British niche brands we love

There’s a plethora of British niche perfume houses to be excited about these days – how many have you heard of and got to try thus far…?

Niche-lovers have surely never been so well served as right now – there’s a continuing bubble of enthusiasm in the rise and rise of niche perfume brands; and thrillingly, British houses are surging in popularity, much of it spread by word-of-mouth.

The personal recommendations are from hushed whispers of industry-insiders right through to fans declaring their love through social media. These houses are ‘indies’ (independently owned) and don’t have access to huge marketing budgets; so we wanted to share and celebrate just some of those our noses are currently loving…

 

 

Holly Hutchinson founded Memoize London in 2016, but her heart started beating faster for fragrance far earlier – at the age of seven, to be precise. On her birthday, she was gifted her very first set of miniature perfumes… the way many of us are reeled in to the world of fragrance fever! Following a career at a prestigious perfume house, Holly branched out to create her own niche brand, believing that perfumes should evoke memories, so drawing on her own, such as ‘a French holiday in the sun, a ride across the waves by boat, venturing through trees in a garden of ferns and Laurels…’

 

There’s eight fragrances, currently, from the provocative, smoky passions of Era to the lazy Sunday morning of Tristitia, cocooning you in floral and vanilla scented sheets with an amber snuggle. One of our favourites has to be Superbia – created for self-confidence, encompassing rose bushes, the smell of a leather satchel and a mother’s proud hug.

 

 

From the creative expression of one woman’s strong belief in the power of fragrance and the positive effect it can have on your heart, mind and spirit, Anima Vinci was born. That insightful and passionate founder is Nathalie Vinciguerra, and her background as creative CEO of what many consider the first true ‘niche’ house, L’Artisan Parfumeur, along with British heritage house Penhaligon’s, gave her great grounding (and the best contacts) in the business. ‘Anima Vinci is the creative expression of my strong belief in the power of fragrance,’ she says, ‘and the positive effect it can have on your heart, mind and spirit. I believe that scents have the power to immerse us in the universe’s energy and nature’s beauty.’

With Rose Prana you’re fully immersed in the rose fields of Grasse, smelling the earth below the bushes abundant with fresh, almost raspberry-scented Rose de Mai blooms, and a sense of the sky above. Jasmine Ylang is symbolic of divine hope with sandalwood and frangipani, a holiday for the soul; while Wood of Life is our go-to de-stress scent – a meditative whisper of mint atop sublimely smooth palo santo, sandalwood and vetiver. It’s truly other-worldy and totally wonderful to wear.

 

 

With a green ethos that flows through every fragrance, Prosody London take equal delight in their scents being so beautifully composed, so harmoniously sophisticated, that many people don’t even realise they are – gloriously, unashamedly – all natural and organic. Perfumer and founder Keshen Teo has worked tirelessly to ensure his scents have this aesthetic quality as well as the ethical purity they strive for. As he explains: ‘The intrinsic complexity of naturals means you have to work hard to keep things well structured and balanced,’ because it’s vital the fragrances are stunning on first sniff. ‘I like the challenge of this,’ he smiles, going on to admit: ‘We know that sometimes people buy Prosody London without even realising they’re organic and 100% natural. I’m perfectly happy with that!’

Their voluptuously feminine Jacinth Jonquil entwines hyacinth with that mesmerising jonquil itself – think daffodils in sunshine, a crispness to the air like the first breath of spring, flecked with juniper berries and nestled on a softly woody base. Mocha Muscari uniquely blends the richness of coffee with a surprisingly seductive twist of mango, jasmine and lavender on a base of black agarwood and sandalwood, and Rose Rondeaux is decadently laden with fresh raspberry and juicy blackcurrant, dusted with iris and warmed with patchouli: all of them all-natural, and all-beautiful to wear.

 

 

Angela Flanders was a fragrant phenomenon: an woman with a life-long passion for perfume, who was still working – and creating beautiful scents – into her eighth decade. Now, through her daughter, Kate Evans, Angela’s legacy endures… From her career as a television costumer designer to opening a store in the heart of the bustling Columbia Road market in 1982, the perfect restoration of a Victorian shop featured bowls of scented pot pourri made by Angela, beautiful fabrics and all manner of desirable things. The pot-pourri fragrances were so popular, customers begged her to make room scents and perfumes, and Angela’s world soon became exclusively fragrant as her perfume selection grew notoriety – Precious One, an exquisite jasmine/tuberose that softens to a green chypre – winning a Fragrance Foundation Award for Best New Independent Fragrance in 2012.

From the golden tobacco and spice of Ambre Noire to the perfect white flower wedding fragrance of Bouquet D’Amour, Angela excelled at seamlessly blending precious ingredients. Now, inspired particularly by her mother’s history with and love of fabrics, Kate uses those years spent at her side (learning the craft of perfumery and often advising) to continue their line of so-unique scents. Lawn captures the smell of crisp cotton sheets drying in a dewy floral-scented summer breeze, while the more recent Taffeta evokes decadence with heady hyacinth, soft iris and a fruity rose. What’s more, it’s up for another Fragrance Foundation award this year, so the family talent fully blooms.

 

 

Modernist Fragrance founder, John Evans, entered higher education, as he says, ‘late and non-traditionally’. Embarking on what he calls ‘an accidental corporate career’, trying his hand as a successful novelist before finally settling on his sense of smell to guide him. ‘My dad installed and restored wooden floors,’ John recalls, ‘early memories of fresh cut pine and newly sanded mahogany. Somewhere along the way these merge with the smells of church, incense especially, when I was an altar boy – capped off by a six week spell in hospital when I was five years old and all sorts of odours pervaded my life.’ Travelling to Grasse, he immersed himself in the techniques of fine perfumery, painstakingly experimenting with building his own irreverantly mischevious compositions.

Designed to be genderless, they’re inescapably memorable but never allow the integrity of the wearer’s character to be compromised. So for The Modernist, expect succulent citrus, then greenness dripping with juice, freesia , a hazy flicker of dry frankincense and labdanum before a smoothly woody base. In Nihilism, get ready for a majestically bombastic rose that’s up close and personal with icy aldehydes and a definite sense of a furry embrace in the bezoin base; and for Geist, lemon freshness is suffused by a seamless blend of honeysuckle, musk and gentle amber. Transformative and complex, utterly intriguing, these will all keep your nose hooked all day.

 

 

For the founder of Stories by Eliza Grace, Tonya Kidd-Beggs, being born into the heart of Northern Ireland’s ‘troubles’, and struggling to come to terms with thinking about the future for her children, curated each blend’s inspiration as a personal testament to the power of fragrance in her own life. And Tonya’s own appreciation of fragrance began early. As she recalls: ‘My grandmother’s pearl necklace hung on my tiny neck and I rubbed one of her furs across my cheek. It was laced with Chanel No.5. I breathed in the scent of a woman I would never know. A courageous businessperson who paved the way for Northern Irish women to succeed in a male-dominated market place.’ Named for her twin children (Eliza and Grace), inspired by precious memories, the fragrances feel remarkably like part of your own life as soon as you wear them.

Stories No.1 is all luminescence: bergamot, grapefruit and orange blossom leading to the deep, warm embrace of cedarwood, with delicate touches of jasmine, heliotrope and a fig-tea accord along the way. Ultimately, snugglesome amber swaddles sandalwood and the earthy cool of the so-grounding vetiver. For Stories No.2 Tonya drew on childhood memories of her grandparents’ garden, and it evokes the exuberance of running barefoot on dew-flecked grass, exploring flowers face-first, curls of tobacco smoke exuding from a steamy greenhouse. So special, and so personally evocative to experience.

 

 

The worlds of whisky and fragrance have much in common, believes founder of Kingdom Scotland, Imogen Russon-Taylor. After a distinguished career in the aromatic world of Scotch whisky, Imogen has now gone on to create her own fragrance house – incredibly, the very first to be based in Scotland. 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.’ And thus was born her vision to ‘bottle Scotland’ – using perfume to share old narratives in brave new ways, tapping into the rich stories associated with perfume and natural ingredients in Scotland.

Composed in a thoughtfully contemporary way, they unfurl as fragrant tales alive with possibility. Gusting with outdoorsy botanicals and fresh bergamot, in Portal verdant florals rest on a forest floor of shady vetiver and soul-soothing aromatic pine; while for Albaura the landscape’s conjured through the freshness of snow and ice, blended with berries and botanicals in a scent that is bold, fresh and independent in spirit. Metamorphic‘s geology is composed by black pepper, tobacco, incense, minerals and rose absolute infused with a splash of whisky and amber-rich leather. Before long, Kingdom Scotland will be a fragrance name on the lips of perfumistas-in-the-know, far beyond that country’s borders…

We like to offer as many opportunities to try new niche brands as possible, and are aware that (unless you live within walking distance of a niche perfumery) it can be really difficult to try samples for yourself. That’s why we offer the chance to explore these houses through their own Discovery Sets in our online shop,  – a selection of niche brands we think deserve to be celebrated and available for everyone to try.

We also love to bring you our own, carefully curated niche selections, and you can try samples from all these British brands mentioned in our Niche Collection II Discovery Box, so we invite you to test their fragrant wares at your own leisure.

If you love niche, here’s a teaser to keep your eyes peeled and your nostrils primed, as we have a VERY exciting and ultra-exclusive Limited Edition Niche Discovery Box worth OVER £75 (but costing you FAR less!) coming your way TOMORROW (Friday 26 April)… It’s expected to sell-out quickly, so do be sure to grab yours ASAP.

Gentle Fluidity – Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s new duo

‘Same note, two identities…’ So says perfumer Francis Kurkdjian – (pronounced coor-shone, by the way) at the end of the mesmerising film for his new fragrance duo of Gentle Fluidity. Scroll down to watch it, here, and find out how you can get samples of BOTH to try at home…

The idea was to create two fragrances that smell very different – using exactly the same notes but crafting them in such a way, the scents evolve their own distinct characters.

Such elegant playfulness can be said to be something of a signature for Kurkdjian throughout his lustrous career; begining straight out of perfumery school and slap bang into composing his first commercial scent, then aged just 25: Le Mâle for Jean Paul Gaultier.

An instant success and still a best-seller, fragrance fans and perfume industry peers could already see this was a special ‘nose’, setting out to do something different, with an insouciant dry humour and ultimate sophistication. From there, young Francis set about creating Iris Nobile for Acqua di Parma, Lanvin Rumeur, multi-award-winning Elie Saab Le Parfum, and a duo of fragrances for the newly-revived Carven perfume house, among many others. Finally, in 2009, he got to found his very own house, Maison Francis Kurkdjian, near the Place Vendóme in Paris; and his subsequent creations have wowed the fragrance world ever since.

Talking of what creative freedom owning his own Maison affords him, Francis told us ‘…it is my way to express what I think about the world of fragrances, it is my take on luxury. It is nurtured from my background as a perfumer and a composer, my artistic sensibility and sensitivity.’

Put quite simply: the man’s a genius. And we don’t say that lightly.

You can read much more about his upwardly-mobile career and other fragrances on our page dedicated to Maison Francis Kurkdjian, but in the meantime, let us introduce you to his two newest fragrant launches – the Gentle Fluidity duo…

The inspiration: ”Working the ingredient to express its full potential and meeting the challenge of composing two different eaux de parfum with the same notes: juniper berries, nutmeg, coriander, musks, ambery woods and vanilla. The Gentle Fluidity duo was born of the perfumer’s imagination to offer two distinct olfactory silhouettes, for her or for him.’

gentle Fluidity Gold Edition £150 for 70ml eau de parfum selfridges.com
‘In gentle Fluidity’s (gold) generous, enveloping trail, we can find coriander seed essence and an overdose of musks and vanilla. The floral, spicy note of coriander seeds brings, just like musks, ethereal volume and a lingering trail. In the base notes, the gourmand, reassuring notes of the vanilla accord enhanced by the ambery woods reveal a radiant, bright silhouette.’

Gentle fluidity Silver Edition £150 for 70ml eau de parfum selfridges.com
‘In Gentle fluidity (silver), nutmeg and ambery woods are dominant and release a vibrant, comfortable trail. As for juniper berry essence, it leads to an ascending, ultra-fresh, aromatic note, similar to a “gin frappé” effect, balanced by the dry, slightly balmy, spicy notes of nutmeg. The base notes reveal ambery wood facets ranging from sweet and enveloping to powerful and dry.’

It’s really quite remarkable how unique they both smell – the Gold version warmer, a more snuggle-up-and-nuzzle-me type scent, perhaps, which is sure to be a hit for anyone who adores a more decadent, sensual side of perfumes. For the Silver edition, we find an unexpected freshness, a luminescence that shivers beguilingly and feels like wearing a lace shawl spun from dew-speckled spiderwebs. And yet, we must remind ourselves, these are the same ingredients…

It’s a useful reminder that we should never merely glance at a list of perfume notes and assume we know what something will smell like – it depends entirely on how and where the perfumer has used them in the composition; how they react to the other notes around them, the rate they evaporate on the skin depending if they’re used dominantly in the top, heart or base notes. So many factors can utterly transform how a perfume smells on your skin.

And so then – how to choose between them? Well we’re thrilled to offer you the opportunity to try samples of BOTH the gentle Fluidity Gold AND the Gentle fluidity Silver in our Launches We Love Discovery Box – among over a dozen new fragrances we’ve curated for you to explore at home!

Launches We Love Discovery Box £19 (£15 for VIP Club members)

We’re pretty sure whichever of the Maison Francis Kurkdjian fragrances you fall for, it will be just the start of your love affair with this always-exciting niche house… and we cannot wait to see (and smell) what comes next.

Written by Suzy Nightingale

 

Miller Harris get Lost with Violet Ida – try sample sizes here!

Miller Harris are one of our most-beloved British niche fragrance houses, and they continue to breathe colour and life into the classic perfumer’s art – complex fragrances ‘designed to tell vivid urban stories.’

They start with nature, with distinct greens and woods, with carefully sourced floral notes, iris from Florence, French violet leaf, jasmine from Egypt, Tunisian orange flower – but frame these precious botanicals in complex and unconventional ways, often inspired by artists, or more recently, urban foraging escapades and ever-cool, cult novels.

 

As Miller Harris puts it: ‘We honour nature by sourcing the finest raw materials and preserving the delicacy of our ingredients, then curate, combine and harmonise them to create perfumes that combine Parisian elegance with London’s eclectic street styles.’

We wanted to celebrate the fantastically diverse and always-exciting scents Miller Harris are producing, and so as part of our curated selection of Launches We Love Discovery Box, are thrilled to include samples of not one but TWO Miller Harris fragrances we think you’re going to love… Lost and Violet Ida.


Inspired by urban foraging, Miller Harris’s trio turned city greens into scents of dreams. Lost (in the city) is a celebration of that sharp pink ingredient, rhubarb, splashing fruity blackcurrants across a bed of wild rhubarb, rose and geranium. Earl Grey tea, crisp amber and musk settle in –but not before you’ve had your fill of bright fruits. It’s tart, fizzy and moreish – do prepare to have your inner child brought out by this one.

Lost (in the city) £95 for 50ml eau de parfum
millerharris.com

Brighton Rock’s big-hearted Ida Arnold is the muse for this proper-handbag, lipstick-kissed, buxom embrace of a scent. Think glamorously disordered dressing tables and delightfully déshabillé dames up to no good (but with best of intentions) amidst a powdery orris, carrot oil and heliotrope affair. The amber-rich and vanilla-infused dry down is something to snuggle up to and savour for simply hours, and we predict this will be a huge hit…
Violet Ida £75 for 50ml eau de parfum
millerharris.com

Both of these incredible fragrances were composed by brilliant perfumer Mathieu Nardin, and you can read our exclusive Working Nose interview with him, here.

Before deciding which (we predict BOTH) of the Miller Harris fragrances you’ll be indulging in a full-size flaçon of, and exploring their delights in your own time – why not try them out at home in sample-size, in our Launches We Love Discovery Box – along with thirteen other scents, two scented shower gels and a full-size Nails Inc. nail polish (our extra gift to you), that’s worth £15 on its own?

For only £19 for the whole lot (£15 for VIP Club members). You know it makes sense…

Written by Suzy Nightingale

How to shop for men’s fragrances? Spread the love this Valentine’s Day (and beyond)

Are you looking to treat the man in your life with a new fragrance for Valentine’s Day, or a chap who’s just exploring the fragrant world for himself, those endless shelves of scented posibilities can seem daunting. Follow our guide of how to start sniffing out a brave new world…

If you’re buying a scented present:

Don’t leave it to random chance – that could go wrong. Better to tell him that something exciting’s on the way and treat him to a selection box of new scents – take a look at some of the suggestions, below. And first, ask yourself this:

Can the man in your life still wear, with no shame, the same jeans he was wearing aged 17? We’re hardly ones to judge, but we’re betting most could not – and even if they could, that it would be really quite inadvisable for them to do so.

Why, then, do some poor chaps keep getting given the same old scent they’ve been using since they were first shaving?

What type of a chap are you buying for?

Age, character, hobbies and career are all pointers, but can never be an absolute guarantee of what he’ll prefer – he might just surprise you (and himself!) Masculine fragrances have moved on somewhat since the ‘splash it all over’ one-size-fits-all sporty-fresh-or-nothing days. Now there are ‘gender fluid’ fragrances categories, and men are offered opulent ambrées along with sophisticated fougéres; addictive gourmands, bigger, bolder Colognes and even floral-forward scents that smell utterly incredible on a man’s skin.

Where to begin?

We have put together the ideal starting point with a selection of Discovery Boxes, specially curated with a range of fragrances to suit all tastes – from classic and designer names to cult, niche houses they’ll love to explore.

The Men’s Edit Discovery Box £19 (£15 for VIPs)

A new season is approaching – and this is time for any man to switch heavier winter scents to a new fragrance wardrobe. We curated this selection especially for chaps looking to find something new, so there’s something for every man (and plenty of ‘borrowable’ finds) – including Bentley, Parfums de MarlyCristiano Ronaldo and TWO duos from cult brands – Escentric Molecule and Clive Christian – among others. This is a thrilling collection to sniff your way through, and with two added extras from Penhaligon’s and Aromatherapy Associates, this box is worth over £40 to begin with, and is priceless when you discover that new favourite…

 

Niche Collection II Discovery Box £19 (£15 for VIPs)

Our first Niche Collection sold out in record time, so we’ve chosen even more scents this time, including a 7.5ml of Anima Vinci Neroli Wisdom. Alongside treasured houses such as Amouage and Atkinsons we’ve included exciting newness from Parterre, Stories by Eliza Grace, Memoize, The Modernist, Tom Daxon. But it doesn’t stop there… We added skin-loving treats for chaps who know that pampering is self-love they can take part in, too. Keep your face glowing with the recent GOLD AWARD winning skinSense Overnight Leave on Mask (WORTH £8.50) – and ensure your hands smell and feel wonderful with the bestselling Balance Me Super Moisturising Hand Cream (WORTH £10).

Miller Harris La Collection Voyage Pour Lui – was £70 NOW £35!

A versatile selection of Miller Harris’ best selling male scents, what an opportunity to try something from this always wonderful British fragrance house. Inspired by dreamy journeys conjured with every spritz, each of the three fragrances come in luxurious 14ml travel sizes, and are presented in precious miniature versions of their full size bottles. Miller Harris Étui Noir – suede-like leather is supported by the woods and powder of iris. Miller Harris Vetiver Insolent – bergamot and cardamom is balanced against black pepper and balsamic elemi. Miller Harris Feuilles de Tabac – an addictive blend of rich woods, honeyed tobacco leaves and hot spices.

If you’re treating yourself:

It’s best to try a whole range of differing fragrances – that way you can narrow down exactly what it is your nose is loving best. With each of our boxes, some of which you can explore above, we’ve created Smelling Notes to guide you through the process, but here are some handy tips to keep in mind:

– Try the fragrance on a blotter (also known as a perfume ‘spill’); these should be available on perfume counters – and when you buy a Discovery Box from this site, you’ll find a handy pack of blotters already inside.

– Write the name of the fragrance on the blotter, otherwise you’ll definitely forget it, later (and chances are, that one’s bound to be the best!)

– Wait a few minutes for the initial alcohol and the top notes to subside – a lot of people take huge whiffs immediately and then complain ‘it smells of alcohol/hairspray!’ Let it dry a little, first. At this stage you may be able to eliminate one or more, if they don’t appeal – but it is really the heart notes and the lingering base notes which you will live with, and which are crucial.

– You really need to smell a scent on your skin! Remember: blotters are a useful way of eliminating no-hopers and lining up possibilities, but they’re not really enough to base a perfume purchase on. We’ve lost count of the number of scents that didn’t particularly appeal at first-sniff, but which a few minutes/hours later we realised we adored. Fragrances are made to be worn on and warmed by skin, not paper…

– Ideally, try no more than two at a time on the skin – one on each wrist. We don’t believe fragrance-shopping should be rushed, but we all live busy lives. You can try one more, on the inside of an elbow – the elbows also happen to be good pulse-points.

– Try to live with a fragrance for several hours, or better still, a whole day/evening) before you part with your cash. That might mean getting a sample, if it’s available in store (or exploring the Fragrance Discovery Boxes). Try to wear the scent more than once if you’re properly testing it: mood, weather and what you’ve eaten can all seriously change how a fragrance works on your skin, and how you feel about it.

– Spray a darker-coloured scarf or inside of a jacket lining, too, and sniff it later. That way, it still warms with your body heat, but you’re not everwhelmed by it. And you can take it off!

Book a fragrance consultation if you’d really like to make a special occasion of it. Many fragrance houses and department stores now offer this service, some of them are completely free and others you have to pay for (but it’s usually redeemable against purchase). Have a look at our round-up of some of these services; we originally wrote it for people wanting wedding fragrance consultations, but it applies whatever the occasion!

When you’ve fallen in love, only then go back and make your purchase – or flag-up to loved ones which ones you liked most, so they know for future gift-worthy occasions…

Written by Suzy Nightingale

How to buy a fragrance for Valentines Day? Tips & tricks to make sure it’s one they’ll love

Valentines Day – love it or loathe it – is just around the corner, and it’s still the day that generates the most fragrance sales, peaking at 42% of all prestige beauty products sold. So if you’re thinking of splashing out on a scent for your significant other, follow our guide to ensuring success…

If you already know what they love

Great! Well done you. Why not have a look at matching products available, such as a gorgeously decadent bath oil, rich body cream or even a fragranced hair mist. It’s often possible to find travel-size versions of perfumes at this time of year, and if you really wanted to push the boat out – how wonderful it would be to book a couple of nights in a nice hotel or day spa trip, and add the ticket to the box of mini sizes in a golden envelope!

If you have no idea what they like

A pre-chosen selection box of scents showcasing a range of fragrances with differing styles is your saviour. First, think about their personality, their hobbies, the kind of books they see and films they love to watch.Then have a look at the list below and decide which category they most resemble. Then they can try them all home, taking time to choose their favourites from these stunningly packaged sets…

Are they more classic – all about the costumes dramas, historical biopics and adore touring museums? Choose Fragonard 10 x Eauc de Toilette Discovery Set £29

Are they arty & modern – always wanting to see the latest contemporary exhibitions and staying ahead of the fashion scene? Choose Tom Daxon Discovery Collection One £45

Are they a yoga lover – in to excercise as mindfulness, long walks or simply seeking inner peace and spirituality? Choose the Anima Vinci Discovery Set £15 (PS: It comes with a £15 voucher to buy a full size favourite!)

Are they a travel addict – keen to explore exotic climes, always seeking the sunshine and interested in sustainability? Choose the Sana Jardin Discovery Set £30

If you know what they usually wear, but they’d like something new

Well you’re off to a good start! Now all you need to do is type the name of that scent into our genius Fragrance Finder, and the clever algorithm – based on information we source directly from the fragrance houses and perfumers themselves – will suggest six new fragrances that, while different from the original you typed, share a similar mood, character or key ingredients.It really works!

If you just have no idea where to start

The best idea is to get a Discovery Box of fabulous mini sizes and samples from a wide range of fragrance houses, that way they can start exploring and trying them all in the comfort of their own home, and most importantly, in their own time. Each box is carefully curated to include something for all tastes – so they’re bound to fall for one of these!

Once they’ve found ‘the one’ (or perhaps several) you can then buy a full size, safe in the knowledge they’ve already fallen for it. And we’ve something to suit everyone:

The Velvet Collection £12 comes with a full size chocolate bar from Green & Blacks (so you’re alreadyon to a winner), and features a sumptuously seductive range of new, niche and ‘indie’ scents to try.

The Day & Night Discovery Box £19 includes luminescent, sunshine-filled and lighter style fragrances suitable for any day, and a number of deeper, darker scents to spritz for romantic meals or a night on the town.

The Fragrance Wardrobe Discovery Box £19 is a bumper selection of fragrances from designer fashion houses and cult brands, with a stunning suits-all lipgloss and lovely Molton Brown mini included as extra surprises.

The Treat Yourself Discovery £19 lovingly soothes and delights with body-care treats from Aromatherapy Associates, and whole host of wonderful fragrances, with something from classic houses to new niche.

Fabulous Floral Street! The affordable niche house shaking the petals of the perfume world

When we first encountered Floral Street, suffice to say we were blown away by their concept – and oh boy did they deliver in the execution of the fabulous new spins on floral fragrances, and within their standalone Covent Garden store.

Our co-founder, Jo Fairley, has known Michelle Feeney for longer than either of them care to admit – back to Michelle’s time at the Estée Lauder Companies, and then at the helm of revolutionary tanning name St Tropez. So when she announced she was unveiling a fragrance line ‘built on the streets of London’, we were rather thrilled by the whole idea and the stunning reality…

Floral Street’s fragrances are as far from your granny’s florals as it’s possible to get – each created by the star perfumer Jérôme Épinette, who is known for his mastery of natural ingredients. As Floral Street put it: ‘These are bunches – not bouquets. Ingredients, not notes. And it’s about ease, modernity and joy.’ Michelle adds: ‘My mission is to bring fine fragrance to the modern female – so that she might build an entire fragrance wardrobe, which can express the many facets of who she is.’

At the heart of each fragrance is a specific flower (sourced by the legendary fragrance house Robertet) – but each creation brings an unexpected twist,   treated in a way that brilliantly ignites the senses. Take Wonderland Peony, which not only features armfuls of that flower, but pink berries and violets, Anything but cutesy, it’s given a woody-balsamic warmth by cedarwood, alongside vetiver.

London Poppy is ‘a love letter’ to the capital city, ‘a city that sees the sun through the crowds’. Bright as a sun-filled London morning, it bursts into life with Florida orange and Sicilian lemon, a marine note adding a splash of seaspray to the neroli, jasmine sambac and apricot blossom at London Poppy’s heart, before the base of hinoki woods, black amber and cedarwood ventures forth.

The fragrance which has scent critics and beauty editors most excited, perhaps, is Chypre Sublime: an utterly modern take on this sophisticated fragrance family, blending incense with Damask rose absolute, midnight violet, pink pepper and geranium, on a stunning base of benzoin, labdanum and olibanum which – as Floral Street nails it – ‘offers a resin-soaked wood table for the flowers to perch on. A fragrance for musicians, painters and poets.’

Perfumistas have recently been gravitating toward the daringly delicious Ylang Ylang Espresso: A strikingly modern and supremely wearable blend of red rose, ylang ylang and jasmine resting atop a soothing cloud of just-brewed coffee, fresh cream and Sichuan pepper – sustainably harvested from the foothills of the Himalayas. ‘A fragrance to get lost in’ they say, and oh how we love to do just that.

What’s more, all the packaging is recylable and sustainable, and the boxes have been cleverly designed to be used as seed trays, instead of being thrown away! You can read more about the ethos behind the brand on our page dedicated to Floral Street.

We could wax-lyrical about the entire collection, but the very best way is for you to try these exciting new ways to wear floral on your own skin (or to give as the perfect gifting experience). With that in mind, we’re so happy to be stocking the Floral Street Discovery Set, where you can try all 8 fragrance for just £14!


Written by Suzy Nightingale

Fragonard: the historic French house (with THE cutest miniatures)

Fragonard are one of the most beautiful fragrance houses in France, nestled in the heart of Grasse – itself the home of fine perfumery since the 17th Century. Proudly still in the same family, and currently being run by a trio of sisters who mark the fourth generation, Fragonard are something of a fragrant fixture, and well worth getting to know.

The perfumes themselves are simply divine, and the packaging always exquisite – yet we feel this lovely house can often be overlooked. No More! Here, we are thrilled to bring you not one but TWO boxes to indulge in. For yourself to explore, or as a perfect gift to give if you’re not sure what type of fragrance they prefer? Either way, get ready to be blown away by their outstanding character, quality and affordability…

A trio of darling little miniature-sized perfume bottles, holding three of Fragonard’s iconic fragrances, form the perfect way to wear and fall in love with their utterly charming scents. Wonderful for miniature collectors, travelling or keeping in your bag for on-the-go perfume top ups!

Etoile – inspired by the ladies of Provence, who wore broaches known as ‘stars of Digne’ which were regarded as lucky charms – the sparkling  bergamot, apple and ginger top notes blend to a heart filled with gardenia, lily of the valley and jasmine on a base of amber and cedar wood.

Emilie – a bewitching floral composition that blends sumptuous rose petals and jasmine with a more delicate violet note, then wraps them in sandalwood and amber. A fragrance to treasure, conjuring softly blushing shades of pink and mauve.

Diamant – dazzling mysterious, this leaves a luminous trail with mandarin, orange and pepper as top notes, rose, jasmine and plum in the luscious heart, balanced on a rich background of vanilla, patchouli, ethereal musk and caramel.

Fragonard Set of 3 Miniatures £25 for 2 x 5ml + 1 x 6ml

A stand-out collection of heavenly scents in just THE cutest miniature bottles, we invite you to immerse yourself in these joyful droplets of perfume pleasure, and understand for yourself exactly why this perfume house has become a legend.

Grain De Soleil – an alluring fragrance, delicate rose, subtle iris and intoxicating jasmine enhanced by cinnamon, mellow amber, rich vanilla and exotic incense, Grain de Soleil is a true Ambrée fragrance.

Soleil – a heady blend of flowers – jasmine and orange blossom, lily and rose, iris and wisteria – off-set by amber, sandalwood and musk. An intensely radiant fragrance that irresistibly evokes the noontide southern sun. This is THE great Fragonard classic.

Diamant – a sweet-Ambrée, with mandarin, orange and pepper as top notes, balanced by rose, jasmine and plum as middle notes, on a background of vanilla, patchouli, musk and caramel.

Fragonard – an elegant scent that unites suave white flowers, orange blossom with mellow amber, musk and wood.

Belle De Nuit – a true original, deep rich harmony of flowers and fruit on a warm velvety bottom note of musk. A precious fragrance, as magical as an Arabian night!

Fragonard Miniatures Collection £35 for 5 x 7ml eau de parfum

Written by Suzy Nightingale

How to buy fragrance at Christmas?!

How to buy fragrance at Christmas? Where do you even begin? Well, right here with The Perfume Society‘s everything-one-click-away guide! From nervous noses to designer divas and scented gents, we’ve even got the perfect gift for overseas friends. Start (and finish!) your shopping right now…

When you’re not sure exactly what scent to get, or are sick of giving loved ones the same old thing, our overwhelming feedback from happy customers suggests a Discovery Box is definitely the way forward. Bursting with luxurious and often hard-to-find mini, try-me size scents and decadents beauty extras, each box is specially curated around a theme or with a particular kind of perfume-lover in mind.

At The Perfume Society, we’ve something to suit pretty much everyone, no matter how picky about perfume they are! From designer name divas to scented gents about town, millenials desperate to discover what suits them best and those keen to branch out with something different – get those pens ready and see how many gifts you can tick off your shopping list in one fell swoop (and all from the comfort of your sofa/desk/bed!)

Packed with even more new niche scents, there’s an incredible 13 fragrances curated, including a stunning 7.5ml of Anima Vinci Neroli Wisdom. Alongside treasured houses such as Amouage and Atkinsons we’ve included exciting newness from Parterre, fragrantly evocative Stories by Eliza Grace, Memoize, perfumed provacteurs The Modernist, and the brilliant UK niche house of Tom Daxon. But it doesn’t stop there… Keep their complexions glowing (no matter how many nights were spent partying) with the recent GOLD AWARD winning skinSense ANTI-AGING Overnight Leave on Mask (WORTH £8.50) – and ensure their hands smell and feel wonderful with the bestselling Balance Me Super Moisturising Hand Cream (WORTH £10). If you don’t know these names, we’re betting you AND your fragrance loving friends would love to discover them…

Niche Collection II Discovery Box £19 /£15 for VIPs

If you’re not sure what fragrances are currently in their collection, plump for some perfumes that only came out recently. With that in mind, we curated a selection of the newest and most exciting fragrances we’ve seen and smelled this year. It includes sunlit AERIN Hibiscus Palm, whisk-you-to-the-Riviera Tory Burch Bel Azur, and so-pretty Philosophy Amazing Grace Ballet Rose. If they prefer their scents darker and with more intrigue, they’ll love the Clive Christian duo – Chypre ‘L’ for Women and Ambrée-woody ‘L’ for Men. And they can also enjoy the sophisticated Lalique Noir Premier Illusion Captive, Shay & Blue Black Tulip, together with the new KENZO WORLD.

Latest Launches Discovery Box £19 /£15 for VIPs

Know someone who’s stressed, had a horrible year or just deserves some scented pampering? Invite them to take some time and indulge their senses with the glorious scents in this box. The perfume houses range from Amouage to Sana Jardin, Estée Lauder to Fragonard, together with duos from an exciting niche house called The Beautiful Mind Series and the ever-fabulous Miller Harris. We have also included some indulgent little extras to help them really unwind: a sumptuous Heathcote & Ivory Lavender Fields Hand Cream and from Aromatherapy Associates, Deep Relax and Support Breathe Bath & Shower Oils.

Treat Yourself Discovery Box £19 /£15 for VIPs

Is there a male in your life who’s stuck in a rut, and really needs to get their fragrance game together? Give them our most generous men’s collection to date, with sensational scents including Creed Viking (winner of The Fragrance Foundation‘s Best Male Fragrance 2018!), niche offerings from Nejma, Floris and Jack (Richard E. Grant’s fragrance line) and the new Shay & Blue King’s Wood, among this divine selection. Plus as a special treat, we are throwing in a FULL-SIZE Escentric Molecules 03 Body Wash (worth £20 alone!). With so many incredible fragrances to choose from, anyone will feel like a new man…

The New Man Discovery Box £19 /£15 for VIPs

Alas, due to postal restrictions (don’t get us started) we can’t ship our boxes overseas – and we’re as gutted as you are about it. BUT that doesn’t mean fragrance loving friends and family living outside the UK should miss out. We can now offer International Subscriptions to our multi-award-winning digital downloadable magazine, The Scented Letter.

We take full advantage of our privileged access to all the leading ‘noses’, perfume houses, latest launches, news, exclusive interviews and more to ensure The Scented Letter is your finger on the pulse-point of everything that’s happening in the scented world!

The Scented Letter Magazine International Subscription £20 for a full year

If they’re obsessed by fragrance and very possibly will need new shelving units from Santa, just to hold the scents they already own, why not welcome them to our world?! As a member of The Perfume Society VIP Club, they’ll receive the following exclusive benefits…

•  Six issues a year of our online/downloadable digital magazine The Scented Letter – (virtually) the only publication in the world devoted to all things fragrant…

Exclusive competitions with fab fragrant prizes – including bottles signed by perfumers.

An exclusive monthly ‘insider offer’ – special offers from top-name fragrance houses, and ONLY for our VIPs.

•  Early access to tickets for all our events – meet with leading ‘noses’ and key figures from the perfume world, attend in-store events, workshops, etc. (Our VIPs are first to hear about these.)

•  A special member’s discount on our Perfume Society Discovery Boxes (normally £19 – but £15 to our VIPs)

•  Plus, choose them a FREE Discovery Box when you sign them up, from a number of options…

It’s the fragrant gift that keeps on giving for an entire year!

VIP Club Membership £25 for a full year

Still don’t know what to get them? Well, if you happen to know a fragrance they already like, type that name into our Fragrance Finder and you’ll be given suggestions of six other scents we think they’ll absolutely adore, with something for every budget… It’s sheer (almost spooky) genius!

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Explore your Fragrance Wardrobe

What to wear?! We curated an extra special selection of scents for our Fragrance Wardrobe Discovery Box – eleven (count ’em!) perfumes to shake you out of the doldrums and get you excited to explore fragrances you perhaps hadn’t thought about trying before!

We all get stuck in a rut sometimes, constantly reaching for the same or very similar things – from a clothing stash or Fragrance Wardrobe – by means of habit rather than active choice. But you wouldn’t want to wear the same outfit every single day, even if you loved it. The idea of a ‘signature scent’ is a bit old hat nowadays, plus your nose gets used to fragrances if you wear them 24/7, so it’s good to change up your style and try something new.

Here’s a tempting selection we bet you wont have tried all of, from just-launched designer names and new niche to a revived classic we’re totally swooning over.

In the Fragrance Wardrobe Discovery Box, try these olfactory outfits on for size…

 

EFFORTLESS CHIC:

Cartier Carat – Luminescent modern floral with a dazzling fresh bouquet of violet, lily, hyacinth and honeysuckle
Calvin Klein Women – Sparkling floriental hugging green eucalyptus with soft magnolia petals atop reassuringly soft white musk
Elizabeth Arden My Fifth Avenue – Stylish floral radiating crisp citrus, violet leaves and amber-warmed woods

LAIDBACK COOL:

Tory Burch – Unfussy (almost tomboy-ish) floral, a lush bouquet shot through with soothingly cool vetiver
Juliette Has a Gun Moscow Mule – Fresh cocktail with a kick of ginger, lime and apple on an unexpectedly sexy, woody base
Thierry Mugler Aura – Thrillingly original ambrée, hibiscus seeds, Tiger LianaTM, and iris for tropical leafyness infused with mist
Marc Jacobs Daisy Love – Radiant gourmand floating on crystalised cloudberries, swathed in cosy cashmere

GOING ‘OUT’ OUT:

La Perla Classic – Seriously sensual chypre throbbing with Indian carnation and spiced roses on an oakmoss base
Jimmy Choo Fever – Lusciously juicy floriential with black plum, vanilla orchid, jasmine and heliotrope
Anna Sui Fantasia – Delicious gourmand swirling cassis and pink pomelo with raspberry praline and cedarwood

BIG DAY/SPECIAL OCCASION:

Oscar De La Renta Bella Blanca – Succulent white floral freshened with pear juice, gauzy layers of jasmine and peachy musk

There’s also two fabulous beauty extras: a STUDIO 10 Lip Perfecting Balm Gloss in a lustrously blushed coral together with a gorgeously modern chypre in the form of Molton Brown Jasmine & Sunrose Shower Gel (30ml). So get building that wardrobe!

For a mere £19 (£15 for VIP Club Members), you can consider wearing something different and exciting, comfortingly cool or fabulously opulent every single day (or night) for nearly two weeks!

PLUS! Anyone who buys The Fragrance Wardrobe Discovery Box is entered into a prize draw to win a full-size version of one of the fragrances featured! 

We think this would be a great gift for a fashionista friend, or someone who’s nervous about branching out of their fragrance comfort zone, along with hardened perfume lovers already anxious to delve into this bumper box of delights, of course.

So now, the question wont so much be ‘what can I wear?’ but more ‘what can I wear NEXT?!’

Written by Suzy Nightingale

 

Follow our step-by-step sniff-along!

Socks. Cufflinks. Slippers. Perhaps a ‘novelty tie’. The options for Father’s Day presents haven’t exactly kept apace with the vast array of gifts for Mother’s Day, so maybe you’d like to consider giving something really special this year? A fragrant gift that will keep on giving…?

It can be difficult enough to select a new perfume for yourslf to wear, but when it’s a gifting occasion, where do you begin?!

We specially curated The New Man Discovery Box to be a starting point to exploring fragrances. Choosing a wardrobe of scent styles, with something to please every age and occasion, there are thirteen in all to explore, plus a full-size scented shower gel and generous travel-size shave gel. Each fragrance has a web page devoted to describing it in greater detail, giving some of the notes you might smell and an idea of the inspiration behind it.

But we didn’t just want to leave you there. Oh no. How about following us on a step-by-step sniff-along? On our Instagram channel, we filmed two live ‘Unboxing’ videos, to show you exactly what you’re getting and try and answer some of your questions about buying fragrance for men. Infact, there were so many scents to sniff, we had to split the videos in two parts, otherwise we could have been there all day!

Unboxing Part One

Unboxing Part Two

There are so many things to consider when buying fragrance as a gift, particularly if you don’t just want to keep on getting them the same ol’ thing every year. So, here are some of our thoughts about the fragrances, as we explored them during filming…

– A great fragrance we thought would be perfect for a chap who doesn’t like anything too overpowering is Issey Miyake L’Eau Mjeure D’Issey – slightly salty, softly balanced with smooth woods and one of those ‘lean closer for another sniff’ type scents, the bottle is stunning, too.

– Others may like a more ‘punchy’ scent, and Creed Viking certainly hits that spot, with warm spices and mint coursing through the composition to get those senses tingling. We loved the quote from fragrance expert James Craven at the launch: when someone asked if this could be worn for work, he replied, ‘This isn;t for the man who feels he has to ask…’

– There are times you can’t pick out a single note at a time in a scent, as they’re so well blended and harmoniously balanced. Jimmy Choo Man Blue, we decided, gave the overall impression of a ‘sexy man smell’ that’s somehow quite classic and yet modern all at once.

– It’s really important to smell the fragrance on the skin, and live with it for some hours, to get a real feel for its character. Shay & Blue Kings Wood was a case in point: it smells so much more juicy and playful on the skin, and really takes you on a journey through the ingredients. The wood used, here, is (unusually) English oak – strong, smooth and wonderfully dry to smell.

– The ingredients need your body heat to develop and bloom to their best. We particularly loved the sweetness underpinning Mugler Alien Man, for example, which doesn’t come through as much on the blotter, but on the skin is incredibly addictive! This one definitely needs time to appreciate the unusual subtleties.

– Suave, sophisticated and traditional-smelling at first, Dunhill Racing Green takes an unexpected path with a twist of seductively heady orange flower and a healthy dose of black pepper. With a bottle that just won a Fragrance Foundation award for best packaging, the scent inside is sure to be a winner for many gents, too.

– Lists of notes aren’t always useful when considering a fragrance. Someone who says ‘I hate patchouli’ would be surprised how many fragrances use that ingredient, and you may never even know it’s there! In  Jack Piccadilly ’69 it has a leathery, rounded smokiness that feels like you’re in an illicit gentlemen’s club (and with a touch of Earl Grey tea) – certainly not the stereotyped ‘hippie’ smell many still associate with that ingredient. And can you guess which famous actor is behind this house…?

– We loved the collaboration between a traditional men’s tailoring company and the oldest perfumery in the UK, Floris Turnbull & Asser 71/72 smells like a freshly ironed, immaculately made men’s cotton shirt, we felt; an aromatic steaminess with a G&T on the side and a stunningly luminous jasmine in the heart.

– Many people ask which types of fragrances are best for hot weather, and we felt Goutal Bois d’Hadrien would be one that’s ideal: cool, crisp but still with a characterful complexity beneath, it’s like a walk in a pine forest beside a sun-warmed lemon grove. Divine.

– Looking for a fragrance that transitions effortlessly from day to night? We felt Michael Kors Extreme Speed did just that, suitably fresh enough to wear to the office without filling the room, but with a great depth as the fragrance develops.

– Men’s fragrances have come on leaps and bounds, now offering a more diverse array of choices (rather than simply ‘sporty fresh’). Floral notes in fragrances smell incredible on a man’s skin – we thought Mont Blanc Legend Night was stunningly soft, powdered with woodsy violet, snuggly smelling in the best possible way.

– Cologne is a traditional favourite, now updated and with a touch of Turkish barbershop exoticism in Ted Baker Grooming Room Cologne. Ultra green petitgrain sparkles on the top as the heart nestles geranium against leather and saffron, and we loved the rich dry-down of frankincense, amber and musk.

– The majority of niche and high-end designer scents say they are ‘unisex’ or even ‘genderless’ these days. We urge you to put aside preconceptions and just smell… if you like it, you should buy and wear it! Although this is presented as a ‘masculine’ scent, we both enjoyed wearing Nejma KoEptYs, which has a deliciously silky coconut milk note balanced by vanilla, tolu, warm spices, and smells fantastic no matter who wears it.

– When searching for any fragrance gift (or treating yourself!) our Find Your Next Fragrance section is here to help. Simply type in the name of a scent you know they (or you) already like, and our clever database will present you with six new fragrance options to try with several budgets in mind.

The New Man Discovery Box £19 (VIP price £15)

Written by Suzy Nightingale