Abel – 'Vita Odor'

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Design the world's best natural perfume? Amsterdam-born scent house Abel was ready, willing and able

BY AMY BRADFORD

Is it possible to create a completely natural perfume that’s as sophisticated as conventional scents made using synthetic ingredients? That was the question New Zealand former winemaker Frances Shoemack (top right) asked herself when she decided to devise Abel’s ‘Vita Odor’ (Living Fragrance) collection.

After seeing a film of Isaac Sinclair (below right) – the only master perfumer ever to hail from Australasia – talking about the similarities between wine-making and perfumery, she enlisted the Auckland-born, Sao Paulo-based talent as her creative partner. Together, the pair have crafted five extraordinary scents that take the concept of natural fragrance beyond the realms of hippiedom and elevate it to the status of haute parfumerie (the understated bottle design amplifies the effect).

BELOW: Abel's collection of five 'Vita Odor' eau de parfums combine 21st-century technology with fine natural ingredients. From left, 'Grey Labdanum', 'Cobalt Amber', 'Golden Neroli', 'White Vetiver' and 'Red Santal', from £45 each for 15ml; £98 for 50ml

All have short formulas that showcase the fine quality of the ingredients used: 'Cobalt Amber' is a delicious gourmand fragrance with cardamom, cacao and tonka bean, while 'Red Santal' captures the spiciness of clove and ginger and the milky freshness of sandalwood. Our favourite, though, is 'Golden Neroli' (left), a luscious honeyed floral with a top note of matcha tea. The genius of the perfumer lies in using isolates – fragrance notes extracted from natural ingredients using fractional distillation – that stand in for synthetic aromas. For example, an isolate from the ambrette seed smells like deer musk, now banned in its natural form and toxic in synthetic imitations. This new, natural musk note enables the perfumes to last all day on the skin. Clever, non?

Minimal packaging design (above) for the unisex 'Vita Odor' collection is equally chic, created in collaboration with Amsterdam's Atelier Joachim Baan, with subtle glimpses of colour on white boxes tying in with each scent. The sleek, modern bottles pay homage to Abel's commitment to natural materials, and are an exercise in low-key luxury.
abelodor.com

Abel's 'Vita Odor' range is available in the UK from roullierwhite.com

Gallivant

New London scent label Gallivant creates fragrance for urban explorers

BY AMY BRADFORD

The jauntily named Gallivant is a new London fragrance label created by Nick Steward, former product and creative director of L’Artisan Parfumeur. Working with female perfumers Paris-based Karine Chevallier and Venice-based Giorgia Navarra, his first collection of unisex fragrances is inspired by travel and seeks to capture the spirit of six cities: Berlin, Brooklyn, London, Tel Aviv, Amsterdam and Istanbul.

Two of our faves include 'London', which features notes of rose (think Columbia Road flower market) with a sense of ‘wetness’ evoked by cucumber and violet leaves – just like the real thing, minus the traffic fumes. 'Tel Aviv' is the opposite – a hot, beachy fragrance with clementine, jasmine sambac and spicy benzoin. Abstract maps appear on each box and the bottles, topped with duck egg-blue stoppers, are daintily small. Why? ‘As someone who has travelled a lot, who has lived and commuted between various cities, I wanted airport-friendly sized products for the modern nomad,’ says Steward. Even more compact 2ml sprays of each scent, and a 'Discovery Set' selection of four sprays, are perfect for globetrotting. That’s our next holiday fragrance sorted...
gallivant-perfumes.com roullierwhite.com


ABOVE: Gallivant's new unisex eau de parfums: 'Tel Aviv', 'Brooklyn', 'Istanbul', 'London', 'Berlin' 
and 'Amsterdam', £65 each for 30ml
ABOVE RIGHT FROM TOP: Nick Steward, travel-obsessed founder of London indie fragrance brand Gallivant; Each box has a map of the named destination

Soohyang

South Korean scent sensation Soohyang's excellent fragrant designs are full of feel-good factor. Life is better when you smell nice!

BY AMY BRADFORD

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You could say that Kim Soohyang was destined to create a perfume brand: Soohyang means ‘excellent fragrance’ in Korean and is the name of her eponymous, 2013-launched scent label. The Seoul native now runs Villa Soohyang, a colourful store with blue exterior and graphic interior decoration, in the city’s famous Gangnam district. Here she sells her collection of 33 scented candles – designed to be used like a fragrance wardrobe, layered and changed with the seasons – alongside room sprays shaped like spray guns, scented matches, beeswax tablets for cupboards, and car fragrances that, unlike most, look and smell wonderful.

ABOVE: Soohyang's customisable Gift Set Box, here including 'Itaewon 565' candle, £36 for 200g, 'Raindrops' home spray, £40 for 250ml, wax tablet, £14 for 40g, wick trimmer, £9, and black scented matches, £7
ABOVE RIGHT FROM TOP: Car fragrance, £14 for 10g; Scented matches, £7 a box
BELOW: 'Itaewon 565' diffuser set, £50 for 300ml, including clear sealed scent bottle, signature dark brown diffuser and reeds (lasts 2-3 months)

ABOVE: Gangnam style! The fragrant temple of Villa Soohyang, the brand's flagship, blue-hued boutique in Seoul, South Korea, set in a renovated old house in Gangnam's Sinsa-dong quarter

Everything is packaged in Soohyang's signature pink and black with bold lettering, with custom labels available so you can add a name or message to your candle or diffuser purchase. Our favourite scents include the comforting ‘Honey’ and bestselling green floral ‘Itaewon 565’, named after the original Seoul store’s address, which smells like a lilac tree in bloom. Soohyang’s collection has just arrived at Fenwick in London, so Europeans can now experience it too. Excellent news...
soohyang.seoul.kr  @soohyangofficial

The Soohyang fragrance range is available in the UK from fenwick.co.uk

Paul Schütze Perfume

Powerful memories of place and time inform the perfumes of Paul Schütze. Savour the moment...

BY AMY BRADFORD

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London-based Australian artist Paul Schütze is a bit of a Renaissance man. Originally a film composer and musician, he moved into the art world in 2000, when he created a sound and film installation for the Hayward Gallery’s 'Sonic Boom' exhibition. In 2015, Schütze crafted three fragrances for the city's Sir John Soane's Museum, diffused into the historic interior during a candlelit nocturnal event.

TOP: Paul Schütze Perfume's trio of new eau de parfums including 'Behind the Rain', 'Cirebon' and 'Tears of Eros', £135 for 50ml
ABOVE RIGHT: Composer-turned-perfume creator Paul Schütze
BELOW:
Glad to be grey... the smart minimal packaging sports a flash of colour to match the coloured labels on the elegant glass bottles; purple for 'Behind the Rain', black for 'Tears Of Eros' and mandarin for 'Cirebon'

Now he’s changing tack again, launching the Paul Schütze Perfume label. He’s designed three wearable unisex perfumes by employing the same technique he uses as an artist. Each scent is an attempt to embody a memory: 'Tears of Eros' recalls an evening in Schütze’s Paris studio, when incense had been burning and a discarded clementine peel and a blooming hyacinth sat on his desk; 'Cirebon' evokes a trip to Java with the aroma of lemongrass and tamarind; and 'Behind the Rain' remembers a visit to Greece when a rainstorm released the scent of fir trees. Simple grey and clear glass packaging, teamed with graphic labels in purple, mandarin and black with silver, allow these modern masterpieces to speak for themselves.
paulschutzeperfume.com 

Paul Schütze Perfume is available now from Liberty London libertylondon.com

Trudon Perfumes

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Trudon is the first fragrance line from the fabulous French scented candle label. We smell a success story!

BY AMY BRADFORD

Having loved Cire Trudon candles for many a year, we were faint with excitement when the brand announced it was launching a range of wearable perfumes. Named simply ‘Trudon’ – the word ‘Cire’ (‘wax’) having been dropped for obvious reasons – the collection includes five scents, all presented in bottles with heavy fluted green glass caps. These were created by French product designer Pauline Deltour to harmonise with Cire Trudon’s classic green candle glasses.

'The bottle sits perfectly in the hand and is pleasant to the eye,' says Deltour, who collaborated with Brosse Glassworks on the transparent design, inspired by blocks of crystal. 'I perfected its dimensions to underline the domed neck on top of which the rippled-glass cap sits. Elegantly placed in a cut-out window, the label seems to be framed.'

TOP: The 'Bruma' wearable perfume by Trudon comes in a sleek glass bottle topped by a chic pine-green cap
ABOVE: Trudon's genderless fragrances 'Mortel', 'Olim', 'Révolution' and 'II' ('Deux') offer a modern, subversive take on themes including royalty, religion and revolution

Three perfumers have composed the scents: Frenchmen Antoine Lie and Yann Vasnier and British nose Lyn Harris. The latter is responsible for ‘Révolution’, the scent that will feel most familiar to Cire Trudon fans: its notes of smoke, wood, leather and incense are intended to evoke the raw intensity of France’s Revolutionary era. Harris has also contributed ‘II’ (pronounced 'Deux'), a limpid green fragrance with pine, juniper and cedar inspired by a forest. Lie’s ‘Bruma’ is the softest of all, containing lavender, iris and labdanum. It is also the most feminine – although the entire collection is intended to be worn by both sexes. Love at first sniff.
trudon.com

Trudon perfumes, £165 each for 100ml. Available exclusively from harveynichols.com and trudon.com