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
The American influence of Halloween celebrations have long since hit our shores, and although we may not have their lust for pumpkin pie, we certainly enjoy wearing the scent of it on our skin. Think sweet cinnamon and clove gently warmed over wafts of pumpkin and it’s basically autumn, bottled. Talking of lust… did you know that, according to a study at the Monell Institute in Philadelphia, the smell of pumpkin pie increases the arousal level in men by 40%? We’re not sure if this only applies to our American friends, but would be intrigued to hear if this perked up your party! The Library of Fragrance Pumpkin Pie £15 for 30ml eau de toilette
Buy it at Boots
Canadian niche brand Zoologist perfumes theme their fragrances around the characters of animals, and what could be more appropriate for Halloween than their Bat? A highly unusual swoop into a tropical forest to feast on sycamore figs and banana becomes a resiniously deep plunge to lush undergrowth and damp earth. Zoologist suggest that you… ‘Allow yourself to hang, draped in pitch black, as alluring musk wafts over you with every unfolding of the thousands of leathery wings that surround you.’ We somehow imagine Sesame Street’s The Count wearing this: ‘VUN! Vun Bat, ha ha ha!’ Zoologist Bat $125 for 60ml eau de parfum
Buy it at zoologistperfumes.com
Trick or Treating is all about the kids, right? Well why not give in to indulgence with this utterly delectable fragrant interpretation of Charbonnel et Walker’s Sea Salt Caramel Truffles? Created by talented young perfumer Julie Massé, she’s somehow completely captured that moment your teeth penetrate the crisp shell of the truffle as the bitter-sweet caramel oozes forth. Bourbon vanilla adds creaminess and the whole experience is a warm hug of comforting joy that definitely won’t ruin your teeth (or your waistline). But perhaps add an actual box of truffles to your shopping list as well – for scientific “compare and contrast” reasons. Shay & Blue Salt Caramel £55 for 100ml eau de parfum
Buy it at marksandspencer.com
A library lit only by the glow of the crackling fireplace, filled with ancient leather-bound tomes and sheafs of vellum still wet with black ink – this gloweringly intriguing scent is inspired by the founder’s grandfather’s intricate drawings of yachts, shelves of nautical fiction and tattoos. With a fabulously murky heart of vanilla pipe smoke buoyed by richly spiced West Indian rum, it’s part of this fiercely independent British house’s Come Hell or High Water collection and resonates with the evocation of romantically sighing spirits and ghostly flickerings in candlelit rooms… BeauFort London Coeur de Noir £95 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at beaufortlondon.com
Yes, alright, this isn’t at all scary – but it’s the perfect scent for ghouls about town to spritz if they’re feeling elegantly ethereal and up for a spot of light haunting rather than full-on Exorcist-like possession. With a cool peachy kiss combined with freshly juiced pear and mandarin, this could have become overtly sweet yet always stays the right side of tart. The softly swooning jasmine and lightly dusted violet petals are deftly sprinkled with patchouli for an earthily sophisticated base that really impressed us. Loving the pretty, pearlised finish of the glistening bottle. Ghost Whitelight
Buy it at The Perfume Shop
Enigmatically sulty, this pink peppercorn spiced celebration of darkness beckons you in to a warmly powdered heart of jasmine and violet before misting the shadows with swirls of incense. As the smoke drifts skywards, the erotically charged base of musk, vanilla and patchouli becalms the piquancy of dried fruits and woody papyrus. Distinctively addictive, we foresee a tremulous heroine wearing this while battling the forces of darkness in a Gothic novel, using nothing but her cunning guile and a fortuitously placed hatpin. Olfactive Studio Chambre Noire £110 for 100ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Roullier White
Written by Suzy Nightingale