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Nafia // ✨  a perfume bottle or two // πŸ“ London πŸ“ βœ‰οΈ anillustratednose@gmail.com

T E N D E R // Miller Harris
A few weeks ago, I went along to the beautiful launch of two upcoming fragrances from Miller Harris, Scherzo and Tender. Sarah Rotheram, CEO of Miller Harris, was inspired by a passage she had read, in F. Scott Fitzgerald's 'Tender is the Night', the perfect fragrance brief. Inspired by a book of contrasts, of passion and innocence, Scherzo and Tender are two sides of the same coin, emotionally interpreted by two perfumers.
Tender is the creation of Bertrand Duchaufour, one of my all-time favourite perfumers (along with Dominique Ropion), who spoke to me about how the passage inspired him. Bertrand was drawn to three of the flowers mentioned in the passage; peonies, black tulips and mauve stemmed roses. He told me he wanted to capture both the light and dark of the passage, and tried to capture a feeling of melancholy, like ink on old books.
Tender is a wonderfully beguiling fragrance, and perfectly conveys Bertrand's vision. It opens with a whoosh of aldehydes and a peppery, green note, a welcoming light before the descent into darkness. The opening notes also have a kind of 'nutty' feel, to my nose, which I've noticed in another of Bertrand's creations, Trayee by Neela Vermeire. Tender becomes melancholic pretty quickly, it transforms into a strangely dusty abstract floral with a dry saffron note, where none of the flowers are particularly identifiable. The impression of ink took me by surprise, as it feels worn and old, rather than freshly written. The drydown is warm and cozy, smoky frankincense and just the right amount of patchouli, to add a grounding earthiness.
In Tender, Bertrand has created such a beautiful interpretation of the passage from the book, without being literal. This strange little oddity of a fragrance may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it has an almost ugly beauty, like finding a flower dried between the dusty pages of an old book.
Both Tender and it's counterpart, Scherzo, will be launching in January. Thanks to Miller Harris for putting on such a wonderful multi-sensory event which meant I could meet one of my perfume idols! Even if it was to fan girl massively and probably scare him a little. πŸ˜‰

πŸ’Ž // RiviΓ¨re Hair Fragrance

Having a lazy Saturday of running errands, Secret Santa shopping (I know, I know it's only October!) and trying to sit down and paint.
My hair smells amazing whilst doing all that though, I spritzed it with this beautiful hair fragrance from @thameenfragrance. Scented with a gorgeous and grounding blend of saffron, lemon blossom, Turkish Rose and carnation; it also contains nourishing Argan oil and keratin.
So, don't mind me, I'm just pretending I'm sitting on a super yacht in Cannes with the sun on my skin, rather than my less than glamorous reality; grey and gloomy North London 😜

Hope you're all having a wonderful weekend, come β˜”οΈ or β˜€οΈ #thameen #thameenfragrance #hairfragrance #thameenrivere #anillustratednose

N E Z // Sunday Reading
Finally getting to read this wonderful olfactory magazine @nezlarevue , full of interesting articles and incredible illustrations. Put together by fragrance and design enthusiasts, the bi-annual publication is a perfect mixture of style and substance.

Nez is available at @jovoymayfair and it was wonderful chatting to Dominique about the magazine and it's ethos. I also gave some helpful (unsolicited πŸ˜‚) suggestions of other places they could stock it, because I think beautiful words and images about beautiful smells should be available everywhere! So hopefully they will be popping up in a few other places in the future.
#nezlarevueolfactive #nezlarevue #jovoymayfair #anillustratednose

Woooooooo! (Sad, I know!!) πŸ™ˆπŸŽ‰ Thanks for all the πŸ’— guys and gals!

G A B R I E L L E // Chanel

I went along last week to an event hosted by The Perfume Society and Chanel, at their Espace on Bond Street; to immerse myself in their newest pillar fragrance, Gabrielle. It was a wonderfully evocative event, fusing scent, film, beautiful photography and other interactive exhibits.
Composed by Chanel's in-house perfumer, Olivier Polge, Gabrielle is a celebration of the vivacious and passionate nature of Gabrielle Chanel, a sparkling tribute to a woman who was bold and ahead of her time.
Gabrielle is built around a fantasy floral bouquet comprised of four flowers - orange blossom, Grasse tuberose, jasmine and ylang-ylang. Alex told us that Olivier had worked to enhance different facets of each flower. At the Espace, we tried each of the florals; orange blossom had an intense sappy greenness, tuberose was wonderfully mentholated, jasmine was full and heady and ylang-ylang was a stinker (in a good way of course!) In the fragrance, however, I was hard pressed to identify the florals individually, they are luminous and solar, supported by the gorgeous sparkle of grapefruit in the opening, which my nose honed in on like a missile (LOVE GRAPEFRUIT!!), as well as mandarin and blackcurrent. The base is less in your face, with a soft musky drydown.
Gabrielle feels more modern than most of the fragrances in the Chanel line, no aldehydes, no patchouli drydown, no vanilla and none of the 'granny' vibes of the likes of No5 and Coco. I know it's a crap way to label such classics, but this is what puts a lot of people off! Whilst it may lack the power and oomph of the classic compositions, Gabrielle makes up for it by being fun, bright and totally vivacious. I personally would have loved for the florals to pack more of a punch, as I'm a total sucker for white florals, but I have been happily wearing my sample since the event.

Gabrielle is housed in a beautiful beautiful bottle that took 5 years to create, ultra thin glass that ripples and glows gold in the light. The radiance of the fragrance is perfectly represented by the bottle design. I also tried to capture this radiance in my illustration.

RED HEART V.3 // Map of the Heart "Everything comes from our heart. It is our essence"
That's part of the manifesto of Map of the Heart, an Australian niche brand created by Sarah Blair and Jeffrey Darling. Sarah's creative ideas are translated by Jeffrey into gorgeous images and short films. Together, they have created a beautiful brand that merges a passion for storytelling and filmmaking, culminating in a brand that is a feast for the eyes and the nose. Id highly recommend checking out the short films that accompany each fragrance, they're wonderful!
I was lucky enough to try Red Heart v.3 after meeting up with Giovanna, Head of Marketing and Development, for a coffee and have enjoyed wearing it all summer. Red Heart opens with a crisp and juicy apple note, a sweet red apple rather than a tart Granny Smith. There is a further sprinkling of sparkles in the form of bergamot, which adds a lovely radiance. The heart of the fragrance becomes sweeter and includes feijoa, a fruit native to Brazil, which looks a little like a guava. The forbidden fruit trope is enhanced with sensual tuberose and a hint of smoke. The drydown is super cozy and my favourite part, warm vanilla and patchouli that stays close to the skin and is very long lasting.
I think the smell of the fragrance plays second fiddle somewhat, to the main attraction - THAT. BOTTLE!! Map of the Heart worked with the legendary bottle designer himself, Mr Pierre Dinand, to create a flacon so unique, I was just holding it in awe when I met up with Giovanna. The bottle is shaped like an anatomical heart and as a Biologist in my day job, I adore it! Pierre said it was one of his most difficult designs to date and the craftsmanship really shows. It fits in the hand so perfectly and looks amazing on my vanity. I had tickets to attend a talk with Pierre Dinand, during Liberty's Fragrane Festival but was struck down with a nasty cold. Wish I could have told him how beautiful this bottle, and every one of this bottles, is. I wanted to capture the almost visceral nature of the bottle, and so tried to be as organic as possible with the illustration. I like how it's turned out.

A little bit of what you fancy does you good // I'm back in London and feeling refreshed after my little staycation 😌 Just need a few more days to get over my holiday blues and I'll be back in the game (I hope!) My first painting will be 'Amora' from @hendleyperfumes which was my SOTD when this photo was taken, a beautifully sweet and rich confection ❀️🍭 Hope you've all been having a wonderful summer! 🌞

Nafia // ✨

THE SPIRIT OF DUBAI // Spirit of Dubai are a family owned business whose creations are inspired by Dubai (obviously 😜) I'd previously tried their ultra-niche G2 range in the Salon de Parfums, but tried the G1 range for the first time yesterday. All were incredibly wearable and the standout for me was Meydan. Inspired by Arabian Horses and the emerald green of a racecourse, Meydan is a beautifully dry take on saffron and leather, with a beautiful blend of lavender and bergamot in the opening. It smells incredibly rich, without being too dense, which can be a worry with Middle Eastern style perfumery.

The gorgeous windows at the Spirit of Dubai flagship in Knightsbridge last night. I knew straight away that the flowers were the work of @byappointmentonlydesign their work is so distinctive!

The event was fantastic, the Spirit of Dubai team, including perfumer Mr Asghar Adam Ali, and Atiya Adam Ali (his daughter-in-law) were so welcoming, as were their staff. Plus the boutique is just stunning! Was also great to meet up with lots of my fragrant friends πŸ’š

#thespiritofdubai #knightsbridge #harrods #salondeparfums #anillustratednose

A short break // So I anticipated that this day was coming but didn't realise it would be so soon! I've tried to put it off as long as possible but it's been close to two months since I painted anything, and I have to admit defeat.

I won't bore you with the details but a mixture of Ramadan, being unhappy in my new (ish) job and a load of other stuff has meant that I couldn't juggle everything, so the illustration ball has unfortunately been dropped πŸ˜”Which is so annoying as I have tried so many lovely things recently and even a trip to the fantastic Somerset House exhibition wasn't enough to get me inspired.
So, I'm going away! Nowhere fancy and this was already planned, so don't worry, I'm not having a TOTAL existential late twenties crisis (yet). πŸ˜‰ I'm hoping to return refreshed and invigorated, as I have so many ideas in my head and I just need to blow away the cobwebs in order to get them on paper.
Have a fantastic rest of the summer and see you in August! 🌞

Nafia // ✨

Just tried Aura again and can confirm, it's gorgeous stuff!! The sappy sweetness is just singing on my skin in this heat πŸ’šπŸŒ΄ Putting my thinking cap on in anticipation of my illustration this weekend. My last idea just did not translate well on paper but hopefully my next idea will, no pressure! The bottle is just so unique and so pleased I got one engraved at the launch πŸ’š

It's been a while since my last illustration, I felt a little burnt out with work and the General Election and everything, so haven't been very inspired to paint. Hopefully it was just a little blip and I haven't lost my mojo!

Hope you're all having a great week, it's nearly Friday yay! 🌟☺️ #mugleraura #listentoyourinstinct #anillustratednose

#SOTD is the gorgeous Aura from @muglerofficial, really appreciating the lush green aspects of the fragrance this morning. This is definitely more tropical jungle than forest or woodland, it's such a versatile genre!
This is the official promo shot (how stunning is the model?!), Aura's Tree of Life and part of the advert, which is fantastic πŸŒ΄πŸ’š #mugler #listentoyourinstinct #mugleraura #anillustratednose #aboutlastnight

🌴 A U R A 🌴

Here it is, the newest fragrance from @muglerofficial! A totally addictive and alluring play on sappy rhubarb leaf, lush green, heady florals and the cosiest bourbon vanilla drydown.

It's sweet and sticky, hot jungle humidity and just the right amount of animalic growl.
The bottle is SO stunning and my photo does it no justice whatsoever. I am going to have an absolute ball painting this beauty and will write a full review too πŸ’š

#mugler #listentoyourinstinct #mugleraura #anillustratednose

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