Caran D’Ache pencils – a slightly more interesting way to enjoy fragrance

If you’re a bit of a fragrance junkie chances are that spraying it onto skin isn’t the only way you like to enjoy your scent. But while solid perfumes and scented candles are all very nice there are other, altogether more interesting, ways to enjoy perfume too. Take this super-cool scented pencil collection from fine writing experts Caran d’Ache for example. Featuring four exquisite 4HB graphite pencils, each made of a different precious wood (Western Hemlock, White Oak, Silver Teak and White Ash), the set is heavily scented with a warm, creamy blend of patchouli, incense and tonka bean and each pencil is a real delight to hold and to smell – especially when you pop it into a sharpener.

The fragrance itself, ‘Tibetan Wood’, is the creation of master perfumer Alberto Morillas (the guy who created Armani’s Acqua di Gio and Calvin Klein’s CK One) and is certainly something you’d want to wear if it were bottled. I have to say, I loved these from the moment I clapped eyes on them. Beautiful, stylish and practical – they’ve almost tempted me to take up life drawing classes – they’re the perfect present for perfumistas but also for arty types, dads (Father’s Day is coming up remember) and, well, men who have everything but a set of scented pencils. Don’t get me wrong, they’re not something you necessarily need but trust me, you’ll certainly want them.

Les Crayons de le Maison Caran D’Ache cost £30.00 for a set of four. For stockists go to www.carandache.com

Byredo Toile – a different way to wear fragrance

BYREDO Toile textile perfumeThere are several places a man should never spray a fragrance. Apart from one I’m far too polite to mention here, directly onto his clothing is one of them. The reason for this is that some fragrance ingredients and colourants can damage or stain fabric – especially delicate fabric. And yet, there are times we’ve all wanted to spray out clothes rather than our skin – perhaps because we wanted to freshen them up or because we didn’t want skin itself to be overpoweringly perfumed.

Cult fragrance brand Byredo have recognised this in their latest fragrance – the appropriately named Toile. A genderless ‘textile perfume’ it’s been designed to be safe to spray on clothes and imparts a clean, fresh, slightly metallic fragrance that’s faintly reminiscent of sun-dried sheets, hairspray and static electricity. It’s created in the best tradition of anti-perfumes like Comme de Garcon’s Odeur 53 and Odeur 71 and well worth checking out if you’re looking, not only for a fragrance that’s slightly ‘different’, but also a different way to wear fragrance too.

Byredo’s Toile Textile Perfume is available from Mr. Porter and byredo.com priced £42 for 75ml.

Dunhill ICON (rightfully) wins ‘fragrance Oscar’ for design & packaging

DUNHILL_ICON LR2Like the acting Oscars the annual fragrance Oscars – the FiFi awards – tend to create their own share of controversy when it comes to winners, not to mention the odd WTF?! moment. Occasionally there’s a whiff of the Rita Oras about the bigger winners (i.e they’re absolutely everywhere so they’ve got to be good, right? Which we all know isn’t always true) but I was genuinely thrilled to see that dunhill ICON picked up an award for Best New Male Design & Packaging at last night’s ceremony. Almost every review of this fragrance (my own included) commented on how superb the bottle was. Featuring an engine-turned cylindrical case, with a design first used on dunhill accessories back in 1924, it’s both beautiful to hold and to look at. So huge congrats to dunhill – and to Mark Eisen who designed it – on a thoroughly deserved win.

P.S. The fragrance happens to be pretty good too.

A full list of The Fragrance Foundation Awards winners can be seen here.

Jo Malone teams up with legendary stylist Judy Blame

FullSizeRender 3Growing up, as I did, in the 1980s, it was impossible – as someone interested in magazines and fashion – not to know who Judy Blame was. Working with the likes of Buffalo stylist Ray Petri, he was responsible from some of the most iconic looks of the decade – and the one that followed. As a stylist and jeweller he’s worked with everyone from Boy George and Bjork to Dior and Galliano.

JUDY BLAMEInspired by the DIY punk aesthetic of the Seventies his work was (and still is) characterized by the use of everyday items: from buttons and safety pins to keys, tassels and household cutlery. And so, appropriately, it’s a button motif that’s been used for his new collaboration with fragrance house Jo Malone.

The perfect present for the style-conscious perfumista, the Judy Blame for Jo Malone London Box, is a great way to have your favourite Jo Malone fragrance pimped up, Blame style. Each bottle is adorned with little button stickers comes in a special ‘pearly kings and queens’ box, tied with ribbon printed with (you guessed it) more buttons. The box itself is cool enough to become something you’re likely keep long after the fragrance has run out and is perfect for keeping stuff in, whether that’s pocket squares, bow ties, belts or, you know, spare buttons, keys and safety pins.

The Judy Blame For Jo Malone London Box will be available exclusively from Selfridges and from jomalone.co.uk from 1st June, priced £85.

Clive Christian to launch new ‘L’ For Men fragrance

L Perfume 50ml A4_Black Glow Ref HL-1

I would very much like to tell you that Clive Christian‘s superb new fragrance ‘L’ was created just for me (it does bear my initial after all) and in my deluded mind it absolutely was. Alas, it turns out that the ‘L’ in question stands not for Lee but for Love.

Part of the ‘L’ private collection (there’s a female fragrance too) ‘L’ For Men is a sweet, sensual and – above all else – a ferociously woody scent. It features a fairly heady combination of grapefruit, vetiver and rose with a touch of smoky oud wood and a slightly pornographic musky base but the overriding smell is one of intensely woody pencil shavings (courtesy of atlas cedar). It’s sexy without being licentious, complex without being pretentious and, for men who like their fragrances to have stamina,  has the kind of tenacity on the skin that means it can easily survive a hot bath or shower. Impressive stuff.

Available exclusively from Harrods from August