Harvey Nichols Knightsbridge have just opened a fabulous NEW fragrant hang-out: Exclusives and boutiques and workshops, oh my! We got the low-down on this exciting new scent space within the department store, now with a whole host of new houses to explore in DOUBLE the room…
Harvey Nichols have long had a passion for perfume – often showcasing niche brands that never dreamed of being stocked in such a world-famous store, finding the most unique names that are hard to find anywhere else along with their curated selection of the finest fragrance houses this planet has to offer perfumistas. With innovative art installations and all manner of fragrant events already under their belt, and an array of gorgeous shop-in-shop boutiques queing up to join in the fragrant fun – it was time to expand the space and really commit to a larger integral fragrant experience. Behold: The Fragrance Room…
Bigger, better, bolder than ever before, this new department has now been unveiled and includes over 100 fragrance houses, including in-store boutiques from Creed, Maison Francis Kurkdjian, Serge Lutens and Kilian. With a roll-out of inclusive, immersive experiences for customers, the new concept will include a sensory fragrance discovery wall – to help customers navigate the often tricky fragrance families – boutique activations, including fragrance workshops with the Fragrance Foundation to celebrate National Fragrance Week and opportunities to meet brand founders and perfumers through interactive events and partnerships.
Jo Osborne, Director of Beauty and Concessions at Harvey Nichols, said that because fragrance has been such a significant part of their business, since the 2016, they’ve taken the decision to massively expand their fragrance offering.
‘…we have outgrown the current area but are fortunate enough to move to a space double the size. The new department allows us to offer some of our bestselling brands an opportunity to create their own boutique space and the rest of the department to curate unique and fine fragrances from across the world, which we know our customers will love. We are excited to work with new and existing brands to offer exclusive activities, such as expert consultations and welcome various brand founders such as Francis Kurkdjian and Geza Schoen.’
The first phase is already open, and when fully complete at the end of this month (March 2020), the space will be a whopping 1,600 sq ft – showing exactly how important fragrance is to Harvey Nichols. And that’s great news for all of us who love perfume, don’t you think?
Harvey Nichols say: ‘With a portfolio of UK exclusive brands including Maison Crivelli, 28 87 Barcelona, V Canta by Terenzi, Ormaie Paris and Ella K, the deapartment will be home to a library of fragrance brands from across the world.’
Additional fragrance houses joining Harvey Nichols for the first time include Hermessance, Nassomatto, Parfums de Marly, D.S. & Durga and Initio, among others.
We don’t know about you, but our shopping (and must-sniff) list just got a LOT longer…
Take your front row seat and get ready to smell-along with our very own Suzy Nightingale and Carson Parkin-Fairley in our #FROW Discovery Box unboxing extravaganza!
In this fashion-forward box, timed to launch alongside our Couture edition of The Scented Letter Magazine, we explore each fragrance in-depth, and there are so many samples in the box – THIRTEEN fragrances in all – that we had to split the video into three parts.
Banana Republic Neroli Woods 1.5ml eau de parfum (full size £55 for 75ml) Ermanno Scervino Ermanno Scervino for Women 2ml eau de parfum (£52 for 30ml) Hugo Boss BOSS The Scent for Her 1.5ml eau de parfum (£49 for 30ml) Kenzo World Power 1ml eau de parfum (£46 for 30ml) Les Eaux Primordiales Couleur Primaire 2.5ml eau de parfum (£180 for 100ml) Michael Kors Wonderlust Sublime 1.5ml eau de parfum (£46 for 30ml) Mihan Aromatics Mikado Bark 3ml eau de parfum ($190 AUD for 100ml) Mihan Aromatics Sienna Brume 3ml eau de parfum ($190 AUD for 100ml) Molton Brown Bizare Brandy 1.5ml eau de toilette (£85 for 100ml) Narciso Rodriguez Pure Musc 1ml eau de parfum (£45 for 30ml) Oscar de la Renta Extraordinary Pétale 2ml eau de parfum (£85 for 90ml) Paco Rabanne Lady Million Empire 1.5ml eau de parfum (£47.50 for 30ml) Salvatore Ferragamo Signorina Ribelle 1.5ml eau de parfum (£50 for 30ml)
Ermanno Scervino is one of the hottest fashion houses around, and with the catwalks of the world having been freshly strutted, we wanted to pay tribute to the house currently wowing the perfume world, too, with their just-launched first fragrance…
‘As a boy, I was immediately attracted to the world of beauty and aesthetics,’ Ermanno Daelli admits, and even his childhood was full of fashion fantasies, as he reminisces spending the summer ‘…in Forte dei Marmi and the Cote d’Azur and winter in Cortina. These places were always crowded with the great divas of Italian and Hollywood movies, such as Monica Vitti, Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor or Kim Novak.’
Rather more fabulous-sounding than our own childhood holiday memories of wet weekends in Bognor, we have to say! Among such glamorous icons, he ‘…dreamed, one day, to be the one who dresses such beautiful, talented and inimitable women.’ That dream came wonderfully true, as his clothes have been worn by Amal Clooney, Nicole Kidman, Angelina Jolie to name but three.
There’s an airiness of the materials the designer favours in his collections and an insouciance in the way they are styled: exquisitely gauzy gowns worn with precisely (yet so-relaxed looking) Italian tailoring. Now, this refined but playful aesthetic is translated perfectly in the first perfume from the house. And with his love of strong, brilliant women, Ermanno chose a trio of female perfumers – Julie Massé, Véronique Nyberg and Mathilde Bijaouo – to compose it.
Ermanno Scervino for Womenencapsulates the frothy frivolity of a couture dress, opening with an irresistible gourmand Giaduia (chocolate and hazelnut) accord shot through with the sunshine of neroli and the sharpness of green mandarin, balanced against a fluff of white flowers.
The trio of perfumers visited the Ermanno Scervino boutique to get closer to the couture while creating the fragrance together, and you can see a video of that trip, below…
Julie Massé notes that ‘…composing a fragrance is like tailoring: mixing and matching raw materials, readjusting the formula, until it’s the right fit.’ Véronique Nyberg adds that Ermanno’s juxtaposition of fabrics, ‘…inspired us to create a multi-textured fragrance.’ Agrees Mathilde Bijaoui: ‘Giving texture to a fragrance is key,’ explaining: ‘In this creation, we created it from the top to the dry-down.’
That white heart simply billows with hushed, velvety tuberose absolute, a transparent jasmine and the coconut-water like Jungle Essence extraction™ – an exclusive formula from the fragrance house MANE. Set against the creamy vanilla, cashmere wood and white musk of the base, the overall effect is of white tulle on a backdrop of sunshine: sparkling, refined, and simply beautiful.
There are THIRTEEN fragrances to sample at home, from the chic and uplifting Banana Republic Neroli Woods to dazzling Oscar de la Renta Extraordinary Pétale via creations by the hot new niche brands Mihan Aromatics and Les Eaux Primordiales. There’s a fragrance for every look with Michael Kors, that fabulous Ermanno Scervino, Kenzo – and so many more...
The box also includes a FULL SIZEINC.redible Semi Matte Lip Click (worth £10 alone) and an invitation to wind down into colder nights with the shimmering, decadent new Molton Brown Muddled Plum Bath & Shower Gel.
The entire box is only £19 + P&P (£15 for VIP Club members), so if you want to get front row to be in the know – and make sure you’re dressed in the best that fragrance has to offer – you can get your hands on the box right here…
The phrase ‘modern classic’ is bandied about a lot in the fragrance world, but what does it mean, and which of these fragrances should you make time to get know, now…?
A modern classic essentially denotes a fragrance that has made such a mark, it’s become part of people’s scent memories already, a perfumed page in their own story, perhaps even spawning several new editions which are scented spins on the original. For a classic to be born, we really need a great back story – a heritage that evokes trust, while still having something new to say.
Lancôme is one of the most recognised names in the beauty and fragrance world, but did you know they were launched by an employee of the legendary François Coty – Armand Petijean founding the house in 1935, and the name inspired by the romantic ruins of a castle, Le Château de Lancosme? Their now world-famous rose symbol evokes the rambling roses that grew around the grounds of the castle, like something from Sleeping Beauty’s fairy tale.
How fitting, then, that rose featured as the scent of their first pink/red lipstick, initially sold in 1938 and remaining a bestseller for over three decades, and of course features in the iconic Trésor… First launched in 1990, legendary perfumer Sofia Grosjman wove rose through hypnotic heliotrope, sun-warmed fuzzy apricots and a powdery haze of orris – a timless, evocative, and unashamedly fromantic evocation with every spritz.
The Cacharel story began in 1958, when Jean Bousquet – who was qualified as a tailor – created a collection of ready-to-wear clothing and accessories in Nimes, where he worked in a tiny studio. He named the company after a small duck, locally known as the ‘cacharel’. (Bousquet was literally born into the fashion industry: he was the son of a sewing machine seller.) His very first collection was a smash – and Bousquet soon moved to Paris. When French Elle featured a Cacharel seersucker shirt on its cover on 8th November 1963, the world woke up to this stylish, wearable line – which was soon showcased in department store windows around the globe.
From its early days, Cacharel was a brand that young women longed to wear: and, along with women of all ages, still very much do! The sheer white floral beauty of Anaïs Anaïs has kept it on the fragrant bestseller list since 1978, with The Perfume Shrine blog calling it ‘one of the most influential perfumes in history…’ and we absolutely concur. Sparkling bergamot, hyacinth, honeysuckle, orange blossom and a great, green gust of galbanum swoon to a heart of lily, lily of the valley, rose, ylang-ylang, tuberose, carnation, before cedarwood, sandalwood, amber, oakmoss, incense and vetiver, deliver its long-lasting, utterly unforgetable trail.
Cacharel Anaïs Anaïs £30.50 for 30ml eau de toilette
Buy it at debenhams.com
Yves Saint Laurent‘s career began at the tender age of seven years old, when he began designing clothes for his sister’s dolls, expressing a natural talent and indulging a dream of fashion design. A decade later, he’d enrolled on a graduate fashion course at college, winning both 1st and 3rd prize in the prestigious International Wool Design competition at only 18 years old. His talent was showcased to the world and a young Saint Laurent was offered the role of haute couture designer for the House of Dior, later opening his very own couture house, still aged just 21. 1962 saw the dawn of the Yves Saint Laurent brand and his masterful couture creations for the rich and famous. But clothing was never the only way Yves Saint Laurent wanted to dress women, and fragrance soon followed…
Wanting to pay tribute to the city that had always loved and supported him, and where his dreams had taken flight – in 1983, Yves Saint Laurent launched Paris: a quintessential floral fragrance for the woman in love in this magical city, and another created by accomplished perfumer Sophia Grojsman.The jofully exuberant scent of a rose in full bloom, Paris sparkles with armfulls of fruity, raspberry-like rose entwined with violet, bergamot, a gentle dusting of iris, and a smooth, vanilla-rich, woody dry down. While many more know the iconic Opium, you really must make room to try Paris, too!
Yves Saint Laurent Paris £62 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at boots.com
He’s been called ‘the man who invented red carpet dressing’ – and since the 1970s, Giorgio Armani’s easy elegance, with its sensual European simplicity, has had a stellar following. Armani started his career as a display assistant and buyer for the famous Italian department store group, La Rinascente. He moved on to designing for Nino Cerruti, and in 1970 launched his own pieces – notably men’s leather bomber jackets. Armani’s designs were a world away from the suited look Italian menswear was known for – using softer, cooler fabrics like linen, and unconstructed tailoring – and changed the face of fashion forever.
Armani Code for Women was launched in 2006 and became an instant hit: just effortlessly evokes all the elegance of a Giorgio Armani red carpet dress. Orange blossom – so quintessentially feminine, one of the truly noble perfumery ingredients – plays at the heart with a radiantly chic sambac jasmine amplifying the elegance, then a deliciously decadent swoon into a base of Madagascan vanilla and honey, offering a wonderfully soft embrace you’ll want to sink in to.
Armani Code for Women £42 for 30ml eau de parfum
Buy it at johnlewis.com
Ralph Laurenvirtually invented the idea of ‘lifestyle’ – and as Vogue put it when writing about the designer, ‘his story is the story of the American dream’. Born Ralph Reuben Lifshitz in the Bronx in 1939, from a humble Jewish immigrant background, Ralph Lauren (he changed his name while still a teenager) never even went to fashion school. He actually studied business science, and spent time in the Army, before breaking into fashion. Among his iconic designs, of course, is the celebrated ‘Polo shirt’, the bestselling item of Ralph Lauren clothing. (Beyond that, research has identified the Polo pony as the second most recognised symbol in the world, after Coca Cola!) From that moment, he began to influence the worlds of fashion, homewares and fragrance, showcasing everything he created in that so-desirable ‘lifestyle’ way.
Safari is just as wearable today as when legendary perfumer Dominique Ropion composed it back in 1990. In its beautiful, cut-crystal silver-capped bottle, Safari was inspired by America’s spirit of freedom and adventure, and ‘the call of the wild plains’ – a bracing gust of green galbanum breezing to juicy blackberry, mandarin and airy hyacinth. In its heart, be seduced by a gorgeous bouquet of rose, narcissus, jasmine and honey – and as you gather round that camp-fire at the end of the day (or wherever you happen to be, when those base notes emerge), enjoy vetiver, moss, tonka bean and resinous styrax.
We hope this little fragrant trip down memory lane will urge those of you who wore and loved these to redscover their delights – and all the scent memories they will surely evoke from the first spritz. And for those who have yet to try them, we welcome a new generation of what (we’re pretty sure) will be a lifelong love affair with at least one of these duly-deserved ‘modern classics’… now which will you try first?
Fresh off the shelves and ready for sniffing, we present the fragrances we’ve been trying most recently. From empowering or coffee-infused to an elegant pastoral scene; invoking a notorious pair of jail-breaking lovers or inspired by beloved drag queens – the perfume world is certainly never boring, darling…
MISSGUIDED BABE DREAMS
A juicy fizz of bergamot, pink pepper and red fruit accord veritably bursts from the bottle – which looks for all the world like a classy energy drink, suitably enough. Velvety rose powdered with orris and violet is further cushioned by a plumptious base of patchouli, sheer amber and creamy vanilla. A sweet-tinged Chypre that many a modern miss would surely love to wear, look out for the other Babe infusions similarly promoting self-confidence in fragrant form. £28 for 80ml eau de parfum theperfumeshop.com
Exploring that universal sigh of relief from enjoying a hot beverage, and incorporating the historic trade routes of the coffee trade itself, Xerjoff begin a new collection with the release of this fragrant evocation. Dallah is an overtly feminine offering, entwining sumptuous rose with a haze of incense, sprinkling hazelnut, cocoa and tonka for a deliciously sweet nibble, infused with Cambodian oudh and amber to enhance the toasted coffee beans. Ravishingly more-ish!
€235 for 50ml eau de parfum xerjoffuniverse.com
XYRENA CHOICES BY TATIANNA
It isn’t every day that news of a drag artist’s debut fragrance crosses our desks – but we’re here to share everything and anything that comes our way. Pop artist, drag perfumer and ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ star Tatianna teamed up with LA fragrance house Xyrena to confect this aquatic signature scent, a fusion of sea salt and water lily, sharpened by lemon, key lime and tangerine, warmed by ozone, cedar and musk. Breezy, yes – but glam (naturally). £47.40 for 50ml extrait de parfum xyrena.com
What an elegantly hazy scent this is, with high-pitched notes of petitgrain and lily of the-valley drifting into a cool breeze of Haitian vetiver. Pissara, Dusita’s founder and perfumer, blends Siamese nobility with fine French perfumery traditions, all inspired by beloved late father’s poems. So sweet hay steams in the early morning mist, then drifts of herbaceous clary sage embrace cedar, oakmoss and vanilla. It feels like wearing a whisper: quiet, but hopeful. £168 for 50ml eau de parfum lessenteurs.com
EX IDOLO LOVE & CRIME
Based on the true story of a once-notorious couple – basically the Bonnie & Clyde of Boston burglaries in the 1900s – founders Tanya and Matthew Zhuk immortalise their daring prison break. This darkly delicious gourmand evokes May Coyle hiding a saw in a cake, enabling her beau, Thomas Howard, to escape. Pink pepper juxtaposes red mandarin, icing sugar dusts a floral bouquet and star anise spikes natural cocoa in the base of this quirkily wonderful concoction. £95 for 30ml eau de parfum At Fenwick Bond Street
Yves Saint Laurent was a ground-breaking designer who delighted in shaking up the mainstream, always in his stylish and undeniably sexy way, with this ethos effortlessly transferring from fashion to fine fragrance.
Producing several of the best-selling perfumes of all time, with stunning bottles that have become collectors items in their own right; not many fragrance houses can claim to have a founder who dared pose naked for his own fragrance advertising campaign, because ‘perfume is worn on the skin, so why hide the body…?’
It all began at the tender age of seven years old, when Yves Saint Laurent began designing clothes for his sister’s dolls, expressing a natural talent and indulging a dream of a career in the glamorous world of fashion design. A deacde later, and he’d enrolled on a graduate fashion course at college, winning both 1st and 3rd prize in the prestigious International Wool Design competition at only 18 years old. His talent was showcased to the world and a young Saint Laurent was offered the role of haute couture designer for the House of Dior. A dazzling debut, interrupted by a brief period of national service in the army, led Saint Laurent to opening his very own couture house, still aged just 21, and enabling him to truly express his fashion expertise.
1962 saw the dawn of the Yves Saint Laurent brand and his masterful couture creations for the rich and famous. But clothing was never the only way Yves Saint Laurent wanted to dress women – in 1964 he created his first fragrance, Y, a collaboration with perfumer Jean Amic. It was an olfactory expression of the elegance and luxury of his couture fashion – a fragrance tailored for the beautiful women he dressed. In its original packaging, the green chypre juice was housed in a bottle cut to reflect the silhouette of a woman’s head and shoulders. The letter ‘Y’ cleverly placed to represent the neckline on her dress.
In 1971 Yves Saint Laurent continued to shock when he launched his first fragrance for men, Pour Homme – posing nude for the visual, in stark representation of the values of the Yves Saint Laurent House, comfort and sophistication coupled with modernity and audacity. In the same year, he created a fragrance for the independent, free-spirited woman who shopped at his new boutique: Rive Gauche. At a time when fragrances were presented in classically feminine bottles, best stored on the dressing table at home, it was the first fragrance to be launched packaged in a tin can!
In 1977 Yves Saint Laurent wanted to glorify another facet of YSL femininity; sensuality and seductiveness – and women the world over were seduced by YSL’s Opium . An opulent swathe of oriental ambers and vanilla by perfumers Jean Amic and Jean-Louis Sieuzac, this audaciously-named fragrance sparked immediate controversy. As the scandal and the hype grew so did demand. Global press took straight to the newsstands to criticise Yves Saint Laurent’s determination to shock, but scandal only served to fuel desire; testers were stolen, posters were ripped down and stores sold out of stock in a matter of hours on the launch date.
Fast-forward to 2014, when the latest reinvention of the YSL woman was launched in the form of Black Opium, composed by four master perfumers (Marie Salamagne, Nathalie Lorson, Olivier Cresp and Honorine Blanc), with an overdose of black coffee accord to instantly invigorate the senses, contrasting with voluptuous white floral heart notes and a gourmand vanilla base.
The following year, Black Opium scooped Best New Fragrance for Women in the UK’s prestigious Fragrance Foundation Awards – and since then, the fragrance has acquired countless ‘collectors’, thrilled by limited editions and new ‘spins’ on this smouldering scent.
There are few people who’ve not owned and loved an Yves Saint Laurent fragrance, or who don’t have one of these – classics and modern must-haves alike – in their collection. We’d be hard-pushed to pick a favourite… so, we wonder, what would yours be? And while you’re pondering which perfume to choose, you can read all about their history in more detail on our page dedicated to Yves Saint Laurent…
A unique opportunity to try six of the Prada‘s Les Infusions de Prada perfumes, the miniature 8ml sized scents are snuggled up and just waiting for you to get to know them. Reason enough for squeals of excitement, but here are five reasons you NEED this Prada Discovery Box in your life (or will definitely know someone who does…) 1. Prada put together this Les Infusions Discovery Box EXCLUSIVELY For The Perfume Society! It cannot be found elsewhere, so collectors take note… 2. You’re getting 48ml of fragrance for £36 – a single 30ml bottle of Les Infusion de Prada is currently £52, so you’re getting to try the entire range AND 18ml MORE perfume, for £16 LESS than the RRP! 3. Our signature ‘Smelling Notes’ are included, using techniques taught to us by the world’s top perfumers, we share with you questions to think about while sniffing each scent – improving your sense of smell forever!
4. Perfumer Daniela Andrier (the ‘nose’ who composed all Les Infusions for Prada) has created some of the world’s best-selling fragrances – her talent was spotted early on, as Chanel’s Jacques Polge gave her an internship… 5. The dinkiest bottles ever, not only are they the perfect size for travel, but why not string them on silver thread as the most glamorous Christmas tree decorations EVER? Or use them as gifts for your swankily scented make-your-own Christmas crackers?
Written by Suzy Nightingale
Mischeviously irreverant Etat Libre d’Orange were the fragrance house megastar fashion designer Roland Mouret chose to collaborate with on his first fragrance – Une Amourette.
We went along to a private launch in Mouret’s flagship Mayfair boutique to find out more, and it’s every bit as fabulously naughty as you might hope…
It may not be the first fashion designer/fragrance house collaboration, but it’s definitely the only one we know of where the designer suggests spraying it between your thighs! Mouret explains: ‘A seductive fragrance – it’s a powerful scent that makes and leaves its mark as you move. You’ll want to wear it at the pulse point between your thighs and as you walk, cross your legs… the warmth and friction unleash an aroma that will capture your attention through the most primitive sense : smell.’
Well, we can’t say we followed this advice at the launch itself (a fragrance ritual probably best undertaken in the privacy of your bedroom, we feel) but it’s a rather compelling suggestion and we may have to try this for ourselves. Courtesans were well known for employing similar scent-seduction tactics in the 18th Century, so perhaps it’s about time we gave it a go. Roland Mouret say: ‘Infusing the sweet smell of neroli essence with traces of cardamom, this sensual fragrance opens with spicy notes of pink peppercorn, before revealing an earthy undertone of patchouli oil enriched with vanilla, that gives this fragrance a tantalising fin.’ Intrigued? Why not watch the man himself explain more, as Roland Mouret talks about working with Etat Libre d’Orange…
Talking to Roland at the launch, he went on to explain that he wanted Une Amourette to smell like ‘the scent of the other [your lover] on your skin…’ We may have blushed. But what a perfect juxtaposition – the mingling of two people’s warm skin, along with a Cologne and a decadent perfume, in one scent. Mouret also talked about the scent memories of his childhood, growing up in France, the smell of chic people mingling with voluptuous bouquets of flowers and drifts of incense from the churches he attended.
On the more usual pulse point to test perfumes – our eager wrists – then, here’s how it smells:
It begins like a lover’s caress, the sense of entangled sheets and warm skin, unmistakable carnality with indolic white flowers and roses scattered across the bed. Bone dry, the spices make their presense known immediately, with cardamom lingering throughout and a peachy succulence and creamy vanilla peeping above the naughtiness, somehow rendering them all the more provocative, like a glimpse of bare flesh beneath velvet coverings. A cool breeze of iris feels infused with a metallic shimmer, and the opoponax (incense) smooths the way insouciantly for an animalic dry-down of akigalawood that lasts the whole day through. Roland Mouret Une Amourette by Etat Libre d’Orange from £82 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at rolandmouret.com
Written by Suzy Nightingale
Our latest Discovery Box has to be the most sumptuously indulgent yet! The Velvet Collection has just launched, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to share a little more about it with you, here… Prepare to sink into a state of scented bliss!
One of the most incredible powers perfume has is to make us feel swathed in luxury, as though we could reach out and stroke it. So when describing a perfume, we borrow language that evokes how they make us feel when wearing them, and most often those words are textural – suede-like, supple leather, soft cashmere, crisp cotton… and the most luxurious of all: velvet.
So how perfect to use this utterly sumptuous word in the title of our latest Discovery Box – The Velvet Collection…
In our latest curated collection of fragrances and scented goodies – nine perfume samples, two extra beauty treats AND a full-size Green & Blacks Velvet Edition chocolate bar in this one! – ‘velvet’ becomes a stepping-stone into exploring a sensuously scented world. Velvet makes us think of joyous opulence, abundant allure; richly hued and silky to the touch, but with enough of a fur-like feel to make us purr contentedly. Reassuring to wrap around you and reassuringly expensive, velvet also reflects the light with subtle nuances and complexity of character.
We’re so privileged at The Perfume Society to meet and interview some of the top perfumers in the world, and we always ask them what we can do to improve our sense of smell, to enhance the way we perceive a perfume. We feed these tips back to our How to Improve Your Sense of Smell Workshops (see Events section for news of these), and the most consistent advice is that we should try to think of textures, colours and places to envisage and ‘fix’ a scent in our mind.
And we wonder: which of these will become your second-skin, the fragrance you want to reach out and stroke as you fix the scent-sensation in your mind…? Map of the Heart Gold Heart – a warm gleam of comforting spices Avery E – frosted red fruits swathed in swags of flowers Vince Camuto Amore – frozen clementines wrapped in amber Lalique Reve d’Infini – white roses powder-dusted by a swansdown puff Connock London Andiroba – rainforest fruits discovered in lush greenery Valeur Absolue Rouge Passion – precious flowers tingling with ginger Ruth Mastenbroek Firedance – scarlet roses smouldering shamelessly Floral Street Chypre Sublime – bohemian romantics artistically cavorting Atkinsons Pirates Grand Reserve – dashing cads plundering exotic goods
PLUS: the exquisitely scented and ultra-nourishing Cochine hand lotion (in White Jasmine & Gardenia) a handy travel-size of Philosophy’s iconic Purity 3-in-one-cleanser and Green & Black’s scrumptious new Velvet Edition chocolate bar!
All of this can be yours to try in the comfort of your own home – no high-pressure, zero hassle and the time to make up your own mind, and for just £19 (VIP price £15) + P&P
So we suggest you treat yourself, close the curtains and give in to the luxurious allure of The Velvet Collection Discovery Box…
Over a year since it first threw open its doors, seven new boutiques have opened at Harrods prestigious Salon de Parfums, all the better to seduce your senses. So we thought it was time for an update. Armani Prive, Penhaligon’s and Burberry have settled into luxuriously appointed spaces alongside Bond No.9, Sospiro and Frédéric Malle (we loved the scent booth – what looks like a full-sized shower cubicle, in which perfume is sprayed and wafted for you!)
A worldwide exclusive sees the launch of beautifully presented, Japanese-inspired brand, Floraïku (above) – brought to you by the creators of MEMO, immersing visitors in a Japanese style tea ceremony as they learn about the fragrances and two layering scents the house call ‘shadows’ to amplify their individual characters…
Meanwhile, back at Armani Privé, you can be ushered through gilded doors to strecth out on a chaise lounge and invited to enjoy the immersive ‘Privé Experience’, relaxing as you breathe in gentle wafts of scent until you find your favourite.
Both Sospiro and Frédéric Malle will be offering personalisation and monogramming services within their boutiques, while perfumistas visiting Penhaligon’s and Bond No.9 will be able to create, to varying degrees, their own custom fragrance. Surely the ultimate gift…?
It may seem a bit of a marathon trek up the escalators to the Sixth Floor of the world-famous department store. (Although we’ve figured out a nifty short-cut: up to Fifth, through shoes, and up the final escalator).
But however you get there, and wherever you’re coming from, we promise you it’s worth the trip – particularly when you can browse and sniff in a completely unhurried manner (where else can you legitimately lie down and relax in a shop, without getting thrown out?!) and be treated to advice from true experts on-hand. Harrods Salon de Parfums is on the Sixth Floor at Harrods, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7XL
Written by Suzy Nightingale
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