Les Liqueurs De Parfum by Thierry Mugler is a new limited-edition fusion between A*Men and the world of spirits thanks to a patented method inspired by traditional techniques used to produce the finest whiskies. The clever people at Thierry Mugler have created A*Men Pure Malt by aging the fragrance in toasted oak caskets to reveal a smoky fragrance imbued with a lingering note that is subtly peaty like the finest whisky.
TheChicGeek says “This sounds like a dubious idea at first – adding a whisky scent, but it works. The original A*Men scent is so distinctive and strong that something, like whisky, gives it an even deeper warmth and flavour. The peaty dry down is intoxicating. This is a great scent for the darker, richer months and particularly the Christmas period, which it is squarely aimed at.”
Left - Limited-Edition A*Men – Pure Malt – 100ml - £45
The James Bond fragrance franchise continues with Quantum, the third men’s fragrance in the range. Quantum opens with intensely potent juniper berries, evocative of a Vesper Martini – gin contains juniper berries - with the resonance of bergamot said to impart an energising citrus hit.
The deep woods of the accord are consistently masculine in their scent character, with the influence of sandalwood. The scent of leather - a luxurious and robust material featured in Bond’s elite and exclusive sports cars - is a key component and is enhanced by fragrant violet leaf.
TheChicGeek says “These James Bond fragrances have proved extremely popular, no doubt down to the fact the first fragrance was released around the launch of the blockbuster film, Skyfall. This is warmer, woodier than the other two and is very wearable. These fragrances aim for mass appeal, which is what the majority of fragrance brands are all aiming for these days. It’s not memorable, but neither is it negative. No doubt they’ll be as many as these fragrances as films soon!"
Above - James Bond 007 – Quantum - 125ml – £42
Paul Smith Portrait for men is a fragrance inspired by Paul's love of travel and photography. The result of a two-year collaboration with French model and fragrance expert Barnabé Fillion, it is a woody, spicy fragrance, characterised by a distinctive green tea note with pink pepper, cedarwood and a sweet, sensual balsamic facet thanks to tolu balm. The tea note, key to both fragrances, is especially important to the designer, who associates the rich aroma of Black Tea with visits to Indian markets and the distinctive smell of Green Tea with Japan – a country he’s visited nearly 100 times.
Left - Reflecting Paul Smith’s duel loves of travel and photography the Portrait flacon takes its cues from the ultimate travel accessories – the hip flask and the camera
"I played a lot with textures for the men’s fragrance, focusing on the quality of the ingredients and mixing spices from Paul’s travels abroad with old perfumery notes like Myrrh used in a modern way,” says Fillion. “I wanted it to have a ‘tailor made’ feel – like beautiful fabric touching the skin.”
TheChicGeek says "Paul Smith knows who his biggest fans are - the Japanese - and this scent is aimed squarely at them. This is a soft, sophisticated scent based around tea. It's quite floral and powdery with a woody background and while not overtly masculine it's totally wearable."
Paul Smith – Portrait For Men - 80ml - £59
Bottega Veneta's first men’s fragrance, Tomas Maier, the creative director, says about Bottega Veneta Pour Homme,"My idea was based on journey of a man leaving the Veneto region, towards the north, to the dolomites… He reserves time from his full, urban timetable to spend days in a mountain house with icy cold breezes coming from the forest."
Left - Bottega Veneta Pour Homme – 50ml - £50
The new fragrance has been created by Givaudan perfumers, Daniela Andrier and Antoine Maisondieu. Top notes feature the fresh accords of Calabria bergamot, pine from Siberia and juniper from the Balkan. The heart adds spicy notes of Jamaican pepper warmed by Canadian fir resins enriched with Mediterranean clary sage, resting on strong Andalusian labdanum, leather and Indonesian patchouli.
TheChicGeek says “This smells very grown-up – in a good way. Bottega Veneta is always known for its unstated luxury. This is relaxed luxury, for those with taste and don't need to let everybody know they have money. The cool, woody pines come through and are warmed by the skin to leave a fragrant leathery dry down. The house’s signature intrecciato woven leather detail is a nice touch on the bottom of the bottle as well as the leather around the top."
Right - Bottega Veneta Pour Homme Campaign image
There’s a lot riding on this new men’s fragrance from Burberry. They recently spent a reported £141m buying back their perfume license from the French group Interparfums, to take everything in house.
Left - Brit Rhythm – 90ml - £57
Not surprisingly they’ve stuck to the traditional Burberry shtick of rock’n’roll. Every season they dress the youngest - and thinnest boys - on the music scene, getting them to play at their shows or in one of their stores.
The new fragrance is called Brit Rhythm. The idea is that the fragrance itself reflects the energy of music throughout – in addition to the name, the notes of the fragrance allude to the adrenaline felt just before stepping onto the stage at a gig. Leather is one of the heart notes of the fragrance, which plays out through the campaign and in the bottle itself.
Three live music events will be held at unexpected venues in three cities over three nights in October: London, New York and Singapore.
Cleverly they are offering fans scented temporary ‘tattoos’ in the statement shape of the Brit Rhythm bottle – with a chance to live out the Brit Rhythm experience in person. Users who sign up for ‘tattoos’ enter a prize draw with instant gratification for winners: an ‘Access All Areas’ pass and trip to one of the three gigs, where their ‘tattoos’ also act as entry stamps.
Christopher Bailey has designed a capsule collection of ready-to-wear and accessories to coincide with the launch of Brit Rhythm: centred around the leather jacket, it nods to the scent of leather at the heart of the fragrance.
The fragrance itself is an aromatic fougere. It opens with fresh and electric top notes, including crispy green basil verveina, which gives the scent a natural raw liveliness, the sensation of freedom and pulsating energy. The heart unveils racy and intense black leather notes enhanced by the deep woody leathery accents of patchouli wood and styrax resin. The leather styrax accord brings a timeless sexiness to the fragrance. The dry-down of the fragrance brings a sensual facet with dry woody notes of cedarwood heart.
Right - 'Star' of the new campaign is Pixie Geldof's boyfriend, George Barnett
The bottle is distinctive and recognisable in its silhouette with an angular shape. The bottle shape is given a 'studded leather jacket' feel and has the iconic Burberry check which is etched into the surface through the dark smoky glass on the façade of the bottle.
The Brit Rhythm campaign features British musician George Barnett of These New Puritans and British actress Suki Waterhouse.
TheChicGeek says "Burberry are playing it pretty safe here with a fougere, with it being the most popular fragrance family for guys. Lavender based - fougere - it's okay. Nothing offensive about it, but it's not quite as leathery as one would hope. This is perfect for somebody who wants to smell nice but not different. It's a young fragrance for Burberry fans to buy into as the label gets more and more expensive for other products."
Campaign images below
The original Legend was released in 2011 - Click here - it was a fougere base with cardamom and something called 'Pepperwood' added around the main ingredient - Evernyl, a molecule very reminiscent of oakmoss.
TheChicGeek says "''Intense' fragrances are proving increasingly popular. They allow brands to ramp up, but also tweak the original. They offer something familiar, but different to a public overwhelmed with new product. Legend has proved to be a popular men's fragrance for Mont Blanc and this version is said to be a little bit spicier and warmer. I can smell a warm vanilla on the dry down."
Mont Blanc - Legend Intense - 50ml - £42
“A fragrance should be as heavy with meaning as it is light to wear,” Paco Rabanne.
Invictus is the latest men's fragrance from Paco Rabanne. Comparing today's sports stars to ancient athletes, the fragrance has been created by Véronique Nyberg (IFF), who gathered a team of three other perfumers with signature styles: Anne Flipo, Olivier Polge and Dominique Ropion. It took more than two and a half years of research and a joint effort by the team to achieve this ‘orgasmic’ accord.
Invictus is said to be an extremely textured scent with very pronounced depth and base. The juice is a contemporary heir to Paco Rabanne Pour Homme.
To develop this fragrance and achieve this note of sensual freshness, the usual scent pyramid was discarded in favour of a two-layered model - Invictus is a fresh woody.
“It straddles the line between biting freshness and animal sensuality“, explains Véronique Nyberg. "We were really aiming for salty skin —but without any smell of the ocean—that would make you want to taste it, lick it. A sharp contrast between two families that play off each other, mingle, and create tension," she says.
The first notes are a marine accord with grapefruit zest and bay leaf. The addictive quality comes from the ultra-masculine identity and the animal magnetism of a woody amber accord. Gaiac wood, ambergris and patchouli leave a studly sillage. "The opposing forces complement one another. The spurt, obviously a sexual metaphor, is also used in the language of sports. From the beginning, this fragrance has been designed to be surprising, and stand out through the duality of its construction.”
For the bottle, Paco Rabanne worked with designer Cédric Ragot, who saw the cup shape as the natural choice. Paco Rabanne has chosen the Australian rugby player Nick Youngquest as the face of Invictus. The thirty-year-old athlete won the position not only by being photogenic, but also because his personality is a perfect fit for the values conveyed by the fragrance.
See more of Nick Youngquest - Click here
TheChicGeek says "The marine accord is a very popular note in contemporary male fragrance, this is interesting as they've tried to do fresh and woody at the same time. The result is an almost unisex fragrance which has a stickiness to it. It has a lingering freshness, but with a woody warmth. I think this would appeal to younger guys as it feels young and is easy to wear."
Above - Paco Rabanne Invictus - 100ml - £57
To celebrate Tom Ford's new store - Click here - Private Blend London is a fragrance specifically crafted to celebrate the launch of the new TOM FORD store in Knightsbridge. This rich and spiced, woody animalic fragrance is said to capture London’s cultural vibrancy and unique dynamic between elegant, urbane composure and sometimes scandalous carnal amusements.
This tension between composure and carnality is expressed in the core of the fragrance Tonkin musk, an ingredient with ancient roots that conjures man’s animal nature like no other, and noble oud wood intermingle amidst birch tar oil, cedarwood Atlas and torchwood.
Top notes include a plush weave of black pepper oil Madagascar, saffron, cardamom absolute, coriander seed, cumin oil and coffee oil confer dense texture and mood.
The heart of geranium Egypt melds with jasmine absolute. These luminous floral notes are submerged in a resinous mist of incense, cistus oil from Spain and a notable honey accord that gives a hint of the animalic warmth to come.
Finally, the base notes of oud and Tonkin musk accords emerge. They intermingle amidst a bonfire of birch tar oil, cedarwood Atlas, and torchwood from the Dominican Republic. Vetiver, the wild root of Haiti, mingles with milky sandalwood and copahiba balsam. Castoreum and civit reconstituted, enhance the frenzy while a suede accord offers a warm embrace.
And there was you thinking London smelt of damp and bus fumes!
Tom Ford - Private Blend - London - 50ml - £140
Hot on the heels of the new Fan di FENDI men's fragrance, we have this new aquatic take. This fresh and aromatic fragrance, Fan di FENDI Pour Homme Acqua, has been developed by François Demachy, Director of Olfactory Development at LVMH Fragrances, in collaboration with the perfumers Delphine Lebeau-Krowiak and Benoist Lapouza.
Left - Blue has replaced the yellow in the new Fan Di Fendi fragrance
The fresh Italian notes in the Fan di FENDI Pour Homme have been boosted with lavender, bergamot and lemon. The aromatic heart beats to the rhythm of virile sage, pink peppercorn from Reunion Island and cardamom. Musk teams with cedar wood in the background for a fresh-woody scent.
TheChicGeek says "This has a burst of fresh, as you would expect in an 'acqua' fragrance, but with a dry-down very similar to the original Fan Di FENDI. The warm, woody base is still there, but layered with a refreshing and summery hit."
FAN DI FENDI POUR HOMME ACQUA - 100ml - £58.50
Exclusive to Harrods
Below - Mark Ronson getting ready to take a dip
Dsquared2's Potion series continues with a new fragrance, Potion Royal Black. Darker, richer and with ingredient du jour, oud, Dsquared2 say they wanted to explore the magical world of alchemy, arriving at the origin of this ancient art born in the Egypt of the Pharaohs.
The word alchemy derives from KEME-KHMI, a well-known hieroglyph that meant 'Black Earth'. The ancient Egyptians used this symbol to indicate their soil, which turned black and fertile after the floods of the Nile.
Dsquared2 re-elaborated this unique concept: black is the symbol of fertile soil and magical Egyptian nights full of secrets and passion. Black is also the color of Eros…of the unknown and the magical game of mystery and seduction…
Potion Royal Black contains oud, tobacco and leather on a base of woods.
TheChicGeek says "When we spoke to Erwin Creed recently - Click here - he said the world was running out of quality oud. This should, hopefully, give the fragrance industry a break from this particularly dominant ingredient, which has been the main focus of fragrance over the last couple of years. This is DSquared2's take on the oud and is warm, spicy and deep. It does have a freshness, I think due to the bergamot and feels like a Mediterranean take on this type of fragrance. It's very wearable."
Above - DSquared - Potion Royal Black - 100ml - £67