DKNY master the art of fragrance reinvigoration


It’s a dilemma for every fashion or fragrance house with a successful scent; how do you keep the momentum going on a successful, established signature fragrance? One solution, of course, is the Limited Edition.

Sometimes these are pretty lame but here’s one, courtesy of DKNY definitely worth having. The DKNY Art Men Keith Haring Edition features a carton and bottle (a whole 9.5 inches of it) emblazoned with the legendary New York artist’s iconic figures. There’s not much more that I can say about it other than it looks rather fantastic.



Disclosure Notice: I received a free sample of this product for review purposes

Bentley For Men Intense: my favourite fragrance launch of the year so far

Bentley For Men Intense 100ml_72dpiThere have already been lots of brand new men’s fragrances this year but of all the ones so far the Intense version of Bentley For Men, the first fragrance from the luxury car brand, is by far my favourite. Yes, I know it’s only February still but I’ve been lucky enough to sample what coming up as far as June so that covers pretty much half of 2013.

In a way, it should come as no surprise that it’s so good (the nose, Nathalie Lorson, also created Lalique’s fantastically dark vetiver creation Encre Noir after all) but what’s ironic is that it should take a luxury car company, rather than an experienced fashion house, to come up with the goods.

But then, this is no stack ’em high, sell ’em cheap mass-market fragrance: it’s something that clearly puts integrity before all else. The regular version, Bentley For Men  a woody, fresh and leathery number with black pepper,  bergamot, musk, patchouli and a hint of rum  –  is great in itself but the Intense version is superb.

A “high-impact” take of the signature fragrance Intense replaces the freshness provided by Bentley For Men’s bergamot and bay leaves and replaces them with labdanum and sandalwood, in a brief that’s basically all about bigging up the leather, spices and patchouli. The result is one of the sexiest fragrances I’ve smelt in years. It’s long lasting too. In fact, the base notes were still lingering on my skin the morning after the night of the official press launch.

BENTLEYEven the bottle, with its blunderbuss weightiness, sensual curves and meticulous attention to detail (“Bentley Fragrances” is even embossed under the lid), is nop-notch. So if you’re looking for a seriously good fragrance for 2013 make Bentley For Him Intense your first stop.

Bentley For Men Intense is available from Harrods from 24th March priced £69.50 for 100 ml eau de parfum.

The Notes:

Top: Black Pepper, Incense, African Geranium

Heart: Clary Sage, Labdanum resin, Leather

Base: Cedarwood, Patchouli, Sandalwood

Disclosure Notice: I received a free sample of this fragrance for review purposes

Coming next year…a brief taster of three fragrances heading your way in Spring 2013


The vibe: Mining the Paco Rabanne 1 Million vein, this sweet, aromatic woody fragrance with its novelty casino chip bottle is clearly aimed at young, single lads looking for a punchy, accessible, not-too-scary, night-out fragrance. And in that respect it ticks all the boxes.

Key notes: Iris, blackwood and juniper to give it a “gin fizz” accord.

Verdict: it’s not going to stun anyone with its originality but has huge mass-market appeal. Expect to see it in The Perfume Shop’s best seller list.

versace-eros-profumo_650x478Versace Eros

The Vibe: Fresh, sweet, woody oriental fragrance with a slightly bombastic Eighties feel (and name).

Key notes: Mint, Green Apple, Tonka bean, Ambroxan, Geranium flowers, Vanilla, Vetyver, Cedarwood and an oak moss accord.

Verdict: with Eros as the name it’s positively tumescent with potential but alas, the juice is surprisingly pedestrian and though appears sexy initially (in a sweet, Thierry Mugler kinda way) it matures into something my nan might have worn. Fab bottle though…

gaultier le beau

Jean Paul Gaultier Le Beau Male

The vibe: Fresh, herbaceous and uber-commercial new Gaultier fragrance created taking a few cues from the original Le Male fragrance and housed in a reworked version of the familiar torso flacon. After the commercial disappointment of Kokorico it seems they’re taking no chances this time.

Key notes: mint, absinthe, lavender, orange blossom, sage, musk

Verdict: Refreshingly different from Le Male (a fragrance too heady for me) the hint of absinthe is lovely, as is icy freshness of the mint and slight soapiness of the sage. The signature Le Male lavender and orange blossom are still there at the fragrance’s core but thankfully the vanilla is barely noticeable in this incarnation. Wearable and not nearly as polarising as Le Male, which is both its biggest asset and biggest drawback.


Lacoste add Red fragrance to their Eau de Lacoste L.12.12 Collection

Undoubtedly, one of the most interesting fragrances launches in the last few years has been the Eau de Lacoste L.12.12 collection – three fragranes that aimed, via their bottles and the juices inside, to capture the very esssence of the iconic Lacoste L. 12.12 polo shirt. I loved the concept and the execution and the trio of scents has proved so successful that another variant – Red (or Rouge if you want to be posh about it) – is about to join them.

Designed to compliment the existing fragrances (red, white and green) this one’s a woody-spicy, energetic one, big on notes of mandarin, black pepper, ginger and rooibos tea. I haven’t had chance to smell it yet but have high hopes it’ll be a lively addition to the collection.