Luxury and niche fragrances are always lusted after, but of course can become somewhat injurious to one’s wallet if you want to try several all at once (and we always, always do!)
The problem is, this often leads people to try ‘dupe‘ fragrances (a nice word for ‘copy’ or ‘rip off’) when we are bombarded by companies aggressively advertising these copies on social media, which promise to be ‘as good as the real thing’ or saying ‘you’ll never know the difference’. It’s understandable some are (literally) duped this way – it sounds too good to be true…
And it is.
Luxury copies are often completely unregulated, using untraceable, unsustainable and inferior materials they can be made in unsanitary, sweat shop conditions, in huge vats of copycat smell-alikes, which may not have been fully safety tested, or have been adulterated with rogue ingredients and then passed off as being a ‘bargain’. Presented in such a way these companies suggest they are somehow doing you a favour, in fact, it’s daylight robbery – a theft of artistic ideas (often pretending to be the real thing by copying names and labels). And we have never once, in our combined decades of professional experience, found anyone, with any knowledge of fragrance, who has smelled the real thing and a knock-off dupe and not IMMEDIATELY been able to tell the difference. Fact.
Those in the know have found the way forward when we’re on a smaller budget. Luxury Discovery Boxes are the chance to indulge in the fragrances of niche and designer houses, often giving you the opportunity to try the scented wares from cult brands you’ve not heard of, or not everyone knows about yet. And, of course, not everyone happens to live near a niche perfumery (or feels brave enough to go in, even if you do). Very few of us could go out and purchase full-size bottles of every brand we want to try. Luxury boxes allow you to afford to wear every single one… and get to experience the real deal, made by perfumers, not thieves.
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…?
Luxury 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).
In the recent Esxence fragrance fair in Milan, one of the highlights was smelling the aptly-named Abundance – a new fragrance by Australian perfume house, Map of the Heart.
We’ve long been huge fans of this always-artistic fragrance house, and love the way their scents imbue a sense of the landscapes they are inspired by. Indeed, many of the ingredients are indigenous to Australia and brilliant perfumer Jacques Huclier collaborated with Amelie Jacquin for this latest launch.
For V.8 Abundance, the verdancy and freshness billows forth from the first spritz – it was composed during Lockdown in Australia, so co-founder Sarah explained to us, and was borne of a sense of longing for nature and wildness that we all seemed to experience, no matter where we were based in the world.
Bitter orange fizzes with pops of pink pepper, a mellow drift of incense on the breeze suggesting adventure, exploration. The intriguing note of Christmas Tree or ‘Flame Tree’ is in the heart, but cast aside thoughts of yuletide celebrations and instead think of wide open vistas clustered by vast forests, shady places, an ancient place of sanctuary. As with all Map of the Heart fragrances, seams of Australian Sandalwood ripple throughout, here, joined by White Sandalwood, deep rivulets of Akigalawood and resinous benzoin, adding to the sacred nature of the scent as it warms on your skin.
This is a sneak-peek, because Abundance isn’t yet available on their website, but you may be sure when it is, there will be a rush of fragrant fans clamouring to own it – either in the heart bottles which made them so famous (and look for all the world as though they belong in an art gallery); or the more conventional bottles they now also produce.
Intrigued? You should be! We are thrilled to say the Map of the Heart Discovery Sets are now back in stock in our shop, and there you may try the rest of the collection to date. The only questions is where will you begin your Map of the Heart journey…?
Clear Heart v.1 – Australian summer: surfing, swimming, hot days, cool breezes and the salt that hangs in the air promising more.
Black Heart v.2 – Smoky. Impolite. Dangerous. It’s smoky heart of mysterious spices is shot through with shards of fresh eucalyptus and citrus to create an impolite mix of opposites.
Red Heart v.3 – Explosive. Seductive. Addictive. A composition of feijoa, tuberose and spices with sensual notes of musk and vanilla.
Gold Heart v.4 – Nurturing. Precious. Ancient. An exotic warm breeze that wraps around to protect and nurture.
Purple Heart v.5 – Brave. Instinctive. Triumphant. Inverying the olfactory pyramid by opening darker and then brightening
Pink Heart v.6 – Mingles on the skin with the spiciness of the sumac accord and cistus absolute for a mesmerising ride.
White Heart v.7 – The ethereal and sharp opening of French lavender, aldehyde and cardamom coolly invite us into the vast landscape of love.
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.
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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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
For International Women’s Day this year, we’re celebrating some of the incredible women who are not only perfumers, but who’ve founded their own independent houses; who haven’t merely survived one of the most difficult times in living memory for small businesses, but are, quite frankly, thriving!
There’s no doubt things have changed a lot in recent years.
There are reportedly more women now joining the famous French perfumery school, ISIPCA, than men – an about-face for the time women in the perfume industry were either not employed at all, or remained somewhat faceless behind-the-scenes as their male peers were lauded as genius perfumers in gleaming white lab coats, then the respectable (and respected) face of fragrance.
The perfume world – and all fragrance fans – have many pioneering women to thank for the centuries they spent, tirelessly working their way to the top. So, for International Women’s Day, here are just a few strong, creative, amazing women we’d like to put our hands together for – and whom we should all celebrate, not just today, but every single time we spritz…
Maya Njie (pronounced ‘Maia N-Jai’) has diverse familial and artistic roots, having been born in Västerås Sweden, with a West African heritage, and moving to London in her teens where she went in to study at the University of the Arts. Weaving together these threads via the medium of the senses, Maya began experimenting with smell alongside the the visual mediums of colour and photography. Gaining global fans around the world, and offering Pocket Size perfumes, we are thrilled to welcome Maya Njie at The Perfume Society, and know you’ll adore exploring her creations.
Ruth was born in England, spent some of her childhood in America, and graduated with a Chemistry degree from Oxford University. Having been classically trained in Grasse, she’d studied alongside brilliant perfumers such as Olivier Cresp, who created Angel, and Jacques Cavallier who created the Jean Paul Gaultier ‘Classique’ fragrance. Having travelled extensively, and been president of The British Society of Perfumers; Ruth launched a capsule collection of scented products before weaving scent memories we could all wear. Ruth’s perfumes are shamelessly romantic, but still with a contemporary edge, and we’re always thrilled (and proud!) to wear them.
Completing her extensive training at the French perfumery school of ISIPCA, Emanuelle worked as a Scent Design Manager for various global fragrance brands, then become an independent perfumer based in London. Wanting to make the fragrance world more inclusive, she runs incredibly popular workshops which led to her own expending line of so-clever, utterly wearable (alone, or to mix your own signature) exceptionally exciting scents; and now (since lockdown) opened the world out further by crafting perfume courses online, suited to every level of experience.
I didn’t want to make perfume as a child; I wanted to be a witch,’ says Sarah McCartney, founder and perfumer of the gloriously unconventional 4160 Tuesdays. Having written a novel about perfumes, readers asked if she could create the scents she’d invented, ‘This turned out to be impossible – and pretty expensive – because no one was making exactly what I wanted, so I started another quest to see of I could make them instead.’ And so she rolled up her sleeves and did just that. Always inventive, collaborating with artists, appearing at festivals – here energy and creative output is astounding.
Apprenticed to one of the UK’s experts in custom perfumery, Nancy began her career training with that esteemed perfumer and creating bespoke fragrances for private clients. Many might have stuck to that path, but Nancy dared to chase her dream and make it reality – all the while, dividing her time between town and country and raising a family. Now with her own exquisite artisanal line, and a beautiful boutique in Brighton, she has the knack of conjuring emotional responses with lyrical fragrances that are contemplative yet so effortlessly sophisticated. And yes, she still makes custom fragrances for clients, too!
Sarah Baker Parfums are ramping up the ravishing longevity by adding Extrait to their collection; read all about their turned-up-to-eleven appeal, find out how to try sample-sizes and feast your nose on full-size fragrances, here…
Who is Sarah Baker?
Contemporary artist Sarah Baker’s photography, sculpture and films are inspired by ‘fashion, luxury and celebrity’, but little did she know that when she created a fictional fragrance house as part of her artwork, her passion for the project (and the public’s reaction to it) would result in a real-life fragrance house. Still very much artistically inspired, luckily for us they’re now ready to (actually) wear… and these intensified, ultra-long-lasting versions of the scents are even more voluptuously desirable!
‘Why be a star when you can be a legend?’ asks the always artistic, eternally glamorous Sarah Baker, introducing perfumer Chris Maurice’s enticing composition for her house. Balancing bergamot’s brightness with the honeyed headiness of orange blossom, petitgrain pierces through the sweet swirl of butterscotch and dusting of sinfully dark chocolate. Cradled in Laos oudh, Suyufi agarwood and amber, it’s the ’24 Karat glow’ of celebrity’s golden age, made manifest.
This is a classic of the collection that’s been adored since the scents were first launched. Sarah Baker, the nose for this one, is better known as the founder of quirky British house 4160 Tuesdays, but here collaborated with Baker to compose this marvel. Picture it: A fire is roaring in the library. You savour a rare single malt. Warmth and heritage envelope you after a walk through mossy ruins in Scotland’s Highlands. Autumnal.
Oh now this is completely addictive, we warn you… One to wear when you simply want to smell irresistible – we’ve heard tell of several glossy mag beauty editors who cannot be without this having tried it on their own skin, and having sampled it ourselves, we totally understand why. Playful and sweet with the flavours of childhood appetites, it dries down to something seriously grown-up. A beloved game encountered in the attic, realising years later it was the seed of your adult prowess; the sensual, sexy and clever you.
Another from the original collection we fell in lust with at first sniff, this swaggers with glamour, it’s that ‘shoulder pads in a bottle’ scent which we all need sometimes for an instant spritz of confidence. It evokes the strength within, a purr of suggestiveness, a soap-opera bottled that could get out of control if you allow. An epic night out. Heady excess and a whiff of scandal. A big cat signifying power and the right to luxury. The only choice when good behaviour is not an option. Decadent.
Now this one will surround you in a shield of perfumed protection, but in the most audaciously fabulous way. Too much or not enough? We think it’s the perfect perfume to wear when you need to let your inner diva take the steering wheel and drive you to beyond the limits of your own imagination. Inspired by cult star Divine. A bubblegum mélange of tropical fruits, seductive flowers and predatory tones. A scandalous first impression unveils a balance of audacious combinations. Dare to walk your own path.
This may well have been the first fragrance we ever smelled from this incredible niche house. Having just launched, we were blown away by the freshness, both of this breezey scent (which wafts the promise of holidays and happiness) and the inventiveness of their collection. Here, fragrance floods Aegean isles, turning fresh on crystal waters. A yacht where a famous affair plays out above and below decks.The sun glistens on your body. A drama that remains fresh forever.
What a scent, oh boy, you’d better be ready to fall headlong for the lustful trio of tuberose, honey and ylang ylang. It’s fragrances like this that linger so longingly on the skin – like the tingle of a passionate kiss that seemingly last forever in this strength. One to waft when you desire others to follow your trail for hours, unbidden, helplessly seeking another sniff. Ah yes. Cross and double-cross. Who’s fooling who when the stakes are high? A lingering vapour of classic silver screen sophistication. Impeccable.
There are occasions that a scent rises above a smell and becomes a texture, a colour, a shimmering sensation that evokes so much and plunges you into an olfactive memory. Here, we find ourselves half dreaming, half remembering, waves kissing our legs, warm sun caressing the skin, a feeling of nakedness that sighs contentedly. In a mythical ocean, a sea shell gives birth to the goddess of love. Desire lingers beneath the shimmering surface. Fresh and beautiful, with an undertow. Salty.
£145 for 50ml extrait de parfum
How can you try samples?
We’re thrilled to be able to offer you a way to try these fabulous new extraits altogether – so you don’t have to choose between them, giving each a chance to drape itself irresistibly over your skin and radiate ravishingly in turn. Only then can you truly decide which one(s) must be yours…
How can you smell boujee on a budget is a question that’s more pressing now than ever, given the time of year and the fact we’re all watching our purses a little more. But you CAN still smell amazing, and try lots of luxury niche scents for less – it’s all about being clever and sampling before you save up and splash out, we find…
Cultivating a love for niche fragrances is a thrilling exploration of what those independent houses are creating – a bit like the catwalk shows in fashion, often showcasing exciting new trends years ahead of the mainstream. But, as many of us know all too well, it can become somewhat injurious to one’s wallet if you want to try several all at once (and we always, always do!)
The joy of a luxury Discovery Set is the chance to indulge in the fragrances of ultra-luxe niche and designer houses, often giving you 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 you’ve not heard of, or not everyone knows about yet. And, of course, not everyone happens to live near a niche perfumery (or feels brave enough to go in, even if you do).
Very few of us could go out and purchase full-size bottles of every brand we want to try – with these luxury sets, you can afford to wear every single one!
Inspired by childhood memories of Kavala, Greece, embracing his family’s heritage in Istanbul, and the intertwining of art, history, and philosophy; Manos Gerakinis is the first niche luxury Greek perfume house, and the fragrances truly radiate the diversity and passion of their founder.
Discover the full Mano Gerakinis Parfums story here
Quintessence – A refined woody ambrée fragrance, with top notes of saffron, clove and black pepper.
Sillage Royal – Manos Gerakinis’s first fragrance, which was originally created for himself a woody ambrée fragrance with top notes of smoke , cardamon, saffron and curcuma.
Rose Poetique – A soft woody ambrée fragrance combining damask Rose and labdanum to create a floral ambrée scent with an addictive opening and an uplifting body.
Pivoine – A soft floral fragrance, with a heart note of peony taken after the name Paeon, the physician of Greek gods who angered Asclepius with top notes of red apple.
Immortelle – Immortelle is a yellow flower found in Greek nature and its story dates back to the Trojan war, with top notes of clove and cinnamon.
Omen – Omen is a fruity-spicy-ambrée fragrance that is sweet and juicy, deep yet fun.
Born in Västerås Sweden, with a West African heritage, and moving to London in her teens where she went in to study at the University of the Arts, Maya Njie experiments with smell along with colour and photography. The box also holds a beautiful booklet containing the 6 photos that inspired these scents.
Read more about Maya’s incredible artistic journey here
Nordic Cedar – inspired by a Swedish forest of cedars with earthy patchouli
Vanilj – comforting vanilla, spiced with cardamom and swirled in musk
Tobak – honeyed tobacco leaf, musks and leather, so addictive
Les Fleurs – bergamot, magnolia and fig, a celebration of life, love and creation
Tropica – tropical fruits layered with sandalwood and coconut for an idyllic escape
Voyeur Verde – verdant cypress trees entwined through leather seats of an abandoned car
Perfumer and founder Keshen Teo worked tirelessly to ensure his 100% natural scents have an 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’, to ensure that the fragrances delight the nose and beguile the emotions from first sniff. ‘I like the challenge of this’.
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 or even fussy family or friends.
Christmas is always the most scented season, but present-buying panic can set in (we all know the feeling), so we’ve collated a guide to help you start (and finish!) your shopping right now…
When you’re not sure exactly what scent to get them for Christmas, 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 everyone, no matter how picky about perfume they are! From designer name divas to scented gents about town, millennials desperate to discover what suits them best and those keen to branch out with something different – 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…)
The perfect treat or gift filled with a curated edit of those fragrances we believe men simply must have, this collection of male and unisex fragrances features globally adored best sellers and just launched scents from THoO, Jeroboam, DSquared2, Paco Rabanne, Bentley, Jean Paul Gaultier, Versace & Initio! Those wishing to expand their collection will delve and get ready to be truly addicted to their new favourite fragrance(s)….
Featuring fragrances chosen to make your gift recipient feel truly special (particularly for someone who’s had a tough time and deserves to feel their best again) this box is bursting with newness from Floral Street, Comme des Garçon & Caroline Herrera, plus the incredible artistic beauty of Sarah Baker Parfums. Let them dive into the best scents the fragrance world has to offer (and extra pampering treats for the colder weather from Skinsense and Stories Parfums).
Know someone who’s been seriously stressed? (Maybe even YOU deserve a treat?) Recent world events have left us a little off kilter, so here at Perfume Society HQ, we decided to put together the perfect gift box of fragrance to help everyone achieve a better sense of equilibrium. We’ve brought together fragrances that have been purposely designed to induce a sense of calm and help cope with all life has to throw at us, perfumes for grounding us in natural surroundings, and there are also scents for boosting inner strength. Click on the link to discover each item individually…
For the most suave and chic of your perfume-loving pals, here’s a box that swaggers with charm and sophistication. Filled with fragrances from some of Britain’s finest brands – both classic and utterly contemporary names – to help them find their new fragrant passions. Indulging in these voluptuous, classic scents and new launches all from within the UK will keep them feeling confident (and let them know how much they are loved!) Smart…sexy…elegant – this is a box that has it all, and then some, in scent appeal.
The majority of British schools have now broken up for the summer holidays, with some having even broken up earlier due to the extreme heat we’ve been experiencing here. Having worked through perhaps the most challenging few academic years in our lifetime, we can practically hear the sighs of relief from teaching staff the land over! If you’re a teacher, we think you deserve a treat far greater than an apple, so over the next few weeks we’re matching scents to teaching subjects and encourage you to explore and indulge at will. Today’s lesson is…
Scented Subject:Geography suggests earthy scents, and yes those loamy, wild-roaming fragrances can be found in this selection, but we’re thinking more laterally, with houses who are inspired by world travels, wild landscapes, and fragrant foraging.
Founder and perfumer, Sonia Constant, finds inspiration ‘From my travels – flowers, trees, arid landscapes, humid places. Everything I encounter can be an inspiration.’ For this one, we journey to ‘…an impenetrable jungle some 160 million years old’ in Thailand, ‘watered by the monsoons and the mists of the Andaman sea. Sonia continues: ‘At daybreak, the mist rises to reveal the floral, transparent freshness of the white flower-filled forest borders, and exhales moist, green and woody perfumes. Unseen in the distance, the gibbons impose their presence on this mysterious awakening with their characteristic early-morning calls.’
‘Scotland has some of the most complex geology in the world and this scent is inspired by metamorphic rock that is spectacularly woven into the landscape,’ explains founder, Imogen Russon-Taylor. It’s complex, fusing black pepper and tobacco, incense, minerals and rose absolute, metamorphosing on the skin as it’s warmed to reveal a base of amber resin and leather. And in this one, you might make out just a splash of Islay malt whisky – a nod to Imogen’s own history, here.
Inspired by her innate love for Italy, talented perfumer Ruth Mastenbroek created Amorosa as a perfumed paean to the country she so proudly declares her passion for. Literally translating as ‘a woman in love’ this is an intriguing new take on a floral that feels like a love affair with the landscape itself. Yes, the notes are classic at heart – but it’s the fascinating opening that particularly sets the senses tingling: Mouth-wateringly juicy watermelon paired with the fresh green sap-like note of galbanum and violet leaf, while the heart proffers a bouquet of white flowers and tender blossoms, beckoning you forth to the final layer of woody musks and exotic amber.
A sublime portrait of the apricot-y bloom, this is inspired by a trip to ‘a tropical mountain shrouded in mist.’ We sense sunsets, a gasp of geological height and grandeur, in a scent that very slowly unfurls itself as it warms. Curls of fog clear to reveal a forest far below, the resinous scent of verdant vegetation and grounding woodiness rising to meet you, the osmanthus swathing your skin in a leathery embrace. Calming, mysterious, transcendentally beautiful – a voyage for the senses, no matter where you are in the world.
We’re perhaps used to thinking of lily of the valley as a very traditional (even, whisper it, old-fashioned) perfumery ingredient, yet so many modern classics and contemporary perfumers use lily of the valley to magnificent effect in their compositions. We chose this symbolic flower – meaning ‘a return to happiness’ – eight years ago as our kind of unoffical emblem, and at our birthday launch we gave a precious beribboned posy as a gift to loved ones and fragrance industry friends.
If perhaps the stunning Guerlain Muguet 2022 we wrote about on the 1st of May was beyond your means, have a wander through these lily of the valley scents – yours to re-discover, or fall in love with afresh this spring…
MEMOIZE LONDON ROSE LUXURIA
‘The essence of ultimate want and desire’ this intoxicating take on lily of the valley thrusts it betwixt a soapy rose, and creamy magnolia for skin-like sensuality, while orange flower and powder soft orris remind us of true romance. Fall in love with the floral bouquet, fall deeper for the warm, amber-rich base drizzled with benzoin, cushioned by velvety moss and rolled in precious musk and woods. Light and darkness juxtaposed to licentious yet luminescent effect! £227 for 100ml Extrait de Parfum perfumesociety.org
An eternal classic lily of the valley launched in 1956, according to Christian Dior, Diorissimo is the perfume of Edmond Roudnitska’s spirit, or, “the scented expression of his soul”. Green leaves and bergamot bring energy to the flower, while lilac adds further spring-like hopefulness. Sunlit jasmine, lily and ylang ylang beam becommingly as the gentle animalic purr of the base prevents this beauty being too cold and cut from marble.
£69 for 50ml eau de toilette dior.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
YARDLEY LONDON LILY OF THE VALLEY BODY MIST
A charming bouquet that always makes us think of traditional English picnics in the woods, here Yardley entwines the heritage of their name and these delicate yet powerfully-fragrant flowers with a surprising note of juicy pear to add a modern twist on a traditional theme. Freesia and musk add a further layer of richness to this lighter spritz of a posy, perfect for layering while maintaining your skin’s moisture levels in the most elegantly fragrant way. £6.99 for 200ml body mist yardleylondon.co.uk
EIGHT & BOB
Perfumer Albert Fouquet’s life was turned upside down one evening in the French Alps, where he attended a high society soirée and was introduced to the strikingly beautiful Annicke. Now this collection has been created as a contemporary tribute to his love, the first fragrance marrying lily of the valley, rosy notes of peony and intoxicating jasmine. Sparkling mandarin cuts through the heart, white musk and driftwood soothing the passion.
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
Sparkling and vibrant with every elegant spritz, it’s daringly green but still supremely wearable. The snapped-stalk freshness of galbanum is balanced with soft, powdery iris, heady ylang ylang tempered by a shiver of spring air in lily of the valley and luminescent rose. Exciting and immediately mood-lifting, if N°5 wasn’t for you, try this joyously energising fizz of freshness as a pick-me-up. £107 for 100ml eau de toilette chanel.com
We’ve set a fragrantly themed trail of clues to lead you around our website to the most delicious perfumed prize – simply follow your noses, find the hidden easter eggs and one lucky winner will receive TWO stunning scents from British niche fragrance house, Olfactive O.
One lucky winner will win 2 x 30ml bottles Olfactive O fragrances: Gourmand & Skin. Everyone’s skin is unique – this fragrance works with your body to create a scent of your own. Gourmand, meanwhile, is a rich, indulgent fragrance with notes of vanilla and dark chocolate that we associate with Easter. Why not try layering, creating a new, deeper, intoxicating perfume that becomes your signature…? However you choose to use them, we know you’re going to adore indulging!
How to hunt:
Simply read the clues and set off in search for all the colourful eggs pictured below (FIVE in total) scattered across our website, then enter your details below telling us the location of each egg. Closing date: Friday 22nd April 2022 Midnight GMT. Good luck!
Easter Egg Hunt 2022
Clues to Easter Egg Locations (all to be found on our website)
1. This ‘foodie’ fragrance family smells of sweet temptations like chocolate, caramel and cupcakes…
2. A perfumer who created Mugler’s Angel (which began the sweet scent trend), this nose wishes he could have created a fragrance for Napoleon.
3. Sweet, nuzzleable and delectably comforting, this creamy ingredient is a key base note in Olfactive O’s Gourmand fragrance (and often found in ice-cream).
4. This novel, by Kathleen Tessaro, is called something that many fragrance-lovers become!
5. An historical era which is sometimes called ‘the age of enlightenment’ and saw the start of ‘the spice trail’…
The competition closes midnight Friday 22nd April 2022 GMT. One winner will be chosen at random and contacted via DM through the Perfume Society Instagram account. We will not contact winners before the closing date via any external accounts. Please do not accept accounts claiming to be us. The winner will receive two Olfactive O fragrances: Gourmand 30ml & Skin 30ml. The chocolate eggs in the picture are for illustrative purposes only and are not part of the prize. Due to postal restrictions, the competition is for UK residents only.
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