5 metallic-themed scents we're getting hot & heavy with

Can you imagine the smell of a cold knife? Of molten gold or hammered bronze? Not readily identifiable and posessing almost no scent of their own, yet we can easily conjure a metallic smell if we think about it hard enough.
Synthetic iris notes in a perfume or ambergris can be metal-like, in texture as well as the smell – providing a glinting sheen that cuts through a composition to render it otherworldly or luxuriously opulent, weirdly familiar or (depending how it’s handled) thrusting a literal backbone of steel in to the heart of a scent.
Metallic shine has reflected throughout beauty and fashion, and now the fragrance world has come to dip its fingers in the glistering pot. Always amazed at how perfumers can relay texture and temperature through intricate blends of ingredients, fragrances with metal notes may sound scary at first, here are six metallic scents that are beautifully worked and warming our cockles right now…

Inspired by the birthplace of classic chypre ingredients and copper sharing its etymology (kupros) with the island of Cyprus, it seems only natural to link the two. Shimmying beguilingly with bergamot and pink berries, the slippery liquidity of iris and resinous patchouli melt into the warmth of suede, extreme amber, ambroxan and addictively more-ish tonka bean absolute.
Juliette Has a Gun Metal Chypre £220 for 75ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Harrods
Completing the trio of their precious metal inspired scents, the latest is pure sophistication with a haze of jasmine absolute, white musk and orchids – each petal seeming to unfurl with the heat of your skin. Gauzily gorgeous, you’ll certainly feel expensive, and expect to be enchanted for countless hours.
Ormonde Jayne White Gold £375 for 120ml eau de parfum
Buy it at selfridges.com
Incredible how some ingredients absolutely smell of particular temperatures, and the warming gleam of precious gold has definitely been evoked here with sun-drenched mandarins and a cashmere soft woodiness that wafts elegantly the whole day through. We loved it when the weather matched and are enjoying even more, in nostalgia.
Michael Kors 24K Brilliant Gold £42 for 30ml eau de parfum
Buy it at House of Fraser
The French have an expression: ‘Qui a de la platine‘ (literally, he who has platinum) that describes a brilliant and eloquent man, From the classic lavender/rosemary freshness of a fougére pepped up with pettigrain to a striking clary sage and geranium accord at the heart, our interest peaks at the ambery dry down. To be worn by smooth-tongued silver foxes, we feel.
Chanel Platinum Égoïste £52 for 50ml eau de toilette
Buy it at chanel.com
Perfumer Alberto Morillas infuses Damask rose absolute and jasmin with billowingly soft white musk and tendrils of incense for the kind of opaquely resonant olfactory experience you’ll be wanting to wrap yourself in season ’round. Can a perfume smell both warm and gleamingly pink without being too girly? This one does so, effotlessly.
Bulgari Rose Goldea £38.50 for 25ml eau de parfum
Buy it at johnlewis.com
Written by Suzy Nightingale

A Gabrielle Chanel mini-movie – in anticipation of Chanel Gabrielle, the scent

It’s August.
The phones are quiet. (Isn’t it bliss?)
And if you can’t take a two-minute ‘Chanel-break’ in anticipation of the launch of Chanel’s first major fragrance in 15 years – Gabrielle (after the designer’s real name) – you’re probably in deep trouble.
Of course we’ll be bringing you more about this hotly-anticipated scent (which, among other virtues, happens to have one of the most striking bottles we’ve yet seen – a true feat of glass engineering).
But now? Join us in a coffee with Gabrielle Chanel,– couturier, visionary, rule-breaker – as we hurtle through her quite extraordinary life.

Written by Jo Fairley
* This is No.21 in the Inside Chanel series, which you can find here on YouTube. That’s a lot of coffee breaks to look forward to.

There are roses, roses everywhere in our second issue of The Scented Letter, for subscribers

It’s out! And to quote perfume blogger and expert Nick Glbert, it’s ‘fabulous’… As Nick says, ‘The Scented Letter features every important new launch, as well as some wonderful pieces from bloggers, journalists and people involved in perfumery or scent. In the second issue, you can…

All our VIP Subscribers should have received a link to download their second issue of The Scented Letter. (And new subscribers are sent the link to download the e-zine, on signing up – click here to do that.)

In your second edition, subscribers can look forward to the following…

Follow the story of one of perfume’s most precious ingredients, the rose, from field to flacon

  • Discover award-winning blogger and author Persolaise‘s top rose perfume picks
  • Read the fascinating story of how Sabine de Tscharner grew up not being able to smell – and went on to become a perfumer
  • Find ways to scent a wedding – and discover your perfect wedding scent
  • Discover all the season’s latest launches, at-a-glance
  • Enjoy Richard E. Grant‘s scent memories, dreams and reflections: the scents that have meant most to him, in a lifetime…

PS  International visitors to the site can subscribe to The Scented Letter for £15 p.a., using the contact form below – and we’ll then send you a Paypal invoice. (And yes, we’re working on finding a more sophisticated way to do this!)