Category: Speakeasy

Goldfield & Banks – Velvet Splendour

Speakeasy

Goldfield & Banks – Velvet Splendour

Indigenous as an adjective refers to something that originates or occurs naturally in a particular place. This particular place might be Australia, and its native ingredients might tell a story never heard before.

The founding father of paleontology, Georges Cuvier, a French naturalist and zoologist once said: “The most splendid monuments which art has erected are in honor of ornithology.” …it takes a while to fly from Europe towards the land of Australia and to research and understand it’s diverse surface, to extract the rarest ingredients, to blend the most exquisite scents, to smell and to capture the precious essence of the land.

It also requires a risk-loving adventurer, a curious soul to explore and seizure the wild side of the continent – the vast blue coastlines, thick forests, and the seemingly unending dusty deserts. The first known landing in Australia was done by a Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon in 1606. Later that year, Spanish explorer Luís Vaz de Torres sailed through and marked on the map the Torres Strait islands. To explore something also means to take the responsibility of giving a definition to it, the responsibility of a conceptualization. GOLDFIELD & BANKS conceptualized Australia through olfaction. The brand captures every color of the different parts of the land, studies, and extracts an essence of each and every bark, leaf, flower, and seed… In order to talk, to talk about the land through smell.

This year’s release smells tender, tender as touch. VELVET SPLENDOUR is a tender blast from the past. The liquid of the fragrance reflects the color of Acacia pycnantha – Australia’s national flower, better known in other parts of the world as mimosa, a plant with delicate fern-like leaves and yellow flowers. The plant genus name comes from Spanish mimosa, which is the feminine form of the Spanish adjective mimoso meaning “cuddly”. This flower is sensitive to touch, and the best-known plant from that genus is the Mimosa pudica, known in English as the “touch-me-not”.

Touch has a secret power; it transmits the message in an instant, just as the smell. A touch can be surprising, can be expected, can be rude or gentle… But what’s most important is that each and every one of us craves to be touched… Mentally, physically, spiritually, we crave for recognition and care, we crave for proximity and understanding. Because what is life without a loved one? Without his or her arms around us? Without his or her smell next to us? Both smell and touch, are related to intimacy, to fragility. Both smell and touch, require a certain type of openness, a risk taken to receive.

Velvet Splendour utilizes the Australian Mimosa flower, a meatier and more brutal sort of mimosa, a smell a bit unusual to the European palette. Here, the expected shy and powdery touch of mimosa gains more character and leads towards the discovery of unexpectedly direct Australian version.

Article written by Julia Ahtijainen – The Frankly Speaking

THoO – Keep Glazed

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THoO – Keep Glazed

When Lucifer invites you personally on an unforgettable, gourmand journey through the tropical heat, fruit plants, straight into the allure of all sweet and sticky, the temptation that steals the soul is revealed.

In the Bible the word temptation primarily signifies a trial in which man has a free choice of being faithful or unfaithful to God, as a secondary meaning, the temptation signifies the allurement or seduction to sin.

“Keep Glazed” is a sweet sin captured in a perfume bottle, the fifth olfactive creation in the Colorful Collection by THoO perfumes. The perfume was created in collaboration with pastry chef Ksenia Penkina, and unites two crafts – the pastry-making and the perfume-making.

Gourmand creations have always had their game on and have never left a person passing by emotionless. Meanwhile, THoO Patisserie specializes in tortes for modern taste-makers, “Keep Glazed” is an alluring tribute to the French pastry and the colonies conquered back in the day. The olfactive attraction of the exotic, wild desires and the seduction of the light, sweet, almost naive femininity as Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette. A controversial historical female figure trapped in a system constructed by men and royal arrangements, her tiny frilly moments of rebellion are sweet and inspiring, just as Ladurée macaroons. Antoinette is also famous for her declaration: “Let them eat cake,” which gives a meaning of indulging into sweets as an act of personal freedom, a minute of liberation that no one can steal, no one can own, no one can control. “Keep Glazed” is tasty and playful, just as Coppola’s lady Marie, who could wear Manolo Blahniks and Converse, have a lover and drip into the sweet side of life whenever she wanted to do so.

The recipe of this irresistible dessert has been signed, sealed and delivered by perfumers Andrea Cassoti and Cristian Calabro, using the same ingredients as those of Ksenia’s pastry. Each confectioner guards the secrets of his or her recipes as each master perfumer, and they both are the masters of the ceremony of olfactory suggestions to excite and create new sensations. 

“Keep Glazed” is a fragrance that arouses the sympathy for the devil and flirts with our sweet tooth, it awakens the weakness towards sweet temptation one cannot resist… Even Oscar Wilde knew this to say: “I can resist anything, except temptation.”

Keep calm, keep glazed, and let them eat cake!

         

Article written by Julia Ahtijainen – The Frankly Speaking

HEELEY

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HEELEY

What an Englishman specialized in philosophy, aesthetics, and design could do in Paris? Perfumes, of course.

With an ability to give a critical reflection on art, culture, and nature, Mr. James Heeley dons the artistic perfumery thanks to being a master in the study of subjective judgments of sentiments, sensations, and taste.

His own aesthetics are pretty classic, and he likes to keep things simple yet give a bit of a personality through the details, be it names, illustrative perfume logos on the bottles or the collaborations – his latest with Maison Kitsune – a fresh and urban view on citrusy scents. In the Urban Dictionary “fresh” is defined as something pleasantly new or different, something acceptable and highly approved by someone, and Heeley’s “Note de Yuzu” is ‘fresh’ by nature. Besides, one of his first scents, “Menthe Fraîche” has been marked as a highly wearable yet elegantly contemporary scent created from such a simple and recognizable yet complicated ingredient as mint. A definite sign of personal taste and aesthetics.

The word aesthetic is derived from Greek ‘αἰσθητικός’, meaning “esthetic, sensitive, about sense perception,” which in turn was derived from ‘αἰσθάνομαι’, meaning “I perceive, feel, sense” and related to a word ‘αἴσθησις’ that means “sensation.” Most of the people know that aesthetics a study deals with a set of principles concerned with the nature and appreciation of beauty, it’s a branch of philosophy which deals with questions of beauty and artistic taste. To have an idea of beauty and to be able to communicate it through a sense of smell is something very challenging. First, one should understand, then define beauty. Second, one should find the sources and create, find the channels and communicate. Let it out there.

As an autodidact by nature, James Heeley’s continually evolving work contains a varied collection of modern fragrances that transcend the traditional French perfume-making and pay attention to the detail by making sure that part of the process has been designed ‘in house.’

Oscar Wilde once said that, if a work of art is rich and vital and complete, those who have artistic instincts will see its beauty and those to whom ethics appeal more strongly than aesthetics will see its moral lesson. It will fill the cowardly with terror, and the unclean will see in it their own shame. That being said and agreed upon it must also be stated that everyone should do what comes naturally, and Heeley is a natural.

 

 

 

Article written by Julia Ahtijainen – The Frankly Speaking

EIGHT & BOB

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EIGHT & BOB

They say that the world is your oyster, which is partially true, but the world is also a hell of a show, oftentimes a performance of the wealthy, the beautiful and the fortunate.

This fragrance collection happened back in the good old days, just before the Second World War broke loose. The rich and famous were invulnerable back then, they were unreachable via social media, their taste was matchless and unique, and their lifestyle especially exclusive, full of dazzling parties and encounters. One of these encounters between the French, Albert Fouquet, and the American, John F. K. on The French Riviera, gave birth to the brand “Eight and Bob” and an iconic fragrance that carries the pure elegance of a gentleman and the charm of the golden era into the nowadays.

Through a fragrance, we can travel back in time, revive the good old times and smell the best of American allure. Eight & Bob is a niche perfume brand created by the French perfumer Albert Fouquet that carries and shares a blend of French Americana, a drop of history conceived in a perfume bottle de facto. It’s not merely an inspiration from the past; it’s a fact, a living history in a perfume bottle, a blast from the elite past, and an olfactive role model that carries the values of the best.

We start a relationship with something or someone not just because of how great they are but how great they make us feel. And this is probably why and how Eight & Bob came alive – JFK was captivated by the essence that Albert wore and made for himself. A perfumer by chance, he received plenty of compliments about his blends, but nobody ever asked about the product and production, except JFK, who was lucky to receive a sample upon his departure to the States.

Human relations grant us extraordinary gifts – such as a chance to experience something new, to start something new, to love, to enjoy… they make us feel. JFK felt something special about Albert and the cologne of his, so he ordered more, and it became his signature scent for years. Part of his identity.

Ever since, the formula of “Eight & Bob” has been kept the same and is perceived as one of the most exclusive colognes in the world due to the natural ingredient called Andrea which grows and is collectable during only a very short period of time in the year so that the production of “Eight & Bob” is still very limited. Yet exclusive, dazzling and glamorous – 

A spray of history not to be forgotten.

          

Article written by Julia Ahtijainen – The Frankly Speaking

AEDES DE VENUSTAS

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AEDES DE VENUSTAS

People tend to think that fragrance is an intangible thing, in order to object this perception I would like to define the word “object”. What is the meaning of an object? An object might be a material thing that can be seen and touched; an object might be a person or a thing to which a specified action or feeling is directed. But in general, an object refers to any item, either in the physical or sensory world. 

AEDES DE VENUSTAS represents olfactive objects, in both, physical and sensory worlds, by honoring the past, present and the future the art of perfumery. Just as an art that challenges the “I” that we are, so as the fragrances by AEDES DE VENUSTAS raise questions, make us recognize the pleasure and the terror side of love, challenge the reality, make us dream, make us believe that magic exists and think that it might be true that everything is possible, and create new views… A new point of view.

On an everyday basis we work hard at taming our emotional environment, sticking to the routine and normalizing everything, but we do also work hard at taming our aesthetic environment. 

We are seduced by the beauty at all times – be it a piece of history as a lavish baroque statue or a futuristic and sleek design piece that tells everything in a clean, clear and polished way. This mix of the novel and the traditional is something unique and something very identifying for AEDES. A mixture of the two that balance and create a sublime, almost magical equilibrium of the forms, styles, and scents. These here are not just fragrances, these here are unique objects to look at, to be touched by… visually, olfactively, sensually, subconsciously, and sensorially.

An object is something that we can focus on, an object is something important. And when you buy something artistic, you’re buying something more than just an object. You’re buying hundreds of hours of trials and errors and wins; you’re buying a perfect final result, a clean thought, you’re buying a salvation, someone’s art.

The healing power of art is not a rhetorical fantasy. AEDES DE VENUSTAS fragrance bottles shall be perceived as objects of art, and the scents that combine the youthful future and the frivolous past, perfect blends. Here, the mind might question, but the heart knows that a new experience awaits. To sum up the idea of the concept, the wisdom of Robert Henri must be revealed here: “The object isn’t to make art, it’s to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable.”

       

Article written by Julia Ahtijainen – The Frankly Speaking

EAU D’ITALIE

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EAU D’ITALIE

Just as the sounds of Stéphane Grappelli’s violin tune you into the track “Easy To Love,” so as smelling Eau d’Italie’s new fragrance… A new Easy Lover composed to celebrate the 15 years of love towards Italy.

Everyone has heard of musical notes, the individual sounds that make up the songs we love to listen to. And it’s no secret that like how many musical notes make a song; fragrance notes make up a perfume. As songs evoke feelings, so do smells… Records from the past, dreams towards the future, and an encapsulation of the present time being.

Eau d’Italie wanted to record and save into the fragrance bottles the uniqueness of Italy and interpret into the scents the Italian creativity. Born in Positano, on the Amalfi Coast known for it’s extraordinary beauty, the brand documents first and foremost the Italianness.

For such a rich documentary, one needs to have the cultural knowledge and the multi-set vocabulary to collect, list, interpret and transmit the messages through the sense of smell. The blend needs to include the precision and expertise of a documentalist, a curiosity of a cultural anthropologist and an inspirational open-mindedness of a perfect storyteller. Such collection is a stylistic representation of a work of a historian passionate about the present and the senses, the sensorial communication, a work of individuals who want to get personal, who have patience and passion to record and recon the personal, and bravery to share it all with the world through the most primitive and tender sense – the smell.

Italian culture carries an uncountable amount of symbols and messages stored within the various fields and transmitted through the centuries. There is a meaningful story behind everything – behind the beauty of the diverse landscapes and natures; behind the particular nature of different characters discovered while travelling up and down, from coast to coast; the rich gastronomic culture and the elevated sense of taste; the expressive body language, gestures and emotions; the written and unwritten rules and traditions that are still very present.

Eau d’Italie codifies the essence of Italy into the scents. The fragrances are mapping the remarkable places; they reveal the personal and historical moments from the past by giving a tour through Italy by revealing something from the past, something from the present and giving a vision towards the probable future. One can design its own trip, for instance, by parting from the north with BAUME DU DOGE – an essence of Venice, when it was the gateway to the East and the most important trading center for spices and exotic goods. Making a pitstop in the middle with the SIENNE L’HIVER – a capture of the refined world of the Renaissance city of Siena. After, honoring the golden era and vacating like a star with UN BATEAU POUR CAPRI – an iconic scent of an iconic era when Positano’s Hotel Le Sirenuse was by definition the place where la dolce vita was to be found on Italy’s Amalfi Coast. And after all, diving deep into the south and getting one-on-one with the ancient wisdom through the smell of JARDIN DU POETE – a tale from a bygone era, when nations were ruled by poets, and poets were sacred to Apollo, when Sicily was a Greek colony and Syracuse was a fragrant court.

To truly comprehend the essence of Italy, one should use the sense of smell and let the imagination follow the rest, disconnect and reconnect like no other with the refined and seducing scents of Italy by Eau d’Italie.

          

Article written by Julia Ahtijainen – The Frankly Speaking

FRAGRANCE DU BOIS

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FRAGRANCE DU BOIS

Fragrance Du Bois is a brand that was born in nature and is crafted in France. It’s main essence is pure oud – a pure luxury of nature and cultural heritage. 

Oud, also known as agarwood, is the most precious and expensive timer in the world. The finest oud distilled from the wood today has a starting price of $50,000 per kilo. Agarwood trees are one of the most sought-after tree species due to its rarity and quality. This wood is also considered as sacred, incenses and perfumes that are produced from agarwood have been valued for centuries and used by many cultures for spiritual, aphrodisiac, calming and purifying purposes.

Each creation of Fragrance Du Bois uses pure Agarwood tree oil and fumes the mystery of Oud. At this point the meaning of a word “purity” could be traced through an adjective “pure” that carries two meanings: 1) not mixed or adulterated with any other substance or material; 2) perfectly in tune and with a clear tone. Purity as quality of any subject in discussion gives a beautiful state of comfort and confidence and motivates the notion of ultimate luxury. Fragrance Du Bois is the only fragrance house that uses its signature 100% pure and natural Oud in all its fragrance formulations, paired only with ingredients of the most exceptional quality.

It requires a strong vision and knowledge to craft and to give birth to such project, and it takes time and patience to plan and part on a journey towards the elevation of this ancient ingredient. The knowledge of craft can be seen here as something cultural rather than a primitive process. The realization that we are living in a very different world to ten years ago created the need to reconnect with what matters and a start to think about making things that fit the purpose and not just making things for the sake of them. With the reinterpretation and the usage of pure Oud in each scent, Fragrance Du Bois rethinks the relationship with craft and traditions. Word “craft” is strongly linked to the identity of the brand.

The citation of agarwood in many important religious texts transmits its significant presence within the spiritual world. The long historical use of agarwood has been associated with cultures where aromatics are deeply ingrained in cultural experiences, such as the Middle East, India, China, and Japan. Through the usage of agarwood as the main ingredient, the perfumes represent culturally universal luxury. Intoxicating yet purifying and calming grandeur is an experience what to expect while encountering with these fragrances.

          

Article written by Julia Ahtijainen – The Frankly Speaking

PARFUMS MDCI

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PARFUMS MDCI

It took over seven years to establish a range of the first twelve fragrances, and in the following years, the creator Claude Marchal skipped the traditional launch timings, simply because the end results failed to meet the standards of the brand and his vision. Founded in Paris in 2002, Parfums MDCI is one of the first exclusive perfume design houses that still keeps the bar high and doesn’t compromise. The main intention of Parfums MDCI is to reawaken the French elegance and tradition of the true perfume-making. The Maison is intentionally avoiding provocations and cheap screams of the momentum. Authentic beauty, craftsmanship, and culture are the forces that drive this brand.

The perfumes, sophisticated and dazzling compositions are made out of best raw materials available and strive towards olfactive harmony, caress, and universal aesthetics. They do not scream, they whisper, calmly yet confidently, playfully yet in a mature way.

One can smell an enthusiast’s selection, a true connoisseur’s approach with his own, very particular taste and an exquisite look on the perfume world. Elegance is the keyword that should be stressed here more. The word derives from a Latin word ‘legere’ meaning ‘to choose, to pick.’ Elegance is an ability to combine a genius with simplicity, an ability to refuse. Elegance is about knowing what and how you want something… anything… And if you want. And Mr. Marchal wanted to add something new, something elevated – 

a collection of “Masterpieces.”

The main motivation behind the “Masterpieces” was to interpret some masterpieces from Louvre Museum into the fragrances. It might sound old and odd, but the collection has something timeless about it, something harmonizing and intelligent… and of course chic as the rest of the Maison’s establishments. In fact, it requires a certain type of intelligence and cultural knowledge to know and be inspired by the pieces such as Gainsborough’s famous “Blue Boy”, Théodore Géricault’s splendid armored horseman of the Imperial Guard, and “L’homme aux Gants” – a stunning portrait of an unknown young man by The Titian that inspired the perfumer Nathalie Feisthauer to create a movingly subtle scent, a sort of a “soft oud” fragrance that reflects the delicacy of a suede-type of leather. The complexity of this painting translates into a scent that is refined, distant yet warm, just as it’s subject whose facial expression and hand gesture suggests the origin of the idle rich, of a man who has traveled the world, who is a bit bored, who knows something that other’s might not know. The fragrance, just as the painting, asks for a certain type of sophistication to appreciate the secret stories that are about to be revealed.

Admiring the traditional French perfume-making, Parfums MDCI projects a very selective view on perfume classics of uncompromising quality.

          

Article written by Julia Ahtijainen – The Frankly Speaking

OLFACTIVE STUDIO

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OLFACTIVE STUDIO

The concept of Olfactive Studio that was launched in Paris in 2011 sails on the waves of endless thoughts and travels, it discovers, connects and inspires. This union is a paradigm, a continuation, a vicious circle, and unarguably creative wholeness…

An encounter between contemporary artistic photography and perfumery, between the eye and the nose, a relationship with a vision, precision, sense and sensibility.

“Seeing is believing” and we all know that. Only physical or concrete evidence is convincing, but how to convince in the presence of a scent? Or sense an image and reproduce it olfactively? Olfactive Studio captures the essence of the moment, both visually and olfactively, making it an unforgettable memory that can be revisited through two objects – a photograph, and a perfume.

Sepia is Olfactive Studio’s new next-level collection, where the design color scheme is a reminiscent of the sepia tones from old photographs, brand’s distinctive fragrance bottles are wrapped in a noble warm-toned leather with a copper-toned ocher color cap, and the whole collection sets a new bar for the “Haute Parfumerie”. The launch greets a trilogy of Extrait de Parfum created in collaboration with the perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour and an environmental artist, sculptor, and photographer Martin Hill. The collection “shots” – Vanilla Shot, Leather Shot, and Chypre Shot – are both sensory and photographic, perfectly powerful and striking captures of the moment. 

VANILLA SHOT: coriander, saffron, aldehydes, rose, dried fruits, opoponax, vanilla, caramel, myrrh, benzoin

LEATHER SHOT: cardamom, cumin, leather note, iris, black tea, sandalwood, cedarwood, driftwood, vetiver

CHYPRE SHOT: cardamom, saffron, bergamot, peony, black pepper, coffee, black tea, oakmoss, patchouli, labdanum, amber

“A picture is worth a thousand words” is an English language idiom that can be elevated into: “A picture exhales a thousand ingredients” in case of Olfactive Studio’s Sepia collection. The brand managed to come out with an exceptional olfactory world that carries a distinctive personality; a world of emotions driven by creative vision. Photography and perfumery echo and enhance each other, a fragrance helps to “read” the picture, and the picture transmits a manipulated meaning of a scent. This here is a gallery of olfactive opuses supported by breath-taking visual realms and vice versa. Both, a photograph and a perfume, can be a signifier and a signified. Both are messages, both represent and carry meaning, both convey and share an idea.

Olfactive Studio created a new way to understand the meaning of photographic images and modern perfumery, with almost extinct ingredients like – Desire, curiosity, quality, intuition, and generosity.

          

Article written by Julia Ahtijainen – The Frankly Speaking

DR SEBAGH

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DR SEBAGH

The human skin is the outer covering of the body and has up to seven layers of ectodermal tissue and guards the underlying muscles, bones, ligaments and internal organs. Skin is our body’s largest organ, and we should take care of it. Somebody call a doctor?

So we did. Beloved by the main celebrities and beauties all around the world, internationally renowned cosmetic surgeon Dr. Jean-Louis Sebagh launched his anti-aging skin-care line in 2006 by getting people into thinking ‘restoration’ not ‘transformation.’ He suggests to start with an age-maintenance programme on a regular basis when young and think in the long term while taking care of the skin.

Dr. Sebagh graduated from the University of Paris in 1979 and started his career as a facial plastic surgeon by offering his patients solo facelifts and mainly in Los Angeles. As a true Parisian, he returned to Paris, were his talents were received with open arms, and where he continued his research and growth. In 1994 Dr. Sebagh started his practice in London and pioneered in the use of Botox, collagen and vitamin injections. Combining these techniques, and later crowned as the ‘Botox King’, Dr. Jean-Louis Sebagh coined the phrase “age maintenance” to describe his revolutionary efforts to preserve existing youth and vibrancy.

Though, since then the things have changed – now we have lasers, fillers, cosmeceuticals actives in skincare products, OTC retinoids and all kinds of new ingredients and technology that can help us age in a better way. Dr. Sebagh keeps up with the Joneses, by getting a little help from his team of top French chemists, he is developing each collection for his skincare brand by using high concentrations of the most potent ingredients, delivering targeted products for all skin types and needs. 

Creams are not enough while taking care of your skin, equally important is to consider the next facts: the lifestyle (exercising, food, sleeping hours, etc.), the environment (climate, humidity, air pollution, etc.), the season (winter, summer, etc.), personal needs and skin type (oily, dry, etc.), and the last, most important and motivating one – the results you’re after!

OUR PICK OF THE MONTH:

Dr Sebagh’s Deep Exfoliating Mask
This mask is loaded with lactic acids that are hydrating and gentle enough to be suitable also for sensitive skin types, and that dissolve the ingredients that hold skin cells together. Your wrinkles will get smaller, and your skin will look automatically smoother when you get rid of the damaged cells. 

The whole look will be brighter…