three perfumes that represent the most clichéd of Mother’s Day gifts – roses, chocolate and cuddly toys. Within my guide, which you can access by clicking here, you will find a selection of suitably satisfying scented gifts for that most special of ladies, whether she be about flowers, food or fluff, or all of the above.

The Candies 2014
The Candies 2014: The Very Best and The Very Worst Perfumes of the Year

Wow, what a whirlwind of a year 2014 was. The perfume industry has, as always, been nothing short of prolific in its output, with new brands popping up all over the place and the same big names releasing perfume upon perfume, and flanker upon flanker. It has, once again been a very busy year, and the hive of activity within the industry has meant that a great number of wonderful new olfactory treats have been unleashed on the noses of perfume lovers and consumers.

For me, this year has been one of great personal significance. In March I won my first Jasmine Award for my Guide to Violet, and shortly after in May, my best buddy and I tied the knot, only a few days before I presented an award at the Fragrance Foundation Awards. Then in August I was promoted at work, and in September my new husband and I headed off to Tokyo for the honeymoon of a lifetime. In short, it has been a fantastic year and one that will always remain truly in my heart as one of the very best.

To celebrate 2014 from a fragrant perspective, I present to you ‘The Candies 2014’. Those of you who have followed The Candies before will know that they are my annual perfume awards, celebrating the very best, and the very worst perfumes of the year (out of the 147 scents I have reviewed in 2014). Under the jump you will find the winners, losers and honourable mentions filed under neat little categories. So please, don your tux or ball down, break open the Bolly and take your seats for The Candies 2014.

[Also, please don’t forget to head on over to my dear perfume pals, Persolaise and Perfume Shrine, who are both joining me in sharing their ‘best of’ lists today.]