Scented candles we’re coveting

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.

By Suzy Nightingale

Christmas gift ideas for men: fabulous, festive & fragrant…

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

 

Christmas gift ideas for men

The Super Man Discovery Box: £22 (or £18 for VIP club members!)

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…!

 

The Sharing Collection Discovery Box: £23 (or £19 for VIPs)

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 Discovery Set: £33

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?!

Jovoy Discovery Set: £30

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, François Hénin, 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

By Suzy Nightingale

Fragrant gifts for fussy people: they’ll ADORE these scented sets!

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’Orage 2ml eau de parfum (£55 for 50ml)
Maison Matine Bain de Midi 2ml eau de parfum (£55 for 50ml)
Maison Matine Esprit de Contradiction 2ml eau de parfum (£55 for 50ml)
Maison Matine Hasard Bazar 2ml eau de parfum (£55 for 50ml)
Maison Matine Into The Wild 2ml eau de parfum (£55 for 50ml)
Maison Matine Warni Warni 2ml eau de parfum (£55 for 50ml)
Mihan Aromatics Guilty Story 3ml extrait de parfum(AUD $90 for 30ml)
Molton Brown Juniper Jazz 1.5ml eau de toilette (£60 for 50ml)
Moresque Lady Tubereuse 2ml eau de parfum (€130 for 75ml)
Ostens Cashmeran Velvet 2ml 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 Elae 2ml 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…

By Suzy Nightingale

Kingdom Scotland launch seasonal scent events online

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:

‘…perfumed journeys, whisky, gin & Champagne tastings, daring magic, Scottish pipers, Kilt & Sword dressing, historical storytelling and a diamond masterclass!’

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.

To find out more and book your place, simply email [email protected]

By Suzy Nightingale

Luxury fragrance gifts to indulge with this Christmas – at pocket-friendly prices!

Luxury fragrance gifts needn’t break the bankDiscovery 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 & The Perfume Society Discovery Box £45
Your personal perfume shopping experince – without having to leave your sofa!

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…

 

Amouage Secret Garden Discovery Set £35
Say ‘I love you’ to a floral-lover, with a truly beautiful gift from one of the world’s top luxury fragrance houses…

AMOUAGE have 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 featuring FOUR 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’s better 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.

 

La Maison J.U.S Discovery Set £30
Stylish, cool and so-unique: THE gift for artistic, eco-conscious fashion-lovers in your life!

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!

 

Atelier des Ors Discovery Set £25
All that glimmers IS gold with this oppulent olfactory gift, exploring ‘haute parfumerie with poetry…’

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 partners Christopher 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!

By Suzy Nightingale

 

 

Stocking fillers – mini scented sets!

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!

By Suzy Nightingale

Fragrant advent calendars – #lockdown countdown, or daily treats ‘just because’!

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!

 

 

Diptyque Limited-edition Advent Calendar £320

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 of London Beauty Advent Calendar £250

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 2020 Luxury Advent Calendar £120

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 Hand Illustrated Reusable Advent Calendar £160 (web exclusive)

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.

If you prefer to make your own calendars, why not fill some days with fragrant frivolity by adding minis and samples from our own Perfume Society Discovery Boxes, or the luxurious niche Brand Sets we have in store?

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…

By Suzy Nightingale

 

Scenting The (Snow) Globe: Olfiction perfumer creates the smell of Christmas

Get your snow shoes on and experience a fabulously scented, festive performance, as the world famous Globe Theatre is transformed into ‘The (Snow) Globe’ with fragrant help from Olfiction and perfumer, Pia Long

Pia is the co-founder of Olfiction – a UK-based fragrance consultancy that work with suppliers, contract manufacturers, brands, retailers and fragrance industry organisations. As well as creating fragrances and scented products, and aiding existing fragrance houses to shape and better define themselves in the marketplace, Olfiction can also help evoke specific moods (or seasons) by scenting spaces – and this one couldn’t be more festively fragrant!

Olfiction says: This Christmas, world renowned performing arts venue, cultural attraction and education centre Shakespeare’s Globe will show Christmas at the (Snow) Globe. As part of their dedication to making performance accessible, the production will have an audio described performance with a set touch tour for visually impaired visitors. To enhance this aspect of the production, Shakespeare’s Globe commissioned Olfiction to create fragrances which evoke all of the sensations and scents of Christmas.

The team at Olfiction created accords of Snow, Christmas Tree, and Pomanders as well as a finished fragrance which combines all of these elements.

Talking about the experience, Olfiction Perfumer, Pia Long, said: ‘A Finnish person being asked to make the smell of a Nordic Christmas? Absolutely!

The challenge of doing things that are very well known by people is harder than it seems, because if you don’t get it right, it is as though you have ruined something that is personally important to them. It’s a fun challenge to make something that if you give the scent to someone, they will smell it and say ‘that’s Christmas!’.

I particularly enjoyed making snow because it is so abstract, more like a sensation than a smell – and it’s not until you think about it that you realise there is a smell. I’ve always felt that some aldehydes smelled like snow. That was the most fun to do as a perfumer – it’s something that you know and you don’t, because it isn’t as though there is a snow essential oil!’

Snow Globe

A sensation of cold crisp air and frozen earth.
‘As though you are walking into a snowy landscape and take a big lungful of snowy air, it’s got the snow but also the frozen ground under the snow. I wanted you to sense that there are trees in the background. It’s very much a Nordic landscape on a crisp winter morning when it’s well below zero.
Notes: Aldehydes, Juniper, Cyclamen, Black Pepper, Cold Effects

Yule Tree

A picture-perfect Christmas tree.
‘I wanted to do a spruce as it’s growing, ready to be your Christmas tree – so here are the fresh young shoots as well as the smell of the Christmas tree when you bring it into your house for Christmas. So, it’s Nordic spruce, not a typical pine – the smell is more delicate and leafy, there’s almost a fruitiness to it and it’s absolutely the smell of Christmas for me. It’s not Christmas until you have the real live tree in the house. The tradition was that you would go and physically fetch your tree on Christmas Eve, and you’d go to cut it down from the forest as a family.’
Notes: Fir Balsam abs, Cypress, Elemi, Labdanum, Amber, Oakmoss, Pine

Pomander

A traditional orange pomander dotted in spices.
‘For this accord, I wanted to capture an orange pomander with cloves, but I’ve also thought of the Christmas stockings stuffed with clementines and gingerbread – the whole idea is combining citrus and spices. There’s a bit of floralcy in this as well – I added carnations and orange blossom – to make it a bit more sophisticated.’
Notes: Cinnamon, Clove, Nutmeg, Orange, Orange Flower, Clementine, Mandarin, Carnation, Patchouli, Amber

Danish Christmas

This fragrance captures all of the sensations of the individual accords, in a wearable perfume that can be used by the actors and ushers as well as to scent the decorations and space.

‘I wanted to take slices of each of the accords. Up top you’ve got the aldehydes from Snow Globe, and the spice and citrus from Pomander. From the Yule Tree, I’ve taken the resins and balsams and the ambery side, with some of the woodiness, so the complete fragrance is this warming and cosy Christmas hug. I’ve added a slight gingerbread note in there as well, to evoke the feeling of baking Christmas treats and festive cosiness.’
Notes: Aldehydes, Orange, Clementine, Mandarin, Jasmine Absolute, Cedarwood Atlas, Carnation, Cinnamon, Orange Flower Absolute, Clove, Nutmeg, Benzoin, Incense, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Fir Balsam, Labdanum, Oakmoss

 

 

About the Show:

‘The Globe Theatre stands empty, the stage bare, the Christmas tree undecorated and we need your help.

Someone has stolen the magic of Christmas from Snowdrop, the fairy who stands watch over our wooden ‘O’ during the winter months. Comedian Sandi Toksvig and her merry gang need your help to find it and bring it back to the Globe.

Sing along to classic Christmas songs with the tremendous Fourth Choir, prepare to make paper chains to decorate the theatre and get ready to harness your belief in the spirit of the season to help restore some festive cheer.

This is a show for the entire family so tell everyone you know to put on their favourite Christmas jumpers and join us for the most heart-warming of gatherings.

Help us spread the cheer further. In the spirit of storytelling and gift giving, we’re inviting audiences to bring along a brand-new children’s book as a present to put under the Christmas at the (Snow) Globe tree, which we’ll donate to local charities that support children and young people.

Created and directed by Sandi Toksvig and Jenifer Toksvig, Christmas at the (Snow) Globe will have integrated BSL for every performance.

There will be captioned performances on Sunday 22 December at 2.00PM and 6.00PM, and the audio described performance will be on Saturday 21 December at 2.00PM, with a touch and scent tour on the stage at 12 noon.

Last Orders for Xmas 2019: this Thursday!

If you’re in a festive flap over those last-minute gifts, we will gently remind you that our last day for ordering before Christmas is this Thursday, 19th December 2019. But flap no further, as we have all your gifts sorted in a fuss-free (and fabulously fragrant!) way…

We’ve made ordering online a complete breeze, with a number of handy gift guides suitable for every age, fragrant taste and budget. Have a browse through some of them now, and get your gift list checked off at the click of a button!

How to buy fragrance at Christmas
Let’s start at the very beginning (as the song goes) – because trying to work out exactly what will suit whom best can be a bit of a headache, we know. That’s why we’ve done all the leg-work for you and curated selections of scents with particular types of people in mind, and perhaps with a little something to tempt you, too. One to point bewildered relatives at when they demand to know what you want!

When you just can’t decide which scent someone would love: Luxury Gift Boxes
If you know your loved one adores fine fragrances, and always likes trying something new, have a look at this list of ultra-luxe boxes you can buy at surprisingly affordable prices. There’s genuinely something to suit everyone here – masculine, feminine and gender-neutra – the ideal way to discover a new house, with lavish perfume gift sets from only £14! The Perfume Society’s beautiful selection of single-house perfume boxes really come into their own when you need exquisite curations, with scents to match every mood and personality. Here are some of our favourites…

Looking for that perfect fragrance gift..? Then look no further than the truly decadent and globally adored AMOUAGE. Delve into this collection of TWELVE women’s fragrances for £50 (P&P*). A perfumista’s dream…

And for every female fragrance Amouage creates, happily you will find there is a male counterpart. For £50 (+P&P*) it’s the perfect fragrance gift for Men with TWELVE AMOUAGE Men’s fragrances. There won’t be any disappointed faces (or knowingly unscented necks) this Christmas!

A fabulous gift from this ethical and unisex scent name, with EIGHT FRAGRANCES to fall in love with, you will simply swoon at the sunshine-filled scents of Sana Jardin. Just £30 (+P&P*)

A powerhouse of a brand and the original olfactory innovators, this is a great Escentric Molecules Discovery Set to explore for men and women. With EIGHT FRAGRANCES, it’s hard to pick just one favourite. Just £25 (+P&P*)

For that guy who’s always hard to buy for…
Be they a loved one related to you by blood, or a life-partner whose answer to ‘what would you like this Christmas?’ is usually ‘Oh you, know… anything will do’ (at which point you could happily draw blood!); we’ve already had the most fabulous feedback to our Mr. Scentastic Discovery Box. Whether you are planning cliff-top walks, a trip away, cosy nights in or some dress-to-impress evenings, there’s a fragrance for every occasion in this collection. From a 6ml MUGLER ALIEN MAN as well as a very generous  30ml DEAR BARBER WITH CONFIDENCE fragrance, we’ve also added incredible niche fragrances from perfume houses such as Maison Francis Kurkdjian, Prosody, Hugo Boss, BulgariLalique and more. All these, and two grooming extras, for £19 (or £15 for V.I.Ps) (+P&P*)

So what are you waiting for? There’s a whole world of fragrant adventures to switch people’s noses on to – we know many people who have ordered several as gifts and then come back to order another for themslves (including one chap who emailed us to say he’d got NINE of the Mr. Scentastic boxes for his friends, and then orederd two for himself to keep!)

*All orders are £3 for postage and packing.

Scented christmas trees & more from Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Maison Francis Kurkdjian has pulled out all the stops this season, offering new and exciting ways to scent your home (and yourself!) From fragrant Christmas trees, scented caligraphy cards and the most goregous candle, there’s also excellent news for fans of a certain best-selling fragrance who’d believe in going big or going home…

There’s no doubt that perfumer Francis Kurkdjian is one of the most stylish people we know. From the exquisite fine fragrances and accessories that have made him world famous, to his personal flair when designing the so-chic boutiques and decorating his own (of course ultra fabulous) Parisian apartment. Borrowing a little of that effortless élan for some French contemporary style, Maison Francis Kurkdjian invite you to come inside and ‘…plunge into a unique universe where the art and pleasure of giving become one. Fragrances and candles wait patiently by the Christmas tree, the theme chosen by Francis Kurkdjian, as the quiet and elegantly dressed witnesses of the season’s celebrations.’

‘O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree, how lovely is thy fragrance…’

Mon beau Sapin, the iconic holiday candle by Maison Francis Kurkdjian, now comes in a dark green colour adorned with a fir bough decorated in white and gold. Its generous, characteristic smell of a balsam fir, slightly resinous, slowly guides us towards a reassuring forest. This candle, with its specific wintery enveloping fragrance brings the finishing touch to the joyful holiday mood and memories past.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Mon Beau Sapin Candle £55 for 190 g, at Selfridges new MFK counter

 

If you’re one of the many (many!) fragrant fans of the iconic Baccarat Rouge 540 extrait de parfum, or you know someone who is, get ready to squeal quite a lot. A whopping great supersize-me version of the fragrance has been created especially for Christmas, standing proud at 200ml, and definitely subscribing to the belief that bigger is better.

‘Baccarat Rouge 540 was born of the encounter five years ago between Baccarat and Maison Francis Kurkdjian, two luxury houses with a shared passion for know-how. Baccarat Rouge 540 tells the story of how gold is magically transformed into red, a process whose secret is known only by Baccarat. Blended with 24-karat gold dust and gradually fused until it reaches precisely 540 degrees, Baccarat’s transparent crystal slowly dons a dazzling red hue.’

This fragrance has been a world-wide best-seller for a reason: it smells incredible – we know exactly where a certain member of The Perfume Society team has been because she trails this everywhere she goes. It’s available as an eau de parfum in the clear crystal bottle and as an extrait de parfum in a deep, ruby red bottle; and if this is a present for someone you love, it’s certainly not only Santa that’s getting snogged under the mistletoe this year!

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540 extrait de parfum £590 for 200ml at Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, John Lewis, Les Senteurs, Harrods & franciskurkdjian.com

Thursday to Sunday there will be caligraphy on specially scented Christmas cards at the new Maison Francis Kurkdjian Selfridges counter. And they are also offering a mini Mon Beau Sapin candle as a free gift with purchase. (We absolutely will not judge you if you decide to keep this for yourself. The person you’re buying the gift for will never know, right? Right. And we’ll be doing the same, so…)

Finally, if you needed another reason to pop across to France (with the car, we think, for this one…) before Christmas, then look no further than the wonder that is a scented Maison Francis Kurkdjian Christmas tree! Sadly these are not available in the U.K. this year, but those seeking the ultimate in festive fragrance can delight in them at the following stores:

Perfumed and fireproofed Nordmann Tree, 100/120 cm:
Green natural tree from 145 euros*
Flocked tree with natural dusting from 185 euros*
Flocked integral white tree from 205 euros*
*(Suggested retail price excluding delivery)

Order from Parisian shops Maison Francis Kurkdjian:
Boutique Saint Honoré – 5 rue d’Alger, Paris 1er – +33 1 42 60 07 07
Boutique Marais – 7 rue des Blancs-Manteaux, Paris 4ème – +33 1 42 71 76 76

The mere descriptions, let alone gawping at these pictures, makes us feel instantly more stylish; and we find that theme of the Holiday tree on all accompanying boxes, gift sets, tissue paper and bags – illustrations and images drawn by Kurkdjian himself and created by his design team. So if you’re searching for that perfect present for someone special, hankering after treating yourself for a change, or heavily hinting to loved ones (we find choosing the Print Screen option and circling the ones you want in red while mouthing ‘THOSE PLEASE’ works really well); you’ll find that ‘…everything at Maison Francis Kurkdjian comes together to create a wintry harmony where an eye for detail lies at the heart of the creative process.’ Naturellement!

By Suzy Nightingale