Perfume Lovers London – A Vanilla Affair, with Neil Chapman

Thursday, 27 March 2014, happened to be the day of my very last lecture of my entire undergraduate life. And what better way to celebrate (or mourn) it than in the company of fellow Perfume Lovers? And I must warn you, there will be plenty of name-dropping in this post, seeing as there were many recognisable faces around as well as new friends made! As we squeezed into the cosy upstairs room of the New Cavendish Club, the pre-event chatter soon petered out and the proceedings of the evening commenced. This month, we had the pleasure of welcoming Neil Chapman, who writes over at The Black Narcissus, to present his selection of Vanilla Perfumes. I believe Tara of Olfactoria’s Travels will be writing about the very same event soon, so do keep a look out for it. In any case, I thought I would jot down my thoughts on the fragrances that were presented. I must apologise in advance for the lack of any pictures taken at the event itself; I had clean forgotten to do so due to the fascinating conversations I was having with my new-found perfume friends. Without further ado, here are the perfumes in the order that we smelt them:

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Angela Flanders – Aqua Alba

 

‘Aqua Alba’ is a celebration of the art of blending. Ttaking the distinctive flavours and aromas of Whiskey and translating them into personal fragrance. Elements of the Scottish landscape that so imbue whisky with its distinctive flavours – peat smoke, heather, wind blasted wood, soft green mosses – Labdanum and patchouli represent the moss and earth, overlaying a heart of heather and gaiac wood, on a base of sweet amber, oudh and smoky peat. Distinguished, comforting and rugged.

– Angela Flanders   website

I’m rarely immediately taken by a perfume, so it speaks volumes of Angela Flanders‘ Aqua Alba that I was drawn to it from my very first encounter with it in Angela’s quaint little shop in Artillery Passage, which is sited in the hipster Spitalfields locale of London.

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‘New’ Bottle of ‘Old’ Chanel N°5

© The Smelly Vagabond

© The Smelly Vagabond

I recently managed to secure a bottle of vintage Chanel N°5 Eau de Toilette off eBay for the grand total of less than £10. Hunting and bidding for vintage perfumes on eBay gives me an adrenaline rush that I find hard to describe. On one hand, there’s always the worry and anxiety that the perfume that will arrive will be degraded beyond recognition, especially if it hasn’t been stored well. On the other hand, there’s the excitement of having found a rare vintage perfume that will send shivers down my spine when I smell it, and the thrill of winning it cheaply. It’s a win-win situation for people to send me their bottles of vintage perfume while I send them money in return – they get rid of what they don’t want, and I get what I really, really want! 🙂

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CB I Hate Perfume – I Am A Dandelion + Giveaway

Some days I find myself wishing that the wind would come and take me to a far-away land, where no one can find me and where I can be contentedly alone. On days like these I wear I Am A Dandelion by CB I Hate Perfume [water perfume, not the perfume absolute]. For then I don’t just imagine myself as a dandelion floating in the gentle breeze, I become the dandelion, I inhabit its body in a way that Thomas Nagel could never conceive of what it is like to be a bat. Continue reading

The Problem with Parfum Prices

Recently, I’ve become rather perplexed at how the various concentrations of a perfume are priced. For many, the extrait (also known as parfum) concentrations of perfumes are often deemed to be the best of all concentrations, because they are plusher, richer and fuller etc. etc. Obviously, this varies depending on one’s personal preferences. But I’m not so much interested in discussing anyone’s preferences regarding concentrations as I am with the pricing strategies of companies with regard to the various perfume concentrations. Continue reading

Phaedon – L’Eau de Phaedon

source: nstperfume.com

source: nstperfume.com

FLORAL WOODY MUSK

An allergen-free, fresh, suave cologne for the whole family. The floral opening blends white neroli and jasmine with fruity notes of yellow mandarin. Aloe vera and agave leaves add an aquatic, vegetal softness to the fragrance, which evolves towards a soft, comfortable woody musky base, for a “cocoon” effect.

I’ll give Phaedon credit for accurate ad copy (well, I don’t have the tools to check for allergens, but I’ll let you know if I do develop a rash) – L’Eau de Phaedon is what the ad copy says it is. That said, if I had to sum it up in one phrase, it would have to be “cotten/linen-esque room spray”. L’Eau de Phaedon is boring. I don’t see how it can offend anyone, unless you’re the sort who’s offended by boring things.

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