Blustery Walks, Bottled! Fragrances for Feeling Outdoors-y (when you can’t be)

Given the horrendous weather of late – snow, torrential rain and flooding, gales, hurricanes, even tornados in the U.K! – it’s not exactly been ideal for getting outdoors and enjoying a stroll. However, this is where fragrances can come into their own during inclement weather: we can wear them to get a sense of being outdoors, of experiencing the freedom and head-clearing calm of being so, without setting a foot (or wellington boot) outside the door if we don’t feel up to facing it!

 

 

 

Here’s our edit of outdoors-y scents that, while feeling seasonally appropriate, also allow an exploration of woodlands, coastal paths and countryside escapism with every spritz…

 

 

Sarah Baker Tartan Extrait

This is a classic of the collection that’s been adored since the scents were first launched. Sarah McCartney, the nose for this one, is better known as the founder of quirky British house 4160 Tuesdays, but here collaborated with Baker to compose this marvel. Picture it: Warmth and heritage envelope you after a bracing walk through mossy ruins in Scotland’s Highlands. A fire is roaring in the library. You put your feet up and slowly sip a rare single malt. Bliss!

£145 for 50ml extrait de parfum In Our Shop

 

 

Kingdom Scotland Portal

Portal is described as ‘a gateway to the ancient Caledonian forests of Scotland.’ It’s fresh, outdoorsy, gusting with herbaceous botanicals and bergamot, notes chosen to evoke verdant florals, resting on a veritable forest floor of vetiver and Scots pine. Kingdom Scotland’s description – ‘an escape to a sylvan wonderland’ – hints at its power to transport you to the shade of the tranquil forest. All the benefits of hiking minus the mud (and smelling rather more fabulous). Bonus,

£120 for 50ml eau de parfum  in our shop

 

 

Goldfield & Banks Wood Infusion

An homage to the perfect beauty of a landscape you’ve fallen in love with, this moss-nestled hug of woods feels lined in silk, being dusted with smooth iris and slicked with a sheen of sandalwood. Inspired by Australia’s heritage-listed Fraser Island, it’s an immediate escape route in a bottle – spray, breathe in, close your eyes and exude the power of nature.

£138 for 100ml eau de parfum selfridges.com

 

 

 

Houbigant Fougère Royale

Think of a scenario where you’ve found a cosy bolthole in an incongruously wonderful old pub in the middle of nowhere. The door opens, a cold blast blows through the open door, and a dapper walker removes their heavy (£££) wool coat to reveal a sprig of herbs carefully tucked into the lapel of a herringbone jacket, worn beneath. The olive from his dry Martini is sucked in a slightly lascivious manner. Suddenly much warmer than you were, you are deliciously intrigued…

RRP £165 for 100ml eau de parfum (currently £145)  libertylondon.com

 

 

 

 

Olfactive Studio Woody Mood

Close your eyes and imagine taking a walk among the giant sequoias, as legend has it so tall and densely packed that sunlight never touches the ground at their roots, a darkly woody haunt of a scent that lingers long after you’ve first sprayed, like some mischevious woodland sprite always darting further ahead. Dry with black tea, cheering with cocoa, it’s pepped up with a glow of saffron and ginger for added warmth, and beguilingly addictive.

 £140 for 100ml eau de parfum jovoyparis.uk

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Green with En Vie – verdant, leafy, joyful fragrances

Just when we thought the grey drizzle would be here forever, (just as we do every year around this time), suddenly there’s a green gasp of true spring in the air – a verdant pop of buds bursting, and a euphoria induced simply by looking at delicate, lime-coloured leaves unfurling.

Rather wonderfully, that new-leaf obsession is sometimes referred to as a ‘chlorophyll rush’, and it does almost feel as though we’re drugged with the joy of revival, so greedily do our eyes drink in the green, the newness of things, signs of life – of hope – re-emerging. In fragrances, green may be expressed as freshly-cut fleshy stalks in a florist’s shop, that insistent quickening of the blood in all living things as the sap rises.

 

 

As a colour, we have a peculiar relationship with green. As well as being the colour of spring, it can be classed as an unlucky colour that ‘belongs to the fairies’ and other mythological forest-dwellers, or the unsettling Pagan figure of ‘the green man’. It’s the ‘green-eyed monster’ of jealous rage, and the ‘green fairy’ of Absinthe addiction, too. Conversely, green can mean lucky – being associated with clover/shamrocks and St Patrick’s Day celebrations; or naïve, raw, young and inexperienced, and more recently, natural, organic – and indicating a belief in sustainable living.

 

 

As a smell, ‘green’ can brashly thrust or softly beckon, depending on the perfumer’s proclivities. The ultimate ‘green’ note in fragrance is called galbanum. It’s been used for centuries – millennia, actually, dating back to Biblical times, with the ancient Roman and Greeks burning galbanum-laden incense sticks, scenting their baths, adding to soothing skin balms, and also as a personal perfume.

Woody yet alive with the smell of clean, damp earth and the icily pure air of a mountain forest, galbanum essential oil is obtained via steam distillation of resin from the umbelliferous plant Ferula galbaniflua, native to Iran, Turkey and some neighbouring countries, and from a near-relative, Ferula gummosa. The plant looks a little like fennel and angelica, with a starburst of yellow flowers – but slice the stalk, and out oozes a milky juice, released by the plant to heal itself.

Other notes used to evoke this breath-of-fresh-air-through-an-open-window include green teagrass, herbs, vines and leavesviolet leaf, for instance, provides an intriguing, almost mystical verdancy of woodland walks, while an accord representing tomato leaf is more astringent, slightly bitter, but evokes in many of us blissful childhood memories of greenhouses, and exploring a garden with all your senses. Geranium leaf, meanwhile, is lemony, quite potently fruity/herbaceous or even camphorously minty. Cassis (blackcurrant) is the distilled absolute of the blackcurrant buds and leaves, a.k.a.  bourgeons de cassis (say it ‘boor-shon da cassee’): a light, fruity, woody note with a slightly animalic edge adored by those of us who appreciate its musky undertones – assiduously avoided by those who detest what they perceive as ‘tom cat’ notes in perfumes.

 

 

When cassis is used unapologetically stridently within a fragrance, and particularly when mosses and earthy patchouli are used to ground the composition; it can take on the more vintage air of a ‘green chypre’ – fragrances that are less Laura Ashley springtime picnic and more Wickerman meets Working Girl in nature. (I think if the music video for Radiohead’s song If You Say The Word were scented, it would be a wonderfully weird green chypre. Have a peek, above, if you’ve no idea what I’m talking about.)

Whichever shade of green scent you feel most drawn towards, I urge you to seek out some of my suggestions here, because they can freshen up your fragrance wardrobe and drag you by the collar out of the grey blah or blanketing wintery perfumes you’ve perhaps become accustomed to. Get some of that chlorophyl rush going with these…

 

 

 

SISLEY – L’EAU RÊVÉE D’HUBERT

An utterly sublime shot of cool, garden air to shake off the cobwebs. The geranium here is incredible quality, slightly minty, with a hint of rosiness (they call it ‘the male rose’ for its more textural, herbaceous furriness) and wrapped in savoury, peppery, grounding shiso leaf, papyrus and loamy patchouli.

£81 for 50ml eau de toilette harrods.com

 

 

 

VYRAO – I AM VERDANT

Sprouting forth greenery with every spritz, this sings of spring from the get-go, with cyclamen joyously bursting through the undergrowth, swags of moss-bedecked ivy draping the powdery comfort of iris, and bergamot bolstering the brightness of orange flower absolute. The kind of scent that just makes you beam.

£135 for 50ml eau de parfum selfridges.com

(Try a sample in the Vyrao High Five Set for £79)

 

 

 

LALIQUE_IMPERIAL_GREEN

 

LALIQUE LES COMPOSITIONS PARFUMÉES – IMPERIAL GREEN

Glorious greenery rendered luxurious, neroli is co-distilled here with ‘a secret molecule’ to amplify its fresh facets, while Ambroxan (the ‘secret’?) adds lengthening shadows in flower meadows. All anchored by grassy vetiver essence and the pared-back, almost aquatic green clarity of Patchouli Heart, it’s a grower.

£190 for 100ml eau de parfum lalique.com

 

 

 

 

CONTRADICTIONS IN ILK – NATURE

Imagine a city at sunrise, dew-speckled wildflowers shoving through cracks in walls and pavements, nature staking its claim via tangles of green ivy, sudden shocks of orange marigold, magnolia trees in private gardens, geraniums and nettles nestled on pathways, earth’s scent, keeping us (somewhat!) sane.

£165 for 50ml extrait de parfum SHOP

(Try a sample in the Contradictions in ILK Discovery Set for £48)

 

 

ERIS_PARFUMS_GREEN_SPELL

 

ERIS PARFUMS – GREEN SPELL

Living up to an ULTRA green promise, vibrant mandarin is squeezed over sharp blackcurrant absolute with Iranian galbanum and violet leaf absolute thrusting of snapped stalks and sap-drenched blooms. Tomato leaf shines with photorealistic phosphorescence, while narcissus and fig leaf nestle and nurture the base.

£115 for 50ml eau de parfum saintecellier.com

Written by Suzy Nightingale

A bumper crop of vegetable patch perfumes to spray your five a day!

There’s a veritable glut of vegetable notes cropping up in perfumes lately, from beetroots and carrots through to artichokes and even cauliflowers in this brand new gourmand category of scents. If you’ve over-indulged on rich food, consider a salad, and (far more enjoyable) getting your greens in fragrant form.

Like any other trend, newness in fragrance can be traced back through cultural patterns, a certain shift in the zeitgeist that suggests something’s in the air. One of the major happenings has been a gardening and grow-your-own vegetable boom in the UK that began during lockdowns and shows no signs of slowing. Google reported that searches relating to how to grow vegetables doubled during May 2020 to May 2021, while new research from beauty and naturopathic product producers Weleda, meanwhile, reveals that in 2021, ‘26.7 million Britons grew their own fruit, veg and herbs’, with almost two thirds claiming that ‘connecting with nature has had a positive impact on their mood.’

Leaps in technology have given perfumers access to new aroma molecules, which for the first time allow natural extracts of vegetable notes to be used in perfumery. To read even more about this remarkable vegetable revolution in the perfume world, take a look at the Spray Your Five a Day feature, which appeared in the late summer issue of The Scented Letter magazine; but meanwhile we urge you to seek out some of this bumper crop as your New Year’s scent resolution…

 

 

 

Salvatore Ferragamo Giungle di Seta (pea)
Inspired by Ferragamo’s exotic silk prints, the verdant sweetness of pea shoots entwine jungle vines, tempered by the powdery familiarity of peony: nature, tamed.

£86 for 100ml eau e parfum ferragamo.com

 

 

Shay & Blue Clementine (watercress)
Succulent citrus wreathed in swags of laurel leaves and the bright, peppery green of watercress; flagging spirits further revived via petitgrain’s piquant sunshine.

From £25 for 10ml eau de parfum shayandblue.com

 

 

Freddie Albrighton Someone Else’s Flowers (watercress, radish)
Rain-washed radishes, watercress and plucked peapods photosynthesise to a florist’s shop of snapped stalks and tin buckets: happy-making bouquets yet to be.

£102 for 50ml eau de parfum freddiealbrighton.com

 

 

Diptyque Eau Rose Eau de Parfum (artichoke)
Artichoke was added to enhance the original rose oil – fleshy, green, slightly bitter, it speaks of melancholy moments wandering walled gardens, arboreal amour.

£140 for 75ml eau de parfum diptyque.com

 

To the Fairest Élan Vital (greens/nettle)
A settling of greens and grounding vetiver on forest-y floors, the gathering of soft moss and patchouli to line a cosy bolthole with, a cover of golden leaves.

£85 for 50ml eau de parfum tothefairest.com

 

 

Comme des Garçons Rouge (beetroot)
Familiar notes are daringly subverted as blood red berries and earthy beetroot meet supremely calming swirls of iced incense and charred leather.

£120 for 100ml eau de parfum harveynichols.com

 

 

Jack Perfume Covent Garden (carrot)
The insouciant naughtiness of Withnail’s ‘Camberwell carrot’ becomes a market stroll, munching on vegetables as an aromatic, ginger-tinged breeze excites.

£95 for 100ml eau de parfum ab-presents.com

 

 

Bohoboco Wild Carrot Oud (carrot)
Carrots ripped out with roots, clods and bundled in newspaper, nestled in the crook of a leather-clad elbow, biked to a pipe-smoking lover down winding country lanes.

£96.50 for 50ml parfum frmoda.com

 

 

 

Maya Njie Voyeur Verde (fennel)
The comfort of cut grass and freshly washed car leather, aniseed sweets sucked on
the back seat, windows rolled-down to drink in forest air – home in time for tea.

£95 for 50ml eau de parfum mayanjie.com

Try a sample of Voyeur Verde in the Maya Njie Discovery Set for £34

 

 

L’Atelier Parfum Verte Euphorie (carrot)
The instant WHOOSH of sunshine-y citrus presages leafiness and crunchy carrot in the heart, earthy sweetness swathed in fluffiness on the softly musky base.

£59 for 50ml eau de parfum qvcuk.com

 

 

Roger & Gallet Verveine Utopie (fennel)
Fronds of licoricey fennel tickle the senses, the herbaceous verdancy rippled with spices and fringed with decadence as wormwood-infused absinthe has its way.

£127.50 for 500ml extrait de Cologne escentual.com

 

 

Stories No.2 (tomato leaf / greenhouse)
The soothing steam of a childhood memory: grandfather’s greenhouse, his pipe smoke encircling tomato plants, rose cuttings, the joy of running barefoot.

£75 for 30ml eau de parfum in our Shop

 

 

DS & Durga Bistro Waters (bell peppers)
A savoury special of juicy green peppers and aromatic, just-chopped herbs with undercurrents of fancy cocktails to follow, late-night lock-ins and snogging the chef.

£148 for 50ml eau de parfum libertylondon.com

 

 

Paco Rabanne Fabulous Me (pumpkin)
Eschewing showiness, a warm snuggle that speaks of cosiness, silky sandalwood wrapped around fleshy pumpkin; rhubarb’s tartness tempering the sweetness.

 

 

4160 Tuesdays Le Jardin de Monsieur McGregor (cucumber/celery)
Mr McGregor’s pipe smoke trail traces a rambunctious bunny through a Lake District garden: leafy greens, creamy mushrooms and nibbled strawberries.

£70 for 30ml eau de parfum 4160tuesdays.com

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Fragrances For… Track & Field

With a summer of sporting events ahead, in our Fragrances For series this time we’re suggesting Track & Field as a fragrant theme. The Commonwealth Games 2022 have begun in Birmingham, and of course we’re also celebrating the ongoing success of the brilliant women’s England football team getting to the final, woo hoo! Whether you’re sporty yourself, prefer being a spectator or are simply looking for some lovely fresh, summer-y scents to wear – we got you covered, no matter what your team’s colours are…

 

 

 

Freshly snapped stems and verdantly green undergrowth give the feeling of being in the middle of a field on a summer’s day (now that could be indulging in your favourite sport, or perhaps watching on the sidelines with a picnic, which is our preference!) A gorgeously dewy floral bouquet at the heart features hyacinth florets, wild freesia greens and zesty mandarin leaves, with blossoming rose centifolia stems and jasmine buds on an earthier, soul-nourishing base. The flowers proffered to the winners on the podium, perhaps?

Malin + Goetz Stem £78 for 50ml eau de parfum

 

 

Sneaker addicts will want to get their noses on this – an amazingly lifelike scent of new out the box sports pumps in perfumed form! Think the squeak of clean rubber on a court, freshly buffed white leather gleaming in sunshine. What’s more, sing a clever micro-encapsulation technology in a water-based solution, the spray, they say,  ‘works the miracle: a scent of newness and cleanliness will diffuse for a long time as you walk. At ease in your shoes, the world and success lie beneath your feet!’

Officine Universelle Buly 1803 Eau Gymnastique €70 for 500ml spray

 

 

Creative Director Jeremy Scott knows about delivering freshness, and always with a cheeky wink. Having done a limited edition scent for Adidas Originals in a shoe-shaped bottle, we think sporting types will love the wonderful whimsy of seeming to spray a cleaning product on your body in the locker-room! In fact, inside, the juice itself is a joyously refreshing blast of zesty mandarin and bergamot going to work on your nose, before a raspberry juiciness, rich ylang ylang and luminescent woodiness.

Moschino Fresh Couture £51 for 50ml eau de toilette

 

 

A suitably victorious incarnation of the heroically themed fragrances ‘seizes with its power and seduces with its freshness.’ Freshly squeezed lemons offer the juicy bite here while the woody notes of incense wrap tendrils of soft smoke around a purr of vanilla in the base. Spiced tonka bean is the delicious finale for this scent inspired by ‘subtly celebrating modern masculinity.’ We say: any gender who adores the juxtopsition of vibrancy and woodiness would love this – leave everyone else on the track in your smoke trail!

Paco Rabanne Invictus Victory £58 for 50ml eau de parfum

 

We’ve not forgotten about the swimmers – those of you plunging in to the pool (whether it’s in a stadium, or more serene settings on holiday) might like to imagine for a moment that you’re bathing ‘In a mythical ocean,’ where ‘a sea shell gives birth to the goddess of love.’ Well it’s more romantic than a swimming cap and dry robe, anyway! Here, ‘Desire lingers beneath the shimmering surface’ with yuzu, pink pepper and seaweed glistening on slippery rocks, a salty undertow of ambergris and driftwood beckoning you further in.

Sarah Baker Atlante £145 for 50ml extrait de parfum

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Floral Street & World Earth Day – from plastic coffee cups to award-winning perfumes

Putting sustainability at the heart of their scents is not only for World Earth Day at Floral Street – their award-winning reusable, recyclable and biodegradable pulp fragrance box now contains 20% upcycled coffee cups, giving new life to previously unrecyclable waste, every single day. They’ve already upcycled 350,000 used coffee cups to date – proving you can have beautiful and sustainable packaging that is kinder to our planet, while still enjoying fabulous (and now multi award-winning) fragrances.

Founder Michelle Feeney explains…

‘There’s too much beauty packaging in the world already, particularly from fragrance brands. I get so frustrated with the amount of cellophane wraps and bottles that are not recyclable.

When I decided to create Floral Street, I was never in any doubt that it would be a sustainable beauty brand. I thought it was an opportunity to make a statement and do things differently in fragrance. I want to do good for the planet.

We are sustainable every step of the way, from the ingredients right the way through to the packaging. With ingredients, I care about our suppliers and growers being treated ethically. I know that I can ring Robertet (the perfume house that we partner with) and ask exactly where an ingredient is from and how it was farmed. They are experts in sustainable raw, natural materials

 

 

I’m so proud of our pulp cartons, which house our scents. They are 100% compostable, reusable and recyclable. That’s an industry-first. Created in under a minute, they use less energy, with waste water being cleaned and recycled and any waste pulp composted at local farms. Our packaging is printed with vegetable and soy-based inks, and the card and glass fragrance bottles are widely recyclable.’

‘We get it.’ Michelle continues: ‘You love fragrance, but you don’t feel so good about all the packaging that comes with it. We feel the same so, we made it our mission to create a totally new way to house your perfume, a way to deliver it to you without using the same amount of energy or incurring the same amount of waste.

 

 

We did it. Each floral street fragrance comes tucked inside a groundbreaking pulp carton with an embossed lid, made from recyclable paper packaging and held together with a re-usable brightlycoloured band. We’re proud that we can offer a totally recyclable and biodegradable box – a first for the world of fragrance…’

Cruelty free, ethically souced and vegetarian and vegan friendly, Floral Street prove that perfumistas can care for the planet while still enjoying fine fragrance. Read even more about their ethos in our page dedicated to this forward-thinking fabulous house

GIVEAWAY – Atkinsons Mint & Tonic x 2 for you and a friend (worth over £200!)

Atkinsons Mint & Tonic is the perfect celebration scent for the months of festivity ahead, and we have a very special GIVEAWAY of not one but TWO bottles – one for you, and one to give to a friend. See below for details of how to enter…

 

Capturing an English country potager garden of herbaceous greenness, Atkinsons Mint & Tonic might remind you of idyllic summer days, but we urge you to try it in cooler weather too, when the leaves seem sprinkled with frost, the spiced mandarin and tingle of ginger warm to the woody base of cedar, musk and vetiver. Altogether, at this time of year the scent seems to conjure a Mojito (or three), enjoyed in excellent and flirtatious company. Cheers!

 

We love Mint & Tonic so much, we made sure to include a sample in our Niche VII Discovery Box, along with nine other fabulous fragrances and two pampering treats. Try them all here for only £23, or £19 for VIP Club Members.

 

 

✨GIVEAWAY! ✨ We are delighted to be giving you AND a friend a full-size bottle of Atkinsons Mint & Tonic each!

PRIZE INCLUDES:⁠ 2 x Atkinsons Mint & Tonic 100ml Worth over £200!! To enter, all you have to do is…

Follow us on Instagram

Like the Atkinsons Mint & Tonic giveaway post⁠

Tag a friend in the comments⁠ who would love this fragrance

– Make sure both you & your tagged friend are following The Perfume Society

The competition closes at midnight Friday 29th October GMT. One winner and their tagged friend will be chosen at random and contacted via our The Perfume Society account only. We will not contact winners before the closing date via any external accounts. Please do not accept accounts claiming to be us. The competition is for UK residents only.

Good luck!⁠

Synthetic Jungle – Frédéric Malle in conversation with Anne Flipo

It’s a jungle out there – an incredibly refined, ultra-green, 1970s-inspired one, thanks to Frédéric Malle and perfumer Anne Flipo‘s latest creation: Synthetic Jungle eau de parfum.

We were lucky enough to be part of the virtual launch event for Synthetic Jungle, where Fréderic and Anne discussed the inspiration behind the fragrance, and exactly how the composition came together. And Frédéric was  particularly keen, as you will see,  to make the point that synthetics are a vital and creative component to the fragrance industry, not some dirty little secret that fragrance houses should seek to obscure from public view…

Fréderic Malle: I had an idea about revisiting ‘green’ perfumery, and thought Anne was the perfect candidte for that. She’s very good at starting points. We looked together at formulas from the past.

One we thought particularly interesting was Private Collecion by Estée Lauder. This was our starting point. Working with Anne was like two musicians jamming together. We were very comfortable together, with common interests, a common language. There was no fear!

Anne Flipo: At the beginning I was a bit stressed because I had to understand how he works. But it was immediately very easy, he works the way I do. Everything was possible, but I wanted to organise the floralcy around the greenness. I chose lily of the valley.

Frédéric: The paradox, that people don’t often understand, is that to create a natural smell we need synthetics. Each synthetic note is part of the puzzle. I chose this paradoxical name to remind people how perfumery functions. And to show that what man makes is often as interesting as nature. …

Anne: When I choose the ingredients, (I work with over 400), the green note, for example, is very different to the colour itself…

Frédéric: There’s a difference between a smell and a perfume. Between a flower and a fragrance. A fine fragrance has to feel like it’s coming out of you, not worn on the skin.

Anne: I wanted it to smell like this jungle was coming out of you. The chypre accord helps it last on the skin, it balances the formula.

Frédéric: When Anne added the lily of the valley it was a huge turning point, it was the key. And then the dampness comes from Patchouli.

 

 

Frédéric Malle: Interesting perfumery really started at the end of the 19th century, because there were some synthetics available. Perfumery as we know it today has big doses of synthetic, and furthermore, if you want to recreate nature you need synthetic.  The name, Synthetic Jungle, is a way of opening the debate, I love nature, it needs to be preserved, don’t get me wriong; but this idea that everything from nature is great and everything from man is awful is a new kind of facism.

Anne Flipo: Making the formula very short was important to me, overdosing some ingredients – there’s a lot of cassis, overdoes of floralcy, not so many base notes volume-wise. They’re present, you smell them, but the construction is very modern.

Frédéric: Sometimes you have contrast. The patchouli and oakmoss is a black background, but it’s not dirty. A lot of the fragrances from the 1970s smelled dirty. This smells carnal, but not dirty. There’s a distinction.

Anne: I’m so proud and so happy to be part of the Frédéric Malle family.

Frédéric:Yes, look, she’s a completely transformed woman! [laughter]

Anne: Well, we really had the chance to challenge each other further during this.

Frédéric: It was a challenge, yes, but Anne has a great sense of humour and that’s really important. It’s like dancing, making perfumes; deep concentration, but also deep relaxation…

 

Frédéric Malle Synthetic Jungle from £38 for 10ml eau de parfum
fredericmalle.co.uk

Synthetic Jungle is brave in many ways. For one thing, it has the word ‘synthetic’ in the title, at a time when there’s much so-called ‘green-washing’ – the implication that fragrances and cosmetics are ‘toxic’ if they aren’t all-natural, when in fact many essential oils are potentially more harmful and less environmentally sustainable to produce. For another, intensely green fragrances aren’t always the easiest to love. But Frédéric Malle has always been about the quality of the fragrance first, allowing the perfumer’s talents to shine through. And oh my, how Flipo shines in Synthetic Jungle…

What does it smell like? Bitter green crunchy stems and sticky sap – it’s very chic French Chypre from 1970s snogs a Cologne and goes wild, hacking through undergrowth, with vibrant bursts of tart, mouth-puckering blackcurrant, fuzzy tomato leaves examined under a microscope. WHOAH BLACKCURRANT GOES NUCLEAR! Everything gets HUGE AGAIN! Rolled in soft moss and seed spores to dampen the edges, the fruitiness gets warm, viscous, jammy.

Synthetic Jungle is the Indiana Jones ride at Universal Studios, or a missing scene from Honey I Shrunk the Kids as shot by a Vogue photographer in 1976 (a steamy greenhouse becomes a surreal cartoon jungle and everything’s impossibly glamorous). You emerge with berry stained lips and leaves in your hair, covered in grass stains and grinning wildly.

By Suzy Nightingale

Re-fill your boots! Fragrance houses offering refills

We are thrilled to see so many fragrance houses now offering refills for your fragrances, either in-store or online – better for the environment and our own already stacked shelves, and with some incentivising further with money-off discounts, it’s a win-win!

Some of the perfume bottles we have are not merely receptacles for the scent inside, but little works of art we like to keep forever. As beautiful as this idea is in theory, there’s only so much room in a perfumista’s life, and shelves full of empty flaçons gathering dust are a sad sight to behold. What’s more, the increasing consumer concern over companies who only offer single-use packaging has reached an all-time high – so we fully encourage supporting those fragrance houses who are truly trying to make a change and offer you the chance to refill a beloved bottle.

Historically, all perfume bottles would have been refillable, with the aristocracy comissioning bottles made by Baccarat or their personal jeweller, which they would then take directly to the perfumer to be filled time and again with their own bespoke blend. When perfume bottles were mass produced and became cheaper to make (and, therefore, to purchase), it was only then we first began to see the bottle as an object that could be discarded, with Cosmetics Business reporting that, ‘The global cosmetics industry is among the worst offenders of single use items, with almost 120 billion units of packaging annually ending up in landfill, according to a report by Zero Waste Europe.’

So, why not seek out some of these we recommend, below – and if your favourite fragrance isn’t currently refillable (some types of bottles aren’t currently able to be refilled without breaking them), then perhaps begin ask questions as to when they might offer a refill service, or what else they are doing to reduce unnecessary and wasteful packaging…

 

 

Mugler were one of the first contemporary houses to offer refills for all their fragrances, since 1992 in fact, explaining that: ‘We live in a time when sustainability and eco-friendly consumption is key, showing respect for our planet while we’re here is more important than ever. These environment friendly refill bottles are practical and easy to use, refill your beloved bottles of Angel or Alien. Obvious yet innovative, the MUGLER Refill Bottle is a must-have for any fragrance lover and ensures that your favorite scent never runs out.’ You can either re-fill your bottle at home, by purchasing a plain bottle and following the instructions on their website, having it refilled in store at a Mugler Source fragrance fountain, or returning an empty bottle of your favourite to The Fragrance Shop and having it refilled at a 38% discount.

 

 

Sustainability has been a key driver of the passionate perfume house, Floral Street, a cruelty free, vegan brand (certified by PETA) with packaging that’s all recyclable, reusable or compostable, all backing up in direct actions their ethos of ‘Packaging with Principles’. Floral Street also works with a British paper mill to create pulp cartons that are totally biodegradable – a first for the world of fragrance.

Now this contemporary London-based house has gone one step further and offer customers extra special personalisation and refill opportunities, saying: ‘New for this festive season, in our Covent Garden store in the heart of London, is Flora, our personalisation station, offering a customised touch to any gift. Plus, we now offer a fragrance refill service which positively reduces waste providing an eco-friendly step towards a more sustainable future. ‘Florina’, allows customers to bring their favourite bottles back so she can refill them to be reused and our fragrance ‘mini works of art’ enjoy a longer life!’

 

 

Experimental Perfume Club say that ‘Being eco-conscious has always been at the heart of what we do and we strive to source and manufacture responsibly,’ words that are now fully backed by their refill fountain, on offer to customers who visit their new counter at Selfridges, London.

Say EPC: ‘Our goal is to reduce unnecessary packaging and waste and enable loyal consumers to reuse their packaging again and again. Our first refill service will be available exclusively at the LAYERS lab at Selfridges, London. A place where you can reduce your carbon footprint by bringing back a bottle of your empty 50ml fragrance to be refilled for a reduced price. Looking after both your pennies and the planet.’

 

 

By Kilian have been another fragrance house championing refillable bottles since their very beginning, in 2007. Founder Kilian Hennessy wanted to create exquisite flaçons as objects of desire, referencing his inspiration of the golden age of perfumery, and making sure customers want to keep the bottles. Those stunning lacquered boxes are also 100% keepsakes, as the inner tray can be lifted out and the box then repurposed as somewhere to stash your jewellery (or sauciest love letters, perhaps…?)

By Kilian say that their new refill bottles make the process much easier, allowing for ‘an easy spill-proof process, with packaging slimmed down for minimal environmental waste. The cutting-edge dispenser stops transferring the perfume automatically, once the container is full to refill easily at home. True luxury should last a lifetime, and as such, all by KILIAN fragrance bottles are designed to be refilled.’

 

 

 

Perfumer H presents their fragrances in some of the most stunningly elegant, uniquely handblown bottles out there, if your pocket allows, and all these can be refilled by purchasing your choice of scent separately, in a lab style brown glass bottle, to refill at home. Though we know many fragrance fans who prefer to re-use them as iconic candle-holders or even use as a stylish vase.

Lyn Harris (previously the founder and perfumer of Miller Harris) believes in cultivating working relationships with fellow artisans, including Michael Ruh, the glassblower, and Studio Frith who worked on the packaging. With a core collection of five fragrances, twice a year, Harris introduces new, limited collections, and each scent can be purchased in 100ml size, which comes with two 10ml refillable travel sprays and a funnel for those who like to spray as they go (and you will, as all the fragrances are quite remarkable). The full size hand-blown bottles are also refillable whenever you wish, by visiting the Marylebone boutique.

‘There is a Japanese belief that to talk about your ethics is unethical, that it’s better to get on with what you do quietly’ note indie brand, 4160 Tuesdays, but reason that ‘On the other hand, the British are usually a good deal more questioning (and sometimes downright nosy – in a good way) about the way companies behave, so here is some info about what we do and why.’

And there’s good reason to talk about the work they are doing towards being more eco-conscious and sustainable, offering, among other things, discounts for buying a bottle with no cap (code: lidforlife – 5% discount), for buying just the bottle with no cap and no box (code: justthebottle – 10% – applies to 30, 50 & 100ml bottles) and they will even give you 25% off when you send your bottle back for a refill (codes: travelrefill for 9mls, fillmeup for 30, 50 & 100ml bottles).

 

 

The historic house of Caron invite you to have a refill at possibly the most stylish ‘fragrance fountain ever, having first revived many of their iconic scents on the creation of the Avenue Montaigne boutique in the eighties, later presented in perfume fountains created in crystal by Daum and Baccarat.

‘Refilling the fragrance bottles from the fountain’s bronze tap revived the art of perfumery,’ they say – and how we wish we had one of these fountains in our own fragrant boudoir! And you can experience a similarly glamorous fountain at the Caron counter in London’s Fortnum & Mason.

Whichever of these fragrance houses you decide to explore, we applaud the concept of refilling wherever possible, and look forward to even more perfumes we can refill at source, or at home, to our heart’s (and noses) content!

By Suzy Nightingale

5 fragrances that guarantee winter sunshine…

There are those who claim certain scents should only be worn in summer – the lighter, more citrus-laden ones for the most part – and that we should reserve the heavier, more opulent fragrances for our winter wardrobes. But is this once foregranted ‘fact’ still true…?
Certainly, in hot weather you may find your fragrance seems ‘stronger’ or more overpowering, the heat causing the notes to evolve on the skin more rapidly and bloom around you in fragrant waves.  This is exactly why brands sometimes offer lighter versions of their bestselling scents for the summer.  Indeed, some people prefer heavier more full-bodied, comforting, almost ‘cocooning’ scents in the winter – but again, this is completely individual.
Personally, at The Perfume Society, we do tend towards richer fragrances that we love to rediscover at around the time when we reach for our opaque tights, our socks (and vests!), switching to airier perfumes for the warmer months. But never let anyone tell you what perfume to wear and when – just do what feels right for you. We say: scent ‘rules’ are made to be broken, so just follow your nose…
We find winter is actually a perfect time to refresh your senses, and re-visit those scents you perhaps didn’t quite get on with in summer – cooler weather and damper climates makes your skin react completely differently, so why not try some fragrances you may have written-off forever?
While you’re at it – have a dig around in your collection for ‘spring fresh’ or ‘summer-y’ scents that you already love and see how differently they bloom on your skin at this time of year. Just as too much turkey and endless chocolates can have you yearning for a crisp salad, it’s good to go over to the light side for a change of scent-scene now and again.
Here’s our list of five transitional scents to try for a time-travelling experience out of your comfort zone. So, shake off those heavy layers and prepare to get zingy with some winter freshness…
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Zesty to the point of mouth-watering excess, the energising burst of crushed ripe fruit uses the darker extract of sweet blood orange juice juxtaposed against bitter orange peel and warming wafts of geranium for a feel-good cloud of happiness. Formulated to last far longer than traditional Colognes but losing none of their zippiness – hoorah!
Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine £49.50 for 30ml Cologne Absolue
Buy it at John Lewis
Ignore the grey skies, close your eyes and imagine the Provençal setting sun, still warm on your skin (move closer to the fire or add another layer of clothing, if necessary…)Aromatically fresh with the fizz of bergamot and pink pepper, the true heart of honey infused lavender is balanced by the milky acacia blossoms, the nuttiness of tonka beans and balsamic warmth of the earthier base.
L’Occitane Terre de Lumière Limited Edition bottle, £58 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at loccitane.com
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A lusciously fruity mixture of milky fig cut through with Turkish apricot and green tea for a deliciously refreshing blend that still feels nurturingly comforting. A wearable panna cotta with just enough wobble and topped with glistening slices of that succulent fruit – we have no doubt you’ll want to dive in.
Fresh Fig Apricot £76 for 100ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Harrods
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The tart, raspberry freshness of Turkish rose and the subtle woodiness of thorny stems enhanced by geranium melt slowly to a softly cushioned fuzziness of peonies and vibrant freesia, gently sprinkled with black pepper and drizzled with honey. Every bit as delicious as it sounds, it’s a ballerina dancing in a garden as the sun rises and blushes the sky the colour of her frothy tutu.
Aqua di Parma Peonia Nobile £78 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Selfridges
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Ripening tomatoes lovingly stroked in a greenhouse, sunlight glinting on frosty hedgerows and mint leaves floating in a pitcher of homemade lemonade – this enlivening scent whisks you to the home of the Mitchell family at Foxbury Farm. Sparkling citrus rubs shoulders with herbaceous greens and English flowers grown in their fields; drying down to the classically elegant combination of musk and cedar wood.
Mitchell and Peach English Leaf Fine Edition £55 for 50ml eau de toilette
Buy it at Roullier White
Written by Suzy Nightingale