Winter Candles & Diffusers to Bring the Outdoors In…

In the winter we can often be pining for the outdoors but feel stuck at home, hardly wanting to crack open a window in gale-force winds, or be able to sit in the garden or take a long walk to feel at one with nature. However, we can bring the feeling and freshness of outdoors inside, and transform the stuffiness and whole atmosphere of a room simply by  switching up our home fragrances via ‘green’ and woody scented candles and fragrance diffusers.

 

Whichever option you plump for, here’s our perfumed pick of perfect home scents to look for right now…

 

 

Cochine Agarwood & Amber Candle £45 for 230g

This rich candle combines agarwood with the warmth of white amber, tuberose and patchouli. Known as ‘Wood of the Gods’, agarwood is highly sought after due to the unique richness of its fragrance, and feels like living in a fairytale forest.

 

 

 

La Montaña Cloudburst Candle £39

Inspired by the mountainside after a summer storm, when the rain clouds part and strong sunshine lances through, stirring up a heavy mist of fragrance. In this haze, notes from our herb garden mingle with fresh citrus. Utterly uplifting!

 

 

 

Stories Parfums Nº.02 Bougie Parfumée Scented Candle Trio £95 for 3

Uniquely splitting the notes of the fine fragrance between three candles, you can dot these around your room to create the ideal harmonious ‘scent-scape’, with velvety moss, moonlit herbs and roses, wisps of smoke and honeyed wood.

 

 

 

Cochine Juniper & Ginger Diffuser £60 

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

 

 

 

 

La Montaña First Light Candle £39 

“On our mountain, at first light, there’s a heavenly fragrance in the air” Founder Cassandra says. “Before anyone starts an engine, or lights a fire, the air is clear, and still, and silent.” Frosted herbs, wild fennel, and a soothing breeze. Blissful.

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Blustery Walks, Bottled! Fragrances for Feeling Outdoors-y (when you can’t be)

Given the horrendous weather of late – snow, torrential rain and flooding, gales, hurricanes, even tornados in the U.K! – it’s not exactly been ideal for getting outdoors and enjoying a stroll. However, this is where fragrances can come into their own during inclement weather: we can wear them to get a sense of being outdoors, of experiencing the freedom and head-clearing calm of being so, without setting a foot (or wellington boot) outside the door if we don’t feel up to facing it!

 

 

 

Here’s our edit of outdoors-y scents that, while feeling seasonally appropriate, also allow an exploration of woodlands, coastal paths and countryside escapism with every spritz…

 

 

Sarah Baker Tartan Extrait

This is a classic of the collection that’s been adored since the scents were first launched. Sarah McCartney, 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: Warmth and heritage envelope you after a bracing walk through mossy ruins in Scotland’s Highlands. A fire is roaring in the library. You put your feet up and slowly sip a rare single malt. Bliss!

£145 for 50ml extrait de parfum In Our Shop

 

 

Kingdom Scotland Portal

Portal is described as ‘a gateway to the ancient Caledonian forests of Scotland.’ It’s fresh, outdoorsy, gusting with herbaceous botanicals and bergamot, notes chosen to evoke verdant florals, resting on a veritable forest floor of vetiver and Scots pine. Kingdom Scotland’s description – ‘an escape to a sylvan wonderland’ – hints at its power to transport you to the shade of the tranquil forest. All the benefits of hiking minus the mud (and smelling rather more fabulous). Bonus,

£120 for 50ml eau de parfum  in our shop

 

 

Goldfield & Banks Wood Infusion

An homage to the perfect beauty of a landscape you’ve fallen in love with, this moss-nestled hug of woods feels lined in silk, being dusted with smooth iris and slicked with a sheen of sandalwood. Inspired by Australia’s heritage-listed Fraser Island, it’s an immediate escape route in a bottle – spray, breathe in, close your eyes and exude the power of nature.

£138 for 100ml eau de parfum selfridges.com

 

 

 

Houbigant Fougère Royale

Think of a scenario where you’ve found a cosy bolthole in an incongruously wonderful old pub in the middle of nowhere. The door opens, a cold blast blows through the open door, and a dapper walker removes their heavy (£££) wool coat to reveal a sprig of herbs carefully tucked into the lapel of a herringbone jacket, worn beneath. The olive from his dry Martini is sucked in a slightly lascivious manner. Suddenly much warmer than you were, you are deliciously intrigued…

RRP £165 for 100ml eau de parfum (currently £145)  libertylondon.com

 

 

 

 

Olfactive Studio Woody Mood

Close your eyes and imagine taking a walk among the giant sequoias, as legend has it so tall and densely packed that sunlight never touches the ground at their roots, a darkly woody haunt of a scent that lingers long after you’ve first sprayed, like some mischevious woodland sprite always darting further ahead. Dry with black tea, cheering with cocoa, it’s pepped up with a glow of saffron and ginger for added warmth, and beguilingly addictive.

 £140 for 100ml eau de parfum jovoyparis.uk

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Scenting The Traitors U.K. Season Two Finale [contains spoilers]

Before I commence with scenting The Traitors from the U.K.’s second series, a warning: SPOILERS are contained within this feature, so if you’ve not yet watched the final episode yet, please avert thine eyes. 

Okay. So. if you’ve been glued to your screens three evenings a week and were eagerly awaiting the finale of season two, you’ll already know that The Traitors is currently swaggering in the status of being one of the most popular reality TV shows of all time. The clever format – a murder mystery in a castle, but without the costumes, and with all contestants pitted against each other in what amounts to a full-on psychological battle played out over twelve episodes – has proved irresistible to ever-growing TV audiences.

Apart from the atmospheric setting, presenter Claudia Winkleman’s brilliantly deadpan delivery (plus iconic fringe / eyeliner combo, and stylish wardrobe of chunky sweaters / chicly eccentric tartan garments), it’s the skills of the production crew that really make this programme stand out. One of the production team’s greatest tasks is assembling a group of members of the public who we can warm to (or otherwise…) while having Extreme Opinions about exactly what we’d do in their shoes, despite not having been in any situation even close to the one their shoes (and wellies) are in.

In episode eleven, we got to learn much more about the final contestants private lives, and the reasons they were competing for the prize money. And oh gosh, the emotional stakes were ramped up even further.

In the finale, we got to dig our nails into the arms of our sofas (while still marvelling at Claudia’s sparkly jacket) and scream “NO, DON’T CHANGE YOUR MIND!” at the final gripping seconds. Good lord, it’s been an emotional rollercoaster, even more so than the first series. But so worth it. There’s something about this show that takes its hold in your psyche and won’t let go.

And that’s a bit like a fragrance that hits you in a way you’ve never experienced before (she said, desperately turning the feature back on track). But oh, how interesting to ponder if any of these perfumes might have made a difference, had they bolstered confidence and self-belief even a little more… as the right scent will most certainly do for you when you find it…

 

 

 

 

Twitter (it will always be referred to as Twitter, Mr. Musk) has of course been alight with Opinions punched out in block capitals, but here we are talking about fragrance instead – pairing the remaining people left on the show with perfumes it may have behoved them to seek out.

It might seem a peculiar concept, but in my previous features matching fragrances to movies and drama series, it’s been illuminating to pair perfumes with particular characters from popular culture and see the reactions. Even if you don’t agree with the choices, it sets the brain ticking over, wondering what (or who) you’d choose. It’s a really useful exercise to employ in every day life, too! It sheds light on both the scent itself, and the person it makes us think of.

So, the next time you’re trying to decide if a scent is right for you, or which one you want to wear that day, and how you want a fragrance to make you feel – try thinking of a celebrity it could embody, or even a favourite novel or piece of music. Perfumers are inspired by a truly diverse range of artistic influences, so why shouldn’t we be similarly stimulated in our scent choices?

So, consider awhile which fragrance you are most drawn to, and ponder if this reflects something deeper you’re seeking, beyond merely smelling sensational. And, of course, to wonder whether you’d be a better Faithful, or are a true Traitor at heart…

 

 

 

Andrew [Recruited Traitor] – AESOP Ouranon 

Given his gym-honed proportions, this scent’s inspiration of ‘the enduring stature of a monolith’, seemed appropriate, but Andrew has now been facing the problem of keeping guilt at bay. Despite his obvious physical strength, he’s admitted to being “a bit of a teddybear” in nature, so could do with something emboldening yet soothing. An aromatic dryness juxtaposes herbaceous breezes across mineral landscapes. Calming and supportive in nature, it’s just the ticket.

[EDIT: Okay. So maybe he doesn’t need emboldening anymore… Blimey. Still a great scent, though.]

[EDIT TWO: Nope. He definitely still needs emboldening, bless him. The bit where he said he’d nebver been able to feel proud of himself for anything! *weeps forever*]

[EDIT THREE: CAUGHT! Ahhh well, a little too late with the plan to follow what Harry’s been doing the whole time. Despite that, Andrew played a great game, overcame fears, and (we hope) learned to believe in himself, and give himself credit.]

£140 for 50ml eau de parfum  aesop.com

 

 

 

Evie [Faithful] – BVLGARI Allegra Passeggiata

Having been teased by viewers supposedly unable to tell Evie apart from co-star and (now ‘murdered’) friend, Charlie, I’d suggest a scent that stands one apart from the crowd. A passeggiata is the Italian idea of a proud promenade, strolling through the streets. Leaving a trail of exquisite powdery florals caressed by soft musks, don’t be surprised if you have strangers stopping you, on your passeggiata, to enquire the name of your perfume (and never forgetting who you are).

[EDIT: Well they’re not going to forget Evie’s name now, that’s for sure. Let’s hope it’s not written on a slate before the Fire Pit finale!]

[EDIT TWO: Oh dear. It was pretty obvious after episode eleven played out that Evie couldn’t save herself now. Such a shame she and Jasmine didn’t get their heads together rather than battling it out – but everything’s easier in hindsight.]

From £143 for 50ml eau de parfum harrods.com

 

 

Harry [Original Traitor] – Memoize London EGO

One wonders if the darling of the early episodes might take the name too literally? With this scent, Memoize EGO seeks ‘The essence of identity,’ – something the Faithfuls could do with discovering, and soon. The development of the fresh green fig and sharp cassis warming on skin reveals ‘the true meaning of “you” the brand says. Will the sharpness be long-lasting for Harry, or will a softer side bloom? He’d better not spritz too heavily from the Ego source, either way…

[EDIT: I mean. Of all the people to get the sword?! If you wrote it as a movie script it would be rejected for being too unbelievable. But his conscience *might* be prickling, now…?]

[EDIT TWO: WINNER! No matter your thoughts on the outcome, I don’t think many could say anything other than he played an incredible game right from the start. Almost no slip-ups. Way too much hair gel as the series went on, but he didn’t even slip on that. Huge congrats. The Ego won out! Show what self-belief can do, huh?]

£197 for 100ml eau de parfum in our shop

 

 

 

Jasmine [Faithful] – ARgENTUM Ruler

Alright, this was chosen partly because of the jasmine, but it happens to fit this Jasmine’s characteristics very well. Sparkling jasmine, tuberose and rose reveal a disarmingly crisp, green, yet spicy heart shot through with ginger, pink peppercorn and juniper berry – laced with bright citrus and amber. The brand says: ‘Balance the strength to build integrity and bring honour with a sense of responsibility. Adaptability is the key – others will follow as you lead the way…’

[EDIT: On shaky ground now, for speaking her mind, and standing up for herself.]

[EDIT TWO: BANISHED! Oh dear. Jasmine had some excellent intuition at certain points, but talked herself out of those gut feelings. Maybe this fragrance would help her listen to her inner voice more often?]

£28 for four fragrance samples – try in the ARgENTUM Air Collection Sample Set

 

 

 

Jaz [Faithful] – Penhaligon’s Eau the Audacity (Courage)

I mean WHEN will the other Faithfuls start listening to this man?! He needs some courage to back up his convictions, and helpfully, Penhaligon’s recently whipped up a batch of perfumed potions to aid flagging spirits, with this one ‘a bottle of boldness to cast off the shyness.’ Orange blossom, black pepper and vanilla are woven through with drifts of incense – smoke signals, perhaps? – while the amber-rich dry down grants a grounding base to be sure of.

[EDIT: Oh Jaz, we know you’re playing a game of patience… Or rather, we HOPE you are. And that the others listen when the time comes. If you make it that far.]

[EDIT TWO: BANISHED! Eau the injustice, more like. Oh Jaz. You were so right, pretty much all the way through. Nobody really listened, and then you got worried and doubted your powers of persuasion. May this experience – and this fragrance – grant you the courage to raise concerns sooner. And stick with them.]

£195 for 100ml eau de parfum penhaligons.com

 

 

 

Mollie [Faithful] – Ariana Grande Cloud Pink

When all about you is chaos and backstabbing, best stay wrapped up in your own fluffy cloud. Unapologetically optimistic, the floof is sprinkled with berries, whipped with praline and swirled in deliciousness – but you’d be mistaken for supposing this to be overly sweet, or so youthful that it will stay sweet. There’s strength here, too. The praline is dark, almost scorched. An invitation to dream, or a sense that the clouds might break to reveal a shaft of illuminating light, we wonder?

[EDIT: Oh MOLLIE! Please let the shafts of light enter the cloud soon.]

[EDIT TWO: Mollie’s life story, tho’ She’s such an inspiration. Praying the clouds either show her the light when she needs it, or surround her with comfort forever.]

[EDIT THREE: LOST! Oh Mollie. The entire nation surely wept at the way you wrote Harry’s name and then couldn’t do it, despite your inner doubts, because you didn’t want to hurt him. As someone on Twitter said: learning at 21 that a *insert term I can’t use here* with that much hair gel can’t be trusted is worth way more than 95k. But ouch, that will hurt a while.]

£33 for 30ml eau de parfum theperfumeshop.com

 

 

 

Ross [Recruited Traitor] – Contradictions in ILK Realist

 

There comes a time when the scales fall from our eyes and we begin to see things as they really are. Having had something of a startling wakeup-call, Ross is now playing a very tricky game of being an ex-faithful in traitor’s clothing, to avenge his mother’s ‘murder’. Such trying times call for a scent that’s both calming and illuminating. Here, ‘the olfactory passage from cold night to daybreak’ is traced via crisp yuzu and lemon, with trails of incense borne aloft on breeze of clarity-inducing cedar wood. Vetiver provides the down to earth, sure-footed approach required for his twisting path.

[EDIT: CAUGHT! Well that didn’t play out as we might have hoped. Not quite the Greek Tragedy storyline fans were slavering for. He should’ve spritzed this on sooner. Excellent revelation of the Diane storyline, though!]

Now £87.50 for 50ml extrait de parfum in our shop

 

 

 

Zack [Faithful] – Adscenture Holographic 

A fragrance that shape-shifts and changes with every move is the only choice for Zack (if it can keep up with his unpredictable nature, that is). One minute it’s all zesty citrus and sunshine, then a bracing salty wave that catches you unawares. From fun-loving florals with a balmy air it then segues to warming woods – still tinged with the ocean breeze, but mellow, A scent to match with every mood (and there are many), it makes every day an adventure.

£60 for 30ml eau de parfum in our shop

[EDIT: MURDERED! It was an excellent theory, in some ways. Unfortunately for Zack, not the *right* way. Too persuasive for his own good in the end? Loving that him and Jasmine are now besties, however.]

Written by Suzy Nightingale

How to Use Scent & Breath Work in Meditation

Learning how to breathe properly might sound counterintuitive – it’s something we do everyday without thinking about it – but deep breathing techniques are especially useful when combined with fragrance. Offering full body and mind relaxation, these breathing strategies can help when no matter if you’re feeling a little anxious, or having a full-blown panic attack. What’s more, using a particular fragrance you find calming while practising the breathing techniques can aid the feeling of relaxation every time you use it. What’s more, it can even improve your sense of smell, and your appreciation of fragrances you already own.

Catherine Turner is a meditation and yoga guru, and explains, “Breath is life of course, and yet it sounds almost too good to be true that something so natural, free and right under our noses is one of our biggest wellness boosters.” She continues: “As any breath guru will tell you, when we breathe freely and deeply, we cultivate a balanced nervous system – the overseer of our digestion and sleep wake cycle. When these systems are functioning well, we feel energised, positive and open to life. In our super visualised world, we’re not necessarily aware that breathing is a sensorial process intrinsically linked to our sense of smell.”

 

 

Catherine’s advice is to practice simple breath work and then use it in our everyday lives whenever we feel overwhelmed. Each time we inhale, air moves up the nostrils; is warmed and filtered by the tiny hairs (cilia) and mucus lining; passes over a stamp sized piece of tissue at the back of the nose (the olfactory epithelium) where odorous molecules are processed and information is sent to the brain for interpretation.

 

 

All of this physiological process generally goes on in the background. Yet most of us can recall times we’ve experienced the effects of our breath: the ‘out of breath’ high during exercise; the giddy ‘breathlessness’ that comes with excitement. Or, how wonderful it is to fill our lungs with the wet earthy woodsy aroma in the forest or the salty zesty oceanic breeze by the sea. Such moments of pure awareness hold the key to an ever present feeling of deep calm and unbounded joy which we miss when we’re so caught up in the worries and anxieties of the day…”

 

 

So, allow yourself to take a few minutes to watch Catherine perform these breath work techniques here, and join in this mini scent and breath work session whenever you feel the need to re-set your mind, and draw a line under any stresses plaguing you throughout the day.

Don’t forget – the scent you choose should be easy to carry around with you, so you can have it on hand at all times in a bag or pocket. We suggest looking for a travel size, smaller roll-on bottle, or simply decanting a favourite soothing fragrance into a portable, re-fillable spritz for on-the-go scented meditation whenever you need it. Consider trying these wonderfully soothing scents while practicing your breath work…

 

Nancy Meiland explains that she felt ‘intuitively drawn’ to creating her first attar during the early days of the pandemic. ‘GAIA’s ultra-soothing concentrated blend of Calabrian bergamot, nutmeg and jasmine sambac is centred around blue lotus absolute, which traditionally is seen as “a flower that can open your mind and is powerfully protective during times of transformation.”’ Perfect, then, for use in meditation and breath work.

Nancy Meiland GAIA from £4.95 for 2ml (£50 for 30ml) nancymeiland.com

 

 

COSMOSS Sacred Mist

Kate Moss taps into powerful ingredients to showcase into her spiritual side, embracing meditation  and mindfulness with her signature gusto. And we couldn’t be happier with that metamorphosis, expressed via her Cocomoss skincare collection, also offering us an astonishingly accomplished Chypre creation in which subtle jasmine and tuberose fuse with geranium and bergamot. It’s the sense-soothing, calming notes of oakmoss, cedarwood and tonka that we’re spritzing and re-spritzing – on and off the yoga mat.

Try a sample (plus 11 other scents & a body care treat) in our Garden of Delights Discovery Box £23 / £19 for VIPs

 

An unexpectedly soul-soothing mix of spice-infused bergamot and plum with a ‘your-skin-but-so-much-better’, creamy leather dry-down, the warm tingle of amber then simmers for hours. The roller-ball bottle makes this especially useful for travelling or touching up your scent as you breathe deeply and let go while on the go.

Malin & Goetz Dark Rum Perfume Oil £32 for 9ml malinandgoetz.co.uk

 

 

 

Sleep Knot is a soothing come-hither scent, featuring four of eastern tradition’s aphrodisiac aromas: sandalwood, jasmine, ylang ylang and black pepper. Jasmine absolute is described in Indian literature as calming and seductive: ylang ylang is named “the oil of tranquillity” and black pepper is traditionally used as a stimulant. Together, you have a beautifully sensual spiced white floral.

4160 Tuesdays Sleep Knot £85 for 50ml eau de parfum in our shop

 

How to Layer Freshness into Fragrances

We’ve a whole feature on exactly how to layer fragrances to achieve your own perfect blend, but it can be tricky to find scents that behave well with others.

Here, we take a look at some fragrances that have been specifically designed to be layered – and these ones will add that much-needed WHOOSH of freshness and stalky greens to any perfumes you already on and love, but which maybe need a little livening-up – as do we all, right now…

 

 

 

 

The Merchant of Venice Accordi di Profumo fragrances were created in order to focus on notable perfumery ingredients that have been beloved for centuries, here evoked by their master perfumers to perform as  “…a harmonious combination of olfactory notes. These can be used together, layered, resulting in a tailor-made perfume.” Separated into fragrance families, the Fresh Citrus collection uses ‘essential oils obtained by pressing the peel of fruits such as bergamot, lemon, orange and grapefruit, popular in the Mediterranean for their freshness and liveliness.’ We recommend reaching for either (or both!) of this duo for adding an instant fresh zing to any scent…

 

 

 

 

 

The Merchant of Venice Accordi di Profumo Bergamotto Italia

‘The brightest and most elegant of the citrus family, Bergamotto Italia is like a fresh and sparkling water, tonic and dynamic, an ode to happiness and naturality. Bergamotto Italia lets you discover all the fragrant juice of the pulp and fruit for an exclusive Bergamot experience.’

£65 for 30ml eau de parfum selfridges.com

 

 

 

 

The Merchant of Venice Accordi di Profumo Arancia Brasile

‘An elegant citrus fragrance that releases a multifaceted fruity, green, dry and woody personality. Arancia Brasile is a fragrance that smells of summer: citrus fruits accompanied by the addictive sweetness of Brazilian oranges.’

£65 for 30ml eau de parfum selfridges.com

 

 

 

 

 

Edeniste Lifeboost Discovery Set 

These ground-breaking, mood-boosting fragrances have been researched and created with the help of neuroscientists to target the needs we all have depending how we feel. From energising and reviving to soothing and aiding bursts of joy while you wear them, we suggest trying their Discovery Set of the layer-able Lifeboosts to keep on hand (and wrist) as a kind of olfactory toolbox. Worn alone they’re wonderful, of course, but we think you get the best sense of their scented super-powers when spritzed atop another scent. They slice through any malaise and are noticeably adding newness, while perfectly harmonising with whatever you might already be wearing. Try these three for EXTRA freshness…

£32 for six samples in our shop

 

 

Edeniste Lifeboost Energy

‘A reviving musky woody citrus. A refreshing splash of citruses from Italy, infused with the energizing essences of peppery bergamot and regenerative grapefruit, boosted with zingy ginger absolute from Ethiopia. As bright and empowering as a tall dewy glass of freshly squeezed juice. Get up and glow.’

£68 for 30ml eau de parfum in our shop

 

Edeniste Lifeboost Wellbeing

‘An uplifting spicy green floral. A confidence booster with zingy Ethiopian ginger absolute and crisp pink peppercorn absolute from La Réunion. The quintessence of easygoing wellbeing, captured in a luminous accord of fresh spices and green notes enhanced by two of the most precious ingredients in perfumery: Indian jasmine absolute and iris concrete from China. Dive deep into your inner self, feel its uplifting sense of comfort. You’re golden.’

£68 for 30ml eau de parfum in our shop

 

 

 

Edeniste Lifeboost Happiness

‘A joyful woody fruity floral. A sparkling essence built around an exotic mango accord spiked with juicy, colorful notes of raspberry and watermelon, on a base of pure Virginian cedarwood essence. Surrender to the exhilarating beat of its fizzy tropical delight. Feel the bliss.’

£68 for 30ml eau de parfum in our shop

 

 

Experimental Perfume Club Discovery Set

The Experimental Perfume Club concept has always been about the freedom to blend fragrances as you wish – each of the scents cleverly comprising head, heart or base properties which you can then combine to your heart’s content. The very best way to experiment and discover your own perfect blend is by layering the fragrances contained in this brilliant discovery set. Showcasing brilliantly blended accords by perfumer Emmanuelle Moeglin, we’d point you towards the Bergamot Incense, Fig Neroli and Rose Rhubarb to add instant freshness to your fragrances in this selection. But really, the perfumed possibilities are almost infinite however you choose to combine them!

Bergamot Incense – Citrus and exotic spices are brought together in this bright fragrance with Eastern influence.

Fig Neroli – The crunch of fresh herbs in a Mediterranean garden in bloom. A garden combined, green leaves and dark woods.

Cardamom Moss – A swirl of spices wrapped in salty waves of mineral mosses and Ambroxan.

Jasmine Osmanthus – A tribute to white flowers growing on hot sand. Jasmine flowers growing on an apricot tree. Capturing all the fond memories of summer holidays.

Rose Rhubarb – A bright rose entwined with sharp blackcurrant and sparkling, zingy rhubarb.

Tonka Sesame – An utterly delectable combination of gourmand notes and woods; fused in perfect harmony.

Sandalwood Musk – A mineral sandalwood met by leather and musks. A soft, creamy sandalwood pierced with light, shining in the dark, enhancing the darker woods.

Amber Iris – An amber wrapped in powdery notes; dark yet soft. A power play of ingredients, a scent of juxtapositions. A smoky, smooth incense pierces through rich, resinous myrrh.

Cedarwood Absinth – Aromatic wormwood oil gives the scent of Absinth. Cypriol roots give a powerful earthy, woody, balsamic undertone, bolstered by Virginia and Atlas Cedar, and patchouli.

£50 for nine samples in our shop

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Fragrance Notes to Follow for 2024 (& how to get ahead of the trend)

January is a time the fragrance industry looks forward to new trends ahead of the spring and summer scent launches, and we’re fascinated by how many are following on from last year’s huge hits (and offering new twists on previous perfumery themes). Which of these do you think you’ll be most interested to try this year, we wonder? Whichever you are drawn to, we’ve also some insider-tips on the scents to wear right now to get ahead of the game…

 

 

Cherry:

Ripe and luscious, evoking carefree youthfulness and innocence via cherry lollipops and desserts or the high-shine glam of cherry lipgloss vibes, the cherry crop keeps coming for 2024. Expect to see cherry combined with contrasting notes to cut through the sweetness – such as sharp citrus or even sizzling spices and dark woods or tobacco – and combined with fluffy, creamy and sweeter ingredients to lean into the gourmand aspect of this trend.

Get Ahead of the Trend With…

 

 

Creed Carmina

Modernity is infused with charismatic elegance in this succulent scent, with rich black cherry’s piquant ripeness rippling throughout. Rose de mai and cashmere wood are joined by the succulent seductiveness of black cherry, pops of pink pepper and a richly resinous base of precious myrrh, frankincense and ambroxan; and the saffron tingles from first spritz to the lasting trail, we found. A passionate fragrance to add extra lipgloss while wearing.

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

 

 

 

Peach:

As we reported in our Pantone Colour of the Year feature, 2024 is all about the tone of ‘Peach Fuzz’ colour trend, and we’re noting some similarly peachy fragrances in store. Succulent yet nurturing, peach can be velvety (like the soft caress of the peach’s fuzzy skin) or dripping with realistic juiciness for an instant drench of ripely refreshing notes. Peach makes us think of softness, comfort, a slightly retro scent that plays so well with florals, gentle spices, and fluffy musks.

Get Ahead of the Trend With…

 

 

Sarah Baker Bascule

Succulent peach juice sizzles on hot leather, tobacco gently smoulders amidst hay while a hint of saddle-soap, lily of the valley and cut grass are contrastingly clean. Certainly not your average peach, it retains immense nostalgia while proudly remaining rambunctious and rebellious in spirit. You could swear at time this was a vintage scent, and yet it’s so brilliantly modern. We know many who’ve long been under the spell of Bascule, and suggest you saddle up this peach pronto!

£95 for 50ml eau de parfum

 

 

 

Pear:

Though pear has been sniffed in several notable launches already, it’s not gained as much olfaction-traction as the mega-trending cherry thus far. For a still nostalgic yet perhaps slightly more grown-up take on the fruity vibe, we’re looking forward to pear paired with [sorry, we had to] honey, woods and even floral notes for a fun yet still sophisticated scent. Used in citrus-fresh summer scents or adding juice to warmer autumnal fragrances, it’s a year-round

Get Ahead of the Trend With…

 

 

EAU.MG Flor Funk

Dripping with the kind of cool nonchalance we all aspire to, there’s something super happy-making about this scent that feels radiant and filled with a scented sashay. The trend of pear is up first, bursting from the top notes and then drizzling down through heady orange blossom, to nestle within the mossy chic of the sandalwood-swathed dry down. Such a delight to wear as it travels from fresh to funky, we say get your glad rags on and show them how it’s done.

(Try the sample in our Fabulous Fragrances Discovery Box – 14 x samples £19 for VIPS / £23 RRP)

 

 

Vanilla:

This was THE major trend of last year, and it’s another predicted to continue apace all through 2024. Having seen brand new vanilla extractions become available for perfumers, which are far less sweet and sugary than previous evocations, we expect to see more interesting and innovative takes on vanilla. From the super soft yet sensual ‘skin scents’ trend (see below), to the contemporary twists and indulgent nostalgic takes, they’re sure to be deliciously addictive.

Get Ahead of the Trend With…

 

Parfums de Marly Althaïr

Vanilla naysayer? You’re going to need to try it to believe us, but oh wow this is a MUST have. 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….

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

 

 

 

Skin Scents:

In the past we’ve seen so many ‘your skin but better’ fragrances, which offer the feeling of being wrapped in the arm of someone you love, or smelling clean, neutral, fresh from he shower or like white cotton bedlinen. Now, we’re noting the trend is for more sensual come-hither skin scents, where the muskiness is ramped up and the suggestion is more of the skin-against-skin caress kind, which can also be layered. Still ultra-soothing, but radiating self-confidence? Sign us up!

Get Ahead of the Trend With… 

 

4160 Tuesdays The Sexiest Scent on the Planet. Ever. (IMHO)

Beginning life as a bespoke fragrance for a VIP event, with a journalist declaring it to be ‘the sexiest scent ever!’ Thus, a star fragrance was born. Hints of citrus, smooth vanilla, soft woodiness and gorgeously musky ambergris form an unassuming but utterly addictive blend that will have you sniffing your wrist (or nuzzling closer to someone special) all day.

£65 for 50ml eau de parfum

 

 

 

Tea:

Although tea has been a popular ingredient for many years, we’ll see many major and niche fragrance launches this year really showcasing tea as the main inspiration. Why might that be? Apart from the fact this note is wonderfully versatile – it can be green and refreshing, smoky, herbaceously soothing and floral in character; the tea trend is part of the bigger trend for comforting fragrances combined with uplifting and soul-reviving properties (which we all need, more than ever…)

Get Ahead of the Trend with…

 

BDK Parfums Gris Charnel Extrait

An intensified version of the original, patchouli has been invited to the party, a seamless ripple of noir that nuzzles at the silkiness of sandalwood and nutty tonka in the base. Cool cardamom slinks throughout, combined with smoky black tea, Bourbon vetiver, a lick of fig milk and dusting of orris. Wearing this, we know those who’ve been followed around supermarkets, begged to reveal their addictive scent.

 £220 for 100ml extrait de parfum

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Mood-Boosting Scents to Bust through Blue Monday (& Beyond!)

So-called ‘Blue Monday’ has become something of a cultural phenomenon in the past few years, and it doesn’t really matter if you fully subscribe to the theory of it being the most difficult day to get through (on average) for many people (something to do with the amount of daylight hours, weather and the fact that January seems utterly relentless). The one thing we do know for sure – thanks to incoming scientific data – is that wearing a fragrance can truly help lift your mood and give you something to focus on when all around seems a bit blah.

Do you need to sleep better, boost your energy levels and want to feel happier (all while being beautifully scented, of course)? Here are some houses that have done the research and come up with power-packed scents that do way more than waft prettiness. Reach for these and thank us later…

Blue Monday begone! The Lifeboost® essences can be worn alone or layered with any of the eaux de parfums as an extra shot of whatever you need right now. For Relax, the mellowness of ylang-ylang melds with creamy monoi – the name means “sacred oil” in Tahiti – and the pure jasmine sambac simply sighs into the smoothness of Madagascan vanilla absolute. edeniste says: ‘Relax, feel the sun shining up above, let yourself be rocked by the sound of the waves and trees swaying in the breeze… You’re in Eden.’ And honestly, don’t we all need that feeling, currently, more than ever?

edeniste Relax Lifeboost® £68 for 30ml eau de parfum in our shop

 

 

 

 

Vyrao‘s founder, Yasmin Sewell wanted to offer ‘the power of nature to amplify energy, tapping into the science of scent and its potential to activate the parts of the brain where memories and emotions are processed.’ And for The Sixth, she collaborated with Irish perfumer Meabh McCurtin who used neuroscience via ‘scientific protocols from the Science of Wellness program at International Flavors & Fragrance (IFF)’ to guide her composition. Apple, patchouli and basil radiate positivity; juniper, cedar and fir add balance, while angelica, fennel and wormwood counteract negativity.

Vyrao The Sixth £150 for 50ml eau de parfum vyrao.com

 

 

P.S: For even more emotionally-supportive scents, read all about Vyrao’s High Five Discovery Set!

 

 

 

Using IFF’s Science of Wellness computer programme for the design of Phantom, it was ‘conceived by a team of perfumers — Loc Dong, Juliette Karagueuzoglou, Dominique Ropion and Anne Flipo — who were assisted by AI and powered by neuroscience.’ Identifying key emotional benefits for the chosen ingredients, the styrallyl acetate molecule (which smells green, slightly metallic, and can be found as a component of gardenia and tuberose, among other floral notes) was used at 10x the usual dosage – as suggested by AI to increase alertness – but woven with lavender to calm and create a harmonious balance.

Paco Rabanne Phantom £60 for 50ml eau de toilette pacorabanne.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Launching with two wellness fragrances harnessing the power of neuroscience and experienced to their fullest potential using an app – 85% of people studied wearing them achieved a more focused state, while 90% reached a more meditative state. AI generated programmes of well-being rituals use smell, calming or stimulating visuals, and sound. Red Skies is a ‘functional fragrance’ designed to re-focus and energise via vibrant orange blossom, rose, pink pepper, mandarin and neroli in the top notes, blissfully enlivening jasmine, carrot seed, sap, iris and spices in the heart, resting on a grounding, earthy base of patchouli, oakmoss, resin and cedar.

Øthers Red Skies £90 for 50ml eau de parfum + 6 months app subscription others.co

 

 

 

 

This ‘scent and sound ritual’ was partially designed by AI for those ‘desperately seeking clarity of thought’ and feeling overwhelmed by ‘a rising sense of panic.’ [That’ll be most of us, then!] Using notes of cut grass and ‘green canopies’ entwined with soothing green tea, the heart resonates incense, wild mushrooms, worn leather and spices on toasted woods, while the base sinks into spiritual Palo Santo, shady vetiver, smoked amber, Hinoki wood (prized as sacred, native to Japan, with unusual hints of citrus) and a silken sandalwood. They suggest the scent and app are used in combination to ‘create a gearshift in your day.’

Øthers Mystic Zingaro £90 for 50ml eau de parfum + 6 months app subscription others.co

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

 

Bring on the Winter Zing: Getting Fresh With Neroli

Okay, yes. We tend to associate citrus fragrances more usually with warmer weather – where juicy lemon, lime, orange and even the more unusual yuzu are used for their refreshing, thirst-quenching appeal. However, holy moly, we need brightness more in these earlier months of the year than at any other.

So, what else can we look for when summer-y Colognes just feel wrong, but we CRAVE freshness nonetheless? Well, we would be well advised to lean into scents that put us in mind of the sunshine one gets on the very best of winter days. The kind of light that sparkles on frosty leaves, adds glitter to even the greyest pavement, and brings a feeling of almost childlike joy (despite the bitter weather!) An ingredient we would urge you to look for to recreate such sunshine-and-ice-kissed moments is neroli.

 

 

It’s truly one of THE most prized perfumery ingredients for gifting a uniquely floral freshness and zing to a fragrance’s formula. But where does this magical note come from, and how does it differ from other fresher notes?

The bitter orange tree – Citrus aurantium var. amara – is one of the wonders of the fragrant world. (You might better know it as the Seville orange tree and associate it with marmalade.) The leaves and twigs give us petitgrain, while the cold-pressed peel of the fruit gives us bigarade. But it’s the olfactory orgy of white neroli blossoms which get ‘noses’ (and fragrance lovers) really excited: airy, citrusy, green, but with whispers of honey and orange bubbling subtly underneath; it’s like taking scented  stealth vitamins that seep into your consciousness and make everything a bit better; or a short break to warmer climes in order to recharge your soul. In bottles, how much handier (and less ruinous) to access for instantaneous uplift, though.

 

Neroli is extracted by steam distillation of freshly-picked flowers, a process which much smell akin to perfume heaven, while the name ‘neroli’ comes from a small Italian town near Rome, and a princess who lived there. Anne Marie Orsini (aka Anna Maria de la Tremoille, and originally French, though basically adopted as Italian because that’s how it rolls when you’re noble and rich ), fell in love with the scent of neroli, which fragranced the air in spring. Can hardly blame her, really, because it’s surely one of the most universally pleasing smells in the world, and oh lord (or Princess) – how we are craving springtime right now!

Ah well. Until the opaque tights can be safely ditched, and until the actual change of season; might we suggest you make like Anne Marie, and similarly seek out these neroli-centric scents for some added joy and sparkle in fragrant form…?

 

 

 

 

Mizensir White Neroli £185 for 100ml eau de parfum

Radiating the gasp-making mood-shift of dawn’s first ray of light touching the ground, neroli gently shakes the senses awake, scattering pearlescent dew drops of hedione among the fluff of white musk and spiritual drifts of frankincense.

 

 

 

 

Granado Limāo & Néroli £52 for 100ml eau de Cologne

Encompassing the entire bitter orange tree’s gifts to perfumery, the neroli adds clarity and pale sunshine slicing through clouds, petitgrain brings leafiness, invigoratingly bracing lemon and the more herbaceous lime a tonic for the soul.

 

 

Edeniste Neroli Sensuel £68 for 30ml eau de parfum

Expressing the tender nature of neroli, the white petals are wrapped around the more biting wakeup call of petitgrain, harmonising perfectly with juicy pear and luminous peach (still sun-warmed it feels) for a fresh caress at any time.

 

 

 

 

 

Acqua di Parma Colonia Intensa £104 for 50ml eau de Cologne

The classic gets sultrified, the freshness of neroli and iconic Calabrian bergamot charismatically sizzled up with slices of ginger, atop a supple leather, cedar and patchouli-snuggled base. Marvellously smile-inducing, even on Very Trying Days.

 

 

 

Maison Crivelli Neroli Nasimba £85 for 30ml eau de parfum

The neroli smoulders unusually amidst oodles of orange blossom and luminous mandarin contrasted with the cool spice of cardamom and deep, animalic purr of Saffiano leather. Like discovering your pockets are lined with soft yellow velvet.

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

 

Pantone Colour of the Year 2024: Peach Fuzz (+ peachy-perfect perfumes to match!)

Since 2000, the colour-trend makers and shapers, Pantone, have announced their ‘colour of the year’ – thereby triggering an explosion of that tone across fashion, art and design initiatives in all categories. And, of course, that includes fragrance trends, too. For 2024 the colour has been announced as ‘Peach Fuzz‘ – so yes, indeed, this marries perfectly with some of the scent trends we’ve already seen emerging for the year ahead.

 

Here, we explore why peach is THE colour we’ll all be seeing – and matching it with the most perfectly peachy scents we know so far (with, we suspect, many more peachy perfumes to arrive in the coming months!)

 

 

Pantone Says: ‘Subtly sensual, PANTONE 13-1023 Peach Fuzz is a heartfelt peach hue bringing a feeling of kindness and tenderness, communicating a message of caring and sharing, community and collaboration. A warm and cozy shade highlighting our desire for togetherness with others or for enjoying a moment of stillness and the feeling of sanctuary this creates, PANTONE 13-1023 Peach Fuzz presents a fresh approach to a new softness…’

 

 

 

Why was Peach Fuzz chosen for 2024?

And what does this colour say about how we’re feeling – what we need, right now? Pantone explains: ‘At a time of turmoil in many aspects of our lives, our need for nurturing, empathy and compassion grows ever stronger as does our imaginings of a more peaceful future. We are reminded that a vital part of living a full life is having the good health, stamina, and strength to enjoy it. That in a world which often emphasises productivity and external achievements, it is critical we recognise the importance of fostering our inner selves and find moments of respite, creativity, and human connection amid the hustle and bustle of modern life. As we navigate the present and build toward a new world, we are reevaluating what is important. Reframing how we want to live, we are expressing ourselves with greater intentionality and consideration. Recalibrating our priorities to align with our internal values, we are focusing on health and wellbeing, both mental and physical, and cherishing what’s special — the warmth and comfort of spending time with friends and family, or simply taking a moment of time to ourselves.

With that in mind, we wanted to turn to a colour that could focus on the importance of community and coming together with others. The colour we selected to be our Pantone Colour of the Year 2024 needed to express our desire to want to be close to those we love and the joy we get when allowing ourselves to tune into who we are and just savour a moment of quiet time alone. It needed to be a colour whose warm and welcoming embrace conveyed a message of compassion and empathy. One that was nurturing and whose cosy sensibility brought people together and elicited a feeling of tactility. One that reflected our feeling for days that seemed simpler but at the same time has been rephrased to display a more contemporary ambiance. One whose gentle lightness and airy presence lifts us into the future.’

 

 

How is peach used within perfumery?

It’s such a soft, fuzzy, sensual note. No wonder perfumers love it: peach almost gives the same velvety texture to a fragrance that you get from stroking the ripe fruit itself. Since the time of the early Arab perfumers, the flesh of peach and the kernels were used in scents and ointments.  Originally a native of China, peaches made their way to Europe after Alexander the Great conquered the Persians and brought back a botanical trophy, Prunus persica, then known as the ‘Persian apple’. The nectar-like aroma you smell in a ‘peach-y’ fragrance, though, may actually be a synthetic: aldehyde C14 (a.k.a. undecalactone) smells delectably peach-like and edible, and we defy most untrained noses to tell the difference.

 

Peachy Perfect Perfume Picks…

 

 

 

Lancôme TrésorCurrently from £52 for 30ml eau de parfum

A timeless classic, and a lusciously peachy scent that just seem to sing on the skin, Trésor is a love letter to seemingly effortless sophistication. The signature Lancôme rose shimmers with effervescent light, dancing across the fuzzy velvet of nuzzle-me-closer peach skins and apricot blossoms to a luminous heart of white flowers dusted with powder and a smooth, long-lasting trail of creamy musk. Simply divine, one you must seek out to try (for the first time, perhaps?) now!

 

 

 

SHAY_BLUE_WHITE_PEACHES_THE_PERFUME-SOCIETY

 

SHAY & BLUE White Peaches From £25 for 10ml eau de parfum

Forget the variety you might find in your fruit bowl – here, a floral delicacy exudes from the flesh of white peaches, swirled through with an elderflower granita for a freshness that feels like brightness and happy times, bottled. Shay & Blue excel at unique combinations, this one unusually grounded with a soft wintery wisp of silver birch for the woody base. It’s a refreshing sorbet of a scent to quench your thirst for something delightful to wear, no matter the weather.

 

 

 

Ulrich Lang Suncrest$185 for 100ml eau de parfum

The particular variety of peach here inspires the name, and is ultra-realistically evoked, literally like burying your nose in a bowl of perfectly ripe peaches fresh from the market, then tenderly stroking your face with the fuzzy, sun-warmed skin before sinking your teeth in and letting the juice trickle down your chin. Lucent jasmine and piquant blackcurrant slice the velvet and the creamy woodiness of the base feels like the giddy exhilaration just after laughing joyously. A triumph!

 

 

 

Memoize London Curatio£177 for 100ml eau de parfum

Fizzingly fresh orange and the exotic (almost banana-like) ylang ylang are cooly spiced with cardamom before the sweetness of the peach juice kicks in, like nectar for the soul. Love the scent as self-care message from Memoize, who say: ‘Sometimes, it is inherently clear what is needed: a comforting sweet embrace of oneself.’ The vanilla-rich dry down does, indeed, feel like a hug, being further buoyed aloft by rosy-tinged geranium and jasmine for added joie de vivre.

 

 

 

 

L’Artisan Parfumeur À Fleur de Pêche £170 for 100ml eau de parfum

Peach is beautifully embodied here by L’Artisan Parfumeur via a triptych of peach facets: the fuzziness of the skin, the lusciousness of peach flesh, and the almost almond-y stone within, which sits in the base alongside patchouli and tonka bean. Sweet, juicy, you’ll also encounter a twist of pepper, a dash of saltiness, from a note of Calone. A modern gourmand, if you like, it’s certainly very more-ish and you’ll be lusting for peaches whenever you wear it.

 

 

 

 

Tom Ford Bitter Peach From £180 for 30ml eau de partum

Don’t be put off by the name. (When did Mr. Ford ever let us down?) This is a welcome reminder of summer’s joys, luscious with Sicilian blood orange, the signature pêche de vigne (peaches on the vine) accord and a dash of cardamom in the opening, beckoning us towards a boozy afternoon with rum, cognac, davana oil and jasmine absolute, in time to enjoy a golden sunset moment with sandalwood, benzoin, vanilla, tonka and patchouli. *Happy sigh.*

 

 

 

Adscenture Secret Garden £60 for 30ml eau de parfum

Cascading sunlights tenderly caresses succulent peach swirled with coconut for an unashamedly happy-making scent that’s akin to diving nose-first through the pages of beautifully illustrated story book. Touches of sweetly delicious frangipani and vanilla-swirled sandalwood offer a warming path through amber-laden woods in the dry down. It’s as though the pastel colours of a peach’s portrait swish around you, inviting further exploration as they linger and lull.

 

 

 

Maison Margiela Replica Flower Market£57.91 for 30ml eau de toilette

Evoking the sensation of walking through a flower-market early in the morning, just after it’s rained; perhaps we purchase a dew-dappled peach from a stall as we pass through, marvelling at the silver pails of wondrous blooms surrounding us. A sense of snapped stalks and crumpled leaves amidst the floral notes, the ripe peach scent seeming to echo the warm blush spreading across the sky as daylight wins out and we suddenly remember warmer days ahead, and smile.

 

 

 

 

 

Guerlain Mitsouko £102 for 75ml eau de toilette

Of course I couldn’t go without mentioning THE reference peach-infused rapture that is Mitsouko. Inspired by the eponymous Japanese heroine of Claude Farrčre’s novel ‘La bataille’, and the passionate love triangle therein, this complex unfurling of cinnamon infused, milk-lapped plump peach skin nuzzles into a warm embrace of oakmoss that beguiles for hours. A classic that deserves to be in everyone’s collection, it’s a truly enduring romance with peach.

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Do Coffee Beans Help ‘Refresh’ Your Nose?

In various fragrance boutiques and department stores, you’ve perhaps come across little bowls and jars of coffee beans and wondered what these are for. Perhaps you’ve even been told by well-meaning staff (or fragrance-loving friends) that these are to ‘refresh’ your nose after smelling too-many scents? So: do coffee beans ACTUALLY help ‘re-set’ your sense of smell, Read on to find out…

 

 

 

The coffee bean conundrum: The answer is short and sweet: sniffing coffee beans does NOT help ‘cleanse’ or ‘re-set’ your sense of smell – and this was proven by Dr. Alexis Grosofsky of Beloit College in a scientific study. Smelling coffee beans is just adding another strong smell for your nose to be dealing with! Our sense of smell constantly re-sets itself, naturally, but if you’ve over-stimulated yours by spraying on all of the perfumes, or to give your nose a bit of a rest in-between scent sample spritzing; the best way to do this is simply by smelling your wool sweater, or an unscented bit of your own skin. This is how perfumers ‘re-set’ (if they need to) while they are smelling hundreds of differing ingredients, or preparing a new fragrance ‘mod’ (modification) of a perfume’s formula.

 

 

The blog air-aroma.com puts this whole coffee bean theory to bed really clearly, saying:

‘Stop in any perfume shop, and you’re bound to find small bowls of coffee beans set between various fragrances. A salesperson may advise you to sniff the beans in between smelling multiple scents. It is commonly believed that the smell of coffee beans creates some sort of palate cleanser for your nose, allowing you to continue to smell fragrance after fragrance.

But why would someone need to do that? Olfactory fatigue, or olfactory habituation, is a real thing, and it deserves some attention. Essentially, the olfactory glands in your nose begin to recognise smells after a period of time (like the perfume you’ve been wearing all day), and will stop alerting you to them, making you think there’s no fragrance there. It is an example of sensory adaption; the body becomes desensitised to stimuli to prevent the overloading of the nervous system, thus allowing it to respond to new stimuli that are ‘out of the ordinary’. Do coffee beans have some magical little molecular component that resets our palate, allowing us to continue to smell things? Turns out, the answer is no! ‘

– If you’ve over-sniffed too many scent samples in a row (we empathise!) and smelling your clothing / a scarf / your own skin isn’t enough to ‘re-set’ your nose, just step outside for some fresh air for a couple of minutes.

Instead, if you’re looking for the best ways to smell lots of fragrances at one time, here are some top tips so as not to get in an over-olfactory-stimulated scent muddle…

 

 

 

Give fragrances TIME. So many of us spray, sniff immediately (that’s just the alcohol you’re smelling, with perhaps a mere whiff of top notes) and either make a snap purchase or walk away. Those opening notes can disappear in mere minutes, you really need to let it settle for twenty minutes or more to smell the middle or ‘heart’ notes. The ‘base’ notes are made from ingredients with the heaviest molecules, so these can take several hours to warm and then evaporate on the skin.

If possible, try the fragrance on a blotter first (also known as a perfume ‘spill’). Make sure to write the names of the perfumes on the blotters! Otherwise you end up with a whole stack of them in your pockets or bottoms of bags, and no idea which is which…

Allow a few minutes for the alcohol and the top notes to subside, and then smell the blotters. At this stage you may be able to eliminate one or more, if they don’t appeal – but it is really the heart notes and the lingering base notes which you will live with, and which are crucial. Remember: blotters are a useful way of eliminating no-hopers and lining up possibilities, but they’re not really enough to base a perfume purchase on. You really need to smell a scent on your skin to know for sure that it suits you.

Try not to smell more than about four or five at a time. It’s not really your nose that’s the problem, it’s our perception of smells that take time to be properly considered (and allowing a scent to develop both on the blotter and then on our skin as it warms).

Jot down a few words to describe how you feel about each fragrance. These should be emotional words or things it reminds you of (a fabric / musical instrument / colour / place / time of day). They might sound abstract, but are a true reflection of how a fragrance is melding to your personality (or otherwise). Come back to the blotters several hours later and smell again – see if those words have changed.

 

By Suzy Nightingale