Wear the Perfumes with Pride!

Perfumes to wear with pride – living our authentic lives and celebrating being our true selves in scented form – is always important, of course, but this year it seems more vital than ever to wear them with Pride.

The annual events supporting and celebrating LGBTQIA+ people, and the power that fragrance can uniquely bring to explore our diverse identities, is never more needed than when homophobia and hatred of anyone who dares be ‘different’ rears up again (as it sadly is, now). And we must never forget that many countries around the world have have never been safe for people to express themselves or live in peace.

Thankfully Pride month sets off on July 1st in London with the annual Parade spectacular, but if you can’t make it to a celebration near you, here’s some ways to flaunt your fabulousness in fragrant form, whenever, and wherever you wish…

 

 

 

 

We adore the Memoize London Life in Colour collection – a rainbow of perfumed personality possibilities which explores the emotional and inter-personal connections we make to fragrances we fall for, while also offering true emotional scent support in their uplifting, comforting and empowering collection! So thrilled you can now can shop the whole Memoize collection with us

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Jean Paul Gaultier fragrances always features a whoop of ‘Liberty, Equality, Sexuality’ as they’ve long celebrated the LGBTQIA+ community. This year, the Le Male & Classique Pride limited edition flaçons feature Get Used to It logo t-shirts (and the fact this joyous campaign has received some utterly vile homophobic and violent comments on social media and certain fragrance forums shows EXACTLY why Pride is still so important).

 

 

 

 

 

Shay & Blue have a really great History of Pride blog, and say: ‘As a company we are restlessly focused on inclusion and celebrating YOU. Our scents are for all genders. There are no outsiders, all are welcome, always and we support everyone’s right to express themselves fully.’


 

Britney Spears has been a gay icon forever. She regularly acknowledges the support the community shows her, has performed at Pride events, and brings out an annual Pride edition of global best-seller, Fantasy. We happen to know a number of perfumistas who happily wear this alongside their wardrobe of niche and high-end fragrances.

 

Whichever fragrance you decide to plump for in the month of celebrations, make sure to wear them with Pride!

Glorious NEW Garden-Inspired Scents from Santa Maria Novella

In our just-published (and rather gorgeous, though we do say so ourselves) Perfumer’s Garden issue of The Scented Letter magazine, the focus was flower-filled gardens. Because isn’t summer all about flowers? It is for every perfume-lover and perfumer that we know.

Coinciding with the opening of a new outdoor space at the Palace of Versailles (below), our themed issue talks to green-fingered perfumers, shares recommendations for scented plants for your garden and showcases a round-up of glorious modern florals, for the home and for the skin, that evoke gardens or greenhouses – a major trend in perfume and home fragrances, right now.

 

 

You can purchase a stunning print copy here (definitely one to keep on the coffee table!) but do also make sure you are signed up to have the free electronic version delivered to your inbox!

 

 

 

We are thrilled to see this garden vibe blossoming across new launches still hitting our desks (our noses aren’t always on the pulse-point of perfumery!) and although this exciting collection from Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella was too late launching to include in our issue, we wanted to share it with you here, as it SO PERFECTLY fits the Perfumer’s Garden theme!

‘Each of our Eau de Parfums expresses a close harmony between the most precious perfumery ingredients. A deep expertise in crafting and combining olfactory notes, and the desire to write the new chapter of a unique heritage. Discover the intimate and powerful homage to the flower and symbol of Florence with L’Iris Eau de Parfum. Discover the most bizarre and fascinating flower and fruit varieties. Immerse yourself in a world of treasures and discoveries, that are expressed through the olfactory senses…’

With the brand celebrating over 800 years of heritage, research and tradition – Santa Maria Novella presents this new collection comprising four Eaux de Parfum – L’Iris, Bizzarria, Gelsomino, and Magnolia – which inspired the Florentine Maison to trace the roots of different flower and plant varieties to produce the beautiful collection.

 

 

 

‘“I Giardini Medicei” is a collection that epitomises the quintessential roots of Officina, starting from its very own, most intimate spirit. And for doing so, it chooses perfumery art as the means of its expression. The most direct of all art forms, that directly envelops the fortunate “visitor” of this splendid and audacious realm.’ Inspired by the stunning Medicean Villas, they beckon us forth to step into the garden and smell these…

 

 

L’Iris (£160.00, 50ml) – ‘The Officina’s very first Eau de Parfum which debuted in spring 2022 earns its place in the ‘I Giardini Medicei; collection. L’Iris Eau de Parfum will now be available in the exclusive double-bottom illustrated box of the collection. The iris flower connects many cultures, it has been a potent symbol of protection since ancient Greece. It carries many names, too: iris, lily, gaggiolo…’

 

 

Bizzaria (£160.00, 50ml) – ‘An original, unexpected Eau de Parfum that pairs the Hesperides traits with resounding notes of Cedarwood. Bizaaria is the most peculiar citrus tree of all: lemon, bitter orgaqn and etrog.’

 

 

Gelsomino (£160.00, 50ml) – ‘Strong notes of Jasmine, this is a floral, woody and spicy scent.’

 

 

 

Magnolia (£160.00, 50ml) – ‘Magnolia Eau de Parfum embraces all the characteristics of the tree that defied time into a powerful olfactory landscape. Notes of white rose and geranium, it confers a multi-layered depth with the heart of magnolia grandiflora paired with the absolutes of magnolia champaca…’.

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Making Scent Memories with Memoize

Memoize is a niche fragrance house that captures memories and bottles them for us to share – surely the very essence of that emotional connection we all for when wearing a fragrance? Which scent memories are we billowing forth this summer, and how did the founder’s own fragrant fanaticism begin? Read on to discover more…

 

You see, Memoize just get it – the scented significance of the personal connections we have with the perfumes we love most. Or, as they put it, ‘…the importance of creating a perfectly harmonious balance between fragrances and how they make people feel, incorporating notes that many would remember from their childhood, adolescence and beyond.’ Most importantly, they know that this fragrant memory bank is not locked away in an airtight safe – it’s something we live and breathe, and therefore can all add to, every day of our lives. So that ‘…these scents will become the basis of future memories, too.’

 

 

Holly Hutchinson

 

Sometimes it takes a lifetime to learn what seems this most simple of things – understanding and tapping in to our deepest selves – but although Holly Hutchinson founded Memoize in 2016, her fragrant memory lessons began far further back. On her seventh birthday, she was gifted her very first set of miniature perfumes. As her mother was ‘an avid collector of unusual scents’, perfumes were almost indelibly linked to scented snapshots of Holly’s childhood memories. ‘A French holiday in the sun, a ride across the waves by boat, venturing through trees in a garden of ferns and Laurels…’ The album of scent memories was filling up fast.

It was in 2011 that Holly could truly begin to follow her dream, joining a prestigious niche fragrance brand and pursuing a career in the industry. But after seven successful years, it was time to start thinking about reaching further, using her love of fragrance and design with the expert knowledge she’d gained, and finally launching her own brand. Holly says she ‘knew immediately’ what the concept should be: sharing the very memories that launched her own fragrant career, while helping perfume-lovers explore their own scented memory bank. So, shall we take a scented wallow in those memories…?

 

 

Losing yourself to the intoxication of seduction is the name of the game with the particular scent memories of Luxuria. Think of joyous summer picking wild berries with a loved one, of that moment when your mouth waters just prior to biting into a lusciously juicy blackberry – well, that’s what’s bottled here. Shot through with luminescent tuberose, muguet (lily of the valley) and ylang ylang, its dry-down dips you deeper to a base of vanilla-infused suede.

 

 

This best-selling scent became so beloved it was turned into an extended scent memory with Rose Luxuria – this time an airier, fresher caress of deliciously sparkling top notes of bergamot, lemon and orange that deepen to the juicy delights of tropical fruits. The heart proffers a bouquet of airy, almost soapy rose, the delicacy of lily of the valley, magnolia and orange flower dusted with orris on a throbbingly deeper base of amber, benzoin, moss, precious musk and woody undertones. So, so beautiful!

 

More recently we’ve been enamoured with the scented self-reflection of Ego as an olfactory wake-up call. The green freshness of fig leaf is followed by the piquancy of cassis. Together, these notes somehow feel like the familiarity of softly crushed tomato leaves, along with a mellowing lap of cool, coconut milkiness that caresses, silkily and cardamom speckled rose petals wrapped around ambered, tonka woodiness. Likening the development on your skin to the blooming of your soul, it’s a scented symbiosis.

Tempted to try more? If you’ve not had the pleasure of trying any yet, why not dive in to the joyously uplifting and soul-soothings scents in the Light Range Discovery Set; or explore the Dark Range Discovery Set to delve into your deepest desires? You can also shop the collection of Memoize London here, where we’re thrilled you can now buy full sizes from our shopAnd with extrait de parfum concentrations – these are scent memories that truly last…

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Explore Vyrao via their soulful Discovery Set

If you’re seeking a more soulful connection to your scents – beyond merely smelling lovely, wearing a fragrance that reaches deep into your soul, somehow – then it’s the perfect time to try the first five Vyrao fragrances with their High Five Travel Set. As they explain… ‘Each of Vyrao’s fragrances fuse master perfumery with energy healing elements using organic, natural ingredients chosen for their specific emotional qualities, giving each scent its own distinct vibration.’

Yasmin Sewell worked for years in the high-powered, fast-moving fashion industry, first as a buyer and then creative director, guiding such names as Browns, Chloe, Mulberry, Farfetch and Liberty. Yasmin also took young designers under her wing – now world-famous names like Acne, The Row, Christopher Kane, Roksanda, and J. W Anderson. Quite frankly, she was at the top of her game and one of the most respected women in the fashion industry; so what caused this seismic shift to scent?

 

 

 

 

Well, in 2019, Yasmin had what she describes as ‘an aha moment.’ It was a realisation that she needed to create her own space, to focus on the creative ideas that had been bubbling beneath for so long, and most importantly, that ‘energy needed to be the source of my brand.’ A long-time believer in therapeutic and energetic medicine, Yasmin explains that with the concept of energy as her main mantra for creating the brand, it quickly became obvious as to how this energy could be shared. Says Yasmin, ‘Channelling it came first, what it’s channelled into came second. So we started with fragrance.’

For Vyrao, it’s all about wearable good vibes, and anyone who’s had a sluggish day or simply felt dull, blah and down in the dumps can attest – spritzing a scent can be an instantaneous remedy and our sense of smell is a potent way to make us feel brighter, more confident, and ready to face the world. And obvs they smell INCREDIBLE, having been composed by the brilliant British perfume legend that is Lyn Harris. As Yasmin explains:

 

‘Vyrao is the world’s first wellbeing brand to fuse energetic healing with master perfumery. We make good feelings…’

 

If you’re new to this more soulful way of wearing scent, the High Five collection really is the best way to dip in and gain a better understanding – both of what you like, but also (more importantly) what your soul is crying out for. It may surprise you… Included in the first five fragrances from the brand, you will get to experience:

  • Free 00: To feel alive and uninhibited is Free 00.
  • I am Verdant: A fragrance sprouting fresh green growth.
  • Witchy Woo: Wake up the powerful alliance of your courage and creativity.
  • Magnetic 70: For attraction and protection.
  • Georgette: For self-love.

Raving about the scents in her so-influential column, journalist India Knight described them thusly:

I Am Verdant, which smells like it sounds: super-green, full of hope, like waiting for spring, before the greenness goes slightly mossy and orange blossom and citrus kick in. Georgette is a very woody and peppery rose that is also powdery, and even though I don’t really like rose scents I found it soft and oddly comforting. Witchy Woo, by contrast, is full of orris, spices, patchouli and musk and is woody, ambery and — hard to explain why I think this but I do — slightly magical. Vyrao says to wear it to encourage courage and creativity.’ She continues…

‘Free 00 is a much airier affair that smells of summer holidays, in a good and even original way, or maybe of driving somewhere sunny in a convertible with the roof down and your hair streaming behind you. Lemon, jasmine and vanilla, to be crude and reductive, but done in a way that is both airy and exhilarating (this one promotes “liberation and sensuality”, in case you’re wondering, and I totally get why they’d say that). Also, Magnetic 70, which smells of vetiver — God, how I love vetiver — cedarwood and frankincense, among other things… here I could mostly smell incense and intense woodsiness, like being in a quite special church that you have stumbled on by accident.’

You can read even more about Vyrao’s olfactory origin story in our page dedicated to the brand, but might we suggest the best way to really get to know them (and in doing so, reveal your own true scent character), is to dive in to the collection via the Vyrao High Five Set – so perfect for holidays and on-the-go good vibes, too!

 

 

 

Vyrao High Five Collection, £79 for 5 x 7.5ml eau de parfum designed to transport you emotionally…

Wedding Anniversary Scents [Part Two]

Following on from our feature on the first five wedding anniversary scents, based on the symbols traditionally used to mark their occasion, this week we are continuing the theme with a look at years six through to ten, each rendered in fragrant form.

Now, these scent suggestions aren’t merely for those celebrating to give each other as gifts (though of course that’s a lovely idea!) but as jumping-off points for some new perfumes everyone should explore. Which symbol and year takes your fancy in these fragrances…?

 

 

6th Wedding Anniversary – Sugar

Scent Suggestion – Memoize London Humanitas

According to weddingplanner.co.uk the reason sugar is the symbolic offering for a sixth wedding anniversary is because ‘…now your marriage is getting really sweet! Six years is the perfect time to indulge in some sugary treats or go out for tea and plenty of cake.’ Might we suggest a longer-lasting gift would be the sweetness captured in fragrant form (but definitely not tooth-rot-inducing)?

This emotional scent memory-capturing house evoke deep-seated fragrant connections to our innermost feelings, here swirling joyously fruity top notes of lusciously piquant passion fruit, juicy peach and fresh orange zest into a heart of powdery iris, addictive heliotrope, gorgeously waxy magnolia, rose and lily. The abundant bouquet of floral notes sits so perfectly atop the warmth of the base: amber crystals, musk, silky Indian sandalwood, Kashmirwood all dusted with icing sugar that feels as though it dances in the air.

£177 for 100ml extrait de parfum in the shop

 

 

 

7th Wedding Anniversary – Wool

Scent Suggestion – Electimuss Mercurial Cashmere

Wool keeps you snug and warm – as does the love you and your partner provide for each other’ offers the wedding planning website. They continue: ‘Some cosy clothing or throws make great gifts for year seven.’ Indeed. But make sure it’s not seven year itchy! We’d suggest investing in a scnt you could both share and adore (if you feel generous enough, that is, once you’ve smelled this…)

A fragrance to ride with us amidst a marriage’s moods, maybe? ‘The most popular of the gods, Mercury was adored for his irresistible charm and wit and the inspiration for this sensuous and seductive scent.’ With an alluring character, the cloud of cardamom-flecked iris swirls to the buttered warmth of tonka and amber touched by cashmere’s creamy caress. Especially good at granting you backbone and strength, we say: wear this fluffy, irresistible scent and feel better for every possible perfumed mood-swing!

£225 for 100ml pure parfum electimuss.com

 

 

 

8th Wedding Anniversary – Salt

Scent Suggestion – BDK Sel d’Argent

Salt provides flavour in every meal; here it represents the fact that your love is a necessity in your life, adding flavour. We have to admit we’re a little stumped for gift ideas for this one – try a set of luxury salt and pepper shakers, or cook a delicious meal for your partner (with just the right amount of salt!).’ Well, we think most couples have salt shakers by their eighth year together, and offer a more creative suggestion, here.

Cast away thoughts of old-fashioned 90s beach scents and allow your dreams to drift to this blissful, contemporary evocation instead. Close your eyes and imagine the salty kiss of warm skin, a sheer, breezy orange blossom shot through with the zesty, uplifting sparkle of grapefruit and crunchy green galbanum. It’s the scent of sunlight dancing on waves, somewhere fabulously expensive. Perhaps this could be your ‘second honeymoon in a bottle’ scent? Or, if you’re feeling truly moved to celebrate, why not book a romantic seaside getaway to accompany the fragrance?

£155 (at time of writing, on offer for £108.500 for 100ml eau de parfum harrods.com

 

 

 

9th Wedding Anniversary – Copper

Scent Suggestion – Commes des Garçons Copper

‘Like a 9-year marriage, copper conducts and generates heat. Gorgeous copper cookware would make a great gift for a 9th wedding anniversary – or if you are more artistic, perhaps a sculpture.’ Again, we’re going to go all out on a limb and say we think the majority of couples who’ve been married nine years probably have cookware coming out of their ears and would welcome more cupboard space. We’d go for this modern beauty, instead.

A scent like no other, the design house continued their exploration of un-tapped sensorial scents in Copper, with perfumer Alienor Massenet creating an ethereal gleam that feels like alchemy on the skin. Going from ultra-green sap-laden notes of verdant new shoots it segues into a brightness of blackcurrant softened by tobacco leaf and a tingle of ginger. As it warms further, the deliciously smooth base notes emerge – rich vanilla rippled with glowing amber and resinous myrrh. It’s quite a thrilling journey – just like the best relationships can be.

£120 for 100ml eau de parfum harveynichols.com

 

 

10th Wedding Anniversary – Tin

Scent Suggestion – Elementals Metal

‘A decade of marriage is an incredible achievement. The use of tin as a symbol of a 10th anniversary comes from the fact that tin is durable, does not corrode and is used to preserve food. With metal, gift ideas can either be practical – home ware or cookware – or more decorative like vases, engraved goblets or candle holders.’ Yes, okay. Practical can be good. But to celebrate a decade of being together? Let’s try creative…

This soul-led independent scent house say the inspiration here was that ‘…Metal is about wisdom, true leadership and introspection. ELEMENTALS Metal sparkles with the brilliance of courage, strength and inner wisdom.’  There’s a metallic glint here, too, which so beautifully cuts through the ‘innovative marriage of pungent herbs and spices’ as they put it. We particularly love the beautifully balanced birch tar that simply swoons into the arms of white blossoms. Both emboldening and romantic, it’s the scent to reach for when you realise how far you’ve grown together.

€165 for 100ml eau de parfum elementalfragrances.com

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

How to ‘Scent Scape’ your Home for Summer

Scent Scaping (sometimes known as ‘fragrance zoning’) is THE fastest way to change-up the feel of your home this summer – think of it like layering your perfumes, but creating a unique ‘signature scent’ for your home, instead. We’ve got top tips from an interior design expert on exactly how to do this, and have selected the perfect perfumed candles and luxury diffusers from Cochine’s sublime collection, to achieve this scented bliss with ease…

 

As a renowned designer, lifestyle blogger and TV presenter, Maxine Brady is always in demand by glossy magazines and lifestyle-led TV shows. A huge fan of using scented candles – for shows such as Grand DesignsKirsty’s Homemade HomeGeorge Clarke’s Amazing Spaces and This Morning – Maxine explains the trend for scent-scaping our homes no matter the weather, really boomed during lockdown. Indeed, according to John Lewis, during the end of 2020 ‘the average online searches for home scents went up by 600%. For diffusers, the searches were up by over 1000%.’ Says Maxine:

 

‘It’s about using aroma and scents to zone our homes, either room by room or during differing times of the day. I like using a different fragrance in the morning to evening. I like decorating a home with candles and diffusers and arrange them much as I would art in a room, to bring them to life. I never think a room is finished until I put a candle on my sideboard… using home fragrance allows me to transfer from a work space feel to a more homely escape. It’s a very clever way to balance our mental health as well as making our homes smell beautiful.’

 

This ‘trend’ has continued with such an upward trajectory, to the point of becoming a perfumed ritual we can all welcome into our lifestyles. It’s not only those who continue to work from home (though there are many, many more companies seeing the sense of this) who are pushing the perfumed home product sales higher – there’s also been a dawning in our culture that candles aren’t really used for their light-giving properties anymore – it’s the ambience we seek. The way we can choose to immediately change-up the atmosphere of a space.

 

Kate Crofton-Atkins – founder of Cochine fragrance

 

It’s not all about candles, though. Reed diffuser sales are similarly off the chart, because people who are away from home, who want to continually scent an area, or perhaps have small children and are concerned about candles burning) love their ease of use, and that ‘unwrap it and forget it’ feeling. However, we promise you won’t be forgetting any of these – the fragrances are so incredible, they’ll give you pleasure every single time you waft past, or open your front door and think ‘ahhh, yes. I’m home!’

 

Maxine Says: ‘All these tips are ideal if you rent rather than own, because you’re unable to change wallpaper and paint, or sometimes even furnishings, you can make the space your own by stamping your personality with home scents…’

 

Maxine’s Styling Tip 1. Use your nose as well as your eyes to decorate your home. Perhaps a hallway is where you put a lovely diffuser to welcome your guests and having it smell gorgeous at all times? As a decorating tool, home scents are a really clever way to bring up & coming trends into your home without changing all the furnishings! Use complimentary coloured vessels to your wallpaper or furnishing colours. People are loving sharing #shellfies on social media.

Maxine’s Styling Tip 2. Use aroma to mark the changing seasons. Fresher sunny scents in summer, and warmer woodier scents in colder seasons. Changing those scents and bringing them into your house really helps stop one day blending into another. According to John Lewis, the average online searches for home scents went up by 600%. For diffusers, the searches were up by over 1000% A candle is an instant pick me up when you need a treat.” Michelle: “I like to use home fragrance to enhance my mood or to change up my mood.”

Maxine’s Styling Tip 3. Create an indoor garden bringing the outdoors in. We know home plants have become incredibly important – the flow between spaces can be between your garden and indoors. Dot plants and succulents around a diffuser – reuse the containers when empty as plant pots or the diffusers as mini vases.

Styling Tip 4. Press the reset button with the power of scent. After a busy and stressful day, it can be hard to mark a line between weekdays and your weekends – reclaim your home and say the weekend starts now. Clear away work things, laptops from tables, shove the kids toys in a box and light a candle as a scene-setter and mood re-setter.

 

 

Cochine’s sumptuous fragrance creations are no longer only for skin – with their gorgeous, top quality home fragrance collection, they can now whisk us to exotic Saigon whenever the mood takes us (which will be often, you will discover…) from where this exciting perfume house takes its inspiration. With over 50 hours’ burn time, Cochine candles will gently infuse any room to create a delicately evocative and inspiring atmosphere. The Cochine diffusers, meanwhile, containing the finest essential oils, and will visually and aromatically give your room a unique and subtle elegance. They easily last you four months of continual use (and we find they last even longer if placed in cooler areas of your home and away from direct sunlight!) Close your eyes, breathe the exquisite notes – and you’re half-way there already.

Now, your only question remains, where will you find best to place these stunning, summery scents in your own home…?

White Jasmine & Gardenia Candle £45 for 230g

This elegant candle evokes the lush floral scents that infuse the sun-filled streets and gardens of Saigon. White petals of jasmine, gardenia and peony combine to unfold an enchanting aura that is soft yet elegant.

Frangipani & Neroli Candle £45 for 230g

Allow yourself to be carried away to soft white sands, brushed with the shade of Frangipani trees. Smooth, honeyed tones of frangipani are combined with the delicate freshness of neroli to create an idyll of blissful tranquillity in your home.

Vietnamese Rose & Delentii Candle £45 for 230g

Capturing the delightful freshness of newly cut flowers, this candle has a light and delicate tone, combining top notes of rose and bergamot with hints of violet, rosewood and the scented orchid, Delentii.

 

 

Tuberose Absolute & Sandalwood Diffuser £60 for 150ml

Exclusively created with master perfumer, Maurice Roucel, this is the scent of exotic and unforgettable nights. Feminine, alluring and intriguing tuberose notes combine with rich leather and sandalwood in this intoxicating, utterly addictive fragrance.

 

 

Water Hyacinth & Lime Blossom Diffuser £60 for 150ml

The immediately uplifting and utterly unique scent of lime blossom is combined with calming, aqueously woody notes of water hyacinth to create an invigorating and fresh fragrance reminiscent of lazy afternoons on the banks of the Saigon River.

 

 

Juniper & Ginger Diffuser £60 for 150ml

Combining the crisp scent of juniper with the sweet spiciness of ginger. Reminiscent of lush, green woods and exotic, evergreen mountains this uplifting scent has hints of clove, bergamot and patchouli blended with the freshness of eucalyptus.

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

A festival of fragrances: what scents to wear this summer?

Now summer’s properly arrived, it’s festival season a go-go in the U.K. Each one has its own character, and there’s something for every taste – so we thought a perfect pairing would be to match the events with an accompanying fragrance that echoes the festival’s vibe.

Tune in, spritz on and bliss out with these…

 

 

Isle of Wight Festival (15 – 18th June) + Ostens Patchouli Heart No.II [Try it in the Ostens Discovery Set, £40 for 6 travel-friendly samples]

With PULP, Blondie and the Manic Street Preachers as notable headline acts, there’s always been a laid-back cool to this festival, which presages many of the later music events following on. Choosing a scent with a suitably nonchalant chill to it is essential – trying too hard here will simply earn you a raised eyebrow of disapproval. This isn’t Coachella, darling, so ditch the heels and stick with a scent that rocks the vibe. Ostens Patchouli Heart No.II is elegant authenticity personified, incorporating breezy cypress, a tingle of ginger, and billowing violet with sheerly gorgeous woodiness.

 

 

 

Glastonbury(21 – 25th June) + 4160 Tuesdays Flora Psychedelica £50 for 50ml eau de parfum

The mother of all music festivals in the U.K. really, it’s become infamous for the likelihood of torrential rain at some point during the event, causing national newspapers to splash ‘mud-bath larks!’ type photos across their front pages. Originally the place for hippies to hang out and get groovy, the price of tickets nowadays ensures a more middle-class crowd. We suggest wearing a truly indie fragrance that evokes the far out spirit of 1960s, with this ‘iris on a bender’ scent, incorporating mushroom-y weirdness with floral crowns and absinthe for a truly trippy encounter.

 

 

 

Latitude (20 – 23rd July) + Manos Gerakinis OMEN [try in the Manos Gerakinis Discovery Set, for £30 for 6 transportive samples]

Pulp are playing here, too (busy reunion tour, this year, with cult jewellery brand Tatty Devine even dedicating a range to their iconic songs), but for this ex goth, it’s all about the comeback of Siouxsie (of Banshees and, later, Creatures fame). As the queen of the dark side, I feel she, and all festival-goers who are moved by the music, would appreciate this creation, inspired by a Delphic oracle who enters ‘…a state of delirium by inhaling the vapours emitted by the sacred chasm beneath the temple.’ Spiritual smokiness swishes leather, amber, oud and ambergris in fabulous fashion.

 

 

 

Camp Bestival (27 – 30th July) + Floral Street Sunflower Pop from £28 for 10ml eau de parfum

This is a family-friendly gathering that always draws an artistic crowd, and yes there’s great music, but it’s more about a lifestyle celebration. With sustainability at the core of its ethos, and always keen to showcase independent companies, I think a great match would be with the booming British brand, Floral Street. Here, they’re inspired by Van Gough in a scent which vibrantly fizzes with fresh mandarin, Calabrian bergamot, and accords of vegan honey and Bellini cocktails. It settles to a smooth, nuanced warmth, with a scented sunset that feels timeless. Happiness in every spritz!

 

 

 

Womad (27 – 31st July) + Maya Njie Les Fleurs [try it as part of the stunning Maya Njie Discovery Set £34 for 5 pocket-friendly samples]

Founded in 1980 by the musician Peter Gabriel, this festival proudly celebrates world music, with the Womad Foundation now creating opportunities for cultural learning and sharing via artists all over the globe. A vibrant expression of togetherness, I think artist, perfumer and founder Maya Njie’s Les Fleurs (named for Minnie Ripperton’s 1970 song) perfectly incorporates music, here, as an inspirational medium. Rippling with bergamot’s brightness, a mellifluous magnolia and ripe fig, it’s an ‘unbound celebration of life, love and creation’ which brilliantly sums up the festival’s spirit.

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Sarah Baker Extrait vs Eau de Parfum (what’s the difference & where to get samples)

Sarah Baker recently ramped up the ravishing longevity of their fragrances by adding Extrait to their collection. But hang on… WHAT does ‘extrait’ mean, and how does it differ from an eau de parfum? Or, come to that, a ‘parfum’? Here, we’re de-bunking the fragrance myths, finding out how you can try sample-sizes to compare and contrast, and feast your nose on even longer-lasting, full-size fragrances…

 

Contemporary artist Sarah Baker’s photography, sculpture and films are inspired by ‘fashion, luxury and celebrity’, but little did she know that when she created a fictional fragrance house as part of her artwork, her passion for the project (and the public’s reaction to it) would result in a real-life fragrance house. Still very much artistically inspired, luckily for us they’re now ready to (actually) wear… and now these intensified, ultra-long-lasting versions of the scents are on the menu and even more voluptuously desirable!

 

 

From Colognes to extraits, ‘splashes’ to after shaves – there are SO many differing types of fragrance strength descriptions now that it can get really confusing!

Terms like Eau de Toilette or Eau de Parfum are used to identify the strength or concentration of oil in the carrier (or base – usually alcohol) in a fragrance composition. These concentrations can vary from fragrance to fragrance, brand to brand, depending on how that particular house like to blend their scents, but this is a very general rule of thumb (or nose!)

Extrait / Parfum – 20-30%+

Perfume – 15-25 %

Eau de Parfum  (EDP) – 8-15%

Eau de Toilette (EDT) – 4-8%

Cologne (EDC) –  2-4%

Body cream/lotion –  3-4%

After Shave/Splash  – 2-4%

Soap – 2-4%

Don’t think of higher scent strengths as simply turning up the volume, it’s rather more nuanced than that…

An extrait (often also called Parfum or ‘extract’) is generally the highest percentage of fragrance-to-base that a house creates. These differing strengths perform differently on your skin, too. An extrait will stay on your skin for far longer than an EDP, but it may not project as much, so although it might not kick open a door of a party and announce itself by shouting into the room, it will linger longer, warming with your body throughout the day and night (and into the next day!) creating a sensorial, sensual bubble of intimacy for you – and those lucky enough to be near you – to share the pleasure of.

 

Some people like to layer scent strengths throughout the day. Here’s how:

 

Begin with a refreshing splash of Cologne to get those senses revving, and then wear an Eau de Toilette for day time.

In hot temperatures, consider layering a Cologne or Eau de Toilette with a matching (or unscented) body lotion, as dry skin makes fragrance fade faster.

Try one of the many new hair perfumes – a delightful way to wear your scent, often imbued with moisturising, protective properties as a bonus when temperatures soar (and alcohol-based scents can sizzle dry hair).

As evening falls and you head out on the town, switch things up by adding a spritz of Eau de Parfum to leave a sultrier trail that will last as long your night does.

And for the boudoir – a dab of pure Parfum or Extrait will tempt until the next day (or night) but wont project as far as an Eau de Parfum. Think of them as stronger concentrations, but in a hushed form – only for you and whomever you allow to get that close to nuzzle your neck and admire…

 

 

Is your nose twitching to find out more? See our brilliant FAQ section – there to answer your questions and put the sense into scents.

Meanwhile, if you’re ready to take the extrait perfumed plunge, let’s look at Sarah Baker’s transportive, evocative (and often deliberately provocative) scents to explore, and scroll down to see the sample set of extrait fragrances for you to try

 

 

Gold Spot

‘Why be a star when you can be a legend?’ asks the always artistic, eternally glamorous Sarah Baker, introducing perfumer Chris Maurice’s enticing composition for her house. Balancing bergamot’s brightness with the honeyed headiness of orange blossom, petitgrain pierces through the sweet swirl of butterscotch and dusting of sinfully dark chocolate. Cradled in Laos oudh, Suyufi agarwood and amber, it’s the ’24 Karat glow’ of celebrity’s golden age, made manifest.

£145 for 50ml extrait de parfum

 

Tartan

This is a classic of the collection that’s been adored since the scents were first launched. Sarah Baker, the nose for this one, is better known as the founder of quirky British house 4160 Tuesdays, but here collaborated with Baker to compose this marvel. Picture it: A fire is roaring in the library. You savour a rare single malt. Warmth and heritage envelope you after a walk through mossy ruins in Scotland’s Highlands. Autumnal.

£145 for 50ml extrait de parfum

 

Loudo

Oh now this is completely addictive, we warn you… One to wear when you simply want to smell irresistible – we’ve heard tell of several glossy mag beauty editors who cannot be without this having tried it on their own skin, and having sampled it ourselves, we totally understand why. Playful and sweet with the flavours of childhood appetites, it dries down to something seriously grown-up. A beloved game encountered in the attic, realising years later it was the seed of your adult prowess; the sensual, sexy and clever you.

£145 for 50ml extrait de parfum

 

Leopard

Another from the original collection we fell in lust with at first sniff, this swaggers with glamour, it’s that ‘shoulder pads in a bottle’ scent which we all need sometimes for an instant spritz of confidence. It evokes the strength within, a purr of suggestiveness, a soap-opera bottled that could get out of control if you allow. An epic night out. Heady excess and a whiff of scandal. A big cat signifying power and the right to luxury. The only choice when good behaviour is not an option. Decadent.

£145 for 50ml extrait de parfum

 

Jungle Jezebel

Now this one will surround you in a shield of perfumed protection, but in the most audaciously fabulous way. Too much or not enough? We think it’s the perfect perfume to wear when you need to let your inner diva take the steering wheel and drive you to beyond the limits of your own imagination. Inspired by cult star Divine. A bubblegum mélange of tropical fruits, seductive flowers and predatory tones. A scandalous first impression unveils a balance of audacious combinations. Dare to walk your own path.

£145 for 50ml extrait de parfum

 

 

Greek Keys

This may well have been the first fragrance we ever smelled from this incredible niche house. Having just launched, we were blown away by the freshness, both of this breezey scent (which wafts the promise of holidays and happiness) and the inventiveness of their collection. Here, fragrance floods Aegean isles, turning fresh on crystal waters. A yacht where a famous affair plays out above and below decks.The sun glistens on your body. A drama that remains fresh forever.

£145 for 50ml extrait de parfum

 

Charade

What a scent, oh boy, you’d better be ready to fall headlong for the lustful trio of tuberose, honey and ylang ylang. It’s fragrances like this that linger so longingly on the skin – like the tingle of a passionate kiss that seemingly last forever in this strength. One to waft when you desire others to follow your trail for hours, unbidden, helplessly seeking another sniff. Ah yes. Cross and double-cross. Who’s fooling who when the stakes are high? A lingering vapour of classic silver screen sophistication. Impeccable.

£145 for 50ml extrait de parfum

 

 

Atlante

There are occasions that a scent rises above a smell and becomes a texture, a colour, a shimmering sensation that evokes so much and plunges you into an olfactive memory. Here, we find ourselves half dreaming, half remembering, waves kissing our legs, warm sun caressing the skin, a feeling of nakedness that sighs contentedly. In a mythical ocean, a sea shell gives birth to the goddess of love. Desire lingers beneath the shimmering surface. Fresh and beautiful, with an undertow. Salty.

£145 for 50ml extrait de parfum

 

Try Extrait Samples…

We’re thrilled to be able to offer you a way to try these fabulous new extraits altogether – so you don’t have to choose between them, giving each a chance to drape itself irresistibly over your skin and radiate ravishingly in turn. Only then can you truly decide which one(s) must be yours…

Sarah Baker Extraits Discovery Set £45 for 8 x 2ml extrait de parfum

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Shake up his scents for Fathers Day!

Fathers and father-figures come in all forms, but before we get on to gifting ideas: why do some of them keep getting given the same old scent for any occasion? Very likely the one they’ve been using since they were first shaving?

Okay. Some dads do ‘like what they know’, but perhaps that’s because they’ve never found out what they actually like?

Let’s change it up…

Tell him that something exciting’s on the way, and treat him to a discovery box of new scents (you can always buy the full-size of the one he loves most, later!) The joy of a curated Discovery Set is an exciting olfactory voyage into the unknown with all the inherent fear removed – think of it as an opportunity to sniff new things, niche brands you may never have tried, but with someone holding your hand a little.

The Smelling Notes we present with each of our boxes (which you can find by scanning the VR code) guide your thoughts, detail some of the ingredients and give a little background information on the fragrance house and their inspiration. You can then take a deeper dive into each scent on our dedicated brand pages, if you wish. But it’s up to you (or your recipient). It’s an adventure you are in charge of, and a Discovery Box uniquely allows you to explore a whole world of possibilities without making an expensive mistake.

 

 

Our just-launched Scented Gent Discovery Box is THE perfect gift for dads who could do with shaking up their scent wardrobe – or for anyone who feels it’s about time they refreshed their fragrances for the season ahead. A stunning hand-picked selection of both classic and new fragrances crafted for the stylish gent offers the opportunity to try each in your own time, from the comfort of your own home…

 

 

The Scented Gent Discovery Box is priced £19 + p&p* to VIP Club Members £23 + p&p* to everyone else – be sure to log into your account to take advantage of the special VIP Club price. This fabulous collection of fragrances for him is something to relish.

Montblanc Explorer Platinum 2ml eau de parfum

Brioni Éclat 1.8ml eau de parfum

Floris No.007 2ml eau de parfum

Parfums de Marly Percival 1.5ml eau de parfum

Shay & Blue Dandelion Fig 2ml eau de parfum

TUMI Continuum [12:00] 2ml eau de parfum

Floral Street Black Lotus 1.5ml eau de parfum

Jimmy Choo Man 2ml eau de toilette

Bvlgari Bvlgari Man Rain Essence 1.5ml eau de parfum

Kenzo Homme Intense 1ml eau de toilette

Bentley For Men 1.8ml eau de toilette

 

 

 

If you think he’s ready to explore more, maybe add the Men’s Must Have Discovery Box to your cart, too? For just £15 (or £12 for VIP members) it’s a specially put together collection of some masculine and unisex (to be worn by anyone) fragrances featuring globally adored best sellers and some recently-launched scents from brands such as THoOJeroboamDSquared2Paco RabanneBentleyJean Paul GaultierVersace & Initio!

Dsquared 2 Wood 2ml eau de parfum (full size £59 for 50ml)

Paco Rabanne Phanthom 2ml eau de parfum (£55 for 50ml)

Bentley Momentum Unbreakable 2ml eau de parfum (£69.50 for 100ml)

Jean Paul Gaultier Scandal Pour Homme 2ml eau de toilette (£69.50 for 100ml)

Jeroboam Oriento 1ml eau de parfum (£90 for 30ml)

Versace Eros  1ml eau de parfum (£65 for 50ml)

THoO Never Ending 2ml eau de parfum (£190 for 75ml)

Initio Oud for Happiness 2ml eau de parfum (£190 for 75ml)

 

 

 

And if you think he’s now fully immersed into the fabulous world of fragrance (or will be, by the time he’s explored those two), we suggest it’s time to embrace the world of Brand Boxes – these are collections the brands themselves have put together, showcasing some of their most iconic scents, with names from all-time classic houses and ultra-trendy indie brands alike.

 

 

 

 

Get extra ‘favourite child’ points by signing him up to get the FREE digital edition of the multi-award-winning magazine, The Scented Letter, sent straight to his inbox. If he’s more intellectually analogue-inclined and still loves print, we’re also thrilled to say you can buy an annual subscription to the print edition of The Scented Letter magazine to adorn his coffee table, which will be sent to him hot off the press.

However you choose for it to begin, get ready for him to be nearly as addicted to fragrance as you are (especially whem the compliments start flooding in!) And hey – if that also means you get to ‘borrow’ some of his scents, way after Fathers Day? Win-win!

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Scents for summer wedding anniversaries: Paper, Cotton, Leather, Fruit & Wood

One glance at social media or magazines is enough to know that Summer is all about wedding fever, and instead of following the usual path of suggesting fragrances for those getting married, or their guests, this year we thought it would be far more interesting (and relevant for more people!) to look at traditional symbols of the first five wedding anniversaries and match them to gorgeously summery scents.

It doesn’t matter if you look at these to purchase for yourself, or as a gift for friends and family you know are celebrating – whatever the reason (even if there’s no anniversary at all), these fragrances are stunning enough to warrant your further investigation.

 

 

 

 

So, how did the whole wedding anniversary symbol thing begin? It is thought that wedding anniversaries have long been celebrated with particular symbols pertinent to the year being marked. The tradition is thought to have begun in the Middle Ages, which the wedding venue Gosfield Hall rather solemnly remind us is probably because ‘…in those days, a lot of people didn’t live long enough to reach these milestones, so it was something to celebrate if they did.’ Nowadays the embittered cynics among us might ponder if the tradition continues apace because many marriages don’t live that long, so every milestone is worth noting. But let us banish such poe-faced reflections and focus instead on the always happy-making topic of fragrance, instead. Here are the first five such milestones, with descriptions of the symbols via weddingplanner.co.uk, and suggestions for the most suitable scents to celebrate…

 

 

 

1st Wedding Anniversary – Paper

Scent Suggestion – Diptyque L’Eau Papier

‘One year of marriage is symbolised by paper because a new marriage is like a blank sheet of paper and still delicate. It also helps that it offers budget-friendly gift ideas, as a couple in the first year of marriage might still be managing their budget after the wedding!’

What is the scent of paper? That’s how every Diptyque creation begins: a blank sheet, a pen, ink, ideas. Fabrice Pellegrin was tasked here with conjuring up diluted ink and artistic brushstrokes. Powdery mimosa and white musks are mistily ethereal, with a rice steam accord adding to the sense of paperiness and roasted sesame for the inkiness. Alex Waline’s pointillist label completes a modern masterpiece that couldn’t be more Diptyque if it tried.

From £90 for 50ml eau de parfum diptyqueparis.com

 

 

 

_JULIETTE_HAS_A_GUN_MUSC_INVISIBLE

2nd Wedding Anniversary – Cotton

Scent Suggestion – Juliette Has a Gun Musc Invisible

‘Traditionally your second wedding anniversary is represented by cotton. This is because the threads of you and your partner’s lives are becoming ever-more interwoven, like making cotton (cute, right?).’

‘A fluffy scent as comfortable and unfussy as your favourite old jeans,’ Romano Ricci promises with this powdery-musk bliss. ‘As appropriate at work as on a casual date.’ We’d wear this anywhere, to be honest, it’s simply sublime to snuggle up to, dreamily blending radiant jasmine absolute with almost nose-tinglingly soft cotton flower, resting on a featherbed of soul soothing white musk. Want a scent to wear every day, not only for an anniversary or special occasion? This could be your new go-to.

From £90 for 50ml eau de parfum Johnlewis.com

 

3rd Wedding Anniversary – Leather

Scent Suggestion – MEMO French Leather

‘No, that’s not why! Leather was traditionally used as a protective layer against bad weather, so the third anniversary is about security and shelter. Leather is also long-lasting, as your marriage will be.’

Deceptively nonchalant, this is a leather to wear when you want it to be your saucy little secret rather than up front and personal for all to see (and smell). The leather here is subtly slipped in to a bouquet of roses, with a background of lime, pink pepper, clary sage, juniper and a rounded, woody base. We see this being shared by couples who love a G&T, and enjoy communicating via exaggerated pouts and deftly arched eyebrows.

£230 for 75ml eau de parfum harveynichols.com

 

4th Wedding Anniversary – Fruit & Flowers

Scent Suggestion – edeniste Love Lifeboost™

‘At four years your marriage is blossoming and ripening, so it is represented by fruit and flowers…’

Having worked with top neuroscientists to prove the efficacy of the way our brains react to the scents, this one proffers ripe cherries, green leaves, radiant jasmine and tuberose with a duo of roses feel like a wearable giggle of delight, the smooth, woody dry down a hug that keeps going. We also adore the the description the house gives this scent, saying it’s ‘A gesture of scented self-care that twists the traditional ideals of love…’

£68 for 30ml eau de parfum in our shop

5th Wedding Anniversary – Wood

Scent Suggestion – Cochine Tuberose Absolute & Sandalwood

‘Wood is the symbol of a five-year marriage because of its source: trees. Trees are a symbol of strength, wisdom and time – all things a solid marriage has. Trees also have roots and at 5 years your marriage is now deeply established.’

Passionately luminous, this glows with happiness! Exclusively created with master perfumer, Maurice Roucel, this is the scent of exotic and unforgettable nights. Feminine, alluring and intriguing tuberose notes combine with rich leather and sandalwood in this intoxicating, utterly addictive fragrance. Inspired by travel and long summer evenings in the tropics, our unique fragrances capture the very essence of romantic escapism.

£110 for 50ml eau de parfum in our shop

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale