Splurge vs Save: fragrance bloggers choose

Could you ever splurge on an all-time lust list fragrance, or save the cash by buying more pocket-friendly (but still utterly fabulous) ‘fumes? We all have fantasties of winning the lottery and suddenly having access to the rarest scents in the world… But when reality hits and more attainable scents are the name of the game, what, I wondered, would some of our favourite social media fragrance commentators choose…?

Persolaise
Splurge: If money were no object, I’d love a full bottle of vintage Diorissimo extrait (price… priceless?) in the famous, gold-topped Baccarat flacon. Actually, I’d be happy with some vintage Diorissimo in ANY bottle, but if we’re dreaming, let’s throw in the Baccarat. I could probably write a whole dissertation on why I love the perfume so much, but if I had to sum up my feelings, I suppose I’d say that, for me, it is THE most perfect example of a perfumer both reflecting nature and putting his own personality on it. Roudnitska’s nose was being guided by the scented gods when he made it. It is an absolute masterpiece.

NB: You can see this very Baccarat bottle at the Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition in the V&A.

Save: I might go for Gorilla Perfume Kerbside Violet £29 for 30ml eau de parfum from Lush: a modern, uniquely urban take on florals, mixing that strange, green, lung-filling ‘openness’ of violet leaf with smoke, concrete and exhaust fumes. Genius.

Viola Levy, Scents & the City
Splurge: If money were no object, I would go for a dazzling bottle as much as the fragrance itself – and for stunning perfume bottles, you can’t go wrong with Lalique (they pretty much invented the concept!) Their limited edition Crystal Collectible Bottle in Naïade €1,200.00 is a miniature work of art, featuring a mermaid-like Art Deco figurine as the stopper, while the fragrance inside: ‘Lalique de Lalique‘ ticks all the boxes when it comes to my favourite perfume notes (jasmine, rose, blackcurrant and sandalwood). I like to think of this scent as the equivalent of an off-the-shoulder cashmere cardi – old-school elegance with subtle sex appeal. Plus you can never go wrong with a mermaid, can you?

Save: Coty‘s L’Aimant,£14.49 at Boots for 50ml eau de toilette, would be a no-brainer. Created by François Coty (dubbed ‘the father of the modern perfume industry’) it was launched in 1927 at the Galleries Lafayette in Paris and is an incredibly romantic concoction. The backdrop was the Roaring Twenties – of girls emboldened by their contribution to the war efforts and the greater freedoms this had allowed them – which lead to the perfume being promoted as ‘the pure essence of Modernism – vivacious, warm and magnetic – the passionate woman’s perfume.’ Certainly it’s similar to No.5 in its composition: sparkly aldehydes, rose and jasmine (always a winning combination for classic scents), but it’s got a lighter spring in its step and a certain sparkle all of its own.

Sarah Gallogly
Splurge: If money were not an issue I would blind-buy Mendittorosa Osang. It has a lot of my favourite notes in it such as honey, frankincense, myrhh, labdanum and sandalwood and Mendittorosa is a perfume house I would really love to explore further. I recently tried a sample of Le Mat and it’s straight up beautiful! I can only imagine how spectacular Osang is…

Save: For a fragrance under £40 I believe you can’t beat Lush and I would reach for I’m Home £25 for 30ml eau de parfum, or Cardamom Coffee £39 for 30ml eau de parfum– both wonderful and with sweet, resinous depth. Lush make excellent and creative perfumes for such an affordable price, and I’m a big fan.


Sam Scriven, I Scent You a Day
Splurge: My fantasy bottle would be Aedes de Venustas Pelargonium £210 for 100ml eau de parfum, without a doubt. The first time I smelled it, I got emotional. That’s happened about twice in my life, and as a blogger, I’ve smelled thousands of scents. Pelargonium is a woody floral, but so seamlessly blended it’s like a cloak of iridescent fairy wings merging into each other. It’s mainly geranium, but it’s also musk, oakmoss, spices and smooth orris. Just perfection.

Save: There’s a huge choice of great value fragrances at the other end of the spectrum, but if I had to narrow it down, I’d go for Lanvin Arpège £29.99 for 100ml eau de parfum.  It’s a classic aldehydic chypre created in Paris in 1927 and it makes me feel like a grown-up sophisticated lady even when I’m in pyjamas. Trust me, that’s powerful. Because my pyjamas don’t even match.

 

Viola Cserkuti
Splurge: If money wouldn’t matter, I’d possibly get a lot of raw materials and make something, or rather experiment with my favourite notes: say, a kilo of Iris butter? I’d be pretty over the moon if I could go into Fortnum & Mason and buy a super fancy Caron bottle and get it filled with Farnesiana from one of those glass samovars (price on request!)

Save: I’m a big fan of discovering affordable scents in unexpected places. I love &Other Stories’s Sardonyx Fire £28 for 50ml eau de toilette, it’s very on-trend with a lot of iso-e super and ambroxan, metallic and musky with sweet florals in the background.

Blueberry Chicks
Splurge: The first perfume I’d choose is unavailable today, but if somebody had a sealed version I would have spent my (imaginary) thousands on La Rose Jacqueminot by Coty. I love rose and it is a legendary perfume. It was used by one of the last Romanoff princesses! For a modern perfume, it would be Puredistance White £455 for 100ml eau de parfum – because it smells like diamonds! I have never met a fragrance that’s so deliciously ‘posh’ and yet fresh. The first thing that comes to my mind when I smell it is a sumptuous ballroom full of finely dressed ladies.

Save: Jennifer Lopez Deseo £10.95 for 50ml eau de parfum, on the contrary,  is a recollection of a tropical holidays on the beach. A sweet memory doing nothing all day, with a pina colada in one hand and a book in the other.

Having salivated at the thought of the luscious lottery-win type fragrances mentioned above, and added many of the budget-friendly options to my own shopping basket, of course I couldn’t resist throwing my own scented suggestions into the ring…

Splurge: Oh go on, then, I’ll have a bottle of the original Guerlain Mitsouko, from when it was first released in 1919. Can you imagine? The thing is, I’d want to time-travel back and buy it myself, dressed to the nines in a velvet Opera coat by Elsa Schiparelli, with an ebony cigarette holder and scarlet lips, being shockingly daring yet romantic – presaging the turn of the century and those Bright Young Things to come. One spritz of this (well actually, as money is no object, several lavish applications) and I could snuggle in the cinnamon infused, milk-lapped plump peach skin and oakmoss for hours. In reality, the current reformulation by Thierry Wasser is as close as we’ll get, thanks to oakmoss restrictions, and it still smells *expletive* wonderful.

Save: If you’re looking for something with a sassy swagger, which smells about ten times more expensive than it is, consider unleashing your inner Diva with Emanuel Ungaro‘s much-overlooked masterpiece. First released in 1983, it’s a pleasingly buxom affair of softly powdered rose and iris with a purr of ylang ylang and sandalwood. And the perfumer? None other than Jacques Polge, darlings. Yes, he of the many, many Chanel fragrances. But this can be snapped up at £29.95 for 100ml eau de parfum. I know. You’re welcome.

By Suzy Nightingale

Feedspot name us ‘Best UK Perfume Blog’

Forgive us if we feel like breaking out the cake and tiaras, today, but Feedspot have named The Perfume Society as the number one Best Perfume Blog in the UK! (And we’re among great company.)

Listing the Best UK Perfume Blogs from thousands available on the web, using search and social metrics to arrive at their finalists, Feedspot – who describe themselves as ‘the best place to read all your favorite websites in one place,’ – chose those they considered ‘…are actively working to educate, inspire, and empower their readers with frequent updates and high-quality information.’

The blogs they listed were ranked based on following criteria:

  • Google reputation and Google search ranking
  • Influence and popularity on Facebook, twitter and other social media sites
  • Quality and consistency of posts.
  • Feedspot’s editorial team and expert review

We work hard to bring you news and reviews, but also to share with you our expertise in an accessible, easy to understand (yet never patronising) way. Indeed, this is the very reason we started The Perfume Society! As Feedspot say…

Founded by award-winning fragrance writer and Green & Black’s co-founder Jo Fairley, and Lorna McKay (formerly beauty and fragrance buyer at Harrods, who also set up the Liberty Perfumery), The Perfume Society is devoted to helping everyone get the most out of fragrance – choosing and wearing – by deepening their enjoyment of this creative world, through events, workshops, on-line articles and much, much, more…

And that’s exactly it. We want everyone to feel included, their views valued. Although some blogs may get off on being snarky about more pocket-friendly perfumes or dictating which houses are ‘hot or not’, our ethos at The Perfume Society is to try and describe how certain fragrances make us feel, attempting to get you to try them for yourselves – on your own skin – before pre-judging with only a list of notes or what someone else already told you to think.

Fragrance is such a personal, intimate thing to experience. Some call it an art form (we certainly do), and our reactions are immediate, but can drastically alter over time. Time is key, we always say. Time spent smelling them, questioning yourself about what you can smell and how it makes you feel. Time spent researching the house a little more – learning about the perfumer, their inspiration, the story behind the scent – for a greater understanding.

Between this blog, our specially curated Discovery Boxes of samples and minis you can try at home and our award-winning magazine The Scented Letter (now available to read in print, online and around the world), we want to reach out to all you perfume-lovers out there. And can’t tell you how thrilling it is for others to see that we are!

And now: let there be cake…

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Fume Chat podcast's fragrant predictions for 2017…

To roll in the New Year, fragrance experts, friends and now regular Fume Chat ‘podcasters’ (think of podcasts as radio shows you can listen to online, if you’re new to the term!) Nick Gilbert and Thomas Dunkley (aka The Candy Perfume Boy) decided to look ahead to all things fragrant for 2017 and ponder on the perfumes we’ll all be using in the months to come.
In this sixth episode, the fragrant twosome muse on questions including…
– Who will release a perfume in a bottle of their face?

– Will oud ever die?
– What scent can be described as ‘Rosa Dentata’?

fortnums_thomas_nick1
[Photo via Olfactaria’s Travels perfume blog, showing Nick and Thomas on a previous perfume-sniffing outing…]
Presented in their trademark down-to-earth but entirely knowledgable way, it’s a great listen (as always!) and we think their friendly discussions definitely encourage an ever-growing list of perfumes to seek out and try for yourselves.
We suggest you settle down with a cup of tea, put your feet up and listen to the episode here. You can catch up with any shows you may have missed, too!
Written by Suzy Nightingale