In celebration of Francis Kurkdjian’s Twenty years of perfume poetry, I took a look back at some of his greatest hits over the years, his best perfumes for Basenotes.
Since writing the article, I’ve also had the pleasure of sniffing Baccarat Rouge 540 – a fragrance that had it already passed my nose, would have been included in the list. It’s a fascinating journey through the process of creating Baccarat’s signature red crystal and the heat required to do it – atypical in its look at the red and hot themes in perfumery.
Body of Songs is a collection of music inspired by the body’s organs, supported by the Wellcome Trust – artists meet various scientists and physicians who are the peak of expertise in their chosen field to find inspiration for music.
Last year, I was fortunate enough to meet Sam Lee and Kate Bland from Body of Songs to talk about the process of fragrance creation and history of perfumery. The resulting song has recently made an appearance, and it’s utterly enrapturing and haunting.
“The nose is by far the least understood of all the organs and one of the great of the human science mysteries, This song explores this “archaic nerve” that penetrates our psyche and unconsciousness in magical transportive ways. This original organ has elevated itself to such a lofty position of biological deportment as to become almost unnecessary, yet so rooted in all our judgements socially, sexually, animalistically and atavistically it could be reckoned as the seat of the highest intuition and most advanced of all faculties”
Back in August, I went along to the Avery Perfume Gallery’s 5th Birthday Celebrations, and wrote about it for Basenotes.
Since then I was fortunate enough to smell all of the exciting new launches under the Intertrade banner at Pitti Fragranze13. Keep your nose peeled for the newly relaunched Andree Putman collection, my personal highlight of the show.
Many of Dior’s fragrances have stood the test of time, such as Miss Dior (now named Miss Dior L’originale), a rich leathery Chypre created to celebrate Christian Dior’s New Look. Aside from Diorissimo, their portrait of the Lily of the Valley, few of their scents have had long lasting influence on the perfume industry. Eau Sauvage stands out in this respect as their most influential perfume.
My latest piece for The Drink Factory, on the wondrous Vanillin – the most ubiquitous synthetic material of perfumery and flavour, is now online. Read Perfumery Parallels by Nick Gilbert and let me know your favourite vanilla fragrance.
At the end of last year, I helped Cosmopolitan’s Lucy Partington find a scent that would help give her determination. We smelled a whole bunch of raw materials and accords to find which notes would hold the meaning for her, then made fragrance suggestions to fill the gap.
As part of my role at Penhaligon’s, I often have to answer questions from the press about our fragrances and the creation process. The Trade Routes collection is in the lineup of latest launches from Penhaligon’s – with fragrances inspired by luxurious goods that found their way back to London from around the globe.
Happy New Year! I hope it’s a fragrant, successful year for all. 2014 was full of ups and downs for me personally, and I’ve been thrilled to work with some fantastic brands over the past 12 months, and look forward to continuing to do so into 2015.
As is now tradition, Grant over at Basenotes asked for my favourite fragrance discoveries of 2014, alongside the picks of all Basenotes contributors.
Read the piece here, and click here for a full review of Eau de Magnolia, which made it into a few of the top picks lists.