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