Valentines Day – love it or loathe it – is just around the corner, and here at The Perfume Society, we believe it should be about treating someone you love with a scent that’s perfect for them(and that can be anyone you care about, not only someone you’re romantically involved with!)
Have you got a friend who could do with some kindness coming their way, or a loved one you’ve not been able to see in person for some time? Follow our guide, and we’ve several suggestions to help you find some truly fabulous fragrances that will truly suit them, and which they’re bound to fall for…
If you already know what they love
Well you’re off to a good start! Now all you need to do is type the name of that scent into our genius Find-A-Fragrance, and the clever algorithm – based on information we source directly from the fragrance houses and perfumers themselves – will suggest six new fragrances that, while different from the original you typed, share a similar mood, character or key ingredients. It really works!
Or, why not have a look at matching products available for their favourite fragrance, such as a gorgeously decadent bath oil, rich body cream or even a fragranced hair mist. It’s often possible to find travel-size versions of perfumes at this time of year, or, if you really wanted to push the boat out, many fragrance houses offer engraving or other forms of personalisation for a full-size bottle.
If you have no idea what they like (or they want to try something new)
The best idea is to get a Discovery Box of fabulous mini sizes and samples from a wide range of luxury, niche and top-end designer fragrance houses. That way they can start exploring and trying them all in the comfort of their own home, and most importantly, in their own time. Each box is carefully curated to include something for all tastes, and once they’ve found ‘the one’ (or perhaps several) you can then buy a full size, safe in the knowledge they’ve already tried it on their skin. It’s a particularly brilliant way to get people trying fragrances they’ve perhaps never heard of, or wouldn’t have thought about spraying in a shop. We know SO many people who’ve discovered their all-time scent loves this way!
How to know if a fragrance will suit them?
Think about how they dress, or the way they decorate their home – this is an excellent indication as to their character, and therefore the style of scent they probably prefer. Are there particular materials they’re drawn towards, or colours they normally go for? Fragrance, texture and colour and have many qualities in common.
Look for scents packaged in those colours – huge amounts of time and money are spent ‘matching’ the juice to the mood evoked by those hues – or described with those words, such as ‘velvety’, ‘suede’ or ‘crisp cotton’ in the notes. Or consider their interests: sporty gym types might prefer fresher scents, artistic types might prefer a more opulent aesthetic.
Once you’ve narrowed it down – either by using Find-A-Fragrance or perhaps finding them a new scent from a house they’re already drawn to – the best solution is to buy them a Brand Set: these showcase a wide selection of scents from the same house, and chances are if they already like one, they could swoon for another in that range.
Remember – scent selection isn’t always a matter of joining the dots, some people like fragrances you’d never guess at! They may even surprise themselves with their favourite. And really the best thing is that thrill of exploration while discovering their new scent love is a gift that keeps on giving (and showing how much you love them) for years to come…
Here at The Perfume Society, we’re all about celebrating Galentines – it’s a word we first saw popping up a couple of years ago, but since then has gathered traction to become an actual ‘thing’ – a realisation that, for all sorts of reasons, some people struggle at this time of year, and so it’s good to celebrate the love we have outside of romantic relationships.
Let’s face it, January seemed about five hundred and seventy three days long, everyone we know has had (or is still recovering from) ‘flu and just about all of our gal-pals have been having a really difficult time of it, lately. Feel the same?
We thought it was about time to to show our best friends how much they mean to us (at what can be a very difficult time of year for those struggling with depression or just trying their best to keep on top of things!) So forget V-Day for a while and celebrate ‘Galentines’ with us.
Why not have a look through these top picks and see if there’s a sweet treat you could surprise someone special with, or give yourself something to look forward to? Showing someone you care, adding a simple note saying ‘hey there, thinking of you’ can mean a lot, and we think these would make great gift ideas or pick-me-up presents for any time of year…
The Floral Street Discovery Set £14 is definitely going to put a smile on the face of your dearest friend – their fragrances are as far from traditional (what some see as ‘old fashioned’) florals as it’s possible to get – each created by the star perfumer Jérôme Épinette, who is known for his mastery of natural ingredients. As Floral Street put it: ‘These are bunches – not bouquets. Ingredients, not notes. And it’s about ease, modernity and joy.’
We pretty much guarantee your friend will fall for several (or if they’re anything like us all EIGHT) of their fabulously modern fragrances, so perhaps treat yourself and a friend to a set each – then later on, have a day out in Covent Garden visiting their stunning store, and getting to learn all about the nuanced notes and sustainable, eco-friendly ethos behind each scent…
The Fragrance #FROW Discovery Box £19 RRP / £15 for VIP Club Members is themed around what’s new, what’s stylish, what’s trend-setting in the perfume world. We’re curated THIRTEEN of our favourites from the recently released and must-try scents your nose needs to know, from the chic and uplifting Banana Republic Neroli Woods to dazzling Oscar de la Renta Extraordinary Pétale via creations by the hot new niche brands Mihan Aromatics and Les Eaux Primordiales – there’s a fragrance for every look, with Michael Kors, Ermanno Scervino, Kenzo – and so many more...
We think this box makes the perfect gift as it also includes a FULL SIZEINC.redible Semi Matte Lip Click (worth £10 alone) and an invitation to wind down with the shimmering decadence of Molton Brown Muddled Plum Bath & Shower Gel.
The Globetrotter Discovery Box £19 / £15 for VIP Club Members is all about holidays and exploration – whether you’re flying to exotic lands or simply need some scented pampering at home. Take an exotic voyage with ELEVEN fragrances, including decadence with The Merchant of Venice Red Potion, New York chic with KIERIN NYC 10am Flirt, and fragrant frolics in the gardens of England with Floral Street Electric Rhubarb.
We also included the miracle-working BENAMÔR Alantìone Hand Cream (30ml) for soothing in-flight (or work-commuting) hands, alongside YARDLEY English Bluebell Deodorising Body Spray, a cooling and refreshing burst of English countryside. So dive in to explore, and remember: you can also pack these perfectly sized samples for your flight, or keep them in your bag for go-to escapism.
The gift that keeps on giving for a full YEAR of fragrant treats is the V.I.P. Club Membership. For only £25, your perfume-loving pal will receive a raft of benefits – including six downloadable editions of our award-winning magazine The Scented Letter per annum. As a joining gift, they will also receive a Discovery Box of samples (choose from the drop-down menu), and they will also receive discounts on our other Perfume Society Discovery Boxes, and discounts on other perfume house Discovery Boxes on offer – and there’s much, much more excitement.
• Six issues a year of our online/downloadable digital magazineThe Scented Letter – (virtually) the only publication in the world devoted to all things fragrant…
• Exclusive competitions with fab fragrant prizes – including bottles signed by perfumers.
• Early access to tickets for all our events – meet with leading ‘noses’ and key figures from the perfume world, attend in-store events, workshops, etc. (Our VIPs are first to hear about these.)
• A special member’s discount on our Perfume Society Discovery Boxes (normally £19 – but only £15 to our VIPs)
• Plus choose a FREE Discovery Box when you sign up
You can buy this for yourself, too, of course, but if buying as a gift, simply tick the box on the purchasing page. And hey-presto! 365 days of fragrant fun!
Here at The Perfume Society, we’re all about celebrating Galentines – it’s a word we first saw popping up last year, but do you know what it signifies?
Well, January seemed about seventy three days long, everyone we know has had (or is still recovering from) ‘flu and just about all of our gal-pals have been having a really difficult time of it, lately.
Feel the same?
We thought it was about time to treat ourselves to something nice – and to show our best gal-pals how much they mean to us (at what can be a very difficult time of year for those struggling with depression or just trying their best to keep on top of things!) So forget V-Day for a while and celebrate ‘Galentines’ with us.
Why not have a look through these top picks and see if there’s a sweet treat you could surprise someone special with, or give yourself something to look forward to? Showing someone you care, adding a simple note saying ‘hey there, thinking of you’ – and being kind to yourself – can mean a lot, and we think these would make great gift ideas or pick-me-up presents for any time of year…
REEK is the house to head for when seeking gifts for those perfume-loving pals who definitely want to stand out from the crowd. Proudly promoting positive body images for women (none of their photos are re-touched to make the models look unnaturally ‘perfect’) the fragrances celebrate rebellious women through history. Choose from Damn Rebel Bitches or Damn Rebel Witches (we’re loving the names, the ‘fumes and the attitude!) and celebrate the fact that for all orders over £50 between now and V-Day, they’ll throw in a free gift card and a free mini ‘Love Potion’ tote bag. Order this and some of their fab stickers to treat your best witch bitch!
REEK Witch Bitch Set £45 for 2 x 7.5ml eau de parfum
Buy it at reekperfume.com
As the old saying goes – if you don’t love yourself, who else will? Everyone deserves a little luxury now and again, and we believe our Treat Yourself Discovery Box is ideal for anyone (yourself included) who needs a little extra TLC right now. The power of perfume to transport you is well documented, so why not fly away on a fragrant cloud to the tranquillity of a deserted beach, a vista of Moroccan orange blossom trees, the fragrant imaginings of two perfumers’ translating literature into scents, a field of lavender and a ground-breaking house inspired by the most intelligent women in the world? And that doesn’t even nearly cover the treats in store! From cult niche to designer opulence, your ultimate escape beckons…
Treat Yourself Discovery Box from £15
Buy it from our online shop
Izia launched last year, and immediately scored a hit for those seeking a scent that straddles the gap ‘between pretty and impertinent” as Sisley put it. Rose but not as you know it, this manages to be both pretty and uplifting with a carefree, bohemian edge. To celebrate their one-year anniversary, Sisley turned to the rock-n-roll style of British artist Quentin Jones for a whole new spin on the packaging. This limited edition features fluorescent ink, rose collages and paint flecks for vibrant pops of colour contrasted with the luminescent, sparkling cheerfulness of that rosy juice. If you know a Sisley-addict (and there are many) or someone who adores rose perfumes but can’t abide dustiness, this is guaranteed to brighten their whole year.
When everything seems dark and gloomy, there’s nothing like lighting up your life with a box of perfume that’s simply bursting with exotic blossoms. Not sure what your friend’s favourite floral is, or want to branch-out and try some flower-filled scents for yourself? Cochine‘s discovery set is the perfect choice. A trio of fragrances inspired by the beautiful location of Saigon (where founder Kate Crofton-Atkins was tempted to move after quitting her high-powered beauty job in London – and who can blame her?) there’s the delights of White Jasmine & Gardenia, Vietnamese Rose & Delentii and Tuberose & Wild Fig to revel in. Great size for travelling or popping in your purse, too!
Cochine Floral Collection £35 for 3 x 8ml eau de parfum
Buy it from our online shop
Sarah Jessica Parker turned the world of celebrity fragrances on its head with the release of Stash, which converted many niche-only perfumistas into full-on fans of the scent. The second of the opus – Stash Unspoken – is an exquisitely werable plunge into prettiness with an edge, featuring pink peppercorns and the honeyed addictiveness of quince atop a floral heart that feels like twirling in a tulle gown: wisteria, honeysuckle and peony entwine with the rich almond-y muskiness of the base (and a hint of woozy booziness to reel you right in.) Fans of Sex and the City, fashion-mavens and fragrance lovers alike will thank you for this addition to their wardrobe, and at a very purse-friendly price.
SJP Stash Unspoken £25 for 100ml eau de parfum
Buy it at superdrug.com
What if your gal-pal is miles away? We have a few best friends who live abroad and it can be really tricky sending presents via air-mail, so a great idea you can send and she can receive immediately is an International Online Subscription for our award-winning magazine dedicated to perfume: The Scented Letter. Solving a myriad last-minute present problems, it’s bursting with our reviews of all the latest launches your nose needs to know, exclusive interviews with the world’s best perfumers, full-length (and gorgeously illustrated) features on ingredients, the history of the perfume houses, trends and fascinating peeks behind-the-scenes. And the best bit? It’s eight 48-page digital editions a year, so really is the gift that keeps on giving!
A lovely name for a really beautiful fragrance, Precious One is a bewitching blend of soaring fleur des nuits, tuberose and jasmine on the softest green chypre base of oak moss and layers of smoky vetiver swirling from the depths. Awarded Best New Independent Fragrance in 2012 by the Fragrance Foundation UK, Angela Flanders was the most wonderful British perfumer – a vibrant character who sadly passed away in 2016 – and this perfume was created for her daughter Kate Evans’s Precious boutique (also nearby in Spitalfields). A great way to to tell your friend how special they are to you, and now available in this handy travel-size.
Okay so perhaps you can’t jet-off to Bali with your bestie, but how about arranging a weekend away or even a spa-day to enjoy together? We also suggest treating both of you to the Try Before You Fly Discovery Box (pssst! Grab it at the sale price while you can!) bulging even more than our handluggage usually is with all manner of scented delights. Close your eyes and think: tanned skin and flowers in your hair with soft bouquets from Miu Miu, Jimmy Choo and Barbour. Take in the sights of stylish Scandinavia with Agonist or sip espresso on the piazza with TheMerchant of Venice, among the many specially curated scents in this selection. Have a look for some special last-minute deals to escape the gloom or book-ahead and dream of holidays to come…
Try Before You Fly Discovery Box from £10
Buy it from our online shop
There are few people who don’t appreciate the gift of a gloriously scented candle – and you don’t even have to know their favourite fragrances to pick one they’ll love (though we’d hope you at least know your best friend’s fave!) If you’re a trio of gal pals, why not have a splurge and treat all three of you to a Diptyque mini candle? This set features Baies – still their best selling candle – with its bouquet of roses and blackcurrant leaves, Figuier – comfortingly warm fig wood, the freshness of leaves and milky sap, and Roses – baskets of roses overflowing with abundance. Each mini candle is 70g and handily portable for travellers who crave their scented spaces. Which one would you choose?
Diptyque Mini Candles Set £65 for 3 x 70g candles (also avaiable separately and in other fragrances for £24)
Buy it at diptyqueparis.co.uk
Still searching for a gift?
If you know your friend’s favourite fragrance and want to treat them to something new (but are worried about getting something they don’t like) never fear! We have a genius solution. Simply type the name of their signature scent into our clever database, FR.eD (short for Fragrance Editor) and you’ll be given several suggestions based on fragrances with similar characters, shared notes or styles they’re bound to love. It really works! Give it a try, now, and find your perfect fragrance match…
Shopping for a new scent – for yourself or as a gift for a loved one – can be a bit of a headache, in more ways than one. Just as the season’s change has us hankering for snuggly jumpers and fabulous new coats, so too do we need a change of fragrance to lift our moods occasionally. But with literally thousands of new launches every year, even we can’t get our noses around all of them!
So, where to begin?
At The Perfume Society, we’re here to make finding your next ‘new favourite’ fragrance a complete doddle. Just follow these simple steps, and you’ll be off on a fragrant journey of discovery… 1: Let FR.eD be your guide
Short for ‘Fragrance Editor’, FR.eD is our completely genius virtual assistant. All you need do is type in the name of a scent you already adore (or one you know your beloved currntly wears) and you’ll be given an immediate list of six scents to seek out, all at various price points and with characteristics you’re extremely like to swoon for. Honestly, try it – they’re quite spookily accurate!
2: Give yourself time
Now clutching your shopping list of scents to try, we cannot urge you strongly enough to allow yourself the time to live with them on your skin a while before making a snap decision either way. First sniff? That’s the top notes – generally something citrus-y and ephemeral – which can disappear within the first few minutes of spraying because the ingredients evaporate more quickly.
We find an hour is enough to give you a proper sense of what the perfume smells like on you. And if you don’t want to douse yourself head-to-toe (why on earth not? But each to their own) then spray on a blotter or ‘spill’ (long paper strip) to get an idea. But remember – it will only be an idea of the final scent. They were made to be warmed and worn on your skin, not paper, so will often smell very different (and better) on you. And your mood/the weather/food can all drastically alter how a scent smells on you, so ideally, come back and try each one a couple of times. 3: Make note(s)
It’s incredible where your mind can take you when sniffing something gorgeous. Perfumes are created to carry us away to somewhere, so where are your six scents taking you? Close your eyes, inhale deeply and then ask yourself questions such as:
If this scent were a fabric, would it be velvet, suede, leather or linen?
What colour does the fragrance remind you of?
If the fragrance were a piece of music, what instrument would be playing?
How does it make you feel? Happy, excited, relaxed, romantic…?
These are all questions we ask people at our How to Improve Your Sense of Smell workshops (click the link to find when the next one near you is being held), and are based on techniques shared with us by the world’s top perfumers, but the more you make yourself think along these lines, the greater connection you’ll have to any fragrance you try.
If you follow these three simple steps, we’re pretty confident you’ll have found a brand new fragrance to fall in love with – or the perfect gift for that fussy friend.
Why not treat yourself to several new fragrances to sniff, today? We curate collections of try-at-home samples and mini/travel sizes, along with some other gorgeous scented treats and instructive postcards to help you follow the trail of each fragrance. Our latest Discovery Box is the just-launched Fashion, Fabric & Fragrance(bursting at the scented seams with designer names) but there are lots of others to get your nose in to: have a sniff around our shop and find your favourites…
Written by Suzy Nightingale