Guerlain reveals their Exceptional Piece for 2022: ‘Le Secret de la Reine’

Every year, Guerlain reveals their ‘Exceptional Piece’ – a creation in collaboration with an artisan which truly showcases scent itself as a work of art. For 2022 get ready to gasp at Le Secret de la Reine, created by jeweller Laurenz Bäumer – a wearable brooch with a fragrant trail…

While utterly exquisite, this piece might not exactly end up on our Christmas lists (particularly as there are only two in the whole world!) but we are doing a bit of pretty perfume pieces window shopping, here, and wanted to sigh at the scented delight of the piece all the same. Guerlain says:

‘Designed to be worn as a brooch or pendant with a fragrant trail, the diamond set Queen Bee hides a magic secret in its heart. Gently apply pressure on the pear-shaped diamond adorning its body, and its wings open to reveal a delicate lace of gold in a honeycomb pattern. These alveoli form a precious olfactory material which can hold one of Guerlain’s perfumes.’

 

 

 

 

Says jeweller Lorenz Bäumer:

‘With Le Secret de la Reine, I have made a very old fantasy come true.

That of adding another sense to jewellery, which is about sight and touch: the sense of smell.

Thanks to Guerlain, I was able to achieve this idea and to create the first perfumed jewel of High Jewellery.’

 

 

 

 

Echoing his sentiments, and describing their decision to use their iconic bee emblem as a ‘messenger of happiness’ symbol for the piece, Guerlain explains:

‘Exalting the Bee, the quintessence of the Guerlain spirit since it landed in 1853 on the Eau de Cologne Impériale bottle, this precious piece glittering with diamonds, in Onyx and white gold, creates the perfect collaboration between High Jewellery and Fragrance…’

 

 

Melding art and fragrance, how we hope more collaborations between artisans and fragrance creators allow us to wear our love for perfume in fragrant jewellery form!

 

 

Enchanted and looking for more gorgeous scented snippets? You can read the history of Guerlain’s bee symbolism and the fascinating story of how the fragrance house began in our brand page dedicated to Guerlain. Happy scented sighing!

Seasonal Scents Subscription – the gift that keeps on giving!

Seasonal Scents refer to the way we instinctively like to change-up our fragrances to suit the weather, so if you know a perfume lover (of any gender) we have THE perfect present idea – and it keeps on giving!

As the colder days are here, we tend to reach for fragrances that wrap us in a hug with warm woods, spices and even delicious gourmand notes are a thing, because of the way temperature makes them change on your skin, but ‘rules’ are entirely up to your personal taste.

We know it can be confusing, so with the weather and our moods in mind, we put together specially curated selections of fragrances within a Seasonal Scents Subscription Box

Each box contains fabulous fragrances for anyone to adore, no matter their gender or taste, chosen from leading fragrance houses beloved around the world. The sample sizes include gorgeous miniatures, and will land at your gift recipient’s door each passing season (approximately every three months) – so they will always have a new scent to make them feel fabulous.

 

 

You can choose a Quarterly (£18) or Yearly (£68) subscription, and keep the contents a secret until they land at your door – because we just know how many of you adore a scented surprise arriving in the post, no matter what the weather’s doing…

 

How it works:

Pick your Quarterly or Yearly plan

Seasonal Scents Subscription choose plan

Discover new launches and bestsellers from well-loved brands, curated with the seasons in mind.

Arrives at your door for the new Season

Seasonal Scents Subscription delivery

Receive your seasonal box every 3 months and start smelling fabulous.

Get exclusive access to the online smelling notes and unboxing video.

 

We think you’ll agree that new perfume is the very best kind of post to receive – and it’s something to look forward to the whole year through for whomever is lucky enough to get this gorgeous gift.

Actually, maybe you deserve something nice to look forward to as well…? How about getting one for you and one for a dear friend who lives far away – you could compare your thoughts on Zoom or a phone call, and turn each Seasonal Scents Subscription Box delivery into a perfume party day!

Get to Know… Sarah Baker perfumes (now available in our shop!)

Contemporary artist Sarah Baker’s photography, sculpture and films are inspired by ‘fashion, luxury and celebrity’, but little did she know that when she created a fictional fragrance house as part of her artwork, her passion for the project (and the public’s reaction to it) would result in a real-life fragrance house. Still artistically inspired, luckily for us they’re now ready to (actually) wear…

When we speak to founders of fragrance houses, we’re used to hearing them rhapsodise about their childhood memories of exploring their mother’s scents on the dressing table and how they discovered the world (and themselves) through smell, but Sarah Baker chuckles as she recalls growing up avoiding perfume, because for years, ‘I convinced myself I was actually allergic to it, because my sister wore so much of it and I’d be stuck in the car with her on long journeys!’ This early olfactory over-exposure luckily didn’t put her off perfume for life, and teenage Sarah became ‘obsessed’ with The Body Shop’s White musk. ‘My friend Alice and I had a ritual of going to the Body Shop,’ she says, ‘and dousing ourselves with it. I swear it bonded us. I smell it now and think of all the fun times, like sleepovers, laughing together…’

 

 

Gaining a place at Goldsmith’s College, in 2000 Sarah moved from America to live and study in London. The overt opulence and heady glamour of 1980’s movies, soap operas, music and swaggering fashion styles inspired Sarah’s artwork and still very much inspire her today. This maximalist (and Fun with a capital F) ethos inspires her love of fragrance too. The first joining of the artistic and fragrant dots, as it were, occurring when Sarah created a film inspired by the life of Patrizia Reggiani (who was convicted of hiring a hitman to kill her husband, the fashion world figure Maurizio Gucci).

 

 

‘I’m really interested in exploring soap operas in my work and here was a real life one.’ For the project, Sarah invented a fashion company that she named ‘Imperio Rosso’, and, with help from the Arts Council, in 2014 made a deliberately hyperbolic film for the Institute of Art and Olfaction about her fictional fashion moguls’ passionate, fashion and perfume-obsessed lives. It was during the making of the movie that Sarah finally realised she wanted ‘…to enter into the world of commerce and create an actual, real-life scent brand.’ Having become ‘really interested in celebrity perfumes – what are you buying into when you purchase them’, a line of scents ‘based on my love of luxury fabrics’ was the perfect fit.

 

 

Collaborating with other creatives at the top of their game really seems to light Sarah Baker’s fire, so the first collection in 2016 found her working with perfumer Ashley Eden Kessler (who’d originally made the fragrances for the exhibition), and 4160 Tuesday’s perfumer Sarah McCartney. In 2018, Sarah collaborated with fragrance writer Miguel Matos for a limited edition scent called Jungle Jezebel – a limited edition design concept that saw the bottle adorned with drag queen-esque eyelashes. But Sarah’s artistic/fashion dreams really took flight when working with the legendary Donatella Versace and supermodel Helena Christensen as part of the most 80s-tastic spectacular campaign you’re likely to see, for a Jackie Collins-inspired coffee table book entitled Baroness, with Donatella guest-editing the issue and styling the interiors and clothes featured within…

We know you’ve been adoring the samples we’ve included from Sarah Baker in our Discovery Boxes, but now we are thrilled to be able to offer you full sizes to purchase in our shop! Which of them have you fallen for…?

Written by Suzy Nightingale

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

Smoky scents to celebrate Bonfire Night

Smoky scents on the breeze, distant drifts of bonfires and hazy wisps of woodsmoke, eldritch mists of morning fields in autumn – as fragrance lovers, these are the sensorial delights of the season that we’re indulging ourselves with right now…

 

 

Whether it’s the whiff of roaring fires, or mellow pipesmoke evoking much-patched tweed jackets and just a hint of damp dog: truly great smoky fragrances are immediately transportive, and not always quite so comforting. In Romeo & Juliette, Shakespeare reminds us that ‘Love is a smoke raised with the fume of sighs,’ which can resemble the fire in your lover’s eyes, or become a ‘choking gall’. So too can smoky fragrances recall excitement in spent fireworks, waft the  standoffish cigar-tinged sneer of a ‘members only’ club, or cloak you in the sanctified air of a Catholic confessional. They might recall stubbed cigarettes, boozy liasons and yesterday’s eyeliner, suggest the once-furtive fug of illicit substances, appease fickle gods or summon the most lascivious demons.

 

 

It’s hardly surprising there’s many smoke-laden scents, seeing as the word perfume itself arises from the Latin, ‘per fumum‘ – ‘through smoke’ – referring to fragrant materials burned as scented prayers. Perfumers, meanwhile, might choose to combine both naturals and synthetics to acheive their desired level of vapour; from the folksy, dried hay and tobacco or even burned rubber funk of isobutyl quinolone; pitch black tarriness of cade oil, the bitter, leathery slap of birch tar or rich, incense-like resins such as the fruity amber purr of labdanum (from the cistus plant) or the more powdery balsamic musk of opoponax.

Sprayed to rejoice in autumnal splendour or perhaps used to summon something altogether more Mephistophelian – I urge you to seek these out and smoulder forth…

 

Sarah Baker, Bascule
Succulent peach juice sizzles on hot leather, tobacco frottages smouldering hay while soapy lily of the valley and cut grass beckon a bath (following a torrid tumble in the stables). Ruthlessly seductive.

£95 for 50ml eau de parfum
sarahbakerperfumes.com

 

 

Rook, Thurible
Swinging incense trails conjure trembling sooty fingerprints stroked on skin, a low thrum of sticky patchouli cloaking herbaceous freshness; the stolen kisses writhing in a mossy embrace.

£99 for 50ml eau de parfum
rookperfumes.co.uk

 

Initio, Rehab
A more subtle swathe of smokiness for those who prefer to exude sophistication; here flinty lavender swirls oodles of soft tobacco into creamy vanilla, with clouds of hay-like coumarin cushioning the wood.

£220 for 90ml extrait de parfum, selfridges.com

 

 

Moschino, Toy Boy
Utterly beguiling from the get go, a bouquet of roses is tossed on the bonfire; dry clove crackles and peppercorns pop, the heat suddenly sliced through with a cool leather whip, soothed with cashmeran.

From £38.25 for 30ml eau de parfum
escentual.com

 

 

Ruth Mastenbroek, Firedance
Only when you’re ready to ramp it up: scorching leather smooches Damask rose and deepest, darkest oudh. Think billowing bonfire-smoke clinging to your hair and cold lips burned by passionate kisses.

£70 for 30ml eau de parfum
ruthmastenbroek.com

By Suzy Nightingale

Clive Christian – the art of Matsukita – an interview with artist Yukako Sakakura

Taking inspiration from their unique heritage, Clive Christian recently celebrated their beautiful Matsukita fragrance in artful style at an exhibition in Mayfair’s Jovoy perfumery. We were honoured to catch up with the world-famous artist Yukako Sakakura and talk to her about creating the most stunning multi-layered painting directly inspired by smelling the scent…

 

Matsukita was inspired ‘by a fabled Japanese princess who awed the Victorian royal court with her elegance and grace’ and first launched in 1892 by Crown Perfumery, advertised with lavish, hand painted illustrations. Clive Christian have dipped back into this intriguing heritage to recreate some iconic fragrances with a distinctly modern feel – the meeting place of historic references and scents that have a certain classic style, but are thoroughly contemporary in character when you wear them.

With this juxtaposition in mind, today Matsukita ‘has been reimagined to capture this illusive elegance.’ A deliciously woody chypre, there’s an invigorating freshness wafting around the top notes to keep this breezy and simply beautiful. Green bergamot, pink pepper and flecks of nutmeg swoop to the floral, woody heart of Chinese imperial jasmine infused with refined notes of black tea. The smoke dispersing to reveal an amber-rich base swathed in whisper-soft musk add further to the ‘sense of mystery and grace’ they hoped to capture of the original.

  

 

 Further expressing their heritage in modern ways, Clive Christian has long heralded contemporary artists, and they were delighted to partner with artist Yukako for a sensory collaboration around the scent of Matsukita, the experience of smelling which formed the inspiration for her extraordinary painting, ‘You Close Your Eyes to See Our Spring.’ Yukako explains: ‘I’ve always liked painting natural elements, because flowers link with emotions. In Japan we use these natural elements in art a lot, so it therefore feels quite natural for me to use these symbols to express feelings.’

‘I love to use layers within my work, so many I sometimes lose count! It’s usually 50 plus layers, anyway. I finish my flowers first and paint over the whole surface, then I change the shape of the flowers with further layers. If I didn’t have the layers, everything looks too flat to me, it’s not wavy enough! I want to make sure all the flowers are kind of singing the same song, it’s a way of breathing life into the landscape; so, I just paint over and over again until it feels like all the flowers are breathing with the same rhythm. To gauge when it’s finished, I must sit in front of the painting for ages, sometimes five hours (with a cup of coffee), looking closely and making sure everything is doing the right thing.’

 

‘I smelled the fragrance first, and then wore it as I painted, it helped feed my imagination and it’s as though I felt the energy of the scent go down my arm into the paintbrush. I know that might sound strange to some, but I started learning calligraphy at the age of three, and that’s all about imagination, getting to know what kind of brush marks you can make…’

 

 

‘In calligraphy, you learn that before you make a single mark on the page you have to spend time imagining it all in your head, and then you join those energies of thought and process. For my Matsukita painting, it was all about smelling the fragrance and connecting to the emotions it gave me, then translating these into images, and they flow from my brain to the brush. You know, I did all my studying about art in U.K. I’ve not done any art studies in Japan, and I find that when I’m in the mood for 100% concentration, I speak English, even in my head.’

  

 

‘I find I talk to colours [Yukako giggles] and I have changing relationships with them. For instance, I used to hate yellow years ago, and it would creep into my paintings sometimes and I’d get angry with it for spoiling them and tell it to go away, but now I absolutely love yellow! I knew I wanted yellow in this as soon as I smelled Matsukita. I must explain that I don’t talk to the colours out loud. It’s all in my head – it’s part of the way I communicate with the world and translate my feelings to the canvas. Again, while smelling the scent I knew the roses must dance first in the painting. I don’t let anyone in my studio when I’m painting because it’s disrupting to my conversation with the painting itself! My family all think I’m very weird, but it’s the way I work…’

 

 

What an incredible privilege it was to meet this visionary artist and see her work in the flesh – for seeing pictures of the paintings really cannot convey their extraordinary depth of feeling and movement. You really can sense the ‘sway’ and ‘dance’ of the flowers and petals in the breeze, standing in front of the picture itself. And isn’t that the way of fragrance itself, too? Talking about individual notes can only bring you so far – to really know a fragrance and feel its emotional connection, you must wear it on your skin. And we urge you try Matsukita this way, to truly feel the character of the scent yourself…

 Clive Christian Matsukita £350 for 50ml at Jovoy

 Written by Suzy Nightingale

Getting cosy with cashmere – scents to snuggle with

There’s nothing quite like the soft, enveloping snuggle of cashmere – more than simply a wool to keep you warm, it’s become synonymous with supreme luxury, and fragrances that borrow the fluffy feeling of this material are the perfect comfort scent.

What does ‘cashmere’ mean in fragrant form, though? Perfumers aren’t extracting the wool itself into a scent; instead, they may use Cashmeran™, a trademarked synthetic material sometimes also called Cashmir (or Kashmir) Wood.

There’s no cashmeran bush, or tree, or root, though:  this is a synthetic ‘fantasy ingredient, also sometimes referred to as ‘blonde woods’ on perfume note ‘pyramids’.  (Cashmeran™ is a trademarked ingredient from the perfumer supplier International Flavours and Fragrances, or IFF.) It’s a-little-bit-musky, a-little-bit-spicy, a-little-bit-powdery qualities become even more versatile in the hands of perfumers: they know how Cashmeran™ almost ‘melts’ into many types of ingredients to add an extra, almost tactile sensuality to perfumes within a wide range of fragrance families.

 

 

 

 

Cashmeran™ also works to ‘expand’ and diffuse floral ingredients. (Lots of perfume notes work ‘synergistically’ in this way, which is why perfumery is such a complex art.) You may also be familiar with it from body products and even fabric conditioners: Cashmeran™ ‘clings’, and doesn’t rinse out well, leaving traces of its sensuality on the skin after showering, or your bedlinen after laundry day.

So now, do you need something to spritz as an extra ‘layer’ of protection (but that’s not too overwhelming), to conjure that feeling of hitting ‘snooze’ and staying in bed awhile longer; or perhaps a perfume for those occasions you could really do with a hug in a bottle? Read on, wrap up, and let’s get cosy in cashmere…

 

 

 

 

 

Guerlain Les Matières Confidentielles Eau de Cashmere

Intimately personal and part of a collection made to be spritzed on the skin ‘or over one’s favourite materials’, the Eau de Cashmere is whisper-soft, a creamy concoction of powdered iris and freshly plumped pillow-like lavender, with a breezy background of aerated woody and musky notes as it warms on the skin. It’s one of those ‘I don’t know what to wear’ go-to scents, and ‘Misted also over a jumper or across the entire wardrobe,’ says Guerlain, ‘it provides a pleasure of incomparable softness.’ We couldn’t agree more!

£140 for 100ml eau de toilette
guerlain.com

 

 

 

Narciso Rodriguez Cristal

Perfumer Nathalie Gracia Cetto unfurls a ruffled citrus breeze that blooms into freesia and voluptuous orange blossom. The signature woody white musk is woven throughout the composition, making it unmistakably a Narciso creation, but with a crystalline gleam that sparkles enticingly. Wrapped in a whisper of cashmere-swathed warmth, think sunshine diffused by fluffy clouds, a soft stole worn insouciantly draped over tanned shoulders. One that fans will want to add to their collection.

From £55 for 30ml eau de parfum
theperfumeshop.com

 

 

 

 

ROOS_AND_ROOS_PALE_BLUE_EYES

 

Roos & Roos Pale Blue Eyes

From mother and daughter duo Chantal and Alex Roos, a fragrance which is almost literally light at the end of the seasonal tunnel, evoking ‘springtime, blue sky – a perfume blowing a gentle breeze into your heart.’ En route, it’s ruffling notes of blackcurrant bud, iris, rose, tonka, supremely cool cashmere wood that billows becommingly amidst vetiver and sandalwood. And we wonder: is the name a coincidence, or was it chosen because creator Chantal has the bluest eyes of almost anyone we know…?

£90 for 50ml eau de parfum
sniph.co.uk

 

 

floris-vert-fougere

Floris Vert Fougére

An imagining of a fern in an English garden at twilight, Vert Fougère combines lavender and patchouli with galbanum for a green, damp, earthy beginning. A cool lingering of tempered sunlight is evoked via a bitter-citrus accord of bergamot, neroli and grapefruit, the encroaching darkness cut through with a sparkle of ginger. Finally, grounded with smoky cedar woods and soft cashmeres. Combining classic and modern elements, this is a verdant fougère to delight in.

From £20 for 10ml eau de parfum
florislondon.com

 

 

Electimuss Mercurial Cashmere

A fragrance to ride with us amidst changeable moods, maybe? ‘The most popular of the gods, Mercury was adored for his irresistible charm and wit and the inspiration for this sensuous and seductive scent.’ With an alluring character, the cloud of cardamom-flecked iris swirls to the buttered warmth of tonka and amber touched by cashmere’s creamy caress. Especially good at granting you backbone and strength, we say: wear this fluffy, irresistiable scent and feel better for every possible perfumed mood-swing!

£225 for 100ml pure parfum
electimuss.com

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Fragrances For… an Olfactory Oktoberfest

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

KILIAN_ANGELS_SHARE

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

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

£155 for 100ml eau de toilette penhaligons.com

 

 

 

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

£125 for 50ml eau de parfum ilkperfume.com

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Feel Good Fragrances – scents to help you feel stronger

Feel Good Fragrances are very much on our minds right now, what with the current state of the world and the stresses we’ve all experienced these last few years. It can feel easier to cope in the summer, sometimes, can’t it? Those lighter, brighter for longer days can really help make things seem better; but we know the incredible power our sense of smell has to help, too, even on the greyest, coldest days. That’s why The Perfume Society have curated an extra-special Feel Good Fragrances Discovery Box

 

 

 

Priced at just £23 / £19 for VIP Club members, the Feel Good Fragrances Discovery Box has been put together to boost feelings of peace, inner-calm, strength, resilience and simply a sense of well-being (which goodness knows, we could all certainly do with right now). Here’s how…

 

Cochine Tuberose & Wild Fig

An evening walk in a garden in Saigon was the inspiration, and puts one in mind of moonlight reflected on water – a silvery, cool sigh of relaxation that segues to a white floral heart and vetiver base. Inviting us to take a moment and breath deeper, this multi-layered scent is light yet has a lasting depth.

 

 

edeniste Vétiver Imaginaire

Invigorating yet grounding, this incredible woody citrus scent is backed by neuroscience for its effectiveness. With natural nuances of citrus, flint, wood, smoke, and earth, it compels quietude, contemplation, and contains a unique ‘Destress’ accord proven by neuroscientists to enhance a feeling of safety and well-being.

 

 

 Electimuss Mercurial Cashmere

A fragrance to ride with us amidst changeable moods, maybe? ‘The most popular of the gods, Mercury was adored for his irresistible charm and wit and the inspiration for this sensuous and seductive scent.’ We say: wear this fluffy, irresistiable scent and feel better for every possible perfumed mood-swing!

 

 

Elementals Tong Ren

Based on wisdom of the I Ching, ‘Tong Ren speaks of how humanity has traversed a time of darkness’ and urges us via spiced citrus and exquisite Egyptian jasmine and apricot-like osmanthus ‘to come together in harmony and a spirit of equality to promote peace and create something new and beautiful.’ Yes please!

  

 

Maison Crivelli Ambre Chromatique 

A vertiable mood-board for an ultra modern take on amber, we’re instantly transported: ‘Rainbow jungle, a spicy trek, vanilla vines, cut multicoloured bark: a golden resin. Pointed flowers, a davana pigment, sunlike feathers, an akigala leaf. An amber colorama.’ Incense-infused, sheer yet characterful, it’s a must-sniff.

 

 

Parle Moi de Parfum Wake Up World 

Encouraging us to ‘feel more alert, alive and to acknowledge the wonders of the world around us,’ this invigorating scent fuses the brightness of bergamot and lime, a fusion of green apple and Turkish rose with enveloping warmth of a vanilla / tonka rich base. It’s a wake up call followed by a hug – the best kind.

 

 

 

 

Ruth Mastenbroek Gaia

Happy memories inspire every one of this brilliant British perfumer’s scents, and thinking about where each fragrance takes you, allowing yourself to escape, is such bliss. Inspired by the zen-like tranquility of the Norfolk Broads, soothing chamomile, grown in Norfolk, a sense of calm and contentment is assured.

 

 

 

 

 

Sarah Baker Loudo

Mischievous, flirty and fun, this is a scent to wear for an instant confidence-boost, and encourages us to enjoy ourselves a while. A pun on ‘ouhd’, one of its key ingredients, and the Latin word for ‘play’ or ‘a game’, the delicious mix of cherry, white chocolate and orange blossom on a woody musky base is simply addictive!

 

To the Fairest London Élan Vital 

This restorative new scent is an earthy and utterly unique vetiver, paying homage to the thrill of connecting with the natural world around us. Élan Vital – ‘life force’ – is so grounding, so right for right now, the vetiver ultimately taking you by the hand and leading you to secluded, shady forest-y notes as it warms on your skin.

 

Tocca Colette 

Freedom to be yourself, explore your more sensual side and, ultimately, take the time to reconnect with yourself, dare to imagine: ‘A mysterious poet, Colette dares to ask and to be asked love’s most challenging questions. Her notes of sandalwood and incense are as spicy and seductive as they are alluring.’ Ooh-la-la!

  

 

 

Scentered Sleep Well Aromatherapy Balm

A sophisticated floral lavender, with added therapeutic benefits of soothing chamomile, palmarosa and ho wood, bois de rose and geranium. With a modern yet gentle patchouli, clove and ylang ylang heart, it’s time to switch-off, unwind and give yourself permission to relax – whenever and wherever you need it most.

 

 

Weleda Skin Food Body Butter

This FULL SIZE cult item is adored by beauty editors – it imbues your skin with a unique combination of botanical extracts while gently scenting with sweet orange, lavender and scrumptious, resinous benzoin. Fast-absorbing, the butter leaves skin petal-soft and ready to scent with whichever you require from the above.

 

Read more about the fragrances by clicking of each of the pictures in the Shop page – but we hope, whatever your need, you’ll find some blissful moments with this incredible collection of Feel Good Fragrances. Know a friend or loved one who’s been through a lot lately? Why not treat, them, too…?

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Can fragrances make you feel better?

Can you bottle the smell of happiness or use fragrance to elevate your everyday mood? It’s something fragrance fans and aromatherapists have claimed for years, but now science is directly being used to develop fragrances that go beyond simply smelling good – making you feel good, too.

The connections between wellness and scent are fully explored in our just-published magazine, The Scented Letter – click here to subscribe to this award-winning magazine for free… You’ll have it sent to your inbox on the day it publishes, and never miss a copy again!

 

 

 

 

In the issue you’ll find the article Fragrance’s Feel-Good Factor, in which we were incredibly excited to learn about the revolutionary house of Edeniste, whom you can read more about in our page dedicated to Edeniste, and who are, in their words, ‘Blending the science of emotion and the art of perfumery.’ For founder Audrey Semeraro, it’s about ‘redefining the mission of the perfume industry with the first generation of active wellbeing fine fragrances…’ Because edeniste are far more than a luxury fragrance house, more even than a company seeking to tap into that feeling we all get when wearing a scent that seems to resonate with our soul. Each edeniste fragrance has been ‘charged with active molecules clinically proven to boost our mood and elevate our emotions.’

Meanwhile, authorAlex Whiting delves into the fascinating word of ‘chemosignals’ – odourless transmissions we give off which are believed to trigger particular emotional responses – in a piece for the scientific magazine, Horizon; exploring ‘the ways smell impacts people’s social interactions.’

 

 

Says Enzo Pasquale Scilingo, a professor at the Department of Information Engineering at the University of Pisa, Italy: ‘It’s like an emotional contagion. If I feel fear, my body odour will be smelt by people around me and they may start to feel fear themselves, unconsciously.’ Similarly, the smell of happiness can inspire a positive state in other people, he explains. ‘If we had a spray of happiness … If we can find some odour which can induce a happy state – or a general positive state – I think we can help many, many people,’

 

‘We humans use our sense of smell more than we think. It’s more unconscious, and a little bit taboo – we are not very comfortable with it – but there is more and more evidence that smell is important in social behaviours.’ – Dr Lisa Roux, Interdisciplinary Institute for Neuroscience, France

 

As fascinating as the science undoubtedly is, you don’t need a degree to know that wearing your favourite fragrance – or experiencing a new scent that sparks joy – will undoubtedly lift your mood and give you an emotional ‘boost’ of comfort, confidence or strength. During lockdown sales of fragrances (unexpectedly, to some) soared, and no wonder. Now we have the science to back what we’ve always felt: fragrance can simply make you feel better.

So, why not treat yourself to some samples to try at home, today…?