To celebrate World Smell Day yesterday I made myself an appointment to explore Angela Flanders’ range of perfumes at her boutique on Artillery Passage in Spitalfields. Although I had read much about Angela’s fragrances I had never ever actually been to her shop in Spitalfields so today being World Smell Day seemed like the perfect excuse for a trip to East London. I met with Rachel, who works at the boutique, and she was a fantastic guide in helping me to get acquainted with the line. She was super knowledgeable and really down to earth and lead me through sampling the fragrances. There is something about taking in scent with another person that I always find to be a bit of a bonding experience.
Rachel took me through almost the entirety of the Angela Flanders line, and I am sitting here right now again smelling the sampling strips and absolutely purring over some of these truly extraordinary works of olfactory art. I’ve made no secret about my love of white flowers and Bouquet d’Amour, which was originally made as a wedding perfume and smells of a gossamer sprinkling of lush white petals, and Angela’s Tuberose soliflore which is just everything I love about this intoxicating dreamy beauty, are definite stand outs for me in Angela’s oeuvre; however, I really found myself being attracted to genres of fragrance I hadn’t really thought would be for me. I really like Artillery No 3, Hungary Water, and I even took a sample of Artillery No 6, Patchouli Spice. The Artillery Range was designed with the local city boys in mind and never in a million years had I ever entertained the thought of wearing a fragrance essentially designed for men, but they both have a soft, herbal freshness that really appealed to me. I liked Aqua Alba’s rich, textured woodiness so much that it made me physically hunger, and I cannot wait to try my sample of this on my skin.
Angela Flanders’ entire chypre collection is absolutely stunning. I was very keen to try Precious One as I was aware of its status as a FiFi Award winning fragrance as Best New Independent Fragrance of 2012, and I was incredibly curious about it after reading Black Narcissus’s sensational review. It certainly did not disappoint. The scent of Breath of Hope has so much beauty and depth I can practically feel it hugging my soul. Caspian had a salty aqueous quality that I liked straight away when I first sprayed it and has gone on to settle so well with its blend of earthy, warm spices. It feels like the irresistible pleasure of lying in the sand, letting the grains roll through my fingers and toes. I have to admit I wasn’t as keen as on Earl Grey as I am now. Now that it has had a proper dry down, nearly six hours, on the test strip it smells totally irresistible with its blend of sweet woods and spices. It is utterly divine. I actually cannot put the test strip down! Restraint is so hard at times!
I have to confess that it has only been recently, and I mean like Saturday, that I have tried any oudh fragrances. The thing is they all seemed to spring into my consciousness at like one time, and I’m sure I didn’t dream this, but I feel there was a period when there was a trend of oudh perfumes that I felt overwhelmed by to the point of absolute rebellion. However, this past Saturday I tried Francis Kurkdijan’s beautiful interpretation of Oud and really did enjoy it. Oudh Noire from Angela Flanders’ Noire Collection is equally as gorgeous with its soft bed of warm spices, and Rachel reassured me that Oudh Noire had existed long before I felt I became aware of the trend. I also have a sample of the exquisitely luscious Figue Noire from this collection to try, which Rachel recommended blending with Tuberose.
Josephine, inspired by Napoleon’s wife, Empress Josephine, whose love of violets sparked a 19th century trend. Napoleon was also said to be have been found with wearing a locket that contained a picture of Josephine sprinkled with violets. Angela’s sublime Josephine perfume is soft petals amongst moist green earth.
I think once Autumn is approaching I will definitely need bottles of Zanzibar and Ambre Noire. I don’t think I will be able to physically go on without them after having sampled them today. Zanzibar is an utterly bewitching, elegant and refined sandalwood, while Ambre Noire is a sultry, raspy, animalic amber. They are both so achingly ravishing I am inhaling my testing strips like the last bit of oxygen on Earth is held within them.
Thanks very much to Rachel for spending the time with me this afternoon to introduce me to the Angela Flanders line and generously sending me off with so many samples to acquaint myself more with those particular perfumes that really spoke to me today. I really appreciate them. I can’t wait to give them a proper try and write down my thoughts on them.
All in all I would have to say that my first time celebrating World Smell Day has been a resounding success! I definitely feel that I have broadened my fragrant horizons today. I had considered my taste in perfume to be totally ensconced in the realm of feminine floral fragrances, but now it seems I may be sitting down to a few delicious meals with some other floral families as well.