All treats, no tricks, for a fragrant Halloween…

‘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 SassinessREEK 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 Seduction4160 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 SimplicityElizabeth 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

Perfume your papa! A fragrant feast of ideas for Father's Day…

We’re banishing all dated ideas of fuddy-duddy fathers’ here at The Perfume Society, with a carefully curated selection of scents to present to your dear ol’ dad. From the vibrantly refreshing to the downright delicious – we absolutely guarantee one of these scents will garner you more ‘perfect offspring’ points than a basic pair of socks… plus, read on for how to WIN a whole swag bag of scented goodies for your dad, courtesy of Kenneth Cole!
Ormonde Man just exudes exoticism, including notes of black hemlock , vetiver, cardamom and juniper berries resting on a resinously musky base. Infused with a touch of oud oil, it’s definitely one for creative chaps with their minds on higher things. A mystical miasma that’s full of charm – if your dad’s an armchair philosopher, let him waft through the library on a wave of sophisticated ambience.

Ormonde Jayne Ormonde Man, £110 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at ormondejayne.com
Nuit de Issey Bleu Astral offers a whole new meaning to ‘night light’ with a fragrance that shoots for the stars.  Lime and coriander shimmer celestially in the top notes as soft leather meets the aromatic sweet woodiness of gentian. With a darkly glimmering base of warm amber and cool vetiver, it’s a whole galaxy of other-worldliness, bottled. We think dads who appreciate something that’s classically inspired but with a classy, contemporary twist will be reaching for this and thanking you for aeons.

Issey Miyake Nuit de Issey Bleu Astral, £43 for 75ml eau de toilette
Buy it at johnlewis.com
M03 is composed entirely of one ingredient – an aroma-chemical named vetiveryle acetate – that somehow conveys every single facet of the vetiver root. Sparkling sunshine swoops to newly mown lawns and welcome shade. Digging deeper we get earthiness, lush undergrowth fresh from a monsoon and a final soft balminess that feels like a long, cold glass of gin and tonic after a long day. Why not try this alongside its scent ‘twin’, E03, in our fantastic Men’s Edit box of carefully curated scents (and two grooming goodies – one of them full-size!) so he’s really spoilt for choice…?

Escentric Molecules M03, £72 for 100ml eau de parfum
Buy it at libertylondon.com

The Black Rose (yes – roses for men are definitely a thing. Get with-it, grandpa!) is a stunning evocation of the mountains of Saudi Arabia. Composed by perfumer Pierre Constantin Gueros, think shimmering mirages in steamy air scented with oppulent Taif roses and sprinkled with pink pepper. Warmly oriental in the base, it’s a trail of vanilla, musk and patchouli-infused amber, for a journey he’ll definitely want to follow.

Trussardi The Black Rose, £77.50 for 100ml eau de parfum
Buy it at harrods.com
Silver Mountain Water is a soothingly composed cool breeze of a scent, hand-picked by our fragrant friend, The Rare Tea Lady, who described it as having ‘…a milky sweetness on the skin – so it needs something elegant, smokey and masculine behind it. There’s actually a smoke note in Mountain Silver Water, but to bring it out I’d suggest a Keemun tea.’ So how about paring it with a pot of that delicious Rare Tea Company Keemun brew for a gift that really keeps on giving?

Creed Silver Mountain Water, £108 for 75ml eau de parfum  Buy it at selfridges.com

Musc Impèrial is directly inspired by the Majestic Hotel & Spa Barcelona and the suites “impériales” in which Atelier Cologne founders Sylvie Ganter and Christophe Cervasel stayed, coupled with the vibrancy of the Catalan capital. Effervescently intriguing, it pairs herbaceously smoky clary sage with bergamot and a warm waft of musk for a father who likes to travel in the most elegant way.

Atelier Cologne Musc Impèrial, £110 for 100ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Atelier Cologne
Black Bold is inspired by the characteristic ‘boldness of New York life,’ featuring a chilly blast of cedar leaves and nutmeg with a complex background breeze of lotus flowers and a hint of incense being burned in a loft appartment. Smoothly balanced woodiness harmonises violet leaves and misty ambergris on a softly sueded base – for the metropolitan man-about-town who’s at home wherever he leaves his hat…


Kenneth Cole Black Bold £40 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at houseoffraser.co.uk
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Leather's the traditional gift for a third anniversary – so to celebrate our birthday, here are leather fragrances to lust over…

For each year of marriage, a gift based on differing materials is traditionally given – we all know diamond and ruby celebrations, but did you know the third year is symbolised by leather, which has come to represent the durability of marriage?
We’re actually celebrating our third birthday all month, here at The Perfume Society, but we’re certainly wedded to our love of fragrance and in any case it’s a marvellous excuse to lust over our favourite leather scents. Of course leather and perfumery go way back together ç hand in scented glove, you may say…
The links are rooted in the tradition of the ‘gantier parfumeurs’, a guild of glove-makers in Paris who fashioned gloves for royalty and the aristocracy as far back as the 15th Century.  The whole tanning process smells utterly repulsive, though, so leathers were treated with oils, musk, civet and ambergris, to mask the smell of the animals’ skins. The very first ‘leather’ scent, so far as records show, was worn by King George IIICreed’s Royal English Leather.  He was so taken with the smell of scented gloves that he asked Creed to make it into a fragrance, and thus a whole fragrance family was born.

Fragrances can be ‘leathery’ but not always easy to love – yet it’s not really essence-of-leather in that bottle, as Andy Tauer explains below.  It might be from birch tar (which has a leathery smokiness), or juniper, aldehydes or other synthetics, designed to give a skin-like scent. Patchouli, black tea and tobacco can also conjure up that old library/leather-jacket sensuality.  Women’s chypres, and men’s fragrances, are most likely to have a leathery sensuality, but perfumers can take leather on all sorts of fragrant journeys:  woody, aromatic, floral, even gourmand.

Here’s what leather means to perfumer Andy Tauer, and how he uses it in his creations. ‘The first association, when you tell me “leather”, honestly, is “Swiss Army” and me serving there as soldier: my generation had the privilege of serving in thick leather shoes that were made to endure a Swiss invasion of Moscow, including the way back. Solid and as uncomfortable as can be. Every evening we had to brush them, polish them. As mixed as my memories of proudly serving in the Swiss Army are, I loved the scent of my leather boots. Rough leather, made from Swiss cows, with a thickened skin due to a happy but rough life in the Alps (we can dream, can’t we?). Leather in perfumery is not a natural essential oil that you buy.’
Reminiscent of a favourite, battered biker jacket, curling up on a Chesterfield sofa or surrounded by leather-clad tomes in the library of your dreams – bedecked with flowers for a feminine balance or positively exuding a snarl, we urge you to explore and indulge leather fragrances with a few of our favourites, below…

The Queen of feminine leathers, originally created by Ernest Daltroff in 1919 for (shockingly, at the time) women who smoked. A refined descent in to layers of leather powdered with tobacco and carnation, through lime blossom, ylang ylang and iris – then deeper down to a bone-dry vetiver and ambergris base that lingers like a slap’s tingle. Think furtive cigarettes smoked in a leather-clad starlet’s dressing room amidst mounds of maribou feather boas.
Caron Tabac Blond £105 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Fortnum & Mason

A classic American image of a cowboy sipping coffee by a campfire after a long day on the saddle, Andy re-imgines this scenario in a delightfully ambiguous way. Seasoned leather is richly infused with smoke from the fire, an intriguing hint of carrot seed that almost seems iris-y with geranium juxtaposed by clary sage, jasmine with vetiver, and a myrrh-rich tonka dry down. Beaneath the bluster, this cowboy reads poetry and weeps openly.
Andy Tauer Lonestar Memories £90 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Les Senteurs

A hyper-sophisticated chypre blends warming saffron with iced raspberries plucked straight from a cocktail glass garnished with thyme. Richly resinous olibanum sinks in to heady clouds of night blooming jasmine and the smooth leather seats of an expensive car. Suggestive of the nefarious limousine antics of A-List celebrities involving chocolate-dipped fruit and cigars.
Tom Ford Private Blend Tuscan Leather £155 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at House of Fraser
The sense of black ink languidly swirling through opalescent water with soul-warming West Indian spiced rum intermingling with leather-bound books lining a library wall and the immediately evocative notes of vanilla pipe tobacco all following the trail of a dark heart laden with birch tar and labdanum. This is truly a fragrance with a story to tell…
BeauFort London Coeur de Noir £95 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at BeauFort London

Deceptively nonchalant, this is a leather to wear when you want it to be your saucy little secret rather than up front and personal for all to see (and smell). The leather here is subtly slipped in to a bouquet of roses, with a background of lime, pink pepper, clary sage, juniper and a rounded, woody base. We see this spritzed by a Gallic muse sipping a G&T, who enjoys communicating via exaggerated pouts and deftly arched eyebrows.
MEMO French Leather £195 for 75ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Harvey Nichols
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Six spook-tacular scents for Halloween…

pumpkin-pie-30_grandeThe American influence of Halloween celebrations have long since hit our shores, and although we may not have their lust for pumpkin pie, we certainly enjoy wearing the scent of it on our skin. Think sweet cinnamon and clove gently warmed over wafts of pumpkin and it’s basically autumn, bottled. Talking of lust… did you know that, according to a study at the Monell Institute in Philadelphia, the smell of pumpkin pie increases the arousal level in men by 40%? We’re not sure if this only applies to our American friends, but would be intrigued to hear if this perked up your party!
The Library of Fragrance Pumpkin Pie £15 for 30ml eau de toilette
Buy it at Boots
bat-60ml-front_grandeCanadian niche brand Zoologist perfumes theme their fragrances around the characters of animals, and what could be more appropriate for Halloween than their Bat? A highly unusual swoop into a tropical forest to feast on sycamore figs and banana becomes a resiniously deep plunge to lush undergrowth and damp earth. Zoologist suggest that you… ‘Allow yourself to hang, draped in pitch black, as alluring musk wafts over you with every unfolding of the thousands of leathery wings that surround you.’ We somehow imagine Sesame Street’s The Count wearing this: ‘VUN! Vun Bat, ha ha ha!’
Zoologist Bat $125 for 60ml eau de parfum
Buy it at zoologistperfumes.com
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Trick or Treating is all about the kids, right? Well why not give in to indulgence with this utterly delectable fragrant interpretation of Charbonnel et Walker’s Sea Salt Caramel Truffles? Created by talented young perfumer Julie Massé, she’s somehow completely captured that moment your teeth penetrate the crisp shell of the truffle as the bitter-sweet caramel oozes forth. Bourbon vanilla adds creaminess and the whole experience is a warm hug of comforting joy that definitely won’t ruin your teeth (or your waistline). But perhaps add an actual box of truffles to your shopping list as well – for scientific “compare and contrast” reasons.
Shay & Blue Salt Caramel £55 for 100ml eau de parfum
Buy it at marksandspencer.com
beaufort_london_coeur_de_noir_eau_de_parfum_by_andrew_ogilvy_photography_2A library lit only by the glow of the crackling fireplace, filled with ancient leather-bound tomes and sheafs of vellum still wet with black ink – this gloweringly intriguing scent is inspired by the founder’s grandfather’s intricate drawings of yachts, shelves of nautical fiction and tattoos. With a fabulously murky heart of vanilla pipe smoke buoyed by richly spiced West Indian rum, it’s part of this fiercely independent British house’s Come Hell or High Water collection and resonates with the evocation of romantically sighing spirits and ghostly flickerings in candlelit rooms…
BeauFort London Coeur de Noir £95 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at beaufortlondon.com
ghost-eau-de-toilette-for-her-5050456200337-whitelightYes, alright, this isn’t at all scary – but it’s the perfect scent for ghouls about town to spritz if they’re feeling elegantly ethereal and up for a spot of light haunting rather than full-on Exorcist-like possession. With a cool peachy kiss combined with freshly juiced pear and mandarin, this could have become overtly sweet yet always stays the right side of tart. The softly swooning jasmine and lightly dusted violet petals are deftly sprinkled with patchouli for an earthily sophisticated base that really impressed us. Loving the pretty, pearlised finish of the glistening bottle.
Ghost Whitelight
Buy it at The Perfume Shop
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Enigmatically sulty, this pink peppercorn spiced celebration of darkness beckons you in to a warmly powdered heart of jasmine and violet before misting the shadows with swirls of incense. As the smoke drifts skywards, the erotically charged base of musk, vanilla and patchouli becalms the piquancy of dried fruits and woody papyrus. Distinctively addictive, we foresee a tremulous heroine wearing this while battling the forces of darkness in a Gothic novel, using nothing but her cunning guile and a fortuitously placed hatpin.
Olfactive Studio Chambre Noire £110 for 100ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Roullier White
Written by Suzy Nightingale