So December comes around again, and another year draws close to its conclusion. Cue the flipside to commercial and materialistic fever pitch; for here cometh the season of olfactive thoughtful introspection, of hibernation, ancient sleep and waking dreams, where perfumed ghosts and quiet haunting beauty, wafts silently between days end, and nights hard frost. Enter ‘Sous Bois’ by Nancy Meiland – a lumineer of contemporary British perfumery – with her fifth olfactive outing, a green and elemental composition which is both grounded in the earthy tones of the forest floor whilst reaching for the glacial air and skies of mystical … Continue reading ‘Sous Bois’ by Nancy Meiland: Journey into the dark green forests of Winter
As the mornings get crisper and cooler, with the crunch of leaves underfoot; that certain something in the air that evokes nostalgia and long lost love, tells us that Autumn has well and truly arrived. A time of great beauty – a season of deep colour and introspection, a bittersweet journey where the joy of now, and the wistful presence of ghosts past quietly collide. Nowhere is this more beautifully encapsulated than in nature and its perfumes. If you are seeking something a little less obvious, a perfect scent for the Season of ‘mists and mellow fruitfulness , there is … Continue reading Five Audacious Scents for Autumn. Exclusives – Shy Mimosa Perfumery, Clifton, Bristol.
Rentless Cardamom Coffee What would Love do? Amelie Mae I’m Home A difficult and brave balancing act between the strains of commercial profitability, and the freedom of a left of centre intellectualised cult perfume brand, aspiring to be art. Unless you are anosmic, most folk hurry past the challenging scent of Lush stores across the world, as the heady odour of high octane olfactory theatrics billows unapologeticly out of its kooky open doors. Even for those brave enough to enter this peculiar psychadelic kingdom of soaps, strange wobbling jellies, and glitter infused bath bombs, the overpowering waft can … Continue reading Lush : Gorilla Perfumes Volume IV – A Review.
Perfume is often perceived as frivolous and mass produced, synthetic and throwaway – not unlike a 3 minute Pop song which has its moment then is swiftly forgotten. But with the quiet and steadily growing movement of niche and artisan Perfumery making a resurgence – the like having not been seen for nearly a hundred years – the concept of scent as a transient slice of Popular Culture is being challenged. And rightly so. Even those of us with the most simplistic notions of what Perfumery entails will understand that it is as much steeped in Artistry as it is Science. The creation … Continue reading ‘Eglantier’ – Where two Seas collide under the pink of Nordic Eventide. (Nancy Meiland Parfums Review : Part II)
I had the great pleasure of being co-tutored by Nancy several years ago on a Perfumery course, long before her steady – but Phoenix like – rise to the heights of being one of Britain’s fast emerging and exceptionally talented new generation of female Perfumers. Like a true artist, Nancy’s olfactory creations breathe an authentic reflection of her personality: they sparkle, shimmer and emote in a dreamy impressionistic style which is perfectly European and at times particularly British. It was back in 2005 on a bitter February afternoon in St James, London in a grand Georgian drawing room around a … Continue reading ‘A Very British Affair’ Nancy Meiland Parfums, A review: Part One
‘Dryad’ ( Green Floral Chypre ) Perfumer Liz Moores captures retro gold with the risky and daring move of creating an unabashed and unapologetic Classical Green Chypre that swims confidently against the tide of a market oversaturated with saccharine Gourmands that threaten to give the world Olfactory Diabetes. And it is more than acceptable, it is excellent. Dryad. 1) The term Dryad comes from the Greek word ‘Dryos’ for Oak Tree, therefore the Dryads were considered to be nymphs of the forests, trees and groves, specifically the Oak Tree – the term dating back to the 14th Century. These tree … Continue reading Papillon Artisan Perfumes : ‘Dryad’ Released 2017, A Review.
Not so long ago in a province known as The North, there lived a retired unassuming lady who lived on an unassuming street in an old mining village. She lived with her muttering, grumpy husband and her menagerie of strange animals who were mischievous and always up to no good. He would watch sport every night and shout at the magic box as if it might just reply, whilst she went about her chores singing songs that normal people her age wouldn’t normally sing or dance around the house to. She was a contented lady with a happy outlook … Continue reading Interlude: The Quiet Lady with the Loud Bottles ( A Modern Day Fairy Tale )
Parfum Champs Elysees / 1904 Queen Victoria has only been dead three years, cars are in their infancy, air flight is but a dream and women are fighting for the right to vote. Yet, yet … For all of the primitive, archaic rule, we had Perfume, Art and Music so complex and so modern, it was astounding : We were witnessing Picasso’s late Rose Period, listening to bold new works by both Stravinsky and Bartok, and the Flat Iron Building in New York was completed – the first skyscraper, reaching 22 stories high. And Perfume, although seen suspiciously as … Continue reading Guerlain – Scented Paper From Versailles : Part Two
It is February and the air is biting cold. The skies are dark as charcoal, and hail is rattling upon the conservatory roof like a sinister plague from an ice cloud somewhere up above. Inside, dressed in a thick wool jumper and slacks, I am temperate and thoughtful, yet barely contained with nervous excitement, as an envelope stuffed with historic olfactory rarities has arrived from a rather special place called the Osmotheque in Versailles. So rare that these are not even samples, but blotting strips which have been cautiously dipped in hushed bottles of mercurial and mysterious liquid. They have … Continue reading Guerlain – Scented Paper from Versailles