Gift guide, gift guide, we all love a gift guide! Dear readers, I’m definitely working my way into this Christmas spirit quite heavily this year and I have been scouring the wondrous expanse that is the world wide web to identify some delightfully scented gifts that can; a) make excellent presents for your loved ones; or b) sit quite happily on your Christmas lists for aforementioned love ones to review, and hopefully take note. So far, we’ve had a look at some pretty awesome scented candles but we haven’t finished traversing the world of perfume gifts just yet, and we have more gift guides to go.
In this instalment I’m taking a look at some brilliant perfume gifts ranging from the cheerily affordable to the distinctly expensive, or as I like to call them the ‘Stocking Stuffers’ and the ‘Wallet Wreckers’. Hopefully there is something for every person and every budget here, whether you be tempted by an inexpensive novelty, a mid-range marvel or even if you intend to blow your budget completely to treat that special loved one to something out of this world. Failing all of that, you may just want to treat yourself. Why not, eh?
[Oh and P.S., do swing by for another gift guide in this week’s Escentual column in a few days time and again next week for our final guide, which will be focusing on quirky perfume gifts…]
It was reported last week that NASA had found evidence of liquid water flowing on Mars. The red planet is no longer a dry, and arid collection of rock and dust, it seems. In other surprising and space-related news, Thierry Mugler has made the decision to launch a limited edition version of Alien called ‘Alien Oud Majestueux’, an oriental fragrance that sees the hyper-jasmine of the original accompanied by oud, the ever popular heartwood extracted from the Aquilaria tree, and seen so often in modern fragrances over the last few years. Composed by the masterful Dominique Ropion, who co-signed the original with Laurent Bruyere, this new version of Alien promises to tantalise with its opulent spices and sweet flower nectar. Colour me intrigued.
Now, I must confess that the news of an oud-injected version of Mugler’s successful Alien did arouse some titters on Twitter in addition to the usual moans about the over-exposure of everyone’s favourite noble tree rot. Of course, Mugler has all but resisted the oud trend for quite some time (although, they have flirted with the note in their Miroir Miroir! series) and the fact that the last non-oud converted bastion of the industry had finally given in did elicit a sigh or two, from yours truly included. As time progressed however, the idea of an Alien oud grew to be an interesting one. I mean, Alien is a pretty fierce woody jasmine fragrance that lends itself well to remixes (see Alien Essence Absolue & Alien Le Goût du Parfum), and a middle-eastern take on an intense, space-age floral actually seemed like something worth sniffing. At risk of spoiling the rest of this review, I can confirm that it is.
“Cocoon your mind, body and soul in Alien Oud Majestueux, the new oriental fragrance. This scent will transport you to the spice markets of the Middle East where your senses will be tantalised with the fragrant notes of opulent spices and sweet flower nectar.”
Can you believe that we’re already heading towards the completion of quarter two of 2015? I certainly can’t! Time seems to be moving so fast and it’s staggering to think that we’re halfway through the year already – it’ll be Christmas before you know it (sorry)! As you may, or may not know, for 2015 I’ve started a new quarterly round-up of all my favourite things which I’ve entitled ‘The Candy Perfume Boy’s Hitlist’. In these posts I take a look back at the fragrances, launches, blogs, books, brands or perfumers that have been taking my fancy over the last quarter.
There are no rules. Well, there are three rules with this series; 1) the subjects must be linked to fragrance somehow (a rule that I’m allowed to bend); and 2) the hitlist is to be published towards the end of each quarter; and 3) the list must include my favourite things, as if I were a fragrant sort-of Oprah (which I like to think I am). So, now we’re heading towards the end of June (my birthday month – just throwing that out there), let’s take a gander at what’s topping my hitlist for quarter two of 2015.
I absolutely cannot believe my luck! After receiving four nominations (for five articles) in the 2014 Jasmine Awards, I am completely extremely excited to announce that at the ceremony yesterday, I was lucky enough to win the ‘Digital Award’ for the second year in a row. I took the award home for my Escentual article ‘M is for Mugler‘ – an instalment in my Escentual A-Z of fragrance that was dedicated entirely to my favourite perfume brand, Thierry Mugler. To say I’m chuffed, would be an understatement and I absolutely must send a massive thank you to the team at Escentual, especially Emma, for all of their support and hard work.
I wasn’t the only one to pick up an award though and congratulations must also go out to Persolaise, who took home the ‘Blogger Award’ for his Basenotes piece, ‘Guardians Of The Past – A Trip To The Osmotheque‘. I’d also like to congratulate Lee Kynaston, who won the ‘Digital Experience’ award for his article, ‘How to Get the Most Out of Your Fragrance’ for fashionbeans.com, and I mustn’t also forget Liam Moore of ODOU Magazine and Dana El Masri for taking home the ‘Literary Award’ for the piece, ‘Reflection Eterna’l. This is the second year in a row that ODOU has won the much-coveted Literary Award, so massive congrats are due!
It’s that time of year again where Thierry Mugler gets set to launch their annual collection of limited editions. For the past few years the mad hatters over at Mugler have redressed the scents (and bottles) of their iconic fragrances (Angel, A*Men, Alien and Womanity) in a variety of enhancements, namely; booze, food and leather, begging the question of ‘what’s next?’
Well the answer to that question is simple – this year Mugler is covering familiar ground with ‘Les Liqueurs de Parfums’, four fragrances enhanced by the “essence of fine spirits”. The collection includes the ever-popular A*Men Pure Malt as well as the highly respected Angel and Alien Liqueur de Parfums, each accented by a different liqueur.
It it not known whether these are reformulated or new versions but the boxes are stamped with ‘Creation 2013’. There is also an entirely new Liqueur de Parfum edition for 2010’s Womanity. The collection will launch in the UK on 01 October 2013 and further details can be found below the jump.
Last week’s Saturday Poll asked you to vote for your favourite Thierry Mugler fragrance. I wanted to know who was most popular; Angel, Alien, A*Men, Womanity or Cologne? The results didn’t go the way I expected having, in my head, predicted Angel to reign supreme, despite the feelings of love and hate she inspires in people.
But no, I was wrong, it appears that you people prefer the “intergalactic jasmine” of Alien, which received a pretty decent 34% of the vote. What did really surprise me though was the lack of love for Womanity, which only received a measly 6% of the vote. As much as Womanity is polarising (aren’t all of the Mugler’s) I did think that the fact that it is so unique and unusual would have given it a higher percentage.
Last week’s Saturday Poll was a Vero Profumo showdown, in which you were asked to vote for your favourite perfume from the lovely renegade perfumer Vero Kern. The results were interesting, especially because everyone seemed to have a clear idea in their mind as to which VP scent was their favourite, which just goes to show how strong each fragrance’s personality is.
Rubj and Onda, both in Extrait, were the joint winners of the poll, with Rubj EDP in third place, suggesting that the Rubj signature is the most popular overall. Who am I to argue with that? I think it’s bloomin’ marvellous!
Thierry Mugler’s second major feminine Alien has managed to become almost as popular and iconic as its sister fragrance Angel, which is no mean feat when you consider exactly how popular the latter is. Since its release in 2005 Mugler has released a plethora of Alien Editions, each of which has seemed better than the last, and it would be fair to say that the very latest edition ‘Alien Essence Absolue’ is the best yet, and they know it too hailing Essence Absolue as “The Supreme Perfume”.
What I love about the Thierry Mugler brand is that they are not afraid to experiment, not only with their flagship launches but also with their flankers. They may not always work (see Ice*Men) but they are always interesting and it’s great to see a brand really give a damn about the quality and artistry of all their fragrances. Personally, I didn’t think that Mugler could top the salted-caramel-goodness of Alien Le Goût de Parfum (released last year), but by jove they’ve gone and proved me wrong.
Alien Essence Absolue is the latest interpretation of Alien and serves as an oriental twist on the original. Created by Dominique Ropion (one of favourite perfumers FYI), who worked on the original as well as creating the Eau de Toilette, Eau Luminescente and Sunessence versions, Essence Absolue is a more intense interpretation that focuses on warm, resinous notes and intense flowers. Mugler describes it as “an intense amber, floral, vanilla perfume […] a magnetic fragrance that illuminates the skin in a halo of light” – well if “magnetic” partly explains why my nose is currently stuck to my wrist then I’m all for it.