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Illamasqua Halloween Ball & Freak Perfume Launch

Illamasqua Halloween Ball & Freak Perfume Launch

A fitting time to launch their first fragrance, Halloween and their third birthday, Illamasqua partnered with The Last Tuesday Society to help fill the Georgian tunnels beneath the Strand with the sights and scents of Freaky Fashionistas. Joe Corre, Joint MD of Illamasqua, opened the proceedings and then gave the stage to what can only be described as a dancing octopus.
Indeed with the promotional images having a somewhat aquatic feel, this all tied in with the naked bodypainted waiters carrying seafood platters, one of which proceeded to unfortunately spill langoustine juice down my skirt. I think that was my retribution for the kind courtesy Julian Kynaston paid at a recent dinner party he hosted – ordering the lobster de-shelled so as not to offend my Ichthyophobic tendencies! Life seems to want me to make my peace with these ghastly sea-creatures, or at the very least feasting on them!

Sadly Julian, was unable to attend but Joe ably took up the mantle as host. Joe joining Illamasqua in 2010, was a founding member of Agent Provocateur, has his own menswear line: A Child of the Jago and a punk pedigree with Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm Maclaren as parents, he seems like the perfect fit for a brand seeking push the boundaries and then paint them in a rainbow of iridescence. Echoing the time-told turn of a catchphrase, “the freaks shall inherit the earth”, the night began in earnest.

Joe Corre & Myself

The Last Tuesday Society commits itself to scrutinizing the abstract, arcane and mysterious aspects of literature and art with its “Wunderkammer” of curiosities and its events tinged with light-hearted extravagance and debauchery. Perfume with its decadent associations fits neatly to this theme, and Freak, with its sexy slithering symbology worked its way through the bowels of London in the cavernous venue.

The entrance to the venue itself looked nothing more than an unassuming Georgian house, but hid behind it Adam Street’s Private Members club. Indeed it’s the type of place you can imagine, in times gone by, secret knocks being banged rhythmically on the wooden panel and in the dead of night hooded figures quietly ushered inside. The vaulted ceilings and a chain of connected rooms each held another delight. In a red-lit room I spied some dungeon equipment but decided the absinthe cocktail bar was a torture more to my liking. On the tables were odd arrangements of fruit… I managed to somehow end up with an onion and a severed hand as the night’s pickings – which, as fortuitously as I had acquired them, I passed on the love to some of the other fascinating revellers in my vicinity.

Final Act of Self Expression - a winner in death?

Its stuff fantasies are made of – which is exactly what Illamasqua seek to appeal to, and indeed an ideal very close to my heart. In this dreary world, the only escape we truly have is our imagination. And to this end, the eclectic mix of those from the hub of the fashion elite spiced with the cream of the fascinating fringe and every shade in-between, always makes Illamasqua events a beautiful meeting of minds.

But what of the perfume? The fragrance was created by Azzi Glassier who was responsible for Agent Provocateur’s perfume (among others) and she sought to use some untouched ingredients rather than the same old palette. The beguiling weaving of words which aim to describe tastes, feelings, smells can never accurately portray something which is so individually personal. But here’s Illamasqua’s attempt:

The Lovely Social Sacrifice winners

Freak is a concoction of dangerously exotic unconventional flowers which Illamasqua has unashamedly blended together to celebrate the night.

Top Notes:
Black Davana, Opium Flower and Belladonna bewitch the senses into uncontrollable lust and passion.

Heart Notes:
Poison Hemlock, Datura and Queen of the Night blossom, caress and kiss.

Base Notes:
Aromas of Frankincense, Oud and Myrrh, addictively mesmerises and captures the senses.

I could not begin to endeavour concocting a more adequate description (the way in which I chuckle over wine descriptions on menus just wouldn’t allow me to venture down a similar line of ridiculous depictions), but if your scent aligns with the likes of Christian Dior Poison or Calvin Klein Secret Obsession, such as mine does – then you are bound to like this – although I would say it has a darker, less “fruity” smell in comparison to the exotic scent of Poison and actually closer to Secret Obsession. And while they position it as a unisex fragrance, and most certainly could be used as such, I would say it errs more on the darkly feminine or a Pan-like playful male than the more brooding of our masculine sect. And while I’m not sure the scent is as ground-breaking or dividing as Illamasqua would have liked (although how would one go about creating such a smell?), it is certainly a lovely perfume and a very welcome addition to my collection of aromas. Whatever the case, you can’t deny it will make a stunning addition to your bathroom shelf with its surreal design and fairytale leanings.

  1. You look amazing (as always) Lady Amaranth. Love your mask ~ so alluring and mysterious.