New York perfumer Christopher Brosius hates perfume so much that he's infused the sentiment into the name of his own fragrance line, I Hate Perfume. If any industry begs for a contrarian voice, certainly it's the fragrance industry.
But of course he doesn't really hate perfume. If he did, he wouldn't have created the company in the first place, now approaching its 10th anniversary, or his Williamsburg boutique. "I don't really hate most perfumes. Most perfumes simply bore me to tears," he says. "There are those, however, that I do hate and those are the ones that are so overpowering as to make people physically ill, myself very much included. Frankly, any perfume that can do that ought to never be released."
After ten years, I Hate Perfume has gained a sizeable and loyal cult fanbase, eager to try out each new olfactive experiment. Brosius says the most successful of his scents, which are usually memory-based, is In the Library. "Having an intense passion for books, I find the smell of them to be both comforting and very exciting."
Even his more traditional scents are made to uncommon, exacting standards. Rare Flowers, for example, is literally made from rare flowers alone, without chemicals of any kind. It takes thousands of flowers — neroli, jasmine, narcissus, tuberose — to press enough oil concentrate for a small batch. "I've identified a group of aroma-chemicals that are most likely to trigger ill effects in myself and a great many other people. They're banned from my formulations."
Naturally, Brosius has a list of dos and don'ts that he operates on and wishes others would, too. Among them, "Never wear any perfume so that it's detectable beyond arm's reach. This is an insult to those around you. Also, never rely on wearing one single perfume for years on end. Exposure to exactly the same perfume day after dreary day will cause your brain to stop registering it. You'll wind up wearing more and more and more of it, and you'll wind up one of those atrocious old ladies who reek of some horrible fragrance. Always have a selection of at least three or four perfumes that you love and which reflect your various moods."
Brosius has created a box set to mark his first decade, during which he's exhibited in galleries and twice collaborated with Alan Cumming. Cloth-bound, numbered and signed, and made to resemble a coffee table book, The Box houses a complete collection of his perfumes to date. Like everything else at the perfumery, it is not for timid, costing $6,500 - $10,500. "The Box is the full-on complete CB I Hate Perfume experience up till now — and, because The Box is expandable, into the future as well. It really is an ultimate luxury for the serious collector."
Visit CB I Hate Perfume
Call it the age of the elder model (pun intended). A string of labels, arguably beginning with Lanvin's fall 2012 campaign, are embracing silver-haired sirens in their collections, campaigns, and look books. Earlier this month, Estée Lauder announced Stephanie Seymour as their new spokesmodel, and late last month American Apparel street-cast Jacky O'Shaughnessy, 62, to pose in lacy underthings with a tag line that read: "Sexy has no expiration date."
Now comes news that Francois Nars has recruited Charlotte Rampling. Held aloft among fashion circles for her powerful, challenging portrayals, the 68-year-old British actress will be the face of Nars for fall, shot by François Nars himself to mark the 20th anniversary of the cosmetic company.
Rampling's last brush with the fashion world, albeit unintentional, was Marc Jacobs' fall 2011 Louis Vuitton collection, inspired by The Night Porter. Models resembled Rampling's scantily-clad alter ego in the controversial 1974 film in which she played an S&M-practicing inmate in a Nazi concentration camp.
Don't call them scented candles. The avant-perfumers at Byredo would rather you called them fragranced candles. Or, better still, bougie parfumée. It just sounds better, and when it sounds better, it smells better, too.
With that out of the way, check out Byredo's latest, Burning Rose, a transitioning blend of feminine and masculine scents — rose and violet to leather and ebony wood — that contradict yet complement each other in the most arousing way possible. Olfaction satisfaction!
$95 at Byredo, 8.4 oz for 60 hours burning time, available in hand-painted glass and XO packaging.
Like men in skirts and men in tights, men with buns (or muns) are nothing new. But with the award-season ascent of Jared Leto and his varied tonsorial displays, they seem to be having a moment. And where there's a moment, there's a blog. Fuckyeahmenwithbuns is a no bells, no whistles Tumblr that collects assorted pics of said men with buns.
Some of the site's men look like magazine tears, while other look user-submitted. (Is there a difference anymore?) What's important to note is the wide range of styles: Zulu bun, beach bun, arty bun, Rasta bun, sass bun, and so on. Very cute, but if you ask us, there's one glaring omission: the bottom bun! Wait, what would that be exactly? Never mind. Here are some of the sexiest top buns from Fuck Yeah, Men With Buns...
The recent men's shows gave us some pretty hairy prospects for fall. Here are our picks of the crop...
My First Dax Wax
Call of Cthulhu
Comme des Garçons
5 Colors in Her Hair
Midsummer of Sam
What's On Your Head, Polly Maggoo
Kill the Weatherman
Walter Van Beirendonck
At the end of their couture show in Paris earlier this week, with its en-pointe ballerinas in ribbon- and bow-printed latex tutus, Viktor & Rolf unveiled a sweet new women's fragrance, appropriately called Bonbon — so "good" they named it twice.
In fact the collection was based on the campaign photo by Inez and Vinoodh of the bow-shaped bottle nestled in the lap of model Edita Vilkeviciute, body-painted in pink ribbons.
The other meaning in Bonbon's double-entendre has to do with candy, and that's where the scent comes in. Its notes are caramel and a combination of fruits — good enough to eat, but please don't.
Available March 2014 at Viktor & Rolf’s new Paris flagship, Selfridges in the UK, de Bijenkorf in the Netherlands, followed by Saks Fifth Avenue in April.
Sure, notes of rose, amber, saffron, vetiver, and patchouli smell great in a scented candle. But if you're trying to recreate the rarefied aroma of the Mudd Club, the grittiest of underground anti-disco punk clubs in late 70s New York (and name-checked in songs by the Talking Heads and the Ramones), you'll need a little more. You'll need to slum it up!
Enter MiN, New York-based connoisseurs of concept scents. They're latest concoction, MUDD CLUB, combines those lovely ambrosial fragrances with seedier scents: sweat, tobacco, leather, Sharpies, and spray paint — all housed in a pot of bone china hand-gilded in platinum, of course.
$195 at MiN
Over the holidays, Rudy's Barbershop will once again plant a pop-up in Williamsburg — and this time they're bringing friends. The grooming company with a location in Manhattan's Flatiron District will temporarily open shop on Grand Street, sharing space with Poler Camping Stuff and Verve Coffee Roasters, all three hailing from the West Coast — Seattle, Portland, and Santa Cruz, respectively — and all three packing huge cult followings.
November 15, 2013 - January 31, 2014 at 33 Grand St, Williamsburg
The word 'soft' hardly comes to mind when you think of Vivienne Westwood, but in typical anti fashion, her new scent runs contrary to preconceived notions. Mon Boudoir is an extension of her original scent, Boudoir, with soft and subtle notes of Lily of the Valley, rose, and jasmine to create a delicate and feminine fragrance. You could say she's getting a little more comfortable.
Mon Boudoir eau de parfum, £32 (30 ml) and £47 (50 ml) at Vivienne Westwood stores and online