Gift Guide: choosing scents to suit people’s personalities

Can we say ‘the C word’ yet? No, no that one. The other one. Okay, we’ll whisper it: Christmas… Because even though we all grumble about it getting earlier each year; this one, in particular, people seem to be prepping WAY in advance for. Understandable given last year’s sadly curtailed festivities and people’s concerns about 2021’s Big Day.

The thing about gifting fragrance (at any time of year) is that it can be difficult to know where to begin when picking out a perfume for someone else. Especially if you’re not exactly sure of their tastes, and don’t want to spoil the surprise by asking. So, here’s some really handy tips to finding the right scent for the special someone you’re thinking of…

1: If you live with the person or are visiting them soon, have a quick shifty around where they keep their current fragrances if at all possible. You may notice a theme (they’re all rose-based scents or feature leather, for example. Maybe some of them are by the same fragrance house or perfumer?)

2: Make a note of the fragrance name they wear now, then look on our genius Fragrance Finder, which will suggest six other scents they’re likely to also love.

3: If you know what hobbies and personal passions they have, this is a great clue as to their innermost personalities – as are the way they like to dress or how they choose to decorate their home! See below for our scent-matching suggestions for personality types.

4: You’ve a far better chance of striking gold with a scent-match if you gift a Discovery Box or Sample Set – a curated collection of fragrances put together around a theme or showcasing the full range of styles a particular house has to offer.

Which of these character descriptions would suit them best…?

 

Spiritual = Scented Retreat Discovery Box £23 / VIP price £19. Are they in to yoga / meditation / need to relax? Or perhaps want to be more ‘mindful’ but are far too stressed? This scented collection soothes while turning their home into a much-longed for spa-like experience where they can calm, focus and b-r-e-a-t-h-e.

 

Eco-friendly & young at heart = Floral Street £14. If they’re trying to be more environmentally aware and have a fun, bubbly nature, the perfect gift would be these sustainable, vivacious and multi award-winning scents. Floral fragrances as you’ve never smelled them before, effortlessly wearable.  

Heritage lovers = Floris Classic Collection £35. Do they adore historical dramas and great literature, prefer traditional styles of furnishings and vintage clothes? This Floris set encompasses their heritage heroes – exqusite scents from crisp citrus to rich, woody creations.

 

 

Arty & modern = La Maison J.U.S. £30. Are they always off to see the latest contemporary exhibitions, love creative expression & unusual, cult names? Choose this collection of vibrant, beautifully artistic fragrances for impactful fragrant expressionism.

 

 

Characterful & unique = Olfactive O £30. If they’re in to learning more about themselves, love reading about psychology or check their horoscopes, we bet they’ll adore these from a niche house that invites people to explore their innermost soul through scents.

Really, whichever set you choose, there’s a whole range of fragrances in each to suit pretty much everyone, but we hope this gift guide has helped point you in the right perfumed direction! And fear not – in the coming weeks we’ll have even more specifically chosen guides to put you on the right perfumed present path…

Fragrances For… spectacular sunsets

The skies this time of year are ablaze with colour as the sun sets – the heavens awash with purples, reds and pinks that melt into the darkness like nature’s fireworks. And fragrances are often inspired by this spectacular display, too – perfumers creating scents that light us up even on the dullest days. Here’s five we feel so colourful wearing right now…

 

COACH
Dreams Sunset
Inspired by ‘golden hours and one-of-a-kind journeys with friends’ – which we are indeed dreaming of – this ombré bottle, echoing the colours of sunset, perfectly shows off a floriental composition crafted by the brilliant Nathalie Lorson. Refreshing pear sorbet and bergamot playfully tease the wearer, before jasmine sambac and magnolia dial up the intrigue. But what keeps this beach party rocking is the smoochy, sultry base of tonka and vanilla. We’re so there.
From £34.50 for 40ml eau de parfum
johnlewis.com

 

GHOST
Orb of Night
Setting a darker, moodier tone to the pantheon of Ghost perfumes, Night Orb glimmers with a dark cherry almond accord, kissed with mandarin before plunging deeper into a heady orange blossom, ylang ylang and freesia heart. The sandalwood base has rivulets of caramel running through it, but being rippled with a salty, slightly animalic ambergris, is rendered salty and moreish. From the rose gold bottle to the vegan certification, it impresses.
£22.95 for 30ml eau de parfum
escentual.com

 

 

BVLGARI
Omnia by Mary Katrantzou
The most glorious, iridescent sunset-esque bottle acts as a vase for Alberto Morrilas’s beautifully composed ‘maximalist bouquet’, as Bulgari describe it. A green rustle of fig leaf unfurls to billowing orange blossom and gardenia before settling to underpinnings of fluffy musk and a deeper, woody base. An exclusive collaboration with fashion designer Mary Katrantzou, this vibrant scent reflects her designs, and we can almost feel the fabric flowing around us as we wear this.
£87 for 65ml eau de parfum
bulgari.com

 

MAISON CRIVELLI
Osmanthe Kōdoshān
A sublime portrait of the apricot-y bloom, this is inspired by a trip to ‘a tropical mountain shrouded in mist.’ We sense sunsets, height and grandeur in a scent that 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.
From £170 for 100ml eau de parfum
harveynichols.com

 

 

PENHALIGON’S
Constantinople
On spraying this, we were immediately greeted with a highly refined, almost leathery iris – the image of an intricately carved wooden shutter suddenly flung open to welcome evening air and blazing skies, a tang of salty shores nearby carrying waves of delicate, powdered spices on the breeze. Beneath an earthy, mossy layer nestles seams of liquid vanilla, milky ripples later reflect moonlight, harbouring the expectation and tingling anticipation of tomorrow’s exotic adventures…
£178 for 100ml eau de parfum
penhaligons.com

 

5 sultry, ‘spooky’ scents for Halloween… dare you wear?

With Halloween approaching and the nights drawing in, now is the perfect time to explore the sultrier, even ‘spooky’ side of fragrance…

When the weather gets colder, there’s a particular pleasure to be found in trying something new – a scent that perhaps plunges deeper than you’re used to, invites us to wrap ourselves in a cosy blanket and sit by the fireside (maybe telling a few Gothic ghost stories as we hunker down for the night?) Because there’s a delight in challenging your preconceptions, in shivering slightly as you do so, with anticipation. The Germans use the term unheimlich, which roughly translates to the experience of something feeling weirdly familiar while remaining mysterious, slightly uncanny.

We always liken wearing a bolder, more mysterious fragrance to playing dress-up (in the most fabulously sophisticated way), because a scent is more than a nice smell – it allows you to explore other sides of your character, just as wearing a costume can bring out hidden depths that might even surprise your nearest and dearest…

These intriguing scents are best worn with a nip of frost in the air, golden sunlight softly streaming through brightly-dressed trees, and sense of delicious mystery swirling through those misty mornings and rapidly darkening nights.

We dare you to try them on for size…

 

Indulge your inner libertine with this oppulent, swagger of a scent, inspired by Cassonova himself. You can smell his favourite tipple, ‘cordial orgeat,’ through dusky cognac-infused rose and bitter orange flower, with a saffron-soaked throb of leather, hot wax, animalic cumin lashed to the darker base of amber and deep woods. (P.S: There’s a sample of this one in our Niche VII Discovery Box and in their Contradictions in Ilk Discovery Set).

Contradictions in Ilk Libertine £150 for 50ml extrait de parfum
ilkperfume.com

 

 

 

Inspired by the destructive and regenerative Australian bush fires, its smoky heart of mysterious spices is spiked with shards of fresh (surprisingly fruity) eucalyptus and citrus to create a wonderful juxtaposition of hot/cold and intriguing textures. A smouldering smoky wood accord underlines this contrast of dark and light, with the house’s signature Australian sandalwood smoothing the seared edges, wonderfully.

Map of the Heart Black Heart v.2 £150 for 90ml eau de parfum
harrods.com

 

 

Pythia, the mythical oracle of Delphi inspires this scent – as high priestess she delivered her oracles ‘after entering a state of delirium by inhaling the vapours emitted by the sacred chasm beneath the temple.’ A crisp apple is studded with bay leaves, the juice mingling with wafts of spiritual smokiness that richly swishes leather, amber, oud and ambergris in a cloak that surrounds, comforts and beguiles in equal measure. (Why not try this in the Manos Gerakinis Discovery Set?)

Manos Gerakinis Omen £185 for 100ml eau de parfum
shymimosa.co.uk

 

.

The joy of spooky season is actually the cosiness of feeling scared but then being immediately comforted. Here’s a scent you can snuggle up by a wood fire with, eating spiced biscuits as another presence makes itself known when the scent of dried roses and lavender fill the room. From a hidden floral display, or conjured by ghost stories, shared…? Familiar in the best way, think flicking through old photos and smiling as you remember the happiest of days with people you love.

4160 Tuesdays Another Kiss By the Fireside from £25 for 15ml eau de parfum
4160tuesdays.com

 

BANANA_REPUBLIC_DARK_CHERRY_AMBER_

Black cherries are apparently perfumer Claude Dir ‘s favourite fruit, which he swags in blossom here before before lavishing them with praline and the resinous luxury of a glowing amber accord. Evoking plump, candoed fruits laced with something altogether darker, the tart juiciness swirls with an addictiveness that’s boozy and rich, but never too sweet. Trick or treat? The emphasis firmly on the latter, in the most indulgently lascivious way.

Banana Republic Dark Cherry & Amber £55 for 75ml eau de parfum (currently on offer at £22.99!) theperfumeshop.com

 

 

 

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Manos Gerakinis – the first Greek luxury niche perfume house

Manos Gerakinis is, quite incredibly, the first Greek luxury niche perfume house. With fragrances inspired by the history, art and mythology of the country, and radiating the poetry and passion of their founder – we think you’re going to love getting to know them…

Manos had an extremely prestigious career, managing the Harrods luxury department and working with designers such as Valentino, Alexander McQueen and Dolce & Gabbana. His job took him around the world, seeing (and staying in) some of the most opulent places and experiencing the best of the best. A dream come true, right? But something else was pulling at the strings of his heart. From an early age, Manos says he knew that fragrance was important, that ‘…every bottle is more than a mere perfume; it is a living olfactory experience, unique and mysterious.’

Growing up in Kavala, Greece, Manos’ childhood was already infused with the tales and traditions passed down through the generations of his family, who originated from Istanbul. He speaks of being surrounded by ‘the cultivation of saffron, tobacco, labdanum and honey’ and in an interview with the Greek City Times, divulged that his maternal grandmother played a huge role in his life. ‘She was a woman of high standards and aesthetics,’ he says. ‘She introduced me to the French “Savoir-Faire”, classical music and fine arts. I am blessed in a family that provided us with the stimulus to reach our full potential.’ This potential was further encouraged to develop through art – ‘a natural talent for painting together with history, philosophy and culture’.

 

 

Imbued with those fragrant memories and a respect for the ingredients grown and harvested in Greece, and the mythology surrounding many of them, Manos took a perfumed path by learning how to create fragrances – the very first being a signature scent for himself…

‘Creating my own fragrance was always in the back of my mind,’ he explains, ‘and once I was given the opportunity, I grabbed it.’  Delving further into researching and learning the technical side of the fragrance world, ‘My initial goal was to create a powerful scent that was able to captivate anyone in the room. I wanted an alluring scent, mysterious and poetic.’

He began curating a collection of exquisite essential oils and ingredients from around the world, and it took nine months to complete the first fragrance, Sillage Royal – a warm, woody, immediately evocative scent that, perhaps understandably, is the most personally resonant for Manos, being inspired by the picturesque city of Kavala he grew up in. Part of the Egyptian-Otoman Empire for hundreds of years, it became powerful through the production of tobacco, and the rose, saffron and spices further reflect his olfactory heritage, captured in a scented snapshot. Says Manos: ‘During this process I came to realise that I had a talent for creating beautiful scents,’ and buoyed by his success, the collection inevitably grew.

Rose Poetique is the first Manos Gerakinis fragrance I had the pleasure of experiencing myself. It’s a stunning evocation of the Damask rose, which the Greek poet Sappho described as ‘the pride of plants, and queen of flowers.’ This is a rose that drapes the skin as velvet does, relecting the texture of the petals themselves. It billows from the tart, fruitier aspect of the flower with rhubarb up top, to the resinous, romantic depths of the base – beautifully balanced with smooth labdanum, cashmere wood and vanilla. One for all rose-lovers to add their collection, for sure.

 

 

There are currently seven fragrances to explore in the collection – which you can read about on our new page dedicated to Manos Gerakinis Parfums – from delicate sophistication to swaggering sensuality, simplicity to extravagance. At every stage your senses will be enthralled, and as you explore, you’ll feel Manos’ ethos reverberating in each scent. Man’s greatest heritage is the pictures he collects and his memories,’ he says. ‘That doesn’t necessarily mean he has to travel, it means that he has to be open to collect beauty and then compose it into his own palette.’ And wearing a Manos Gerakinis fragrance, we’re sure you’ll agree, …allows the true beauty of the individual to emerge.’

By Suzy Nightingale

Fragrances for… luxury destinations (even if you’re stuck at home!)

We are all LONGING to get away – those luxury destinations are beckoning to our souls like never before! But with pandemic restrictions making planning rather dicey still, we’re taking respite with some of these fabulously evocative and opulent scents. From far-flung fragrant lands to precious perfume jewels, have a browse through these recent launches and see where your nose would like to lead you…

 

 

BVLGARI La Gemme Astrea .
Alberto Morillas has worked for so long with Bulgari, he once told us there’s almost a shorthand between him and this jewellery house, when it comes to understanding their vision for new fragrances. Joining the La Gemme collection, inspired by precious stones, is a scent inspired by blue aventurine, forged from natural saffron (the world’s priciest spice), jasmine sambac and a velvety honey, which delivers ‘unparalleled intensity’, in the perfumer’s words. Masterful, as we’d expect.
£268 for 100ml eau de parfum
harrods.com

 

 

Carolina Herrera Confidential Gold Myrrh Absolute
Myrrh has been a cornerstone of Middle Eastern perfumery – well, since Three Kings presented it to you-know-who, two millennia ago. Resinous, mysterious, it is the protagonist of Carolina Herrera’s latest exotic treasure, spiced by black pepper, rendered aromatic by immortelle and given delicious gourmand flourishes of cacao and liquorice, delectably sweetened by vanilla in the base. Proferred in the most eye-catching gilded flacon that is another gift for the senses.
£235 for 100ml eau de parfum
carolinaherrera.com

 

Ella K Rose de Pushkar
Perfumer Sonia Constant adds to her olfactory travelogue with this shareable Rajasthan-inspired offering, capturing the visual opulence of this so-colourful corner of India through armfuls of rose, swirling in a heart of oudh, sandalwood, patchouli and white cedar. It opens with saffron, black pepper, frankincense and lychee, concludes with leather, tonka and cistus absolutes, amber and musk, the juice as deliciously pink as Rajasthan’s fabled palaces. Travel in a bottle, indeed.
£175 for 70ml eau de parfum
jovoyparis.uk

 

Dunhill Signature Collection Egyptian Smoke
Smoke is snaking its way through many of this season’s scent compositions, conjured up here by Robertet’s Jérôme Épinette is an is-it-a-Chypre-is-it-an-Amber creation that surrounds classic Grasse roses with papyrus, black tea, pink pepper and ginger, segueing to patchouli, vanilla bean and curls of smoky labdanum. ‘Always surprising and vibrating, like a warm golden light on a star-covered deep blue sky,’ as the menswear brand aptly sums it up.
£120 for 100ml eau de parfum
harrods.com

 

Parle Moi De Parfum Haute Provence / 89
Endless vistas of Provençal lavender fields and their ‘glorious explosion of purple, mauve, lilac and blue’ were the inspiration behind this wonderfully soothing, aromatic ‘memory of France in high summer.’ Until we can wander those fields first-hand, this cool, dry and immediately nostalgic scent spirits us there with every spritz. Refreshing watermelon and hypnotic narcissus only add to the bucolic charms, and once again we praise the nose of Michel Almairac. Mais oui!
£98 for 50ml eau de parfum
lessenteurs.com

Skandinavisk – scents of freedom, bottled. Founder, Shaun Russell, explains how it began…

From a love story to a fragrance house capturing scented snapshots of one of the most richly abundant areas on Earth, Skandinavisk’s journey has been anything but average. We caught up with founder, Shaun Russell, to discover their fascinating, fragrant story.

Seeking to re-connect us with nature, evoking wide-open spaces and uplifting, mood-enhancing scents; including a sample of a Skandinavisk fragrance in the Eau So Fresh Discovery Box was obviously a must-have. Freedom to Roam has proved especially resonant during the pandemic (and its inherent lockdowns and travel restrictions). ‘Of course, that wasn’t planned,’ explains Shaun when we chatted, ‘but yes that fragrance and its name, the spirit of freedom it stands for, has been more relevant than ever.’ With its aromatic composition of heather, wild thyme, tart berries and resinous sap, this oh-so-Scandi scent bottles that landscape perfectly, giving a strikingly visceral sensation of walking through that remote wilderness.

But how did it all begin, we wondered? Senior Writer, Suzy Nightingale found out…

 

 

Suzy: Did you realise what you were getting in to when starting a fragrance brand?

Shaun Russell: ‘God no, I didn’t! I mean if you take the backstory… British guy meets blonde, Scandinavian girl, when I was living in Australia. I followed her for love, [to Copenhagen, Denmark, then Stockholm, Sweden] not with a business in mind, then…’

So, how did Skandinavisk happen?

‘I travelled around the region in multinational roles, as I was the handy, neutral English man. The business language here tends to be English across borders anyway, as the Swedes don’t really understand the Danes. It’s a bit like the differences between cultures in England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. In Scandinavia you get this rivalry we don’t understand from outside.

I realised what the Nordic countries do share is a common approach to life, which has translated into one of the most successful, progressive, responsible societies on Earth. I was in this weird position where I’d probably experienced more of Scandinavia than most Scandinavians. The thing that unites them – this mentality and way they live, with a dominance of nature surrounding them – was the gold they overlooked. I found a way to wrap up the rich, diverse story in a way that celebrates that and helps people from outside to find a way in. We’ve needed that more than ever with climate change, trying to balance our lives, build communities based on values and ethics. I wanted Skandinavisk to be the mouthpiece for all of that. I wondered what the vehicle was to share this story, and it seemed obvious…’

 

What was the first fragranced item you created?

‘The candles – they represent such a symbol of everyday, simplistic life. They burn more candles in Scandinavia than any other nation on earth! I used to question my wife when, in the summer at breakfast time, she’d light a candle. And it’s so bright outside! I’d say “You can’t see the flame, darling. Why are you lighting it when there’s no functional benefit to it?” But for her, it was an unconscious action all Scandinavians do. They light candles at any time, to soften the moment and create this harmony that brings people together.’

 

 

How are the fragrances inspired?

‘I needed to get into fragrance to create the candles and tell this Scandinavian story. What we learned afterwards was the fact that different fragrances allow us to tell that story in multiple ways – we can take them to the forest, the Norwegian fjords, the archipelagos. So, we made fragrances that define those moments for people to explore in their own homes. When you get to try more of them, you build a bigger picture. That’s why internally we began referring to each fragrance as a ‘chapter’ or ‘Kapitel’. Going into the eau de toilettes was another big step for us. Some of the scents are seasonal or time limited.

 

Take Kapitel 17 – it was specifically inspired by a trip me and our perfumer took to the fjords in order to get direct inspiration. The fragrance industry has never looked at Scandinavia. A French perfumer once said to me at a trade show, “Isn’t it all just pine and snow…?” That quote’s imprinted on my brain. It’s a terrible loss, given the size and wealth of nature, the diversity of flora Scandinavia has. When you think of what the region has offered the world food-wise, with that whole Nordic Food Manifesto and the huge successes, like Noma, which came from that. Those guys reinvented a new approach to sourcing and presenting local food which has transformed the global food industry in the last decade. Given they were able to achieve that, I thought: why don’t we try to do the same thing with fragrance?’

How did you find a perfumer who understood such unique inspirations?

‘I found, at a very early stage, a French guy who’s an experienced ‘nose’, been in the industry a long time, but got tired of working with brands and retailers who were always trying to look for something that was cheaper or smelled a bit like something that was already on the market. He felt the magic of perfumery had gone. Then I turned up with this idea, and I said to him, let’s just go and discover stuff!

 

 

My wife is the third member of the fragrance development team who made this happen. She’s Danish, a doctor by profession but a passionate organic gardener who grew up in Sweden, had her summers in Norway and a plot of garden since she could walk. She helped me understand the arboreal forests, rose gardening, temperate flora, in a way neither I nor even the perfumer had experience of. Putting those two together was fascinating, to see how they talked about scent, season, regions… We all work together by travelling to the places the fragrances are about, experiencing them for ourselves and saying “Okay, what IS the scent of Copenhagen” for example?’

What’s it like, having such freedom to the way you work?

‘It’s a blessing. There’s no conference room, no PowerPoint slide presentations. The perfumer has this incredible scent memory where he records places through his nose and comes back with ideas which interpret that through a mixture of natural ingredients or synthetics where you cannot capture that scent in nature. He can now do things like create the scent of orchards in blossom in fjordland – very specific scent memories. We physically go these places, we stay there, we walk around, we take pictures. I mean at that level, it’s that basic. He says he doesn’t know any other perfumers who get to do that. But it feels so right, this way we work, and the process means we end up making fragrances the world hasn’t smelled before. And that’s very exciting…!’

Try Skandinavisk Kapitel 12, Freedom to Roam for yourself in the Eau So Fresh Discovery Box – one of 14 incredible scents for you to explore and take your nose on a journey with. We also urge you to check out the brilliant Skandinavisk Voices Journal, which apart from featuring more of this stunning photography to look at, gives a really personal insight into the inspiration of each fragrance…

By Suzy Nightingale

What is niche fragrance, and where do you begin…?!

So what is niche fragrance? That word is often flung around in the fragrance world, but sometimes we don’t stop to wonder about it. So what does that term actually mean, and where should you begin your fragrance journey…?

[Psst! Scroll down to find out how you can try well over £1,000 worth of niche fragrance – if you got the full sizes – for just £19!]

‘Niche’ perfumery began by referring to fragrances made independently, so not owned by a large brand. They can also be called ‘artisanal’, and because they were privately owned, often were able to take risks that larger, more corporately-inclined companies could not.

These smaller houses sometimes had a single person behind them – acting as founder, perfumer, Creative Director and PR person (and probably chief tea-maker, too!) The founder might also be self-taught in perfumery, rather than the traditional route of studying chemistry and then training at schools such as ISIPCA.

It might be useful to think of ‘niche’ fragrance as the catwalk of the perfume world. Unique ideas are celebrated, and might seem completely wacky or out-there, but actually tend to create trends that ripple down to the high street. Suddenly the ‘shoulder pads’ of the scent world are everywhere!

As niche houses became increasingly popular, some more established, larger houses began introducing more daring fragrance collections we also term as ‘niche’ – referring to the more artistic, less traditionally commercial style of perfumery rather than the size of the house itself.

But where can you begin discovering niche fragrances? At The Perfume Society we know that not everyone happens to live near a perfumery stocking niche scents (or even a department store with a diverse selection) – and even if you do, it’s sometimes overwhelming to work out where to even begin. What’s more, because of various lockdowns meaning we couldn’t even get to the shops – and new Covid-19 health protocols meaning testers aren’t readily available to smell in-store – it can be even trickier to actually get your nose on niche fragrance!

Trying a fragrance sample at home is the best way to truly discover if you love a scent – you need to live with it on your skin for several hours. A Discovery Set means you can try the entire collection from a niche fragrance house, and our curated Discovery Boxes allow you to smell things you’d perhaps never have considered (or not heard of) before.

Because we understand you’re missing browsing, spraying and smelling, in the latest we curated a selection of some of the finest niche fragrances out there to try at home. Click here for a detailed description of each scent, and on the names of the houses to read all about their individual histories. There’s no better way to begin your discovery of niche than right here.

In the Niche Collection VI you’re getting to try well over £1,000 worth of fragrance (if you had to buy them all as separate full-sizes to try) for less than the price of your average Deliveroo! This is what’s included…

 

ånd fragrance Sånd 2ml EDP 2ml eau de parfum (full size £35 for 10ml)
Atkinsons 24 Old Bond Street 2ml eau de cologne (£99 for 100ml)
Brioni Brioni 1.8ml eau de parfum (£70 for 60ml)
Eight & Bob Annicke 1 2ml eau de parfum (£55 for 30ml)
Initio Addictive Vibration1.5ml eau de parfum (£190 for 90ml)
Escentric Molecules Molecule 01 7.5ml eau de parfum (£36 for 30ml)
J.U.S Parfums Sexycrush 1.2ml eau de parfum (£165 for 100ml)
Lalique Noir Premier Plume Blanche 1901 1.8ml eau de parfum (£210 for 100ml)
Paco Rabanne Pacollection Strong Me 1.5ml eau de parfum (£65 for 62ml)
St Giles The Writer 2ml eau de parfum (£130 for 100ml)
A’Kin Cleansing Micellar Water 30ml  (£12.50 for 150ml)

The Niche Collection VI Discovery Box is priced £19 + p&p* to VIP Club Members (£23 + p&p* to everyone else) – be sure to log into your account to take advantage of the special VIP Club price.

If this is your first time trying a niche fragrance, read our tips on how best to smell a new scent. Basically, you need to give it time to develop on your skin. Often the niche fragrances can be more complex (or just very different to more everyday mainstream scents you might be used to) so they can take you on more of journey as they unfurl throughout the day.

We do hope this helps explains things about ‘niche’ fragrance a bit more. One thing’s for sure: wherever you begin your niche fragrance journey, we’ve a hunch you’re going to fall madlly in love with many of them along the way…

By Suzy Nightingale

Mihan Aromatics – redeem your code for $50 off + FREE worldwide shipping at Australia’s all-natural fragrance house

How about this for some sunshine on a rainy day –  Mihan Aromatics have given us an EXCLUSIVE code to share with Perfume Society readers. Granting you a whopping $50 AUD off 100ml parfums, and FREE worldwide shipping, it lasts 30 days. What are you waiting for? There’s so much to explore!

Code: MASOCIETY50

How to use: Go to mihanaromatics.com and use at checkout when purchasing 100ml parfum

 

Hailed as ‘the BYREDO of Australia’ by glowing press reports when they launched,, and proudly all-natural from the get-go; Josh and Julia Mihan are the so-cool couple behind the Mihan Aromatics fragrance house, having wanted to combine native floral and spices – including Australian sandalwood, now being deployed by the fragrance industry as a sustainable alternative to Indian Santalum album – alongside ingredients from further afield that are pillars of the perfumery’s art.

 

 

Although Australia has a thriving niche fragrance scene of enthusiasts, its only fairly recently we’ve witnessed actual fragrance houses beginning to blossom there, and Mihan Aromatics are a very welcome addition, as you’ll see (and smell) for yourselves when you explore their fragrant wares.

Popular Australian fragrance blog theaccords.com raved that: ‘Mihan Aromatics‘ capsule collection of nostalgia, from autumn park hangs to sweaty summer dance sessions, is pulled off to perfection. It feels authentic, intelligent, thoughtful, ernest. There’s a very clear style, here – a lightness, a dreamy character to all the fragrances… Each one is a mood and while the stories are specific, the space and softness of the scents allow plenty of projection (of your imagination, that is; these are creations that stick close to the body…)

Style-driven blog minimalissimo.com, meanwhile, enthused that Mihan Aromatics debut collection was ‘…a thing of sublime and considered beauty. Each element that comprises the Melbourne-made collection is grounded on the individual connection each of us has with scent (and the senses), through a purposed tactility. A sensory journey of discovery.’

 

 

All of the fragrances are immediately transportive – an olfactory magic trick we so sorely need our perfumes to perform right now – and will whisk you to evocative, seasonal memories captured in each bottle. The initial scents – Guilty Story, Mikado Bark and Sienna Brume – were inspired by Melbourne’s inner city suburbs of Carlton, Fitzroy and East Melbourne, during autumn months. (Which crackle with bronze and golden leaves just as they do here, and where days can be almost as crisp.) Now they’ve been joined by Petrichor Plains, conjuring the drenching of earth and rock after a storm – a specific smell regularly cited as a favourite by people all over the world; and Munlark Ash, which The Perfume Society’s own Hettie has been wearing a lot of, lately…

 

‘It’s like adding an extra layer of comfort and warmth before I leave the house, with the richness of incense, amber, vetiver and cedarwood. Yet I find it super uplifting and airy (which is exactly what we all need a little of right now!) with tangy bergamot and black pepper. A seasonal must!’

 

From cosily warm scents that wrap around you to storm-drenched verdant undergrowth, or vibrant perfumes that pulsate with the energy of a summer’s day – which will you choose, we wonder?

Want to try samples before you decide what to spend your $50 AUD off discount code (with free worldwide shipping) on? No problem! We have the Mihan Aromatics Discovery Set in stock, where you can try the FULL collection of five fragrances for £33, PLUS a sneak-peek at an ‘Untitled’ scent that’s still in devlopment. How cool is that?

Already tried them, or are immediately drawn to a particular perfume? Don’t forget, you can use your code MASOCIETY50 for 30 days at mihanaromatics.com – so let your nose travel and the sunshine in!

By Suzy Nightingale

Niche fragrances for £50 and under! Indie (not spendy)

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!)

Last week we suggested some that were Thrifty but Nifty, while this week we focus on the ‘indie’ or more artisanal scents that could be your next guilt-free perfume purchase. Because, yes, there are niche fragrance houses with more afforable perfumes for you try. So whether it’s your first foray into the world of ‘niche’, or you’re simply looking for a treat-to-self; here’s some seriously wonderful creations that wont make a huge dent in your budget, but could become your next fragrant fixation…

 

Skandinavisk Kapitel 12 £43.20 for 50ml eau de toilette
Celebrating the Scandinavian right of ‘freedom to roam’, let’s throw on a warm sweater and stride onwards through banks of purple heather and frosted thyme, foraging for berries and herbs nestled in hedgerows. That glorious just-snapped stalks fresh-airiness evokes leaf sap and spring just about to unfurl, a sense of freedom we so need, now.
skandinavisk.com

 

4160 Tuesdays Amberama £32 for 15ml eau de parfum
Sometimes you might just long for a bit of frivolity in a fragrance, one that smells good but doesn’t take itself too seriously, perhaps? Presenting an 80s girl-band-inspired scent that relishes the glow and longevity of amber with a fun raspberry / iris /sandalwood heart that gets woodier and warmer as it wears, but with no bananas to be found…
4160tuesdays.com

 

ånd fragrance Sånd £35 for 10ml parfum
If it was bananas you were after, find them (surprisingly) within this ode to sandalwood. A strikingly modern take on the ‘old dependable’ wood of perfumery, as they put it, this wraps you in the most comforting blanket of creamy, dry, cardamom-infused deliciousness; cuddling down to a rich, resinous base. One to wear when you so want a hug it hurts.
andfragrance.com

 

Maison Matine Warni Warni £50 for 50ml eau de parfum
Journeying through cosmopolitan cities encompassing diverse cultures, this niche French brand jofully encourage us to be ‘a bit daring every day’. Wearing this takes us somewhere warm, the smell of grass scorched by the sun and crickets chirping in the languid heat, a delicious orange-blossom breeze as you sip tea and contemplate the better things in life.
harveynichols.com

 

Floral Street Arizona Bloom £24 for 10ml eau de parfum
Perfumer Jérôme Épinette captures a feeling of freedom – something we’ve sorely missed, lately in our now even more tech-heavy lives. Queen of the Night flower is spiced by black pepper, lush with Balinese coconut and tethered by woody oakmoss; the amber-y desert-like dryness conveyed by salted musks. Truly one to make the heart soar!
floralstreet.com

 

Niche V Discovery Box £27 (VIP price £23) for 19 fragrances + 2 beauty extras
Because we understand you’re missing browsing, spraying and smelling, we curated a selection of some of the finest niche fragrances out there to try at home. Showcasing an incredible cross-section of what’s happening niche right now, you’ll find houses such as Trudon, Ostens, Moresque, Mihan Aromatics, Maison Matine, the entire Storie Veneziane by Valmont and Bentley Beyond collections, and always forward-thinking Molton Brown and DSQUARED2. It’s a whole niche perfumery experience from the comfort of your sofa – what’s not to love?!
Buy your Niche V Discovery Box here

And if after all that you’re still up for exploring more pocket-friendly niche perfumes, do have a browse of these Brand Setsniche fragrance collections from only £8

By Suzy Nightingale

Fragrant gifts for fussy people: they’ll ADORE these scented sets!

Fragrant gifts for fussy ‘hard to buy for’ relatives and friends are even trickier to navigate this year – with perfume testers not available, and more of us opting to shop from home than ever. Fear not! These fabulous fragrant sets ensure even the fussiest person will have loads to choose from…

Every family has one. An aunt whose lips curl disdainfully like Emu’s on receiving your carefully-chosen present, or a parent who helpfully says they have no idea what they want – ‘I don’t need anything, really…’ – but you know if you actually got them nothing, there’d be hell to pay for months to come.

Even if the person you’re buying for isn’t fussy, exactly, but just doesn’t feel confident about buying themselves a new scent; or perhaps you’re not sure where to start when suggesting something new: ready-curated sets are your scented saviours!

Basically, you’re spreading your bet – not putting all your eggs in one basket. Given as gifts, these look super thoughtful and deluxe, but are far more cost-effective than splurging all on one bottle. We can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t love these fragrance choices, frankly…

Ruth Mastenbroek Perfumer London Discovery Set: £27.50
Each scent from this collection – which was a sell-out on this site and has now been smartly re-packaged with lovely, high-quality 2ml sprays – is deeply inspired by Ruth’s memories and experiences. All of the fragrances are incredibly personal, crafted with great attention and care by this master perfumer and former president of The British Society of Perfumers. Here’s what you’ll enjoy…

Firedance (2ml) – a story of celebration… rejoicing in each moment of contentment in life. A modern interpretation of the classic rose perfume, with exotic leather and Damask rose, set against a warming backdrop of oudh and patchouli.
Signature (2ml) – Inspired by the ‘scents of my life’s journey’, as Ruth describes it. Featuring an eclectic mix of bergamot, blackcurrant, pineapple and mandarin, with rose, lily and jasmine making up the heart, oakmoss and patchouli creating the sublime Chypre base.
Oxford (2ml) – captures the essence of discovery – being exposed to things you have never come across before. Featuring an inspiring mix of bergamot, galbanum, basil and rosemary and jasmine, on a heady base of amber, vanilla, vetiver and oudh.
Amorosa (2ml) – the inspiration for Amorosa is falling in love – and this fragrance opens with a stunning, fresh watermelon note surrounded by green leaves. A powerful woody-ambery accord brings strength and depth to the gorgeous white flowers at the heart of Amorosa.
Dagian (2ml) – Dagian is the feeling of optimism that breaks at dawn, the exhilarating hope of a fresh start. As the sun rises, a breeze of lime and mint shimmers over notes of orange blossom and rum.

Sana Jardin Discovery Set: £30
Founder Amy Christiansen Si-Ahmed has created a stunning portfolio of perfumes that reflect her life-long love of fragrance – nurtured on travels through the Middle East with her inspirational grandmother. As she told The Perfume Society: ‘The scents I’d encountered on my travels over the years were enchanting to me: the pure and golden shimmer of orange blossom, the mystical, enveloping depth of sandalwood, the seduction of jasmine blooming at night. I felt I could never find that captured anywhere on a department store shelf.’ Created by renowned perfumer Carlos Benaïm, Amy’s collection – Sana Jardin – offers that and more, with sustainability (currently a ‘buzzword’ in perfumery) at the heart of everything they do.

Savage Jasmine Night-blooming jasmine, wrapped around intoxicating musk.
Sandalwood Temple Moroccan neroli oil, enveloped it in Atlas cedarwood, Haitian vetiver, creamy vanilla and East Indian sandalwood.
Tiger By Her Side Showcases Moroccan rose alongside Somalian incense and Indonesian patchouli.
Berber Blonde Filled with the light of Sana Jardin’s signature orange blossom, alongside Moroccan neroli oil and musk.
Celestial Patchouli Exotic aromas of patchouli, leather, cinnamon bark and Australian Sandalwood give way to the abundant warmth of rose, jasmine, osmanthus and Moroccan orris.
Nubian Musk A sensuously inviting blend of musk and vanilla, rose, jasmine, Moroccan grapefruit flower, Haitian vetiver and Australian sandalwood.
Revolution de la Fleur This is a sultry, sun-filled melody of Madagascan ylang ylang, Moroccan jasmine, frangipani, rose, vanilla and sandalwood.
Jaipur Chant Heady & Seductive Tuberose. Indian tuberose, the goddess of flowers, blooms in the still of night.

 

Strangelove Discovery Set: £60
Built around a subtle base of precious oudh [also spelled ‘oud‘], carefully blended with other precious ingredients gathered from all over the world, this is a house that refuses to compromise on quality, and with the very best (meticulously, sustainably sourced) materials at their fingertips. Christophe Laudamiel, punk rock star of the scent world, has created all the fragrances – so read on to delve deeper into each beguiling scent (which are £105 for full-size bottles of 15ml eau de parfum)

deadofnight – empowers its devotees to take risks and dive into their desires.
fallintostars – propels a mystical experience of boundless wonder, as lovers transcend time and space to journey into a parallel universe.
lostinflowers – evokes the thrill of new love, capturing that electric moment of discovery when two destined wanderers finally collide: lost in time, lost in romance, lostinflowers.
meltmyheart – inspires romance and indulgence for devoted lovers.
silencethesea – captures the intimacy of the lover’s gaze: soundless, eternal, profound.

 

The Niche Collection V Discovery Box: £27 (or £23 for VIPs)
For those who are missing browsing, spraying and smelling, The NICHE COLLECTION V Discovery Box is one of our BIGGEST collections EVER, showcasing 19 NICHE FRAGRANCES (plus two divine ‘extras’). In this scent-packed line-up, first explore a box-within-a-box with the ENTIRE COLLECTION from Maison Matine – modern French perfumery we are besotted with. Then swoon over more niche from Trudon, Ostens, Moresque, Mihan Aromatics, Molton Brown and DSQUARED2. Plus, three luscious creations from Bentley The Beyond Collection, and one from each of the opulent Storie Veneziane by Valmont collections. Gift true fragrance exploration to someone you love – or simply get spraying to your heart’s content…

Bentley Beyond The Collection Mellow Heliotrope 1.8ml eau de parfum (£165 for 100ml)
Bentley Beyond The Collection Radiant Osmanthus 1.8ml eau de parfum (£165 for 100ml)
Bentley Beyond The Collection Vibrant Hibiscus1.8ml eau de parfum (£165 for 100ml)
DSQUARED2 Green Wood 1ml eau de toilette (£44 for 30ml)
DSQUARED2 Red Wood 1ml eau de toilette (£44 for 30ml)
Maison Matine Avant l’Orage 2ml eau de parfum (£55 for 50ml)
Maison Matine Bain de Midi 2ml eau de parfum (£55 for 50ml)
Maison Matine Esprit de Contradiction 2ml eau de parfum (£55 for 50ml)
Maison Matine Hasard Bazar 2ml eau de parfum (£55 for 50ml)
Maison Matine Into The Wild 2ml eau de parfum (£55 for 50ml)
Maison Matine Warni Warni 2ml eau de parfum (£55 for 50ml)
Mihan Aromatics Guilty Story 3ml extrait de parfum(AUD $90 for 30ml)
Molton Brown Juniper Jazz 1.5ml eau de toilette (£60 for 50ml)
Moresque Lady Tubereuse 2ml eau de parfum (€130 for 75ml)
Ostens Cashmeran Velvet 2ml eau de parfum (£105 for 50ml)
Storie Veneziane by Valmont Collezione Privata Collection Lady Code 2ml eau de parfum (£230 for 100ml)
Storie Veneziane by Valmont Palazzo Nobile Collection Casanova 2161 2ml eau de toilette (£136 for 100ml)
Storie Veneziane by Valmont Verde Erba I 2ml extrait de parfum (£173 for 8.5ml)
Trudon Elae 2ml eau de parfum (£180 for 100ml)

The Niche Collection V Discovery Box also features these divinely fragranced luxury extras…

OLVERUM Bath Oil 15ml (£36.50 for 125ml)
Weleda Pomegranate Firming Day Cream 7ml (£28.95 for 30ml)

If you’re still not sure what to get, may we humbly suggest this book? It’s perfect for perfume-lovers of any age and experience, and may help them choose with confidence for next year!

The Perfume Bible: £25 (VIP price £16.25)
Co-written by The Perfume Society‘s Founders, Jo Fairley and Lorna McKay, The Perfume Bible is must for every fragrance-lover (and a fabulous gift). It’s an encyclopaedia of all things fragrant – from how to build a perfume ‘wardrobe’ to a line-up of the 100 perfumes to try before you die.

You’ll discover the journey of ingredients from field to flacon, a run-down of the best perfume shops in the world, the history of scent, how to build a perfume ‘wardrobe’ and the all-important line-up of ‘100 Perfumes To Try Before You Die’ – 192 pages, in all…

By Suzy Nightingale