The Perfume Shop Pop-Ups: emotion-based scent shopping

Pop-up shops are quite the thing nowadays, and The Perfume Shop, the UK’s largest specialist fragrance retailer, has announced it will open a central London pop up shop for four days in October, rather excitingly offering scent shoppers the chance to select perfumes based on emotions rather than gender, notes or brands.

The Perfume Shop Say: ‘It is accepted that perfume can affect your mood, a simple spray can make you feel happy, romantic or energised.  On 25th October The Perfume Shop celebrates this transformative power of perfume with its first pop up shop to group products by emotion. This Shop of Feelings will celebrate how perfume can affect your mood, focusing on perfumes to make people feel Sexy, Calm, Invigorated or Happy.

For the first time perfumes will be grouped together to celebrate the way they make you feel, and the store’s experts will be on hand to guide customers through the different moods and perfumes on offer to help everyone discover something new.’

Cathy Newman, The Perfume Shop Marketing & Customer Experience Director, explained: ‘Ten years ago people walked into our stores and headed for the men’s section, or women’s section or just the brand they knew. Today’s customers are very different, they don’t shop by gender anymore, they want to explore different notes and be transported emotionally by their perfume.

“We can’t wait to hear customer feedback on the pop up shop in Covent Garden, and who knows this new way of shopping by feelings could be the future for fragrance.’

Non-london scent sniffers, do not despair! There are a smattering of other pop-ups around the country (see below), and hopefully more will follow in the future.

At The Perfume Society, we’ve long held with encouraging people not to pre-judge fragrances based on what the bottle looks like or the listed notes of a scent – blind-smelling is definitely the way forward, and hopefully this new concept of shopping based on how you feel (or want the fragrance to help you feel) will encourage other retailers to take braver steps.

The Pop Up Shop is only open for four days in central London from 24th to 28th October, and will display new and classic perfumes, as well as a selection of beautiful coffret and gift sets, so perfect for early Christmas shoppers.

Where to find them:

Regent Shopping Centre in Hamilton (opened 15th October)

The Avenue Shopping Centre in Newton Mearns (opens 19th October)

Maltings Shopping Centre in St Albans (opens 22nd October)

Covent Garden, 5 Great Newport Street (24th to 28th October)

Scented unmentionables: the racy history of boudoir & lingerie perfumes

The practice of perfuming your underwear is centuries old – a trend we’ve recently seen re-emerging from the boudoir with a come-hither glance, and fragrance houses urging us to spritz our scanties with perfume specifically made for lingerie, or being directly inspired by the materials they’re made from.

In our hot-off-the-press on-line magazine, The Scented Letter – which is a perk of being a Perfume Society V.I.P. Club Member (find out more here) – we take a closer look beneath the perfumed petticoats of history, but here we wanted to take a look at some of the more eyebrow-raising stories of how women have variously tantalised, beguiled and terrified men with the fragrant wafts from dressing rooms and, indeed, beneath their dresses…

Silk, lace, velvet and satin are materials often likened to smells – texturally sensual, they bring to mind opulent scents, and of course many perfumes past and present have taken inspiration from their names as well as the more esoteric sensations they bring when worn close to the skin, or used to swathe the moody surroundings of a boudoir. [NB ‘Boudoir’ is from the French ‘bouder‘, meaning to sulk or pout, so boudoir literally means a ‘sulking room’!]

Vivienne Westwood – ever one for slipping a sly wink to the naughtier end of fashion – released an unashamedly vampish fragrance in 1998, seeking to conjure that private pouting place reserved for women flouncing about in silky garments. And the name? Of course it had to be, Boudoir. A spicy chypre-floral laden with velvety roses, narcotic orange blossom, powdery carnation and a milky, tobacco-musk base, it smells illicit – the unmistakable waft of warm flesh beneath lacey undergarments.

Vivienne Westwood Boudoir £56 for 50ml eau de parfum
viviennewestwood.com

Describing the scene of a lover stealing into his lady’s dressing chamber to have a sneaky peek at what women get up to in their boudoirs, in The Lady’s Dressing Room 18th C. satirical poet Jonathan Swift documents the scales falling from the eyes (and nose) of Strephon, who first spies ‘petticoats in [a] frowzy heap’, and then, to his growing disgust, the smell emanating from the room. Swift’s language reveals the extreme distaste poor, deluded men feel when realising that women are not born as delicately scented, perfect flowers of femininity.

‘To stinking smoke it turns the flame
Pois’ning the flesh from whence it came,
And up exhales a greasy stench,
For which you curse the careless wench;
So things, which must not be expressed,
When plumped into the reeking chest,
Send up an excremental smell
To taint the parts from whence they fell.
The petticoats and gown perfume,
Which waft a stink round every room.
Thus finishing his grand survey,
Disgusted Strephon stole away…’

Poor Stephron, we weep for him I’m sure. Men snooping around in ladies private retiring rooms, and being horrified by what they find (and smell) there is a frequent literary device. In Lady Audley’s Secret, Mary Elizabeth-Braddon describes ‘the elegant disorder of Lady Audley’s dressing-room,’ and how George Talboys (one of the male intruders) feels so out of place among the ‘womanly luxuries.’

‘The atmosphere of the room was almost oppressive for the rich odors of perfumes in bottles whose gold stoppers had not been replaced. A bunch of hot-house flowers was withering upon a tiny writing-table. Two or three handsome dresses lay in a heap upon the ground, and the open doors of a wardrobe revealed the treasures within.’

Women have been known to use fragrance as a weapon within their private dressing quarters, too, with devastating effect. In A History of Fragrances, Brian Moeran describes Napoleon’s first wife, Josephine, as being ‘fond of heavy, animal scents’, and recounts how ‘When summarily dismissed, in an act of olfactory revenge she drenched the walls of her dressing room with so much musk, civet, vanilla and ambergris (smells that the Emperor disliked) that their combined fragrance still hung in the air of the château de Malmaison seventy years later.’ Now, we’re wondering if the ‘seventy years later’ is stretching it a bit, but clearly this scent bomb in her boudoir was a message that hit its mark!

In the longer feature – Frills and Spills – within The Scented Letter magazine, I recommend a number of contemporary perfumes that whisper of boudoirs and lacey undergarments, including the beautiful trio of Ideo Parfumeurs Lingerie Perfumes, available at Roullier White. From the overtly wanton 4160 Tuesdays Tart’s Knicker Drawer to Sarah Baker‘s sophisticated allure of Lace, there’s something to tempt every taste (so long as its racy). VIP Club members, log-in to have a read now, International Online Subscription also available, or purchase a print version for full-on glossy seduction…

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Floris, fashion & fragrance with Alex Schulman & Amber Butchart

For the launch earlier this year of their so-sophisticated 1927 fragrance, Floris gathered together a curated group of guests to 89 Jermyn Street to celebrate the inspiration for the latest in their Fragrance Journal series, with two very special women discussing the rich and intertwined histories of fashion and fragrance… and we were thrilled to be present!

Scroll down to watch part of their fascinating conversation, and read our review of this stunning scent…

Dissecting nearly 100 years of social history in London, fashion historian, TV presenter and author Amber Butchart, former Vogue editor, author and journalist Alexandra Shulman, Floris Perfumery Director Edward Bodenham and Head of Marketing Alex Oprey explored how to bottle a moment in time. And now, Floris have released a video so you can watch along.

As part of their Fragrance Journals series, Floris created a very special time capsule, but exlained they wanted to make sure it smelled current and totally wearable for today – these are no museum pieces, but living homages to eras that have changed our world forever. The end of the 1920’s marked revolutionary new fashion movements, especially for women – cutting their hair short, smoking, dancing, partying all night and wearing loose-fitting, calf-length or shorter dresses that flirted with scandal.

Floris say: ‘The Fragrance Journals are a series of unique Eau de Parfums, capturing the heart and soul of London throughout the decades of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s and most recently the 1920s.

Each fragrance weaves and knits its way through the fabric of a key moment, district, and culture of the time, bringing out a true reflection of a city which has the ability to both adapt to change, yet remain rooted in its identity. A love letter to London, its social fabric and its people.’

Read on for our fragrant review…

Floris 1927
1927 kicks off with a swing as aldehydes burst like champagne bubbles into bergamot, and we can almost hear the giggles as cocktails are carried to the drawing room. Bright Young Things in barely-there bias-cut silks swing their pearls, violet, ylang ylang, narcissus and mimosa sashay their way to dancing on the tables – and an oakmoss-like, vanilla-musk base adds to sophisticated high-jinks.
£140 for 100ml eau de parfum
florislondon.com

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Explore your Fragrance Wardrobe

What to wear?! We curated an extra special selection of scents for our Fragrance Wardrobe Discovery Box – eleven (count ’em!) perfumes to shake you out of the doldrums and get you excited to explore fragrances you perhaps hadn’t thought about trying before!

We all get stuck in a rut sometimes, constantly reaching for the same or very similar things – from a clothing stash or Fragrance Wardrobe – by means of habit rather than active choice. But you wouldn’t want to wear the same outfit every single day, even if you loved it. The idea of a ‘signature scent’ is a bit old hat nowadays, plus your nose gets used to fragrances if you wear them 24/7, so it’s good to change up your style and try something new.

Here’s a tempting selection we bet you wont have tried all of, from just-launched designer names and new niche to a revived classic we’re totally swooning over.

In the Fragrance Wardrobe Discovery Box, try these olfactory outfits on for size…

 

EFFORTLESS CHIC:

Cartier Carat – Luminescent modern floral with a dazzling fresh bouquet of violet, lily, hyacinth and honeysuckle
Calvin Klein Women – Sparkling floriental hugging green eucalyptus with soft magnolia petals atop reassuringly soft white musk
Elizabeth Arden My Fifth Avenue – Stylish floral radiating crisp citrus, violet leaves and amber-warmed woods

LAIDBACK COOL:

Tory Burch – Unfussy (almost tomboy-ish) floral, a lush bouquet shot through with soothingly cool vetiver
Juliette Has a Gun Moscow Mule – Fresh cocktail with a kick of ginger, lime and apple on an unexpectedly sexy, woody base
Thierry Mugler Aura – Thrillingly original oriental, hibiscus seeds, Tiger LianaTM, and iris for tropical leafyness infused with mist
Marc Jacobs Daisy Love – Radiant gourmand floating on crystalised cloudberries, swathed in cosy cashmere

GOING ‘OUT’ OUT:

La Perla Classic – Seriously sensual chypre throbbing with Indian carnation and spiced roses on an oakmoss base
Jimmy Choo Fever – Lusciously juicy floriential with black plum, vanilla orchid, jasmine and heliotrope
Anna Sui Fantasia – Delicious gourmand swirling cassis and pink pomelo with raspberry praline and cedarwood

BIG DAY/SPECIAL OCCASION:

Oscar De La Renta Bella Blanca – Succulent white floral freshened with pear juice, gauzy layers of jasmine and peachy musk

There’s also two fabulous beauty extras: a STUDIO 10 Lip Perfecting Balm Gloss in a lustrously blushed coral together with a gorgeously modern chypre in the form of Molton Brown Jasmine & Sunrose Shower Gel (30ml). So get building that wardrobe!

For a mere £19 (£15 for VIP Club Members), you can consider wearing something different and exciting, comfortingly cool or fabulously opulent every single day (or night) for nearly two weeks!

PLUS! Anyone who buys The Fragrance Wardrobe Discovery Box is entered into a prize draw to win a full-size version of one of the fragrances featured! 

We think this would be a great gift for a fashionista friend, or someone who’s nervous about branching out of their fragrance comfort zone, along with hardened perfume lovers already anxious to delve into this bumper box of delights, of course.

So now, the question wont so much be ‘what can I wear?’ but more ‘what can I wear NEXT?!’

Written by Suzy Nightingale

 

The Beautiful Mind Series

The Beautiful Mind Series celebrates women for their intelligence and creativity – indeed, when creating the house, perfumer Geza Schoen (perhaps best known for his best-selling Escentic Molecules fragrances) wanted this concept to inspire the very fragrances themselves.

We still see photographs of beautiful women used everywhere in advertising, to sell everything from salads to scents, but how refreshing that The Beautiful Mind Series actually bothers to dig far deeper than superficial looks.

During our recent event at Jovoy Mayfair with Geza Schoen and one of his muses – the astonishing Memory Grandmaster, Christiane Stenger – our Perfume Society VIP Club Members got to hear first-hand how they collaborated to create a fragrance that celebrated brain power and women’s strength and particular talents (more of which, below). But The Beautiful Mind Series wanted to dig deeper still, interviewing a number of other thought-provoking and successful women from various backgrounds, and have just published a series of blogs with a thought-provoking series of successful women drawn from various backgrounds and disciplines.

Subjects include the Anglo-American actress, Lucy Boynton (playing Freddie Mercury’s love interest in the upcoming biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody), a talented tatoo artist called Saira Hunjen, Liv Little – the guiding force behind brilliant magazine by and for women and non binary people of colour, gal-dem; and Zowie Broach, Head of Fashion at the Royal College of Art.

The Beautiful Mind Series explain that the series of blogs ‘…aims to highlight achievements of a broad spectrum of quite simply brilliant women who aim to have a profound impact on modern society. Artists, scientists, costume designers, film makers, feminist activists, photographers, poets and playwrights are just some of our subjects.’ And the blogs are put together by a female duo of writer, Susan Irvine, and photographer, Susannah Baker-Smith.

Accompanied by tender, intimate portraits of the women they interviewed, we’re utterly thrilled that fragrance houses are just starting to see the potential for celebrating fascinating – and real – women we can all relate to or be inspired by: an exciting subject we explore at length in the latest just-published Fashion, Fragrance & Feminism issue of our magazine, The Scented Letter.

As for the The Beautiful Mind Series fragrances? Well of course they are beautiful, but a nuanced story-telling depth of complexity that’s a distinct move away from the more minimalist tendenacies of Escentric Molecules…

Volume 1: Intelligence & Fantasy is the first of the series – a fabulously vibrant floral that boasts a heady heart of tiaré absolute – the dreamily exotic, waxy Tahitian gardenia, celebrated as the flower of affection and adored for its intoxicating aroma. Think of a balmy summer breeze as you stand and gaze at the setting sun, skin still warm from the heat of the day, your whole body relaxed but your mind focused and alert to every aspect of your surroundings.

Grand Master of Memory Christiane Stenger was the muse for Schoen here – a voluptuously decadent fragrance dedicated to women gifted with exceptional skills. Magnolia bud, bergamot, mandarin, and Schinus molle (pink pepper) co-exist with freesia and apricot-like osmanthus. Rose oil melds into addictive hedione with oodles of that tiara absolute slowly drifting to a woody, cashmeran base.

Inspired by Russian ballerina Polina Semionova, Volume 2: Precision & Grace is the second of the series – ‘I was fascinated by what goes on in the mind of a great dancer while she’s dancing,’ explains Schoen, ‘in the precision she must have to express the grace.’

Upliftingly fruity with a juicy, crisp freshness that makes the mouth water, the Williams pear and plum notes are a direct reference to the dancer’s childhood childhood memories of the Russian countryside, with a heady embrace of jasmine blossoms, sandalwood and pink pepper twirling throughout. Resting on a softly, musky base, we think it’s wearable year-round – making even the most serious-minded perfume-lover imagine donning a gauzy gown and joyfully pirouetting through a flower-strewn orchard at dusk.

The Beautiful Mind Series Volumes 1 & 2 £95 for 100ml eau de parfum
Try them at Jovoy Mayfair

Excuse us while we find our ballet shoes and go memorise every book in the library – while happening to smell incredible, of course…

Written by Suzy Nightingale

The working nose: Julien Rasquinet for Elegantes London

Julien Rasquinet is the brilliant perfumer for Elegantes London, and here we interview him as part of our Working Nose series. Privilleged access means we get to discover not only the ways perfumers train, but the way they think and learn – and Julian’s apprenticeship was more incredible than most…

What is the working process for creating a fragrance for a brand like Elegantes London? How do you begin?

The process of creation always starts with an encounter – with someone or a new culture, a new system of thinking within that culture – this what creates that spark of an idea for me. But I think something that’s so important, and so often overlooked, is being able to work as a team on the project. Together we have to be able to re-transcribe that initial encounter into something that really evokes a moment of truth. Being figuartive and being able to create something logical from this – that’s how I love to work.

What was your training like, and how did a career in perfumery start for you?

Well in the beginning I didn’t even know the job of a perfumer existed when I was young! I always wanted to work in perfume because when I was a teenager I fell in love with fragrances, and they totally became part of my life. You can say they were my first love, and I think as a perfumer now I’m always trying to recreate that same feeling of first love, and also hope that what I’m creating is going to light that spark, create that magic for someone else.

I knew I wanted to work in the industry but didn’t know exactly where. I did a business course, because that’s what you do when you’re not sure which direction you want to take in life! I did an internship at Firmenich and as part of my marketing course I met with some perfumers there who gave me the sickness for creating perfume. But I didn’t have the chemistry background required to even apply to ISIPCA [the famous French perfumery school]. My chance came when my father met with Pierre Bourdon. In an airport, of all places! They exchanged business cards, and that evening he told me he’d met “some guy who works in the perfume industry” but had no idea how significant Bourdon was!

You know, in my mind he was the greatest perfume ever. He created YSL’s Kourous, Dior’s Dolce Vita, Davidoff’s Cool Water masculine and feminine (which are still best sellers)… so many greats. So when I saw his name on this card I jumped to the ceiling, and continued jumping all night long! The next morning, after no sleep, I called him and basically harassed him for the next few months. But I never once asked him to train me, because I just assumed without the chemistry background I had no chance. Then one day he called me and said he was going to retire soon, and wanted to train his last student to pass on his knowledge and techniques. He said “I want you to be this guy.” It was amazing.

So he must have seen something in you, despite not having had the technical training?

Yes I guess so! I suppose part of me thinks it was fate, but yes he made a connection with me and saw how seriously I took this, how much I wanted it. It all goes back to connections. Like when I first met with Thomas and Dagmar Smit [the husband and wife duo who founded the house] from Elegantes, and I knew they travelled a lot – that’s something that’s really important to me, it broadens the mind and your expecations. We just clicked. So much of perfumer’s life is about these connections – from who they are working with in their team, to the house the fragrance is for, and of course from the fragrance to the person wearing it.

What testing process does a perfume you’re working on go through?

For me there’s a lot of similarity between music and perfumers. We know the raw materials, like a musician knows the notes so well, and so you can imagine how they blend well together and what the melody of the fragrance will be like. I like to wear a fragrance on my own skin – it’s very important, because there are always some surprises. I need to smell on other people, too, so always in the office we are asking “do you have skin available?!” We want to evaluate on lots of different people’s skin. I don’t personally wear it during the day, but at night I take it home with me, and everyone ends up wearing it. For Elegantes it was very important for their fragrances to be powerful and diffusive – that meant trying it on my wife as she was cooking, seeing if I could smell it as she walked down the street. There’s no escape if you are married to a perfumer you know!

I know it was part of the way Thom selected the final fragrances for Elegantes, too. You know when people stop you in the street to compliment you on your fragrance, you’re on to a good thing! This is the only form of market testing that really matters to me.

Do you insist on strict laboratory conditions at all times when you’re working, or can you allow yourself to be more relaxed and work on things outside the office as well?

Well I strive for excellence at all times, of course, but I’m not slavish to strict conditions, For instance, a lot of perfumers smoke you know – Pierre Bourdon was always smoking when I trained with him! One thing that is important is not to have too many disturbing smells around you as you work though. I know many perfumers who refuse to even allow people to drink cups of coffee in the office, but Im not like that. You have to live.

What’s the most imporant skill for you to have as a perfumer?

For me the job of a perfumer is not only to smell well, though of course that’s very important, but it’s more about the ability to create new olfactive forms. You could have a brilliant sense of smell, but not the creativity to put it together.

How does the fragrance go from formula to being finished?

I work in front of a computer in my office, and I have a lab assistant, one in Dubai and one in Paris. I give my formula to the assistant and we even have a robot who helps with measuring exact amounts. Then the lab assistant give me back the mixture in a very neutral environment to smell. At this point, with many brands, one of the main features to focus on is the cost. For Elegantes luckily this was not a consideration, which gives you much more chance to fulfill your creativity. We never discussed price, and that’s so freeing. Not being limited in the cost means you can use everything you have. If you are limited, the palette of raw materials becomes more and more tight.

Are there particular materials you like working with?

This is something we’re often asked, but to be honest it’s not something I like answering, because for me it’s vital that I experiment always, and start with a blank page for each perfume, with no preconceptions about ingredients I want in it. It’s like if you always used the same words, you’d always end of telling the same story. Each one of my perfumes, I hope, tells a different story. I mean of course I am drawn to some more than others, naturally – I love cistus labdanum notes – but I don’t let this guide me.

Julien Rasquinet interviewed by Suzy Nightingale

Map of the Heart launch White Heart v.7

We’re huge fans of Australian niche house Map of the Heart here at The Perfume Society – from their stunning bottles to the beautiful fragrances inside (each with a seam of sandalwood as their signature), and the creatively engaging imagery – everything they do truly represents a feast for all the senses.

Having just flown back from Pitti Fragranze, the annual fragrance trade show in Florence, and fresh from our first-sniffing of their latest launch, we’re thrilled to be able to share with you White Heart v.7 – The Heart of Love. Scroll down to read our review, and watch the film…

The first thing that struck us was the purity of the bottle, how all the features of the sculptural shape really stand out with the matte finish (a first for the house), and we noticed everyone who came to their stand tenderly stroked the texture as they held the flacon. [N.B: Texture and colour (or the absence of colour) is a hugely emerging trend from what we saw at Pitti.]

Sarah Blair, co-founder of Map of the Heart, told us that White Heart v.7 ‘is all about love: its power and dualities. That love can be hot / cold, tender / wild, innocent / knowing, everything or nothing…’ So the white can be the starkness of juxtaposed emotions, or the blank page on which to write your own story. Fascinatingly, Sarah also explained a deeper inspiration for the white, because ‘…it’s about the purity of emotion, and possibilities. When you refract white light it splits into a rainbow, and at the time we were creating this, we had the equality vote in Australia, so the symbol of rainbows was really important to us.’ The matte finish became the obvious choice, too, because of its ability to ‘draw you in, to make you want to pick it up and hold it, to feel that connection.’

Emotional connections and the imporance of touch are all very well, but of course we were most excited to get our noses on it at last! We’re happy to report it was worth the wait.

What does it smell like? Well, there’s a whoosh of freshness, a cold breeze that tickles like just-poured Champagne bubbles as the exhilarating opening launches French lavender, aldehydes and cardamom and feels like an unsuppressable giggle of pure joy. Into the brightness a bold red umeboshi (Japanese salt plum) accord languorously seeps to fill the space with an almost-booziness – the mad intensity of love that overtakes sense, always. We’re drawn back to purity as sandalwood swirls through radiant gardenia, a natural oud resonating gently in the base like a softly comforting hug that lasts for hours.

Map of the Heart White Heart v.7 £150 for 90ml eau de parfum
Exclusively at harrods.com

PS: Have you tried the other Map of the Heart fragrances yet? The enticing warmth of saffron-infused milk opulently laps within Map of the Heart Gold Heart, and you can try a sample of it in our luxurious Velvet Collection Discovery Box (currently on sale from £19 to just £12, so snap one up while you can!)

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Atelier Cologne – for autumn and beyond

Think Colognes are only for summer splashes and searing heatwaves? Atelier Cologne‘s deeper twists on the classic will make you think again…

Having enjoyed the hottest summer on record in England (joint hottest for UK overall since 1976), there’s no doubt we’ve all been reaching for those fresh fragrances to cool things down. The traditional Cologne is a thing of joy – but apart from the first splash, that joy could be fleeting, until Atelier Cologne took the best elements of the tradition and infused them with more complexity, depth and a hugely boosted lasting power.

This means we can enjoy all the benfits of their range well into the cooler months – good news for those already grieving the loss of summer and who perhaps need a spirit-reviving spritz before we get those opaque tights and cardis out of storage. Here’s our guide to five Atelier Cologne fragrances you should try for an olfactory change of seasons…

 

Top notes: Bergamot from Calabria, limette from Mexico, saffron from India

Heart notes: Sandalwood from New Caledonia, gaiac wood from India, white musk

Base notes: Papyrus from India, cedarwood from Texas, vanilla from Madagasca

Satisfyingly spicy without feeling too bundled-up already, the warm glow of saffron suffuses the zestiness of the opening like autumnal sunshine filtering through trees. Gorgeously layered woods with a wisp of soft musk and the tenderness of vanilla in the base feel like a late afternoon walk through the park.

Atelier Cologne Santal Carmin £160 for 100ml eau de parfum

 

Top notes: Calabrian bergamot, Sicilian mandarin, Guatemalan cardamom

Heart notes: rose oil, Indian tuberose, coffee

Base notes: Madagascan vanilla, cocoa pod

A unique blending of white floral and modern gourmand, the coffee really shines here, all toasty and delicious with a touch of cardamom and a swirl of milky vanilla and cocoa in the dry down. Think of those days it’s still warm enough to grab a coffee outside, chic people-watching while devoring pastries.

Atelier Cologne Cafe Tuberosa £115 for 100ml Cologne absolue

Top notes: green mandarin from Italy, Sicilian bergamot, tajetes from Egypt

Heart notes: orchid nigritella rubra, cinnamon from Sri Lanka, benzoin from Thailand

Base notes: cistus labdanum from Spain, amber, tonka bean from Brazil

A little tip-toe into snugglier scents, this amber benefits from the fresh breeziness of the green mandarin as a welcome change from your usual citrus. Gentle spices never feel dusty, bringing a sense of comfort to the richer notes, instead, and adding a real spring in your step as chillier weather sets in.

Atelier Cologne Ambre Nue £115 for 100ml Cologne absolue

Top notes: bergamot from Calabria, orange flower from Morocco, black pepper from Vietnam

Heart notes: iris from Morocco, lavender from Provence, rose centifolia from Grasse

Base notes: Gaiac wood from Central America, patchouli from Indonesia, white musk accord

Just the most whisper-soft embrace of cashmere-like fluffiness and a pretty bouquet proffered throughout the composition, imagine the sigh of contentment while wearing your favourite suede jacket and shopping at the flower market. The woody-musk base feels reassuring, a scented hug to last all day.

Atelier Cologne Iris Rebelle £165 for 100ml Cologne absolue
Exclusive to Selfridges

Top notes: bergamot from Calabria, ginger from China, Turkish rose essence

Heart notes: Turkish rose absolue, incense from Somalia, velvet oud accord

Base notes: patchouli from Indonesia, papyrus from India, benzoin from Laos

Those of you not yet ready to let go of your roses (and we count ourselves among you!) fear not – here’s an opulent plunge into the more sensual side that flower. We’re especially loving the textural richness added by a drift of incense and smooth oud accord, a fragrant trail you’ll love all day and after sunset.

Try Atelier Cologne at selfridges.com or in their stand-alone Covent Garden boutique.

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Get £15 off a full-size Anima Vinci!

Every now and again at The Perfume Society, we come across a truly special new fragrance house that takes our breath away, and oh boy are you in for a treat when you discover the delights of Anima Vinci.

What’s more, when you buy their new Discovery Set, you can get a free £15 voucher for purchasing the full-size fragrance you happen to fall the hardest for! Read on to find out how…

Nathalie Vinciguerra had spent many years in the beauty and fragrance industry, working hard to eventually become Creative Director of L’Artisan Parfumeur and Penhaligon’s. Along the way, she made connections with some of the best perfumers in the world (read our page dedicated to Anima Vinci to find out exactly who), together seeking out the finest producers of perfume ingredients and ensuring their welfare, along with a deep respect for sustainable, environmentally-friendly working practices, and this ethos was foremost in her mind when creating her own fragrance house.

That moment you smell a scent you adore is truly special: You close your eyes and breathe it in again, deeper still, your mouth breaking into an unbidden smile, your shoulders relaxing as you exhale with a sigh of pure joy. Fragrances have the power to utterly uplift us, to trigger pleasure responses in the brain and transform our way of thinking, and this realisation compelled the already fragrantly experienced Nathalie to launch Anima Vinci.

An expert at talking the perfumer’s language, having spent years coming up with the briefs for some of the fragrances you already know and love, Nathalie realised she wanted to allow these ‘noses’ to create without the limitations and budget-restrictions a larger corporation necessarily need to impose. What’s more, as free-spirit who practically fizzes with energy, she wanted to share her excitement of our emotional connections to scent, and through smelling them, forming a deeper connection to all of our senses, and to the world around us.

You might recall that, earlier this year, we were lucky enough to travel with Nathalie on her annual visit to the Grasse rose harvest – a truly magical experience we will never forget! Now, we are thrilled to announce we are now selling the Anima Vinci Discovery Set and cannot wait for you to dive on in and get to know these stunning scents for yourself.

(And don’t forget – you’ll also get a £15 VOUCHER redeemable against a full-size fragrance from the range! To be honest, the only problem you’re going to have is deciding which you love the most…)

Lime Spirit – Lime acts as a stimulating tonic for the mind and body. Lime pacifies your mood and boost brain power. It is a powerful ancient remedy for cleansing the aura and restoring self-confidence

Rose Prana – It benefits the heart chakra that is responsible for love, spiritual wisdom and mental clarity. Influences the central nervous system, boosts self-confidence, self – esteem and positive feeling. Strengthens the aura and stimulate the body

Jasmine Yang – Tonic and relaxant, it generates a positive reaction in the mind, enhances self-confidence, helps to change the mood and increase spiritual well being

Wood of Life – This elevating, soft, uplifting and sweet woody scent has been used for thousands of years for attaining illumination of mind, awaking self-love

Oud Delight – Illuminates the mind and fortifies the power of thinking. Increases the sense of strength, bringing in tranquillity, increasing cerebral functioning and strengthening the nervous system

Anima Vinci Discovery Set £15 for 5 x 1.5ml eau de parfum + £15 Voucher
Now available in our Online Shop

401 È Amatrice

Perhaps one of the most tender stories told through scent we’ve ever heard, Lorenzo Dante Ferro pays homage to the strength of an entire nation with his fragrance, 401 È Amatrice – meaning ‘come back’ or ‘rebirth’…

The fragrance was made in collaboration with RIFLESSI – the Serafini family’s perfumery – and the perfume is to capture the memory of their perfumery, which was sadly lost in a monumental earthquake. Lorenzo wanted to pay tribute in the best way he knew how.

One of only a hundred perfumers who’ve earned the title Master Perfumer, yet stoically remaining a private figure, Lorenzo Dante Ferro is a name revered in the industry for his exquisite creations – quietly providing bespoke olfactive décor ‘to private homes, historical estates, luxury hotels and numerous private and public establishments in Europe’. And yet we realise not everyone will be familiar. There’s nothing we love more at The Perfume Society than introducing your noses to something beautiful, and houses we think you’ll love. And when we heard the inspiration behind the latest fragrance, we just had to share it with you.

‘The Essence of Life, between the skies and the lands of Amatrice, is rich in history and poetic art, made strong by new energy and life blood, like the newly sprouting plants and a heart that goes on breathing…’

Poetic words, indeed, to describe this perfume, and no wonder when you hear the story behind its creation. This time last year, the citizens of Amatrice had no idea they were just days away from devastation. An earthquake shook the historic town, leaving hundreds dead, dozens more injured and the whole of Italy reeling from the news. At the time, The Guardian reported that ‘Amid the rubble of a town that seems almost to have toppled on to its hillside, it is, miraculously, still standing. But the clock on the 13th-century bell tower in Amatrice is stuck at 3.39 – three minutes after the earthquake struck.’

As the RIFLESSI website explains, the family are, ‘A family of shopkeepers who run one of the oldest perfumerie shops in Amatrice. Marina and Roberto, along with their daughters, Alessia and Domiziana, luckily have a story to tell. Yes, luckily, because only thanks to fate and luck were they saved during the night of the 24th of August 2016. They survived while their town collapsed around them.’

Since then, the town has struggled hard to overcome their loss and rebuild the wreckage this natural disaster wrought, but the resilliance of people’s spirits has been nothing short of miraculous. Created by the Serafini family, once owners of that fine perfumery in Amatrice, and with the help of Lorenzo, the entire story of the scent is carried within the name itself. The heart of the perfumer resolutely beating for the nation he so loves. The Serafini family say:

‘We created this perfume, as an authentic scent that represents our culture, where people have always lived with age old wisdom in harmony with Nature.

401 is the code assigned to the creation and beyond being a primary number, it revealed itself to us with all its naturalness, much like its perfume. Rich in numerical symbolism, 401 is citied in ancient scripts as the equivalent of the Alpha and the Omega – the beginning and the end – and the beginning once again…’

There’s a sense of soaring skywards, of great space and bouyancy somehow, from the very first spritz. Over 140 essential oils and aromatic raw materials were carefully selected, which in the hands of a lesser perfumer could have become muddled, but experience will always show through, and there’s no loss of clarity here. Zesty and timeless, with a nod to a traditional Cologne style, you feel a salty breeze caress your skin, a mineralic haze that could descend into mist, but instead carries you ever upwards to a harmonious crescendo. It truly feels like flying, and is fresh without falling back on the streotype of citrus scents.

Even without knowing the back story, this would feel like a wonderfully reviving fragrance at any time, and for anyone to wear who appreciates the subtlety of a master perfumer’s restraint at work. But when you do know, it becomes even more special. A fragrant revery to escape in when times feel tough, when the world seems impossible to cope with, perhaps…?

Lorenzo Dante Ferro 401 È Amatrice £115 – free UK shipping with code: FREESHIPPINGUK
Buy it at venetianmasterperfumer.com

Written by Suzy Nightingale