Suc­cess doesn’t have to smell sweet

The Daily Telegraph - - Features -

Have you ever had days when you think, ac­tu­ally, I won’t take the short­cut through the per­fume de­part­ment of Grace Brothers (re­place with your lo­cal ap­pro­pri­ate de­part­ment store) be­cause I sim­ply don’t have the strength to dodge the gag­ging stench of all those pro­fes­sional per­fume squirters? So you take the long way round and go out­side, get­ting soaked in the rain in­stead.

This is no way to live and if we all trained our noses more dili­gently, we wouldn’t have to. I’m be­ing tact­ful. We all know it’s other peo­ple who have re­gret­table taste in scent.

They’re the ones who bought Joan

Collins’s I am Woman,

Kate Moss’s Truly Adorable or Katie Price’s Be­sot­ted and are re­spon­si­ble for the world’s beauty halls smelling more like cup­cake fac­to­ries than cru­cibles of a once an­cient art of seduction and car­nal psy­chol­ogy.

One prob­lem is that just as it is an ac­cepted pil­lar of the lit­er­ary world that there are only seven plots, so there are only about three dis­tinc­tive “notes” in Duty Free. This is a mys­tery given that in the­ory, there’s an in­fi­nite num­ber of won­drous aro­mas to be con­cocted. It’s also rather sad. Even great clas­sics get “re-for­mu­lated” (PR speak for adding gal­lons of sac­cha­rine chem­i­cals to sweeten things up).

Enough. It’s time to re­claim in­di­vid­u­al­ity and cel­e­brate the ge­nius of the mav­er­ick Nose, as op­posed to the ruth­less mar­ket­ing mo­men­tum of the gi­ants.

The fol­low­ing top four list is highly sub­jec­tive – ie Stuff I Like, some about to launch. Some more clas­sic. Noth­ing blah about any of them.

1Roland Mouret’s first scent hits stores in Novem­ber and de­buts on his mod­els in his show on to­mor­row. They’ve been in­structed to dab it on their thighs, so that as they swish down the cat­walks (not that their thighs will touch), they will re­lease the aroma. So far so Roland. As is the warn­ing that not ev­ery­one will like it. The only ra­tio­nale for that claim is that it’s very good.

Mouret could have gone with one of the big per­fume churn­ers, but in­stead chose to col­lab­o­rate with Etat Li­bre d’or­ange, a small French House.

They’re call­ing it dirty – “a blend of roses, pink pep­per, neroli, car­damom, patchouli…”

Suf­fice to say it’s soft, slightly spicy and def­i­nitely so­phis­ti­cated.

2Bella Freud’s Psy­cho­anal­y­sis, also con­tains neroli, with leath­ery and to­bacco-y un­der­tones.

It’s prob­a­bly more sub­tle than Mouret’s but likely to linger, both on your skin and in your mind. Ter­rific bot­tle and puffer too. £165. (lib­erty­lon­don.com)

3Peo­ple may be ac­quainted with The Or­ganic Phar­macy’s ex­cel­lent skin care but less fa­mil­iar with their tightly edited col­lec­tion of gen­tly orig­i­nal scents.

Or­ange Blos­som has gen­uinely up­lift­ing notes of tan­ger­ine (per­fect for sum­mer) while my favourite, Lim­ited Edi­tion Jas­mine, is a re­mark­ably con­vinc­ing sim­u­lacrum of the real thing.

Gor­geous and not a bum chem­i­cal chord be­tween them. From £139, (the­o­r­gan­icphar­macy.com)

4Le Labo: Rose 31. Founded in New York, Le Labo is the in­ter­sec­tion of grunge and glam­our. This, in MHO, is the best rose over, sneaky, sur­pris­ing, se­duc­tive. One man came up to me and told me he wanted to crawl all over me. I don’t nor­mally en­dorse this kind of be­hav­iour, but he meant it as a com­pli­ment. £120. (lib­erty­lon­don.com)

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