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Nose-to-nose: Sniffing out news with Esther

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New in niche

How’s your spring weather been? Here in my corner of the world, it’s been chilly, wet and did I mention chilly? James Heeley to the rescue: while he can’t change weather patterns, news of his new release Coccobello did make my day seem warmer and sunnier. The scent has top notes of palm leaves and gardenia, heart notes of coconut, sea salt and vanilla bourbon and base notes of Virginia cedar, benzoin and sandalwood. In a piece about the fragrance on, Elena Vosnaki (the perfume writer behind the site Perfume Shrine) describes it as “more temperate zone than tropic of Capricorn or the Polynesian South Seas” but adds that it recreates “the ambiance of the beach and the languor of a walk by the sea shore when it’s balmy.” Sounds like something I’ll definitely want to try. Heeley’s Sel Marin is one of my favourites, so I’m interested to see what he’s done with this more luscious sounding take on the beach.

Want to sample some of Heeley’s other fragrances? Gwen and Kay have Cardinal, Sel Marin, Cuir Pleine Fleur and Iris de Nuit on offer.

Vintage appeal

Jane Daly, author of the terrific beauty blog Daly Beauty, recently gave my sister a sample of Creed’s discontinued scent Angelique Encens. Fortunately, my sister believes in sharing, so she decanted a few mls for me. And it is divine. Gorgeous. Amazing. Really—it’s one of those scents you spray on and spend the next few hours looking like a nut because you keep sniffing your wrist. 

The scent was created in 1933, and was said to either have been created for Marlene Dietrich or was a favourite of hers. I can see the attraction: the scent is feminine but with a sexy, spicy backbone to it—the kind of fragrance that suggests I might invite you into my boudoir, but I might also push you out the door once I’ve had my fun. There’s a great review of it on Yesterday’s Perfume. And now I have another discontinued fragrance to long for!

Deals, deals, deals

Reading about Heeley’s new summery scent got me thinking about one of my favourite summer go-to frags—Guerlain’s Terracotta Voile D’Ete. It’s not a bargain basement deal like some of the others I’ve mentioned in this spot in the past, but it is available online for 15 to 30% below regular retail price. And it’s a beauty:  composed by Mathilde Laurent, it features ylang-ylang, pear, iris an carnation, along with bergamot and rose. Those notes might suggest that you’re going to get a great whacking flower bomb, but in fact, it’s got a buttery, creamy summeriness to it—it reminds me of the sun tan lotions of my teen years, but with a sophisticated, gorgeous twist. 

Interested in sampling before committing to a full bottle? Gwen and Kay have Terracotta Voile d’Ete decants on offer. 

Nosing around

Mathilde Laurent, the creator of Terracotta Voile d’Ete, is now the nose behind Cartier’s perfumes. Find out more about her in these articles on and Perfume Shrine

Makes me want to try it

Okay, I’m not going to go on and on about him, because you’ve seen me do that before. Suffice to say, the hardest working perfumer in the business and a Perfumeniche fan favourite, Bertrand Duchaufour, has three new scents coming out for L’Artisan. And they sound very intriguing, based on this article on Duchaufour has produced many scents for L’Artisan, including Dzongkha, Mechant Loup, Seville a L’Aube, Traversee le Bosophere, Nuits de Tubereuse and more. Now, he’s created three frags for a special L’Artisan line—with gorgeous bottles—called Explosions d’Emotions. They are Amour Nocturne, featuring notes of cedar, hot milk accord, caramel, gunpowder and orchid; Déliria, featuring notes of metal, rum, coffee apple and candy floss; and Skin on Skin, featuring notes of iris, sueded leather accord, saffron, whisky, lavender, rose and musks. I want to smell them all—but am particularly intrigued by Skin on Skin. Looking forward to sniffing them out!

Interested in sampling M. Duchaufour’s work? Gwen and Kay have many of his scents on offer. 

Just because

Here’s a bit of fun: a blog post on XO Penny about how finding the perfect perfume—in this case, one smelling of absinthe, cannabis and sex—helped get a gal on the loose in Paris backstage at a Lenny Kravitz concert. The perfume is called Absolument Absinthe, and Kay and Gwen have it listed in the Decant Store. Here are the links to Kay's blog post and the decant listing - order a decant and see if it gets you backstage!