Fragrances celebrities wore on their wedding day (& how to find yours!)

So many wedding days were postponed or re-scheduled thanks to the pandemic, but now the nuptial season has truly kicked into gear again. Panic not – we’re here to help guide you to the perfect perfume, suggest some imaginative gift ideas for bridesmaids / groomsmen & wedding parties, and along the way learn which scents the stars have favoured for their own wedding days…

 

Grace Kelly commissioned perfume house Creed to create a bespoke scent to wear for her wedding to Monaco’s Prince Rainier III in 1956. The result was Fleurissimo – an elegant blend of sparkling bergamot atop the swooningly sophisticated floral heart – which you can still fall in love with today.

 

Princess Diana chose Houbigant Paris Quelques Fleurs for her 1981 wedding to Prince Charles. The heady bouquet of tuberose, jasmine, lily of the valley and rose evoked the fulsome flounces of her romantically designed gown, and the scent itself has continued to capture hearts since 1912.

Quelques Fleurs l’Original £50 for 30ml eau de parfum

 

Audrey Hepburn wore the fragrance her friend Hubert de Givenchy created for her in 1957, for second wedding (to Mel Ferrer). L’Interdit is a chicly luminous white floral shot through with intriguing, darker notes. Hepburn reportedly loved it so much, she refused to have it mass-produced, but it was finally released in the 60s (and reformulated for the present day version).

Givenchy L’Interdit £52 for 35ml eau de parfum

Always deeply interesting (and potentially psychologically revealing, we find!) to discover what they wore, but of course a fragrance is such a personal choice. Here’s some tips to set you on the path to a perfumed ‘happily ever after’…

 

– It’s vital to live with a fragrance for several hours (better still – an entire day) on your skin. That scent you spritz and immediately fall for may turn into something less than loveable as the notes develop.

– The very best way to try is in the comfort of your own home, with zero pressure, scroll down to our hand-picked selection of samples for you try, below (they’re perfect for bridesmaids gifts and wedding favours, too!)

– Try not to test more than a few fragrances at one time, because too many at once = a muddle (and you’ll likely forget which is which, anyway!)

– Following on from the previous point, when testing a fragrance, be sure to write down the name of it on a blotter or jot down on your phone. By the time you get home a pile of random bits of scented paper will mean nothing to you.

Scared to branch out? Type the name of a fragrance you already know you love into our Fragrance Finder, and we’ll immediately suggest six new scents we think you’ll fall for.

Don’t know where to start? Book a bespoke fragrance consultation as a couple (or on your own if you prefer) – we’ve listed seven scent sittings for you try, and many are completely free, so what do you have to lose?

– When you find a fragrance you love, consider following the fragrant theme through to your floral arrangements, colours, mini-versions (to give as bridesmaid gifts or wedding favours), and matching scented candles to use for table decorations… ?

– Getting married in a colder climate or later on in the year? Fragrance writer Viola Levy gave us her suggestions for the best Winter Wedding fragrances.

– Consider gifting your bridesmaids a beautiful box of try-me scents to make their choice from, such as the just-launched Eau So Fresh Discovery Box £23 / £19 for VIP Club Members

 

– Gift the Groomsmen a luxury box of hand-picked masculine fragrances that have been chosen to be ultra smooth & dapper, like the Suave Scents Discovery Box £23 / £19 for VIP Club Members

 

What’s YOUR Escentric Molecules 01 story? Win limited editions, here!

Can you believe that Escentric Molecules Escentric 01 and Molecule 01 are 15 years old this year? To celebrate, they’re planning to release a limited edition of these iconic fragrances, uniquely featuring YOUR stories printed on the bottles…

Over the years, Escentric Molecules have heard so many fantastic stories from people who fell in love because of the fragrances, or had a Sliding Doors moment of their lives utterly changing thanks to the fragrance they were wearing.  Now, they’re looking to collect these stories, and want to hear ‘…about the adventures had while wearing Escentric 01 or Molecule 01 – how you met your partner – a wild night from a chance meeting on a train to Brighton – being chased down dark wet streets in Clerkenwell, London, by someone desperate to discover what fragrance you were wearing.’

 

 

Escentric Molecules say:

‘We are asking you to contribute to the history of both fragrances and send us your stories.

We will select the 25 best, funniest or most outrageous ones and feature them on bottles.

The “story editions” will launch this autumn and the 25 winners with our favourite #moleculestories will not only have their stories featured on the bottle but will also receive a pair of limited editions and an invite to an online Q&A with Escentric Molecules founder, Geza Schoen.

Each bottle will also feature a QR code that will link to a story edition page on escentric.com featuring the winning stories.

Geza will also pick his favourite story and the winner will receive a one of a kind neon wall piece created from their story.’

 

 

This incredible opportunity to share your scent stories closes on August 15th, so you need to be quick! Hurry up and submit your story using the link below…

https://www.escentric.com/pages/story-edition-competition

Celebrating 100 years of Shalimar (and why we still love it)

It’s really quite incredible to think that Shalimar is 100 years old – having been first launched in 1921 – and that Guerlain‘s most romantic fragrance is still worn and adored to this day. If you’re already a fan of the fragrance you’ll know how special it is, but if you’ve never tried it… oh, you’re in for in a treat!

 

Jacques Guerlain – Guerlain Perfumer 1890-1955

‘A good perfume is one whose scent corresponds to an initial dream.’

 

 

The History: The most prolific of the Guerlain perfumers, Jacques’ rein lasted for an astonishing 65 years. He took over from his uncle Aimé in 1890 and was responsible for creating the ultimate signature of Guerlain, the ‘Guerlianade’: an accord which blends vanilla, bergamot, balsams, tonka bean, iris, rose and jasmine, and has been at the heart of (almost) every fragrance since the early 1920s. His most celebrated creations include L’Heure Bleu, Mitsouko and of course, the astonishing Shalimar, launched in 1921, which remains one of the bestselling fragrances in the world.

 

 

 

The flacon for Shalimar is almost as fascinating as the fragrance inside. Sometimes described as the ‘bat’ bottle (we hadn’t until now quite realised it resembled outstretched wings!), it is also said to resemble a basin that could be admired in the Mughal gardens in India, and was designed by another talented Guerlain, Raymond, with a dark blue stopper chosen to evoke Indian starry nights. The bottle won first prize at the Exhibition of Decorative Arts and Modern Industry in 1925.

 

 

Why perfumers love Shalimar: When we interview perfumers, we often ask which classic fragrance they wish they’d created or most admire. One of the most frequent answers? Shalimar, of course. Carlos Benaïm told us, ‘My grandmother used to wear Shalimar. It is magnificent, absolutely wonderful, with that mossiness – not just oakmoss, but the other mosses which we’re restricted from using so much these days…’ And Alberto Morillas – another nose often cited as one of the most talented perfumers working today – explained, ‘If you ask me what is the greatest fragrance ever created, I’d say Guerlain Shalimar. Some might imagine it’s old-fashioned but it’s also very modern. There are all sorts of contrasts inside it – but it works so well.’

 

Guerlain Shalimar £83 for 50ml eau de parfum selfridges.com

Why we love wearing Shalimar: Imagine a silky pair of 1920s pyjamas worn as daywear (or with heels, to a cocktail party) as uplifting lemon and bergamot swirl with honeyed, night-blooming flowers of heliotrope and jasmine. Beautifully rounded by powdery iris and cocooned in a comforting, vanilla-plumped base of patchouli, benzoin, ambergris, tonka bean, incense, vetiver, sandalwood and musk. To wear Shalimar is still the ultimate gesture of olfactive romance.

Quite simply, it’s a masterpiece that’s effortlessly glam. And it’s one of those perfumes that people will still be wearing and talking about in another 100 years, we reckon.

Many Happy Returns, Shalimar!

By Suzy Nightingale

 

Moresque – get your questions in for our Instagram Live event with founder, Cindy Guillemant!

We’re so thrilled to be hosting an Instagram Live event with Cindy Guillemant from the fabulous niche fragrance house of Moresque.

Get the date in your diaries now!

July 14th 2021 5pm (U.K. time) on The Perfume Society Instagram channel

We’ll be discussing the launch of TWO new Moresque fragrances on the Instagram Live event, but meanwhile, here’s a little bit more about this wonderful house…

Moresque Parfum was born from a sheer love of the intricacy of Moorish art and the passion for elegant but opulent perfumes by founder, Cindy Guillemant.

Right from the start, she says, her work has been driven by this desire to bring together Italian taste and Arabic charm. ‘I completed my MBA in International Business in Florida and built my career between Monte Carlo, Paris, Miami and Milan. I always used perfumes, but my grandmother instilled in me a real love for fragrances and provided me with knowledge that motivated me to delve into this industry.’

 

 

That familial connection resounds still in Cindy’s work, and she finds that ‘I still rediscover my grandmother’s knowledge even today with all the scents I collect from around the world through their volatile notes, essences and the most mysterious and profound flavours.’

So, what questions would YOU like to ask Cindy – about Moresque Parfum, the stunning bottles, their inspiration, her favourite ingredients…?

Moresque Instagram Live Questions

We so look forward to you joining us on Instagram at 5pm on Wednesday July 14th at 5pm U.K. time for this exciting event. Until then, we’ll be spritzing the scents and dreaming we could travel to all the places they’re inspired by…

Fragrances for… celebrations

Fragrances for celebrations have a certain pizzazz about them – a sparkle that sets them apart from the ordinary. Whether you’re celebrating a summer sporting win, seeing your loved ones again or simply getting through the 2020 / 2021 thus far; these scents will add the POP of Champagne corks in perfume form…

GIORGIO ARMANI SÌ EAU DE PARFUM INTENSE
It isn’t every afternoon you get to hang out with Cate Blanchett on Zoom, but for the launch of this intense, super-sophisticated incarnation of Sì, the Academy Award-winning actress was joined by perfumer Julie Massé to introduce this stunning Chypre-Ambrée-fruity masterpiece. Sì’s signature blackcurrant nectar is paired here with armfuls of Ispartra rose and velvety davana, imparting serious va-va-voom, before your senses are enveloped by patchouli, benzoin and sustainably-sourced vanilla. Fabulissimo!
From £60 for 30ml eau de parfum intense
armanibeauty.co.uk

 

GUERLAIN MON GUERLAIN SPARKLING BOUQUET
A jewel-like bottle, a shimmering scent: in this latest addition to the Mon Guerlain family (which is expanding fast), a pear accord in the overture has been magnified to juicy, fruity, joyful effect, to sparkle ‘like a mischievously irresistible smile’, Guerlain promise. But the resonances of the original Mon Guerlain are apparent throughout – the floral heart, with its aromatic lavender flourishes, the jasmine scampering everywhere, the vanilla and sandalwood in the so-feminine base.
£70 for 50ml eau de parfum
guerlain.com

 

JIMMY CHOO I WANT CHOO
Juicy succulence explodes in a whoosh of mandarin and velvety peach, while jasmine gets twisted with red spider lily in the heart – a flirtatious pairing that sashays all the way to a scrumptiously warm, sweet benzoin-soaked vanilla base. It’s vivacious enough to boost your spirits, and effortless enough to grant you a cloak of ‘I just woke up like this’ glam. Think of it as your fragrant filter: everything’s better with it on!
£45 for 40ml eau de parfum
theperfumeshop.com

 

LANCÔME LA VIE EST BELLE SOLEIL CRISTAL
How we love seeing soleil in the name of a fragrance: a glimmer of sunlit hope and promises of outdoor living (without the blankets and hot chocolate). A solar brightness gives a new twist to the bestseller, here, via radiant mandarin, extravagant white flowers and a trail of Madagascan vanilla and patchouli, from Bali. And oh, the bottle’s spectacular, with a shimmering, almost holographic finish that echoes the luminosity of the scent inside.
From £29 for 15ml eau de parfum
lancome.co.uk

 

VALENTINO BORN IN ROMA YELLOW DREAM FOR HIM
And we think lovely for anyone! This feels like wearing the scent of yellow for sure – a zip of zest radiating sunshine as Italian mandarin and pineapple accord awaken the senses. Lusciously juicy – actual mouth-watering will occur – a surprising gingerbread accord captures your interest in the heart, the whole composition irresistibly smoothed by creamy, black speckled vanilla bean swirled through your coffee as you saunter through Rome’s streets, perhaps? From the Italian architectural bottle inspiration to the scent: we’re so there. (PSST! You might like to get your hands (and nose) on the Seasonal Scent Subscription Box…)
£75 for 100ml eau de toilette
boots.com

 

What IS a fougère? Pteridomania & the frenzy for fern fragrances

When describing types of fragrance, the term fougère can seem bewildering – both the meaning and how on earth to pronounce it.

French for ‘fern-like’, you say it ‘foo-jair’ (with the ‘j’ a little soft – almost ‘foo-shair’), when you think of a fern’s smell, what comes to mind? Whatever you think of, that smell memory is quite likely to have been influenced by Houbigant’s Fougère Royale – created in 1882 by Paul Parquet, and much copied by those who clamoured to achieve a measure of its success.

While we might imagine a shady-forest smell emanating from a fern, the majority aren’t fragrant to any great extent. And although the ingredients so key to Parquet’s original accord – oak moss, geranium, bergamot and (most notably) coumarin – are now collectively referred to as ‘fougère’ (often with lavender or other aromatic herbs thrown in for good effect), it’s the alchemy of the perfumer recreating that ‘natural’ smell memory: the whole woodland seemingly wafting from the bottle.

“Gathering Ferns” (Helen Allingham) from The Illustrated London News, July 1871.

Some time before Parquet’s fragrant foragings, ‘fern mania’ was sweeping the nation, and it caused an amount of worry when women began wandering, sometimes alone or – worse! – gambolling with groups of young man in the woodlands, in search of their charms… What business had women convening with nature outside of their perfectly manicured cottage gardens? Well, ‘Pteridomania’, meaning Fern Madness or Fern Craze was the term for this frenzy, coined in 1855 by Charles Kingsley in his book Glaucus, or the ‘Wonders of the Shore’. In it he sought to reassure anxious parents:

Your daughters, perhaps, have been seized with the prevailing ‘Pteridomania‘ … and wrangling over unpronounceable names of species (which seem different in each new Fern-book that they buy) … and yet you cannot deny that they find enjoyment in it, and are more active, more cheerful, more self-forgetful over it, than they would have been over novels and gossip, crochet and Berlin-wool.

So – society’s nerves soothed and the morals of females intact – the time was ripe for fern fragrances to unfurl; but it took a unique olfactory discovery to kickstart that particular perfume craze.

It was the extraction of coumarin ­– one of the first synthetics to appear in perfumery – which made the fougère such a landmark scent. But how many people outside the industry would be able to describe coumarin’s smell? Not many, I’m guessing.

A plate from The Ferns of Great Britain and Ireland, a book from the era of Pteridomania.

Coumarin is found in tonka beans and cinnamon, but also occurs naturally in bison grass and green tea. It’s classed as a ‘lactone’ – (milky, skin-like) – a complex molecule that’s the scent of sweet hay drying in the sunshine with a slight waft of warm horse; a cold glass of fizz sipped on newly-mown grass, a fine cigar fresh from the humidor, a warm cookie dunked in cold milk. All of these things and not one in particular: the scientist’s hand working in harmony with the artful perfumer to create a magical realism. Because the true skill of a perfumer is to take ingredients and transform them into something we think we already recognise, sparking those scent memories and creating new ones to fill the gaps.

In fact, Parquet was called the ‘greatest perfumer of his time’ by no less than Ernest Beaux, the creator of Chanel No. 5, and was the first to truly understand and appreciate the use of synthetic aroma materials in fragrance composition. Previously used as mere substitutes for naturally derived raw materials, Parquet saw a chance to deploy them as unique smells in their own right – adding structure, poetry and space within perfumes that sought not to mimic the natural world but to add to it, to improve on perfection. And so the fougère fragrance family was born.

Traditionally seen as a scent for the chaps – possibly sporting tweed and a monocle – in fact Guerlain’s masterpiece of Jicky, launched in 1889, is a more ‘feminine’ fougère (the first unisex scent, too) which ramped up the crackle of dry lavender, adding sweetly mown hay and toasted almond-like flourishes of coumarin. More recently, we’ve seen an increasing number of gender-fluid fougères striding forth – perhaps chiming with our collective urge to ‘return to nature’ during the pandemic; or simply an urge that preceded Covid-19, a perfumed riposte to political unease?

Whatever the reason, the resurgence of the fougère is to be celebrated. Cooling on steamy days, comforing in more inclement weather, these are the type of scent to boost your spirits while patting your hand and telling you everything’s going to be okay. Wander into the woodland yourself, awhile, and try these fougères – from classical forest to contemporary fairytale…

Houbigant Fougère Royale A sprig of herbs carefully tucked into the lapel of a herringbone jacket, the olive from a dry Martini sucked in a slightly lascivious manner while they’re looking the other way. £130 for 100ml eau de parfum libertylondon.com

Guerlain Jicky Somewhere between breakfast and midnight, fog-shrouded moorland; pale wool blanket clutched close, bare feet on flagstones, forbidden hipflask swigged reading Wuthering Heights. £96 for 100ml eau de toilette houseoffraser.co.uk

Yves Saint Laurent Kouros Freshly-scrubbed and shining with smooth words and practiced simplicity, but clean sheets cannot hide the indiscretion and animal instincts of the night before. £50 for 50ml eau de toilette theperfumeshop.com

Creed Viking Cologne A bountiful burst of freshness leads to explorations of verdant landscapes re-awakening; geranium, herbs, lavender and nutmeg atop glacial lakes reflecting shinshine. £175for 50ml eau de parfum  creedfragrances.co.uk

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Milano Cento HIM A woodland wander with someone dashingly Italian (who knows not to wear sandals with socks), the citrus breeze segues to an herbaceously dappled grove and aromatic amour. £49 for 100ml eau de toilette roullierwhite.com

4160 Tuesdays The Lion Cupboard Ferns pressed between pages of a diary, love letters tied in faded ribbons, a lipstick kiss on a foxed mirror, silk scarves with the faint tang of a gentleman’s Cologne. £55 for 30ml eau de parfum 4160tuesdays.com

Partere Run of the River A bare-foot meander through clover-strewn lawns, budding freshness in the air, lemon-thyme and clary sage encricled by a languorous caress of incense and oakmoss. £95 for 50ml eau de parfum parterrefragrances.com

By Suzy Nightingale

Perfumed Plume Awards 2021 – Winners announced!

The Perfumed Plume Awards 2021 have just been announced, and we’re popping the fizz on a school night!

These awards are an independent, annual showcase of international journalism 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 organisers said: ‘Considering the ongoing challenges even now, we applaud each and every finalist (not to forget all the writers who submitted) for their masterful writing. It is always an honor to receive so many entries.’

‘We look forward to celebrating the winners this year, whether virtually or in person, and we are happy to kick off the award festivities by announcing the finalists as below,’ comment award Co-Founders Lyn Leigh and Mary Ellen Lapsansky.

‘The creativity in both the descriptive word and the visualisation of scent in all its glory is on full display this year and is nothing short of stupendous,’ added Miranda Gordon, Vice President Fine Fragrances Marketing & Evaluation, MANE. ‘Deserving of much recognition and admiration for their talent and commitment to the art of fragrance. Please read their stories. You will be rewarded!’

We were, once again, thrilled to be shortlised as finalists – especially with regular writer for The Scented Letter Magazine, Persolaise, being our fellow finalist in the first category, below. Given the number of extremely talented entrants from around the world, we’re even prouder to say… we won an award!

Many congratulations to all finalists, and winners, whom we’ve highlighted in bold type. We so hope we can all meet in person next year! Meanwhile, please do go and read these stories, linked below: you’re in for a fragrant treat…

 

 

PERFUME STORIES IN MAINSTREAM MEDIA – PRINT – MAGAZINES & NEWSPAPERS

The criteria for judging: quality of editorial content; originality & creativity; accuracy & depth of information:

Modern Florals (Heavy Petalling)
WINNER: Suzy Nightingale – The Scented Letter
The Changing Face of Fragrance
Persolaise – The Scented Letter 

PERFUME STORIES IN MAINSTREAM MEDIA – DIGITAL – MAGAZINES, NEWSPAPERS, BLOG POSTINGS, WEBZINES

The criteria for judging: quality of editorial content; originality & creativity; accuracy & depth of information:

 

 

SHORT ‘N SWEET PERFUME STORIES – PRINT OR DIGITAL

The criteria for judging: quality of editorial content; originality & creativity; accuracy & depth of information:

 

 

VISUALISATION OF PERFUME STORIES – PRINT & DIGITAL

The criteria for judging: design concept; how design relates to content:

 

 

INSTApost – PERFUME STORIES ON INSTAGRAM

The criteria for judging: originality/creativity of visual element(s); quality of the post content:

FRAGRANCE BOOK OF THE YEAR

Winner determined by the Perfumed Plume Consulting Committee:

Zaza’s Scent-sational Super Power
SPECIAL AWARD: Alexis Wintrob and Illustrator Shera Serrulha

Escentric Molecules M+ – why more is MORE (and how the cult house continue their scent revolution)

Escentric Molecules M+ fragrances are a trio that’s once again revolutionising the world of scent. It all began with the cult Molecule 01 – the iconic scent that can be said to have kickstarted the obsession with niche fragrance, and of course made us more aware of the genius behind aroma molecules and why ‘synthetic’ isn’t a dirty word.

If you’re new to the Escentric Molecules world, you might like to start by reading exactly how they started (and why Geza was so dedicated to trying something new – and quite shockingly brave at the time!) in our page dedicated to everything Escentric Molecules.

TL;DR: Schoen shook up the perfume world by creating a scent with one ingredient – an aroma-molecule non-existent in nature, called Iso E Super. Ultra-smooth, swoon-inducing, gently musky and vanilla-like, the synthesised ingredient had already been used since 1973 by perfumers in small doses – though it remained an industry secret: that special something that made a fragrance utterly irresistible.

Now it’s time to discover how more can be even more, and why you need these in your life, because as perfumer Geza Schoen himself puts it:

‘Molecule 01 is an exceptional molecule: radiant, velvety, cocooning. It’s mysteriously effective on its own, but I started to wonder if there might be another way to play with it. What if I could take the molecule and add just one other beautiful ingredient and see how they danced together in the bottle?’

Molecule 01 + Patchouli – has a cool, rather aloof woodiness to it.

Molecule 01 + Iris – iris is luxury, with a creamy powderiness.

Molecule 01 + Mandarin – radiates off the skin, with a citrus zing.

You could begin your fragrant journey with the M+ Discovery Set, where for only £20 you can explore each of these new fragrances at home. A brilliant gift idea to treat someone else, too! But when you’ve smelled them, we know you’re going to swoon for at least one, and then there’s nothing else for it but to decide which full-size bottle you’ll treat yourself to. We’re absolutely thrilled that not only did Escentric Molecules ask us to help launch their fragrances, but you can now buy the full-size M+ collection in our Perfume Society shop.Escentric Molecules M+ Patchouli £95 for 100ml

Geza says: ‘Patchouli is a unique natural. Unlike 99% of perfume ingredients we associate it with a particular period, with the sixties and seventies and that bohemian spirit. It has a cool, rather aloof woodiness to it. I love it for its moody beauty.

I’ve used two qualities of patchouli here. The biggest chunk is Patchouli Coeur which is a very clean, soft patchouli oil fraction with the camphor-like topnote removed. I have also included a patchouli oil from Indonesia to round it out with a little bit of a topnote.

The result is a sophisticated, clean patchouli that pairs fantastically well with Molecule 01.’

Escentric Molecules M+ Iris £95 for 100ml

Geza says: ‘It’s not easy to describe iris’ smell as such, but if you smell a fragrance without it, and then with it, you understand immediately what it does. It adds a creamy powderiness. It brings a physical dimension to a fragrance.

I have had a long-standing love affair with iris. Every Escentric fragrance has an iris note somewhere in there. To me, iris is luxury. The iris pallida absolue I’ve used here is one of the most expensive ingredients in perfumery. You can find iris extracts for way less than that. But they do not have the great and subtle beauty of this absolue. It’s radical to put this much in a fragrance. The sillage is fantastic. This is a bomb, but a subtle bomb.’

Escentric Molecules M+ Mandarin £95 for 100ml

Geza says: ‘Mandarin is all about the instant hit. It’s so alive, the way it radiates off the skin with that citrus zestiness. But there’s more to mandarin, it’s very fruity and aromatic as well. It’s a beautiful ingredient. Its transparency means that it vanishes quickly. I’ve touched it up with a little extra shading to extend it, adding a mandarin ingredient used in flavourings to give it super-juiciness. Then as it begins to fade, Molecule 01 syncs in, bringing a warm, erogenous feeling to play with that zinging freshness. That’s unusual – for a topnote ingredient like Mandarin and a base note like Iso E Super to dance together naked like this, without other notes coming between them. And then the mandarin is almost gone and you are left with the elevated simplicity of Molecule 01.

That’s what I love about Molecule 01 + Mandarin – it may be a dance of two but the story changes completely from beginning to middle to end.’

So, the only thing to do for this journey or Escentric Molecules M+ discovery is to put that first foot (nose?) forward, and find out which molecular pairing ‘dances naked together’ best on your own skin…

We’re going on The Scent Trail – A Journey of the Senses

As we’re still not able to travel very far physically, so many of us have turned more than ever to fragrance as a way to ‘travel with our nose.’ Today we are traversing time and space with Celia Lyttelton‘s  beautifully written and so-evocative book, The Scent Trail, that follows her journey to discover the secret of scent…

Penguin say: ‘When Celia Lyttelton visited a bespoke perfumers, she realised a long-held ambition: to have a scent created solely for her. Entering this heady, exotic world of oils and essences, she was transported from a leafy London square to a place of long-forgotten memories and sensory experiences. And once drawn into this world, she felt compelled to trace the origins, history and culture of the many ingredients that made up her unique perfume…

And so began a magical journey of the senses that took Celia from Grasse, the cradle of perfume, to Morocco; from the rose-growing region of Isparta in Turkey, to the Tuscan hills where the iris grows wild. And after journeying to Sri Lanka, the home of the heavenly scented jasmine, Celia ventured to India, the Yemen and finally to the ‘Island of Bliss’, Socotra. Here she traced the rarest and most mysterious agent in perfumery, ambergris, which is found in the bellies of whales and is said to have powerful aphrodisiac qualities.

 

From the peasants and farmers growing their own crops, and the traders who sell to the great perfume houses, to the ‘noses’ who create the scents and the marketing kings who rule this powerful billion-dollar industry, Celia Lyttelton paints a mystical, sensual landscape of sights, sounds and aromas as she recalls the extraordinary people and places she encountered on her unique Scent Trail.’

We say: While on the quest for ‘the perfect perfume’, author Celia Lyttelton had a bespoke fragrance made by Anastasia Brozler in London, an encounter that set Lyttelton off on a tour of the world to trace the history and provenence of the ingredients used. From a collection of precious oils contained in an old wooden box to the growing, harvesting and distilling of the materials and exploring cultural responses and mythological beliefs surroung scent, this book is a must-have for anyone who wonders where, exactly their perfume originated. And what a tour to take! With new scent adventures beginning with sentences such as: ‘We arrived on a plateau of dragons’ blood trees and desert roses…’ you will doubtless be Googling far flung fragrant climes, just as we did, while reading this (and now knowing exactly what you’d do following a Lottery win!) Movingly written, and full of the insightful, utterly fascinating pieces of fragrant history that she collected along the way, this book is a deep-dive into perfume ingredients that will satiate your travel-lust until such time we may pack our bags and set off into the scented sunset…

 

 

Celia Lyttelton The Scent Trail: A Journey of the Senses, Bantam Books amazon.co.uk

Looking for a gift or just the next thing you need to get your nose in to? Have a browse of our ever-expanding selection of favourite books – some are exclusively about perfume, others are more scholarly tomes on the history and scientific advancements of smell and the senses; while others still follow a path of examining fragrant ingredients in poetic, funny or awe-inspiring ways. Every page is a journey in itself. What are you waiting for…?

By Suzy Nightingale

Subscription boxes are booming: here’s why (and how to get your scent samples sent to your home!)

Subscription boxes are so popular right now, and a recent consumer survey has discovered why. Quite apart from their findings, which we’ll report on below; we know this true as we’ve seen a HUGE rise in our own Perfume Society Discovery Boxes in the last year. Even more excitingly, we have launched our very own Seasonal Scent Subscription Box, for the many (many, MANY!) of you who’ve begged us to bring this out for years…

We all know the joy of getting a parcel in the post – mosty especially during various stages of #lockdown dreariness during the Covid-19 pandemic, which meant many of us relying on shopping online for our scent thrills. Even now, with stores having re-opened across the U.K. – purchasing a new perfume presents a particular set of problems:

– There are rarely any testers on display anymore, thanks to possible cross-contamination safety measures

– Even if you can get to an assistant to spray a scent on you, it’s not always great to make an instant decision in-store

– Although we think fragrance IS essential (obvs), if you’re worried about ‘non essential’ socialising, it can be intimidating to be shopping in crowded spaces again

– Where do you even begin if you’re not exactly sure which perfume to try next?Subscription box

With all these worries in mind, we launched our own Seasonal Scent Subscription Box. The perfect way to try a selection of scents appropriate for each season! There’s two options available – a flexible Quarterly Subcription: £18 a box, sent every three months, the ability to cancel at anytime; or an Annual Subscription: £68 a year with FREE postage and the ability to spread the cost. So now, what did the consumer survey find…?

‘According to a survey by Cosmetics Business, in partnership with Your Beauty Club, since the pandemic hit, 31.7% of customers who had previously bought a subscription service signed up to one during the pandemic; while 70% of those who said they had not bought a subscription beauty box before said they would now consider buying one.

Some 69% of shoppers agreed the culture towards subscription boxes has shifted since the Covid-19 pandemic began, which consequently shut most beauty retailers for many months, making it harder for customers to shop for their beauty staples.

The findings also uncovered that more than 74.2% of respondents believe buying a subscription box makes it easier to consume beauty products and 42.4% want a subscription box that offers a selection of products from different categories.

The main driver for signing up to a subscription service among consumers was for the thrill of receiving new products (55%), while 33.8% said they wanted to discover new beauty items.

 

Subscription boxes are booming (image via Canva.com)

Following that, 8% said they found a subscription service to be cheaper than buying beauty products individually, and the findings showed consumers were not willing to part with much cash for a subscription box.

Almost half of respondents said they would be willing to spend between £10 and £25 on a subscription box, with 37.6% only likely to pay up to £10.

Some shoppers, however, (12.6%) were prepared to pay between £25 and £50, and just 1.6% and 1.4% would spend between £50 and £75, and £75 to £100, respectively.’

We’re not at all surprised at these findings – even before the pandemic, we wanted to make it easier to get your hands (and noses!) on fragrances to try at home. It takes the pressure off, and more than that: actually living with a scent on your skin for several hours is the ONLY way to truly tell if if it suits you. Also, not everyone happens to live near an independent perfumery or a store that has a great selection of fragrance house.

So we say: why not sit back and let the perfume magic get posted to you at the click of a Scent Subscription Box button…?

By Suzy Nightingale