Linda Song Cape Town: Launching Givaudan’s Road Stories

Linda Song Road Stories Cape Town - Portrait

I was recently in the Givaudan Johannesburg office when I was introduced to the fragrance giant’s Road Stories project. What started out as a tourist trip to Cape Town for perfumer Linda Song turned into the launch of the company’s “scent souvenirs” initiative. After smelling the evocative fragrance accords that Linda Song created after her journey to the South African city, I knew I had to interview her.

Linda Song Road Stories Cape Town - Image


Linda Song is an up-and-coming perfumer. She has already started making her mark in the industry with her recent co-creation for Tom Ford (Fougère Platine EDP). She also created RPL Maison XVIII Tubéreuse EDP, which was launched in 2017.

Linda Song Road Stories Cape Town - Broadtoothed Sagebush

UNIQUE FLORA: Linda Song examines a broadtoothed sagebush.

What is Givaudan’s Road Stories project all about?

Road Stories came about from our NY team of perfumers sharing “scent souvenirs” from our travels in an informal setting and turning it into a creative collection platform. My visit to Cape Town is the debut of the series, which originated when I was planning a trip to Cape Town purely with the intentions of being a tourist to discover the city with friends. On learning more about the region, I found that the Cape Floral Kingdom is a wealth of diversity and endemic species. I couldn’t pass up on the chance to explore and smell the thousands of plants that are only found in this small region of South Africa.

“I couldn’t pass up on the chance to explore and smell the thousands of plants that are only found in this small region of South Africa.”

Linda Song Road Stories Cape Town - Bloodbell Heath


How did you get involved?

I pitched the idea to Emily Bond, the Head of Fine Fragrances North America. She was immediately on board and it gave her the idea to start the collection of Road Stories. I did my background research on the location before leaving on what plants I could expect to find in late summer/ early autumn. I also reached out to Dr Roman Kaiser on what olfactively interesting plants I should look out for. A distinguished, retired colleague, he’s also the originator of our Scent Trek technology, a noted botanist and an intrepid world explorer.

Linda Song Road Stories Cape Town - Bottles

When did you arrive in Cape Town?

April 2017.

How long did you spend in the city?

Nine days.

Linda Song Road Stories Cape Town - Golden Pagoda


What were you expecting to discover before you arrived?

Through my research I was already expecting a dynamic city. It would have  a lot to offer in terms of history, culture, art and design, with a backdrop of nature between the mountains and sea.

Linda Song Road Stories Cape Town - Immortelle Everlasting


What did you actually discover?

That all of the above was massively amplified in real life! Stunning vistas, extremes of dry and wet, and an extremely diverse, laid-back and cool cosmopolitan city.

Linda Song Road Stories Cape Town - Erica taxifolia


Who helped you make these discoveries?

I was lucky enough to have some friends living in Cape Town. They are themselves well-travelled nomads and showed us their favourite parts of the region. I used the information Roman provided, in addition to the amazing amount of information that’s available at the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens. It’s an impressive garden whose ethos is in preserving the region’s unique flora.

Linda Song Road Stories - Collection

COLLECTOR’S ITEMS: The Linda Song Road Stories Cape Town collection includes 12 accords.

Do many South Africans know about these plants?

This is my question to you as a South African! [I don’t at all.]

“They were chosen specifically with the idea of adding to the perfumer’s palette. It’s similar to adding new colours to a painter’s palette.”

The fragrances that resulted from this visit really impressed me with their unique quality. They are so enticing! tell us more about this collection.

It was a perfumer’s dream – like being a kid in a candy store. There truly are so many beautiful plants – both visually and olfactively – to the point of sensory overload! It took a lot of time to edit to the 12 accords that are in the collection. They were chosen specifically with the idea of adding to the perfumer’s palette. It’s similar to adding new colours to a painter’s palette. I’m constantly astounded by nature’s version of perfumery and that was the true inspiration. With interesting combinations of aromatic with balsamic notes, surprising notes of gourmand, floral bouquets…these scents were chosen for being uniquely beautiful.

Linda Song Road Stories - Selection Of Bottles

Will the fragrances be available commercially?

These are accords recreating what I found in nature, so they won’t be commercially available alone. But we are sharing the accords with the hope to transport both the stories and scents as staring points for a finished fragrance.

Linda Song Road Stories Cape Town - Mona lavender


What else did you discover while you were in Cape Town?

This is one of my favourite cities in the world! I have an equal love for nature and urban environments and this city manages to beautifully marry both. You can go from surfing or hiking in the morning to being at a gallery or museum within minutes. There’s a beautiful aesthetic to the city that falls within a large range of being local, modern, quirky, hipster and classic. There truly is something for everyone and the discovery seems endless.

Linda Song Road Stories Cape Town - Aloe Arborescens


What perfume project are you working on now?

I’m working on developing finished fragrances with many of these accords, so stay tuned!

*All images, except of Cape Town, provided by Givaudan. 

Cheap Thrills: 8 Best Budget Fragrance Buys

Best Budget Fragrance Buys - Giorgio Beverly Hills EDP

So you’ve spent more than you should have at Christmas. Or you are scaling back on your expenses and something has to give. But dealing with these financial realities doesn’t mean you have to compromise on smelling good. With this selection of best budget buys fragrances, for example, it’s possible to spend way less than you would normally do and still stand out for your fragrance finesse.

“With this list of best budget buys fragrances, it’s possible to spend way less than you would normally do and still stand out for your fragrance finesse.”

Of course, you can also keep your eyes on bargain bins, where sometimes incredible deals are to be had. And don’t forget sales where 20-50% discounts are not uncommon.

NO 4711 Original EDC

This bargain fragrance is apparently still made according to a secret recipe from the late 18th century (yes, it’s been around that long). While 4711 Original Eau de Cologne lacks staying power, it more than compensates with its uplifting mix of lemon, bergamot and orange oil. More than a fragrance, it’s a superb pick-me-up tonic. R235 for 90ml and R575 for 200ml.

Best Budget Fragrance Buys - No 4711 Eau de Cologne

The Body Shop Activist EDt

This one has been around for over 23 years – and for good reason. A light oriental with a clean, fresh vibe, it features standout notes of green grass, citruses, amber, spices and woody notes. It doesn’t have the most impressive staying power and projection, but at the price, a couple of re-sprays is not a problem at all. While you’re in The Body Shop mode, look out for White Musk. It’s a highly rate Body Shop classic that features notes of lavender, jasmine, geranium, sandalwood, vetiver, tonka bean and, course, musk. R320 for 100ml.

Best Budget Fragrance Buys - The Body Shop Activist EDT

Giorgio Beverly Hills edt (ML Quince, Francis Camail, Harrry Cuttle)

I’ve never been shopping on Hollywood’s Rodeo Drive in a Rolls-Royce with the top down, but this classic from the 80s would be the perfect choice for it. It’s such a happy, carefree, almost hedonistic scent. This floral features standout heart notes such as tuberose, gardenia, orchid and ylang-ylang. After all that spending, champagne is so necessary. R599 for 90ml.

Best Budget Fragrance Buys - Giorgio Beverly Hills EDP

RODEO DRIVE, HERE WE COME: Giorgio Beverly Hills EDT is one of the best budget fragrance buys from the 80s.

Rogue Love by Rihanna EDP

Rihanna has amassed quite a respectable fragrance portfolio and word is that she’s more involved in the creation of her scents than the average celeb. Her fragrances, while not in any way revolutionary, certainly deserve consideration if you’re on the hunt for budget fragrance buys. Rogue Love is a very appealing scent with fruity, floral, musky overtones. It features big hits of plum, suede, patchouli and vanilla notes. Like most celebrity fragrances, it’s sweet, but it’s handled smoothly and sophisticatedly in this EDP. R620 for 125ml.

Best Budget Fragrance Buys - Rogue by Rihanna EDP

Zara Tobacco Collection Rich Warm Addictive EDT

A seemingly simple composition of tobacco, coconut, sandalwood, honey and cedar notes, it yields so much more than its structure suggests. It’s on the sweeter side of things, but who cares when this EDT is so smooth and creamy. Zara has numerous examples of cool cheapies like it, so it would be time well spent to visit your local store or the website for more options.

Best Budget Fragrance Buys - Zara Tobacco Collection Rich Warm Addictive EDT

Elizabeth Taylor Love & White Diamonds edt (Carlos Benaïm)

I recently reviewed Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds as a classic powerhouse (read here). A flanker, Love & White Diamonds is inspired by the actor’s passion for flowers and diamonds. It features a citrus twist on the original, with opening notes of petitgrain, orange blossom and neroli. The heart is all floral and features notes of gardenia, Turkish rose, jasmine sambac and tuberose. Although not as complex as the original, it earns its spot on this best budget fragrance buys list for its charm and longevity. R750 for 100ml.

Best Budget Fragrance Buys - Elizabeth Taylor Love & White Diamonds EDP

Jeanne Arthes Cobra Man EDT

There’s more complexity to this woody-aromatic fragrance than its price tag suggests. It opens with notes of citrus, orange blossom and rosemary. The heart is quite unusual and features notes of ginger and angelica among the more familiar cinnamon and lavender. The base is warm and cosy, with notes of sandalwood, tonka bean and vanilla bringing smoothness. Jean Arthes is a French fragrance company that’s based in Grasse, the heartland of French perfumery. Another option from the brand well worth sniffing out is the leather-licious Colonial Club Legend EDT. R209 for 100ml.

Best Budget Fragrance Buys - Jeanne Arthes Cobra For Men EDT

Elizabeth Arden Red Door EDt (Carlos Benaïm)

Originally launched in 1989 (and now with five flankers), Elizabeth Arden Red Door EDT is still one of the company’s best-sellers. Sweet and complex at the same time, it features over 20 listed notes. The sweetness comes through from the beginning, courtesy of peach and plum notes. But it’s really the honey and abundance of floral notes (carnation, tuberose, orchid, violet, rose, freesia, lily, jasmine, ylang-ylang and heliotrope) that makes this EDP such a sweet and agreeable bouquet, depending on your preferences. R750 for 100ml.

Best Budget Fragrance Buys - Elizabeth Arden Red Door EDP



Art of Fragrance

Art of Fragrance - Hermès Concentre d'Orange Verte EDT

We all know that perfumery is an art, but what about the other art of fragrance? That is, creating arty images from fragrance bottles. In this more visually led art of fragrance post, I will share some of my examples with you.

“In this more visually led art of fragrance post, I will share some of my examples with you.”

When I’m in the art of fragrance mode, I want my images to really have an impact. Often these have quite an emotional impact, as I take great pleasure in breaking empty perfume bottles and seeing people’s reaction to them. I’ve also been trying an art of fragrance technique on my computer scanner, with intriguing results.

Art of Fragrance - Reconstruction


In a previous lifetime this was a bottle of Armani’s mega-seller, Acqua di Gio EDT. I smashed the bottle and shot it against a very clinical metallic service (that is, the kitchen sink). For extra coolness, I added some ice cubes.

Art of Fragrance - Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio EDT


I had to think a lot about smashing this bottle of the Hermès classic, Concentre d’Orange Verte EDT. Eventually I gathered the courage to do the deed. I placed the pieces on one of my own pastel colour therapy works.

Art of Fragrance - Hermès Concentre d'Orange Verte EDT


I find samples very hard to shoot in an interesting way. So for this collection, I decided to place them on the computer scanner intermingled with some flowers and leaves.

Art of Fragrance - Sample Sunday

ART OF FRAGRANCE: Sample Sunday style.


After smashing this bottle of Paul Smith EDT, I scatted various pieces on the scanner. I then placed some flowers to add interest to the effect.

Art of Fragrance - Paul Smith EDT


I noticed I had two beautiful bottles (Hermès Concentre d’Orange Verte EDT and Armani Acqua di Gio EDT) smashed mostly beyond recognition. So the only thing to do was to create a fusion of the two. This is very much a work in progress. I plan to do a bigger piece with a number of smashed bottles.

Art of Fragrance - Reconstruction Soft

Caroline Sabas Interview: “I Work On Anything. I’m Up For Any Challenge!”

I first started chatting to perfumer Caroline Sabas a couple of months ago on Instagram when I inadvertently didn’t credit her contribution to the creation of Britney Spears VIP Private Show EDP. Since then I’ve been wanting to interview the 44-year-old who has created a very diverse selection of fragrances over the years. These range from Etat Libre d’Orange You Or Someone Like You EDP, Elizabeth Arden Sunflowers Summer Air EDT and Narciso Rodriguez Santal Musc EDP to Rihanna Reb’l Fleur EDP and Commodity Vetiver EDP.

Caroline Sabas - Narciso Rodriguez Santal Musc EDP

Caroline Sabas grew up in the heartland of French perfumery, Grasse. Her perfumer father had a big influence on her decision to pursue the career she says she was “born into”.

In this interview, I asked Caroline Sabas questions about her work, her ultimate ambition and her favourite ingredient to work with, among others.

Where were you born?

I was born in Cannes, France, and grew up in Grasse.

Where did you study perfumery?

I studied at ISIPCA in Versailles and my apprenticeship while in school was at Chanel.

Where are you based now?

I moved to NYC a year after I finished ISIPCA, which is 21 years ago. I’ve been working at Givaudan New York for 15 years now. I love New York. It has such a great vibe and so much energy.

Caroline Sabas - Elizabeth Arden Sunflowers Summer Air EDT

SUMMER EFFECT: Elizabeth Arden Sunflowers Summer Air EDT is one of the fragrances created by Caroline Sabas.

When did you know that you wanted to be a perfumer?

As I lived in Grasse and my father was a perfumer, I can say that I was born into it. Growing up surrounded by all those amazing naturals, such as mimosa, jasmine, honeysuckle, rose, moss, just to name a few, made me aware at a very young age that my nose was a great asset. I’ve always been sensitive to smells around me and they always provoked in me a lot of emotions. Then when I was 16, I stepped into the lab of my father’s company. Working with all those gorgeous materials was like a dream. I felt like a chef or a painter. From that moment on I knew this was exactly what I wanted to do.

“Working with all those gorgeous materials was like a dream. I felt like a chef or a painter.”

What do you remember most about studying perfumery?

I loved smelling and having to memorise olfactively both natural and synthetic ingredients. Learning about the classics and how they had been created. It’s such a fascinating world and I couldn’t wait to be part of it.

Caroline Sabas - Britney Spears VIP Private Show EDP

FRAGRANCES FOR EVERYONE: “I do not want to be labelled as a certain type of perfumer. Therefore, I work on everything…. mass, prestige, celebrities, designers, niche, women’s, men’s,” says Caroline Sabas.

What’s your ultimate ambition as a perfumer?

I would like to be able to create fragrances for absolutely everyone. I do not want to be labelled as a certain type of perfumer. Therefore, I work on everything…. mass, prestige, celebrities, designers, niche, women’s, men’s, etc… I’m up for any challenge! And ultimately I am hoping that one of these creations will end up being a best-seller. Mostly because it makes me so happy and moves me when I smell one of my creations on someone else. It is the best feeling. I realise that I touched someone’s heart.

Caroline Sabas - Elizabeth Arden White Tea

One of my favourite fragrances you’ve created is Etat Libre d’Orange You or someone like you edp. How did you create this fragrance?

This was a fantastic project. A great collaboration between Chandler Burr and myself. In 2009, Chandler Burr wrote the book You Or Someone Like You. Later on, Etat Libre d’Orange approached Chandler about making a fragrance having the same title. Chandler asked me if I could be the perfumer behind it. I was more than happy to accept, as I had never approached a project with such a different concept.

Caroline Sabas - Etat Libre d'Orange You Or Someone Like You EDP

Chandler and I started to work together and tried to create what would be the perfect fragrance for the novel’s narrator, Anne Rosenbaum. She lives in LA, is reserved and is an avid reader. She is a gardener as well. Chandler and I kept talking about what kind of notes would be perfect for Anne. But mainly, the fragrance that was created for her is not a perfume. It is a scent. We do not talk about ingredients or notes as we describe it. It is an experience. It is what you want it to be. That’s how Chandler described it to me before I started the creative process.

“We do not talk about ingredients or notes as we describe it. It is an experience. It is what you want it to be.”

You’ve created several celebrity fragrances. Is it different creating a celeb fragrance, as opposed to a designer or a niche scent?

I find the process a little bit different, yes. When I create a fragrance for a celebrity, I have to think about all their followers, their fans. It seems like the crowd to please is very big, so I need to make sure that it has a broad appeal from top to bottom. Whereas for a designer, or a niche brand, I can really think out of the box and pour my creativity into it, without thinking too much about who I am going to please. Here, I am inspired greatly by the designer’s vision that they seek to capture through scent.

Caroline Sabas - Sean John Unforgivable EDT

Do you have a favourite ingredient?

It is hard to come down to one ingredient when we have so many beautiful materials around us. But I will say my favourite is Vetiver.  Five years ago, I travelled to Haiti to experience the vetiver harvest. Haiti is where the very best vetiver in the world is grown.

Caroline Sabas - Vetiver

Givaudan has a very important platform of ethical sourcing, which we call Sourcing for Shared Value. We are dedicated to strengthening the vetiver supply chain, including supporting a co-operative in Les Cayes which helps the farmers and villagers to have a better life. It ensures that the vetiver producers can benefit from a guaranteed minimum price and regular technical support from both Givaudan’s and our partner teams. Our initiative aims to ensure that appropriate practices for vetiver harvesting and distilling are in place.

Caroline Sabas - Vetiver

EARTHY: Caroline Sabas loves vetiver for its many qualities.

This process produces the highest quality oil. I experienced the whole process of distillation, from the fields where the farmers uproot the plant, clean it, and then send it to the distillation factory. At the factory, the air smelled wonderful. I felt like I was wearing a blanket of warm vetiver. It is such a faceted material, woody, sensual, unctuous, golden, elegant, earthy, warm. Very addictive to me. Vetiver had been used so much in men’s fragrances. But with this quality, we can create a gorgeous woman’s fragrance as well, using a classic and beautiful ingredient that supports people and the environment.

“It is such a faceted material, woody, sensual, unctuous, golden, elegant, earthy, warm.”

Do you a travel a lot for your work?

I do travel for work and I enjoy spending time in our office in Paris and our office in São Paulo. This allows me to stay current with marketplace and lifestyle trends and also participate in various projects in places other than New York and spend time with my colleagues in other countries.

Caroline Sabas - Vince Camuto Divina EDP

DIVINE: Caroline Sabas also created Vince Camuto Divina EDP. It was released in 2018.

Which fragrance do you wish you’d created?

There are a lot of fragrances that I wish I had created. Starting with Chanel No 19, which I find exquisite. Also, one that set such a huge trend and influenced the fragrance category is Angel, which is a Givaudan creation. I am inspired by these classic trend-setters that were so different, so sensual, so disruptive for their time.

Caroline Sabas - Chanel No 19

Do you have a mentor?

My mentor is David Apel [her husband and vice-president senior perfumer at Symrise]. I love what he taught me and always value the incredible education on perfumery he shared with me: from ingredient expertise to his creative approach.  He is one of the best perfumers in the industry today.

Caroline Sabas - David Apel


Fragrance Photography Musings

Fragrance Photography - After

Two years ago, when I started my blog, my camera skills were pretty useless. I’m not counting Instagram and its various filters here. I was fortunate to be given a nifty and user-friendly Nikon camera by my sister. When I first started using it, my fragrance photography was rudimentary (not even 101). But over the last two years I’ve started honing my skills. I’m not claiming to be an expert. But I think these tips should help if you’re looking to improve your fragrance photography skills. Most of these tips work best in combination and don’t require the set-up of a photographic studio (which I don’t have). I’ve included a series of before and after images here to illustrate the various tips.

Fragrance Photography - Before


Sorry, I don’t use a cellphone for my blog photography. From experience, I get great joy from my Nikon V1. It has lots of useful features, without getting too complicated, and comes with a 10-30mm lens. You can buy it from for new for $899.00: here.

Fragrance Photography - L'Envol de Cartier EDT - Before


If you’re really set on a cohesive look with little variation, then sticking to one kind of flat surface is for you. However, if you want to vary your images (while still having your own look), you need to become a seasoned surface-hunter. Whenever I’m out and about, I’m always on the lookout for new surfaces to shoot on. Friends’ homes never look the same again.

Fragrance Photography - L'Envol de Cartier EDT - After


Another good way to improve your fragrance photography is to use a variety of backgrounds, whether indoors or outdoors. You’ll be surprised to discover how even seemingly ugly backgrounds with the right lighting and editing can add to your look. So don’t overlook even the “ugliest” of drainage systems.

Fragrance Photography - Surfaces and Backgrounds



While on the lookout for surfaces and backgrounds, keep accessories in mind, too. These can take the form of statues, jewellery, coloured glass, flowers, plates – the options are limitless. Whatever you do, make sure these accessories are clean and don’t take away the attention from your bottle. I keep a prop box to store things like pieces of ribbon, cute toys, chains and textured place mats (for backgrounds). You never know…

Fragrance Photography - Bleu de Chanel EDP - Before


How you use lighting, whether while taking pics or in post-production, will heavily influence the outcome of your fragrance photography. Beware of shooting in too much direct sun (lots of glare) or in dingy interiors (which can make images look “dirty”). I like to use lighting effects such as shadows (which can hide some fingerprints and specks of dust), contrast and highlights to create “moody” images.

Fragrance Photography - Bleu de Chanel EDP - After


You don’t have to be a Photoshop whizz to treat your images to essential post-production editing. I use some very basic photo-editing software to transform some quite average-looking images to striking images that most people would not believe have been processed through Microsoft Photo Editor.

Fragrance Photography - Yves Saint Laurent Kouros EDT - Before


Whenever I’m struggling to get a shot and I need to eradicate any unsightly blemishes or specks, I apply water splashes or even a full glass, depending on what’s required. I probably over-use this effect, but that’s because it’s such a versatile solution. And often creates (super-pleased with myself) reflections. Even better, just make sure to wipe your surfaces and bottles (including tops) and double-check with your zoom-in facility that you haven’t left any nasties behind.

Fragrance Photography - Yves Saint Laurent Kouros EDT - After

Fragrance New Snippets Edition 3 – Grasse’s Unesco Recognition, Narciso Rodriguez’s 2019 Launch Schedule, Acqua di Parma’s Double-Digit Growth, Frédéric Malle Gets Colourful, Emilie Coppermann Bags The Prix François Coty

Fragrance News Snippets - Grasse Unesco Heritage

GROWN IN GRASSE: Grasse’s micro-climate makes it especially suitable for the growth of flowers such as tuberose, jasmine, orange blossom, Madonna lily and violet, among others. Image: Musées de Grasse.

Welcome to the last edition of Fragrance News Snippets for 2018. If you’d like to share anything for inclusion in the next edition of Fragrance News Snippets, please pop me a mail at

Fragrance News Snippets - Frederic Malle Limited Editions



The heartland of French perfumery, Grasse, has been awarded World Heritage Status by Unesco. Grasse’s importance in international perfumery has declined in recent years. So adding the centuries-old traditions and skills of growing flowers, processing raw materials and creating fragrances in the area to Unesco’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list is very important. “Unesco’s world heritage status guarantees that we can safeguard Grasse’s collective savoir-faire and natural ingredients for generations to come,” says Armand de Villoutreys, Firmenich’s President: Perfumery & Ingredients.

Original source for more info: here and here.

Fragrance News Snippets - Grasse Unesco Heritage.

ON THE MAP: Grasse is situated in the south of France. Image:


There are exciting new launches coming up in 2019 for fans of Narciso Rodriguez’s musc-infused fragrances. These include: Narciso Rodriguez For Her Pure Musc EDP, Narciso Rodriguez Rouge EDT and Narciso Rodriguez Oud Musc EDP.

Fragrance News Snippets - Narciso Rodriguez Rouge EDT


Exact figures have not been given, but Acqua di Parma has revealed that its business would experience double-digit growth in 2018 and 2019. “We’ve enjoyed incredible, double-digit growth for 20 years, with the exception of 2008, when everyone suffered. And, there are still so many, many people worldwide that have to discover all the beauty of Acqua di Parma,” says CEO Laura Burdese. The sizeable niche brand, now owned by LVMH, is renowned for its fragrances, candles, bath, body and leather lifestyle products that celebrate Italian sophistication and vivacity.

Original source for more info: here.

Fragrance News Snippets - Acqua Di Parma


Christmas is the time for fragrance limited editions, but some are more covetable and worthy of inclusion in Fragrance News Snippets than others. Exhibit A: The translucent-coloured limited editions of seven of Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle’s classic fragrances. These include: Portrait Of A Lady by Dominique Ropion, Carnal Flower by Dominique Ropion, Musc Ravageur by Maurice Roucel (picured below), Lipstick Rose by Ralf Schwieger, Bigarade Concentree by Jean-Claude Ellena, Iris Poudre by Pierre Bourdon and En Passant by Olivia Giacobetti.

Original source for more info: here.

Fragrance News Snippets - Frederic Malle Limited Editions

Emilie Coppermann Bags The Prix François Coty

For more than 20 years, perfumer Emilie Coppermann has produced stand-out fragrances for a variety of brands. These range from The Different Company After Midnight EDT, Oriflame Eclat Mon Parfum EDP and Comme des Garçons Serpentine EDP to Sonia Rykiel EDT, Givenchy Play EDT and Carolina Herrera 212 VIP Men EDT. According to Perfumer & Flavorist, the Symrise master perfumer was awarded the prize based on an anonymous smelling of a fragrance created by her a year prior to the award taking place.

Original source for more info: here.

Fragrance News Snippets - Emilie Coppermann

IMAGE: LinkedIn.

Powerhouse Fragrances: Antonio Puig Quorum EDT, Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds EDT, Lancôme Trésor EDP, YSL Opium EDP, Chanel Antaeus EDT, YSL Kouros EDT

Powerhouse Fragrances - Chanel Antaeus EDT

Clean and reserved fragrances certainly have a place. But sometimes I just want to reach for one of the classic powerhouse fragrances from previous decades that leave an indelible trail wherever you go. These powerhouse fragrances are probably OI (olfactorily incorrect) in these times of open-plan office sensitivities. So finding the right time and environment to wear them is crucial.

Powerhouse Fragrances - Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds EDT

This list of mine is just a snapshot of possible powerhouse fragrances. What are your favourite powerhouse fragrances? Do you have the vintages of any of these?

“These powerhouse fragrances are probably OI (olfactorily incorrect) in these times of open-plan office sensitivities.”


Originally launched in 1981, Quorum packs an old-school power punch with dominant notes of oakmoss, leather, tobacco, artemisia and sandalwood. This bargain fragrance is super-masculine stuff, irresistibly earthy and is as far from generic as you can get. It’s not often you will find quality at this price, so hunt it down now. R245 for 50ml and R360 for 100ml.

Powerhouse Fragrances - Antonio Puig Quorum EDT


If you think celebrity fragrances lack staying power in both sense of the phrase, you need to wear Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds EDT. Launched in 1991, it takes me back to a time of big-time glamour (big hair, lots of hairspray and smoke). It’s a white floral and the aldehydes-o-meter is turned up very high. Bold and audacious! R750 for 100ml.

Powerhouse Fragrances - Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds EDT


So your mom might have worn this back in 1990 when it was launched. But please don’t let that “mature” label put you off this sweet floriental that could teach most of today’s fruity-florals a thing or two. It features a large and luscious rose note at is heart. Little wonder it has spawned over 20 flankers and limited editions. R1 350 for 50ml.

Powerhouse Fragrances - Lancome Tresor EDP


It’s not a coincidence that so many powerhouses were released in the 70s and 80s. Those decades were not a time for shy, reserved fragrances. YSL Opium EDP is one of the perfect examples of this “big is best” is philosophy. Although this spicy oriental may have lost some strength between the 1977 and 2009 versions, the latter is still an elaborate oriental staple for any perfume-lover’s collection. R2 030.00 for 90ml.

Powerhouse Fragrances - Yves Saint Laurent Opium EDP


This is one of the classics of modern perfumery. All perfumers looking to create a new masculine fragrance beyond today’s formulaic releases should study this one. Macho yet sophisticated at the time, it’s one of the best male powerhouses around, even 18 years after its original release. Unashamedly woody and smoky, it’s animalic a-go-go. R1 600 for 100ml.

Powerhouse Fragrances - Chanel Antaeus EDT

YSL KOUROS EDT (pierre bourdon)

Another big-hitter from the 80s with seductive musky and animalic overtones that’s still going strong almost 40 years later. Featuring 20 listed notes, it’s a complex thing of beauty, with standout notes of coriander, patchouli, aldehydes, honey, musk and leather creating a powerfully seductive effect. R1 330.00 for 100 ml.

Powerhouse Fragrances - Yves Saint Laurent Kouros EDT


Christmas Fragrance Shopping: To Give Or Not To Give

Christmas Fragrance Shopping - Chloe Nomade EDP

Whether you’re looking for some Christmas fragrance shopping to up the festive ante, or just want to know what’s new on counters, this extended post is for you. There’s a little bit of everything here, from the ubiquitous fruity floral to the not-seen-nearly-enough floral chypre.

Chloe Nomade EDP (Quentin Bisch)

What a gorgeously green citrus opening to this flora chypre! We don’t have enough of these on the market. Chloe Nomade keeps on giving after that special intro of Mirabelle, lemon and bergamot. The heart features notes of freesia, jasmine, peach and rose. Oakmoss dominates the base, with notes of patchouli and amber in support. Officially, one of my favourite fragrances of 2018 and a top recommendation for your Christmas fragrance shopping list. Congrats, Monsieur Bisch! 30ml for R910, 50ml for R1 345 and R1 655 for 150ml.

Christmas Fragrance Shopping - Chloe Nomade EDP

Oscar de la Renta Bella Blanca EDP (Harry Fremont)

Fragrances specifically designed for weddings are a growing trend. While you won’t see me walking down the aisle any time soon, I can appreciate this one for being well thought out. Pretty and elegant, it features standout notes of pear, jasmine sambac and sandalwood. The ornate bottle alone will ensure it does a brisk trade at a counter near you. R1 005 for 50ml and R1 410 for 100ml.

Christmas Fragrance Shopping - Oscar de la Renta Bella Blanca EDP

Diesel Bad Intense EDT

Judging from the bumf for this fragrance, Diesel Bad Boy Intense is a stronger version of the bad boy you can’t get enough of. And with listed accords like tobacco and caviar, this EDT sounds promisingly wayward. Not that this is a, er, bad fragrance, but sometimes he’s too much of a wholesome boy-next-door. R1 350.00 for 125 ml.

Christmas Fragrance Shopping - Diesel Bad Intense EDT

Boucheron Quatre en Rose EDP Florale (Quentin Bisch)

From the first whiff of this fragrance, rose is very prominent, plus there’s a hint of artimesia. It’s a sweet kind of rose, but appealingly so. As a fruity floral it features a variety of notes, including black currant, mandarin orange, jasmine and peach blossom. Although it’s sweet for sure, it’s fairly sophisticated stuff. R1 310 for 100ml.

Christmas Fragrance Shopping - Boucheron Quatre En Rose Florale EDP

Salvatore Ferragamo Uomo Signature EDP (Alberto Morillas)

If Salvatore Ferragamo Uomo EDT is all about tiramisu, the third addition to the range is all about leather, coffee and tonka beans. There are also patchouli, cinnamon and cardamom notes at work here. As you can imagine the effect is one of warm, smooth and seductive sophistication that’s probably best suited to cooler weather and evenings. Well worth sniffing out for your Christmas fragrance shopping. R1 140 for 50ml and R1 580 for 100ml.

Christmas Fragrance Shopping - Salvatore Ferragamo Signature EDP

Bulgari Goldea The Roman Night Absolute EDP (Alberto Morillas)

With notes of black plum, orange blossom, jasmine sambac, Madagascan vanilla, black musk and crystal moss, this EDP almost ventures into exotic territory. Like its predecessor, it smells expensive, seductive and luxurious. But this one is richer and denser. Too potent for modern, sensitive offices, it’s a great choice for elegant nights out. (Random fact: I recently read that Alberto Morillas has created over 480 fragrances in his lifetime.)

Christmas Fragrance Shopping - Salvatore Ferragamo Signature EDP

Carven Vetiver EDT

Vetiver is one of my favourite notes, so I was keen to try this one. Imagine my surprise when I picked up a very real note of lemongrass in its opening, which confused me a bit. But once I decided to go with it, I started to enjoy this fresh EDT. Notes of bergamot and grapefruit complete the citrus opening theme. Lavender is prominent in the heart of the fragrance. The smell of vetiver comes through in a big way fairly soon. It’s deliciously earthy and dry stuff! An intriguing fragrance that would make for an adventurous choice in your Christmas fragrance shopping. R1 295 for 100ml.

Christmas Fragrance Shopping - Carven Vetiver EDT

Mugler Alien Man EDT (Jean-Christophe Herault)

I had huge expectations of this one, as I love the female Alien fragrances for being so unapologetically bold and surprising. I like this woody-leather-aromatic EDT, but I can’t say I love it, because it almost seems to be holding back. And Alien fragrances are never reserved. Methinks (and hopes) that the EDP version, when it makes its appearance, will unleash the full potential of this fragrance. R1 090 for 50ml and R1 390 for 100ml.

Christmas Fragrance Shopping - Alien Man EDT

ALIEN LIFE: Is Mugler Alien Man special enough to make your Christmas fragrance shopping list?

Lanvin Eclat de Nuit EDP (Fabrice Pellegrin)

The fruity-floral trend shows no signs of letting up. This fragrance’s cute pink bottle makes me think this EDP is aimed at a younger market. It features notes of lemon, black currant, red apple, jasmine and orange blossom. The base covers another big trend, gourmand, with notes of praline and vanilla. Too sweet for me, but its target market will love it. R1 295 for 100ml.

Christmas Fragrance Shopping - Lanvin Eclat de Nuit EDP

Coach Platinum EDP (Bruno Jovanovic)

Launched in 2016, Coach For Men became a popular choice due to its versatility and everyday appeal. Coach Platinum EDP, no doubt, will be equally popular, as it’s just as easy-going. A fresh oriental, it opens with notes of juniper, black pepper and pineapple. Sage adds an aromatic aspect and the notes of cashmeran, leather and sandalwood bring an undeniably smooth luxury to the proceedings. Nice one! R1 055 for 60ml and R1 435 for 100ml.

Christmas Fragrance Shopping - Coach Platinum EDP

Bulgari Man Wood Essence EDP (Alberto Morillas)

The 10th addition to the Bulagai Man range opens with notes of cedar and cypress setting the scene. There are also smatterings of coriander leaf and citruses  in the background. Vetiver is at the heart of the fragrance and it accentuates the woody opening, which eventually gives way to benzoin. Even if it’s not the most original fragrance around, it’s solidly masculine and elegant. R1 220 for 60ml and R1 640 for 100ml.

Christmas Fragrance Shopping - Bulgari Man Wood Essence EDP

5 Fragrance News Snippets: Dior J’Adore Absolu Takes A Dip, Sexiest Fragrances for Men and Women, Interparfum’s Good Times, Huda Kattan’s New Fragrance Range, Dollar Club’s Glide Into Fragrance

Fragrance News Snippets - Sexiest Fragrances - YSL Black Opium EDP

Following the good response I’ve received for the first edition of Fragrance New Snippets, here’s the second edition. If you come across anything news-worthy for Fragrance News Snippets, please forward to me for consideration (

Fragrance News Snippets - Sexiest Fragrances - Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio Absolu EDP


Although this is over a month old, it’s too big to ignore for Fragrance News Snippets. I’m talking about Dior’s mega-production directed by Romain Gavras for J’Adore Absolu EDP, after weeks of social media, um, teasers. This commercial, apologies, film, features Charlize Theron in a will-she-won’t-she-expose-her-breasts shoot in an indulgent Turkish bath-style setting. I haven’t tried the fragrance yet. But I’m not complaining about watching the actress in beyond-gorgeous mode. Have you seen it yet? What do you think of it? Here’s the link in case you haven’t seen it: here.

Fragrance News Snippets - Dior J'Adore Absolu EDP


Product review site Faveable has revealed its list of sexiest fragrances for men and women. The men’s list includes: 1) Christian Dior Sauvage EDP; 2) Versace Eros; 3) YSL La Nuit de l’Homme; 4) YSL Y EDT and 5) Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio Absolu EDP. The women’s list also features a mix of commercial newbies and modern classics: 1) YSL Black Opium; 2) Chanel Chance Eau Tendre EDT 3) Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb; 4) Marc Jacobs Daisy; and 5) Chanel Coco Mademoiselle.

Original source for more info: here.

Fragrance News Snippets - Sexiest Fragrances - YSL La Nuit de L'Homme EDP


It’s been a good third-quarter for French fragrance design and distribution group Interparfums, following the success of the Coach and Jimmy Choo licences. The company forecasts an equally impressive 2019 with a multitude of fragrance launches. These include Montblanc Explorer (for men), a new Jimmy Choo fragrance for men, Lanvin Girl in Capri and Coach Floral Blush. Limited-edition fragrances from Rochas, Boucheron, Van Cleef & Arpels, ST Dupont, Repetto and Paul Smith will also be launched. Flankers on the line-up include one or more for Oscar de la Renta Bella Blanca, Anna Sui Fantasia, Dunhill Century and Hollister Wave and Festival Vibes. In addition, there will be new collections from Graff, Dunhill and model Lily Aldridge. Phew, busy times, indeed!

Original sources for more info: here and here.

Fragrance News Snippets - Interparfums - Jimmy Choo Fever EDP

BUSY LAUNCH SCHEDULE: 2019 is going to be another big year for Interparfums. Read Fragrance News Snippets for essential updates.


Blogger and entrepreneur Huda Kattan has made her fortune from the cosmetics range Huda Beauty and as an Instagram influencer. It was just a matter of time before she ventured into fragrance. And now her many followers are looking forward to buying her just-launched Kayali fragrance range. Inspired by her Middle Eastern heritage, it consists of four fragrances: Elixir 11, Vanilla 28, Citrus 08 and Musk 12. “Kayali” is the Arabic word for “my imagination”.

Original source for more info: here. 

Fragrance News Snippets - Huda Kuttan Kyali Citrus 08


So you’ve made a huge impact with your online shaving subscription service and Unilver has bought you for a cool billion dollars. What’s next for Dollar Shave? Fragrance, of course. The Blueprint Collection features two fragrance collections, Fresh and Warm, each consisting of three fragrances created by Ann Gottlieb (Elizabeth Arden 5th Avenue EDP, Marc Jacobs Bang EDT, Carolina Herrera 212 Men EDT). These include: Sea Spray & Melon, Citrusy Bergamot & Lavender, Lemon, Moss & Amber and Cedar & Spicy Cardamon, Cacao, Vanilla & Suede and Sandalwood & Vetiver.

Original source for more info: here.

Fragrance News Snippets - Dollar Shave Club Blueprint Collection


3 Best Face Masks For Men: L’Oréal Pure Clay Blemish Rescue Mask, Freeman Pore Clearing Peel-Off Mask With Volcanic Ash For Men, Mineraline Purify Dead Sea Mud Peel-Off Mask

Face Masks For Men - Mineraline Purify Dead Sea Mud Peel-Off Mask

The last time I blogged about face masks for men (read here), I mentioned the numerous benefits of using a face mask. I also wrote about how for every skin concern you might have, there’s a mask just waiting to be applied to your face.

Fortunately, men don’t need to be beaten with a stick any more to use a face mask. Thanks to Instagram, if anything, they now have to be reminded to wash the thing off. Show time over!

“Thanks to Instagram, men now have to be reminded to wash the thing off. Show time over!”

Face Masks For Men - L’Oréal Pure Clay Blemish Rescue Mask

I’ve been using the following three face masks for men with good results.

L’Oréal Pure Clay Blemish Rescue Mask

Even in my late 40s, I still have to deal with pesky blemishes. That is, the odd pimple and lots of blackheads caused by clogged pores. So this recent addition to the L’Oréal Pure Clay Masks line-up had my name written all over it. All the masks feature a trio of pure clays (kaolin, montmorillonite and ghassoul). These absorb excess sebum, eliminate imperfections and clarify the complexion, respectively. Although officially for women, I reckon they are great face masks for men.

Face Masks For Men - L’Oréal Pure Clay Blemish Rescue Mask

MEN TOO: Although officially for women, L’Oréal Pure Clay Masks are great masks for men.

Featuring blemish-fighting marine algae, L’Oréal Pure Clay Blemish Rescue Mask gets the big thumbs up from me for being easy to remove/apply and how it gently clears the skin. I enjoyed the fact that I had less problems with black heads after using this product. And the blue cream looks great on the face, if Instagram is your thing.

R127 for 50ml.

Face Masks For Men - L’Oréal Pure Clay Blemish Rescue Mask

Freeman Pore Clearing Peel-Off Mask With Volcanic Ash For Men

If you prefer to clear your pores with a peel-off mask, this gel product is for you. Volcanic ash and activated charcoal have become very trendy in recent years (this product contains both).

“Adsorption acts like a magnet for dirt, oil and other impurities.”

Dr Sejal Shah, founder of Smarter Skin Dermatology in New York City, explained to Reader’s Digest how it works: “It works through a mechanism called adsorption, similar to bentonite clay and charcoal. Adsorption is basically an electrical attraction that causes substances to stick together. So it acts like a magnet for dirt, oil and other impurities. It also exfoliates the skin.”

Face Masks For Men - Freeman Pore Clearing Peel-Off Mask With Volcanic Ash For Men

As with all peel-off masks, there’s a lot of fun to be had peeling this gentle, but deep-cleansing mask from your face. Call yourself a five-star pro if you can do it all in one piece. And no, I could not establish which volcano specifically the ash used in this product comes from.

R29.95 for 15ml and R99.95 for 175ml, Dis-Chem stores nationwide.

Face Masks For Men - Freeman Pore Clearing Peel-Off Mask With Volcanic Ash For Men

Mineraline Purify Dead Sea Mud Peel-Off Mask

Want cleaner, firmer, more radiant skin? Yes, yes, yes please. Dead Sea mud is renowned for purifying pores, hydrating and exfoliating skin, and reducing fine lines, among others, due to its rich mineral content. All Mineraline (an Israeli brand) products are made from this mud.

Face Masks For Men - Mineraline Purify Dead Sea Mud Peel-Off Mask

I’ve tried Mineraline products before. You can read my reviews of their Purify Gentle Foaming Face Cleanser, Hydrate Super Hydrating Day Cream and Time It! Serum here. So I was looking forward to trying this product. I’m glad I did, because it gave my skin voomah each time I used it. The aloe vera and allantoin also helped soothe my skin. It’s easy to apply/remove, but like all peel-off masks works best on a clean-shaven face. It’s also very reasonably priced.

R95.00 for 100ml, Dis-Chem stores nationwide.

Face Masks For Men - Mineraline Purify Dead Sea Mud Peel-Off Mask