A unique opportunity to try six of the Prada‘s Les Infusions de Prada perfumes, the miniature 8ml sized scents are snuggled up and just waiting for you to get to know them. Reason enough for squeals of excitement, but here are five reasons you NEED this Prada Discovery Box in your life (or will definitely know someone who does…) 1. Prada put together this Les Infusions Discovery Box EXCLUSIVELY For The Perfume Society! It cannot be found elsewhere, so collectors take note… 2. You’re getting 48ml of fragrance for £36 – a single 30ml bottle of Les Infusion de Prada is currently £52, so you’re getting to try the entire range AND 18ml MORE perfume, for £16 LESS than the RRP! 3. Our signature ‘Smelling Notes’ are included, using techniques taught to us by the world’s top perfumers, we share with you questions to think about while sniffing each scent – improving your sense of smell forever!
4. Perfumer Daniela Andrier (the ‘nose’ who composed all Les Infusions for Prada) has created some of the world’s best-selling fragrances – her talent was spotted early on, as Chanel’s Jacques Polge gave her an internship… 5. The dinkiest bottles ever, not only are they the perfect size for travel, but why not string them on silver thread as the most glamorous Christmas tree decorations EVER? Or use them as gifts for your swankily scented make-your-own Christmas crackers?
Written by Suzy Nightingale
Mischeviously irreverant Etat Libre d’Orange were the fragrance house megastar fashion designer Roland Mouret chose to collaborate with on his first fragrance – Une Amourette.
We went along to a private launch in Mouret’s flagship Mayfair boutique to find out more, and it’s every bit as fabulously naughty as you might hope…
It may not be the first fashion designer/fragrance house collaboration, but it’s definitely the only one we know of where the designer suggests spraying it between your thighs! Mouret explains: ‘A seductive fragrance – it’s a powerful scent that makes and leaves its mark as you move. You’ll want to wear it at the pulse point between your thighs and as you walk, cross your legs… the warmth and friction unleash an aroma that will capture your attention through the most primitive sense : smell.’
Well, we can’t say we followed this advice at the launch itself (a fragrance ritual probably best undertaken in the privacy of your bedroom, we feel) but it’s a rather compelling suggestion and we may have to try this for ourselves. Courtesans were well known for employing similar scent-seduction tactics in the 18th Century, so perhaps it’s about time we gave it a go. Roland Mouret say: ‘Infusing the sweet smell of neroli essence with traces of cardamom, this sensual fragrance opens with spicy notes of pink peppercorn, before revealing an earthy undertone of patchouli oil enriched with vanilla, that gives this fragrance a tantalising fin.’ Intrigued? Why not watch the man himself explain more, as Roland Mouret talks about working with Etat Libre d’Orange…
Talking to Roland at the launch, he went on to explain that he wanted Une Amourette to smell like ‘the scent of the other [your lover] on your skin…’ We may have blushed. But what a perfect juxtaposition – the mingling of two people’s warm skin, along with a Cologne and a decadent perfume, in one scent. Mouret also talked about the scent memories of his childhood, growing up in France, the smell of chic people mingling with voluptuous bouquets of flowers and drifts of incense from the churches he attended.
On the more usual pulse point to test perfumes – our eager wrists – then, here’s how it smells:
It begins like a lover’s caress, the sense of entangled sheets and warm skin, unmistakable carnality with indolic white flowers and roses scattered across the bed. Bone dry, the spices make their presense known immediately, with cardamom lingering throughout and a peachy succulence and creamy vanilla peeping above the naughtiness, somehow rendering them all the more provocative, like a glimpse of bare flesh beneath velvet coverings. A cool breeze of iris feels infused with a metallic shimmer, and the opoponax (incense) smooths the way insouciantly for an animalic dry-down of akigalawood that lasts the whole day through. Roland Mouret Une Amourette by Etat Libre d’Orange from £82 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at rolandmouret.com
Written by Suzy Nightingale
We’ve seen at least three people wearing Christmas jumpers already, so there’s no avoiding it, folks! And have you seen how many of the gorgeous beauty and fragrance-related limited edition Advent calendars have sold out already? Clearly we like a bit of luxe and a way to spoil ourselves as things get frantic.
Things have moved on apace from the days we used to get a gaudily printed, flimsy cardboard advent calendar in which each of the windows housed cheap chocolate or perhaps just a picture of Santa or the Three Wise Kings.
We’ve rounded up some of our favourites that haven’t (yet!) completely sold-out. But it’s mittens-off: you’d better grab your favourites before they’re gone… Molton Brown Cabinet of Scented Luxuries £165
You had us at ‘Molton Brown’ and won our hearts at ‘Scented’, but finding out the contents are worth a whopping £265 really seals the deal. With 2 x 50ml eau de toilettes, hand treatments, body care, candles, shampoo and a festive bauble for your tree to name a few, the classically attired box of goodies is irresistible.
Buy it at moltonbrown.co.uk L’Occitane Luxury Advent Calendar £89
Packed with £129 worth of products, L’Occitane lavishly showcase their iconic and ultra-nourishing shea butter range, along with 4 mini bottles of perfume, the award-winning Divine Cream for the face and countless other beautifully scented treats to indulge yourself with.
Buy it at loccitane.com 4160 Tuesdays Mini Advent Calendar £75
A bottle of perfume to open and try every day? Yes please! 25 mini bottles are brightly wrapped in their trademark tissue paper and snuggled in a box to delight you or a loved one over the entire Christmas season. We’d be tempted to thread them all with gold wire and hang them on the tree, they’re so pretty…
Buy it at 4160tuesdays.com Rituals Exclusive Advent Calendar £59.50
Spa-scented goodies to slather yourself in from top to toe are housed within the charming Rituals tree – The Ritual of Dao Bed & Body Mist has our name written all over it (we love wearing a scent to bed, don’t you?) and what with Hammam Hot Scrubs, body gloves and fragranced candles to complete the joy, we’ll be smooth, glowing and goregously scented.
Buy it at rituals.com Diptyque Advent Calendar £300
We know it’s only for people on the ‘VERY good’ list of people for Father Christmas to check the beaviour of, but really, with 25 treasures including dinky little Diptyque mini (35g) candles and a selection of other cute miniatures – including 10ml Vinaigre de Toilette, deluxe 15ml skin and body care, and a 70g candle, it’s just too darling not to include on your wish list at least!
Buy it in-store at Diptyque or online at selfridges.com
Written by Suzy Nightingale
Our latest edition of The Scented Letter just went live – you can read it here, if you’re a VIP and logged in – and in the 60 glossy, perfume-packed pages, we feature a very heart-warming story. Soap Co is a wonderful social enterprise based in the East End of London, offering employment to over 100 visually impaired and otherwise disabled people. It’s a hive of activity – and a beacon of hope for the workers, who’ve often experienced employment challenges (and even bullying in the workplace), elsewhere. Soap Co’s making very stylish, beautifully fragrance products for bath and body – living up to their mission statement to ‘look good, smell good, do good’.
The world may have gone Black Friday crazy (yup, guilty as charged – our little sale shop is here) – but we also think it’s important to balance this with sharing news of brands which are making a real difference.
To buy their fab products and/or to find out more about Soap Co, visit thesoapco.org
With bottles that wouldn’t have looked out of place on Marie Antoinette’s dressing table, the French perfume house Parfums de Marly definitely have that aristocratic je nes se quoi about them, and the bottle for their latest fragrance, Delina Exclusif, may be the most ravishingly regal of all!
It’s to the famous ‘perfumed court’ of King Louis XV we are transported to… Parfums de Marly say: ‘The XVIIIth Century was the indisputed reign of King Louis XV. France was the flagship of fragrances, with Grasse and Paris as its leading places. Everyday, the king requested a different scent for his apartments and streams of aromatic scents sprang from the royal fountains. Renowned for its scent extravagances, the court was named “la cour parfumée” (the perfumed court). The best fragrances of all time were invented during this era by the king’s dedicated perfumer ‘Jean Fargeon’.’
You can read more about that perfumed court, the history and inspiration behind the house of Parfums de Marly, on our page dedicated to them. But for now, let’s hit the (fabulously decadent) bottle…
The delicate pale matte-pink puts us in mind of rosebud lips and faintly flushing cheeks, and topped with a silken rope swag – tassled of course – it hints at the beguilingly feminine fragrance within…
Described as a grown-up twist on the original (which launched last year), the top notes shimmer with bergamot, pear and lychee (in place of the fruitier rhubarb) before descending elegantly to a veil of smokily refined incense, amber and vanilla in the base. From ten minutes in we found it transformed from a come-hither look across a ballroom to a swish of heavy satin across the polished wood and then a full-on candlelit encounter and the aftermath, with powdered wigs askew.
One to be worn by budding Courtesans and those well-versed in the language of fans, we feel – and firmly plant ourselves in this category. Parfums de Marly Delina Exclusif £210 for 75ml eau de parfum
Exclusive to Selfridges
Written by Suzy Nightingale
We’ve always believed that smells can transport you across the miles – and through time, too. And La Montaña is proof. Since Cassandra Hall launched her beautiful candle brand a couple of years ago (India Knight’s a fan – and so of course are we), we have been whisked to Spain with every whiff.
The trouble with buying scented candles – not ‘sight-unseen’ but perhaps ‘smell-unsniffed’ – is that you just don’t know what you’re getting. So La Montaña offers a terribly clever way to experience the candles, in the form of beautifully-illustrated scratch ‘n’ sniff cards! ‘
Explains Cassandra: ‘As La Montaña is principally an online business – we like dealing with our customers directly – we have invested in some haute technologie to sample our candle fragrances via crystal technology. It’s hard for people who don’t live in London to sample our fragrances – so we have beautifully-printed sets of our seven fragrances with clear, resealable labels which give an utterly true rendition of each fragrance.’
Simply peel back the clear panel and there’s a perfect, evocative representation of the smell. (We’re using ours as scented bookmarks!) Excitingly, Cass has 100 sets of these scented cards to offer exclusively to Perfume Society readers. Simply click hereto e-mail her – be sure to mention The Perfume Society – and prepare to enter the wonderful, aromatic world of this ‘rising star’ candle brand. What’s more, one lucky reader will receive a full-size La Montaña candle of their choice.’
Cass spends most of the year in Spain and the fragrances recreate the different smells she associates with that country. There are seven scents altogether, of which our three favourites are the following: Alfredo’s Café – inspired by the scents of her village square: coffee, black tobacco and brandy, swirling with leather and incense from the nearby church. As Cass says, ‘Alfredo and his café are real – and wonderful. The only thing missing from this fragrance is the sound of old men slamming down their dominoes. Three Kings – celebrating a winter festival (a highlight of the colder months), we’ll leave it to Cass to describe this: ‘The trees surrounding the village create a background of cedarwood notes mingled with trampled pine needles, while frankincense and myrrh from the church make an accord with traditional, homemade turrón (almond nougat) and a brightening tot of brandy.’ We’re almost there, thanks to a sniff of this seasonally-perfect fragrance… Cloudburst – zingy, sense-awakening and just so refreshing, this evokes the mountainside after a summer storm, when notes from Cassandra’s herb garden blend with the fresh citrus from lemon and lime trees, alongside the scent of wild mountain fennel and rockrose (cistus).
The other fabulous fragrances are Sacred Roses, Gálan de Noche (night-scented jasmine, rose, ylang ylang and orange blossom), Winter Oranges and First Light.
As above, click here to e-mail. Once you’ve received your set, we think you’ll be tempted to try the candles for real – there are lots of options (ranging from £18 for an individual mini candle, which burns from an impressive 15+ hours, to £30 for a 40+ hour full-size candle). And on our Christmas wishlist for sure is this 7-candle set, below, with all the miniatures in one beautiful presentation box (at what we think is a jolly reasonable £75).
Time to say ‘hola!’ to La Montaña, we think – just in time for a feliz Navidad… lamontana.co.uk
Cochinehand creams swathe you in scented luxury as lush floral scents inspired by Saigon fill your senses. Truly one of the most exquisite hand creams we’ve used, the velvety texture soothes and then sinks in with never a trace of greasiness – just perfectly pampered hands and skin. Which ever you have, you’ll be spoiled for choice…
In this gorgeous travel-sized cream, white petals of jasmine, gardenia and peony combine to unfold an enchanting aura that is soft yet elegant. Infused with the sun-filled streets that captured the heart of founder Kate Crofton-Atkins, this is the scent that made her reconsider her career and launch her own brand. (Read more about that here…)
Enriched with vitamin E, apricot kernel oil and natural, plumping sodium hyaluronate know for their exceptional moisturising properties, both of these super enriching hand creams leave your skin feeling supple, scented and beautifully nurtured the whole day through. Simply sublime.
An extra beauty treat just for you, purity 3-in-1 cleanser truly is ‘Purity Made Simple’ – this multi award-winning creamy cleanser delivers on its promise to gently and effectively clean skin, dissolving dirt, oil and makeup (even stubborn eye makeup!) to deep clean pores while maintaining the skin’s proper moisture levels – all in one fell swoop.
The vanilla custard texture is a pleasure to use, with a comforting, soft scent that eases you into the day and soothes away your cares at night, leaving your skin clean, comfortable and velvety smooth to the touch.
We love the way Philosophy describe their ethos, inspiring you ‘…to look, live and feel [your] best. We enhance the health and beauty of the skin through multi-tasking skin care and feel-good scents.’ Taking the hassle out of a beauty routine is Philosophy’s, well, philosophy! With no harsh ingredients or time-consuming regimes, all of their products ‘do what they say on the bottle’, for a fuss-free but still wonderfully indulgent-feeling pleasure to use.
And how handy is this travel-size bottle? Perfect for popping in your bag for an overnight stay or longer holiday, and a wonderful way to try this iconic award-winner for yourselves!
Our latest Discovery Box has to be the most sumptuously indulgent yet! The Velvet Collection has just launched, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to share a little more about it with you, here… Prepare to sink into a state of scented bliss!
One of the most incredible powers perfume has is to make us feel swathed in luxury, as though we could reach out and stroke it. So when describing a perfume, we borrow language that evokes how they make us feel when wearing them, and most often those words are textural – suede-like, supple leather, soft cashmere, crisp cotton… and the most luxurious of all: velvet.
So how perfect to use this utterly sumptuous word in the title of our latest Discovery Box – The Velvet Collection…
In our latest curated collection of fragrances and scented goodies – nine perfume samples, two extra beauty treats AND a full-size Green & Blacks Velvet Edition chocolate bar in this one! – ‘velvet’ becomes a stepping-stone into exploring a sensuously scented world. Velvet makes us think of joyous opulence, abundant allure; richly hued and silky to the touch, but with enough of a fur-like feel to make us purr contentedly. Reassuring to wrap around you and reassuringly expensive, velvet also reflects the light with subtle nuances and complexity of character.
We’re so privileged at The Perfume Society to meet and interview some of the top perfumers in the world, and we always ask them what we can do to improve our sense of smell, to enhance the way we perceive a perfume. We feed these tips back to our How to Improve Your Sense of Smell Workshops (see Events section for news of these), and the most consistent advice is that we should try to think of textures, colours and places to envisage and ‘fix’ a scent in our mind.
And we wonder: which of these will become your second-skin, the fragrance you want to reach out and stroke as you fix the scent-sensation in your mind…? Map of the Heart Gold Heart – a warm gleam of comforting spices Avery E – frosted red fruits swathed in swags of flowers Vince Camuto Amore – frozen clementines wrapped in amber Lalique Reve d’Infini – white roses powder-dusted by a swansdown puff Connock London Andiroba – rainforest fruits discovered in lush greenery Valeur Absolue Rouge Passion – precious flowers tingling with ginger Ruth Mastenbroek Firedance – scarlet roses smouldering shamelessly Floral Street Chypre Sublime – bohemian romantics artistically cavorting Atkinsons Pirates Grand Reserve – dashing cads plundering exotic goods
PLUS: the exquisitely scented and ultra-nourishing Cochine hand lotion (in White Jasmine & Gardenia) a handy travel-size of Philosophy’s iconic Purity 3-in-one-cleanser and Green & Black’s scrumptious new Velvet Edition chocolate bar!
All of this can be yours to try in the comfort of your own home – no high-pressure, zero hassle and the time to make up your own mind, and for just £19 (VIP price £15) + P&P
So we suggest you treat yourself, close the curtains and give in to the luxurious allure of The Velvet Collection Discovery Box…
Velvety smooth chocolate that just melts in the mouth is surely one of life’s great pleasures, and so we really wanted to indulge you by giving you a full-size bar of Green & Black’s Velvet Edition to try in our Velvet Collection Discovery Box!
The ‘mouth-feel’ sensation of softness truly sets this range apart, and Brandt Maybury, Green & Black’s Taste Specialist, explained why they had worked so hard on developing the new Velvet Edition range. While many people already adore the taste of dark chocolate, ‘We know that… others sometimes ﬁnd the taste a little bitter. So, we scoured the globe to ﬁnd the right cocoa beans to create the unique taste proﬁle of Green & Black’s Velvet Edition. A dark 70% chocolate that is rich in cocoa content, yet exceptionally smooth in ﬂavour.’
Ethically sourced chocolate from the finest ingredients, with no artificial colours, flavours and preservatives, one of the secrets is the delicious Ghanaian cocoa beans they gently roast, carefully balanced with sweet Madagascan vanilla (which also happens to be one of our favourite fragrance notes!) We know dark chocolate lovers will already be fans, but definitely think it’ll convert those of you who usually prefer milk. This manages to balance depth of cocoa flavour while remaining sweet and smooth, with subtle notes of roasted hazelnut, coconut and raisins.
We often use Green & Black’s Chocolate in our How to Improve Your Sense of Smell Workshops (see Events for more information), asking attendees to pop a square of chocolate into their mouth but hold their nose at first, then release and breathe in, savouring the incredible explosion of flavours that suddenly appear – a true test of the vital link between our sense of smell and taste: try it yourself at home, and prepare to be amazed! greenandblacks.com
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