Dunhill ICON Racing, the new sporty flanker. Reviewed on Escentual. Click here to read.
I’ve got wood on the brain, Dear Reader.
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.
I’ve learned to expect nothing but boldness from Beaufort London. As perfume brands go, they’re up there with the best of them when it comes to distinctiveness. In the politest possible terms, Beaufort fragrances are stinky – they have very distinct signatures and all fit the aesthetic of the brand, which is darkly historical with a modern twist. Imagine if Guy Ritchie did perfume, then that’s Beaufort London. Where so many niche brands get the look and concept right, but fall down at the juice, Beaufort London have never failed to make intriguing perfume (just see last year’s fascinating Fathom V for proof) and they’re not scared of the less than pleasant aspects of history, and olfaction either. Beaufort London fragrances may not be for everyone, but tell me, Dear Reader, what great things in life are?
Beaufort London launched with the ‘Come Hell or High Water’ collection, which took inspiration from Britain’s nautical heritage. This year the brand is adding a brand new collection called ‘Revenants’ which remembers historical figures through the art of olfaction. The first launch within the Revenants collection is Iron Duke and it is inspired by Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington (1769-1852), who is described as a “celebrated horseman, warrior politician and sartorial pioneer”. It’s a fully-worked out concept with a beautiful promo shot by Matthew Seed and a bottle inscribed with a horse motif designed by tattoo artist Robert Gisbourne-Ashby. Iron Duke the fragrance is billed as a “strikingly powerful fragrance with animalic depths”, which certainly piqued my interest. Shall we dive in and see if it really is as filthy as it sounds?
Speed Sniffs is a way to bring you ‘to-the-point’ fragrance reviews that are quick and easy to digest. They are perfume reviews without the faff.
Madame Carven loved to travel, so much so in fact, that the brand has launched Collection Carven, a selection of seven fragrances that celebrate Madame Carven’s journeys from Paris to a number of exotic cities. Collection Carven ties the spirit of the brand’s couture into themes of discovery and exoticism, resulting in seven distinct fragrances. I was sent two to try: Paris-Izmir (a trip to a field of roses in Turkey) and Paris-Bangalore (a voyage to delicate treats in India). Both are very different as well as completely unlike anything else the brand has done so far, so let’s put them to the speed sniff test!
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.
When I heard that historic candlemaker Cire Trudon was to launch its very own line of perfumes I actually let out a small squeal of excitement. I’ve been obsessed with their scented candles for ages, mainly because they not only smell tremendously beautiful, but also because they take inspiration from unusual and historic places. A Cire Trudon candle is no ordinary candle and if the brand’s approach to home fragrance is anything to go by, one knows that their perfumes are going to be something really extraordinary.
Trudon (the perfume line drops the ‘Cire’ from the name) launched their perfume collection this autumn with five fragrances that reference “religion, royalty and revolution”. The brand worked with perfumers Antoine Lie (Etat Libre d’Orange Sécrétions Magnifiques & Comme des Garçons Wonderwood), Lyn Harris (of Perfumer H and formerly Miller Harris) and Yann Vasnier (Jo Malone The English Oak & Marc Jacobs Bang) to create their debut collection and the whole thing feels finely curated, from the clarity of the scents to their flacons, which boast simplicity in shape but also luxury with their stunning, ribbed glass caps.