Reset your senses with Molton Brown’s NEW Wild Mint & Lavandin

Get ready to reset your senses with Molton Brown Wild Mint & Lavandin – a totally new (and completely contemporary) take on the classic fougère fragrance…

 

Firstly, forget everything you think you know about lavender – there’s nary a trace of the dusty, somewhat old-fashioned note in Senior Perfumer Nathalie Koobus’ creation for Molton Brown. Instead, she used lavandin – a far greener, fresher, and more powerful raw ingredient that’s infinitely preferred by those noses who create fine fragrances.

Secondly, rethink all you’d assumed about the fougère – that classic character found in fragrance families since 1882, and perhaps also one of the most overlooked. The time was ripe for a revival from its ultra-trad (dare we say ‘fuddy-duddy’ perception by some?). But it took the always fashion-forward house of Molton Brown to masterfully reinvent it, with the launch of their new Wild Mint & Lavandin collection.

Koobus explains she wanted to ‘…capture the forest walks in my home of Provence, where nature’s invigorating air of verdant herbaceous shrubs is edged by purple fields of lavandin.’ Think bright but lightly frost-tinged air, the silvered ripples of a crystal-clear stream, the sense of nature surrounding and emboldening you to take an off-grid adventure in the heart of the forest. And the fragrance takes further surprising twists depending on your choice of Wild Mint & Lavandin Eau de Toilette or Eau de Parfum.

 

 

The EDT revives flagging spirits via wild mint, the vivid verdancy of freshly torn basil leaves grounded by a caress of orris, silky sandalwood and rounded by tonka bean.

Molton Brown Wild Mint & Lavandin eau de toilette: £85 for 100ml

 

 

 

For the EDP, meanwhile, Koobus balanced the coolness of mint with a touch of nutmeg as the counterpart amidst the supporting notes – the resulting tingle of warmth its distinctive signature.

Molton Brown Wild Mint & Lavandin eau de parfum: £120 for 100ml 

Molton Brown’s first foray into fougère a rugged coastline, bottled, via the marine-tinged Coastal Cypress & Sea Fennel collection. Wild Mint & Lavandin ventures further off the beaten path by beckoning us to explore the further inland. Whichever format you plump for [and here’s a fabulously soul-reviving Bath & Shower Gel [£25 for 300ml) as part of the collection, too]; Wild Mint & Lavandin is an utterly unisex, fragrant invitation to get back to nature, with Molton Brown’s finger firmly on the fragrant pulse.

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Step into Les Jardin Français with Officine Universelle Buly’s vegetable-inspired scents

As we predicted last year in the (now Jasmine award-winning!) article for The Scented Letter Magazine, How to Spray your Five-a-Day, vegetable plots have been a place of much inspiration for perfumers. Now, there’s a whole new bumper crop of L’Officine Universelle Buly Les Jardins Français fragrances to explore and enjoy – and we promise, you’ll really dig them…!

‘The French Garden’ is a new collection of six fragrances from L’Officine Universelle Buly that garland vegetable notes with flowers and musks, all giving off a morning dew freshness. The launch happily coincided with the publication of our own garden themed latest edition of the magazine, The Perfumer’s Garden – because really, ever since the pandemic, it has all been about how much we get from our gardens and green spaces we can access for our mental health; how they inspire us all.

‘A garden is like a perfect universe,’ agrees Buly’s co-founder, Victoire de Taillac (pictured in her own garden, below). ‘A paradise. A haven… Gardening means being outside in all weathers, with all your sense awakened. The smells come together and surprise you…’ Also taking the senses by surprise are combinations like Indian Cucumber and Syrian mint, offering ‘crazy minty joy’, in a cloak of musk, and Iraqi Beetroot and Egyptian Rhubarb, tethered to the earthiness of patchouli. Or enjoy that note du jour, geranium, adding an extra dash of green to Oriental Watercress & Sardinian Parsley.

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the notes (like rhubarb, carrot and cucumber) have been used for many years by noses in their creations, while others seem more peculiar at first: sweet potato? It seemed incongruous, but oh it works amazingly well! They all do, having been expertly blended to achieve an almost photo-realistic encounter at first sniff, which then melds with your skin to become the fine fragrances they truly are. Basically put, no matter which you plump for, we promise you will NOT end up smelling like a soup or bowl of salad!

The project began when Buly co-founder Ramdane Touhami bid on an antique seed box in an auction. Having won it, he wondered if these precious seeds collected over hundreds of years could still be planted. Sadly that experiment didn’t flourish, but it did plant the seed of an idea: what if their next fragrances could reflect the love we all had for our gardens and green spaces during lockdown? A scented escapism in every spritz?

 

“Les Jardins Français” brings back to life an intoxicating and unique palette of garden fragrances. They all seem to be seized by the morning dew during a morning stroll through the vegetable garden and orchard, between rows of plants coming from the farthest ends of the world, acclimatised since Antiquity by patient monks, meticulous collectors and erudite healers, all genius gardeners and gatherers. Like a miraculous harvest in a universal garden, with freshly raked paths adorned with rare flowers, these armfuls of familiar vegetables and simple herbs, these aromatic and sunny delicious bouquets delight the senses and the heart.

 

 

 

 

Les Jardin Français is available online at www.buly1803.com and at their Selfridges counter: £145 for 75ml. La Sizaine collection of six x 9ml travel perfumes is also available for £108. The perfect way to sample the while collection (because you will need to smell them all!)

Since the launch of the fragrances, there’s been another crop of newness with Savon Superfin soaps and the divinely moisturising Lait Virginal to complement. One thing’s for certain – this growing L’Officine Buly Les Jardins Français collection is un-beet-able. [Apologies]

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Shake up his scents for Fathers Day!

Fathers and father-figures come in all forms, but before we get on to gifting ideas: why do some of them keep getting given the same old scent for any occasion? Very likely the one they’ve been using since they were first shaving?

Okay. Some dads do ‘like what they know’, but perhaps that’s because they’ve never found out what they actually like?

Let’s change it up…

Tell him that something exciting’s on the way, and treat him to a discovery box of new scents (you can always buy the full-size of the one he loves most, later!) The joy of a curated Discovery Set is an exciting olfactory voyage into the unknown with all the inherent fear removed – think of it as an opportunity to sniff new things, niche brands you may never have tried, but with someone holding your hand a little.

The Smelling Notes we present with each of our boxes (which you can find by scanning the VR code) guide your thoughts, detail some of the ingredients and give a little background information on the fragrance house and their inspiration. You can then take a deeper dive into each scent on our dedicated brand pages, if you wish. But it’s up to you (or your recipient). It’s an adventure you are in charge of, and a Discovery Box uniquely allows you to explore a whole world of possibilities without making an expensive mistake.

 

 

Our just-launched Scented Gent Discovery Box is THE perfect gift for dads who could do with shaking up their scent wardrobe – or for anyone who feels it’s about time they refreshed their fragrances for the season ahead. A stunning hand-picked selection of both classic and new fragrances crafted for the stylish gent offers the opportunity to try each in your own time, from the comfort of your own home…

 

 

The Scented Gent 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. This fabulous collection of fragrances for him is something to relish.

Montblanc Explorer Platinum 2ml eau de parfum

Brioni Éclat 1.8ml eau de parfum

Floris No.007 2ml eau de parfum

Parfums de Marly Percival 1.5ml eau de parfum

Shay & Blue Dandelion Fig 2ml eau de parfum

TUMI Continuum [12:00] 2ml eau de parfum

Floral Street Black Lotus 1.5ml eau de parfum

Jimmy Choo Man 2ml eau de toilette

Bvlgari Bvlgari Man Rain Essence 1.5ml eau de parfum

Kenzo Homme Intense 1ml eau de toilette

Bentley For Men 1.8ml eau de toilette

 

 

 

If you think he’s ready to explore more, maybe add the Men’s Must Have Discovery Box to your cart, too? For just £15 (or £12 for VIP members) it’s a specially put together collection of some masculine and unisex (to be worn by anyone) fragrances featuring globally adored best sellers and some recently-launched scents from brands such as THoOJeroboamDSquared2Paco RabanneBentleyJean Paul GaultierVersace & Initio!

Dsquared 2 Wood 2ml eau de parfum (full size £59 for 50ml)

Paco Rabanne Phanthom 2ml eau de parfum (£55 for 50ml)

Bentley Momentum Unbreakable 2ml eau de parfum (£69.50 for 100ml)

Jean Paul Gaultier Scandal Pour Homme 2ml eau de toilette (£69.50 for 100ml)

Jeroboam Oriento 1ml eau de parfum (£90 for 30ml)

Versace Eros  1ml eau de parfum (£65 for 50ml)

THoO Never Ending 2ml eau de parfum (£190 for 75ml)

Initio Oud for Happiness 2ml eau de parfum (£190 for 75ml)

 

 

 

And if you think he’s now fully immersed into the fabulous world of fragrance (or will be, by the time he’s explored those two), we suggest it’s time to embrace the world of Brand Boxes – these are collections the brands themselves have put together, showcasing some of their most iconic scents, with names from all-time classic houses and ultra-trendy indie brands alike.

 

 

 

 

Get extra ‘favourite child’ points by signing him up to get the FREE digital edition of the multi-award-winning magazine, The Scented Letter, sent straight to his inbox. If he’s more intellectually analogue-inclined and still loves print, we’re also thrilled to say you can buy an annual subscription to the print edition of The Scented Letter magazine to adorn his coffee table, which will be sent to him hot off the press.

However you choose for it to begin, get ready for him to be nearly as addicted to fragrance as you are (especially whem the compliments start flooding in!) And hey – if that also means you get to ‘borrow’ some of his scents, way after Fathers Day? Win-win!

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

How to Find Yourself With Fragrance

The theme of our latest issue of The Scented Letter magazine is ‘Fragrance For a New You’, chosen because, we truly believe, perfume allows us to choose who we want to be that day.

It does so invisibly – so you don’t need to don a superhero costume or dye your hair magenta (unless you want to, which we highly encourage!) Instead, perfume seems to work on our psyche, with the ability to both outwardly project our innermost personalities, or to bolster bravado, energy or playfulness we might otherwise struggle to don the mantle of amidst the ongoing daily chaos of our lives.

 

 

 

 

The truth is, since the start of the pandemic we feel, there’s been a seismic shift in the scent world. Many reported wearing more fragrance than ever during lockdown, to travel with their nose, spark scent memories or play with their perfume collection as though it were a dressing-up box. Which, we are here to tell you. it most definitely can be!) And, with many of us still working from home – something our parents would probably never have imagined – so too have we filled those dual-purpose spaces with scented candles and diffusers, as the boom in home fragrance sales proves.

Concurrently, there’s been a more gradual change in the way we wear it: a realisation that the once standard ‘Signature Scent’ was no longer up to the job of reflecting every facet of our characters (or helping mask the more tender bits of our souls on a difficult day). With the wider cultural encouragement to explore what it means to be – uniquely – ourselves, others became more familiar with the concept of layering scents to create their own ‘bespoke’ blends.

So, with the world as your olfactory oyster (though smelling rather more appealing), and with such a plethora of perfumes to choose from; where does one begin the journey to ‘find yourself through fragrance’?

Firstly, you need to get to know what you like, and more than that: how particular perfumes make you feel. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But so many of us become stuck in a bit of a scented rut, or just don’t know where to start with widening our fragrant horizons. Follow these tips to start your own ‘new you’ scent journey, here…

 

 

Where to Start?

Use our simple Find a Fragrance tool – just type the name of a fragrance you already know and love, and the so-clever algorithm suggests six new scents with similar characters to try, with prices to suit all budgets!

 

 

How to Test?

Your taste in fragrance changes over the years – just as in food preference – and depends on weather, what you’ve eaten recently, your mood and hormones. So, take your time to explore a new scent out of your comfort range.

Spray on a blotter first and come back to it at hourly intervals. Write down your initial thoughts, then re-try a few days (and weeks) later.

Many perfumers trained for more years than a heart surgeon, memorising ingredients by connecting their smell to personal scent memories and images that immediately spring to mind, unbidden.

Smell has no distinct language. If you’re struggling to describe a scent, try likening it to fabric (is it velvety, suede-like, cotton fresh, silken or fluffy?) Perhaps it reminds you of music (played on which instruments? Fast or slow?) Or you might picture a place – imagine the air temperature and scenery it evokes…

Your nose gets used to smelling the same things, so avoid wearing the same thing daily. Try layering to re-awaken your senses or branch out with exciting new discoveries!

Like all artists, perfumers tend to have a certain style. If you fall in love with one (we’re predicting several) of these, research them online: we bet you’ll fall for others.

Scent molecules are volatile and evaporate at differing rates. Citruses are lightest, often found in top notes and disappearing rapidly; florals tend to be in the heart while base notes are heavier, woody or resinous. Make these stages last FAR longer by using matching or unscented body lotion, spray into your hair or on clothes (after testing on tissue!)

Undecided? Spray on a scarf rather than skin: you can take it off and sniff again, later! Spraying on fabric (or your hair) also helps make it last far longer as the molecules don’t warm up so quickly (or evaporate) as on skin. As does…

Use an unscented (or matching) body lotion or oil. Fragrance doesn’t last long on dry skin (or in hot climates). It clings far longer to moisturised skin – so slather up, then spray.

Fragrance samples are THE best way to try new things, dive nose-first into a whole new house you’ve never tried or perhaps a differing perfume family than you’d normally go for.

 

 

 

 

Where to Get Samples?

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 you can start exploring and trying them all in the comfort of your own home, before you splash out on a full size. This way, you also get to try things you may never have picked up to try in store (indeed, may never have heard of previously!) and have proper time to try on your skin.

 

 

Want to Explore More…?

Brand Boxes are the way forward. You may know you like one scent from a particular house, and are ready to be a bit braver and see what else they do. It’s a fantastic leaping-off point, actually, as many houses offer differing styles of scents while still retaining a kind of olfactory handwriting – the same way an artist will have a certain look to their work you can recognise, or a clothing designer tends to work with shapes or tones that suit you. So, when you’ve found one you love, do explore the rest in their collection (and obvs samples are the best way to do this without breaking the bank).

 

 

Our Biggest Tip?

Give fragrance TIME. Let it settle. Try it several times (in the morning and /or evening, and when you’re in differing moods, if possible). How we’re feeling, the weather, our hormones and even the food we ate recently all have a huge effect on how scents smell on our skin. Plus, being braver can take time, too. Allow yourself the pleasure of exploration, take notes, compare with friends: have FUN finding yourself with fragrance, while finding a new fragrance for you.

You may surprise yourself with what you end up falling madly for. You know, the one that goes beyond merely smelling nice to that eyes rolling back in your head moment, emitting guttural noises of pleasure at, which people stop you in the street and beg to know the name of.

Oh. You don’t know that one? Well, you’ve just not found it yet! It’s out there. Waiting for you… whomever you feel like being today, tomorrow, and next week.

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

April Fool’s Scents? Actually… these are all REAL!

Sometimes we receive news of fragrance launches that makes us ask if it’s April Fool’s Day – but did you know that many companies have actually created fragrances inspired by anything and everything from fast-food brands and Stilton cheese to Captain Birds Eye fish fingers? (Yes, really!)

Fragrance is such an individual choice, don’t you think? We all have completely differing reactions to certain notes or combinations – what’s one person’s yum is another’s yuck, and that can be based on anything from childhood memories and cultural or long-buried associations to the simple fact of personal preference. What’s more, there are scents that may remind us of favourite foods or sweet treats we enjoy – hence the Gourmand family of fragrances have held sway since the 90s.

It would take the concept of ‘niche’ to a whole new level, however, for fragrance fans to actively seek out scents that smell of fried chicken, pizzas and sprouts – no matter how much we might love munching them. Well… you’d think so, wouldn’t you? But increasingly, brands are latching on to the power of perfume to promote their products. Though these might be novelty scents, they did actually sell!

Have YOU tried any of these, or purchased one as a joke gift for a friend…?

 

 

Birds Eye recently offered consumers the chance to win a limited edition eau de toilette inspired by Captain Birdseye himself – played by Italian-born actor and seafarer Riccardo Acerbi, who was unveiled at the start of 2018 as part of an £8m marketing campaign for the brand. ‘We know the British public have a soft spot for our captain,’ explained Birds Eye spokeswoman Annalisa Fanali, and so they gave him his own signature scent, ‘inspired by the hypnotic and evocative power of the high seas.’

Named Ahoy! the fragrance promises top notes of grapefruit and mandarin with patchouli, thankfully nothing fishy to smell here. Fifty bottles of the scent were up for grabs in the competition, which ran on Birds Eye’s Facebook page in the run-up to Christmas. If you weren’t a lucky winner, one imagines you wont be able to pop down the shops and pick yourself up a bottle in the immediate future, which is a shame because it sounded rather appealing. Unlike some of the previous novelty fragrances, below…

 

 

In 2012, having revolutionised the pizza world with stuffed crusts, the fragrance world was perhaps not ready for Pizza Hut Perfume. What began as a joke on their Facebook page escalated to an actual scent being created, which they temptingly described as ‘boasting top notes of freshly baked, hand-tossed dough.’ The limited edition perfume was designed to commemorate Pizza Hut Canada, and only 110 bottles were produced and shared with fans. ‘Will we be seeing Pizza Hut perfume in department stores any time soon?’ their press release asked. ‘Only time will tell.’ Spoilers: nope.

 

 

Currently showcasing their vegan-friendly range, those missing their whiff of something meatier were recently offered a unique opportunity to ‘fill your home with the scent of Gravy’ in a KFC Candle. Another limited edition (no, really?) candles were limited to only 230 editions and again, used as a competition prize on social media. We cannot comment on the authenticity of the gravy scent, sadly, but certainly the wax colour looks… somewhat disturbingly… realistic.

 

 

Now this will raise eyebrows (or twitch nostrils), but I don’t think this next one’s as crazy as it perhaps sounds. Eau de Stilton was launched to promote the cheese as part of a marketing campaign all the way back in 2006, and apart from genuinely loving the bottle design, while the sound of a blue cheese-inspired scent might seem off-putting, I think certain undiluted jasmine oils smell like strong cheese – due to the huge amounts of ‘indoles’ found in the aromatic molecules, which to some noses even smells sightly fecal. It goes to show, it depends how something is described before we actually smell it. I’d have given this one a go!

 

 

Those fast-food chains really love their fragrances, it seems, because in 2015 we saw Japan promoting a Whopper-scented Burger King Perfume. Alas only available for one day, reportedly, it’s another meaty scent I cannot report first hand (or nose) on, and I will have to try and get over the huge disappointment of that, somehow. And, championing the love of the great gastronomic institution that is the Full English Breakfast, one fragrance garnered headlines around the world when they launched a perfume based on the aroma. Meatier still, popular meat-based snack company, Peperami, once released a spray ‘Puperami’ that, it claimed, would unite lost dogs with their owners. A case of ‘we’ll meat again’, maybe?

 

 

But it’s not only food products that are the inspiration behind novelty scents: In 2021, Richard Branson launched not only a new cruise-liner, but a scent to go with it, called No.1 Ship (and with the tagline, ‘It smells like ship!’ showing his tongue was firmly in his cheek. Perhaps we might place our final novelty fragrance example in the same bracket _ a whole set of scents based on… condoms. Yes. Just when you think you’ve seen (and smelled) it all.

 

 

While the majority (if not all) of these are novelty items – released in strictly limited editions to create a media buzz around the brand – it’s an interesting concept that engages us in a different way, and the fragrances will still have been created by a perfumer working to a brief (albeit rather more bizarre than they are used to!) Of course those highlighted above are to be taken with a pinch of salt (and vinegar, as far as the captain’s concerned), but it will be fascinating to see if any other brands pick up on the perfume buzz and create their own ‘scent of’.

What would you like to see (and smell) next…?

Written by Suzy Nightingale

I-SPY Scents – 50 fragrances everyone should sniff

From bestsellers to treasures from niche names, Suzy Nightingale suggests 50 fragrances we think you should be sure to sniff out – and what better time to begin than in National Fragrance Week?

 

Those of us who love fragrance are always seeking out the new, the exciting, the just-launched. But it’s sometimes easy to overlook the exquisite creations that are right under our noses. Think of the following as akin to one of those i-SPY books we loved as kids, in which we’d patiently check off lists of ‘must-see’ birds, cathedrals, native shrubs or whatever fuelled our childhood passions.

In The Scented Letter Magazine, issue 50, we published a longer article called ‘50 Fragrant Icons‘, which we are THRILLED to say has made the shortlist of finalists for a Jasmine Award!

[PSST! Sign up here so you get every copy of the magazine sent to your inbox for free!]

Here, we present the first half of those 50 fragrances we believe you simply must seek out (we’ll be sharing the second half of the scent list next week) with direct links so you can explore and find out more. Now, get those blotters ready (and note down those you like the sound of so you can tick off your own 50 fragrances I-Spy list…

 

 

  1. 4160 Tuesdays The Sexiest Scent On the Planet Ever (IMHO) £55 for 100ml eau de parfum 

Founder and perfumer Sarah McCartney created this in 2013 as a bespoke fragrance for a VIP event, with a journalist present declaring it to be ‘the sexiest scent ever!’ And thus, a star fragrance was born. Hints of citrus, smooth vanilla, soft woodiness and musky ambergris form an unassuming but undeniably addictive blend that will have you exuding the sensuality of its name.

 

  1. Acqua di Parma Colonia £58 for 20ml eau de Cologne

A timeless symbol of Italian chic, Colonia dates from 1916 and was first used to scent gentlemen’s handkerchiefs. With fragrant fans including Cary Grant, David Niven, and Audrey Hepburn, it’s as if you’ve wandered into an Italian sunlit idyll. Sicilian citrus, bergamot, lemon, sweet and bitter oranges infuse your soul with golden sunshine, the warm base cashmere soft. Bliss, bottled.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Angela Flanders Precious One from £32 for 10ml eau de parfum

Awarded Best New Independent Fragrance 2012 by the Fragrance Foundation UK, this was London-based perfumer Angela Flanders’s homage to her daughter, Kate. An even more special tribute given Angela’s passing, and Kate taking on the role of perfumer. The exquisite floral accord rests on a base of softest oakmoss, layers of smoky vetiver unfurling their classically cool, deeply intriguing charms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Bvlgari Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert £81 for 75ml eau de Cologne

Setting the trend for green tea-infused scents, this chicly refreshing fragrance launched in 1992. The pared-back elegance of cool herbaceousness (cardamom atop citrus and coriander) is down to master perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena. An olfactory haiku, the citrus segues seamlessly to the lucent lily of the valley, jasmine and rose heart, the tea effortlessly steamed in musky woods. Genius.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Byredo Flowerhead £135 for 50ml eau de parfum

Although this made its debut in 2014, founder Ben Gorham had the idea six years previously ‘when I gave my cousin away at her Indian wedding.’ Capturing the vision of an Indian bride’s hair covered in floral decorations, perfumer Jérôme Épinette’s creation pulses with tuberose, wild jasmine, rose petals, Scandinavian lingonberry and Sicilian lemon on a suede-wrapped amber base.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Calvin Klein CK ONE £48 for 100ml eau de toilette 

The world’s love for Calvin Klein clothing, accessories and fragrances was at its peak in the 90s, the revolutionary fragrance hitting the shelves in 1994 and immediately making its mark, with $60 million global sales in three months. Ultra-fresh, a first-of-its kind unisex eau de toilette, the Steven Meisel ads starring Kate Moss perfectly evoked its insouciant, aromatic aquatic sexiness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Carolina Herrera 212 NYC £49 for 30ml eau de toilette

Carolina Herrera de Báez (Carolina Jr) joined her mother’s empire in 1996, just one year later launching this ‘spirit of New York, bottled’ scent, having grown up amidst an artistic landscape of impeccable style and a ‘language of aromas.’ Alberto Morillas wove a youthful exuberance into airy gardenia and jasmine, the soft, musky sandalwood dry-down a testament to vibrant, urban modernity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Cartier La Panthère £62 for 35ml eau de parfum

Brilliant in-house perfumer Mathilde Laurent is everyone’s girl-crush: a woman’s woman who suffuses the house’s heritage with so-cool yet achievable stylishness. Embracing tart fruitiness with gardenia, rose and ylang ylang atop an animalistic purr of patchouli, oakmoss and leather, this gracefully rebellious ‘symbol of freedom’ was a modern classic the moment it first miaowed in 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Chanel No5 £65 for 35ml eau de parfum

Recognisable the world over by bottle alone, this iconic fragrance celebrated its 100th birthday last year. Back in 1921 (and ever since), what really set No5 apart was its abstract construction. Legend has it that perfumer Ernest Beaux put an ‘overdose’ of aldehydes (sparkling, Champagne-like notes) in the bottle; while we’ll never know if that was true, the rest is fragrance history – and its future!

 

 

 

  1. Chloe £84 for 50ml eau de parfum

Already known for their flirty, feminine womenswear, Chloe’s debut scent launched in 1975 under the umbrella of Karl Lagerfeld. When time came to create a signature for a new generation, it needed to embody the fresh, confident femininity that’s in Chloé‘s DNA. Thus in 2008, Amandine Clerc-Marie and Michel Almairac dappled delicate peony with a cool, dewy fruitiness for a fluidly graceful go-to.

 

  1. Clarins Eau Dynamisante £39 for 100ml spray

Long before today’s natural beauty trend, Clarins pioneered the use of aromatics and botanicals in skincare; their Eau Dynamisante was the first eau de toilette combining principles of aromatherapy and phytotherapy (plant therapy) in fragrant form, back in 1987. Hydrating, toning, and revivifying via essential oils of lemon, patchouli, petitgrain, ginseng and white tea, it’s immediately mood-lifting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Creed Aventus £210 for 50ml eau de parfum

CREED‘s most celebrated fragrance became a true sensation on its launch in 2010, an unusual pairing of succulent pineapple and smoky birch with further fragrant juxtapositions of blackcurrant and rose, apple and jasmine. Inspired by the dramatic life of Napoleon, it’s become (and remained) a blockbuster for its inventive, unapologetic drama and unconventional boldness of spirit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Dior Eau Sauvage £69 for 50ml eau de toilette

Christian Dior’s scented legacy has endured long beyond his too-short lifetime. To follow legendary Miss Dior and Diorissimo, in 1966 Edmond Roudnitska was entrusted with this zingy yet ethereal, utterly enthralling cologne-style creation. His clarity of composition – bright, crisp lemon and verdant herbs up top, balanced by a handsomely dry vetiver base – remains a wardrobe must-have.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Diptyque Philosykos £125 for 100ml eau de toilette 

Making fig fabulously fashionable in 1996, Olivia Giacobetti lapped the crunchy, vegetal nature of fig leaf with a silky milkiness that spoke of humid exoticism and fragrant escapes. Rippled with coconut, comforted by the pencil-shavings note of cedar’s woodiness as it warms, we know many a perfumista who reached for this during lockdowns, and will be wearing for decades to come!

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Escentric Molecule 01 £50 for 30ml eau de parfum

In 2006, the idea of having a fragrance containing but a single, synthetic ingredient was startling. Maverick perfumer and founder Geza Schoen admits he thought, ‘This one will appeal only to the artists, the freaks, the outsiders.’ He was wrong; the world went crazy for the ISO E Super – that warm, fuzzy comfort of nuzzling your lover’s neck and leaning in for more, more, more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Estée Lauder Youth Dew £55 for 67ml eau de parfum

Launched in 1953, this had a clever dual-purpose: ‘…a bath oil that doubled as a skin perfume.’ Because although it was then considered déclassé for a woman to buy her own fragrance, as Esteé Lauder herself once said, ‘it was feminine, all-American, very girl-next-door to take baths…’ This spicy floral simmers with incense and rich (almost cola-esque) resins: the scent of subversiveness!

 

 

 

 

FLORAL_STREET_ELECTRIC_RHUBARB

 

 

 

  1. Floral Street Electric Rhubarb from £28 for 10ml eau de parfum

This British fragrance house has blown us away with their fun, modern take on fragrances, the charmingly luminous effervescence of Electric Rhubarb a case in point. Perfumer Jérôme Épinette [the nose for all their scents] created this in collaboration with the Royal Horticultural Society. Think summer days sipping Prosecco – rhubarb’s fizz, sea salt and white flowers an enlivening, joyous jolt.

 

 

  1. Floris Chypress from £17 for 10ml eau de parfum

Chypre is one of the most classic fragrance families, but in 2017, Floris gave it a swoon-worthy twist, with sunshine-filled neroli dancing with the soapy brightness of bergamot, lemon and sweet orange until the heart proffers a floral bouquet. Then, as the lights dim and flicker, a va-va-voom yet never cloying vanilla, transparent muskiness, amber and patchouli are chicly revealed.

 

 

 

 

Frederic Malle's Portrait of a Lady perfume

 

 

 

 

  1. Frédéric Malle Portrait of a Lady from £138 for 30ml eau de parfum

Once Monsieur Malle took the step of putting perfumer’s names on the bottles, these once-hidden noses became olfactory rock stars. Dominique Ropion had crafted iconic fragrances for years, but with the overtly sensual, dark rose, berries and sinuous patchouli of 2010’s ‘POAL’ (as it’s oft known), he created the decadent scent trail of many a perfumista, and Malle’s bestseller.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Giorgio Armani Si £65 for 30ml eau de parfum

Giorgio Armani describes as ‘my tribute to modern femininity, an irresistible combination of grace, strength and independent spirit.’ It’s a masterful ‘reinvention’ of that so-classic Chypre family for a contemporary new audience. Captivating the senses with its three accords – fruity cassis nectar, a modern Chypre accord, and light musky woods – it’s sophisticated yet utterly unfussy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Goutal Eau d’Hadrien £143 for 100ml eau de parfum

If there was an award for ‘Most Mentioned Signature Fragrance by Celebrities’, Goutal’s Eau d’Hadrien would probably win the gold medal – and with good reason. In a timelessly intriguing, deceptively simple take on freshness, mouth-watering citrus, ylang ylang and sparkling, soapy aldehydes evoke Annick’s beloved Italian garden. Way ahead of its time in 1981, it’s just as relevant now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Guerlain Shalimar £69 for 30ml eau de parfum

Incredibly over 100 years old. Its creator Jacques Guerlain’s reign lasted 65 fragrance-filled years and included many a masterpiece (Mitsouko, how we adore thee!) Imagine here a silky pair of 1920s pyjamas worn with heels to a party, citrus swirled with honeyed, night-blooming flowers, powdery iris on a vanilla-plumped base, incense on the breeze: the perfect perfumed romance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Hermès Terre d’Hermès £71 for 50ml eau de toilette

Master perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena’s back catalogue could likely fill a list of ‘50 fragrances you should try’ in its own right, but the standout success of this when it launched in 2006 has shown no signs of slowing. Why? It’s the so-structured woodiness that’s riven with vivacious grapefruit, the sheer spices enlivened by a suavely handsome, distinctly flinty vetiver. Sublime.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Issey Miyake L’Eau d’Issey £46 for 20ml eau de toilette

Reinventing the scent of water to become chicly covetable, as only Issey Miyake truly could. The beautiful transparency of lotus flower and freesia is rippled through with lightly handled lily, rose and carnation; perfumer Jacques Cavallier then delicately dusted peony petals and rested the composition on a smoothly woody base tickled by a swirl of white musk. It still whispers, beguilingly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male £42.50 for 40ml eau de toilette

Created by now well-known fragrant maestro Francis Kurkdjian while fresh out of perfumery school, it was quite the olfactory debut in 1995. Taking the outlines of a traditional fougére, the lavender and mint are salt-licked and distinctly salacious, while vanilla, almond-like tonka bean and orange-blossom are positively addictive, and the cumin naughtily skin-like. Ahoy there!

 

A bumper crop of vegetable patch perfumes to spray your five a day!

There’s a veritable glut of vegetable notes cropping up in perfumes lately, from beetroots and carrots through to artichokes and even cauliflowers in this brand new gourmand category of scents. If you’ve over-indulged on rich food, consider a salad, and (far more enjoyable) getting your greens in fragrant form.

Like any other trend, newness in fragrance can be traced back through cultural patterns, a certain shift in the zeitgeist that suggests something’s in the air. One of the major happenings has been a gardening and grow-your-own vegetable boom in the UK that began during lockdowns and shows no signs of slowing. Google reported that searches relating to how to grow vegetables doubled during May 2020 to May 2021, while new research from beauty and naturopathic product producers Weleda, meanwhile, reveals that in 2021, ‘26.7 million Britons grew their own fruit, veg and herbs’, with almost two thirds claiming that ‘connecting with nature has had a positive impact on their mood.’

Leaps in technology have given perfumers access to new aroma molecules, which for the first time allow natural extracts of vegetable notes to be used in perfumery. To read even more about this remarkable vegetable revolution in the perfume world, take a look at the Spray Your Five a Day feature, which appeared in the late summer issue of The Scented Letter magazine; but meanwhile we urge you to seek out some of this bumper crop as your New Year’s scent resolution…

 

 

 

Salvatore Ferragamo Giungle di Seta (pea)
Inspired by Ferragamo’s exotic silk prints, the verdant sweetness of pea shoots entwine jungle vines, tempered by the powdery familiarity of peony: nature, tamed.

£86 for 100ml eau e parfum ferragamo.com

 

 

Shay & Blue Clementine (watercress)
Succulent citrus wreathed in swags of laurel leaves and the bright, peppery green of watercress; flagging spirits further revived via petitgrain’s piquant sunshine.

From £25 for 10ml eau de parfum shayandblue.com

 

 

Freddie Albrighton Someone Else’s Flowers (watercress, radish)
Rain-washed radishes, watercress and plucked peapods photosynthesise to a florist’s shop of snapped stalks and tin buckets: happy-making bouquets yet to be.

£102 for 50ml eau de parfum freddiealbrighton.com

 

 

Diptyque Eau Rose Eau de Parfum (artichoke)
Artichoke was added to enhance the original rose oil – fleshy, green, slightly bitter, it speaks of melancholy moments wandering walled gardens, arboreal amour.

£140 for 75ml eau de parfum diptyque.com

 

To the Fairest Élan Vital (greens/nettle)
A settling of greens and grounding vetiver on forest-y floors, the gathering of soft moss and patchouli to line a cosy bolthole with, a cover of golden leaves.

£85 for 50ml eau de parfum tothefairest.com

 

 

Comme des Garçons Rouge (beetroot)
Familiar notes are daringly subverted as blood red berries and earthy beetroot meet supremely calming swirls of iced incense and charred leather.

£120 for 100ml eau de parfum harveynichols.com

 

 

Jack Perfume Covent Garden (carrot)
The insouciant naughtiness of Withnail’s ‘Camberwell carrot’ becomes a market stroll, munching on vegetables as an aromatic, ginger-tinged breeze excites.

£95 for 100ml eau de parfum ab-presents.com

 

 

Bohoboco Wild Carrot Oud (carrot)
Carrots ripped out with roots, clods and bundled in newspaper, nestled in the crook of a leather-clad elbow, biked to a pipe-smoking lover down winding country lanes.

£96.50 for 50ml parfum frmoda.com

 

 

 

Maya Njie Voyeur Verde (fennel)
The comfort of cut grass and freshly washed car leather, aniseed sweets sucked on
the back seat, windows rolled-down to drink in forest air – home in time for tea.

£95 for 50ml eau de parfum mayanjie.com

Try a sample of Voyeur Verde in the Maya Njie Discovery Set for £34

 

 

L’Atelier Parfum Verte Euphorie (carrot)
The instant WHOOSH of sunshine-y citrus presages leafiness and crunchy carrot in the heart, earthy sweetness swathed in fluffiness on the softly musky base.

£59 for 50ml eau de parfum qvcuk.com

 

 

Roger & Gallet Verveine Utopie (fennel)
Fronds of licoricey fennel tickle the senses, the herbaceous verdancy rippled with spices and fringed with decadence as wormwood-infused absinthe has its way.

£127.50 for 500ml extrait de Cologne escentual.com

 

 

Stories No.2 (tomato leaf / greenhouse)
The soothing steam of a childhood memory: grandfather’s greenhouse, his pipe smoke encircling tomato plants, rose cuttings, the joy of running barefoot.

£75 for 30ml eau de parfum in our Shop

 

 

DS & Durga Bistro Waters (bell peppers)
A savoury special of juicy green peppers and aromatic, just-chopped herbs with undercurrents of fancy cocktails to follow, late-night lock-ins and snogging the chef.

£148 for 50ml eau de parfum libertylondon.com

 

 

Paco Rabanne Fabulous Me (pumpkin)
Eschewing showiness, a warm snuggle that speaks of cosiness, silky sandalwood wrapped around fleshy pumpkin; rhubarb’s tartness tempering the sweetness.

 

 

4160 Tuesdays Le Jardin de Monsieur McGregor (cucumber/celery)
Mr McGregor’s pipe smoke trail traces a rambunctious bunny through a Lake District garden: leafy greens, creamy mushrooms and nibbled strawberries.

£70 for 30ml eau de parfum 4160tuesdays.com

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Fragrances For… Welcoming Spring

The turning of the seasons is the perfect time to explore a new scent, to draw a metaphorical line under the colder months behind us and look forward to brighter days in fragrant form! Spring can be beautifully welcomed-in with these softly blossoming (and blooming lovely) recent launches. Which would you like to try, first, we wonder…?

COLLEZIONE PRIVATA BY VALMONT
Collezione Privata Just Bloom
For the fourth fragrance in the collection, we’re presented with a stunning bouquet of white flowers, traditionally a symbol of femininity but chicly paired back, here, allowing the blossoms to fully bloom. CEO Sophie Vann Guillon’s favourite flower happens to be lily of the valley, so joyfully evoked in the top notes, and complemented by the creamy exoticism of gardenia in the heart. Finally caressed by the ethereal woodiness of ambergris, it’s a sun-dappled delight.
£230 for 100ml eau de parfum
harrods.com

CHLOÉ
Nomade Eau de Parfum Naturelle
Celebrating ‘the merging of cultures and the poetry of encounters’ this new, 100% natural origin evocation is an olfactory exploration that whisks us to distant landscapes as dusk falls. Bergamot breezes its zesty freshness over sandy dunes, Egyptian jasmine absolute’s joyful glow meets the addictive smoothness of succulent date accord, rippled with creamy sandalwood and vanilla. It seems to billow hopefulness, somehow: soothing memories of skin still warm from a day’s adventures.
£54 for 30ml eau de parfum
lookfantastic.com

 

BVLGARI
Rose Goldea Blossom Delight
Swapping out heavier scents for fresher fragrances feel like a proper escape from winter, an exuberant change in the weather here evoked by the delicacy of lily of the valley, powdery peony and a kiss of musk. This pretty bouquet is further refreshed ‘by incorporating the freshness of the rosebuds at sunrise, embraced by just-picked spring flowers.’ We’re dropping down the denier scale in olfactory form, wearing this joyous ode to spring.
£65 for 50ml eau de toilette
bvlgari.com

CREED
Wind Flowers
Inspired by the flowing movements of a dancer, this feminine fragrance feels like a handful of petals tossed to the breeze. Indian jasmine and Tunisian orange blossom are twirled with a peachy softness, the perfumer adding a further flurry of jasmine sambac, tuberose and the fruity notes of the Centifolia rose into the fragrant ballet. Orange blossom blankets the base, with a delicious praline that swirls to a finale of hushed musk.
£260 for 75ml eau de parfum
creedfragrances.co.uk

GABAR
Ground II
‘We’re rooted in Myanmar and made for the world,’ the founders of this niche house rather beautifully explain, and the inspirations are firmly planted there, too. Based on traditional La Phet (tea leaf salad) and Thanaka (tree bark) the verdant crunch of stalks is seamlessly stirred into dough-like orris, fig, saffron and sandalwood silkiness that had us burying our noses in our wrists. A majestic oudh, patchouli and vetiver trail truly feel grounding, hours later.
£120 for 50ml eau de parfum
gabarmyanmar.com

 

Fragrances For… Hanging on to Hope

With the world in turmoil and so much uncertainty it might seem, to some, an act of ‘frivolity’ to turn to fragrance. But we know – and we hear from you all the time – how important scent can be at times of extreme stress. Rising sales in personal and home fragrance attested to this during lockdowns, and so we offer a spread of recently launched scents that can help soothe frazzled nerves, remind us of happier times and, most importantly, give us hope…

 

 

 

MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA
Replica When The Rain Stops
As if the name wasn’t evocative enough, this is fresh air, bottled: the scent of flowers and leaves, after a summer rainstorm, via bergamot, nose-tingling pink pepper, an aquatic accord, Isparta rose petal essence and jasmine, on a base that hums with pine needle oil, the dampness of moss, and Bali patchouli. Crystal-clear in colour – like the rain-washed air it evokes – this has us believing that the storm clouds are beginning to part, at last.
From £49 for 50ml eau de toilette
selfridges.com

MOLTON BROWN
Delicious Rhubarb & Rose
Celebrating ‘home is where the heart is’, Molton Brown showcase a duo of star ingredients often grown in our own gardens, much beloved by us Brits. Perfumer Vanessa Prudent conjures comforting childhood memories of baking, a sprinkle of sugar and pink pepper dusting rhubarb’s crispness, the leaves swagged by armfuls of soft pink roses. Marrying crisp fruitiness to the cedar muskiness of the base via silky cream ribbons, it’s an elegant reverie, bottled.
£85 for 100ml eau de toilette
moltonbrown.co.uk

 

TO THE FAIREST
ODRE COSMIQUE
Inspired by ‘the magic and connectivity of the cosmos’, this gender-neutral scent opens with unusual notes of cool, silvery cardamom and calming water lily. Shimmering like the night sky, the sparkle hushes to a warmer base of soothing sandalwood, rippled through with the addictive nature of the chocolate cosmos flower. Gourmand-shunners need not worry, this is no ‘foodie’ type concoction – it feels far more sophisticated than that; a subtle addiction, if you will.
£85 for 50ml eau de parfum
tothefairest.com

 

 
EMPORIO ARMANI
Stronger With You Only
Chock full of assured suaveness, the character of the beloved original juice is allowed to shine through but there’s a zing up top with a generous squeeze of grapefruit. Meanwhile, an extra dose of freshness is granted by aromatic lavender and geranium in the heart. An intriguingly smoky is joined by a chestnut accord that’s sugar-coated yet still masculine. It feels like having your favourite jacket re-made in a differing material: the perfect fragrant fit.
£54 for 50ml eau de toilette
armanibeauty.co.uk

 

 

GABAR
Ground II
‘We’re rooted in Myanmar and made for the world,’ the founders of this niche house rather beautifully explain, and the inspirations are firmly planted there, too. Based on traditional La Phet (tea leaf salad) and Thanaka (tree bark) the verdant crunch of stalks is seamlessly stirred into dough-like orris, fig, saffron and sandalwood silkiness that had us burying our noses in our wrists. A majestic oudh, patchouli and vetiver trail truly feel grounding, hours later.
£120 for 50ml eau de parfum
gabarmyanmar.com
 

New fragrance trends revealed: the future smells like this…

New fragrance trends can be tricky to forecast, but a huge clue is the secret ingredients known as ‘captives’ or ‘captive molecules’.

These pioneering, sustainable captive molecules are aromas exclusively designed by fragrance creation companies, which perfumers clamour for because they cannot be used (and therefore copied) by anyone else. More than that, these unique blends bring brand new smells into the perfumer’s palate, which cannot be captured in nature, or perhaps do not even exist in nature. It’s quite mind-blowing when you think of it – the equivalent of a painter being presented with a new set of colours that nobody had ever seen before, or a musician being offered some notes that had never previously been heard.

The fragrance creation house of IFFInternational Flavors & Fragrance – are one of the world’s leading innovators of scent, and their top-name perfumers (think Dominique Ropion, Anne Flipo, Carlos Benaïm, Julien Rasquinet and so many more) create for pretty much any perfume house you care to mention. Having just revealed a selection of new captive molecules, we’re sure it wont be very long before you see these new ingredients making scent waves in fragrance trends, and popping up in a perfume near you.

All these images and descriptions are ©IFF, and we feel we can almost smell them through the screen. But which would you most like to try in a future fragrance…?

 

Aquaflora – Image ©IFF
 

Aquaflora

‘Close your eyes and imagine: a fresh smell of lily of the valley, watermelon, melon and cantaloupe.’

 

Cosmofruit

‘A complex smell reminiscent of tarte tatin, damascone, nuts, summer berries, plums, saffron and chili.’

 

 

Cristalfizz

‘It’s citrus fizzy, with orange and mandarin zest. A watery feel, crystal fresh and ozonic. It’s aldehydic and unique.’

 

 

Hawaïanate

‘Juicy and fruity pineapple, powerful tropical fruit sensation, a dash of green apple, jammy red and dry fruits. Add creamy, sweet coconut feel, a touch of spicy, salty cinnamon.’