Sniffing Around: Fenwick of Bond Street

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On my last few visits to the perfumery at Fenwick on Bond Street, I noticed that they carried quite a few brands that I hadn’t seen at other Central London boutiques. So I decided to pop in for a proper sniff around…

Bohdidharma is Michael Boadi’s latest fragrance project following on from Boadicea the Victorious and Illuminum. Bohdidharma’s scent are based around tea. Fenwick had eight of the twenty perfumes available to sample. I was most taken with Black Lapsong’s exotic opening that lead on to a very smoky, almost tarry base. This one really has some incredible texture to it. Other scents of interest were Tobacco Flower, Black Orange Pekoe and Golden Rose. I loved the opening spritz of Black Nectar, but I found it way too cloying in the drydown. More black less nectar please.

Just while I am on the topic, while I was sampling Bohdidharma, the sales associate I was speaking with about the brand very kindly wrapped up my sampling strips so they would hold the scent longer. He also wrote the name of each fragrance on every strip, which is always helpful. The team there was super attentive. They kept bringing me new scents to smell and slipping me the odd sample here and there. It was good fun.

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Ex Idolo’s Thirty Three and Ryder are two fragrances I have sampled recently that really knocked my socks off. Thirty Three combines a smooth, come hither beauty with a raspy edge. It’s a scent I could see Marlene Dietrich and Tallulah Bankhead coming to blows over (which I would gladly pay to see).

Ryder, a scented glimpse into the behind-the-velvet-ropes world of Mayfair’s private members clubs, is arresting right from the start. It’s a dark, resinous mix of tobacco and boozy amber infused with Jessica Rabbit jasmine curves.

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Ruth Mastenbroek’s trio of fragrances, RM Signature, Amorosa, and her latest scent, Oxford can be found at Fenwick. Ruth will be speaking to the Perfume Lovers London group this upcoming Thursday.

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I’ve really loved the recent fragrances from Olfactive Studio. Ombre Indigo’s moody tuberose and Panorama’s kick of wasabi piqued my interest. I’m really keen to try their most recent release, Selfie. If only because it totally nails our current zeitgeist.

Nabucco has some of the most stunning flacons in the entire department. According to their web site, they’re called vessels, and I want one for my fantasy dressing table. The scent is applied to skin with a wand. The fragrances, Amatys, Nabucco, and The Perfume Formerly Known As, whose name is made of symbols, were of interest, and definitely warrant further exploring.

Other brands that caught my eye were Antonio Alessandria’s Noir Obscura and Nuit Rouge. They both had an intriguing, smoky character, with Nuit Rouge building upon the former with a mixture of red berries and piquant peppery notes. Incense lovers should definitely seek these two out. Perris Monte Carlo has produced two scents in tribute to Madagascar’s Nosy Be Island, Ylang Ylang and Patchouli, both of which the island is famous for. Ylang Ylang Nosy Be is a fragrance I will be seeking out come summer time.

I’d read about Richard James’ Savile Row, a masculine interpretation of tuberose on Ye Olde Civet Cat, and I was intrigued. While I am always a sucker for the straight up, high feminine white florals, I am also curious to see these interpreted in a more masculine fashion. Fans of Arquiste’s Boutonniere No.7 should definitely give this one a sniff. Speaking of Arquiste, it seems the latest addition to their collection, Nanban, is making a cameo appearance at Fenwick.

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Sniffing Around: Fenwick of Bond Street

  1. I’m totally impressed by your ability to analyse in detail a whole range of fragrances in a limited time (and in a sales environment) and still pick out all the subtle nuances!……But I know it’s all about passion and if one is passionate about anything you live and breathe that passion…….

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    • Thank you! It can be a bit sniff-it and quit-it, but it’s always a fun exercise. I think really interesting top notes can be key to grabbing a potential buyer’s attention straight away in a retail setting where there is A LOT of choice. To be honest, though, I do prefer having the opportunity to spend some time with a little sample. It’s the best way to do it really. It’s super nice to hear from you. I hope you’ve been well. x

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  2. It’s interesting but in a vaguely similar way I feel that way when I listen to music. I listen to radio 3 a lot when I’m working while not wholly committed to the listening experience! So if a piece comes on I think needs my full attention

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    • …. Sorry hit send prematurely!… The point I was going to make was that sometimes you need to allow time and attention to do full justice to a piece of music…and I suspect you may feel the same about certain perfumes…
      Thanks I’m well, just spent the past few weeks ensuring a smooth passage for my daughter’s wedding ~ you’ve probably experienced those transient but intense moments occurring in your life when you’re fully focussed on another plane of consciousness! 🙂
      …. By the way, you’re probably aware already but there’s a talk given by Odette at the V&A on Monday week which might give an interesting historical perspective on fragrance…..

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      • I personally feel that time and attention are two things people rarely want to give up, much to their own detriment. I very much feel that way about perfumes. Even now, after about a year and a half of really exploring and trying to get my head around perfume, I go back to scents I have smelled in the past and notice new facets to them. I feel like my sense of smell and ability to recognize scents has developed like a muscle, and that feels very rewarding in itself. Time and attention are a winning combination, indeed.

        I’ll look into that talk by Odette. I am going to a couple of her book launches later this month, which is becoming a super busy one. Remember when I was job hunting? I went from no jobs to three, which, to be honest, is exactly what I wanted because my week is super varied. I just find it so funny that I was interviewing for months and months and then in the space of seven days, I landed two jobs.

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