All About The Base

From dreamy perfume oils by Hermès to Aesop’s heavyweight brass oil burner that scents your home, oil-based scents should be your next fragrance obsession…

BY CLAIRE BINGHAM

There’s something properly luxurious about scent that is carried not by alcohol but by oil. The silkiness of the texture and how it melts into the skin are so much more tangible than a traditional spritz application – and all the more captivating for it. It’s the bohemian mood that it puts us in. From a beauty perspective, we have been living in the age of oil for some time, but now perfume oils are also catching on as a home fragrance. Here is our pick of scented oils to bring stylish seduction to your skin or space.

Hermès ‘Hermessence’
We start with Swiss-Italian perfumer Christine Nagel, the resident nose at French luxury label Hermès since 2016, who has introduced perfume oils to the house for the very first time as part of the latest additions to the ‘Hermessence’ range. Of her five-strong Orient-inspired and layerable collection, there are two totally dreamy oil-based scents: ‘Cardamusc’ and ‘Musc Pallida’. The first is laced with fresh but spicy cardamom, the other with sensual iris. ‘I wanted to return to the origins of perfumery and immerse myself in its history,’ says Nagel of the liquid gold creations that slowly pour from similarly molten, amber glass bottles.
hermes.com 

Hermès ‘Musc Pallida’ and ‘Cardamusc’ essence de parfum, £275 each for 20ml


Aesop
Recognised for its beautiful stores, Australian skincare brand Aesop has now introduced some interiors magic to the collection. Its first Aesop Home piece, the sculptural ‘Brass Oil Burner’ was designed by Sydney-based Studio Henry Wilson, who was behind the decor of a couple of Aesop’s stores (Balmain and Crows Nest in Sydney), as well as a 2017 exhibition at Milan’s Brera showroom. Formed with an ancient wax-mould technique used to cast its solid brass shape, this weighty, one-kilogram vessel teams Aesop’s streamlined design aesthetic with functionality to disperse tailor-made essential oils. A cradle for the oil, this glowing chunk of metal was chosen not only for its looks but also for its superior heat transfer properties, tactility and warm affiliation with candle light. Just add five to 10 drops of your preferred oil blend to the oil well – choose between floral citrus ‘Anouk’, spicy citrus ‘Catherine’, minty ‘Isabelle’ or woody citrus ‘Béatrice’ – alongside a standard tea light. It doesn’t get any simpler or more appealing.
aesop.com  henrywilson.com.au

‘Brass Oil Burner’, £120; ‘Béatrice’ oil burner blend, £25 for 25ml


Lumira
Blending wanderlust-inspired concoctions, Australian fragrance and candle brand Lumira specialises in olfactory escapism with each scent a tribute to a global adventure. Founded by Sydneysider Almira Armstrong in 2013, the label follows a lifelong love of fragrance. Her tempting range of five perfume oils includes a Persian rose-scented roll-on, which combines top notes of bergamot with a dark amber base. We like. 
atelierlumira.com

Lumira ‘Persian Rose’ perfume oil, shown alongside ‘Cuban Tobacco’ and ‘Arabian Oud’ perfume oils, £39 each for 10ml


Joya
Expanding into perfume oils from candles, Frederick Bouchardy of New York label Joya loves the intimate, bespoke quality of an oil-based fragrance that changes significantly according to the wearer’s body chemistry. Handmade and poured in the Brooklyn studio, Joya’s essential oil blends come in travel roll-ons – but from a design point of view, we’re most excited about the slip cast porcelain bottles made by US ceramic artist Sarah Cihat. Did anyone mention the 22-carat gold-dipped wands? A very nice finishing touch.
joyastudio.com

Black ‘Composition No. 6’, white ‘Composition No. 1’ and dark green ‘Foxglove’ perfumes, £100 each for 75ml

The Return of Incense

When it comes to home fragrance scented candles currently hold the number one spot in the Western world. We think it's time to recalibrate and welcome incense back into our homes...

BY DEE IVA

The Fizz is a big fan of the fragrant home. From fresh floral scents in summer to warm spices and amber in winter, the right home fragrance lifts your spirits the moment you open the door.

The ubiquitous scented candle has become the go-to purchase in recent years. Every major fashion house and perfume brand has a collection of seductive scents to tempt you. The high street is also in on the game offering budget options along with that other mainstay of home fragrance the reed diffuser.

Incense sticks, however, seem to have dropped off the radar altogether but we think their return is long overdue. They can be left burning without the risk of setting fire to soft furnishings and, unlike candles, don’t leave a residue of soot on the ceiling. Their fragrance packs a mighty punch and is stronger than that from reed diffusers which have to be inverted when their scent grows weak.

Previous hippy associations may once have made them deeply unhip but now the beau monde is seeking out decidedly more upmarket versions to scent their design-savvy homes. Smart incense sticks are harder to find than candles and diffusers so we’ve tracked down five of the best to buy right now.

ABOVE: The 'Circa' incense gift set by Cinnamon Projects features a solid brass burner and disc

CINNAMON PROJECTS
New York-based Cinnamon Projects is the brainchild of Andrew Cinnamon and Charlie Stackhouse, whose cutting-edge incense sets using solid brass and semi-precious stones take luxe to a new level. Fittingly for the city that never sleeps, its five fragrances are named after different hours of the day starting at ‘7am’ with meditative black tea, clay, driftwood and marigold through to ‘2am’ with wafts of decadent cedarwood, cinnamon, honey and vetiver. New scent 'You Are Here' is an intoxicating blend of clay, immortelle, patchouli, rose, musk and sandalwood. The elegant Japanese-style incense sticks burn for 25 minutes each.
cinnamonprojects.com

Incense gift sets from US$105. Each set includes 50 incense sticks (10 from each fragrance ie '7am', '4pm', '8pm', '12am' and '2am') and a solid brass burner. The special 'Circa Minerals' set also comes with a semi-precious stone disc, with eight choices including rose quartz, black onyx and lapis lazuli. Refill packs of 25 sticks, US$30 each, are packaged in a glass tube and paper foil-stamped gift box. 'Incense Discovery Set', US$55 for 50 incense sticks (as before). 'You Are Here', US$40 for 25 incense sticks 


FORNASETTI PROFUMI
Iconic Milanese design atelier Fornasetti is a firm Fizz favourite. Its home fragrance arm Fornasetti Profumi is responsible for a wide range of stylish home scents all presented in beautifully designed ceramic holders.

TOP: Fornasetti Profumi 'Otto' incense set with 'Pistola' incense box
ABOVE: The smart 'Otto' ceramic-lidded incense boxes come in six different designs
BELOW: 'Flora di Fornasetti' incense sticks refill pack; Ceramic-lidded box designs 'Fior di Bacio' and 'Ortensia' feature the lips and eyes of Fornasetti muse Lina Cavilieri respectively

Two incense fragrances are available, each with its own set of handcrafted wooden boxes with decorated ceramic lids. ‘Otto’ is Fornasetti’s signature scent redolent with Mediterranean herbs and woody undertones. Created by master perfumer Olivier Polge, it is grand and sophisticated yet immediately relaxing. ‘Flora di Fornasetti’ is a white floral bouquet inspired by the gardens around the family house in Milan and the floral illustrations of Piero Fornasetti. Created by Emmanuel Philip, its pretty notes of jasmine, lily of the valley and tuberose are perfect for hazy summer days.
fornasetti.com

Incense boxes, including 80 sticks, £145. Refill packs of 80 sticks, £45


AWAJI 2.jpg
hg000436_alt2_1.jpg

ASTIER DE VILLATTE
Founded by Benoît Astier de Villatte and Ivan Pericoli in 1996, French homewares brand Astier de Villatte is best known for its 18th and 19th century-inspired handmade range of ceramics and glassware produced in an antique Bastille workshop in Paris. A collaboration in 2008 with Japanese fragrance company Takasago saw it branch out into the world of perfume, scented candles and incense.

The newest incense fragrance ‘Awaji’ blends jasmine, resin, driftwood and immortelle resulting in a welcoming sweet woody scent. Created by Nathalie Feisthauer and made on the Japanese island of Awaji, it joins Astier de Villatte’s existing collection of 12 incense aromas, all discreetly packaged in its distinctive illustrated blue and cream boxes.
astierdevillatte.com

TOP: Astier de Villatte's new scent 'Awaji' 
ABOVE RIGHT:
Each box contains 125 sticks for €36 


CZECH & SPEAKE 
High-end British bathroom retailer Czech & Speake is one of London’s smartest retail brands. Established in 1980 in Jermyn Street by Frank Sawkins, its name is synonymous with quality and timeless English style. Its incense collections capture two of Czech & Speake's most popular fragrances. 'No.88', Czech & Speake’s signature scent, has notes of bergamot, geranium, rose otto, vetiver and sandalwood while ‘Frankincense and Myrrh’ has exotic oriental ingredients including warm frankincense and tangy myrrh coupled with orange, lemon and basil. Both scents are available in kits and as giant sticks for outdoor use.
czechandspeake.com

Giant sticks.jpg

TOP: Incense stick kits, including 80 sticks and bone china holder, from £105. Refill packs of 20 sticks, £25 each.
ABOVE: 'Giant Outdoor Incense Sticks', £35 for 12 sticks.


Incense_Avignon_box_#41986A.jpg

COMMES DES GARCONS
Leftfield Japanese fashion house Commes des Garçons has always been the must-have brand for fashionistas looking for something off the beaten track and its range of perfumes has been as offbeat as its fashion.

CDG’s five incense aromas are inspired by spiritual teachings: ‘Avignon’ – Catholicism, ‘Ouarzazate’ – Islam, ‘Zagorsk’ – Orthodox Christianity, ‘Jaisalmer’ – Hinduism, ‘Kyoto’ – Buddhism and Shintoism. Now available as eau de toilette and scented candles, the original incense sticks are becoming harder to find. Only 'Avignon' (Roman chamomile, elemi and vanilla), 'Jaisalmer' (cinnamon, cardamom and amber), 'Ourzazate' (nutmeg, labdanum, musk and wenge) and 'Zagorsk' (pimento berries, birch wood and iris) are still available and are in limited supply. We advise you to be quick off the mark…
commesdesgarcons.com

Commes des Garçons 'Series 3' incense sticks, £35 for 40 sticks. Currently available from doverstreetmarket.com, selfridges.com and notino.co.uk

D.S & Durga

Brooklyn duo D.S & Durga create unconventional small batch perfumes and scented candles inspired by everything from fireplaces to car interiors

BY AMY BRADFORD

We could hardly be more excited by the scents of NY husband-and-wife duo D.S. & Durga (aka self-taught perfumer David Seth Moltz and the brand’s designer Kavi Moltz, a former architect). Pioneers in the DIY scent movement that flourished in post-millennium Brooklyn, they now operate on the appealing principle that ‘perfume is armchair travel’, creating wearable scents and candles that ‘conjure unseen worlds’. Their influences include music, art, nature and design. Highlights among the wearables include 'Bowmakers', inspired by the 19th-century violin craftsmen of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, which fuses notes of violin varnish with mahogany and spiced tree resin; and 'Rose Atlantic', a bracing blend of salt spray and voluptuous roses that riffs on Sinatra’s song Summer Wind. Both come in appealingly graphic bottles with glossy black lids.

ABOVE RIGHT: Perfumer David Seth Moltz and designer Kavi Moltz
BELOW: D.S & Durga fragrances 'Bowmakers' and 'Rose Atlantic' and scented candles ''85 Diesel' and 'Portable Fireplace'

Thinking in 'angles, light, shadow and texture', Kavi seeks to create clarity in form and function for the houses of the brand's scents. The candles are packaged in apricot glass with evocative illustrations. 'Portable Fireplace' is a regular sellout, with its smoky whiff of dwarf pine, oak ash, copaiba resin and birch tar; '’85 Diesel' is a witty take on car interiors, with the notes listed as ‘saffron leather, suede, vinyl, diesel smoke and earth dirt’. If you like your scents down and dirty, this is where it’s at.
dsanddurga.com

'Bowmakers' and 'Rose Atlantic' fragrances from £139 for 50ml; 'Portable Fireplace', 'Spirit Lamp' and ''85 Diesel' candles, £58 for 200gm. Available from dsanddurga.com and libertylondon.com

Vilhelm Parfumerie – New scented candles and eau de parfum

New York perfume house Vilhelm Parfumerie has launched five seductively scented candles and a figgy eau de parfum to satisfy our senses this Christmas

BY AMY BRADFORD

A while ago we featured the debut collection by Vilhelm Parfumerie, in our opinion one of the most interesting niche perfume labels to emerge in the past five years. It was founded in New York by Swedish-born former model and handbag designer Jan Ahlgren, who enlisted the talents of renowned nose Jerome Epinette after commissioning him to develop a custom fragrance to scent leather goods. Now the brand has unveiled five new scented candles, each with a story behind them and packaged in the perfumery’s signature fluted yellow glass. Top of our wish list are ‘Vilhelm’s Pipe’, which combines ginger, wild honey, tobacco leaves and sandalwood and is inspired by the lingering scent of pipe smoke at Ahlgren family gatherings; and ‘Art Deco’, a crisp scent that evokes the clean-lined elevators of the Empire State Building through notes of clove buds, cassis, papyrus and vetiver.

ABOVE: 'Vilhelm's Pipe', 'Lazy Sunday', 'Art Deco' scented candles, £60 each for 300gm
ABOVE RIGHT: 'West Coast', 'Moon Carnival' scented candles, £60 each for 300gm
BELOW: 'Purple Fig' eau de parfum, £145 for 100ml

Also new this winter is a very on-trend fig scent, ‘Purple Fig’, inspired by the Cité du Figuier, a tree-lined oasis on rue Oberkampf in Paris. Recreating the woody-milky scent of figs with notes of cassis, angelica seeds, galbanum and cedarwood, it has a fresh lemon top note and a floral aspect thanks to the inclusion of cyclamen. We think it’s a hit.
vilhelmparfumerie.com

Available in the UK from liberty.co.uk

Rodin 'Lavender Absolute'

The soothing scent of lavender is having a fashion-forward moment with these fragrant new oils by stylist Linda Rodin 

BY AMY BRADFORD

New York fashion stylist Linda Rodin (right) won a devoted following for her heavenly jasmine-and-neroli-Olio Lusso scented oils when they launched nearly a decade ago. We predict a similar stampede for the new ‘Lavender Absolute’ versions, for face and body, in sleek glass bottles. The scent of lavender is well known for its relaxing and sleep-inducing properties, but Rodin has dialled it up a notch by blending two different varieties, tapping into the oils at the stem as well as in the flowers themselves for a softer, richer aroma. Contained within a cocktail of jojoba, evening primrose, argan, apricot kernel and sweet almond oils, this scent is intensely restful and wonderful to use on a cold winter night.

For Christmas, Rodin has produced a limited-edition set of the oils featuring snazzy 'Holidot' polka dot packaging, reflecting her passion for collecting spot-print clothes and curios. ‘Polka dots just make me happy,’ she says. What’s inside makes us happier still. oliolusso.com

‘Lavender Absolute’ face oil, £105 for 30ml; body oil, £80 for 120ml. Available in the UK from liberty.co.uk