Miller Harris invite you to join their scent trail with Treasure Hunt across London for two new perfumes!

We all love a scent trail, but most particularly when it’s a clue-strewn walking trail with possible prizes of Miller Harris perfume!
In an exciting-sounding event this coming Saturday, 4 June; Miller Harris will celebrate next week’s launch of two brand new fragrances – Lumière Dorée and Étui Noir – by staging a Treasure Hunt across London.
Starting in Covent Garden Market, perfumed participants will receive a special map and instructions for tasks across London, with the final destination being Bruton Street. Miller Harris state that you’ll need to take photos along your journey to take part – sharing them on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #MHShadowsAndLight
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Those taking part are to receive rewards at each ‘check point’ when showing their photos to the Miller Harris store teams. And what’s more – the first ten people to fully complete the treasure hunt will win a 50ml fragrance of both Lumière Dorée and Étui Noir, before they have even launched!
PrintMiller Harris say: ‘Comfortably androgynous, one is a reflection, the other is its mirror image. Lumière Dorée is the golden aura that every morning enfolds the night. Etui Noir is the magic shadow that each night sets free the day.’
Print‘Etui Noir and Lumiere Dorée are two sides of the same person: night and day, and dark and light. They work beautifully individually or layered as a pair, where they reveal new shadows and facets.’
We are always on the hunt for new fragrances, and love this idea of actually following a scent trail across London! Do let us know if you’re lucky enough to win, and of course what you think of the new perfumes. Indeed, we can’t wait to sniff them out ourselves…
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Miller Harris Lumière Dorée and Étui Noir will be launching on June 2nd at millerharris.com and at Miller Harris in-store.
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Abercrombie & Fitch break the mould with new men's launch First Instinct

 Abercrombie and Fitch have been a brand synonymous with gorgeous boys, polo shirts, muscly abs and horse riding, but not any more. To go with a brand new look they have in store, all slick shirts and modern cuts, they’ve released a new fougère fragrance for men, First Instinct.
Inspired by the fearless male, perfumer Phillipe Romano created First Instinct with the hopes of blending a contemporary fragrance that took the fresh facets of fougère scents and combined them with the warmth of orientals. And what he produced does just that.
First off, it breaks the mould with an unusual top note of melon; fruity notes are uncommon in male fragrances, and with good reason, but this melon blends beautifully with a gin and tonic accord to make for a sparkling and refreshing opening. Clean and crisp on the nose.
Moving on to an inviting heart of green and slightly aqueous violet leaves, there’s a touch of citrus that adds evermore to the freshness of the whole affair, it later trails off with a spicy but soft black pepper. The base is rounded off sweetly with cashmere woods, warm and rich amber, and sueded musk.
Housed in a sleek textured glass bottle that gives the affect of rippling water, we can picture it perfectly on the neck of a sea swept and sun-kissed man. We urge you to have a sniff.
Abercrombie and Fitch First Instinct £30 for 30ml eau de toilette
At Selfridges
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Do you suppose your 'toeses' could be 'posies of rosies'…? It's a tongue-twister come true with Margaret Dabbs wild rose scented polishes (and we want them ALL!)

As children, we used to endlessly repeat tongue-twisters, one of our favourite (of course it would be flower themed) being:

“Moses supposes his toeses are roses,
but Moses supposes erroneously;
for nobody’s toeses are posies of roses,
as Moses supposes his toeses to be…”

We’re not sure from whence the rhyme originally sprang, but it was clearly from the mind of a scented beauty visionary, for now your ‘toeses’ can indeed be ‘posies of roses’. Or, well, at least they can smell like roses while being painted in an array of sumptuous nail polish shades, in a veritable bouquet (over seventy in the collection, so it’s a BIG bouquet) of rose-scented, floral-themed colours and names, by the hands-down Queen of ‘Fabulous Hands’ (and feet), Margaret Dabbs.
Margaret Dabbs says: ‘Themed around the names of English flowers, the 72 beautiful shades of polish take inspiration from the wonders of nature. The soft, light pastel tones of spring-time jasmine and apricot blossom contrast delightfully with the classic, rich winter-time reds of crimson rose and poinsettia. Vibrant summer shades such as fuchsia and gerbera daisy give the range a vivid diversity of colour, which will guarantee the perfect finish to your manicure.’
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Using a unique formula personally created by Margaret ‘to promote nail health and vitality’, vitamin E strengthen and protects the nail bed, with wild rose botanical extract not merely there to smell pretty – it reduces inflammation, helps prevent infections and (the best bit, for us) leaves the oppulent, lasting scent of wild roses on the nails long after the polish is dry. Free from potentially harmful indredients such as formaldehyde, toluene or DPB, Margaret assures the formula is so good for your nails that they’ll remain healthy – even after removing the varnish.
As you know, we’re always ready to get our noses into products that use scent in a unique way, and this summer we predict many a beach, garden or pool-side will witness scenes of people sniffing their manicures (and pedicures, if they’re flexible enough!) Instead of supposing they have heatstroke and need to be taken indoors for a glass of water and a nice lie down – now you know they’ll simply be enjoying the scent of wild roses (on their toeses)…

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Margaret Dabbs London Nail Polish £14 each

Buy them at margaretdabbs.co.uk and Margaret Dabbs London Clinics.
Written by Suzy Nightingale
 

Culture, bottled: pants, punk and pre-Raphaelites – eight shows to see and scents to wear there

At The Perfume Society we happen to fall firmly in the camp of perfume as an art form to be celebrated in its own right – a myriad of cultural and language crossovers in the areas of music and fragrance being particularly prevalent; with top, middle and base ‘notes’, perfumer’s ‘organs’ with their raw materials arrayed as the keys of an instrument, ‘accords’ and olfactory harmonies now standard references in scent.
Colours and painting, too, have their scent story to tell, with any number of world-famous noses experiencing the multiple layering of senses (people who ‘smell’ colours and musical notes, for example) known as synaesthesia – a subject we have previously explored in great depth within our Scented Letter magazine, indeed devoting an entire issue to the subject.
We’re blessed with a rich tapestry of diverse cultural events around the UK, and this summer promises a spectacular line-up of shows, festivals and arty comings-together with a little bit of something for everyone. As any ‘fume-head’s nose knows, one must always scent appropriately for the occasion (indeed, many of us pick our perfumes before we get dressed in the morning), and this set us wondering which perfumes would be best for culture vultures to wear at the panopoly of entertainment on offer in the months ahead….
 
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Exhibitionism: The Rolling Stones – 5 April-4 September 2016, Saatchi Gallery
Their musical cavortings now – incredibly – span 54 years, and this lively exhibition reflects on the vitality the Stones have brought to the music scene at large. Purporting to be ‘the most comprehensive insight into the group’ ever seen, it’s even got a sensory depth to plunge in to – should you wish…  the scent supposedly evokes the ‘revolting digs’ the band lived in before becoming famous. A heady blend of Tandori chicken (Mick’s dish of choice, apparently) and fish & chips (the other members’ preference) along with the distinctive scent of unwashed socks and – well, all manner of things, one supposes – it’s likely even die-hard fans wouldn’t want to splash that all over. Maybe go for a stylish take on nostalgia with this old-school perfume oil, instead? Not the headlong dive into a hippie shop one might expect, it’s the resinously smoky birch tar that takes centre-stage, here; joined by vanilla on in the base (on the bass?) to further soothe animal insticts.
Le Labo Patchouli 24 £95 for 30ml perfume oil
Buy it at Liberty
 
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Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear – 16 April 2016-12 March 2017, V&A.
Exoloring ‘the intimate relationship between underwear and fashion and its role in moulding the body to a fashionable ideal’, this major new exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum proves an eye-popping extravaganza of all things racy and lacey. From historical under-crackers that could raise more than titter, to some of the finest examples of scanties ever seen, we could think of nothing more appropriate than the designer who made it okay to show-off your underwear as outerwear – breathe in and plump for this latest, lighter version of JPG’s powdery orange blossom and musk-laden perfumed paean to the powerful curves a corset can bring.
Jean Paul Gaultier Classique Eau Fraiche £67 for 100ml eau de toilette
Buy it at The Perfume Shop
 
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Scented Swimming at the Also Festival – 17-19 June 2016, Warwickshire
With a plethora of fascinating talks, banquets and ‘happenings’ lined up, including a Mini Beast Safari, Wine and Philosophy tastings, talks about trans-humanism, and cream teas in the orangery, there was already a lot to tempt us here. Add a perfumed book club over afternoon gin cocktails with our fragrant pal Odette Toilette, the rather lavish sounding promise of a ‘Scented Swim in Compton Verney’s stunning lake to the soundtrack of live classical piano’, AND one of Sarah McCartney’s perfume making workshops – we were sold. Of course you could eventually be weaing a scent you create yourself, but if you can’t bear to go bare, drench yourself with this British take on the Oriental – a bright mix of citrus, jasmine, vanilla and cedarwood, it’s the scent of sun-kissed skin and happiness.

4160 Tuesdays Sunshine & Pancakes £90 for 100ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Roullier White
 
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Missoni Art Colour – 6 May-4 September 2016, Fashion & Textile Museum
Founded in 1953 by Ottavio Missoni and his wife, Rosita, they actually began by knitting tracksuits for the Italian’s 1948 Olympic team – a rather incongruous start for what went on to become an iconic fashion house noted for their flair for colour, patterns and intricately woven fabrics; but all becomes clear in this wide-ranging exhibition when you discover Ottavio was also a former Olymic athlete. Featuring a stunning central pyramid of fashion mannequins, and with abstract artworks and home furnishings, it’s a feast for the eyes. What else to wear than the colourful new Missoni scent, designed to be the finishing touch to any stylish outfit it’s a distinctly Italian confident concotion of bergamot, pear, jasmine and tonka bean with a woody, soft musk trail.
Missoni Missoni £42 for 30ml eau de parfum
Buy it at The Fragrance Shop
 
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Pre-Raphaelites: Beauty and Rebellion – until 5 June 2016, Liverpool
Having graced many a student’s walls, don’t make do with the dog-eared blu-tacked posters – go and see the real red-heads and wanly pouting beauties in person. With over 120 major works by the masters including Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Ford Madox Brown, William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais, the significance of being exhibited in Liverpool is explored with the history of the city’s Autumn Exhibitions – a tradition that allowed this most overtly poetic and literary inspired movements to flourish. To complete the picture? A spellbindingly beautiful re-working of rose (perfumer Dominic Ropion using an unprecedented concentration, here) with broad brush strokes of refined patchouli, powdered bezoin, a sprinkle of cinnamon, smooth sandalwood and a glistening bunch of ripe berries fresh for the plucking.
Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady £145 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Selfridges
 
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Bees (And the Odd Wasp) in My Bonnet – 18 March-29 September 2016, Oxford
Not merely vital as pollinators for the thousands of flowers and other naturally sourced materials the majority of fragrances still rely on, but for the survival of the human race itself, artist Kurt Jackson has long been obsessed with the litle buzzers. Ever since he first enrolled as a student of Zoology at the University of Oxford, Jackson has focused on bees, wasps and other pollinating insects as his main source of inspiration; and together with his various canvases, sculptures and prints, the university have loaned some of their extensive archival collection to support this exhibition, and highlight the true importance of these creatures we cannot take foregranted. It had to be honey-laden scent, of course, and bolstered by the darkly glimmering magnificence of oudh and a delightfully tempered, lightly musky dry down – this one has it in oodles.
Floris Honey Oud £160 for 100ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Floris
 
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Glastonbury Festival – 22-26 June 2016, Somerset
The day after legendary musician Jimi Hendrix died in 1970, the idea for the first Glastonbury Festival was born – the date of the (originally free) musical shin-dig was moved to coincide with the Summer Solstice, and 1971 saw an estimated crowd of 12,000 enjoy performances by Hawkwind, David Bowie, Joan Baez and Fairport Convention among others. It’s fair to say the numbers have increased somewhat since those days, but it’s still an absolute British institution on the live music scene, and with Adele, Muse, New Order, Coldplay and ZZ Top announced for 2016 so far, it’s set to be a record-breaking year. Another British institution is the almost inevitable torrential rain an ensuing mud-bath. We say, be ahead of the crowds and drench yourself in this before the heavens open, with cool ‘petrichor’ notes – that unique smell straight after a downpour – somehow captured in scent; it’s sure to refresh even under extreme circumstances.
Library of Fragrance Rain £15 for 30ml eau de toilette
Buy it at Boots
 
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Punk.London May 13-September 19 2016, London
We bet you’ll be joining us in stocking up on safety pins and sprinkling your rubber trousers with talc for this year-long celebration of perhaps the most subversive – and influential – youth-led cultural movement in living history. Showcasing fashions, music and art that were all integral to making punk so iconic, and images of rainbow-coloured mohawked teens as synonymous with the image of London around the world as a red bus; it’s a joyfully exuberant yet important doccumentation of a genre that continues to break boundaries. With the BFI Southbank screening a selection of contemporary films starring, among others, the now Grand Dame of punk, Vivienne Westwood and Ari Up, lead singer of The Slits; it might be that you Boudoir-it-up with one of Westwood’s fragrance collection. However, for a scent that really embodies the shake it up and shock ’em nature of the scene; we tentatively suggest this adrenaline-infused fragrance. Never a house to pull back from the edge, it’s a blend of arousal-inspired accords on a bed of orris, opoponax, coconut and musk. Devisive as the spirit of punk itself, it’s a love or hate you’ll not forget in a hurry…
Etat Libre d’Orange Secretions Magnifiques £70 for 50ml eau de parfums
Buy it from Les Senteurs
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Nivea to launch NOSE app that 'sniffs' male body odour: wake up and smell the digital revolution?

When the heat rises and armpits emerge from beneath layers of jumpers, coats and jackets, commuters hold their breath in anticpation of the inevitable olfactory onslaught. With the premise that our noses eventually become attuned to the scent of our own sweat, Nivea have developed a digitised nose for your phone – an app they say scans areas of men’s bodies particularly prone to funkiness (and we don’t mean dancing to James Brown).
Having analysed the area – based on a specially produced algorithm that previously evaluated the scent of 4,000 other males – the app warns concerned men of their potential whiff-factor, rating their particular smell from ‘it’s okay’, through ‘it’s time’ and the climactic klaxon of ‘it’s urgent’. Nivea’s NOSE has been created by Geoffrey Hantson – a Belgium-based chief creative officer behind the so-called “smellphone” technology. Having been beta-tested in Belgium, worldwide whiffing is soon to commence, with the app then to be launched simultaneously on AppStore and Google Play, and a consumer version hoped to be released shortly afterwards. Watch Nivea’s video below for an insight into how it all works…

Meanwhile, the rather appropriately named Nosang Myung – a UC Riverside professor who’s invented an electronic nose to be used for sniffing out potential dangers to human life – said although the technology is in its ‘most simplistic form’ it could possibly work through only having to detect levels of sweat. On his rather more intricate technology, which he hopes could detect hazards such as dangerous levels of gas in the air we breathe (or even bombs) Professor Myung commented, ‘we developed a nose. A smartphone has an eye, so we just have to put on the legs. So now, I call it an electronic sniffing dog. Places you don’t want to go, instead of sending a dog, you can send this robot.’
Could this digital form of smelling lead to perfumers being replaced by robots? Well, the Noses we know can rest easy for now, as the human olfactory system is so highly complex and nuanced that scientists are still beavering away to understand it fully, let alone reproduce it. Hanston remains optimistic about the future for digital technology in harmony with scent, however, telling Huffington Post that although Nivea to will have to sell the sensors separately – currently the sensory technology is embedded in hard covers for phones – he’s pretty sure the technology will eventually be integrated into the integral structure of an actual phone ‘within a couple of years’.
While parents may be rejoicing at the perfect present for their teenage sons, some might suggest that if one is dithering about whether or not to apply deodorant, perhaps top it up anyway, just to be on the safe side…?
Written by Suzy Nightingale

With free personalisation, Guerlain's Les Parisiennes can be yours, all yours

Pretty as a picture with their signature bee bottles, soft pastel contents and contrasting ribbons, Guerlain’s Les Parisiennes are the grown-up scent sophisticate’s My Little Ponies: there’s something so alluring about them, it makes you want to collect the whole set. (And actually, one of our devoted VIP Subscribers – Maria Angelidou – has done virtually that, as she revealed in the #ShareMyStash section of our award-winning online magazine The Scented Letter).
If you’ve been thinking about indulging yourself, you might want to fast-track that purchase at Selfridges Oxford Street between now and 1st June: Guerlain are offering free personalisation of the bottle with any Les Parisiennes purchase, in celebration of the latest to join the picture-perfect line up, Promenade des Anglais.
This pale turquoise ‘juice’ is our friend Thierry Wasser’s homage to the Belle Époque Parisians who’d flock to the Côte d’Azur in winter: a fruity-woody-floral which gets its gourmand qualities from luscious, milky fig, paired with Iris pallida, further softened by delicate, Parma-esque violet. Vanilla and vetiver are masterfully merged as the sun goes down on his creation, which enfolds you like a pashmina on a warm summer’s night.
Choose to have the label emblazoned with your name, a monogram – or maybe the words ‘Hands Off’?
Guerlain Les Parsiennes Promenade des Anglais £175 for 125ml eau de parfum (with free personalisation)
Buy it in-store at Selfridges
Written by Jo Fairley

Spoiled for choice… our first-ever men's Discovery Box is a complete fragrance wardrobe, in a box!

Following the success of our women’s and shared Discovery Boxes we can reveal that our first-ever Men’s edit is now available! With something for everyone, it truly is a complete fragrance wardrobe in a box.
Brooding types – explore deeply intense fragrances from the likes of Lalique, Illuminum and Beaufort London. Or if your olfactory prefers something a little lighter, whet your appetite with the citrus notes of Prada Luna Rossa Eau Sport, or the aquatic heart found in Mont Blanc Legend Spirit.
Those who enjoy the classics will be spoiled for choice, with Iconic scents from Paul Smith, Issey Miyake and Carven.
Penhaligon’s and Yardley are perfect for the suited and booted, with strong peppery notes that show you mean business. Want to try something a little unusual? Be sure to spritz Eight & Bob, Miller Harris and Gruhme.
To futher enhance your discovery read more about each fragrance with our popular ‘Smelling Notes‘, now available online.
And you’ll not only smell good, look good with THREE additional grooming treats worth a whopping £40.25 alone! Pro-Collagen Marine Cream and Ice Cool Foaming Shave Gel from Elemis and Penhaligon’s Face & Beard Scrub.
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The Scent of a Man Discovery Box is £15 + p&p* to VIP Subscribers (and £19 + p&p* to non-subscribers). Be sure to log in to your account to take advantage of the special VIP Subscriber price.
To receive early access to all of our Discovery Boxes, and so much more, sign up as a VIP here!
*p+p is charged at £2.50
 

Here comes the sun… the tender-hearted (and sweet-scented) story of Lola Harper James

So many scents claim to encapsulate a story, but few actually manage it; lifestyle brand Lola Harper James, however, is the real deal. Created by Rami Mekdachi, a perfume developer at L’Oréal for many years, with inspiration from family and friends (and the intent of embracing all the creative fields they love), Lola Harper James is all things home.
Just landed at the new fragrance and candle area on the Ground Floor of Selfridges Oxford Street, their collection of 18 scented candles and home fragrances is inspired directly by their favourite places around the world – Paris, LA, London, you name it. In fact, Lola Harper James lead you through an olfactory picture album of their families’ travels.
There’s 14 The Surf Shop of Stephane: a tuberose and monoi blend with waxy tones that is summer captured. 17 The First Morning of Spring: dewy roses in the city. Then there’s 7 The Rainy Days in Lake District: myrrh, ylang ylang and labdanum, conjuring grey skies and open fields; ‘the perfect place to write a song’. Whatever your number, there’s an emotive scent in there for everyone.
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Their love of life shines through in everything they create, be it the accompanying music that plays tenderly to the heart (there are CDs to go with the scents), the photos that tell journeys or the scents that set scenes so vividly.
As the Lola Harper James tagline goes: ‘candles, music, coffee, pictures, shirts and smiles’. With fingers in so many pies, you’d think something would slip, but everything is created with thoughtfulness and absolute integrity, especially the smiles part.
Their photo books are truly evocative: you’re placed right there, at that skatepark in Venice Beach, kicking around, pulling tricks, sweat and sea salt from the surf in the air. Or cruising down open highways, your head stuck out the window catching the air like you did so gleefully as a child, the smell of asphalt crowding your senses. Snapshots of their life together around the globe. A window into their family.
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Steeped in style, effortlessly cool, and not content with their host of home fragrances, T-shirts, photo books, coffee and candles, they’ve now created a range of eau de toilettes. Instead of capturing places, these embody philosophies. Here’s a taster…
Just say yes: a gentle rose that represents, along with romance and idealism, the fragility of people.
Together is always better: probably the most unisex of the range with roots in green tea, it coins its name from being the family scent they spray around their home, it’s universal, all ages, a scent for anyone and everyone.
Little by little with joy: an orange blossom scent that embodies the simplicity of childhood, embracing lightness and carrying joy with you wherever you go.
The next chapter of this story continues in the third week of June as they launch their collection of six eau de toilettes, we urge you to get in store to try them.
They say: ‘The most important thing to keep in mind is to light your candle in those places you love, play the music you love, during moments you cherish, to add to Lola Harper James fragrances with your own memories’.
So go, now, immerse yourself in the life of Rami’s family and friends, and make some memories of your own to match.
Lola Harper James scented candles £34 for 190g
At Selfridges
Written by Carson Parkin-Fairley 

Here comes the sun, the tender-hearted story of Lola Harper James

So many scents claim to encapsulate a story, but few actually manage it; lifestyle brand Lola Harper James, however, is the real deal. Created byRami Mekdachi, a perfume developer at L’Oréal for many years, with inspiration from family and friends (and the intent of embracing all the creative fields they love), Lola Harper James is all things home.
Just landed at the new fragrance and candle area on the Ground Floor of Selfridges Oxford Street, their collection of 18 scented candles and home fragrances is inspired directly by their favourite places around the world – Paris, LA, London, you name it. In fact, Lola Harper James lead you through an olfactory picture album of their families’ travels.
There’s 14 The Surf Shop of Stephane: a tuberose and monoi blend with waxy tones that is summer captured. 17 The First Morning of Spring: dewy roses in the city. Then there’s 7 The Rainy Days in Lake District: myrrh, ylang ylang and labdanum, conjuring grey skies and open fields; ‘the perfect place to write a song’. Whatever your number, there’s an emotive scent in there for everyone.
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Their love of life shines through in everything they create, be it the accompanying music that plays tenderly to the heart (there are CDs to go with the scents), the photos that tell journeys or the scents that set scenes so vividly.
As the Lola Harper James tagline goes: ‘candles, music, coffee, pictures, shirts and smiles’. With fingers in so many pies, you’d think something would slip, but everything is created with thoughtfulness and absolute integrity, especially the smiles part.
Their photo books are truly evocative: you’re placed right there, at that skatepark in Venice Beach, kicking around, pulling tricks, sweat and sea salt from the surf in the air. Or cruising down open highways, your head stuck out the window catching the air like you did so gleefully as a child, the smell of asphalt crowding your senses. Snapshots of their life together around the globe. A window into their family.
Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 17.23.44
Steeped in style, effortlessly cool, and not content with their host of home fragrances, T-shirts, photo books, coffee and candles, they’ve now created a range of eau de toilettes. Instead of capturing places, these embody philosophies. Here’s a taster…
Just say yes: a gentle rose that represents, along with romance and idealism, the fragility of people.
Together is always better: probably the most unisex of the range with roots in green tea, it coins its name from being the family scent they spray around their home, it’s universal, all ages, a scent for anyone and everyone.
Little by little with joy: an orange blossom scent that embodies the simplicity of childhood, embracing lightness and carrying joy with you wherever you go.
The next chapter of this story continues in the third week of June as they launch their collection of six eau de toilettes, we urge you to get in store to try them.
They say: ‘The most important thing to keep in mind is to light your candle in those places you love, play the music you love, during moments you cherish, to add to Lola Harper James fragrances with your own memories’.
So go, now, immerse yourself in the life of Rami’s family and friends, and make some memories of your own to match.
Lola Harper James scented candles £34 for 190g
At Selfridges

BeauFort London continue the intrepid scent adventure with Lignum Vitae…

BeauFort London are one of the most intriguing brands we’ve seen in a long time, so imagine our excitement on discovering they’ve just released their latest fragrance – Lignum Vitae – into the wild blue yonder of the perfume world.
Having first encountered them before they’d even properly launched, sometimes you get a sixth-sense tingle the passion behind the perfume will carry a new fragrance house way further than they’d perhaps ever have imagined. This was certainly the case when we first got our noses around the unique triptych of fragrances that began their story – really, quite unlike anything else around, the ‘fume-heads, bloggers and fragrance-buying public agreed; with 1805 Tonnerre (featured in our Secret Sensations Discovery Box) subsequently chosen by Jo Fairley as the Most Exciting New Brand of 2015 in her Telegraph Online column; praised by big-name glossies and highly respected tomes such as the Financial Times, alike.
Although perhaps not entirely smooth sailing (what new company’s launch is?) appropriately enough, these firecely independent, historically inspired yet utterly contemporary fragrances – named for the famous Beaufort Scale of measuring wind strengths – are themed around the turbulent history and intrepid spirit of the British isles, maritime history and notoriously shady characters who have shaped them. It was clear this niche line had quite an adventure ahead of them – indeed they have recently been lauded by critic Luca Turin as one to watch – and with the brand new fragrance Lignum Vitae just launched, it’s another exciting scent trail we were keen to explore…
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BeauFort London Say: ‘Inspired by the innovative use of materials that allowed 18th Century clockmakers to construct the first truly accurate marine chronometers, Lignum Vitae combines elements of wood, metal and salt to produce a truly unique, transportive fragrance.

In combining unexpected and exotic raw materials, BeauFort London celebrates the innovative spirit which brought to an end the search for lost time, and permitted the safe passage of ships across the world.’

Discussing the various inspirations behind any BeauFort fragrance is like a masterclass in maritime history, literary appreciation and a philosophy 101 with a smattering of art criticism for good measure – but fascinating as these influences are, it’s important as ever to not forget the most important thing of all – what it smells like on your skin! Complex, perhaps even slightly unsettling (because of their singularity) to some, BeauFort are not about one size fits all crowd-pleasing sniff-alikes that put you in mind of such-and-such a scent you used to wear. So what does Lignum Vitae actually smell of…?
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An immediate tang of salty air melts mistily to the scent of madeleines still warm from the oven – a Proustian almost-but-not-quite gourmand sense that feels as though it’s going to get huge, but within a while segues seamlessly to a citrus-tinged, freshly-felled woodiness and the silvered glint of cold metal that keeps the whole concoction bouyantly uplifted. Tenacious in perhaps a more tender way than its predecessors, Lignum Vitae is one of those true ‘scent journeys’ on the skin as it warms and settles. Having sprayed this in the early afternoon we could still smell it the next morning, where now it had dried down to a close, warm skin scent that was comforting but with a wonderful whiff of weirdness to it that you cannot exactly place. It seems to constantly fold back on itself, somehow – you think you have the measure of it and then it switches again, still retaining an image of its former self but with a new layer to explore. There’s a point about an hour in, when all the various threads seem to mingle into an intricate knot – you can trace each one, yet they have transmogrified into a new creation…
Were we to draw a map of this fragrance’s journey, we could cite the salt on the breeze, sweetness wrapped within a shady forest, misty darkness, warm skin huddled close against cool, mossy wood and the ever-present, slightly melancholy but ultimately intensely comforting echo of sweetness, wood and salt that carry you onwards to the trail’s end.
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BeauFort London Lignum Vitae £95 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at beaufortlondon.com (or see their website for other stockists)
Written by Suzy Nightingale