Click here to read my review of Floriental by Comme des Garçons
Click here to read my review of Floriental by Comme des Garçons

I’ve been busy on my Escentual column reviewing a number of big new launches. In this post (above and below the hump) you’ll find a round up of reviews including; Comme Des Garçons’ Floriental, the Acqua di Parma Ingredients Collection (Colonia Ambra, Colonia Oud & Colonia Leather), Dior’s Sauvage, Valentino’s Donna, Van Clef & Arpels’ Ambre Imperial and Narciso Rodriguez’s for Her L’Absolu. Enjoy.

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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.]

Uomo - The New Masculine Fragrance from Valentino
Uomo – The New Masculine Fragrance from Valentino

When a designer house launches a new masculine fragrance I tend to find myself preparing for disappointment. This isn’t always the case (after all, there are lots of fab designer masculines out there), but in a vast number of situations it would be fair to say that the perfumes aren’t really thinking outside the box enough to be considered as worthwhile, especially when compared to their female counterparts.

Sometimes however, a new masculine will come along that does impress and ‘Uomo’, the latest launch from Valentino, is one such fragrance. Taking one or two cues from Dior Homme, Uomo is an effortlessly stylish fragrance that is as soft as it is handsome. For my Escentual column this week I’ve taken a closer look at this new scent from Valentino and in addition to my review, Escentual will be giving away 6 bottles! To read my review and to enter the competition (please refer to the Escentual T&Cs as listed in the piece) please click here.