Praise the Lord! The Helmut Lang fragrances are back!

HELMUT LANG FRAGRANCESBack in the late Nineties, I, like a lot of people I know became faintly obsessed by Helmut Lang (I still have a few choice pieces of his clothing that I lovingly looked after and can still – sort of – fit into. The elegant simplicity, austere colour palette and sheer wearability of the Austrian designer’s clothes dovetailed beautifully with my own personal aesthetic at the time. And I can still remember the excitement I felt when his first fragrances launched at the turn of the millennium. I wore both the Eau De Cologne (to work most days when I was Deputy Editor of Men’s Health magazine) and the sexier, leathery, suedey Cuiron, which came along a couple of years later, in the evenings. People always commented on them positively and the fragrances themselves were almost universally praised by the press and by perfume lovers. Then, one day in 2005, those two fragrances – along with another scent, Helmut Lang Eau de Parfum – were discontinued and people who still had bottles guarded them jealously while others scoured the internet for remaining stock, often paying ridiculous prices just to secure a bottle of their favourite. But now, a decade later, production has started again. I meant to write about these fragrances just before Christmas but only now have I had the chance to review them properly.

HELMUT LANG PARFUMSo have they changed? To my nose (and I’m having to go by memory here since it’s been a long time since caught a whiff of them) the Cologne – a powdery but musky mix of rosemary, cedarwood, sandalwood, vanilla and patchouli – smells soapier than I remember while Cuiron – still deliciously leathery, woody and peppery –  is as smooth and sexy as ever and seems faithful to the original, even if it may not be quite so punchy. Of the three, however, it’s the soft, musky Eau de Parfum, with its floral heart, sensual base notes and hint of Germolene (yes, really), that stands out for me this time around. It has a wonderfully lazy, nuzzly sensuality to it. The packaging, of course, remains as impossibly chic now as it was back in the Noughties though the bottle design has been standardised for these relaunches (Eau de Parfum had a slightly different bottle back in the day).

I must say, I’ve greeted these returning fragrances like old friends and I’m overjoyed that someone, somewhere finally saw fit to bring them back to life after a decade of being in what amounts to an olfactory coma. Now, if I can only squeeze into that lovely black Helmut Lang shirt I kept everything would be right with the world…

Helmut Lang’s Eau de Cologne, Curion and Eau de Parfum are available from Liberty priced £130 each.

Looking for the perfect fragrance gift for Christmas?

I’m often asked at this time of year if I can recommend a few new fragrances that would make great Christmas gifts for men. Given that fragrance is a very subjective thing it’s always tricky and since I was asked recently to list a few for my Telegraph Men column I thought I may as well just point you in that direction rather than list them again here. A few of the new fragrances mentioned are ones that really impressed me this year whilst others are there because I think they’d make an impact on Christmas morning with certain types of guys. So, anyway, if you want to see my selection simply click on the image below. And feel free to call me out if you don’t agree with what I went for!

fragrances

Reiss introduce engraving service for debut fragrances

reissEarlier in the year high street brand Reiss launched two of my favourite fragrances of 2013, in the shape of Black Oudh and Grey Flower. And from 4th – 16h December they’re offering a special personalised engraving service where you can have these fragrances engraved with your name as permanent reminder of how generous you are, not to mention what great taste you have. Perfect for Christmas and it only costs a fiver too.

For more information click here.

To read my original review of both fragrances click here.