Fragrances have always been vital to me. Every bottle of perfume that you can see here is filled with the memories, certain thoughts and associations. I’ve never been a huge fan of ‘girlish’ scents, to be clear – I’ve never owned a perfume by Britney Spears. Even when I was at school age – I preferred using my father’s scent (that Black XS was so delicious, though) rather than pretty pink bottles that were meant for the girls of my age. Since then I don’t believe in labelling scents as ‘only for women’ or ‘for men’, I do think that it’s another level of sexism and sometimes might stop men using the scents they like because they are considered as girlish.
When I was at the presentation of Penhaligon’s Savoy Steam (cannot wait for its official launch!), I was told that even nowadays many of the men perfumes are made using rose notes, but this is not advertised. Companies are not allowed to talk about ‘women’ notes in the ‘men’ perfumes, they only promote what might look appealing for the marketing purposes, such as tobacco, vodka and other ‘manly’ scents.
Ароматы для меня всегда имели огромное значение. Каждый флакончик представленный здесь – это флакон наполненный воспоминаниями, ассоциациями и определенным настроением. Я никогда не была любителем типичных женских ароматов, будучи еще в школьном возрасте я всегда душилась папиным одеколоном, любовь к резким, сложным и сильным запахам до сих пор со мной и, так или иначе, всегда влияет на мой выбор парфюма. Мне нравится когда у человека есть свой signature аромат, которому он никогда не изменяет, однако с моей страстью к экспериментам с одеждой и внешним видом, я никогда не смогла бы быть верна одному запаху, он бы слишком быстро мне наскучил.
The infamous ‘L’Impératrice 3′ by Dolce&Gabbana reminds me of the time when I just moved to the UK. I bought that fragrance on the second day after I moved and at that time – it was the one and only perfume I owned, that’s why I was wearing it quite often. I wore it when I was looking for a job, during my first days at university, during my first ever job interviews and first days of my independent adult life. You can imagine how many feelings this fragrance awake in me today when everything it’s associated with happened so long ago.
A very funny story happened to me when I decided to buy that fragrance. I remember I smelled this perfume first in one of those magazine’s testers, I loved the smell straight away, but it took me a while to finally come to the store and buy them for my collection. When I came to Boots, I completely forgot how that fragrance was named, the only thing I remembered was ‘YSL’ and ‘Opium’, at that time, when ‘Black Opium’ just launched it was only sold in high-end department stores, like Selfridges & Harvey Nichols. In Boots, I could only find the original ‘Opium’ which has a completely different smell, the fragrance that I would never love and wear. So I was standing there very frustrated, thinking of how the magazine page could modify the fragrance THAT much. Only after some time, when more and more shops started selling ‘Black Opium’, I realised those were two different scents (I’m wondering why it wasn’t that obvious to me when I smelled the original ‘Opium’).Since then, ‘Black Opium’ is one of my most favourite fragrances for a night. It’s so glam-rock, and I love its’ black coffee and vanilla notes! It always reminds me of the time me when I was a huge fan of Avril Lavigne and the whole black and pink ‘glam rock’ style.
Since then, ‘Black Opium’ is one of my most favourite fragrances for a night. It’s so glam-rock, and I love its’ black coffee and vanilla notes! It always reminds me of the time me when I was a huge fan of Avril Lavigne and the whole black and pink ‘glam rock’ style.
Tom Ford’s fragrances have a special place in my heart. ‘Black Orchid’ is the aroma that I will recognise out of the thousands. This is the fragrance I wear for a day most of the time, even though it’s quite strong, I still feel comfortable wearing it and it doesn’t bother me with its harsh notes of Black Truffle and Bergamot. Every time I hear this scent, it makes me think about all things luxurious, sophisticated and sensual. I believe that wearing this fragrance makes other people percept you in a bit different way, you instantly seem more attractive, richer and sexier.
The only thing that I don’t like, that it’s way too popular in the UK and it’s wide accessibility. The fragrance that is supposed to be exclusive is worn by almost every fifth person I meet.
I love that Tom Ford do not label their perfumes by gender, this is why everyone feels so comfortable wearing their scents, men and women.
A couple of months ago, I didn’t know anything about Penhaligon’s perfume, nor their scents, or their history. I was lucky enough to be invited to their launch event of ‘Savoy Steam’ fragrance (it’s not officially on sale, yet, but I’m sooo looking forward to buying it). After I had met the team behind the brand, I was invited for the so-called ‘Fragrance Profiling’ at their store in Burlington’s Arcade where I had a one-on-one consultation to find my Penhaligon’s fragrance. The Fragrance Specialist asked me about my favourite memories, notes, drinks, food and holidays destinations, while I was answering he was reducing the amount of the perfume bottles on the table. When we finished, I had to try 3 scents that were left on the table, wait for 10 minutes and decide which fragrance I love the most. That’s how I find Equinox Bloom, this is by far the most girlish scent in my collection – so bright and lovely, a joyful, floral fragrance. The thing I enjoy most about Penhaligon’s scents is how complex they are, and they always remind me of the Alice in Wonderland “Drink Me Potion” with every sniff revealing something new and different.
Penhaligon’s Equinox Bloom is inspired by the a Afternoon Tea that was experienced by Olivier Cresp, the Master Perfumer behind the fragrance. He took inspiration from the atmosphere, the food, the area (London) and the general ambience of High Tea, as well as the transitional moments of day becoming night and Winter becoming Spring. As usual with Penhaligon’s fragrances, the inspiration becomes completely clear from the moment you smell the perfume – I just love how they always provide such wonderful stories.
After Penhaligon’s team found out that I picked Equinox Bloom, they immediately thought of their newest launch – ‘Clandestine Clara’ as of the scent that I will surely love… and it was the love from the first smell. Clara is a new member of the Penhaligon’s ‘Portraits’ collection – Penhaligon’s describe this an an ‘olfactory fiction’ where each character or ‘portrait’ is represented by a different fragrance, with a complex and intriguing story attached to each.
To set the scene, we need to head back in time and immerse ourselves into the depths of the British aristocracy. The Portraits collection originates with four fragrances, and follows the story of Lord George and Lady Blanche, their daughter Dutchess Rose, and her husband Duke Nelson.
Clandestine Clara EDP A complex creature… A forceful personality, spicy but equally sweet, she has travelled in exotic countries and company – and in her smoky, velvety, woody air you may detect a memory (or three) of his Lordship… She is rebellious, contradictory, independent, unconventional – a woman ahead of her time. But above all, as you will discover, she is a true gourmand, completely delectable. Thi is a sensual amber oriental scent, that’s both voluptuous and confident without being overbearing. This fragrance is beautifully enticing, warm, and comforting, whilst being both spicy and smoky. It has a heady depth that’s enticingly gourmand with its vanilla and cinnamon notes, and is amazingly long lasting on the skin. After one spray in the morning, I can still smell this on myself in the evening.
There is a fun app that accompanies this launch: the Language of Flowers: https://flowers.penhaligons.
Also from those who create their bouquet and enter our competition one will be selected as a winner of the entire Portraits collection.
6. Alaïa – Eau de Parfum – £84
The Tunisian-born, Paris-based designer had an “unreasonable” and transcending scent in mind for his first fragrance. The black flacon with a gold cap is ultra precious- and sleek-looking, with a pattern that evokes his laser-cut leather creations. He allegedly did not want an obviously floral fragrance, and particularly not a white floral one. Instead, he described the smell of “cold water falling on hot chalk,” an image the end result actually manages to conjure.
I am relatively sure that the list of notes available at the moment is not complete, as I find it hard to believe that such a complex scent only contains notes such as airy notes, pink pepper, freesia, peony, animal and musky notes. Besides the unusual scent, what I like about Alaïa Paris Eau de Parfum is the fact that it is present and long-lasting without being overwhelming. Even on a warm day, this is just not a scent that could cause a headache.
A lot of fragrances, while great, end up being lumped into the same category by my brain. This one on the other hand, is actually unique enough not to remind me of anything else!
Viktor & Rolf just gets my taste when it comes to the perfumes. Every time they launch their new fragrance (for men or women) – I already know I will love it without even smelling it. These two fragrances are so me. I first came across the Viktor & Rolf perfume brand when I used their first perfume – Flowerbomb Eau de Parfum, some years ago. I can’t remember now how I discover the scent, but I already repurchased it a couple of times. I’m sure this is a scent you will have heard a lot abut and no doubt smelt before now because it’s so many people’s favourites. It’s easy to smell why.
Flowerbomb is a really distinctive scent that combines contrasting fragrance notes to create a perfume thats really unique. It has top notes of Mandarin, Bergamot, Pink Pepper and Saffron, heart notes of roses, jasmine and olives and base notes of amber, vanilla, patchouli and oud which gives it depth and warmth. This smell is not as complex as Penhaligon’s fragrances are, and it’s very comfortable for a daily wear.
I found out about ‘Bonbon’ in the Turkish duty-free shop, when it was just launched, I was heading to the family vacation and stopped by to smell it and completely lost my mind, I was raving about this scent to my boyfriend, so when I came back home, the shiny bottles has been waiting for me.
Rihanna’s signature scent ‘Love, Don’t Be Shy’, left me speechless when I first smelled it as a part of the bespoke consultation at By Kilian store in the Burlington’s Arcade. Just one word describes this fragrance perfectly: desire.
Rose and vanilla, that is how Love smells to me. A gorgeous combination of rose and vanilla. Love is sweet at the beginning, very much so. If you don’t know the way Kilian Hennessy and Calice Becker go about things, you might be shocked. But wait. Wait it out, and you’ll be rewarded with a scrumptious rose-vanilla duet that straddles the line between yummy and abstract.
Love is interesting because it smells at once so girly, pink and innocent, but on the other hand, there is more to it than meets the nose, at first impression. It reveals its depth only after some time, this third dimension makes Love irresistible to me. It is hard to describe, but I get the feeling that Love, despite being overtly happy, easy going and pink, also has a more complicated side, a darker side, some tears behind the smiling sweet facade and this is exactly what makes that fragrance so magnetising, so tempting and so desirable.
I hoped you enjoy this introduction to the Top-9 fragrances of my collection. Tell me about your favourite fragrances in the comments below. What scent notes you love the most?