Fragrances For… spectacular sunsets

The skies this time of year are ablaze with colour as the sun sets – the heavens awash with purples, reds and pinks that melt into the darkness like nature’s fireworks. And fragrances are often inspired by this spectacular display, too – perfumers creating scents that light us up even on the dullest days. Here’s five we feel so colourful wearing right now…

 

COACH
Dreams Sunset
Inspired by ‘golden hours and one-of-a-kind journeys with friends’ – which we are indeed dreaming of – this ombré bottle, echoing the colours of sunset, perfectly shows off a floriental composition crafted by the brilliant Nathalie Lorson. Refreshing pear sorbet and bergamot playfully tease the wearer, before jasmine sambac and magnolia dial up the intrigue. But what keeps this beach party rocking is the smoochy, sultry base of tonka and vanilla. We’re so there.
From £34.50 for 40ml eau de parfum
johnlewis.com

 

GHOST
Orb of Night
Setting a darker, moodier tone to the pantheon of Ghost perfumes, Night Orb glimmers with a dark cherry almond accord, kissed with mandarin before plunging deeper into a heady orange blossom, ylang ylang and freesia heart. The sandalwood base has rivulets of caramel running through it, but being rippled with a salty, slightly animalic ambergris, is rendered salty and moreish. From the rose gold bottle to the vegan certification, it impresses.
£22.95 for 30ml eau de parfum
escentual.com

 

 

BVLGARI
Omnia by Mary Katrantzou
The most glorious, iridescent sunset-esque bottle acts as a vase for Alberto Morrilas’s beautifully composed ‘maximalist bouquet’, as Bulgari describe it. A green rustle of fig leaf unfurls to billowing orange blossom and gardenia before settling to underpinnings of fluffy musk and a deeper, woody base. An exclusive collaboration with fashion designer Mary Katrantzou, this vibrant scent reflects her designs, and we can almost feel the fabric flowing around us as we wear this.
£87 for 65ml eau de parfum
bulgari.com

 

MAISON CRIVELLI
Osmanthe Kōdoshān
A sublime portrait of the apricot-y bloom, this is inspired by a trip to ‘a tropical mountain shrouded in mist.’ We sense sunsets, height and grandeur in a scent that slowly unfurls itself as it warms. Curls of fog clear to reveal a forest far below, the resinous scent of verdant vegetation and grounding woodiness rising to meet you, the osmanthus swathing your skin in a leathery embrace. Calming, mysterious, transcendentally beautiful.
From £170 for 100ml eau de parfum
harveynichols.com

 

 

PENHALIGON’S
Constantinople
On spraying this, we were immediately greeted with a highly refined, almost leathery iris – the image of an intricately carved wooden shutter suddenly flung open to welcome evening air and blazing skies, a tang of salty shores nearby carrying waves of delicate, powdered spices on the breeze. Beneath an earthy, mossy layer nestles seams of liquid vanilla, milky ripples later reflect moonlight, harbouring the expectation and tingling anticipation of tomorrow’s exotic adventures…
£178 for 100ml eau de parfum
penhaligons.com

 

5 sultry, ‘spooky’ scents for Halloween… dare you wear?

With Halloween approaching and the nights drawing in, now is the perfect time to explore the sultrier, even ‘spooky’ side of fragrance…

When the weather gets colder, there’s a particular pleasure to be found in trying something new – a scent that perhaps plunges deeper than you’re used to, invites us to wrap ourselves in a cosy blanket and sit by the fireside (maybe telling a few Gothic ghost stories as we hunker down for the night?) Because there’s a delight in challenging your preconceptions, in shivering slightly as you do so, with anticipation. The Germans use the term unheimlich, which roughly translates to the experience of something feeling weirdly familiar while remaining mysterious, slightly uncanny.

We always liken wearing a bolder, more mysterious fragrance to playing dress-up (in the most fabulously sophisticated way), because a scent is more than a nice smell – it allows you to explore other sides of your character, just as wearing a costume can bring out hidden depths that might even surprise your nearest and dearest…

These intriguing scents are best worn with a nip of frost in the air, golden sunlight softly streaming through brightly-dressed trees, and sense of delicious mystery swirling through those misty mornings and rapidly darkening nights.

We dare you to try them on for size…

 

Indulge your inner libertine with this oppulent, swagger of a scent, inspired by Cassonova himself. You can smell his favourite tipple, ‘cordial orgeat,’ through dusky cognac-infused rose and bitter orange flower, with a saffron-soaked throb of leather, hot wax, animalic cumin lashed to the darker base of amber and deep woods. (P.S: There’s a sample of this one in our Niche VII Discovery Box and in their Contradictions in Ilk Discovery Set).

Contradictions in Ilk Libertine £150 for 50ml extrait de parfum
ilkperfume.com

 

 

 

Inspired by the destructive and regenerative Australian bush fires, its smoky heart of mysterious spices is spiked with shards of fresh (surprisingly fruity) eucalyptus and citrus to create a wonderful juxtaposition of hot/cold and intriguing textures. A smouldering smoky wood accord underlines this contrast of dark and light, with the house’s signature Australian sandalwood smoothing the seared edges, wonderfully.

Map of the Heart Black Heart v.2 £150 for 90ml eau de parfum
harrods.com

 

 

Pythia, the mythical oracle of Delphi inspires this scent – as high priestess she delivered her oracles ‘after entering a state of delirium by inhaling the vapours emitted by the sacred chasm beneath the temple.’ A crisp apple is studded with bay leaves, the juice mingling with wafts of spiritual smokiness that richly swishes leather, amber, oud and ambergris in a cloak that surrounds, comforts and beguiles in equal measure. (Why not try this in the Manos Gerakinis Discovery Set?)

Manos Gerakinis Omen £185 for 100ml eau de parfum
shymimosa.co.uk

 

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The joy of spooky season is actually the cosiness of feeling scared but then being immediately comforted. Here’s a scent you can snuggle up by a wood fire with, eating spiced biscuits as another presence makes itself known when the scent of dried roses and lavender fill the room. From a hidden floral display, or conjured by ghost stories, shared…? Familiar in the best way, think flicking through old photos and smiling as you remember the happiest of days with people you love.

4160 Tuesdays Another Kiss By the Fireside from £25 for 15ml eau de parfum
4160tuesdays.com

 

BANANA_REPUBLIC_DARK_CHERRY_AMBER_

Black cherries are apparently perfumer Claude Dir ‘s favourite fruit, which he swags in blossom here before before lavishing them with praline and the resinous luxury of a glowing amber accord. Evoking plump, candoed fruits laced with something altogether darker, the tart juiciness swirls with an addictiveness that’s boozy and rich, but never too sweet. Trick or treat? The emphasis firmly on the latter, in the most indulgently lascivious way.

Banana Republic Dark Cherry & Amber £55 for 75ml eau de parfum (currently on offer at £22.99!) theperfumeshop.com

 

 

 

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

GIVEAWAY – Atkinsons Mint & Tonic x 2 for you and a friend (worth over £200!)

Atkinsons Mint & Tonic is the perfect celebration scent for the months of festivity ahead, and we have a very special GIVEAWAY of not one but TWO bottles – one for you, and one to give to a friend. See below for details of how to enter…

 

Capturing an English country potager garden of herbaceous greenness, Atkinsons Mint & Tonic might remind you of idyllic summer days, but we urge you to try it in cooler weather too, when the leaves seem sprinkled with frost, the spiced mandarin and tingle of ginger warm to the woody base of cedar, musk and vetiver. Altogether, at this time of year the scent seems to conjure a Mojito (or three), enjoyed in excellent and flirtatious company. Cheers!

 

We love Mint & Tonic so much, we made sure to include a sample in our Niche VII Discovery Box, along with nine other fabulous fragrances and two pampering treats. Try them all here for only £23, or £19 for VIP Club Members.

 

 

✨GIVEAWAY! ✨ We are delighted to be giving you AND a friend a full-size bottle of Atkinsons Mint & Tonic each!

PRIZE INCLUDES:⁠ 2 x Atkinsons Mint & Tonic 100ml Worth over £200!! To enter, all you have to do is…

Follow us on Instagram

Like the Atkinsons Mint & Tonic giveaway post⁠

Tag a friend in the comments⁠ who would love this fragrance

– Make sure both you & your tagged friend are following The Perfume Society

The competition closes at midnight Friday 29th October GMT. One winner and their tagged friend will be chosen at random and contacted via our The Perfume Society account only. We will not contact winners before the closing date via any external accounts. Please do not accept accounts claiming to be us. The competition is for UK residents only.

Good luck!⁠

Fragrances For… celebrations!

Our Fragrances For series continues with a look at perfumes we think are perfect to celebrate with. We must admit the theme was inspired by our recent trio of Jasmine Award wins, but let’s take time to celebrate the every-day wins, too. Scents have soothes frazzled nerves, reminded us of happy holidays and people we love, and they can add much-needed razzle-dazzle to the dullest of days. Now, what do YOU deserve to celebrate with…?

 

 

CAROLINA HERRERA
212 VIP Wins Woman
Symrise perfumer Emilie Coppermann definitely evokes the vibrant green of the bottle in her verdant composition. Can a fragrance smell ‘shiny’, too? Somehow this does ­– the bracing chlorophyl of the top notes freshened further by a squeeze of mandarin’s juiciness. Luscious pomegranate marries perfectly with a fruity rose, while the fizzy delight of the heart mellows to a smooth base as it warms to a trail of musk and silky woods.
£89 for 80ml eau de parfum
carolinaherrera.com

 

 

JEAN PAUL GAULTIER
So Scandal!
Unapologetically naughty: a scandalous interlude conducted on silky raspberry velvet, the milkiness of warm, bare skin caressed by softness and ‘a threesome of white flowers.’ Oh, my! Bright orange blossom, opulent jasmine and heady tuberose are dusted in powder, a feeling of feathers exploding from the tussle of a pillow-fight. Most of all this is fun, fun, FUN – and gosh, how we’ve needed frivolity, granted by perfumers Daphne Bugey and Fabrice Pellegrin.
£68.50 for 50ml eau de parfum
boots.com

 

 

MUGLER
Angel Iced Star
Housed in what is possibly Mugler’s most stunning, kaleidoscopically colourful flacon yet, this latest twist offers up a cocktail of mouth-watering deliciousness from the get-go. Imagine celebrations by a pool (oh, HOW we imagine!), sipping a cool concoction of coconut water and juicy pineapple. The praline base feels suitably icy – a freshly-scooped gelato, perhaps, and not over-sweet – and we’re sure the many Angel collectors will be snapping this up, pronto!
£50 for 50ml eau de toilette
escentual.com

 

PACO RABANNE
Lady Million Fabulous Intense
Perfume Anne Flipo goes deeper and darker with this iteration of the golden scented success story. Pink pepper-flecked mandarin and orange fizzes appealingly to the addictive note of tuberose. Jasmine is again described as ‘solar’, its luminescence draped in the liquid, languid glam of ylang ylang. Toasty tonka bean and vanilla are finally swathed in moss as the base swoons on warm skin. One for the roof-top parties and VIP areas.
£87.50 for 80ml eau de parfum
pacorabanne.com

 

 

BVLGARI
La Gemme Azaran
The polished-in-every way counterpoint to La Gemme Astrea, this celebratory creation is by none other than Jacques Cavallier – more usually to be found pursuing his craft elsewhere in the LVMH empire, nowadays, for Louis Vuitton. Taking fiery aventurine as his mineral muse, this eau de parfum showcases leather, precious saffron and red cedarwood, to create (in Cavallier’s own words) ‘a sophisticated and powerful fragrance leaving a luxurious woody signature in its trail.’
£268 for 100ml eau de parfum
harrods.com

Synthetic Jungle – Frédéric Malle in conversation with Anne Flipo

It’s a jungle out there – an incredibly refined, ultra-green, 1970s-inspired one, thanks to Frédéric Malle and perfumer Anne Flipo‘s latest creation: Synthetic Jungle eau de parfum.

We were lucky enough to be part of the virtual launch event for Synthetic Jungle, where Fréderic and Anne discussed the inspiration behind the fragrance, and exactly how the composition came together. And Frédéric was  particularly keen, as you will see,  to make the point that synthetics are a vital and creative component to the fragrance industry, not some dirty little secret that fragrance houses should seek to obscure from public view…

Fréderic Malle: I had an idea about revisiting ‘green’ perfumery, and thought Anne was the perfect candidte for that. She’s very good at starting points. We looked together at formulas from the past.

One we thought particularly interesting was Private Collecion by Estée Lauder. This was our starting point. Working with Anne was like two musicians jamming together. We were very comfortable together, with common interests, a common language. There was no fear!

Anne Flipo: At the beginning I was a bit stressed because I had to understand how he works. But it was immediately very easy, he works the way I do. Everything was possible, but I wanted to organise the floralcy around the greenness. I chose lily of the valley.

Frédéric: The paradox, that people don’t often understand, is that to create a natural smell we need synthetics. Each synthetic note is part of the puzzle. I chose this paradoxical name to remind people how perfumery functions. And to show that what man makes is often as interesting as nature. …

Anne: When I choose the ingredients, (I work with over 400), the green note, for example, is very different to the colour itself…

Frédéric: There’s a difference between a smell and a perfume. Between a flower and a fragrance. A fine fragrance has to feel like it’s coming out of you, not worn on the skin.

Anne: I wanted it to smell like this jungle was coming out of you. The chypre accord helps it last on the skin, it balances the formula.

Frédéric: When Anne added the lily of the valley it was a huge turning point, it was the key. And then the dampness comes from Patchouli.

 

 

Frédéric Malle: Interesting perfumery really started at the end of the 19th century, because there were some synthetics available. Perfumery as we know it today has big doses of synthetic, and furthermore, if you want to recreate nature you need synthetic.  The name, Synthetic Jungle, is a way of opening the debate, I love nature, it needs to be preserved, don’t get me wriong; but this idea that everything from nature is great and everything from man is awful is a new kind of facism.

Anne Flipo: Making the formula very short was important to me, overdosing some ingredients – there’s a lot of cassis, overdoes of floralcy, not so many base notes volume-wise. They’re present, you smell them, but the construction is very modern.

Frédéric: Sometimes you have contrast. The patchouli and oakmoss is a black background, but it’s not dirty. A lot of the fragrances from the 1970s smelled dirty. This smells carnal, but not dirty. There’s a distinction.

Anne: I’m so proud and so happy to be part of the Frédéric Malle family.

Frédéric:Yes, look, she’s a completely transformed woman! [laughter]

Anne: Well, we really had the chance to challenge each other further during this.

Frédéric: It was a challenge, yes, but Anne has a great sense of humour and that’s really important. It’s like dancing, making perfumes; deep concentration, but also deep relaxation…

 

Frédéric Malle Synthetic Jungle from £38 for 10ml eau de parfum
fredericmalle.co.uk

Synthetic Jungle is brave in many ways. For one thing, it has the word ‘synthetic’ in the title, at a time when there’s much so-called ‘green-washing’ – the implication that fragrances and cosmetics are ‘toxic’ if they aren’t all-natural, when in fact many essential oils are potentially more harmful and less environmentally sustainable to produce. For another, intensely green fragrances aren’t always the easiest to love. But Frédéric Malle has always been about the quality of the fragrance first, allowing the perfumer’s talents to shine through. And oh my, how Flipo shines in Synthetic Jungle…

What does it smell like? Bitter green crunchy stems and sticky sap – it’s very chic French Chypre from 1970s snogs a Cologne and goes wild, hacking through undergrowth, with vibrant bursts of tart, mouth-puckering blackcurrant, fuzzy tomato leaves examined under a microscope. WHOAH BLACKCURRANT GOES NUCLEAR! Everything gets HUGE AGAIN! Rolled in soft moss and seed spores to dampen the edges, the fruitiness gets warm, viscous, jammy.

Synthetic Jungle is the Indiana Jones ride at Universal Studios, or a missing scene from Honey I Shrunk the Kids as shot by a Vogue photographer in 1976 (a steamy greenhouse becomes a surreal cartoon jungle and everything’s impossibly glamorous). You emerge with berry stained lips and leaves in your hair, covered in grass stains and grinning wildly.

By Suzy Nightingale

The Fragrance Foundation UK Awards 2021 – one, two, THREE reasons we’re celebrating!

We’re still reeling from the dreamlike evening that was The Fragrance Foundation UK Awards 2021. Quite apart from the overwhelming emotion of seeing everyone (in the flesh!) again, and celebrating the continued success of fragrance – at a time it became more important to our everyday lives than some could ever have imagined; at The Perfume Society, we had not one, not two, but THREE very particular reasons to pop the Champagne corks…

The Fragrance Foundation say: ‘Known as the ‘Oscars’ of the fragrance industry, the 29th annual Fragrance Foundation UK Awards 2021 took place at The Brewery in the City of London. With a room full of fragrance lovers, it was a wonderful celebration after the unprecedented of times of the last 18 months.

 

 

The event was hosted by TV Presenter Natasha Kaplinsky, Chairman of The Fragrance Foundation UK Annalise Fard, and its CEO Linda Key Jackson. During the evening recognitions were given for the astounding support given during the global pandemic, from producing hand sanitisers, face masks, or donating to charities. With quick thinking and acts of kindness we have all come together.’

And come together we did, dressed in our finery (and footwear other than slippers or trainers), many seeing colleagues and friends for the first time outside of a Zoom call since the start of the pandemic. It’s difficult to express the outpouring of emotion, the buzz of energy and pure joy that coursed through the venue. A glow that grew stronger still when the entertainment began and internationally acclaimed act Björn Again had people up and dancing, whole tables standing together and swaying, arms in the air, smiling and singing.

 

 

Emotions bubbled to the fore again when Chairman Annalise Fard gave a heartfelt speech to the memory of Jim Jackson, who sadly died earlier this year. Jim founded Aspects Beauty with his wife, Jill, and Annalise spoke fondly of his wit, hard work and commitment to the industry. As the entire room raised a glass in his tribute, there wasn’t a dry eye (or wine glass, which he would have approved of) to be found.

The event now encompasses The Jasmine Awards – often likened to the Oscars, but perhaps more accurately ‘The Pulitzer Prize of perfume writing.’ We’d already been thrilled to be finalists with six pieces shortlisted in four categories. Imagine the WHOOPS that went up, then, on discovering we’d won two of those four categories, AND a Special Recognition Award for an entire issue of The Scented Letter MagazineA Life in Scents!

This was a really important issue of the magazine for us, which we dedicated to everyone who’s lucky enough to work in fragrance – or who dreams of doing so. There’s so much that goes into taking a perfume from the spark of an idea, into the bottle and beyond. So for this edition we interviewed everyone from perfumers to distributors to the sales consultants  who slip our purchase into a carrier bag for us to enjoy. We were extremely moved by Head Judge, Catherine Mitchell, saying how vital The Scented Letter Magazine is for industry in siders and perfume-lovers alike, and how she wanted every career’s advisor in the land to read it. We agree! So, we’re making it available for you to read in full.

Click the link or picture, below, to read the entire issue for free, and then click the pictures to read each of the other award-winning pieces

 

 

HUGE congratulations, too, for our friends and colleagues who are the creatives behind the scenes in these incredible fragrance houses: perfumers, designers, marketing teams and retailers who went home clutching statuettes (Lalique, darling!) too. We raise a glass to each and every one of them, and urge you to seek out the scents behind their well-deserved wins…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loudest whoops of the evening (apart from our own) we think were on the Floral Street table, and no wonder – the continued blooming of this innovative and, so importantly, eco-conscious independent British fragrance house is wonderful to see (and smell!) We were so proud, too, for Thomas Dunckley‘s sixth (!) award, and of Nafia Guljar, whose beautiful piece she wrote for The Scented Letter magazine on the scent of night blooming jasmine, and the precious memories it holds of her late father, was also shortlisted.

The Champagne may no longer be fizzing, but you can be sure our joy – and that of all the winners and worthy finalists – will be bubbling over for some time…

Fragrances For… feeling stronger

Sometimes we all need the help of a fragrance to feel stronger – something that does more than simply smell lovely, but can lift our spirits and almost act like a pair of shoulder pads in scented form. These are fragrances that we feel go beyond comfort – evoking adventurous journeys, friendship and inner strength via hemp leaf, smouldering amber, silky smooths woods and bison grass…

 

BYREDO
Open Sky
‘While being stuck in one place, our memories have become particularly vivid,’ muses founder Ben Gorham. Capturing our collective desire to travel, the scent segues from the pepper-flecked freshness of pomelo to the mind-expanding hemp leaf and spiritual palo santo hushed by vetiver in the base. ‘Beyond the physicality of spaces,’ Gorham explains, this celebrates ‘that idea of movement – of journeys, being on your way somewhere…’ Plane tickets and a plan, bottled.
£178 for 100ml eau de parfum
libertylondon.com

 

 

COMME DES GARÇONS
Rouge
A warm, ambered base grounds this wonderfully weird (and very wearable) concoction. CDG never do anything humdrum, so our eyes were immediately drawn to the beetroot note listed. Of course, we’re used to it combined with chocolate in cookery, and it blends just as well here with the Egyptian geranium to create an almost-rose. Pink pepper simmers through the layers to the smouldering incense and refined patchouli base. Clever and intriguing.
£120 for 100ml eau de parfum
Exclusive to selfridges.com

 

 

BENTLEY
Momentum Unbreakable
Master Perfumer Fabrice Pellegrin teams with up-and-coming talent Ane Ayo, to take the dual steering wheels of this scent. Dreamwood© is a key ingredient – the supremely smooth woody note being a 100% natural ingredient used in place of Mysore sandalwood (now a highly protected species), obtained through carbon-neutral biotechnology. Cool violet (another of our floral trend predictions) shimmers through verdant greenery to liquorice-y dried fruits and immortelle fluffed amber. Another instant classic.
£69.50 for 100ml eau de parfum
harrods.com

 

DIESEL
Sound of the Brave
Employing the talents of Fabrice Pellegrin – one of the world’s top perfumers – Sound of the Brave resonates with a unique heart of Bison grass accord. A reminder, says Pellegrin, of good times with friends. The sizzle of bold spices vibrate through vibrant lemon as a powerful base (or should that be ‘bassline’?) throbs with amber wood and musk. Electric blue juice inside the clenched-fist flacon and hip-hop legend Skepta as ambassador ensure it’s a hit.
£69 for 125ml eau de toilette
boots.com

 

 

PACO RABANNE
Invictus Victory

The latest incarnation of the heroically themed fragrances ‘seizes with its power and seduces with its freshness.’ Freshly squeezed lemons offer the juicy bite here while the woody notes of incense wrap tendrils of soft smoke around a purr of vanilla in the base. Spiced tonka bean is the delicious finale for this scent inspired by ‘subtly celebrating modern masculinity.’ Give this to someone you consider your personal hero – beats a golfing trophy, any day!
£56 for 50ml eau de parfum
pacorabanne.com