Trending Now… Rhubarb!

Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb… No, we’re not practicing being an extra in a film (it’s what they traditionally mutter while appearing to chat in the background, FYI!) – rhubarb is proving a hugely popular trend in perfumery, so let’s get to the crunch of this vibrantly fruity fragrance note.
We first started seeing rhubarb making a fizz around 2015, but now the note is hugely popular and has set its own scent trend. How come? Well rhubarb is one of the happiest notes in fragrance, its bright, zippy character is distinctive, fun yet with a properly grown up poise to it – it definitely feels more sophisticated than many fruity notes in fragrance.

While providing a modern twist to classic floral or citrus bouquets, it simultaneously has more than a whiff of nostalgia about it, too – most of us have fond childhood memories of eating it baked in a crumble, or just freshly picked, raw and dipped in sugar. 

 

Despite rhubarb’s unmistakable tartness, it manages to play very nicely with other perfumery ingredients – melding wonderfully with violet, jazzing up a rose or other fruity cocktail-like notes, and adding an energising ZING of freshness that’s perhaps more intriguing than your average citrus.
Says CPL Aromas Marketing Executive Aitana López de Carrión: ‘It’s a great note for providing those green, fruity and refreshing accords. As a fruity note, it works particularly well, as its not as sweet and sticky like mango or strawberry.’
The perfect addition to a summer scent wardrobe, here’s some fragrances resplendent with rhubarb that we’re loving right now…
 

 

Celebrating ‘home is where the heart is’, Molton Brown showcase a duo of star ingredients often grown in our own gardens, much beloved by us Brits. Perfumer Vanessa Prudent conjures comforting childhood memories of baking, a sprinkle of sugar and pink pepper dusting rhubarb’s crispness, the leaves swagged by armfuls of soft pink roses. Marrying crisp fruitiness to the cedar muskiness of the base via silky cream ribbons, it’s an elegant reverie, bottled.
Molton Brown Delicious Rhubarb & Rose
£85 for 100ml eau de toilette moltonbrown.co.uk
Or try a sample in the Exquisite Essences Discovery Box

 

 

 

 

FLORAL_STREET_ELECTRIC_RHUBARB

 

Inspired by happy summer days in the garden, sipping Prosecco with your nearest and dearest, this immediately joyous scent was created in collaboration with the Royal Horticultural Society. The unique combination of English rhubarb and sea salt give the white floral blend a much-needed jolt into the 21st Century, and it’s the perfect instant mood-lifter, much like said Prosecco (but thankfully this one won’t leave you suffering on the sofa the next day).

Floral Street Electric Rhubarb
£64 for 50ml eau de parfum floralstreet.com

 

 

 

 

Forget where you are, close your eyes and inhale as Nathalie Feisthauer’s fragrance takes you ‘to a terrace overlooking the Mediterranean Sea at sunset, with a “chill out” cocktail in hand’. Mixing fizzing citrus and mint, capricious rhubarb and orange blossom sway to a groove that throbs over the amber wood, incense and Haitian vetiver base. Aromatic electronica, interpreted by NIID in the accompanying musical track = laidback vibes resonating into the early hours.

L’Orchestre Parfums Electro Limonade
£129 for 100ml eau de parfum ab-presents.co.uk

 

 

 

Oh we’re so enraptured by this contemporary and so-wearable take on rose – one to wear when you want to add the sense of twirling in a gauzy shocking pink gown (worn with trainers) we feel. The bright rose is entwined with sharp blackcurrant for some edge, and the sparkling, zingy rhubarb exudes throughout. Aqueous peonies add dewiness, while those blackcurrants expose its greenness. Petals, stalks and stems: this is a nose in a rosebush. Rich, jam-laced Moroccan rose absolute adds depth, for a scent that sparks a child-like joy within. Now: twirl!

Experimental Perfume Club Rose Rhubarb

£98 for 50ml eau de parfum experimentalperfumclub.com,
or try it in the Experimental Perfume Club Discovery Set

 

 

 

If you think rhubarb in scent doesn’t spell sex appeal, this now absolute modern classic will make you think again. Yes, that familiar tang is there in the top notes, backed by some red berry sweetness. But perfumer Christine Nagel gives it some irresistible French allure, pairing the tartness with animalic white musks that lend a beautiful other-worldliness. The result is a bouquet that’s just as distinct and memorable as the brand’s more famous Eaux des Merveilles. A must have!

Hermès Eau de Rhubarbe Ècarlate
£87 for 100ml eau de Cologne hermes.com

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Scents of Occasion: Jubilee street-party perfumes

With crowds witnessing the Queen’s spectacular Platinum Jubilee procession, and thousands busily preparing trestle tables filled with homemade food for street parties around the country for Her Majesty’s incredible 70 years as monarch – we’re scenting our Jubilee celebrations with two quintessentially British (fragrant) flavours as inspiration…

 

 

 

 

Cucumber:

Served in sandwiches (crusts cut off, obvs) or popped in a refreshing G&T, the choice is yours  – but do seek out these deliciously cool cucumber-infused scents.

  

4160 Tuesdays Scenthusiasm

4160 Tuesdays Scenthusiasm
Originally created for a private gin company’s event, fragrant inspiration fizzes via orris butter, rose absolute, lemon and orange, cucumber extract, juniper absolute and coriander, boosted with musk for longevity.
From £40 for 15ml eau de parfum
4160tuesdays.com

 

 

 KILIAN_ROSES_ON_ICE

 

Kilian Roses on Ice
‘Anyone for notes of gin, distilled with rose and cucumber?’ Kilian ask. A rhetorical question, as we enjoy the icy freshness of juniper berries, contrasting with the velvety warmth of rosa Centifolia, sandalwood and musk. Chin, chin!
From £165 for 50ml parfum
bykilian.co.uk

 

 

 PERFUMERH_CUCUMBER

 

Perfumer H Cucumber
Opening with a gust of juicy greenness: a touch of galbanum and sea moss, alongside notes of watermelon, bergamot and lemon rind. A breeze of cedarwood and vetiver in the base is wrapped in a shrug of warm musks.
From £110 for 50ml eau de parfum
PerfumerH

 

Garden Fruits:

Slathered on Victoria sponges, enjoyed in a bowl of Eton Mess or stirred in a jug of Pimms, the piquant pop of fruitiness is a delight to wear in fragrant form, too.

 

 

Christian Louboutin Loubidoo
Daphné Bugey’s fruity, feminine strawberry, rose and cedar blend beckons good (fragrant) fortune being finished with a lucky cat symbol. They say it ‘Tip-toes on velvet paws…‘ We say: Mischievously moreish!
£235 for 90ml eau de parfum
selfridges.com

 

 


Juliette Has a Gun Lipstick Fever

Raspberry, iris, and violet absolute evoke the comforting scent of a precious leather handbag, before the addictive sweetness of vanilla slowly emerges on the skin. As for the suitably scarlet flacon? Mwah, mwah!
£120 for 100ml eau de parfum
harveynichols.com

 

 

MAISON_MARGIELA_REPLICA_SPRINGTIME_IN_A_PARK


Maison Margiela Replica Springtime in a Park

Dappled light through branches, a crisp breeze, pink cherry blossom tumbling on pears, bergamots and black currants; aqueous blooms, lily of the valley and dewy roses  – a perfect perfumed portrait of happiness.
From £49 for 30ml eau de toilette

selfridges.com

Fragrances For… Welcoming Spring

The turning of the seasons is the perfect time to explore a new scent, to draw a metaphorical line under the colder months behind us and look forward to brighter days in fragrant form! Spring can be beautifully welcomed-in with these softly blossoming (and blooming lovely) recent launches. Which would you like to try, first, we wonder…?

COLLEZIONE PRIVATA BY VALMONT
Collezione Privata Just Bloom
For the fourth fragrance in the collection, we’re presented with a stunning bouquet of white flowers, traditionally a symbol of femininity but chicly paired back, here, allowing the blossoms to fully bloom. CEO Sophie Vann Guillon’s favourite flower happens to be lily of the valley, so joyfully evoked in the top notes, and complemented by the creamy exoticism of gardenia in the heart. Finally caressed by the ethereal woodiness of ambergris, it’s a sun-dappled delight.
£230 for 100ml eau de parfum
harrods.com

CHLOÉ
Nomade Eau de Parfum Naturelle
Celebrating ‘the merging of cultures and the poetry of encounters’ this new, 100% natural origin evocation is an olfactory exploration that whisks us to distant landscapes as dusk falls. Bergamot breezes its zesty freshness over sandy dunes, Egyptian jasmine absolute’s joyful glow meets the addictive smoothness of succulent date accord, rippled with creamy sandalwood and vanilla. It seems to billow hopefulness, somehow: soothing memories of skin still warm from a day’s adventures.
£54 for 30ml eau de parfum
lookfantastic.com

 

BVLGARI
Rose Goldea Blossom Delight
Swapping out heavier scents for fresher fragrances feel like a proper escape from winter, an exuberant change in the weather here evoked by the delicacy of lily of the valley, powdery peony and a kiss of musk. This pretty bouquet is further refreshed ‘by incorporating the freshness of the rosebuds at sunrise, embraced by just-picked spring flowers.’ We’re dropping down the denier scale in olfactory form, wearing this joyous ode to spring.
£65 for 50ml eau de toilette
bvlgari.com

CREED
Wind Flowers
Inspired by the flowing movements of a dancer, this feminine fragrance feels like a handful of petals tossed to the breeze. Indian jasmine and Tunisian orange blossom are twirled with a peachy softness, the perfumer adding a further flurry of jasmine sambac, tuberose and the fruity notes of the Centifolia rose into the fragrant ballet. Orange blossom blankets the base, with a delicious praline that swirls to a finale of hushed musk.
£260 for 75ml eau de parfum
creedfragrances.co.uk

GABAR
Ground II
‘We’re rooted in Myanmar and made for the world,’ the founders of this niche house rather beautifully explain, and the inspirations are firmly planted there, too. Based on traditional La Phet (tea leaf salad) and Thanaka (tree bark) the verdant crunch of stalks is seamlessly stirred into dough-like orris, fig, saffron and sandalwood silkiness that had us burying our noses in our wrists. A majestic oudh, patchouli and vetiver trail truly feel grounding, hours later.
£120 for 50ml eau de parfum
gabarmyanmar.com

 

Get #smellfie ready for International Fragrance Day – Monday 21st March!

Get your #smellfie ready to post on Monday 21st March to celebrate International Fragrance Day and you could be in with a chance of winning a NEW Seasonal Scent Subscription Box PLUS a fragrance bundle worth over £300. [Competition only open to U.K. residents because of postal restrictions, sorry!]

Ever since we first came up with the #smellfie concept (SIX years ago, now!) we’ve been asking people to celebrate their favourite fragrances on this day, with bloggers, celebrities and perfume lovers from around the world getting involved by posting. Because it’s not about competing (although of course the prizes are lovely) – it’s about showing how much fragrance truly means to us, and sharing that perfume passion.

We know how fragrance can make us feel brighter in difficult times – so show us which scent you’re wearing with your #smellfie!

What is a #smellfie? A selfie with your favourite fragrance. It’s that easy.

 

 

 BE AS FUN & CREATIVE AS YOU DARE!

In past years, some people have gone to town and dressed in all manner of incredible costumes or celever shots, but they don’t have to be complicated – we just love seeing your faces and hearing a little bit about why you chose that fragrance.

 

 

How to post on MONDAY 21st March 2022:

On Instagram: hashtag #smellfie and tag @theperfumesociety in your photo

On Facebook: hashtag #smellfie and tag @ThePerfumeSociety in your photo

On Twitter: hashtag #smellfie and tag @Perfume_Society in your post/photo

 

After all the images are in, we’ll be choosing our top 3 favourites. Every winner will receive The Perfume Society’s NEW Seasonal Scents Subscription. The OVERALL winner will receive a subscription AND a fragrance bundle worth £300. Now that should put a smile in your #smellfie, eh?

We can’t WAIT to see which fragrances you choose for your #smellfie on Monday, March 21st! – don’t forget to use that hashtag, and tag us to make sure we see them all. Until then, we’ll be wondering which of our scents to choose…

By Suzy Nightingale

The unintentional hilarity of vintage fragrance ads

Given the current state of the world, we thought we’d cheer ourselves up with a look back at some of the most hilarious vintage fragrance ads of yore.

Now that we’re firmly in the 20s, we’re feeling distinctly nostalgic for all things vintage anyway – but it’s easy to forget how drastically advertising styles change over the years. What once was ultra cool can turn to cringe in the blink of an eye. YouTube is the gift that keeps on giving, as far as viewing vintage adverts is concerned, and there’s a whole host of fragrance ads that range from the unintentionally hilarious to the downright dodgy. We’ve rounded up some more of our favourites to keep you smiling for the rest of the week…

There’s a distinctly Monty Python-esque feeling to this advert from 1969. At any moment, one expects a character to ask, ‘Alright, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh-water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?’ To which, according to this advert, we can now add: Bacchus Cologne. He’s not the messiah, he’s a very smelly boy!

Lasers, leotards, smoke machines… could this be the dawn of the 1980s by any chance? This couldn’t be more thrillingly of its it time (1981 to be precise)  if it tried, and we even have SCIENCE (along with some nifty robotic dance moves, which I’m pretty sure we’ll all be breaking out down the club this weekend) to back up their claims of ‘pheremones’ in every bottle of Jovan Andron, that are ‘guaranteed to attract.’ Attract what, we’re not quite sure. Stifled laughter?

We can imagine the storyboard the advertising team created before filming this advert for Hawk Cologne in 1981, showing a ‘man who reaches higher’ – embodying all the freedom and graceful power of a bird of prey as he effortlessly conquers the rock he’s climbing. Unfortunately, the images somehow don’t match the voiceover, because what we see is a rather gormless chap with a bowl haircut looking for all the world like he’d need nanny’s instructions to climb the stairs to bed. Ah well, it probably looked good on paper.

This woman is not on the verge of a complete breakdown, she’s just ‘a little bit Kiku.’ That’s all. It’s 1969 and she’s fine, okay? She’s just changing her mood every two seconds and wearing a salad bowl on her head. She’s NEVER BEEN BETTER, thank you. In fact, aren’t all women, ‘a little bit Kiku?’ Well perhaps, but in public we try to hide it. Now take that off your head, Sandra, and come with us. We’ve all been rather concerned about you…

It’s not merely the yellowish hue that makes this 1976 advert look like a cheese dream: we think the people behind this campaign had been at the last of the Camenbert. In an unfathomably long sequence, we see Charles Bronson gawping weirdly at a piano player, then burst through the doors of his own appartment and begin stripping as though he’s joined the Chippendales, all while smoking a pipe. The name of the fragrance? Mandom. Of course it is. Pass the Brie.

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Fragrances For… being kind to yourself

We wanted to bring you some ideas of fragrances to wear when you should be kind to yourself, most especially on this day when ‘love is in the air’, but we often put ourselves at the bottom of a long list of people we need to show how much we care. Valentines Day can be difficult for many, so we say grab a cuppa (and a box of chocolates), and treat yourself to trying one of these recently launched, and all so-beautiful fragrances…

 

 

 

AEMIUM
Rouge Confidence
Swathing ourselves in amber-rich, beautifully-balanced scents is exactly what we want to be doing right now. This suffuses a buoyant, gilded warmth with, notes of supple leather (think freshly polished new boots, joyously kicking through leaves), phosphorescent citrus beaming through cheering freesia and violet. Here’s a new-to-us French house which equates luxury with eco-kind credentials, too – everything sourced, manufactured, and packaged in France to reduce their carbon footprint, and zero petrochemicals.
£125 for 100ml eau de parfum
selfridges.com

 

 

 

DIOR LA COLLECTION PRIVÉE
La Collection Privée Vanilla Diorama
Here is Dior perfumer-creator François Demachy’s ‘ode to vanilla’, which from the initial sparkle of orange to the swoon of that sticky, dark pod’s scent, does not disappoint. Like wearing an amber cloak of silk velvet, texturally cosy with a glamorous, golden sheen, with undulating seams of rum, cocoa and patchouli throughout. Apparently inspired by an off-menu dessert created for Demachy by Parisian restaurant Maxim’s, we’re going to need a bigger spoon…
From £99 for 40ml eau de parfum
dior.com

 

 

 

 

 

VERONIQUE GABAI
Le Point G

This swooningly sensual fragrance ‘draws inspiration from the G spot’ (chaps: if you can’t find it in Liberty’s, just ask!), which ‘grows on skin until it reaches a full completion in an exhale of pleasure.’ Gosh. Softly sexy, not brashly obvious, spicy pepper, silky vanilla and soft white musk drape the skin for hours. Don’t think of this as a pulling perfume – more an invitation to wear fragrance for self-pleasure.
£245 for 85ml eau de parfum
libertylondon.com

 

 

 

BURBERRY SIGNATURES
Windsor Tonic
This collection, ‘inspired by British heritage, artistry, and eccentricities’, really showcases the Burberry DNA. Evoking the royal town it’s named for, expect a certain insouciant grandeur to overcome you as the Cologne-like freshness of piercing petitgrain, bergamot and mandarin sweep to the cool green cardamom and orange blossom heart. Buoyed with wafts of green cypress to the refined woody dry-down, it feels like nothing bad can happen when you wear this.
£190 for 90ml eau de parfum
harrods.com

 

 

 

MONT BLANC
LEGEND
At once familiar and yet excitingly different to the original, Mont Blanc invite you to push the boundaries of your life but in the most reassuringly comforting way. Here, the addition of green violet leaves harmonises with the addictively creamy (almost waxy) floral note of magnolia and a warm, woody, burnished leather as it deliciously dries down. A new signature scent, perhaps, if you need a gentle push out of your comfort zone.
£48.50 for 50ml eau de toilette
johnlewis.com

 

 

Fragrances For… Looking Forward

January often feels like a month (or two!) of Mondays, so we’re reaching for bright and brilliant fragrances to help us look forward again. From vibrant, luminous florals to lightly frosted but sunshine-filled foresty walks and fruity, opulently warm concoctions; why not seek these recent launches out to try on your own skin? The future is bright(er), so let’s still snuggle-up, but also welcome the turning of the seasons, looking forward with these fantastic scents…

 

 

BAMFORD
Woodland Moss

We love Carole Bamford’s description that her new fine fragrance duo is ‘layered, rich and uplifting, much like the natural ingredients in which they are so deeply rooted.’ The ingredients in Woodland Moss and its ‘sister’, Wild Meadow, definitely evoke a sense of the natural world, harnessed here in a woody masterpiece that is at once damp and mossy, earthy and intriguing, rendered elegant and soft by an exquisite garland of dew-drenched rose.
From £25 for 10ml eau de parfum
bamford.com

 

 

BYREDO
Young Rose
Debuted in China –  a country just awakening to the joys of perfume –Ben Gorham refers to this as ‘an ode to the perennial restlessness of youth: an olfactive diary of those who are writing their own future.’ But we’d say this should most definitely appeal to those outside the ‘Gen Z’ or ‘millennial’ age brackets, a joyous clash of Sichuan pepper and Damascus rose, buffed by orris, musk and Ambroxan. What is Mandarin for ‘fabulous’, again?
£122 for 50ml eau de parfum
byredo.com

JEROBOAM
Floro
Jeroboam pioneered downsized flacons: easy on the back, easier on the pocket, now offering this ‘flurry of flowers’. Fruit notes first capture the attention: green and red apples, and luscious pineapple. Then the flowers burst open: jasmine and airy, transparent petal notes, rendered a touch creamy by sandalwood and finished with a flourish of dry woods, white musk and cedar. Eminently shareable, Jeroboam suggest (and oh, we do love flowers, on a chap!)
£90 for 30ml eau de parfum
jovoyparis.uk

 

 

DUNHILL
Icon Racing Red
There’s some extra pep in this engine – perhaps the sizzle of spicier notes with the warm glow of that rich amber base does it, but nonetheless we can say the red is – racier than its somewhat sleeker Racing Blue garage-mate. Solar notes remind us of driving, top down, ‘round winding lanes on holiday with a carefree abandon, the citrus speeding leafy fern and geranium before the frankincense-like base kicks in.
£88 for 100ml eau de parfum
fenwick.co.uk

 

 

JIMMY CHOO
Urban Hero Gold Edition
Luscious pineapple and ripe blood orange offer the most welcome kind of bracing opening, perfectly offsetting the more balsamic sweetness of soothing lavandin and rich, creamy tonka bean (think roasted almonds, lapped in milk) at the heart. This fragrance of contrasts, reflecting the inspiration of street art and free-spirited creatives amidst a city environment, is captured in a special edition golden bottle that will steal the show on his side of the bathroom shelf.
£72 for 100ml eau de parfum
boots.com
 

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!

Ultra luxe fragrance gifts for less

If you’re looking to really spoil a fragrance-lover this Christmas, you can’t go wrong with an ultra luxe fragrance gift. Perhaps they’ve hankered after a niche scent but haven’t allowed themselves to buy it yet, or they adore the finer things in life but haven’t known where to start with fragrance? Well, we’ve several suggestions for ways to treat them (or yourself!) without breaking the bank…

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).

 

La Maison J.U.S Discovery Set £30

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!

 

 

Ostens Discovery Set £30

Friends and business partners Christopher 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.’ And we surely do… At OSTENS they are ‘ripping up the rulebook’ – and we couldn’t be happier about it. Each creation from this dynamic fragrance house is inspired by a raw ingredient, each one developed by a master perfumer (think Dominique Ropion and Sophie Labbé, yup!), given absolute creative freedom with no budget or brief. This refreshing, and simple, approach to fragrance creation has left us in awe. Now you can try the ENTIRE COLLECTION at home, exclusive to The Perfume Society, with six creations ranging from fresh and delicious Rose Isparta to Cashmeran Velvet (based around the seductive molecule Cashmeran), and two different takes on patchouli. This is creativity unleashed – and now you can dive in for yourself…

 

 

 

Manos Gerakinis Discovery Set £35

Inspired by childhood memories of Kavala, Greece, embracing his family’s heritage in Istanbul, and the intertwining of art, history, and philosophy; Manos Gerakinis is the first niche luxury Greek perfume house, and the fragrances truly radiate the diversity and passion of their founder… From an early age, Manos Gerakinis knew that ‘…every bottle is more than a mere perfume; it is a living olfactory experience, unique and mysterious.’ This heady mix of knowledge and respect for cultural heritage would later become ‘the founding stones of the brand,’ but of course life experience is always a key ingredient, and Manos travelled from Greece to London for the prestigious role of managing Harrods luxury department. This gave him unparalleled access to designers such as Valentino, Alexander McQueen and Dolce & Gabbana, and with London as his base for over a decade, he avidly explored the world as part of his job. ‘Creating my own fragrance was always in the back of my mind,’ he explains, ‘and once I was given the opportunity, I grabbed it.’ Delving further into researching and learning the technical side of the fragrance world, ‘My initial goal was to create a powerful scent that was able to captivate anyone in the room. I wanted an alluring scent, mysterious and poetic.’ He began curating a collection of exquisite essential oils and ingredients from around the world. The result? A collection as sumptuously beautiful as the artistic inspirations.

 

 

J.F. Schwarlose Discovery Set £35

Purveyors of fine perfumes since 1856, the history of heritage house J.F. Schwarzlose deserves to be captured in a movie.. From piano-maker to perfumer – selling scents beloved by the royal courts of Europe and Chinese Emperors alike – this always-innovative perfumery has survived war, inflation and changing tastes by always being one step ahead…When entrepreneurial piano-maker Johann Friedrich Schwarzlose established his own drug store at Markgrafenstrasse 29, beginning with production of perfumes, he quickly established himself. The company had been purveyor to the Court, and now the aristocracy flocked to the new fragrance shop. By 1897, Schwarzlose had taken on a business partner, Franz Köthner, and together they traded with the added title: ‘Purveyor to the Court of His Majesty the Emperor and King’. Indeed, a flacon found in a collection of Emperor Pu Yi confirms their formidable reputation had already reached as far as China. What a phoenix this fragrance house is, in 2012 enlisting brilliant perfumer Véronique Nyberg as the ‘nose’, they remain ‘in close contact with the last heir to Schwarzlose, Jutta Jank-Trabant, who is delighted to find the brand on display again. And how utterly joyous this important perfumery was saved once again! Now thriving afresh, the modern-day fragrances of J.F. Schwarzlose harness the grandeur of their heritage, and all they learned through history, but still stay true to leading the fashions rather than merely following them.

 

Clive Christian Around the World Discovery Set £150

Clive Christian Perfume creates the ‘world’s finest perfumes’ – timeless classics, made without compromise. Each perfume has an oil inclusion of 20% or above in every bottle, they are intense and complex fragrances for opulent, pure perfume pleasure. We can’t wait for you to discover these uniquely expressive, exquisite perfumes in the Around the World Discovery Set. Explore the heights of mountains, the depths of forests and the sunny warmth of tropical climates through this foray of fragrances – the ultimate globe-trotting perfume set. Here, you (or the very lucky recipient) can discover the exquisite fragrances below that will transport you around the world, via: Addictive Arts Jump up and Kiss Me Hedonistic  – an amber gourmand fragrance that opens with citrus notes of bergamot, grapefruit, neroli. Noble XXI Art Deco Cypress  – zesty bergamot and uplifting basil held by a surging heart of exotic yet warming spices. Original Collection 1872 Masculine – herbaceous and aromatic. Private Collection C Woody Leather  – a woody fragrance with a supple leather yet exotic twist. Considering each full-size fragrance is priced between £250 – £595 for 50ml eau de parfum, this beautifully packaged discovery collection is the perfect way to indulge in true luxury for far less.

Luxury fragrance gifts really are a fail-safe way of showing how much you care. Whichever of these you chose, they cannot fail to be utterly delighted – and perhaps discover a new fragrant love to explore further next year…

Let Us Spray… frankincense infuses perfume’s past and fragrance’s future

Frequently thought of as one of the shoddiest Christmas presents in history, in fact, frankincense and its perfumed counterpart of myrrh were worth more than the weight of gold, also gifted to baby Jesus. Once exclusively reserved for kings and queens, frankincense has been used in burial rituals for centuries – the highly aromatic scent slathered on skin for embalming and mumification, its extraordinary protective properties preserving skin for millennia. Still burned today in Catholic and Anglican high church ceremonies, the smell of frankincense is perhaps most often associated with these religious rituals.

 

An overwhelming olfactory swoon induced by the hushed reverence of sacred spaces, or the collective evocation of flickering candlelight, gilded altars and smoke-infused pews? 

 

As a result, frankincense can be a love-it-or-hate-it ingredient, rather depending on whether you were forced to sit through endless sermons and hymns in chilly churches on Sundays, or made to confess your ‘sins’ and therefore burdened by an invisible, fragrant holy ghost of guilt whenever you smell it. Others feel excessively soothed by frankincense – a spiritual rather than religious experience which can even feel (whisper it) sensual; fragrance writer Alice du Parcq often refers to frankincense-soaked perfumes as her ‘Sexy Church’ scents. An overwhelming olfactory swoon induced by the hushed reverence of sacred spaces, or the collective evocation of flickering candlelight, gilded altars and smoke-infused pews?

 

Boswellia sacra tree

 

‘Crystal tears that taste of grief came out of the trunk and people scattered them on burning coal to turn it into pure smoke with a scent that heals the sick and with a bitter taste that grieves for lost love.’

 

Also known as olibanum, frankincense is a resin from the Boswellia sacra tree, which grows in the Dhofar area of Oman, as well as Yemen. At harvest times, gashes are slashed in the trunks, the milky, scented resin slowly oozing from the bark. Exposed to sunlight and air, frankincense dries and hardens to golden, teardrop-shaped nuggets, perhaps giving rise to the many myths surrounding its existence. Reem Al-Kamali beautifully describes one such story for Alarabiya News:

A legend has it that a girl from jinn fell in love with a human boy. Since this love was a violation of the jinn rules, they decided to punish her and transform her into something else. She cried for a long time and after they insisted that she must be punished, she chose to become a tree. Thousands of years passed by and this silent and hurt tree that’s called frankincense continued to shed tears in the form of resin that solidified into white particles which smell of musk. It is therefore a girl in the shape of a tree weeping over her beloved. Crystal tears that taste of grief came out of the trunk and people scattered them on burning coal to turn it into pure smoke with a scent that heals the sick and with a bitter taste that grieves for lost love.

There are forests of these frankincense-laden trees in northern Ethiopia – although ecologists report production could decline by half, over the next 15 years, as those forests are systematically cut down to make way for agriculture. While its impossible to precisely pin down an exact molecular composition for frankincense, explains a report in Chemical & Engineering News, ‘Because factors such as geography and climate affect plant biochemistry,’ scientists have discovered ‘frankincense contains five-ringed triterpenoids called boswellic acids, as well as an array of mono- and sesquiterpenes that contribute to its scent, including α- and β-pinene, limonene, and 4-terpineol.’

 

even if it’s not full-on Fleabag’s Hot Priest, its spirit could, rather fittingly, be present without you even knowing it.

 

Those of us who flunked chemistry classes might prefer to concentrate on the supposed pain-relieving and psychoactive porperties of frankincense, apparently due to a compound called ‘incensole acetate’, which has been shown in studies to help depression and dampen anxiety attacks, while it simultaneously ‘activates an ion channel involved in warmth perception in the skin.’ One wonders if these powers partly explain not only the proclivity for using frankincense in religious ceremonies, but also fanned the flames of the rather [ahem] warm feelings viewers devloped for Andrew Scott’s iconic portrayal of the apocryphally named character ‘Hot Priest’ in Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s multi award-winning tragicomedy, Fleabag? I may have to watch all the episodes again while smelling frankincense fragrances. Y’know, for research purposes. Perhaps the aromatic triterpenoids will help dampen the agony of its ending [no spoilers, but *sob*].

 

A scene from Fleabag, written by (and starring) Phoebe Waller-Bridge

 

Whatever your feelings, perfumers have long loved adding frankincense to their compositions – apart from fabulous lasting-powers on skin, it works brilliantly as a fixative for other ingredients: around 13% of all perfumes apparently contain at least a trace of frankincense, so even if it’s not full-on Fleabag’s Hot Priest, its spirit could, rather fittingly, be present without you even knowing it. While some frankincense-rich scents can evoke memories of Christmas past, its diverse character can be freshly herbaceous (some varieties smell similar to rosemary), remind you of frosted fir trees or be burrow-some and earthy, with a dark, honeyed throb of woodiness.

Devoutly sacred or deviantly sensual, fragrant worshipers please be seated. And now, let us spray these

 

Creed Angelique Encens
Incense traditionally smoulders, but Creed’s is surprisingly shot through with Champagne bubbles. Sheer and transparent in the opening (definitely more organza than velvet, at this stage), Angelique Encens’s warmth emerges on the skin, kindling notes of pepper, sandalwood, patchouli and cinnamon. You shall not only go to the ball wearing this, meanwhile, but perhaps find yourself partying way beyond midnight wrapped in its enduring musk, vetiver and incense embrace. (Usually a Mayfair boutique exclusive, this party’s online for a short while).
£275 for 75ml eau de parfum
creedfragrances.co.uk

 

ånd fragrance Frånk
There’s a message of hope contained within each bottle of ånd fragrance, which showcase well-known and much-loved ingredients, but in an utterly unique way. Within ‘Frånk’, as the name may suggest, it’s frankincense – but not, founder Simon Constantine pithily assures us, ‘dark, churchy dusty incense and smells of a dodgy pipe smoking priest’s frayed robes.’ Instead, it’s the fruitier, even verdant, head-clearing-ly green characteristics he explores, while ‘supporting a series of small-scale community nurseries growing hardy frankincense trees for the future.’
£69 for 50ml eau de toilette
andfragrance.com

 

 

Perfumer H GOLD
The twice-yearly unveilings of Lyn Harris’s newness are a highlight in the perfume writer’s calendar. Autumn/winter’s accomplished quintet includes Angelica, Rose Oil, White Smoke and Tobacco – all exquisite, whether or not you swing for the £200 Michael Ruh blown glass flacons in which to house them. If we could choose just one, though, it would be Gold, which contrasts shimmering, fresh citrus with smouldering patchouli and gilded frankincense, via a geranium and lavender heart.
From £110-350 for 50ml eau de parfum
At Perfumer H

 

Boujee Bougies Gilt Candle
Continuing their clever wink-wink wordplay from the brand name to those of their candles, Gilt dabbles with the double-edge sword of actual guilt, and the gilded, golden gleam that frames a candle’s flame in sacred settings. Perfumer Pia Long brilliantly evokes ‘the quiet, contemplative nature of rituals seen through smoke.’ Cold flagstone floors, ancient pews burnished with beeswax, curls of frankincense drifting through air stilled by breath anxiously held – exhaled in a grateful gust, ready to sin again.
boujeebougies.com

 

 

Ella K Rose de Pushkar
Perfumer Sonia Constant adds to her olfactory travelogue with this shareable Rajasthan-inspired offering, capturing the visual opulence of this so-colourful corner of India through armfuls of rose, swirling in a heart of oudh, sandalwood, patchouli and white cedar. It opens with saffron, black pepper, that resinous thread of frankincense contrasted by lush lychee, concluding with leather, tonka and cistus absolutes, amber and musk – the juice as deliciously pink as Rajasthan’s fabled palaces. Mystical travel in a bottle, indeed.
£175 for 70ml eau de parfum
jovoyparis.uk

Written by Suzy Nightingale