By golly gosh it’s been a tough year, to put it mildl; so as a special present, Santa has a FREE gift for you all…
This year, because we’d like to say a massive ‘THANK YOU!’ for your continued support – and as testament to just how important the role of fragrance has been, calming our nerves and bolstering our spirits in troubling times – Santa has decided to gift the Christmas edition of The Scented Letter magazine,FREE for you all to read.
One of the most hotly-anticipated issues each year is our bumper Christmas edition of the magazine – this year entitled Secret Scent-er – which incorporates all the usual news, reviews and in-depth features with the addition of a fabulously fragrant gift guide. Seriously drool-worthy, it’s a showcase for the very best scented gorgeousness that money can buy, from niche and indie brands to designer luxe.
We know that Christmas will be very different for many of you this year, and hope that you can find time to sit awhile, put your feet up and have your spirits lifted by all manner of glorious things arrayed in the 64 pages – normally only available to VIP Members and those who purchase the printed editions (scroll down for more info on how to get these).
• In Extraits, Extraits, Read All About It!, Persolaise explores the revival of perfume’s most precious form
• Can’t be with those you love over the holidays? Conjure them up with a spritz or a dab of scent, we suggest in Spraying Home for Christmas
• Like our favourite Christmas tunes, explains Viola Levy in Jingle Smells, certain fragrances never fail to deliver Christmas cheer
• I hopped on a Zoom with Santa for this issue’s Memories, Dreams, Reflections– smile as he shares centuries of fragrant recollections
• And of course, we’ve sniffed out the best presents, from glamorous gift sets to beautiful (scented) baubles in Your Fragrant Gift Guide 2020
• Plus as usual, we bring you all the Latest Launches, news, events – and so much more
If the free edition has tickled your fragrant fancies for more award-winning journalism, we can now take orders for a limited run of printed copies of all editions of our magazine, priced £12.50 to our VIP Subscribers (£15 to non-VIPs). And remember: you can buy an annual print subscription to The Scented Letter and also an International Online Subscription for the magazine, too!
Finally, no matter where you are, please know you’re not alone, and that the days will be lighter from now on. With much love, we’d like to wish you all a very HAPPY CHRISTMAS, and look forward to a far more peaceful (and perfume-filled) New Year, for all…
Christmas is always the most scented season, but this year the perfumes we spray have taken on an extra poignancy – many of us deeply missing mloved ones we cannot be this year because of the continuing pandemic, or who have passed away.
Fragrance can be a great comfort – and a way of connecting us, if only we chose the scent to spray that immediately evokes someone we’re so wishing we could be with right now.
For the Christmas edition of The Scented Letter magazine, we asked a number of our favourite perfumers, journalists and fragrance experts which scents they would be spraying this year, and who they’re missing most. We were so overwhelmed by the lovely – and often very emotional – reponses, that we didn’t have room for them all in the printed pages!
That’s why we want to share these beautiful scent memories with you, now; and wonder: whom would YOU most love to conjure with a single spritz right now, and what fragrance would you need to spray…?
Alice du Parcq – writer for Glamour U.K. / Space NK:
‘This Christmas I’ll be in a fume-cloud of Maison Margiela Replica By The Fireplace. It is the scent of roasting chestnuts on a roaring fire in a Chamonix ski lodge in 1971, so think toasted embers, plumes of silky sooty smoky, wood polish and the creamy, vanilla-spiked, nutty flesh of charred chestnuts. We did this as kids every winter at my parents’ house (which incidentally still looks like a 70s ski chalet) and watched my dad roll those glossy globes around a skillet until they crackled and split. My sister and I had scalded fingertips all season from the impatient peeling of the blackened chestnuts that were still too hot to touch. The fire was wild, ferocious and mesmerising, and the whole house smelt like fireworks and bonfires. I remember it vividly, and since we can’t all be together this year I’ll honour that memory with a daily spray of this magnificent and curious perfume.’
Sarah McCartney – perfumer & founder 4160 Tuesdays:
‘Usually we head north to York to see a collection of family and friends, play music and swap presents. I’m always delighted when my nephews put in a request for one of my fragrances at Christmas and their favourite is Invisible Ben. This is a blend of sandalwood, oranges, cognac absolute, musks and Ambrox, so it mingles with the atmosphere, a definite presence but not shouting for attention. It’s just like the lads themselves.’
Nicola Bonn – Outspoken Beauty podcast:
‘One of my best friends wears Chanel Chance. Smelling it and her never fails to make me happy. I always meet her at this time of year for drinks and celebrations and not being with her is so very sad. I’ll spritz this and have a virtual cocktail with her.’
Marcus Jaye, beauty & fragrance blogger / author a.k.a The Chic Geek:
‘This will date my childhood, but mine is Giorgio Beverly Hills. This is pure Pretty Woman, back-combed mum of the 1980s. Chuck in a soupçon of Elnett and I’m there.’
Olivia Jezler – fragrance innovation & technical design specialist, Future of Smell:
‘Both my parents always change their perfumes so its less about their signature scent… but the scent in their home over Christmas is always the NEST Holiday candle. I love it and for me that’s the smell of Christmas…combined with the pine of the Christmas tree!’
Professor Charles Spence – experimental psychologist / head of Crossmodal Research Group, Oxford University:
‘It would have to be smell of nardo – the flower that my (now) wife would always bring to airport when I arrived in Colombia… Which the web says is “Polianthes means “many flowers” in Greek. In Mexican Spanish, the flower is called nardo or vara de San José, which means “St. Joseph’s staff”. This plant is called as rajanigandha in India, which means ‘fragrant at night’. I didn’t realise it was a night-blooming one, but have since become very interested in night-flowering scented plants, so night flowering jasmine, which would have to be my second choice.’
Whomever you are missing, and whatever their favourite fragrance was, we hope you’ll be able to find great comfort and bring them home with your own personal scent memories, whenever you need them most…
Scented candles have helped us stay (mostly) sane this year. A bold statement, but when we’ve spent more time than ever at home – working, raising families, interacting with partners or house-mates on a 24 hour basis or simply trying to get through the day alone – it’s been an easy way to instantly change a space, a vibe, with fragrance.
And it seems we’re not alone in this perfumed passion. Sales of fragranced candles, along with ‘premium food’ have been one of the mood-markers of 2020.
As The Guardian newspaper recently commented, ‘cold weather and coronavirus restrictions encourage Britons to hunker down for winter,’ reporting that what we’re been turning to are ways of making ourselves feels better, hence: ‘Sales of scented candles, potpourri and essential oils for diffusers jumped 29% in October, according to the research group Kantar.’
It makes sense. Candles can help us feel calm – not only for the scent, but focusing on the flickering flame awhile. They bring a feeling of warmth and comfort, a cosiness that’s been sorely needed as the temperatures in the U.K. plummeted and the darkness drew in. We’ve gone from tropical exoticism in the bathroom to torrid sensuality in the bedroom (or the kitchen, why not?). We’re using zingy scents to get us going in the morning, soothing smells to help us wind down of an evening, and traversing the world through our noses all the many, many hours in-between.
Because good grief, how we’ve longed for ‘newness’ – and the act of lighting a scented candle can genuinely shake you out of the doldrums!
Quite apart from how fabulous some of the containers look, and how good quality candles can contiunue to scent a room even unlit; they also make thoughtful gifts. But personally, we’re doing the ‘one for you, one for me’ rule with the following selection of some of our favourites to stock up on. Which will you give, and which are you coveting for yourself, we wonder…?
Ruth Mastenbroek Ancient Frankincense £55 for
Cosy as toasting your toes by a roaring fire, this is one to light, snuggle up on the sofa and read something unashamedly soothing with. Or kick back with a frivolously festive film. The warmth of frankincense, precious resins of myrrh and labdanum are tickled by pink pepper up top and swaddled in rich patchouli in the base. Aromatic notes of cypress and pine, meanwhile, remind us of walks through the woods – wrapped up in your favourite coat, savouring the frosty freshness of the air. Sublime!
(PS: Get your hands on a mini size of either Ancient Frankincense or the Rebel County candle as part of our sumptuous Indulgence Discovery Box, for £36 / £32 for VIPs)
Boujee Bougies Queen Jam £55 for 220g
Outrageously jam-y, this sashays up with bucket loads of berries – raspberries and bilberries, to be precise – and oodles of rose petals; that unctious stickiness shot through with flashes of tart green to prevent it being sickly. Olfiction perfumer Pia Long has created a stunning evocation of a Finnish preserve that feels equal parts grown up glam and giggle-inducing frolics. Check out their entire range via the super cute mini candles for £25 (buy one of each and you’ll get one free as part of their launch offer, while stocks last!)
Floral Street Sunshine Bloom £28 for 200g
A welcome shaft of sunlight for the duller days, this scented candle keeping the memory of summer vibes alive with luminescent notes of jasmine, creamy fig leaf (which smells like being on holiday – close your eyes and you can almost feel the sunshine, hear the waves…). Meanwhile, wild orchid, black pepper, incense and salted musks manage to be both delicious and vibrant. This is a solar scent that truly sparkles and recalibrates: a fragrant re-set for the mind, if you will.
La Montaña Siesta: £39 for 220g
We don’t know about you, but getting absolutely anything done right now seems to sap twice the amount of energy as usual. We could all dearly do with a daily siesta, but not all of us can make that space in our day. This candle cossets with lavender, juniper and thyme – an herbaceous breeze from a garden as you ‘close your eyes and imagine yourself drowsing on a hot afternoon, gently swinging in a hammock in the shade of a tree, with the crickets chirruping, and the sun-baked fragrances of the countryside lulling you to sleep.’ Oh we’re SO there…
Tom Daxon White Narcissus: £25 for 185g
A winter’s walk captured in fragrant form, here, with a bouquet of white flowers – gloriously heady narcissus and hyacinth – and the snapped-stalked freshness of galbanum and green violet leaf, which manages to temper the otherwise fabulously blowsy floralcy. Tendrils of cardamom-infused smoke drift drowsily through the cold, still air as gaiac wood and cedar smoulder on the shady vetiver base. One to gift those who are about done with cinnamon and eggnog and are checking the weather forecast, hourly, for the first signs of spring. That’d be us, then.
Christmas gift ideas for men? It can be difficult, we know – and especially this year, when so many of us are apart from our loved ones. But worry not. You’ve come to the right place! We’re brimming over with scented suggestions that will have him feeling fabulous, festive, AND fragrant…
For super men everywhere, we’ve included independent perfume houses making their mark: recently launched ånd fragrance with sustainable and ethically sourced ingredients at the forefront, decadent Italian niche with Laboratorio Olfattivo and Jovoy with their new creation based on the Mayfair store 21 Conduit St. Also including newness from loved names including St Giles, Parfums de Marly, Ruth Mastenbroek, Floris, Caron,Initio, Atelier Des Ors, Kierin NYC and Anima Vinci. We also bring you TWO GROOMING PRODUCTS! FISH Memory Fish Flexible Gel (50ml), and the divinely scented beard savour WELEDA Skin Food (10ml). Up, up and a-spray…!
Yes, we know we’re using the word ‘men’ here, but some chaps perhaps aren’t as advanced in their tastes, fragrance-sharing wise, and will balk at anything not specifically marketed as ‘masculine’ scents. However, here’s a way to ease them in to the modern world – with so many fabulous ‘shareable’ creations being launched, we’ve decided to put our favourites in one beautiful box, for EVERYONE to wear. Niche perfume houses rarely categorise their creations as ‘male’ or ‘female’ – and there’s plenty here with newness from Goldfield & Banks, Kingdom Scotland, BDK Parfums, Vines House Parfum and Rook Perfumes. We also showcase classics such as Goutal Paris Eau D’Hadrien and Eight & Bob Egypt, along with fabulous discoveries from Initio and Atelier des Ors, plus two ‘unisex’ body treats. We won’t be at all surprised if he decides he DOESN’T want to share with anyone else. So maybe treat yourself to one as well?
Mihan Aromatics are a true product of Australia – an up-and-coming perfume house from Down Under. Their luxury, all-natural scents capture the fascinating fragrance landscape of that vast country, created by uber-cool Melbourne couple Josh and Julia Mihan. (They’ve been likened to ‘the BYREDO of Australia…’) In this incredible line-up of gender-neutral fragrances, Josh and Jules combine native floral and spices – including Australian sandalwood, now being deployed by the fragrance industry as a sustainable alternative to Indian Santalum album. You can spray the ENTIRE COLLECTION in this divinely cool set, each one a very clear style; a lightness, a dreamy character, a mood. Try Mikado Bark, a mountainous arrangement of paper and unfamiliar books exude distinction and literary prowess. Or Petrichor Plains, conjuring up the drenching of earth and rock after a shower. Plus: a bonus ‘untitled’ fragrance, still in development, of which you get an exclusive sneak peek… HOW cool it that?!
For chaps unashamedly into decadent scents, you can do no better than choose this collection. Jovoy has a fascinating history as a Parisian house, its customers were a ‘Who’s Who?’ of the Roaring Twenties. Then scent exporter and expert in raw ingredients, FrançoisHénin, rediscovered and revived the fragrance house. So now we bring you this just-launched Discovery Set of FOURTEEN of Jovoy‘s fabulous, opulent fragrances. Created with master perfumers, it is bursting with OLFACTORY HERITAGE and beauty. From Ambre Premier, which layers unisex rose onto vanilla, musk and patchouli to La Liturgie des Heures, evoking the atmosphere of an old cathedral via incense, myrrh and labdanum – and with a dozen more to explore for yourself – each fragrance holds a place in time. Plus each set contains a 10% voucher redeemable against a full size Jovoy fragrance! Daring, decadent, divine: why not treat yourself or – someone close…?
We’ve man-y (sorry) many more fragrant sets with which to entice your senses, simply explore our shop for more ideas (and let us do the sending to save you going to the post office, if you prefer). No matter your budget or the man in your life’s tastes, we have Christmas, fragrantly covered…
Having excelled at a selective aptitude test during his chemistry studies in Zurich, Switzerland, Lorenzo hot-footed it to Grasse, undertaking professional perfumer-training studies in a particular technique of perfume composition taught at Compagnie d’Argeville.
Lorenzo then went on to create the Venetian Master Perfumer perfume house, confecting bespoke blends for a diverse group of private clients – from luxury hotels to notable estates, all hungry for the opulence and historic traditions he so effortlessly evokes.And now, with a full fragrance wardrobe of personal perfumes and fragranced products to offer, we are all able to dress ourselves in Venetian Master Perfumer fragrances, which are stunningly wearable in any era – they feel timeless yet contemporary somehow.
You can read all about the history of the house in our page dedicated to Lorenzo Dante Ferro – but for now, let’s delight in anticipation, as we take a look at some of the gorgeous (and so gift-worthy) items that caught our eyes (and noses!)
Firstly, and with practicality in mind, we love the brand new Soluzione 22 (RRP £18 for 110ml) – a beautifully perfumed hand santiser which Lorenzo Dante Ferro tell us ‘is used by doctors in Italy,’ and is ‘much more than just perfumed hand sanitiser, it is an “aromatherapy hand sanitiser” containing 22 ingredients with sanitising properties and 86% Alcohol.’ Highly protective AND gorgeously scented? We’re stocking up.
ARANCIA DI SICILIA – (SWEET ORANGES) The fresh and tangy sweetness of freshly squeezed Sicilian oranges. 100ml Fragrance Spray.
PINO SCOZZESE – (SCOTTISH PINE) The fresh and revitalising notes of lush forest vegetation. 250ml Cylinder Home Fragrance Diffuser with Reed sticks.
PAN PEPATO – (GINGERBREAD) Freshly baked gingerbread, a traditional and heart warming way to say ‘Welcome’. 100ml Fragrance Spray.
As for perfuming ourselves, we’re reaching for the so-pretty Fior di Panna Christmas gift set (RRP £99), comprising 50ml eau de parfum of Fior di Panna – a delicately powdery floral that evokes warm skin, tenderly kissed – with matching 110ml Home Fragrance Spray and a cute Heart Shaped Fragranced Soap.
‘We have a code we will like to share with you…’ they told us. Explaining that, (INCREDIBLY generously) ‘This will never expire.’ Never! So, they’re giving Perfume Society readers 20% off across the site, FOREVER! We may swoon with delight.
Fragrant gifts for fussy ‘hard to buy for’ relatives and friends are even trickier to navigate this year – with perfume testers not available, and more of us opting to shop from home than ever. Fear not! These fabulous fragrant sets ensure even the fussiest person will have loads to choose from…
Every family has one. An aunt whose lips curl disdainfully like Emu’s on receiving your carefully-chosen present, or a parent who helpfully says they have no idea what they want – ‘I don’t need anything, really…’ – but you know if you actually got them nothing, there’d be hell to pay for months to come.
Even if the person you’re buying for isn’t fussy, exactly, but just doesn’t feel confident about buying themselves a new scent; or perhaps you’re not sure where to start when suggesting something new: ready-curated sets are your scented saviours!
Basically, you’re spreading your bet – not putting all your eggs in one basket. Given as gifts, these look super thoughtful and deluxe, but are far more cost-effective than splurging all on one bottle. We can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t love these fragrance choices, frankly…
Ruth Mastenbroek Perfumer London Discovery Set: £27.50
Each scent from this collection – which was a sell-out on this site and has now been smartly re-packaged with lovely, high-quality 2ml sprays – is deeply inspired by Ruth’s memories and experiences. All of the fragrances are incredibly personal, crafted with great attention and care by this master perfumer and former president of The British Society of Perfumers. Here’s what you’ll enjoy…
Firedance (2ml) – a story of celebration… rejoicing in each moment of contentment in life. A modern interpretation of the classic rose perfume, with exotic leather and Damask rose, set against a warming backdrop of oudh and patchouli. Signature (2ml) – Inspired by the ‘scents of my life’s journey’, as Ruth describes it. Featuring an eclectic mix of bergamot, blackcurrant, pineapple and mandarin, with rose, lily and jasmine making up the heart, oakmoss and patchouli creating the sublime Chypre base. Oxford (2ml) – captures the essence of discovery – being exposed to things you have never come across before. Featuring an inspiring mix of bergamot, galbanum, basil and rosemary and jasmine, on a heady base of amber, vanilla, vetiver and oudh. Amorosa (2ml) – the inspiration for Amorosa is falling in love – and this fragrance opens with a stunning, fresh watermelon note surrounded by green leaves. A powerful woody-ambery accord brings strength and depth to the gorgeous white flowers at the heart of Amorosa. Dagian (2ml) – Dagian is the feeling of optimism that breaks at dawn, the exhilarating hope of a fresh start. As the sun rises, a breeze of lime and mint shimmers over notes of orange blossom and rum.
Sana Jardin Discovery Set: £30
Founder Amy Christiansen Si-Ahmed has created a stunning portfolio of perfumes that reflect her life-long love of fragrance – nurtured on travels through the Middle East with her inspirational grandmother. As she told The Perfume Society: ‘The scents I’d encountered on my travels over the years were enchanting to me: the pure and golden shimmer of orange blossom, the mystical, enveloping depth of sandalwood, the seduction of jasmine blooming at night. I felt I could never find that captured anywhere on a department store shelf.’ Created by renowned perfumer Carlos Benaïm, Amy’s collection – Sana Jardin – offers that and more, with sustainability (currently a ‘buzzword’ in perfumery) at the heart of everything they do.
Savage Jasmine Night-blooming jasmine, wrapped around intoxicating musk. Sandalwood Temple Moroccan neroli oil, enveloped it in Atlas cedarwood, Haitian vetiver, creamy vanilla and East Indian sandalwood. Tiger By Her Side Showcases Moroccan rose alongside Somalian incense and Indonesian patchouli. Berber Blonde Filled with the light of Sana Jardin’s signature orange blossom, alongside Moroccan neroli oil and musk. Celestial Patchouli Exotic aromas of patchouli, leather, cinnamon bark and Australian Sandalwood give way to the abundant warmth of rose, jasmine, osmanthus and Moroccan orris. Nubian Musk A sensuously inviting blend of musk and vanilla, rose, jasmine, Moroccan grapefruit flower, Haitian vetiver and Australian sandalwood. Revolution de la Fleur This is a sultry, sun-filled melody of Madagascan ylang ylang, Moroccan jasmine, frangipani, rose, vanilla and sandalwood. Jaipur Chant Heady & Seductive Tuberose. Indian tuberose, the goddess of flowers, blooms in the still of night.
Strangelove Discovery Set: £60
Built around a subtle base of precious oudh [also spelled ‘oud‘], carefully blended with other precious ingredients gathered from all over the world, this is a house that refuses to compromise on quality, and with the very best (meticulously, sustainably sourced) materials at their fingertips. Christophe Laudamiel, punk rock star of the scent world, has created all the fragrances – so read on to delve deeper into each beguiling scent (which are £105 for full-size bottles of 15ml eau de parfum)
deadofnight – empowers its devotees to take risks and dive into their desires. fallintostars – propels a mystical experience of boundless wonder, as lovers transcend time and space to journey into a parallel universe. lostinflowers – evokes the thrill of new love, capturing that electric moment of discovery when two destined wanderers finally collide: lost in time, lost in romance, lostinflowers. meltmyheart – inspires romance and indulgence for devoted lovers. silencethesea – captures the intimacy of the lover’s gaze: soundless, eternal, profound.
The Niche Collection V Discovery Box: £27 (or £23 for VIPs)
For those who are missing browsing, spraying and smelling, The NICHE COLLECTION V Discovery Box is one of our BIGGEST collections EVER, showcasing 19 NICHE FRAGRANCES (plus two divine ‘extras’). In this scent-packed line-up, first explore a box-within-a-box with the ENTIRE COLLECTION from Maison Matine – modern French perfumery we are besotted with. Then swoon over more niche from Trudon, Ostens, Moresque, Mihan Aromatics, Molton Brown and DSQUARED2. Plus, three luscious creations from Bentley The Beyond Collection, and one from each of the opulent Storie Veneziane by Valmont collections. Gift true fragrance exploration to someone you love – or simply get spraying to your heart’s content…
Bentley Beyond The Collection Mellow Heliotrope 1.8ml eau de parfum (£165 for 100ml) Bentley Beyond The Collection Radiant Osmanthus 1.8ml eau de parfum (£165 for 100ml) Bentley Beyond The Collection Vibrant Hibiscus1.8ml eau de parfum (£165 for 100ml) DSQUARED2 Green Wood 1ml eau de toilette (£44 for 30ml) DSQUARED2 Red Wood 1ml eau de toilette (£44 for 30ml) Maison Matine Avant l’Orage2ml eau de parfum (£55 for 50ml) Maison Matine Bain de Midi2ml eau de parfum (£55 for 50ml) Maison Matine Esprit de Contradiction2ml eau de parfum (£55 for 50ml) Maison Matine Hasard Bazar2ml eau de parfum (£55 for 50ml) Maison Matine Into The Wild2ml eau de parfum (£55 for 50ml) Maison Matine Warni Warni 2ml eau de parfum (£55 for 50ml) Mihan AromaticsGuilty Story3ml extrait de parfum(AUD $90 for 30ml) Molton Brown Juniper Jazz1.5mleau de toilette (£60 for 50ml) Moresque Lady Tubereuse2ml eau de parfum(€130 for 75ml) Ostens Cashmeran Velvet2ml eau de parfum(£105 for 50ml) Storie Veneziane by Valmont Collezione Privata Collection Lady Code 2ml eau de parfum (£230 for 100ml) Storie Veneziane by Valmont Palazzo Nobile Collection Casanova 2161 2ml eau de toilette (£136 for 100ml) Storie Veneziane by Valmont Verde Erba I 2ml extrait de parfum (£173 for 8.5ml) Trudon Elae2ml eau de parfum (£180 for 100ml)
The Niche Collection V Discovery Box also features these divinely fragranced luxury extras…
OLVERUM Bath Oil 15ml (£36.50 for 125ml) Weleda Pomegranate Firming Day Cream 7ml (£28.95 for 30ml)
If you’re still not sure what to get, may we humbly suggest this book? It’s perfect for perfume-lovers of any age and experience, and may help them choose with confidence for next year!
The Perfume Bible: £25 (VIP price £16.25)
Co-written by The Perfume Society‘s Founders, Jo Fairley and Lorna McKay, The Perfume Bible is must for every fragrance-lover (and a fabulous gift). It’s an encyclopaedia of all things fragrant – from how to build a perfume ‘wardrobe’ to a line-up of the 100 perfumes to try before you die.
You’ll discover the journey of ingredients from field to flacon, a run-down of the best perfume shops in the world, the history of scent, how to build a perfume ‘wardrobe’ and the all-important line-up of ‘100 Perfumes To Try Before You Die’ – 192 pages, in all…
Kingdom Scotland are launching a series of seasonal scent events online, and invite you to join the virtual party…
Party season is upon us once again, but of course this year the festivities will have to be somewhat different. But we’re not letting that stop us! Perhaps more important now than ever before, it’s a great time to connect – to reach out and join in rather than feeling secluded and lonely, or like you’re missing out. So with this in mind, the brilliant niche fragrance house Kingdom Scotland have a whole host of magically transportive fragrantly themed activities for you this month. And they describe a rather tantalising roll call:
The worlds of whisky and fragrance have much in common, founder of Kingdom Scotland, Imogen Russon-Taylor has always believed. And she should know: after a distinguished career in the aromatic world of Scotch whisky, Imogen went on to create her own fragrance house – the very first to be based north of the border. ‘Both whisky and perfume are produced by traditional distillation methods,’ she explains. Both evoke a complex sensory experience and both rely upon the innovative use of ingredients or flavours to distinguish themselves from competitors.’
Indeed, Kingdom Scotland excell at creating stunningly evocative moments in scent – using perfume to share old narratives in new ways, tapping into the rich stories associated with perfume and natural ingredients in Scotland. So sharing these online – at a time when many of us feel isolated by #lockdowns, Tier systems or otherwise – is particualarly pertinent.
For the fragrant festivities to be something everyine can join in, no matter where you are in the world, Kingdom Scotland have partnered with the luxury experience experts Beyond Curated and Scotland’s leading whisky-focused travel company, Maclean & Bruce.
Luxury fragrance gifts needn’t break the bank – Discovery Sets are the way forward! Stunningly presented, ordered at the click of a button, easy to wrap at home or have sent straight to the lucky recipient: these boxes are the perfect presents for perfume-lovers…
The joy of a luxury Discovery Set is the chance to indulge in the fragrances of ultra-luxe niche and designer houses, often giving your lucky gift recipient (or yourself, let’s face it) the opportunity to try the entire collection of a particular perfume house. Or, perhaps, allowing the luxury of sampling the scented wares from cult brands not everyone knows about yet.
Very few of us could go out and purchase full-size bottles of every brand we want to try – with these luxury gift sets, you can afford to wear every single one!
If you have someone who’s difficult to buy for, or you’re not quite sure exactly what kind of scents they like – gifting a whole range ensures they’ll fall immediately for at least one of the fragrances (and, in our experience, will come to love them all or enjoy sharing with a partner or friends).
To send to loved ones you can’t be with this year, or to treat yourself after a year of woe? Not going to lie, we shamelessly do the ‘one for you, one for me’ rule of Christmas shopping, and most especially this year. Think of the hours of bliss you’ll have! Trying all the fragrances for the first time, reading about the notes, the perfumers and history of the house (all the information you can find right here on this website, with our in-depth brand pages).
Luxury fragrance gifts are a fail-safe way of showing how much you care. Whichever of these you chose, they cannot fail to be utterly delighted…
Harvey Nichols boasts one of the best fragrance halls in the world, and in the last few years have tirelessly worked to bring in many more niche and exciting artisanal houses. We were thrilled to be asked again to curate a box of some of our favourites with them! Twelve luxury fragrances from six houses in this one, showcasing the hotly anticipated UK launch of Atelier Materi and Maison Crivelli, alongside classically adored fragrances from Creed, you can explore THREE fragrances from EACH of these beautiful perfume houses. We’ve added generous MINIATURES with just-launched Juliette Has A Gun Lipstick Fever (5ml) AND Maison Francis Kurkdjian L’Homme À La Rose (5ml)! And lest we forget, the pièce de resistance is Ramon Monegal Flamenco (10ml) swathed in a golden fabric pouch for an extra hit of luxe.
The Indulgence Discovery Box £36 (or £32 if you become a VIP!) Squeal-worthy miniature bottles & indulgence, bottled – for someone who deserves a treat.
Don’t you think you deserve to indulge in this gorgeous box of delights? It’s simply brimming with fragrant fabulousness, from the ENTIRE CARINE ROITFELD COLLECTION (former editor-in-chief of Paris Vogue, dontcha know, based on seven cities and seven imaginary lovers), to a trio of newness from Lalique, inspired by precious metals, we’re going crazy for. We’ve also included generous MINIATURES – inhale DEEP! – from our latest perfume house crush, Vines House Parfums Love Story (7.5ml), together with the so-modern beauty editor’s fave, Floral Street Chypre Sublime (10ml), the dinkiest darling bottle of the delightful Tocca Giulietta (5ml) and for some seasonal va-va-voom, the perfumista’s favourite: Versace Crystal Noir (5ml). PLUS new home fragrance from perfumer Ruth Mastenbroek, whose new candles we’re showcasing – you’ll receive either Ancient Frankincense OR Rebel County, and trust us, you won’t even WANT to leave the house…
AMOUAGEhave been drawing on the ancient, alchemistic traditions of perfume-making, creating perfumes that are loved all over the world for over 35 years. This is a luxury perfume house with its finger on the pulse-point of what modern men and women want, so we are delighted to introduce the truly magical SECRET GARDEN DISCOVERY SET featuringFOUR NICHE FRAGRANCES inspired by the floral haze of secret gardens. Spray away the darkness with a joyful leap in to Spring (oh, yes please!) with every spray from Blossom Love, Lilac Love, Love Mimosa and Love Tuberose – each fragrance crafted using the finest oils and essences sourced from around the world. Dare we say: it’sbetter than a real bouquet and therefore makes a truly WONDERFUL GIFT either for yourself, or someone special. If they like glorious gardens, gasp at flowers and adore floral fragrances – they’ll love you forever.
Taking their name from their motto: ‘Joyau, Unique and Sensoriel’ (a ‘unique sensory jewel’), this ultra-cool niche French house delight in doing things differently. Using vintage bottles in bold, neon colours, allowing their perfumers free-reign and with everything eco-conscious – the fragrances are just are vibrant, but oh so beautifully wearable. Appealing to artistic types who like to tread their own path, the scents are seductively unique (genuinely, we love ALL ELEVEN!) From the salted amber of Ambraser, coffee and oudh of Coffeeze, Cuirissime‘s leather, violet and iris; zesty ginger and absinthe in Gingerlise and darkly daring leathery floral of Noiressence. There’s the whole rose (petals, thorns, humid air) of Rosamonda, sensual rose oudh and vanilla in SexyCrush or powdery soft rose in Sopoudrage to explore. SpringPop is green shoots, fresh cut grass and sea air, while Superfusion‘s silvery musk shimmers intriguingly, and UltraHot crackles with sensual saffron and incense. Oh wow, it’s a fragrant journey alright – and we’re re-using our pots for makeup brushes and pens!
This one’s a Perfume Society EXCLUSIVE (so you can guarantee they wont have this!) Atelier des Ors Discovery Set is truly a majestic perfume house: think decadent scents for perfume-loving grown-ups, created from the best quality ingredients the world can offer. (And the full-size bottles are like snow globes for grown-ups, a-sparkle with flecks of real gold.) Atelier des Ors will fan the flames of your fragrant desires, as Jean-Phillipe Clermont, founder of Atelier des Ors, explains: ‘In every civilisation, gold symbolises the pursuit of perfection and the quest of absolute.’ Get spraying for yourself and explore FIVE NICHE fragrances in this divine set, which you won’t find anywhere else. Aube Rubis is crisp, woody, inspired by the dawn, while Lune Féline captures the brilliance of the night sky and the moon in the most creamy, dreamy vanilla. Musc Immortel sparkles with grapefruit, iris and clary sage and Nuda Veritas swathes the skin in an airy, fresh and pure floral creation. Rose Omeyyade, meanwhile, is a breath-takingly sensual rose and oudh perfume that will make you sigh. We’ve swooned, many times, over all of these…
Ostens Discovery Set £30 The créme de la créme of ingredients + the world’s top perfumers = a luxury niche house of refined elegance.
Friends and business partnersChristopher Yu and Laurent Delafon have been in the fragrance industry for over 20 years, founding United Perfumes (a prestigious fragrance distribution and development company) which afforded them unrivalled access to the finest ingredients and perfumers in the world, including extraordinary new extractions from LRM Naturals of ‘vetiver, rose, patchouli and more. We realised that if we loved those smells, then there were surely other people who’d feel the same way.’ Everyone in the fragrance world raves about these scents, and your recipient definitely will fall for…. Cashmeran Velvet cocooning with smoky woodiness, Cedarwood Heart grounding, while unexpectedly creamy and Jasmine Absolute – addictively heady, just-bloomed jasmine on a sultry day. Two patchoulis explore the note’s diversity: Patchouli Heart No.I a softer, warmer, and a more modern interpretation of the classic, while Patchouli Heart No.II is fresher, aromatic and timelessly elegant. And, oh! Rose Oil Isparta – A rose is a rose…or so we thought until we smelt the unique scent of the Rosa Damascena from Turkey. Love at first sniff…
Why not buy the same box for you and a best friend you’re missing terribly? That way, you can schedule a Zoom meeting, get the wine in and some snacks on the go, and have a live smell-along together!
Stocking fillers used to be novelty gifts, somewhat lacklustre confectionery goods and perhaps a satsuma – lovely to open as a child, of course, but now we’re finding adults are massively in to the nostalgia of exchanging Christmas stockings. And we require the fillers to be a little more… fabulous, let’s say.
Because let’s face it, the stocking presents were the highlight of Christmas – encapsulating the excitement of waking up and ripping off the wrapping paper with wild abandon. You may wish to rise at a rather more dignified hour, now, and perhaps begin the day with a cup of tea (or a long glass of Mimosa – well it is Christmas!)
But why not consider putting together a stocking stuffed with lovely little gifts to give a partner – or send a friend you can’t be with this year, and face time them as they open it?!
Here’s some mini sets and exciting fragrant finds we’d love to find in our stockings this year… Give them the whole box, break up a set to gift several friends (or keep some for yourself? We won’t tell…)
Banana Republic ICON Discovery Set£8 for four fragrances
This pocket-friendly set showcases four of the Banana Republic fragrances – scents that have fast gained a cult status among fragrance afficionados, who were wowed by their originality, longevity and and diversity. From sun-soaked orange blossom to smoky rose, a cashmere soft hug to vibrant forest-y freshness – you’ll definitely know someone who’d adore exploring these.
Sous Le Manteau Collection: £19 for five fragrances
Olivia Bransbourg discovered a 19th Century book of actual French love potions in a Parisian flea market. Fascinated by the centuries-old recipes and with the help of perfumer Nathalie Feisthauer, these potions were reincarnated into FIVE divine fragrances, in a dinky parcel that fits in the palm of your hand. You’ll be enraptured by honeyed sensuality, wrapped in a cloud, grounded in the moment, embraced by powdery kisses and tempted by feverish naughtiness…
Maison Matine Discovery Set£15 for six fragrances
This quirky French niche house urges everyone, no matter our ages, to be ‘a bit more daring every day.’ With free-spirited, immediately uplifting fragrances, each one has been created by emerging ‘noses’ and possesses its own unique charm. They believe – as we do – that perfume has the power to help you overthrow a bad morning and actively choose to change your day. Tropical odysseys, calming cocoons, zesty adventures and the whole world awaits!
Rook Perfumes Discovery Set£15 for three fragrances
Here’s a perfume house with infinite layers – rule-breaking and innovative as well as beautiful. Described as ‘a diplomat dressed as a punk rocker’, Rook was created by founder, Nadeem Crowe, as his signature scent, while Forest conjures damp earth, wet moss and cedar and Undergrowth exactly evokes ‘pulling fresh garden mint from the earth.’ Crowe happens to be an NHS frontline doctor AND actor (yes, really!) and uses the power of perfume to transport himself. Where, we wonder, will his creations transport you…?
L’Orchestre Parfum Mix Tape Vol.1£25 for six fragrances
A mix tape? It genuinely is – you simply scan the QR code to listen to tracks inspired by the fragrances (which are, in turn, inspired by musical instruments). And oh, the fragrances are stunning: carnal florals to soothing sandalwood; a fizz of electro-pop to the smoky rose throbbing with deep vibrations of a trombone. There’s something for everyone to fall for, here (particularly great for music lovers!) and we’re sure a number will strike a chord with you.
Experimental Perfume Club Discovery Set£25 for six fragrances
This fun set features fragrances to layer, explore and learn with – a brilliant gift for those wanting to become a perfumer, or hungry to explore their sense of smell. Each eau de parfum is either a TOP LAYER, MID LAYER or BASE LAYER. Wear alone, or mix them up – cards within each box offer inspirations to start to your scented experiments. Dive into the fun of discovering your own favourite combination – a unique fragrant blend that’s as close to bespoke as you can get!
Fragrant advent calendars (or at least, advent calendars featuring a number of scented offerings) are the way we’re going this year. Because goodness, it’s been quite a year, hasn’t it?
Although many of the beauty calendars sell out literally within hours, there are still some fabulously fragrant ones around. And whether you’re using the calendars as a countdown to the end (we hope!) of #lockdown2, or simply as a way of treating yourself a little every single day: you and/or someone you love but can’t be with, deserve one… or maybe, well, several!
Selfridges says: ‘The lead-up to Christmas is always an exciting time, but it becomes even more thrilling with this limited-edition advent calendar from Diptyque. A festive treat in hand-illustrated packaging by none other than Ugo Gattoni, it’s home to this year’s seasonal signatures – the Moonlit Fir candle and yuletide decorations – and a selection of the brand’s most coveted candles, fragrances, body creams and scrubs. Hint: dream for a spritz of Eau Capitale or Do Son and you might just get it.’
We say: Who wouldn’t just adore this bumper offering by Diptyque?! Yes, it’s spendy, but it’s exclusive to Selfridges and you know you’ll love everything. The Eau Capitale was one of our favourite launches of late – the first Chypre for the house, and oh so worth waiting for…
Harrods says: ‘Delight in the Christmas countdown – all while feeling your very best self – with the Harrods Beauty Advent Calendar for 2020. Bringing together some of the most popular skincare, make-up and fragrance products from our hallowed Beauty Halls, each day will unveil a new surprise, with a mix of full-sized and mini offerings worth over £700 in total.’
We say: Of course our eyes (and noses) went straight to the dinky 6ml of iconic Acqua di Parma Colonia, and the stunning Maison Francis Kurkdijan Baccarat Rouge 540 Mini Candle 35g; but oh goodness what a treasure trove of luxurious treats awaits you!
Molton Brown says: ‘Celebrate in style this year and count down to the joyful Christmas day with our sensational luxury advent calendar, filled with intriguing new fragrances, bathing classics and much more. Inspired by the liberating glamour of the Roaring Twenties, this elegant calendar shimmers with holographic foil to evoke a 1920s chandelier. With a striking new design, it’s secured by a hidden magnet and opens from the side to reveal your 24 stellar indulgences.’
We say: Wow, what a sophisticated selection of gifts, worth £259. The new Juniper Jazz, Geranium Nefertum and classic Black Pepper fragrances amidst a fragrant flurry of candles, body and bath oils and pampering treats, oh my! A perfect one to ‘share’ (or at least pretend to) with a partner, we feel…
Psst! Are you interested in WINNING this Molton Brown Advent Calendar for yourself? Keep your eyes peeled for our competion on Saturday…
L’OCCITANE Says: ‘Created in collaboration with UK illustrator Isla Simpson, this hand illustrated Advent Calendar is made from recycled cotton and reusable for years to come. Inspired by nature and the magic of Provence, each pocket unveils a luxury size product.’
We Say: Worth a whopping £230 we love the saving, but even more the fact you can re-use this and stuff with your own scented treats for years to come. The floral illustrations are simply goregous, and inside you’ll find the herbaceously fresh 5ml Herbae par L’OCCITANE Eau de Parfum.
Maybe make one for yourself and one for a best friend who you’re missing – you can compare smelling notes each day of December! Fragrantly counting down the days ’til freedom, or simply scenting each day, was never more needed…
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