By Ainslie Walker
Fragrance is not the easiest subject to get one’s head around. Whether you’re selling perfumes, writing about them or just enjoy wearing fragrances, experience of and exposure to raw materials is fundamental to your success. Scentsmith now provides bespoke olfactive training sessions to expand your olfactory palette and memory and help you to evaluate and understand fragrances more confidently. Perfume making workshops are held regularly in The Strand Arcade in Sydney, The Cornerstore Gallery in Orange NSW and additional locations Australia-wide. Each session introduces you and your nose to more than 40 individual raw materials as you create your own perfumers’ organ. Following this you design and create your very own perfume from up to 100 raw materials which you can take home to enjoy.
Both workshops are available to individuals, companies and groups. Please email for further information. firstname.lastname@example.org.
In June Serge Lutens unveiled its new-look packaging and a cull of core offerings down to a range of 17 from 25. In addition 100ml sizes were added to this core collection. The discontinued fragrances will now only be available exclusively in bell jars from the Paris boutique. Two fragrances from the bell jar collection join the core range, La Vierge de Fer and Vetiver Oriental, both worth a sniff as have previously not been available in Australia.
Movers and shakers in niche perfumery, Mecca Cosmetica celebrated niche fragrance in May with customers receiving branded porcelain discs to sample fragrances instore. The discs hold fragrance for at least two weeks and also make a lovely keepsake. As part of the celebrations a press launch overlooking Coogee Beach in Sydney showcased new releases with representitives from brands; Serge Lutens, Frederic Malle, Comme Des Garcons, Fornasetti and IIUVO. More than seven new niche fragrances were released by existing brands in May, with many more to follow later in the year including the launch of a new brand for Mecca: beautifully packaged Diana Vreeland.
New releases included Comme des Garcons’ urban concept fragrance, Gosha, depicting urban youth on a hot day – skateboard wheels burning on a hot bitumen sidewalk. A collaboration with of-the-moment Russian fashion designer, Gosha Rubchinskiy, the fragrance is fresh and unisex, featuring notes of angelica root, buchu, mandarin seed, blue chamomile, vetiver, syrax and patchouli. May also saw the exclusive launch of Frederic Malle‘s Superstitious, a collaboration with famous Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz. The fragrance contains classic floral and aldehydic notes constructed in part like one of his couture dresses, timeless and modern. Individual notes are difficult to pinpoint as the floral aldehyde composition is so well structured by master perfumer Dominique Ropion. Complex and deeply seductive.
The trend within niche fragrance for expansion into body products and innovative methods for application of scent continues. Frederic Malle released best-selling fragrances, Portrait of a Lady and Musc Ravageur, into luxurious body products. Byredo launched three Kabuki Perfumes, Blanche, Bal d’Afrique and Gypsy Water. Designer Ben Gorham designed the fine powders to diffuse the fragrances from retractable brushes akin to traditional brushes utilised by Japanese actors to apply their makeup.
Big for niche at the moment are collaborations. Etat Libre d’Orange is one of the first brands to do this with Tilda Swinton and Tom of Finland. You or Someone Like You is a collaboration with New York Times scent critic Chandler Burr and named after his book of the same title. Available in June in Australia the fragrance is fresh, aquatic, cool and effervescent. The book and fragrance are set in LA and thus well suited to Australian climes. Chandler is not in favour of people breaking down individual components of fragrance and believes “If you need to know the notes, then You is not for you.”
Essano’s founder, Shane Young, hosted a brekkie launch of the brand’s Superfoods skincare collection. Driving home the message that ‘What you feed your body has the power to feed your skin’, New Zealand’s #1 natural skincare brand*, Shane says Essano has developed the range using the latest scientific technology to transform skin with the power of natural nutrients.
Meet Natural Health Company founder, Sylvia Lechowicz, and learn more about how this brand could help you boost your business.