Sophia Fannon-Howell’s Deco London launches next month. She has translated her appreciation for history and fragrance into a well-rounded collection of perfumes, three feminine and three masculine eau de parfums developed in collaboration with Robertet. I’ve spent the past few weeks getting to know the scents a bit better.
As far as perfume launches go, Lankaran Forest took things to the next level and then some. The release of the Maria Candida Gentile creation coincided with the closing of the Buta Festival, a five month long programme of Azerbaijani arts and cultural events at venues across London, and the celebration of the Persian New Year, Nowruz. The March event, held at the Royal Academy, had lots of free flowing champagne, buffet tables decorated with a Dionysian display of spices and sweets, and even the odd celebrity or two.
However, the highlight of the event was the Francisco Rodriguez Weil designed Lankaran Forest sensory installation. This immersive experience allowed guests to wander through a “perfume sculpture” snapshot of tangled trees and fallen leaves, the fragrance of Lankaran Forest diffused throughout the space.
I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to speak with Maria Candida Gentile about the perfume she created for the event.
I feel that Angela Flanders’ Josephine is a perfume that expresses itself through the warm gaze of nostalgia; looking back fondly on the memory of a love from another time. A love so potent it seeps into the architecture of the heart and peppers the landscape of the soul, and it is only long after the pain of separation that one is able to look back upon such a love to cherish its memory.
With Josephine, Ms Flanders interprets violet through a kaleidoscopic lens, expressing different characters of violet via the nuances of Josephine, which for me feels like a production of love in three acts: the nervous first meeting, the full bloom of love, and, finally, the drifting away. There is a tenderness and gentle handling of delicate petals expressed in its execution which skirts the lines between gourmand flirtations and retro allusions, projecting a celebration of violets that makes Josephine a tribute to love and its namesake.
Legendary perfumer Edmond Roudnitska once said, “A beautiful perfume is one that gives us a shock”. That was my initial impression when I happened upon the bottle of YS-UZAC’s Sacre du Printemps I found at the November Perfume Lovers London event.
It was a happy accident brought about my own internet incompetence that I ended up making contact with Virginie Roux, Director of Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger, who very kindly sent me a sample pack of the perfumes on offer from this range.
Spoilt for choice, I decided to try Lavande Ombrée, and I have to say that I have found myself pleasantly surprised by this spectacular shape shifter.
Perhaps this review is timely given the weather in London the past couple of days where the sun and clouds and rain have seemingly been chasing one another across the sky, but I found myself reaching for this fragrance today. I was feeling a bit unsettled, wistful, pensive and lost in my thoughts, often catching myself gazing off out the window in a thousand yard stare into the gray sky thinking about nothing and everything all at once.
I found my small sample of Miller Harris’s La Pluie and dabbed both of my wrists with this beautifully quiet perfume, laid down and began inhaling…