Mr Malle is Coming to Town!
Mr Malle is Coming to Town!

Newsflash, Perfume Lovers! Frederic Malle is coming to London for a meet and greet at Selfridges on Oxford Street on Thursday 17 November 2016. Being at the helm of one of perfumery’s greatest brands, Frederic Malle is quite the scented celebrity and he’ll be in Selfridges greeting customers and signing bottles of fragrance from his line. It’s an opportunity not to be missed!

Lip-Smacking Ouds
Lip-Smacking Ouds

During this review I am going to attempt not to; a) mention; or b) moan about, the perfume industry’s boring obsession with oud. Oh, well that didn’t last very long, did it? In all seriousness, you don’t need to hear me bang on about oud and why we’re all fed up with it, because frankly, I’m fed up with saying it. So onwards and upwards. Oud is popular and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon, despite our collective ennui regarding the subject. Which leads me nicely onto two brand new oud fragrances from luxury brand Robert Piguet…

The Piguet brand has exploded considerably over the last three years and their small capsule collection of a handful, or so of scents has increased significantly with 19 new fragrances created since 2012 (that’s quite the growth, people). In truth, they’ve been a bit of a mixed bag, and whilst I thought that scents such as Petit Fracas were great fun (and really worth sniffing), many haven’t lived up to the greatness of the brand’s classics such as Fracas, Bandit and Visa. Which, let’s face it, must be quite difficult, i mean, not every fragrance are ever going to be as great as Fracas!

This summer, Piguet have launched Oud Divin and Oud Délice, two follow-ups to their Oud, which was launched in 2012, and was a pretty big and funky take on the note. These two ouds take the signature of the original and turn it into something a little bit more palatable. They flirt with the gourmand and present the signature Oud Piguet, the “proprietary blend of resins and woods” that was the core of 2012’s stinky (in a good way) Oud, in two strikingly different ways – one is robust, shocking and intriguing, whilst the other pleases with softness and familiarity.

Life Through a Lense - Byredo x Oliver Peoples
Life Through a Lense – Byredo x Oliver Peoples

There is no language dedicated solely to the world of smell, arguably our most primal of senses. Instead we opt for words associated with our other senses – taste, sight and feel, to describe something that is for the most part, intangible. Colours, textures and flavours pepper our descriptions and allow the realm of the fragrance to move from the intangibale to something more palpable, combining together as the language of the senses to tell a scented story.

The “joint perception of the senses”, specifically the relationship between colour and smell, is the theme for Swedish niche brand, Byredo’s latest fragrance. The scent is a collaboration with Oliver Peoples, a California-based eyewear brand, and it accompanies a series of exclusive frames, and lenses that have been created and inspired by the fragrance. Housed within a choice of bottles shaded in either indigo, green or champagne, Byredo x Oliver Peoples aims to capture the Caliifornian landscapes through lenses in different colours, each of which highlights a new facet or nuance. This is a Californian life through a lens, and it smells/looks good.

“The conception of the collaboration was achieved through Byredo’s master perfume perceiving the sights of Los Angeles through different coloured lenses, and translating them into various smells, therefore producing a multi-faceted fragrance. This unique effort has resulted in an original frame designed by Oliver Peoples, through which the color of the lenses will correlate with the aroma of the custom blended fragrance by Byredo”

– Byredo/Oliver Peoples

"Joint Perception" - Byredo and Oliver Peoples
“Joint Perception” – Byredo and Oliver Peoples

Stockholm based niche fragrance house Byredo have teamed up with Californian sunglasses brand Oliver Peoples for a scented collaboration that pairs stylish eyewear with an equally fashionable fragrance. Inspired by the idea of synesthesia, the “joint perception of the senses”, where one can see colours or shapes when experiencing certain smells, a California-inspired fragrance was created to evoke the idea of a land seen through the varying shades of different coloured lenses. The result is a fragrance that is spicy, marine-like and warm, and in a link to the lense colours, is available in Byredo’s signature bottle shaded in either indigo, champagne or green to match the limited edition sunglasses.

“The conception of the collaboration was achieved through Byredo’s master perfume perceiving the sights of Los Angeles through different coloured lenses, and translating them into various smells, therefore producing a multi-faceted fragrance. This unique effort has resulted in an original frame designed by Oliver Peoples, through which the color of the lenses will correlate with the aroma of the custom blended fragrance by Byredo”

– Byredo/Oliver Peoples

"Joint Perception" Byredo
“Joint Perception” Byredo
"Joint Perception" Oliver Peoples
“Joint Perception” Oliver Peoples

Byredo and Oliver Peoples have created a space in the London department store Selfridges where customers can experience the fragrance, frames and lenses together. This retail space allows one to pick out the eyewear and fragrance bottle that speak to them, and is an interesting exercise in understanding what the individual eye is drawn to. Also, as we are so led by the marketing and packaging of our fragrances, it’s quite fascinating to see whether the fragrance itself is perceived differently when smelled in each of the three bottle shades. Does the indigo highlight the marine notes or does the champagne accentuate the warm sand? Intrigued by this, and the scent? Swing by on Monday for a full review.

Carven Le Parfum
Carven Le Parfum

Following the release of their new fragrance – ‘Le Parfum‘ – historic french brand Carven have scheduled a fragrance masterclass with perfumer Francis Kurkdjian at the luxury London department store Selfridges. Having created Le Parfum and a number of other luxury fragrances, Kurkdjian is a fascinating individual with a unique insight to the perfume industry.

“The afternoon event invites guests to enjoy a glass of champagne and canapés whilst Francis journeys through the intimate and captivating charm that encapsulates the couture spirit of the legendary Parisian fashion house, Carven. Guest will discover the history, delicacy and grace of the Carven woman and discuss the raw ingredients of the beautiful new Carven female fragrance, Le Parfum.”

Alien Essence Absolue
“At the height of her radiance, the statuesque solar goddess embodies sensuality more than ever before. In her magnetic aura, intense emotions burst forth and open the door to new imaginary worlds.”

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.