How to find SIX perfect scents to suit you – from your sofa!

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 Co-Founder Lorna McKay had an idea how to help customers of Liberty’s perfumery seek out their next scents.

That computer program has been fully updated with key words comparing and describing hundreds of thousands of fragrances – not only the fragrance notes, but how the fragrance will make you feel, the atmosphere the perfumer has created.

Just follow these simple steps, and you’ll be off on a fragrant journey of discovery…

1: Start with what you love
Instead of plunging wildly into the dark and trying every random fragrance you see, it’s a good idea to base your sniff list on something you already know you love. Our Fragrance Finder is completely genius at this, and has been recommended by fragrance experts and Fume Chat podcast hosts Nick Gilbert and Thomas Dunkley as the best place to start when looking for a new fragrance to suit you.

 

All you need do is type in the name of a scent you already love (or one you know your beloved currently wears) and you’ll be given an immediate list of six scents to seek out, all at various price points and with characteristics you’re extremely likely to swoon for. Honestly, try it – they’re quite spookily accurate!

 

 

2: Give yourself time
Now clutching your online-shopping list of scents to try, after purchasing we cannot urge you strongly enough to allow yourself the time to live with them on your skin a while before making a snap decision either way.

– First sniff? That’s the top notes – generally something citrus-y and ephemeral – which can disappear within the first few minutes of spraying because the ingredients evaporate more quickly.

– We find an hour is enough to give you a proper sense of what the perfume smells like on you. And if you don’t want to douse yourself head-to-toe (why on earth not? But each to their own) then spray on a blotter or ‘spill’ (long paper strip) to get an idea.

– Remember – it will only be an idea of the final scent. They were made to be warmed and worn on your skin, not paper, so will often smell very different (and better) on you. And your mood/the weather/food can all drastically alter how a scent smells on you, so ideally, try each one a couple of times.

A lot of fragrance houses are now, thankfully, offering samples of their scents to try before you buy a full size – we stock an incredible selection of Brand Discovery Sets in our shop, as well as our own curated Perfume Society Discovery Boxes for you to try at home.

 

Join in Sana Jardin’s calming & empowering online workshops

Sana Jardin are bringing ‘scents & sensibility’ in a series of calming, strength-giving and empowering online workshops, via their Instagram scent sessions – to watch live or later, in their stories, at your leisure.

Having taken a virtual trip to the flower fields with self-hypnosis and meditated with a Love-Alchemist, for the next session on Tuesday 5th May sees (and hears) sound-healer Charlotte Hastings will teach you how to ‘experience your being through the language of sound.’ All with the fragrant backdrop of the stunning scents themselves.

And we’re rather fascinated with fragrance and music, currently, as you will find in our soon-to-be-published next edition of The Scented Letter Magazine. Watch (and listen to!) this space…

Founder Amy Christiansen Si-Ahmed has created a stunning portfolio of perfumes that reflect her life-long love of fragrance – nurtured on travels through the Middle East with her inspirational grandmother. As she told The Perfume Society: ‘The scents I’d encountered on my travels over the years were enchanting to me: the pure and golden shimmer of orange blossom, the mystical, enveloping depth of sandalwood, the seduction of jasmine blooming at night. I felt I could never find that captured anywhere on a department store shelf.’

 

 

The scents in the Sana Jardin collection really are strikingly beautiful – a magic carpet ride in every bottle. And – enhancing their feel-good factor – this socially-conscious, luxury fragrance house offers flacons created entirely from recycled glass, along with a sustainability program to help the Moroccan women who pick the orange blossoms used in several of perfumer Carlos Benaïm‘s stunning creations for Sana Jardin.

But don’t just take our word for it, why not explore the collection yourself, from the comfort of your home? Allow yourself to experience the bliss of a scented sanctuary…

 

Try the full Sana Jardin collection for only £30 – seek your scented sanctuary and smell-along while you watch!

 

Make your home a fragrant haven

What with the continuing global pandemic and all, we’re spending so much extra time at home, now, trying to find little nooks to transform into sudden workplaces, and perhaps even somewhere to relax and wind-down awhile (wouldn’t that be nice?) We’re here to help, with ideas of how to use fragrance to make your home a fragrant haven…

You may not be aware of it, but scent plays an important, subliminal part in how we define a space. On a large scale, you’ll have noticed that supermarkets pump out fresh baking smells to entice you to the back of the shop, and spas smell gloriously relaxing the moment you step inside; but you can use the same principles to shape your own home into individually fragranced areas.

Have a look at some of these ideas to keep you alert, refreshed, comforted and soothed….

 

 

Tip: Use uplifting scents in your designated work-space – be that the spare room, a corner of the siting room with a fold-out table or even with your laptop balanced on your knees (which is less than ideal, we know!) Keep them fresh, invigorating and aromatically stimulating to keep you alert.

Try: Diffusing rosemary oil in an aromatherapy oil burner, or soaking a ceramic disc (or cotton wool, inside a pomander) and tying with a ribbon to your radiator, or near where you’re working. Far from being ‘an old wive’s tale’, rosemary has now been scientifically proven to aid memory retention and clarity of mind. Something we could all do with right now, eh?

Buy: La Montaña First Light Candle, £36
An immediately mood-altering scent gently welcomes you to a new day, while herbaceous mountain breezes get to work on un-beffudling (is that a word? It is now) your brain. Much needed at Nightingale Towers, I can tell you! Plus £5 from every sale will be donated to the National Emergencies Trust Coronavirus Appeal.

La Montaña founder, Cassandra Hall, explains why she chose rosemary as inspiration for their first candle:  ‘On our mountain, at first light, there’s a heavenly fragrance in the air. Before anyone starts an engine, or lights a fire, the air is clear, and still, and silent. The first breath of the day carries the perfume of wild mountain herbs: fennel, rosemary, mountain pepper and intoxicating rock rose. The alchemy of the fragrances, blended naturally on the breeze, weaves a magical spell.’

 

 

Tip: Transform your kitchen into a more intimate setting – if you’re lucky enough to have room for a table, or are finding yourself in there far more these days (cooking up a storm with leftovers, maybe whipping up a cocktail or three…), banish the clincal cleaning-product smells or foodie wafts, and pretend you’re in a romantic restaurant. (Do take the bins out, though.)

Try: Growing fragrant herbs in pretty pots on the windowsill, or bringing in some fresh flowers to enjoy their scent while you toil over the stove. Do make sure they’re strongly scented enough to smell over the competing scent of cooking, though. Or simply cook a cake with vanilla and spices to ensure hours of ‘Mmmm!’ (Added bonus: cake.)

 

Buy: Miller Harris Rendezvous Tabac Candle, £45
You might not think of a ‘tobacco’ scented candle as an obvious choice for the kitchen, but bear with me. This one’s inspired by the romantic brasseries of Saint-Germain, and makes your kitchen (or anywhere!) feel cosy, welcoming, somewhere to willingly linger, not *have* to be.

The Cuban cascarilla oil and pimento berries tingle their way to a heart of velvety sage and cool drifts of pine against the cosiest background of creamy tonka bean and Malay patchouli. Even if it’s once a week, treat yourself to a proper tablecloth, linen napkins, ‘the best’ china or glasses and polished silverware. It feels extra fancy, so maybe even consider wearing your best pyjamas while planning your next meal out-out.

 

 

Tip: Turn your living room into a place of scented sanctuary with opulent florals – somewhere to chill out in style while binge-watching your favourite shows, to browse your favourite magazines (including The Scented Letter, obvs) or catch-up with friends on a phone call.

Try: Find local flower deliveries at flowersfromthefarm.co.uk and fill a vase with deeply-scented flowers to cheer you (and anyone who walks past your house) up every time you see and smell them, or using a vintage jug for a fragrant display, surrounded by candles, in the fireplace.

 

 

Buy: Sana Jardin Jaipur Chant candle, £48
Opulent with real Indian tuberose essential oil, Moroccan jasmine and French narcisse with a twist of Italian lemon, this exquisite scent is redolent of exotic climes and will absolutely fill your space with floral beauty (even if you can’t get any flowers delivered, or want something longer-lasting).

Sana Jardin founder, founder Amy Christiansen Si-Ahmed, was inspired to create this scent after taking part in a Hindu devotional ceremony, where tuberose flower garlands are exchanged and play a symbolic role, connoting love, deep emotion and sensitivity. In this fragrance, the flower is given added vibrancy with Morroccan jasmine, narcisse and musk, resulting in a stunning sunshine-filled scent that will enhance your home at any time of year (and whatever the weather is doing outside).

 

 

Tip: Taking a candlelit bath with a fragrant oil while listening to soothing music is self-care you deserve. It’s difficult enough to unwind at the end of the day, when your muscles are knotted with tension from, you know, worrying about the global pandemic on top of everything else…

Try: Using a muscle-relaxing bath essence that also scents your entire house with gorgeously aromatic wafts. Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Bath & Shower Oil is a best-seller for a reason: it works. Soothing sandalwood, camomile and grounding vetivert will sort you out.

Buy: diptyque Paris En Fleur small candle, £30
Petite enough to be placed bath-side while you soak, this is an evocative scent to carry you away with dreams of being impossibly Parisian chic. The first Chypre for the house, a flurry of fruity rose petals merge with deeply resinous patchouli – relaxing and quite a lot sexy, all at once…

For this celebration of Paris, diptyque drew its creative inspiration from the rose and its thousand scents, such as the roses of the Bagatelle gardens or the Marché aux fleurs. To adorn the scent, they worked with the artist and friend of diptyque, Pierre Marie. Together, they created a decoration inspired by Art Nouveau, like a lattice bedecked with flowers on which roses intertwine with metallised foliage.

 

 

Tip: If you’re likely to nod off, a lit candle’s not ideal for the bedroom, but there’s a fabulous range of fragranced reed-diffusers available now. Why not change up your sleeping space with a luxurious scent and pretend you’re in a hotel (maybe change the sheets, too…)

Try: Not everyone loves lavender (yes it’s beautifully soothing, but only if you like the smell!) so surround yourself in bed with scents you adore – something that makes you stop a moment to breathe in and appreciate it better. You’ll actually feel your shoulders drop as you close your eyes.

Buy: Ruth Mastenbroek Firedance Diffuser, £30
We absolutely love this for the bedroom (or boudoir) because it feels like a 5-star scent even if your space doesn’t quite live up. It’s incredibly long-lasting (so excellent value – we’re talking months of scented contentment, here) and smells utterly unique. Divinely smoky rose smoulders beguilingly on the rich, woody base, and if your bedtime routine’s not exactly petal-scattered sheets and romance, you can dare to dream!

Rejoicing in a moment of true contentment was perfumer Ruth Mastenbroek’s muse for this so-sultry modern interpretation of the classic rose perfume, as exotic leather dances in surprise harmony with the main character – smouldering Damask rose. Set against a warming backdrop of oudh and patchouli, a shining amber note radiates in this scent which is perfect for anywhere in the home (especially anywhere you’d like to smoulder, yourself…)

However you’re coping (or otherwise) with re-arranging your house/routine/life in this current climate of uncertainty, while filling your home with designated scented spaces might not magically make everything better – I absolutely guarantee that it WILL help.

If you don’t happen to live in a mansion with a wing for every member of the household, or spare rooms that can be converted into handy separate office spaces – it’s essential to divide up what space you do have into areas that feel like passing from one phase of the day into another, that split up the many roles you may be juggling – for your own sanity, not merely a pleasant perfume to smell. And home fragrance is the easiest way of doing that, subliminally. It genuinely can change an atmosphere instantly, and, therefore, your mood/how your day rolls out.

We’re living through times we’d never imagined, that nobody knows how ‘best’ to deal with. So treating yourself to a little scented luxury is important – perhaps more now than ever before. You’re worth looking after, too, you know…

By Suzy Nightingale

Richard E. Grant guides FREE Marty the Marty Nose kids’ home learning

The Fragrance Foundation have made a FREE and fun way to spruce up home learning with some truly engaging (and smelly!) activities for children to enjoy while home learning.

Parents who are suddenly having to home-school kids while juggling work commitments amidst all this strangeness during #coronalockdown, we feel you. Here’s something that will get your children involved with their sense of smell, in a free to download home learning workshop session, guided by none other than Richard E. Grant! (So an extra boon for parents, there, too…)

Marty the Mighty Nose is a free resource for everyone offering easy and inspiring ideas for using the sense of smell to bring learning to life. The project is fronted by Marty, the faraway leader of a tribe of smell-loving characters who love nothing better than to hunt out interesting whiffs.

If you click on the link, above, you’ll be taken to the website where you can download all the assets you’ll need for the smell-themed session.

The Fragrance Foundation say:

‘Whether it is inviting children to develop their use of simile and metaphor in English by writing smell-inspired poems or learning about history through the stinky aromas of the past (Ancient Egyptian Mummification anyone?), structured activities incorporating fragrance and smell can truly support and inspire pupils of all abilities.

At Key Stage 2 of the primary National Curriculum, your children are developing their reasoning and persuasive skills, as well as an openness and curiosity about the world. The Marty the Mighty Nose Workshops, organised by The Fragrance Foundation, will play to these unique and new found strengths whilst also helping to pen communications between students as well as teachers.

Use Marty the Mighty Nose, the smell-finder-in-chief of a faraway jungle tribe, to get your pupils to use their sense of smell as inspiration to develop pupils’ descriptive vocabulary and imaginative writing.

You can sit back and relax while Richard E. Grant guides the children through your very own workshop, click here for the videos.

You will need a couple of print outs and smelly materials to bring your workshop to life. Download the info here.  

Each workshop lasts for one hour for a whole class, and is suitable for children aged 7-11. Content this year is specifically tailored to the English Primary National Curriculum.

Marty the Mighty Nose is supported by the Fragrance Foundation, a not-for-profit educational body. Members come from across the fragrance industry and are supporting the scheme as a philanthropic initiative.

Awards Info
After your workshop, encourage your children to enter The Mighty Nose Awards Competition.
See our entry categories, eligibility, the brief, and key date. See Info
Entry Materials
Entry Materials

Get cooking! One downloadable pack containing everything you need to enter, from ideas for children to cover sheets for your class. Get Entry Pack’

By Suzy Nightingale

 

#StayHome with Acqua di Parma: donating 100% of online revenue to charity

Acqua di Parma are launching a #StayHome charity campaign to support the fight against COVID-19. Throughout the month of April, 100% of e-commerce revenues generated by sales of the Home Collection, Barbiere and Personal Care products will be donated to support initiatives against the corona crisis.

In these stressful and uncertain times, how heartening it has been to see brands, both big and small, stepping up to provide support, making hand-santisisers, donating products and now, with Acqua di Parma’s #StayHome campaign donating an incredible 100% of their online profits to help their home country, which has been hit so hard by this pandemic.

 

 

Laura Burdese, CEO of Acqua di Parma comments that, ‘In these difficult times of suffering and strife that grip Italy so severely, it is natural and right for Acqua di Parma to make a strong gesture of solidarity. With the #StayHome campaign, we can do our part and demonstrate the love that the Maison has for our mother country.’

Explaining further why this campaign was so important to them, Laura continues: ‘Our solidarity campaign is a way to provide tangible support, be it emotional or economic, to Italy in this time of need so that in dealing with this emergency, we can preserve what we love most about our country: Italian art, nature and culture will continue to be given and shared across the globe’

 

 

Acqua di Parma invite you to help support this campaign by sharing social media posts – perhaps of cosy, scented spaces you have created? – and tagging @acquadiparma_official and #StayHome. What’s more, during this time, all Acqua di Parma online orders have FREE delivery, so even more excuse to indulge, delight and comfort yourself with scent at home…

By Suzy Nightingale

Perfumed Plume Awards for Fragrance Journalism – more good news!

We could all do with some good news at the moment, and we were thrilled to discover we’re finalists for this year’s prestigious Perfume Plume Awards for Fragrance Journalism, with FOUR nominations!

The Perfumed Plume Awards are held annually – though this is the first year we’ve ever submitted entries – in order to celebrate the tricksy art of fragrance journalism, and to showcase writing that gives ‘an inside view of the cultural, historic, scientific and personal approaches to fragrance design and what it takes to create an evocative scent.’

The Perfumed Plume Awards committee comment: ‘We’re SO happy to share some good news: announcing the finalists for the 2020 Perfumed Plume Awards. “While we would normally gather at MANE Gallery to celebrate with a glass of bubbly, this year is obviously a different time,” said Co-Founders Mary Ellen Lapsansky and Lyn Leigh. “Nonetheless these marvelous writers deserve recognition and congratulations for their perfume stories. All are factual. All are creative. All are fascinating.” It’s true to say that all the submissions were just wonderful and the results a close call. These fabulous stories are a must-read so please take a few minutes to appreciate the talents of these writers.’

Our nominations are for…

Perfuming a Part, by Suzy Nightingale

The Poison & the Remedy, by Suzy Nightingale

Scents of Place: Venice, by Jo Fairley

The Perfume Society #smellfie campaign 2019

The full list of entires can be found on The Perfumed Plume website, with links to each of the finalists’ work, and we urge you to grab a cuppa and read every single one for some precious moments of escapism.

There’s a wealth of journalistic talent out there and we are honoured to be numbered among them. It’s such a shame the awards ceremony is cancelled, though of course understandable given the circumstances we find ourselves in with Covid-19 and self-isolating… but WHAT a refreshing blast of (fragrant) air this was, amidst so much gloom.

Hot on the back of our celebrating the news that we have SIX Jasmine Award nominations this year for our writing, we do hope you will join us in celebrating, perhaps with a fragrant gin or two!

The #smellfie sensation! Are YOU a winner?

On National Fragrance Day, March 21st, in a shower of #smellfie sharing, the world came together as perfume-lovers all over the planet expressed their joy for scents that gave the most comfort, strength and happiness in these troubling times.

This is the sixth year of our #smellfie campaign – sharing a selfie with a scent you love – and this time, we placed a special emphasis on those fragrances that make us smile, feel as though we’re wearing a suit of armour or as though we’re somehow standing taller. To be perfectly honest, we just weren’t sure – amidst a global pandemic – how many people would be able to, or actually feel like joining in on this occasion. But OH BOY, you didn’t disappoint!

We were moved to tears by some of the tender scent meories and photos you shared, and then whooping with laughter at some of the hilaious costumes you somehow got together! Overall, it was a fragrantly creative display of unity that helped us feel less isolated, reminded us all of how important fragrance can be to help lift our moods, and gosh, just gave us something nice to focus on for a little while.

Though in our hearts you are all winners, we promised to pick some of our all-time favourites, and we would love to share these with you below…

Our top choice, @harleyrider1883, will be receiving £300 worth of fragrance (though he might have to be a little patient as we figure out how to get it to him, while working remotely!) Five runners-up will either receive a VIP Subscription in the UK (with the joining box of their choice), or an International VIP Subscription – for a full year of fragrant reading!

OVERALL WINNER

 

@harleyrider1883 For embodying the power of perfume in his smile-making pic, captioned: ‘Wearing this makes me feel strong, confident and brave! (and happy because the wife likes it too)’

 

RUNNERS-UP

@mindmarrow Because we think everyone should go hiking with their fragrance. (We’re so doing that in future.) To quote: ‘Like a good scent soldier asked to do a smellfie, here it is. One of my favourites is Guerlain’s Plus Que Jamais. Besides having private and beautiful memories for me, it translates to “more than ever” and fittingly now more than ever we need connection, grace and kindness. More than ever we need courage, creativity and resilience. More than ever we need to breathe deeply. Sending love, support and solidarity to this community of passionate ’fumeheads.’

 

@bellempiretheheartoffeminity For the wonderfully dramatic photo with Guerlain L’Heure Bleue, and her caption: ‘Let us all honour the joy that spraying a beautiful scent can give us on National Fragrance Day in a time where small pleasures mean more than ever and a favourite perfume has the power to bring us back to happier and easier times… if only for a small moment.’

 

@lelatr85 As with many #smellfies for 2020, bare-faced but beautiful. (Lots of slap just doesn’t feel of-the-moment, right now, does it? And as we all know, you’re never naked with perfume.) ‘To celebrate #nationalfragranceday I choose to post a #smellfie with no make-up, just wearing #eaudemerveilles. A unique woody, salty, citrusy perfume – one of a kind.’

 

@thesniffwebsite For giving us the best laugh of the day. As the talented fragrance writer behind The Sniff, Nicola Thomis, says, ‘Sauvage by @dior done the #smellfie way for @theperfumesociety. Humour at times like this lifts us up, keeps us going and makes us feel like we’re wearing that suit of armour. I loved having an eyeliner beard and tattoos by the way. Things I have learned this weekend: felt tip eyeliner is a sod to get off arm skin!’

 

@perfumepuffery A scented sketch that we simply enjoyed. ‘I’m over here on #nationalfragranceday… wearing the very austere Iris Silver Mist. Is she uplifting? Probably not, but I’m always very moved by its abject greyness and enjoy being shrouded in icy glamour. Best iris and best Serge (in my opinion). Wishing you all the best in these very scary and uncertain times.’

Thank you SO much to every single one of you who took part. We spent the whole of Saturday (and much of Sunday) liking, commenting and loving as many of your posts as we possibly could. With so many great entries it was a really tough decision, but please know we adored seeing every single one!

By Suzy Nightingale (with thanks to Hettie Jones for curating all the #smellfies)

Richard Branson’s new fragrance ‘smells like ship’…

We’ve already had weird and wonderful novelty perfumes that smell of pizza, burgers and Stilton cheese, candles inspired by fried chicken and more recently, a fragrance evoking the twinkle in Captain Birdseye‘s eye – but now the captain has a new seafairing scent to contend with: Richard Branson’s signature scent, Ship No.1. And apparently, ‘…it smells like ship!’

That’s not me being salty – I am sadly bereft of a sample to lavishly spray about my person, so I cannot tell you how it actually smells – but it’s how Branson himself proudly describes the fragrance in the extremely amusing Virgin Voyages advert, for which he places his tongue firmly in his cheek. Watch the video below and get a true sense of this ship fragrance for yourself…

 

 

Ship No.1 is more than merely a novelty item, though, as this ‘signature scent of Scarlet Lady,’ has been released to mark the launch of Virgin Voyages first ship. Nicknamed ‘Ladyships’ (as they will all have female names), the fragrance apparently ‘evokes the feeling of being at sea with its hint of sea lavender and salt air contrasted against the warmth of sun-kissed wood from a fig tree.’ What’s more, Ship No.1 will be infused throughout the ‘adult by design’ (nobody under the age of 18 will be allowed aboard the vessel) Scarlet Lady once it sets sail.

Elaborating about the fragrance for their on-brand website, itsmellslikeship.com, Virgin Voyages explain their inspiration. ‘…when somebody walks into the room and says, “It smells like something in here, but I just can’t put my finger on it.” Let them know. It smells like ship.

 

 

Other videos by Virgin Voyages, available on YouTube, show plans for the ship’s layout, including a restaurant with ‘nice’ food – vegetarian – that can be made ‘naughty’ by the addition of visiting the meat buffet; a ‘mermaid spa’ that turns into a party at night, complete with DJ and disco lights; a ‘singles deck’ for solo travellers, and the intriguingly themed ‘drag lunch’, details of which are not yet forthcoming. I do very much hope it’s a bunch of drag queens still hungover from the night before and making use of the meat buffet while holding court with salty anecdotes, though. If so, I’ll be booking a ticket today, and possibly considering permanent residency.

If these delights are not enough to tempt you aboard, or if you can’t quite afford such ‘Ladyship’ luxuries – at least you can drown your sorrows by smelling ‘like Ship’, I suppose, as it’s avalable for pre-order today.

 

Ship No.1 $50 for 100ml Parfum de Bateau*
itsmellslikeship.com

*(A bateau is ‘a light flat-bottomed riverboat used in Canada’, according to my Googling skills)

By Suzy Nightingale

 

The Fragrance Room – Harvey Nichols new perfume place to be!

Harvey Nichols Knightsbridge have just opened a fabulous NEW fragrant hang-out: Exclusives and boutiques and workshops, oh my! We got the low-down on this exciting new scent space within the department store, now with a whole host of new houses to explore in DOUBLE the room…

Harvey Nichols have long had a passion for perfume – often showcasing niche brands that never dreamed of being stocked in such a world-famous store, finding the most unique names that are hard to find anywhere else along with their curated selection of the finest fragrance houses this planet has to offer perfumistas. With innovative art installations and all manner of fragrant events already under their belt, and an array of gorgeous shop-in-shop boutiques queing up to join in the fragrant fun – it was time to expand the space and really commit to a larger integral fragrant experience. Behold: The Fragrance Room

 

 

Bigger, better, bolder than ever before, this new department has now been unveiled and includes over 100 fragrance houses, including in-store boutiques from Creed, Maison Francis Kurkdjian, Serge Lutens and Kilian. With a roll-out of inclusive, immersive experiences for customers, the new concept will include a sensory fragrance discovery wall – to help customers navigate the often tricky fragrance families – boutique activations, including fragrance workshops with the Fragrance Foundation to celebrate National Fragrance Week and opportunities to meet brand founders and perfumers through interactive events and partnerships.

 

 

Jo Osborne, Director of Beauty and Concessions at Harvey Nichols, said that because fragrance has been such a significant part of their business, since the 2016, they’ve taken the decision to massively expand their fragrance offering.

‘…we have outgrown the current area but are fortunate enough to move to a space double the size. The new department allows us to offer some of our bestselling brands an opportunity to create their own boutique space and the rest of the department to curate unique and fine fragrances from across the world, which we know our customers will love. We are excited to work with new and existing brands to offer exclusive activities, such as expert consultations and welcome various brand founders such as Francis Kurkdjian and Geza Schoen.’

The first phase is already open, and when fully complete at the end of this month (March 2020), the space will be a whopping 1,600 sq ft – showing exactly how important fragrance is to Harvey Nichols. And that’s great news for all of us who love perfume, don’t you think?

Harvey Nichols say: ‘With a portfolio of UK exclusive brands including Maison Crivelli, 28 87 Barcelona, V Canta by Terenzi, Ormaie Paris and Ella K, the deapartment will be home to a library of fragrance brands from across the world.’

Additional fragrance houses joining Harvey Nichols for the first time include Hermessance, Nassomatto, Parfums de Marly, D.S. & Durga and Initio, among others.

We don’t know about you, but our shopping (and must-sniff) list just got a LOT longer…

By Suzy Nightingale

Fragrance (but make it fashion!) – Scents inspired by fabrics

The trend-fuelled worlds of fashion and fragrance have been hand-in-glove for centuries – quite literally by 1656, when the perfumery and leather industry had become intrinsically linked, the fashion for exquisitely crafted gloves, popularised at court by Catherine de Medici, somewhat at odds with the disgustingly pungent reality of curing leather in urine. So, the Corporation of Glove-makers and Perfumers – the ‘maître-gantiers’ – (master glove-makers/perfumers) was formed in France, importing ingredients from all over the world to scent the gloves; with acres later given to growing and distilling them, such was Queen Catherine’s passion for perfume, and an entire industry was born in Grasse.

Since then, where fashion has led, so fragrance has followed – and just as hemlines go and up down, and silhouettes dramatically alter from era to era, so too do scented ‘shapes’ change with time. And perumers have long been inspired by fabric in their creations – a peculiar thing, you may think, as most fabrics don’t have their own distinct smell. Yet as we imagine a white sheet drying in sunshine, or the plush eroticism of velvet stroked beneath our fingers, we can also imagine the scent these textures might have. Such is the alchemical magic that fragrance can create – an overlapping of the senses, and in this first of two parts looking at fragrances inspired by fabrics, we pay homage to scents evoking satin, cashmere, leather and cotton…

Satin drapes. It clings to the body. It moves in the most sensuous way… And you definitely need to try draping yourself in this from prolific and gifted ‘nose’ Francis Kurkdjian. We’d call this an after-dark fragrance, one for oudh-lovers, for sure – but busting any prejudices against that ultra-woody material, for in Francis’s hands it never, ever overwhelms. We’re getting Turkish delight – a sugar-dusted rosiness that blends Bulgarian rose essence with Turkish rose absolute, while genuine Laotian oudh melts into benzoin from Siam, and the sweetness owes much to a soft, powdery accord of violet and vanilla in the heart. There’s almost a chocolate-y element swirling seductively around the patchouli, while the oudh underpins everything with its animalic smokiness. Mesmerising.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Oud Satin Mood £200 for 70ml eau de parfum
harveynichols.com

 

 

Tom describes Iridium as ‘the fragrance equivalent of charcoal coloured cashmere.’ We always enjoy a description that makes you imagine a smell from a texture and colour, don’t you? And this really is a cool-toned cashmere, exuding effortless chic with all the powdery sophistication of precious iris concrète, but granted a strong silvery spine. The iris is dosed with carrot seed to amplify the dry, root-y yet so-refined character, and the synthetic note of Iso E Super wafts forth a deliciously grown-up gourmand ‘your skin but better’ dry-down – the kind that has people asking ‘what’s that delicious smell?’ and a secret smile is stifled when you know it’s you… Now also available as an extrait formula, poured at 71% strength, for even longer lasting enswathement.

Tom Daxon Iridium £105for 50ml eau de parfum
tomdaxon.com

 

 

Reminding us of our beloved leather jacket, a stack of books or the wood-panelled, boozily infused surroundings of a members’ only club, leather fragrances evoke a particularly voracious and luxurious sensuality, favouring deep base notes that linger the whole day long. Russian leather fragrances have a long heritage, the intense smokiness of birch the vital scent ingredient giving ‘Russian’ leather it’s characteristic smell. Here, Molton Brown curl swirls of smoke through a Siberian pine forest, infusing leather-bound books with a campfire’s glowing ember scent. Magnificently done, it’s an especial pleasure in colder weather, though I love layering it at times with a rose that needs some extra oomph.

Molton Brown Russian Leather £60 for 50ml eau de toilette
Buy it at moltonbrown.co.uk

 

 

Like burying one’s nose in sunny-day line-dried linen, a gust of pure, clean ozonic notes greets us at this fragrance’s first spritz, only made more refreshing by a rush of watery notes and pinch of ginger. Mint and green accords carry this clean and fresh feeling into the fragrance’s heart accord, which then softens into florals, cushioned by skin-like musk and vetiver. Magically capturing the comforting sensation of crispness, and featuring elegant white lilies, floral cotton accords and a vanilla-speckled, benzoin-infused amber glow in the mix: this is one to spray when you need to be reminded of home, of lazy sundays and lie-ins and snuggling up in bliss. (See below to get a luxury try-me size!)

CLEAN Reserve Warm Cotton [Reserve Blend] £82 for 100ml eau de parfum
spacenk.com

 

 

Warm Cotton was the perfect addition to the Luxury Layering Discovery Box – featuring THIRTEEN layerable scents and three fragrant body treats to try at home for £19 (£15 for VIPs) – use it to freshen up a perfume without resorting to the usual citrus, to soften a scent you feel is too harsh or simply to luxuriate in the sebsation of that clean, soft white fabric dried in the sunshine.

Whether vintage or modern – evoking an era or an archetypal fabric – the fingers of fashion are still firmly within those fragrant gloves, and together they work their alchemical magic to embolden us: seducing several senses while enhancing our own sense of who we are – or whomever we want to be that day…

By Suzy Nightingale