How to Layer Fragrances

The art of layering fragrance is sometimes presented as a skill you must not attempt until you’ve fine-tuned your nose to the level of a master perfumer. Or perhaps even suggested as something you should never do. Worry not. We’re here to guide you through with some easy tips and tricks to ensure a fragrant harmony every time you spritz…

Did you know that in the Middle East, people layer up to SEVEN fragrances at a time? Sometimes more! Never be afraid to play with perfume. (The wonderful thing about fragrance is there is no right or wrong: if you like something, then it’s right. If you don’t, you can wash it off. It’s not a tattoo after all.)

 

The best way to begin layering

Start with a scent you like a lot but wish could last even longer / add more character to. Write the name of that fragrance into our clever Find a Fragrance database, and it will give you a description of the notes (individual raw materials and perfumer’s accords) that make up the composition.

Now, pick a favourite note and think which other scents you have with those notes (see if you’ve already got some of those the genius algorithm suggests, or add them to your Must Sniff List, next time you’re shopping!)

 

 

We very rarely seem to leave the house without at least a couple of scents on each arm (hey, it gets hard to choose) and after a day of sniffing and spraying various latest launches, there are occasions we have multiple fragrances vying for attention. Now, this is not the ideal way to wear them, of course – a perfume needs time space to bloom to perfection on your skin – but there are many times and differing reasons you may feel the need to stack up the scents, and here is how you should go about it:

 

 

How to layer if you want your fragrance to last longer

Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise! Particularly in warmer climates. Nothing makes fragrance disappear more quickly than dry skin. Try using a matching body lotion or oil to your fragrance (many have matching products like shower gels as well – the more layers of the scent the better!) Aroma molecules evaporate far slower on well-hydrated skin.

Try also spraying the scent into your hair, too, so it wafts around you all day. Hair doesn’t heat up as much as skin, and will absorb the smell more deeply. Do a patch test, first, to ensure the fragrance doesn’t discolour your hair (spray on a tissue to be sure).

 

 

How to layer if your fragrance is too sweet

Look for dominant citrus notes like bergamot, neroli, mandarin, lemon, lime or ‘green’ notes such as galbanum, tomato or violet leaf, green tea, marine/aquatic accords (synthetic recreations of sea-like, watery smells) and aldehydes (often described as being like Champagne bubbles).

 

How to layer & soften a scent

Vanilla and tonka bean can ’round’ a perfume, making it swoon on your skin (and addictive to smell), as can touches of synthetic notes described as ‘caramel’ or ‘dulce de leche’, ripe fruits, chocolate or even candy floss. For a smoother, woodier sheen to a scent, add a sandalwood-rich or cashmere/powdery scent on top. These notes feel cocooning, adding a layer of soft comfort to spikier ingredients.

Try to add less than you think you need, as adding more is always easier than taking away, and a little of these can go a long way!

[See many more suggestions for how to change-up a fragrance you’re not getting on with, here.]

 

 

How to layer if you need to change from day to evening

Consider boosting the base notes of the scent you’re wearing – these tend to be the last to linger on your skin, being made of heavier molecules, and are likely to include ingredients such as patchouli, labdanum, olibanum, vetiver, woods or musk. Or pick out a spicy note for extra sizzle! Once you’ve welcomed the darker side of your scent and allowed it to shine with extra power, your scent trail will be stronger, longer lasting and will add a little wiggle to your walk, as it were.

Also think about investing in a stronger version of your scent – an eau de parfum, if you use the eau de toilette; or a pure parfum if you can invest in it (or ask Santa!) Read about the differing scent strengths and how differently they react and project or ‘throw’ your scent, here.

 

 

What order to layer in?

 

Scented shower / bath gel

Matching body lotion / oil / balm (or a pick out one of the notes of your chosen scent to echo that in the body product)

Eau de Cologne

Eau de toilette

Eau de parfum

Parfum

Perfume oil / attar

Fragranced hair mist (or simply spritz your scent into your hair, on to clothes (having patch-tested!)

 

 

Don’t forget, the Experimental Perfume Club fragrances have been specifically designed to mix at home and layer to your heart’s content!

Another excellent way to test and hone your new found scent layering skills is by getting a Discovery Box to try all sorts of combinations – how many hundreds (or thousands?) of combos you could create by learning to layer, within each box we don’t pretend to know. But one thing we can say for sure: you’ll have a whole lot of fragrant fun!

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

 

A deep dive into the art of Maya Njie’s Discovery Set

Today we’re taking a deep dive into the art behind the Maya Njie fragrances in her sensorially interwoven and utterly intriguing Discovery Set, which we are thrilled you can now purchase from The Perfume Society shop!

Maya Njie (pronounced ‘Maia N-Jai’) has uniquely diverse familial and artistic roots to bring to her fragrance creations. Being born in Västerås Sweden, with a West African heritage, and later moving to London in her teens, Maya went on to study at the University of the Arts.

Weaving together these threads via the medium of the senses, Maya began experimenting with smell alongside the the visual mediums of colour and photography. Indeed, so Maya told us when we first met her, the studio often gained visitors of passers-by who’d been attracted first by the wonderful scents wafting from the doors…

 

 

‘Some would ask if they could buy whatever fragrance it was, and I had to explain they weren’t for sale. But it got me thinking…’

Truly, wearing her heritage and inspiration on her skin, the fragrant future of Maya Njie was forming.
Maya had chosen the stimuli of an old family photo album for her inspiration – the images within were taken decades before her birth, but she found their faded colours and snapshots of familial life so fascinating to pair to fragrances.
Gaining notoriety from glowing fragrance reviews all over the world, now, we are thrilled to be working with Maya Njie at The Perfume Society, and to offer her fabulous Fragrance Discovery Set now in our shop!

 

Within Nordic Cedar, for example, we may never have visited the Swedish Forest it was inspired by, but we feel a sense of towering trees, the reassuring comfort of cedar and earthy patchouli enclosing us as cardamom gifts brightness, ambergris adds a touch of mist.

For Vanilj, the traditional Swedish note of cardamom is used again, the comfort intensified by addictively dark vanilla that swirls boozily amidst ambered musk.

In Tobak, addiction is ramped up via the honeyed smokiness of the tobacco leaf, a trail of animalic musks and leather resonating many hours later.

Incorporating music as another inspirational medium, Les Fleures is named for Minnie Ripperton’s 1970 song, a green floral scent that ripples with bergamot’s brightness, magnolia and sweet fig, an ‘unbound celebration of life, love and creation.’

Those longing to escape might yearn for Tropica – an invitation to imagine ‘trading in a dark, bleak and cold setting for a warmer climate far away, with flourishing green vegetation and remote beaches’ with tropical fruits lushly layered on sandalwood and coconut.

And in the latest launch, Voyeur Verde, nature claims an abandoned car, leaves and creepers entangling the leather seats, a wonderfully verdant burst of rebirth and ‘balmy cypress trees shadowed by the Sierra Bernia mountains.’

 

Discover even more about Maya Njie on our page dedicated to her incredible work.
Written by Suzy Nightingale

‘Barbiecore’ Fragrances: What Would [Retro] Barbies Wear?

The world is currently plastered in pink for the release of Barbie the Movie – name a product, and it’s probably been Barbie-fied, with fully grown adults frothing with genuine enthusiasm for this feel good nostalgia fest. Obviously, my first thoughts were fragrance-led, with the question ‘what would Barbie wear?’ but instead of scenting the characters of the film, as I’ve done in previous blog series; I thought it would be more interesting to take a deep-dive on that nostalgia score, matching classic retro Barbies with scents I feel exude their personalities in perfumed form.

 

We all have a favourite Barbie. Even if you sneered at her all-American Girl-ness, preferring the far more grounded (and let’s face it, grumpily British) Sindy, there will have been a particular Barbie you lusted after, or admired with a side-eye from afar. Just seeing the pictures of these dolls brings back waves of memories, each of them garnering fervent fans from the eras they were first released in. There are whole Instagram accounts dedicated to wallowing knee-deep in the pink reverence of remembering these Barbies, with millions of misty-eyed recollections and true joy abounding in each memory recounted.

 

 

This is one of the reasons The Barbie Movie went viral from the first peek at images from the sets, I think. After everything that’s happened in the past few years – is still happening, today, with everyone exhausted at the ‘oh God, what now?’ news – we’re heartily sick of reality and long to plunge into the comfort of a pink, plastic, Barbie-perfect world. Let us, for a moment then, recall the joy of smelling doll’s heads, fresh out the box [you did this too, right?] and allow ourselves the pleasure of exploring the following fragrances, with each Barbie’s character in mind.

Which Barbie would you like to be, today…?

 

 

Twirly Curls Barbie (1982/1983) / Parfums de Marly Oriana 

Shoutout to Matel for diversifying the so-white toy market way before many others allowed children to play with dolls that that had their skin colour. Another shoutout to all of those who, like me, tried the ‘hair twirler’ in their own locks, got it stuck, and had to have it cut out. Ah well. This Barbie deserves the va-va-voom velvety fruitiness that abounds in this fragrance (and to display the magnificent bottle on her dressing table) Passionate flowers unfurl frilly blooms to the skin-like scent of ambrette, which billows beguilingly for hours.

£130 for 30ml eau de parfum harrods.com

 

 

 

Crystal Barbie (1983) / Lancôme La Vie Est Belle Soleil Cristal

How we love seeing soleil in the name of a fragrance: a glimmer of sunlit hope and promises of outdoor living (enjoying a Barbie-perfect picnic, obvs). A solar brightness gives a twist to the bestseller, here, via radiant mandarin, extravagant white flowers and a trail of Madagascan vanilla and patchouli, from Bali. And oh, the bottle’s spectacular, with a shimmering, almost holographic finish that echoes the luminosity of the scent inside (and Barbie’s glamorous gown, of course).

From £73.60 for 50ml eau de parfum boots.co.uk

 

 

 

Peaches ‘N Cream Barbie (1984) / Shay & Blue White Peaches

Forget overly sweet peach-smell scents, there’s a floral delicacy that exudes from the flesh of white peaches, swirled through with an elderflower granita for a freshness that feels like sunshine and happiness, bottled. It swirls with the gauzy softness of the chiffon gown Barbie wears, here. Shay & Blue excel at unique combinations, this one unusually grounded with a soft wisp of silver birch for the woody base. It’s a sorbet of a scent to quench your thirst for something delightful to wear.

From £25 for 10ml eau de parfum shayandblue.com

 

 

 

Day to Night Barbie (1985) / Mugler Angel Nova

This iteration ripples ripe raspberry and succulent lychee with damask rose atop a softly smouldering base of Akigalawood and resinous benzoin. Definitely one to try if you clutched your (plastic) pearls and backed away from the original. This is fresh with a hint of pink petals, but the real power lies in its steely backbone – the unique strength of Mugler’s power femme world with a contemporary floral twist. Barbie broke through the glass ceiling in this 80s classic look, and this scent carries her from executive desk to dance floor.

From £60 for 30ml eau de parfum theperfumeshop.com

 

[P.S: Huge props to Margot Robbie and her stylists – she TOTALLY NAILS these looks in the film premieres she’s been attending!]

 

 

 

 

Dream Glow Barbie (1985/1986) / Jimmy Choo Rose Passion

A gal who pops out  for an eve in a gown featuring glow in the dark stars with matching accessories is up for a party, so this could be her signature scent. Full of the Jimmy Choo strut, it simply glows with confidence from first spritz. Coconut water delivers thirst-quenching freshness, before more exotic notes rise to an opulent crescendo: orchid, jasmine, sweet vanilla, and creamy sandalwood. Tapping into into the renewed craving for dressed-up perfumes (and ‘dopamine dressing’ generally), we say: come on Barbie, let’s go party!

From £50 for 40ml eau de parfum theperfumeshop.com

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Thameen Insignia – a Masterclass with perfumer Alexandra Carlin

It’s a rare opportunity to sit in on a masterclass with a perfumer, so when we were invited to hear Alexandra Carlin explain her creation of Thameen Insignia, along with the brilliant Christopher Chong – now resident as Thameen’s Creative Director – we veritably leapt at the chance!

Part of Thameen’s Sovereign Collection (all of which are inspired by the Crown Jewels) Insignia evokes the magnificent Garter Star (the late Queen Elizabeth II’s beloved insignia jewel, which she often wore in memory of her grandfather, and is now owned by King Charles). The Garter Star represents honour, loyalty, charitable work – sentiments that meant so much to the late Queen, and continue to resonate through the work of King Charles. 

Christopher Chong explained as we began the session that the project was the first he’d worked on in his new role with Thameen, and so it was already special – a project that took on even greater significance with the Queen’s passing, and respectful silence they kept during the period of mourning. ‘That’s the reason we’re only really starting to talk about Insignia now,’ says Chong. Describing how they collaborated on the fragrance, he continues: ‘I proposed that to Alex, to look into heritage from her perspective. She loves doing extensive research. We create today thinking of tomorrow.’

 

 

 

 

Alexandra Carlin: ‘What I like with Christopher is he always gives me a lot of freedom of expression and interpretation. I wanted it to be for sure a very elegant fragrance. Talking about heritage & transmission I knew I wanted to use a base from De Laire – a fragrance house started in the 19th century now owned by Symrise. They specialised in bases, a mix of synthetic and natural. Now we also make new bases – this is one of them, an incredible cognac oil.’

Arrayed before Alexandra were tantalising rows of raw ingredients, little bottles that hold the scented secrets to Insignia’s composition, and which we were now going to smell. Oh, that cognac oil! How to describe it? A dusky, aged oak barrel discovered in an ancient cellar, the wood and contents made one with time; a smoky, supremely smooth kind of booziness that swirls warmly, but so mellow – never overwhelming.

Alexandra: ‘The clove is obtained by SymTrap technology from clove leaf. You do a distillation and then a second distillation and capture the scent. Its note ethereal and horse like, leathery. This one is from Brazil.’

Again – a revelation. Coming from the leaf, this is no ‘Christmas spice’ of a scent, instead the sun-warmed hay notes shine, revealing an unexpected softness and intriguing levels of complexity.

 

 

 

 

Alexandra next passed us blotters of the new (and extra special) geranium they used for Insignia, telling us: 

‘This geranium from Madagascar is the most refined quality, one you just can’t usually get these days. When I first went there to smell it at the place they distill it, with perfumers like Maurice Roucel, I I knew how great it was even before I smelled it myself, as I saw him well up, almost cry with how it reminded him of this supreme quality you cannot get anymore, which we thought had been lost forever, but we can use again.’

A note called Sandalwood Dreches was next, which Christopher explained was actually upcycled, and has been ‘…distilled from sandalwood chips that are leftover to create an edible note but not milky. It’s toffee, almost salted caramel but not overly sweet. Insignia was the first perfume on the market using it.’

 

When we finally smelled the base note of Cuir Velour – an accord masterfully blending notes of raspberry, violet, velvet, leather – it left our group gasping. A caress of a scent, it’s something we’d be happy to wear as a fragrance in itself. Of course we were then champing at the bit to smell the final fragrance, and goodness it was worth waiting for…

 

Top Notes: Whiskey, fig, bitter orange

Middle Notes: Bay Leaf, geranium, Damask rose

Base Notes: Sandalwood, vetiver, suede

 

Thameen Insignia is the perfect example of how a perfume is always so much more than the list of its notes; though these are intriguing enough on paper, it truly comes alive on the skin. There’s a sparkle to this scent, a radiance that seems to hover above the skin like a fragrant aura. Having smelled the notes in turn, you could definitely recognise them in the composition, but because they’ve been so seamlessly blended, they feel suffused with a dignified subtlety. There’s nothing gaudy or showy about Insignia – a silky, dry powdery-ness adds hushed glamour, the equivalent of candlelight refracted in a foxed mirror.

What an honour to have attended such a masterclass, and have the privilege of talking to the very perfumer and Creative Director who worked on the fragrance itself – and to smell such quality of raw materials, which normally would only get to be sniffed by other perfumers. We so hope Thameen repeat this experience, and that our recounting of it adds to your enjoyment of trying Insignia on your own skin…

 

 

Thameen Insignia, £235 for 50ml Extrait de Parfum harrods.com

Written by Suzy Nightingale

The Summer Subscription Box… (Get yours while you can!)

Have you got your Summer Subscription Box yet? These are perfectly curated scent selections for each season, and the Summer one contains a particularly gorgeous array of sunshine-infused fragrances that radiate happiness and a sense of adventure – perfect for taking on holiday, or for stashing in your bag whenever you need a perfumed pick-me-up throughout the day.

Seasonal Scents Subscription is priced: Quarterly Subscription £18 for a single box, super flexible rolling contract.
You will be charged every three months, but the subscription can be cancelled at any time up to 48 hours before the launch dates for future boxes. Or, £68 for a Yearly Subscription – a great saving on all four boxes.

You can read more about how to sign up for the Seasonal Scents Subscription boxes, here.

 

 

Meanwhile, we’re hanging on to summer here at TPS Towers, and while the weather doesn’t always feel especially summery, there’s actually 67 days left of summer, at the time of posting! So, let’s make the most of them and enjoy these fabulous fragrances every day.

Inside the Summer Subscription Box you’ll find samples & travel sizes of…

 

 

Jimmy Choo Rose Passion

Nathalie Lorson is the fragrance powerhouse perfumer for Rose Passion – the perfect choice of nose to conjure glamour and daring, with that signature, ultra-feminine Jimmy Choo swagger that simply glows with confidence from first spritz. Coconut water delivers almost thirst-quenching freshness, at first sniff, before more exotic notes rise to an opulent crescendo: orchid, jasmine, sweet vanilla, and creamy sandalwood. Just as we’re starting to get used to wearing heels again, this taps into the renewed craving for dressed-up perfumes. Party on!

 

 

 

Sana Jardin Incense Water

A sheer scent that marries a velvety yet gauzy rose to crystalline patchouli heart with the piquancy of pimento berries and raspberry leaf on a pellucid sandalwood base. Like wearing an echo of a comforting dream, you really can sense the rose water flowing through the composition, and tendrils of incense floating on the breeze. Simply beautiful, since its launch we’ve loved wearing this on warmer days when other roses simply wilt, but the transparency of this helps it bloom.

 

 

Inition Paragon

Olfactory enlightenment, expressed via this ‘mantra-centric’ creation, drawing on ‘sacred woods and plants’, notably powerfully purifying and protective sage and Palo Santo wood. Close your eyes and meditate on how those notes drift through bergamot, lavender, black pepper, delivering on Paragon’s promise to bestow an ‘aura around the physical, emotional and spiritual bodies.’ Scents with a more spiritual focus are a strong trend – fragrances that don’t only smell amazing, but which help us feel better.

 

 

 

Nishane Hacivat

Hacivat was part of a collection of fragrances exploring this culture and mythology; with this scent being a werable tribute to elegance, kindness, and the love of art itself. As the house so beautifully put it: ‘…this eau chypre will help you live in your best dreams by the everlasting sparkles of its joyful structure made of the stimulating notes of pineapple and bergamot backed with the genuine woody notes. Enjoy being loved with this blissful scent that has become an iconic scent for many in such a short period of time!’

 

 

 

Juliette Has a Gun Lust for Sun

Sometimes, we just need a hit of ‘holiday in a bottle’ (no matter what the time of year) to help us through. We invite you to slap on the sunscreen, pop on your most glamorous shades, and get set for sunshine via freesia, coconut, ylang ylang, monoi and armfuls of orange blossom’s bounty. Swirled with vanilla and trailing the woody warmth of Ambroxan for hours, way past sunset, it’s a sure-fire hit for whenever you feel the need of that golden, glamorous, glass-clinking fun.

 

 

 

FLORAL_STREET_ELECTRIC_RHUBARB

Floral Street Electric Rhubarb

Inspired by happy summer days in the garden, sipping Prosecco with your nearest and dearest, this immediately joyous scent was created in collaboration with the Royal Horticultural Society. Effervescent bubbliness abounds with sparkling rhubarb popping the cork on a frothy gush of gardenia, exotic frangipani and radiant jasmine Sambac. Already we’re in the sunshine and partying – tinkling laughter and clinking glasses the backdrop to a happy-making fragrance that’ll have you wanting to kick off your shoes and dance barefoot.

 

 

 

Maison Crivelli Oud Maracuja

The oudh-averse among you need not run away, for this truly is oudh as you’ve never smelled it. A tart medley of passion fruit, blackcurrant (plus a dash of saffron) lift woods and resins out of the darkness. It washes skin with waves of freshness at first, before a sizzle of the saffron heats up the woodiness of the base. Never overwhelming, always wearable, this house is doing extraordinary things. This is a truly shareable scent, too (not often the case with oudhs), though you may not be willing to…

 

 

Shay & Blue Voulez Vous

Coffee is a ‘gourmand’ note not always seen in scents, but used so perfectly here as the antidote to any dreary days (and an olfactory alarm call when you’re feeling a bit sluggish!) There’s a creamy comfort to wearing this, as the aromatic coffee note is swirled within vanilla and touch of magnolia for a floral flourish – think of it as a dreamy, creamy latte in fine fragrance form. Blissful, and such fun!

Don’t forget – you’ve still got time (just about!) to grab yourself this Summer Box by joining the Seasonal Scent Subscription. All these samples and travel sizes will be delivered to your home, along with a link to the full Smelling Notes, and an unboxing video so you can smell along with us. Your Autumn box will then automatically be sent out to you in September, to prepare for the cooler months ahead. But let’s not think about that just yet, and extend the sunny days with these seasonally perfect perfumes

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Fragrances for the Wimbledon finals (and the rest of summer!)

Although it’s the last of the tennis, there’s the rest of summer to make the most of – so we’re celebrating with scents that evoke the excitement of a popped cork, glasses of chilled bubbles shared with friends, picnics with Pimms, making the most of sitting in our gardens (or escaping to the nearest green space) whenever we can, and eating our own bodyweight in strawberries.

It’s been a bit of a mixed bag of a summer, weather-wise, and with everyone seemingly as exhausted as dehydrated bumble bees who need to be spoon-feed sugar syrup and placed gently within a hollyhock to recuperate, it’s surely time to wear something which lifts our spirits, adds a certain zing to our day, and allows us to appreciate the here and now?

 

Psst! Don’t forget you have until midnight on Sunday 16th July to enter our Wimbledon Legends prize draw, to win a huge bundle of Montblanc fragrance prizes!]

Meanwhile, with with 70 days of official summer left in the northern hemisphere, why not try these happy-making scents for size…?

 

Memoize London Vita

Piquant pepper, cool cardamom and a sizzle of saffron enliven the juicy fruits that drench the heart of this summer-tastic scent. A hazy drift of incense tickles sun-warmed strawberries lapped by creamy milk, and the woody dry-down billows engagingly for hours. Bliss!

£177 for 100ml eau de parfum in our shop

 

 

 

Paco Rabanne Invictus Victory Elixir Parfum Intense

Urging us to push our limits and celebrate victories (even if that means putting your shoes on the right feet currently, we feel!) a sublime blend of Provençal lavandin’s sliced through with green cardamom, while Indonesian patchouli envelops addictive tonka and vanilla.

£71 for 50ml eau de parfum boots.com

 

 

 

Maison Margiela When the Rain Stops

There’s at least one moment during Wimbledon (or the BBQ you’ve been planning for ages) when, inevitably, the heavens open, but at least we can revel in the scent of ‘petrichor’ so beautifully evoked here via dewy Isparta roses and mossy, rain-washed, lung-clearing air.

£55 for 30ml eau de toilette theperfumeshop.com

 

 

 

MALIN + GOETZ Strawberry

Banish thoughts of sickly sweet versions of a strawberry scent, this is ‘deconstructed’ and reimagined – a freshly picked garden strawberry with stalk attached, shafts of pink pepper and bergamot given a floral flourish by orris root, jasmine petals and soft musks.

£78 for 50ml eau de parfum malinandgoetz.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

VYRAO I AM VERDANT

Sprouting acres of mown grass and green verges with every spritz, cyclamen joyously bursts through the undergrowth, swags of moss-bedecked ivy draping the powdery comfort of iris, and bergamot bolstering the brightness of orange flower absolute. Smiles, bottled.

£135 for 50ml eau de parfum selfridges.com

(Try a sample in the Vyrao High Five Set for £79)

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Olivier Pescheux R.I.P

It was with great sadness we learned of Master Perfumer Olivier Pescheux’s passing. A loss made deeper still by the fact he was just 57, and should have been making fragrances long into the future. Many of us have Pescheux to thank for our most treasured fragrances – scent memories that will live on indefinitely.

We might spend many hours listing and talking about all the fragrances Olivier Pescheux created (and we hope you wear them and will talk about them within your own circle of friends in the coming weeks, to honour his legacy), but of course the focus often goes on the best sellers – incredible blockbusters such as Paco Rabanne 1 Million, which has consistently been one of the best selling fragrances in the world since it was launched, and should be on every perfumista’s list to try.

Pescheux also made some of our favourite Diptyque fragrances – including Tempo (one of the finest patchouli fragrances you can buy, no question), and Eau Capitale, which is a modern classic rose in every sense of the phrase. He also created Montblanc Explorer, and Versace Eros Flame – further fragrances which became legends in his own lifetime. And yet, according to all his colleagues and friends, he remained incredibly humble, full of generosity and good humour.

 

Just some of Master Perfumer Olivier Pescheux’s creations

 

Givaudan, the fragrance creation house Olivier worked for, released a moving statement, honouring Pescheux on their Instagram, alongside a handwritten formula which, it turns out, was the very first he’d created for them. Givaudan said:

‘It is with deep sadness and profound emotion that we announce the passing of Olivier Pescheux, on July 10th in Paris, France, at the age of 57, after fighting against a long disease.

Well-known for his elegant and luminous olfactive writing, Olivier Pescheux has been at the origin of countless successes such as Paco Rabanne 1 Million, Dior Higher, Lacoste L1212 Blanc, Diptyque Eau des sens, Fleur de peau and Orphéon.

“Olivier immensely contributed to shape today and tomorrow’s perfumery. He was loved for his warm and friendly character, his generosity and his boundless artistry. Olivier will be deeply missed.” said Oriol Segui, Head of Fine Fragrance Europe.

We found one of Olivier’s fragrance formula dating from 2009, published in Les Echos Série Limitée, which was about imagining the fragrance of the future. We share it with you on this occasion as a symbol of his creativity and his poetry.

Rest in Peace
We love you!’

 

Olivier Pescheux’s first formula for Givaudan

Givaudan also included a message from all of their perfumers and teams who worked with Pescheux, saying:

 

‘Dear Olivier,
We all shared and loved your sense of humor, your light-hearted yet profound approach to life, a style and elegance that we also find in your marvelous creations.
We’ll always remember your humor, your smile, your luminous gaze.
We all send our love
The Givaudan Perfumers and Teams’

 

 

 

Elsewhere on social media, perfumer Mathilde Laurent replied with her own memories of Olivier Pescheux, recounting the fun she had spending time with him and (as she put it) ‘playing perfume’. Nathalie Feisthauer was among many fellow perfumers posting pictures of Olivier, saying: ‘Olivier Pescheux a friend and a Colleague. Sad day (will miss you).’

Hugely prolific, immensely talented, already much-missed, Olivier we add to the messages from perfume lovers pouring in from around the world, and say:

Thank you for the scent memories…

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

 

Perfect pool party perfumes

Okay, the weather is v unpredictable here in the U.K. but we are buckling down and hoping for the best (as ever) so have set our sights on perfumes we could wear to a pool party. Now, we realise that it might be more likely a paddling pool set up than a Miami poolside scene, but these are also perfect for taking on holiday (or for wearing during drizzle to perk up your spirits!)

So, with the cocktail trend for scents in mind, let’s get those inflatable pool toys ready and pool party perfumes on…

‘Make a splash with Lime Mojito, a vibrant scent from the DKNY Be Delicious Pool Party collection. Inspired by the trendy summer cocktail, this refreshing, fruity floral fragrance invigorates and energises the senses with a dance of zesty bergamot, Italian lemon and mandarin. Dewy honeysuckle transitions the scent into an addictive mix of modern musk and blonde woods warmed by the summer sun.’

DKNY Be Delicious Lime Mojito £36.99 for 50ml eau de parfum theperfumeshop.com

 

 

 

For fellow gin-lovers, this is now an absolute classic – a crisply refined cocktail on a pleasingly debauched base of black cherry, soft leather, crytalised brown sugar and exotic amber. To be splashed with abandon and relished at leisure. Penhaligon’s say: ‘This eau de toilette is a complex cocktail. Better make it a double.’ We totally agree, and always have a bottle to hand during the warmer months!

Penhaligon’s Juniper Sling from £80 for 30ml eau de toilette penhaligons.com

 

 

 

Alive with Asian aromatics, tingling like a ginger martini, the sun-kissed mandarin squeezes sweetness onto ginger’s vibrantly quenching, just-grated spiciness. Wrapped in the golden glow of amber, it has us dreaming of digging our toes into sand, sipping cocktails at sunset, and closing our eyes in the blissfully balmy air caressing our skin. We’re madly spritzing this until a pool party actually happens.

Goldfield & Banks Ingenious Ginger £138 for 100ml eau de parfum selfridges.com

 

 

 

Presented in the most whimsically joyous ‘cocktail glass’ bottle, you’ll certainly be the life and soul of the pool party wearing this unusual blend of sweet and savoury notes, designed to keep your senses alert, so we’re told! Popcorn, black pepper and chestnut smooth their way to a cheerful floral heart, the intriguing mix all underpinned by plumptiously creamy vanilla and a soft white woody base.

Pepe Jeans Celebrate For Her £39.95 for 80ml eau de toilette superdrug.com

 

 

 

 

Did you ever sip a Blue Moon, that cult beachside 90s party cocktail? Kilian Hennessy clearly feels it’s time the intoxicating blend of lemon, vodka and blue curaçao was revived; he recruited Sidonie Lancesseur to remix it in scent form, adding a whoosh of organic ginger essence from Madagascar for spice, a swirl of Ambroxan, which laces the limited edition blend with a warm yet mineralic feel.

KILIAN Paris Blue Moon Ginger Dash £185 for 50ml eau de parfum libertylondon.com

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

How to Find a Fragrance for Your Holiday

The stress of What To Pack for your holidays is always high, with airline regulations restricting the size of liquids you can carry on-board adding to the existing panic of how many perfumes we can squeeze into an already bulging suitcase. Plus: what to actually wear while you’re away? The dilemma is real. But fear not, just follow our handy holiday fragrance-finding guide…

At The Perfume Society, we’re here to make finding your next ‘new favourite’ fragrance a complete doddle. Just follow these simple steps, and you’ll be off on a fragrant journey of discovery.

 

1: Start with what you love

Instead of plunging wildly into the dark and trying every random fragrance you see, it’s a good idea to base your sniff list on something you already know you love. Our Fragrance Finder is completely genius at this, and has been recommended by fragrance experts as the best place to start when looking for a new fragrance to suit you.

 

 

All you need do is type in the name of a scent you already enjoy and you’ll be given an immediate list of six scents to seek out, all at various price points and with characteristics you’re extremely like to swoon for. Honestly, try it – they’re quite spookily accurate!

 

 

 

2: Give yourself time

Now clutching your shopping list of scents to try, we cannot urge you strongly enough to allow yourself the time to live with them on your skin a while before making a snap decision either way. First sniff? That’s the top notes – generally something citrus-y and ephemeral – which can disappear within the first few minutes of spraying because the ingredients evaporate more quickly.

We find forty minutes to an hour is enough to give you a proper sense of what the perfume smells like on you – so if you are at Duty Free, perhaps go away and have your meal / browse elsewhere while making the decision. And if you don’t want to douse yourself head-to-toe then spray on a blotter or ‘spill’ (long paper strip) to get an idea. But remember – it will only be an idea of the final scent. They were made to be warmed and worn on your skin, not paper, so will often smell very different (and better) on you. And your mood/the weather/food can all drastically alter how a scent smells on you.

 

 

3. Don’t be afraid to take risks!

We suggest the ideal time to try new scents is on a holiday – not only do we become a bit braver while staying elsewhere (perhaps wearing differing outfits and hairstyles than we normally do), but wearing a new fragrance can help lock the whole holiday into wonderful scent memories you can return to time and again, ;  aromas that will remind you of the place, the people you were with, and even the temperature of the air or time of year.

Why not take a whole selection of scents that are easy to travel with, which you can carry with you on the plane and pop into your bag, and that will fit the vacation vibe of wherever you are travelling? Try these…

 

 

For a Tropical Destination…

Niche VII Discovery Box – a sizzling selection of exciting scents that radiate elegance, sunshine and exoticism: £23 (or £19 for VIP Club Members)

 

Atkinsons 1799 Mint & Tonic – Wonderfully cooling (and long-lasting) when the going gets too hot, this will be your portable perfumed breeze!

Caroline Herrera Herrera Confidential Emerald Musk – Gorgeously opulent, why not wear for a dressy dinner to dazzle fellow guests?

Contradictions in Ilk Libertine – Inspired by Cassanova’s favourite tipple, this sensually daring scent invites you to seduce…

Elie Saab Le Parfum Lumiére – Radiantly glowing, this white floral bouquet smoulders with jasmine, tuberose and gardenia.

STORIES No.011.5ml eau de parfum OR STORIES No.02 1.5ml eau de parfum – Scent memories captured forever in these wear anywhere go-to’s.

Floral Street Sunflower Pop – Bright and happy, this sparkles with optimism and is perfect for a day exploring local culture.

Molton Brown Neon Amber – Zesty mandarin brightens the deep amber glow of the base as tonka exudes addictive deliciousness.

Sarah Baker Symmetry – A modern Cologne style inspired by travel, drying down to an exotic oudh-laden sense of mystery.

Storie Veneziane by Valmont Rosso – Oozing grand style, this is a scent to swagger in (while contemplating which mansion to buy on the island).

Comme des Garçon Rouge – Contemporary chic featuring steamy Indonesian ginger and incense with intriguing notes of rhubarb and geranium.

skinSense Overnight Leave on Mask – The perfect skin-drench to plump and soothe sun-stressed skin: don’t holiday in the sun without this skin-saviour!

STORIES Parfums Nº.01 Hand & Body Wash 100ml OR STORIES Parfums Nº.02 Hand & Body Wash 100ml – A deliciously scented summer holiday essential.

 

 

 

For an Adventure

Launches to Love Discovery Box – This set invites exploration, pushing your perfumed boundaries and thrilling new niche discoveries: £23 (or £19 for VIP Club Members)

 

ARgENTUM Become – Grounding and comforting woodiness offers olfactory protection while urging you on to bigger, better adventures.

D’OTTO 1+7 – Luminous notes daringly exploding amidst the traditional fougere-style heart. Aromatically inspired by Jackson Pollock.

Lalique Soleil – The sunshine lasts all day with this beautiful scent, before cool milkiness laps pear juice and praline. Divine!

Maison Crivelli Neroli Nasimba – Based on wild orange blossom experienced onsafari, the floral notes sizzle on the warm leather base.

Maya Njie Tobak – Taken from Maya’s West African / Swedish heritage, this supremely dry, smoky scent swirls suavely for hours.

Memoize London Concordia – Inner peace granted via soft white flowers and transparent muskiness that cossets to keep you safe.

Michael Kors Gorgeous! – Sashaying with confidence, to be worn as a daily affirmation, the white flowers sit smoothly on softest suede.

Parfums de Marly Valaya – Mindfulness, bottled: the sensation of expensive silk sheets, the bliss of resting before your next adventure.

Robert Piguet Fracas – The diva, a must-try tuberose classic that’s always in style. It harkens to the golden age of travelling bravely.

Salvatore Ferragamo Signorina Libera – Celebrating freedom, abandoning yourself to excitement, the fruitiness beckons happiness.

Thameen London Fanfare – Inspired by Covent Garden’s history, this big-hitting Cologne elixir keeps things sparkling fresh 24/7.

Yardley London English Rose hand cream 50ml  – A must-pack smoothing, soothing essential to keep on hand (literally) at all times.

 

 

 

 

For a City Break

Exquisite Essences Discovery Box – An artfully curated selection of contemporary scents to inspire living life to the full & loving forever: £23 (or £19 for VIP Club Members)

 

Armani Sì – Urging you to say ‘yes!’ to impromptu city getaways, honeyed rose swoons romantically in this so-modern chypre.

Electimuss Trajan – Inspired by Roman history, only wanting the best; explore a city’s past while wearing today’s aromatic masterpiece.

Contradiction in ILK Sincere – Lulling with a soft, milky kiss, this is a snuggle of your lover’s skin in luxurious boutique hotel sheets.

Initio Oud for Happiness – Resolutely urban, the woodiness inspires self-confidence, a certain city swagger to your every scented step.

Jusbox Spring Dance – Immerse yourself in classical music this was inspired by, thrilling to the sublime floral muskiness, enraptured.

La Perla Signature – Classiness, an insouciant chicness that encircles via violet leaf, mandarin, neroli and a vetiver-rich dry down.

Memoize London Unitas – Pink pepper, saffron, cinnamon & nutmeg set senses alight, while rose, tobacco & amber dance ’til dawn.

Molton Brown Delicious Rhubarb & Rose – Traditional British ‘flavours’ reimagined in this zingy, enlivening, addictive fragrance.

Prosody Lissom Linden – Lime trees often line city streets, a unique scent enriched with honeyed chamomile to shimmer seductively.

Sarah Baker Far From the Madding Crowd – Escape to a secret green space for a city picnic that feels in the heart of the countryside.

Shay & Blue Voulez Vous Lite – Grab your latte to go with this frothy, coffee-infused giggle of a scent to get your day started beautifully.

The Merchant of Venice Gyokuro – Paying tribute to intricate Japanese tea ceremonies, set your imagination awake and explore afar.

Widian London – A fragrant tribute to the city’s character, this is a leather jacket worn over a raspberry silk party dress. Party on!

 

Whichever scents you decide to take – or fall in love with while you’re away – we promise that stepping outside of your perfume comfort zone will lead to a lifelong romance that continues far beyond your holiday. Take the plunge and explore your scented possibilities, today…

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Getting Juicy for July – covetable citrus scents

Long-lasting, juicy citrus scents are the order of the month, we feel – yes, of course when it’s sunny they feel so appropriate, but even when the weather’s not playing ball it’s time to let those citrus scents sparkle! Wearing juicy-smelling citrus scents brings the feeling of sunshine in a fragrance, no matter the weather.

That’s why we’re declaring July a month long olfactory opportunity to gather your most-beloved citrus scents and – or even better, try some new juicy numbers – because NOW is the time to allow them to shine…

 

 

 

 

LABORATORIO OLFATTIVO Pompelmo

Master of understated simplicity, Jean-Claude Ellena taps into his Italian background here, where – as he explains – ‘several beverages celebrate bitterness.’ Front and centre is grapefruit, considered in Asia to be a sacred fruit which was offered to the gods; Jean-Claude worked on the fruit’s ‘lively and sour freshness’, while stressing its bitter scent.’ Pink pepper, resinous lentisque, patchouli, white musk and vetiver feature in the olfactive chorus line of this fresh, shareable masterpiece.

£90 for 100ml parfum Cologne

libertylondon.com

 

 

ROBERT PIGUET Cravache

Originally launched in 1963, we celebrate the revivification of Piguet’s classics, now under the guardianship of genius nose, Aurelian Guichard. Here, the citrus zing has the sparkle turned up to eleven, with quenching mandarin, bitter orange and bright petitgrain zesting up even the dullest of days. Granted the addition of jasmine, orris, sage and saffron, the clarity of the composition remains, even in the snuggle of tree moss-lined woodiness as it warms.

£205 for 100ml eau de parfum

harrods.com

 

 

 

MAISON FRANCIS KURKDJIAN Aqua Media Forte

Francis Kurkdjian’s Aqua Cologne Forte collection is suffused with light and freshness, its philosophy seeking to help us cultivate ‘a healthy mind in a healthy body’. Thus, we welcome Media Forte, ‘the embodiment of balance and harmony’, a deceptively simple construction that is tangibly fresh and citrus bright, showcasing Italian bergamot, radiant hedione and aromatic sweet fennel, grounded in a green moss facet, patchouli and woody musks. Spray, breathe, chill.

£175 for 70ml Cologne forte

johnlewis.com

 

 

ACQUA DI PARMA Arancia La Spugnatura

In time for summer lunches, vacations and outdoor living (everything crossed), this grab-it-while-you-can limited edition has a fascinating back-story, as well as a sublimely zesty scent. ‘La Spugnatura’ is an ancient and rare technique for extracting aromatic notes from citrus skin – usually limes – but here, AdP switched to Arancia Vaniglia, from ‘the city of Oranges’, Ribera, in Sicily. In a nod to the orange’s name, soft vanilla is added – and it’s so, so moreish.

From £141.30or 100ml eau de parfum

escentual.com

 

 

FRAGRANCE DU BOIS AM

Full of tenderness, this scent tiptoes to the window and throws it open to greet the dawn. Cool air circulates softly, tendrils of woodiness weaving through an intriguingly dry damask rose. Italian orange, aromatic thyme and leathery saffron are drizzled with a vintage patchouli and a touch of tropical vanilla sweetness. A collab between Internet sensation Producer Michael and the sustainable luxury fragrance brand, it sure gets a day off to a fabulous start.

£325 for 100ml extrait de parfum

fragrancedubois.com

 

Looking for even more juice? Get the squeeze on citrus scents (and know your lemon from your citron) in our fragrant ingredients guide

 

Meanwhile, if you’re seeking bottled sunshine and an instant holiday hit (or are actually travelling somewhere lovely for a break, and need to discover your next fragrant fling (maybe even a lifelong romance!) head to our brilliant Find a Fragrance page – have six new scents suggested, tailored to your exact tastes.

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale