Tag Archives: indie perfumers UK

Pell Wall Perfumes Anjin: Turn Up The Heat

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Pell Wall perfumes, based in Shropshire, is the brain child of Chris Bartlett, who left his job to become a full time perfumer.  Don’t you just love people who do that?  If people like Chris and other great indie perfumers  didn’t take the plunge, we’d all be missing out on original and exciting niche fragrances.

Pell Wall Perfumes Anjin is not like anything else I have smelled before because it has very dominant chillies in it, or pimentos to be precise.  I’ve never been one for gourmands in particular, but when they are as astringent and spicy as Anjin, I take it all back.  This could not be further away from your cupcakes and candy floss, which just goes to show how vast the gourmand spectrum can be.

This is no one trick pony though.  As Anjin’s  citrussy, almost stingy-eyed opening dries down, it becomes smooth yet prickly, a bit like sharp lemony patchouli.  With bold styrax adding an almost-but-not-quite creosote touch ( not a criticism, I love it), and clove and coriander making their spicy and herbal presence felt, Anjin  is a long-lasting  treat that smells equally good on male or female skin.  I loved it on me, but it smells even better on my 17 year old nephew, who also loved it, and now has the bottle.   I am always pleased when young folk try a fragrance that steps away from the High Street norm- and what a pleasant surprise to find a 17 year old who is NOT marinated in scent du jour Paco Rabanne One Million!

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 One of the things I admire about Pell Wall is the sheer versatility:  Chris has produced a range that includes violets, (Deep Purple), Lily of the valley and roses (Pretty in Pink), earthy leather (Sticky Leather Sky) and Red Hot Chilli Peppers (Anjin) without stinting on quality or showing any weak links.  Anjin would make an original choice for summer and refreshingly, didn’t smell synthetic.  In fact wearing this when you have a cold might even feel therapeutic.  That chill just cuts through everything.  Anjim impressed me and I would wear it myself had I not given it away in the name of olfactory education earlier today.

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Anjin is available from the Pell Wall website for the reasonable price of £23 for 10ml or £36 for 50ml.  Fret not about taking a gamble based on my word alone though, Chris offers great sample sets and discovery sets and I can vouch for the quality and longevity.  My particular favourite is Pretty in Pink, which I reviewed earlier in this blog.

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4160 Tuesdays The Sexiest Scent on The Planet Ever (IMHO)

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Sarah McCartney, founder and one-woman chief of 4160 Tuesdays, named this scent after a quote from a young fashion journalist.  This was originally the unadorned base for The Gin Garden, but the journalist smelled it naked as it were (the base scent, not the journalist) and made the now familiar declaration.

I have reviewed 4160 Tuesday scents before, but just to keep you up to speed in case you missed them, the name of the company is based on the fact there are 4160 Tuesdays in your life if you live to be 80.  Sarah uses her Tuesdays to make scent.  They are gathering support like a snowball rolling down a hill, with an increasing amount of media and word of mouth interest.  It’s a friendly company: accessible and happy to chat about the process and host sniffing days (which I plan to do one day- Lisa Wordbird are you with me?)

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So let’s get down to it and have a look at whether this scent really is as gorgeous as it reckons.  The quick answer is yes.

  Imagine if you will, a vanilla pod walks into a bar, gets sozzled on gin and tries to kiss you in an antique wardrobe wearing a lime based eau de cologne.  That’s the best way I have of explaining it.

Vanilla-Pods-6-150x150The notes are few and simple:  The opening is citrussy and  has lots of bergamot and almost at the same time smells like the inside of an antique wooden wardrobe: almost but not quite, musty.  The vanilla, in a Nancy Drew sort of way, draws itself up to its full height and takes control of the situation.  Vanilla has frankly been over used and abused lately in mass market perfume and its beauty has been devalued via synthetic cup cake and candy floss concoctions.  The Sexiest Scent On The Planet Ever puts Vanilla back in the driving seat like an overexposed soap star having a come back as a glamorous matriarch.

The Vanilla here is thick and rich and  almost fuzzy.  Not a hint of cupcake here.  No Sir.  In fact the Vanilla is such good quality that it tips over into boozy territory.  Had I smelled this blind, I would have said there was patchouli in it, but there isn’t.  However, it does have that raspy spicy quality that patchouli has, despite being a spice free zone.

Longevity is very good, and surprisingly, I get a hint of rum soused fruit in it, a bit like Serge Lutens Arabie, which in turn smells like Nigella’s recipe for black cake. But mysteriously, there are neither fruit nor rum notes in the scent. I have a  30 ml bottle of  Sexiest Scent On The Planet Ever (IMHO) and I think the price is very reasonable indeed, at £40.   This is the same price  as a Jo Malone, but  far more niche and  deeper and richer.  In other words, it’s very good value and you’re not going to smell like everyone else.  Although if 4160  Tuesdays goes on snowballing, there will be others like us! And that will be no bad thing at all.

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