For the Bank Holiday (or any travelling you might be doing in the next few weeks) we’d love to suggest you browse our brilliant Fragrant Reads shelf of scent-themed tomes. There’s truly something for every taste! But this weekend we’re sitting back and relaxing with a novel: Secrets of the Lavender Girls.
Let’s take a deeper dive into the fascinating fragrant backstory behind its creation (and the true story that inspired it…)
In the book, author Kate Thompson tells the tale of the women who worked at the Yardley factory during the war. But it turns out some of the stories she discovered during her research were even more incredible…
‘I love archives and libraries,’ Kate Thompson shares on her Facebook page. ‘Carefully untying the cream ribbon of an old file and catching the scent of 80-year-old dust motes is a thrill. More than once I’ve found hours can slip away leafing through yellowed newspaper reports and witness accounts from the Second World War in the silence of a reading room…’
Revealing her passion for research, and the extraordinary stories she found during her time writing The Secrets of the Lavender Girls, Kate says that ‘nothing beats what historians calls ‘Primary Sources’ and what I prefer instead to call ‘Magnificent Women’.’
The utterly charming novel follows the fragrant history of Yardley, and the remarkable stories of the women who worked there. Though a fictional account, Kate’s genuine fondness for the real life women she found (and who shared their tales with her) truly shines through.
Unravelling the stories of the real-life women who worked at Yardley during the war, she received ‘a beautiful handwritten letter in the post.’
‘I was a wartime lavender girl, I read about your book in a magazine,’ wrote Joan Osborne. ‘Yardley was the most wonderful years of my life. I am now 91.’
The letter was from Joan, who’d desperately wanted to work at Yardley, telling Kate: ‘It must have been the glamour. I remember travelling from Stratford to Ilford on the bus and the conductor opening the window so everyone could smell the lavender blowing from Yardley. Carpenters Road, or Stink Bomb Alley was famous for its smells. Seven different types of air flowed down there depending on which way the air was blowing. I can still smell the lavender,’
Kate learned Joan was sent to work in the top floor perfumery department where she was given a broom to sweep the floor. ‘I thought, “I haven’t come here to sweep floors” so they moved me to bottle-filling where I was putting the skin and caps on bottles. They were losing so many girls to the services I don’t think they wanted to lose anymore, so they kept me sweet. I earned eighteen shillings and something a week and my clocking in number was 157. I’ve still got the card.’
‘They were dangerous times, especially when the flying bombs started up, but being young I didn’t think that much about it. I was more upset by how cold it was in the factory, the heating was rarely on and we were always freezing. They used to give us cups of Oxo to warm us up. Least the room always smelt lovely from the lavender, freesia and April violets perfume.’
P.S: There’s a stunning FULL SIZE Yardley scent of English Rose included in our recently launched Discovery Box, The Garden of Delights. A blooming marvellous collection for only £23 / £19 for VIPs, which we know you’ll also love exploring to make the most of these last days of summer, too…
With so many beloved fragrances taking their inspiration from places around the Mediterranean, we thought it the ideal time to take a cruise through some truly stunning scents based on locations we dearly wish we were in right now. Looking for a perfume to bring back specific scent memories of Mediterranean locations? Or perhaps you can’t get away this year and are longing for olfactory escapism? Explore some of these and spritz on the sunshine…
Eight & Bob Cap D’Antibes (France)
‘Albert Fouquet enjoyed long holidays, that extended from spring until the last days of summer, in Antibes. Unforgettable mornings were spent sailing in the Grande Bleue, golden sunsets were enjoyed, and balmy evenings were enlivened with exclusive celebrities and charming parties. Albert dreamt about these summers during cold Parisian winters. Like any artist who strives for perfection, he spent many weeks delicately crafting a fragrance that captured the essence of his memories of those long summer days. The result was Cap D’Antibes…’
Taking its cue from the spirit of having ‘the courage to be yourself, to spread your energy with no fear and the confidence to be free’ – embodied in the Italian word for freedom – this is an easy-to-wear hug of happiness. Sun-warmed Calabrian bergamot segues to buttery orris and rose absolute all drizzled with delicious plum nectar, then wrapped in the fluffy comfort of cashmere woods and flecked with pink pepper. It’s one of those you’ll reach for time and again, a scent that feels invigorating yet reassuring. Viva Libera!
Quite incredibly the first Greek luxury niche perfume house, Gerakins’ collection showcases fragrances inspired by the history, art and mythology of the country, each radiating the poetry and passion of their founder. Quintessence is a refined woody ambrée fragrance, with sizzling saffron, clove and black pepper; Sillage Royal was originally created for Manos himself – a hug of woody ambrée via smoke, cardamon, saffron and curcuma. Rose Poetique dramatically combines damask rose and labdanum to create a floral ambrée as addictive as it sensual, while Pivoine references Paeon, the physician of Greek gods, with crisp red apple slicing through the blossomy softness. Immortelle pays homage to the iconic yellow flower whose story dates back to the Trojan war; gently spiced with clove and cinnamon; and Omen is a fruity-spicy-ambrée fragrance that’s sweet and juicy, lusciously alluring yet bags of fun to wear.
Each full-size fragrance is priced between £165 and £260 for 100ml eau de parfum, or try them all in the Manos Gerakinis Discovery Set – £35 for all 6 samples
Nishane Hacivat (Turkey)
Although Istanbul has been on the trade map for thousands of years – famed for spices, silk and flowers (particularly roses), it’s extraordinary to realise this is their first fine fragrance house. Hurrah for that, we say, with scents like this honouring Turkish cultural traditions in contemporary style. As the house so beautifully puts it: ‘…this eau chypre will help you live in your best dreams by the everlasting sparkles of its joyful structure made of the stimulating notes of pineapple and bergamot backed with the genuinely woody notes. Enjoy being loved with this blissful scent…’ And, oh, how you will!
Have you got your Summer Subscription Box yet? These are perfectly curated scent selections for each season, and the Summer one contains a particularly gorgeous array of sunshine-infused fragrances that radiate happiness and a sense of adventure – perfect for taking on holiday, or for stashing in your bag whenever you need a perfumed pick-me-up throughout the day.
Seasonal Scents Subscription is priced: Quarterly Subscription £18 for a single box, super flexible rolling contract.
You will be charged every three months, but the subscription can be cancelled at any time up to 48 hours before the launch dates for future boxes. Or, £68 for a Yearly Subscription – a great saving on all four boxes.
You can read more about how to sign up for the Seasonal Scents Subscription boxes, here.
Meanwhile, we’re hanging on to summer here at TPS Towers, and while the weather doesn’t always feel especially summery, there’s actually 67 days left of summer, at the time of posting! So, let’s make the most of them and enjoy these fabulous fragrances every day.
Nathalie Lorson is the fragrance powerhouse perfumer for Rose Passion – the perfect choice of nose to conjure glamour and daring, with that signature, ultra-feminine Jimmy Choo swagger that simply glows with confidence from first spritz. Coconut water delivers almost thirst-quenching freshness, at first sniff, before more exotic notes rise to an opulent crescendo: orchid, jasmine, sweet vanilla, and creamy sandalwood. Just as we’re starting to get used to wearing heels again, this taps into the renewed craving for dressed-up perfumes. Party on!
Sana Jardin Incense Water
A sheer scent that marries a velvety yet gauzy rose to crystalline patchouli heart with the piquancy of pimento berries and raspberry leaf on a pellucid sandalwood base. Like wearing an echo of a comforting dream, you really can sense the rose water flowing through the composition, and tendrils of incense floating on the breeze. Simply beautiful, since its launch we’ve loved wearing this on warmer days when other roses simply wilt, but the transparency of this helps it bloom.
Olfactory enlightenment, expressed via this ‘mantra-centric’ creation, drawing on ‘sacred woods and plants’, notably powerfully purifying and protective sage and Palo Santo wood. Close your eyes and meditate on how those notes drift through bergamot, lavender, black pepper, delivering on Paragon’s promise to bestow an ‘aura around the physical, emotional and spiritual bodies.’ Scents with a more spiritual focus are a strong trend – fragrances that don’t only smell amazing, but which help us feel better.
Hacivat was part of a collection of fragrances exploring this culture and mythology; with this scent being a werable tribute to elegance, kindness, and the love of art itself. As the house so beautifully put it: ‘…this eau chypre will help you live in your best dreams by the everlasting sparkles of its joyful structure made of the stimulating notes of pineapple and bergamot backed with the genuine woody notes. Enjoy being loved with this blissful scent that has become an iconic scent for many in such a short period of time!’
Juliette Has a Gun Lust for Sun
Sometimes, we just need a hit of ‘holiday in a bottle’ (no matter what the time of year) to help us through. We invite you to slap on the sunscreen, pop on your most glamorous shades, and get set for sunshine via freesia, coconut, ylang ylang, monoi and armfuls of orange blossom’s bounty. Swirled with vanilla and trailing the woody warmth of Ambroxan for hours, way past sunset, it’s a sure-fire hit for whenever you feel the need of that golden, glamorous, glass-clinking fun.
Floral Street Electric Rhubarb
Inspired by happy summer days in the garden, sipping Prosecco with your nearest and dearest, this immediately joyous scent was created in collaboration with the Royal Horticultural Society. Effervescent bubbliness abounds with sparkling rhubarb popping the cork on a frothy gush of gardenia, exotic frangipani and radiant jasmine Sambac. Already we’re in the sunshine and partying – tinkling laughter and clinking glasses the backdrop to a happy-making fragrance that’ll have you wanting to kick off your shoes and dance barefoot.
Maison Crivelli Oud Maracuja
The oudh-averse among you need not run away, for this truly is oudh as you’ve never smelled it. A tart medley of passion fruit, blackcurrant (plus a dash of saffron) lift woods and resins out of the darkness. It washes skin with waves of freshness at first, before a sizzle of the saffron heats up the woodiness of the base. Never overwhelming, always wearable, this house is doing extraordinary things. This is a truly shareable scent, too (not often the case with oudhs), though you may not be willing to…
Shay & Blue Voulez Vous
Coffee is a ‘gourmand’ note not always seen in scents, but used so perfectly here as the antidote to any dreary days (and an olfactory alarm call when you’re feeling a bit sluggish!) There’s a creamy comfort to wearing this, as the aromatic coffee note is swirled within vanilla and touch of magnolia for a floral flourish – think of it as a dreamy, creamy latte in fine fragrance form. Blissful, and such fun!
Don’t forget – you’ve still got time (just about!) to grab yourself this Summer Box by joining the Seasonal Scent Subscription. All these samples and travel sizes will be delivered to your home, along with a link to the full Smelling Notes, and an unboxing video so you can smell along with us. Your Autumn box will then automatically be sent out to you in September, to prepare for the cooler months ahead. But let’s not think about that just yet, and extend the sunny days with these seasonally perfect perfumes…
The stress of What To Pack for your holidays is always high, with airline regulations restricting the size of liquids you can carry on-board adding to the existing panic of how many perfumes we can squeeze into an already bulging suitcase. Plus: what to actually wear while you’re away? The dilemma is real. But fear not, just follow our handy holiday fragrance-finding guide…
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: Start with what you love
Instead of plunging wildly into the dark and trying every random fragrance you see, it’s a good idea to base your sniff list on something you already know you love. Our Fragrance Finder is completely genius at this, and has been recommended by fragrance experts as the best place to start when looking for a new fragrance to suit you.
All you need do is type in the name of a scent you already enjoy 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 forty minutes to an hour is enough to give you a proper sense of what the perfume smells like on you – so if you are at Duty Free, perhaps go away and have your meal / browse elsewhere while making the decision. And if you don’t want to douse yourself head-to-toe 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.
3. Don’t be afraid to take risks!
We suggest the ideal time to try new scents is on a holiday – not only do we become a bit braver while staying elsewhere (perhaps wearing differing outfits and hairstyles than we normally do), but wearing a new fragrance can help lock the whole holiday into wonderful scent memories you can return to time and again, ; aromas that will remind you of the place, the people you were with, and even the temperature of the air or time of year.
Why not take a whole selection of scents that are easy to travel with, which you can carry with you on the plane and pop into your bag, and that will fit the vacation vibe of wherever you are travelling? Try these…
For a Tropical Destination…
Niche VII Discovery Box – a sizzling selection of exciting scents that radiate elegance, sunshine and exoticism: £23 (or £19 for VIP Club Members)
Atkinsons 1799 Mint & Tonic – Wonderfully cooling (and long-lasting) when the going gets too hot, this will be your portable perfumed breeze!
Caroline Herrera Herrera Confidential Emerald Musk – Gorgeously opulent, why not wear for a dressy dinner to dazzle fellow guests?
Contradictions in Ilk Libertine – Inspired by Cassanova’s favourite tipple, this sensually daring scent invites you to seduce…
Elie Saab Le Parfum Lumiére – Radiantly glowing, this white floral bouquet smoulders with jasmine, tuberose and gardenia.
STORIES No.011.5ml eau de parfum ORSTORIES No.02 1.5ml eau de parfum – Scent memories captured forever in these wear anywhere go-to’s.
Floral StreetSunflower Pop – Bright and happy, this sparkles with optimism and is perfect for a day exploring local culture.
Molton BrownNeon Amber – Zesty mandarin brightens the deep amber glow of the base as tonka exudes addictive deliciousness.
Sarah Baker Symmetry – A modern Cologne style inspired by travel, drying down to an exotic oudh-laden sense of mystery.
Storie Veneziane by ValmontRosso – Oozing grand style, this is a scent to swagger in (while contemplating which mansion to buy on the island).
Comme des Garçon Rouge – Contemporary chic featuring steamy Indonesian ginger and incense with intriguing notes of rhubarb and geranium.
skinSenseOvernight Leave on Mask – The perfect skin-drench to plump and soothe sun-stressed skin: don’t holiday in the sun without this skin-saviour!
STORIES Parfums Nº.01 Hand & Body Wash 100mlORSTORIES Parfums Nº.02 Hand & Body Wash 100ml – A deliciously scented summer holiday essential.
For an Adventure
Launches to Love Discovery Box – This set invites exploration, pushing your perfumed boundaries and thrilling new niche discoveries: £23 (or £19 for VIP Club Members)
ARgENTUMBecome – Grounding and comforting woodiness offers olfactory protection while urging you on to bigger, better adventures.
D’OTTO1+7 – Luminous notes daringly exploding amidst the traditional fougere-style heart. Aromatically inspired by Jackson Pollock.
LaliqueSoleil – The sunshine lasts all day with this beautiful scent, before cool milkiness laps pear juice and praline. Divine!
Maison CrivelliNeroli Nasimba – Based on wild orange blossom experienced onsafari, the floral notes sizzle on the warm leather base.
Maya NjieTobak – Taken from Maya’s West African / Swedish heritage, this supremely dry, smoky scent swirls suavely for hours.
Memoize London Concordia – Inner peace granted via soft white flowers and transparent muskiness that cossets to keep you safe.
Michael Kors Gorgeous! – Sashaying with confidence, to be worn as a daily affirmation, the white flowers sit smoothly on softest suede.
Parfums de MarlyValaya – Mindfulness, bottled: the sensation of expensive silk sheets, the bliss of resting before your next adventure.
Robert PiguetFracas – The diva, a must-try tuberose classic that’s always in style. It harkens to the golden age of travelling bravely.
Salvatore FerragamoSignorina Libera – Celebrating freedom, abandoning yourself to excitement, the fruitiness beckons happiness.
Thameen LondonFanfare – Inspired by Covent Garden’s history, this big-hitting Cologne elixir keeps things sparkling fresh 24/7.
Yardley LondonEnglish Rose hand cream 50ml – A must-pack smoothing, soothing essential to keep on hand (literally) at all times.
For a City Break
Exquisite Essences Discovery Box – An artfully curated selection of contemporary scents to inspire living life to the full & loving forever: £23 (or £19 for VIP Club Members)
Armani Sì – Urging you to say ‘yes!’ to impromptu city getaways, honeyed rose swoons romantically in this so-modern chypre.
ElectimussTrajan – Inspired by Roman history, only wanting the best; explore a city’s past while wearing today’s aromatic masterpiece.
Contradiction in ILKSincere – Lulling with a soft, milky kiss, this is a snuggle of your lover’s skin in luxurious boutique hotel sheets.
Initio Oud for Happiness – Resolutely urban, the woodiness inspires self-confidence, a certain city swagger to your every scented step.
Jusbox Spring Dance – Immerse yourself in classical music this was inspired by, thrilling to the sublime floral muskiness, enraptured.
La PerlaSignature – Classiness, an insouciant chicness that encircles via violet leaf, mandarin, neroli and a vetiver-rich dry down.
Memoize LondonUnitas – Pink pepper, saffron, cinnamon & nutmeg set senses alight, while rose, tobacco & amber dance ’til dawn.
Molton Brown Delicious Rhubarb & Rose – Traditional British ‘flavours’ reimagined in this zingy, enlivening, addictive fragrance.
Prosody Lissom Linden – Lime trees often line city streets, a unique scent enriched with honeyed chamomile to shimmer seductively.
Sarah BakerFar From the Madding Crowd – Escape to a secret green space for a city picnic that feels in the heart of the countryside.
Shay & BlueVoulez Vous Lite – Grab your latte to go with this frothy, coffee-infused giggle of a scent to get your day started beautifully.
The Merchant of Venice Gyokuro – Paying tribute to intricate Japanese tea ceremonies, set your imagination awake and explore afar.
WidianLondon – A fragrant tribute to the city’s character, this is a leather jacket worn over a raspberry silk party dress. Party on!
Whichever scents you decide to take – or fall in love with while you’re away – we promise that stepping outside of your perfume comfort zone will lead to a lifelong romance that continues far beyond your holiday. Take the plunge and explore your scented possibilities, today…
With the perfect candles to guide you through the scented season, La Montaña are our perfumed pick to focus on for home fragrance gifting, but also for treating ourselves to a little something wonderful (and which fills our whole homes with gloriously evocative scents).
Formerly a PR dynamo in the beauty and fragrance world, founder of La Monaña, Cassandra Hall, quit England for a Spanish mountaintop and a ‘quieter life’, a few years ago. Oh we’re not envying her at all, no no… Okay. We are. Quite a lot right now. Though transporting ourselves to warmer climes isn’t an option for many, we can indulge our senses and make our homes smell fabulously festive with her exquisite scented candles we’re selected for the season…
Ah this is such a fabulous fragrance and perfumes your whole home with a cheeringly spiced citrus zing! A perfect melding on soul-lifting sunshine extracted and condensed with a comforting hug in candle form, there’s no surprise it’s a perennial perfumed fave and one of their all-time bestsellers. As La Montaña explains, it’s a festive mix of… ‘A warm, spicy, zesty blend of Valencia orange, cinnamon, red apple, and clove. This is our interpretation of the fragrance of the Valencian orange harvest that takes place throughout winter, with added hints of nostalgia from the English Christmases of our childhoods. This is one to come home to after a crisp, crunchy, winter walk – cheering, cosy and comforting.’
As the festive season unfurls, we adore lighting this one to really bring a sense of midnight mass, family gatherings and special moments shared. Says La Montaña: ‘Everyone in the village looks forward to the Three Kings holiday and its unique fragrances – a highlight of the winter months.’
‘We love to walk down into the village, through the woods, with their gorgeous fragrance of trampled pine needles (which smell to us like a field full of fresh Christmas trees). Then, we get to the heart of the village, where the church doors are wide open and the air is suffused with incense, as well as the warm scent of traditional, homemade turrón (almond nougat) being sold from stalls. It’s usually cold (even in Spain), so there’s much milling about with the promise of a brightening tot of brandy. What a winter treat!’
As party season is in full-swing, we relish family and friends gathering after the difficult years we’ve all experienced, and this scent really plunges us into the heart of a buzzing atmosphere with fragrant food and scented spirits being shared, laughter of loved ones echoing through the night and wood fires, plumes of cigar smoke curling through the frosty air. And did you know, it’s inspired by an actual Alfredo…?
‘Alfredo and his café are very real – and very wonderful – and the beating heart of village life. The only thing missing from this fragrance is the sound of chatter, and laughter, and old men slamming down their dominoes.
This was one of our very first four fragrances and the most complex we’ve ever had to formulate – taking over forty drafts to perfect. It’s also the one most people ask for as a cologne.’
Perhaps after all the over-indulgence of the season, or simply if you’re absolutely knackered and need a rest at this time of year (and oh, how we hear you!) it’s time to hit the Snooze button and enjoy the blissful calm that this scented candle can take you to? Ahhh, that’s better…
‘A lullaby for your senses: lavender, juniper, and thyme.
A summer swirl of calming herbs and flowers. It’s siesta time: close your eyes and imagine yourself drowsing on a hot afternoon, gently swinging in a hammock in the shade of a tree, with the crickets chirruping, and the sun-baked fragrances of the countryside lulling you to sleep. Dreamy!’
The majority of British schools have now broken up for the summer holidays, with some having even broken up earlier due to the extreme heat we’ve been experiencing here. Having worked through perhaps the most challenging few academic years in our lifetime, we can practically hear the sighs of relief from teaching staff the land over! If you’re a teacher, we think you deserve a treat far greater than an apple, so over the next few weeks we’re matching scents to teaching subjects and encourage you to explore and indulge at will. Today’s lesson is…
Scented Subject:Geography suggests earthy scents, and yes those loamy, wild-roaming fragrances can be found in this selection, but we’re thinking more laterally, with houses who are inspired by world travels, wild landscapes, and fragrant foraging.
Founder and perfumer, Sonia Constant, finds inspiration ‘From my travels – flowers, trees, arid landscapes, humid places. Everything I encounter can be an inspiration.’ For this one, we journey to ‘…an impenetrable jungle some 160 million years old’ in Thailand, ‘watered by the monsoons and the mists of the Andaman sea. Sonia continues: ‘At daybreak, the mist rises to reveal the floral, transparent freshness of the white flower-filled forest borders, and exhales moist, green and woody perfumes. Unseen in the distance, the gibbons impose their presence on this mysterious awakening with their characteristic early-morning calls.’
‘Scotland has some of the most complex geology in the world and this scent is inspired by metamorphic rock that is spectacularly woven into the landscape,’ explains founder, Imogen Russon-Taylor. It’s complex, fusing black pepper and tobacco, incense, minerals and rose absolute, metamorphosing on the skin as it’s warmed to reveal a base of amber resin and leather. And in this one, you might make out just a splash of Islay malt whisky – a nod to Imogen’s own history, here.
Inspired by her innate love for Italy, talented perfumer Ruth Mastenbroek created Amorosa as a perfumed paean to the country she so proudly declares her passion for. Literally translating as ‘a woman in love’ this is an intriguing new take on a floral that feels like a love affair with the landscape itself. Yes, the notes are classic at heart – but it’s the fascinating opening that particularly sets the senses tingling: Mouth-wateringly juicy watermelon paired with the fresh green sap-like note of galbanum and violet leaf, while the heart proffers a bouquet of white flowers and tender blossoms, beckoning you forth to the final layer of woody musks and exotic amber.
A sublime portrait of the apricot-y bloom, this is inspired by a trip to ‘a tropical mountain shrouded in mist.’ We sense sunsets, a gasp of geological height and grandeur, in a scent that very slowly unfurls itself as it warms. Curls of fog clear to reveal a forest far below, the resinous scent of verdant vegetation and grounding woodiness rising to meet you, the osmanthus swathing your skin in a leathery embrace. Calming, mysterious, transcendentally beautiful – a voyage for the senses, no matter where you are in the world.
Because we all deserve some extra sunshine in our lives, we curated this box to be filled with fragrances that feel like wearing liquid light – luminescent, mood-lifting, spirit-reviving scents that instantly bring a smile to your face from the first spritz.
To grab one of the few remaining Seasonal Scent Summer Boxes with that amazing 20% saving, simply use this code when prompted on checking out: SUMMER20
Terms & Conditions – Code cannot be used in conjunction with any other code or used on sale products. Active from 15.09.21 12.00pm – 20.09.21 12.00am. Applicable on the Quarterly and Annual subscription, 20% off only applies to Summer Box when purchasing a Quarterly subscription.
Our Seasonal Scent Boxes have proved incredibly popular, and no wonder with the past 18 months or so we’ve all experienced. They’ve been put together to answer the many queries we get, asking which fragrances are best to wear for particular times of year. As summer-ish weather now seems to stretch anywhere from Easter to late September in the U.K. we felt it only right to prolong the pleasure by giving you this last chance to get your hands (and nose!) on these scent-filled boxes of joy!
Seasonal Fragrances – EIGHT fragrances from 2ml – 7ml, these will be kept secret until they arrive at your door, we just love the element of surprise!
Online Smelling Notes – accessible via a QR code within your box, guiding you through the fragrances and how to start smelling.
Unboxing Video – also via the QR code, for every box our Senior Fragrance Writer Suzy Nightingale will guide you when opening your new box.
Hints, Tips and Quizzes – to ensure you get the most out of your fragrances and have fun!
Don’t delay and miss out on your last chance to capture the sunshine! A gift for a friend or family member you’ve not been able to catch up with this summer? A gift to self because you bloomin’ well deserve it, maybe? Whatever the occasion, these radiant fragrances will bring you happy summer memories for months to come…
We are all LONGING to get away – those luxury destinations are beckoning to our souls like never before! But with pandemic restrictions making planning rather dicey still, we’re taking respite with some of these fabulously evocative and opulent scents. From far-flung fragrant lands to precious perfume jewels, have a browse through these recent launches and see where your nose would like to lead you…
BVLGARI La Gemme Astrea .
Alberto Morillas has worked for so long with Bulgari, he once told us there’s almost a shorthand between him and this jewellery house, when it comes to understanding their vision for new fragrances. Joining the La Gemme collection, inspired by precious stones, is a scent inspired by blue aventurine, forged from natural saffron (the world’s priciest spice), jasmine sambac and a velvety honey, which delivers ‘unparalleled intensity’, in the perfumer’s words. Masterful, as we’d expect. £268 for 100ml eau de parfum harrods.com
Carolina Herrera Confidential Gold Myrrh Absolute
Myrrh has been a cornerstone of Middle Eastern perfumery – well, since Three Kings presented it to you-know-who, two millennia ago. Resinous, mysterious, it is the protagonist of Carolina Herrera’s latest exotic treasure, spiced by black pepper, rendered aromatic by immortelle and given delicious gourmand flourishes of cacao and liquorice, delectably sweetened by vanilla in the base. Proferred in the most eye-catching gilded flacon that is another gift for the senses. £235 for 100ml eau de parfum carolinaherrera.com
Ella K Rose de Pushkar
Perfumer Sonia Constant adds to her olfactory travelogue with this shareable Rajasthan-inspired offering, capturing the visual opulence of this so-colourful corner of India through armfuls of rose, swirling in a heart of oudh, sandalwood, patchouli and white cedar. It opens with saffron, black pepper, frankincense and lychee, concludes with leather, tonka and cistus absolutes, amber and musk, the juice as deliciously pink as Rajasthan’s fabled palaces. Travel in a bottle, indeed. £175 for 70ml eau de parfum jovoyparis.uk
Dunhill Signature Collection Egyptian Smoke
Smoke is snaking its way through many of this season’s scent compositions, conjured up here by Robertet’s Jérôme Épinette is an is-it-a-Chypre-is-it-an-Amber creation that surrounds classic Grasse roses with papyrus, black tea, pink pepper and ginger, segueing to patchouli, vanilla bean and curls of smoky labdanum. ‘Always surprising and vibrating, like a warm golden light on a star-covered deep blue sky,’ as the menswear brand aptly sums it up. £120 for 100ml eau de parfum harrods.com
Parle Moi De Parfum Haute Provence / 89
Endless vistas of Provençal lavender fields and their ‘glorious explosion of purple, mauve, lilac and blue’ were the inspiration behind this wonderfully soothing, aromatic ‘memory of France in high summer.’ Until we can wander those fields first-hand, this cool, dry and immediately nostalgic scent spirits us there with every spritz. Refreshing watermelon and hypnotic narcissus only add to the bucolic charms, and once again we praise the nose of Michel Almairac. Mais oui! £98 for 50ml eau de parfum lessenteurs.com
What do we mean by calling a scent solar? Although not an official fragrance family, it’s a word we’ve seen increasingly used to describe a whole range of recent launches.
Filled with sunshine, radiant and sparkling, we might once have called these fragrances ‘fresh-floral’ or, more prosaically, ‘citrus’. A new way of referencing scent taps into the zeitgeist, reflects how we’re feeling as a society and, therefore, how we want to project ourselves. In a world that for so long has seemed dark and scary, perhaps it’s only natural we’re being ever-more drawn to scents offering an olfactory ray of sunshine.
Actual solar flares are intense bursts of radiation emanating from the sun that can affect radio waves and send your Google Maps haywire. In a fragrance, yes ‘solar’ denotes a feeling of sunshine – but with it a physical feeling of being uplifted, of turning our faces toward the light source, a perfumed purr of warm cat contentedness.
Citrus notes are vital, but in this new genre they differ from Colognes because solar scents are more multi-layered: mellowed by breezy blossoms, dappled with cooler herbs or touched with a tingle of sheer spices and warm woods.
So, why is ‘solar’ trending? Quite simply, we need something that goes deeper than a quick, zesty pick-me-up; beyond merely feeling momentarily refreshed. As Louisa May Alcott puts it in Little Women, ‘Some people seemed to get all sunshine, and some all shadow.’ And quite frankly, with the state of the world at the moment, aren’t we all weary of shadows?
So, why not soak yourself in these solar scents, look towards the light, and let the sunshine in…?
Escentric Molecules M+ Mandarin£95 for 100ml eau de parfum
The KAPOW! of super-charged, fruity brightness feels like clouds parting and ends with a hug of ‘your skin but better’ softness. Sophisticated freshness that keeps on going (and helps you hang on to hope).
Floral Street Arizona Bloomfrom£24 for 10ml eau de parfum
Capturing the heart-soaring feeling of freedom this wide-open vista evokes a desert oasis. Queen of the Night flower lush with Balinese coconut, grounded by woody oakmoss and salted musks.
Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Vitae Cologne Forte (2ml of all three new MFK eaux de parfum are in Eau So Fresh Discovery Box, £23 Sun-drenched mandarin mixes with a sunny floral accord and brings to mind the warmest, glowiest early afternoon light, underpinned by the sensuality of the fragrance.
Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess Azur £44 for 50ml eau de toilette
Sicilian lemon, Italian bergamot and Calabrian mandarin are shot through with salty licks of luminescence – neroli and orange flower buoyed by shafts of sunlight, warming to blissfully body-warmed milkiness.
Shay & Blue Mermaid Kisses (2ml eau de toilette is part ofThe Scented Retreat Discovery Box, £23)
Think honeydew melon, holiday cocktails on the shoreline at sunset, looking out to an endless horizon. We’re dreaming of bare, bronzed shoulders kissed by the evening air, the excitement of tomorrow’s adventures.
Travel restrictions are lifting for some, but we’re still up for taking a holiday in a bottle at Perfume Society Towers. One of the most magical things about fragrance is its ability to transport us to far-flung climes, to give the feeling of sun-warmed limbs and that blissful mix of relaxation and excitement at exploring somewhere new. So if you can’t get away, get these…!
CALVIN KLEIN Eternity Summer
Another in the ever-evolving ‘solar floral’ fragrance trend we’ve previously noted, here gleaming bright sunlight glints through the zing of Italian bergamot and luminescent jasmine, while heat haze shimmers in the desert rose oil and tingling warmth of ginger. Echoing the sunset colours of the beautiful bottle, this ‘duality of summer days’ captures the watercolour-dipped radiance melting into evening, cool violet leaves, coconut water and vetiver whispering on still sun-warmed skin. Immediately evocative. £RRP TBC STOCKIST TBC
DIOR La Collection Privé Eden-Roc
We rather suspect that Dior’s resident perfumer, François Demachy, enjoyed even more than usual his ‘research’ for this fragrance, a hymn to one of the world’s most legendary hotels, on the rocky shore of the Côte d’Azur. Flooded with sunlight, it’s cooled and ruffled by a salty breeze, revealing an accord reminiscent of nothing so much as expensive suntan oil, suffused with jasmine and a touch of coconut. Truly the stuff of holiday dreams. From £99 for 40ml eau de parfum dior.com
GUERLAIN Aqua Allegoria Nettare di Sole
There is just so much anticipation, each year, for Guerlain’s fresh-in-every-way duo of Aqua Allegoria, always sophisticated, always breezy, always wonderfully escapist. The star of the show as ever is a central note of citrusy bergamot, this time wrapped in luminous white florals and aquatic notes and then drizzled tantalisingly in honey. Guerlain’s own description nails it: ‘A delicious icy floral honey.’ To which we can only respond: ‘More, please.’ £69 for 75ml eau de toilette guerlain.com
ACQUA DI PARMA Bergamotto di Calabria La Spugnatura
This limited edition is offered in a real treasure of a collectible, hand-crafted porcelain bottle – refillable, too, in line with AdP’s focus on sustainability. Imagine a fresh breeze, lightly rippling through the air, sun sparkling on the water, imagined here via the citrus refreshment of bitter orange, mandarin and grapefruit alongside that signature bergamot, with green galbanum and geranium and offering lasting impression of cedarwood and vetiver. £124 for 100ml eau de toilette acquadiparma.com
HOLLISTER Canyon Escape For Him
Perfumer Linda Chinery took inspiration from ‘…the spirit of the Hollister guy who is energised by his love of the unknown and adventure that is made even better when shared with friends.’ Black pepper and cardamom provide a tingle of contradicting temperatures – imagine a heat wave relieved by jumping into a lake as blue as the juice. Soothing sage and a refreshingly piquant note of Californian juniper beckons the oakmoss, amber-rich base. Worth a detour! £16.50 for 100ml eau de toilette very.co.uk