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 Oriental 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-Oriental, 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

Mmmmmmm Micallef! Get to know (and fall in love with) this luxury niche house

Maison Micallef is one of those fragrance house names on the lips of every glossy magazine and beauty editor, and perfume-lovers in-the-know – but perhaps still one of the best kept secrets of scent, simply because they don’t spend millions on advertsing, and are extremely selective about where their fragrances are sold.

We are thrilled, therefore, to be stocking their fabulous M. Micallef Discovery Collection – a chance to try eight of the fragrances for only £19! Every time we manage to get these back in stock, they sell out REALLY quickly, so scroll down to secure yours now…

So, who are Maison Micallef?

– Founded in Grasse in 1996, and now recognised for their luxurious perfumes – and for flacons unlike anything else in the world – the house brings together the talents of three individuals. First, Martine Micallef (the ‘M’ in the perfume house name): a woman born in St. Paul de Vence, in Provence, who grew up surrounded by art – and with her ‘artist’s soul’ was magnetised to the world of design, painting and sculpture. (She went on to open her own beauty salons.)

– It’s Martine who’s responsible for the extraordinary ‘look’ of Maison Micallef: beautiful and bejewelled, each flacon a work of art – produced and decorated by hand, seducing connoisseurs from around the globe, and is a favourite of some of the world’s wealthiest perfume-lovers.

– The renowned ‘nose’ responsible for what’s inside Maison Micallef‘s bottles is Jean-Claude Astier. Through his talents, Maison Micallef perfumes share a signature richness that mirrors their precious containers. There are well over a dozen fragrances, for men and for women, across many ‘families’ – faithful to the concept of French haute parfumerie but highly influenced by the exotic scents found in Arabia and the Orient.

– The third individual in the Maison Micallef trio is the visionary Geoffrey Nejman, once a ‘hardened businessman’ (as he puts it) until he was seized by a passion for the world of perfumery (and for Martine!) Together they travel the world personally selecting the rock crystals to decorate the bottles, as well as the natural essences inside. Everything’s hand-weighed, mixed, macerated and filtered by hand, too – then shipped to the world’s most famous department stores and fine perfumeries.

The perfect introduction… What’s in the box?
We bet they wont have tried these, M. Micallef is a rare and ultra-luxe house – this is your chance to give a gift allowing a loved one to try a selection of eight scents from the French perfume house – and discover for themselves the scents that make this house one of the most exciting and sumptuously luxurious in the world…

Collection Les Exclusifs: Watch
This perfume is a wonderful elixir that heightens both the scents of gourmet Bourbon vanilla and those refined of tuberose and jasmine. This delightful alliance reminds the wearer of tropical paradise, with every transporting spritz.

Collection Mon Parfum: Mon Parfum Martine Micallef
Imagined and created by Martine Micallef, Mon Parfum is a concentrate of femininity, sensuality and seduction, faithful to her personality. An utterly addictive gourmet fragrance built on orange and passion fruit, carefully accompanied by vanilla and caramel.

Collection Jewel: Ylang in Gold
A nectar of an absolute sensuality, Ylang in Gold is composed of a balanced floral bouquet warmed by sunny notes suggesting southern islands: ylang ylang, sandalwood, coconut and vanilla. On the skin, it leaves a light and delicate pearly golden dust.

Collection Jewel: Royal Muska
Sweetened by its fruity head note, imbued with sensuality of ylang ylang’s indolent flowers and the sophisticated opulence of roses, Royal Muska is exotic and infinitely feminine. The musky base note brings a velvety composition, giving it a small tropical connotation.

Collection Ananda: Ananda Dolce
Expressing the joy of living in the Provence – buds appear in the silence of February and in March, the soft and sensual scent of fresh leaves and fruity almond blossoms, together with a subtle touch of peach, captures sunlight and offers an exceptional range of colours.

Pure Extreme
Combining the finest and rarest natural essences; transparent jasmine, rose and white musk result in a fragrance of refined elegance. This delicate composition reflecting a tenderness and sensuality of exceptional quality: a balance of floralcy on ambered warmth.

Collection Les Exclusifs: Royal Rose Oud
The fruity top note of blackcurrant of Royal Rose Aoud introduces his delicate heart made of rose, from a very special essential oil of Bulgarian rose, which is intermixed to full-bodied and sensual notes of oudh, all based on patchouli, musk and sandalwood.

Collection Ananda: Ananda
The fragrance of Ananda is flowery and delicate, perfectly balanced. The fruity head note of plum is enriched with the floral heart note of violet, based on white musk with a touch of mimosa – an ethereal, beautiful to scent to waft around in waves of tenderness.

Maison Micallef Discovery Set £19 for 8 x 1.3ml eau de parfum

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Thanks for the Memoize…

Scent and memory are thoroughly entwined – every time we smell something new, it’s filed away in our olfactory memory bank; and every time we smell something familiar, tiny pulses fire-up long-forgotten places, people, experiences we didn’t even know were stored so deeply within us. Niche fragrance house Memoize London took this scientifically proven ability and wove their own stories in scent: each fragrance a specific memory and emotional response, bottled…

We are thrilled to be able to introduce you to this remarkable house in the form of a Discovery Set – truly the best way to get to know any house you’re not already familiar with – or even find new favourites hidden within a collection you thought you already knew well.

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. As her mother was ‘an avid collector of unusual scents’, perfumes were almost indelibly linked to scented snapshots of Holly’s childhood memories. ‘A French holiday in the sun, a ride across the waves by boat, venturing through trees in a garden of ferns and Laurels…’ The album of scent memories was filling up fast.

It was in 2011 that Holly could truly begin to follow her dream, joining a prestigious niche fragrance brand and pursuing a career in the industry. But after seven successful years, it was time to start thinking about reaching further, using her love of fragrance and design with the expert knowledge she’d gained, and finally launching her own brand. Holly says she ‘knew immediately’ what the concept should be: sharing the very memories that launched her own fragrant career, while helping perfume-lovers explore their own scented memory bank.

And now, you can share that memory bank while adding to your own scented fantasies, with the Memoize London Discovery Set!

What you get in the box:

Tristitia – The essence of calm, relaxation and pure leisure. Reminiscent of of a lazy Sunday morning, cocooning you in floral and vanilla scented sheets, no need to rise, the amber is keeping you warm…

Avaritia – The essence of insatiability, opulence and unquenchable desire. The first time you dare to think you can have exactly what you want, the need for something that is all yours.

Era – The essence of passion, provocation and power. Lose control of your emotions with this powerful fragrance; reigniting the fire within you, evoking deep seated memories within.

Superbia – The essence of self-confidence, self-love and self-worth. An overwhelming feeling of pride, joy and delight. Recalling a first day of school, the pruned rose bushes, games in the woods, the leather strap of a satchel, a mother’s proudest moment…

Luxuria – The essence of lust, seduction and intoxication. Memories of the first moment of interaction, where desire and passion consumes you. Your skin will tingle with luscious blackcurrant, tuberose and the warmth of musk will captivate you.

Gula – The essence of pleasure-seeking and self-indulgence. A fragrance of sumptuous vanilla, absorbing orange, rich clove and delicate lavender. Gula is an immeasurable mix of thought provoking scents providing unrestrained gratification for your appetites, desires, or whims.

Invidia – The essence of insatiable desire to want, to have, to be who you want to be. Envious and aspirational, your mind takes you on a sub-coconscious journey through the memories from your childhood; always wanting what you can’t have – sweet vanilla ice cream, caramels, tobacco….

Black Avaritia (Limited Edition) – The essence of indulging all of your wants and needs in abundance. Travelling through the rich and woody tones, takes you back on a journey to a foreign land. The warmth on the skin is reminiscent of the sun kissing your skin.

Try the entire collection in the Memoize London Discovery Set £57 for 8 x 2ml eau de parfum

It’s our mission at The Perfume Society to bring you as many of these try-me sizes as possible, so you can do just that: try them (for several days) in the comfort of your own home. Not only is this the recommended way of wearing a new fragrance – giving yourself time to truly experience every nuance of its character before you make up your mind – but we are also very aware that not everyone happens to live within a stone’s throw of a niche boutique or London store stocking these scents. So why not have a browse for a gift (or treat for yourself) in our Luxury Perfume House Sets…?

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Ruth Mastenbroek: A Working Nose

‘Scent is my life.’  Says perfumer Ruth Mastenbroek. Quite simply, she explains that ‘The fragrance is the essence of my art.  It is my signature…’

Ruth Mastenbroek was born in England and graduated with a Chemistry degree from Oxford University. Having trained in the late 70s and then worked as a perfumer in the UK and Netherlands with Naarden International (who later became Quest and is now Givaudan – one of the largest perfume suppliers in the world); Ruth worked in Japan and in the perfume capital Grasse before returning to England to work for a small compan. There she created fragrances for up-and-coming brands like Kenneth Turner and Jo Malone – including her now infamously successful Grapefruit candle. But finally Ruth knew she wanted to set up her own perfumery company, Fragosmic Ltd., in 2003 – the year she became president of The British Society of Perfumers.

In 2010 Ruth launched her capsule collection of scented products featuring her signature fragrance – RM – and also became the first to use the ground-breaking micro-encapsulation technology… in a scented bathrobe!

Ruth launched her second fragrance, Amorosa, in May 2012 at Les Senteurs in London. Her range is now sold in more than 25 exclusive shops in the UK, as well as in the Netherlands and Nigeria. Her fragrances are astonishingly well composed, but more than smelling beaituful, they capture whole worlds and stories in every bottle.

We’re thrilled to be stocking this incredible discovery set of fragrances in the Ruth Mastenbroek Collection for you to try at home. From the smoulderingly sensual to the classically chic, with sunshine, smoky green unisex to travel memories and joyous moments captured in every bottle, we truly believe there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Why not treat yourself (or a loved one) to a whole new world of exploration…?

Ruth Mastenbroek Collection £17.95 for 4 x 2ml eau de parfum

Ruth has long been a friend of The Perfume Society, so we thought it was about time we caught up with her and found out exactly how she goes about making her fragrances, as part of our series of exclusive interviews with perfumers, called The Working Nose

Is there any such thing as an average day for you? What’s your routine?

Ruth Mastenbroek: It’s not quite as rigid as that. What tends to happen is that I get ideas overnight, and then I can try them out in the lab the next morning. I do enjoy writing out my formulas then, and feeling that then I’ve got the rest of the day to work through them. The way that I like to work has evolved over time. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to make a chypre, and the basic structure, but I wasn’t exactly sure what to do with it – there was a lot of trial and error and going back and forth between versions, but eventually I did get there with Signature.

With Amorosa, I knew I wanted to create a tuberose fragrance, because it was so incredibly different from what I’d done, so I wanted to explore. But it had to have something else, which became the ambery woody part of it. With Oxford and Firedance I had a starting point, but then I’d take a chunk out and try something else, to see how that affected the performance and character. It’s not as though I know exactly what’s going to happen when I put two things together. Obviously after forty years I know a lot, I have the experience, but you can never absolutely be sure until it’s done!

Do you keep a notebook with you to collect ideas – how do you keep a track of everything you imagine?

Well it honestly tends to be all in my head, the ideas are very vivid and I like to start working on them immediately, but over the years I’ve made so many different formulas, it’s all written down and I keep a note of every single addition or subtraction I experiment with. That way you have this back catalogue of things that you might not have a use for immediately, but which you know will prove vital at some point! My daughter thinks it’s hilarious that I still write everything down by hand. I still make a note of everything on the computer, but I prefer writing by hand. I do tend to have a lot of Postit notes around, scraps of paper with things that have occurred to me – an unusual combination that worked surprisingly well.

Are you inspired by pictures, textures or sounds at all?

For me it’s a very visual thing – I know some perfumers are synaesthetic and also inspired by sounds, and I can imagine that being very creative working with music, but I see them visually. I think of them texturally, too – very touchy-feely. When I think about my fragrances this way I can then sense what else I need to add to extend that feeling.

Do you need to work in complete quiet – do you shut yourself away when you’re working?

I very much prefer to be alone. I love working and creating on my own. Working from home a lot of the time I can do that. If you’re in a bigger office it’s much harder to do that, but I will always go and find a room where I can go and have some solitude. Otherwise there are too many distractions. I mean, sometimes it’s nice to be distracted, but I like to work methodically through something and just get it done.

When you’re composing a fragrance, are you strict about keeping everything very neutral around you? So not wearing any scented products at all?

Oh yes, you have to really. I mean you end up trying them on your skin of course, because you need to know how they perform, but other scents are very intrusive. Actually, I had one moment that really awkward – I was working for a company where they invited several perfumers to on a day trip to a bluebell wood, with the idea that each perfumer would then create a fragrance based on their personal impressions of it. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of wearing a sweater I’d worn previously had perfume on it. I just didn’t think. But when everything else is un-fragranced (and everyone else there!), boy do you become hyper aware of it. I learned my lesson that day.

What do you think of the rise in self-taught niche perfumers? Do you think it’s a shame they aren’t being trained in that strict way you were?

I think it opens up other routes. But, from what I understand, those who are self-taught are learning about ingredients they can get hold of. And actually that becomes a very limited palette. Whereas, because I had the great fortune to work for a big company, I had access to thousands of materials and had to learn them inside out. On the other hand, Im sure it’s making them really consider what they’re using and how they use it, because they don’t have that luxury. I am a great believer in training, but there just aren’t the places or opportunities for everyone to train the way I did. I guess I’m just glad I did it, you know, a hundred-million years ago, and so I can now rely on that breadth of knowledge and experience. Because in the end, that’s what colours every single fragrance I create…

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Cochine’s sumptuous scents from Saigon

Cochine is one of those fragrance houses glossy magazine editors might talk about in hushed tones, because maybe they don’t want everyone to know their scented secrets just yet. We fell in love with Vietnam’s first luxury fragrance house a while ago, and have no such qualms about sharing them with you, which is exactly why we were so thrilled to get our hands on some of the Cochine Floral Collection Discovery Sets!

Read on to see exactly why we were so enamoured, and how Kate Crofton-Atkins created her dream fragrance house…

One of perfume’s greatest magic tricks is the ability of time travel – propelling us back to very particular moments in life as though those people, that moment in time, wwere with us, were happening right now. But perhaps the most wonderful atribute of wearing scent is the feeling it gives us of being whisked away to some other (hopefully more exotic – and warmer!)  – place in the world. Cochine’s founder, Kate Crofton-Atkins was already deeply in tune with her senses. But it wasn’t until she left London (and her high-power job at L’Oréal), upped-sticks and moved to Saigon, that her life took on an entirely new direction…

Describing how she was ‘instantly struck by the city’s unique style, elegance and romance,’ Kate soon became obsessed with the streets abundantly draped with swags of jasmine intoxicating the air, and so magnificently set against the backdrop of so-chic French style architecture. At that moment, so enthralled by the scenes around her, Kate knew she had to set about capturing these in fragrant form… and so Cochine was born.

With the evocative inspiration of Saigon filling her head and leading with the idea that she wanted to create perfumes that brought to life this special place and unique moments shared there, Kate partnered with a fragrance house based in New York to bring the dream into a scented reality. Spending over a year just sourcing the essential oils harvested from plants in Vietnam, Kate and the perfumers worked hard for yet a further year, making sure they were blending the perfect combinations of these precious ingredients ‘…to reflect Saigon’s diverse flora and distinctive blend of Oriental charm.’ Furthermore, the Cochine products themselves are all made within France and Vietnam to retain the original sensorial inspiration for this perfume house.

True to their ethically sound heart, Cochine don’t stop at the products themselves, but spread the goodwill by supporting sustainable farming projects, such as the Agarwood Project founded by The Rainforest Project, explaining, ‘This Foundation has created a durable and commercially viable solution to the problem of over-harvested aquilaria trees, which are cut down in order to extract agar wood (oudh) oil.’

Sensuality, Saigon and sustainability are at the heart of every single Cochine fragrance, then, and it’s no wonder the first fragrance was jasmine-based, an olfactory flash-back to the first time Kate breathed in that scent when she first arrived in Saigon. And so, White Jasmine & Gardenia ‘…evokes the lush floral scents that infuse the sun-filled streets and gardens of Saigon. White petals of jasmine, gardenia and peony combine to unfold an enchanting aura that is soft yet elegant.’ Even using the decadent hand cream of the same fragrance is a sensorial delight – the delicious scent of the waxy white flowers making an everyday luxury of a daily routine.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese Rose & Delentii brings to life the freshness of just-cut flowers with the dew still on their petals, combining top notes of rose and bergamot with a breath of violet, rosewood and the rare, scented orchid, delentii, indigenous to Vietnam and which flowers for only two months a year. It’s a sophisticated and utterly charming scent to wear, and this one became a go-to rose for several members of The Perfume Society who fell in love with it!

And oh my goodness, Tuberose & Wild Fig is every bit as luscious as it sounds – a truly stunning example of how heady white flowers should be handled, with the extremely costly Tuberose absolute melting into the ripe richness of fresh fig. Slightly milky, shot through with layers of citrus and delving into the cool woodiness of vetiver and cedar in the base this was inspired by an evening walk through a Saigon garden. Closing our eyes, we can almost feel the foliage brushing past, a tumble of petals at our feet, the warm caress of the heavenly scented air on our skin.

Let’s escape there, right now…!

Cochine Floral Collection Discovery Set £35 for 3 x 8ml eau de parfum

Written by Suzy Nightingale

 

Get £15 off a full-size Anima Vinci!

Every now and again at The Perfume Society, we come across a truly special new fragrance house that takes our breath away, and oh boy are you in for a treat when you discover the delights of Anima Vinci.

What’s more, when you buy their new Discovery Set, you can get a free £15 voucher for purchasing the full-size fragrance you happen to fall the hardest for! Read on to find out how…

Nathalie Vinciguerra had spent many years in the beauty and fragrance industry, working hard to eventually become Creative Director of L’Artisan Parfumeur and Penhaligon’s. Along the way, she made connections with some of the best perfumers in the world (read our page dedicated to Anima Vinci to find out exactly who), together seeking out the finest producers of perfume ingredients and ensuring their welfare, along with a deep respect for sustainable, environmentally-friendly working practices, and this ethos was foremost in her mind when creating her own fragrance house.

That moment you smell a scent you adore is truly special: You close your eyes and breathe it in again, deeper still, your mouth breaking into an unbidden smile, your shoulders relaxing as you exhale with a sigh of pure joy. Fragrances have the power to utterly uplift us, to trigger pleasure responses in the brain and transform our way of thinking, and this realisation compelled the already fragrantly experienced Nathalie to launch Anima Vinci.

An expert at talking the perfumer’s language, having spent years coming up with the briefs for some of the fragrances you already know and love, Nathalie realised she wanted to allow these ‘noses’ to create without the limitations and budget-restrictions a larger corporation necessarily need to impose. What’s more, as free-spirit who practically fizzes with energy, she wanted to share her excitement of our emotional connections to scent, and through smelling them, forming a deeper connection to all of our senses, and to the world around us.

You might recall that, earlier this year, we were lucky enough to travel with Nathalie on her annual visit to the Grasse rose harvest – a truly magical experience we will never forget! Now, we are thrilled to announce we are now selling the Anima Vinci Discovery Set and cannot wait for you to dive on in and get to know these stunning scents for yourself.

(And don’t forget – you’ll also get a £15 VOUCHER redeemable against a full-size fragrance from the range! To be honest, the only problem you’re going to have is deciding which you love the most…)

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. Increases the sense of strength, bringing in tranquillity, increasing cerebral functioning and strengthening the nervous system

Anima Vinci Discovery Set £15 for 5 x 1.5ml eau de parfum + £15 Voucher
Now available in our Online Shop

Try the Floral Street Discovery Set!

If you think floral fragrances are a bit fuddy-duddy, think again! With creations by one of the world’s leading perfumers, the new perfume house Floral Street is going to shake up your opinions about florals with their contemporary spin.

Floral Street’s 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.’

Smelling is believing, right? So we cannot urge you enough to get on board the floral revolution by wearing them on your own skin. Each scent takes a single flower as its theme – (sourced by the legendary fragrance house Robertet) – but each creation brings an unexpected twist, treated in a way that brilliantly ignites the senses, and builds an intriguing new chapter to the story. We guarantee these are quite unlike anything your nose will have discovered thus far…

Try all eight fragrances for yourself, with this must-have Discovery Set! (At just £12, we think it’s a total steal, by the way).

Which one will best suit your own scent style? Read the descriptions, below, for a glimpse of the fragrant journey you’re about to travel… and remember – you get to try them all!

Wonderland Peony This 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.

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.

Black Lotus The classic English-Rose dressed in a black leather jacket. Intoxicating, spirited, bohemian and alive. Complex and multi-faceted, the sweet honeyed scent of centifolia rose adds depth to lighter, spicy nuances by way of red peppercorn and saffron.

Iris Goddess There’s nothing shy about these violets. An explosion of powdery petals collide with ripe red fruits. Black vanilla, warm musks and earthy carrot seed bring exoticisim and depth, sparkling lemon zest and red chilli pepper add a jolt of life.

London Poppy A love letter to London: a city as tough as ever-lasting poppies. The scent that opens with a bright beam of light. Sicilian Lemon and Florida Orange bring the zing. A salt-spray marine note adds an unexpected sea-facing view.

Neon Rose You will never have smelt flowers like these. Freshly chopped jasmine draped around your neck. Roses around your wrist. And yet no roses were harmed in the making of this showpiece – these buds were cooked up in a lab for extra punch. Crisp, green Angelica leaves bring a botanical dimension, while fresh Bergamot floats overhead.

Wild Vanilla Orchid It’s vanilla, but not as you know it. A raw-edged confection of creamy vanilla beans, blossom, cassis and citrus, dressed in a bunch of just-plucked jasmine. Offsetting the lingering sweetness; bamboo and sandalwood bend and fold underneath.

Ylang Ylang Espresso  A strikingly modern blend of red rose, ylang ylang and jasmine cross paths with 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.

PS: It it isn’t just the fragrances which are strikingly innovative, but the packaging. Each of Floral Street’s full-size bottles showcases a stunning, decadent flower artwork by renowned fashion photographer Matthew Donaldson – whose flower-powered photography also adorns this Discovery Box.

Tom Daxon reaches new (Magnolia) Heights…

Having just enjoyed one of the most wonderfully warm May Bank Holidays on record, can we now fully eschew the Winter woolies and toss aside our brollies for a while? Well, here’s hoping, and whatever the weather where you are, Tom Daxon had thoughtfully comissioned photographer Ben Quinton to capture the magnificence of London’s Magnolia trees in full-bloom…

These fabulously blowsy flowers are the inspiration behind one of Daxon’s most popular fragrances – Magnolia Heights – a silky, frilly, feminine fragrance we know many of you had already been reaching for even ahead of the first peep of sunshine, and which Tom Daxon describe as…

Endless magnolia lined avenues.

A perception of a magnolia tree in full bloom. Magnolia flower oil’s delicate, green, fruity facets are enhanced by gardenia and jasmine sambac, while ylang ylang and cedarwood recreate its cream like petals.

Tom Daxon Magnolia Heights £155 for 100ml eau de parfum
Buy it at tomdaxon.com

We’re also thrilled to now be able to offer you a Tom Daxon Discovery Collection, all the better to properly discover the scented delights of this innovative, contemporary niche and totally wearable fragrance house.

Tom Daxon is a rising star British fragrance name, championing scents inspired by the ingredients themselves. Tom Daxon grew up around fragrance; his mother – creative director for a leading fragrance and cosmetics name for over 30 years – ‘would often give me new shower gels to try, fragrances to sniff.’ So it was no surprise that by his mid-twenties, this perfume prodigy had already launched his own signature fragrance collection – which we invite you to explore.

Each shareable fragrance is meticulously created with perfumer Jacques Chabert (who, during his career, has spent time working on scents for Chanel and Guerlain).

Tom Daxon Discovery Collection £45 for 4 x 4.5ml eau de parfum

Which ones have you tried so far? Whichever becomes your new favourite, we’re sure you’ll join us in thinking they’re all blooming great…

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Featured Image Photo credit: Margarita Karenko