Spice Blend by Maison Christian Dior | Fragrance Review | The All Rounder We've Been Waiting For?

Today I'm going to give you some initial thoughts on the new fragrance from Maison Christian Dior, Spice Blend. The name is terrible. Sounds like two keywords dreamt up by a PR machine that have spent all day deciphering what people punch into Fragrantica. 

But that's all the nasty words I have for Spice Blend as I'm enraptured with this scent. From the nose of Francois Demachy, Dior's perfume creator, (who remarked upon this as being a nostalgic creation) Spice Blend is marketed as a signature scent, simultaneously fresh and fiery. 

The opening notes are very peppery. It has a knockout opening, like Tyson coming out for round one, swinging. Blistering. The fusion of rum and ginger feels slightly boozy yet exotic. It's catchy, its invitational, it's also a bit suspicious. Like going a second date with a girl, whom on the first date, confessed she's a Russian spy with orders to kill you. 

It has a middle of coriander, nutmeg and cinnamon, which sweetens on the dry down. This gives this underpinning of sweet and spice, an elegant and sophisticated mix. It did envelope me. It did make me question, what am I going to do with this fragrance? 

How can I categorise this? Section it off, box it up. We all need genres, we all need a certain taxonomy to help us identify who we are. This could be a signature scent but it has too much of an uppercut for a height-of-summer fragrance. 

That said, the piquancy of Spice Blend is a real joy to experience. If you like Tuxedo by YSL then this is in that ball park. I think the luxury and the spice element is closer to Ambre Noit, also in the Dior collection. 

It's available now for £200 for a 125ml bottle. Ask for a sample from your local stockist. It's available on their website

Sauvage Parfum by Dior | Fragrance Review

Before I crack on with the Sauvage Parfum by Dior review, let me set the table with a quick history of the releases so far. Sauvage EDT (Eau de Toilette) was released in 2015. The EDP (Eau De Parfum) version was released in 2018 and we have the latest Sauvage Parfum.

I wish perfume companies would name their fragrances like Fred the Weather names his hurricanes. There is no doubt in my mind that Dorian is happening right now off the coast to the Bahamas. I haven't confused it with other category five hurricanes like Hurricane Carla, that hit Texas in the 60's. 

Spread the names out a little. 

We'll skip past the fact that the latest advert for Sauvage Parfum has been axed after it was accused to be racially insensitive to Native Americans. Which it's not by the way. 

I always like to start the reviews by giving you an idea of what to look out for, according to the press release. 

From the press release: 

For 2019 Dior presents Sauvage Parfum. Composed by Francois Demachy, Dior Perfumer-Creator, this enriched variation pushes the limits, amplifying the signature freshness and crafting new contours. 

Leading with a zesty whirlwind of bergamot and notes of pulpy mandarin, cardamom and Elemi, the addictive complex of Sauvage Parfum reveals entrancing notes of dry amber core, Virginia cedar and Sri-lankan sandalwood. 

Sauvage Parfum offers extreme freshness coloured with warm oriental-style hues and evocative oriental notes. Adding touches of colour, Sauvage Parfum is highly concentrated with an intoxicating scent, delivering new depths and a palette of contrasts. 

From what I've gathered by following various perfume forums and talking to my people at Dior, the signature bergamot that was used in the original Sauvage is now mixed with a juicier mandarin.

Which might explain why this updated version has a less scabrous dry-down than the EDP. Others have referred to that as the shower-gel tones. I don't think it was quite that bad. Although it does depend on the quality of shower gel you use. 

It's certainly more refined. It does sit closer to the skin and the background is overall very inviting. It wants you to come in and play around with the layers. Price wise it comes in around the same as the Beau de Chanel perfume. So it's towards the high end, which might be too rich for someone that's just after the Parfum as a flanker to the EDT and the EDP. 

But for DIOR nuts, I'd say there's plenty of reason to invest in this. It's a more broodier scent. Darker, smoother, perfect for the upcoming winter months. 

The Year That Was in Fashion: My Fashion Highlights for 2018

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You might be thinking back on this year and wondering, where did it go? What did I achieve? What were my highlights? When did I start asking all these rhetorical questions like that woman from Sex and the City? 

Here's the fashion news that made the waves in 2018. 

January - Valentino new logo and pop-up shop craze 

Valentino made an a retail play straight out of left field for its resort 2018 collection. A capsule collection was sold in a series of pop-up stores in Tokyo, New York and Hong Kong, whilst they resorted to an 80's aesthetic logo; VLTN.

A slightly nostalgic normcore-noir slotted perfectly into current 2018 trends when streetwear’s hyper-branded and irony-laden aesthetic is pivotal.

February - Lululemon CEO steps down 

Lululemon Athletica CEO Laurent Potdevin is resigned from the retailer citing that the company “fell short of ... standards of conduct” to respect employees and show integrity.

Potdevin was also be removed from his position on the board.

It was a turbulent year for Lululemon with various nefarious remarks from founder Chip Wilson regarding the company’s policy on not manufacturing plus-size clothes. 

That all said the Lululemon store on Oxford Street is awesome. The upstairs menswear division is a little well-kept secret for meetings, coffees and a yoga studio. 

March - Burberry hires Ricardo Tisci 

Riccardo Tisci, left his role as creative director at Givenchy for what many presumed was the top job at Versace, only to be installed at Burberry as chief creative officer.

Riccardo Tisci succeeded Christopher Bailey who’s departure was announced in October 2017. 

Burberry would continue to make the headlines when it was revealed they annually burn millions worth of unsold stock to prevent them landing in the hands of counterfeiters. 

April - Karl Lagerfeld opens in Soho

Karl Lagerfeld opened its first U.S. flagship store in the heart of SoHo at 420 W. Broadway in New York City. 

The flagship will features a combination of both Karl Lagerfeld and Karl Lagerfeld Paris women's and menswear, as well as accessories and footwear galore. 

May - Balenciaga 1200 shirt

This one made Twitter implode. The £1200 tee-shirt/shirt from Balenciaga.

Some Twitterist's went into meltdown  responding with a mix of disparate confusion and some pretty great witticisms. I like the one that comments it looks like it got stuck together in the tumble dryer. 

June - Kate Spade dies 

Yeah sad this one. I know it's not Menswear but Kate was a trailblazer and her suicide effected the fashion community immensely. 

The handbag and fashion designer was found by housekeeping staff inside her Park Avenue apartment, a note was left at the scene.

It's been a big year for mental health, don't struggle alone people. 

July - Dior announce exhibition at V&A

Shit the bed I can't wait for this one. Spanning 1947 to the present day, this exhibition will open on the 2nd February 2019 and trace the history and impact of one of the 20th century’s most influential couturiers, exploring the enduring influence of the fashion house, and Dior’s relationship with Britain.

Book your tickets online. Anyone fancy being my date for this one comment below. 

August - Love Island great for clothing

This is how you sell merchandising  folks. Thanks to the scantily dressed contestants on Love Island such as Georgia, Laura and Megan, searches for thong bikinis, and even thong swimsuits, have increased by 68 per cent in the past two months alone, with an overall 41 per cent increase year on year. 

Year on year the show amps up the ratings and brands get to see a considerable return on their sponsorship. Great TV, great concept, great distraction to a productive day also. 

September - Michael Kors buys Versace

Woah who saw this coming right? Out of nowhere Michael Kors just swallowed up Versace in a ¢2.1 billion dollar and didn't even blink. A couple of Versace purists thought it would cheapen the brand, but so far there's of Versace bags finding its way into TK Maxx. 

The story of Versace on the iPlayer was also some of the best TV I saw this year. 

October - Melanie Trump in Africa

Well it's not a news round up without some kid of mention of the Trumps. Say what you like about the First Lady, but she likes to put on a show right? Not entirely sure if her colonial inspired wardrobe was the right time and place on her tour of Africa. 

November - Dolce & Gabbana

Oh Jesus guys. Why even go there and make a woeful attempt at humour at the expense of a 200 million hammering in the Asian market? 

Overall, Chinese consumers spend over $7 billion each year on luxury goods, according to the consultancy McKinsey. That's nearly one-third of the global market. 

The advert is not racist, just culturally tone death and not at all funny. Such a misstep, will cost them dear. 

December - Ted Baker 

Oh Ray, and his amorous hugs and ear massages. The founder of Ted Baker has now taken a  leave of absence after a petition was rolled out denouncing forced hugs in the Ted Baker workplace. 

Soon only footballers will be allowed to hug in the workplace.