How to buy perfume as a present – for friends, family, and yourself!

The C word. No not that one. Okay well, sometimes it is that one (especially at this time of year) when suddenly the Halloween decorations have been torn down and now you’re supposed to hurl yourself into crowds of equally stressed shoppers, frantically trying to buy ‘The Perfect Present.’ What FUN! Well worry not, because we suggest you start here and do at least some of it from the comfort of your sofa/desk/bed…

How to buy fragrance at Christmas? Where do you even begin? Well, right here with The Perfume Society‘s everything-one-click-away guide! From nervous noses to designer divas and fashionably scented gents, we’ve got something to suit everyone – and a way for yout to treat yourself, guilt-free, too!


If you already know what they love:
Great! Well done you. Why not have a look at matching products available, such as a gorgeously decadent bath oil, rich body cream or even a fragranced hair mist. Or how about a special limited edition bottle of their all-time favourite? [Psst! We have a stunning selection to show you in our soon-to-be-published Christmas edition of The Scented Letter magazine, so watch this space…] It’s often possible to find travel-size versions of perfumes at this time of year, and if you really wanted to push the boat out – how wonderful it would be to book a night in a nice hotel or day spa trip, and add the ticket/voucher to the box of mini sizes in a golden envelope!

If they want to try something new:
There are times when one tires of always having the same fragrance, though, so if they’ve expressed an interest in branching out, take a look at our genius Find a Fragrance online tool. We were thrilled to get a shout-out on Nick Gilbert and Thomas Dunkley‘s Fume Chat Podcast, recently, in which they suggested our Find a Fragrance as THE best way to choose a new scent to suit you. completely free to use, and will guide you with six (SO acurate) suggestions of what to try next. The fragrances suggested will have a similar character or style to the ‘old favourite’, perhaps share some similar notes or even the same perfumer. And it *really* works.

When you’re not sure what they like:
A Discovery Box is definitely the way forward. Bursting with luxurious and often hard-to-find mini, try-me size scents and decadents beauty extras, each box is specially curated around a theme, with a particular kind of perfume-lover in mind, or simply showcases some of our favourite fragrant launches. There’s also an amazing array of Brand Boxes, where each house has put together some of their best-sellers for you to try. We have overwhelming feedback that so many of you have already found something completely new – and scents you’d never heard of – in these boxes, and many people go on to get themselves a full-size bottle having fallen in love by happenstance.

Take a look at just some of the scented selections we have on offer – and as we currently have an amazing limited-time offer of a FREE La Montaña Winter Orangess candle for any two boxes you buy, it’s the perfect time to treat yourself, too, isn’t it…?

Are they uniquely bohemian? Here are cult names and iconic new launches from the best niche houses around… Niche Collection Three Discovery Box £19 / £15 for V.I.P Club members.

Fashion-forward and on the look out for the latest trends? This has thirteen new fragrances to try, plus beauty treats! #FROW Discovery Box £19 / £15 for V.I.Ps

 

Are they more classic – all about the costumes dramas, historical biopics and adore museums? Try Fragonard 5 x Eau de Toilette Discovery Set £20

Are they arty & modern – always off to see the latest contemporary exhibitions and stylishly attired? Choose Tom Daxon Discovery Collection One £45

Adventurous types and sun-seekers will love this ready-to-go holiday kit of must-try travel size fragrances. Globetrotter Discovery Box £19 / £15 for V.I.Ps

For someone who’s had a tough year, and everyone who needs to de-stress, give them The Feel Good Box £19 / £15 for V.I.Ps

Bright young things who don’t want to smell like everyone else will fall for this brilliant British house in the Floral Street Discovery Set £14

Those party-goers and socialites will want one of these to make an entrance at their next big ‘do’, so gift The Fragrance Wardrobe Discovery Box £19 / £15 for V.I.Ps

Cool urbanites with their own sense of style will warm to this great niche house that everyone’s been talking about. Kierien NYC Discovery Set £15

We have so much more in our shop to tempt you, and over the next few weeks will be bringing you more guides of How To Buy for particular people, but hopefully this little peek at possible perfumed gifts will get you thinking – and solving some of those present-buying woes right now…

By Suzy Nightingale

Experimental Perfume Club’s bespoke fragrance space at Selfridges

Experimental Perfume Club have launched a LAYERS pop-up lab at Selfridges, London, where customers can now design their own bespoke fragrance from almost endless combinations and have it blended instore, just for them! It’s one space, but with two scent experiences – and it’s shaping the future of fragrance as we know it…

 

The Formula Library

How it works: ‘Create individual blends using our six LAYERS Eau de Parfums in multiple combinations, you can compose over 50,000 unique, personalised fragrances. Our LAYERS App features an in-house algorithm which enables us to understand your personal tastes, before recommending 3 possible formulae that match your unique olfactory profile. You can either choose your favourite blend from the shortlisted selection or customise the fragrance further with the help of our Fragrance Curator. Once you choose your final blend, our Fragrance Curator will formulate your unique fragrance in front of you. And, for the ultimate bespoke touch, you can choose a name for your fragrance and a personalised label for your 50ml bottle.’

 

The Refill Fountain

How it works: ‘Being eco-conscious has always been at the heart of what we do and we strive to source and manufacture responsibly. Our goal is to reduce unnecessary packaging and waste and enable loyal consumers to reuse their packaging again and again. Our first refill service will be available exclusively at the LAYERS lab at Selfridges, London. A place where you can reduce your carbon footprint by bringing back a bottle of your empty 50ml fragrance to be refilled for a reduced price. Looking after both your pennies and the planet.’

 

 

Emmanuelle Moeglin, founder and perfumer of Experimental Perfume Club, said: ‘We love to provide unique olfactory experiences for consumers who are becoming more and more invested in what goes into their products. The LAYERS pop-up lab will take our bespoke perfumery offering to the next level with more formula choice than ever before where customers will be guided in creating their own bespoke fragrance. We are also proud to be a company striving for sustainability with our perfume refills, and are one of only a few perfume brands offering this eco-friendly service.’

 

 

If you can’t make it to Selfridges to experience the fragrant fun first-hand, don’t fear! You can get the feel for layering up the fragrances in your own home by trying the Experimental Perfume Club Blending Boxes for £90 – fine fragrances to wear alone or blend at home to your own bespoke formula, with all ingredients and instructions included.

‘A set of three pocket fragrances and a personal blending bottle. Choose three fragrances from across the collections to customise your own fragrance; one Top, one Mid, one Base eau de parfum. Follow one of the suggested blends or let your imagination run fly!’

 

 

 

Latest Launches: Get your glam on!

Chanel, Dior, Armani, Marc Jacobs, Gaultier…The big names are out in force with fabulous flacons and sublime scents that just belong to Party Season. With bottles of red, pink, blue and gold, this week’s latest launches smell as dazzlingly good as they look.

CHANEL_GABRIELLE_ESSENCE
CHANEL
GABRIELLE CHANEL ESSENCE
‘With Gabrielle Chanel Essence, I wanted to cut to the essentials, to the heart of the fragrance, and reaffirm it with a more voluptuous trail,’ explains Olivier Polge, Chanel’s resident Perfumer-Creator. Maintaining the signature floralcy of jasmine, ylang ylang and orange blossom, he further brightened the sparkling overture with citrus and a tangy red berry twist, boosting the trail with vanilla, sandalwood and white musk for a sillage to turn strangers’ heads.
From £85 for 50ml eau de parfum
chanel.com
DIOR_JOY_EAU_DE_PARFUM_INTENSE
DIOR
JOY BY DIOR EAU DE PARFUM INTENSE
In the words of François Demachy, ‘I created this new version of JOY based on the idea of a burst of flowers streaming forth, as luminous as a firework. I wanted to emphasise its sensual aspect and shine a new light, accentuating the impression it makes by giving even more volume to the woods, a more sensual layer.’ That luminosity is decanted into a pink faceted flacon that will definitely spark joy.
£110 for 90ml eau de parfum intense
dior.comGIORGIO_ARMANI_SI_PASSIONE

GIORGIO ARMANI
SÌ PASSIONE RED MAESTRO
There is always a mini-stampede to the counter for the occasional special editions of Sì Passione, and this will prove no exception, we’re sure. In its red-ribboned get-up inspired by Armani’s haute couture collections, the juice is set to inflame passions with a floral-fruity structure that’s based around rose and jasmine accords, given a slightly tart-but-sweet twist by blackcurrant. And as it’s warmed on the body, Red Maestro’s musky sensuality comes out to play.
£75 for 50ml eau de parfum
armanibeauty.co.uk
MARC_JACOBS_DAISY_LOVE-EAU-SO_SWEETMARC JACOBS
DAISY LOVE EAU SO SWEET
White raspberries and musk now reveal themselves in this gorgeously realised scent – the iconic bottle a delicate blush of pink and the perfect fragrance for younger fans (or those of us still young at heart!) Youthfulness certainly abounds, a freshness of face, a sparkle in the eye that would echo the bright cheerfulness of the Daisy girl. Effervescent and lovely, this flirty, fluffy fragrance will grace any dressing table with its charm.
£57 for 100ml eau de toilette
superdrug.com
JEAN_PAUL_GAULTIER_LE_BEAUJEAN PAUL GAULTIER
LE BEAU
Coconut, bergamot and tonka bean tempt your senses in this Garden of Eden- inspired duo. As a fig-leafed Adam wanders through paradise, he’s set to be seduced by the sweetness of the coconut milk and bewitched by the addictive toastiness of the almond-like dry down. The effervescent bergamot bubbles throughout, shards of sunlight piercing the decadent concoction, but only adding to the bliss for the lucky person who wears it.
£52.50 for 75ml eau de toilette
theperfumeshop.com

Ralph Lauren Polo Red Rush: Exclusive Q&A with perfumer

We caught up with Olivier Gillotin, the perfumer behind Ralph Lauren’s Polo Red Rush fragrance, for an exclusive Q&A and a sneak peek behind the scenes of his inspiration for creating the scent…

Q1. What was your inspiration behind POLO RED RUSH?

In designing the Polo Red Rush fragrance, I was inspired by the acceleration, elation and intensity during the very beginning of a race. I wanted to translate the rush of those never-ending first seconds into the fragrance. To achieve this vision, it needed to bring an immediate, intense freshness. Two ingredients inspired me at first: red mandarin for an impulsive, crispy start, then fresh mint for its energizing power.

Q2. How would you describe the way POLO RED RUSH smells?

I like to describe Polo Red Rush as an energetic red water – a fresh water tinted with crisp, energizing red notes. The citrus top notes (red mandarin, red grapefruit, lemon and pineapple) complement the spearmint mid note for an immediate fresh effect. The scent evolves on the skin with facets of red saffron while orange flower adds a masculine watery fluidity. Finally, a vibrant burst of roasted red coffee is streamlined with Cedarwood, bringing a new sleekness and elevating the background with an enamoring trail of woody musk.

Q3. How does POLO RED RUSH fit into the POLO RED franchise?

Polo Red Rush takes the franchise to the next level, capturing the sensations of speed, seduction and freedom. With its fresh, invigorating and surprising association of citrusy mint and cedarwood, Polo Red Rush perfectly rounds out the Polo Red portfolio.

Q4. What are the main differences between POLO RED, POLO RED EXTREME AND POLO RED RUSH?

Polo Red Rush is a crisp, energetic new interpretation of the original Polo Red. It elevates a spiced, cool watery freshness and bold red citrus profile. Spearmint from Morocco joins as a new bracing and dynamic element. Coffee notes play a supporting role to enhance a sleekly sensual dry-down with cedarwood and musk.

Q5. How did you choose the key notes for POLO RED RUSH? What makes the olfactive structure so intriguing?

Polo Red Rush masters a high proportion of saffron that is paired up with citrusy mint. I chose to elevate saffron for its unique and vibrant character able to unveil a fascinating fresh-spicy facet. Mint – saffron is an unusual and surprising association that creates a fresh yet intense and refined energy. Both ingredients fit perfectly well and complement each other.

Q6. Were there any special techniques or stand-out ingredients used to achieve your vision for POLO RED RUSH?

The creation process has been a construction – deconstruction “game”. My original intention was to design the ultimate experience of fresh energy for the Polo Red thrill-seeker. After translating this idea into fragrance, I deconstructed the formula to clearly identify and highlight its best facets – crisp and citrusy mint, cedarwood, saffron. I then removed all unnecessary ingredients to maintain the most relevant ones and to develop the fragrance in a fresh, unique and refined way.

Q7. What makes POLO RED RUSH so crisp and energizing?

Polo Red Rush has everything of a fresh water putting the emphasis on citrus and mint. In addition to that, I highly elevated saffron, as a powerful red spice imbued with fresh intensity and a key ingredient for the franchise. The combination of citrusy mint and saffron create this unique crisp and energizing freshness.

Q8. You’ve often described how the color red inspires you. How did you channel that inspiration into an entirely different olfactive experience for POLO RED RUSH?

For each Polo Red fragrance, I ensured that the smell brought to mind the color red. Polo Red and Polo Red Extreme respectively focused on the symbolic of seduction and power. With Polo Red Rush, I wanted to explore another strong and explicit meaning: energy. It inspired me to design a red water acting like a booster. This red water needed to be olfactively infused with the positive and stimulating energy of the color to be able to master a never ending rush.

Ralph Lauren Polo Red Rush £55 for 75ml eau de toilette
Try it at debenhams.com

Connock London’s win GOLD Pure Beauty Award

Connock London have just won GOLD for Best Niche Fragrance at the Pure Beauty Awards, and what’s more, they’ve popped up with a perfumed treatment space at Westfield London – the perfect place to explore their range of award-winning niche fragrances, candles, body-care luxuries and more. But fear not if you can’t make it there in person, for we have a wonderful suggestion for you to try samples of their scents without even having to leave your sofa…

At the very heart of this wonderful British brand is family. Amanda Connock inherited her passion for scent through her father, mesmerised by the wonderfully exotic and natural essences he would bring from his travels as an ingredient supplier to the fragrance world. Today her brand, Connock London, is a best-kept perfume secret – but one that’s shared by those-in-the-know, inspired by the love of and respect for nature, native folklore and travels.

Connock London Vittaveli is the fragrance that won Gold for Best Niche Fragrance at the 2019 Pure Beauty Awards. And we can see why. Inspired by the tropical beauty of the Vittaveli island located in the sparkling turquoise waters of the Maldives, it’s another fragrant destination we’re dreaming of escapin to by wearing the perfume. Elegant top notes of frankincense, geranium, spicy pepper berries and bergamot blend into a leafy green note reminiscent of the fruit of the Banyan Tree. A radiant floral heart of jasmine, pink rose, frangipani and gibiscus is warmed by a sultry base of sandalwood, vanilla orchid and delicate oudh notes.

Kukui Eau de Parfum is the signature fragrance of Connock London – and with a fascinating story. When customers fell in love with the scent of Connock London’s bodycare, they pleaded for it to be offered as a perfume – and thus, Kukui Eau de Parfum was born, to keep them happy. (And they are, they are!)
Beautifully blended to reflect the soul and beauty of the Hawaiian islands from which Connock London’s signature kukui oil is sourced, this elegant floriental is built around the gardenia flower and is complimented by ‘scent-sational’ floral notes of Moroccan rose, white jasmine and calla lily. The scent is further enriched with sandalwood, vetiver, white amber and layers of cashmere and sheer musks, completed with the rich bitter chocolate sweetness of vanilla absolute and tonka bean.

For further refreshing, you can’t do better than douse yourself lavishly in the gorgeously green Connock London Andiroba – here we travel to the mysterious natural beauty of the tropical Amazonian Rainforest. It opens with lush, leafy top notes which are enlivened with citrus accords of bergamot, lemon and Brazilian orange. A rich floral heart of iris and violet sits on a deep, earthy base of sandalwood, cedar and musk with a touch of lavender and Peruvian pink pepper.

We have a way for you to embrace the sunshine spirit of true luxury this house embodies – and no passport (or even train ticket) is required! Why not try for yourself at home, today?

The Niche Collection Three Discovery Box (£19 / £15 for V.I.P. Club Members) includes perhaps THE most raved about cult perfume: Kukui. Here, lavish amounts of that rose, jasmine, bergamot, lily and – most importantly – the waxy, dreamy magnificence of gardenia swirl into an immediate and bountiful floral bouquet that hits you as soon as you spray, seeking to to recreate the sense-delighting experience of visiting the island of Hawaii. We can practically feel the white sand between our toes when we wear this, so vivid is the sensation – and how wonderful to be able to wear something mood-lifting and life-enhancing in these often dark and dreary months.

Meanwhile, you can go to our page dedicated Connock London to read more about their history and inspirations, or pop along to their website to explore the full range. However you choose to try them, we feel sure you’ll fall under the scented spell, too, and will be joining those in the nose in your fragrant ravings!

By Suzy Nightingale

Where to wear? How to apply perfume to make it last longer

Two of the questions we’re most frequently asked are: ‘How can I make my perfume last longer?’ and ‘Where should I best apply fragrance?’ And those two answers are certainly connected…

There’s an utterly fabulous fragrance scene in a vintage silent film from 1921 – The Wildcat, by Ernst Lubitsch – in which the heroine sits at her dressing table and douses herself from head to toe in perfume. Starring the wonderfully minx-ish Pola Negri as Rischka, the wildcat of the title and leader of a gang of bandits; the film follows the capture of their latest victim, Alexis, a caddish officer on his way to begin a job at his new post. Rischka falls madly in love with him, obvs, and they embark on a comletely mad courtship, leaving chaos (and perfume!) in their wake.

You can watch the film, below, and the scent-dousing scene begins at 2:46 if you want to skip straight to that… Being of the ‘more is more’ school, we definitely approve Rischka’s perfume application technique – in spirit if not in reality!

But seriously, where are the best places to aplpy your perfume (if you’re not just tipping it straight over your head, like in the film)? And how can it last longer on the skin?

Where should I apply my fragrance?

In her book ‘Fatale: How French Women Do It’, Edith Kunz suggests ‘The artful application of fragrance’ should take ‘about fifteen minutes from bath to blush.’ Going on to list the vital areas that should be dabbed with perfume, and in what order, Kunz suggests the everyday routine French women have employed for centuries – a scented ritual passed down from mother to daughter. Follow this fragrant guide to waft forth a cloud of fragrant femininity…

  • Heels, arches, and between the toes;
  • The inner and outer anklebone;
  • Behind the knees;
  • The underside of the derrière;
  • The pubic area and the navel;
  • Under each breast and between the breasts;
  • The shoulders and upper arms;
  • Inside the bend of the elbow;
  • The pulse points at the inner wrist;
  • The back of the hand and between the fingers;
  • The hollow at the bottom of the neck;
  • All around the collar bone;
  • Under the chin;
  • Along the jaw line;
  • Behind the ears and on the earlobes;
  • On the temples;
  • Along the back of the neck to the shoulder blades;
  • Around the hairline.

And don’t forget the important last step. Kunz says (and these are very much her words, not mine..) ‘The process is completed by tucking an aromatic cotton puff inside the bra between the lady’s two tender treasures.’

Now, if you don’t have time for all that, I suggest: the neck, tops of shoulders and behind the knees are my favourite places to spray. I once read that Jane Birkin liked to leave a fragrant trail by spraying her scent there, so have done this ever since!

How can I make my perfume last longer?

1 Use matching body products, if available, or unscented if not – it’s a beautiful way to ‘layer’ on your fragrance; body creams and body lotions, in particular, add emollients which hold perfume.  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.

2 Switch to a stronger formulation. Eau de parfum, pure parfum and extrait are highly concentrated formulas that will smell stronger and last longer. They may be more expensive, but you can end up using far less. Win-win!

3 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! (Test on a tissue, first.) Hair is porous and will waft the scent even longer than on your skin in many cases.

4 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…

5 Remember that your nose can become used to your perfume, particularly if you wear the same one every single day – or you could be anosmic (unable to detect) some musk notes. 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 maybe ask a friend if they can still smell it before dousing yourself again (tempting as we find it, having watched The Wildcat film!)

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Firework fragrances to smoulder in this season

Fireworks are a celebration of light amidst these darker months – as the clocks have gone back and the nights are drawing in – and so here we present a selection of fragrances with smoky, sensual notes to smoulder in this season…

A scorching interpretation of rose, in which smouldering leather tangos with rich Damask rose against a backdrop of patchouli, amber and deepest, darkest oudh. Think bonfire-smoke still clinging to your hair, pinpricks of starlight against a velvety black sky and cold lips soon warmed by passionate kisses.

Ruth Mastenbroek Firedance £90 for 50ml eau de parfum
ruthmastenbroek.com

P.S: You can try a sample of Firedance in the Ruth Mastenbroek Discovery Set – featuring the first four fragrances in her eponymous collection, so perfect to explore at home – try all four fragrances here for only £17.95.

Arabic dokha tobacco’s smokiness wafts through a spicy-woody-Ambrée with an unexpected note of raspberry, then a fabulous fug of full-on tobacco dust absolute and tobacco leaf, warmed by roasted tonka bean, creamy sandalwood and a delicious woody-amber blend of cistus absolute, castoreum and patchouli. This one’s all smoke – and mirrored label.

Tom Ford Oud Tobacco Intense £315 for 100ml eau de parfum
harrods.com

Rip-roaring along hot tarmac on the back of a motorbike with fireworks bursting and  ‘big hair don’t care’ optimism, the cypress, lemon zest freshness becomes dirty (in the best way), hugely smoke-smudged and sexy as all hell. Kudos, too, to the heavy magnetic lid, packaging and price.

Banana Republic Leather Reserve £55 for 75ml eau de parfum
debenhams.com

This feels like an homage to the very origins of perfume – ‘per-fumum’ meaning ‘through smoke’ – melding incense with fruity notes of fresh Turkish rose with a fragrant drift of exotic spices. And it lingers beguilingly, waves of wamth unfurling, tendrills of woodiness creating a sumptuously smoky cloak.

Atelier Cologne Rose Smoke £325 for 100ml pure parfum
Harrods

 

This fragrance’s Scottish geology is composed of black pepper, densely smoked minerals and rose absolute with a splash of whisky and amber-rich leather. It’s complex, fusing an invigorating opening with a trio of peaty swirls, fresh tobacco and incense metamorphosing as it warms – and wins your heart.

Kingdom Scotland Metamorphic £110 for 50ml eau de parfum
kingdomscotland.com

Whichever of these intriguingly smoke-infused scents you choose, we feel sure you will revel in their scented display for hours, days and months ahead. Now, all you need do is seek them out, choose your favourite, light the metaphorical ‘blue touch paper’ and get ready for the fragrant fireworks…

By Suzy Nightingale

Latest Launches: Roses galore, Libre and more…

Life is truly a bed of roses with this week’s latest launches. There’s Amouage Rose Incense, Rose & Cuir from Jean Claude Ellena for Éditions de Parfums Frederic Malle and Oscar de la Renta Bella Rose. Add a dash of liberating YSL Libre and a spray of Abercrombie and Fitch and you’re all set for fabulous fragrances.

Amouage-Rose-IncenseAMOUAGE
ROSE INCENSE
This Selfridges exclusive weaves ‘an olfactive tale of human emotions inspired by the “Rosebud” enigma in Citizen Kane.’ In fragrance terms, that translates to armfuls of roses, wrapped in the resinous mystery of frankincense and myrrh. Elemi, meanwhile, was chosen to bring a note of serenity to the fragrance – always welcome, in a crazy world. Designed to be shareable and sure enough, this smells as elegant on a masculine skin as a woman’s. Compare and contrast.
£240 for 50ml eau de parfum
selfridges.com
EDITIONS_DE_PARFUMS_FREDERIC_MALLE_ROSE_CUIR.ÉDITIONS DE PARFUMS FRÉDÉRIC MALLE
ROSE & CUIR
Created via an exchange of texts pinging across the globe (read the full story on our Perfume Society website), this marks Jean-Claude Ellena’s return to EDPFM. (He created four scents for the house before his residency at Hermès.) The softest of leathers, it harnesses an animalic ‘forgotten’ molecule called isobutyl quinoline, which Ellena enfolded in the most velvety of roses. A handful of ingredients, brilliantly composed – the kind of genius scent haiku he’s famous for.
From £135 for 50ml eau de parfum
fredericmalle.co.ukOSCAR_DE-LA_RENTA_BELLA_ROSAOSCAR DE LA RENTA
BELLA ROSA
There’s something luscious about Bella Rosa. Whether it’s the splash of aqueous freesia with juice-dripping mandarin, or the dew-filled petals of pink roses, we don’t know. What we do know, is that the medley of mouth-watering ingredients leaves us wanting more. Sprinkled with pink pepper in the top, and grounded with patchouli and amber in the base, it adorns the skin as elegantly as an Oscar de la Renta gown would.
£81 for 100ml eau de parfum
theperfumeshop.com 
YSL_LIBREYVES SAINT LAURENT
LIBRE
A new fashion statement rendered in lavender, this is about as far away from ‘granny’s drawer-liner’ as you can imagine. Seamlessly smooth orange blossom borrows effortless masculine style from the fougère fragrance style – think of it as one of YSL’s exquisitely cut jackets thrown nonchalantly over your shoulder, a strong silhouette that shrugs off meaningless rules to make room for your own. We predict a trend for feminine lavenders will soon be soaring.
£56 for 30ml eau de parfum
boots.comABERCROMBIEFITCH_AUTHENTICABERCROMBIE & FITCH
AUTHENTIC MAN
Whispering somewhat nostalgically of recent summer days and warm nights, this is what we like to call in The Perfume Society office a ‘sexy man smell.’ Grapefruit and bergamot drizzle to a spicy pep of pink pepper and freshly grated ginger while a herbaceous waft of aromatic sage and lavender lounge in the shade. The intense, long-lasting yet still transparent note of Clearwood segues to a sensual finale of moss and suede snuggles.
£45 for 50ml eau de toilette
debenhams.com

REEK founder Molly reveals her five favourite smells…

With an attention-grabbing name like Damn Rebel Bitches – a scented homage of blood orange, hazelnut, pink peppercorn, clary sage and malt, to the fearsome females of the Jacobite uprisings who were given this nickname – it’s obvious that REEK Perfume were bursting with passion to portray inspiring women in fragrant form. A proudly Scottish niche fragrance house, Molly Sheridan describes starting the brand so she could ‘…memorialise heroic, unapologetic women through scent. We want to celebrate our heroines.’ Damn right, and here at The Perfume Society, so do we!

Following hot on the fragrant heels of the Bitch, the equally flagrant Damn Rebel Witches celebrated those women who dared to be different, and were punished for it. You can read a full review in our guide to bewitching Halloween scents, but truly this is a fragrance suitable for any time of year, and whenver you feel like asserting your strangeness.

Molly says wearing REEK scents should be ‘…an everyday rebellion, a reminder of female achievement, much of which has been forgotten.’

Using unconventionally honest images (completely un-photoshopped images of women that celebrate beauty in all forms, including some of Molly herself) and deliberately provocative names to make people think a little more deeply about how women have been classified  – often by their scent and the things a ‘virtuous women’ is supposed to smell of – throughout the centuries, we were already intrigued by their Instagram account, and so were thrilled to meet up with Molly and get to know her by asking for her five favourite smells…

1 – Chanel No 5: ‘The reason I’m picking this is because at every stage of my life, a lady of significance to me has worn it. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have an older relative, or teacher, for example, who hasn’t worn it! It’s one of those absolute staples, a smell that everyone knows. It’s a classic – I wouldn’t wear it myself, but I love the smell of it on other people. Especially when they wear too much – I love that!’

2 – Elnett Hairspray: ‘It always reminds you of somebody or a particular time in your life when you used it. One whiff and you’re straight back there! And it’s just got this really distinctive smell – something that I can’t quite put my finger on or even describe – but it’s so evocative…’

3 – Petrol: ‘I love the smell of petrol, and I find that a lot of perfumes I like to wear has something like that in the scent for a split second – I’m not sure what it is, exactly, but something that reminds me of it and draws me to it. I want to keep smelling it to get more, more to get the petrol smell back. Weirdly I find that with both fragrances and food – the things I like most have something that reminds me of petrol.’

4 – 4160 Tuesdays Maxed Out: ‘Ohhh… it smells like chocolate limes to me. For ages this was the only perfume I wore, and I wouldn’t wear it during the day, but for some reason I like wearing it at night. Even if I’m just staying in.

5 – Bread: ‘It’s one of those smells that’s the same everywhere in the world. You can be in India or Paris and it all smells the same. Bread is one of those habitual smells that’s so comforting, and makes you hungry to smell it, even if you’re weren’t beforehand. I really like the fact that bread has such a social history, too – it’s a staple of life, we talking about “breaking bread” with people or say something’s “the best thing since sliced bread”. I went to Italy with my little sister and asked her what her favourite thing about the holiday and she said ‘The bread and butter!’ which just about sums it up for me.

Can I just say, I think these are absolutely brilliant questions to throw at someone! It’s so psychological… and I really like not having time to ruminate on the answers, otherwise you’d come up with some perfectly balanced list of things you’re supposed to say. Not like me – petrol and Elnett, haha!’

Molly interviewed by Suzy Nightingale