Vouchers to spend or fancy a change? How to find your new favourite fragrance…

If you have vouchers or Christmas cash gifts burning a hole in your pocket, or perhaps have been thinking about stepping outside your comfort zone and changing up your scent game for 2020, we have three simple steps to follow to find your perfect new fragrance.

With literally thousands of new launches every year, even we can’t get our noses around all of them! So, where to begin…?

At The Perfume Society, we’re here to make finding your next ‘new favourite’ fragrance a complete doddle. Just follow these simple steps, and you’ll be off on a fragrant journey of discovery…

1: Start with what you love
Instead of plunging wildly into the dark and trying every random fragrance you see, it’s a good idea to base your sniff list on something you already know you love. Our Fragrance Finder is completely genius at this, and has recently been recommended by fragrance experts and Fume Chat podcast hosts Nick Gilbert and Thomas Dunkley as the best place to start when looking for a new fragrance to suit you.

All you need do is type in the name of a scent you already adore (or one you know your beloved currntly wears) and you’ll be given an immediate list of six scents to seek out, all at various price points and with characteristics you’re extremely like to swoon for. Honestly, try it – they’re quite spookily accurate!

2: Give yourself time
Now clutching your shopping list of scents to try, we cannot urge you strongly enough to allow yourself the time to live with them on your skin a while before making a snap decision either way. First sniff? That’s the top notes – generally something citrus-y and ephemeral – which can disappear within the first few minutes of spraying because the ingredients evaporate more quickly.

We find an hour is enough to give you a proper sense of what the perfume smells like on you. And if you don’t want to douse yourself head-to-toe (why on earth not? But each to their own) then spray on a blotter or ‘spill’ (long paper strip) to get an idea. But remember – it will only be an idea of the final scent. They were made to be warmed and worn on your skin, not paper, so will often smell very different (and better) on you. And your mood/the weather/food can all drastically alter how a scent smells on you, so ideally, come back and try each one a couple of times.

 

3: Make note(s)
It’s incredible where your mind can take you when sniffing something gorgeous. Perfumes are created to carry us away to somewhere, so where are your six scents taking you? Close your eyes, inhale deeply and then ask yourself questions such as:

  • If this scent were a fabric, would it be velvet, suede, leather or linen?
  • What colour does the fragrance remind you of?
  • If the fragrance were a piece of music, what instrument would be playing?
  • How does it make you feel? Happy, excited, relaxed, romantic…?

These are all questions we ask people at our How to Improve Your Sense of Smell workshops (keep an eye on these, we shall be adding new workshops for 2020 as soon as we can), and are based on techniques shared with us by the world’s top perfumers; but the more you make yourself think along these lines, the greater connection you’ll have to any fragrance you try.

Of course we’re aware that not everyone happens to live near a perfumery with a wide selection of names available, and sometimes it’s good to go for something entirely new – a fragrance you might have walked on by and never sniffed, believing it ‘just wasn’t your type of thing.’ We cannot tell you how many fabulous new fragrances we’ve found this way. And that’s why we offer The Perfume Society Discovery Boxes – curated collections of try-at-home samples and mini/travel sizes, along with some other gorgeous scented treats – all with links to instructive descriptions of the fragrances to help you follow the trail of each one you’re smelling. What’s more, we dedicate pages to each fragrance house, detailing their history, the faces behind the fragrances and their inspirations, so you can choose to explore more from them if you wish.

A great place to start is with our Launches we Love Discovery Box. We’re always asked: ‘Which new fragrances are you most excited about, and where can I go to smell them?’ We’ve put in the nose-work for you, gathering together the latest Launches We Love – with OVER A DOZEN FRAGRANCES to discover, there is truly something for everyone to fall for…

As well as our hand-picked selections, we also offer an ever-expanding range of Brand Boxes – try-me sets of samples that some of our favourite houses have put together, so that you can explore and experience several (or sometimes all!) the fragrances they produce. This gives you a great idea of their house style, and along with all of these tips, will give you a place to start narrowing down your search for that new scent – a perfume that’s truly perfect for you

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Nicki Minaj
 puts her name to Onika

Nicki Minaj’s latest scent is devised to empower its fans to flaunt their own uniqueness. Entitled Onika, which was actually Nicki’s birth name, the fruity floral composition housed in her iconic Minaj-shaped bottle combines sensuous fruits and delicate florals alongside a base of sheer musks.

Top notes of fresh pear, starfruit and mandarin, layer a heart of water lily, orchid and osmanthus. The base dries down to reveal sugar cane, white musk and cedarwood.

black+grey-side

Nicki Minaj Onika £40 for 100ml eau de parfum
Try it at: Boots

Will you be the perfumista who wins an Onika Nicki Minaj bottle encrusted with Swarovski crystals, worth over £450?

Purchase any Onika Nicki Minaj fragrance bottle, including gift sets, between 15th October 2014 and 10th November 2014 and enter the product code on the Nicki Minaj Beauty Facebook page.

Written by Alice Crocker

Gucci launch a signature oudh for summer

Designed by Gucci’s Creative Director, Frida Giannini, comes a fragrance with all the charisma of an ‘Art Deco’ and ‘Oriental’ blend. Gucci Oud is for those who can confidently adorn the ancient, intensive scent of agar wood, as well as the stamp that is Gucci.

A unisex perfume made with oudh that is certified as 100% pure and sustainably sourced from Laos, Gucci Oud opens with fruity top notes of pear and raspberry. The heart blends Bulgarian rose, orange flower and tingles with the spicy opulence of saffron. The base settles into rich, heady amber, musks, Gucci scent-signature – patchouli and that all-important oudh wood.

Try it at: Harvey Nichols

Written by Alice Crocker

Eau de Gaga: capturing the essence of the singer herself

Created alongside Givaudan perfumer Ursula Wandel and visionary fragrance house Haus Laboratories, the second scent from the undeniably avant-garde Lady Gaga fragrantly distils the essence of the singer into an olfactory delight.

The woody floral composition is built around a heart of intoxicating white violet, offset by top notes of sparkling lime to lend an energising first encounter. The base of leather encourages the floral aromas to bloom on the skin.

The result? A delightfully powdery aroma that intertwines woody, musky and floral accords.

Launching mid-September, the new scent is ‘for the adventurous woman and the man who loves her,’ explained Gaga to fans of her Facebook page recently.

The campaign was shot by Steven Klein and stars Gaga herself, surrounded by a number of scantily clad men.

Eau de Gaga, £25 for 30ml
Try it at: Boots

Written by Alice Jones

Viktor & Rolf’s candy shop creation

Sweetly-scented fragrance fans rejoice: Viktor & Rolf’s new gourmand accord will utterly delight your senses.

Cleverly crafted by master noses Serge Majoullier and Cécile Matton, each spritz is vibrating with a sugary (almost edible) blend of caramel, peach and orange blossom notes, alongside jasmine. But (and this is a big but) it has that sophisticated, grown-up edge we often pine for with a sweet fragrance. So in the base, find guaiac wood, cedarwood, sandalwood and amber.

And, what’s more, this newly-launched follower to the Flowerbomb comes bottled in a pretty bow, inspired by the Dutch design duo’s haute couture collection.

Viktor & Rolf Bonbon, £68 for 50 ml eau de parfum. Try it at:  Selfridges

Here’s a behind the scenes peek at the making of Bonbon

Written by Alice Jones