Three new smoky, pep­pery scents — one for him, one for her and one for the home

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Scent from heaven

My hus­band has a nose for fra­grance. After many years of liv­ing with a beauty writer he can dis­tin­guish notes, com­ment on depth and dry-downs and has a keen in­ter­est in aro­ma­col­ogy. He is al­most as likely as I am to light a scented can­dle or oil burner, and our car usu­ally pongs like a Smith & Caughey’s per­fume counter. So par­tic­u­lar is he about fra­grance that, like his wife, he de­cided to have one made. Mine smelt re­mark­ably — and rather un­o­rig­i­nally — like Nar­ciso Ro­driguez For Her (which I love); his — still a work in progress — is an al­to­gether more au­then­tic mix of whisky and mint.

Per­fume is per­sonal. And if more men truly un­der­stood its power, they would be splash­ing it on as reg­u­larly as they flick the tooth­paste lid. Re­search in­di­cates that while men might be ini­tially drawn to the way a woman looks; she can fall in love at the first whiff. Fra­grance, and not just the smell of skin, is far more com­pelling for women when it comes to sex­ual at­trac­tion.

En­ter Tom Ford’s new Noir An­thracite ($296). Although it’s pro­moted as in­tense and dar­ing with its mix of pep­per, berg­amot and rich woody — al­most smoky — notes, this is sur­pris­ingly sub­tle for a cologne with “noir” in the ti­tle. It was so de­li­cious I con­sid­ered hid­ing it, wear­ing it my­self for a few days be­fore hand­ing it over.

After ex­hibit­ing ho-hum re­sponses to most of the lat­est new re­leases, Stu de­clared it al­most per­fect (he’s no pushover) and stashed it away.

One fra­grance I will def­i­nitely wear — a lot — is New Zealan­der Tif­fany Jeans’ pow­dery Purotu Rose EDP ($240). The de­signer re­spon­si­ble for the Cu­rio Noir range has pro­duced a heady, un­for­get­table mix of rose, pink pep­per, bit­ter or­ange and earthy ve­tiver. The bit­ter or­ange gives the sweet rose a smoky edge; the pep­per gives the fra­grance a mod­ern fizz you catch at right the back of your nose. Purotu Rose packs a punch, so it’s not for the shy, but if you love mod­ern fra­grances (Flower­bomb by Vik­tor & Rolf and Elie Saab Rose Cou­ture spring to mind), you should find it mes­meris­ing. I know what I’ll be ask­ing for next birth­day. It also comes in a 5ml pocket par­fum ($40). An­other scent to con­tain pink pep­per that smells good enough to wear is ac­tu­ally for the home. Ae­sop’s Istros Aro­ma­tique Room Spray ($71) com­bines the in­gre­di­ent with laven­der and to­bacco. Billed as re­fined, flo­ral and smoky, it’s Noir-An­thracite-meet­sPurotu-Rose for the home and so beau­ti­ful I’ve be­come ob­sessed with spray­ing it in front of me so I can walk into the mist. Tracey Strange

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