Creative Ways to Festively Fragrance Home, Gifts & Guests!

Of COURSE we are lighting candles and putting out the most beautiful diffusers from our curated Home Scents selections, but when the festive season really gets going (and to be honest, at any time of year), we’re always looking for news ways to scent every corner of our lives.

 

As fellow fragrance-lovers, we know you will understand the thrill of digging through your stash of perfume samples (as you can imagine, we have rather a number kicking about at any one time!) and finding something we’d forgotten about, or hadn’t gotten around to trying yet. May we urge you to do that right now – rifle the boxes and tins and drawers of various samples you’ve collected from our amazing Discovery Boxes, and let’s get to using some of them in even more creative ways: to scent our surroundings for Christmas…

 

 

3 Unglazed Ceramic Hearts £4.30 hobbycraft.co.uk

Consider purchasing a few ceramic shapes (you can get them from art / hobby shops, or online) and spritzing them with something soothing to hang around the house – even on your Christmas tree! We most love hanging them over the end of a radiator to ensure a continuous subtle scent diffusion for every room. And you can change-up the scent whenever you wish, all year ’round!

P.S: A great little stocking gift for friends if packed in a pretty box with a few scent samples, and a little note saying why you chose those perfumes for them.

 

 

 

Scented Table Settings

If you have several candles on the dinner table, having them all be scented can be a little overwhelming during a meal. However, how about using some naturally fragrant foliage and additions to a central table display? Buy an extra jar of cinnamon sticks and twist some florist’s wire around them to pop in a swag, add sprigs of rosemary atop napkins, and even think about spritzing the table cloth with a seasonal scent! (Be sure to check if it will mark the fabric, though, beforehand by spraying on a tissue).

 

 

 

Perfumed Presents

Grab some samples of scents that perhaps weren’t for you or you want to use up, and spray tissue paper (from a distance, so you don’t mark it). It adds an extra-special touch to a gift bag or box, and you could even add the sample to the gift as well!  Who knows, it could be that your gift recipient will fall madly in love with it and thank you forever. And everyone appreciates those finishing touches that shows you’ve made an effort (and this one is so easy). You can also scent wrapping paper and ribbons, or tie aromatic herb sprigs to gift tags.

 

 

 

Make & Fill Your Own Cracker Kit £9.82 thecrackercompany.co.uk

An excellent idea at using up some of your extra fragrance samples or minis is to make your own Christmas crackers. (These also make really gorgeous gifts, which you could personalise, and are SO much more welcome – and far more affordable – than some of the plastic tat shop-purchased ones can be.) Who wouldn’t rather have a beautiful little perfume in a cracker than yet another unusable mini nail file or teeny screwdriver?! There’s lots of patterns and designs for every occasion on this website, because scent crackers aren’t just for Christmas!

 

 

 

 

With all these fragrant ideas for scenting your home and gifts this Christmas, make sure you don’t run out of samples (or choose specific ones if making themed crackers for guests) by browsing our always-expanding selection of Perfume Society Curated Discovery Boxes, and the stunning collection of Brand Boxes (featuring new, niche and beloved designer names). And however you choose to use them – we know you, your home, and your guests will be smelling amazing this season!

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Fragrances For… Feeling Warmer

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

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

 

 

 

VYRAO Sun Rae

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

£135 for eau de parfum libertylondon.com

 

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

 

 

Parfums de Marly Althaïr

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

£230 for 125ml eau de parfum selfridges.com

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

 

 

Abercrombie & Fitch Authentic Self Woman

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

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

 

 

AKRO East

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

£220 for 100ml eau de parfum harrods.com

 

 

 

PACO RABANNE Invictus Victory Elixir Parfum Intense

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

£71 for 50ml parfum boots.com

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Getting Gift Ready (For Friends, Family… and YOU!)

Okay, we know it’s not here yet, but… it’s coming! So how about ticking lots of gifts off all in one go and getting to feel a bit smug about that? (AND even treating yourself?) Here’s our guide of the best ranges to appeal to all tastes in one (fragrant) fell swoop…

 

When you’re not sure exactly what scent to get them for Christmas, 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 everyone, no matter how picky about perfume they are! From designer name divas to scented gents about town, millennials desperate to discover what suits them best and those keen to branch out with something different – 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…)

 

 

 

There’s no doubt about it: gardens help us to feel renewed. If you know a gardener – or garden-lover – or simply someone who needs to explore beyond the perfumed path a little; this is the box for them (or you!) With The Garden Of Delights Discovery Box you’ll find a collection of vibrant, bright fragrances that explore the outdoors (with even a scent created in collaboration with HRH King Charles III, based on his favourite tree! AND the new cult calming scent by Kate Moss). From the green-fingered, to anyone who loves joyfully inspiring scents -they’re all the renewing and rejuvenating benefits of gardens in every spritz.

The Garden of Delights Discovery Box £23 (£19 for VIPs) for 12 x fragrances & a soothing arnica gel treat

 

If you’ve a perfume-loving pal looking to branch out and try some fantastic new brands, as well as designer names we know they’ll love – and make sure they are always on trend and perfectly seasonally scented; this  selection of fabulous fragrances (mainly female and unisex in style), will land at your door each passing season (approximately every three months) – so it’s truly the gift that keeps on giving!

You can choose a Quarterly (£18 every three months) or Yearly (£68 annual payment) plan to suit you. We keep the contents a secret so it’s a true scented surprise to receive in the post each time – think of how happy they’ll be to get that parcel rather than another bill or junk mail. (And hey, maybe you could subscribe, too, and you can compare notes with each box? If you live far away – consider setting up a regular fragrance-chatting and sniffing Zoom so you can talk about your faves…)

Each Seasonal Scents Box Includes:

Seasonal Fragrances  – A collection of fragrances from 1ml – 7ml, these will be kept secret until each Seasonal Scents Box is launched, we just love the element of surprise!

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

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

Hints & Tips – to ensure they get the most out of your fragrances and have fun!

Check out your Seasonal Scent options here, and get ready for your whole new wardrobe of fragrances to explore, all in the comfort of their own home…

 

 

 

 

For the most suave and chic of your perfume-loving pals, here’s a box that swaggers with charm and sophistication. Filled with fragrances from some of Britain’s finest brands – both classic and utterly contemporary names – to help them find their new fragrant passions. Indulging in these voluptuous, classic scents and new launches all from within the UK will keep them feeling confident (and let them know how much they are loved!) Smart…sexy…elegant – this is a box that has it all, and then some, in scent appeal.

Platinum Discovery Box £25 (£21 for VIPs)

 

 

 

 

If you know a chap (or anyone preferring the more traditionally ‘masculine’ style scents) who is a little stuck and not sure where to start on a new fragrance journey – The Scented Gent collection has been specifically curated to appeal. Starting off with some classic names they’re sure to have heard of (and feel comfortable with), which have a more heritage character; then they can be ready to plunge into some scents that will gently guide them into exciting new scent arenas, from new and niche houses. All of them so-classy and easy to wear.

The Scented Gent £23 (or £19 for VIP Club Members)

Last minute gift guide – Christmas presents you don’t need to post… (Sleigh what?!)

That moment of mounting panic when you suddenly realise – you’ve left it too late to post a gift! Uh-oh. But hey, it’s okay – people understand (especially this year with postal strikes and snow causing chaos). Don’t worry: sit back and relax, as we’ve got scent gift solutions you don’t need to post, and which last an entire YEAR…

Here are some ideas that you can ‘gift’ your recipient with immediately, no postage required – simply write them a lovely card and explain you’ve treated them to one of the following (with fragrant swag to follow). If they love to smell great, we guarantee they’ll be delighted…

 

Make them a V.I.P (Very Important Perfumista):

Give 365 days of fabulous fragrance with our Perfume Society VIP Status for only £12, and they’ll get…

•  Exclusive member’s discount on our Perfume Society Discovery Boxes

• Event Tickets: Early access to events – virtually and in real life…meeting with leading ‘noses’ and key figures from the perfume world.

• Exclusive Competitions: just for VIPs.

 

Give them the gift of award-winning fragrance journalism:

For people who love print (we must admit to being partial – for longer features, especially), give them a year of fragrant reading with a Scented Letter magazine Print Subscription for £60. The multi-award winning magazine has won prestigious Jasmine Awards by The Fragrance Foundation, and been described as a ‘must-read’ by industry insiders and perfume-lovers alike. We are delighted that in addition to our digital magazine we can now offer this print subscription of The Scented Letter, delivered to their door.

Appearing seasonally, four times a year, this utterly beautiful magazine beguiles with at least 60 pages of in-depth features, perfume news, features and much more is bound to take you ever-deeper into the scented world. In addition, we feature all the breaking scent news, interviews with ‘noses’ and other creators, alongside fragrant features by the world’s leading fragrance writers. To be read time and again, and adorn their coffee table for years to come!

Treat them to a Seasonal Scents Subscription:

‘What are the best fragrances to wear for SpringSummerAutumn and Winter?’ To answer this we created the Seasonal Scents Subscription, specially curated to help you get the best out of your fragrance and improve your all-important sense of smell. We’ll guide you on the power of trying and wearing perfume, via online Smelling NotesUnboxing VideoHints & Tips.

Each box contains fabulous fragrances for anyone to adore, no matter their gender or taste, chosen from leading fragrance houses beloved around the world. The sample sizes include gorgeous miniatures, and will land at your gift recipient’s door each passing season (approximately every three months) – so they will always have a new scent to make them feel fabulous!

You can choose a Quarterly (£18 every three months) or Yearly (£68) plan. We’ll keep the contents a secret until the day the box is launched – we just know they’ll love the surprises inside…

What to Wear to… your wedding? Perfect perfumes matched to you

What fragrance to wear to your own wedding can suddenly strike fear – so much time is given to choosing the outfits, guest list, table settings and even the colour of the bows for the back of the chairs, that the special scent for the day can be overlooked. And that’s a real shame, as nothing will transport you back to the feeling and memories of the big day faster than sniffing the fragrance you or your loved one wore. It truly is a form of magical time-travel in a bottle, and so selecting the right one really is important.

You might think, well I’ll just wear my normal ‘signature’ scent. Or something else you often wear. But would you traipse up to your wedding dressed in whatever happened to be clean in the wardrobe (which you wear every day to work / the gym / any old weekend)? Don’t confuse the memories – treat yourselves to a new fragrance that will encapsulate the day for you, forever.

So, how on earth should you go about choosing the perfect scent for your ‘big day’ (or any special occasion) anyway? Follow our finding your perfect wedding scents to create an olfactory memory that will last a lifetime…

 

 

 

Where to Start?

Type the name of a fragrance you already know you love into our so-clever Fragrance Finder, and we’ll immediately suggest six new scents we think you’ll fall for! These suggestions are based on a genius algorithm that uses specific characteristics, not just similar note, set by the perfume houses themselves.

Fragrance Consultations

Need some in-person advice? Book a bespoke fragrance consultation as a couple (or on your own if you prefer) – we’ve listed seven scent sittings for you try, and many are completely free, so what do you have to lose?

 

 

 

 

Testing New Fragrances

– It’s vital to live with a fragrance for several hours (better still – an entire day) on your skin. That scent you spritz and immediately fall for may turn into something less than loveable as the notes develop.

– The very best way to try is in the comfort of your own home, with zero pressure. Scroll down to our hand-picked selection of samples for you try, below (they’re perfect for bridesmaids gifts and wedding favours, too!)

– Try not to test more than a few (up to five) fragrances at one time, because too many at once = a muddle (and you’ll likely forget which is which, anyway!)

– Following on from the previous point, when testing a fragrance in store, be sure to write down the name of it on a blotter or jot down your thoughts, and where you tested it, on your phone. By the time you get home a pile of random bits of scented paper will mean nothing to you!

Making it Last…

The fragrance (and the marriage, obvs!) Whatever fragrance you choose, one thing is for sure: if you want it to last from the minute you leave the house until the moment you slide beneath the sheets that unforgettable night, you’ll want to ‘layer’ your fragrance on: the bath oil, the body lotion, perhaps a dusting of the matching body powder, the whole works – and of course, your chosen fragrance itself, a technique which will ‘time-release’ the notes, as you warm up and cool down over the day.

Fragrant Themes

When you find a fragrance you love, consider following the fragrant theme through to your floral arrangements – using some of the floral notes as actual flowers, being inspired by the colours, getting mini-versions (to give as bridesmaid gifts, wedding favours or table gifts), and matching scented candles to use for table decorations.

 

 

 

 

Samples to Try at Home…

 

 

Bursting with exciting and vibrant fragrances from cutting-edge niche scents to beautifully luxurious designer names, this is a collection for those who really want something different on their big day. From the reassuring hugs in a bottle to luminescent soul-uplifting scents and all manner of essences to indulge your mind, body and soul, it’s a box to savour.

Exquisite Essences Discovery Box £23 / £19 for VIPs

 

 

 

An utterly delectable range of luminescent, characterful scents, this stunning portfolio of perfumes is a veritable box of delights to discover for nomads, free-spirits and all those who love beautiful, clasically composed yet contemporary scents. Close your eyes and bask in these (perhaps they’ll suggest a honeymoon location, too…?)

Sana Jardin Discovery Set £30

 

 

 

Dreaming big, the concept of this curation was built around intentions, resolutions, promises and fantasies – encapsulated in fragrant form via an incredible selection of fragrances from artistic, independently owned houses. Featuring some ultra luxe and rising star perfumer’s creations, this is one to truly reach for the stars with every scent.

Dream Scents Discovery Box £27 / £23 for VIPs

 

Create your own bespoke fragrance experience with this fabulous selection, where each eau de parfum is a top, mid, or base layer. Specially created to either wear alone, or layer to create your perfect blend, the combinations are incredibly fun to explore, but cards within each box offer inspirations and guides to begin to your own scent experiments.

Experimental Perfume Club £32

 

A dazzling collection specially put together to help bring you confidence and sparkle; and of course to help you to discover your absolute perfect wedding scent! Comprising head turning, show-stopping fragrances & an indulgent hand cream, you’ll definitely be in party mood: spritzing these will have you popping the Champagne corks in no time!

Time to Shine Discovery Box £30 / £26 for VIPs

 

 

In the French Riviera collection, Alex Simone explores the idyllic moments of a perfect day in Monaco, each scent capturing a differing moment, bottling the quality of the light from sunrise to sunset. For full-on romance on your perfect day, you’re sure to find the moment for you, here – precious memories to make in a succession sensory snapshots.

Alex Simone French Riviera Discovery Set £21

 

 Written by Suzy Nightingale

Hello ’22! A fragrant new year (and new you) with a VERY special offer

New year, new you? Fragrance is the easiest way to revive your spirits or change the vibe (with no counting calories or impossible exercise routines or self-imposed ‘rules’ to follow!) A new scent can give you more confidence and energy or soothe the senses after a difficult time. It can also be your ‘shoulder pads in a bottle’ best friend – or a hug in a bottle, helping you feeling better about yourself every single day.

If you’re new here (hello!) and don’t know all the things we do, or just want to start the new year as you mean to go on; why not consider some of the fragrance-filled options below, and join us in the scented celebrations…

 

Treat yourself to something new (with 22% off*)

Now all the Christmas gifts have been exchanged, we think YOU deserve an extra present for getting through all of last year. We’re welcoming in the new year in the most fragrant way possible, by giving you 22% of ALL our Perfume Society Discovery Boxes (when you spend £40 or more)!

Simply select your favourite Perfume Society Discovery Boxes (*minimum spend £40, valid on Perfume Society Discovery Boxes only, offer ends 7th January 2022) and enter the code Hello22 at checkout.

 

Take the stress out of scent shopping

Fragrance can be bewildering, and finding a new one often overwhelming – that’s exactly why we started The Perfume Society, to take the stress out of shopping for a new scent. How can you find your perfect perfume? What’s the best way to take care of it? How can you make it last longer? Where should fragrance be applied, to get the most out of every spritz? Nobody’s born knowing these things, so we’ve collated answers to dozens of the questions we’re regularly asked in our FAQ section. Simply head there and click on the question, and your answer will appear!

 

Find your next favourite fragrance

How can you find the perfect scent to suit you? It’s a question we’re asked more than any other, and can be somewhat overwhelming if you don’t know where to begin. And that’s at the best of times – let alone trying to navigate buying a new scent from your sofa, without sniffing beforehand!

We have the perfect perfume solution: our genius Fragrance Finder

You’re simply asked to type in the name of a fragrance you like already, and the so-clever algorithm does all the work for you. This is a computer system that was first set up decades ago, when our clever Co-Founder Lorna McKay had an idea how to help customers of Liberty’s perfumery seek out their next scents.

That computer program has been fully updated with key words comparing and describing hundreds of thousands of fragrances – not only the fragrance notes, but how the fragrance will make you feel, the atmosphere the perfumer has created, the character of the scent itself. All you need do is type in the name of a fragrance you already love and you’ll be given an immediate list of six scents to seek out, all at various price points and with characteristics you’re extremely likely to swoon for. Honestly, try it – they’re quite spookily accurate!

Become a V.I.P

For just just £12 per year, you can join our special VIP club and receive the following exclusive benefits for 12 months of fragrant fun…

Special Discounts:  £4 off our professionally-curated Perfume Society Discovery Boxes, you’ll hear about all the launches before anyone else. This year we will be offering even greater discounts and some fabulous 24-hour price drop opportunities exclusive to our VIPs.

Digital Subscription to The Scented Letter: You can read more about this below, but all VIPs get immediate access to our award-winning online magazine, delivered to their in-box– featuring perfumes, perfumers, ingredients and so much more devoted to all things fragrant. Psst ..we’ll send you the latest Scented Letter as soon as you sign up..!

Event Tickets: Early access to events – virtually and in real life…meeting with leading ‘noses’ and key figures from the perfume world.

Exclusive Prizes: just for VIPs.

(Please note: due to shipping restrictions we cannot send our boxes to the Republic of Ireland or internationally.)

 

 

Read The Scented Letter, our multi-award-winning perfume magazine, now FREE for everyone!

Described as a ‘must-read’ by industry insiders and perfume-lovers, we are delighted that our gorgeous and fact-packed digital magazine, The Scented Letter, is now free for everyone to read in digital format online. You can read the most recent Time to Shine issue, here. But don’t worry, if you prefer print, the magazine (and back issues) is also available to order in gorgeously printed form via our Online Shop.

Appearing FOUR times a year this utterly beautiful magazine, featuring at least 60 pages on perfume news, features and much more will take them ever-deeper into the scented world, via our Latest Launches round-up of the new men’s and women’s scents, exclusive interviews with the world’s best perfumers, stunning spreads devoted to the fascinating history and future-forward trends shaping the perfume world.

However you choose to celebrate in scent, we wish you a wonderful (and fabulously fragrant) year ahead for 2022!

3 top tips to choosing a fragrance – for a gift, or for yourself. Our guide makes it easy

Our 3 top tips to choosing a fragrance take all the worry and confusing out of selecting a scent – be that a gift for someone else or as a treat for yourself.

With Father’s Day around the corner, fragrant gifts are much on our minds, but we wanted to create a guide that gets your started on your journey and, even better, can be used for any time you find yourself confused while pondering perfumes…

 

3 top tips to choosing a fragrance

1: If you already know a fragrance they like

Have a look at matching products available, such as a gorgeously decadent grooming products like body/beard oils and shower gels or body lotions. It’s often possible to find travel-size versions of fragrances (which are always useful and well-recieved).

If you don’t want to get them the same old thing, then take a look at our genius Fragrance Finder – simply input the name of a scent they already wear, and it’ll give you SIX suggestions of new fragrances to try with similar notes, themes or ‘feel’ about them, all in differing price ranges. It REALLY works – just try it for yourself to see!

 

3 top tips to choosing a fragrance

2: If you’ve no idea what they like (or want to get them something new)

Think about how they dress, or the way they decorate their home – this is an excellent indication as to their character, and therefore the style of scent they probably prefer. Are there particular materials they’re drawn towards, or colours they normally go for? Fragrance, texture and colour and have many qualities in common.

Look for scents packaged in those colours – huge amounts of time and money are spent ‘matching’ the juice to the mood evoked by those hues – or described with those words, such as ‘velvety’, ‘suede’ or ‘crisp cotton’ in the notes. Or consider their interests: sporty gym types might prefer fresher scents, artistic types might prefer a more opulent aesthetic.

But scent selection isn’t always a matter of joining the dots – some people like fragrances you’d never guess at! So the absolute best solution is to buy them a Discovery Box so they can try all manner of differing fragrances in their own time. They may even surprise themselves with their favourite.

 

3 top tips to choosing a fragrance

3: How do I know if a fragrance suits me?

Give it TIME on your skin. So many of us spray, sniff immediately (that’s just the alcohol you’re smelling, with perhaps a mere whiff of top notes) and either make a snap purchase or walk away. Those opening notes can disappear in mere minutes, you really need to let it settle for twenty minutes or more to smell the middle or ‘heart’ notes. The ‘base’ notes are made from ingredients with the heaviest molecules, so these can take several hours to warm and then evaporate on the skin.

If possible, try the fragrance on a blotter first (also known as a perfume ‘spill’); these used to be available with testers on perfume counters, but because of new Covid-19 safety measures, many stores don’t allow these now. (We always tend to take our own – and include a handy pack in each of our Discovery Boxes).

Allow a few minutes for the alcohol and the top notes to subside, and then smell the blotters. 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. 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.  You really need to smell a scent on your skin.

Don’t try more than about four or five at a time. Your nose will become overwhelmed. Just sniff a sweater or a patch of your own bare skin to ‘re-set’, or go outside and get some fresh air – smelling coffee beans is a fallacy, it’s just filling your nose with another smell!

Jot down a few words to describe how you feel about each fragrance. These should be emotional words or things it reminds you of (a fabric / musical instrument / colour / place / time of day). They might sound abstract, but are a true reflection of how a fragrance is melding to your personality (or otherwise). Come back to the blotters several hours later and smell again – see if those words have changed.

The best way to find a new fragrance – as a gift or for yourself – is to try several samples at home in a Discovery Box, a curated selection of scents from a large number of houses; or a Brand Discovery Set, showcasing the entire range of fragrances from a single house. With time to let them develop, zero pressure and scents you may have overlooked in-store (or never even heard of before), it’s the perfect way to find that new perfume love…

By Suzy Nightingale

Niche fragrances for £50 and under! Indie (not spendy)

Cultivating a love for niche fragrances is a thrilling exploration of what those independent houses are creating – a bit like the catwalk shows in fashion, often showcasing exciting new trends years ahead of the mainstream. But, as many of us know all too well, it can become somewhat injurious to one’s wallet if you want to try several all at once (and we always, always do!)

Last week we suggested some that were Thrifty but Nifty, while this week we focus on the ‘indie’ or more artisanal scents that could be your next guilt-free perfume purchase. Because, yes, there are niche fragrance houses with more afforable perfumes for you try. So whether it’s your first foray into the world of ‘niche’, or you’re simply looking for a treat-to-self; here’s some seriously wonderful creations that wont make a huge dent in your budget, but could become your next fragrant fixation…

 

Skandinavisk Kapitel 12 £43.20 for 50ml eau de toilette
Celebrating the Scandinavian right of ‘freedom to roam’, let’s throw on a warm sweater and stride onwards through banks of purple heather and frosted thyme, foraging for berries and herbs nestled in hedgerows. That glorious just-snapped stalks fresh-airiness evokes leaf sap and spring just about to unfurl, a sense of freedom we so need, now.
skandinavisk.com

 

4160 Tuesdays Amberama £32 for 15ml eau de parfum
Sometimes you might just long for a bit of frivolity in a fragrance, one that smells good but doesn’t take itself too seriously, perhaps? Presenting an 80s girl-band-inspired scent that relishes the glow and longevity of amber with a fun raspberry / iris /sandalwood heart that gets woodier and warmer as it wears, but with no bananas to be found…
4160tuesdays.com

 

ånd fragrance Sånd £35 for 10ml parfum
If it was bananas you were after, find them (surprisingly) within this ode to sandalwood. A strikingly modern take on the ‘old dependable’ wood of perfumery, as they put it, this wraps you in the most comforting blanket of creamy, dry, cardamom-infused deliciousness; cuddling down to a rich, resinous base. One to wear when you so want a hug it hurts.
andfragrance.com

 

Maison Matine Warni Warni £50 for 50ml eau de parfum
Journeying through cosmopolitan cities encompassing diverse cultures, this niche French brand jofully encourage us to be ‘a bit daring every day’. Wearing this takes us somewhere warm, the smell of grass scorched by the sun and crickets chirping in the languid heat, a delicious orange-blossom breeze as you sip tea and contemplate the better things in life.
harveynichols.com

 

Floral Street Arizona Bloom £24 for 10ml eau de parfum
Perfumer Jérôme Épinette captures a feeling of freedom – something we’ve sorely missed, lately in our now even more tech-heavy lives. Queen of the Night flower is spiced by black pepper, lush with Balinese coconut and tethered by woody oakmoss; the amber-y desert-like dryness conveyed by salted musks. Truly one to make the heart soar!
floralstreet.com

 

Niche V Discovery Box £27 (VIP price £23) for 19 fragrances + 2 beauty extras
Because we understand you’re missing browsing, spraying and smelling, we curated a selection of some of the finest niche fragrances out there to try at home. Showcasing an incredible cross-section of what’s happening niche right now, you’ll find houses such as Trudon, Ostens, Moresque, Mihan Aromatics, Maison Matine, the entire Storie Veneziane by Valmont and Bentley Beyond collections, and always forward-thinking Molton Brown and DSQUARED2. It’s a whole niche perfumery experience from the comfort of your sofa – what’s not to love?!
Buy your Niche V Discovery Box here

And if after all that you’re still up for exploring more pocket-friendly niche perfumes, do have a browse of these Brand Setsniche fragrance collections from only £8

By Suzy Nightingale

Thrifty but nifty – pocket friendly perfumes that smell amazing

Looking for pocket friendly perfumes that smell fabulous but won’t break the bank? They’re the holy grail at any time, but most especially in January – the bleakest time of year – when we most need a little something to perk ourselves up.

Perfume has come to mean so much to so many more people these last few months – we can use it revive flagging spirits or grant us some courage when we need it most. A quick spritz can swathe you in comfort and soothe frazzled nerves, transport you instantaneously to somewhere else in the world or reanimate a long-forgotten memory of happier days.

But perhaps you’re like us and have just paid your tax bill (hello reality) and though you’re not feeling flush, still really, truly, desperately need SOMETHING NICE to look forward to?

Never fear! We have selected some of our favourite fragrant treats – perfumed pick-me-ups that wont break the bank but still smell utterly wonderful. There’s nothing over £50 here, but you’ll still smell – and feel – like a million dollars…

 

Berdoues Avoine & Coquelicot £25 for 100ml eau de toilette
The cool intrigue of cardamom is warmed with a tingle of saffron and the soothing softness of oats before the fresh bouquet of poppy, jasmine, lily of the valley and violet peek through – a heralding of spring. Sublimely powdery heliotrope swirls with creamy almond, a glimmer of amber and delicate white musk: comforting as cashmere.
Dsquared2 Green Wood Gift Set RRP £44, currently £35 for 30ml eau de toilette
Invigorating lemon and aromatic santolina are sprinkled with spicy bourbon pepper, while suave cedarwood and vetiver ripple to the verdant breeze of cypriol; the base resonates with deeply warming notes of ambrox and musk. Although marketed as a ‘masculine’, this is for anyone who wants to feel like they’ve been for a head-clearing walk in the forest.
Miller Harris Lumière Dorée RRP £14, currently £9 for 9ml eau de parfum
Neroli has to be one of our all-time favourite notes – it feels like wearing sunshine – here celebrated with the golden fizz of bergamot, a luminescent jasmine and delicously honeyed orange flower. Luminous amber and reasuringly clean musks makes this a sheer delight, in every sense oif the word, and a so-welcome burst of happiness, bottled.
Yardley Daisy Sapphire RRP £20, currently £16.00 for 50ml eau de toilette
Close your eyes and remember what summer felt like – waking up to blue skies, leaving the house without worrying about an umbrella or a coat… Now let the delightful flurry of green leaves and apple flutter to the heart of hyacinth and white rose before drying down to snuggle of sandalwood and musk in the base. Instantly cheering on the dullest days.

yardleylondon.co.uk

Coach Dreams £35 for 40ml eau de parfum

Perfumer Antoine Maisondieu invites you on a sunny road trip through the American West. Along the imaginary open road, with the roof down, you’ll encounter notes of bitter orange, juicy pear, cactus flower and gardenia, concluding your journey with notes of Joshua tree and musky Ambroxan. And we adore the apothecary-inspired new bottle!
4711 Original Eau de Cologne £6 for 25ml

No round-up of pocket friendly perfumes would be complete without the iconic 4711 – it’s often reached for on hot days, but don’t wait ’til summer to experience the mood-enhancing whoosh! Colognes take on a new aspect in the cooler months; the classic lemon, rosemary, lavender and neroli notes feel like sunlight filtered through unfurling leaves.
escentual.com

If you’re hungry for more, we’ll be doing another round-up next week, with the emphasis on incredible niche fragrances you can try for £50 and under. In the meantime, why not have a browse of our Discovery Boxes – the perfect way to try to try perfume at home, from only £19 – £36!

 

By Suzy Nightingale

Stocking fillers – mini scented sets!

Stocking fillers used to be novelty gifts, somewhat lacklustre confectionery goods and perhaps a satsuma – lovely to open as a child, of course, but now we’re finding adults are massively in to the nostalgia of exchanging Christmas stockings. And we require the fillers to be a little more… fabulous, let’s say.

Because let’s face it, the stocking presents were the highlight of Christmas – encapsulating the excitement of waking up and ripping off the wrapping paper with wild abandon. You may wish to rise at a rather more dignified hour, now, and perhaps begin the day with a cup of tea (or a long glass of Mimosa – well it is Christmas!)

But why not consider putting together a stocking stuffed with lovely little gifts to give a partner – or send a friend you can’t be with this year, and face time them as they open it?!

Here’s some mini sets and exciting fragrant finds we’d love to find in our stockings this year… Give them the whole box, break up a set to gift several friends (or keep some for yourself? We won’t tell…)

 

Banana Republic ICON Discovery Set £8 for four fragrances
This pocket-friendly set showcases four of the Banana Republic fragrances – scents that have fast gained a cult status among fragrance afficionados, who were wowed by their originality, longevity and and diversity. From sun-soaked orange blossom to smoky rose, a cashmere soft hug to vibrant forest-y freshness – you’ll definitely know someone who’d adore exploring these.

Sous Le Manteau Collection: £19 for five fragrances
Olivia Bransbourg discovered a 19th Century book of actual French love potions in a Parisian flea market. Fascinated by the centuries-old recipes and with the help of perfumer Nathalie Feisthauer, these potions were reincarnated into FIVE divine fragrances, in a dinky parcel that fits in the palm of your hand. You’ll be enraptured by honeyed sensuality, wrapped in a cloud, grounded in the moment, embraced by powdery kisses and tempted by feverish naughtiness…

 

Maison Matine Discovery Set £15 for six fragrances
This quirky French niche house urges everyone, no matter our ages, to be ‘a bit more daring every day.’ With free-spirited, immediately uplifting fragrances, each one has been created by emerging ‘noses’ and possesses its own unique charm. They believe – as we do – that perfume has the power to help you overthrow a bad morning and actively choose to change your day. Tropical odysseys, calming cocoons, zesty adventures and the whole world awaits!

 

Rook Perfumes Discovery Set £15 for three fragrances
Here’s a perfume house with infinite layers – rule-breaking and innovative as well as beautiful. Described as ‘a diplomat dressed as a punk rocker’, Rook was created by founder, Nadeem Crowe, as his signature scent, while Forest conjures damp earth, wet moss and cedar and Undergrowth exactly evokes ‘pulling fresh garden mint from the earth.’ Crowe happens to be an NHS frontline doctor AND actor (yes, really!) and uses the power of perfume to transport himself. Where, we wonder, will his creations transport you…?

 

L’Orchestre Parfum Mix Tape Vol.1 £25 for six fragrances
A mix tape? It genuinely is – you simply scan the QR code to listen to tracks inspired by the fragrances (which are, in turn, inspired by musical instruments). And oh, the fragrances are stunning: carnal florals to soothing sandalwood; a fizz of electro-pop to the smoky rose throbbing with deep vibrations of a trombone. There’s something for everyone to fall for, here (particularly great for music lovers!) and we’re sure a number will strike a chord with you.

 

Experimental Perfume Club Discovery Set £25 for six fragrances
This fun set features fragrances to layer, explore and learn with – a brilliant gift for those wanting to become a perfumer, or hungry to explore their sense of smell. Each eau de parfum is either a TOP LAYER, MID LAYER or BASE LAYER. Wear alone, or mix them up – cards within each box offer inspirations to start to your scented experiments. Dive into the fun of discovering your own favourite combination – a unique fragrant blend that’s as close to bespoke as you can get!

By Suzy Nightingale