Bizarre scented snippets from history… (you couldn’t make it up!)

There have been some truly bizarre moments in perfume’s history (who, I’ve always wondered, was the first person to think of adding civet to a scent, or discovering ambergris could add a magical touch to a fragrance?) For your olfactory delectation, we thought we’d pull together a selection of scented snippets, covering fragrance from the dawn of perfumery to more recent history. While seeking to demystify fragrance since we first launched The Perfume Society, it’s sometimes fun simply to look back and wonder. And you truly couldn’t make these fascinating facts up…

 

 

Egyptian priests, and their Pharoahs, were entombed with fragrances – and when those tombs were opened by archaeologists, in 1897, the perfumes were discovered to have retained their original, sweet smells.  Important figures in Egyptian history were buried with scented oils, to ensure their ‘olfactory needs’ were fulfilled.

 

 

Hippocrates – ‘the father of medicine’ – was big on hygiene, prescribing fumigation and the use of perfumes to help prevent disease.  The Greeks embraced aromatherapy, making it practical and scientific rather than mystical.  Both men and women became obsessed with ‘the cult of the body’:  women, at dressing tables in their private quarters (known as the ‘gynaeceum’), men more publicly, anointing themselves at the public baths, after exercise.  (A ritual that endures in today’s gym changing rooms.) 

 

 

Emperor Nero was so crazy about roses, he had silver pipes installed so that his dinner guests could be spritzed with rosewater.  (According to legend, he once shelled out £100,000 for a ‘waterfall’ of rosepetals which actually smothered one guest, killing him.  Quite a way to go.)

 

 

 

When the Crusades kicked off – in the 11th Century – among the treasures brought back to Europe by Crusaders from the Middle and Far East were aromatic materials (and perfumery techniques).  The celebrated Arabian physician Avicinna is said to have been the first person to have mastered the distillery of rose petals, in the 10th Century.

 

 

 

There has always been a natural link between leather and perfume.  As Queen Catherine de Medici’s glovemaker understood, it works brilliantly to disguise the lingering smell of the tannery.  And in 1656 the Corporation of Glovemakers and Perfumers – for the ‘maître-gantiers’ – master glovemakers/perfumers) was formed in France, .  (Note:  at that point, glovemaking was deemed more important.)

 

 

King Louis XIV (1638-1715) took the trend for perfumery to new heights, by commissioning his perfumer to create a new scent for each day of the week. He insisted on having his shirts perfumed with something called ‘Aqua Angeli’, composed of aloes-wood, nutmeg, storax, cloves and benzoin, boiled in rosewater ‘of a quantity as may cover four fingers’. It was simmered for a day and night before jasmine and orange flower water and a few grains of musk were added. Like some kind of early fabric conditioner, it was used to rinse Louis’s shirts.

 

 

Napoleon Bonaparte had a standing order with his perfumer, Chardin, to deliver 50 bottles a month. He loved its cooling qualities and after washing, would drench his shoulders and neck with it. He particularly loved the scent of rosemary, which is a key ingredient in eau de Cologne, because it flourished along the cliffs and rocky scrubland in Corsica, where he was born.

 

 

 

Modern perfumery as we know and love it has its roots in the Victorian era.  It was that century’s clever chemists who came up with breakthrough molecules that took perfumery to a whole new level. The new synthetics were often more reliable and stable – and sometimes enabled a perfumer to capture the smell of a flower whose own scent proves frustratingly elusive to extract naturally.

 

 

 

Chanel’s mother was a laundrywoman and market stall-holder, though when she died, the young Gabrielle was sent to live with Cistercian nuns at Aubazine. When it came to creating her signature scent, though, freshness was all-important. The perfumer Ernest Beaux presented a series of 10 samples to show to ‘Mademoiselle’. They were numbered one to five, and 20 to 24. She picked No. 5 – and yes, the rest is history.

 

 

Until the 50s, fragrance was something women mostly reserved for high days, holidays – and birthdays. Until one very savvy, go-getting New York beauty entrepreneur – by the name of Estée Lauder – had a brainwave. So the game-changing fragrance Youth Dew began as a bath oil (as Estée Lauder herself once told us):

 

‘Back then, a woman waited for her husband to give her perfume on her birthday or anniversary. No woman purchased fragrance for herself. So I decided I wouldn’t call my new launch “perfume”. I’d call it Youth Dew,’ (a name borrowed from one of her successful skin creams)…’

 

Fragrances For… an Olfactory Oktoberfest

With Oktoberfest soon to begin, the boozy celebrations needn’t always be searched for at the bottom of a glass – that warming swirl of unctious softness and comfort, together with succulent fruitiness, oak-smoked woodiness and even the sparkle of ice cracking in a cool tumbler of something lovely can be found in fragrant form. Settle down for a scented session with these…

 

 

 

 

 

4160 Tuesdays Captured By Candlelight
Always a perfumer with a story to tell, Sarah McCartney weaves a mysteriously evocative tale in uniquely fragrant form with flaming brandy-soaked fruits, a wood-panelled dining room, softly dripping wax candles and the tingling sense of anticipation that precedes a country house party. If you order the 100ml bottle size from the 4160 Tuesdays website, they’ll even send you an accompanying story written especially for the scent – a feast for all the senses

£127.50 for 100ml eau de parfum The Perfume Society Shop

 

 

 

 

KILIAN_ANGELS_SHARE

Kilian Angels’ Share
Founder Kilian Hennessy maintains that he is introducing a new fragrance family here – which he should label ‘boozy’, as a reflection of its intoxicating qualities (inspired by his own family heritage). Perfumer Benoist Lapouza takes a jigger of cognac essence, adds oak absolute (an echo of the barrels themselves), spiced by cinnamon essence, tonka bean, praline and vanilla. Family-wise, we’d still position this hovering between Ambrée and gourmand – but we’re certain of its irresistibility.

From £165 for 50ml parfum bykilian.co.uk

 

 

 

Dunhill Icon Elite
Appealing to his bohemian spirit, this tobacco-laden scent speaks of long liquid lunches in smoky French brasseries padded with faded leather and panelled in dark wood. Musky Cuban cascarilla oil is pierced by the piquancy of pimento berries and a cool shot of pine needles with herbaceously aromatic sage. The gently smouldering base of Malaysian patchouli gets comfortable with a boozy cherry-like sweetness of the toasty tonka beans – perfect for the dad who rather fancies himself as an undiscovered artist.

£63 for 50ml eau de parfum houseoffraser.co.uk

 

 

 

Penhaligon’s Juniper Sling
A sparkling, tall glass of gin that cracks as the ice succumbs to the fresh piquancy of juniper (gin’s ‘signature’ aromatic), then there’s cool measures of angelica and brandy plus the deeper throb of and a beating libertine’s heart in heat-tingled flecks of black pepper popping in the background. Evoking the ‘bright young things’ of the 1920’s, it’s become a modern classic go-to for effervesent, effortless day-wear with oodles of character and a refreshingly different presence that you’ll simply never tire of.

£155 for 100ml eau de toilette penhaligons.com

 

 

 

ILK Libertine
Indulge your inner libertine with this oppulent, swagger of a scent, inspired by Cassonova himself. You can smell his favourite tipple, ‘cordial orgeat,’ through dusky cognac-infused rose and bitter orange flower, with a saffron-soaked throb of leather, hot wax, animalic cumin lashed to the darker base of amber and deep woods.Fanning the flames of passion with that boozy swirl of pure licentiousness it’s one of those scents that draws people to you, intrigued yet perhaps slightly in trepedation of your swaggering sexiness!

£125 for 50ml eau de parfum ilkperfume.com

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Scents to Make You Smile: celebrate World Smile Day with these…

Considering the colder, grey days and longer, darker nights (not to mention the current state of the world at large) we reckon it’s time to fully embrace the spirit of World Smile Day. Started by Harvey Ball, a business craftsman from Worcester in Massachusetts; he was best known as the creator of the now iconic ‘Smiley Face‘ symbol in 1963. In 1999 the first ‘World Smile Day’ was held and has since become an annual tradition. Perhaps right now we’re needing smiles more than ever? Thus, we present an array of perfumes that make us smile every time we wear them, and encourage you to seek these out – or perhaps bring a smile to someone else’s face and treat them to one of these…?

 

 

Happy Paul Bright Spice
Crafted to trigger a little happy from the outside in,’ this immediately mood-lifting fragrance was ‘conceived by a not-so-happy Paul…’ who’s lived with depression. Bright bergamot and lemon sparkle with a frost of spearmint leaves and almost fruity/fresh eucalptus. A tingle of pink pepper and cinnamon bark segue to contemplative heart of frankincense and rosemary, all resting on a woody base. 20% of the profits from sales go to mental health charity YoungMinds – so you smell good while doing good.

£21 for 10ml fragrance oil
happypaul.co.uk

 

 

 

BATH_HOUSE_CLIMBING_TREES

Bath House Climbing Trees
A collaboration with British perfumer Ruth Mastenbroek, the name alone conjures wonderful images, while the scent doesn’t disappoint. Memories of carefree childhood summers and fields of sun-scorched grass are evoked through vetiver, cedar and amber representing the woodland floor. Clambering effortlessly through canopies of aromatic green leaves, sweet bergamot and radiant jasmine sparkle like dappled sunshine, while lemon and rosemary feel like smiling in crisp countryside air. Basically, the scent of freedom, bottled!

£74 for 60ml eau de parfum
thebathhouseshop.co.uk

 

 

 

Valentino Born in Roma Yellow Dream
Celebrating ‘a new beginning, full of life, hope and optimism’ (YES please!) we’re imagining a golden sunrise over Rome – lemon coloured blossom carpets the pavement as a confident woman strides forth to greet the new day. Floral yet fruity (in the most grown up, effervescent way), this gives us vibes of just-washed hair gleaming in the sun, a vibrant yellow dress, heels kicked off, a musky trail followed in bare feet on sun-warmed cobbles, smiles all the way.

£83 for 50ml eau de parfum
boots.com

 

 

 

SKANDINAVISK Kapitel 12 Freedom To Roam
We’ve come to love the great outdoors more than ever these past few years – catching up with our Scandinavian contemporaries, here, Skandinavisk capture the joyful spirit of wilderness with Freedom to Roam. Eliciting smiles at the mere thought of escaping to the forest and leaving everyday stresses behind, the scent reflects an ancient Scandinavian law which invites exploration and adventure, imagining heather-line trails above the tree line via notes of wild berries, herbs and woods. Simply glorious.

£45 for 50ml eau de toilette
skandinavisk.com

 

MOSCHINO Toy 2 Bubblegum
Continuing their teddy bear’s picnic of perfumes, Moschino’s creative director, Jeremy Scott, was in full-on fun and flirty mode with this one. Outrageously cute, the pink bottle (and name) is immediately apparent with wafts of childhood nostalgia, and the smiles they bring. But it quickly moves from the playground to a surprisingly sophisticated Bulgarian rose shot through with blackcurrant and peach on a lightly spiced, polished wood base. Cheeky and playful, but actually really pretty and very werable beyond those smiles.

From £39 for 30ml eau de toilette
theperfumeshop.com

Coming Up Roses – the rise & rise of rose in contemporary perfumery

Roses are having such a fragrant resurgence: but why right now? Read on for our take on this rise (and rise) of rose perfumes we’ve seen launched lately – and our guide of which roses to wear right now…

There’s been a serious blooming of rose in perfumery the last couple of years – and we aren’t talking ‘chorus line’ rose notes, but fragrances which put rose front and centre in the scented spotlight, in an utterly modern style. Never have we seen so many new overtly rose-centric scents released in such a flurry, with Tom Ford and Jo Malone London launching whole collections of rose-themed perfumes, persuading us this is more than a passing fragrant fancy, and leading us to confidently declare: this is the Year of the Rose. Indeed, according to Google, rose is the most-searched fragrance ingredient in the past year, with over 50,000 searches each month.

 

 

 

 

There is, of course, an incredibly long tradition of using rose in perfumery – we’re talking millennia, not mere centuries. In his book Smell and the Ancient Senses (Ed. Mark Bradley, 2015), David Potter, the Collegiate Professor of Greek and Roman History at the University of Michigan, reminds us that by 116BC, ‘Roman aristocrats… were already treating roses as a cash crop.’ And you can read even more on the quite extraordinary history Romans had with the rose in our fragrant history section.

 

 

 

But meanwhile: why now this renewed desire for ultra-modern rose-powered perfumes?

Roses today in perfumery are a glorious quantum leap from those which gathered dust on dressing tables of old. In 2022, there is a rose fragrance for everyone, whether your leanings are towards easy-to-wear sun-filled scents or the more velvety, smoulderingly smoochy essences we’re reaching for now autumn’s here. And gender doesn’t come into it, either: many, many of the ‘new roses’ are gloriously shareable (we’re very glad to say!) and we urge all ages, all genders to dive into these particular rose perfumes with a fragrant abandon…

 

 

Molton Brown Rose Dunes EDP – Sultry desert air. £120 for 100ml eau de parfum Molton Brown

 

 

 

Atelier Materi Rose Ardoise – Urban petrichor pavements. £195 for 100ml eau de parfum Harvey Nichols

 

 

 

Manos Gerakinis Rose Poétique – Mysterious Sapphic jubilation. £165 for 100ml eau de parfum Shy Mimosa

 

 

 

Parfums de Marly Delina La Rosée – Aristocratically powdered passion. £200 for 75ml eau de parfum Selfridges

 

 

 

 

SANA_JARDIN_INCENSE_WATER

Sana Jardin Incense Water – Soothingly meditative meanderings. £95 for 50ml eau de parfum Sana Jardin

 

 

 

 

INITIO Atomic Rose – Rambunctiously robust eruptions. £215 for 90ml eau de parfum Fenwick

 

 

 

 

 

Narciso Rodriguez Musc Noir Rose for Her – Intimately addictive sensuality. £55 for 30ml eau de parfum The Perfume Shop

 

 

Electimuss Rhodanthe – Vibrantly voluptuous intoxication. £175 for 100ml extrait de parfum Electimuss

 

 

 

 

Parle Moi de Parfum Une Tonne de Roses / 8 – Frivolous olfactory festival. £98 for 50ml eau de parfum Les Senteurs

 

 

 

 

 

Coach Wild Rose – Daringly delicate gracefulness. £37 for 30ml eau de parfum Escentual

 

 

 

 

Obvious Une Rose – Sunshine-bathed captivation. £95 for 100ml eau de parfum Flannels

 

 

 

 

Moschino Toy Boy – Spicy leather shenanigans. £45 for 30ml eau de parfum Fragrance Direct

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

 

Vitamin Sea – fragrances for wishing you were still there…

Recently, the tide has turned for salty, marine-themed scents (and PS: they’re not just for summer anymore – evoking glacial lakes and Nordic fjords as well as sun-kissed beaches). But why now this sudden swell of sea-inspired fragrances, you may wonder?

There’s something about the emotional pull of the sea that is eternal. For centuries, it has led philosophers, artists and scientists to pontificate as to exactly why we’re so drawn to the ocean. The Persian mystic Rumi, ruminating on the subject in the 1200s, declared: ‘You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean, in a drop.’ He wasn’t far off, actually.

Modern science has identified that the discovering the human brain is 80% water. More than 70% of the world’s surface is covered by it (over 95% of that yet to be explored). Indeed, it’s hard to disagree with author Arthur C. Clarke, who once astutely remarked: ‘How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean.’

So it’s perhaps unsurprising that water exerts such a tidal pull, in our lives. And that as we seek to calm ourselves and reconnect with the elements via our senses, water-inspired scents have been one of the biggest scent trends we’ve seen these last couple of years. These new water-inspired creations don’t simply seek to evoke the ocean, but rivers, waterfalls and deep, coolly inviting lakes. It isn’t only memories of holidays they evoke, either – as lovely as that undoubtedly is during these colder, greyer months; instead, it’s about harnessing the all-year-’round mood-boosting qualities of seascape scents, which we encourage you to paddle and then plunge into, here…

 

 

 

BDK Sel d’Argent
The salty kiss of warm skin, sheer orange blossom shot through with the sparkle of grapefruit and crunchy green galbanum. Think sunlight dancing on waves, somewhere fabulously expensive.
£155 for 100ml eau de parfum harrods.com

 

 

 

 

Thomas Clipper Atlantic
A spirited journey across the sea, with crisp citrus melting to a fuzzy, honeyed blossom; the deeper base of spice-flecked wood and musk a wonderfully evocative nod to adventure.
£99 for 50ml Cologne thomasclipper.com

 

 

 

Montblanc Explorer Ultra Blue
Luminous bergamot shivers to an icy plunge of alpine freshness. The exclusive, silvered patchouli is the scent of wet stones; ambergris, dawn’s mist still clinging.
From £35 for 30ml eau de parfum theperfumeshop.com

 

 

 

Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Forever Pour Homme
Intensely juicy grapefruit fizzes to a cool, shady breeze of violet leaf and Javan vetiver oil across eerily still water; the base a soft white swathe of musk and patchouli.
£55 for 50ml eau de parfum boots.com

 

 

Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male on Board
Oh Captain, my Captain! Salt-licked skin tastes of sun-lotion and geranium leaves, a faintly boozy rum-like amber swirled with tonka bean. All aboard!
£72 for 125ml eau de toilette lookfantastic.com

Kenzo L’Eau Kenzo Pour Homme Hyper Wave
Inspired by Japanese art’s iconic ‘Hokusai wave’, zesty mandarin invites spontaneity, soaring to the crest before resting on a bed of moss.
£46 for 50ml eau de toilette boots.com

 

 

 

Cartier Rivières de Cartier Luxuriance
‘Life is often said to flow like a river,’ reflects Mathilde Laurent, wild botanicals rippled through rosemary, mastic, oak and geranium; a cold knife nestled on a riverbed.
£104 for 100ml eau de parfum johnlewis.com

 

 

Nishane EGE / ΑΙΓΑΙΟ
A tribute to the Aegean Sea carrying common bonds between Turkish and Greek culture; yuzu zings through violet leaves, basil and mint to the deliciously sticky olibanum and liquorice base.
£275 for 100ml extrait de parfum ab-presents.co.uk

 

 

 

Skandinavisk Kapitel 4
The herbaceous green embrace of crab-apple entwined dog rose evokes Scandinavian waterways, damp moss, rock pools and the freedom of ‘navigating with no fixed destination’.
£45 for 30ml eau de toilette skandinavisk.com

 

 

 

Laboratorio Olfattivo Salina
A literal evocation of the sea in all its salty glory, one imagines a message in a bottle tossed on roiling waves, a poem of pine trees and sunlight lustily sung on barnacle-bottomed boats.
£90 for 100ml eau de parfum flannels.com

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

 

Perfuming the Proms – classical music-inspired scents

We’re always fascinated by the links between music and fragrance at The Perfume Society – indeed, we dedicated an entire issue of The Scented Letter magazine to the subject of Music & Perfume, fully exploring how music terminology came to be attributed to fragrance – accords, notes, compositions, harmony, the perfumer’s organ. To wear a perfume is to create your own harmony, and we feel emotionally connected by this invisible expression, just as we do when hearing a piece of music that moves us.

 

 

With The BBC Proms 2022 having begun – a whole host of concerts from now until 10 September – what better time to really relish these links and wear the classical compositions with pride? Here, we present a selection of perfumes that showcase music and even musical instruments themselves…

 

 

 

Created by perfumer Pierre-Constantin Gueros, the fragrance was then interpreted by composer Javier Marti­nez Campos and cellist Gautier Capucon. Based on ‘a tale whispered by an apothecary in the perfume souks of Deira’  it’s ‘the story of a nomad, a genius virtuoso from the desert whose divine cello notes echo, creating indescribable magic as transcendental and velvety scents float in the desert air.’ Think silky, langorous luxury, the warmth of amber tempered by the freshness of bergamot, a melody of myrrh married to chewy, delicious tonka and stickily addictive resins.

L’Orchestre Parfum Ambre Cello £129 for 100ml eau de parfum
ab-presents.co.uk

 

 

 

 

Bursting into blossom with a joyous rush of juicy grapefruit trickling into rosemary infused honeysuckle and a swag of jasmine sambac absolute, JUSBOX’s first classical perfume is inspired by Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons – ‘an interweaving of violins that chase one another in an allegro of pure melodies, unfurling with the awakening of Nature.’ We imagine twirling in a meadow while wearing this, paddling in streams and laughing euphorically, dancing on freshly cut lawns and feeling at one with nature. An immediate mood-lifter that truly celebrates classical music and life itself.

JUSBOX Perfumes Spring Dance £125 for 78ml eau de parfum
selfridges.co.uk

 

 

 

‘At a party on Paris’ rive gauche, a woman’s fur coat is lifted from her bare shoulders, exposing her neck to the candlelight. Aware of many eyes upon her, she pauses, smiling to herself, before emerging like a conqueror from the shadows. A sensuous body of lavender is warmed by patchouli, amber and vanilla, and transformed by notes of pineapple and mandarin.’ One to wear at the Opera in Paris, we feel – a stunning vintage-feel fragrance that evokes oppulence, divas and passionate encounters in dressing rooms.

Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle Music For a While from £42 for 10ml eau de parfum
fredericmalle.co.uk

 

 

 

Inspired by the breathtaking beauty of the famous theatre in Venice, and further more, ‘by the preciousness of the pearl, a symbol of femininity, loved by great sopranos who have trod the stage of Gran Teatro La Fenice’, this is ascent that exudes softly filtered, opalescent light. A fluff of powdery muskiness feels like backstage at the dressing table, while a grand bouquet of white flowers is hopefully proffered by a bevvy of admirers. Delicate yet hugely characterful, it takes the wearer from the cool of first placing the pearls at your throat to the drama of the fragrant finalé.

The Merchant of Venice My Pearls from £126 for 50ml eau de parfum concentrèe
themerchantofvenice.com

 

 

 

An olfactory picture of ‘the transcendental woods of the 1800s, where craftsmen built violins and bows in the tiny towns of the Pioneer Valley, Massachusetts’, this thrum of woodiness resonates with the magnificent depth of mahogony, richly sweet maple shavings and the resinous waft of standing in the middle of that forest and windering which trees have granted musicians the tools of their artistic trade over the years. The aromatic pine of the arboreal atmosphere is finally burnished with walnut – a sensation of closing your eyes and feeling the music vibrate inside your body, your soul itself.

DS & DURGA Bowmakers £148 for 50ml eau de parfum
libertylondon.com

 

 

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