‘I put a spell on you’ Screamin’ Jay Hawkins famously sang in the iconic 1957 song, and we often speak of perfume using magically binding allusions – being hypnotised by someone’s scent, addicted to your favourite fragrance or falling into a dream-like reverie at the mere whiff of a particular ingredient. And so, we’ve collated a list of seven scents to cast your own spells this Halloween.
The very act of making a perfume still seems like witchcraft or alchemy – the harvesting and distilling of natural ingredients or the modern magic of creating entirely new smells thanks to aroma molecules. Added to this is the fact we still know so little about our sense of smell – it remains the least scientifically explored of all the senses – yet scientists acknowledge it to be the most emotionally connected.
The misty mornings and ever-darkening evenings of Halloween season always has us thinking of other-worldly and mysterious matters, but what’s your desired effect?
Swooning, sassiness, a cloak of confidence, nose-to-neck nuzzling and much more can be achieved by following the guide below, casting your own spells whenever you spritz…
A Spell for Swooning: Maison Francis Kurkdjian Oud Satin Mood
Key magical ingredients: Bulgarian rose, Turkish rose, benzoin, violet, vanilla, agarwood (oudh)
Effect: Pillow-soft, a whispered caress of swansdown powder-puffs and vivid lipstick kisses.
Caution: Only use when a chaise-lounge or lover’s arms are nearby to swoon in to. (Falling on the floor not nearly so elegant).
£195 for 70ml eau de parfum at selfridges.com
A Spell for Sassiness: REEK Damn Rebel Witches
Key magical ingredients: Blood orange, hazelnut, malt, orange pips, twigs, leaves, leather, tobacco, musk, heather
Effect: Tingles of empowerment increase as the manifestation of misty moorlands swirl before you.
Caution: Outbreaks of bad-ass bitchery predicted as you don this warming cloak of confidence, bottled.
£25 for 7.5ml eau de parfum at reekperfume.com
A Spell for Soothing: MB Parfums India
Key magical ingredients: Amber, sandalwood, frankincense, ambrette seed, Indian jasmine, rose, orange blossom, tuberose, ylang ylang, bergamot, coriander, cardamom.
Effect: A sigh of relief as daily stresses fade, leaving a heavenly elixir of flowers swathed in sandalwood.
Caution: At night it’s delightfully dreamy, used in daytime your mind may drift during tedious meetings. Win-win.
£130 for 30ml eau de parfum at mbparfums.com
A Spell for Seduction: 4160 Tuesdays Sexiest Scent on the Planet. Ever. (IMHO)
Key magical ingredients: Bergamot, woods, vanilla, ambergris.
Effect: Immediately addictive, wafts of almost-edible woody muskiness emanate for hours.
Caution: Nose-to-neck nuzzling likely to occur, plus other similar shenanigans. Please proceed politely in public spaces.
£40 for 30ml eau de parfum at 4160tuesdays.com
A Spell for Sunshine: Berdoues Scorza di Sicilia
Key magical ingredients: Calabrian bergamot, citrus, Virginian cedar wood, Indonesian vetiver.
Effect: Warm breezes, lush landscape and sun-drenched fruits suddenly appear before you, no matter the weather.
Caution: Mouthwatering may follow, and drooling at the thought of a winter-sunshine getaway somewhere fabulous.
£67 for 100ml eau de parfum at johnlewis.com
A Spell for Splendour: Aerin Evening Rose
Key magical ingredients: Blackberry, cognac, rose centifolia, Bulgarian rose absolute, incense.
Effect: Richly opulent, voluptuously beckoning, allow yourself to fall for this vibrant elixir (available in our Fashion, Fabric & Fragrance Discovery Box).
Caution: If you develop a taste for the finer things in life and shun lesser offerings, don’t blame us. It’s your destiny, dahling.
£96 for 50ml eau de parfum at harrods.com
A Spell for Simplicity: Elizabeth and James Nirvana White
Key magical ingredients: Peony, lily-of-the-valley, musk.
Effect: Dewdrops sprinkled on delicate petals and lusciously fresh flowers lead to understated, contemporary charm.
Caution: Gauzy gowns twirled in woodlands all very well, but during damper months wear warm undergarments.
£69 for 50ml eau de parfum at houseoffraser.co.uk
Written by Suzy Nightingale