Summer (and autumn-launch) perfume review

caron-franciskurkdjian-terry-gunzburg-odin It’s ALL about perfume this week on TWR, what with our Scent Salon happening tomorrow with Odette Toilette and Aesop…(are you coming?)

Over the last few months I’ve inhaled more fragrance than is probably good for a girl. The number of new releases hitting the market is baffling, no wonder it’s hard to find the perfect perfume (something we will be covering in out salon btw…)

I’ve smelled a lot of ‘meh’, but also some deliciously divine ones, which are listed below. Some aren’t out until the autumn, so I’m cheating a bit calling this a summer perfume review, but all are worth investigating, if scent is your thing.

The Floral Ones

Rouge Nocturne, Terry de Gunzburg. (available October) This is my absolute favourite of this edited selection of fabulousness. Richly rosy and really quite dark – Terry describes it as ‘voluptuous’ – this is a fug of incense and floral, a rich, hippy-trippy rose. Colouring the jus blood red just makes it all the more boudoir-drama-queen.Gorgeous.

Number 09 Posala, Odin. (£125) You may not have heard of Odin, a New York based fragrance brand that is quickly catching a cult following over here. Every one of its 11 fragrances smells a bit of New York to me, a bit dark, cool and a wee bit edgy. My favourite is this one, which has a gentle hint of flowery pear on top of a night-club-sexy amber and tobacco base. An after-dark smell, methinks, although tbh, I have been drenching myself in it at all times of the day. Good on men, too.

Lady Caron, Caron. (£105) An unashamedly retro floral, very grown up and a bit wanna-be aristo, although more Peter Jones than Downton Abbey. I appreciate that’s possibly not selling it to you, but it really is very good. It’s a magnolia-rose-jasmine mash-up at first hit, that softens down to a sophisticated warm floral. Classy.

Pluriel féminin, Maison Francis Kurkdjian (available September). I Love this rosy modern floral mostly because I met Francis Kurkdjian at the launch of Pluriel, and I defy anyone to dislike his fragrances after you’ve listened to him passionately and intelligently rant about how perfume is ESSENTIAL to a life lived well. I loved him instantly. Luckily, the fragrance is good, a much more contemporary floral that has the loveliest dry down after 30mins or so to an earthy, comforting and warmly sexy comfort blanket of a scent. While you wait for this to launch, you might check out the rest of his range, the man knows what he’s doing.


The Non Floral Ones, (also potential’s for Middleagedads)

Vetiver Spice, Bella Bellissima. (£82) I’ve raved about Bella’s range of quality fragrances previously, but just incase you didn’t hear first time, this is a lovely spicy vetiver that smells very good on men and women alike. It has an uplifting, spring-green hit -and no, NOT like your salad drawer- on first spraying, but it warms down to a lightly smokey blur. A quality scent and good value at the price.

Marrakech Intense, Aesop. (£53, available September) Anyone coming to our Scent Salon will get a treat preview of this brightly upbeat and very modern spice, as this isn’t out until September (the Marrakech essential oil perfume currently available is NOT the same). But what a lovely smell it is, eucalyptus bright in its first few moments, it warms down to a gingery, spicy freshness. The bright and sparkly nature of the notes in this fragrance are achieved through CO2 extraction, a newish technology that is able to capture the natural fragrance molecules without ‘cooking’ them in the way that other extraction processes do, resulting in that more traditional caramel note. Joyous to wear and good for teenagesons. Mine love this.

Renshaw, Murdock. (£90) All the Murdock colognes have been well received in my male-heavy household, and this new release is ‘missing’ from the stack of new releases, always a good sign. Renshaw has a minty fruit freshness on first whiff, which warms up with a bit of woodiness when it dries. When I smell this, I think of the Ralph Lauren store on Bond Street, heaven knows why, but it’s got that groomed-grown-up smell to it. Again, classy.

We’re going to be bringing some of these new smells along to our Scent Salon, so those who are coming will be able to try them.

Finally, I thought you might like to see what a fragrance ‘nose’ looks like, that’s someone who invents perfumes for a living. Until recently the fragrance industry has hidden them below stairs, confining to their laboratories and not allowing them out much. But things are changing in Fragrance Land, with the more enlightened houses wheeling them out-front and very interesting they are too.

I already mentioned the captivating Mr Kurkdjian and below is the knowledgeable and charming Barnabé Fillion, the nose who made Aesop’s Marrakech Intense, who I also met recently. He has made perfumes for Le Labo, Paul Smith, Von Sono and works in collaboration with french Fragrance company Mane.

He was not quite what I expected a nose to look, doesn’t he look like he might whizz off on a skateboard?


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