At the turn of the century, violets would be carried as hand-tied posies by fashionable ladies about town, given as tokens of regard by prospective lovers and treasured for their elegant and discreet connotations of love. In the past few decades, we have perhaps come to think of violets as a bit stuffy, a little fuddy-duddy as fragrances to wear now. Get ready to change your opinion, however, for the house of Berdoues have come to waft a new wave of contemporary vivaciousness, with Millésmme Fleur Violette.
Far from the ‘shrinking violets’ we may think of, or perhaps the famous sugared sweeties that tasted of perfume, violet is beloved by perfumers, who will tell you that although the majority of the flowers aren’t scented, just crumple those glossy green leaves and you’ll be met by a juicy, tender scent they adore to use in modern re-tellings of the violet’s story…
Paying homage to the delicacy of the plant, Berdoues Violette is part of their Collection Grand Crus – extra special ingredients celebrated in fragrant form. A raw material that’s both delicate and fragile, violet has been inspiring the perfumers of this historic house since 1902.Berdoues say: ‘The fragrance is a bold, modern expression of the leaf of the French violet, magnified by blending Iris from China with Patchouli from Indonesia. In 2017, Sophie Berdoes, from the fourth generation of the family, wanted to bring Violette into the here nd now. She dreamt of a powdery, contemporary and chic violet, more lifelike than its fairytale forebear.’
Brilliant nose Benoist Lapouza was chosen to compose this ‘here and now’ violet, and can we just say that the ceramic bottle addorned with bold strokes of violet paint and topped with a vintage-style atomiser is just drop-dead dressing table worthy. Oh my!
Not that it’s all about the bottle, for the fragrance itself is both softly cocooning and cut through with a citrus zest to lift the powder to a fizzy, almost sherbert like sensation when spritzed. Swirled throughout with supple, suede-like iris and warmed by a base of ultra-smooth patchouli and vetiver – think uber-cool Parisian chic but the kind of person who wears a Victorian style Alexander McQueen jacket with their favourite pair of jeans, or a suede jacket nochalantly thrown over a couture gown. Basically, the kind of gal we’d like to be. But dapper dandies must absolutely try this on their skin, too – we adore a gent who dares to wear a floral with style, and this is definitely shareable.
Berdoues Violette £110 for 100ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Harvey Nichols
Written by Suzy Nightingale
When the words ‘luxury gelato’ and ‘Acqua di Parma’ are combined in an email’s subject line, you can be sure we’re clicking on that within a nanosecond – and of course we couldn’t wait to share the news with you…
At Harvey Nichols, a brand new pop-up space is being created in order to celebrate the launch of the Acqua di Parma La Collezione travel set. Surely one of the fragrance houses we most associate with summer, Acqua di Parma have gone full-steam ahead with the sunshine vibes by commissioning luxury gelato brand Snowflake to invent three unique flavours –Bergamotto di Calabria, Arancia di Capri & Fico di Amalfi – all of which have been inspired by their Blu Mediterraneo range of easy-breezy scents to see you through the sultriest of days in the city.
As if the ice-cream wasn’t enough of a draw, On 2nd & 8th June Acqua di Parma’s in-house artist will also be on hand for on-site bottle painting and personalisation, and customers will be offered complementary customisation of their bottle with any Blu Mediterraneo purchase. What’s more, all customers purchasing Blu Meditteraneo between 2nd & 8th June will receive a Majolica tile of their choice scented with their favourite fragrance.
We’re just in love with these beautifully evocative drawings by Michalis Christodoulou, also specially commissioned for their pop-up shop, and we don’t know about you, but we’ve definitely been inspired to hot-foot it down the Harvey Nichols to cool off in style…
Acqua di Parma La Collezione travel set: Bergamotto di Calabria, Arancia di Capri & Fico di Amalfi £99 for 3 x 30ml
Jet-setters chasing the sun in Miami – and those lucky enough to live there – can now revel in the luxurious surroundings of Acqua di Parma’s newely opened boutique. Designed to evoke the spacious elegance of a stylish Italian home, the 1,000 square foot space boasts a sleekly luxurious interior outfitted with the brand’s signature style – Calacatta marble contrasts with dark Wenge wood to highlight the famous Acqua di Parma yellow of the walls. At the heart of the store, a huge leather-covered pyramid showcases bottles of the brand’s most famous and timeless Colonia fragrances.
Fans of the brand need not confine themselves to trying the Colognes and body products, as the much-ancipated barbershop provides gentlemen with original barber’s chairs in a devoted area that evokes all the traditional charm of a classical Italian barbershop, of course finished with the flawless contemporary touches for which the brand are known. Shaving and skincare products from their Collezione Barbiere have been created to accompany each phase of this ritual performed – you will be glad to hear – by an expert barber for a truly hands-on Acqua di Parma experience.
Located in the prestigious Brickell City Centre – right in the heart of Miami and one of the city’s most desirable zipcodes – it’s sure to become a must-visit for fragrance fanatics and style-seekers. And of course Acqua di Parma offer the perfect cooling scents to spritz if the temperature gets too steamy.
‘We selected Miami as our first city due to its international recognition in art, design and culture which are values that define the essence of Acqua di Parma,’ explained Giovanni Lepori, President North America. ‘With events such as Art Basel and Design Miami we knew this was a city we wanted to be a part of.’
We rather see ourselves wafting about in a silk maxi dress while wearing their Arancia di Capri – an aromatically uplifting blend of orange, mandarin, and lemon essential oils with the sparkle of petit grain infused by cardamon and resting on a base of sweetly smooth musk. In fact, yes, book us the plane tickets now, please!
Acqua di Parma Arancia di Capri from £64 for 75ml
Buy it at Acqua di Parma
Whenever people are asked what their favourite smells are, along with ‘bread baking ‘, ‘freshly cut grass’ and (oddly) ‘petrol’/gasoline’ we most often find that the smell of their loved one is key. Top of that list is, for many, the smell of their children – and of course here poetic license must come in to play… When those people close their eyes and fondly imgine the scent of their beloved offspring, they are possibly skipping over the inevitable secretions, spillages and lumps of baby food slowly drying on wallpaper and instead focusing on the clean, warm, softly powdered babe in arms.
Renowned for their brilliant lifelike bottling of weird and wonderful smells inspired by life – from Dirt and Thunderstorm to Gin & Tonic – happily, The Library of Fragrance have captured the essence of these smells in a triplet of scents. New Baby, Baby Powder and Baby Shampoo are the spriz-able evocations of blissful, comforting memories. Their Baby Powder cologne was already on the market and proved such a phenomenal success they’ve launched it in a jumbo size of 120ml (compared to their usual 30ml bottles) and with two new scented siblings to join the 109 already in the family.
And for this new launch, The Library of Fragrance have really put in the hours (well, years) of research, as the New Baby cologne was hotly anticipated. As they explain: ‘It’s quite a relief for us to finally launch this fragrance – one that a customer asks for each and every week – after no less than 15 years of development…’
As we learned at the IFRA Fragrance Forum recently, it really does seem as though smells from our childhood have a particularly strong influence over our scent preferences in later life, and this was something The Library of Fragrance took very seriously while reserching and developing these fragrances, consulting with Dr. Rachel Herz, the internationally acclaimed leading expert in scent psychology and author of best- seller, The Scent of Desire.
Explains Rachel, ‘Our olfactory system is the very first sense to develop and we actually have a fully functioning sense of smell by the time we are twelve weeks in the womb. This means that even before we are born we are learning about the important scents in our environment, such as what our mother eats, and by the time we are born we are fully able to learn how to make sense of the world through our nose and to remember important associations. For example, studies have now shown that babies can distinguish the scent of their own mothers, from other mothers, only hours after birth.
Odour is indelibly embedded into the infant’s world in a way that other senses are not. Our visual system, in stark contrast, takes several years after we are born to mature to a point that visual experiences can be fully processed, stored and recalled. The sight of a bottle of Baby Powder won’t mean anything to an infant, but the smell of Baby Powder – if it was used on us as babies – will immediately elicit feelings that are associated with being cared for, soothed and cradled.’
Among the myriad highly complex and sophisticated perfumes available on the market, it’s interesting to note that when we seek comfort in these often distressing times – it’s those simple pleasures we reach for time and again to cosset and soothe with happy scent memories…
‘Inspired by the iconic talc from Johnson & Johnson, this scent really triggers strong emotional links. Advancing scientific research is showing us that scent is processed deep within a part of our brains that also manages emotion and memories. It’s not likely that many of us have tangible memories of being a baby, but it’s very likely that the scent of our Baby Powder fragrance subliminally takes us right back to feeling soothed, cradled and cared for. And who doesn’t want to feel like that at least some of the time?’ The Library of Fragrance Baby Powder £30 for 120ml Cologne
‘Powdery, creamy and enveloping, its soothing, hushed tones balance the nostalgic aromas of baby talc and shampoo with a blend of musks that somehow capture the scents of warm skin and clean, soft laundry, taking us right back to those very earliest of days.’
The Library of Fragrance New Baby £15 for 30ml Cologne
‘Inspired by the nostalgic scent of Johnson’s Baby Shampoo, this is one of the freshest, cleanest, happiest smells on earth. It somehow makes us feel as we imagine we did then, splashing around and giggling from under bubbly beards.’ The Library of Fragrance Baby Shampoo£15 for 30ml
Buy them at thelibraryoffragrance.com
Written by Suzy Nightingale
What do you think is top of the list of those “simple pleasures” that make people happy? Well, according to a survey BUPA carried out in 2015, a whopping 62% of the British public agreed that slipping into freshly cleaned sheets was their greatest instant mood-booster.
For the just-published Fashion & Fragrance edition of our magazine, The Scented Letter, we travelled to a network of laboratories in the heart of Holland to investigate the secretive world of scented laundry products, tracing the links between fabric conditioners and fine fragrance. Did you know that some of the world’s best perfumers have made detergents, scented your shampoo and kept you shower-fresh in deodorants as well as working on your favourite designer perfume..?
There’s no doubt about it, the smell of clean fabric is a sensorial joy – from hanging washing in a sunny garden to burying your nose in the sweater of a loved one – the slightly soapy, steamily clean, aldehedic-sparkle of a laundry scent is pretty much guaranteed to soothe the soul. The perfume world has ‘cottoned on’ and now you can spritz that sunshine-y happiness the whole day long. The Library of Fragrance always have their fingers on the pulse of creating wearable, layerable true-to-life scents evoking some of our all-time favourite smells, so of course they have a duo of sumptuously fresh fabric-scented Colognes that somehow manage to bottle not only the exact smell of clean laundry, but the ‘texture’ of the fabric itself. Genius!
‘This is simply the cleanest, most comfortable scent imaginable. Our Fresh Laundry fragrance captures that moment when just-washed bed sheets are pulled straight from the tumble dryer and you just can’t resist hugging them right up to your nose, and breathing in their warm aroma. As with those moments, this scent is like a reassuring hug that reminds you of home…’
The Library of Fragrance Fresh Laundy £15 for 30ml Cologne
Buy it at Boots
The Library of Fragrance Clean Sheets £15 for 30ml Cologne
Buy it at Boots
Written by Suzy Nightingale
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