Bring on the Winter Zing: Getting Fresh With Neroli

Okay, yes. We tend to associate citrus fragrances more usually with warmer weather – where juicy lemon, lime, orange and even the more unusual yuzu are used for their refreshing, thirst-quenching appeal. However, holy moly, we need brightness more in these earlier months of the year than at any other.

So, what else can we look for when summer-y Colognes just feel wrong, but we CRAVE freshness nonetheless? Well, we would be well advised to lean into scents that put us in mind of the sunshine one gets on the very best of winter days. The kind of light that sparkles on frosty leaves, adds glitter to even the greyest pavement, and brings a feeling of almost childlike joy (despite the bitter weather!) An ingredient we would urge you to look for to recreate such sunshine-and-ice-kissed moments is neroli.

 

 

It’s truly one of THE most prized perfumery ingredients for gifting a uniquely floral freshness and zing to a fragrance’s formula. But where does this magical note come from, and how does it differ from other fresher notes?

The bitter orange tree – Citrus aurantium var. amara – is one of the wonders of the fragrant world. (You might better know it as the Seville orange tree and associate it with marmalade.) The leaves and twigs give us petitgrain, while the cold-pressed peel of the fruit gives us bigarade. But it’s the olfactory orgy of white neroli blossoms which get ‘noses’ (and fragrance lovers) really excited: airy, citrusy, green, but with whispers of honey and orange bubbling subtly underneath; it’s like taking scented  stealth vitamins that seep into your consciousness and make everything a bit better; or a short break to warmer climes in order to recharge your soul. In bottles, how much handier (and less ruinous) to access for instantaneous uplift, though.

 

Neroli is extracted by steam distillation of freshly-picked flowers, a process which much smell akin to perfume heaven, while the name ‘neroli’ comes from a small Italian town near Rome, and a princess who lived there. Anne Marie Orsini (aka Anna Maria de la Tremoille, and originally French, though basically adopted as Italian because that’s how it rolls when you’re noble and rich ), fell in love with the scent of neroli, which fragranced the air in spring. Can hardly blame her, really, because it’s surely one of the most universally pleasing smells in the world, and oh lord (or Princess) – how we are craving springtime right now!

Ah well. Until the opaque tights can be safely ditched, and until the actual change of season; might we suggest you make like Anne Marie, and similarly seek out these neroli-centric scents for some added joy and sparkle in fragrant form…?

 

 

 

 

Mizensir White Neroli £185 for 100ml eau de parfum

Radiating the gasp-making mood-shift of dawn’s first ray of light touching the ground, neroli gently shakes the senses awake, scattering pearlescent dew drops of hedione among the fluff of white musk and spiritual drifts of frankincense.

 

 

 

 

Granado Limāo & Néroli £52 for 100ml eau de Cologne

Encompassing the entire bitter orange tree’s gifts to perfumery, the neroli adds clarity and pale sunshine slicing through clouds, petitgrain brings leafiness, invigoratingly bracing lemon and the more herbaceous lime a tonic for the soul.

 

 

Edeniste Neroli Sensuel £68 for 30ml eau de parfum

Expressing the tender nature of neroli, the white petals are wrapped around the more biting wakeup call of petitgrain, harmonising perfectly with juicy pear and luminous peach (still sun-warmed it feels) for a fresh caress at any time.

 

 

 

 

 

Acqua di Parma Colonia Intensa £104 for 50ml eau de Cologne

The classic gets sultrified, the freshness of neroli and iconic Calabrian bergamot charismatically sizzled up with slices of ginger, atop a supple leather, cedar and patchouli-snuggled base. Marvellously smile-inducing, even on Very Trying Days.

 

 

 

Maison Crivelli Neroli Nasimba £85 for 30ml eau de parfum

The neroli smoulders unusually amidst oodles of orange blossom and luminous mandarin contrasted with the cool spice of cardamom and deep, animalic purr of Saffiano leather. Like discovering your pockets are lined with soft yellow velvet.

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

 

Get Fresh! Soul-reviving scents we need now

In these longest, greyest months of the year we’re craving ultra-fresh zings of brightness to shake off the cobwebs and get us going, how about you? Here’s an edit of some super-reviving scents that put the pep in your step, a smile on your face, and can instantly make you feel more energised!

 

edeniste Energy Lifeboost® £68 for 30ml eau de parfum

Absolutely essential at this time of year (or whenever you need a pick-me-up) – a mood-boosting blend og citrus notes really feel ‘…As bright and empowering as a tall dewy glass of freshly squeezed juice.’ Get up and glow.

 

 

Molton Brown Wild Mint & Lavandin eau de toilette£85 for 100ml

The EDT revives flagging spirits via wild mint, the vivid verdancy of freshly torn basil leaves grounded by a caress of orris, silky sandalwood and rounded by tonka bean.

 

 

Sisley Eau de Campagne £84 for 50ml eau de toilette

Evoking the aqueous juiciness of the tomato and carrot atop luscious fruits and a silvery drift of incense amidst grassy herbs, Jean-Claude Ellena’s genius use of tomato leaf is freshening as ever in this timeless masterpiece.

 

 

 

Lancôme Ô De Lancôme £41 for 75ml eau de toilette

A sparkling icon since 1969, spritz a whoosh of effervescent exhilaration, the clean floral notes of jasmine, honeysuckle and lily of the valley radiating against a backdrop of herbaceously bracing breath of fresh air.

 

 

ACQUA_DI_PARMA_COLONIA_FUTURA.

 

 

ACQUA DI PARMA Colonia Futura £92 for 50ml eau de Cologne

A head-clearing herbaceous fusion of lavender, clary sage and vetiver, with sunlit shafts of grapefruit, bergamot, pink pepper and lemon. This feels like you’ve been on holiday, even on a blustery, drizzly walk in the park!
 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Fragrances For… Feeling Warmer

Seemingly endless grey days of rain and chilliness call for a snuggle of warming fragrances, so we are currently hunkering down with soul-hugging spices and mood-shifting citrus-burst scents that have the power to uplift and slice through ‘meh’ like a hot knife through butter.

Come on, let’s buck-up via these tempting, tingle-laden perfumes…

 

 

 

VYRAO Sun Rae

Seasonally sad? Console yourself with this gloriously uplifting scent – infused with ‘a supercharged Herkimer diamond crystal for clarity and to boost energy levels’, the brilliant Lyn Harris creates her own magic from a ZING! POP! FIZZ! of citrus explosions that feel like you’re being beamed above the clouds with every spritz. Turmeric and black pepper add layers of welcome warmth while bergamot, lemon, and aqueous ginger sparkle like bottled sunshine throughout.

£135 for eau de parfum libertylondon.com

 

Try the first fragrances in VYRAO’s collection in travel-size form via their High Five Discovery Set

 

 

Parfums de Marly Althaïr

Eau. My. God. Vanilla lovers, you are going to NEED to get this on your skin. Vanilla naysayers? You’re going to need to try it, too. Swoony Bourbon vanilla (deliciously dark, decadently delicious) will be to blame for your new addiction, generously swirled through tobacco smoke rings, which seduces orange blossoms to embrace praline, convinces sparkling citrus to kiss sizzling spices and swathes guaiac wood in butter-soft leather. Go on, we dare you to succumb.

£230 for 125ml eau de parfum selfridges.com

(PSST! Try a sample of Althaïr in the Fabulous Fragrances Discovery Box – 14 x samples £19 for VIPS / £23 RRP)

 

 

Abercrombie & Fitch Authentic Self Woman

Brilliant in every sense, the vibrant yellow bottle hints at the explosion of freshness within – a zesty wake-up call at a time when spirits may well be flagging, wonderfully enlivened with this welcomingly vivacious gem. Lemon peel, sharp gooseberry and luscious pear get the nose a-tingle before a beautiful bouquet of freesia, jasmine and lily of the valley are mellowed by the woody musk of the base. And look at the price!

£39 for 50ml eau de parfum thefragranceshop.co.uk

 

 

AKRO East

Inspired by his frequent travels across the Middle East, perfumer, and co-founder (with his daughter, Anais) Olivier Cresp here explores the love affair with oudh – a note he skilfully coaxes to still surprise. Paired with raspberry, the sharpness slices through the smoky-spiced woodiness, and one can imagine it placed on a burning coal, the sootiness and succulence a marriage made in scented heaven, the fruitiness contrasting yet utterly complimenting the smouldering depths. Quite magnificent.

£220 for 100ml eau de parfum harrods.com

 

 

 

PACO RABANNE Invictus Victory Elixir Parfum Intense

When you need a fragrance that keeps going and powers you forward through any obstacle, this is the one to reach for when spirits are flagging. As Paco Rabanne says, it’s ‘A potent elixir made to push victory beyond limits. The time has come to embrace your moment of immortality.’ A thrust of freshness up top from Provençal lavandin provides aromatic, almost peppery pungency with bursts of green cardamom and mysterious, vanilla-swirled woods as it warms.

£71 for 50ml parfum boots.com

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Getting Juicy for July – covetable citrus scents

Long-lasting, juicy citrus scents are the order of the month, we feel – yes, of course when it’s sunny they feel so appropriate, but even when the weather’s not playing ball it’s time to let those citrus scents sparkle! Wearing juicy-smelling citrus scents brings the feeling of sunshine in a fragrance, no matter the weather.

That’s why we’re declaring July a month long olfactory opportunity to gather your most-beloved citrus scents and – or even better, try some new juicy numbers – because NOW is the time to allow them to shine…

 

 

 

 

LABORATORIO OLFATTIVO Pompelmo

Master of understated simplicity, Jean-Claude Ellena taps into his Italian background here, where – as he explains – ‘several beverages celebrate bitterness.’ Front and centre is grapefruit, considered in Asia to be a sacred fruit which was offered to the gods; Jean-Claude worked on the fruit’s ‘lively and sour freshness’, while stressing its bitter scent.’ Pink pepper, resinous lentisque, patchouli, white musk and vetiver feature in the olfactive chorus line of this fresh, shareable masterpiece.

£90 for 100ml parfum Cologne

libertylondon.com

 

 

ROBERT PIGUET Cravache

Originally launched in 1963, we celebrate the revivification of Piguet’s classics, now under the guardianship of genius nose, Aurelian Guichard. Here, the citrus zing has the sparkle turned up to eleven, with quenching mandarin, bitter orange and bright petitgrain zesting up even the dullest of days. Granted the addition of jasmine, orris, sage and saffron, the clarity of the composition remains, even in the snuggle of tree moss-lined woodiness as it warms.

£205 for 100ml eau de parfum

harrods.com

 

 

 

MAISON FRANCIS KURKDJIAN Aqua Media Forte

Francis Kurkdjian’s Aqua Cologne Forte collection is suffused with light and freshness, its philosophy seeking to help us cultivate ‘a healthy mind in a healthy body’. Thus, we welcome Media Forte, ‘the embodiment of balance and harmony’, a deceptively simple construction that is tangibly fresh and citrus bright, showcasing Italian bergamot, radiant hedione and aromatic sweet fennel, grounded in a green moss facet, patchouli and woody musks. Spray, breathe, chill.

£175 for 70ml Cologne forte

johnlewis.com

 

 

ACQUA DI PARMA Arancia La Spugnatura

In time for summer lunches, vacations and outdoor living (everything crossed), this grab-it-while-you-can limited edition has a fascinating back-story, as well as a sublimely zesty scent. ‘La Spugnatura’ is an ancient and rare technique for extracting aromatic notes from citrus skin – usually limes – but here, AdP switched to Arancia Vaniglia, from ‘the city of Oranges’, Ribera, in Sicily. In a nod to the orange’s name, soft vanilla is added – and it’s so, so moreish.

From £141.30or 100ml eau de parfum

escentual.com

 

 

FRAGRANCE DU BOIS AM

Full of tenderness, this scent tiptoes to the window and throws it open to greet the dawn. Cool air circulates softly, tendrils of woodiness weaving through an intriguingly dry damask rose. Italian orange, aromatic thyme and leathery saffron are drizzled with a vintage patchouli and a touch of tropical vanilla sweetness. A collab between Internet sensation Producer Michael and the sustainable luxury fragrance brand, it sure gets a day off to a fabulous start.

£325 for 100ml extrait de parfum

fragrancedubois.com

 

Looking for even more juice? Get the squeeze on citrus scents (and know your lemon from your citron) in our fragrant ingredients guide

 

Meanwhile, if you’re seeking bottled sunshine and an instant holiday hit (or are actually travelling somewhere lovely for a break, and need to discover your next fragrant fling (maybe even a lifelong romance!) head to our brilliant Find a Fragrance page – have six new scents suggested, tailored to your exact tastes.

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Last chance for sunshine with 20% off our Seasonal Scents Summer Box!

To put it, well, mildly, it’s been a peculiar summer – so we’re bringing you a way to capture those last rays of sunshine with 20% off our Seasonal Scents Summer Box!

Because we all deserve some extra sunshine in our lives, we curated this box to be filled with fragrances that feel like wearing liquid light – luminescent, mood-lifting, spirit-reviving scents that instantly bring a smile to your face from the first spritz.

To grab one of the few remaining Seasonal Scent Summer Boxes with that amazing 20% saving, simply use this code when prompted on checking out: SUMMER20 

Terms & Conditions – Code cannot be used in conjunction with any other code or used on sale products. Active from 15.09.21 12.00pm – 20.09.21 12.00am. Applicable on the Quarterly and Annual subscription, 20% off only applies to Summer Box when purchasing a Quarterly subscription.

 

 

Our Seasonal Scent Boxes have proved incredibly popular, and no wonder with the past 18 months or so we’ve all experienced. They’ve been put together to answer the many queries we get, asking which fragrances are best to wear for particular times of year. As summer-ish weather now seems to stretch anywhere from Easter to late September in the U.K. we felt it only right to prolong the pleasure by giving you this last chance to get your hands (and nose!) on these scent-filled boxes of joy!

Within each Seasonal Scents Box you will find…

Seasonal Fragrances  –  EIGHT fragrances from 2ml – 7ml, these will be kept secret until they arrive at your door, we just love the element of surprise!

Online Smelling Notes – accessible via a QR code within your box, guiding you through the fragrances and how to start smelling.

Unboxing Video –  also via the QR code, for every box our Senior Fragrance Writer Suzy Nightingale will guide you when opening your new box.

Hints, Tips and Quizzes – to ensure you get the most out of your fragrances and have fun!

 

Don’t delay and miss out on your last chance to capture the sunshine! A gift for a friend or family member you’ve not been able to catch up with this summer? A gift to self because you bloomin’ well deserve it, maybe? Whatever the occasion, these radiant fragrances will bring you happy summer memories for months to come…

Don’t sweat it – how to wear fragrance in hot weather

In hot weather, you may find some fragrances seems ‘stronger’ or more overpowering, or that your perfume simply ‘disappears’ on your skin when the temperatures soar. How can you help your scent survive the heat…?

Personally, at The Perfume Society,  we enjoy switching to brighter, airier perfumes for the warmer months, because fragrance can almost feel textural. So, just as we’ve long since cast off our opaque tights and cardis, so too do we crave something that feels sheer, gauzy and less stuffy.

Often you’ll find brands offer lighter versions of bestselling scents, for the summer. Of course some people still enjoy wearing the heavier more full-bodied, comforting, almost ‘cocooning’ scents throughout the year – but again, this is individual and depends on how you want a fragrance to make you feel. Whatever style you reach for, there’s no doubt hot heather can make a scent behave differently on your skin. So, why is this and how can you prevent a favourite from disappearing so quickly?

 

 

Hot Weather Perfume Problem #1 – Your scent doesn’t last as long

The weather can dramatically alter how long a scent lasts, and even how it smells on your skin. Skin and climate temperature are vital to a perfume’s performance, so even your favourite fragrance will smell different based on the time of year. When perfumers test the scents they’re creating they often use climate-controlled booths to check how they smell in hot and colder conditions (depending what countries they’ll be selling in). Though we tend to reach for brighter, citrus fresh scents in summer, these molecules are lighter, so can evaporate even more rapidly in high temperatures.

Solution:

– Try using a body oil, rich body balm or moisturising lotion before you put any fragrance on (and even afterwards, too), as scent takes longer to evaporate on nourished skin. This helps the fragrance ‘cling’ to your skin more easily, and so you get to actually smell if for more than a few minutes without frantically re-spraying.

– Spray pulse-points you might not usually think of. Behind your knees is a good example – it’s a warm spot that, once spritzed, will mean you leave a fragrant trail…

– Spritz the perfume at the nape of your neck, even into your hair and on clothes – BUT do check by spraying a tissue first that it isn’t going to mark your hair or fabric a strange colour, or leave an oily residue! We adore this way of wearing perfume, as hair and fabric are porous without heating up as much as your skin, allowing the perfume to stay all day.

 

 

Hot Weather Perfume Problem #2 – Your favourite fragrances now smell too ‘heavy’

Layering fragrances used to be seen as a scent sin, but we’ve all gotten over ourselves a bit (well most of us have). You don’t have to do this to a perfume you already love on its own, but if it’s suddenly feeling smothering rather than sensual or bulky instead of beautiful, there are brilliant ways of beefing-up a sadly flimsy fragrance, or adding a zing to something that’s a bit too dark or cloying on your skin. Give it a go, because, as we always say: perfume isn’t a tattoo – if you don’t like it, you can wash it off!

Solution:

Add freshness by layering with citrus notes like bergamot, neroli, lemon, lime or ‘green’ notes such as galbanum, tomato or violet leaf, green tea, marine/aquatic accords (synthetic recreations of sea-like, watery smells) and aldehydes (often desribed as being like Champagne bubbles).

 – Spray on a lightweight scarf that way if it gets a bit ‘too much’ or you want to wear something different, you can simply take the scarf off and you’re not stuck with it on your skin all day. Do test on a tissue first, to make sure it wont stain the fabric, but also consider typing a scented scarf to your bag if you want to carry around a beautiful scent all day without having it on your skin.

 

Hot Weather Perfume Problem #3 – Nothing you’ve got seems to smell right in the heat

We empathise, because you’re definitely not alone! Just as weather can dramatically alter our mood, our mood plays a huge part in how we perceice a perfume – even if it’s something you’ve adored wearing for years but suddenly just don’t feel like wearing anymore.

Solution:

Have a think about exactly what you’re looking for in a scent – is it to boost flagging energy levels, to comfort and help you feel protected, or to give you immediate mood-lifting feeling of trying something new? We’ve all be craving change these past few months, so why not treat yourself to a brand new selection of scents with the just-launched Eau So Fresh Discovery Box? Each fragrance has been especially curated to work well in hot weather, because we believe everyone’s olfactory wardrobe deserves a fresh start. Priced at just £19 for VIP Club Members, and £23 RRP, this could be the ‘newness’ your nose needs right now!

By Suzy Nightingale

CPL Aromas ‘Citrus Fusion’ cocktail recipe

Those of you completing a ‘dry January’ may wish to look away now, but it’s that grey hinterland that always seems to follow Christmas and New Year’s celebrations (and well, we like to be frugal by clearing up the inevitable leftover booze stash).

CPL Aromas are a British fragrance creation company, the largest fragrance-only house in the world. You might not realise it, but look around your dressing table, bathroom and kitchen, and your cupboards are almost certain to be filled with products they’ve developed or invented.

We recently had the pleasure of spending a day getting a behind-the-scenes look at their cutting-edge Research & Development centre in Northamptonshire – an experience that kind of blew our minds as to the posibilities for the future of fragrance, so look out for our special feature in the forthcoming issue of our magazine, The Scented Letter!

In anticipation, we’re rather thrilled to be allowed to present CPL Aromas exclusive Citrus Fusion Cocktail recipe…

It’s rare that any fragrance house releases a formula – so hotly sought-after are these compositions – and most especially for a unique and closely-guarded ingredient such as the AromaFusion range, specially formulated to remain unreproducible by rivals.

CPL Aromas say: ‘When one of our perfumers blends a fragrance, they can call upon much more than natural and synthetic ingredients, they also have unique access to AromaFusion – an exclusive range of ‘captive’ ingredients that is only available to our clients. Their formulation remains a closely guarded secret. And their value is protected and enhanced.’

To celebrate the company’s re-branding programme, CPL Aromas commissioned a mixologist from Searcy’s at The Gherkin to create a unique cocktail inspired by their Citrus Fusion unique material. So why not enjoy shaking up a scent to sniff (and then drink!) in your own kitchen…?

Ingredients

Campari – 25ml

Green chartreuse – 1 teaspoon

Lime juice – 20 ml

Passion fruit syrup – 20 ml

Cranberry Juice – 25 ml

Lemonade – a splash

Glass – Martini

Garnish – Flower

Method
Shake the top five ingredients with ice; strain into a martini glass and top with a splash of good quality lemonade. Finish with a garnish of a fresh flower [CPL Aromas chose violas to complement their purple branding].

With all manner of fragrance-inspired cocktail bars popping up, small-batch distillers using traditional scent ingredients to infuse their gins and liqueurs and even restaurants with perfume-influenced menus – we think the trend for fragrance to be experienced in taste as well smell is set to rise and rise in 2018. And we’ll raise a glass to that…

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Marvellous mandarin – the citrus scent to cheer

Mandarin somehow seems the most user-friendly of citrus ingredients: not in-your-face fresh as lemon and lime, nor tenaciously zesty as orange, it’s a happy-making scent linked to fortune and good luck in Chinese culture and reminder of happy childhood memories, for others.
Sarah McCartney of 4160 Tuesdays shared her thoughts with us on mandarin:  ‘It’s childhood Christmases for me. I’d use more of it except that citrus fruit essential oils are restricted these days, and I almost always want to get some grapefruit in there too. It has more character than sweet orange; it seems naughtier to me. It’s a special treat and it’s packed with sunshine. Oddly enough, I find that my customers describe certain synthetic fragrances as ‘fresh and natural’. Tangerine is one of the genuine natural fragrances that has the same effect. It’s light and flighty though, so it works as a top note then flits off, leaving an impression but not hanging around to be judged. Mandarin works nicely as long as you don’t mind its lack of commitment!’
And were you one of the original Aqua Manda mandarin fantatics, or a newcomer to the happily revived – by consumer demand – brand? Perhaps the iconic affordable scent of the 60s and 70s, its sweetly zingy fragrance of mandarin infused with ginger, lavender, patchouli, cinnamon, eucalyptus, tarragon and juniper berries spelled grooviness abounding, and a surge of interest in mandarin as a note in perfumery. Sunshine-y in a laid-back way, it’s the perfect note to explore for summer…
 
0000032_aqua-manda-perfume100ml_340
 
Read more about mandarin and other fragrances to explore this ingredient in our dedicated Ingredients section of the website – what are some of your favourite notes – or perhaps it’s time to branch out and try something new…?
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Shakespeare’s in a lather with Heyland & Whittle’s commemorative Soap Book

Fans wishing to mark the #Shakespeare400 anniversary of the Bard’s death, may wish to make like Coriolanus and ‘Bid them wash their faces / And keep their teeth clean’ by presenting a loved-one with Heyland & Whittle‘s ‘To Beard or not to Beard’ gift-boxed commemorative Shakespeare Soap.

Shakespeare Soap Book SMALLDelightfully packaged in a book-like gift box, instead of merely including a leaflet describing the soap, Heyland & Whittle have allowed the muses to inspire them and written their own little homage – a playlet called ‘The Two Gentlemen of Castile’ – containing puns, quotations and clever quips for the discerning customer to persuse as they lather up, whether to shave or not to shave…

With natural moisturising properties and a vibrant citrus fragrance including essential oils, herbs and spices, whether they choose to shave or just wash and go, it makes a great gift for would-be whiskery thesps and bearded bibliophiles alike.

R887-3
The Commemorative Shakespeare Soap Book £12.00
Buy it at Heyland & Whittle

Written by Suzy Nightingale