French design house Rochas was founded in 1925 and still wows the world media on the catwalks of Paris today. Their tradition of producing excellent scents began in the late 20s when just a handful of bottles were offered exclusively at their runway shows. Nowadays, it is fortunate that their fragrances can be found the world over. Rochas Globe perhaps hints at a house that has enjoyed acclaim internationally for almost 90 years.
Globe is a scent for men launched in 1991, fast on the heels of the powerhouse fragrance offerings of the 80's, and just a year or two before unisex androgyny of scents such as CK One became the norm. Globe represents one of the last truly masculine offerings before the world turned to stark minimalism in perfumery during the 90s – it is a complex aromatic / leather fragrance.
It opens with a generous green blast of bergamot, lemon, sappy fir needles, coriander and artemisia... hesperidic notes that evoke feelings of being in a leafy garden. It's core is a complex blend of florals... jasmine, rose, lily-of-the-valley and geranium... all of which add a softness to the scent. This unique blend rests on a leathery / woody foundation of labdanum, leather, sandalwood, cedar, patchouli, vetiver and musk.
Globe is a no-nonsense eau de toilette which oozes class and charm. It somehow feels familiar, timeless and universal. Excellent for the office or romantic nights on the town.
As far as French luxury brands are concerned, Hermes is right at the top of the food chain – their history reaches back to 1837, and today, they are revered for their leather goods, lifestyle accessories, homewares and perfumes.
Concentre d'Orange Verte is a verdant, citrusy green eau de toilette which is based on the much-loved Eau d'Orange Verte. For decades Eau d'Orange Verte has become a mainstay in the perfume wardrobes of many a perfimista – loved for its crisp, yet fleeting, fresh citrus hit. In 2004 the good folk at Hermes launched the 'Concentre' version – offering a concentrated formula that lasts longer on skin.
Concentre d'Orange Verte is a citrus aromatic scent which features orange, amber, basil, mint, patchouli and cedar. It is cooling and crisp... brushing over skin like a light Mediterranean breeze. Perfect for summer, or hot, humid climates.
Adored by both genders, this Hermes creation takes its place in an impressive lineup of scents from this well respected house.
London lingerie outfit Agent Provocateur have been putting the VA-VA-VOOM back in the bedroom with their high-end undergarments since 1994! Their 'universe' is studded with swathes of sheer fabric, ribbon and lace... sexy duds for the modern day femme fatale.
In 2000, the brand added their eponymous perfume to their portfolio; a daring and sexy elixir that turned heads from the day it hit retailers shelves!
Presented in a fragile pink porcelain egg with tidy black bow, the outward appearance of the flacon belies the searing hot, sultry juice within!
Agent Provocateur makes no apologies... it opens with a sharp, spiced / floral topnote of saffron, jasmine and coriander which feels exotic and sensuous, but a powdery pink promiscuous heart of rose resides at its core... it is lavish and unrelenting – the embodiment of wanton passion. There is a dark, animalic facet of amber and musk in the base that feels fiery, sexy and organic. On skin, Agent Provocateur transforms the wearer into an immodest vixen – as it warms, it emits a titanic glow around the wearer. It is pure sex – and it's unabating!
Agent Provocateur delivers all it intended – it will bewitch and ensnare. Pity the man who falls victim to her charms!
Are you nuts about the smell of a leather handbag, Italian leather shoes, or an all-leather car interior? Well, arguably *the* jewel in the crown of Tom Ford's Private Blend collection, Tuscan Leather is without doubt one of his most-loved fragrances from this line. It exudes luxuriousness, charm and sophistication.
Tuscan Leatheris an exercise in refinement... it incorporates a stunning suede-like smokey leather accord, and embellishes it with various notes that enhance its different facets. Spiced saffron, incense and precious woods amplify the more masculine animalic aspect, whilst thyme, jasmine and raspberry furnish the scent with a more delicate, feminine air. And therein lies it's secret! Tuscan Leather is every bit as good on a woman as it is on a man!
It has exceptional persistence, and radiates an exquisitely-scented aura... one that lasts the better part of an entire day!
Tuscan Leather is somewhat linear – meaning that what you smell in the opening is pretty much what you'll smell several hours later. It is incredibly versatile, making it the perfect scent to wear to the office during the day, or to semi-formal and formal affairs in the night.
Rich. Luxurious. Expensive.
Purveyors of stunning jewels, hotels, and high fashion accessories Bvlgari, have been long revered for their extensive perfume portfolio. In 2003, Bvlgari launched Omnia – a feminine scent which was presented to the world packaged in a flacon that resembled one of their iconic gold link earrings.
A luscious Oriental, Omnia was met with widespread appeal, thanks – in part – to a complex blend of accords that ran the gamut between spiced masala chai and creamy white chocolate! A fragrance that blankets the skin with warm, comforting nuances, it opens with zesty mandarin, orange and ginger, which is followed briskly by deeper, spiced facets of saffron, pepper and cardamom. A sensuous blend of nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon steep in lavish pools of creamy almond and milky chai. The drydown reveals precious woods, tonka bean and mouth-watering white chocolate.
Omnia offers uniqueness and warmth – a scent which usher feelings of familiarity and tranquility. It snuggles close to the skin, just begging to draw someone in.
Its delicate spiciness and oriental / gourmand qualities render Omnia the perfect scent for romantic nights or cooler climes.
It was Guerlain's Shalimar that first defined the 'Oriental' category of perfumes for women in 1925, and it was arguably Habit Rouge that defined the woody oriental category for men when it first hit retailer's shelves in 1965. Few then could have predicted the success story that followed, as Habit Rouge continues to reap many new fans some 50 years later.
Habit Rouge translates to 'Red Coat' - a reference to the red riding jackets worn in equestrian tradition. The fragrance itself follows this stately trajectory. It is a harmony of crisp citruses in the opening (lemon, orange, bergamot) and warm, aromatic nuances at its heart. A complex nucleus of rose, carnation, cinnamon, rosewood and sandalwood is masterfully blended, and work in unison with its leathery, tonka / vanilla base. This is a scent of rich contrasts; sparkling crispness in the opening, and a decadently creamy, lingering trail.
Habit Rouge has spirit and presence – and an aristocratic one at that. With above-average lasting power, this is a fragrance that need only be applied once. It can be worn for many occasions both formal and intimate. Few masculine scents have withstood the test of time in the same way this iconic Guerlain offering has prevailed.
Introduced by Yves Saint Laurent in 2006, L'Homme has proved to be one of YSL's most successful masculines in the history of this iconic house. Not only has it won critical acclaim the world over, it has also been referenced in no less than 8 flanking fragrances that bear the YSL L'Homme name!
This captivating scent for men is a woody musky fragrance, presented in a flacon with weighty hexagonal cap that brings to mind a bolt or metal hardware.
It has a brisk ginger / citrus opening which one finds bracing and energizing. This acts as an introduction to a warm heart that includes spicy, peppery notes, aromatic basil and soft violet leaf. The base notes comprise cedar, vetiver and tonka bean, which linger long after the scent dries on skin.
YSL L'Homme has an air of sophistication... it is relaxed as much as it is ceremonial and can thus be enjoyed on any occasion. It works well with jeans and a tee, or a buttoned-down crisp white shirt. It feels both sporty and active as it does romantic and sensual. The perfect go-to scent for today's modern man.
Another company with an impressive history, FLORIS of London opened their doors way back in 1730 when they offered perfume, combs and shaving products to a discerning clientele. Fast forward almost 300 years, and their original flagship store is still found today with shelves stocked with Floris products! Perfumers to the British monarchy, Floris' impressive back-catalogue of perfumed creations were every bit as revered as the scents they continue to release today.
Mahon Leather is one such scent which straddles the line between yesterday and today - a unisex fragrance which marries their rich history to modern tastes in perfumery. Whilst some leather scents are quite punchy and bitter, Mahon Leather is infinitely more refined. Its key notes of saffron and leather are seamlessly blended and introduced to a verdant green vetiver, pale woods and warm amber. This eau de parfum feels somewhat foppish - perfect for the modern day Dandy - a scent that smells like a person who is meticulously groomed. Restrained refinement.
Mahon Leather ought to be liberally applied as it wears close to the skin. Both men and women can enjoy this scent as a part of their everyday grooming ritual.
Perfumers to the British royal family Penhaligon's sure know how to amp up the glam with their striking new unisex release Juniper Sling - a scent inspired by the widely revered spirit London Dry Gin, and one that pays hommage to the Art Deco age.
Juniper Sling is a startlingly smooth blend which opens with a bit of 'razzle-dazzle'... a shot of crisp gin, sappy juniper and a scattering of black pepper fire up the senses, whilst soft leather, cinnamon and dusty iris give the scent a tranquil, narcotising quality. There is no doubt that this perfume smells like an exceptionally good cocktail... it is somehow diaphanous, yet complex. It's biting orange brandy note and huff of angelica make it delectably fragrant, whilst a hint of black cherry and brown sugar in the base lend themselves to a lip-smacking drydown. Despite these food-like accords, Juniper Sling veers away from the gourmand and maintains its vibe more as a delicately-refined tipple. Vetiver and ambergris in the base also lend a sense of clean, green transparency.
This boozy Penhaligon's release sets the tone for nights of fun, laughter and high spirits, but of course, without the subsequent hangover. Chin-chin!
One of the enduring legacies that perfume nose Jean Paul Guerlain left us from the 80's, was Samsara - an opulent woody oriental scent for women which evoked daydreams and extravagant spectres of India. "Samsara" was Guerlain's answer to the 1980's oriental favourite Opium by Yves Saint Laurent, and it has a loyal following very much in kind.
Extravagance and sumptuousness abound, Samsara is every bit as colourful and luxurious as a decadent Indian wedding. Deep, indolic jasmine tumbles over fragrant ylang-ylang blossoms and crimson rose petals…one imagines flashes of striking colour, and shimmering citrus accords give the glint of hammered gold. There is a stunning, smooth-as-silk creaminess that this perfume is built upon… an enduring foundation of perfumed sandalwood, vanilla, tonka bean, honeyed amber and musk.
Samsara is devoutly feminine, and was created very much in an 80's "bigger is better" style. It has definite presence, and is somewhat of a head-turner. Few women today would go unnoticed whilst wearing this lovely perfume which has fast become a classic.