Getting cosy with cashmere – scents to snuggle with

There’s nothing quite like the soft, enveloping snuggle of cashmere – more than simply a wool to keep you warm, it’s become synonymous with supreme luxury, and fragrances that borrow the fluffy feeling of this material are the perfect comfort scent.

What does ‘cashmere’ mean in fragrant form, though? Perfumers aren’t extracting the wool itself into a scent; instead, they may use Cashmeran™, a trademarked synthetic material sometimes also called Cashmir (or Kashmir) Wood.

There’s no cashmeran bush, or tree, or root, though:  this is a synthetic ‘fantasy ingredient, also sometimes referred to as ‘blonde woods’ on perfume note ‘pyramids’.  (Cashmeran™ is a trademarked ingredient from the perfumer supplier International Flavours and Fragrances, or IFF.) It’s a-little-bit-musky, a-little-bit-spicy, a-little-bit-powdery qualities become even more versatile in the hands of perfumers: they know how Cashmeran™ almost ‘melts’ into many types of ingredients to add an extra, almost tactile sensuality to perfumes within a wide range of fragrance families.

 

 

 

 

Cashmeran™ also works to ‘expand’ and diffuse floral ingredients. (Lots of perfume notes work ‘synergistically’ in this way, which is why perfumery is such a complex art.) You may also be familiar with it from body products and even fabric conditioners: Cashmeran™ ‘clings’, and doesn’t rinse out well, leaving traces of its sensuality on the skin after showering, or your bedlinen after laundry day.

So now, do you need something to spritz as an extra ‘layer’ of protection (but that’s not too overwhelming), to conjure that feeling of hitting ‘snooze’ and staying in bed awhile longer; or perhaps a perfume for those occasions you could really do with a hug in a bottle? Read on, wrap up, and let’s get cosy in cashmere…

 

 

 

 

 

Guerlain Les Matières Confidentielles Eau de Cashmere

Intimately personal and part of a collection made to be spritzed on the skin ‘or over one’s favourite materials’, the Eau de Cashmere is whisper-soft, a creamy concoction of powdered iris and freshly plumped pillow-like lavender, with a breezy background of aerated woody and musky notes as it warms on the skin. It’s one of those ‘I don’t know what to wear’ go-to scents, and ‘Misted also over a jumper or across the entire wardrobe,’ says Guerlain, ‘it provides a pleasure of incomparable softness.’ We couldn’t agree more!

£140 for 100ml eau de toilette
guerlain.com

 

 

 

Narciso Rodriguez Cristal

Perfumer Nathalie Gracia Cetto unfurls a ruffled citrus breeze that blooms into freesia and voluptuous orange blossom. The signature woody white musk is woven throughout the composition, making it unmistakably a Narciso creation, but with a crystalline gleam that sparkles enticingly. Wrapped in a whisper of cashmere-swathed warmth, think sunshine diffused by fluffy clouds, a soft stole worn insouciantly draped over tanned shoulders. One that fans will want to add to their collection.

From £55 for 30ml eau de parfum
theperfumeshop.com

 

 

 

 

ROOS_AND_ROOS_PALE_BLUE_EYES

 

Roos & Roos Pale Blue Eyes

From mother and daughter duo Chantal and Alex Roos, a fragrance which is almost literally light at the end of the seasonal tunnel, evoking ‘springtime, blue sky – a perfume blowing a gentle breeze into your heart.’ En route, it’s ruffling notes of blackcurrant bud, iris, rose, tonka, supremely cool cashmere wood that billows becommingly amidst vetiver and sandalwood. And we wonder: is the name a coincidence, or was it chosen because creator Chantal has the bluest eyes of almost anyone we know…?

£90 for 50ml eau de parfum
sniph.co.uk

 

 

floris-vert-fougere

Floris Vert Fougére

An imagining of a fern in an English garden at twilight, Vert Fougère combines lavender and patchouli with galbanum for a green, damp, earthy beginning. A cool lingering of tempered sunlight is evoked via a bitter-citrus accord of bergamot, neroli and grapefruit, the encroaching darkness cut through with a sparkle of ginger. Finally, grounded with smoky cedar woods and soft cashmeres. Combining classic and modern elements, this is a verdant fougère to delight in.

From £20 for 10ml eau de parfum
florislondon.com

 

 

Electimuss Mercurial Cashmere

A fragrance to ride with us amidst changeable moods, maybe? ‘The most popular of the gods, Mercury was adored for his irresistible charm and wit and the inspiration for this sensuous and seductive scent.’ With an alluring character, the cloud of cardamom-flecked iris swirls to the buttered warmth of tonka and amber touched by cashmere’s creamy caress. Especially good at granting you backbone and strength, we say: wear this fluffy, irresistiable scent and feel better for every possible perfumed mood-swing!

£225 for 100ml pure parfum
electimuss.com

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Light-filled fragrances for Diwali & scents for eternal sun-worshipers…

If you’re anything like us you’ll have been basking in the gloriously golden (and surprisingly warm) sunshine these last few days – we’re hanging on to every last ray, and it’s especially aposite to seek light-filled scents at this time, with the celebrations of Diwali about to begin – and other festivals around the world (and in many religions) in homage to the sun before the darker days truly kick in. Here, we pay our own perfumed tributes, and urge you to seek these out for eternal sunshine of the scented mind…

 

 

NARCISO RODRIGUEZ  Narciso Eau Neroli Ambrée
Neroli is one of the most instantly sunshine-y, happy-making notes on the scentscape (we took an office poll last year, and it came out on top for evoking bright light and happy, holiday memories). The brilliant Aurélien Guichard packs pleasure into every spritz, here – a veritable whoosh of optimism, tempered with comfort, in this slinky, silky dream. Orange blossom and soft woods sigh contentedly to the so-iconic white musk trail.
£65 for 50ml eau de parfum
johnlewis.com

 

 

 


BOUCHERON Patchouli D’Angkor
Here’s proof that patchouli can throw off its deep, dark and sometimes dark past to be reinvented as something sheer, summery and fresh. Here, patchouli has some unexpected bedfellows – pear, Bourbon pepper, jasmine and white musk – as well as more expected notes of bergamot in the top, guaiac wood in the soft base, offering further proof of perfumer Nathalie Lorson’s talent for reinventing notes, the better to delight and surprise our noses.
£175 for 125ml eau de parfum
Harrods.com

 

 

 

JIMMY CHOO Urban Hero Gold Edition
Luscious pineapple and ripe blood orange offer the most welcome kind of bracing opening, perfectly offsetting the more balsamic sweetness of soothing lavandin and rich, creamy tonka bean (think roasted almonds, lapped in milk) at the heart. This fragrance of contrasts, reflecting the inspiration of street art and free-spirited creatives amidst a city environment, is captured in a special edition golden bottle that will steal the show on his side of the bathroom shelf.
£72 for 100ml eau de parfum
johnlewis.com

 

 

 

LA MONTAÑA First Light Three Wick Candle
Don’t only think of perfumes, get ready to light up your life with this unique, utterly aromatic blend of wild mountain flora flushed by the first fingers of dawn breaking. Frosty fennel, bergamot, rosemary, mountain pepper, and rockrose pierce the air, and the inspiration for the scent came from that moment ‘…before anyone starts an engine, or lights a fire, the air is clear, and still, and silent. The first breath of the day carries the perfume of wild mountain herbs, the alchemy of which, blended naturally on the breeze, weaves a magical spell…  A new day, a new life – and a memory we didn’t know we had.’
£150 for 3-wick 650gms candle
In our shop

 

 

JEROBOAM Floro
Jeroboam pioneered downsized flacons: easy on the back, easier on the pocket, now offering this ‘flurry of flowers’ that proves they can bring the sunshine no matter the season. Fruit notes first capture the attention: green and red apples, and luscious pineapple. Then the flowers burst open: jasmine and airy, transparent petal notes, rendered a touch creamy by sandalwood and finished with a flourish of dry woods, white musk and cedar. Eminently shareable, Jeroboam suggest (and oh, we do love these light-filled flowers, on a chap!)
£100 for 30ml eau de parfum
jovoyparis.uk

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Fragrances For… spectacular sunsets

The skies this time of year are ablaze with colour as the sun sets – the heavens awash with purples, reds and pinks that melt into the darkness like nature’s fireworks. And fragrances are often inspired by this spectacular display, too – perfumers creating scents that light us up even on the dullest days. Here’s five we feel so colourful wearing right now…

 

COACH
Dreams Sunset
Inspired by ‘golden hours and one-of-a-kind journeys with friends’ – which we are indeed dreaming of – this ombré bottle, echoing the colours of sunset, perfectly shows off a floriental composition crafted by the brilliant Nathalie Lorson. Refreshing pear sorbet and bergamot playfully tease the wearer, before jasmine sambac and magnolia dial up the intrigue. But what keeps this beach party rocking is the smoochy, sultry base of tonka and vanilla. We’re so there.
From £34.50 for 40ml eau de parfum
johnlewis.com

 

GHOST
Orb of Night
Setting a darker, moodier tone to the pantheon of Ghost perfumes, Night Orb glimmers with a dark cherry almond accord, kissed with mandarin before plunging deeper into a heady orange blossom, ylang ylang and freesia heart. The sandalwood base has rivulets of caramel running through it, but being rippled with a salty, slightly animalic ambergris, is rendered salty and moreish. From the rose gold bottle to the vegan certification, it impresses.
£22.95 for 30ml eau de parfum
escentual.com

 

 

BVLGARI
Omnia by Mary Katrantzou
The most glorious, iridescent sunset-esque bottle acts as a vase for Alberto Morrilas’s beautifully composed ‘maximalist bouquet’, as Bulgari describe it. A green rustle of fig leaf unfurls to billowing orange blossom and gardenia before settling to underpinnings of fluffy musk and a deeper, woody base. An exclusive collaboration with fashion designer Mary Katrantzou, this vibrant scent reflects her designs, and we can almost feel the fabric flowing around us as we wear this.
£87 for 65ml eau de parfum
bulgari.com

 

MAISON CRIVELLI
Osmanthe Kōdoshān
A sublime portrait of the apricot-y bloom, this is inspired by a trip to ‘a tropical mountain shrouded in mist.’ We sense sunsets, height and grandeur in a scent that slowly unfurls itself as it warms. Curls of fog clear to reveal a forest far below, the resinous scent of verdant vegetation and grounding woodiness rising to meet you, the osmanthus swathing your skin in a leathery embrace. Calming, mysterious, transcendentally beautiful.
From £170 for 100ml eau de parfum
harveynichols.com

 

 

PENHALIGON’S
Constantinople
On spraying this, we were immediately greeted with a highly refined, almost leathery iris – the image of an intricately carved wooden shutter suddenly flung open to welcome evening air and blazing skies, a tang of salty shores nearby carrying waves of delicate, powdered spices on the breeze. Beneath an earthy, mossy layer nestles seams of liquid vanilla, milky ripples later reflect moonlight, harbouring the expectation and tingling anticipation of tomorrow’s exotic adventures…
£178 for 100ml eau de parfum
penhaligons.com

 

5 sultry, ‘spooky’ scents for Halloween… dare you wear?

With Halloween approaching and the nights drawing in, now is the perfect time to explore the sultrier, even ‘spooky’ side of fragrance…

When the weather gets colder, there’s a particular pleasure to be found in trying something new – a scent that perhaps plunges deeper than you’re used to, invites us to wrap ourselves in a cosy blanket and sit by the fireside (maybe telling a few Gothic ghost stories as we hunker down for the night?) Because there’s a delight in challenging your preconceptions, in shivering slightly as you do so, with anticipation. The Germans use the term unheimlich, which roughly translates to the experience of something feeling weirdly familiar while remaining mysterious, slightly uncanny.

We always liken wearing a bolder, more mysterious fragrance to playing dress-up (in the most fabulously sophisticated way), because a scent is more than a nice smell – it allows you to explore other sides of your character, just as wearing a costume can bring out hidden depths that might even surprise your nearest and dearest…

These intriguing scents are best worn with a nip of frost in the air, golden sunlight softly streaming through brightly-dressed trees, and sense of delicious mystery swirling through those misty mornings and rapidly darkening nights.

We dare you to try them on for size…

 

Indulge your inner libertine with this oppulent, swagger of a scent, inspired by Cassonova himself. You can smell his favourite tipple, ‘cordial orgeat,’ through dusky cognac-infused rose and bitter orange flower, with a saffron-soaked throb of leather, hot wax, animalic cumin lashed to the darker base of amber and deep woods. (P.S: There’s a sample of this one in our Niche VII Discovery Box and in their Contradictions in Ilk Discovery Set).

Contradictions in Ilk Libertine £150 for 50ml extrait de parfum
ilkperfume.com

 

 

 

Inspired by the destructive and regenerative Australian bush fires, its smoky heart of mysterious spices is spiked with shards of fresh (surprisingly fruity) eucalyptus and citrus to create a wonderful juxtaposition of hot/cold and intriguing textures. A smouldering smoky wood accord underlines this contrast of dark and light, with the house’s signature Australian sandalwood smoothing the seared edges, wonderfully.

Map of the Heart Black Heart v.2 £150 for 90ml eau de parfum
harrods.com

 

 

Pythia, the mythical oracle of Delphi inspires this scent – as high priestess she delivered her oracles ‘after entering a state of delirium by inhaling the vapours emitted by the sacred chasm beneath the temple.’ A crisp apple is studded with bay leaves, the juice mingling with wafts of spiritual smokiness that richly swishes leather, amber, oud and ambergris in a cloak that surrounds, comforts and beguiles in equal measure. (Why not try this in the Manos Gerakinis Discovery Set?)

Manos Gerakinis Omen £185 for 100ml eau de parfum
shymimosa.co.uk

 

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The joy of spooky season is actually the cosiness of feeling scared but then being immediately comforted. Here’s a scent you can snuggle up by a wood fire with, eating spiced biscuits as another presence makes itself known when the scent of dried roses and lavender fill the room. From a hidden floral display, or conjured by ghost stories, shared…? Familiar in the best way, think flicking through old photos and smiling as you remember the happiest of days with people you love.

4160 Tuesdays Another Kiss By the Fireside from £25 for 15ml eau de parfum
4160tuesdays.com

 

BANANA_REPUBLIC_DARK_CHERRY_AMBER_

Black cherries are apparently perfumer Claude Dir ‘s favourite fruit, which he swags in blossom here before before lavishing them with praline and the resinous luxury of a glowing amber accord. Evoking plump, candoed fruits laced with something altogether darker, the tart juiciness swirls with an addictiveness that’s boozy and rich, but never too sweet. Trick or treat? The emphasis firmly on the latter, in the most indulgently lascivious way.

Banana Republic Dark Cherry & Amber £55 for 75ml eau de parfum (currently on offer at £22.99!) theperfumeshop.com

 

 

 

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Fragrances For… fall-ing in love with autumn

Hailed as ‘the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’, the start of autumn means golden sunlight, soft cashmere sweaters and a chance to snuggle up in scents that take a cosier turn. We’re hailing these new-season scents as a reason to celebrate fall (see what we did, there?) in love with some new fragrances again…

FLORIS
GOLDEN AMBER

Just 200 bottles have been hand-poured of this limited edition, portraying a summer stay at La Garda – ‘the home of ever-changing sunlight, the aperitif lifestyle, and the picturesque destination for many legendary Floris customers.’ Freshly amber-y, it bursts open with cassis and bergamot, with milky fig and sparkling aqua notes, riffled by a breeze of flowers and with an ambery finale of tonka, patchouli, almond blossoms and sandalwood that’s warm, wonderful and wearable.
£200 for 100ml eau de parfum
florislondon.com

 

 

FURLA
Preziosa
A glorious first collection of fragrances from the renowned Italian luxury goods house, the elegant curvature of the bottles is based on the arch of their historic 18th-century HQ in Bologna. This one’s a stunning saffron and pink pepper atop rose and geranium in the heart, but it’s the base that will have you swooning – creamy yet never too sweet vanilla caressed by chocolate-y suede. We adore the 10ml & 30ml sizes, too.
From £17 for 10ml eau de parfum
next.co.uk

 

 

JULIETTE HAS A GUN
Pear Inc.

A twist of muskiness and juicy yet crisp pear, another element we found prominent here is the milky heart (milk fragrances, too, are trending of late), laced with Ambroxan for a distinctly modern touch. Neither totally green or fresh due to the gauzy gourmand vibe throughout, it’s ‘a heavenly fragrance evoking happiness, sunny days and positivity,’ which founder Romano Ricci wanted to be ‘like the promise of a beautiful summer.’ (or autumn, we feel – seasons being interchangable now!)
£85 for 50ml eau de parfum
harveynichols.com

 

 

VAN CLEEF & ARPELS
Orchid Leather
You may think you know leather, but you’ve not yet smelled this, which conjures up a supple, almost silken floral around that note. The vanilla bean (fruit of the orchid) here feels lithe and smoky, while cardamom and plum deliver opulence – but there’s something animalic, too, a subtle snarl tangled amidst the cistus and a swirl of incense in the base. We’d also adore this on a man’s skin.
£130 for 75ml eau de parfum
harrods.com

 

SALVATORE FERRAGAMO
Intense Leather
Surging with freshness then taking an unexpected twist into supple, sensuous leather, perfumer Antoine Maisondieu fuses summer’s sparkling mandarin and crisp apple with flecks of pink peppercorn’s fizz. The heart sings of spring, meanwhile – lily of the valley’s verdancy dusted with a sprinkle of orris – and proving a scent for all seasons, the base is a warm autumnal hug of nuzzle-worthy oakmoss and musk. Beneath it all the leather invites caress, closeness, all you’ve been missing…
£56 for 50ml eau de parfum
ferragamo.com

Firework fragrances to smoulder in this season

Fireworks are a celebration of light amidst these darker months – as the clocks have gone back and the nights are drawing in – and so here we present a selection of fragrances with smoky, sensual notes to smoulder in this season…

A scorching interpretation of rose, in which smouldering leather tangos with rich Damask rose against a backdrop of patchouli, amber and deepest, darkest oudh. Think bonfire-smoke still clinging to your hair, pinpricks of starlight against a velvety black sky and cold lips soon warmed by passionate kisses.

Ruth Mastenbroek Firedance £90 for 50ml eau de parfum
ruthmastenbroek.com

P.S: You can try a sample of Firedance in the Ruth Mastenbroek Discovery Set – featuring the first four fragrances in her eponymous collection, so perfect to explore at home – try all four fragrances here for only £17.95.

Arabic dokha tobacco’s smokiness wafts through a spicy-woody-Ambrée with an unexpected note of raspberry, then a fabulous fug of full-on tobacco dust absolute and tobacco leaf, warmed by roasted tonka bean, creamy sandalwood and a delicious woody-amber blend of cistus absolute, castoreum and patchouli. This one’s all smoke – and mirrored label.

Tom Ford Oud Tobacco Intense £315 for 100ml eau de parfum
harrods.com

Rip-roaring along hot tarmac on the back of a motorbike with fireworks bursting and  ‘big hair don’t care’ optimism, the cypress, lemon zest freshness becomes dirty (in the best way), hugely smoke-smudged and sexy as all hell. Kudos, too, to the heavy magnetic lid, packaging and price.

Banana Republic Leather Reserve £55 for 75ml eau de parfum
debenhams.com

This feels like an homage to the very origins of perfume – ‘per-fumum’ meaning ‘through smoke’ – melding incense with fruity notes of fresh Turkish rose with a fragrant drift of exotic spices. And it lingers beguilingly, waves of wamth unfurling, tendrills of woodiness creating a sumptuously smoky cloak.

Atelier Cologne Rose Smoke £325 for 100ml pure parfum
Harrods

 

This fragrance’s Scottish geology is composed of black pepper, densely smoked minerals and rose absolute with a splash of whisky and amber-rich leather. It’s complex, fusing an invigorating opening with a trio of peaty swirls, fresh tobacco and incense metamorphosing as it warms – and wins your heart.

Kingdom Scotland Metamorphic £110 for 50ml eau de parfum
kingdomscotland.com

Whichever of these intriguingly smoke-infused scents you choose, we feel sure you will revel in their scented display for hours, days and months ahead. Now, all you need do is seek them out, choose your favourite, light the metaphorical ‘blue touch paper’ and get ready for the fragrant fireworks…

By Suzy Nightingale

Get ready for sandalwood’s snuggles

Suddenly our duvets have become irresistible and those opaque tights have made their appearance from the back of the drawer. Along with cashmere cardis and hot toddies replacing the t-shirts and G&Ts (okay, we actually haven’t quite given up G&Ts), so our fragrance tastes tend to swing toward something warmer – a snuggle in a bottle that helps you get out of bed in the morning and comforts you throughout the day.

Sandalwood-rich perfumes are great ones to look for in the autumnal months or colder climates, offering a smooth creaminess that clings to the skin like a cashmere blanket – a poncho made from perfume. Yes we may sometimes wish to be pepped up with a citrus blast every now and again, even on a chilly day; but the majority of us here at TPS Towers are longing for something to snuggle into, and sandalwood as a dominant note definitely fits that bill.

In our just-published Couture edition of The Scented Letter Magazine, my leading feature seeks out ‘The sensational history of sandalwood‘, looking into versatility of this ingredient, and finding out just why perfumers (and perfume-wearers) love it so. But the topic is so vast, I really wanted to give you even more sandalwood-filled snippets, and urge you to swathe yourself in sandalwood scents you already love, or to think about getting seriously cosy with something sandalwood-y and new to you…

Some sandalwood facts:

Sandalwood is used in the base of up to 50% of feminine fragrances.

Supremely versatile, it blends exquisitely with clove, lavender, geranium, jasmine, galbanum, frankincense, black pepper, jasmine and patchouli (among others).

It works as a ‘fixative’, tethering other ingredients and keeping them ‘true’, in a composition.

So many sandalwood trees have been cut down in India, largely for production of perfume and incense – often illegally harvested, because it’s such a valuable commodity – that it’s become endangered.

The good news is that plantations in Australia are now coming on-stream, producing (santalum spicatum) sandalwood oil of high quality – to the relief of ‘noses’ (and conservationists.)

A wide range of synthetic sandalwood-like ingredients are now used in place of this at-risk wood, to give a similarly smooth milkiness (see below for our guide)…

The synthetics now available for perfumer’s to expand their palette is now fairly extensive. With the cost of Mysore (often considered the best quality, and the most endangered) sandalwood increasing approximately 25% per year, you can understand why many fragrance brands are choosing to use these aroma-chemicals, for cost-effective (would you continue to buy a favourite fragrance if it doubled in price every four years?) as well as conservation reasons.

In my magazine feature, indie perfumer, and founder of 4160 Tuesdays, Sarah McCartney, explains why synthetic sandalwood is so vital for perfumers – and how most people asked to compare natural and synthetic sandalwood side-by-side in a blind smelling, will confidently declare those synthetics to ‘definitely be the natural’ wood. So generally, ‘…if you have sandalwood listed in the notes, it will either be accompanied by its synthetic sisters, or replaced entirely.’ Among these synthetics we have:

Beta santalol – considered to be one of the most ‘nature identical’ of sandalwood notes, this imparts the comforting creamy snuggle we expect.
Polysantol – formerly trademarked by Firmenich , it has herbal depth with just a touch of filth for the animalic scent lovers out there. Realistic enough in a composition, it also has great lasting power.
Levosandol  – by Takasago is shot through with tang of dry cedar-like notes for an overall woodiness.
Ebanol – a Givaudan trademark, is remarkably rich and surprisingly potent. The snuggle that just keeps going.
Fleursandol – by Symrise, this one has a lightly floral character beneath the dominant, life-like sandalwood note.
Try sandalwood in these beauties…

But McCartney also reminds us that many naturals also ‘replace’ or snuggle up to natural sandalwood in fragrances, ‘One good natural substitute is amyris essential oil,’ she continues. ‘Mine is from Haiti and smells closer to aged Mysore oil than my Australian or modern Indian sandalwood. Amyris is known as Hatian sandalwood, but is a different species. Sandalwood has strength and richness but never overpowers or forces its way through a composition.’

David Moltz, perfumer and co-founder of cult niche house D.S. & Durga agress on this so-special charcteristic of sandalwood, explaining, ‘Though long-lasting and incredibly umami for a wood, its overall throw is soft. So it’s persistent but never overpowers other oils.’ Personally, he likes to mix the types of sandalwood he uses, depending on what he’s trying to achieve, so he uses ‘…a bunch of different sandalwoods. In the D.S. fragrance, I used top-grade Sri Lankan sandalwood which is the closest we have to the fabled and ethically challenged Mysore varietal from south India.’

Whichever character of sandalwood you choose, it’s just perfect to embrace on chillier, grey days – so do have a look for some of these, and get ready to fully embrace sandalwood’s cosy sensuality…

Molten sandalwood and cedar melds with warm amber, a wispy jasmine that fluffs itself up around ghost lily, waxy magnolia and narcotic ylang ylang. It all dries down to the most glorious pepper speckled honey for a ‘your skin but better’ daily cuddle. Self-care in a bottle.
Estée Lauder Sensuous £56 for 50ml eau de parfum
theperfumeshop.com

 

 

Like burying yourself in a boyfriend’s favourite jumper, textural layers of pink pomelo, ginger and green lemon brush against soft lavender and jasmine whispers. Finally, skin’s wrapped in that comforting sandalwood, with birch, oak, patchouli and musk. Sans boyfriend? I think this amply replaces many.
Missoni Parfum Pour Homme from £33 for 30ml eau de parfum
thefragranceshop.co.uk

Distant recollections of being warm without woollen undergarments evoked with the delectable creaminess of iris butter swirled into sandalwood. It’s all blissfully relaxed limbs slathered in retro-smelling coconut suntan oil and a cool lick of vanilla ice-cream. Thanks for the memories…
Juliette Has a Gun Sunny Side Up £110 for 100ml eau de parfum
harveynichols.com

 

A handsome (completely unisex, we think) scent that’s crisp as a tall G&T (told you we were clinging on) at first, then sinks beguilingly to a dandyish clove, cardamom and nutmeg-laden heart and the softness of sandalwood and vanilla muskiness beyond.
Floris Santal £80 for 100ml eau de toilette
florislondon.com

 

A sacred signal to the Gods, incense billows through saffron’s golden glow, precious frankincense swirled amidst a plush heart of rose absolute, smooth sandalwood soothing you like a whisper on a breeze of translucent white musk. Wearing it feels like knowing the very soul of perfume – ‘per fumum’ meaning ‘through smoke’.
Van Cleef & Arpels Collection Extraordinaire Rêve d’Encens £260 for 125ml eau de parfum
harrods.com

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Atelier Cologne – for autumn and beyond

Think Colognes are only for summer splashes and searing heatwaves? Atelier Cologne‘s deeper twists on the classic will make you think again…

Having enjoyed the hottest summer on record in England (joint hottest for UK overall since 1976), there’s no doubt we’ve all been reaching for those fresh fragrances to cool things down. The traditional Cologne is a thing of joy – but apart from the first splash, that joy could be fleeting, until Atelier Cologne took the best elements of the tradition and infused them with more complexity, depth and a hugely boosted lasting power.

This means we can enjoy all the benfits of their range well into the cooler months – good news for those already grieving the loss of summer and who perhaps need a spirit-reviving spritz before we get those opaque tights and cardis out of storage. Here’s our guide to five Atelier Cologne fragrances you should try for an olfactory change of seasons…

 

Top notes: Bergamot from Calabria, limette from Mexico, saffron from India

Heart notes: Sandalwood from New Caledonia, gaiac wood from India, white musk

Base notes: Papyrus from India, cedarwood from Texas, vanilla from Madagasca

Satisfyingly spicy without feeling too bundled-up already, the warm glow of saffron suffuses the zestiness of the opening like autumnal sunshine filtering through trees. Gorgeously layered woods with a wisp of soft musk and the tenderness of vanilla in the base feel like a late afternoon walk through the park.

Atelier Cologne Santal Carmin £160 for 100ml eau de parfum

 

Top notes: Calabrian bergamot, Sicilian mandarin, Guatemalan cardamom

Heart notes: rose oil, Indian tuberose, coffee

Base notes: Madagascan vanilla, cocoa pod

A unique blending of white floral and modern gourmand, the coffee really shines here, all toasty and delicious with a touch of cardamom and a swirl of milky vanilla and cocoa in the dry down. Think of those days it’s still warm enough to grab a coffee outside, chic people-watching while devoring pastries.

Atelier Cologne Cafe Tuberosa £115 for 100ml Cologne absolue

Top notes: green mandarin from Italy, Sicilian bergamot, tajetes from Egypt

Heart notes: orchid nigritella rubra, cinnamon from Sri Lanka, benzoin from Thailand

Base notes: cistus labdanum from Spain, amber, tonka bean from Brazil

A little tip-toe into snugglier scents, this amber benefits from the fresh breeziness of the green mandarin as a welcome change from your usual citrus. Gentle spices never feel dusty, bringing a sense of comfort to the richer notes, instead, and adding a real spring in your step as chillier weather sets in.

Atelier Cologne Ambre Nue £115 for 100ml Cologne absolue

Top notes: bergamot from Calabria, orange flower from Morocco, black pepper from Vietnam

Heart notes: iris from Morocco, lavender from Provence, rose centifolia from Grasse

Base notes: Gaiac wood from Central America, patchouli from Indonesia, white musk accord

Just the most whisper-soft embrace of cashmere-like fluffiness and a pretty bouquet proffered throughout the composition, imagine the sigh of contentment while wearing your favourite suede jacket and shopping at the flower market. The woody-musk base feels reassuring, a scented hug to last all day.

Atelier Cologne Iris Rebelle £165 for 100ml Cologne absolue
Exclusive to Selfridges

Top notes: bergamot from Calabria, ginger from China, Turkish rose essence

Heart notes: Turkish rose absolue, incense from Somalia, velvet oud accord

Base notes: patchouli from Indonesia, papyrus from India, benzoin from Laos

Those of you not yet ready to let go of your roses (and we count ourselves among you!) fear not – here’s an opulent plunge into the more sensual side that flower. We’re especially loving the textural richness added by a drift of incense and smooth oud accord, a fragrant trail you’ll love all day and after sunset.

Try Atelier Cologne at selfridges.com or in their stand-alone Covent Garden boutique.

Written by Suzy Nightingale

5 woody fragrances your nose needs to know

There’s something about woody fragrances that feels especially comforting at this time of year – a snuggle of smooth sandalwood is like wearing a cashmere blanket, dry cedar is wonderfully grounding and the all-pervasive oudh (aka ‘akigalawood’) we suddenly find is being used in fine fragrance as a sexy rumble of a base note, that beckons rather than billows-forth at full-force. Woody scents also make us think of woodlands themselves, long walks in bright, frosty forests with those cheering signs of Spring just beginning to stir – and thank goodness for that!

The only question remains, which perfume path should you choose through the woods…?

Inspired by the stark serenity of British beaches in winter, we were intrigued by the salty driftwood note at the heart of this new fragrance, peppered with bergamot and a mineral accord that stays cool and slinky on the skin, we imagine broken seashells, the rustle of dried grasses and wave-lashed coastlines. Ambroxan and patchouli in the base feel like wearing your softest sweater, pulling your scarf up to your nose and breathing deeply, your soul becalmed.

Amouage Beach Hut Woman £240 for 100ml eau de parfum
Buy it at selfridges.com

Warm in a powerful way, the cedarwood here balances a deliciously decadent accord of roses, jasmine, orange blossom and bergamot. One of those all-day wrist-sniffers, you’ll be taken on a darker journey through the distinctly shadier path of patchouli, cedarwood and an almost sticky-smelling amber at the end (think resinous, dark honey slathered on hot toast. We practically think of nothing else on cold, frosty mornings…)

Ormonde Jayne Ambre Royal £110 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at harrods.com

Inspired by the Mr. Harrod, Penhaligon’s describe the character of this scent as ‘…a flourishing businessman who has evident appeal with the ladies.’ While that could be interpreted another way, we’re here to say it’s definitely shareable! Spiced plum and patchouli sinks into a jasmine, raspberry and ambergris accord with an oudh, cinnamon, tobacco and cedarwood dry-down that could well be your nose’s new favourite thing.

Penhaligon’s Mr Harrod £185 for 50ml eu de parfum
Buy it at harrods.com

The rich sandalwood is enticingly interlaced with cardamom, coriander and rose for an all-natural scent that’s so soothingly spiced, it’s what our skins are crying out for right now. Fittingly, a percentage of every sale is given to charity – this year to the The Tulsi Trust – which funds health and education projects in Chhattisgarh, a remote area of central India. So it does good while you smell great: win-win.

Marina Barcinella Parfums India  £130 for 30ml oil
Buy it at mbparfums.com

Close your eyes and imagine taking a walk among the giant sequoias, as legend has it so tall and denseley 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.

Olfactive Studio Woody Mood £84 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at bloomperfume.co.uk

Written by Suzy Nightingale

5 fragrances that guarantee winter sunshine…

There are those who claim certain scents should only be worn in summer – the lighter, more citrus-laden ones for the most part – and that we should reserve the heavier, more opulent fragrances for our winter wardrobes. But is this once foregranted ‘fact’ still true…?
Certainly, in hot weather you may find your fragrance seems ‘stronger’ or more overpowering, the heat causing the notes to evolve on the skin more rapidly and bloom around you in fragrant waves.  This is exactly why brands sometimes offer lighter versions of their bestselling scents for the summer.  Indeed, some people prefer heavier more full-bodied, comforting, almost ‘cocooning’ scents in the winter – but again, this is completely individual.
Personally, at The Perfume Society, we do tend towards richer fragrances that we love to rediscover at around the time when we reach for our opaque tights, our socks (and vests!), switching to airier perfumes for the warmer months. But never let anyone tell you what perfume to wear and when – just do what feels right for you. We say: scent ‘rules’ are made to be broken, so just follow your nose…
We find winter is actually a perfect time to refresh your senses, and re-visit those scents you perhaps didn’t quite get on with in summer – cooler weather and damper climates makes your skin react completely differently, so why not try some fragrances you may have written-off forever?
While you’re at it – have a dig around in your collection for ‘spring fresh’ or ‘summer-y’ scents that you already love and see how differently they bloom on your skin at this time of year. Just as too much turkey and endless chocolates can have you yearning for a crisp salad, it’s good to go over to the light side for a change of scent-scene now and again.
Here’s our list of five transitional scents to try for a time-travelling experience out of your comfort zone. So, shake off those heavy layers and prepare to get zingy with some winter freshness…
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Zesty to the point of mouth-watering excess, the energising burst of crushed ripe fruit uses the darker extract of sweet blood orange juice juxtaposed against bitter orange peel and warming wafts of geranium for a feel-good cloud of happiness. Formulated to last far longer than traditional Colognes but losing none of their zippiness – hoorah!
Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine £49.50 for 30ml Cologne Absolue
Buy it at John Lewis
Ignore the grey skies, close your eyes and imagine the Provençal setting sun, still warm on your skin (move closer to the fire or add another layer of clothing, if necessary…)Aromatically fresh with the fizz of bergamot and pink pepper, the true heart of honey infused lavender is balanced by the milky acacia blossoms, the nuttiness of tonka beans and balsamic warmth of the earthier base.
L’Occitane Terre de Lumière Limited Edition bottle, £58 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at loccitane.com
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A lusciously fruity mixture of milky fig cut through with Turkish apricot and green tea for a deliciously refreshing blend that still feels nurturingly comforting. A wearable panna cotta with just enough wobble and topped with glistening slices of that succulent fruit – we have no doubt you’ll want to dive in.
Fresh Fig Apricot £76 for 100ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Harrods
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The tart, raspberry freshness of Turkish rose and the subtle woodiness of thorny stems enhanced by geranium melt slowly to a softly cushioned fuzziness of peonies and vibrant freesia, gently sprinkled with black pepper and drizzled with honey. Every bit as delicious as it sounds, it’s a ballerina dancing in a garden as the sun rises and blushes the sky the colour of her frothy tutu.
Aqua di Parma Peonia Nobile £78 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Selfridges
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Ripening tomatoes lovingly stroked in a greenhouse, sunlight glinting on frosty hedgerows and mint leaves floating in a pitcher of homemade lemonade – this enlivening scent whisks you to the home of the Mitchell family at Foxbury Farm. Sparkling citrus rubs shoulders with herbaceous greens and English flowers grown in their fields; drying down to the classically elegant combination of musk and cedar wood.
Mitchell and Peach English Leaf Fine Edition £55 for 50ml eau de toilette
Buy it at Roullier White
Written by Suzy Nightingale