Perfect Perfume Gifts for Anyone You Love (Including Yourself!)

We should really be telling all those we love how much we adore them – and doing that regularly, not only for one officially sanctioned day per year. But with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, the pressure builds to choose ‘that special gift’ showing exactly how much you care – or to wonder if your significant other will be thinking of you significantly enough not to just thrust a hasty bouquet of garage forecourt carnations at you this year…

We also happen to believe that it’s the perfect time of year to treat YOURSELF to a little something, too – there’s so much emphasis still on ‘V Day’ as a couples thing, that it can turn a singleton’s stomach. So we say: whether single or in a relationship, why not treat yourselves to some scented goodies this year? With everything from an entire wow-factor fragrance wardrobe to more pocket-friendly presents, here’s our edit of some fabulously fragrant ways to indulge…

 

 

 

 

Shay & Blue Fragrance Wardrobe – £150

This Fragrance Wardrobe provides a luxury explosion of 10 of the bestselling perfume blends from their London Boutique. Each pocket-sized 10ml natural fragrance creates its own mood.

The Shay & Blue Fragrance Wardrobe includes TEN x 10ml samples. 

Amber Rose – May rose blended with white amber and sweet creamy notes

Atropa Belladonna –  Cassis berries and jasmine dance with patchouli and vanilla

Black Tulip – Exotic plum flirts with white chocolate and woods

Blackberry Woods– Glossy berry juice with punk-sharp citrus

Blood Oranges – Lip-smacking burst of zest underpinned with musks, woods and smoky leather

Dandelion Fig – Fig and dandelion leaf blended with lemongrass, tomato vine and juniper

English Cherry Blossom –  Airy blossom with black cherries, fig and bergamot

Oud Alif – Oud spiked with chocolat noir, saffron and dark patchouli

Salt Caramel  – Tonka bean and sandalwood meld into sea salt

Tallulahs Camellia – Bluebells and white flowers nestle in blond woods

 

 

 

Annicke Fragrance Discovery Set – £20

Love, desire and dreams: the Annicke Fragrance Discovery Set is a collection of SIX exquisite and totally feminine fragrances inspired by the woman who dazzled their creator. Each is a story, bottled, and each will take you on a journey – as only fragrance can…

Annicke 1 – an ode to the extraordinary beauty and elegance of a woman with feminine floral aromas of lily of the valley, peony and jasmine

Annicke 2 – deliberately sensual and irresistible with harmonious notes of fruity fig and mandarin that uplift the senses, and hazelnut that brings a delicate touch of sugar

Annicke 3 – inspired by the sophisticated and glamorous charm of the early 1920s as white rose unfurls an air of vintage femininity across a dancefloor

Annicke 4 – inspired by an enchanted forest with woody and earthy undertones of Cashmeran and oakmoss, with spring-like floral notes of rose, ylang ylang and jasmine

Annicke 5 – discover the art of seduction via rich notes of full-bodied plum, golden honey with a dash of spicy rum and a base of sensual patchouli

Annicke 6 – personifying the complex dimensions of a woman, through juxtaposing notes of Sichuan pepper, bergamot and carnation

 

 

 

Granado Coleção Tropical Birds Discovery Set – £62

The Tropical Birds collection is inspired by the perfumery universe of Granado with a botanical illustration in vintage style that exalts elements of the Brazilian fauna and flora, represented in imposing and extremely elegant kits and sets. The Perfumes Vintage Collection kit presents the main perfumes of theTropical birds collection in an exclusive size!

Imperial – a fresh, light and elegant fragrance, which results in an intriguing duality between Brazilianness and Portuguese influence.

Jardim Real – a union between the citrus and effervescent naturalness of the notes of bergamot and mandarin with the delicacy of the flowers, highlighting the orange blossom as the protagonist of the creation.

Époque Tropical – explores the enveloping side of the woody notes of sandalwood and guaiac and balances this intensity with the citrus notes of mandarin and cashew.

Infusão Botânica – in an unusual and intriguing freshness, the spicy and aromatic notes give personality to the creation and transform it into an invigorating and pleasant fragrance.

Nostalgia – in a contemporary creation, the citrus and spicy top notes give way to an enveloping and elegant floral body of white and rose flowers.

 

 

 

Edeniste Lifeboost Love – £68 for 30ml eau de parfum

A gesture of scented self-care that twists the traditional ideals of love into a new and meaningful ritual of confidence, compassion and generosity, to oneself and to others. With its soft pink tone, sensorial bottle shape and fruity-floral aroma, Love Lifeboost™ stimulates both instant and long-lasting positivity and holistic love.

The fragrance opens with a mouth-watering splash of juicy red berries, sweet cherries and torn green leaves, crushed and softened as if ready to be tossed into pan and transformed into a syrupy jam. That’s precisely how Love Lifeboost™ evolves: notes of deep, velvety rose petals, heady tuberose and steamy jasmine gradually unfurl, swirling about with creamy almond oil into a perfumed elixir that’s warm, embracing, soul-elevating, addictive and unashamedly romantic.

Top Notes – cherry, red berries, green notes

Heart Notes – Bulgarian and Turkish rose oils, Egyptian jasmine absolute, tuberose absolute

Base Notes – Indian sandalwood oil, almond oil, benzoin resin

 

 

 

Ostens Rose Oil Isparta – £135 for 50ml eau de parfum

Unexpectedly, Ostens Rose Oil Isparta is bold and genderless; a voluptuous, addictive floral, full of ripe, jammy blackcurrant and crushed Turkish rose petals lifted by pink peppercorn. This intriguing, intense, almost middle eastern interpretation of rose is instantly warm and enveloping. Already loved by fragrance aficionados, Rose Oil Isparta is fast developing a cult following.

Top Notes – rosemary tunisian oil LMR, coriander seed LMR, cardamon ceylon LMR, pink pepper CO2 LMR
Heart Notes – blackcurrant bud absolute LMR, orange flower absolute LMR, rose essential LMR, rose oil isparta LMR
Base Notes – patchouli oil LMR, labdanum resinoid LMR, cashmeran

La Montana Divine Sunset – £65 for 50ml eau de parfum

Sunset, especially on a summer day, is a breathtaking experience. Virtually recreating that feeling at a time of year we most need it, this scent is visually extraordinary. Think of skies painted hot pink and orange, contrasted with tonalities of purple, the air is filled with the potent scent of blossoms. Perfumer Pia Long has created a floral amber burst of joy – her stunning interpretation of the open brief of a ‘hot floral riot’.

Top notes – bigarade orange, black pepper

Heart notes – orange flower

Base notes – lavender absolute, musk

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Sarah McCartney: Celebrating Shakespeare’s flowers in fragrant form

Shakespeare and his love of flowers are eternally entwined in our imaginations, and now we have hot-off-the-press news of a specially commissioned fragrance inspired by the bard…

 

Though much of what we know of Shakespeare’s life is supposition, and hotly debated by historians to this day; what we can surmise is that he loved flowers – including references to over fifty types of them within his writing, using them to highlight the emotional tone of scenes, reflect character’s thoughts or send messages his audiences would have readily understood in the ‘language of flowers.’ Artists, writers and musicians still find much inspiration in these floral allusions, and little wonder, given the veritable bouquet of creative suggestion Shakespeare proffers.

 

Botanical Shakespeare: An Illustrated Compendium, £20 (Royal Shakespeare Company shop)

 

Many of the flowers Shakespeare alluded to in his work have led to well-known phrases we still use, such as ‘a rose by any other name’ and ‘gilding the lily’, but it’s worth pointing out, lovely as they are, these are slight misquotations. In Romeo and Juliet, the rose is used to there to garland Juliet’s complaint about their families refusing to let them marry because of an ongoing feud, saying:

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose

By any other name would smell as sweet. [Act II Scene II Line 43]

As for the lily, that pops up when painted, in King John, with a courtier commenting

To gild refined gold, to paint the lily

To throw perfume on the violet …

Is wasteful and ridiculous excess [Act 4 Scene 4 Line 11]

I respectfully arch an eyebrow at the slightly scathing mention of perfume, and though of course it’s a literary way of saying that natural beauty need not be embellished, would point out that many fine fragrances have been created to evoke the violet (it being one of the flowers unable to have its scent naturally extracted); but shall forgive the courtier (and, therefore, Shakespeare) for not being privy to such scent chemistry knowledge.

 

Shakespeare’s Flowers cards, £3.99 for 5 x A5 pack, DaysEyeCards

In any case, April 23rd is National Shakespeare Day, the anniversary of the bard’s death, and though the exact day of his birth is unknown, also the day his birthday is traditionally celebrated (his baptism being recorded as taking place on April 26.) So, this would have been excuse enough for me to celebrate his gorgeous floral allusions by showcasing some fragrances I feel are particularly pertinent to Shakespeare’s love of flowers. However, Fate intervened to reveal an even more intriguing story…

While thinking about writing a general Shakespeare and fragrance type article, a little bird (in fact, fellow fragrance writer and friend Amanda Carr, co-founder of We Wear Perfume, and currently organising the inaugural Barnes Fragrance Fair) happened to mention to me that 4160 Tuesdays founder and perfumer, Sarah McCartney had recently received a rather fabulous private commission to create a Shakespearean-inspired fragrance for none other than Gyles Brandreth. A noted Shakespeare expert, broadcaster, author and language-lover.

 

 

Currently named Sonnet No.1, the fragrance is actually for both Gyles and his beloved wife, the writer Michèle Brown, in celebration of their forthcoming wedding anniversary. Describing the ingredients she used for the composition, Sarah chose: ‘Rose, violet, lavender, lily, narcissus absolute, musks and hay absolute,’ with two versions having been made, one including beeswax absolute.

Before you ask if we can all get our hands (and noses) on it, Sarah explains, ‘I only made it on Monday, so at the moment just 30mls exist, but it’s gorgeous! (Though I say it myself.) I’d like to launch it, but it would have to go through its stability tests and all the official processes before it can go public.’ Well, it probably does seem only fair to let Gyles and Michèle enjoy the fragrance first, but golly it does indeed sound gorgeous, so fingers-crossed. In the meantime, fragrance and Shakespeare lovers should consider another beautiful 4160 Tuesday’s scent. Says Sarah:

Ealing Green was originally made for a fundraising event on Midsummer Night in Ealing, and I used herbs and flowers mentioned in the play… wild rose, thyme, grassy banks, violets and oakmoss feature.’

 

 

 

We were invited to make a midsummer scent for a 2013 charity evening in Ealing, West London, using plants and flowers named in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, so we imagined the scenes taking place by Pitzhanger Manor on Ealing Green, and created the aroma of a magical summer evening. Its perfect for wearing in the heat.
It starts with a wander through the herb and flower gardens of Walpole Park, takes in a picnic on the grass and ends up lying on the lawn by the pond, staring at the clouds floating by, smelling the warm earth.

4160 Tuesdays Ealing Green £65 for 50ml eau de parfum

What better time to purchase a bottle and immerse yourself in the floral imagery of Shakespeare?

So synonymous with flowers is Shakespeare, in fact, that seed boxes of Shakespeare’s Flowers are now available from Shakespeare’s Globe shop, where you can choose from ‘…the Shakespearean Growbar, containing the seeds of three Shakespearean flowers: heartsease, marigold and columbine. Or the Tudor Herbs Growbar, containing the seeds of three herbs familiar to the Tudors: fennel, lemon balm and winter savory.’

 

Shakespearean Flowers Growbar £12

[Just don’t spray the flowers with the perfume, is all I’m saying. We know how he’d have felt about that.]

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

 

Scents to love yourself (show some self-care – for Valentine’s or just whenever!)

Why not show some self-care this Valentine’s (or whenever, just because)? We spend so long thinking of others, and yes ’tis the season for romance etc etc; but maybe you’re done with the oodles of over-priced single roses, have already given loved ones lots, or simply aren’t in (or into) romantic relationships right now?

Well we’re with you, and happen to think you deserve to treat yourself for a change. So, have a browse and decide which of these you like the sound of, then fall back in love with yourself with some of these scents… (Okay, okay – you can treat someone else, too, if you really want; but you know what they say? Self care isn’t selfish, so make sure you do you, first).

 

 

 

Map of the Heart Discovery Set £35

Co-founders Sarah Blair and Jeffrey Darling created Map of the Heart – award-winning fragrances that come from a passion for telling stories and their understanding that scent can transport the wearer in a split second. Proudly Australian, each fragrance by perfumer Jaques Huclier has a seam of sandalwood at its core, and it throbs life through the perfumed pulse of this niche house’s scents, using indigenously and sustainably sourced Santalum spicatum. Understanding that scent can transport the wearer just as words, images and films can whisk us to another world – this set showcases their wearable art forms, and is a wonderful gift for the artistic travellers who deserve some new adventures to explore.

 

 

 

Molton Brown Rhubarb & Rose (just one of the scents in the Exquisite Essences Discovery Box: £23 / £19 for VIPs)

Molton Brown are right on the trend (as always) of grown-up versions of good-enough-to-eat fragrances, here firmly rooted in cherished childhood memories of baking with rhubarb’s unique tartness sprinkled by just enough sweetness. In this utterly addictive eau de parfum, those seeking scrumptiousness can indulge with joyfully juicy raspberry and a vivacious kick of pink pepper enhancing rhubarb’s sparkle, as luscious lychee and the tender peony showcase rose’s powdered charm, with a soothingly sensual base of cedarwood and musk swathing you in a gossamer soft trail. This is one to wear when you want to smell utterly scrumptious, and simply can’t get enough of yourself. Delicious, darling!

 

 

edeniste Love Lifeboost™ £68 for 30ml eau de parfum

We adore the description the house give this scents, saying it’s ‘A gesture of scented self-care that twists the traditional ideals of love into a new and meaningful ritual of confidence, compassion and generosity, to oneself and to others.’ And it’s not just words – edeniste back up every claim of the way their fragrances make you feel with extensive research. Having worked with top neuroscientists to prove the efficacy of the way our brains react to the scents, this new addition couldn’t be more timely. Ripe cherries, green leaves, radiant jasmine and tuberose with a duo of roses feel like a wearable giggle of delight, the smooth, woody dry down a hug that keeps going.

 

La Montaña Wisteria Candle £39

Oh, this wisteria’s as lush and beautiful as an idyllic cottage, the kind where those stunning flowers have scampered up and settled en-masse, garlanded so stunningly as to make you gasp. Says Cassandra Hall, the vivacious founder of the house: ‘We have a long history with wisteria, from the flower-festooned walls in Granada on our first wedding anniversary to the wisteria we tried to grow in a pot next to our front door in England. But now (finally!) we have it growing abundantly in our garden here in Spain and it’s a divine scent that says ‘home’ to us. Wisteria is a stunning, one-of-a-kind fragrance anywhere, but when it’s flowering in pure mountain air, the beauty of its perfume is life-affirming.’ Affirm your life now by burning this beautiful candle, and lightening even the greyest of days!

 

 

 

Jean Paul Gaultier La Belle Le Parfum (Try it in our Scintillating Scents Discovery Box: £33 / £29 VIPs)

We can just imagine the fun that Givaudan’s Sonia Constant and Quentin Bisch – a most mischievous creative pairing – got up to here, fully intending to lead us into temptation, casting an olfactory spell via a succulent, sensual cocktail of vanilla, pear, almond, belladonna, musk, bergamot and roasted tonka, which dance around each other like nothing so much as naughty nymphs. Having smelled this sample we think you might succumb to the full-sized rose-bedecked bottle, but you’ll definitely agree it’s 100% fun. This is for those of us who like to kick up their heels (even if it’s just a kitchen disco), so let your hair down and live it up with La Belle!

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Funny Valentine – tips & tricks to buying a scent for someone you love

Valentines Day – love it or loathe it – is just around the corner, and it’s still the day that generates the most fragrance sales, peaking at 42% of all prestige beauty products sold. So if you’re thinking of splashing out on a fragrance for your significant other, follow our guide to ensure a scented success…

 

If you just have no idea where to start

Don’t panic and just buy something random! The best idea is to get a curated Discovery Box of fabulous mini sizes and samples from a wide range of fragrance houses, that way they can start exploring and trying them all in the comfort of their own home, and most importantly, in their own time. Each box is carefully put together to include something for all tastes – so they’re bound to fall for one of them.

Once they’ve found ‘the one’ (or perhaps several) you can then buy a full size later, safe in the knowledge they’ve already fallen for it.

 

 

If you already know what they love (and they don’t want to change)

Great! But instead of buying just another bottle, why not have a look at matching products available, such as a gorgeously decadent bath oil, rich body cream or even a fragranced hair mist. It’s often possible to find travel-size versions of perfumes at this time of year, and if you really wanted to push the boat out – how wonderful it would be to book a couple of nights in a nice hotel or day spa trip, and add the ticket to the box of mini sizes in a golden envelope! (Well, we can dream…)

 

 

If you already know what they love (and they DO fancy a change)

This is a fantastic starting point, now all you need to do is type the name of that scent into our genius Fragrance Finder, and the clever algorithm – based on information we source directly from the fragrance houses and perfumers themselves – will suggest six new fragrances that, while different from the original you typed, share a similar mood, character or key ingredients.It really works!

 

 

If you’ve an idea of fragrances they like, but aren’t sure which they have

A ‘selection box’ of scents showcasing a range of fragrances from the same house is your best option, here. Brand Boxes give you breathing room if they happen to have already got one of them, but haven’t yet explored the rest of their range. It’s a brilliant way to ensure they’ll love such a thoughtful gift, while encouraging them to smell their way through others they perhaps wouldn’t have thought about trying!

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Fragrances For… being kind to yourself

We wanted to bring you some ideas of fragrances to wear when you should be kind to yourself, most especially on this day when ‘love is in the air’, but we often put ourselves at the bottom of a long list of people we need to show how much we care. Valentines Day can be difficult for many, so we say grab a cuppa (and a box of chocolates), and treat yourself to trying one of these recently launched, and all so-beautiful fragrances…

 

 

 

AEMIUM
Rouge Confidence
Swathing ourselves in amber-rich, beautifully-balanced scents is exactly what we want to be doing right now. This suffuses a buoyant, gilded warmth with, notes of supple leather (think freshly polished new boots, joyously kicking through leaves), phosphorescent citrus beaming through cheering freesia and violet. Here’s a new-to-us French house which equates luxury with eco-kind credentials, too – everything sourced, manufactured, and packaged in France to reduce their carbon footprint, and zero petrochemicals.
£125 for 100ml eau de parfum
selfridges.com

 

 

 

DIOR LA COLLECTION PRIVÉE
La Collection Privée Vanilla Diorama
Here is Dior perfumer-creator François Demachy’s ‘ode to vanilla’, which from the initial sparkle of orange to the swoon of that sticky, dark pod’s scent, does not disappoint. Like wearing an amber cloak of silk velvet, texturally cosy with a glamorous, golden sheen, with undulating seams of rum, cocoa and patchouli throughout. Apparently inspired by an off-menu dessert created for Demachy by Parisian restaurant Maxim’s, we’re going to need a bigger spoon…
From £99 for 40ml eau de parfum
dior.com

 

 

 

 

 

VERONIQUE GABAI
Le Point G

This swooningly sensual fragrance ‘draws inspiration from the G spot’ (chaps: if you can’t find it in Liberty’s, just ask!), which ‘grows on skin until it reaches a full completion in an exhale of pleasure.’ Gosh. Softly sexy, not brashly obvious, spicy pepper, silky vanilla and soft white musk drape the skin for hours. Don’t think of this as a pulling perfume – more an invitation to wear fragrance for self-pleasure.
£245 for 85ml eau de parfum
libertylondon.com

 

 

 

BURBERRY SIGNATURES
Windsor Tonic
This collection, ‘inspired by British heritage, artistry, and eccentricities’, really showcases the Burberry DNA. Evoking the royal town it’s named for, expect a certain insouciant grandeur to overcome you as the Cologne-like freshness of piercing petitgrain, bergamot and mandarin sweep to the cool green cardamom and orange blossom heart. Buoyed with wafts of green cypress to the refined woody dry-down, it feels like nothing bad can happen when you wear this.
£190 for 90ml eau de parfum
harrods.com

 

 

 

MONT BLANC
LEGEND
At once familiar and yet excitingly different to the original, Mont Blanc invite you to push the boundaries of your life but in the most reassuringly comforting way. Here, the addition of green violet leaves harmonises with the addictively creamy (almost waxy) floral note of magnolia and a warm, woody, burnished leather as it deliciously dries down. A new signature scent, perhaps, if you need a gentle push out of your comfort zone.
£48.50 for 50ml eau de toilette
johnlewis.com

 

 

How to buy a fragrance for someone you love…

Valentines Day – love it or loathe it – is just around the corner, and here at The Perfume Society, we believe it should be about treating someone you love with a scent that’s perfect for them (and that can be anyone you care about, not only someone you’re romantically involved with!)

Have you got a friend who could do with some kindness coming their way, or a loved one you’ve not been able to see in person for some time? Follow our guide, and we’ve several suggestions to help you find some truly fabulous fragrances that will truly suit them, and which they’re bound to fall for…

 

 

 

If you already know what they love

Well you’re off to a good start! Now all you need to do is type the name of that scent into our genius Find-A-Fragrance, and the clever algorithm – based on information we source directly from the fragrance houses and perfumers themselves – will suggest six new fragrances that, while different from the original you typed, share a similar mood, character or key ingredients. It really works!

 

 

Or, why not have a look at matching products available for their favourite fragrance, such as a gorgeously decadent bath oil, rich body cream or even a fragranced hair mist. It’s often possible to find travel-size versions of perfumes at this time of year, or, if you really wanted to push the boat out, many fragrance houses offer engraving or other forms of personalisation for a full-size bottle.

 

 

 

If you have no idea what they like (or they want to try something new)

The best idea is to get a Discovery Box of fabulous mini sizes and samples from a wide range of luxury, niche and top-end designer fragrance houses. That way they can start exploring and trying them all in the comfort of their own home, and most importantly, in their own time. Each box is carefully curated to include something for all tastes, and once they’ve found ‘the one’ (or perhaps several) you can then buy a full size, safe in the knowledge they’ve already tried it on their skin. It’s a particularly brilliant way to get people trying fragrances they’ve perhaps never heard of, or wouldn’t have thought about spraying in a shop. We know SO many people who’ve discovered their all-time scent loves this way!

 

 

 

 

How to know if a fragrance will suit them?

Think about how they dress, or the way they decorate their home – this is an excellent indication as to their character, and therefore the style of scent they probably prefer. Are there particular materials they’re drawn towards, or colours they normally go for? Fragrance, texture and colour and have many qualities in common.

Look for scents packaged in those colours – huge amounts of time and money are spent ‘matching’ the juice to the mood evoked by those hues – or described with those words, such as ‘velvety’, ‘suede’ or ‘crisp cotton’ in the notes. Or consider their interests: sporty gym types might prefer fresher scents, artistic types might prefer a more opulent aesthetic.

Once you’ve narrowed it down – either by using Find-A-Fragrance or perhaps finding them a new scent from a house they’re already drawn to – the best solution is to buy them a Brand Set: these showcase a wide selection of scents from the same house, and chances are if they already like one, they could swoon for another in that range.

Remember – scent selection isn’t always a matter of joining the dots, some people like fragrances you’d never guess at! They may even surprise themselves with their favourite. And really the best thing is that thrill of exploration while discovering their new scent love is a gift that keeps on giving (and showing how much you love them) for years to come…

 

Valentines Day scents to send (post a perfume to someone you love!)

This Valentine’s Day is going to be a bit different, so love it or hate it, if you want to fill the air with amour, we’ve got a fragrant selection of scents you can easily send through the post – to share the scent of love even if you’ll be apart.

We’ve put together a selection of ideas to post your paramour(s) this year, with budgets for everyone, from £8 – £60!

If abscence makes the heart grow fonder, we feel sure that a fragrant gift arriving on their doorstep will certainly bring you closer together, and it doesn’t have to be reserved for a romantic partner for Valentines Day. If you’re missing a beloved friend or family member, why not send them something to smile about and a reminder of how much they’re loved…?

Super Man Discovery Box £22 (£18 for VIP Club Members)
An incredible FOURTEEN fragrances, both niche and top-name designer, in this box, plus two grooming extras for even more pampering at home – this is the perfect gift to send a chap you adore. No matter what his taste in scents, there’s something in here to suit all, a brilliant opportunity to try a selection of fragrances for the first time, or widen their scent wardrobe if they’re already a fan.

Map of the Heart Discovery Set £35
So on-theme for love, this heartfelt gift’s a chance to explore the sandalwood-rich entire collection in a splendid scarlet pouch from this niche Australian house. PLUS a gift voucher for £25 for the recipient to spend against a full-size bottle when they’ve found their fave. And *what* wow-worthy bottles they are! Contemplative, intelligent fragrances for creative types, they’re bound to fall madly in love.

 

Strangelove Discovery Set £60
Any fragrance-lover would LOVE to own this Discovery Set – all the intensely romantic scents built around a subtle base of precious oudh [also spelled ‘oud‘] and carefully blended with precious ingredients gathered from all over the world. Perfumer Christophe Laudamiel, punk rock star of the scent world, created all the unisex fragrances, and a single drop wraps the skin in hours of delight…

Ateliers des Ors Discovery Set £25
For those not yet in-the-know, this majestic perfume house is one perfumistas rave about: think decadent scents for perfume-loving grown-ups, created from the best quality ingredients the world can offer. (And the full-size bottles are like snow globes for grown-ups, a-sparkle with flecks of real gold.) From smoky sensuality to opulent florals, Atelier des Ors will fan the flames of their fragrant desires…

The Sharing Collection Discovery Box £23 (£19 for VIP Club Members)
Perhaps you’re lucky enough to live with your love? Sharing is caring, but we still suggest you get first dibs! However, with so many fabulous ‘shareable’ creations in this carefully curated selection, you’ll both be spoiled for choices. There’s niche names from all over the world to explore, and then you can share a scented soak with the extra gifts (relaxing bath salts and foot gel), and give eachother a foot-rub! Or… pour a large glass of wine and lock the door while they do the washing up?

Banana Republic Discovery Set £8
This designer house’s fragrances have garnered glowing praise from fragrance fans on social media, and no wonder – amazingly long-lasting scents, beautifully composed and pocket-friendly they’re hard to beat in the style and value stakes. Perfumers like Claude Dir and Patricia Choux worked on the collection, marking significant dates and personal memories in scent. From sunshine-filled orange blossom on holidays to a fantasy forest and beyond, these are evocative, high-quality and so-wearable.

By Suzy Nightingale

Smell, Love & Memory: do male & female brains react differently?

Sometimes we love to get super geeky and take a deep dive in to the world of smell – the work on our sense of smell, memory and emotional responses triggered by smelling certain things is constantly revealing further insights into this ‘fallen angel of the senses’, as Hellen Keller once desribed it.

The 2019 Francis Crick medal was awarded to Dr Gregory Jefferis for his fundamental discoveries concerning the development and functional logic of sensory information processing, and he recently gave an utterly fascinating lecture at The Royal Society explaining his work, asking: how does the genome encode behaviour through the development of the nervous system? What makes male and female brains different? What is different about brain circuits for learned and unlearned behaviour?

Luckily for those of us who weren’t able to make it there, The Royal Society recorded the entire lecture and have uploaded the video to watch online – just click below to have your mind blown…

Ignored for years as our least important sense (and often the one people say they’d give up first), thanks to modern technology, scientists are only now beginning to uncover smell as a possible super power, and the impact that smell can have on our every day lives. The more we learn, the more we hunger to know, and although we can’t pretend to have understood all of the information, lectures like this simply set that fuse smouldering.

By Suzy Nightingale

Sense of smell may rule the heart, new study finds…

According to research run by dating site match.com, the biggest romance-killers are a bad smell (94 per cent) and poor sense of humour (89 per cent) far moreso, apparently, than basing judgements on how someone looks (though 73 per cent still admitted to being put off by this.)

Nearly half (43 per cent) of singles who took part in the study said the scent of their potential mate had an impact on their date’s success, while more than one in four (26 per cent) said they’d prioritise smell over looks when checking someone out. Almost a third (31 per cent) of females said they were more likely to notice a man with a good scent than one with good looks.

The study was commissioned by Match to mark the launch of Eau.M.G. – a store exploring the role of scent in attraction.


Match opened the unique pop-up store ‘Eau.M.G.’ (‘Eau Mon Garcon’), where male Match members apparently had ‘their natural odours’ (whatever that means!) bottled into scents for single ladies to sniff out a date this Valentine’s Day. The bespoke scents have been created in partnership with Parisian laboratory, CARACTER, which uses ‘…brand new technology to capture the scent of humans and, literally, bottle it.’ Match sent six of its bachelors’ clothing to CARACTER’S lab, in order to distil their ‘olfactory portraits’ and bottle them into personalised scents.

Visitors to the pop-up store, located in Clerkenwell’s Exmouth Market, will be encouraged to ‘…follow their nose as well as their hearts in this unique experience that explores biological compatibility and innate attraction, allowing singles to go beyond just profile pictures.’

Dr Caroline Allen from Newcastle University says: ‘Research suggests that we can get a lot of information about a person from their body odour. Humans have distinct odour ‘fingerprints’, and so smell may be more important to us than we once thought – perhaps especially so when selecting a sexual or romantic partner. Studies have found that we prefer the odour of an individual who is genetically dissimilar to us, which suggests that we can get information related to the genetic compatibility of a potential partner from their body odour.’

‘There are a whole range of traits which we seem to be able to detect in body odour such as quality of diet, health, and personality, how masculine or feminine someone is, as well as their current emotions – all of which might be useful to us when choosing a romantic partner, or for attracting a potential partner to us.’


The Eau.M.G store was only open for four days in the run-up to Valentine’s Day, helping to match new couples based on their instinctive attraction to the different pheromones bottled in each. So will they have sniffed out the scent of L.U.R.V.E? We await to hear what happened with baited breath…!

Written by Suzy Nightingale

 

Design In Scent: WIN The Wedding Fragrance Discovery Experience

Looking for a unique wedding gift or a bespoke scent for your happy day? We think we’ve found it!
What could be more special than making your wedding totally tailored to you, as a couple? For those about-to-be-weds who long for something truly memorable, Design In Scent offer Fragrance Journeys™ – not only for couples to wear on their wedding day, but with complimenting candles and ambience mists to scent the celebration itself.
And, very generously, they are giving away a Wedding Fragrance Discovery Experience for you to explore, and a bottle of your favourite perfume!
Read on for details of how to enter the competition…
Design In Scent say: ‘We are giving away a Wedding Fragrance Discovery Experience and a bottle of your favourite fragrance from the new Design In Scent Wedding Collection. Searching for your perfect wedding scent is a beautiful experience for you to enjoy with your partner during planning. When you scent your wedding venue with the fragrance you love and gift it to guests it becomes an incredibly meaningful part of your day.
The Design In Scent Wedding Collection features four Fragrance Journeys™ for couples to wear, scent their wedding with and gift to loved ones. Each Fragrance Journey™ contains three complementing fragrances – a Feminine eau de parfum, a Masculine eau de parfum and a Union ambience fragrance that fuses the two into a new but recognisable scent. Capture the precious memories of your wedding with the magic of scent…’

Founded by Gemma Hopkins in 2015, Design is Scent utilises Gemma’s early career as a multi-sensory designer, coming into contact with Heston Blumenthal’s revolutionary work and inspiring her to enrich our most neglected sense: smell. Gemma teamed up with lawyer turned wedding-planner, Meghan Fay, after Meghan attended a wedding Gemma had created a bespoke fragrance for – so taken by the scent that she tracked Gemma down, eventually becomming the Partner and Managing Director of the company.
Until this year, their work was purely for VIPs on a couture basis, creating fragrances for exclusive events at luxury venues such as The Arts Club, The Shard and Battersea Power Station. Now the fragrant duo are opening up their world of scent by allowing couples to explore four ‘masculine’ and four ‘feminine’ fragrances together, along with four other ‘Union’ scents to try – and it’s definitely a case of exploration, as they ‘…encourage people to break the fragrnce ‘rules’ and simply choose what they love A bride may wear a Masculine fragrance and vice versa,’ and of course they can be layered together.
To find out more, visit Design In Scent’s website
How to win: Simply fill in your details, below, and we’ll enter you into the prize draw.
Prize: A beautifully presented Wedding Fragrance Discovery Collection and – once you have chosen your favourite –  a bottle of your favourite perfume!
Closing date: No further entires will be accepted after 10am Thursday 10th August, 2017
Good luck!
[contact-form-7 id=”145448″ title=”Design In Scent Wedding Collection Competition”]

Terms & Conditions: No cash alternative to the prizes will be offered. The prizes are not transferable. Prizes are subject to availability and we reserve the right to substitute any prize with another of equivalent value without giving notice. Closing date for entry will be 10/08/2017. After this date no further entries to the competition will be accepted.