Which are the most fragrant roses on earth? Read our guide to a heavenly scented garden…

Is anything more disappointing than spotting a voluptuously gorgeous rose, cupping it gently in your hands and going in for the sniff… only to discover it’s completely without scent? Obviously we adore fragrance here at The Perfume Society, and roses just have to be in our Top Three Flowers Ever – so as part of our on-going celebrations we’d love to share with you a particularly fragrant feature on the very best scented roses you can grow, to make your garden smell like heaven on earth…
Written for us by Country Living Gardens editor, Stephanie Donaldson, The Most Fragrant Roses on Earth was previously an exclusive feature in our award-winning magazine, The Scented Letter… From interviews with the world’s top perfumers, a round-up of the latest launches you absolutely must sniff right now and a plethora of perfumed features – we have our finger firmly on the pulse to bring you all the news your nose should know.
Available in flickable-format online to subscribers, so many of you told us you were laboriously printing it out at home, page by page, that we listened and also made it available in a gorgeously glossy print version to satiate your scent-reading lusts (and save your printer cartridges!) In fact, we’re honoured to have readers worldwide, with the launch of our International Subscription, and now you can join the ever-growing throng to see the sort of thing you’ve been missing out on so far.
So, settle back with a cuppa and breathe in the heady scent of possibility for the rose garden of your dreams…




 
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Who's the daddy? Help him hit all the right fragrance notes this Father's Day…

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, so they say, but let’s push the positivity and imagine there was a way to gently guide your papa (or perhaps any man in your life) toward a whole new era of perfumed wonders…
Though some fathers’ are doubtless swanking about in all the latest scents, we have to face facts here and accept that, occasionally, stereotypes exist for a reason, and one of those is that dads of a certain age like to cling, comfort-blanket like, to jeans that no longer fit them and fragrances that make them feel like they’re starring in a 70s cop show – all hairy chests, gold medallions and witty one-liners.

It’s time to tell him (subtly, let’s be nice) that he’s not going to be sliding across the bonnet of a Dodge Charger any time soon (especially not in those jeans), take him by the hand and nudge him toward trying something new.
Now, with our carefully curated selection in the Men’s Edit he’ll get to try absolutely everything you see here; so instead of ‘who’s the daddy?’ perhaps the question should be, ‘which daddy does he want to be, today…?’
Dandified
Crisp apple top notes studded with peppercorns are freshened further by bergamot as waves of mandarin meld in to the smoky lavender of a suitably masculine floral heart. Violet, jasmine and geranium entwine with comfortingly creamy base notes of guaiac wood and vanilla – like a corsage worn in the button-hole of an immaculately tailored suit hiding a charmingly quirky lining.
Parfums de Marly Layton 1.2ml eau de parfum (normally £145 for 75ml)
Fastidious
With the marmalade tang of bitter orange switching to the sauna-like steaminess of cardamom and black pepper, there’s a particularly intriguing tingle of warm spices added to the laid-back aloofness of the sandalwood and vetiver. A fragrance for the gentleman who’s naturally nonchalant but with a keen eye for the small details, everything just feels effortlessly laconic and refined – so, even if his dressing gown’s frayed, he’ll feel like James Bond in this.
Dunhill Icon Elite 1.5ml eau de parfum (£95 for 100ml)
Free-spirited
Appealing to his bohemian spirit, this tobacco-laden scent speaks of long liquid lunches in smoky French brasseries padded with faded leather and panelled in dark wood. Musky Cuban cascarilla oil is pierced by the piquancy of pimento berries and a cool shot of pine needles with herbaceously aromatic sage. The gently smouldering base of Malaysian patchouli gets comfortable with a boozy cherry-like sweetness of the toasty tonka beans – perfect for the dad who rather fancies himself as an undiscovered artist.

Miller Harris Feuilles de Tabac 7.5ml eau de parfum (£95 for 100ml)
Genius
Composed entirely of one ingredient – an aroma-chemical named vetiveryle acetate – this somehow conveys every single character that vetiver can transform in to. Starting high it’s all airy, sparkling sunshine, before swooping apace to newly mown lawns and welcome shade. Digging deeper we get earthiness, lush undergrowth fresh from a monsoon and a final soft balminess that feels like a long, cold glass of gin and tonic after a long day of thinking too much.
Escentric Molecules M 03 2ml eau de parfum (£72 for 100ml)
Adventurer
A tropical journey to the darker side of vetiver’s nature, here we follow the trail of the aroma chemical vetiveryle acetate (used in isolation in the M 03 version, above) as it meets the fizzy warmth of freshly peeled ginger shot through with lime. Think jasmine tea incongrously sipped in the shade of a wooden hut, the tanned skin warmth of amber mingling with smooth sandalwood and a cracked leather muskiness that’ll make him feel like the Indiana Jones of his dreams.
Escentric Molecules E 03 2ml eau de parfum (£72 for 100ml)
Artistic
Taking its inspiration from one of the Rococo period’s most loved stylistic icons, the magnolia here is beautifully clean and waxy, while infusing with it the softness of a dry, mossy rose. If your dad’s a ‘man’s man’ and would shy away, get him to try it at least before (perhaps) permanently ‘borrowing’ this one for yourself. Not your fault if he misses out on the sense of frivolity and freshness of sweetpea while zippingly juicy bergamot, cassis and mandarin give a green tanginess and the cinnamon, clove and sandalwood of the dry down leave a trail of spiciness that hints of exoticism.
Clive Christian Nobile VIII Magnolia 1.5ml eau de parfum (£350 for 50ml)
Charmer
Infused with the infamous ‘everlasting flower’, there’s a definite snuggly fuzziness imbued with woody undertones of calming papyrus, warm amber and the tender coolness of vetiver. Elegant and as pleasingly long-lasting as the name might suggest, this is at once characterful and noble. Not the kind of fragrance that loudly declares itself and enters the room before you – it’s noticable all the same (and for all the right reasons). Doesn’t your dad deserve some understated luxury for a change?
Clive Christian Nobile VIII Immortelle 1.5ml eau de parfum (£350 for 50ml)
Cool
Crystal clear limoncello slowly poured over ice cubes until you hear them begin to crackle, droplets of cold water forming on the glass as humidity hits, a distant buzz of traffic fusing with the hum of bees – we’re somewhere on the Amalfi coast in your dad’s head, in a villa he happens to own but doesn’t make a fuss about. Lagubriously lounging in the shade it’s all easy-breeziness as the sun sets and the earthiness of patchouli rises to meet the warmth of ambroxan. Just make sure he loans you the keys to the villa sometimes, eh?

Jimmy Choo MAN ICE 2ml eau de toilette (from £30 for 30ml)
Lothario
Yes, yes, we know it’s uncomfortable to think about, but chances are your dad still retains something of his youthful swagger and would very much like to be thought of as the dashing cad (rather than the slipper-wearing dad). Let’s just say this is jam-packed with musk all the way through – from highly refined, eyebrow-waggling mischievousness to the rugged wolfishness of the dry down – and let him be.
Initio Parfums Magnetic Blend 7 1.2ml eau de parfum (£154 for 90ml)
CEO
He might not be able to drive the real thing, but at least he can wear it and dream with this cleverly composed fragrance that somehow evokes contrasting textures and terrains. Zesty bergamot suggests speed and excitement before a cool – almost metallic sheen – of violet leaf segues from saltiness through misty undergrowth to a highly refined heart of suave sandalwood, and the luxurious softness of cashmere and nestled in moss.

Bentley Momentum 1.8ml eau de toilette (£59 for 100ml)
Athletic
A hint of soda-fizziness in the opening notes could be a cheeky nod to the half-time refreshment of the legendary football hero behind this brand. Indeed, your father opening a can of fizzy pop might be the only connection he has with Ronaldo (in reality), but wearing this flamboyant yet assuredly rugged scent will be at least one step closer to the real thing. We’re particularly loving the floral notes of peony and violet here – not what you might expect from a sporting scent, but wonderfully soapy and clean on a man’s skin.
Cristiano Ronaldo Legacy 2ml eau de toilette (£29 for 30ml)

As though this wardrobe of fragrant personalities weren’t enough, there’s two generous additional gifts of the (full-size and worth £31 alone!) Aromatherapy Associates Refinery Eye Gel to refresh his peepers and wonderfully soothing Penhaligon’s No. 33 Moisturiser 5ml (normally £38 for 75ml) – so we think you’ll agree, The Men’s Edit is a gift that will keep on giving long beyond Father’s Day…

Written by Suzy Nightingale
 

Choosing our top three Discovery Boxes was tough! WIN our favourite fragrances

May is a month to celebrate here at The Perfume Society – not just because of the double Bank Holiday but because its our third birthday! And instead of keeping the celebrations to one day, we are in the party sprit all month.
They say that ‘good things come in threes’, so you may have noticed we’re counting down some of our most memorable moments that have made us who we are today…
We’ve been helping people discover (or rediscover) both new and iconic scents for three years now. One of our favourite parts about running The Perfume Society is sharing some of our favourite finds with you in all of our Discovery Boxes, so it was seriously tough to narrow it down to just three.
We are giving away our top three boxes to one lucky winner, so make sure you enter the prize draw at the bottom of this page!

Number 3. Latest Launches Discovery Box

 

Fans of our award-winning magazine, The Scented Letter, will be familiar with our Latest Launches section which showcases all the just-released scents – the ultimate newsdesk for noses in the know. Bringing this popular section to life, our Latest Launches Discovery Box is jam packed full of new releases. We were proud to feature the not even released E.Coudray’s Rose Tubéreuse,  a stunning day and night duo from Miller Harris and the exquisite new Chypre from Annick Goutal. Plus a whole load more….

Number 2. Prada Parfums Les Infusions de Prada Discovery Box

 

This box was our first Brand Exclusive Discovery Box: a stunning collection of Prada‘s Les Infusions de Prada fragrances, featuring 6 x 8ml eau de parfum miniature bottles (48ml of fragrance in all), plus our signature Smelling Notes for each scent. This limited edition collectible box has been designed especially to showcase Prada Parfums Les Infusions de Prada in six most adorable and desirable 8ml miniature eau de parfum bottles…

 

Number 1. Secret Scentsations Discovery Box


Coming in at the all important number 1 spot, this stunning Discovery Box is a hand-pick edit featuring some of our most exciting perfume discoveries yet. In many cases, these ‘Secret Scentsations’ come to you from ‘rising stars’: names that are not (yet) widely-known, but which we believe are worth sniffing out by perfumistas (of both sexes)…

We are giving away our top three boxes to one lucky winner, fill in your details below and you could win!

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Petite Chérie: Annick Goutal and Claudie Pierlot share the love with a new limited edition

‘A cheek you want to kiss’ is how Annick Goutal described Petite Chérie – a signature scent for the house, and a highly personal one – Annick originally developed the fragrance as an homage for her daughter Camille, who worked alongside her mother and now, following the sad death of Annick in 1999 after her long battle with cancer, proudly runs the house of Annick Goutal.
Importantly for Annick Goutal, Petite Chérie echoes the philosophy of another designer, Claudie Pierlot, and her idea of femininity ‘a young woman guided by insouciance and joy’.

Annick Goutal say: ‘Claudie Pierlot and Annick Goutal have always shared the same taste for elegance: a singularly Parisian look that subverts the classic codes; like a seemingly classical dress that reveals a nude back embroidered with pearls, or a distinctly floral scent dressed in fruity notes.’
‘Behind the musky rose is a pear, juicy and crisp, a peach, sweet and soft and also a freshly cut grass facet. Everything is said: a woman-child, sweet, assertive. A cheek you want to kiss.’ – Annick Goutal.

We just adore this beautiful campaign, and far more than merely a pretty new bottle, the love goes right to heart of the ethos of these two design houses. Watch the darling short film below, and read on for their moving (and important) contribution to share the love with charity – and the stylish way you can get involved…

Full of love and the special regard in which we should hold (and remember) the blossoming of a wonderful young woman, the two houses have teamed up with a chairty close to their hearts, to ensure and assert their convitctions and ‘…their belief in creating a more free world through education by supporting La Chaîne de l’Espoir (The Chain of Hope) charity.
La Chaîne de l’Espoir has been operating for more than 25 years in Togo, Benin, Nepal, India, Thailand and Haiti, giving the most vulnerable children the opportunity to go to school or gain access to vocational training. Furthermore, La Chaîne de l’Espoir education programs allow 11,000 children to attend school every year, taking care of their school fees, material support, food aid or medical care.
For each Petite Chérie limited edition perfume and specially designed t-shirt sold, 50% of the profits will be donated towards this well-deserving charity.

Petite Chérie Marinière (Claudie Pierlot designed t-shirt) is available at claudiepierlot.com
Annick Goutal Petite Chérie Limited Edition,  £112 for 100ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Selfridges
Written by Suzy Nightingale

It's a hat-trick! Our THIRD Men's box is here in time for Father's Day

Carefully curated The Men’s Edit is our third box, that’s just for the boys. Just in time for Father’s day on 18th June – or indeed any other excuse you need to treat the nearest and dearest – the selection includes 11 fragrances from Bentley, Clive Christian, Escentric Molecules and Cristiano Ronaldo, plus two grooming extras worth more than £40!
The Men’s Edit is priced £15 + p&p* and currently only available to VIP Subscribers (it will be £19 + p&p* to non-VIPs in due course). Log in to your account to take advantage of the special VIP Subscriber price – and if you’re not a VIP yet, sign up here.
Do share your favourites from the beautiful selection of fragrances below on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, tagging us using the hashtag #TheMensEdit)
 Parfums de Marly Layton 1.2ml eau de parfum
Jimmy Choo MAN ICE 2ml eau de toilette
Initio Parfums Magnetic Blend 7 1.2ml eau de parfum
Bentley Momentum 1.8ml eau de toilette
Dunhill Icon Elite 2ml eau de parfum
• Miller Harris Feuilles de Tabac 2ml eau de parfum
Cristiano Ronaldo Legacy 2ml eau de toilette
Clive Christian Nobile VIII Magnolia 1.5ml eau de parfum
Clive Christian Nobile VIII Immortelle 1.5ml eau de parfum
Escentric Molecules E 03 2ml eau de parfum
Escentric Molecules M 03 2ml eau de parfum
Aromatherapy Associates The Refinery Eye Gel 15ml worth £31
Penhaligon’s No. 33 Moisturiser 5ml

* Please note, postage and packaging is charged at £2.50

THE MEN'S EDIT: Christiano Ronaldo Legacy

FRAGRANCE FAMILY: WOODY
Top notes: bergamot, cinnamon, green apple, lavender
Heart notes: orris root, cedar, peony, violet, rosemary, sage
Base notes: patchouli, ambergris, smoked vetiver
There’s a fascinating soft hint of soda-fizziness in the opening notes of this original fragrance – perhaps a cheeky nod to a half-time refreshment for the legendary footballer behind this brand. A fearlessly flamboyant yet assuredly rugged scent, this, we can’t help but imagine the man himself wearing it – fitting his character as snugly as his array of designer suits.
Dashingly attractive, we’re particularly loving the floral notes of peony and violet here – not what you might expect from a sporting hero’s scent, but fabulously sexy on a man’s skin. Think: soapy, warm-skin cleanliness, fresh from the shower and wrapped in a fluffy white towel… (We know we are.)
As the top notes meld seamlessly to the heart, a softly powdered warmth boosts the base with that gently smoked vetiver emerging in the dry-down for a truly compulsive fragrance we’ll definitely be getting up close and personal with.

THE MEN'S EDIT: Dunhill Icon Elite

FRAGRANCE FAMILY: WOODY
Top notes: Sicilian bigarade, vetiver, sandalwood
Heart notes: : blue sage, juniper, cardamom, black pepper
Base notes: ebony wood, black suede
Bigarade is the species of bitter orange native to Southeast Asia, with wild trees growing in Florida and The Bahamas. Also known as the Seville orange, these highly prized fruits are used in the production of marmalade. We can imagine a man wearing this fragrance while lounging over breakfast in a stylish country house, deciding where he wants an adventure today…
With the crisp freshness of the opening almost immediately switching to a sauna-like steaminess, cardamom and black pepper add the tingle of warm spices to the laconic richness of sandalwood and vetiver – the signature of the scent. A fragrance for the gentleman who’s naturally nonchalant but with a fastidious eye for the finishing details, everything feels effortlessly refined and embodies the timeless appeal and craftsmanship of this consistently classy British brand.

THE MEN'S EDIT: Bentley Momentum

FRAGRANCE FAMILY: ORIENTAL
Top notes: bergamot, green violet, clary sage
Heart notes: : grey amber, cashmere wood, jasmine petals, aquatic
Base notes: sandalwood, tonka bean, moss, musks
Intriguingly juxtaposed notes evoke contrasting textures and terrains, the first burst awash with energising, zesty bergamot before a cool – almost metallic sheen – of violet segues from saltiness through misty undergrowth and ever onwards to the aromatically arresting heart. Here we encounter particularly suave sandalwood, swathed in the luxurious softness of cashmere and nestled in moss.
Brilliant perfumer Nathalie Lorson has composed a fragrance as sleek and sophisticated as the iconic Bentley cars – expect the unexpected with this at first freshly herbaceous, then smoothly contemporary fragrance, masterfully designed to take your senses on a journey and leave others marvelling in your trail…

Jasper Conran gets Naked!

Having already been Nude, Jasper Conran’s now getting Naked with a new masculine eau de toilette you’ll definitely want to get beneath the wrappings of…
Can we take a moment to celebrate the fact that men are now getting more variety in the scent world? While it’s not often we shed a tear for the chaps, we must admit they have been horrifically under-catered for until very recently, with only sporty/fresh/musky options in practically all ranges. Now there are more interesting combintions, including (gasp) flowers creeping in, and we couldn’t be more pleased. Floral notes nd softly powdered green touches such as violet leaves (read on, below) smell a-maz-ing on a man’s skin and with the weather (hopefully) warming up, it’s a great time to hoorah about that fact.
Jasper Conran say: ‘Aromatic and effortlessly masculine Naked encapsulates Jasper Conran’s refined approach to scent, first experienced with his signature lines Woman and Man and more recently Nude for women.’ Talking about the inspiration for Naked Man, and how it’s meant to make you feel, they go on to explain it’s all about the emotions beneath that ‘Natural attraction, effortless masculinity…’
It’s a pretty clear olfactory theme – what lies beneath the clothes he’s so famous for? Well as it happens, in Jasper Conran’s world the Nude or Naked skin smells pretty damn great. But what did we make of it? Well, let’s undress this a little…
At first it’s all about the zest – grapefruit and bergamot – a burst of freshness that makes you want to strip off and run through the sprinklers in the park. But maybe resist that urge for now and wait for the intriguing notes of violet leaves, entwined with the shady cool of breeze of vetiver, to take root. Finally, cedarwood slinks to a base of lightly handled patchouli, warm tingles of amber and a smoothly leathery sandalwood. It’s definitely one to
A modern masculine with refinement at its core, we’re loving the elegant bottle and will totally be borrowing this from the chaps!

Jasper Conran Naked Man, £35 for 100ml eau de toilette
Buy it at debenhams.com
Written by Suzy Nightingale

The top 3 perfume tips to ensure you're a nose in the know…

‘Can you help save my marriage?’ is probably the most – um, unexpected request we’ve had (terribly nice chap who phoned to ask for advice on the things he should tell his wife in order to justify buying himself a rather costly bottle of niche perfume. Long story short: no lawyers needed, in this instance). But generally we get asked the same kind of questions time and again.
So what does this tell us? Something we already knew from experience: the world of perfume can be a rather overwhelming and bewildering place. Full of confusing language and conflicting advice that could dizzy the best of us in to an olfactory coma, it’s often a confusing and even off-putting arena in which to set foot (or nose).
Here at The Perfume Society we are proud to be celebrating our third birthday – founded by Jo Fairley and Lorna McKay, we exist exactly because of this befuddlement. Our ethos is to bring perfume alive through our informative website, award-winning magazine, exclusive events and Discovery Boxes to try at home, and we always aim to make fragrance accessible to perfume-lovers of all abilities!
However experienced your nose is, it’s good to get a refresher now and again – and our FAQs section is jam-packed with tips for how to choose a fragrance, what the ‘fragrance families’ mean, how ingredients are harvested (and the best perfumes to smell them in) and so much more. But before you get flitting around all things fragrant, let’s start with our all-time top three tips your nose should know…

1 – How can I choose a perfume that’s right for me?
Short answer:
It’s a minefield, right? Where to even begin? Well, our first tip is to give a perfume time. So many of us spray, sniff immediately (bascially it’s just the alcohol you’re smelling, with perhaps a mere whiff of top notes) and walk away. STOP this immediately. Sorry to nag, but it’s never going to get you the fragrance you really want.
Further advice:
Initially, try the fragrance on a blotter (also known as a perfume ‘spill’); these should be available on perfume counters – and when you buy a Discovery Box from this site, you’ll find a pack of blotters inside. Allow a few minutes for the alcohol and the top notes to subside, and then smell the blotters. At this stage you may be able to eliminate one or more, if they don’t appeal – but it is really the heart notes and the lingering base notes which you will live with, and which are crucial.
Remember:  blotters are a useful way of eliminating no-hopers and lining up possibilities, but they’re not really enough to base a perfume purchase on.  You really need to smell a scent on your skin.
Do make the most of FR.eD: The Perfume Society’s ‘virtual fragrance consultant’ who you’ll find on this site here (the name’s actually short for Fragrance Editor). You can tell FR.eD which perfumes you’re keen on, and ‘he’ will make a personalised selection, suggesting up to six fragrances at a time for you to try, at various price-points. Genius!

2 – How can I make fragrance last longer?
Short answer:
If you moisturise your skin, this gives the oils something to ‘cling’ to, and will boost its staying power.  So, if the ‘matching’ body products are available, it’s a beautiful way to layer on your fragrance. If these range extensions aren’t available, go for an unscented body cream, butter or lotion which won’t clash with your chosen scent. Think of it as a primer for perfume.
Further advice:
Try spraying your hair as well as your skin – though be careful if the perfume is dark in colour as you may unintentionally dye your hair… Hair is porous and will waft the scent even longer than on your skin in many cases.
Spritz a scarf with with scent and the heat of your body will make the fragrance bloom. Also a handy way to try a new fragrance you’re not sure of. Bored of it? Simply take the scarf off and try something else…
Remember that the nose becomes desensitised and quickly gets used to the notes of your perfume. Although you may not be able to smell it at all after 30-40 minutes, your friends and colleagues may still be able to, so ask a friend if they can still smell it before dousing yourself afresh (tempting as we find it!)

3 – My perfume seems different to how I remember it.  Is my nose playing tricks…?
Short answer:
Possibly – our memories of scent can sometimes differ wildly to the reality. However, it’s also entirely possible your old favourite’s formula has been changed. This is because, when an ingredient is classified as a potential allergen – by IFRA, the International Fragrance Association – two things may happen:  it can be banned altogether, or its use limited by percentage, to minimise the risk of a susceptible perfume-wearer reacting.
Further advice:
When an ingredient’s re-classified, perfumes may be ‘tweaked’ by the manufacturer.  In some cases, a process called ‘fractionation’ – which allows ingredient manufacturers to remove the allergenic molecule of an fragrance note, while leaving the rest intact – can allow the continued use of that ingredient.
Case in point:  oak moss – invaluable in the creation of the chypre family of perfumes – has become restricted.  Thierry Wasser, Guerlain’s in-house ‘nose’, explained to us that he now uses a ‘fractionated’ oak moss.  ‘However, when you fractionate an ingredient, it leaves a “hole”:  there is something missing,’ added Thierry.  His solution to filling the sensory ‘hole’ in oak moss was to add a touch of – believe it or not – celery.  It’s impossible to discern, to the rest of us – but it gave the rounded quality to that so-essential note that Thierry needed to return the classic Guerlain creation Mitsouko to its former, long-lasting glory.
Occasionally, however, a perfume may change because the company which makes it is bought by another, and the formulation changed.
Written by Suzy Nightingale