Scent-matching Bridgerton Season 3… Scents for debutantes & heartbreakers!

Dearest Reader,

Society is ABUZZ with the welcome return of Bridgerton Season 3, and the mamas of the blushing debutantes (sometimes blushing for very good reason) are all set to find their perfect matches in the ballrooms and palaces (and – ahem – bedrooms) we’ve so missed waltzing through. Yours Truly has been busy making matches, too, as you shall discover, with this Whistle[down]-stop tour through the fragrances some of the main characters should be hastily spritzing if they know what’s good for them (which most of them assuredly do not.)

Before we begin with the olfactory introductions, lets us quickly adjourn to a précis of all the best gossip, via the ever-knowing wonders of the Bridgerton Wiki website. However, gentle readers must BE WARNED for their are potential SPOILERS ahead. So do not come to us with your pearl-clutching chagrin if you have not yet watched the first four episodes on Netflix (with the final four making an appearance on June 13.) 

‘Penelope enters Season 3 finally ready to give up her longtime crush on Colin. However, that doesn’t mean she’s done with love. Instead, Penelope has decided it’s time to take a husband — and preferably one who will give her the freedom to continue her double life as Lady Whistledown, far away from the prying eyes of her mother and sisters. Lacking in confidence, Penelope’s attempts on the marriage mart fail spectacularly.

 

 

Meanwhile, Colin has returned from his summer travels with a new look and a serious sense of swagger. But he’s disheartened to realise that Penelope, the one person who always appreciated him as he was, is giving him the cold shoulder. Eager to win back her friendship, Colin offers to mentor Penelope in the ways of confidence to help her find a husband this season. But when his lessons start working a little too well, Colin must grapple with whether his feelings for Penelope are truly just friendly. Complicating matters for Penelope is her rift with Eloise, who has found a new friend in a very unlikely place, while Penelope’s growing presence in the ton makes it all the more difficult to keep her Lady Whistledown alter ego a secret.’

WELL! What a to-do. The only thing for it is to reach for a new fragrance (and possibly the smelling salts, given all the drama and passion afoot). Which of these you may also decide to plump for is entirely up to you, of course, but we urge you to try them – and be careful whose hearts you may break along the way…

Yours truly,

Suzy Nightingale

 

Penelope Featherington + Alexandre J Butterfly

Penelope wishes to be a social butterfly, but she’ll need to come way out of her comfort zone and spread her wings. Will Colin be the man who can help her to fly? There’s certain to be lots of flutterings while wearing this. Butterfly whisks one away in a flurry of florals. Imagine handfuls of tuberose and neroli petals borne aloft on ribbons of pear and pink peppercorns, streaming joyously to a buoyantly soft musky/vanilla base.

£325 for 100ml eau de parfum harrods.com

 

 

Colin Bridgerton + Goldfield & Banks Silky Woods Elixir

There’s something different about Colin – whatever could it be? He’s attracting all sorts of attention these days… Freshly returned from thrilling adventures abroad and having gathered a bronzed glow, this fragrance has heaps of wood and will waft for miles. Despite the steamy scent of the tropics, a definite greenness can still be glimpsed through the smokey, sultry swagger, and there’s comfort to be found in the reassuringly fluffy base.

£215 for 100ml elixir fenwick.co.uk

 

 

 

Francesca Bridgerton + Thameen Fanfare

There’s a sparkle to this scent that just never dulls – perfect, then, to reflect the light that shines from Francesca as she navigates her way through the tumultuous marriage market. Bursting with talent (and only truly at peace when playing the piano that’s her guiding passion), she needs a fragrance that fills a room with its presence but never has to try too hard. Inspired by London’s musically-imbued history of Covent Garden, and the flower market it was famed for; Fanfare is a clarion call of white florals amidst the refreshing brightness of crisp citrus.

£250 for 100ml Cologne elixir selfridges.com

[Pssst! Clever readers will want to try a sample within the Launches to Love Discovery Box, £27 / £19 for VIP Members…]

 

Will Mondrich + Parfums de Marly Perseus

Attempting to get used to his new life – with his son having inherited Lady Kent’s entire estate – Will requires a fragrance that’ll make him feel like a king in his own perfumed court. Breezily fresh, this veritably gallops out of the bottle with vibrant grapefruit, bergamot and green mandarin, before an air of supreme sophistication takes over, via grounding vetiver and head-clearing geranium. Vigorously masculine at times, soft as a cashmere caress at others, it’s a scent which perfectly balances brightness with a newly found elegance.

£200 for 75ml eau de parfum uk.parfums-de-marly.com

 

 

Eloise Bridgerton + Yardley English Jasmine

Oh, Eloise has got herself into such a predicament. We suggest she gets herself out of the corner she’s put herself in and goes for a long walk in the meadows surrounding the Bridgerton family home. Wearing this, the distant coolness of tuberose thaws to joyous frangipani and the dawning light of jasmine’s tenderness, while lemon and mandarin cut through any nonsense. Embracing simplicity, as it dries down, the warmth of musk and cedarwood make an appearance – as we hope her treasured friendship with Penelope might yet emerge…

£17.50 for 125ml eau de toilette boots.com

 

Craving even more scent-matching shenanigans, or craving a catch-up? Do take a look at our Scenting Bridgerton Season Two.

The Fragrance Foundation Awards 2024: and the winners are…. (squeal!)

Forgive us for floating on a cloud (of perfume, obvs) for the next few weeks (okay, months!) because we’re still buzzing from the most exciting night in the scented calendar – The Fragrance Foundation U.K. Awards 2024. And this year in particular, we had a LOT to be excited about! Let’s gather ourselves a moment and let you know ALL the winners (and the next scents your nose needs to be in search of…)

Recognised as the most prestigious journalistic awards in the beauty industry, the Fragrance Foundation U.K awards began in 1990. They are split into two distinct sections: The Jasmine Awards – which recognise and reward the talents of journalists & visualisers whose difficult task it is to translate the complex art of perfumery into words and pictures; and The Fragrance Foundation U.K. Awards for individual fragrances, ad campaigns, expert sales assistants and fragrance retailers. Altogether, it’s an overview of the hottest (and best-smelling) names to know right now.

A new panel of judges is recruited annually and includes experts from the worlds of journalism, literature, fashion, lifestyle, PR and fragrance consultancy. The panel is chaired by an expert in the fragrance industry, and you can read all about the judges here, which this year included the world’s foremost fragrance expert and author, Michael Edwards.

Okay. Drumroll, please…

 

Literary Award: The Scented Letter magazine, Up in Smoke: Fragrances Flagrantly Defying the Smoking Ban by Suzy Nightingale

 

Short Piece Award: perfumesociety.org Green with En Vie by Suzy Nightingale

 

Creative Award: On the Scent Podcast ‘Scented Story’

by Suzy Nightingale & Nicola Bonn

 

Practical Guide Award: We Wear Perfume – Who Am I? New Ways to Make Your Perfume Personal by Amanda Carr & Tamara Fulton

 

Rising Star: Highsnobiety, Fragrance, Unfiltered: What Shoppers Want Perfume Brands to Know by Alexandra Pauly

 

 

 

We must also take a moment to pop some Champagne corks for our own Scented Letter magazine editor / writer, Jo Fairley (no stranger to awards, with a shelf-full of them over the years!) for being a finalist in in two categories: Literary, for When Your Back Garden is a Tuberose Field, and Practical Guide for her piece The Wash Gets Posh. And of ourse for the brilliant Scott McGlashan who was a Rising Star finalist for his Scented Letter magazine feature It takes them right backabout finding his beloved gran’s favourite (now discontinued) fragrance of her youth, because her eyesight is failing and she wanted to return to treasured scent memories. It was so moving to so many, and we know Scott’s star is certainly rising – a name to watch for sure.

Don’t forget – you can sign up to get FREE copies of the digital edition of The Scented Letter magazine delivered to your inbox each time they published!

 

 

Now, let’s take a breath and raise our glasses to the incredible fragrance awards winners – many of which are fragrant friends of The Perfume Society, and all of which we whooped with joy for seeing their names on the big screen…

 

 

Media Campaign: Diptyque Do Son

 

Design & Packaging: Penhaligon’s Potions & Remedies

 

Interior Fragrance: Byredo Summer Rain

 

Independent Fragrance: Vyrao Sun Rae

 

Perfume Extraordinaire: Ella K Camélia K

 

The Evening Standard Readers’ Choice: Billie Eilish, Eilish No.2

 

People’s Choice: Burberry, Burberry Goddess

 

Newcomer: Victoria Beckham Beauty

 

Innovation: Diptyque Les Mondes de Diptyque

 

Limited Distribution: Maison Margiela Replica Under the Stars

 

National Distribution: Tom Ford Beauty Café Rose

 

Retailer of the Year: Harrods H Beauty

 

Online Retailer of the Year: Harrods H Beauty

 

Best New Collection: Victoria Beckham Beauty Fragrance Collection 

 

Ultimate Launch: Yves Saint Laurent MYSLF

 

The prestigious judging panel had to read SO many submissions, and we were full to the fragrant brim with gratitude for this recognition, and send huge congratulations to ALL the finalists, and to the winners, which we were over the moon to be among.

Until next year, fragrant friends, we’ll be wafting along and glowing just a little bit more brightly than usual…

Dreaming of Spring with Narcissus Scents

Narcissus has been exciting perfumers for millennia. The Arabs used it in perfumery, then the Romans, who created a perfume called Narcissinum with the oil from what’s become one of our favourite modern flowers. In India, meanwhile, narcissus one of the oils applied to the body before prayer, along with jasmine, sandalwood and rose. (Nobody’s quite sure where the first flowers were grown;  some believe it originated in Persia, and made its way to China via the Silk Route.)

There are hundreds of different species of Narcissi today – white, yellow, some with a touch of pink or orange (including our ‘everyday’ daffodil) – but not all are fragrant. The Pheasant’s Eye Narcissus (a.k.a. Poet’s Narcissus, or Narcissus poeticus) is native to Europe, and growers cultivate it in the Netherlands and the Grasse area of France, extracting an oil which smells like a blend of jasmine and hyacinth.

The scent can also be extracted from the so-pretty ‘bunched’ variety – Narcissus tazetta – is native to southern Europe and now also grown widely across Asia, the Middle East, north Africa, northern India, China and Japan.  A third variety, Narcissus jonquil, can also be used, and in one form or another this beautiful ingredient is said to make its way into as much as 10% of modern fragrances – despite the fact that a staggering 500 kilos of flowers are needed to produce a kilo of ‘concrete’, or just 300 g of absolue, making it very pricy – and, therefore, many perfumers will create an ‘accord’ to recreate this stunning scent note.

 

 

 

 

It’s so powerful, though, that only a touch is needed – and perfumers must proceed with caution: the scent in a closed room can be overwhelming. (Narcissus actually gets its name from the Greek word ‘narke’, which made its way into Roman language as ‘narce’: that meant ‘to be numb’, and alludes to the effect the oil can have.)

The supposed Greek legend linked with the flower is well-known: Narcissus was a handsome youth who fell in love with his own reflection, on seeing it in a pool. Unable to leave behind the beauty of his image, Narcissus died – to be replaced by this flower…

 

 

 

 

Penhaligon’s The Revenge of Lady Blanche

Here, hyacinth and daffodil lure those around with wafts of what seems like whimsicality, before the true headiness kicks in with billowing verdancy and the bite of ginger flower beckons. Reflecting the character of Lady Blanche, who Penhaligon’s describe as ‘the darling of London Society’ who will ‘do anything to continue climbing the social ladder’ and revealing ‘her charmingly dangerous persona,’ – this is a narcissus-strewn scent that beautifully balances the beauty and intriguing green notes.

£235 for 75ml eau de parfum penhaligons.com

 

 

 

SANA_JARDIN_JAIPUR_CHANT-

 

Sana Jardin Jaipur Chant

Sana Jardin have helped to put scent sustainability firmly on the agenda, a brand created primarily as a vehicle for social change, offering fragrances (by the esteemed Carlos Benaïm) which are exquisite enough to convert any eco-refusenik. They don’t launch newness every five minutes – au contraire – but introductions like this are worth waiting for, heady with tuberose, jasmine and French narcissus, freshened by lemon and ultimately smoothed by soft musks. Hypnotic, we’re finding.

Try a sample in the Sana Jardin Discovery Set £30 for 10 x 2ml samples In our shop

 

 

 

 

Frederic Malle Cologne Indélébile

Love the freshness – but weep over the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it nature of Colognes…? This is the most surprising Cologne incarnations you can wrap your nose around, bursting out of the bottle on a surge of orange blossom and Calabrian bergamot, neroli and lemon. But wait. Literally, wait a couple of hours: the top notes still make their presence felt – joined by arm-fulls of headier narcissus, too, by now – but Cologne Indelebile develops an irresistible musky undertone that will still be seducing you (and who knows who else?), 24 hours in. Golly.

£240 for 100ml Cologne libertylondon.com

 

 

Shay & Blue Atropa Belladonna

Atropa Belladonna is inspired by deadly nightshade (yes, really!): the rare plant used by seventeenth century Venetians for hallucinogenic beauty, as the natural toxins is contains dilate the pupils. This rich and incredibly opulent scent was created by ‘nose’ Julie Massé. It is an utterly contemporary blend of ripe blackcurrant alongside narcotic white flowers by way of narcissus and jasmine. The mesmerising composition decadently dries down to a base of patchouli, sandalwood and Bourbon vanilla.

£65 for 100ml natural spray fragrance In our shop

 

 

PARLE MOI DE PARFUM Haute Provence / 89

Endless vistas of Provençal lavender fields and their ‘glorious explosion of purple, mauve, lilac and blue’ were the inspiration behind this wonderfully soothing, aromatic ‘memory of France in high summer.’ Until we can wander those fields first-hand, this cool, dry and immediately nostalgic scent spirits us there with every spritz. Refreshing watermelon and hypnotic narcissus only add to the bucolic charms, and once again we praise the nose of Michel Almairic. Mai oui!

£100 for 50ml eau de parfum lessenteurs.com

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Sandalwood scents to adore this autumn

Perfumers have been seduced by sandalwood’s silky, sweet woodiness for centuries. Arabian perfume-makers would use the wood in pulverised or sawdust form as the base of solid perfumes and incense. In India, sandalwood’s soothing, pervasive scent has long been considered an aid to meditation, helping to still a whirring mind. In rituals, sandalwood oil may be applied to the forehead, the temples, or rubbed between the eyebrows. And it’s been used in many cultures as incense, burned on altars, as a way of communicating with the heavens.

 

Surprisingly, Santalum album isn’t actually a tree but a parasitic plant which grows by suckering itself to the roots of other trees, and slowly growing as high as 10 metres. To extract the deep, sweet woodiness, wood or root chippings are steam-distilled. If you ever come across a piece of the wood itself, it’s magical: the scent can still be enjoyed, years after it was harvested. (A little light sanding re-releases the scent, if it fades.)

 

 

 

In fragrance compositions, sandalwood is adored by noses because it’s so versatile – it blending seamlessly with pretty much any note you can name, it also has the benefit of working as a ‘fixative’, tethering other ingredients and keeping them ‘true’, in a composition. Because of its universal appeal and effectiveness, and because so many sandalwood trees have been cut down in India, largely for production of perfume and incense – it’s now highly protected, as it’s often been illegally harvested.

The good news, however, is that plantations in Australia are now coming on-stream, producing sandalwood oil of high quality – to the relief of perfumers, fragrance-lovers and conservationists alike. Also, a wide range of excellent quality synthetic sandalwood-like ingredients are now used in place of this at-risk wood, to give that smooth milkiness.

This autumn, we urge you to seek out some of these sandalwood scents and revel in all its qualities…

Sana Jardin Sandalwood Temple

Moroccan neroli oil glimmers like motes of gilded glitter suspended in languid, late afternoon sunshine. Atlas cedarwood and Haitian vetiver add the dappled shade of a walk through nature, marvelling at stained-glass effect of sunlight through leaves. Rich vanilla and East Indian sandalwood swirls throughout – a sacred space to sigh, contentedly.

Try a sample of Sandalwood Temple in the Sana Jardin Discovery Set: £30 for 10 x 2ml eau de parfum

 

 

 

Fragrance du Bois Santal Complet

Inspired by waves of bliss you feel on sunny but chilly days, lemon’s brightness frosted with coconut shavings gleams to the heart of soft violet and black pepper, before that creamy base sandalwood swirls like a cashmere wrap around your shoulders, a hug of warmth resonating with the amber, musk and vanilla that’s a joyously sun-filled snuggle.

£245 for 100ml eau de parfum fragrancedubois.com

 

Goldfield & Banks Silky Woods

If a fragrance can ever smell like liquid gold, this is it – a smooth, molten swoon of Australian sandalwood, harvested sustainably for the first time in the Daintree Rainforest in Tropical Queensland. Spiced with a tingle of saffron, swirled with smoked vanilla and the hug of tobacco leaves in the trail, it’s an all-day (and night) wrist-sniffer, for sure.

£180 for 100ml eau de parfum fenwick.co.uk

 

 

Escentric Molecules Molecule 04

Perfumer and founder Geza Schoen showcases the single note of Javanol – a sheer sandalwood synthetic molecule created from a natural substance at Givuadan in 2001. Mindblowing-ly fresh, and radiating grapefruit amidst the woodiness, it’s a wake-up call for the senses which reveals the multifaceted versatility of sandalwood’s appeal.

OR…

Escentric Molecules Escentric 04

Here surrounded by a supporting cast of complimentary notes, the Javanol shines like a polished gem with the added zest of lime, piquant pops of aromatic juniper and and the warm, almost sherbet-y fizz of pink pepper give an extra shot of freshness, while marijuana leaf softens the grapefruit pith (and adds to the addictiveness of the sandalwood scent).

Try samples of both these takes on sandalwood, plus EIGHT other pairings of single molecules and their ‘Escentic’ counterparts in the Escentric Molecules Discovery Set £25 for 10 x 2ml eau de parfum

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Strictly Scents: Part Two (matching fragrances to all the dances)

Strictly season is hotting up, and we’re scenting all the major dances with fragrances we feel best compliment their unique characters. Don’t forget to read Part One for all the background context of these features, but briefly put, music and fragrance have myriad connections. What’s more, we love mixing cultural references, as it adds to our understanding of scent as an emotive medium!

So, simply decide which dance best sum up your personality, or would match your mood today, and then seek out the perfume we’ve picked to accompany it…

 

 

 

American Smooth – BDK Vanille Leather

The magic of seeing couples glide over the dance floor in this so-sophisticated number never gets old, and we know you’ll be won over by the rich smoothness of the glorious vanilla in this scent, too. But if you avoid gourmands, fear not! Get set to banish all thoughts of it being sickly: this has great depth but glides on skin like a silky caress. Rich, yes, but so, SO chic. Shot through with Indian tuberose, Egyptian jasmine and orange flower, there’s a fizzing sense of excitement from pink peppercorns and a swoony violet to infuse the trail, along with that creamy, dreamy vanilla.

£195 for 100ml eau de parfum harrods.com

 

 

 

Viennese Waltz – Chopard Imperiale Iris Malika

A classic dance style often depicted in romantic films, the sweepingly graceful moves are reflected in this regally arrayed fragrance. Enrobed in purple, the majesty of this Chopard scent is apparent even before the first spritz. Echoing both the colour of the iris flower and the robes associated with royalty, this fit-for-a-Queen fragrance billows wild berries and warm spices borne aloft on a feather-light, powdery cloud of that exceptional orris concrete, garlanded either side by jasmine and ylang ylang. Further spices infuse opulently silky balms and woodiness in the base. One to fall madly in love with, for sure.

£90 for 100ml eau de parfum fenwick.co.uk

 

 

 

Salsa – Jean Paul Gaultier Divine

Overtly feminine in style, this is a blur of boobs, hips and feet sashaying with intent (and filled with happiness!) You’d not be able to do it in the actual corset, but you can definitely feel the vibe wearing this fragrance. Gilded breast cones? Of COURSE it’s a JPG – referencing one of his iconic fashion pieces in fragrant form, it’s sparkly, yet has a satisfying gourmand hit. Envisage sun-warmed skin, now add opulent wafts of white flowers, and a scented surprise where the addictive sweet creaminess of whipped meringue is suddenly shot through with a lip-smacking hint of the salty sea. Breezy yet buxom, it’s an invitation to be the very best, fragrantly fabulous version of yourself.

£66 for 30ml eau de parfum jeanpaulgaultier.com

 

 

 

Argentine Tango – Floris Tuberose in Silk

Surely the most passionate dance of all, this drama-filled spectacle needs a scent that can balance the sheer sexiness with restraint. Teetering betwixt the hip-swivelling sensuality of tuberose and the softness of a rose’s velvet blush, this surprising dive into untamed eroticism is held at bay by the cashmere fluffiness of musk, a warm hug of amber and a dusting of iris. Calmed by these, the orange blossom and jasmine join the white flowers in a more controlled dance than if left to cavort, while camphor’s on hand with the smelling salts for the final dip.

From £30 for 50ml eau de parfum florislondon.com

 

 

Charleston – Vyrao Sun Rae

Need an instant shot of energy? You will with this breathlessly entertaining dance, and wearing this gloriously uplifting scent – infused with ‘a supercharged Herkimer diamond crystal for clarity and to boost energy levels’ – the brilliant Lyn Harris has created her own magic from a ZING! POP! FIZZ! of citrus explosions that feel like you’re being beamed above the clouds with every spritz. Turn on the scented spotlight for a sizzle of turmeric and black pepper, adding ruffled layers of welcome warmth, while bergamot, lemon, and aqueous ginger sparkle like bottled sunshine throughout.

£135 for eau de parfum libertylondon.com

 

 

Couple’s Choices: (a category introduced in 2018 – celebs and their professional dancer partners have a choice of performing either a contemporary dance, a street/commercial dance or theatre and jazz. We’ve chosen a scent for each..)

 

 

Couple’s Choice Contemporary – Bruno Cucinelli Pour Homme

A poetically lyrical style of dance that often incorporates balletic moves and lifts, this dance truly expresses the emotion of the music. The fragrance for this match is just as expressive, while masterfully understated. Paying tribute to the Italian design house’s home of Solomeo with every sophisticated, spice-infused spritz, Olivier Cresp evokes rolling Umbrian hills, an aromatic landscape brought to life via cypress, juniper, clary sage and Nigerian ginger flecked with flinty black pepper. Known for his masterful textures and superb fabrics, Cucinelli’s aesthetic and his homeland are so brilliantly nuanced within the blend: a sense of overlapping complexity that simultaneously feels effortless.

£160 for 100ml eau de parfum harrods.com

 

 

Couple’s Choice Street – Art de Parfum Sabotage

Often introducing a retro dance style to appropriately nostalgic tunes, this dance always puts smiles on the audience’s faces. Similarly, this scent joyously revels in revery, harking back to the 90s as its perfumed point of reference. We’re imagining it worn while dancing to MC Hammer’s ‘U Can’t Touch This’ for extra fun. And this really is fun to wear. It has us pining for the optimism and carefree attitude of that era, which is cleverly evoked here with a boozy Negroni accord, a breeze of spearmint, tuberose naughtily swirled with wormwood, earthy patchouli and a mossy dry-down. It’s ‘da bomb’ (as we liked to say, back then).

£125 for 50ml extrait artdeparfum.com

 

 

Couple’s Choice Jazz – Maison Margiela Replica Jazz Club

The vibrant allure of an illicit after-party in a wood-panelled club is evoked here via a fizz of pink pepper, the brightness of neroli and lemon slinking to the rum-infused fun of the rich heart. There’s a shadowy coolness of vetiver oil from Java, a sense of refinement from the tobacco, and a sensually resinous vanilla base; but it’s the kind of night that will linger long in your memory, and your secret smiles…

£115 for 100ml eau de toilette maisonmargiela.com

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Eau de AI – how Artificial Intelligence can help explore your perfume personality

In the Fashion, Fragrance & the Future‘ edition of The Scented Letter magazine [sign up for the FREE online edition here] we explore the myriad ways that Artificial Intelligence is impacting the world of perfumery – from allowing the perfumers to come up with never before dreamed of compositions, building brand new aroma molecules (and predicting how they’ll smell), to more sustainable ways of growing, harvesting, distilling and creating scents, right down to the design and marketing of the perfumes.

 

 

As the AI market grows in leaps and bounds, seemingly daily, we wanted to elaborate on another exciting (and utterly fascinating) use of AI in perfumery: helping YOU choose your next new fragrance.

 

 

We’ve long been proponents of technology aiding customers in this often confusing starting point – decades ago, our Co-Founder Lorna McKay helped set up an in-store computer system to help customers of Liberty’s perfumery seek out their next scents; an idea WAY ahead of its time that (then) printed out suggestions, which The Perfume Society then massively added to and turned into our online Find a Fragrance helper.

Keen to sniff out the latest technology, some months ago, I was lucky enough to be invited by Scent Futurist and consultant, Olivia Jezler, to attend the first European demonstration of an AI system designed by Japan’s SCENTMATIC Corporation. Simply put, they explain:

“Finding a perfume is a challenge. Fragrances are hard to grasp, and expressing our preferences can be tough. KAORIUM by SCENTMATIC is an entirely novel approach to fragrance exploration that decodes the enigmatic world of scents and helps people discover new fragrances intuitively through language. Harnessing state-of-the-art technology, our mission is to deliver olfactory moments of delight.”

Already in-store in some Japanese niche perfumeries, the AI works interactively through a table display. The customer is guided through sniffing some scents based on how they are feeling (or want a fragrance to help them feel) by suggesting some initial scents to ‘blind sniff’ (smell without knowing the name, brand, or ingredients) and asking questions. Narrowing down the possibilities based on your answers then spotlights three scented suggestions from differing houses to seek out in-store – the range suggested being uniquely tailored to the brands each retailer stocks.

 

 

 

“KAORIUM is a unique, innovative AI system that digitises the sense of smell and enables customers to experience fragrances through a digital blind-smelling experience. With KAORIUM, customers can intuitively discover scents by relying on a guided AI-powered olfactory experience that culminates in a poetic reveal of their chosen scents.”

 

My prompt was: ‘River breeze carrying the sound of fireworks’

Fragrances KAORIUM suggested for me:

 

(Restful) The House of Oud, The Time

THOO say: ‘This composition is an invitation to practise introspection: the prelude is Bergamot in an accord with Camomile and the calm of Wormwood, whose warm, woody note shields and reassures. Blue Tea, Iris and Verbena are the throbs of a heart that does not mark the passing of time, but expands it to infinity, wrapping us in a dimension of care and respect. With the expressive force of Cedarwood, Musks and Amber, the base receives the precious, dynamising notes of Black Tea.’

From £33 for 7ml eau de parfum [Exclusive to Jovoy Mayfair in the U.K.]

 

 

 

 

 

(Tranquil) Laboratorio Olfattivo, Sacreste

‘A complex and rich formula, created to give voice to two precious incense notes which immediately tie with Cistus, Elemi and other spicy ingredients which appear on the top notes and on a woody musky base. A sensual and profound incense: a perfume with character.’

£108 for 100ml eau de parfum pulseofperfumery.com

 

 

 

(Lucid) Stora Skuggan, Silphium

‘Silphium (probably of the genus Ferula) was a plant that grew in the area of Cyrene, present day Libya, and was widely renowned as a spice, medicinal herb and perfume ingredient throughout the empires of the classical antiquity. It was praised by Greek philosophers and writers, as well as Roman emperors and cookbook authors.’

£120 for 30ml eau de parfum earlofeast.com

 

I already knew I adored The Time and Sacreste, so these were indeed excellent suggestions, and I’ve since sought-out and rather fallen for Silphium. Quite apart from this being a fun thing to do in-store (who doesn’t like getting things ‘matched’ to them in personality-based quizzes?) AI experiences such as KAORIUM can be a genuinely helpful starting point for both those newer to niche perfumery and overwhelmed by (or nervous to try) the huge selection of scents clamouring for our attention. This absolutely is not to suggest such devices should (or could) put the well-trained and enthusiastic fragrance experts in stores out of a job, rather that it works alongside them – just as the AI programmes perfumers use are an aid to their expertise rather than a replacement for their skills, and emotional understanding of what people are looking for.

KAORIUM say: “…its capabilities are not just for the discovery experience but also for data analysis that can be used for insights and product development.”

So, companies might be able to track what customers are selecting based on their moods, allowing the database to evolve and grow based on realtime experiences. That way, it can learn ever more nuanced suggestions that best meet the needs of actual customers visiting perfumeries and not knowing where to begin: a win-win for everyone!

 

 

Want to learn even more about AI and perfumery?

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Goldfield & Banks – the blissful Botanicals series of scents

Dimitri Weber launched his house of Goldfield & Banks in 2016, showcasing for the fist time in the fragrance world the stunning native ingredients of Australia. And WHAT a wonderful treat for all fragrance lovers this proved to be…

 

When he started, Dimitri explained to us, nobody was talking about Australian ingredients at the various trade shows he visited, but ‘…now I notice more people are showcasing and highlighting their provenance, and the big houses like Firmenich and Givaudan are now exploring those ingredients, and that’s so wonderful!’

It was a fragrantly fateful 25 years ago Dimitri first travelled to Australia for a fragrance launch. He’d worked on fragrances in France for over twenty years before that trip that was to blow his mind and shape the course of his scented life and career. A friend suggested extending his trip, seeing as he’d flown for 24 hours to get there, to explore the wilds of the Australian landscape. While there, Dimitri says he totally fell in love with both the place and a special person, eventually moving to Australia and completely immersing himself in the wonderful ingredients he found there.

 

 

 

With this idea of combining the refinement of French perfumery with a hitherto under-explored palette of fragrant ingredients, he was proud to start his own brand to highlight unique materials of incredibly high quality: ‘Some of the farmers we work with are growing their ingredients in such remote locations in Australia that there’s no pollution whatsoever – they are completely pure.’

There are so many scents to adore within their collection – which you can read about along with the full founding story and inspirations of the house – in our page dedicated to Goldfield & Banks; but here we’re going to the Botanicals Series (easily distinguishable with their gilded bottles), beginning with the most recent…

 

Goldfield & Banks Island Lush 

Perfumer: Amélie Jacquin

They say: ‘South Pacific Sandalwood; the epitome of wild tropical beauty. Carnal and bountiful, Island Lush is a sumptuous perfume with a heart of modern woods. A wind of exoticism transports you on a journey to islands beyond the horizon, where radiant spices, powdery orris, vegetal roots and luscious resins envelop smooth wood species.’

We say: This is beguilingly buttery from the get-go, a scents that seems to melt into skin, becoming one with you, as that unique quality of sandalwood – somehow green yet spicy – radiates throughout. The orris offers a powdery finish which melds the supple softness of the leather to the grassy cool of vetiver and richly unctuous resins in the base.

Botanicals & Essences in Island Lush:
Sandalwood South Pacific
Sandalwood Australia
Bergamot Italy
Pink Pepper
Nutmeg Indonesia
Agarwood
Ginger
Geranium Egypt
Guaiac Wood Paraguay
Cedar Wood Texas
Patchouli Indonesia
Vetiver Haiti
Benzoin Laos
Leather

£180 for 100ml pure perfume harrods.com

 

 

Goldfield & Banks Purple Suede

Perfumer: Ilias Ermenidis

They say: ‘An olfactory imagination expressing the scent of aromatic fields of sunburnt lavender, where blossoms are crisped by the fierce heat of the sun. Paired with the scent of rust-coloured saddles, this sensual perfume reveals a distinctively rich and dry sillage. A contemporary and unexpected take on lavender and leather.’

We say: Intensely aromatic, this is a lavender so pure (flourishing in Tasmania’s unspoilt landscape) that we swear we feel better simply smelling it. Definitely not the dusty, fusty lavender you may have previously experienced, within Purple Suede it feels rich, luxurious, even decadent in its herbaceously surprising, oakmoss-swathed softness.

Botanicals & Essences in Purple Suede:
Lavender Tasmania
Pink Pepper Reunion Island
Hyssop Flowers France
Woodleather
Patchouli Indonesia
Oakmoss
Civet
Amber
Oud

£180 for 100ml pure perfume harrods.com

 

Goldfield & Banks Silky Woods

Perfumer: Hamid Merati Kashani

They say: ‘The perfume is a more subtle, luxe and modern interpretation of agarwood (also called oud). One that is delightful to wear on any occasion and which offers a sensation of a distinctive gourmand and musky fragrance on a silky smooth skin.’

We say: If a fragrance can ever smell like liquid gold, this is it – a smooth, molten swoon of Australian sandalwood, harvested sustainably for the first time in the Daintree Rainforest in Tropical Queensland. Spiced with a tingle of saffron, swirled with smoked vanilla and the hug of tobacco leaves in the trail, it’s an all-day (and night) wrist-sniffer, for sure.

Botanicals & Essences in Silky Woods:
Agarwood Tropical Australia
Cinnamon Ceylon
Tobacco Leaves
Ylang Ylang Madagascar
Vanilla Tahiti
Sandalwood Australia
Incense

£180 for 100ml pure perfume harrods.com

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Fashion, Fragrance & the Future – NEW issue of The Scented Letter magazine out now!

We’re excited to announce the latest issue of our multiple award-winning magazine, The Scented Letter: Fashion, Fragrance & the Future is now LIVE!

Each autumn/winter, our award-winning magazine, The Scented Letter, celebrates the links between fashion and fragrance. But this season, the 64-page magazine has a futuristic edge, as we explore ways that Artificial Intelligence is impacting the world of perfumery.

Those of you who’ve already signed up to have it delivered automatically should check your in-boxes for the latest clickable free issue, but if you’ve not yet subscribed for the FREE magazine, you can get the latest online edition, here.

We know so many of you prefer reading these longer features in print, so your glossy PRINTED and coffee-table worthy edition of is now available to purchase here, for £15 / £12.50 for VIPs.

 

 

Here’s what you can look forward to in this 64-page issue…

  • Scenting the Metaverse – is the role of the perfumer doomed? Suzy Nightingale explores how AI is impacting the fragrance world
  • Gabrielle Chanel – Perfume Manifesto – to coincide with the V&A’s stunning expo, we report on Chanel’s pioneering place in perfumery
  • A Working Nose – Guerlain Perfumer Delphine Jelk
  • The Wash Gets Posh – a raft of fragrance-focused laundry products is turning a chore into a real pleasure
  • Memories, Dreams, Reflections – Sam McKnight, hairstylist and gardener extraordinaire, shares a scented timeline
  • Perfume Bottles Auction 2023 – our annual report from this landmark in the scent calendar

 

Plus, as always, discover ALL the Latest Launches – in home fragrance, as well as perfumes to wear – and get a whiff of news, in Nosing Around

And don’t forget: you can now take out a yearly Print Subscription to The Scented Letter, the world’s only magazine for fragrance-lovershere.

Sana Jardin – where jasmine turns to sunshine & hope…

Jasmine is at the heart of the majority of Sana Jardin‘s scents, and formed part of founder Amy Christiansen Si-Ahmed‘s fragrant inspiration to launch the house. Here, we take you through the differing forms jasmine takes within each perfume’s composition, and how it will wear on your skin….

As Amy explained to us, for her, the smell of jasmine is a scent memory that will linger forever:

 

‘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.’

‘Sana Jardin is the world’s first socially conscious luxury fragrance house created primarily as a vehicle for social change and the economic empowerment of women through The Beyond Sustainability Movement ™. Sana Jardin believes in the sacred and ancient power of scent to heal, transport and inspire.’

 

 

You can read far more about Amy’s fragrant journey – and how it all began – on our page dedicated to Sana Jardin. Meanwhile, we invite you to embark on your own scent journey as we discover each of the Sana Jardin fragrances that utilise the gorgeousness of jasmine within genius perfumer Carlos Benaïm‘s interpretations of Amy’s scent memories.

For an even richer scent experience, why not treat yourself to a Sana Jardin Discovery Set and smell each fragrance as you read the descriptions, and explore how the note of jasmine weaves so perfectly within each perfume? The set includes ALL the six fragrances we explore in this article, AND four of their other beautiful collection, comprising ten stunning scents in all.

 

 

Sana Jardin Discovery Set: £30

 

 

Sana Jardin Savage Jasmine:

Top notes: cloves

Heart notes: jasmine

Base notes: musk, tabacco

They say: ‘Savage Jasmine captures the moment when petals unfurl and unleash their exotic, heady scent into the balmy night air, midnight blooming Moroccan jasmine intertwined with intoxicating musk. A perfume high so intoxicating, the senses are forever beguiled by the depth of intensity and shimmering lightness. Promises of magic, mystery and ecstasy.’

We say: This is a best-seller for a reason – the jasmine here is utterly enrapturing, an overtly feminine embrace that will surround and protect you all day, like an invisible, yet divine smelling shield of scent. Think of your favourite exotic dream destination to escape to, moonlight silvering crests of mellow waves; the air so thick with jasmine you could swim in that, instead.

 

 

Sana Jardin Revolution de la Fleur:

Top notes: jasmine, frangipani

Heart notes: ylang ylang, rose

Base notes: vanilla, sandalwood

They say: ‘Revolution de la Fleur is a sultry, sun-filled melody of Madagascan ylang ylang, Moroccan jasmine, frangipani, rose, vanilla and sandalwood floating on the humid, tropical air. An exotic beauty with a golden aura, sensuous presence and soft strength.’

We say: Imagine late summer days slowly turning to autumn when what you really wish for is plunge into that first truly hot day of the year – a luxurious melding of warmly tropical floral notes in which the jasmine glitters as though borne on a balmy breeze. The vanilla and sandalwood give a sense of sun-warmed skin, the jasmine buoyant, blooming as moonlight beams.

 

 

Sana Jardin Jaipur Chant:

Top notes: lemon, sfuma primofiore, clove leaf oil

Heart notes: tuberose, jasmine, narcisse

Base notes: galaxolide, muscenone

They say: ‘Jaipur Chant is centred on the essential oil of the tuberose flower. Tuberose is associated with love, heightened sensitivity and intense emotions. In this scent, its effects are amplified by enveloping Moroccan jasmine, narcisse and sensual musk, brightened with sparkling Italian lemon, making for an arrestingly beautiful and feminine bouquet.’

We say: For Jaipur Chant, the jasmine provides a a narcotic boost to the already sashaying sensuality of the tuberose and narcisse – a fragrant cloak that embraces all the notes and pulls them together. Jasmine also helps bridge the floral bouquet and the solar, almost effervescent musk as it warms.

 

 

Sana Jardin Nubian Musk:

Top notes: rose, jasmine, grapefruit flower

Heart notes: sandalwood

Base notes: musk, vanilla, vetiver

They say: ‘Nubian Musk is a sensuously inviting blend of musk and vanilla, rose, jasmine, Moroccan, grapefruit flower, Haitian vetiver and Australian sandalwood, with an innate appeal for men and women. A seductive scent of skin, amplified in the heat of passion, desire and intimacy.’

We say: Jasmine is a vital part of the way Nubian Musk devlops on skin – the jasmine here is a kind of scented cushion between the rose and the freshness of grapefruit flower, and the plumptious snuggle-me-closer notes of the woody, addictive base. A real shape-shifter, this one, it flickers and follows you all day.

 

 

Sana Jardin Vanilla Nomad:

Top notes: coriander, cardamom, bergamot

Heart notes: olibanum, benzoin, jasmine

Base notes: vanilla, sandalwood, vetiver, patchouli

They say: ‘The Vanilla Nomad eau de parfum is a gourmand fragrance that coaxes out the sensual side of vanilla, opening to a bright burst of coriander and cardamom bouncing atop milky vanilla and sandalwood. There is a sense of darkness around the edges of the fragrance – smouldering with vetiver and patchouli – that caresses the creamy heart notes with a rich, ambery resinoid, subverting the sweetness with a compelling depth and sensuality.’

We say: ‘Jasmine and vanilla really has to be one of the most fabulous fragrant combinations, especially when Vanilla Nomad is so wonderfully unique. Within the dusky, radiant heat shimmer of Vanilla Nomad, the jasmine feels like a glint of reflection within a vast, arid landscape. Drily simmering, yet sensually silky via sandalwood, jasmine slinks through the composition.

 

 

Sana Jardin Celestial Patchouli:

Top notes: rose, jasmine, osmanthus, orris

Heart notes: cinnamon, sandalwood

Base notes: patchouli, leather

They say: ‘Celestial Patchouli is an intense and rich fragrance. The earthy, exotic aromas of patchouli, leather, cinnamon bark and Australian Sandalwood give way to the abundant warmth of rose, jasmine, osmanthus, and Moroccan orris. Sensory gold for global treasure seekers.’

We say: Within Celestial Patchouli, the jasmine adds a gilded gleam of sunlight, the sense of clouds parting momentarily and shafts of sunbeams awakening the senses, dazzling the loamy earth. Offering a brighter contrast to the deeper notes, it’s a perfect balance for the blend.

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Jasmine – Mythology, History & Scents…

Jasmine and rose are the two ‘foundation stones’ of perfumery. VAST numbers of scents feature a type of jasmine somewhere in their construction, and little wonder we are addicted – the smell of jasmine has enraptured and inspired human civilisation through centuries…

 

every year it seems
the jasmine
creeps back
into my life
just when I begin to worry
nothing will smell sweet
anymore

Samantha Rae Lazar

 

Since ancient times, jasmine flowers have been prized for their antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, relaxing and even aphrodisiac qualities. The scent is certainly potent (most powerful at night) and its Jasmine gives a richness and intensity to fragrances:  a sweet floral note, but with a dead-sexy muskiness to it.  If you smell different concentrated ‘absolutes’ (the oily liquids created through macerating the jasmine flowers), they have their own characters:  some smell medicinal, some sweet, some musky, some green.

 

 

  • Jasmine has variously been referred to as both ‘the Queen of Flowers’ and ‘the King of Flowers’, and in different cultures is synonymous with love, romance, weddings, passion, seduction and beauty. It is also known to perfumers, quite simply as ‘La Fleur’ – or ‘the flower’ – such is jasmine’s importance.

 

  • Even though jasmine may not be listed in the pyramid of ingredients, chances are there’s a touch in there somewhere; it’s one of the most widely-used ingredients in perfumery.

 

  • The name itself is Persian, meaning ‘a gift from God’.

 

  • In Persia, Ancient Greece and Egypt, jasmine’s healing powers were already recognised: aromatherapists still use it for improving digestion, weight loss, accelerating the metabolism – and for its aphrodisiac effects…

 

  • There are actually over 200 species of jasmine – but two members of the beautiful white-flowered family are prized above others, by perfumers. The first is Jasminum grandiflorum – which translates as ‘big-flowered jasmine’. The other is Jasmine sambac, a.k.a. ‘Arabian jasmine’ (something of a misnomer, since it originated in southeast Asia).

 

  • Jasmine actually originated in China and India and – who knew? – is a member of the olive family.

 

 

The lifecycle of Arabian jasmine – from Wikipedia.org

 

 

The website jardineriaon.com gives a delightful recounting of some of the mythology surrounding jasmine, including this tale…

 

‘…the meaning of the jasmine flower occupies an important space within Arab mythology. In this mythology it is said that a beautiful young nomad whose name was Jasmine used large amounts of veils to protect herself from the harmful sun rays that are in the desert. A prince belonging to a North African race was fascinated by Jasmine’s beauty as people described her. In order to find out if that woman was real or not, he marched through the desert in search of her. This is when he found her walking among the desert sands and dunes and was able to observe her graceful demeanour.

The bearing was so graceful and reminded him of mythological goddesses and fell madly in love with her, even though she always kept her face covered. The prince proposed to her soon after, and the woman agreed to live in his palace and leave the desert. However, with the passage of time, he realised that he was not from and since he had lost freedom when leaving the desert. For this reason, in one night she escaped mounted on a horse and returned to the desert where she belonged. She opened her arms to the sun and released all the veils that enveloped her. It is then that the sun decided to immortalise it in the beautiful flower that is known today as jasmine.’

It’s extraordinary that a single plant can smell so different, depending on where it’s grown. The genius of perfumers is knowing just what they have to do, to blend those into perfectly constructed scents for us to wear – and on this (scented) note, we’ll be following up with the perfect jasmine fragrance suggestions in the weeks to come.

 

 

Jasmine enfleurage

 

 

For thousands of years, though, jasmine’s precious scent has been naturally extracted for perfumes through enfleurage – a lengthy and labour-intensive process whereby countless flowers are pressed into layers of fat, gradually the scent impregnating the fat with each new layer of the blooms, from which it could eventually be extracted.

 

Observe
the jasmine lightness
of the moon.

— William Carlos Williams

 

When the solvent evaporates from the mass of petals, what’s drained off is a semi-solid mass known as a ‘concrete’:a wax-like substance with a long shelf life; and a whopping 400 kilos of flowers are needed for just one kilo of that concrete. That translates at around 8,000 hand-picked blooms to produce one millilitre (1 ml) of the ‘absolute’ – which is why it’s so extraordinarily expensive.

But jasmine can also be recreated synthetically with other aroma chemical versions of white flowers and added ingredients to create an ‘accord’ (though perfumers and connoisseurs will always explain that the real stuff is the best, as far as jasmine’s concerned, and why fragrance houses who use it are so keen to share their scented stories).

 

The smell of jasmine makes people tell their secrets.

Jandy Nelson

 

Seducing writers, artists, poets and perfume-lovers, alike; there’s no doubt that your nose needs to get know jasmine, intimately. So, watch this space in the coming days and weeks for even more jasmine-centric scented facts, history and fragrance suggestions…

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale