Scents Inspired by Scotland – for St Andrews Day & Always

At this time of year, we grab every single chance to celebrate in fragrant form, and so for St Andrews Day this time, we are nodding to the Patron Saint of Andrew the Apostle in a scented salute. Of course, these are perfect to be worn all year around, but oh goodness they come into their own during the seemingly endless, long, grey days. By turns warming, whimsical, and wonderful – how glorious it is to see Scotland (and ingredients that shall forever be associated with Scotland) showcased in these scents. Which would you like to try first, we wonder…?

Kingdom Scotland Metamorphic

Inspired by founder Imogen Russon-Taylor’s first career, where her nose became refined distilling whisky before perfume tempted her to a new path, you can read more of Kingdom Scotland’s fascinating founding story here. But meanwhile, we urge you to revel in the splash of Islay malt amidst black pepper, tobacco, incense, minerals and rose absolute. Metamorphosing on the skin as it’s warmed to reveal a base of amber resin and leather, it’s the perfect winter warmer.

£120 for 50ml eau de parfuin our shop

Sarah Baker Tartan Extrait

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 In Our Shop

BARBOUR For Her
Misty mornings beckon, mellow light and stillness, winter sunshine and crisp air reflected in this so-evocative scent that sings of heathered hills, spiderwebs jewelled with dew drops, invigorating citrus soon segueing to the soothing floral heart. Wisps of warmer day’s memories are married to a snuggle-me-closer tonka and orris base that is softness personified. Fresh and classic all at once, and we’re loving the on-brand hipflask-esque bottle.
£49 for 50ml eau de parfum barbour.com

Atkinsons 24 Old Bond Street Triple Extract

The resinous warmth of Scottish oak-casked whisky is laced through this blend of their black tea, rose and juniper aromatic sensation, and harks back to the heritage of this cheekily eccentric brand. Though warming, it retains the brightness of a Cologne while roaming through the gloaming, a sense of skipping through the heather with a wicked twinkle in your eye. One to wear now when you still require an extra layer of softness to snuggle into but can also enjoy long into the warmer months once again.

£135 for 100ml eau de Cologne atkinsons1799.com

MEMO Inverness

Swirled with orris butter for soft powdery tones, salty-iodic amyris is ‘overdosed’ with herbaceous Mate absolute. Milky sandalwood laps smoky guaiacwood and the forest-y feeling of cedar, meanwhile, for a scent that speaks of this ‘land of peat, heather and golden rain, beyond the senses, aptly known as the capital of the Highlands…’ Undulating from bracing freshness to mist-shrouded mystery, it veritably throbs with longing for adventure, the woods were chosen to be “each more captivating and fragrant than the last.”

£230 for 75ml eau de parfum uk.memoparis.com

Scenting ‘Stranger Things: The First Shadow’ Stage Show

Stranger Things has been one of the most successful drama shows of all time, certainly the most talked about and trending on Netflix for many years. And now, the show has proved so popular, it’s been turned into an intriguing new stage show, called Stranger Things: The First Shadow – which seeks to explore the story as a prequel…

‘Brought to life by a multi-award-winning creative team, who take theatrical storytelling and stagecraft to a whole new dimension, this gripping new adventure will take you right back to the beginning of the Stranger Things story – and may hold the key to the end.’

 

 

 

Explaining the way the stage show takes shape, they say: ‘Hawkins, 1959: a regular town with regular worries. Young Jim Hopper’s car won’t start, Bob Newby’s sister won’t take his radio show seriously and Joyce Maldonado just wants to graduate and get the hell out of town. When new student Henry Creel arrives, his family finds that a fresh start isn’t so easy… and the shadows of the past have a very long reach.’ Predicted to be another smash-hit, Stranger Things: The First Shadow tickets are on sale now.

 

 

 

 

Inspired by classic 1980s teen horror movies such as Nightmare on Elm Street, with elements of The Goonies and the Alien franchise sprinkled around and about (and Upside Down); its mixture of nail-biting drama, truly terrifying moments and superbly nuanced (often laugh out loud funny, amidst the horror) script was part of the recipe for Stranger Things continuing success.

Of course, we when Season Four aired, we couldn’t resist the opportunity for an olfactory pairing, so in celebration of the new stage show – and ahead of the much-anticipated final season of the TV show – let’s settle down for that EPIC, scenting of Stranger Things, where we matched some of our favourite characters to fragrances we felt would most suit (or even help) them through the most recent season’s tumultuous storyline…

Warning: Though we tried to keep this spoiler-free for season 4, there are references made to previous seasons’ storylines, so proceed with caution if you’re a complete Stranger Things newbie who’s only just begun your journey!

 

 

Joyce Byers (played by Winona Ryder)Maison Sybarite Spicy Calabria £160 for 75ml eau de parfum

Fiercely loyal, hugely resilient, Joyce has had to fight for her children, her independence and even simply to be believed, more times than most could stand. Having already battled supernatural beings, her sheer force of character is called on in far chillier climes this season, and so her scent must radiate the warmth of her soul while serving as a shield against those who seek to harm her (and the loved ones she continues to fight for). Here, juicy ginger and black pepper add to the spicy zing while powdery orris cushions the decadently wormwood-rippled base (perfect for those who’ve fearlessly faced darkness in their lives). Cedar adds a calming note of contemplation while limette thrums with woody oudh and patchouli, but the Calabrian citrus also reminds us of holidays – and gawd knows, Joyce deserves one (with business class plane tickets this time, please, luxury all the way).

 

 

 

Murray Bauman (Brett Gelman)Hai Karate £9.99 for 100ml Cologne

A former investigative journalist who first appeared in the season 2, Murray goes on to display a range of rather unexpected skills in this season, where he’s paired with Joyce on their own deadly mission. Sarcastic, seemingly shambolic and yet surprisingly heroic in turn, we feel only Murray could pull off this (always very tongue-in-cheek) Cologne. First released in 1967 with the tagline ‘be careful how you use it’, Hai Karate remained a popular choice right through the 1980s, known for their (intentionally?) hilarious (now rather dated) TV ads. But Murray doesn’t care about appearances, and there’s something about the classic, retro barbershop freshness that’s actually rather comforting to smell.

 

 

 

Jim Hopper (David Harbour)AKRO Smoke from £70 for 30ml eau de parfum

Now Hopper has been through a lot already, and his troubles only increase this season. Former Hawkins Chief of Police, protective father-figure to El and revered by fans as a supposedly ‘unlikely’ sex symbol for the first seasons, we’re sure he’s swaying those who hadn’t already swooned. ‘Bottled without restraint or moderation, a concentration of excess,’ the AKRO collection are inspired by guilty secrets and addictions – and we certainly can’t get enough of this fragrance, or Hopper, come to that. Given his clever use of fire in one particularly nail-biting scene, and the fact that he really deserves a quick drag (OK, we obviously don’t approve of smoking, but the man needs a cigarette break!) the deliciously resinous drift of tobacco smokiness in this scent would surely appeal…

 

 

 

Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown)E11even Fragrance Oil £80 for 20ml parfum

We know what you’re thinking. You’re assuming this fragrance was just chosen for the name, right? Wrong. Well, OK, partly it was, but mostly we selected this scent for its soothing nature  (which El certainly needs this season, more than ever, as she struggles to tap into her true powers while solving the mysteries of her past), and even for the meaning of the number itself. In numerology, so the house tell us, ‘the number 11 represents two pillars, a gateway, representing awareness and consciousness.’ Inspired by ingredients that help balance the soul, the head-clearing woody greeness of geranium boosts strengthening rose, while earthy patchouli and a warm amber provide a comfort blanket of softness. Encouraging the wearer to ‘stop, take a deep breath, stay positive and consciously focus on balancing themselves,’ it also ‘awakens the senses, ignites intuition and makes the wearer truly unforgettable.’ Just like El, herself.

 

 

 

Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo)Etat Libre d’Orange Remarkable People £128 for 100ml eau de parfum

Seen as a ‘nerd’ in the first season, Dustin more than proved the strength of his friendship, even though he regularly feels a bit isolated and left out of some social groupings. Quick-witted and gregarious, he’s often the only one who sees things as they really are, though perhaps we’ll pass over his pet ‘slug’, Dart, in season 2, actually being a juvenile demogorgon. Oops. Never mind, none of us can be perfect, huh? In a somewhat tempestuous long-distance relationship with computer genius Suzie (see below), Dustin is driven by a quest for adventure. Inspired by ‘Demigods, explorers and those that remain unknown,’ this fragrance fizzes with a Champagne-like exuberance then surrounds you in spicy, almost curried cosiness. New heroes are born every day, say the brand, and ‘There is an element, an event, a circumstance, or maybe just a quirk in their personalities that changes them, empowers them, enables them to transcend the ordinary.’ Dustin, you’re our hero!

 

 

 

Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer)Maison Margiela REPLICA Whispers in the Library from £49 for 30ml eau de parfum

An aspiring journalist known as a bit of a ‘princess’ in the first season, her main concern, then, was merely trying to divide her time between her boyfriend, Steve, and her best friend, Barbara (oh, poor Barb!) When all hell (literally) broke loose, Nancy stepped up to become an integral member of ‘The Party’ of friends who try to save the world. Nancy’s cleverness at piecing clues together also earned her the nickname of ‘Nancy Drew’, and she’s desperately trying to focus on those clues this season, rather than the continuing confusion of her love life. With her love of books, we think this library-centric scent will appeal to Nancy’s nose for extensive research. It’s all waxed wood and leather-bound tomes with a twist of pepper adding spice to the pencil shavings of cedar, a sweetly dry rustle of vellum adding further intrigue as we finally get to the base of it all.

 

 

 

Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) – Penhaligon’s Halfeti Hair & Body Mist Now £32 for 100ml

Known (and lovingly mocked for) his obsessively-tended and oft-touselled head of hair, Steve had a more supporting role as Nancy’s cooler-than-thou boyfriend in the first season, before dropping most of his foolish ways and being propelled to main (mane?) cast status. Forming an unlikely, though charmingly fraternal, sparky friendship with Dustin, their duologues make for many of the season’s funniest moments. He was a bit of an asshole, but he’s fully blossomed, so we think Steve would very much appreciate and now truly desrves the sexy scent of Halfeti that’s been imbued with protective and hair-shining properties in the hair mist. Worn alone in hot weather or layered with the fragrance for an even longer-lasting waft of woody sensuousness, the masucline rose even has smooth leather notes to remind him of his favouite jacket.

 

 

 

 

Robin Buckley (Maya Hawke)Contradictions in ILK Realist £125 for 50ml extrait de parfum [try in the Discovery Set for £48]

Working with Steve at a new job in Hawkins premiere video rental store, her no-bullsh*t approach comes in handy for day-to-day wise-cracking at work, and quickly becomes her scene-stealing modus operandi as the story continues. Robin is funny but seriously intelligent, her quick-thinking and bravado vital to the gang throughout the season, and she provides a balance to the darkest moments. Her sharp contrast to Nancy’s character means their friendship is often spiky, but quite apart from being independently brilliant, she’s also an amazing team player when needs be. With a similarly down-to-earth approach, this travels from the cold of night to day break’s warmth via yuzu citrus, the clarity of cedar and incense on a sea breeze. Providing clarity of mind and feeling spirit-cleansing to wear, it’s the one to turn to when times are hardest.

 

 

Lucas Sinclair (Caleb McLaughlin)BYREDO Mixed Emotions £127 for 50ml eau de parfum

Lucas begins by being torn between two rival sets of friends. A difficult circumstance for any young person, it’s made all the more horrific when lives (and tender feelings) are on the line. Mixed Emotions has been created, so we’re told, ‘to reflect the tumultuous nature of our times’. Yet the fragrance itself seems to offer something of a welcome antidote to that: a beautiful, cool blend of maté tea, sharply sweet blackcurrant, reviving Ceylon black tea, violet leaves, all strongly tethered by papyrus and birch wood. ‘A refreshing reminder that it is OK to not be OK – and that from unsettling experiences, a new reality might emerge,’ conclude BYREDO. Here’s hoping Lucas emerges with a renewed sense of who his truest friends really are, and that it’s alright to be ostracised if those people alienating you are all assholes. When Lucas taps into his emotional depths he’s remarkably resilient, and this scent really encourages the spirit of ‘you do you.’

 

 

 

Max Mayfield (Sadie Sink)Olfactive O Skin £100 for 30ml extrait de parfum [or try in their Discovery Set for £30]

Having captured the game-playing jealousy, then potential love-interest of fellow arcade game players Dustin and Lucas in season 2, the Californian skateboarding cool reserve of Max could be read as snootiness, but in fact is down to her horrific home life (thanks mainly to step-brother, Billy, and her innate social anxiety). Having become a close friend of Eleven’s, despite their initial shakiness, her on-and-off again relationship with Lucas provides another emotionally-challenging storyline – as though these young people aren’t under enough stress right now. Though she might feel a special connection with another of the scents on this list (we can’t tell you why without spoilering!) we think she’d find solace and extra courage in the universality, yet deeply personal connections of this one. Creamy, cocooning, the softness of ambrette seed, orris and magnilia swirl protectively around you, a second skin that can be layered to magnify another scent or worn alone to ‘create the absolute essence of you.’

 

 

 

Eddie Munson (Joseph Quinn)L’Artisan Parfumeur Passage d’Enfer Extrême £135 for 100ml eau de parfum

Leader of the Stranger Things Hellfire Club, the Dungeon & Dragons and Metal music-obsessed Eddie has become an instant fan favourite – his ‘bad guy’ stereotype soon punctured by his sweetness of character and his obvious (to his friends) sensitive side. Sadly, not everyone sees him this way, and it’s not long before he needs all the help he can get. Apart from the fact this fragrance name sounds like a song from one of his favorite bands, it features a host of potentially spooky notes. The headiness of lily has been associated with spiritualism and the afterlife since Victorian times, here smouldering alongside the billowing yet sheer smokiness of incense and an intensely comforting woody muskiness that seems to offer hope even when everything around you is on fire. Despite the ‘scary’ name, it’s a bit of a pussycat at heart this one, a place of sanctuary amidst charred wooden pews and dusty books, something that brings solace whenever you spray it. So, Eddie’s gonna need backup bottles.

 

 

 

Argyle (Eduardo Franco)Malin + Goetz Cannabis £78 for 50ml eau de parfum [or try in the Discovery Set for £22]

Your friendly local pizza and weed delivery guy, Argyle would doubtless rather be thinking up new toppings while taking another toke, but his hippy-dippy lifestyle comes abruptly to an end when he gets involved in the horrifying Hawkins shenanigans. So, we suggest this bohemian yet beautiful balance of rich, spicy and herbaceous notes. A surprisingly floral heart of muguet and magnolia has the laid-back chill of a lazy afternoon, but the base is what really steals the show: a combination of cedar wood, patchouli and sandalwood comes together to recreate this green, hempy, smoky haze of scent. It’s dark, green, rich and altogether very moreish. As with all cannabis fragrances, this is free of THC (the ingredient that causes a ‘high’) so Argyle isn’t going to be swapping this for his usual herbal preferences… but we suggest he might like to try smelling of something altogether lovelier. The dry down is fantastically earthy with cedarwood, patchouli and sandalwood creating a peaceful vibe we reckon he could probably do with after all the excitement.

 

 

 

Suzie Bingham (Gabriella Pizzolo) – Beautiful Mind Series Volume 1: Intelligence & Fantasy £95 for 100ml eau de parfum

With an ultra-dry sense of humour, Suzie is a mathematical computer genius who used her hacking skills to full effect in season 3 (despite having been kind of ghosted by her beloved ‘Dusty Bun’ Dustin: “Okay, let me just be clear on this. I haven’t heard from you in a week, and now you want a mathematical equation so you can… save the world?“) Called on once again for season 4, we feel she’d get on board with this collection by Perfumer Geza Schoen – dedicated to women with extraordinary talents. This first fragrance was inspired and co-created by memory genius Christiane Stenger, a vibrant blend of magnolia bud, citrus and Schinus molle (pink pepper) with luminous florals emboldened by exotic tiara absolute on a strong, woody base. Proudly get your geek on!

 

 

Kate BushClinique Aromatics Elixir From £41 for 25ml eau de parfum

Okay, we know Kate isn’t a character in season 4 per se, but as you’ll have doubtlessly seen reported, like, everywhere; Kate’s song Running Up That Hill features prominently – not merely part of the (always excellent) soundtrack, but in the culmination of a particularly important episode that proves something of a breakthrough in the supernatural plot. With her strongly independent and mysterious allure reignited for a new generation, we feel a perfect perfume match for Kate would be this groundbreaking scent, launched in 1971, the world’s first ‘aromatherapy’ fine fragrance; a classic chypre style that’s cool, grounding, rested on seductive, patchouli-rich base that fuses vetiver and amber which steadies us in a frenzied world, and is slightly weird in the best way.

 

Is your favourite character missing from this list? Well, before you get stroppy, can we just say it is an extensive cast, and we’ve tried to focus on some of the newer characters (or those with especially important story development roles) this season. But look, we know how frustrating it can be, so if you’ve a strong feeling for a particular character – perhaps have already imagined the fragrance you’d pair with them – do let us know! In the meantime, sit back and think how you’d scent your Stranger Things streaming.

Written By Suzy Nightingale

 

 

 

Pocket-Friendly Perfume Gifts

It can be rather daunting trying to buy gifts that show you care but don’t break the bank, so we’ve a line-up of perfect perfumed present ideas that showcase fabulous fragrances but happen to be brilliantly priced. In fact, these are pocket-friendly enough to even consider treating yourself, too, don’t you think…?

 

 

Florals, but absolutely not as you know them – this was the driving passion that launched British niche house Floral Street in to the perfume world, and has since seen them become a global, award-winning scented success story. Find out why with this brilliant set, which offers a whole wardrobe of contemporary eaux de parfums, all ‘powered by flowers’.

Chypre Sublime An utterly modern take on this sophisticated fragrance family, blending incense with Damask rose absolute, midnight violet, pink pepper and geranium, on a stunning base of benzoin, labdanum and olibanum.

Black Lotus The classic English-Rose dressed in a black leather jacket. Intoxicating, spirited, bohemian and alive. Complex and multi-faceted, the sweet honeyed scent of centifolia rose adds depth to lighter, spicy nuances by way of red peppercorn and saffron.

Arizona  Bloom A dry floral amber. A sense of freedom and happiness — scented and bottled.

Electric Rhubarb White florals and powdery sandalwood are combined with the scent of English Rhubarb and an unexpected blast of salty sea air.

Neon Rose You will never have smelt flowers like these. Freshly chopped jasmine draped around your neck. Roses around your wrist. And yet no roses were harmed in the making of this showpiece – these buds were cooked up in a lab for extra punch. Crisp, green Angelica leaves bring a botanical dimension, while fresh Bergamot floats overhead.

Wild Vanilla Orchid It’s vanilla, but not as you know it. A raw-edged confection of creamy vanilla beans, blossom, cassis and citrus, dressed in a bunch of just-plucked jasmine. Offsetting the lingering sweetness; bamboo and sandalwood bend and fold underneath.

Ylang Ylang Espresso  A strikingly modern blend of red rose, ylang ylang and jasmine cross paths with a soothing cloud of just-brewed coffee, fresh cream and Sichuan pepper – sustainably harvested from the foothills of the Himalayas. A fragrance to get lost in.

Floral Street Discovery Set £16 

 

 

A cult house, created by maverick duo Matthew Malin and Andrew Goetz in New York, back in 2004; their easy-to-use, easy-to-understand skincare rapidly became a word-of-mouth favourite, and now their incredible, ground-breaking perfumes revolving around a central ingredient (surprisingly explored), are absolutely a fragrant force to be reckoned with.

Bergamot – a citrus orchard in bloom, with the spice of bitter fruit, bell pepper and ginger, with undertones of earthy musk and woody notes.

Cannabis – rich and herbaceous, with soft, floral notes of muguet and magnolia, on a base of earthy cedarwood, patchouli and sandalwood.

Dark Rum – a refreshing dark and spicy aroma, sweetened with plum and bergamot, with notes of leather, rum and creamy milk.

Leather – a formula of muted florals with smooth leather while rustic wood notes call to mind the softness of a well-worn vintage find.

Stem – luscious notes of green hyacinth, muguet, mandarin leaves, and green elements from wild freesia, all softened by a trio of modern musk molecules.

Vetiver – a combination of fresh citrus peel twists that are warmed by savoury celery seed, amber and guaiacwood.

Malin + Goetz £22 

 

 

Annicke Fragrance Discovery Set

 

Albert Fouquet was the young Parisian aristocrat, who founded beloved NICHE house, Eight & Bob. His life was turned upside down one evening in the French Alps, where he attended a high society soirée and was introduced to the strikingly beautiful Annicke. This collection was created as a contemporary fragrant tribute to Fouquet’s love – and you’ll be bound to fall…

Annicke 1 – an ode to the extraordinary beauty and elegance of a woman with feminine floral aromas of lily of the valley, peony and jasmine

Annicke 2 – deliberately sensual and irresistible with harmonious notes of fruity fig and mandarin that uplift the senses, and hazelnut that brings a delicate touch of sugar

Annicke 3 – inspired by the sophisticated and glamorous charm of the early 1920s as white rose unfurls an air of vintage femininity across a dancefloor

Annicke 4 – inspired by an enchanted forest with woody and earthy undertones of Cashmeran and oakmoss, with spring-like floral notes of rose, ylang ylang and jasmine

Annicke 5 – discover the art of seduction via rich notes of full-bodied plum, golden honey with a dash of spicy rum and a base of sensual patchouli

Annicke 6 – personifying the complex dimensions of a woman, through juxtaposing notes of Sichuan pepper, bergamot and carnation

Annicke £20

 

Having launched new iterations of their best-selling Molecule 01, a fragrance that showcases the artistry and depth of synthetic molecules and has become a global superstar, the first three of the M+ collection showcases the iconic original boosted with the most beautiful accompanying notes. Truly original, utterly addictive, they’re all-day compliment-getters for sure.

Molecule 01 + Patchouli – has a cool, rather aloof woodiness to it.

Molecule 01 + Iris – iris is luxury, with a creamy powderiness.

Molecule 01 + Mandarin – radiates off the skin, with a citrus zing.

Escentric Molecules M+ £20

 

 

 

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. Vibrant, evocative, powerfully playful yet totally wearable, these are luxe for less!

Bascule: Horses, hay and leather. The sun-ripened notes of succulent fruit, woods and prominent green notes. Equestrian.

Far from the Madding Crowd: A picnic in the countryside. Botanics, deciduous fruits, wild flowers and woods. Meadows.

Flame & Fortune: White flowers, spice and citrus heated until it catches fire in the dryness of the fragrant desert. Dramatic.

G Clef: Jazz-inspired. Coastal, citrus and woody and notes of a fougére. Californian or Mediterranean? Savoire Faire.

Symmerty: The fragrance hub of the Ancient World. Combines oud, with the freshness of a cologne tradition. Classical.

Sarah Baker £25

Fragrances For… Feeling Warmer

Seemingly endless grey days of rain and chilliness call for a snuggle of warming fragrances, so we are currently hunkering down with soul-hugging spices and mood-shifting citrus-burst scents that have the power to uplift and slice through ‘meh’ like a hot knife through butter.

Come on, let’s buck-up via these tempting, tingle-laden perfumes…

 

 

 

VYRAO Sun Rae

Seasonally sad? Console yourself with this gloriously uplifting scent – infused with ‘a supercharged Herkimer diamond crystal for clarity and to boost energy levels’, the brilliant Lyn Harris creates her own magic from a ZING! POP! FIZZ! of citrus explosions that feel like you’re being beamed above the clouds with every spritz. Turmeric and black pepper add layers of welcome warmth while bergamot, lemon, and aqueous ginger sparkle like bottled sunshine throughout.

£135 for eau de parfum libertylondon.com

 

Try the first fragrances in VYRAO’s collection in travel-size form via their High Five Discovery Set

 

 

Parfums de Marly Althaïr

Eau. My. God. Vanilla lovers, you are going to NEED to get this on your skin. Vanilla naysayers? You’re going to need to try it, too. Swoony Bourbon vanilla (deliciously dark, decadently delicious) will be to blame for your new addiction, generously swirled through tobacco smoke rings, which seduces orange blossoms to embrace praline, convinces sparkling citrus to kiss sizzling spices and swathes guaiac wood in butter-soft leather. Go on, we dare you to succumb.

£230 for 125ml eau de parfum selfridges.com

(PSST! Try a sample of Althaïr in the Fabulous Fragrances Discovery Box – 14 x samples £19 for VIPS / £23 RRP)

 

 

Abercrombie & Fitch Authentic Self Woman

Brilliant in every sense, the vibrant yellow bottle hints at the explosion of freshness within – a zesty wake-up call at a time when spirits may well be flagging, wonderfully enlivened with this welcomingly vivacious gem. Lemon peel, sharp gooseberry and luscious pear get the nose a-tingle before a beautiful bouquet of freesia, jasmine and lily of the valley are mellowed by the woody musk of the base. And look at the price!

£39 for 50ml eau de parfum thefragranceshop.co.uk

 

 

AKRO East

Inspired by his frequent travels across the Middle East, perfumer, and co-founder (with his daughter, Anais) Olivier Cresp here explores the love affair with oudh – a note he skilfully coaxes to still surprise. Paired with raspberry, the sharpness slices through the smoky-spiced woodiness, and one can imagine it placed on a burning coal, the sootiness and succulence a marriage made in scented heaven, the fruitiness contrasting yet utterly complimenting the smouldering depths. Quite magnificent.

£220 for 100ml eau de parfum harrods.com

 

 

 

PACO RABANNE Invictus Victory Elixir Parfum Intense

When you need a fragrance that keeps going and powers you forward through any obstacle, this is the one to reach for when spirits are flagging. As Paco Rabanne says, it’s ‘A potent elixir made to push victory beyond limits. The time has come to embrace your moment of immortality.’ A thrust of freshness up top from Provençal lavandin provides aromatic, almost peppery pungency with bursts of green cardamom and mysterious, vanilla-swirled woods as it warms.

£71 for 50ml parfum boots.com

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Desperately Seeking Sunshine? Try These Orange Blossom Scents!

Did you ever sleep in a field of orange-trees in bloom? The air which one inhales deliciously is a quintessence of perfumes. This powerful and sweet smell, as savoury as a sweetmeat, seems to penetrate one, to impregnate, to intoxicate, to induce languor, to bring about a dreamy and somnolent torpor. It is like opium prepared by fairy hands and not by chemists.

Guy de Maupassant, 88 Short Stories

Orange blossom is beloved by perfumers in light-filled ‘solar’ scents – a newly emerging category, and a word I’ve found increasingly used for fragrances which aren’t merely fresh, but attempt the alchemy of bottling sunshine. And these fragrances are more welcome than ever when the season’s change means the darkness hits early, the days seem unnaturally shortened, yet somehow endlessly grey. As such, I urge you to seek out these orange blossom scents – SO right for right now!

 

It’s the bitter orange tree we have to thank for these heady white blossoms – one of the most benificent trees in the world, for it also gives us neroli, orange flower water and petitgrain – all utterly unique in smell, from verdant to va-va-voom depending how they are distilled and the quantity used in a fragrance.

Originating from Asia, the bitter orange was introduced to North Africa by crusaders of the VIIth century, and now it’s just six villages in the Nabeul region of Tunisia that provide the majority of the world’s crop. Women do most of the harvesting, the pickers swathed in headscarves climbing treacherously high-looking ladders to reach the very tops of the trees, typically working eight hours a day and gathering around 20,000 (approximately 10kg) of flowers.

 

 

When the blossoms are hydro-distilled – soaked in water before being heated, with volatile materials carried away in the steam to condense and separate – the extracted oil is neroli, the by-product being orange flower water, while petitgrain is the essential oil steam distilled from the leaves and green twigs.

Long steeped in bridal mythology, when Queen Victoria married Prince Albert in 1840, she chose orange blossom to decorate her dress, carried sprigs in her bouquet and even wore a circlet of the blossoms fashioned from gold leaves, white porcelain flowers and green enamelled oranges in her hair. It firmly planted the fashion for ‘blushing brides’ being associated with orange blossom – but this pretty flower can hide a naughty secret beneath its pristine petals…

 

 

While the primly perfect buds might visually convey a sign of innocence, their heady scent can, conversely, bring a lover to their knees with longing. In his novel The Leopard, Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa chronicles crossing an orange grove in full flower, describing ‘…the nuptial scent of the blossoms absorbed the rest as a full moon does a landscape… that Islamic perfume evoking houris [beautiful young women] and fleshly joys beyond the grave.’

 

It’s the kind of floral that might signify sunshine and gauzy gowns or veritably snarl with sensuality. Similar to the narcotic addictiveness of jasmine, with something of tuberose’s potency; orange blossom possessses none of that cold, grandiose standoffishness of some white florals: it pulsates, warmly, all the way.

 

Perfumer Alberto Morillas associates the scent of orange blossom with his birthplace: ‘I’m from Seville, when I’m creating a fragrance, all my emotion goes back to my home,’ Alberto told me, talking about his inspiration for his Mizensir Solar Blossom fragrance. ‘You have the sun, the light and water – always a fountain in the middle of the square – and “solar” means your soul is being lifted upwards.’

Oh, how we need that bottled sunshine when summer fades; an almost imperceptible shifting of the light that harkens misty mornings, bejewelled spiderwebs and sudden shivers…

Why not swathe yourself in these light-filled fragrances to huddle against the Stygian gloom? I love wearing them year-round, to remind me sunny days will return, that things will be brighter, presently. I promise.

 

 

Packed full of the brightest orange blossom, swathed in a cloak of earthy moss, soft musk and smooth sandalwood – the creaminess is an addictive layer of warmth. One to swish through leaves while wearing, grinning joyously.

EAU.MG Flor Funk £95 for 50ml eau de parfum

 

 

 

 

A shimmering haze of Moroccan magic, the orange blossom diffused by dusk, a languid sigh of inner contentment that resonates for hours – soothing, weaving its way around your soul and making for a blissful beam of happiness with every spritz..

Sana Jardin Berber Blonde £95 for 100ml

 

 

 

 

 

Waves of orange blossom-infused warmth giving way to fig tea sipped beneath the shade of whispering trees, the memory of laughter, and of bare feet on sun-warmed flagstones, fingers entwined, forever dancing, giddy on sunshine.

Stories No.1 £75 for 30ml eau de parfum

 

 

 

Perfumer Chris Maurice swirls delectable butterscotch and a ripple of dark chocolate through this orange blossom soaked scent. Vibrating with an amber-oudh glow in the base, it’s a scent that will surprise and delight you throughout the dullest of days.

Sarah Baker Gold Spot £145 for 50ml extrait de parfum

 

 

 

Suffused with a stillness that tingles expectantly, there’s a silvered gleam of a wooden boat gliding over a lake – the orange blossom darker here, sweetened a touch with candied peel, mellow greengage segueing to a seaweed-tinged purr of myrrh.

Prosody London Whistle Moon £57 for 30ml eau de Cologne

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Getting Gift Ready (For Friends, Family… and YOU!)

Okay, we know it’s not here yet, but… it’s coming! So how about ticking lots of gifts off all in one go and getting to feel a bit smug about that? (AND even treating yourself?) Here’s our guide of the best ranges to appeal to all tastes in one (fragrant) fell swoop…

 

When you’re not sure exactly what scent to get them for Christmas, or are sick of giving loved ones the same old thing, our overwhelming feedback from happy customers suggests a Discovery Box is definitely the way forward. Bursting with luxurious and often hard-to-find mini, try-me size scents and decadents beauty extras, each box is specially curated around a theme or with a particular kind of perfume-lover in mind.

At The Perfume Society, we’ve something to suit everyone, no matter how picky about perfume they are! From designer name divas to scented gents about town, millennials desperate to discover what suits them best and those keen to branch out with something different – see how many gifts you can tick off your shopping list in one fell swoop (and all from the comfort of your sofa/desk/bed…)

 

 

 

There’s no doubt about it: gardens help us to feel renewed. If you know a gardener – or garden-lover – or simply someone who needs to explore beyond the perfumed path a little; this is the box for them (or you!) With The Garden Of Delights Discovery Box you’ll find a collection of vibrant, bright fragrances that explore the outdoors (with even a scent created in collaboration with HRH King Charles III, based on his favourite tree! AND the new cult calming scent by Kate Moss). From the green-fingered, to anyone who loves joyfully inspiring scents -they’re all the renewing and rejuvenating benefits of gardens in every spritz.

The Garden of Delights Discovery Box £23 (£19 for VIPs) for 12 x fragrances & a soothing arnica gel treat

 

If you’ve a perfume-loving pal looking to branch out and try some fantastic new brands, as well as designer names we know they’ll love – and make sure they are always on trend and perfectly seasonally scented; this  selection of fabulous fragrances (mainly female and unisex in style), will land at your door each passing season (approximately every three months) – so it’s truly the gift that keeps on giving!

You can choose a Quarterly (£18 every three months) or Yearly (£68 annual payment) plan to suit you. We keep the contents a secret so it’s a true scented surprise to receive in the post each time – think of how happy they’ll be to get that parcel rather than another bill or junk mail. (And hey, maybe you could subscribe, too, and you can compare notes with each box? If you live far away – consider setting up a regular fragrance-chatting and sniffing Zoom so you can talk about your faves…)

Each Seasonal Scents Box Includes:

Seasonal Fragrances  – A collection of fragrances from 1ml – 7ml, these will be kept secret until each Seasonal Scents Box is launched, we just love the element of surprise!

Online Smelling Notes – accessible via a QR code within your box, guiding you through the fragrances and how to start smelling.

Unboxing Video –  also via the QR code, for every box our Senior Fragrance Writer and expert, Suzy Nightingale, will guide them when opening your new box.

Hints & Tips – to ensure they get the most out of your fragrances and have fun!

Check out your Seasonal Scent options here, and get ready for your whole new wardrobe of fragrances to explore, all in the comfort of their own home…

 

 

 

 

For the most suave and chic of your perfume-loving pals, here’s a box that swaggers with charm and sophistication. Filled with fragrances from some of Britain’s finest brands – both classic and utterly contemporary names – to help them find their new fragrant passions. Indulging in these voluptuous, classic scents and new launches all from within the UK will keep them feeling confident (and let them know how much they are loved!) Smart…sexy…elegant – this is a box that has it all, and then some, in scent appeal.

Platinum Discovery Box £25 (£21 for VIPs)

 

 

 

 

If you know a chap (or anyone preferring the more traditionally ‘masculine’ style scents) who is a little stuck and not sure where to start on a new fragrance journey – The Scented Gent collection has been specifically curated to appeal. Starting off with some classic names they’re sure to have heard of (and feel comfortable with), which have a more heritage character; then they can be ready to plunge into some scents that will gently guide them into exciting new scent arenas, from new and niche houses. All of them so-classy and easy to wear.

The Scented Gent £23 (or £19 for VIP Club Members)

Smoky scents for celebrations

Smoky scents on the breeze, distant drifts of bonfires and hazy wisps of woodsmoke, eldritch mists of morning fields in autumn – as fragrance lovers, these are the sensorial delights of the season that we’re indulging ourselves with right now…

 

Whether it’s the whiff of roaring fires, or mellow pipesmoke evoking much-patched tweed jackets and just a hint of damp dog: truly great smoky fragrances are immediately transportive, and not always quite so comforting. In Romeo & Juliette, Shakespeare reminds us that ‘Love is a smoke raised with the fume of sighs,’ which can resemble the fire in your lover’s eyes, or become a ‘choking gall’. So too can smoky fragrances recall excitement in spent fireworks, waft the  standoffish cigar-tinged sneer of a ‘members only’ club, or cloak you in the sanctified air of a Catholic confessional. They might recall stubbed cigarettes, boozy liasons and yesterday’s eyeliner, suggest the once-furtive fug of illicit substances, appease fickle gods, or summon the most lascivious demons.

 

 

It’s hardly surprising there’s many smoke-laden scents, seeing as the word perfume itself arises from the Latin, ‘per fumum‘ – ‘through smoke’ – referring to fragrant materials burned as scented prayers. Perfumers, meanwhile, might choose to combine both naturals and synthetics to acheive their desired level of vapour; from the folksy, dried hay and tobacco or even burned rubber funk of isobutyl quinolone; pitch black tarriness of cade oil, the bitter, leathery slap of birch tar or rich, incense-like resins such as the fruity amber purr of labdanum (from the cistus plant) or the more powdery balsamic musk of opoponax.

Sprayed to rejoice in autumnal splendour or perhaps used to summon something altogether more Mephistophelian – I urge you to seek these out and smoulder forth…

 

 

Sarah Baker, Bascule

Succulent peach juice sizzles on hot leather, tobacco frottages smouldering hay while soapy lily of the valley and cut grass beckon a bath (following a torrid tumble in the stables). Ruthlessly seductive.

£95 for 50ml eau de parfum
In Our Shop

 

 

Rook, Thurible

Swinging incense trails conjure trembling sooty fingerprints stroked on skin, a low thrum of sticky patchouli cloaking herbaceous freshness; the stolen kisses writhing in a mossy embrace.

£109 for 50ml eau de parfum
rookperfumes.co.uk

 

Initio, Rehab

A more subtle swathe of smokiness for those who prefer to exude sophistication; here flinty lavender swirls oodles of soft tobacco into creamy vanilla, with clouds of hay-like coumarin cushioning the wood.

£240 for 90ml extrait de parfum, selfridges.com

 

 

Moschino, Toy Boy

Utterly beguiling from the get go, a bouquet of roses is tossed on the bonfire; dry clove crackles and peppercorns pop, the heat suddenly sliced through with a cool leather whip, soothed with cashmeran.

From £38.25 for 30ml eau de parfum
escentual.com

 

 

Ruth Mastenbroek, Firedance

When you’re ready to ramp it up: this sublimely scorching leather smooches Damask rose and deepest, darkest oudh. Think billowing bonfire-smoke clinging to your hair and cold lips burned by passionate kisses.

£70 for 30ml eau de parfum
ruthmastenbroek.com

By Suzy Nightingale