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BLACK_OUDH4When I first heard that Reiss were launching two signature fragrances I must admit I was pretty non-plussed. When I heard that award-winning perfumer Azzi Glasser was creating them, though, I suddenly sat up and took notice. I love Azzi – one of the most personable, down-to-earth people in the fragrance industry – and I love what she does with her creations. High street or high fashion they’re always wearable without ever being boring, there’s a meticulous attention to detail and she always throws in a surprise or two.

Two years in the making the new fragrances, Black Oudh For Men and Grey Flower For Women launch next month in Reiss stores nationwide. The men’s fragrance – dark, warm and intense, with laurel leaf, black oudh, black musk and amber – is superb in a woody, smoky, autumnal night kind of way but Grey Flower is even better.

GREY_FLOWER4Though technically aimed at women, this latter fragrance is just as deep and rich and earthy as Black Oudh. A mix of pimento berry, patchouli, frankincense, amber and sequoia wood, it’s actually one of the best fragrances I’ve smelt all year.

Intoxicating, with a faintly medicinal, warm edge it’s fantastically unconventional for a women’s fragrance (Glasser could have made something predictably floral but didn’t) and works brilliantly for men so I suspect you’ll be spoilt for choice when you try them at the counter.

To their absolute credit, Reiss didn’t take the easy option with these fragrances.  They could have gone with something bland, focus-groupey and predictable but instead they’ve gone out on a limb with fragrances that are bold, punchy and uncompromising. What’s more, both scents have that elusive “neck nuzzle” quality. “We wanted to create something with a bespoke, artisan and luxurious in feel,” says Glasser.  “David (Reiss, founder and MD of the company) wanted people to be shocked and surprised by the fragrances. He wanted something sexy but in the Reiss style and with the Reiss attention to detail.” Thanks to Glasser’s artistry, that’s exactly what he got.

Reiss Black Oudh For Men and Reiss Grey Flower For Women cost £49 for 50ml eau de parfum. Available from September. For more info go to www.reiss.com