Christmas gift ideas for men? It can be difficult, we know – and especially this year, when so many of us are apart from our loved ones. But worry not. You’ve come to the right place! We’re brimming over with scented suggestions that will have him feeling fabulous, festive, AND fragrant…
For super men everywhere, we’ve included independent perfume houses making their mark: recently launched ånd fragrance with sustainable and ethically sourced ingredients at the forefront, decadent Italian niche with Laboratorio Olfattivo and Jovoy with their new creation based on the Mayfair store 21 Conduit St. Also including newness from loved names including St Giles, Parfums de Marly, Ruth Mastenbroek, Floris, Caron,Initio, Atelier Des Ors, Kierin NYC and Anima Vinci. We also bring you TWO GROOMING PRODUCTS! FISH Memory Fish Flexible Gel (50ml), and the divinely scented beard savour WELEDA Skin Food (10ml). Up, up and a-spray…!
Yes, we know we’re using the word ‘men’ here, but some chaps perhaps aren’t as advanced in their tastes, fragrance-sharing wise, and will balk at anything not specifically marketed as ‘masculine’ scents. However, here’s a way to ease them in to the modern world – with so many fabulous ‘shareable’ creations being launched, we’ve decided to put our favourites in one beautiful box, for EVERYONE to wear. Niche perfume houses rarely categorise their creations as ‘male’ or ‘female’ – and there’s plenty here with newness from Goldfield & Banks, Kingdom Scotland, BDK Parfums, Vines House Parfum and Rook Perfumes. We also showcase classics such as Goutal Paris Eau D’Hadrien and Eight & Bob Egypt, along with fabulous discoveries from Initio and Atelier des Ors, plus two ‘unisex’ body treats. We won’t be at all surprised if he decides he DOESN’T want to share with anyone else. So maybe treat yourself to one as well?
Mihan Aromatics are a true product of Australia – an up-and-coming perfume house from Down Under. Their luxury, all-natural scents capture the fascinating fragrance landscape of that vast country, created by uber-cool Melbourne couple Josh and Julia Mihan. (They’ve been likened to ‘the BYREDO of Australia…’) In this incredible line-up of gender-neutral fragrances, Josh and Jules combine native floral and spices – including Australian sandalwood, now being deployed by the fragrance industry as a sustainable alternative to Indian Santalum album. You can spray the ENTIRE COLLECTION in this divinely cool set, each one a very clear style; a lightness, a dreamy character, a mood. Try Mikado Bark, a mountainous arrangement of paper and unfamiliar books exude distinction and literary prowess. Or Petrichor Plains, conjuring up the drenching of earth and rock after a shower. Plus: a bonus ‘untitled’ fragrance, still in development, of which you get an exclusive sneak peek… HOW cool it that?!
For chaps unashamedly into decadent scents, you can do no better than choose this collection. Jovoy has a fascinating history as a Parisian house, its customers were a ‘Who’s Who?’ of the Roaring Twenties. Then scent exporter and expert in raw ingredients, FrançoisHénin, rediscovered and revived the fragrance house. So now we bring you this just-launched Discovery Set of FOURTEEN of Jovoy‘s fabulous, opulent fragrances. Created with master perfumers, it is bursting with OLFACTORY HERITAGE and beauty. From Ambre Premier, which layers unisex rose onto vanilla, musk and patchouli to La Liturgie des Heures, evoking the atmosphere of an old cathedral via incense, myrrh and labdanum – and with a dozen more to explore for yourself – each fragrance holds a place in time. Plus each set contains a 10% voucher redeemable against a full size Jovoy fragrance! Daring, decadent, divine: why not treat yourself or – someone close…?
We’ve man-y (sorry) many more fragrant sets with which to entice your senses, simply explore our shop for more ideas (and let us do the sending to save you going to the post office, if you prefer). No matter your budget or the man in your life’s tastes, we have Christmas, fragrantly covered…
Fragrant gifts for fussy ‘hard to buy for’ relatives and friends are even trickier to navigate this year – with perfume testers not available, and more of us opting to shop from home than ever. Fear not! These fabulous fragrant sets ensure even the fussiest person will have loads to choose from…
Every family has one. An aunt whose lips curl disdainfully like Emu’s on receiving your carefully-chosen present, or a parent who helpfully says they have no idea what they want – ‘I don’t need anything, really…’ – but you know if you actually got them nothing, there’d be hell to pay for months to come.
Even if the person you’re buying for isn’t fussy, exactly, but just doesn’t feel confident about buying themselves a new scent; or perhaps you’re not sure where to start when suggesting something new: ready-curated sets are your scented saviours!
Basically, you’re spreading your bet – not putting all your eggs in one basket. Given as gifts, these look super thoughtful and deluxe, but are far more cost-effective than splurging all on one bottle. We can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t love these fragrance choices, frankly…
Ruth Mastenbroek Perfumer London Discovery Set: £27.50
Each scent from this collection – which was a sell-out on this site and has now been smartly re-packaged with lovely, high-quality 2ml sprays – is deeply inspired by Ruth’s memories and experiences. All of the fragrances are incredibly personal, crafted with great attention and care by this master perfumer and former president of The British Society of Perfumers. Here’s what you’ll enjoy…
Firedance (2ml) – a story of celebration… rejoicing in each moment of contentment in life. A modern interpretation of the classic rose perfume, with exotic leather and Damask rose, set against a warming backdrop of oudh and patchouli. Signature (2ml) – Inspired by the ‘scents of my life’s journey’, as Ruth describes it. Featuring an eclectic mix of bergamot, blackcurrant, pineapple and mandarin, with rose, lily and jasmine making up the heart, oakmoss and patchouli creating the sublime Chypre base. Oxford (2ml) – captures the essence of discovery – being exposed to things you have never come across before. Featuring an inspiring mix of bergamot, galbanum, basil and rosemary and jasmine, on a heady base of amber, vanilla, vetiver and oudh. Amorosa (2ml) – the inspiration for Amorosa is falling in love – and this fragrance opens with a stunning, fresh watermelon note surrounded by green leaves. A powerful woody-ambery accord brings strength and depth to the gorgeous white flowers at the heart of Amorosa. Dagian (2ml) – Dagian is the feeling of optimism that breaks at dawn, the exhilarating hope of a fresh start. As the sun rises, a breeze of lime and mint shimmers over notes of orange blossom and rum.
Sana Jardin Discovery Set: £30
Founder Amy Christiansen Si-Ahmed has created a stunning portfolio of perfumes that reflect her life-long love of fragrance – nurtured on travels through the Middle East with her inspirational grandmother. As she told The Perfume Society: ‘The scents I’d encountered on my travels over the years were enchanting to me: the pure and golden shimmer of orange blossom, the mystical, enveloping depth of sandalwood, the seduction of jasmine blooming at night. I felt I could never find that captured anywhere on a department store shelf.’ Created by renowned perfumer Carlos Benaïm, Amy’s collection – Sana Jardin – offers that and more, with sustainability (currently a ‘buzzword’ in perfumery) at the heart of everything they do.
Savage Jasmine Night-blooming jasmine, wrapped around intoxicating musk. Sandalwood Temple Moroccan neroli oil, enveloped it in Atlas cedarwood, Haitian vetiver, creamy vanilla and East Indian sandalwood. Tiger By Her Side Showcases Moroccan rose alongside Somalian incense and Indonesian patchouli. Berber Blonde Filled with the light of Sana Jardin’s signature orange blossom, alongside Moroccan neroli oil and musk. Celestial Patchouli Exotic aromas of patchouli, leather, cinnamon bark and Australian Sandalwood give way to the abundant warmth of rose, jasmine, osmanthus and Moroccan orris. Nubian Musk A sensuously inviting blend of musk and vanilla, rose, jasmine, Moroccan grapefruit flower, Haitian vetiver and Australian sandalwood. Revolution de la Fleur This is a sultry, sun-filled melody of Madagascan ylang ylang, Moroccan jasmine, frangipani, rose, vanilla and sandalwood. Jaipur Chant Heady & Seductive Tuberose. Indian tuberose, the goddess of flowers, blooms in the still of night.
Strangelove Discovery Set: £60
Built around a subtle base of precious oudh [also spelled ‘oud‘], carefully blended with other precious ingredients gathered from all over the world, this is a house that refuses to compromise on quality, and with the very best (meticulously, sustainably sourced) materials at their fingertips. Christophe Laudamiel, punk rock star of the scent world, has created all the fragrances – so read on to delve deeper into each beguiling scent (which are £105 for full-size bottles of 15ml eau de parfum)
deadofnight – empowers its devotees to take risks and dive into their desires. fallintostars – propels a mystical experience of boundless wonder, as lovers transcend time and space to journey into a parallel universe. lostinflowers – evokes the thrill of new love, capturing that electric moment of discovery when two destined wanderers finally collide: lost in time, lost in romance, lostinflowers. meltmyheart – inspires romance and indulgence for devoted lovers. silencethesea – captures the intimacy of the lover’s gaze: soundless, eternal, profound.
The Niche Collection V Discovery Box: £27 (or £23 for VIPs)
For those who are missing browsing, spraying and smelling, The NICHE COLLECTION V Discovery Box is one of our BIGGEST collections EVER, showcasing 19 NICHE FRAGRANCES (plus two divine ‘extras’). In this scent-packed line-up, first explore a box-within-a-box with the ENTIRE COLLECTION from Maison Matine – modern French perfumery we are besotted with. Then swoon over more niche from Trudon, Ostens, Moresque, Mihan Aromatics, Molton Brown and DSQUARED2. Plus, three luscious creations from Bentley The Beyond Collection, and one from each of the opulent Storie Veneziane by Valmont collections. Gift true fragrance exploration to someone you love – or simply get spraying to your heart’s content…
Bentley Beyond The Collection Mellow Heliotrope 1.8ml eau de parfum (£165 for 100ml) Bentley Beyond The Collection Radiant Osmanthus 1.8ml eau de parfum (£165 for 100ml) Bentley Beyond The Collection Vibrant Hibiscus1.8ml eau de parfum (£165 for 100ml) DSQUARED2 Green Wood 1ml eau de toilette (£44 for 30ml) DSQUARED2 Red Wood 1ml eau de toilette (£44 for 30ml) Maison Matine Avant l’Orage2ml eau de parfum (£55 for 50ml) Maison Matine Bain de Midi2ml eau de parfum (£55 for 50ml) Maison Matine Esprit de Contradiction2ml eau de parfum (£55 for 50ml) Maison Matine Hasard Bazar2ml eau de parfum (£55 for 50ml) Maison Matine Into The Wild2ml eau de parfum (£55 for 50ml) Maison Matine Warni Warni 2ml eau de parfum (£55 for 50ml) Mihan AromaticsGuilty Story3ml extrait de parfum(AUD $90 for 30ml) Molton Brown Juniper Jazz1.5mleau de toilette (£60 for 50ml) Moresque Lady Tubereuse2ml eau de parfum(€130 for 75ml) Ostens Cashmeran Velvet2ml eau de parfum(£105 for 50ml) Storie Veneziane by Valmont Collezione Privata Collection Lady Code 2ml eau de parfum (£230 for 100ml) Storie Veneziane by Valmont Palazzo Nobile Collection Casanova 2161 2ml eau de toilette (£136 for 100ml) Storie Veneziane by Valmont Verde Erba I 2ml extrait de parfum (£173 for 8.5ml) Trudon Elae2ml eau de parfum (£180 for 100ml)
The Niche Collection V Discovery Box also features these divinely fragranced luxury extras…
OLVERUM Bath Oil 15ml (£36.50 for 125ml) Weleda Pomegranate Firming Day Cream 7ml (£28.95 for 30ml)
If you’re still not sure what to get, may we humbly suggest this book? It’s perfect for perfume-lovers of any age and experience, and may help them choose with confidence for next year!
The Perfume Bible: £25 (VIP price £16.25)
Co-written by The Perfume Society‘s Founders, Jo Fairley and Lorna McKay, The Perfume Bible is must for every fragrance-lover (and a fabulous gift). It’s an encyclopaedia of all things fragrant – from how to build a perfume ‘wardrobe’ to a line-up of the 100 perfumes to try before you die.
You’ll discover the journey of ingredients from field to flacon, a run-down of the best perfume shops in the world, the history of scent, how to build a perfume ‘wardrobe’ and the all-important line-up of ‘100 Perfumes To Try Before You Die’ – 192 pages, in all…
Luxury fragrance gifts needn’t break the bank – Discovery Sets are the way forward! Stunningly presented, ordered at the click of a button, easy to wrap at home or have sent straight to the lucky recipient: these boxes are the perfect presents for perfume-lovers…
The joy of a luxury Discovery Set is the chance to indulge in the fragrances of ultra-luxe niche and designer houses, often giving your lucky gift recipient (or yourself, let’s face it) the opportunity to try the entire collection of a particular perfume house. Or, perhaps, allowing the luxury of sampling the scented wares from cult brands not everyone knows about yet.
Very few of us could go out and purchase full-size bottles of every brand we want to try – with these luxury gift sets, you can afford to wear every single one!
If you have someone who’s difficult to buy for, or you’re not quite sure exactly what kind of scents they like – gifting a whole range ensures they’ll fall immediately for at least one of the fragrances (and, in our experience, will come to love them all or enjoy sharing with a partner or friends).
To send to loved ones you can’t be with this year, or to treat yourself after a year of woe? Not going to lie, we shamelessly do the ‘one for you, one for me’ rule of Christmas shopping, and most especially this year. Think of the hours of bliss you’ll have! Trying all the fragrances for the first time, reading about the notes, the perfumers and history of the house (all the information you can find right here on this website, with our in-depth brand pages).
Luxury fragrance gifts are a fail-safe way of showing how much you care. Whichever of these you chose, they cannot fail to be utterly delighted…
Harvey Nichols boasts one of the best fragrance halls in the world, and in the last few years have tirelessly worked to bring in many more niche and exciting artisanal houses. We were thrilled to be asked again to curate a box of some of our favourites with them! Twelve luxury fragrances from six houses in this one, showcasing the hotly anticipated UK launch of Atelier Materi and Maison Crivelli, alongside classically adored fragrances from Creed, you can explore THREE fragrances from EACH of these beautiful perfume houses. We’ve added generous MINIATURES with just-launched Juliette Has A Gun Lipstick Fever (5ml) AND Maison Francis Kurkdjian L’Homme À La Rose (5ml)! And lest we forget, the pièce de resistance is Ramon Monegal Flamenco (10ml) swathed in a golden fabric pouch for an extra hit of luxe.
The Indulgence Discovery Box £36 (or £32 if you become a VIP!) Squeal-worthy miniature bottles & indulgence, bottled – for someone who deserves a treat.
Don’t you think you deserve to indulge in this gorgeous box of delights? It’s simply brimming with fragrant fabulousness, from the ENTIRE CARINE ROITFELD COLLECTION (former editor-in-chief of Paris Vogue, dontcha know, based on seven cities and seven imaginary lovers), to a trio of newness from Lalique, inspired by precious metals, we’re going crazy for. We’ve also included generous MINIATURES – inhale DEEP! – from our latest perfume house crush, Vines House Parfums Love Story (7.5ml), together with the so-modern beauty editor’s fave, Floral Street Chypre Sublime (10ml), the dinkiest darling bottle of the delightful Tocca Giulietta (5ml) and for some seasonal va-va-voom, the perfumista’s favourite: Versace Crystal Noir (5ml). PLUS new home fragrance from perfumer Ruth Mastenbroek, whose new candles we’re showcasing – you’ll receive either Ancient Frankincense OR Rebel County, and trust us, you won’t even WANT to leave the house…
AMOUAGEhave been drawing on the ancient, alchemistic traditions of perfume-making, creating perfumes that are loved all over the world for over 35 years. This is a luxury perfume house with its finger on the pulse-point of what modern men and women want, so we are delighted to introduce the truly magical SECRET GARDEN DISCOVERY SET featuringFOUR NICHE FRAGRANCES inspired by the floral haze of secret gardens. Spray away the darkness with a joyful leap in to Spring (oh, yes please!) with every spray from Blossom Love, Lilac Love, Love Mimosa and Love Tuberose – each fragrance crafted using the finest oils and essences sourced from around the world. Dare we say: it’sbetter than a real bouquet and therefore makes a truly WONDERFUL GIFT either for yourself, or someone special. If they like glorious gardens, gasp at flowers and adore floral fragrances – they’ll love you forever.
Taking their name from their motto: ‘Joyau, Unique and Sensoriel’ (a ‘unique sensory jewel’), this ultra-cool niche French house delight in doing things differently. Using vintage bottles in bold, neon colours, allowing their perfumers free-reign and with everything eco-conscious – the fragrances are just are vibrant, but oh so beautifully wearable. Appealing to artistic types who like to tread their own path, the scents are seductively unique (genuinely, we love ALL ELEVEN!) From the salted amber of Ambraser, coffee and oudh of Coffeeze, Cuirissime‘s leather, violet and iris; zesty ginger and absinthe in Gingerlise and darkly daring leathery floral of Noiressence. There’s the whole rose (petals, thorns, humid air) of Rosamonda, sensual rose oudh and vanilla in SexyCrush or powdery soft rose in Sopoudrage to explore. SpringPop is green shoots, fresh cut grass and sea air, while Superfusion‘s silvery musk shimmers intriguingly, and UltraHot crackles with sensual saffron and incense. Oh wow, it’s a fragrant journey alright – and we’re re-using our pots for makeup brushes and pens!
This one’s a Perfume Society EXCLUSIVE (so you can guarantee they wont have this!) Atelier des Ors Discovery Set is truly a majestic perfume house: think decadent scents for perfume-loving grown-ups, created from the best quality ingredients the world can offer. (And the full-size bottles are like snow globes for grown-ups, a-sparkle with flecks of real gold.) Atelier des Ors will fan the flames of your fragrant desires, as Jean-Phillipe Clermont, founder of Atelier des Ors, explains: ‘In every civilisation, gold symbolises the pursuit of perfection and the quest of absolute.’ Get spraying for yourself and explore FIVE NICHE fragrances in this divine set, which you won’t find anywhere else. Aube Rubis is crisp, woody, inspired by the dawn, while Lune Féline captures the brilliance of the night sky and the moon in the most creamy, dreamy vanilla. Musc Immortel sparkles with grapefruit, iris and clary sage and Nuda Veritas swathes the skin in an airy, fresh and pure floral creation. Rose Omeyyade, meanwhile, is a breath-takingly sensual rose and oudh perfume that will make you sigh. We’ve swooned, many times, over all of these…
Ostens Discovery Set £30 The créme de la créme of ingredients + the world’s top perfumers = a luxury niche house of refined elegance.
Friends and business partnersChristopher Yu and Laurent Delafon have been in the fragrance industry for over 20 years, founding United Perfumes (a prestigious fragrance distribution and development company) which afforded them unrivalled access to the finest ingredients and perfumers in the world, including extraordinary new extractions from LRM Naturals of ‘vetiver, rose, patchouli and more. We realised that if we loved those smells, then there were surely other people who’d feel the same way.’ Everyone in the fragrance world raves about these scents, and your recipient definitely will fall for…. Cashmeran Velvet cocooning with smoky woodiness, Cedarwood Heart grounding, while unexpectedly creamy and Jasmine Absolute – addictively heady, just-bloomed jasmine on a sultry day. Two patchoulis explore the note’s diversity: Patchouli Heart No.I a softer, warmer, and a more modern interpretation of the classic, while Patchouli Heart No.II is fresher, aromatic and timelessly elegant. And, oh! Rose Oil Isparta – A rose is a rose…or so we thought until we smelt the unique scent of the Rosa Damascena from Turkey. Love at first sniff…
Why not buy the same box for you and a best friend you’re missing terribly? That way, you can schedule a Zoom meeting, get the wine in and some snacks on the go, and have a live smell-along together!
Explore fragrance during #lockdown – it’s instantly mood-lifting and can be utterly mind-blowing! Here’s how to get perfume samples sent to your home…
Since the first #lockdown, The Perfume Society has more than ever become the go-to for perfume-lovers who want to try fragrances on their skin before buying – or simply experience the pleasure of smelling new scents.
Even during the summer/early autumn window, when stores were reopened, most retailers had removed their tester units, making it impossible for shoppers to discover what fragrances on sale actually smell like. And with the government locking down England once again, The Perfume Society is once again virtually the ONLY way for perfume-lovers to sample fragrance, via our own curatedDiscovery Boxes of samples, together with the wide range of niche brandDiscovery Sets in our online shop.
What’s more, here at The Perfume Society, we offerr a wealth of great advice about how to best test a fragrance in the FAQ section of our website – but the world’s greatest perfumers agree with us, that the only way to truly get to know a new fragrance is by trying it on your skin, first.
Fragrance takes time to develop on your skin. ‘Top Notes’ (the ones you smell first) only last fleetingly, up to fifteen minutes, before disappearing. The ‘Heart Notes’ and ‘Base Notes’ linger far longer, and these are only detectable after properly living with them as your skin warms up and the notes bloom. So a ‘spray and pray’ split-second purchase was never the best way to try perfume, anyway – something many of who’ve ever grabbed a random bottle at Duty Free and lived to regret, hours later on a long-distance plane journey (remember those?!) can relate to only too well.
While some other sectors have struggled, we’ve seen a HUGE rise in sales of our Discovery Boxes for both men and women, with feedback telling us that 70% of those who purchased one of our Perfume Society Discovery Boxes went on to purchase a full-size bottle of one of the samples they tried, and to recommend others to friends.
There’s been a massive rise, too, in people looking for personalised fragrance recommendations, via our Find-A-Fragrance tool. You simply type in the name of a fragrance you already love, and it recommends you six new scents to try (in Male/Female or ‘Unisex’ categories) based on our unique algorithm. It’s spookily accurate! In 2019 we made over 2.5 million personalised recommendations, and that figure is up 161% year on year since the start of lockdown.
We carefully curate each of our Perfume Society Discovery Boxes to include samples and mini sizes from a breadth of fragrances houses. These range from new, niche indie brands and the ‘rising stars’ of the perfumery world, to established luxury and classic high-street names. Even in ‘normal’ times, not everyone happens to live near a well-stocked perfumery or independent boutique, we have delighted perfume-lovers from John O’ Groats to Land’s End with our Discovery Boxes and Perfume House Sets, enabling them to discover, explore and enjoy fragrance in the comfort (and safety) of their own homes.
Feedback from real perfume-lovers about our most recent box include: ‘It’s a treat for me. I work for the NHS and it’s a good stress relief to enjoy them all.’
And: ‘This is the third box I’ve bought and have not been disappointed yet. Even the scents I don’t enjoy are an experience, and I’m able to share the perfume love with friends.’
Don’t suffer from a lack of new scent-sniffing opportunities in your life! Why not take this time to explore a whole world of mind-blowingly great new, niche and luxury fragrance houses you may never have heard of or not yet had the chance to try…?
The La Montaña Discovery Set is a cute wallet of home fragrance samples (to try at home) – a completely genius idea! Find out how to explore them all and use our discount code, below…
We’re all used to the idea of buying a Discovery Set of personal perfume samples – something we’ve been eulogising about for years as the best way to try new scents and be introduced to the style of a fragrance house before buying a full size bottle.
But home fragrances are far more difficult to try before we buy. And as the way our homes smell is such a personal choice, it’s completely genius to have the opportunity of trying the full range in the very home we’ll be scenting with a full size room mist, candle or reed diffuser.
Sustainability is another issue the fragrance industry is (and fragrance lovers) are making a priority right now, and all La Montañga products are sustainable, plant-derived, biodegradable, have a low carbon footprint, and are ‘non-toxic to humans or the environment.’
The La Montaña Discovery Set gives you the opportunity to try ALL NINE of their home fragrances in dinky little room mist form. The La Montaña fragrances are the same across their full range of candles and reed diffusers – so once you’ve tried the room mist samples and found your faves, you’ll know how how the other methods of scenting your space will smell. You can spray them onto the blotters provided, or La Montaña advise you ‘…spritz them into the air, wait a couple of seconds and step into the mist.’ But there’s a number of other ways you miught think of using them….
– Why not keep a set in your car? Much more chic than a garage-purchased novelty air freshener.
– Founder Cassandra says she even spritzes hers on to jumpers to snuggle up in the scent (only dark coloured fabrics, and do a patch-test, first!)
– If you’re lucky enough to be going away on holiday, these are the perfect size to slip into your suitcase to make a hired cottage or hotel room smell like home.
– We think this wallet of home fragrance samples would also be a great stocking filler gift – send to a friend and get them to pick a favourite, which you can offer to buy the full-size of, later.
Usually, the set costs £25, BUT for one week only, you can use our discount code to get it for only £10!
Have a browse of the evocative home scent descriptions – and the incredible reviews – on the La Montaña website – personally, we are huge fans of Winter Oranges to fragrance our homes at this time of year, though First Light is our first choice for the day when working at home, followed by Sacred Roses for a sublime way to wind down. Which rooms will you choose to sample them in, do you think…?
L’Orchestre Parfum harmonise perfumers and musicians to create fragrances ‘to smell and listen to.’ We just know they’re going to strike a chord with you…
We talk of perfumers ‘composing’ a fragrance, using ‘harmonic’ ‘notes’ and ‘accords’. Traditionally, a perfumer would arrange their fragrant ingredients according to ‘top, middle and base notes’, on a ‘perfumer’s organ’. We explored the long history of Music and Fragrance in The Scented Letter Magazine, and L’Orchestre Parfum are a niche perfume house that really turns up the musical inspiration to eleven…
All of the fragrances evoke the central instrument associated with particular styles of world music, with L’Orchestre‘s founder, Pierre Guguen, visiting the workshops of the artisans who create the instruments – smelling the types of wood and materials they use and, wherever possible, then getting perfumers to echo these in the notes of the final scent.
Everything L’Orchestre do has a musical inspiration, so instead of merely creating a set of samples, they wanted to produce a kind of ‘Mix Tape’ – a Discovery Set of six fragrances – which comes with a QR code to scan, so you can sniff and listen simultaneously – the perfect way to experience their greatest fragrant hits and try them on your own skin (while listening to the beautiful music at home).
Each of the fragrances dances to its own individual rhythm, and we feel certain that at least one of them will strike a very personal chord with you.
Simply click on the name of the scents to be whisked to the musical accompaniments…
Thé Darbouka eau de parfum, composed by perfumer Amelie Bourgeois and interpreted by Nicolas Leroy, evokes a Sahara desert dawn coloured by the nomadic rhythm of a darbouka, a goblet drum that has been around for thousands of years. Thé Darbouka is an elusive unisex sweet and spicy fragrance with main notes of bergamot, caraway, candied fruits, immortelle, oud, cocoa and styrax.
Bouquet Encore eau de parfum, composed by perfumer Pierre-Constantin Guéros and interpreted by POPOF with Animal & Me, evokes irresistible techno waves, a fluorescent rhythm in black light with collective adrenaline surging. It is a sublime ultraviolet bouquet of tubéreuse and jasmine amplified by explosive timut pepper. Irresistible Madagascan vanilla, ambroxan and sumptuous musks reinforce the addiction of this euphoric mix. Sensual, carnal and addictive, Bouquet Encore is a narcotic, unisex floral fragrance.
Electro Limonade eau de parfum, composed by perfumer Nathalie Feisthauer and interpreted by NIID, takes you to a terrace overlooking the Mediterranean Sea at sunset, with a ‘chill out’ cocktail in hand. A perfect mix where the fresh essences of lemons, clementines and Italian bergamot dance alongside a mint ‘canaille’ and cocktail bubbles. Rhubarb and orange blossom lead you into a night where the groove is hovering over amber wood bass, incense and Haitian vetiver. A fizzy, sparkling and aromatic electronic unisex fragrance that accompanies you until the early hours.
Flamenco Néroli eau de parfum, composed by perfumer Anne-Sophie Behaghel and interpreted by Mathias Berchadsky, evokes the gardens of the Alcazar Palace in Seville where an evening walk is guided by the subtle arpeggios of a flamenco guitar. Flamenco Néroli is a luminous unisex citrus-woody fragrance with main notes of néroli, bergamot, bigarade, ginger, jasmine, Virginian cedar and Atlas cedar.
Piano Santal eau de parfum, composed by perfumer Jean Jacques and interpreted by Edouard Ferlet, evokes white sheets and somnolent skin scents in a woody, surrealist, musical cathedral. A white woody dream, languorous, pheromonal and milky, it is a mystical moment and unforgettable movement between dream and reality. Piano Santal is a unisex fragrance with main notes of white sandalwood, cedarwood, white musks, heated skin, bergamot, ambroxan, warm milk and caraway.
Rose Trombone eau de parfum, composed by perfumer Anne-Sophie Behaghel and interpreted by Nicolas Benedetti, evokes a Jazz Club in Harlem, New York, where magnetic glances are exchanged during a torrid trombone solo. Rose Trombone is a sensual, clean and aldehydic unisex fragrance with main notes of rose, ‘clean’ notes, pear, vanilla, sandalwood, white musk and rum.
Experimental Perfume Club has always been about pushing the boundaries and trying new things within the world of fragrance, and now they’ve gone one step further – offering their unique ‘bespoke service’ online!
It’s been a tough time for retail, and perfume houses have had an extra layer of difficulty, given that we haven’t been able to smell their scents other than buyingtheir Discovery Sets and getting samples to try at home. We’ve seen a HUGE demand for our Discovery Boxes because of this, so that’s all well and good, but what about those houses offering bespoke, custom-blended fragrances?
Brilliant perfumer, and founder of Experimental Perfume Club, Emmanuelle Moeglin has managed to turn what could have been tragedy into triumph, rby eacting quickly and being one of the first in the industry to dramatically adapt her business to the ever-changing challenges.
As we reported previously, Experimental Perfume Club now offer online classes – from a free mini session to an advanced creation course, so the learning and experimenting (that was the impetus for them launching in the first place) is now available to an even larger audience who can do the classes in their own time, from the comfort of their own homes.
Now, we are thrilled to share that Experimental Perfume Club are bringing their utterly genius bespoke customisation service online, too! The Bespoke Collection and Discovery Set allows you to create and customise you very own unique fragrance online (an opportunity which was previously only available to customers in-store at Selfridges).
We happen to know this Bespoke perfume service works perfectly, as one of the first people to try it in-store when it launched was The Perfume Society’s own Co-Founder, Jo Fairley – followed shortly after by myself. We happen to have almost identical tastes in perfume, but Jo had not mentioned a single note that was in her customised blend. Lo and behold: when we compared, we found we’d both created exactly the same scent, out of the many thousands (hundreds of thoudsands?) of possible combinations! A dark, smoky amber/incense that positvely purrs with provocation, it proved to us beyond doubt their bespoke customisation service genuinely works.
How to get your bespoke-blended perfume:
The new Bespoke Collection includes twenty unique blends, carefully curated by Emmanuelle, to sample and wear at home first. Online, you can use the LAYERS formula finder’s in-house algorithm and ‘receive a shortlist of formulas that match your unique olfactory profile.’ Finally, your favourite fragrance can then be ordered in a full size, fully personalised bottle.
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!
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 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.
Just follow these simple steps, and you’ll be off on a fragrant journey of discovery…
1: Start with what you love
Instead of plunging wildly into the dark and trying every random fragrance you see, it’s a good idea to base your sniff list on something you already know you love. Our Fragrance Finder is completely genius at this, and has been recommended by fragrance experts and Fume Chat podcast hosts Nick Gilbert and Thomas Dunkley as the best place to start when looking for a new fragrance to suit you.
All you need do is type in the name of a scent you already love (or one you know your beloved currently wears) 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!
2: Give yourself time
Now clutching your online-shopping list of scents to try, after purchasing we cannot urge you strongly enough to allow yourself the time to live with them on your skin a while before making a snap decision either way.
– First sniff? That’s the top notes – generally something citrus-y and ephemeral – which can disappear within the first few minutes of spraying because the ingredients evaporate more quickly.
– We find an hour is enough to give you a proper sense of what the perfume smells like on you. And if you don’t want to douse yourself head-to-toe (why on earth not? But each to their own) then spray on a blotter or ‘spill’ (long paper strip) to get an idea.
– Remember – it will only be an idea of the final scent. They were made to be warmed and worn on your skin, not paper, so will often smell very different (and better) on you. And your mood/the weather/food can all drastically alter how a scent smells on you, so ideally, try each one a couple of times.
A lot of fragrance houses are now, thankfully, offering samples of their scents to try before you buy a full size – we stock an incredible selection of Brand Discovery Sets in our shop, as well as our own curated Perfume Society Discovery Boxes for you to try at home.
Having taken a virtual trip to the flower fields with self-hypnosis and meditated with a Love-Alchemist, for the next session on Tuesday 5th May sees (and hears) sound-healer Charlotte Hastings will teach you how to ‘experience your being through the language of sound.’ All with the fragrant backdrop of the stunning scents themselves.
And we’re rather fascinated with fragrance and music, currently, as you will find in our soon-to-be-published next edition of The Scented Letter Magazine. Watch (and listen to!) this space…
Founder Amy Christiansen Si-Ahmed has created a stunning portfolio of perfumes that reflect her life-long love of fragrance – nurtured on travels through the Middle East with her inspirational grandmother. As she told The Perfume Society: ‘The scents I’d encountered on my travels over the years were enchanting to me: the pure and golden shimmer of orange blossom, the mystical, enveloping depth of sandalwood, the seduction of jasmine blooming at night. I felt I could never find that captured anywhere on a department store shelf.’
The scents in the Sana Jardin collection really are strikingly beautiful – a magic carpet ride in every bottle. And – enhancing their feel-good factor – this socially-conscious, luxury fragrance house offers flacons created entirely from recycled glass, along with a sustainability program to help the Moroccan women who pick the orange blossoms used in several of perfumer Carlos Benaïm‘s stunning creations for Sana Jardin.
But don’t just take our word for it, why not explore the collection yourself, from the comfort of your home? Allow yourself to experience the bliss of a scented sanctuary…
Anima Vinci are a niche fragrance house with wellness at their core – not paying mere lip-service to a current trend, but building their scents around a central ethos of literally allowing yourself time to stop and smell the roses (and jasmine, Palo Santo, citrus, sesame seeds…)
With a background at the very first ‘niche’ perfumery house – and years at the creative helm of one of the UK’s most historic fragrance names – Nathalie Vinciguerra brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. But it’s her passion for authenticity and sustainability within the world of fragrance that finally drove her to create Anima Vinci. Starting her illustrious career in Paris at L’Oréal, over seven years, she ‘…acquired in-depth expertise in fragrance development and international launches.’
From 2006 until 2015, Nathalie was the Head of Fragrance Development for Penhaligon’s and L’Artisan Parfumeur – creating briefs and working directly with perfumers to create award-winning fragrances you’ll definitely have worn, including absolute classics like Penhaligon’s Juniper Sling. And it was Nathalie’s excellent working relationship with some of the best noses in the world that further prepared her for the massive leap in founding her own fragrance house, with a very particular aim in mind.
Nathalie genuinely believes in perfume’s power to uplift our senses, and to enhance our own ability to emotionally connect to our surroundings. ‘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.’
A devotee of yoga and meditation for over thirty years, Nathalie’s exuberantly expressed and enlightened concept can instantaneously be understood when actually smelling the beautiful bounty – with Rose Prana, for instance, you will find yourself 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, meanwhile, is an altogether more exotic journey – symbolic of divine hope in India – opulence tempered with lucidity, sandalwood and frangipani, a holiday for the soul.
‘Scent is the most sensational of senses,’ Nathalie explains. ‘The world opens up before me. I’m taken back to my past and propelled towards my future. Timelessly I return to a specific place. Memories take me to my Eden. I enjoy every breath of the world and look forward defiantly. I create fragrances that encourage you to embrace life. All you have to do is breathe.’
For me, personally, the most immediately transportive fragrance in their collection is Wood of Life. Built around the remarkably calming ingredient palo santo (a wood prized for its cleansing and spiritual properties, and burned in many religious and meditative practices), I genuinely feel my shoulders drop an inch when I spray it. And it’s one of those fragrances that just makes you smile and breathe deeply – just as Nathalie describes. It’s so soothing, like wearing an invisible cloak of perfumed protection, and incredibly useful on days you just feel overwhelmed, at work, on the tube, in a stressful situation at home – wherever you are. A notorious insomniac for pretty much all my life, I sometimes wear this to bed. I’m not going to pretend it zonks me out immediately, but smelling it while breathing deeply has definitely helped slow my overactive mind a while – it brings stillness: a perfume to hit the pause button with.
I cannot recommend the Anima Vinci fragrances highly enough – each one has been carefully composed in a collaboration between Nathalie and some of the world’s foremost perfumers, names like Thomas Fontaine, Christian Provenzano, Randa Hammami, Fanny Bal, Beverley Bayne and Michel Roudnitska. Basically a who’s-who of the fragrance world, and an indication of Nathalie’s prowess for connecting and working with these noses she’s spent her entire career communicating with.
But which of the scents will communicate most deeply with you, I wonder? Perhaps it will depend what mood you’re in and how you want to address it on that day – and now, wonderfully, you are able to try the entire collection at home with the Anima Vinci Discovery Set. Try EIGHT fragrances for only £20, and get ready for some self-care with scents. How are you feeling…?
Lime Spirit — Lime acts as a stimulating tonic for the mind and body. Lime pacifies your mood and boost brain power. It is a powerful ancient remedy for cleansing the aura and restoring self-confidence
Rose Prana — It benefits the heart chakra that is responsible for love, spiritual wisdom and mental clarity. Influences the central nervous system, boosts self-confidence, self – esteem and positive feeling. Strengthens the aura and stimulate the body
Jasmine Yang — Tonic and relaxant, it generates a positive reaction in the mind, enhances self-confidence, helps to change the mood and increase spiritual well being
Wood of Life — This elevating, soft, uplifting and sweet woody scent has been used for thousands of years for attaining illumination of mind, awaking self-love
Oud Delight — Illuminates the mind and fortifies the power of thinking. Increase the sense of strength, bringing in tranquillity, increasing cerebral functioning and strengthening the nervous system.
Tudo Azul — The potion to put a smile on your face.
Neroli Wisdom — A relaxing potion.
Sesame Chān — A potion to provide a zen state of mind.
We may be in the depths of winter still, but soon the seasons will change, the green bugs will burst open again, the sunshine will return – and in the meantime, why not treat yourself to some moments of scented reflection and calm, to revive and uplift or simply put a smile on your face? Whichever Anima Vinci fragrance you choose to wear, they’ll really help carry you through.
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