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…
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.
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…
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.
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!
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…
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
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
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
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
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