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<strong>scented</strong><br />

www.perfumesociety.org<br />

The<br />

NO. 17 mid-summer 2016<br />

letter<br />

MY FATHER’S<br />

FRAGRANCE<br />

+<br />

BUILDING A MALE<br />

FRAGRANCE WARDROBE<br />

+<br />

LATEST LAUNCHES<br />

(FOR HIM AND HER)<br />

scent<br />

man<br />

of a


editor’s letter<br />

When Lorna McKay and I founded The Perfume<br />

Society little more than two years ago, we had no idea<br />

who’d sign up – but it’s safe to say that neither of us<br />

expected that one-third of the visitors to our website, and<br />

a considerable chunk of those joining up, would be men.<br />

But what we’ve since learned is that there are many, many<br />

men out there who ‘collect’ and appreciate fragrance, in<br />

the way they perhaps might build a wine cellar – and who,<br />

like us, find the whole world of aroma utterly fascinating.<br />

Unashamedly, then – and with Father’s Day looming – this edition is devoted to men. Because even<br />

if you’re one of our female followers, you’ve almost certainly got brothers, fathers, sons, friends in<br />

your life who you’ve wanted to buy fragrance for – and not known quite where to start. We hope<br />

you’ll have gleaned some useful insider information, by the time you’ve finished reading this.<br />

For Thomas Dunckley (a.k.a The Candy Perfume Boy), building a male fragrance wardrobe is like<br />

any kind of D-I-Y. It calls for instructions, and tools, which he arms you with on p.16: the building<br />

blocks for a really great collection. (And if you’re looking for further new additions, do check out the<br />

Latest Launches, on p.38.) On p.28, meanwhile, we sent ‘The Chic Geek’ – in his signature papiermaché<br />

disguise – for a one-on-one scent-profiling session at Miller Harris: another route to finding a<br />

perfect fragrance ‘match’. (He certainly found his.)<br />

To keep our male fans happy, we’ve also just launched our first men’s Discovery Box. Actually, ‘The<br />

Scent of a Man’ box is pretty much an entire male fragrance wardrobe, ready-assembled: something<br />

for everyone (and some fantastic grooming treats, too). Certainly, a great gift for Father’s Day – or for<br />

any man out there. (Perhaps to salve the conscience of anyone who feels a twinge of guilt at having<br />

built up quite a collection of our feminine Discovery Boxes, for themselves…?)<br />

One of the classic male fragrance families is the ‘fougère’ family. (Even if it’s almost<br />

unpronounceable.) On p.11, our Jasmine Award-winning Senior Writer Suzy Nightingale explores its<br />

history, revealing that these fern-inspired scents were among the first to showcase the clever use of<br />

synthetics, more than 150 years ago. And at The Perfume Society, we couldn’t be more pleased that<br />

this quintessentially masculine category of fragrances is enjoying a renaissance.<br />

We also asked ourselves: who’s the man’s man who women almost universally adore…? Answer:<br />

David Beckham, who’s becoming almost as well-known for fragrance as for football, and has barely<br />

put a foot wrong, scent-wise. Read his observations – and an interview with Alienor Massenet, the<br />

highly respected perfumer who worked on the latest Beckham creation – on p.24.<br />

© picsfive; alexkar08 - Fotolia.com<br />

So it’s official: in 2016 the scent of a modern man is most definitely NOT motorcycle oil, with a hint of<br />

Swarfega and a waft of not-quite-doing-its-job-Right-Guard…<br />

www.perfumesociety.org<br />

The Perfume Society<br />

@Perfume_Society<br />

ThePerfumeSociety<br />

The <strong>scented</strong> Letter 3


14 The <strong>scented</strong> LeTTer The <strong>scented</strong> LeTTer 15<br />

contributors<br />

Covers: Front - © Martina1802 | Dreamstime.com. Back cover: © determined - Fotolia.com. Ulrich Lang portrait by Erik Swain, New York. Opposite: © Aarrttuurr - Fotolia.com<br />

<strong>scented</strong><br />

The<br />

letter<br />

Editor<br />

Josephine Fairley<br />

jo@perfumesociety.org<br />

Designer<br />

Jenny Semple<br />

enquiries@jenny<br />

sempledesign.co.uk<br />

Advertising Manager<br />

Lorna McKay<br />

lorna@perfumesociety.org<br />

Senior writer<br />

Suzy Nightingale<br />

suzy@perfumesociety.org<br />

HEAD OF SOCIAL MEDIA<br />

Carson Parkin-Fairley<br />

carson@perfumesociety.org<br />

JUNIOR BUYING<br />

assistant<br />

Penny Sheard<br />

editorialperfumesociety@<br />

gmail.com<br />

EA to the Editor<br />

Amy Eason<br />

amy@josephinefairley.com<br />

Contact us<br />

info@perfumesociety.org<br />

Liberty House<br />

222 Regent Street<br />

London W1B 5TR<br />

Tel: 07502-258759<br />

The Scented Letter is a<br />

free online/downloadable<br />

magazine for subscribers<br />

to The Perfume Society;<br />

visit www.perfumesociety.<br />

org for more information<br />

suits you, sir<br />

Some ASSembly<br />

RequiRed:<br />

how To buiLd a<br />

mens’ fragrance<br />

wardrobe<br />

With an a bulging ‘scent<br />

closet’ of his own, there’s<br />

nobody better than<br />

Jasmine-award-winning<br />

blogger The Candy<br />

Perfume Boy – real name<br />

Thomas Dunckley – to<br />

help with construction<br />

There is no such thing as ‘one size fits all’ when it<br />

comes to fragrance. People and perfumes are both so incredibly<br />

nuanced and varied, it’s impossible to find one scent for one<br />

person that suits each and every occasion. So that person<br />

needs variety. Well, one thing the perfume industry cannot<br />

be accused of is a lack of choice – and with upwards of 2,000<br />

fragrance launches per year, there really is more than one kind of<br />

something for everybody.<br />

I’ve always seen fragrance as the ultimate accessory: the final<br />

embellishment we put on to accompany our outfits. We wouldn’t<br />

wear the same shoes everyday – so why the same fragrance?<br />

Each scent says something about the person we’d like to be on<br />

that particular day. So if I’m rocking a generous dose of YSL’s<br />

Kouros, for example, the world knows that I’m presenting myself<br />

as a macho Adonis straight from the Olympiad (in an entirely<br />

believable manner, I should add).<br />

Just like any accessory though, you need a wardrobe – because<br />

it’s not every day that the mood to oil up and flex those olfactory<br />

muscles will strike. Maybe it’s most days, but not every day.<br />

So: how to navigate those crowded shelves to build such a<br />

wardrobe, when there’s just so much choice out there?<br />

To me, the answer is to think of it in modern terms and flat-pack<br />

it. These days, we’re used to picking our storage solutions off the<br />

shelf with minimal assembly required – and armed with the howto,<br />

building a collection of fragrances really can be as simple as<br />

putting together a Billy bookcase from IKEA. Think of this article<br />

as your instructions (hopefully they are much clearer than those<br />

supplied by IKEA), and the fragrances as your tools. All you need<br />

to do is slot your eau de Cologne next to your fougère – that’s it,<br />

right behind the Orientals (no! the other way round!), and you<br />

are good to go.<br />

Marcus Jaye<br />

Marcus is better known<br />

as ‘TheChicGeek’, having<br />

established his men’s<br />

fashion and grooming<br />

website in 2009, covering<br />

all things masculine in a<br />

very approachable, witty<br />

and inclusive way. What<br />

does ‘the thinking man’s<br />

blogger’ really look like?<br />

Who knows? Because at<br />

his many personal<br />

appearances, the Geek<br />

always wears his cunning<br />

‘disguise’, above. The<br />

Chic Geek’s Fashion,<br />

Grooming & Style Guide<br />

(Carlton Books) will be<br />

republished in paperback<br />

this autumn, and for this<br />

edition he ventures forth<br />

to Miller Harris for a<br />

‘bespoke’ scent session.<br />

This is how to find him on<br />

social media:<br />

@TheChicGeekcouk<br />

So, without further procrastination, let’s get into it.<br />

The everyday<br />

secTion<br />

1<br />

Olfactory tools to use: Eau de Cologne and Fougère<br />

In every wardrobe, whether fragrant or fashionable,<br />

there are always a number of key pieces - staples<br />

that can be dressed up or down for any occasion.<br />

With clothing, staple pieces are often timeless<br />

classics like the white t-shirt or the blue oxford<br />

shirt: items that feel comfortable on any occasion,<br />

whether lounging about the house with a book or<br />

smartening up for dinner with friends. So what’s the<br />

olfactory equivalent of the versatile, plain white T?<br />

When it comes to versatility there are two genres<br />

that stick out: the eau de Cologne and the fougère<br />

(you will notice that they are recurring themes).<br />

Colognes especially have that wonderful ability<br />

to be so easy-going that they smell comfortable<br />

and relaxed when mooching about, but also smart<br />

and elegant when placed in a formal setting. For a<br />

versatile Cologne, I often reach for Gruhme Nº14:<br />

a vibrant cocktail of citrus fruits and neroli that is<br />

given a sophisticated twist by a generous helping of<br />

juniper.<br />

On the complete flipside of that, the fougère<br />

(which Suzy Nightingale explores on p.XX-XX) is<br />

a more ‘meaty’ style of scent, sometimes tending<br />

towards a barbershop sweetness, which can work<br />

in any situation – especially when it comes to<br />

something as marvellous as YSL Rive Gauche Pour<br />

Homme, a powdery lavender that is groomed to<br />

utter perfection. It’s so perfect, in fact, that Pour<br />

Homme could come close to being the key piece in<br />

a masculine fragrance wardrobe, working exquisitely<br />

when paired with black tie or pyjamas.<br />

‘Discover the olfactory<br />

equivalent of the versatile,<br />

plain white t-shirt’<br />

The business<br />

2 secTion<br />

Olfactory tools to use: Eau de Cologne, Fougère and<br />

Woody<br />

One life lesson I learned early on in my career (in HR, if<br />

you’re asking) was that so much of a person’s success is<br />

dependent on the perception of others. Which is why it’s<br />

so important to project the right image when working<br />

– while of course maintaining a degree of personality.<br />

(After all, just because you want to come across as smart<br />

and diligent, it doesn’t mean you can’t be interesting.)<br />

My mantra with work fragrances is to approach them<br />

in the exact same way you would your clothing. Not<br />

sure you could get away with that fluorescent pink tie?<br />

It is perhaps best avoided – in the same way that it’s<br />

probably best to stay away from the oxygen-depleting,<br />

ultra-woody oudhs. In short, for work you need<br />

something elegant and understated in your wardrobe.<br />

I’m talking subtle examples of the woody Cologne<br />

and fougère genres, all of which speak in tones of<br />

refinement and reserved sophistication.<br />

To me, you can’t beat a tried-and-tested classic<br />

like Guerlain’s Vetiver for work: a fragrance that has<br />

occupied the bodies of many a businessman since<br />

1965 simply cannot be argued with, and its delicately<br />

refined facets of citrus and rooty vetiver paint a picture<br />

of a person who is quietly confident in their abilities. For<br />

something more modern and a little bit more dandyish,<br />

check out Bottega Veneta’s Essence Aromatique Pour<br />

Homme, which precisely straddles the line between<br />

classic fougère and modern Cologne and feels like<br />

a sensitive and attractive blend that’s completely<br />

approachable.<br />

‘For work you need<br />

something elegant and<br />

understated in your<br />

wardrobe’<br />

Thomas Dunckley<br />

Thomas Dunckley is a<br />

freelance writer and<br />

trainer specialising in<br />

fragrance. Having<br />

bagged himself two<br />

Jasmine Awards for his<br />

witty and informative<br />

prose, Thomas enjoys<br />

exploring the fun side of<br />

perfume, whether that’s<br />

scenting celebrities for<br />

his blog, The Candy<br />

Perfume Boy, snapping<br />

up a fragrant storm on<br />

his Instagram or writing<br />

pithy Twitter reviews of<br />

the good, the bad and<br />

the ugly of fragrance.<br />

Thomas has written for a<br />

number of titles, both<br />

online and in print,<br />

including Escentual.<br />

com, Fashionbeans.com<br />

and ODOU.<br />

@candyperfumeb0y<br />

@thecandyperfumeboy<br />

The Scented Letter is produced for The Perfume Society by Perfume Discovery Ltd. All information and prices are correct<br />

at the time of going to press and may no longer be so on the date of publication. © 2016 The Perfume Society All text,<br />

graphics and illustrations in The Scented Letter are protected by UK and International Copyright Laws, and may not be<br />

copied, reprinted, published, translated, hosted or otherwise distributed by any means without explicit permission.<br />

James Wong<br />

James Wong works as the<br />

Ethnobotanist for Liz Earle,<br />

sleuthing out interesting<br />

botanicals for the beauty<br />

brand from all over the<br />

world. He grew up in<br />

Singapore and Malaysia,<br />

trained at the Royal Botanic<br />

Gardens at Kew, and has<br />

gone on to become a<br />

widely-read author and<br />

award-winning television<br />

presenter, also offering a<br />

great line in ‘Grow for<br />

Flavour’ plants via Suttons.<br />

On social media he is:<br />

@botanygeek<br />

Ulrich Lang<br />

German-born Ulrich<br />

launched his own signature<br />

fragrance collection in 2002,<br />

having previously worked for<br />

L’Oréal and Estée Lauder.<br />

The scents express his love<br />

of fragrance, photography<br />

and other visual arts, with<br />

each box showcasing a<br />

striking artwork on the<br />

packaging. Uli also works s<br />

as a consultant for the<br />

fragrance industry, based in<br />

New York, with a toe-hold in<br />

Paris and Germany.<br />

ulrichlang.com<br />

@ulrichlang_newyork<br />

4 The <strong>scented</strong> Letter


an aromatic life<br />

What’s the very first thing you remember smelling?<br />

The creosote on my grandma’s garden fence while visiting<br />

her in the country in Wales, aged four. For years I thought<br />

that’s what fields and flowers smelled like and still have a<br />

weird association with the aroma of toxic wood preservative<br />

and sunny summer days.<br />

When did you realise that scent was really important to<br />

you?<br />

I think it must come from travelling a lot as a kid. I grew<br />

up in hot, humid Singapore and Malaysia where aromas<br />

not only are more intense and travel further, but are also<br />

comprised of a totally different palette of scents to the<br />

Laundry<br />

(above)<br />

and apples<br />

(below)<br />

are among<br />

Amanda’s<br />

evocative<br />

smells<br />

34 the <strong>scented</strong> letter<br />

Youth Dew and<br />

patchouli were<br />

UK where I used to visit every summer. The scent of cold,<br />

smoggy London air stepping out at Heathrow in the 80s<br />

was unrecognisable compared to the leafy, humid scent of<br />

Singapore. Conversely a field of British wild flowers in June<br />

smells radically different to the musky rainforest floor. To<br />

me scent is still the most striking thing about visiting a new<br />

place.<br />

What’s your favourite <strong>scented</strong> flower?<br />

Arabian jasmine (Jasminium sambac), by far. Unlike<br />

traditional jasmine, which overwhelming dominates<br />

formulations in the West, it isn’t cloying or sickly sweet. It<br />

also lacks the animalic base notes, which traditional jasmine<br />

can have, instead replacing these with a fresher, cleaner<br />

astringency, much like orange blossom. To me it’s the scent<br />

of cool, clean mornings at an Asian flower market, or sitting<br />

on the porch while waiting for the school bus.<br />

What was the first fragrance you were given?<br />

CkOne, the essential scent of the 90s teen. I think<br />

everyone in my year must have got that for<br />

Christmas, circa 1995. You still get a whiff of it now<br />

and then on tubes and in supermarkets: instant<br />

flashback to wondering whether Ross and Rachel<br />

would ever get together with listening to The<br />

Cranberries on the radio.<br />

What was the first fragrance you bought for<br />

yourself?<br />

I tend to make my own, as I love experimenting but<br />

with essential oils and fresh plant macerations. Lemon<br />

eucalyptus, tomato leaves and pink peppercorns are my<br />

go-to ingredients. But the last scent I bought for myself was<br />

a year ago: Guerlain Vetiver. Love it.<br />

Have you had different fragrances for different phases of<br />

your life…?<br />

No. I don’t understand the differentiation between day<br />

and evening fragrance and summer and winter fragrance<br />

either. I think good, uplifting, evocative scents always work,<br />

regardless of context.<br />

The smell that always makes me feel happy is…<br />

... Suntan lotion and citronella insect spray. Summer<br />

holidays in liquid form.<br />

The smell that always makes me feel a bit sad is...<br />

… That bubblegum-<strong>scented</strong> industrial disinfectant<br />

of carpark lifts. The scent of concrete, dinginess and<br />

depression.<br />

The fragrance from the past that I’ve always wanted to<br />

smell is...<br />

… The inside of Kew’s greenhouses in Victorian<br />

times. Tropical plants, intense humidity in an age<br />

of discovery and adventure. What’s not to like?<br />

What is your favourite book about fragrance?<br />

Perfume by Patrick Süskind.<br />

Laundry<br />

(above)<br />

and apples<br />

(below)<br />

are among<br />

Amanda’s<br />

evocative<br />

smells<br />

Here’s what you’ll find on the globetrotter’s<br />

bathroom shelf…<br />

1 GuerlaIn VeTIVer The purity<br />

of vetiver without too much messing<br />

about. Just a hint of citrus and<br />

tobacco to round things out. like<br />

sitting on a forest-fringed beach at<br />

sundown.<br />

2 lIz earle BoTanIcal essence<br />

no. 15 spicy and resinous with a<br />

bright citrus edge. I associate it with<br />

sunny meetings on the patio of Biskra<br />

House on the Isle of Wight with the<br />

lovely liz earle team. sometimes my<br />

job really is taxing!<br />

3 Issey MIyake l’eau D’Issey I<br />

think the Japanese are the masters<br />

of fine fragrance. This is a perfect<br />

half-way meeting between bracing,<br />

uplifting yuzu (probably my favourite<br />

plant scent) and warmer, richer<br />

sandalwood. Probably some melon or<br />

cucumber notes in there to round it<br />

out too. or is that just me…?<br />

the <strong>scented</strong> letter 35<br />

contents<br />

guys just want to have fern<br />

FOUGÈRE: A FORAGE IN<br />

THE UNDERGROWTH<br />

Suzy Nightingale sets out on the trail<br />

of the legendary olfactory family, which<br />

is now enjoying a renaissance<br />

11<br />

suits you, sir<br />

SOME ASSEMBLY<br />

REQUIRED<br />

Thomas Dunckley – a.k.a. The Candy<br />

Perfume Boy – gives how-to advice on<br />

building a men’s fragrance wardrobe<br />

16<br />

down memory lane<br />

THE SCENT OF<br />

MY FATHER<br />

In time for Father’s Day, perfume<br />

personalities share memories of the<br />

fragrances worn by their own fathers<br />

20<br />

memories, dreams,<br />

reflections<br />

James Wong’s passion is infectious: as a TV presenter and as<br />

Ethnobotanist for Liz Earle Beauty Co., the self-confessed ‘plant geek’<br />

has triggered a fascination with the plant world in many of us. What<br />

you may not know is that he also loves aroma, as James reveals here…<br />

James WonG’s<br />

faVoUrite<br />

fraGrances<br />

© - Fotolia.com. gardensonline.com.au<br />

he sprays, he scores<br />

BOTTLING<br />

MR. BECKHAM<br />

Read the scent philosophy of<br />

everyone’s favourite ex-footballer and<br />

hands-on-celebrity dad<br />

24<br />

hide and chic<br />

SCENT TO LOOK<br />

FOR LOVE<br />

We dispatched Marcus Jaye – better<br />

known as blogger The Chic Geek– to<br />

find a new fragrance at Miller Harris<br />

28<br />

an aromatic life<br />

MEMORIES, DREAMS,<br />

REFLECTIONS<br />

James Wong – author, TV presenter<br />

and lover of all things aromatic –<br />

shares his voyage of <strong>scented</strong> discovery<br />

34<br />

3 6 26<br />

EDITOR’S<br />

LETTER<br />

NOSING<br />

AROUND<br />

OUR MEN’S<br />

DISCOVERY BOX<br />

37 38 46<br />

EVENTS<br />

latest launches<br />

IT TAKES ME BACK<br />

The <strong>scented</strong> Letter 5


on the scent of news<br />

nosing around<br />

This edition’s ‘Nosing Around’ also has a masculine theme: the grooming<br />

must-haves, fragrances, ‘mandles’ and more (which we covet ourselves...)<br />

Good grooming<br />

just got better<br />

Something for the traditionalist – and for the<br />

modernist: three new grooming ranges might<br />

lead to a takeover bid for the bathroom shelf...<br />

Just landed from Dior Sauvage –<br />

which scooped a trio of Fragrance<br />

Foundation Awards 2016 including<br />

‘The Ultimate Launch’ – a full bath<br />

and body line, including shower gel,<br />

deodorant and shaving goods, all<br />

dressed in inky blue glass…<br />

From £24-48 (for 100ml After-Shave<br />

Lotion) dior.com<br />

The clean-meets-erotic scent<br />

of Frederic Malle Cologne<br />

Indélébile – with its white<br />

musks, neroli and orange<br />

blossom – can now be layeredup<br />

with a refreshing body wash<br />

and luxuriously nourishing<br />

body milk to match.<br />

Body Wash £60, Body Milk £60<br />

(both 200ml) selfridges.com<br />

From Capri-based perfumer Carthusia, everything from<br />

razors to brushes – fashioned from Italian olive wood –<br />

plus shaving cream, shaving soap and aftershave balm, all<br />

<strong>scented</strong> with their woody-leather Uomo fragrance.<br />

From £32-195 (for the Fusion Razor) carterandbond.com<br />

6 The <strong>scented</strong> Letter


Marvellous mandles (and more)<br />

Nota Bene Wares is the ‘baby’ of scent-lover (and Perfume Society VIP<br />

Subscriber) Matthew Brooks, born of his passion for hand-produced<br />

objects that are ‘simple, hardwearing and beautiful’. Think: brilliantly<br />

blended, hand-poured candles on an aromatic/woody theme plus allnatural<br />

<strong>scented</strong> soaps, all of them Letterpress-labelled with love.<br />

notabenewares.com<br />

Perfumed petals<br />

And get in a lather with Shakespeare…<br />

Fans marking the year-long #Shakespeare400<br />

anniversary of the Bard’s death may wish to make like<br />

Coriolanus and ‘Bid them wash their faces’ by<br />

presenting a loved one with Heyland<br />

& Whittle’s ‘To Beard or not<br />

to Beard’ commemorative<br />

Shakespeare Soap. Housed<br />

in realistically book-like<br />

packaging, the soap’s vibrantly<br />

<strong>scented</strong> with citrus, herbs and<br />

spices – and even comes<br />

with a humorous<br />

mini ‘playlet’<br />

printed inside<br />

the cover.<br />

The Commemorative<br />

Shakespeare Soap<br />

Book/£12<br />

heylandandwhittle.co.uk<br />

When we<br />

interviewed<br />

James Wong<br />

for Memories,<br />

Dreams &<br />

Reflections<br />

on p.34, we<br />

discovered that the Liz Earle<br />

Beauty Co.’s ethnobotanist<br />

and garden expert is as crazy<br />

about fragrance and aroma<br />

as we are. So for June – the<br />

month when we’ve so often<br />

been disappointed burying our<br />

nose in an entirely scentless (if<br />

beautiful) blossom – we share<br />

his favourite fragrant roses:<br />

l Lady Emma Hamilton – ‘it<br />

mixes muscat grapes with ripe<br />

mangoes to create my all-time<br />

favourite “non-rose” rose<br />

fragrance’, one of several fruity<strong>scented</strong><br />

roses available’.<br />

l Felicia – in the musk family<br />

of rose fragrances, Felicia<br />

is ‘a shrub rose with heady<strong>scented</strong><br />

clusters of powder-pink<br />

blossoms’, observes James.<br />

l Absolutely Fabulous – ‘has<br />

a spicy anise scent and won<br />

Rose of the Year in 2010’; it’s<br />

categorised in the ‘myrrh’ rose<br />

fragrance family.<br />

l Gloire de Dijon – tea<strong>scented</strong>,<br />

‘a rambling climber<br />

with intensely fragrant,<br />

primrose-yellow flowers’.<br />

l Munstead Wood – ‘along<br />

with Harlow Carr, these are<br />

must-haves for lovers of a<br />

classic old rose scent’.<br />

The <strong>scented</strong> Letter 7


a whiff of history<br />

Lives of the great noses:<br />

Jacques Guerlain (1874-1963)<br />

Up on Mount Olympus,<br />

in the pantheon of perfume gods,<br />

one fragrant deity must sit slightly<br />

higher than all the others: Jacques<br />

Guerlain. The most brilliant of<br />

that family’s four generations of<br />

esteemed perfumers, he is believed<br />

to have created over 400 in his<br />

lifetime, with 80 still known. He<br />

would be considered one of the<br />

greats if he had made only one of<br />

his perfumes: Mitsouko. That he also<br />

created Shalimar and L’Heure Bleue<br />

is nothing short of astonishing.<br />

Jacques Edouard Guerlain<br />

was born on October 7th 1874,<br />

in Colombes, 10 kilometres from<br />

the centre of Paris, into what was<br />

already a great perfume family, the<br />

second child of Gabriel and Clarisse<br />

Guerlain. His uncle Aimé Guerlain<br />

(creator of Jicky) started working<br />

with him from the age of 16, as the<br />

Guerlains believed noses need<br />

training for years. He also studied<br />

organic chemistry to a high level<br />

at the University of Paris and was<br />

allowed to join the family business<br />

when he was 20.<br />

Jacques Guerlain’s first great<br />

fragrance, L’Heure Bleue, from 1912,<br />

is a perfect example of the way in<br />

which his work was infused with the<br />

the spirit of the times, combining<br />

his poetic soul with his firm grasp of<br />

modern chemistry.<br />

Inspired by the magical time of<br />

day when the light starts to fade<br />

and colours blur (which he would<br />

experience on walks along the<br />

Seine), it shows the influence of<br />

the Impressionist painters, whose<br />

work he collected. It also reflects<br />

his sense of foreboding about the<br />

political calamity that was about<br />

to envelop Europe in WW1. As he<br />

said: ‘I couldn’t put it in words, I felt<br />

something so intense, I could only<br />

express it in a perfume’.<br />

The Great War was personally<br />

devastating for Guerlain, because<br />

while he was 41 and the father of<br />

three children, he was conscripted<br />

and badly wounded, with a head<br />

injury which took the sight of one<br />

eye. But he continued to work,<br />

very slowly, on several perfumes at<br />

once, sitting at his perfume ‘organ’:<br />

a customised desk with shelves for<br />

ingredient jars arranged so he could<br />

see them all at once.<br />

He never smelled anything in the<br />

factory, because it was too infused<br />

with competing aromas, but would<br />

take home a number of blotters to<br />

try later, arranged in a row on his<br />

mantelpiece, so he could observe<br />

how they changed over time.<br />

While he wasn’t one for the social<br />

whirl, or travelling, he immersed<br />

himself in his era through his<br />

passion for the arts and had close<br />

friendships with some of the great<br />

cultural figures of the day, including<br />

Sarah Bernhardt, Serge Diaghilev<br />

and Antoine Saint-Exupéry, who all<br />

influenced in his work.<br />

The great Chypre Mitsouko was<br />

named after a character from a book<br />

set in Japan, while the archetypal<br />

Oriental, Shalimar, was inspired by<br />

what he’d read about the gardens<br />

of the Mughal empire – although he<br />

never left Europe.<br />

In later life, Jacques Guerlain<br />

retreated to his estate Les Mesnuls,<br />

just outside Paris, where he tended<br />

his flowers, orchards and Japanese<br />

gardens. But right up to the time<br />

of his death on 22nd May 1963, this<br />

greatest of ‘noses’ never stopped<br />

experimenting with perfumes.<br />

By Maggie Alderson<br />

Just a fraction of Jacques<br />

Guerlain’s genius, bottled<br />

8 The <strong>scented</strong> Letter


+<br />

Dressed to thrill<br />

In YSL’s new Le Vestiaire des Parfums collection, haute<br />

couture meets haute parfumerie: five stunning fragrances<br />

creating an instant olfactory wardrobe, each inspired by<br />

an iconic Saint Laurent design. Check out Tuxedo, Caban<br />

(meaning ‘pea coat’), Saharienne (his so-recognisable<br />

safari jacket), Trench and Caftan: utterly shareable, utterly<br />

wearable – and just begging to be tried on.<br />

for his nose only<br />

£195 for 125ml eau de parfum At Selfridges<br />

Monogram man<br />

No chance of anyone else in the<br />

household swiping the bottle<br />

of herbaceous/woody new<br />

Mr. Burberry, when you have<br />

this sophisticated new Francis<br />

Kurkdjian creation monogrammed<br />

(for free), by ordering on-line (or<br />

at selected Burberry stores).<br />

From £40 for 30ml eau de toilette<br />

burberry.com<br />

Sexy symbols<br />

Smell-o-vision<br />

It’s our dream chat show: two wittily charming friends who happen to be<br />

fragrance experts and want to share their passion for perfume with the<br />

world at large are finally launching their own YouTube channel. Pia Long is a<br />

perfumer, freelance writer and experienced cosmetics industry professional,<br />

while Nick Gilbert’s a perfume expert and writer, consultant, evaluator and<br />

marketer. Together they form Love to Smell, and will be waxing lyrical about<br />

perfumes they adore with news, views and all manner of surprises up their<br />

<strong>scented</strong> sleeves. Find them at: lovetosmell.co.uk<br />

The sleekest, sexiest flacons for<br />

men’s fragrance we’ve seen in a long<br />

time: this Travel Tonic trio is inspired<br />

by treasured metals, the shiny metal<br />

embossed with its symbol from the<br />

periodic table. Au (Gold) blends<br />

bergamot and clove, jasmine, musk<br />

and vanilla. Ag (Silver) contrasts<br />

cool violet leaf with earthy leather<br />

and sandalwood, while on-trend<br />

Cu (Copper) zings with grapefruit<br />

and pepper, on a base of patchouli.<br />

Hipster flasks, for sure.<br />

£25 for 25ml eau de toilette<br />

tedbaker.com<br />

The <strong>scented</strong> Letter 9


perfumed promotion<br />

THE AVENTUS PHENOMENON<br />

‘Hello, is that The Perfume Society?<br />

I wonder if you can help? Only, well, I need<br />

you to help save my marriage…’<br />

We’re ready to answer almost any<br />

fragrant query at The Perfume<br />

Society HQ, but this was quite the<br />

most intriguing phone-call we’d<br />

ever received. Having established<br />

the chap on the line hadn’t<br />

mistaken us for the Relate hotline,<br />

it turned out he’d just treated<br />

himself to a bottle of Creed’s<br />

Aventus: ‘It’s incredible, but more<br />

than I usually spend on myself, so I<br />

need to know what to tell my wife<br />

about why it’s a good buy…’ Pen<br />

poised, he wrote down our<br />

answer word for word, and so<br />

having spared him the cost of a<br />

divorce lawyer, we thought it was<br />

worth sharing.<br />

Let’s start with some hard facts<br />

(before the poetic bit) that perfectly<br />

illustrate the Aventus phenomenon:<br />

In the last three years, sales have<br />

grown 135% with Aventus now<br />

ranked #4 within the male fragrance<br />

category in the NPD Group, Inc.<br />

Market Performance Report. The<br />

reason? A powerhouse formula<br />

combining heroic classicism with<br />

contemporary verve that seems<br />

to smell fabulous on every man<br />

we’ve sniffed. Having been creating<br />

fragrances since 1760 (when King<br />

George III commissioned founder<br />

James Creed to match his <strong>scented</strong><br />

gloves), sixth generation perfumer<br />

Olivier Creed and his son, Erwin,<br />

carry on the family craft to this day.<br />

Though Creed actually began<br />

life as a bespoke gentlemen’s<br />

tailors in Mayfair, it was the fine<br />

fragrances which really took off,<br />

with Queen Victoria appointing<br />

them official suppliers to the royal<br />

household. The European courts<br />

soon followed, Napoleon III and<br />

Empress Eugénie eventually<br />

persuading Creed to move to<br />

Paris, where they’ve been based<br />

ever since. Let’s just say – after<br />

250 years, and with a roll-call of<br />

devoted fans dousing themselves<br />

elegantly with Creed, they know<br />

what they’re doing.<br />

But what does Aventus smell<br />

like? A delicious tang of mouthwatering<br />

fruit bursts forth<br />

into wild, woody roses,<br />

dense birch trees and<br />

heady jasmine shot<br />

through with patchouli;<br />

then a long, slow sink into<br />

oakmoss, misty ambergris<br />

and a touch of vanilla. Not<br />

merely long-lasting, Aventus<br />

is tenaciously irresistible,<br />

and with matching products<br />

available – including a<br />

sumptuous aftershave<br />

moisturiser and<br />

decadent<br />

deodorant –<br />

you, too, can<br />

layer like a<br />

King...<br />

Olivier Creed (top)<br />

and son Erwin<br />

(above)<br />

Creed Aventus<br />

from £105 for 30ml<br />

eau de parfum<br />

For stockists, see<br />

creedfragrances.co.uk<br />

Aventus is a powerhouse formula<br />

combining heroic classicism with<br />

contemporary verve


guys just want to have fern<br />

We sent Senior Writer Suzy Nightingale<br />

sniffing the trail of the legendary (and<br />

hard-to-pronounce) fougère olfactory<br />

family, tracing its history from heritage<br />

brands to the new creations being<br />

wafted beneath the nostrils of men –<br />

and women – once more, today…<br />

Fougère<br />

a forage in the undergrowth<br />

© rgbspace - Fotolia.com<br />

Every era has one: a zeitgeist<br />

moment that changes the cultural landscape<br />

forever, not merely capturing the mood of<br />

the moment but looking way into the future<br />

and creating that almost impossible-to-define<br />

beast: a ‘classic’. And so it was in fragrance,<br />

with the question of ‘What should a man<br />

smell like?’ seemingly answered by perfumer<br />

Paul Parquet for Houbigant in 1882. The<br />

conclusion? A fern.<br />

But let’s rewind a bit. Never one to rest<br />

on his laurels, Napoloen Bonaparte – in the<br />

tumultuous period of history known as The<br />

Hundred Days (marking the time between his<br />

return to Paris on 20 March 1815 from exile<br />

on the island of Elba to the restoraration<br />

The <strong>scented</strong> Letter 25


oys just want to have fern<br />

of King Louis XVIII on 8 July 1815) -<br />

apparently found time to go perfumeshopping<br />

at a Parisian perfume house<br />

by the name of Houbigant.<br />

Considering that his diary would<br />

have seen both the War of the Seventh<br />

Coalition and the Waterloo Campaign<br />

included as entries during those fateful<br />

days; one wonders at – yet can’t help<br />

but respect – Napoleon fitting this in<br />

to the presumably rather extensive To<br />

Do list.<br />

The fougère had not yet unfurled<br />

(indeed, the creator himself was not<br />

yet born) but Houbigant’s importance<br />

As joint owner of the company and<br />

resident master perfumer, he was a<br />

man destined to shake up the world of<br />

fragrance forever, by fusing the best<br />

nature had to offer with the height of<br />

scientific innovation.<br />

Paul Parquet was called the<br />

‘greatest perfumer of his time’ by no<br />

less than Ernest Beaux, the creator<br />

of Chanel No. 5, and can certainly<br />

be said to have been the first to<br />

truly understand and appreciate the<br />

use of synthetic aroma materials in<br />

fragrance composition. First used as<br />

mere substitutes for naturally derived<br />

Fougère: meaning ‘fern-like. Say it ‘foo-jair’,<br />

with the ‘j’ a little soft - almost ‘foo-shair’<br />

as a perfumery was assured by<br />

Napoleon’s commission. Serving up<br />

scent to nobility since 1775, many<br />

possibly too-good-to-be-true sounding<br />

legends swirl mysteriously around their<br />

history – including Marie Antoinette<br />

fleeing the mob of the French<br />

Revolution, her disguise overthrown<br />

by her ostentatiously aristocratic<br />

Houbigant perfume, and choosing<br />

to carry three vials of their fragrance<br />

as a token of comfort en route to her<br />

eventual execution. Apocryphal or not,<br />

they emphasise how the house was<br />

held in high regard – and it was here<br />

in 1880 that a rather suave-looking<br />

man called Paul Parquet came to work.<br />

Fougère Royale creator Paul Parquet<br />

raw materials, Parquet saw a chance<br />

to deploy them as unique smells in<br />

their own right – alchemically poetic<br />

creations that sought not to mimic<br />

the natural world but to add to it, to<br />

improve on perfection. And so from<br />

this innovation, the fougère fragrance<br />

family was born.<br />

Now, when you think of a fern, what<br />

smell comes to mind? Whatever you<br />

think of, that smell memory may well<br />

have been influenced by Houbigant’s<br />

Fougère Royale, created in 1882 and<br />

much copied by those who clamoured<br />

to achieve a measure of its success.<br />

Basically, Parquet completely<br />

invented the smell of a fern, in that<br />

fragrance – and started a fashion with<br />

his work of olfactory fiction. Because<br />

in reality, while we might imagine a<br />

vaguely camphorous shady-forest<br />

smell emanating from a fern, the<br />

majority of ferns aren’t fragrant to any<br />

great extent at all. And although the<br />

ingredients so key to Parquet’s original<br />

accord - oakmoss, geranium, bergamot<br />

and (most notably) coumarin – are now<br />

collectively referred to as a ‘fougère’<br />

(often with lavender or other aromatic<br />

herbs thrown in for good effect), in all<br />

honesty we’re still not much closer to<br />

knowing exactly what gave Parquet the<br />

notion they were ‘fern-like’.<br />

It was Parquet’s generous use<br />

of coumarin – one of the very first<br />

synthetics to appear in perfumery<br />

– which made this such a landmark<br />

scent, however. Now, how many<br />

people outside the industry would be<br />

able to describe coumarin’s smell? Not<br />

many, I’m guessing.<br />

In reality, coumarin is complex, and<br />

layered: the scent of sweet hay drying<br />

in the sunshine with a slight waft of<br />

warm horse; a cold glass of fizz sipped<br />

on newly-mown grass; a fine cigar fresh<br />

from the humidor; an unadulterated<br />

cookie dunked in warm milk... All of<br />

these things and not one in particular,<br />

the scientist working in harmony<br />

with the artful perfumer to create a<br />

sort of magical realism. And perhaps<br />

the ultimate skill of a perfumer is to<br />

take ingredients and transform them<br />

into something we think we already<br />

recognise, sparking scent memories<br />

and creating new ones to fill the gaps.<br />

Frequently described in slightly<br />

austere terms such as ‘traditional’,<br />

‘masculine’ and ‘refined’, the fougère<br />

can take quite a dandy-ish turn<br />

depending on what materials have<br />

been added to the classic formula<br />

above. And although historically<br />

thought of as a fragrance for men<br />

alone, many women enjoy its laconic<br />

delights: Guerlain’s masterpiece of<br />

Jicky (launched in 1889 and widely<br />

acknowledged as ‘the first modern<br />

perfume’) is a fougère which ramps<br />

up the crisp crackle of dry lavender,<br />

adding sweet flourishes.<br />

Right now, at The Perfume Society,<br />

we’re delighted to see this fragrance<br />

family enjoying a renaissance, with<br />

fougère increasingly finding favour<br />

again – perhaps most notably at<br />

12 The <strong>scented</strong> Letter


An early ad for<br />

Guerlain Jicky<br />

Mugler. They showcase Fougère<br />

Furieuse within a collection of six Les<br />

Exceptions scents unveiled earlier this<br />

year, each the perfect embodiment of<br />

a specific fragrance ‘family’, but with<br />

a twist. Perfumer Jean-Christophe<br />

Herault explained (in somewhat<br />

flowery style!): ‘Feminine floral facets<br />

of the fougère structure have been<br />

intensified in Fougère Furieuse,<br />

with the contrasts amplified in the<br />

fragrance for an approach that is<br />

resolutely Muglerian. It plays on the<br />

codes of the genre, borrowing some<br />

elements from the male wardrobe<br />

then changing them – daring to be<br />

outrageous…’<br />

But what of the fragrance house<br />

Houbigant customer Napoleon<br />

which began it all…? Houbigant had<br />

its troubles, filing for bankruptcy in<br />

1993, with the magnificent Fougère<br />

Royale greatly altered and finally<br />

discontinued. But there’s a happy<br />

ending to the tale: in 2010 the wealthy<br />

Perris family swooped to rescue and<br />

restore Houbigant, utterly respecting<br />

its heritage and commissioning<br />

fragrance impresario Roja Dove to<br />

work with his friend, the perfumer<br />

Rodrigo Flores Roux, to re-interpret<br />

the formula for the modern day.<br />

And with any number of new niche<br />

unisex or ‘shared’ fragrances harking<br />

back to the heritage of that original<br />

fougère, the leaves of the fern look set<br />

to unfurl for some time to come…<br />

Vintage bottles still exist<br />

“<br />

When you<br />

wear a fougère<br />

you are connecting<br />

to a tradition<br />

of olfactory<br />

greatness. They<br />

smell resolutely<br />

masculine and<br />

correct, good to<br />

be around, secure<br />

and sexy. In a<br />

crisis, you’d want<br />

to be a fougère<br />

kinda guy. And<br />

ladies, you’d<br />

definitely want a<br />

fougère shoulder<br />

to cry on<br />

”<br />

Penhaligon’s blog<br />

The <strong>scented</strong> Letter 13


oys just want to have fern<br />

Fougères<br />

worth<br />

foraging<br />

Classically chic<br />

▲ Houbigant Fougère Royale<br />

A sprig of herbs carefully<br />

tucked into the lapel of a<br />

herringbone jacket, the olive<br />

from a dry Martini sucked in a<br />

slightly lascivious manner<br />

while they’re all looking the<br />

other way.<br />

Penhaligon’s English Fern<br />

The perfectly tailored suit still<br />

dusty with chalk-marks; the<br />

pile of too-new logs glanced at<br />

wistfully; a tot of bright green<br />

liquor to ward off the chill<br />

before the sun rises and<br />

foliage steams.<br />

▲<br />

▲ Guerlain Jicky Somewhere<br />

between breakfast and<br />

midnight, moorland so fogshrouded<br />

that time’s<br />

immaterial; a pale woollen<br />

blanket clutched close, bare<br />

feet on flagstones, forbidden<br />

cocktails swigged while<br />

reading Wuthering Heights.<br />

▼ Yves Saint Laurent Kouros<br />

Freshly-scrubbed and shining<br />

with smooth words and<br />

practiced simplicity, but clean<br />

sheets cannot hide the<br />

indiscretion and animal<br />

instincts of the night before.<br />

Azzaro Pour Homme One<br />

minute it’s all ‘don’t spare the<br />

horses’ and manly back slaps<br />

following good-natured wrestling,<br />

becoming broodingly Byronic<br />

with a seemingly careless tousled<br />

mop of ringlets and poetic air.<br />

▲<br />

14 The <strong>scented</strong> Letter


Contemporary cool<br />

Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male<br />

A stick of rock tossed<br />

nonchalantly in the sand,<br />

overthrown for the fleshy<br />

delights of skin kissed with salt<br />

from the cold waves, a warm<br />

face licked clean before<br />

getting dirty again…<br />

▲<br />

Penhaligon’s Sartorial<br />

Honey-laden crumpets eaten<br />

with lip-smacking gusto, butter<br />

dripping on leather boots<br />

burnished with beeswax; it’s<br />

what The Laughing Cavalier<br />

would surely wear, now.<br />

▲<br />

▼ Timothy Han She Came to<br />

Stay Simone de Beauvoir’s<br />

novel brought to life; the<br />

lingering scent of a<br />

questioning glance that shakes<br />

your soul, warm as a cat<br />

curling round bare legs,<br />

gooesbumps as the fur tickles.<br />

▲ Creed Aberdeen Lavender<br />

Fizzy sherbet dib-dabs guzzled<br />

while giggling on a cliff-top<br />

walk; a hasty embrace in the<br />

heather leads to a night in a<br />

boutique hotel and<br />

conversations in bed about the<br />

origins of tartan.<br />

▼ Mugler Fougère Furieuse A<br />

bright young thing in a gown<br />

too sheer to be decent dances<br />

the night away at a discreetly<br />

riotous nightclub. Surrounded<br />

by velvet ropes, garlanded by<br />

orange blossom, she sleeps<br />

until noon.<br />

The <strong>scented</strong> Letter 15


suits you, sir<br />

Some Assembly<br />

Required:<br />

how to build a<br />

mALE fragrance<br />

wardrobe<br />

With a bulging ‘scent<br />

closet’ of his own, there’s<br />

nobody better than<br />

Jasmine-award-winning<br />

blogger The Candy<br />

Perfume Boy – real name<br />

Thomas Dunckley – to<br />

help with construction<br />

There is no such thing as ‘one size fits all’ when it<br />

comes to fragrance. People and perfumes are both so infinitely<br />

nuanced and varied, it’s impossible to find one scent for one<br />

person that suits each and every occasion. So we all need variety.<br />

Well, one thing the perfume industry cannot be accused of is a<br />

lack of choice – and with upwards of 2,000 fragrance launches<br />

per year, there really is more than one kind of something for<br />

everybody.<br />

I’ve always seen fragrance as the ultimate accessory: the final<br />

embellishment we put on to accompany our outfits. We wouldn’t<br />

wear the same shoes everyday – so why the same fragrance?<br />

Each scent says something about the person we’d like to be on<br />

that particular day. So if I’m rocking a generous dose of YSL’s<br />

Kouros, for example, the world knows that I’m presenting myself<br />

as a macho Adonis straight from the Olympiad (in an entirely<br />

believable manner, I should add). And if I splash on a dose of<br />

Guerlain Vetiver? I mean business – in every way.<br />

Just like any accessory, then, you need a wardrobe to choose<br />

from. So: how to navigate those crowded counters to build such<br />

a wardrobe, when there’s just so much choice out there?<br />

To me, the answer is to think of the challenge in modern terms<br />

and flat-pack it. These days, we’re used to picking our storage<br />

solutions off the shelf with minimal assembly required – and<br />

armed with the how-to, building a collection of fragrances really<br />

can be as simple as putting together a Billy bookcase from IKEA.<br />

Think of this article as your instructions (although hopefully you<br />

will find them much clearer than those supplied by IKEA), and<br />

the fragrances as your tools. All you need to do is slot your eau<br />

de Cologne next to your fougère – that’s it, right behind the<br />

Orientals (no! the other way round!), and you are good to go.<br />

So, without further procrastination, let’s get down to it...<br />

16 The <strong>scented</strong> Letter


2<br />

The Business<br />

Section<br />

So, without further procrastination, let’s get into it.<br />

1<br />

The Everyday<br />

Section<br />

Olfactory tools to use: Eau de Cologne and Fougère<br />

In every wardrobe, whether fragrant or fashionable,<br />

there’s generally a number of key pieces - staples<br />

that can be dressed up or down for any occasion.<br />

With clothing, staple pieces are often timeless<br />

classics like the white t-shirt or the blue Oxford<br />

shirt: items that feel comfortable on any occasion,<br />

whether lounging about the house with a book or<br />

smartening up for dinner with friends. So what’s the<br />

olfactory equivalent of the versatile, plain white T?<br />

When it comes to versatility there are two<br />

genres that stick out: the eau de Cologne and the<br />

fougère (you will notice that these are recurring<br />

themes, actually). Colognes especially have that<br />

wonderful ability to be so easy-going that they<br />

smell comfortable and relaxed when mooching<br />

about, but also smart and elegant when placed in a<br />

formal setting. For a versatile Cologne, I often reach<br />

for Gruhme Nº14: a vibrant cocktail of citrus fruits<br />

and neroli that is given a sophisticated twist by a<br />

generous helping of juniper.<br />

On the complete flipside of that, the fougère<br />

(which Suzy Nightingale explores on p.11-15) is<br />

a more ‘meaty’ style of scent, sometimes tending<br />

towards a barbershop sweetness, which can work<br />

in any situation – especially when it comes to<br />

something as marvellous as YSL Rive Gauche Pour<br />

Homme, a powdery lavender that is groomed to<br />

utter perfection. It’s so perfect, in fact, that Pour<br />

Homme could come close to being the key piece in<br />

a masculine fragrance wardrobe, working exquisitely<br />

when paired with black tie or pyjamas.<br />

Olfactory tools to use: Eau de Cologne, Fougère and<br />

Woody<br />

One life lesson I learned early on in my career (in HR, if<br />

you’re asking) was that so much of a person’s success is<br />

dependent on the perception of others. Which is why it’s<br />

so important to project the right image when working<br />

– while of course maintaining a degree of personality.<br />

(After all, just because you want to come across as smart<br />

and diligent, it doesn’t mean you can’t be interesting.)<br />

My mantra with work fragrances is to approach<br />

them in the exact same way you would your clothing.<br />

Not sure you could get away with that fluorescent<br />

pink tie? It is perhaps best avoided – in the same way<br />

that it’s probably best to stay away from the oxygendepleting,<br />

ultra-woody oudhs. In short, for work you<br />

need something elegant and understated in your<br />

wardrobe. I’m talking subtle examples of the woody,<br />

Cologne and fougère genres, all of which speak in tones<br />

of refinement and reserved sophistication.<br />

To me, you can’t beat a tried-and-tested classic like<br />

Guerlain’s Vetiver for work: a fragrance that has adorned<br />

the bodies of many a businessman since 1965 simply<br />

cannot be argued with, and its delicately refined facets<br />

of citrus and rooty vetiver paint a picture of a person<br />

who is quietly confident in their abilities. For something<br />

more modern and a little bit more dandyish, check out<br />

Bottega Veneta’s Essence Aromatique Pour Homme,<br />

which precisely straddles the line between classic<br />

fougère and modern Cologne and feels like a sensitive<br />

and attractive blend that’s completely approachable.<br />

‘For work you need<br />

something elegant and<br />

understated in your<br />

wardrobe’<br />

© ZoneCreative, Fotolia.com.<br />

‘Discover the olfactory<br />

equivalent of the versatile,<br />

plain white t-shirt’<br />

The <strong>scented</strong> Letter 17


‘There are two elements<br />

to consider: freshness<br />

and subtlety’<br />

3<br />

The Sports<br />

Section<br />

Olfactory tools to use: Eau de Cologne and Citrus<br />

The modern man spends more time at the gym than<br />

ever – and if this is a time anyone thinks he should<br />

be un<strong>scented</strong> well, sacré bleu…! He is neglecting his<br />

fragrance wardrobe – and I question his dedication to this<br />

project. Let’s face it: the gym can be a smelly place – and<br />

besides, when you’ve invested a fair percentage of your<br />

salary on the perfectly on-trend gym kit, including the<br />

latest kicks, it surely makes sense to splurge a bit on a<br />

scent that is as gym-fit as you hope to be.<br />

There are two key elements to consider when picking<br />

your gym scent: freshness and subtlety. Whenever your<br />

skin warms up, a fragrance will diffuse quicker – which<br />

means that anything heavy is going to be detected right<br />

from the changing rooms to the bench press. What’s<br />

called for is something that will keep you feeling fresh<br />

without knocking anyone else off their cross-trainer.<br />

May I suggest the steamy musks and green grass of<br />

Mugler’s Cologne? Or perhaps even the bitter grapefruit<br />

of Hermès Terre d’Hermès Eau Très Fraîche? Both are<br />

refreshingly incognito fragrances that will keep you<br />

smelling in tip-top shape.<br />

24 The <strong>scented</strong> Letter


suits you, sir<br />

5<br />

The Seduction<br />

Section<br />

4<br />

The Globetrotter<br />

Section<br />

Olfactory tools to use: Eau de Cologne, Floral,<br />

Woody and Citrus<br />

Are you a man who travels? Do you have a thirst<br />

for new experiences and to meet exciting people?<br />

Well, you are a globetrotter and will need a scent in<br />

your wardrobe worthy of accompanying you on your<br />

adventures. On the classic side, a floral-heavy eau de<br />

Cologne such as Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino is just<br />

perfect: one sniff and you’ll be transported straight<br />

to the Amalfi Coast, espadrilles afoot and G&T in<br />

hand (and there’s a reason this fragrance has enjoyed<br />

such huge success).<br />

If however, you like to get back to nature and<br />

experience the ‘real thing’ rather than five-star luxury<br />

while on the road, a modern neo-Cologne such as<br />

Calvin Klein’s CK2 will set you in good stead. CK2<br />

will keep you clean while roughing it, but with its<br />

intriguingly milky citrus notes and mineral woods<br />

(think cold pebbles and liquid chalk) it will also<br />

ensure that you are as cool as a cucumber when<br />

meeting people of note. When travelling, it pays to<br />

be a bit more adventurous!<br />

Olfactory Tools to Use: Gourmand, Oriental and Woody<br />

Whether the occasion is a regular date night or a night<br />

out on the town (and the prowl), a gentleman needs<br />

something alluring in his arsenal to attract attention. This<br />

is where the heavy-hitters and the big guns come out:<br />

those scents that are going to travel across the dance floor<br />

to ensnare and captivate an intrigued partner. The ultrarevitalising<br />

Colognes and effortlessly smart fougères have<br />

no place here; this is the domain of the exotic Orientals,<br />

the addictive gourmands and the masculine woods - also<br />

known as the attention-seekers.<br />

First things first: every man needs a bottle of Tom Ford’s<br />

Oud Wood in his life. It is the sexiest scent on the planet –<br />

so sexy in fact that I’ve heard it described as ‘toe-curlingly<br />

good’. (Make of that what you will.) This is a spicy man<br />

scent with robust woods and a flourish of rubbery oudh.<br />

If those don’t appeal, something tasty and gourmand<br />

will certainly draw attention: a scent such as Guerlain’s<br />

L’Homme Idéal, which is a shot of Amaretto built in the<br />

style of grand old ‘80s masculines. If those fail to get you<br />

noticed then I don’t think I can help you, my friend. In short:<br />

when it comes to seduction, go big – or go home to your<br />

flat-pack bookshelves alone...<br />

‘This is the domain of the exotic<br />

Orientals, addictive gourmands<br />

and masculine woods’<br />

© katafree; Jacob Lund; Aarrttuurr; Strezhnev Pavel - Fotolia.com.<br />

‘This man needs a scent<br />

worthy of accompanying<br />

you on adventures’<br />

The key thing to remember is that a man does not need 365 fragrances to get<br />

him through the year; he can do it with a capsule wardrobe of five or six scents. An open<br />

mind is also essential to ensure adequate exploration of the incredibly varied world of<br />

perfume. However, if I could make one recommendation, it would be this: do not be<br />

afraid to pick fragrances with personality. The scents you wear say so much about who<br />

you are, whether you are a bearded hipster with a love for artisan coffees (Beaufort<br />

London’s Vi et Armis is for you, you’re welcome), or a suave James Bond type who<br />

cannot wear anything other than the classics (go get a bottle of Guerlain’s Habit Rouge<br />

right this second), you will want to wear something that suits you. But follow your nose –<br />

and these handy instructions, of course – and there is no way you can go wrong.<br />

The <strong>scented</strong> Letter 17


liquid memories<br />

THE<br />

SCENT<br />

father<br />

OF MY<br />

Last year, for Mother’s Day, we asked various fragrant figures to share<br />

scent memories of their mums. Now, in time for Father’s Day 2016,<br />

we do the same for dads. (Spoiler alert: you just might need Kleenex)<br />

Jo Fairley, Co-Founder,<br />

The Perfume Society<br />

‘My father never wore actual<br />

fragrance – his teammates on The<br />

Saracens rugby team in the 1950s<br />

might have ribbed him relentlessly,<br />

if he had – but he did use Floris<br />

Rose Geranium shaving soap (and<br />

a badger brush). I never, ever smell<br />

that incredibly English garden,<br />

evocative smell without welling<br />

up. They don’t make the shaving<br />

soap any more but if I really want<br />

to remember my dad, I put a slurp<br />

of Rose Geranium Bath Essence<br />

in my bathwater – just as Marilyn<br />

Monroe did. (And I know he’d have<br />

approved of her choice!)’<br />

Peter Fairley<br />

and the<br />

scent of<br />

his shaving<br />

soap, Rose<br />

Geranium<br />

‘Thierry Wasser, Guerlain perfumer<br />

The last time I saw my father I was three years old; he died when I was very<br />

small. Nevertheless, I remember that he used to wear gloves to drive. I<br />

inherited some possessions from him – furniture, clothes – but what do you do<br />

with that stuff when you’re a kid? Still, when I was taking my driving lessons at<br />

18, I said: “I’m going to be like my dad; I’m going to wear gloves for driving’.<br />

Eventually I found his driving gloves. Well, he used to fragrance himself with<br />

Chanel Cuir de Russie. At that time, it wasn’t in a spray; you’d splash it onto<br />

your skin with your palms. I put those gloves on, 15 years later, and – perhaps<br />

it was the heat, or maybe I was sweating with the anxiety of driving lessons –<br />

the smell came out so strongly I honestly thought the ghost of my father was<br />

playing some kind of freaky trick on me. It was a very weird moment, but I shall<br />

never forget it. Or him.’<br />

20 The <strong>scented</strong> Letter


Andy and his father<br />

Persolaise’s<br />

father,<br />

Ahmad Alavi<br />

Persolaise,<br />

fragrance<br />

blogger<br />

‘Because<br />

my mother’s<br />

identity has<br />

always been so<br />

closely linked<br />

with the world of scent – she worked<br />

in perfume retail throughout my<br />

childhood – it was difficult for my<br />

father to leave a powerful olfactory<br />

imprint on my brain when I was a<br />

youngster. He’s had several signature<br />

fragrances over the decades; they<br />

just happened to be overshadowed<br />

by my mum’s. For years, he was an<br />

Aramis guy, filling the house with<br />

that unmistakable, tangy leather<br />

each time he stepped out of the<br />

shower. He also had a fondness for<br />

the original Boucheron Pour Homme,<br />

although he would never have<br />

admitted to having a preference for<br />

loud compositions. Most recently,<br />

he’s appropriated the L’Eau version<br />

of Guerlain Homme: he says he finds<br />

its combo of mint and rum notes<br />

bracing in the mornings. He wore<br />

it constantly when I visited him last<br />

Easter; in fact, his car seemed to have<br />

become infused with the stuff. I don’t<br />

see him very often these days - we<br />

live on different continents now -<br />

which means that any get-togethers<br />

we do manage to organise tend to<br />

forge very intense memories. So, until<br />

the next time I spend some time with<br />

him, I’m sure my brain has filed him<br />

under: Homme, Guerlain.’<br />

Linda Pilkington, creator of<br />

Ormonde Jayne fragrances<br />

‘My daddy wears Ormonde Man -<br />

since day one of its launch, in fact<br />

– but his all-time Cologne is 4711. It’s<br />

even in all the guest bedrooms and<br />

bathrooms at home! It taps into his<br />

German roots and takes him back to<br />

his parents’ home in Hamburg…’<br />

Andy Tauer, perfumer<br />

‘My family lived the “Disney<br />

dream” of the 60s. We were<br />

not very well off, but every<br />

year, life got a bit better. Like<br />

most men in those days, my<br />

father did not use Cologne as<br />

that was a luxury back then<br />

- but I remember him having<br />

a Tabac aftershave that was<br />

just lovely on him and fitted<br />

perfectly.’<br />

“<br />

Linda<br />

Pilkington<br />

and her<br />

beloved<br />

father - and<br />

4711, his<br />

favourite<br />

splash<br />

I got myself<br />

a bottle a couple<br />

of years ago, too<br />

– not wearing it,<br />

but smelling it<br />

from time to time<br />

”<br />

Stephan Matthews, blogger and<br />

fragrance consultant<br />

‘My father was a Major in the Army<br />

and rarely wore fragrance, but I<br />

always remember the aroma of his<br />

kit bag and combats when he came<br />

home from manoeuvres. It was a<br />

cross between mothballs, dry soil<br />

and hessian. Maybe that’s where I get<br />

my love of Chypre fragrances from.<br />

Looking back on it now, when he got<br />

his MBE in 1989, Buckingham Palace<br />

was a Chypre heaven!’<br />

Stephan and his father<br />

The <strong>scented</strong> Letter 21


liquid memories<br />

Sarah McCartney, 4160 Tuesdays perfumer<br />

‘My father only ever used 4711 for dabbing on his skin. He<br />

owned one bottle of Old Spice for as long as I remember but<br />

thought it was inappropriate to wear it unless he was also in<br />

his dinner suit. He was of the opinion that fragrance and facial<br />

hair were for “show offs”, not for modest decent people – and<br />

so he smelled mostly of mint tooth powder.’<br />

Ruth Mastenbroek, perfumer<br />

‘I adored my father, Roy Walters.<br />

He could do no wrong in my eyes.<br />

When I was growing up, Dad<br />

smoked a pipe and I still love the<br />

smell of pipe tobacco. Just a whiff<br />

of that comfortable fug of cherry<br />

and vanilla, chocolate and red fruits,<br />

and he will materialise before me.<br />

His wood-panelled, book-lined<br />

study was his refuge from our busy<br />

family life, where he could play Bach<br />

fugues on his organ and read to<br />

his heart’s content, tugging on his<br />

pipe. His ‘signature scent’ was Old<br />

Spice, its traditional spicy fougère<br />

speaking to Dad’s motto: “All things<br />

in moderation”. Later in life he wore<br />

Arden Men Sandalwood – perhaps<br />

rather dated now, but I always<br />

thought its blend of fresh, woody and<br />

balsamic notes suited him really well.’<br />

Sarah McCartney<br />

and her father<br />

Alan (left)<br />

Keith Reed (right)<br />

Adam Reed,<br />

award-winning<br />

hairdresser<br />

‘As a young boy<br />

I often nicked<br />

my Dad’s Old<br />

Spice and<br />

thoroughly<br />

doused myself<br />

in this “old<br />

school” splash – always denying<br />

doing so, although I was often left<br />

damp with the amount that I had<br />

splashed on. I absolutely loved,<br />

and still do, this subtle spicy floral; I<br />

think that it was so ahead of it time.<br />

This winter I was wearing Comme<br />

Des Garçons Carnation and it totally<br />

took me back to being a young boy,<br />

reminiscent of Old Spice Original.<br />

I still always keep a bottle, even<br />

though my sense of smell has<br />

moved on.’<br />

Lorna McKay,<br />

The Perfume<br />

Society Co-<br />

Founder<br />

‘The whole<br />

house used<br />

to smell of my<br />

father (David<br />

Shankland),<br />

who was rather<br />

heavy-handed with Old Spice. It’s<br />

a really comforting scent to me, as<br />

it was part of the morning ritual of<br />

smells: toast, porridge, Old Spice!’<br />

Ruth Mastenbroek’s father, Roy Walters;<br />

right, Jo Newton’s father John Broadley<br />

Jo Newton, Head of Buying for Fashion,<br />

Beauty & Home at Fortnum & Mason<br />

Jo Newton, Fortnum’s: ‘My father was a big<br />

character and a great sportsman (England<br />

hockey team coach). He thought Cologne and<br />

aftershave were not for “real “men, but he had<br />

a penchant for Old Spice. It went to all the<br />

hockey matches and was liberally doused after<br />

each game filling the car journey home with its<br />

distinctive classic aroma.’<br />

22 The <strong>scented</strong> Letter


Michael Donovan,<br />

fragrance PR and expert<br />

‘There are several smells that remind me<br />

instantly of my father (Ronald Hawkins).<br />

First off, Grey Flannel by Geoffrey<br />

Beene (my father’s skin really pushed<br />

the vetiver). Second, petrol: I would go<br />

with him to the petrol station and was<br />

allowed to fill the tank (not something I<br />

find as exciting now, though I still love<br />

the smell). Finally, he would religiously<br />

creosote the fences in our gardens in high<br />

summer so the strong and probably toxic<br />

scent was everywhere...<br />

“<br />

...creosote still<br />

reminds me of him<br />

and hot, cloudless<br />

days and the<br />

buzzing of bees<br />

Michael’s<br />

father<br />

”<br />

Victoria Christian, Clive Christian fragrances<br />

‘As I think back through my childhood and in particular to my father I<br />

remember the scent of wood. From the lush established gardens to the fresh,<br />

deep, earthy complexity of fresh logs chopped and stored ready to be put on<br />

to the fire and then the gentle scent of smoke as they burned, accompanied<br />

by the vibrant crackle and pop sounds of the flames, on a Sunday afternoon. It<br />

conjures up a great sense of home and comfort, peacefulness and warmth.’<br />

Kenneth Green<br />

(left) and his<br />

father, Sydney<br />

(below)<br />

Kenneth Green, Chairman of<br />

fragrance distributors KGA<br />

‘The scent of my father was leather<br />

and lavender from his shaving kit<br />

and bathroom. Men’s fragrance after<br />

WWII wasn’t that common – just<br />

lavender water from the chemist, and<br />

Old Spice (which<br />

he didn’t wear<br />

wear). It was only<br />

in the early 60s<br />

that we saw Brut<br />

from Fabergé,<br />

Aramis, and<br />

perhaps Lentéric<br />

Onyx – and later,<br />

Eau Sauvage,<br />

which I launched<br />

around 1968.’<br />

Cecile Zarokian, perfumer<br />

‘My father wore Hermès Eau<br />

d’Orange Verte. For me it was a<br />

beautiful Cologne, with a huge<br />

freshness, very classy, refined and<br />

elegant – like him…’<br />

Clive and<br />

Victoria<br />

Christian<br />

Cécile Zarokian’s dad<br />

and his signature Eau<br />

d’Orange Verte<br />

The <strong>scented</strong> Letter 23


the sprays, master he of scores modern femininity<br />

bottling<br />

Mr Beckham<br />

Perfumer Alienor Massenet talks about her latest creation for the globally<br />

bestselling David Beckham fragrance line – and read on, to discover the ‘philosophy<br />

of scent’ of everyone’s favourite ex-footballer and hands-on-celebrity dad<br />

He may have hung up his football boots – but<br />

retire…? It’s hardly David Beckham’s thing. Whether he’s<br />

riding a bike through the Amazon rainforest, working<br />

with UNICEF, posting on Instagram (he notched up over a<br />

million followers on just his first day), growing his business<br />

empire – never mind picking up Harper and her brothers<br />

from school – there’s no time to put those famous feet up.<br />

But a notable element of David Beckham’s portfolio is<br />

his scent collection, produced by Coty – perfectly summed<br />

up by one commentator (on fashionbeans.com) as being<br />

‘as kind to your nostrils as your wallet, an extension of<br />

his genuine and intelligent interest in fashion.’ Reflecting<br />

Mr. Beckham’s sure-footedness when it comes to his<br />

personal style, this may well be because he insists on<br />

being – well, hands-on, in this instance. As he explains, ‘I<br />

think it’s crucial to always be really involved in each stage<br />

of the development process, from the original idea, to<br />

naming the product and creating the final design. This is<br />

something Coty has always allowed me to do – we work<br />

together to give each fragrance a new, fresh twist.’<br />

The latest in the line-up is David Beckham Aqua<br />

Classic: an energisingly vibrant blend of citruses, florals<br />

and woods, created by Alienor Massenet of IFF. Here, she<br />

talks about its inspiration – and how she basically ‘bottled’<br />

Mr. Beckham, over the year she spent on its creation.<br />

Q<br />

How does the fragrance express the personality of<br />

David Beckham?<br />

‘This fragrance is as multi-faceted as his personality: at the<br />

same time simple and sophisticated, refined and trendy,<br />

modern and timeless – but always with a touch of audacity<br />

Q<br />

How would you describe it?<br />

On top, a refined freshness of violet leaves and<br />

edgy cardamom boosted by the sparkling energy of<br />

lemon. In the heart, an aromatic blend of sage and<br />

geranium highlights the signature note of artemisia<br />

with a lift of elegance. The textured trail of the fragrance<br />

reveals the deep sensuality of suede accord tamed by<br />

the richness of patchouli and the warmth of vetiver. Aqua<br />

Classic is the quintessence of a manly fresh sensuality.<br />

Q<br />

What does the David Beckham brand represent for<br />

you?<br />

Elegance, edginess and self-confidence. David Beckham<br />

is a role model, and reaches the status of a modern icon.<br />

I very much respect and admire him for all that. To me,<br />

Beckham fragrances have a strong appeal: they all release<br />

an affirmed, masculine aura. Olfactively, the Beckham<br />

fragrances unveil woody and spicy masculine trails.<br />

Q<br />

What makes Aqua Classic unique?<br />

The quality of ingredients. For example, I used a<br />

very innovative and high quality vetiver, specially purified<br />

of earthy notes, which reveals a surprising facet: a fresh<br />

and spicy powerful note exhaling an unrivalled and<br />

luminous masculine aura, with slightly fruity grapefruit<br />

undertones.<br />

Q<br />

What kind of man do you imagine wearing this<br />

fragrance?<br />

A self-assured man, charismatic with a sharp sense of style.<br />

Which basically sums up David Beckham, to us…<br />

David Beckham Aqua Classic, £19.95 for 60ml eau de<br />

toilette (available nationwide)<br />

PS Read more of the interview with Alienor Massenet<br />

about her approach to perfumery on perfumesociety.org<br />

24 The <strong>scented</strong> Letter


‘My gran used to wear a<br />

Givenchy perfume and it’s<br />

all she ever wore. She passed<br />

away a few years back but<br />

every time I smell it, it<br />

reminds me of my gran’<br />

“<br />

I used to steal my<br />

granddad’s Calvin Klein<br />

and I’ve worn Dominique<br />

Ropion in the past. But<br />

obviously now I’ve got<br />

my own, I wear that –<br />

which is handy<br />

”<br />

‘I don’t like a fragrance<br />

that’s too strong or<br />

overpowering. I like to see the<br />

person before you smell them.<br />

I give that advice for wearing<br />

men’s fragrances, too’<br />

“<br />

I don’t think there are many things<br />

sexier than when a woman’s gotten out<br />

of the shower and has that fresh smell…<br />

Without going into it too much! I just<br />

think that’s something that’s very special<br />

about a woman<br />

”<br />

‘I’ll wear several fragrances in a day.<br />

I like to mix things up depending on<br />

my mood and what I am doing today’<br />

“<br />

I think it’s important to always look after yourself whatever<br />

your age. For me it feels instinctive and I don’t wear something<br />

because of what anyone would think. It has to feel right for the<br />

person and if people are complimentary, then it’s a bonus<br />

”<br />

The <strong>scented</strong> Letter 25


it’s a guy thing<br />

A complete fragrance<br />

By popular demand, The Perfume Society has just launched The Scent of a Man<br />

Discovery Box, showcasing 13 fragrances plus three great grooming essentials…<br />

You asked, we listened. Since the launch of The<br />

Perfume Society, our male followers and VIP Subscribers<br />

have been asking: ‘What about us…?’ And though many<br />

of the fragrances we’ve offered in previous boxes have<br />

been ‘shareable’, we’re delighted to have launched our<br />

very first box unashamedly targeted at lovers and wearers<br />

of masculine fragrances, featuring everything from iconic<br />

male creations through to exciting launches from rising star<br />

fragrance houses. (Just in time for Father’s Day, NB!)<br />

Truly a first, The Scent of a Man offers our largest<br />

selection yet. (So big, we had to order a larger box to fit it<br />

all in!) It’s perfect for any man who can’t think of anything<br />

he’d like less than braving department stores, for men who<br />

put the ‘busy’ in businessman, or for those who are simply<br />

overwhelmed by the vast number of masculine fragrances on<br />

offer. We’ve put in the leg-work, curating a truly world-class<br />

selection of scents – and all you need to do is put your feet<br />

up and explore at your leisure.<br />

We know it will also be hugely popular with female<br />

fragrance-lovers who are maybe feeling the teeniest bit of<br />

shopping guilt at having bought quite a few of our other<br />

Discovery Boxes – easily assuaged by making a gift of this to<br />

someone you love!<br />

As you delve into the box, it’s also possible to access the<br />

signature Smelling Notes for the fragrances via our website,<br />

to deepen appreciation and knowledge of notes, fragrance<br />

families and the stories behind each of the scents.<br />

Meanwhile, here’s what you can look forward to…<br />

Beaufort London Coeur de Noir<br />

Think: black ink languidly swirling through milky water,<br />

West Indian spiced rum intermingling with leather-bound<br />

books and notes of vanilla pipe tobacco, following the trail<br />

of a dark heart laden with birch tar and labdanum. Truly a<br />

fragrance with a story to tell, from a fascinating new British<br />

perfume house.<br />

2ml eau de parfum (usually £95 for 50ml)<br />

Miller Harris Vetiver Insolent<br />

A deeply woody fragrance that’s tenaciously adventurous<br />

while comfortingly grounding; this thrillingly enticing blend<br />

is smoothed to perfection and lasts well until the morning<br />

after the night before…<br />

2ml eau de parfum (£65 for 50ml)<br />

The Scent of a Man is priced £15 to our VIP<br />

Subscribers and £19 to non-VIPs (each plus £2.50 postage<br />

& packing); anyone who buys a box before 1st July 2016<br />

will be entered into a prize draw to win one of the full-size<br />

fragrances or grooming treats. Find the box at:<br />

www.perfumesociety.org/shop<br />

26 The <strong>scented</strong> Letter


wardrobe (in a box)<br />

Carven L’Eau Intense<br />

Akin to a crisp white shirt (and just as timeless), this<br />

combines icy fresh notes with the warmth of spices and<br />

woods: crisp mint stirred with grapefruit and lemon, the glow<br />

of warmth via ginger and cardamom, with lavender, moss<br />

and cedar making themselves known in the finale.<br />

1.2ml eau de toilette (from £35 for 30ml)<br />

Eight & Bob Original<br />

Enlivening top notes slowly fade to a still-sparkling, lightly<br />

spiced woodiness that’s at ease for any social function, with<br />

a truly timeless appeal. Check out our website for the story<br />

of how this caught the eye – or perhaps the nose – of John F.<br />

Kennedy, who ordered eight bottles for friends and one for<br />

his brother ‘Bob’ (Robert Kennedy). Hence the name...<br />

1.5ml eau de parfum (£100 for 125ml)<br />

Gruhme For Him<br />

Grooming brand Gruhme’s first foray into fragrance has<br />

proved incredibly popular. Introduced by top notes of<br />

juniper berries, black pepper, citrus fruits and lavender, it has<br />

the makings of a strong handshake, with earthy patchouli<br />

and cedar giving way to musky, spicy sophistication.<br />

5ml eau de toilette (£35 for 100ml)<br />

Mont Blanc<br />

Cool and sensual, this urges its wearer to seize the day –<br />

and the night: fresh and punchy notes quickly warm into a<br />

wild aromatic heart of lavender and cardamom alongside<br />

invigorating aquatic elements, with a seamless, refined drydown<br />

of cashmere wood, musks and oakmoss.<br />

1.2ml eau de toilette (£26 for 30ml)<br />

Penhaligon’s No.33<br />

Hints of citrusy bergamot and orange are quickly replaced<br />

with aromatic coriander and clary sage. The warmth of<br />

lavender, black pepper and cardamom radiate heat from the<br />

heart, which eventually settles into a green and woody base,<br />

softened with vanilla and tonka bean.<br />

1.5ml eau de Cologne (£72 for 50ml)<br />

Paul Smith Essential<br />

Opening with a fresh aquatic accord, with zesty yuzu leading<br />

to aromatic and herbaceous accords in Essential’s heart. It<br />

has an underlying musky base, adding a sensual dimension –<br />

and this refined scent swiftly becomes a daytime essential.<br />

1.2ml eau de toilette (£19.50 for 30ml)<br />

Yardley London 1770<br />

Fabulously fresh and spicy at first – with a burst of fig leaves<br />

and black pepper – 1770 (named for the year the House of<br />

Yardley was established) offers a heart of cacao and cedar,<br />

with a light floral touch. The base is all-man, however: a swirl<br />

of patchouli, vetiver, moss and musk, equal parts captivating<br />

and moreish.<br />

1ml eau de toilette (normally £19.99 for 50ml)<br />

GROOMING EXTRAS<br />

The Scent of a Man Box also contains these<br />

fantastic (and generously-sized) skincare treats…<br />

Elemis Ice Cool Foaming Shave Gel: Scratchy stubble<br />

and painful razor burns (due to a bleary-eyed onceover<br />

with a lacklustre shaving product) are history,<br />

thanks to this revolutionary shaving gel – which cools,<br />

moisturises and cares for skin (and just happens to<br />

smell great, too). 100ml (£22 for 200ml)<br />

Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream: Find out why this<br />

age-defying moisturiser just scooped Best New Men’s<br />

Grooming Award at the prestigious cosmetic industry<br />

CEW Awards. It’s a power-packed treatment with triedand-tested<br />

botanicals to soothe stressed-out skin,<br />

improve moisture levels and suppleness, and generally<br />

leaving you looking fresh, revived and ready to face the<br />

day. 15ml (£55 for 30ml)<br />

Penhaligon’s No.33 Face & Beard Scrub: Scented<br />

with aromatic notes of lavender, black pepper and<br />

cardamom, pair with your No.33 Cologne (see below<br />

left) for effortless fragrance layering. Perfect for both<br />

the bearded and clean shaven, it washes away dead<br />

skin cells, deep cleaning pores and preventing ingrown<br />

hairs. 5ml (£30 for 100ml)<br />

Prada Luna Rossa Eau Sport<br />

Light and airy with bursts of bergamot and cedrat in the<br />

first encounter, this fragrance is subtle while being far<br />

from invisible. The lavender and ginger heart notes provide<br />

elements of heat, while ambergris enhances the woody base<br />

of cedar: the perfect staple for any fragrance wardrobe.<br />

1.5ml eau de toilette (£48.50 for 50ml)<br />

Illuminum Piper Leather<br />

As Illuminum explain, ‘the dark, demonic whipcrack of<br />

leather is central to this scent’. Black pepper and coriander<br />

tingle with spiciness, while star-of-the-show leather is<br />

blended with jasmine for a touch of sweetness. Olibanum,<br />

civet and musk make for a smoulderingly animalic finale.<br />

2ml eau de parfum (£125 for 100ml)<br />

Lalique Encre Noire à l’Extrême<br />

A revved-up version of the much-adored, classic vetiver<br />

scent, Encre Noire. This time the vetiver is soft and calming,<br />

a smooth smokiness that intends to lure you into the<br />

darkness – and we’d advise you follow.<br />

1.8 ml eau de parfum (£57 for 50ml)<br />

The <strong>scented</strong> Letter 27


scent<br />

hide and chic<br />

to look for love<br />

We sent Marcus Jaye – better known as blogger The Chic Geek<br />

(and a man who’s never seen out without his papier-maché mask) –<br />

to find a new scent ‘love’ at Miller Harris<br />

Choosing your favourite<br />

fragrance is a bit like choosing your<br />

favourite meal: a lot of it depends<br />

on how you feel at the time, where<br />

you are and who has put the meal<br />

together. That’s why so many of us<br />

have more than one scent ‘love’.<br />

But with the number of new men’s<br />

fragrances growing at what seems like<br />

unsustainable levels, at all price points,<br />

it’s left us – that is, men – feeling like<br />

flaky fragrance tarts, quickly replacing<br />

one with another. And while we may<br />

think we love having all this choice<br />

at our fingertips, it can lead to the<br />

overwhelming, headless chicken effect<br />

of not knowing which direction to<br />

go in, and whether we’re making the<br />

‘right’ choice.<br />

The majority of men either receive<br />

fragrance as a gift (in other words,<br />

not their choice), as a replenishment<br />

of what they already own, or just feel<br />

rushed and frazzled under the beauty<br />

department lights. It’s often a case of<br />

‘what’s new?’ and/or who is screaming<br />

loudest to garner our attention –<br />

which makes discovering something<br />

established, or not an existing<br />

bestseller, much more challenging.<br />

Hoping to offer men some direction<br />

is British fragrance company Miller<br />

Harris, with their ‘Bespoke Shopping<br />

Experience’. Miller Harris values<br />

spending time with their customers<br />

and helping them to find something<br />

they’ll truly like by exploring the types<br />

of fragrance families or ingredients<br />

they’re most drawn to.<br />

It isn’t ‘bespoke’ in the sense of<br />

creating something original; this<br />

is about taking time to select the<br />

fragrance most suited to you from<br />

their extensive selection of 30 unisex<br />

scents. During the experience, the<br />

Mayfair shop – on the corner of<br />

Berkeley Square – is exclusively yours<br />

and closed to other customers, while<br />

you enjoy a one-on-one consultation<br />

with a trained member of staff. Mine<br />

was John Horsman, UK Sales & Event<br />

Manager, and the experience lasted<br />

“<br />

There is no<br />

‘right’ or ‘wrong’:<br />

fragrance is<br />

100% emotion<br />

”<br />

approximately an hour and a half, with<br />

refreshments provided in the relaxed<br />

and modern surroundings of the store.<br />

Miller Harris is renowned for its use<br />

of natural ingredients and believes in<br />

the concept of a ‘fragrance wardrobe’,<br />

rather than one workhorse fragrance<br />

you wear all day, every day. And<br />

men, they maintain, should have four<br />

different fragrances: ‘work’, ‘play’,<br />

‘nights out’ and a vetiver.<br />

John gave me an overview of the<br />

main ingredients of the fragrances and<br />

fascinatingly, invited me to smell the<br />

difference between a natural and an<br />

absolute of the same ingredient: one<br />

steamed, the latter extracted through<br />

a chemical process. The ingredient in<br />

question was vetiver – the root of a<br />

tropical grass – and it really made me<br />

think about the subtle differences and<br />

strength and depth possible within the<br />

same note.<br />

After a brief questionnaire – six<br />

questions relating to where you<br />

live, where you grew up and type of<br />

fragrances you like – John was able to<br />

filter out two-thirds of the fragrances,<br />

leaving a shortlist of 10 from the Miller<br />

Harris range: four light, four dark (as<br />

they put it) and two ‘wildcards’.<br />

Each of those three groups<br />

was explored separately, with the<br />

main ingredients of each fragrance<br />

explained – and often also shown<br />

to me in raw ingredient form in shot<br />

glasses. (Tonka bean, anyone…?) This<br />

is all part of the process of elimination:<br />

it’s always easier to strip away than to<br />

add. And – important to remember –<br />

there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’: fragrance<br />

is 100% emotion.<br />

After selecting one ‘Light’, one<br />

‘Dark’ and a ‘Wildcard’ – and after a<br />

raspberry macaroon and a quick<br />

recap – I felt confident enough to<br />

choose ‘the one’ from this final three.<br />

Miller Harris fragrances are varied<br />

enough to make this easy: I could<br />

smell a distinct difference between<br />

all the fragrances I tried, even after<br />

going through all 10, and my worry<br />

of becoming slightly nose-blind or<br />

28 The <strong>scented</strong> Letter


The man in the mask - blogger The<br />

Chic Geek - meets John Horsman of<br />

Miller Harris for a ‘sniffing session’,<br />

complete with macaroons, blotters<br />

and a shortlist of fragrances to try<br />

exhausted was groundless.<br />

In the end, I chose their Veti Vert<br />

fragrance, part of the Perfumer’s<br />

Library range (launched 2013), which<br />

was new to me. It has that clean and<br />

crisp greenness you find with fresh<br />

celery, underpinned by the earthy<br />

masculinity of vetiver. (Funnily enough,<br />

the same raw ingredient we started<br />

the whole smelling process with.)<br />

Interestingly, the entire experience<br />

took the pressure out of fragrance<br />

buying. It’s important, when spending<br />

what is a chunk of money, that you feel<br />

you’re getting something you’ll wear<br />

and will be happy to keep on wearing.<br />

It’s so easy to over-think it – when what<br />

clearly works is to sit back, relax, enjoy<br />

this time and go with your instincts.<br />

My verdict? The longer you take in<br />

choosing a fragrance, the longer you’ll<br />

probably stick with it. So goodbye ‘No<br />

Strings Attached’, and hello to ‘Long-<br />

Term Relationship’. Veti Vert, I think we<br />

could be very happy together…<br />

thechicgeek.co.uk<br />

Twitter - @thechicgeekcouk<br />

Instagram - @thechicgeekcouk<br />

l Miller Harris’s Bespoke Shopping<br />

Experience costs £250, including<br />

the consultation, 100ml bottle of<br />

your chosen fragrance, refreshments<br />

and samples of the other scents you<br />

may have liked, with a 15% discount<br />

on anything you purchase on the<br />

day. To book, call 020-7629 7750<br />

millerharris.com<br />

The <strong>scented</strong> Letter 29


perfume is an obsession<br />

#ShareMyStash<br />

Having worked in perfume retail since the age of 18, it’s no surprise that Kay Gray<br />

has built up quite some collection of fragrances. Suzy Nightingale sniffed around<br />

her stash – and elicited some insider shopping tips for men - while Tom Duke took the<br />

photos of Kay and her splendid stash<br />

When you find a job you<br />

love – something that combines a<br />

personal passion with a role you can<br />

make a difference in – the rare joy<br />

of it just shines from you. It certainly<br />

beams out from Kay Gray, who<br />

we originally met when she came<br />

along to one of our regional ‘How<br />

to Improve Your Sense of Smell’<br />

workshops (see p.37).<br />

With a long career in fragrance,<br />

Kay is now an Area Manager for The<br />

Perfume Shop – which has over 260<br />

stores around the country – balancing<br />

a demanding role with family life in<br />

Cwmbran, in South Wales. As this<br />

mother-of-two explains, ‘I’ve always<br />

loved retail: the interaction with so<br />

many different people and their<br />

personalities. I know it might sound<br />

a bit odd, but it truly makes my day<br />

when I’m in work! To be able to<br />

wear luxury brands such as Chanel,<br />

Dior, Viktor & Rolf and to share the<br />

experience and history that have<br />

gone into making those brands so<br />

special – it’s like a reward in itself.’<br />

To say she loves fragrance is an<br />

understatement: ‘If I don’t have any<br />

on, there’s something missing. I hate<br />

it!’ Beyond that, though, Kay’s a great<br />

believer in the importance of having a<br />

scent wardrobe, to match your mood<br />

and life. ‘I believe that what you wear<br />

should be entirely about how you feel<br />

on that day; we all have these varied<br />

lives, differing versions of us, and our<br />

perfume choices should reflect that.’<br />

So how does Kay translate this<br />

philosophy into selecting her own<br />

perfect perfume on any given day?<br />

‘It simply depends on how I feel on<br />

the morning or evening in question;<br />

for me it’s not just about the brand,<br />

it’s how that perfume can make you<br />

feel when you’re wearing it or what<br />

memories it can evoke. It doesn’t just<br />

have to be about echoing your mood<br />

“<br />

If I don’t have<br />

fragrance on,<br />

there’s something<br />

missing. I hate it!<br />

”<br />

when you wake up that day, either – I<br />

genuinely believe a fragrance can<br />

change that mood. I’m open to trying<br />

everything – not worrying about<br />

whether a brand’s well known or not.’<br />

Her passion blossomed early. ‘I<br />

can remember tottering out to the<br />

garden at a really young age, taking<br />

flower petals and mixing them with<br />

water to see what masterpiece I<br />

could create.’ As for so many of us,<br />

the brown sludge failed to capture<br />

the scent of the flower as Kay wished.<br />

‘So my real love came about when I<br />

started to sneak a spray or two from<br />

my mum’s perfume on the dressing<br />

table.’ From then on, Kay was set on<br />

a course that would shape her life.<br />

What was the the scent she was first<br />

given? ‘My mum gave me a bottle of<br />

Cacharel Anaïs Anaïs – or what was<br />

left in the bottle when she had nearly<br />

finished it, anyway. Oh, I thought it<br />

was fabulous and smelled wonderful!<br />

It just made feel so very grown up and<br />

ultra-feminine.’<br />

Decades later, Kay is clearly<br />

someone who bounds out of bed with<br />

excitement at the prospect of going<br />

to work. What aspects of fragrance<br />

continue keep her so fascinated?<br />

Kay explains that The Perfume Shop<br />

is big on education, ‘and even after<br />

11 years with the company, there’s<br />

always something more to learn.<br />

I’ve successfully passed my CFSS<br />

[Certified Fragrance Sales Specialist]<br />

course and absolutely loved the whole<br />

experience - from finding out the<br />

history of perfume, to the intricacies<br />

of how it’s made. I’m lucky knowledge<br />

is at the top of their list of priorities<br />

for staff. But for me, the most special<br />

thing is the interaction with customers<br />

– putting that knowledge into practice<br />

by discussing the ingredients and<br />

what the history is behind the juice.<br />

That’s why,’ she adds, unbidden, ‘I<br />

particularly enjoyed my day at The<br />

Perfume Society’s workshop: being<br />

in a room full of people with so much<br />

passion about the products I work<br />

30 The <strong>scented</strong> Letter


“<br />

I smelled Impulse O in the<br />

changing rooms at school and<br />

totally identified with it on<br />

some deep level<br />

”<br />

The <strong>scented</strong> Letter 25


perfume is an obsession<br />

with on a daily basis was hugely<br />

inspiring.’<br />

With temptation around every<br />

corner (and, literally, on every shelf),<br />

it’s no surprise her collection stretches<br />

to nearly 100 bottles. ‘Not counting<br />

some of the designer body lotions<br />

and shower gels – of course they’re<br />

so brilliant for layering, though…!’,<br />

Kay smiles. One problem with having<br />

more than ‘a few’ fragrances battling<br />

it out for shelf-space in our homes<br />

(as any collector knows) can be losing<br />

track of what you actually own – and<br />

Kay was thrilled recently to rediscover<br />

an old friend: ‘Rootling about in my<br />

wardrobe, I came across a bottle of<br />

Eau de Givenchy that I thought I had<br />

mislaid. It was originally produced<br />

in 1980, and this was an old bottle.<br />

Quite a treasure!’<br />

Now, whether you’ve worked for<br />

a number of years in the industry or<br />

are simply a scent-obsessed ‘civilian’,<br />

thoughts often eventually turn to<br />

the idea of having a bespoke scent<br />

created. So we wondered: for Kay,<br />

what would that one-off perfume<br />

would smell like? ‘Oh do you know,<br />

I have often wondered this… And<br />

I hope eventually to be involved<br />

with “The Masters”, a course that’s<br />

open to The Perfume Shop team<br />

members. In recent classes they had<br />

the opportunity to see the full journey<br />

of how fragrances are created – and<br />

I do know my ideal smell would be<br />

something floral/ fruity, as these seem<br />

to sit better on my skin and suit my<br />

personality.’<br />

Being the family member or friend<br />

of the fragrance-obsessed can be<br />

a little challenging at times – and<br />

perhaps all the more so when that<br />

person also happens to work in the<br />

perfume world. Has Kay managed to<br />

rope in her nearest and dearest, or<br />

is it a case of keeping fragrance at<br />

arm’s length from her everyday life?<br />

She laughs: ‘Not a bit of it. I always<br />

say, “you can never have enough<br />

perfume” – especially with all the<br />

new lines being introduced every<br />

year. But it works OK because my<br />

husband loves his perfume, too, and<br />

always gets comments on how great<br />

“<br />

My real love came<br />

about when I<br />

started to sneak a<br />

spray or two from<br />

my mum’s perfume<br />

”<br />

he smells – and we’ve been married<br />

now for 29 years, so I think he’s used<br />

to by now! My daughter also works<br />

in the perfume industry, so I guess<br />

it’s turning into something of a family<br />

affair. She completely shares my<br />

passion, though her tastes sometimes<br />

differ from mine - but then every<br />

perfume is personal to the individual.<br />

There really is something for everyone<br />

out there.’ And for hundreds of<br />

customers every week, Kay Gray’s just<br />

the woman to help them find it.<br />

KAY’S TOP 10<br />

This is the nightmarish<br />

question no perfumista can<br />

put off forever once they’ve<br />

granted us access to their<br />

stash: what are the perfumes<br />

you absolutely could not live<br />

without? Some interviewees<br />

agonise for hours, but Kay<br />

seemed quite confident in<br />

her desert island list of musthaves,<br />

which she tends to<br />

rotate. ‘I will always go back<br />

to Armani Sì and J’adore, but I<br />

love surprises and with the fast<br />

pace of launches, every new<br />

day brings different fragrant<br />

adventures….’<br />

1 Armani Sì eau de parfum<br />

2 Marc Jacobs Decadence<br />

3 Marc Jacobs Eau So Fresh<br />

4 Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy<br />

5 Dior J’adore<br />

6 Chanel Allure Sensuelle<br />

7 Chloé<br />

8 Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb<br />

9 Dior Addict<br />

10 Armani Sì eau de toilette<br />

32 The <strong>scented</strong> Letter


MAN OVERWHELMED! A fragrance shopping 101 for, men…<br />

Savvy sales assistants like Kay understand that men are looking to scent themselves - and<br />

with something other than the fragrance Great-Aunt Gertrude happened to gift them last<br />

Christmas. But for the fragrance-shopper, the choice is dizzying – so we asked her for some<br />

‘insider’ scent-shopping tips. Here are her insights (alongside some of our own…)<br />

l ‘It might sound odd, but perfume<br />

professionals understand this:<br />

don’t eat spicy or pungent food for<br />

a couple of days before sniffing a<br />

new fragrance on your skin – it can<br />

seriously alter how it smells on you.’<br />

l If you’re not sure where to begin,<br />

spray a few spills (a.k.a. blotters)<br />

with a range of differing scents –<br />

and make sure to write the names<br />

on them or you’ll never remember.<br />

It’s not the same as smelling them<br />

on your skin, but you’ll get the<br />

top notes and should be able to<br />

tell which perfumed path [Citrus?<br />

Oriental? Woody?] to follow.<br />

l Never be afraid to ask a sales<br />

assistant for further information;<br />

they’ve often undergone extensive<br />

training to be able to guide you<br />

toward your perfect fragrance.<br />

Don’t feel pressured though –<br />

nobody will judge you badly if<br />

you go away and come back later<br />

having thought about it (and<br />

sniffed more!) As Kay observes,<br />

‘We narrow it down by asking the<br />

right question - is it for day, night,<br />

for a business meeting or just to be<br />

thrown in a sports bag? How long<br />

does someone want to be aware<br />

of it on their skin - a subtle scent<br />

or a big-hitter? I think along with<br />

working out what someone usually<br />

wears, and if they want something<br />

similar or a complete change, the<br />

most important question to ask is:<br />

how would they like the perfume to<br />

make them feel?’<br />

l ‘For a teenager’s first foray into<br />

fragrance we’d often suggest<br />

something trendy and fresh, like<br />

Hugo Boss Unlimited, Diesel Only<br />

the Brave, or Jimmy Choo,’ says<br />

Kay. ‘A lot of young men feel more<br />

comfortable with a respected<br />

designer name, to start with.’<br />

l Fragrances take time to develop<br />

properly on the skin. Give it a while<br />

(several hours if at all possible) and<br />

the scent you spritzed and thought<br />

you disliked might actually become<br />

your new favourite…<br />

l ‘If someone is stuck in a rut we<br />

use an in-store “fragrance finder”<br />

created by fragrance expert<br />

Michael Edwards,’ explains Kay.<br />

‘This tells us which category (or<br />

family) their current fragrance falls<br />

into and offers further choices; that<br />

way someone will find something<br />

new – but not straying too far from<br />

their comfort zone. If an individual<br />

likes Aramis, for instance, we might<br />

suggest Boss The Scent (currently a<br />

bestseller) - both being in the “dry<br />

wood” category. Or perhaps vice<br />

versa!’<br />

l When trying a different new<br />

fragrance that’s a bit left-of-field or<br />

‘out there’ from your normal choice,<br />

consider spraying it on a scarf<br />

or jacket first – that way you can<br />

literally take it off if it all becomes a<br />

bit much.<br />

l ‘Men are now looking for<br />

something that lasts on their skin<br />

and it’s noticeable that many<br />

brands have started to bring out<br />

eau de parfum versions for men,<br />

with the selection growing all the<br />

time. Many men now like to smell<br />

and feel good, taking great pride<br />

in their appearance; and with the<br />

huge range of matching bodylines,<br />

layering is a new men’s trend. It can<br />

also help a fragrance to last on the<br />

skin because they “cling” better to<br />

well-moisturised skin.’<br />

The <strong>scented</strong> Letter 33


an aromatic life<br />

memories, dreams,<br />

reflections<br />

James Wong’s passion is infectious: as a TV presenter and as<br />

botanical expert for Liz Earle Beauty Co., the self-confessed ‘plant<br />

geek’ has triggered a fascination with the plant world in many of us.<br />

What you may not know is that he also loves aroma, as James reveals<br />

What’s the very first thing you remember smelling?<br />

The creosote on my grandma’s garden fence while visiting<br />

her in the country in Wales, aged four. For years I thought<br />

that’s what fields and flowers smelled like and still have a<br />

weird association with the aroma of toxic wood preservative<br />

and sunny summer days.<br />

When did you realise that scent was really important<br />

to you?<br />

I think it must come from travelling a lot as a kid. I grew up<br />

in hot, humid Singapore and Malaysia where aromas are not<br />

only more intense and travel further, but are also comprised<br />

of a totally different palette of scents to the UK, where I<br />

Clean-<strong>scented</strong><br />

Jasmine sambac<br />

used to visit every summer for holidays. The scent of cold,<br />

smoggy London air stepping out at Heathrow in the 80s<br />

was unrecognisable compared to the leafy, humid scent of<br />

Singapore. Conversely a field of British wild flowers in June<br />

smells radically different to the musky rainforest floor. To<br />

me scent is still the most striking thing about visiting a<br />

new place.<br />

What’s your favourite <strong>scented</strong> flower?<br />

Arabian jasmine (Jasminum sambac), by far. Unlike<br />

traditional jasmine, which overwhelming dominates<br />

formulations in the West, it isn’t cloying or sickly sweet. It<br />

also lacks the animalic base notes, which traditional jasmine<br />

can have, instead replacing these with a fresher, cleaner<br />

astringency, much like orange blossom. To me it’s the scent<br />

of cool, clean mornings at an Asian flower market, or sitting<br />

on the porch while waiting for the school bus.<br />

What was the first fragrance you were given?<br />

CkOne, the essential scent of the 90s teen. I think<br />

everyone in my year must have got that for<br />

Christmas, circa 1995. You still get a whiff of it now<br />

and then on tubes and in supermarkets: instant<br />

flashback to wondering whether Ross and Rachel<br />

would ever get together, or listening to The<br />

Cranberries on the radio.<br />

From top<br />

right:<br />

creosote:<br />

CkOne and<br />

James’s<br />

‘happy smell’,<br />

suntan lotion<br />

What was the first fragrance you bought<br />

for yourself?<br />

I tend to make my own, as I love experimenting with<br />

essential oils and fresh plant macerations. Lemon<br />

eucalyptus, tomato leaves and pink peppercorns are my<br />

go-to ingredients. But the last scent I bought for myself was<br />

a year ago: Guerlain Vetiver. Love it.<br />

34 The <strong>scented</strong> Letter


© pixelliebe; Tamara Kulikova; Helen Hotson; hikoimages - Fotolia.com. gardensonline.com.au<br />

Have you had different fragrances for<br />

different phases of your life…?<br />

No. I don’t understand the differentiation<br />

between day and evening fragrance and<br />

summer and winter fragrance either. I think good,<br />

uplifting, evocative scents always work, regardless<br />

of context.<br />

The smell that always makes me feel happy is…<br />

... suntan lotion and citronella insect spray. Summer<br />

holidays in liquid form.<br />

The smell that always makes me feel a bit sad is...<br />

… that bubblegum-<strong>scented</strong> industrial disinfectant of car<br />

park lifts. The scent of concrete, dinginess and depression.<br />

The fragrance from the past that I’ve always wanted to<br />

smell is...<br />

… the inside of Kew’s greenhouses in Victorian<br />

times. Tropical plants, intense humidity in an age<br />

of discovery and adventure. What’s not to like?<br />

What is your favourite book about fragrance?<br />

Perfume by Patrick Süskind.<br />

From top:<br />

an English<br />

meadow;<br />

yuzu; Perfume<br />

(James’s<br />

favourite scent<br />

book); Kew’s<br />

glassehouses<br />

JAMES WONG’S<br />

FAVOURITE<br />

FRAGRANCES<br />

Here’s what you’ll find on the globetrotter’s<br />

bathroom shelf<br />

1 Guerlain Vetiver The purity<br />

of vetiver without too much messing<br />

about. Just a hint of citrus and<br />

tobacco to round things out. Like<br />

sitting on a forest-fringed beach at<br />

sundown.<br />

2 Liz Earle Botanical Essence<br />

No. 15 Spicy and resinous with a<br />

bright citrus edge. I associate it with<br />

sunny meetings on the patio of Biskra<br />

House on the Isle of Wight with the<br />

lovely Liz Earle team. Sometimes my<br />

job really is taxing!<br />

3 Issey Miyake L’Eau D’Issey<br />

I think the Japanese are the masters<br />

of fine fragrance. This is a perfect<br />

half-way meeting between bracing,<br />

citrusy yuzu (my favourite plant scent,<br />

see pic above left) and warmer, richer<br />

sandalwood. Probably some melon or<br />

cucumber notes in there to round it<br />

out too. Or is that just me…?<br />

The <strong>scented</strong> Letter 35


IS AN IMMERSIVE<br />

SPACE ON BEAUTY<br />

AGONIST<br />

AVERY<br />

ANDREA MAACK<br />

AZAGURY<br />

BLOOD CONCEPT<br />

BOADICEA THE VICTORIOUS<br />

DIANE PERNET PARIS<br />

EIGHT & BOB<br />

FORNASETTI<br />

AUTOMOBILI LAMBORGHINI<br />

RE PROFUMO<br />

ROADS<br />

SANTA EULALIA<br />

SOOUD<br />

S-PERFUME<br />

Avery Perfume Gallery<br />

27 Avery Row, London W1K 4AY<br />

+44 (0)20 7629 1892 | www.averyperfumegallery.com


RSVP<br />

events<br />

Our online EVENTS section is now a noticeboard for all sorts<br />

of fragrant happenings around the country – so do explore<br />

(and find out more about any of these events there)<br />

An Evening of Discovery<br />

with The Merchant of Venice<br />

DATE: Thursday 7th July 2016, two sessions: 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. and 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.<br />

VENUE: VIP Shopping room, House of Fraser, 318 Oxford Street, London, W1C 1HF<br />

Join us for an evening of olfactory exploration around The Merchant of Venice’s<br />

The Perfumer Kit, a unique element of the fragrance house’s collection. Guests<br />

will enjoy discovering the kit, with its set of measuring tools and ingredients<br />

offering everything you need to mix your own blends in the comfort of your own<br />

home, through intimate sessions with a Brand Ambassador. You’ll also explore<br />

the other fabulous scents in their collection and have time to experiment with<br />

The Perfumer Kit. Enjoy Merchant of Venice Prosecco on the evening and take<br />

home a wonderful goody bag. Tickets are £15 to subscribers and their guests.<br />

A(nother) Scented Supper<br />

with The Hungry Chef<br />

How to<br />

Improve<br />

Your Sense<br />

of Smell<br />

Workshop<br />

Brighton<br />

✷ &<br />

Courses<br />

workshops<br />

DATE: Sunday 21st August<br />

2016, 11.30 a.m. – 1 p.m. or<br />

2.30 p.m. – 4 p.m.<br />

VENUE: 35 North Gallery,<br />

North Road, Brighton BN1 1YB<br />

It seems only right that in<br />

August we’ll be headed to<br />

the seaside to host a How To<br />

Improve Your Sense of Smell<br />

Workshop in Brighton. You’ll<br />

learn techniques that will<br />

vastly improve your sense of<br />

smell and have you enjoying<br />

perfumes in a new and<br />

wonderful way. The sessions<br />

are free to existing VIP<br />

Subscribers – choose from a<br />

morning or afternoon session<br />

- but you might also like to<br />

bring a guest for an additional<br />

£15. You’ll each receive a little<br />

perfumed goody bag – and<br />

of course, you’ll get to meet<br />

fellow perfume-lovers, too…<br />

DATE: Friday 30th September 2016 TIME: 7 p.m. – 10.30 p.m.<br />

VENUE: Pratap’s London home, N16 (full address to be disclosed closer to event)<br />

With our last event selling out in a matter of days, we’ve scheduled another<br />

fabulous dinner hosted by Pratap Chalal, That Hungry Chef. Enjoy delicious<br />

food at Pratap’s North London home, all inspired by Mandy Aftel’s book, Aroma.<br />

Michelin-trained and ready to amaze,<br />

Pratap’s menu – which takes you from<br />

frankincense lamb with oudh and onion<br />

purée to lavender cake, rose cream<br />

and verbena ice shavings – is enough<br />

to have you salivating already. We<br />

strongly advise you to book quickly for<br />

this event as we’re sure it’ll be another<br />

sell-out, and we wouldn’t want your<br />

tastebuds to miss out.<br />

NB For other ‘Sense of<br />

Smell’ workshops around the<br />

country – including Knutsford,<br />

(September) and London, visit<br />

our EVENTS section.<br />

© wongstock - Fotolia.com<br />

NB At time of going to press, there was availability for all the events above. We apologise if all spaces have been filled since then, and<br />

encourage you to revisit the EVENTS page for updates. We also send bulletins to Perfume Society subscribers announcing new events.<br />

The <strong>scented</strong> Letter 37


first whiffs<br />

latest launches<br />

As we hurtle towards<br />

summer and (fingers<br />

crossed) warmer weather,<br />

the pace of launches is<br />

increasing. Here’s your<br />

short-cut to keeping your<br />

finger on the pulse-point of<br />

all the scents debuting now<br />

– and the new brands<br />

landing on-counter.<br />

(PS Where a fragrance is ‘At’<br />

a location, it’s in-store only<br />

for now, rather than on-line.)<br />

MORE SHOPPING TIPS (FOR HIM)<br />

l Have you fallen madly for a new fragrance? Why not find out who the<br />

perfumer or ‘nose’ was behind it and see what else they’ve created –<br />

much as an author has a unique style, perfumers do, too.<br />

l Also, check if there are what’s known as ‘flankers’ (variations on a<br />

theme, often rather confusingly called similar names) to the original –<br />

you could well fall for them, too.<br />

l If you really like a particular fragrance but find it disappears too<br />

quickly on your skin, ask if there’s an eau de parfum version (they tend<br />

to last longer); many more are being launched now. Alternatively, see if<br />

there’s a matching body product you could layer it with – or apply it<br />

over an un<strong>scented</strong> body moisturiser. And if you like a particular smell<br />

but you’re finding it too heavy? Ask for eau de toilette, eau de Cologne<br />

or Splash.<br />

l For anyone who finds the hubbub of a fragrance hall overwhelming,<br />

our Discovery Boxes allow for leisurely sniffing at home. For men who<br />

are ‘allergic’ to shopping (and we know quite a few), our ‘The Scent of a<br />

Man’ Discovery Box (p.26) offers the opportunity for any man to try<br />

fragrances from the comfort of his favourite armchair.<br />

THE FRAGRANCE FAMILIES<br />

As scentophiles know, fragrances fall into different ‘families’. So we’ve used the same classification system for launches as on<br />

our www.perfumesociety.org website. Just look for the coloured strip above the name of the perfume, which is your visual<br />

clue to the families. (These are listed below.) Most of us are drawn to a specific family/families: once you know which you fall<br />

into, that colour can act as a cue – and help you take a short-cut to the ones you may want to try first…<br />

ORIENTAL<br />

CHYPRE<br />

WOODY<br />

FLORIENTAL<br />

FLORAL<br />

GOURMAND<br />

FRESH<br />

FOUGERE<br />

38 The <strong>scented</strong> Letter


ARMANI PRIVÉ<br />

FIL ROUGE<br />

ATELIER COLOGNE<br />

MIMOSA INDIGO<br />

BALMAIN<br />

EXTATIC TIGER ORCHID<br />

An olfactory echo of Armani’s Spring/<br />

Summer 2016 collection, bottled in<br />

screenprinted glass to match Armani’s<br />

current seasonal flashes of colour, this<br />

takes its name from the ‘fil rouge’: the<br />

unifying thread that runs through an<br />

idea – or the design of a garment.<br />

What interests us about this collector’s<br />

item, though (just 1000 bottles exist), is<br />

the scent itself, which swirls mistily<br />

around the central note of iris,<br />

bringing out its breeziness and adding<br />

shimmering touches of white musk.<br />

£550 for 100ml eau de parfum<br />

harrods.com<br />

Atelier Cologne unveil a stunning<br />

Collection Orient quartet of darker,<br />

mysterious fragrances – here,<br />

showcasing on-trend mimosa in exotic<br />

fashion. Opening with mandarin,<br />

bergamot and saffron, mimosa claims<br />

the limelight, with lilac emphasising its<br />

soft powderiness, alongside smooth<br />

white leather. Spices, musk, vanilla and<br />

sandalwood make for a soft, milky<br />

base – and if you aren’t usually daring<br />

enough to carry off Orientals, AC’s<br />

light touch makes this an easy wear.<br />

£220 for 200ml Cologne Absolue<br />

harrods.com<br />

Balmain’s latest is a fresh play on that<br />

most exotic of flowers: the tiger<br />

orchid. A summery take on the original<br />

Extatic, Tiger Orchid opens with bright<br />

flowers, ginger and pink pepper. The<br />

orchid note suffuses the heart, with<br />

voluptuous jasmine and ylang ylang<br />

accentuating its nectarous elements. A<br />

balmy blend of patchouli, benzoin and<br />

cashmeran complete the composition<br />

– and we can assure you, the elixir<br />

within is as enticing as the flacon that<br />

holds it.<br />

£69 for 90ml eau de parfum<br />

harrods.com<br />

CLEAN RESERVE<br />

BLONDE ROSE<br />

EX NIHILO<br />

SWEET MORPHINE<br />

GUERLAIN<br />

PERA GRANITA<br />

Stripped-down sexiness from a brand<br />

for whom sustainability is a byword,<br />

not a buzzword. From using 100%<br />

solar-powered energy to ethically<br />

sourced and sustainable ingredients<br />

wherever possible, the collection of<br />

nine fragrances is made to be layered<br />

or enjoyed one by one. In this sheer<br />

but characterful option, aldehydes<br />

and lime sparkle gorgeously before<br />

rose petal dewdrops dance breezily<br />

with peony, wisps of jasmine leading<br />

to a gentle musky dry-down.<br />

£75 for 100ml eau de parfum<br />

spacenk.com/uk<br />

Perfumer Nathalie Cetto created this<br />

daringly-named pink juice for<br />

‘customisable’ fragrance house Ex<br />

Nihilo: at first almost girlishly innocent,<br />

with clouds of lilac, iris and mimosa<br />

absolute, Sweet Morphine then goes<br />

over to its darker, naughtier, take-meto-a-nightclub-and-dance-with-me-tilldawn<br />

side. This truly is a contrast of<br />

light and dark, in which vetiver,<br />

patchouli and Bourbon vanilla linger<br />

– and invite you back for more. You<br />

may well find resistance futile.<br />

£210 for 50ml eau de parfum<br />

At Harrods Salon de Parfums<br />

Summer wouldn’t be summer without<br />

a new Aqua Allegoria: Guerlain’s<br />

hotly-anticipated annual releases tend<br />

to be cool-as-a-cucumber, and this is<br />

(almost) icy as the name implies.<br />

Lemon, bergamot and grapefruit<br />

introduce the fragrance, which<br />

becomes herby and aromatic, then<br />

sweetens up with the arrival of<br />

osmanthus and pear. Base notes<br />

include moss, cedarwood and white<br />

musk – and the whole thing’s as pretty<br />

as its ballerina pink ‘juice’ suggests.<br />

£47 for 75ml eau de toilette<br />

selfridges.com<br />

The <strong>scented</strong> Letter 39


ILLUMINUM<br />

WHITE ON WHITE<br />

JEROBOAM<br />

INSULO<br />

JIMMY CHOO<br />

EXOTIC<br />

Illuminum unveil a beautiful origamistyle<br />

box and a new bottle shape for<br />

their fragrant collection with White on<br />

White, an interesting collaboration<br />

between the perfume house and chefs<br />

Jackson Boxer, Yuki Gomi and Tom<br />

Wolfe. WOW sets out to evoke the<br />

atmosphere of an artist’s studio, with<br />

its scent of paints, turpentine, dusty<br />

canvases and brushes. The result? Very<br />

wearable, actually. (Even if you don’t<br />

happen to own a pair of paintsplattered<br />

dungarees.)<br />

£125 for 100ml eau de parfum<br />

illuminumlondon.com<br />

New from François Hénin (the man<br />

behind Paris’s Jovoy boutique and<br />

fragrance line) is this perfume house,<br />

which sets out to explore musk’s dark,<br />

enigmatic facets. Of the five debut<br />

scents (we can’t counsel you strongly<br />

enough to check out Origino, Hauto<br />

Oriento and Miksado at Selfridges),<br />

we keep returning to Insulo: a<br />

sensational vanilla/jasmine fusion<br />

which has had us compulsively sniffing<br />

ourselves (and elicited many<br />

compliments from perfect strangers).<br />

£80 for 30ml extrait de parfum<br />

selfridges.com<br />

Fans who swoon at the footwear but<br />

find the fragrances more aligned with<br />

their budget will be delighted with this<br />

fruity twist on the original. Exotic by<br />

name and nature, encounter tiger<br />

orchids entwined with passionflower,<br />

patchouli and blackcurrant sorbet<br />

melting into zingy pink grapefruit, and<br />

mouth-watering freshly crushed<br />

raspberries swirling into the velvety,<br />

woody musk base. It’s sheer enough to<br />

be worn in the heat – yet with an<br />

intriguing voluptuousness.<br />

£44 for 60ml eau de toilette<br />

theperfumeshop.com<br />

JO MALONE LONDON<br />

NASHI BLOSSOM<br />

LINARI<br />

STELLA CADENTE<br />

MICHAEL KORS<br />

SEXY SUNSET<br />

The ‘pop art’ black-and-white<br />

bottle for this was supposedly<br />

inspired by the nashi flower. Nashi<br />

is a kind of Asian pear (a.k.a.<br />

‘sand pear’), which – if you’re ever<br />

lucky enough to bite into one – is<br />

sweet as a pear, crisp as an apple.<br />

Here, pear blossom is given juicy,<br />

fruity flourishes, alongside rose<br />

and white musk; fresh yet<br />

ultra-pretty. If you fall for it, be<br />

sure to stockpile a stash, because<br />

this is a limited edition.<br />

From £44 for 30ml Cologne<br />

jomalone.co.uk<br />

It means ‘shooting star’ – and Stella<br />

Cadente was inspired by their<br />

appearance across a moonlit sky<br />

above Marrakech’s night market. Tangy<br />

citrus, green galbanum, cardamom<br />

and Italian violet fuse with Turkish rose<br />

and Egyptian jasmine, spiced by<br />

cinnamon, bay leaf and Canadian pine.<br />

But it’s as Mark Buxston’s<br />

kaleidoscopic creation is skin-warmed,<br />

that its resinous, sweet charms truly<br />

start to seduce, via labdanum, vetiver,<br />

vanilla and balsam of Peru.<br />

£145 for 100ml eau de parfum<br />

At Fenwick Bond Street<br />

Limited edition alert: Michael Kors<br />

fans need to know that the sun will be<br />

setting on this addition to the ‘Sexy’<br />

scent line-up after a single season – so<br />

be quick. As fruity as a naughty<br />

cocktail based around nashi pear and<br />

blackcurrant, it’s abloom with floral<br />

notes at the heart: peony, gardenia,<br />

freesia lotus flower and the jasmine<br />

sambac of which Kors is so fond,<br />

ultimately enveloping you in a warm<br />

and soft pashmina of sandalwood,<br />

cedar and vanilla.<br />

From £39 for 30ml eau de parfum<br />

escentual.com<br />

40 The <strong>scented</strong> Letter


NARCISO RODRIGUEZ<br />

NARCISO POUDRÉE<br />

ODIN<br />

00 AURIEL<br />

ORMONDE JAYNE<br />

ROSE GOLD<br />

The pale peachy ballet-slipper pink of<br />

this bottle is the blush of bare skin –<br />

one of the signature shades of<br />

designer Rodriguez – containing a<br />

softly-powdered echo of the original<br />

rendezvous of sparkling jasmine and<br />

enticingly gentle Egyptian musks. Like<br />

dancing in a gossamer gown and then<br />

jumping joyously into a silken bed of<br />

velvety petals, this is deliriously pretty:<br />

a feather-light cashmere cardigan<br />

worn over the bare shoulders of a<br />

beautiful woman.<br />

£78 for 100ml eau de parfum<br />

houseoffraser.co.uk<br />

‘Exotic destinations, reconstructed<br />

memories, and forgotten places’ are<br />

all inspirations for Odin New York’s<br />

FiFi-Award-winning Black Line. Here,<br />

cassis berries trickle over coriander,<br />

rose absolute and black pepper,<br />

creamy jasmine shot through with the<br />

sweet freshness of muguet, stickily<br />

resinous agarwood cradled by<br />

sandalwood, labdanum and a velvety<br />

soft (almost cocoa-powder) patchouli.<br />

A dance of masculine and feminine, it<br />

purrs and then growls…<br />

£125 for 100ml eau de parfum<br />

At Fenwick Bond Street<br />

Linda Pilkington, charming founder of<br />

Ormonde Jayne, presents a fabulously<br />

tenacious take on the rose – baroque<br />

and definitely not blushing! Somehow<br />

smelling warmly burnished and<br />

expensively shiny, it’s the carnation<br />

absolute, ambrette absolute, oudh<br />

and sandalwood which carry this rose<br />

into the league of sumptuously<br />

unforgettable. A word of caution from<br />

Linda herself: beware of dangerous<br />

liaisons, when you get up close and<br />

personal wearing this…<br />

£345 for 120ml parfum<br />

At Harrods<br />

PACO RABANNE<br />

BLACK XS LA FOR HER<br />

PAUL SCHÜTZE<br />

TEARS OF EROS<br />

PENHALIGON’S<br />

LUNA<br />

A ‘combination of love and rock’,<br />

Paco Rabanne’s latest release opens<br />

with a fruity medley of bitter orange,<br />

tamarind leaf, cranberry and coconut<br />

water. Exotic and intoxicating notes of<br />

orchid and hellebore rose are infused<br />

with rum at the heart of the creation,<br />

while the base is awash with honeyed<br />

vanilla, warm amber and woods.<br />

Basically whisks you straight to balmy<br />

summer nights listening to rock ’n ’roll<br />

legends until the sun rises above the<br />

Hollywood sign.<br />

£41 for 50ml eau de toilette<br />

theperfumeshop.com<br />

Artist, musician, photographer…<br />

Schutze first intrigued us with an<br />

exhibition on banned books, the<br />

central piece an evocatively <strong>scented</strong><br />

tome. Now, he’s launched a debut trio<br />

of fragrances: Cirebon, Behind the<br />

Rain and this beautifully, broodingly<br />

misty ambergris, orris and incense<br />

pierced through with shafts of green<br />

clementine and sunlight, a tingle of<br />

pink pepper buoyed by the heady<br />

fresh-airiness of hyacinth and<br />

swaddled in creamy benzoin.<br />

£132 for 50ml eau de parfum<br />

roullierwhite.com<br />

Luna’s otherworldly beauty is inspired<br />

by the mythical goddess of the moon:<br />

the quintessential summer evening<br />

scent, introduced via lemon, bergamot<br />

and bigarade before a slightly crisp<br />

heart opens to juniper, jasmine and<br />

rose. The base is where moonbeams<br />

come out to play: a contrastingly dark<br />

interplay of ambergris, fir balsam and<br />

musks delivering shadowy depth and<br />

intrigue. One for romantic (and of<br />

course, moonlit) nights on a<br />

flagstoned terrace.<br />

£128 for 100ml eau de toilette<br />

penhaligons.com<br />

The <strong>scented</strong> Letter 41


PERFUMER H<br />

RAIN CLOUD<br />

PRADA<br />

CANDY KISS<br />

PRADA<br />

LES INFUSIONS DE PRADA<br />

MIMOSA<br />

Lyn Harris unveils her second<br />

‘seasonal’ collection of fragrances,<br />

adding several to the existing line-up<br />

at her so-chic Marylebone boutique.<br />

We’d frankly like to be showered in<br />

Rain Cloud: an airy accord of ylang<br />

ylang absolute, angelica grain and<br />

vanilla, gathering garden-freshness<br />

from jasmine, cassie and orange<br />

flower. Iris absolute, amber and white<br />

musk are the finishing flourishes,<br />

delivering a misty floral atmosphere.<br />

Utterly cool – in every way.<br />

£320 for 100ml (refill £170)<br />

At Perfumer H<br />

Soon to be enjoyed in The Perfume<br />

Society’s ‘Try Before You Fly’ women’s<br />

Discovery Box, for summer, this is<br />

another intriguing take on musk – one<br />

of the ‘hottest’ ingredients around,<br />

right now, used as a leitmotif through<br />

every stage of Candy Kiss’s<br />

development by Daniela Andrier. Like<br />

burying your nose in delicate white<br />

cotton, it’s soft and cocooning here,<br />

with nuanced touches of vanilla and<br />

orange blossom. A highly moreish<br />

addition to the Prada Candy line-up.<br />

£46.50 for 30ml eau de parfum<br />

selfridges.com<br />

One of the airiest yet of the Infusions<br />

collection, Mimosa simply shouts<br />

‘happy’. Daniela Andrier has said of<br />

her creation: ‘Mimosa is like an<br />

emergence into yellow velvet’ – which<br />

may be why its softness is almost<br />

palpable. Mimosa flows through every<br />

aspect of the scent, offering a downyesque<br />

powderiness, with mandarin<br />

essence and star anise giving a unique<br />

edge. Redolent of running through<br />

fields, laying hazily under mimosa<br />

trees, summer breezes blowing.<br />

£90 for 100ml eau de parfum<br />

harrods.com<br />

SALVATORE FERRAGAMO<br />

TUSCAN SOUL LA CORTE<br />

SOOUD<br />

JAMIL<br />

THIERRY MUGLER<br />

ANGEL MUSE<br />

One for jasmine-lovers to wrap right<br />

around their heart, this: an opulent<br />

floral inspired by the cultural<br />

heritage of Tuscany in which the<br />

heady flower is softened by a<br />

delicate almond milk, voluptuous<br />

white lily gets powdery touches from<br />

white iris, while amber and vanilla<br />

pulse softly beneath. This is a very<br />

sophisticated fragrance indeed,<br />

worthy of an engraved invitation – to<br />

the opera, a black tie dinner, maybe<br />

even an Italian wedding…<br />

£130 for 75ml eau de toilette<br />

harrods.com<br />

An olfactory encounter between East<br />

and West, heritage and modernity;<br />

‘Jamil’ means ‘lovely’ in Arabic and is<br />

inspired by the courtly, romantic verse<br />

of Ma’mar – an Arabian poet born<br />

around 660AD, apparently much given<br />

to wistfully sighing over a complicated<br />

love life (as many poets seem wont to<br />

do). Silvery and cool (like the mirrored<br />

flacon), it melds into a melancholy<br />

suede softness of iris tempered with<br />

warm wafts of the sheerest clove and<br />

sweet, earthy patchouli.<br />

£185 for 100ml eau de parfum<br />

At Selfridges<br />

Love Angel? You’ll be in heaven with<br />

this: Givaudan perfumer Quentin<br />

Busch’s ‘reinvention’ of the gourmand<br />

genre. Moreish elements of hazelnut<br />

cream are counterpoised by dry,<br />

earthy woodiness in this first ‘vetiver<br />

gourmand’ for women. The bottle’s<br />

all-new, too: a refillable metallic<br />

‘cosmic pebble’ whose smoothed<br />

curves are seriously tactile. Muse was<br />

launched with the hashtag<br />

#hatetolove: try it for yourself – and be<br />

poised for a surprising addiction.<br />

From £45 for 30ml eau de parfum<br />

thefragranceshop.co.uk<br />

42 The <strong>scented</strong> Letter


TOM FORD<br />

PRIVATE BLEND SOLEIL BLANC<br />

TORY BURCH<br />

JOLIE FLEUR ROSE<br />

TORY BURCH<br />

JOLIE FLEUR VERTE<br />

Tom Ford’s newest takes its inspiration<br />

from ‘remote private islands where<br />

summer lasts all year, and one day<br />

seamlessly blends into the next’.<br />

Fantasise about escape while veiling<br />

yourself in spiced cardamom and pink<br />

peppercorn, bergamot and pistachio,<br />

ylang ylang, Egyptian jasmine and<br />

tuberose. The heat rises further as<br />

amber and tonka bean emerge in the<br />

base, with coconut milk adding soft,<br />

creamy flourishes. Truly a beach-in-abottle<br />

(and a sexy white one, at that).<br />

£145 for £50ml eau de parfum<br />

houseoffraser.co.uk<br />

Tory Burch is upping her fragrance<br />

ante with a trio of three petal-powered<br />

launches, each showcasing a single<br />

flower growing in her garden. Jolie<br />

Fleur Rose is bang on-trend, fragrancewise:<br />

the prettiest of bouquets,<br />

surrounding a dewy tea rose note with<br />

violet, white amber, pink pepper, a<br />

‘green sap’ accord, sandalwood,<br />

cashmeran and musk giving a modern<br />

edge. Afterwards? Use the bottle as a<br />

posy vase, which is how the fragrances<br />

were introduced to us.<br />

£84 for 100ml eau de parfum<br />

toryburch.co.uk<br />

Is there a more quintessentially<br />

spring-like flower than lily of the valley,<br />

with its dew-drenched floralcy? We<br />

can’t think of one. In the second of<br />

Tory’s trio, the nodding flower is made<br />

easy-to-wear and casual via a green<br />

accord which adds white-shirtcrispness<br />

to mandarin, neroli, jasmine,<br />

with cedarwood and sandalwood for<br />

depth. Some scents are summer heat;<br />

this is one for those of us who prefer<br />

the languor of the shade. (The third<br />

scent in the trio is a tuberose, FYI.)<br />

£84 for 100ml eau de parfum<br />

toryburch.co.uk<br />

VAN CLEEF & ARPELS<br />

MOONLIGHT PATCHOULI<br />

VILHELM PARFUMERIE<br />

A LILAC A DAY<br />

ZARKO PERFUME<br />

PINK MOLECULE 090.09<br />

One to convert ‘patchouli-haters’?<br />

While most definitely the star of the<br />

show in this latest to join the<br />

Collection Extraordinaire line-up, here<br />

patchouli is given a light touch, its<br />

customary chocolate-y woodsiness<br />

mellowed by Bulgarian rose and a<br />

powdery iris note; in the base,<br />

encounter fruity flourishes, leather and<br />

suede tones. Technically a ‘woody-<br />

Chypre’, it’s eminently shareable, its<br />

woody, leather side played up on men,<br />

florals to the fore on a female skin.<br />

£126 for 75ml eau de parfum<br />

harrods.com<br />

In the language of flowers, lilacs<br />

symbolise the first, tentative moments<br />

of love – and we’re loving this. Vilhelm<br />

Parfumerie deliver lilac’s signature<br />

powderiness, tempered perfectly by<br />

crisp, green, sappy notes, with the<br />

result it smells more like the real thing<br />

than anything we’ve yet encountered<br />

– perhaps because it was created from<br />

the ‘headspace’ of actual flowers. Lilac<br />

is officially shaking off its great-aunt<br />

image with a flurry of new lilac-based<br />

launches - and this is a must-smell.<br />

£145 for 100ml eau de parfum<br />

liberty.co.uk<br />

Combining French perfumery with<br />

Nordic molecular science, Zarko has<br />

created a range of truly intriguing<br />

scents, with Pink Molecule 090.09<br />

taking its name from the time it took<br />

to create (nine months, nine days).<br />

Pink Molecule opens with elderflower<br />

and pink molecules, a subtle apricot<br />

sweetness developing. With no heart<br />

notes, it moves straight onto rich<br />

woods tinged with mineral seawater,<br />

its sensuality contrasting with the<br />

initial innocence of the scent.<br />

£75 for 100ml eau de parfum<br />

spacenk.com/uk<br />

The <strong>scented</strong> Letter 43


the men’s room<br />

ACQUA DI PARMA<br />

COLONIA SANDALO<br />

ARMANI<br />

CODE PROFUMO<br />

BOTTEGA VENETA<br />

POUR HOMME ESSENCE<br />

AROMATIQUE<br />

A Cologne for warm-blooded beasts<br />

who like their juices a little more racy,<br />

Colonia Sandalo’s flacon is<br />

emblazoned with a distinctive ‘H’ on<br />

the cap, which may give you a clue as<br />

to the department store which has<br />

exclusivity. The slightly boozy<br />

bergamot and creamy sandalwood<br />

slide sublimely into a lavender-and<br />

cardamom-sprinkled deeper<br />

woodiness, with toasted almond-like<br />

tonka bean and freshly-buffed amber<br />

wading in with abandon.<br />

£179 for 100ml Cologne concentré<br />

At Harrods<br />

It’s a trend we predict we’ll be seeing<br />

more and more: intensified versions of<br />

masculine fragrances, which last<br />

longer on the skin and have greater<br />

diffusion. (And why not? Women have<br />

been wearing stronger concentrations<br />

for years – and loving it.) In its tactile,<br />

sculpted bottle – circled by an Armani<br />

‘cummerbund’ – Code Profumo<br />

seduces with the warmth of amber,<br />

benzoin and tonka bean, melting into<br />

the embrace of wood and smoke. One<br />

to nuzzle up to, for sure.<br />

From £45 for 35ml eau de parfum<br />

johnlewis.com<br />

The pale blue/green of the juice and<br />

streamlined, frosted flacon perfectly<br />

mirror the essence of the scent itself:<br />

a hazy freshness unfurls like mist<br />

rolling across the treetops of an<br />

Italian forest, the bergamot and<br />

citrus bitter-sweetness gradually<br />

fading into a deeper woodiness that<br />

stays crisply dry, like the snap of a<br />

twig. Siberian pine and patchouli<br />

radiate flashes of herbaceous<br />

freshness like beacons in the fog: a<br />

trail you never want to end…<br />

£52 for 50ml eau de cologne<br />

At Harrods<br />

CLEAN RESERVE<br />

SMOKED VETIVER<br />

DIOR<br />

FARENHEIT<br />

DOLCE & GABBANA<br />

THE ONE FOR MEN<br />

Smoked Vetiver imagines the moment<br />

of standing on the edge of a rainforest<br />

waterfall. It’s walking through still pines<br />

in a forest, the calm of the woods<br />

enveloping you (via the intriguing use<br />

of bamboo leaf and quince, blonde<br />

cedarwood and wild moss). There’s an<br />

almost salty quality in the background,<br />

evocative of rough oceans, wild waves.<br />

The fabulous finale of vetiver, myrrh,<br />

amber and soft musks lures you to get<br />

lost in this beach-fringed forest – and<br />

delightfully so.<br />

£79 for 100ml eau de parfum<br />

spacenk.com/uk<br />

An exciting new chapter in the success<br />

story of Dior Farenheit, which spans<br />

almost three decades: François<br />

Demachy maintains the brisk pace of<br />

Dior launches with a reinvention of<br />

Farenheit as a modern Cologne, while<br />

retaining its woody-spicy charms.<br />

Haitian vetiver and Virginia cedar,<br />

nutmeg and cumin, patchouli and<br />

violet ensure Farenheit stays true to its<br />

signature – but the splash of mandarin<br />

essence, Calabrian bergamot and<br />

lemon make it fresh in every way.<br />

£49.50 for 75ml Cologne<br />

dior.com<br />

D&G are back with an amplified<br />

version of their classic The One – this<br />

time with enriched tobacco and<br />

amber. (So expect it to trail a little<br />

longer on the skin.) Travelling down<br />

the herbaceous route, it opens with<br />

coriander, basil and a hit of grapefruit<br />

that lightens the tone. A warm blend<br />

of orange blossom, ginger and<br />

cardamom then appear at the<br />

sensuous heart, delivering the<br />

olfactory equivalent of an impeccably<br />

tailored suit.<br />

£55 for 50ml eau de parfum<br />

theperfumeshop.com<br />

44 The <strong>scented</strong> Letter


JEROBOAM<br />

ORIGINO<br />

LES EAUX PRIMORDIALES<br />

MOMENT PERPÉTUEL<br />

PACO RABANE<br />

BLACK XS LA FOR HIM<br />

Jeroboam’s explorations of musk –<br />

composed by Vanina Muracciole –<br />

lead us to predict it will become<br />

perfumery’s ‘next big thing’. Each is<br />

offered in a travel-friendly 30ml bottle<br />

(the joke: a jeroboam is normally three<br />

litres), with musk the sun around which<br />

other ingredients orbit. Here, pink<br />

pepper, bergamot, juniper, nutmeg,<br />

sandalwood nestle alongside bareskin<br />

sexy musk, making us want to<br />

drape ourselves over a chaise longue<br />

wearing very little but a wicked smile.<br />

£80 for 30ml parfum extrait<br />

selfridges.com<br />

Les Eaux Primordiales is an exciting<br />

new fragrance house created by<br />

French perfumer Arnaud Poulain.<br />

Simplicity in packaging and logo<br />

doesn’t extend to the six scents in the<br />

collection, which are complex and<br />

multi-faceted – all inspired by Jules<br />

Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.<br />

Moment Perpétuel evokes a hot<br />

summer in Provence, via sun-ripened<br />

blackcurrant, iris, white thyme, fir<br />

balsam, with armfuls of small-batch<br />

French lavender at its core.<br />

£124 for 100ml eau de parfum<br />

lessenteurs.com<br />

The flash of white teeth against a tan,<br />

the zest bursting from a Florida<br />

orange, warm air melting to a<br />

veritable headlong leap into fresh fruit<br />

cocktails shaken over crushed ice and<br />

clary sage. After all that excitement,<br />

the faint tang of salty skin still<br />

glistening from the swimming pool’s<br />

plunge. Vibrantly youthful, this<br />

positively shimmers, its mineral-crisp<br />

heart softened by cinnamon.<br />

Wannabe rock-stars and surfers with<br />

swagger, spritz this with abandon.<br />

£52 for 100ml eau de toilette<br />

theperfumeshop.com<br />

PAUL SCHÜTZE<br />

BEHIND THE RAIN<br />

PENHALIGON’S<br />

ENDYMION CONCENTRÉ<br />

PRADA<br />

LUNA ROSSA EAU SPORT<br />

Having created olfactory dimensions<br />

for art installations, followed by a<br />

barrage of requests for personal<br />

fragrance, Paul Schütze unveils a trio<br />

of ‘wearable artworks’. Here, a fragrant<br />

melody of moss, lentisque and linden<br />

blossoms is fractured by the haunting<br />

refrain of conifer, frankincense, black<br />

pepper, grapefruit and resinous<br />

woods: wearing this feels slightly<br />

unsettling at first: a prayer uttered in<br />

darkness, before the piercing light<br />

breaks through the clouds.<br />

£132 for 50ml eau de parfum<br />

roullierwhite.com<br />

The striking inky bottle and silver<br />

shield label topped by a silver<br />

crescent moon hint at the mysteries<br />

within Endymion Concentré: a deeper,<br />

darker, more intense new version of<br />

the so-popular Endymion, which<br />

debuted in 2003. Described as a<br />

‘semi-Oriental’, it retains a hint of<br />

fougère (see p.11) via lavender, sage<br />

and geranium, wrapped in suede. The<br />

leather notes intensify as the fragrance<br />

unfolds, with creamy nutmeg and<br />

incense making for a sweet seduction.<br />

£128 for 100ml eau de parfum<br />

penhaligons.com<br />

Inspired by the ‘spirit and energy’ of<br />

extreme sailing, Eau Sport is Daniela<br />

Roche Andrier’s redefinition of her<br />

original Luna Rossa. Opening to zesty<br />

bursts of bergamot and cedrat, it<br />

coasts in on a cool and refreshing tide,<br />

before amber meets the lavender in<br />

the heart. Sport’s embrace becomes<br />

cosier as it’s skin-warmed, with<br />

ambergris and cedar in the base<br />

creating a dry and woody impression<br />

that endures from breakfast through<br />

to supper on the deck.<br />

From £47.50 for 50ml eau de toilette<br />

johnlewis.com<br />

The <strong>scented</strong> Letter 45


it takes me right back<br />

Plum jam<br />

Ulrich Lang – globetrotting creator of<br />

an intriguing, art-inspired signature<br />

fragrance line – traces his love of<br />

scent to a German childhood, and a<br />

beloved grandma…<br />

“<br />

Plums. Fresh plums. Cooking on a stove with<br />

cinnamon sticks in the kitchen of my grandmother’s house in<br />

a small town outside of Stuttgart in Germany, that’s the first<br />

smell I can remember. For me that aroma is the essence of<br />

my happy childhood spent amidst forests and rolling hills.<br />

The South German cuisine is very distinct and includes<br />

lots of intestines. (Actually, my favourite dish was lentils with<br />

spaetzle dumplings and sausages.) But my Grandma wasn’t<br />

just the person who cooked lunch for the entire family every<br />

day; she was also the one to introduce me to finer scents,<br />

instrumental in my fragrance education and career.<br />

My grandmother, Klara Boss, was born into a family of<br />

hairdressers in the very Southern part of Germany. When she<br />

married my grandfather she moved to<br />

Stuttgart, where I was born, opening<br />

a salon with an adjacent perfumery.<br />

So I was privileged to grow up, in the<br />

70s, alongside lotions and potions: I<br />

remember an eclectic mix of skincare,<br />

fragrances, and <strong>scented</strong> soaps.<br />

The products that left the biggest<br />

impression include the clean and<br />

strong lavender smells of Lohse Uralt<br />

Lavendel, Kérastase’s Tar Shampoo and<br />

Quartz, a floral by Molyneux. I became<br />

an expert on scent at a very early age;<br />

by the time I was a teenager I was able<br />

to name someone’s fragrance when I<br />

smelled it on the street.<br />

The 80s kickstarted my fascination<br />

with New York, a city I fantasised about<br />

watching US series and making paintings in art school with<br />

a clear sense of what Manhattan would look like. As with<br />

my first scent education, my grandma’s house played a key<br />

role in my future endeavors. My mother’s cousin – a young,<br />

aspiring diplomat – announced her move to the Big Apple<br />

in our living room and I was first to sign up for a trip to the<br />

USA. Mesmerised by the infinite possibilities of Manhattan,<br />

I tried to be as American as possible, wearing Halston’s<br />

ground-breaking Z-14 which would become my favorite<br />

scent for a decade. Nobody wore it back then in Germany –<br />

so I had scored a signature scent (almost) all to myself!<br />

At around the same time, the women in my family<br />

changed their fragrance wardrobe and became more<br />

46 The <strong>scented</strong> Letter<br />

“ The more<br />

fragrance I smell,<br />

the more I find<br />

myself vividly<br />

remembering the<br />

scents of earlier<br />

decades”<br />

American, thanks to my fragrance finds in the New World.<br />

My mother – previously devoted to classics like Arpège<br />

and Ma Griffe – was suddenly doused in Eternity and Estée<br />

Lauder Knowing, while my grandmother became one of the<br />

earliest advocates for Prescriptives Calyx in South Germany.<br />

My 90s started with a bang. I scored an internship with<br />

Estée Lauder in London and became closer to my American<br />

dream when while I was there the company launched New<br />

West, the first revolutionary ‘skin scent’, using the molecule<br />

Calone. It would take another couple of years until I arrived<br />

in Manhattan to work for the publisher<br />

of my favorite magazine, Interview,<br />

where the scent defined that period in<br />

my life clearly was CkOne. It still takes<br />

me back to the cobblestoned streets<br />

of Soho, the loft on Wooster Street I<br />

shared – and regular visits to Tower<br />

Records, one of the stores that (in a<br />

clever marketing move) also stocked<br />

the fragrance. For me it also expressed<br />

the lightness of the city, before the<br />

series of tragic events that would shake<br />

the world forever at the beginning of<br />

the new millennium.<br />

The Noughties brought a vision to<br />

start my own fragrance line, combining<br />

my past experience at Lauder and<br />

L’Oréal (where I worked in the late 90s)<br />

with my strong visual perception, after many years spent<br />

in New York’s art publishing industry and art world. The<br />

scent that lingers on from those years is my own Ulrich Lang<br />

Nightscape (launched 2009): a modern patchouli that is very<br />

me, which I truly need to wear and smell every day.<br />

Today my world is much more filled with scent than it was<br />

in those formative years. But the more fragrance I smell,<br />

the more I find myself vividly remembering the scents of<br />

earlier decades. I now live in my dream city, New York. But<br />

whenever I visit Europe, I try to spend at least a weekend in<br />

South Germany, in the same house I grew up in, where most<br />

”<br />

likely there will be a pot of fresh plums boiling on<br />

the stove.<br />

© gkrphoto - Fotolia.com


The next issue of The Scented Letter is...<br />

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