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Tuesday, 11 October 2011

fragrant fancies


I love the romance of fragrance – from the promises the juice holds channelled through luxury advertising campaigns, through to the creatively designed bottles. There’s little doubt that fragrance can take you on a personal journey – who doesn’t remember their first perfume? But when it comes to conveying the seduction of scent through words, it can be tricky. Like watching Masterchef, John and Gregg have to string as many adjectives together as possible, along with making yummy looking faces to try and communicate the true culinary skills they are experiencing. It’s the same with fragrance. Without scratch and sniff computers, describing a scent can come across as incredibly flowery and fey. Really, the only way to decide whether you like it is seek it and spray it, which is why I’m more interested in the back story of the fragrance when writing about it.


The two fragrances that have recently landed on my desk certainly have a history or two to tell. Firstly, there’s new Angel Eau de Toilette. Now, the ‘old’ Angel was launched in 1992 and introduced a new olfactory trend. With a combination of praline and chocolate sweetness it was hailed as the first oriental gourmand. You either loved it or hated it. Nearly 20 years on and Eva Mendes fronts the new Angel. A friend of mine, who adores the old Angel, describes this fragrance as altogether quieter. “It’s less of a statement,” she says, “but certainly prettier and fresher.” And she’s right. It’s certainly more carefree in flavour with the aroma of pink fruits nestling softly on the skin. As the original Angel summed up the go-getting spirit of the 90’s, Angel’s new fragrant awakening is a karmic and sexy smelling scent that wraps up the mood of today.  
Angel Eau de Toilette Refillable Spray 40ml, £46

Clink, clink as we tap virtual champagne flutes. The second fragrance is the limited edition Aromatics Elixir Perfumer’s Reserve which celebrates its 40th anniversary – and middle youth has never smelt so good! Firstly, the bottle is beautiful. A chic, embossed amber tinted, brown glass flacon with a decanter style stopper. A true dressing table desirable. Launched in 1971 – the era of the feminist, it’s been described as the scent of a woman with the world at her feet. Olfactory empowerment indeed! Although rarely advertised since its launch – and possibly for that reason, it’s become a cult fragrance, and over the past 10 years alone over 19 million flacons have been sold globally. Uncompromising in its delivery, it’s a delicate fragrance with a masculine underbelly. Top notes of verbena and chamomile mingle with base notes of sandalwood and oakmoss. In today’s modern beauty world of flighty celebrity fragrances, it really is wonderful to have a vintage fragrance that stands the spritz of time.
Aromatics Elixir Perfume’s Reserve, 25ml, £80. And Aromatics Elixir Perfume Spray, 100ml, £60.    

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