During the last couple of years, Frederic Malle has added several excellent ancillary products to his perfume range (a consequence of brand owner Estée Lauder's considerable skills and experience in this area?) including a blue-skied shower gel for Cologne Indelebile and a purring after-sun lotion for Carnal Flower. But his latest additions deserve to be singled out for particular praise. The shower cream for the celestial rose that is Dominique Ropion's Portrait Of A Lady is so indulgent, it's enough to make the most hardened, world-weary, office-battered person tear up their work diary and spend hours whipping up the lotion into a lather beneath a cascade of water. And as for the hair and body oil... well... 'decadent' doesn't even begin to describe it. Emphasising the berry, cedar and apricot facets of the perfume, it is a call to languorous sensuality, an invitation to stop the clocks, turn down the lights and find a willing subject for a massage. Oh, and the sleek, amphora-like bottle housing this nectar is a triumph of minimalist packaging design.
Chanel are equally adept at releasing more-ish body products to go with their scents and they too have outdone themselves with their body oil for No. 5. Relatively dry in texture (it doesn't leave an obvious sheen on skin) the scent of the oil hovers somewhere between the personalities of the eau de toilette, the Eau Premiere version and the new L'Eau iteration, which is to say that it pushes the citruses front and centre, whilst keeping them wrapped in that familiar ivory-white fur coat of aldehydes, jasmine and musks. More importantly, in much the same way as the Portrait product, it encourages slowness. You can't apply this juice with a quick spritz. The very act of covering one's body with a relatively heavy fluid requires more time and attention than we normally reserve for our perfume rituals, so kudos to Chanel and Malle for making us pause for luxurious breath.
[Reviews based on samples provided by Editions De Parfums Frederic Malle and Chanel in 2016.]