Perfume Pic of the Week No.18: Pretty in Pink
Perfume Pic of the Week No.18: Pretty in Pink

This week’s Perfume Pic of the Week is a double-whammy of the colour pink. As you may tell from the slight overuse of varying shades of the colour on this website, pink is one of my favourite colours and to me, evokes feelings of joy. After all, some of the best things in life are pink, such as; roses, macarons and Womanity, just to name a few. So this week I’m celebrating a duo of fuchsia fancies that bring brightness in a rather lovely composite image.

Peonies are the first subject of this mini ode to the colour pink, and what a beautiful topic they are. Nigel and I adore fresh flowers and the number of filled vases in our house definitely outweighs the space found in a one bedroom apartment. This weekend we picked up some beautiful, pink peonies (wonderfully ‘snapped’ by Nigel in the picture above) that are grabbing our attention with their huge, showy buds and softly sweet/spicy odour.

I like the note of peony in perfume too, especially in Penhaligon’s rather marvellous Peoneve. What Peoneve does quite remarkably, is capture the sharp, peppery, spicy and rosy facets of the flower to create a perfume that presents the image of peonies in the ground with the petals and stems all present and correct, and surrounded by soft soil. Both the flowers and the perfume speak of a self-assured beauty that is both casual and striking.

Old School Whimsy - Tralala by Penhaligon's, Meadham Kirchhoff & Bertrand Duchaufour
Old School Whimsy – Tralala by Penhaligon’s, Meadham Kirchhoff & Bertrand Duchaufour

Old-school British brand Penhaligon’s has seen a positive renaissance over the last few years. In 2009 they appeared to make a conscious decision to move away from their more staid roots and played to their more risqué side with Bertrand Duchaufour’s masterful Amaranthine – a perfume that was created to smell like the inside of a woman’s thigh (oh my, I’m blushing), and have since set themselves a trend of creating old school perfumes with modern and quirky twists.

Thankfully this is a trend that they seem to be continuing and for 2014, Britain’s most idiosyncratic perfume house is teaming up with the equally unconventional fashion brand, Meadham Kirchhoff, to create perhaps their most whimsical fragrance to date. The result of this collaboration is a fragrance penned by super-perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour (the man also responsible for AmaranthineVaaraSartorial and Orange Blossom) and bestowed with the infectious name ‘Tralala‘.

Launching next week, Tralala is described by Penhaligon’s as being a “beguiling and addictive piece of counter culture couture” and all one needs for proof of this claim is a quick look at the wonderful bottle with it’s clown head and ridiculously huge signature Penhaligon’s bow. The scent itself, is billed as “an opulent, hedonistic blend” that “evokes the interplay of glamour and retrospection favoured by Meadham Kirchhoff”. Having spent quite some time sniffing this new creation, I can wholeheartedly confirm that it does do exactly what it ‘says on the tin’.

Dapper
Looking Good and Smelling Fine [Image of Me at My Father’s Wedding via Peter Buncombe]
Awards Season is set to end this Sunday with the 86th Academy Awards (a.k.a. ‘The Oscars’) and the stars will be out in full force, donning their finest garb having spent hours preening their faces and coiffing their hair. Of course, us mere mortals will simply be watching the ceremony at home in our pyjamas, possibly scoffing on some popcorn in a nod to the wonders of the silver screen. Still, we can live vicariously through the glamour of the winners and losers, can’t we?

Thinking about the Oscars and the upcoming Jasmine Awards (for which I need to pick myself an outfit) led me to ponder over which perfumes are best suited to formal occasions. Most of the time I’m of the belief that one should wear whatever they heck they want when they want, but in situations where dress codes are enforced and one has to be smart, it can be beneficial to pick out a scent that is suitably dapper to match.

For this post I’ve put together some of my favourite ‘smart’ perfumes for black tie or formal occasions. They range from the smart casual to the well-tailored and the dramatic, and between them they serve as a mini-guide to picking that perfect scent for a special occasion. Most are unisex so are suitable regardless of whether you’re a guy or a girl and can be paired with a suit, tux or fancy dress to ensure that you’re looking good and smelling fine.

Perfume Pic of the Week No.5: Le Tentation de Nina Macarons
Perfume Pic of the Week No.5: Le Tentation de Nina Macarons

I love Ladurée, I love macarons and I most certainly love perfume. So it will come as no surprise that I am quite keen on the above picture, which very quickly become my perfume pic of the week when I stumbled across it, whilst preparing for my upcoming review (due to be up next week) of the latest Nina Ricci fragrance – the macaron inspired ‘Le Tentation de Nina‘.

Nina Ricci (the brand, obv), perfumer Olivier Cresp and Vincent Lemains (the Head Pastry Chef at Ladurée) have teamed up to create a macaron “inspired by a perfume” and a perfume “inspired by a macaron”. The macarons, which are winking at you in the above picture, are a devilishly delicious-sounding blend of lemon, raspberry, Bulgarian rose absolute and almond, all of which is topped off with a dash of gold leaf. The perfume is very much in the same spirit and lists similar notes. Does it perfectly capture the spirit of the most darling of pastries? Well, you’ll have to wait until my review for that little nugget of information…

Perfume Pic of the Week No.3: Tralala by Penhaligon's & Meadham Kirchoff
Perfume Pic of the Week No.3: Tralala by Penhaligon’s & Meadham Kirchoff

It may have only been just over 20 day ago that we were ringing in the new year and looking back at the perfume highs and lows of 2013 but the industry machine churns on and already we’re seeing announcements of new and upcoming launches from familiar brands. This is all very exciting of course, as 12 exciting months of olfactory discovery awaits the gluttonous noses of many a perfume addict. I say bring it on!

One intriguing new launch that caught my eye last week was the brand new scent from quirky British house Penhaligon’s. Tralala (launching in April -100ml for £150) is the whimsical name of the perfume and it has been created in collaboration with another British name – the unconventional fashion brand Meadham Kirchoff. Having scented the brand’s collections for 9 seasons, Penhaligon’s and perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour have set out to bottle the fantastical and contrasting world of one of Britain’s most idiosyncratic fashion houses.

The Candies 2013: The Very Best and the Very Worst Perfumes of the Year
The Candies 2013: The Very Best and the Very Worst Perfumes of the Year

Can you believe that 2013 is coming to a close already? I certainly can’t! It only feels like yesterday that I was sat at my laptop, tapping away at the first reviews of the year and looking forward to the exciting new smells that next 365 days would bring. It has, all-in-all, been a very good year, with lots of interesting new perfumes launched, and on a more personal note too, as this year I took on the exciting role of Fragrance Expert for Escentual.com.

The perfumes have come thick and fast over the year, and once again the industry has seen an increase in the overall number of perfumes launched. Over the year we’ve seen our fair share of masterpieces, duds, flankers and celebrity money makers in, and as with any other year it has been a roller coaster ride of an experience sifting through just a tiny portion of what has been released.

In this post – my annual perfume awards (‘The Candies’) – I’m taking a look at my fragrant highlights of the year and those perfumes that have impressed, moved and surprised me. I’m also highlighting the specific scents that have failed to meet the mark this year and are disappointing enough to warrant naming and shaming. So sit back, don your red carpet gown (or suit), pop the champagne and enjoy The Candies 2013.

[Please also head over to my fragrant brothers and sisters who are sharing their very best perfumes of 2013; Persolaise, Olfactoria’s Travels, Eyeliner on a Cat, Fragrant Moments, Perfume Shrine, I Smell Therefore I Am, SmellyBlog and The Fragrant Man.]

Extract of Limes
Extract of Limes

Tis the last day of Movember and so ends a month of mighty moustache cultivation and manly celebrations. More importantly than the mo-growing and showcasing of masculine fragrances however, is the money raised for an important cause that supports the research and awareness of men’s health issues. This month I have raised £207 for Movember and my team – #TeamPenhaligons – have raised a staggering £2,000, with the total continuing to rise. [On that note, should you wish to make a donation, please do so here]

In tribute to my awesome Mo Bros and Mo Sisters in #TeamPenhaligons and as a final nod to the masculine fragrances of Movember, today I’m reviewing one of my favourite masculine scents from Penhaligon’s, the most quintessentially British of perfume brands. That scent is Extract of Limes, and whilst it technically counts as a unisex scent (I’m allowed to cheat a little) I definitely feel that it is one of Penhaligon’s most enjoyable fragrances and is a great scent for dapper and fashionable gents to wear.

Originally launched in 1963 and currently residing within Penhaligon’s Anthology Collection, Extract of Limes is a fusion of mouthwatering citrus and clean floral notes that is both bracing and surprisingly contemporary. Having been resurrected in 2009 by perfumer Mike Parrott, this lime-centric scent is one of the more overlooked scents in the brand’s stable, but it’s also one of the most delectable and is very much worth a sniff for anyone who wants a unique citrus fragrance.

The Mo as of Day 10
The Mo as of Day 10

It’s week 2 of Movember and the mo growing appears to be in full-swing. We seem to be moving out of the ‘awkward itchy phas’e into the slightly less uncomfortable ‘bushy, slug-like phase’. One shouldn’t complain though, it’s not an easy challenge to sport decent facial furniture and one has to work through the pain, discomfort and hideousness in the hunt for true mo-awesomeness.

As it stands my current Movember total is a respectable is £85, however I think we can do better! #TeamPenhaligon’s is doing rather spectacularly and has currently raised a rather spiffy £475! A massive well done to my fellow mo bros and mo sisters for their extraordinary moustache-related efforts so far, lets keep up the hard work and take it over the £500 mark asap!