Let’s celebrate Autumn’s arrival with a new perfume! In my book, there is always time in your life for a new perfume. I am obsessed by fragrance, mainly thanks to a 15-year-career as a beauty journalist, but even before that I was a huge fragrance fan.
In recent years, I have become obsessed with Tom Ford fragrances, and have been so lucky to have been involved in the beauty industry at this time. I can’t pick out a favourite, I love so many of them. I wore an old Private Blend, Ombre de Hyacinth, to my wedding, and the new Noir Pour Femme is just delicious.
So, in this little round-up of a few of the latest fragrances around, there is, of course, a Tom Ford. It’s his latest Private Blend, which is Venetian Bergamot (£145, 50ml, from Tom Ford Private Blend counters).
It’s as lovely as you would imagine, quite a different scent, and not what you might expect. Bergamot is used as a classical eau de cologne ingredient, giving fresh, citrus note to it. But Venetian Bergamot is a lot more sensual.
The top note of Calabrian bergamot is a lively and spirited bergamot, and one of the very finest. This top note is wrapped with luxurious citrus notes, and then there’s a sprinkling of black and pink peppercorn and ginger, adding that sensuality and warmth.
The heart of the fragrance is ylang ylang, magnolia and gardenia, and the base is cedarwood, pepperwood, sandalwood, along with tonka, and amber and cashmere accords. So, this makes it a very rich and sensual citrus scent. It’s lovely, trust me!
Now, as well as the fragrances, I am a real sucker for perfume bottles – and I’m not alone. People collect perfume bottles, and a lot of thought goes in to creating beautiful flacons.
So, as well as the fact that Miu Miu (from £48 for 3oml, from department stores nationwide) have just launched a new fragrance, big news in itself, they’ve also launched it in a gorgeous bottle, just look at it!
My favourite colour blend of turquoise and red. The bottle is made of ovely pillowed, opaque glass,and the red cap complements the palest of blue, beautifully. But what about the perfume itself?
It has top notes of lily of the valley, jasmine, real rose absolute, combined with the wood and pepper of Akigalawood®, an extract of patchouli.
It’s very pleasant, and quite a mix of smells to tantaslise your nose with! But, I have to admit it’s one I would buy for the bottle, rather than the contents!
Now. here’s a new one from Avon that made me smile. Attraction For Her, and Attraction For Him (£15 each, 50ml, avonshop.co.uk) are two woody, musky, sensual fragrances.
Apparently, when tested on real life couples, who were invited to spend the weekend together wearing the fragrances, they affirmed the powerful magnetic effect of the scents, generating wildly intense testimonials!
How much of that I really believe, I don’t know. But Avon say it’s all down to a mysterious magnetic musk accord, exclusive to them!
The bottles fit into each other – of course they do. But I’m not the biggest fan. I find the bottles a little old-fashioned, and the scent? I’m not overly attracted to it, sorry to say!
I just find it a little bit strange – it isn’t identifiable at all as a woman’s fragrance. I haven’t smelled the man’s so can’t say how different, or not, they are, but this one is very masculine from the start
Gentlewoman (from £75, for 50ml, Selfridges and Harrods) is a new-ish (launched earlier this summer) EDP from the niche French brand, Juliette Has A Gun, who I had never heard of until now. Where have I been?
How have I missed them? The brand was created by Romano Ricci, the great grandson of Nina Ricci, whose son, Richard crated the Nina Ricci fragrance empire. Who doesn’t know L’Air Du Temps? This fragrance is delightful. It’s supposed to be a take on an old-fashioned gentleman’s cologne, with a bit of ‘dandyism’ in there, apparently. Whatever, I am in love with it. It’s so more-ish.
I think the problem I have is that I love the top notes so much, that first spritz, that I have to keep on spraying it. The Bitter Orange Petitgrain and Neroli Essence just hit you so hard and so immediately that you are almost knocked out by them! It’s a wonderful introductin to a scent. There’s the same Calabrian Bergmot that’s in Tom Ford’s Venetian Bergamot in there too at the top.
Then, you will really smell the Almond Essence in the heart of the fragrance, and the Coumarin, and the bright Orange Blossom, with a hint of the Lavender. It dries down to quite a musky, soapy scent, but the orange notes are still there. Thankfully, on me, the almond note doesn’t linger, as I am not a huge fan.
If you are looking for a new fragrance line to try, then I would definitely recommend Juliette. I can’t wait to discover more! (Another Oud is the next to be launched, out in October.)
Next up is Botanical Essence Fragrance No.20 from Liz Earle (£49, from October, lizearle.com). Created to celebrate the brand’s 20th birthday this year, there’s not a lot I can say about this, as I haven’t had the chance to smell it yet. It features the most quintessentially beautiful of flowers, the rose.
Now, there’s this story about going to Isparta, in Turkey to witness the ancient ritual of harvesting the precious Damask rose at daybreak, which is what perfumer Dominic Bertier did, when he created this. I feel like I have heard this story before, trust me. A lot of brands use this rose…
Anyway, I am sure this is a lovely scent, and I love rose, so I do look forward to smelling it. The top notes are pink pepper, bergamot, rose water and mandarin essential oil. The heart is Turkish rose, carrot, jasmine sambac, and the base is amyris, sandalwood and vanilla.
Finally, let’s head back to Venice with these Merchant of Venice fragrances, from the Murano Glass Collection (£80, 50ml, houseoffraser.co.uk) There are six scents in total – Flower Fusion, Byzantium Saffron, Mandarin Carnival, Noble Potion, Suave Petals, and Asian Inspirations.
I have to admit I haven’t smelled these perfumes at all. I was just drawn to the gorgeous glass bottles (although I would remove the tassels). There’s a wide range of smells for everyone here, but if I was going for bottle alone, my first choice would be the dotty turquoise of Mandarin Carnival.