Just for our V.I.P.s – 20% off at Miller Harris


We’re delighted that from now on, our Perfume Society V.I.P.s will receive a special monthly privilege discount that we’ve negotiated for you with the most fabulous perfume websites.
So: until 30th April 2018, our very first offer is with Miller Harris. Simply visit their website and when you’ve chosen your fragrance/s, add the code PerfumeSociety20 at checkout. Hey, presto! You’ll enjoy 20% off the price of the perfume.
Longing for a bottle of Petit Grain – so perfect for a spring scent wardrobe? Been thinking about trying the new Scherzo and Tender, each inspired by a passage in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night…? Or, if you’ve enjoyed a Miller Harris in one of our Discovery Boxes, there’s never been a better time to treat yourself to a full-size bottle.
Enjoy! With love from us (and Miller Harris) to you…
 

The essence of Hermès, bottled

Enjoying astonishing creative freedom, Christine Nagel, the current in-house perfumer for Hermès, is the picture of happiness. We spoke to the much-admired perfumer about the ins and outs of her day, you can read our in-depth interview with Christine, here.
‘I am free’, was the overriding feeling we got from her smiling answers – and her five new scents reflect just that. Christine wanted to return to the origins of perfumery with these scents, and so created five Ambrées to add to the existing strong line-up of the Hermessence Collection. All retain the quintessential ‘essence’ of Hermès,  expressed through Nagel’s bold style. Two pure perfume oils centered around musks are the picture of elegance, whilst the three eaux de toilette are truly unforgettable. Read our thoughts on the new addtions below…

Myrrhe Églantine

An incarnation of myrrh different to any other. This love letter to an age-old precious ingredient – one that conjures images of perfume trade routes and travels through deserts – is equal parts intriguing and irresistible. Entwined with wild rosehip, the rich and enveloping myrrh only shows its true colours, on your skin, hours later. The rose is fruity and tangy and fresh, soft and sweet. A sharp jam-like scent peels away to reveal a rich resinous cave. Deeply sophisticated, yet calming and comforting, this scent lies somewhere between the experience of resting on rose-scented soft sheets, the downy cotton touching your cheek, and walking through rose-tinged woodlands with the depth of dark woods surrounding you.

Cèdre Sambac
It is said that cedars ‘know history better than history itself’. This is certainly an accomplished ode to a majestic tree and a magical ingredient. Powerful jasmine blossoms coil around the hard cedar branches. An engulfing scent, the first spray offers a harsh punch of cedar, sharp and woody, swiftly softened by the creamy white petals of jasmine. The entanglement of these two ingredients feels so natural – almost as if the cedar tree began to blossom jasmine flowers.

Agar Ébène
The carnal warmth of agar wood (oudh) soothed by the light, balmy scent of fir balsam, results in a blanket of enveloping woody comfort. There’s almost a tinge of fruitiness at first spritz, but with facets of agar peeping through. A rounded smoothness evolves, creating a kind of a velvety cloak. The melding of these two woods happens in such a graceful, effortless way – Agar Ébène is like a song that both ingredients have been waiting, and longing, to dance to.

 

The new Eau de Toilettes come with optional leather cases, in true Hermès style

Cardamusc
Like being thrown into a dream… Hands delving into bags of cardamom, the life of the Indian spice market bustles around you – you lose touch, you can’t hear the loud chatter, the car honks, the abrasive sounds. You smell only the sweet cardamom, once bracing and cooling, now softened by soothing musks. Then the relief of musk, giving a warmth that echoes of the comfort and sweetness of hot milk. Altogether an unforgettable adventure in warm spices.

Musc Pallida
A precious powdery iris, meets a rare musk. Tiny, delicate, sweet wisps of powder waft through this scent, while downy musks purr – rich and sensual. This is kind of hazy – cloudy with its softness – but with a feeling of clean sheets and bright fresh air blowing through. Ultimately, the bouquet of musks peppered with violet-tinged-irises creates almost a pool of liquid gold.

Myrrhe Églantine £180 for 100ml eau de toilette
Cèdre Sambac £180 for 100ml eau de toilette
Agar Ébène £180 for 100ml eau de toilette
Cardamusc £275 for 20ml essence de parfum
Musc Pallida £275 for 20ml essence de parfum
In store exclusively at Harrods and at Hermes online
Written by Carson Parkin-Fairley 

Christine Nagel, in-house perfumer at Hermès

Taking over from the revered Jean-Claude Ellena, Christine Nagel embodies the creative freedom so cherished by Hermès , where she joined the team in 2016. She has already ‘signed’ both the playful and uplifting Twilly, along with the salty, shimmering Eau des Merveilles Bleue, in her time there – and we spoke to her at the launch of five brand new (and utterly unforgettable) additions to the Hermessence Collection. (Read about those beguiling scents here.)
My nose is better in the morning. When it is fresh, it’s at its best. Come around 5 pm in the afternoon, I am less productive, because I am tired.
To understand my day, you need to start with how I finish it. After I return to my home in a car, I spray a sample of what I have been working on in my car. I close the door and go back to my room for the night. Then in the morning, when my nose is very fresh and very precise, I open the door to my car. I am alone with the perfume. I smell the scent with my fresh nose, and sometimes I don’t feel anything, but other times, it’s very interesting.
When I arrive in my atelier, I have some blotters on my desk, and I’ll choose three or four samples of a scent that I’ve been working on. I smell again, fresh, and then I select two or three samples. It is then necessary for me to put it on the skin – the sensation I have from it being on the skin is very important. Then I take a long time to decide what’s the best next step. I might like it, but need a modification. I write up the new formula, give it to my lab assistant – and then after the modified formula comes back, I smell again. This is a cycle, a process.
After that, I might do smelling exercises – where I smell ingredients, and I have to identify them by guessing. It’s like training in sport.
All my day, I smell. And not only all my day; all my life, I smell. It’s impossible to cut off your nose, to stop smelling. I find it impossible to close my nose – but it’s possible to close my mind, to shut it off. This only happens when I am truly exhausted, though.
I need inspiration, and my first inspiration is the Hermès house. The history, the leather, the silk, the fashion. The story is so marvellous; I feel like I have an entire playground to play within. Other things I like to be inspired by are exhibitions. It’s necessary to be very receptive to all art.
I work in a city near Paris, called Pantin. When Pierre-Alexis Dumas (Creative Director of Hermès) hired me, he asked: where do you want to work? My response was that I would like to work in Pantin. He replied, ‘are you sure’ Because the city of Pantin is not nice!’ But, for me, in Pantin lives the heart of Hermès. This is where all the artisans work, where all the workshops are, and it’s important for me to be in the middle of the creation/ creative area. We have the leather production labs and the Conservatoire – the archive of all the Hermès creations – and it’s the story of Hermès.
I work on the top floor, with a garden. I am very lucky because Pierre-Alexis Dumas offered me a wonderful place to work, in a building from the 1930s. In my top floor office I work alone with my lab assistant; it’s very tranquil and quiet. I have different rooms – but the little office where I work with my computer was Jean-Louis Dumas’ first office [the man credited with turning Hermès into a global brand]. It has a very special floor, which looks like wood but is made out of leather. It was a prototype that never made it to production, from 20 years ago. It’s very soft to walk on, and very sensual. I have a big room with a large table – and some furniture pieces from Hermès, but not all Hermès. I have many paintings on the walls; it is like my apartment, my sanctuary. Very simple, quality, quiet, and chic – just like Hermès. I could work in the middle of Paris, or by the sea, but for me it is so important to stay within the creative zone.
I love working on different projects at the same time. Some perfumers prefer working on one at a time but I like working on different things – like a painter who might start working on different landscapes. I release myself from a creation, and might find inspiration for another. But with Hermès I have a gift: I have time. And time is a marvellous thing. I may be working on, say, five ideas at the same time, but they’re not always in the same direction. It’s possible I’ll be working on a fresh note at the same time as an Iriental, or Chypre. I like the difference in them. Sometimes it might be two or six ideas, but I am free. I am free and I have time. I am a lucky perfumer!
The first idea for a fragrance comes from the mind and the heart. It’s a question of mind and emotion. After I’ve thought about it, I prepare. The first decision is a name; I chose a working name. It’s very important, like the title of a book; I can’t start a project without a name. After that, I write a formula. I love working on computers, I am half-Swiss and half-Italian and they appeal to my organized (Swiss) side. I love to be very precise with my formulas. After I print my formula, then my lab assistant will weigh the formula out – but if I have an idea to modify it, I may write that by hand. It’s a mix of the artisan and technology.
I don’t have just one source of inspiration. My first inspiration is, of course, the house of Hermès. Hermès is versatile, and excellence shines through in so many areas. The second inspiration is the natural. Nature is very important – but it’s not always a garden; it can be a flower growing in the asphalt, or a nice woman in India, with colour and elegance, or it could be a fruit. Ideas come from everywhere. I am like a sponge.
A big part of my inspiration is art. When I see a fine painting or sculpture, it inspires me. For example; I love Camille Claudel, and Rodin, and when I see a sculpture by them I am impressed by the details. The hands and feet are larger than normal, irregular, but when you see this sculpture in front of you, it looks so natural, like they are living. If I transfer this to the way I work, sometimes I may overdose an ingredient, that shouldn’t be normal, but it smells more natural, more elegant that way. Some painters work with little touches and when you stand afar you see something very sensual, a very clear painting, but when you come up close, you cannot understand it.
It’s important that you understand that I am totally free. One day is never the same as the other. It depends, if I’m too tired to smell, I use my mind and I might go to an exhibition, to have ideas. I am totally free and I work with my instincts, just this. No routine. There is only one point to remember: I work, I work, I work and I smell, I smell, I smell. It’s just an exercise. It’s like when you see a ballerina dancing, it looks easy, effortless, but actually she has worked for years perfecting her moves. When you see me, you might think, ‘Oh, she smells’, but it’s a lot of work.
I’ll only take a fragrance home if I’m ‘upset’ by a creation. This is usually when I’m finding it hard to achieve my goal. And if I’m upset, when I get home, I’ll spray it on my arm, I’ll put it on my pillow, I’ll smell constantly. It’s an obsession. I try to think about why I can’t understand the construction.
I must be calm to work. I cannot work if I am in pain;  it needs to be peaceful.
I’ve worked on many brands, in the past. But I think when you are becoming a perfumer for a specific house, it is important that you have had a life before. When you work for a brand like Hermès, you work alone – but this is fantastic, and I love it. However, with working alone comes a lot of responsibility. I’m free, I have time, I have money, because there’s no limitations, I have the possibility to choose my ingredients from all over the world. And it’s even possible for me to ask them to create a particular special extract, should I need one. Everything is possible.
For Hermès, it’s all about the raw materials and the ingredients. Like the leather they use for their bags, it’s the principle subject and of great importance. The attention to ingredients is number one at Hermès, and it is the same in their perfumery.
We don’t do market research. Hermès never, ever, test a perfume, and this is a marvelous gift. When you test a perfume, a lot of people smell it, and give their feedback, and after you remove any extremes that challenge people. You’ll have a nice perfume – but in the middle ground, for mass market. The decision to choose and produce a perfume at Hermès is made by three people: Agnès de Villers (the General Director of Hermès Parfums), Pierre-Alexis Dumas and the perfumer, me. It’s fantastic, but it’s also a big responsibility. Fingers crossed I don’t make any mistakes.
With each creation, I put my heart into it. I think it’s very important for perfumery that I try to work outside the box, that I don’t stick to the norm and that I’m not afraid to take risks. A lot of perfumes can smell the same, so I have a responsibility to create something different.
When I arrived at Hermès, I didn’t have to learn my job, I knew it already. I worked alongside Jean-Claude Ellena, for a while, who is a marvellous perfumer. When I talk about Hermès, I describe it as a tree – a tree that has its strength with the roots, the history of the house. And all the branches are the different perfumers who have worked with Hermès: Edmond Roudnitska, Jean Claude Ellena, and me. And my role, is to create new ‘leaves’ each year. When I arrived at Hermès, I received another gift: the gift of time. That time was a space in which to understand Hermès, to immerse myself, and that time was also given to Jean Claude to leave the company. It was a very special time, because normally when you change a perfumer in house it is very swift. But we had this special time together.
I didn’t learn my job from Jean-Claude. We are different perfumers and this is why they chose me, for my difference. But when I observed Jean- Claude, I wanted to understand how he captures the essence of Hermès, and how he creates a fragrance with this style – and I observed this. This audacity. When you talk about Hermès, people say: ‘it is classical house, with a lot of serious scents.’ But really Hermès has a lot of audacity, a lot of modernity. I discovered this – the colour, the fantasy, the audacity – when I started to work here. But perhaps Hermès’ most audacious move was to hire me after Jean-Claude, because we are so different. But Pierre-Alexis Dumas, said ‘You are Hermès, just perhaps a different part of Hermès, more tactile. Jean-Claude Ellena was Hermès, Edmond Roudnitska was Hermès.’ Hermès is a rich brand; it is not just one person.
There is no answer to how long it takes to finish a fragrance. It could take three days, three months, three years, or never.
I love music but I am very open with it. I like very different stuff. Sometimes I love to listen to Bach’s violin, or Bob Marley, or Pink Floyd, or Deep Purple, when I’m working. It depends on the moment.
Images can sometimes be helpful when creating a fragrance. Sometimes, I have an obsession. I’ll cut many things out of newspapers or magazines, and I’ll put them in a book, just an image I love. But, really, it’s been about a year since I last touched my books.  
Sometimes, I can create a perfume and do 500 modifications.  But then I still return to the first formula. It’s complicated, it’s not a question of numbers because sometimes I work, and I go too far, and then I need to return to a simpler scent.
My perfumer’s palette is very special. Because in a perfumer’s normal palette, they have maybe 1200 ingredients. I prefer to have only 300-400. My palette is small – but if I ever need something, anything is possible.
I have the best job in the world. And for this reason, I am so happy.
By Carson Parkin-Fairley

The launches we're loving this week

On Mondays, we share with you news of newly-unveiled fragrances that are worth sniffing out – starting with these fab fragrant ‘finds’…

FRÉDÉRIC MALLE
MUSIC FOR A WHILE
We were astonished to discover that gentlemanly perfumer Carlos Benaïm is celebrating his 50th anniversary at fragrance house IFF – because this proves he’s still absolutely at the top of his game. Utterly transfixing, Music for a While delivers on its promise ‘to lift us up like an eternal melody’ – a crescendo of wonderfully contrasting notes that include lavender laced with patchouli, amber, vanilla and musk, with ethyl maltol and pineapple delivering gourmand moreishness. Encore, encore, Carlos!
From £132 for 50ml eau de parfum
fredericmalle.com

JEAN PAUL GAULTIER
CLASSIQUE EAU FRAÎCHE
All aboard for a collaboration with graffiti-inspired Parisian artist André Saraïva, the collectable limited editions re-interpreted with his subversively cute ‘Mr. & Mrs. A’ characters. Pink stripes and a smiling, cartoonish face adorn the curves of Classique, the fresh breeze of the Bahamas beckoning with an addition of sugarcane juice in the ginger and lemon sorbet mix. Tiaré flower, orange blossoms and jasmine tea overflow from the heart to a labdanum, vanilla and musk base. (Scroll down for news of the men’s counterpart.)
£77.50 for 100ml eau de toilette
theperfumeshop.com

L’OCCITANE
TERRE DE LUMIÈRE L’EAU
Calice Becker has streamed even more sunlight through the original Terre de Lumière, introducing armfuls of peonies to this limited edition, graceful floral. L’Occitane describe it as ‘the scent of daybreak, when the sun’s rays emerge gently over the horizon’, with pink pepper and bergamot to remind us of the crystal-fresh dawn air, before those peonies unfurl their blossoms. Finally, bitter almond essence, white musk and tonka tether this ethereal scent on the skin.
£65 for 50ml eau de toilette
uk.loccitane.com

PACO RABANNE
LADY MILLION LUCKY
Oh, lucky, lucky One Million lovers. (And there are probably way more than a million out there.) You’ll be taking no chances with this latest to join Paco Rabanne’s blockbuster line-up: an almost sherbet-y rose (as opposed to Lady Million’s original white flower heart), sitting alongside juicy raspberries, then wrapped in sandalwood. As ever, the bottle is a showstopper: like a diamond, with the golden juice twinkling through the facets. We say: place your bets, please, on another hit.
From £46.50 for 30ml eau de parfum
theperfumeshop.com

JEAN PAUL GAULTIER
LE MALE EAU FRAICHE
Dressed like a sailor who definitely knows all the coolest bars in a graffiti-inspired stripy design by Parisian street artist, André Saraïva, collectors and fragrance fans alike will be adding this to their stash. Gaultier describe the scent as ‘a sexy fabric softener,’ – bring forth the snuggling, because you’ll want to get cosy with neroli and a minty breeze of fresh air before the comfortingly clean heart throbs with sage, sandalwood and moreish vanilla/tonka base.
£60 for 125ml eau de toilette
theperfumeshop.com

Just for VIPs: win Anna Sui Fantasia – signed by Anna herself!

Not long ago we hosted a fascinating event with designer Anna Sui at the Museum of Fashion & Textiles in London’s Bermondsey. She was smart. She was funny. She was stylish. And Anna Sui signed the box of her latest fragrance, Fantasia, for one special Perfume Society VIP to get their hands on…
The floral juice inside the bottle is bright, breezy, cheerful – and very wearable, created by star perfumer Jérôme Épinette around pink pepper, pink grapefruit, blackcurrant buds, blue cyclamen raspberry, praline and Bulgarian rose, resting on a woody bed of cypress and cedarwood.
But oh, that bottle! One of our favourites from the last year of launches, with its unicorn top.
Anna signed the box (too challenging, in this case, to sign the fluted bottle!). The 50ml fragrance would normally be £45 – but Anna Sui’s signature makes this a truly priceless prize…
And all you have to do to enter the draw is fill in your details, below. And wish upon a unicorn…

Oops! We could not locate your form.


Prize draw closes at 10 a.m. on Tuesday 1st May 2018. Entry only open to Perfume Society VIPs. There is no cash alternative to this prize. We need your phone number only to contact you if you win, and your contact details will not be used for any other purpose or shared externally. Good luck!

A wonderful offer from Marina Barcenilla for our VIPs…

If you’ve ever been interested in learning how to make your own fragrance, then listen up!
The lovely, and incredibly talented, natural Perfumer Marina Barcenilla is offering our VIPs a 10% discount on all of her perfumery courses. They range from a look inside Ancient Egyptians perfumery to week long intensive courses, covering everything from blending fine fragrances to creating a matching body oil to the cosmetic legislation you need to know before selling.
She’s an award winning perfumer with her brand MB Parfums, is incredibly knowledgable and generally an all-round lovely person. We highly recommend her workshops, should you wish to book with your VIP discount, just use the code: PERFUMEVIP at checkout.
You can find links to her courses on our Events page here.

Scents of Place

Planning a perfume pilgramage to London? Here’s a fascinating route for your nose to follow, as described by our very own Carson Parkin-Fairley in Scents of Place – a piece that has thrillingly been nominated as a Finalist for the 2018 Jasmine Awards!

Originally published in The Scented Letter Magazine, we are happy to be sharing this exclusive content with you – along with several other of the nominated pieces we’re so honoured to have in the Finals, so look out for those over the next few days…

The awards are announced on April 19th, so until then, make a cuppa, put your feet up and enjoy your fragrant read!

The Jasmine Awards 2018 Finalists…

When we received emails beginning, ‘Congratulations, you are a finalist!’ we’re pretty sure you must have been able to hear us squealing from the moon…

The Jasmine Awards are often referred to as ‘the Oscars of the Fragrance Industry’ – an annual event in which The Fragrance Foundation celebrates those who write about and discuss fragrance in engaging and innovative ways. We are utterly thrilled to have made the final line-up, with several nominations, and to be sharing that space with so many talented individuals.

The awards will be announced on April 19th, so until then we’ll be sharing some of the nominated features from The Scented Letter Magazine with you right here – content that’s usually exclusively for our subscribers (in print and online) – because as it’s a very special occasion, we wanted to give everyone the opportunity to have a gander!

Below, you’ll find the complete list of finalists in all the categories, but firstly we’d like to share with you an episode of Thomas & Nick‘s always informative (and often hilarious) podcast, Fume Chat, which features none other than our Co-Founder Jo Fairley as a guest, and has been nominated for the Innovation Award.

Have a listen to Fume Chat: The War of the Roses, and do catch-up on any others you may have missed. We’re sure you’ll join the growing legion of listeners who tune in for a regular dose of the duo…

CREATIVE VISUAL AWARD

Can You Feel The Love Look Magazine Lydia Thompson & Ian Oliver Walsh
Crowning Glories Harrods Magazine Jan Masters & Ashleigh Houlton
Scents & Sensibility Men’s Health UK Eric Down, Luke Kirwan & Zena May
The Big Splash Stylist Magazine Shannon Peter, Mitch Payne & Kyle Bean
The Craft Stylist Magazine Nikita Gill & Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini
The Rise of “Marmite” Perfumes Stella Magazine Alice du Parcq & Josh Caudwell

INNOVATION AWARD

Can a Perfume Change Your Life?
ELLE Magazine Sophie Beresiner & Joely Walker
Crowning Glories Harrods Magazine Jan Masters & Ashleigh Houlton
Episode 16:Molecule Mania Fumechat Nick Gilbert & Thomas Dunckley
Episode 18: The War of the Roses Fumechat Nick Gilbert & Thomas Dunckley
Scents & Sensibility Men’s Health UK Eric Down, Luke Kirwan & Zena May
The Sweet Smell of a Bargain Cosmopolitan Lucy Partington

LITERARY PIECE AWARD

Mimosa: Let The Sunshine In The Scented Letter Jo Fairley
Oranges Are Not The Only (Fragrant) Fruit The Scented Letter Suzy Nightingale
The Rise of “Marmite” Perfumes Stella Magazine Alice du Parcq
This is a Journey into Skank Basenotes.net Louise Woollam
Transcending Scent Stylist Magazine Anita Bhagwandas
Vanilla Wards & Ghosted Olfaction REEKperfume Alex Musgrave

PRACTICAL GUIDE AWARD

Heal Thyself Cent Magazine Suzy Nightingale
Live, Love, Spritz Red Magazine Alexandra Friend
One Scent Good, Seven Scents Better? The Scented Letter Thomas Dunckley
Scents of Calm GRAZIA Alice du Parcq
Scents of Place The Scented Letter Carson Parkin-Fairley
Summer Fragrances for People Who Hate Summer & also Summer Fragrances Basenotes.net Claire Vukcevic

RISING STAR AWARD

Best Fragrance Discoveries 2017 Tommelise Yana Lysenko
Christmas Trilogy Harry Sherwood
Parterre Fragrances – a New Concept in Perfumery Maria Angelidou
Scents & Sensibility Sara Sheridan
Smells Familiar Grace Cook
The Juice – A Sensual Story of a Most Singular Smell Richard O’Mahony

SHORT PIECE AWARD

A Scent To Swear By Financial Times – Life & Arts Kathleen Baird-Murray
Dear Bleu – A Letter of Apology to Bleu de Chanel The Candy Perfume Boy Thomas Dunckley
Falling Through The Chypre Portal I Scent You a Day Samantha Scriven
Free Florals Harper’s Bazaar Hannah Betts
Revisiting Three Modern Perfume Classics How To Spend It Victoria Frolova
Scented Androgyny Harper’s Bazaar Hannah Betts

SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT AWARD

#AdPSmellogram Alice du Parcq
Black Friday The Perfume Shop
Love at First Scent Persolaise
Mixed Gems Rose Gallagher
#Smelfie Campaign Carson Parkin-Fairley
We Wear Perfume Amanda Carr & Tamara Fulton

We would like to congratulate every single person who made the finals, we’re such admirers of all their work, already, and will be biting our fingernails alongside them until the winners are announced!

 

This week's latest launches!

Our new edition of The Scented Letter just went live – and we’re delighted to bring you highlights from the Latest Launches section. Be sure to check in at the beginning of each week, to ensure your finger’s on the pulse-point of everything that’s newly-unveiled.


ANGELA FLANDERS
LAWN
Doubly inspired by her mother’s love of fabrics (Angela Flanders was a costume designer before opening the eponymous Columbia Road shop), and a reflective poem written by family friend/journalist Vicci Bentley, Lawn marks the first fragrance from Flanders’ daughter, Kate. Dewy freshness bequeathed by galbanum melts like morning mist to reveal pepper-speckled jasmine, translucent tuberose and lemon balm – cool as a soothing hand stroking your brow – before earthy patchouli grounds the base, beautifully.
£65 for 30ml eau de toilette
angelaflanders–perfumer.com
BULGARI
LA GEMME REALI NYLAIA
Delving deep into the heart of the iris – the floral alter ego of the sapphire gem, suggests perfumer Alberto MorillasNylaia truly explores this exquisite perfume ingredient. He captures the ‘deeply serene yet tactile warmth’ of the flower, blending it with the warmth of benzoin, giving it an almost-honeyed, comforting sweetness. Ambergris and white musks give a soft glaze over the scent, downy and smooth. The chicest kind of skin-scent.
£235 for 100ml eau de parfum
harrods.com

L’ARTISAN PARFUMEUR
CHAMP DE BAIES
Two dazzling new Colognes are making a splash at L’Artisan Parfumeur. Champ de Fleurs will appeal to lovers of airy florals, while Champ de Baies is altogether more unconventional, setting out to capture ‘the aerial footprint of a mulberry tree in early morning, just before a heatwave’ via a tangle of wild brambles and raspberries, and the sorbet-like freshness of nashi pear, rose rhubarb and bergamot bark in the heart. Jasmine, white musks, amber and patchouli deliver staying power and an elegant sillage, not often experienced with Colognes.
£105 for 100ml eau de Cologne
lartisanparfumeur.com (from April)
MAISON FRANCIS KURKDJIAN
OUD EXTRAIT DE PARFUM
Francis’s Kurkdjian’s love affair with oudh continues, expressed visa this richly intense extrait de parfum concentration ‘born of sand, wind and gold’. Ambrée/woody/spicy in character, in Francis’s hands the oudh-iness is tempered by a gourmand vanilla note, alongside ambretolide (fruity, musky and with pear accents), together with saffron, Indonesian patchouli and elemi, from the Philippines. Definitely one for after-dark – in our dreams, while glamping in an exotic desert somewhere.
£275 for 70ml extrait de parfum
lessenteurs.com
FLORIS
ISLAY
Inspired by a whisky-distilling Scottish Isle of the same name, Islay is a strong, peaty scent that softens to an incredibly moreish, wearable blend of woods with floral subtleties. The top – like opening the whisky bottle for a first potent sniff – is dry and boozy. Cade oil and patchouli deliver the peatiness, but once their strength melts away, we find the delicate sweetness of vanilla, with an orris note that buffs the whole fragrance.
£180 for 100ml eau de parfum (limited edition)
florislondon.com