So what is niche fragrance? That word is often flung around in the fragrance world, but sometimes we don’t stop to wonder about it. So what does that term actually mean, and where should you begin your fragrance journey…?
[Psst! Scroll down to find out how you can try well over £1,000 worth of niche fragrance – if you got the full sizes – for just £19!]
‘Niche’ perfumery began by referring to fragrances made independently, so not owned by a large brand. They can also be called ‘artisanal’, and because they were privately owned, often were able to take risks that larger, more corporately-inclined companies could not.
These smaller houses sometimes had a single person behind them – acting as founder, perfumer, Creative Director and PR person (and probably chief tea-maker, too!) The founder might also be self-taught in perfumery, rather than the traditional route of studying chemistry and then training at schools such as ISIPCA.
It might be useful to think of ‘niche’ fragrance as the catwalk of the perfume world. Unique ideas are celebrated, and might seem completely wacky or out-there, but actually tend to create trends that ripple down to the high street. Suddenly the ‘shoulder pads’ of the scent world are everywhere!
As niche houses became increasingly popular, some more established, larger houses began introducing more daring fragrance collectionswe also term as ‘niche’ – referring to the more artistic, less traditionally commercial style of perfumery rather than the size of the house itself.
But where can you begin discovering niche fragrances? At The Perfume Society we know that not everyone happens to live near a perfumery stocking niche scents (or even a department store with a diverse selection) – and even if you do, it’s sometimes overwhelming to work out where to even begin. What’s more, because of various lockdowns meaning we couldn’t even get to the shops – and new Covid-19 health protocols meaning testers aren’t readily available to smell in-store – it can be even trickier to actually get your nose on niche fragrance!
Trying a fragrance sample at home is the best way to truly discover if you love a scent – you need to live with it on your skin for several hours. A Discovery Set means you can try the entire collection from a niche fragrance house, and our curated Discovery Boxes allow you to smell things you’d perhaps never have considered (or not heard of) before.
Because we understand you’re missing browsing, spraying and smelling, in the latest we curated a selection of some of the finest niche fragrances out there to try at home. Click here for a detailed description of each scent, and on the names of the houses to read all about their individual histories. There’s no better way to begin your discovery of niche than right here.
In the Niche Collection VI you’re getting to try well over £1,000 worth of fragrance (if you had to buy them all as separate full-sizes to try) for less than the price of your average Deliveroo! This is what’s included…
ånd fragrance Sånd 2ml EDP 2ml eau de parfum (full size £35 for 10ml) Atkinsons 24 Old Bond Street 2ml eau de cologne (£99 for 100ml) Brioni Brioni 1.8ml eau de parfum (£70 for 60ml) Eight & Bob Annicke 1 2ml eau de parfum (£55 for 30ml) Initio Addictive Vibration1.5ml eau de parfum (£190 for 90ml) Escentric Molecules Molecule 01 7.5mleau de parfum (£36 for 30ml) J.U.S Parfums Sexycrush 1.2mleau de parfum (£165 for 100ml) Lalique Noir Premier Plume Blanche 1901 1.8mleau de parfum (£210 for 100ml) Paco Rabanne Pacollection Strong Me 1.5mleau de parfum (£65 for 62ml) St Giles The Writer 2mleau de parfum (£130 for 100ml) A’Kin Cleansing Micellar Water 30ml(£12.50 for 150ml)
The Niche Collection VI Discovery Box is priced £19 + p&p* to VIP Club Members (£23 + p&p* to everyone else) – be sure to log into your account to take advantage of the special VIP Club price.
If this is your first time trying a niche fragrance, read our tips on how best to smell a new scent. Basically, you need to give it time to develop on your skin. Often the niche fragrances can be more complex (or just very different to more everyday mainstream scents you might be used to) so they can take you on more of journey as they unfurl throughout the day.
We do hope this helps explains things about ‘niche’ fragrance a bit more. One thing’s for sure: wherever you begin your niche fragrance journey, we’ve a hunch you’re going to fall madlly in love with many of them along the way…
Galentine’s Day – okay yes, you can be cynical and view it as yet another spin-off from ‘V Day’, but instead we’re seeing it as an opportunity to send our best gal pals a little scented something to say “I MISS you!”
Because oh, how we are all missing our friends right now. Many of us haven’t seen our dearest friends for nearly an entire year, even for a five minute chat or socially distanced walk. So yeah, it’s hitting hard, the lack of laughter, togetherness, compassion, love…
Of course we have incredible technological ways of touching base – for which we’re all very thankful – but Zoom meets and endless text messages are no substitute for actually touching, hugging, just being with our dearest friends, who despite not being around person, have most certainly kept us (mostly) sane. So what to do?
The power of perfume to lift our spirits, soothe frazzled nerves or give us a boost of confidence to get through the day has been proven, but the power of the post arriving (and getting to open a something lovely) shouldn’t be sniffed at, either! I’m not sure about you, but my postman probably thinks I want to marry him, the way I anxiously hang out the widow awaiting his arrival.
If you’ve several friends you’d like to send gifts tom why not buy a box and split the samples between them – popping a couple (well wrapped) in a card would be a joyous little extra to open!
Because there’s an awful lot of antipatory joy in that satisfying ‘thud’ (of something that obviously ISN’T a bill) on your doormat – so here’s some ideas to send a little happiness to someone you love and miss so much, for Galentine’s or any day…
Floral Streetscentschool™ in a Box
Back to school in scented style, and the perfect way to share your love of fragrance with a friends – even a whole gang of perfume-loving pals! Ingeniously, when you buy their special discovery set, containing eight fragrances, blotters and scented ‘touch and smell’ cards, you receive a code to book your complimentary live online class (one-to-one or for a whole group of you to do it together), plus a discount on your next purchase. There’s even the option to add a voucher for a 10, 50 or 100ml fragrance for a pick-me-up treat when they’ve found their favourites.
A gorgeous hatbox-style package of perfumed wonders to explore, with vibrant, contemporary and beautiful scents by some of the most famous ‘noses’ around: Céline Ellena, Fabrice Pellegrin, Aliénor Massenet, Aurélien Guichard, Alexandra Carlin… From fabulously sexy florals and chic, supple leather to refined seascapes and magical gardens – every taste is catered for, especially those creative, artistic friends who welcome exquisite design combined with innovation. Such a wonderful gift to receive for one special person, or might we suggest you keep the box and your favourites, and share the others with friends the fragrances remind you of…?
Molton Brown Lily & Magnolia Blossom Gift Set
Who wouldn’t appreciate a luxurious set from Molton Brown? Revelling in fragrant baths or showers and taking time to treat your skin with a nourishing body lotion are simple ways of adding self-care into our daily routines, and so important for a mind re-set, we find. But it’s strange, isn’t it? While we may happily treat a friend to luxury items as a gift, we might deny ourselves. Ditch the guilt and treat yourself to daily bliss with this new fragrant duo – redolent of springtime buds and sparkling sunlight at last.
Goldfield & Banks Discovery Set
Why not travel to Australia with a group of girlfriends (via your noses!) in this exceptional exploration of materials hitherto unknown to the perfumery industry. Using indigenous ingredients beloved by founder, Dimitri Weber – such as blue boronia, finger lime and pacific rock moss – this unique collection invites a sense of freedom, the feeling of sunshine and wide, open landscapes to adventure in. From ocean-inspired freshness to the sunlit canopies of a rainforest, from velvety oppulence to enveloping woods, let your senses rein free as you encounter each scent.
Sana Jardin Discovery Set
This stunning portfolio of perfumes were created very much with women in mind – not that men don’t also adore the fragrances, but this socially-conscious, luxury fragrance house works with a sustainability program to help the Moroccan women who pick the orange blossoms used in several of perfumer Carlos Benaïm‘s stunning creations. Founder Amy Christiansen Si-Ahmed wanted to ‘change the world, one bottle of perfume at a time’ and these seductive scents evoke golden, shimmering light, swags of heady flowers and the sensual powers of night-blooming jasmine. Simply dreamy…
Luxe for less can be done – there’s a plethora of pocket-friendly perfumes out there, that smell like a million dollars but don’t make a huge dent in your bank account.
Because let’s face it, we all know January can be hard on the pocket (and the soul!) but we’re now craving occasional treats to self like never before, and a little luxury arriving through the post can go a long way to cheering yourself up on a grim day – or simply letting someone else know you’re thinking of them, giving them something to smile about.
This is the third of our curated selection of affordable scents, having already shared some that were Thrifty but Nifty, and Indie but Not Spendy. Now we’re going Luxe for Less, and encourage you to seek these out for a fragrant hit of happiness that needn’t have you living on instant noodles to fund your perfume habits…
Lancôme Ô De Lancôme£41 for 75ml eau de toilette
A sparkling icon since 1969, spritz scented sunbeams with this whoosh of effervescent exhilaration. ‘Green’ and fresh fragrances are predicted to be a huge trend year-round, and the clean floral notes of jasmine, honeysuckle and lily of the valley are radiantly projected against a backdrop of mossy, herbaceously bracing breath of fresh air. lancome.co.uk
Kayali ELIXIR | 11 £18 for 10ml eau de parfum
May rose combined with crisply sweet red apple, rose and dreamy, decadent jasmine makes for a fragrance to spray when we want to be whisked to happier times and untainted dreams. The creamy swirl of vanillia as it warms on the skin helps to restore a sense of safety and assurance. Decadently dreamy. hudabeauty.com
Yves Saint Laurent Kouros £49 for 100ml aftershave
Another absolute classic many are reaching for right now, this aromatic ‘fougere’ (fern-like) fragrance begins aldehydic with freshly cut grass tempered with jasmine, rose, clary sage and coriander, then snuggles down to a smooth, honeyed leather on a warm, amber-rich base. A scented splash to soothe razor-burn and frazzled nerves at any time. yslbeauty.co.uk
Potion Paris Amber, Praline & Wood Seduction£35 for 2 x 10ml eau de parfum
Seductive doesn’t have to mean attracting others: you can seduce your own senses with this delicious duo. Meant as refills for the so-glam Potion Paris perfume necklace, succulent plum swoons to a heart of toffee as vanilla swirls to a warm, musky and comfortingly soft dry down. Opulence served with a reassuring hug. potionparis.com
Cacharel Noa£16.99 for 30ml eau de toilette
Created by Olivier Cresp, this is a timeless masterpiece of understated loveliness. Who doesn’t want to be wrapped in a whisper of white, soft cotton and powdery peonies? Effortless and soothingly nuanced, freesia nuzzles fuzzy peach skin, ylang ylang and a shower of sheer rose petals to a creamy incense-swathed base. theperfumeshop.com
Indulgence Discovery Box£36 (£32 for VIP Club Members) for 14 fragrances + candle
Indulge in a whole box of luxury from home with the ENTIRE CARINE ROITFELD COLLECTION, a trio of newness from Lalique, generous minis from Vines House Parfums Love Story, Floral Street Chypre Sublime, Tocca Giulietta and Versace Crystal Noir. PLUS perfumer Ruth Mastenbroek new candle – either Ancient Frankincense OR Rebel County. The Perfume Society Shop
Luxury fragrance gifts needn’t break the bank – Discovery Sets are the way forward! Stunningly presented, ordered at the click of a button, easy to wrap at home or have sent straight to the lucky recipient: these boxes are the perfect presents for perfume-lovers…
The joy of a luxury Discovery Set is the chance to indulge in the fragrances of ultra-luxe niche and designer houses, often giving your lucky gift recipient (or yourself, let’s face it) the opportunity to try the entire collection of a particular perfume house. Or, perhaps, allowing the luxury of sampling the scented wares from cult brands not everyone knows about yet.
Very few of us could go out and purchase full-size bottles of every brand we want to try – with these luxury gift sets, you can afford to wear every single one!
If you have someone who’s difficult to buy for, or you’re not quite sure exactly what kind of scents they like – gifting a whole range ensures they’ll fall immediately for at least one of the fragrances (and, in our experience, will come to love them all or enjoy sharing with a partner or friends).
To send to loved ones you can’t be with this year, or to treat yourself after a year of woe? Not going to lie, we shamelessly do the ‘one for you, one for me’ rule of Christmas shopping, and most especially this year. Think of the hours of bliss you’ll have! Trying all the fragrances for the first time, reading about the notes, the perfumers and history of the house (all the information you can find right here on this website, with our in-depth brand pages).
Luxury fragrance gifts are a fail-safe way of showing how much you care. Whichever of these you chose, they cannot fail to be utterly delighted…
Harvey Nichols boasts one of the best fragrance halls in the world, and in the last few years have tirelessly worked to bring in many more niche and exciting artisanal houses. We were thrilled to be asked again to curate a box of some of our favourites with them! Twelve luxury fragrances from six houses in this one, showcasing the hotly anticipated UK launch of Atelier Materi and Maison Crivelli, alongside classically adored fragrances from Creed, you can explore THREE fragrances from EACH of these beautiful perfume houses. We’ve added generous MINIATURES with just-launched Juliette Has A Gun Lipstick Fever (5ml) AND Maison Francis Kurkdjian L’Homme À La Rose (5ml)! And lest we forget, the pièce de resistance is Ramon Monegal Flamenco (10ml) swathed in a golden fabric pouch for an extra hit of luxe.
The Indulgence Discovery Box £36 (or £32 if you become a VIP!) Squeal-worthy miniature bottles & indulgence, bottled – for someone who deserves a treat.
Don’t you think you deserve to indulge in this gorgeous box of delights? It’s simply brimming with fragrant fabulousness, from the ENTIRE CARINE ROITFELD COLLECTION (former editor-in-chief of Paris Vogue, dontcha know, based on seven cities and seven imaginary lovers), to a trio of newness from Lalique, inspired by precious metals, we’re going crazy for. We’ve also included generous MINIATURES – inhale DEEP! – from our latest perfume house crush, Vines House Parfums Love Story (7.5ml), together with the so-modern beauty editor’s fave, Floral Street Chypre Sublime (10ml), the dinkiest darling bottle of the delightful Tocca Giulietta (5ml) and for some seasonal va-va-voom, the perfumista’s favourite: Versace Crystal Noir (5ml). PLUS new home fragrance from perfumer Ruth Mastenbroek, whose new candles we’re showcasing – you’ll receive either Ancient Frankincense OR Rebel County, and trust us, you won’t even WANT to leave the house…
AMOUAGEhave been drawing on the ancient, alchemistic traditions of perfume-making, creating perfumes that are loved all over the world for over 35 years. This is a luxury perfume house with its finger on the pulse-point of what modern men and women want, so we are delighted to introduce the truly magical SECRET GARDEN DISCOVERY SET featuringFOUR NICHE FRAGRANCES inspired by the floral haze of secret gardens. Spray away the darkness with a joyful leap in to Spring (oh, yes please!) with every spray from Blossom Love, Lilac Love, Love Mimosa and Love Tuberose – each fragrance crafted using the finest oils and essences sourced from around the world. Dare we say: it’sbetter than a real bouquet and therefore makes a truly WONDERFUL GIFT either for yourself, or someone special. If they like glorious gardens, gasp at flowers and adore floral fragrances – they’ll love you forever.
Taking their name from their motto: ‘Joyau, Unique and Sensoriel’ (a ‘unique sensory jewel’), this ultra-cool niche French house delight in doing things differently. Using vintage bottles in bold, neon colours, allowing their perfumers free-reign and with everything eco-conscious – the fragrances are just are vibrant, but oh so beautifully wearable. Appealing to artistic types who like to tread their own path, the scents are seductively unique (genuinely, we love ALL ELEVEN!) From the salted amber of Ambraser, coffee and oudh of Coffeeze, Cuirissime‘s leather, violet and iris; zesty ginger and absinthe in Gingerlise and darkly daring leathery floral of Noiressence. There’s the whole rose (petals, thorns, humid air) of Rosamonda, sensual rose oudh and vanilla in SexyCrush or powdery soft rose in Sopoudrage to explore. SpringPop is green shoots, fresh cut grass and sea air, while Superfusion‘s silvery musk shimmers intriguingly, and UltraHot crackles with sensual saffron and incense. Oh wow, it’s a fragrant journey alright – and we’re re-using our pots for makeup brushes and pens!
This one’s a Perfume Society EXCLUSIVE (so you can guarantee they wont have this!) Atelier des Ors Discovery Set is truly a majestic perfume house: 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.) Atelier des Ors will fan the flames of your fragrant desires, as Jean-Phillipe Clermont, founder of Atelier des Ors, explains: ‘In every civilisation, gold symbolises the pursuit of perfection and the quest of absolute.’ Get spraying for yourself and explore FIVE NICHE fragrances in this divine set, which you won’t find anywhere else. Aube Rubis is crisp, woody, inspired by the dawn, while Lune Féline captures the brilliance of the night sky and the moon in the most creamy, dreamy vanilla. Musc Immortel sparkles with grapefruit, iris and clary sage and Nuda Veritas swathes the skin in an airy, fresh and pure floral creation. Rose Omeyyade, meanwhile, is a breath-takingly sensual rose and oudh perfume that will make you sigh. We’ve swooned, many times, over all of these…
Ostens Discovery Set £30 The créme de la créme of ingredients + the world’s top perfumers = a luxury niche house of refined elegance.
Friends and business partnersChristopher Yu and Laurent Delafon have been in the fragrance industry for over 20 years, founding United Perfumes (a prestigious fragrance distribution and development company) which afforded them unrivalled access to the finest ingredients and perfumers in the world, including extraordinary new extractions from LRM Naturals of ‘vetiver, rose, patchouli and more. We realised that if we loved those smells, then there were surely other people who’d feel the same way.’ Everyone in the fragrance world raves about these scents, and your recipient definitely will fall for…. Cashmeran Velvet cocooning with smoky woodiness, Cedarwood Heart grounding, while unexpectedly creamy and Jasmine Absolute – addictively heady, just-bloomed jasmine on a sultry day. Two patchoulis explore the note’s diversity: Patchouli Heart No.I a softer, warmer, and a more modern interpretation of the classic, while Patchouli Heart No.II is fresher, aromatic and timelessly elegant. And, oh! Rose Oil Isparta – A rose is a rose…or so we thought until we smelt the unique scent of the Rosa Damascena from Turkey. Love at first sniff…
Why not buy the same box for you and a best friend you’re missing terribly? That way, you can schedule a Zoom meeting, get the wine in and some snacks on the go, and have a live smell-along together!
Stocking fillers used to be novelty gifts, somewhat lacklustre confectionery goods and perhaps a satsuma – lovely to open as a child, of course, but now we’re finding adults are massively in to the nostalgia of exchanging Christmas stockings. And we require the fillers to be a little more… fabulous, let’s say.
Because let’s face it, the stocking presents were the highlight of Christmas – encapsulating the excitement of waking up and ripping off the wrapping paper with wild abandon. You may wish to rise at a rather more dignified hour, now, and perhaps begin the day with a cup of tea (or a long glass of Mimosa – well it is Christmas!)
But why not consider putting together a stocking stuffed with lovely little gifts to give a partner – or send a friend you can’t be with this year, and face time them as they open it?!
Here’s some mini sets and exciting fragrant finds we’d love to find in our stockings this year… Give them the whole box, break up a set to gift several friends (or keep some for yourself? We won’t tell…)
Banana Republic ICON Discovery Set£8 for four fragrances
This pocket-friendly set showcases four of the Banana Republic fragrances – scents that have fast gained a cult status among fragrance afficionados, who were wowed by their originality, longevity and and diversity. From sun-soaked orange blossom to smoky rose, a cashmere soft hug to vibrant forest-y freshness – you’ll definitely know someone who’d adore exploring these.
Sous Le Manteau Collection: £19 for five fragrances
Olivia Bransbourg discovered a 19th Century book of actual French love potions in a Parisian flea market. Fascinated by the centuries-old recipes and with the help of perfumer Nathalie Feisthauer, these potions were reincarnated into FIVE divine fragrances, in a dinky parcel that fits in the palm of your hand. You’ll be enraptured by honeyed sensuality, wrapped in a cloud, grounded in the moment, embraced by powdery kisses and tempted by feverish naughtiness…
Maison Matine Discovery Set£15 for six fragrances
This quirky French niche house urges everyone, no matter our ages, to be ‘a bit more daring every day.’ With free-spirited, immediately uplifting fragrances, each one has been created by emerging ‘noses’ and possesses its own unique charm. They believe – as we do – that perfume has the power to help you overthrow a bad morning and actively choose to change your day. Tropical odysseys, calming cocoons, zesty adventures and the whole world awaits!
Rook Perfumes Discovery Set£15 for three fragrances
Here’s a perfume house with infinite layers – rule-breaking and innovative as well as beautiful. Described as ‘a diplomat dressed as a punk rocker’, Rook was created by founder, Nadeem Crowe, as his signature scent, while Forest conjures damp earth, wet moss and cedar and Undergrowth exactly evokes ‘pulling fresh garden mint from the earth.’ Crowe happens to be an NHS frontline doctor AND actor (yes, really!) and uses the power of perfume to transport himself. Where, we wonder, will his creations transport you…?
L’Orchestre Parfum Mix Tape Vol.1£25 for six fragrances
A mix tape? It genuinely is – you simply scan the QR code to listen to tracks inspired by the fragrances (which are, in turn, inspired by musical instruments). And oh, the fragrances are stunning: carnal florals to soothing sandalwood; a fizz of electro-pop to the smoky rose throbbing with deep vibrations of a trombone. There’s something for everyone to fall for, here (particularly great for music lovers!) and we’re sure a number will strike a chord with you.
Experimental Perfume Club Discovery Set£25 for six fragrances
This fun set features fragrances to layer, explore and learn with – a brilliant gift for those wanting to become a perfumer, or hungry to explore their sense of smell. Each eau de parfum is either a TOP LAYER, MID LAYER or BASE LAYER. Wear alone, or mix them up – cards within each box offer inspirations to start to your scented experiments. Dive into the fun of discovering your own favourite combination – a unique fragrant blend that’s as close to bespoke as you can get!
Explore fragrance during #lockdown – it’s instantly mood-lifting and can be utterly mind-blowing! Here’s how to get perfume samples sent to your home…
Since the first #lockdown, The Perfume Society has more than ever become the go-to for perfume-lovers who want to try fragrances on their skin before buying – or simply experience the pleasure of smelling new scents.
Even during the summer/early autumn window, when stores were reopened, most retailers had removed their tester units, making it impossible for shoppers to discover what fragrances on sale actually smell like. And with the government locking down England once again, The Perfume Society is once again virtually the ONLY way for perfume-lovers to sample fragrance, via our own curatedDiscovery Boxes of samples, together with the wide range of niche brandDiscovery Sets in our online shop.
What’s more, here at The Perfume Society, we offerr a wealth of great advice about how to best test a fragrance in the FAQ section of our website – but the world’s greatest perfumers agree with us, that the only way to truly get to know a new fragrance is by trying it on your skin, first.
Fragrance takes time to develop on your skin. ‘Top Notes’ (the ones you smell first) only last fleetingly, up to fifteen minutes, before disappearing. The ‘Heart Notes’ and ‘Base Notes’ linger far longer, and these are only detectable after properly living with them as your skin warms up and the notes bloom. So a ‘spray and pray’ split-second purchase was never the best way to try perfume, anyway – something many of who’ve ever grabbed a random bottle at Duty Free and lived to regret, hours later on a long-distance plane journey (remember those?!) can relate to only too well.
While some other sectors have struggled, we’ve seen a HUGE rise in sales of our Discovery Boxes for both men and women, with feedback telling us that 70% of those who purchased one of our Perfume Society Discovery Boxes went on to purchase a full-size bottle of one of the samples they tried, and to recommend others to friends.
There’s been a massive rise, too, in people looking for personalised fragrance recommendations, via our Find-A-Fragrance tool. You simply type in the name of a fragrance you already love, and it recommends you six new scents to try (in Male/Female or ‘Unisex’ categories) based on our unique algorithm. It’s spookily accurate! In 2019 we made over 2.5 million personalised recommendations, and that figure is up 161% year on year since the start of lockdown.
We carefully curate each of our Perfume Society Discovery Boxes to include samples and mini sizes from a breadth of fragrances houses. These range from new, niche indie brands and the ‘rising stars’ of the perfumery world, to established luxury and classic high-street names. Even in ‘normal’ times, not everyone happens to live near a well-stocked perfumery or independent boutique, we have delighted perfume-lovers from John O’ Groats to Land’s End with our Discovery Boxes and Perfume House Sets, enabling them to discover, explore and enjoy fragrance in the comfort (and safety) of their own homes.
Feedback from real perfume-lovers about our most recent box include: ‘It’s a treat for me. I work for the NHS and it’s a good stress relief to enjoy them all.’
And: ‘This is the third box I’ve bought and have not been disappointed yet. Even the scents I don’t enjoy are an experience, and I’m able to share the perfume love with friends.’
Don’t suffer from a lack of new scent-sniffing opportunities in your life! Why not take this time to explore a whole world of mind-blowingly great new, niche and luxury fragrance houses you may never have heard of or not yet had the chance to try…?
Connock London have just won GOLD for Best Niche Fragrance at the Pure Beauty Awards, and what’s more, they’ve popped up with a perfumed treatment space at Westfield London – the perfect place to explore their range of award-winning niche fragrances, candles, body-care luxuries and more. But fear not if you can’t make it there in person, for we have a wonderful suggestion for you to try samples of their scents without even having to leave your sofa…
At the very heart of this wonderful British brand is family. Amanda Connock inherited her passion for scent through her father, mesmerised by the wonderfully exotic and natural essences he would bring from his travels as an ingredient supplier to the fragrance world. Today her brand, Connock London, is a best-kept perfume secret – but one that’s shared by those-in-the-know, inspired by the love of and respect for nature, native folklore and travels.
Connock London Vittaveli is the fragrance that won Gold for Best Niche Fragrance at the 2019 Pure Beauty Awards. And we can see why. Inspired by the tropical beauty of the Vittaveli island located in the sparkling turquoise waters of the Maldives, it’s another fragrant destination we’re dreaming of escapin to by wearing the perfume. Elegant top notes of frankincense, geranium, spicy pepper berries and bergamot blend into a leafy green note reminiscent of the fruit of the Banyan Tree. A radiant floral heart of jasmine, pink rose, frangipani and gibiscus is warmed by a sultry base of sandalwood, vanilla orchid and delicate oudh notes.
Kukui Eau de Parfum is the signature fragrance of Connock London – and with a fascinating story. When customers fell in love with the scent of Connock London’s bodycare, they pleaded for it to be offered as a perfume – and thus, Kukui Eau de Parfum was born, to keep them happy. (And they are, they are!)
Beautifully blended to reflect the soul and beauty of the Hawaiian islands from which Connock London’s signature kukui oil is sourced, this elegant floriental is built around the gardenia flower and is complimented by ‘scent-sational’ floral notes of Moroccan rose, white jasmine and calla lily. The scent is further enriched with sandalwood, vetiver, white amber and layers of cashmere and sheer musks, completed with the rich bitter chocolate sweetness of vanilla absolute and tonka bean.
For further refreshing, you can’t do better than douse yourself lavishly in the gorgeously green Connock London Andiroba – here we travel to the mysterious natural beauty of the tropical Amazonian Rainforest. It opens with lush, leafy top notes which are enlivened with citrus accords of bergamot, lemon and Brazilian orange. A rich floral heart of iris and violet sits on a deep, earthy base of sandalwood, cedar and musk with a touch of lavender and Peruvian pink pepper.
We have a way for you to embrace the sunshine spirit of true luxury this house embodies – and no passport (or even train ticket) is required! Why not try for yourself at home, today?
The Niche Collection Three Discovery Box (£19 / £15 for V.I.P. Club Members) includes perhaps THE most raved about cult perfume: Kukui. Here, lavish amounts of that rose, jasmine, bergamot, lily and – most importantly – the waxy, dreamy magnificence of gardenia swirl into an immediate and bountiful floral bouquet that hits you as soon as you spray, seeking to to recreate the sense-delighting experience of visiting the island of Hawaii. We can practically feel the white sand between our toes when we wear this, so vivid is the sensation – and how wonderful to be able to wear something mood-lifting and life-enhancing in these often dark and dreary months.
Meanwhile, you can go to our page dedicated Connock London to read more about their history and inspirations, or pop along to their website to explore the full range. However you choose to try them, we feel sure you’ll fall under the scented spell, too, and will be joining those in the nose in your fragrant ravings!
There’s a plethora of British niche perfume houses to be excited about these days – how many have you heard of and got to try thus far…?
Niche-lovers have surely never been so well served as right now – there’s a continuing bubble of enthusiasm in the rise and rise of niche perfume brands; and thrillingly, British houses are surging in popularity, much of it spread by word-of-mouth.
The personal recommendations are from hushed whispers of industry-insiders right through to fans declaring their love through social media. These houses are ‘indies’ (independently owned) and don’t have access to huge marketing budgets; so we wanted to share and celebrate just some of those our noses are currently loving…
Holly Hutchinson founded Memoize London in 2016, but her heart started beating faster for fragrance far earlier – at the age of seven, to be precise. On her birthday, she was gifted her very first set of miniature perfumes… the way many of us are reeled in to the world of fragrance fever! Following a career at a prestigious perfume house, Holly branched out to create her own niche brand, believing that perfumes should evoke memories, so drawing on her own, such as ‘a French holiday in the sun, a ride across the waves by boat, venturing through trees in a garden of ferns and Laurels…’
There’s eight fragrances, currently, from the provocative, smoky passions of Era to the lazy Sunday morning of Tristitia, cocooning you in floral and vanilla scented sheets with an amber snuggle. One of our favourites has to be Superbia – created for self-confidence, encompassing rose bushes, the smell of a leather satchel and a mother’s proud hug.
From the creative expression of one woman’s strong belief in the power of fragrance and the positive effect it can have on your heart, mind and spirit, Anima Vinci was born. That insightful and passionate founder is Nathalie Vinciguerra, and her background as creative CEO of what many consider the first true ‘niche’ house, L’Artisan Parfumeur, along with British heritage house Penhaligon’s, gave her great grounding (and the best contacts) in the business. ‘Anima Vinci is the creative expression of my strong belief in the power of fragrance,’ she says, ‘and the positive effect it can have on your heart, mind and spirit. I believe that scents have the power to immerse us in the universe’s energy and nature’s beauty.’
With Rose Prana you’re fully immersed in the rose fields of Grasse, smelling the earth below the bushes abundant with fresh, almost raspberry-scented Rose de Mai blooms, and a sense of the sky above. Jasmine Ylang is symbolic of divine hope with sandalwood and frangipani, a holiday for the soul; while Wood of Life is our go-to de-stress scent – a meditative whisper of mint atop sublimely smooth palo santo, sandalwood and vetiver. It’s truly other-worldy and totally wonderful to wear.
With a green ethos that flows through every fragrance, Prosody London take equal delight in their scents being so beautifully composed, so harmoniously sophisticated, that many people don’t even realise they are – gloriously, unashamedly – all natural and organic. Perfumer and founder Keshen Teo has worked tirelessly to ensure his scents have this aesthetic quality as well as the ethical purity they strive for. As he explains: ‘The intrinsic complexity of naturals means you have to work hard to keep things well structured and balanced,’ because it’s vital the fragrances are stunning on first sniff. ‘I like the challenge of this,’ he smiles, going on to admit: ‘We know that sometimes people buy Prosody London without even realising they’re organic and 100% natural. I’m perfectly happy with that!’
Their voluptuously feminine Jacinth Jonquil entwines hyacinth with that mesmerising jonquil itself – think daffodils in sunshine, a crispness to the air like the first breath of spring, flecked with juniper berries and nestled on a softly woody base. Mocha Muscari uniquely blends the richness of coffee with a surprisingly seductive twist of mango, jasmine and lavender on a base of black agarwood and sandalwood, and Rose Rondeaux is decadently laden with fresh raspberry and juicy blackcurrant, dusted with iris and warmed with patchouli: all of them all-natural, and all-beautiful to wear.
Angela Flanders was a fragrant phenomenon: an woman with a life-long passion for perfume, who was still working – and creating beautiful scents – into her eighth decade. Now, through her daughter, Kate Evans, Angela’s legacy endures… From her career as a television costumer designer to opening a store in the heart of the bustling Columbia Road market in 1982, the perfect restoration of a Victorian shop featured bowls of scented pot pourri made by Angela, beautiful fabrics and all manner of desirable things. The pot-pourri fragrances were so popular, customers begged her to make room scents and perfumes, and Angela’s world soon became exclusively fragrant as her perfume selection grew notoriety – Precious One, an exquisite jasmine/tuberose that softens to a green chypre – winning a Fragrance Foundation Award for Best New Independent Fragrance in 2012.
From the golden tobacco and spice of Ambre Noire to the perfect white flower wedding fragrance of Bouquet D’Amour, Angela excelled at seamlessly blending precious ingredients. Now, inspired particularly by her mother’s history with and love of fabrics, Kate uses those years spent at her side (learning the craft of perfumery and often advising) to continue their line of so-unique scents. Lawn captures the smell of crisp cotton sheets drying in a dewy floral-scented summer breeze, while the more recent Taffeta evokes decadence with heady hyacinth, soft iris and a fruity rose. What’s more, it’s up for another Fragrance Foundation award this year, so the family talent fully blooms.
Modernist Fragrance founder, John Evans, entered higher education, as he says, ‘late and non-traditionally’. Embarking on what he calls ‘an accidental corporate career’, trying his hand as a successful novelist before finally settling on his sense of smell to guide him. ‘My dad installed and restored wooden floors,’ John recalls, ‘early memories of fresh cut pine and newly sanded mahogany. Somewhere along the way these merge with the smells of church, incense especially, when I was an altar boy – capped off by a six week spell in hospital when I was five years old and all sorts of odours pervaded my life.’ Travelling to Grasse, he immersed himself in the techniques of fine perfumery, painstakingly experimenting with building his own irreverantly mischevious compositions.
Designed to be genderless, they’re inescapably memorable but never allow the integrity of the wearer’s character to be compromised. So for The Modernist, expect succulent citrus, then greenness dripping with juice, freesia , a hazy flicker of dry frankincense and labdanum before a smoothly woody base. In Nihilism, get ready for a majestically bombastic rose that’s up close and personal with icy aldehydes and a definite sense of a furry embrace in the bezoin base; and for Geist, lemon freshness is suffused by a seamless blend of honeysuckle, musk and gentle amber. Transformative and complex, utterly intriguing, these will all keep your nose hooked all day.
For the founder of Stories by Eliza Grace, Tonya Kidd-Beggs, being born into the heart of Northern Ireland’s ‘troubles’, and struggling to come to terms with thinking about the future for her children, curated each blend’s inspiration as a personal testament to the power of fragrance in her own life. And Tonya’s own appreciation of fragrance began early. As she recalls: ‘My grandmother’s pearl necklace hung on my tiny neck and I rubbed one of her furs across my cheek. It was laced with Chanel No.5. I breathed in the scent of a woman I would never know. A courageous businessperson who paved the way for Northern Irish women to succeed in a male-dominated market place.’ Named for her twin children (Eliza and Grace), inspired by precious memories, the fragrances feel remarkably like part of your own life as soon as you wear them.
Stories No.1 is all luminescence: bergamot, grapefruit and orange blossom leading to the deep, warm embrace of cedarwood, with delicate touches of jasmine, heliotrope and a fig-tea accord along the way. Ultimately, snugglesome amber swaddles sandalwood and the earthy cool of the so-grounding vetiver. For Stories No.2 Tonya drew on childhood memories of her grandparents’ garden, and it evokes the exuberance of running barefoot on dew-flecked grass, exploring flowers face-first, curls of tobacco smoke exuding from a steamy greenhouse. So special, and so personally evocative to experience.
The worlds of whisky and fragrance have much in common, believes founder of Kingdom Scotland, Imogen Russon-Taylor. After a distinguished career in the aromatic world of Scotch whisky, Imogen has now gone on to create her own fragrance house – incredibly, the very first to be based in Scotland. Both whisky and perfume are produced by traditional distillation methods,’ she explains. Both evoke a complex sensory experience and both rely upon the innovative use of ingredients or flavours to distinguish themselves from competitors.’ And thus was born her vision to ‘bottle Scotland’ – using perfume to share old narratives in brave new ways, tapping into the rich stories associated with perfume and natural ingredients in Scotland.
Composed in a thoughtfully contemporary way, they unfurl as fragrant tales alive with possibility. Gusting with outdoorsy botanicals and fresh bergamot, in Portal verdant florals rest on a forest floor of shady vetiver and soul-soothing aromatic pine; while for Albaura the landscape’s conjured through the freshness of snow and ice, blended with berries and botanicals in a scent that is bold, fresh and independent in spirit. Metamorphic‘s geology is composed by black pepper, tobacco, incense, minerals and rose absolute infused with a splash of whisky and amber-rich leather. Before long, Kingdom Scotland will be a fragrance name on the lips of perfumistas-in-the-know, far beyond that country’s borders…
We like to offer as many opportunities to try new niche brands as possible, and are aware that (unless you live within walking distance of a niche perfumery) it can be really difficult to try samples for yourself. That’s why we offer the chance to explore these houses through their own Discovery Sets in our online shop, – a selection of niche brands we think deserve to be celebrated and available for everyone to try.
If you love niche, here’s a teaser to keep your eyes peeled and your nostrils primed, as we have a VERY exciting and ultra-exclusive Limited Edition Niche Discovery Box worth OVER £75 (but costing you FAR less!) coming your way TOMORROW (Friday 26 April)… It’s expected to sell-out quickly, so do be sure to grab yours ASAP.
Fragonard are one of the most beautiful fragrance houses in France, nestled in the heart of Grasse – itself the home of fine perfumery since the 17th Century. Proudly still in the same family, and currently being run by a trio of sisters who mark the fourth generation, Fragonard are something of a fragrant fixture, and well worth getting to know.
The perfumes themselves are simply divine, and the packaging always exquisite – yet we feel this lovely house can often be overlooked. No More! Here, we are thrilled to bring you not one but TWO boxes to indulge in. For yourself to explore, or as a perfect gift to give if you’re not sure what type of fragrance they prefer? Either way, get ready to be blown away by their outstanding character, quality and affordability…
A trio of darling little miniature-sized perfume bottles, holding three of Fragonard’s iconic fragrances, form the perfect way to wear and fall in love with their utterly charming scents. Wonderful for miniature collectors, travelling or keeping in your bag for on-the-go perfume top ups!
Etoile – inspired by the ladies of Provence, who wore broaches known as ‘stars of Digne’ which were regarded as lucky charms – the sparkling bergamot, apple and ginger top notes blend to a heart filled with gardenia, lily of the valley and jasmine on a base of amber and cedar wood.
Emilie – a bewitching floral composition that blends sumptuous rose petals and jasmine with a more delicate violet note, then wraps them in sandalwood and amber. A fragrance to treasure, conjuring softly blushing shades of pink and mauve.
Diamant – dazzling mysterious, this leaves a luminous trail with mandarin, orange and pepper as top notes, rose, jasmine and plum in the luscious heart, balanced on a rich background of vanilla, patchouli, ethereal musk and caramel.
A stand-out collection of heavenly scents in just THE cutest miniature bottles, we invite you to immerse yourself in these joyful droplets of perfume pleasure, and understand for yourself exactly why this perfume house has become a legend.
Grain De Soleil – an alluring fragrance, delicate rose, subtle iris and intoxicating jasmine enhanced by cinnamon, mellow amber, rich vanilla and exotic incense, Grain de Soleil is a true Oriental fragrance.
Soleil – a heady blend of flowers – jasmine and orange blossom, lily and rose, iris and wisteria – off-set by amber, sandalwood and musk. An intensely radiant fragrance that irresistibly evokes the noontide southern sun. This is THE great Fragonard classic.
Diamant – a sweet-Oriental, with mandarin, orange and pepper as top notes, balanced by rose, jasmine and plum as middle notes, on a background of vanilla, patchouli, musk and caramel.
Fragonard – an elegant scent that unites suave white flowers, orange blossom with mellow amber, musk and wood.
Belle De Nuit – a true original, deep rich harmony of flowers and fruit on a warm velvety bottom note of musk. A precious fragrance, as magical as an Arabian night!
How to buy fragrance at Christmas? Where do you even begin? Well, right here with The Perfume Society‘s everything-one-click-away guide! From nervous noses to designer divas and scented gents, we’ve even got the perfect gift for overseas friends. Start (and finish!) your shopping right now…
When you’re not sure exactly what scent to get, or are sick of giving loved ones the same old thing, our overwhelming feedback from happy customers suggests a Discovery Box is definitely the way forward. Bursting with luxurious and often hard-to-find mini, try-me size scents and decadents beauty extras, each box is specially curated around a theme or with a particular kind of perfume-lover in mind.
At The Perfume Society, we’ve something to suit pretty much everyone, no matter how picky about perfume they are! From designer name divas to scented gents about town, millenials desperate to discover what suits them best and those keen to branch out with something different – get those pens ready and see how many gifts you can tick off your shopping list in one fell swoop (and all from the comfort of your sofa/desk/bed!)
Packed with even more new niche scents, there’s an incredible 13 fragrances curated, including a stunning 7.5ml of Anima Vinci Neroli Wisdom. Alongside treasured houses such as Amouage and Atkinsons we’ve included exciting newness from Parterre, fragrantly evocative Stories by Eliza Grace, Memoize, perfumed provacteurs The Modernist, and the brilliant UK niche house of Tom Daxon. But it doesn’t stop there… Keep their complexions glowing (no matter how many nights were spent partying) with the recent GOLD AWARD winning skinSense ANTI-AGING Overnight Leave on Mask (WORTH £8.50) – and ensure their hands smell and feel wonderful with the bestselling Balance MeSuper Moisturising Hand Cream (WORTH £10). If you don’t know these names, we’re betting you AND your fragrance loving friends would love to discover them…
If you’re not sure what fragrances are currently in their collection, plump for some perfumes that only came out recently. With that in mind, we curated a selection of the newest and most exciting fragrances we’ve seen and smelled this year. It includes sunlit AERINHibiscus Palm, whisk-you-to-the-Riviera Tory Burch Bel Azur, and so-pretty Philosophy Amazing Grace Ballet Rose. If they prefer their scents darker and with more intrigue, they’ll love the Clive Christian duo – Chypre ‘L’ for Women and Oriental-woody ‘L’ for Men. And they can also enjoy the sophisticated Lalique Noir Premier Illusion Captive, Shay & Blue Black Tulip, together with the new KENZO WORLD.
Know someone who’s stressed, had a horrible year or just deserves some scented pampering? Invite them to take some time and indulge their senses with the glorious scents in this box. The perfume houses range from Amouage to Sana Jardin, Estée Lauder to Fragonard, together with duos from an exciting niche house called The Beautiful Mind Series and the ever-fabulous Miller Harris. We have also included some indulgent little extras to help them really unwind: a sumptuous Heathcote & Ivory Lavender Fields Hand Cream and from Aromatherapy Associates, Deep Relax and Support Breathe Bath & Shower Oils.
Is there a male in your life who’s stuck in a rut, and really needs to get their fragrance game together? Give them our most generous men’s collection to date, with sensational scents including Creed Viking (winner of The Fragrance Foundation‘s Best Male Fragrance 2018!), niche offerings from Nejma, Floris and Jack (Richard E. Grant’s fragrance line) and the new Shay & Blue King’s Wood, among this divine selection. Plus as a special treat, we are throwing in a FULL-SIZEEscentric Molecules 03 Body Wash (worth £20 alone!). With so many incredible fragrances to choose from, anyone will feel like a new man…
Alas, due to postal restrictions (don’t get us started) we can’t ship our boxes overseas – and we’re as gutted as you are about it. BUT that doesn’t mean fragrance loving friends and family living outside the UK should miss out. We can now offer International Subscriptions to our multi-award-winning digital downloadable magazine, The Scented Letter.
We take full advantage of our privileged access to all the leading ‘noses’, perfume houses, latest launches, news, exclusive interviews and more to ensure The Scented Letter is your finger on the pulse-point of everything that’s happening in the scented world!
If they’re obsessed by fragrance and very possibly will need new shelving units from Santa, just to hold the scents they already own, why not welcome them to our world?! As a member of The Perfume Society VIP Club, they’ll receive the following exclusive benefits…
• Six issues a year of our online/downloadable digital magazineThe Scented Letter – (virtually) the only publication in the world devoted to all things fragrant…
• Exclusivecompetitions with fab fragrant prizes – including bottles signed by perfumers.
• An exclusive monthly ‘insider offer’ – special offers from top-name fragrance houses, and ONLY for our VIPs.
• Early access to tickets for all our events – meet with leading ‘noses’ and key figures from the perfume world, attend in-store events, workshops, etc. (Our VIPs are first to hear about these.)
• A special member’s discount on our Perfume Society Discovery Boxes (normally £19 – but £15 to our VIPs)
• Plus, choose them a FREE Discovery Box when you sign them up, from a number of options…
It’s the fragrant gift that keeps on giving for an entire year!
Still don’t know what to get them? Well, if you happen to know a fragrance they already like, type that name into our Fragrance Finder and you’ll be given suggestions of six other scents we think they’ll absolutely adore, with something for every budget… It’s sheer (almost spooky) genius!
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