Eau so sophisticated – fragrances for effortless style with every spritz

Feeling sophisticated is in, not that it ever went away. Well, perhaps a little during lockdown. Now we’re (mostly) out of lounge wear and yearning for something a little more stylish, instead of squeezing into heels (we’ve not even tried) grant yourself an immediate hit of elegance and chic with these recently-launched scents. Sophisticated and effortless? Yes please!

 

 

CHANEL_LE_LIONCHANEL
LES EXCLUSIFS LE LION DE CHANEL
With a launch postponed from last summer, the fragrance world was on tenterhooks for the Olivier Polge’s Le Lion – but it absolutely does not disappoint. Au contraire, all hail to this absolute masterpiece: a smoky swirl of resinous, leathery labdanum, sweet vanilla, with bright flashes of bergamot for contrast. Purring on the skin for hours – at least till sun-up – this is a scent to be worn as we dance on tabletops. (Just watch us. And smell us.)
From £169 for 75ml eau de parfum
chanel.com

 

 

CLIVE_CHRISTIAN_MATSUKITACLIVE CHRISTIAN
MATSUKITA

There’s such a tale behind this woody-Chypre reimagination of the famous Crown Perfumery perfume, first created in 1892 and inspired by a fabled Japanese princess who wowed the Victorian royal court. Conjuring up that elegance, grace and mystery for a new generation are fresh top notes of pink pepper and bergamot, spiced by nutmeg, a floral heart of Chinese Imperial jasmine and smoky black tea, on a whispering base of amber, musk, mosses and woods.
£325 for 50ml eau de parfum
clivechristian.com

 

 

ESCENTRIC_MOLECULE_PATCHOULI.ESCENTRIC MOLECULE
M+PATCHOULI
Geza Schoen tells us that he loves patchouli for its ‘moody beauty’ and its cool, rather aloof woodiness. And do cast aside any notions of hippy-dippiness, please: here, he takes Indonesian patchouli oil and Patchouli Coeur, which has patchouli’s love-it-or-hate-it camphorous quality edited out via a process of fractionation, giving ‘a sophisticated, clean patchouli that pairs fantastically well with Molecule 01’. The perfumer’s words – but we couldn’t put it better ourselves.
£95 for 100ml eau de parfum
Perfume Society Shop

 

 

CARTIER_PASHA_EDITION_NOIRECARTIER
PASHA EDITION NOIRE LTD EDT
Classics reinvented are another definite trend for the year ahead, and Cartier’s iconic Pasha has a vibrant new edge with this limited edition. The green and citrusy freshness feels like the dawn of a new day, while the amber and cedar base is resonant yet ultra-fine. Interesting fact: the name comes from the ‘pasha’ onboard a ship – someone ‘who had the most charismatic personality, who stood at the helm and set the course.’
£94 for 100ml eau de toilette
cartier.com

 

 

PENHALIGONS_WILLIAM_PENHALIGONPENHALIGON’S
THE INIMITABLE MR PENHALIGON
Vetiver lovers: put on your smartest attire and sashay forth for a meeting with Mr. Penhaligon himself. We’ve been wondering when he’d make an appearance in the Portraits collection, and here he announces his presence with a distinguished blend of bergamot garlanded with jasmine in his buttonhole. The heart will have you pledging your affections, that cool vetiver encircled with cedar and curls of incense swirling to the base of ambrox, warm as his handshake.
£204 for 75ml eau de parfum
penhaligons.com

Choosing a fragrance for Fathers Day (or whenever!) Male scents we’re swooning over

Choosing a fragrance for Fathers Day (or, you know, whenever) can seem overwhelming, but the best way to match a particular chap to a certain scent is think about their personalities. So, ditch the old-fashioned ‘pipe and slippers’ image still portrayed on many a Fathers Day card and consider his character. Is he…

 

Timelessly Stylish?

 

If he fancies himself as rather dapper and wouldn’t dream of stepping outside the house in joggers and an old t-shirt, we think he’s likely to favour a classic but characterful fragrance. This collection was designed with such men in mind, but here at Perfume Society HQ we implore everyone to explore this divine collection and discover the timeless aromas loved by the stars of old Hollywood.

Created by Albert Fouquet, a member of the French aristocracy, who would surprise his loved ones with exquisite homemade perfumes, blended lovingly with the help of his family butler, Philippe. One evening in 1937, Albert met an American student named John F. K. mesmerised by Albert’s scent, John persuaded him to leave him a sample. The rest, as they say, is history…

Now you can get set to feel truly special by spritzing these timeless and decadent scents, six true icons in fragrant history ready for you explore.

Eight & Bob Iconic Discovery Set £20 for six fragrances

 

Eclectically Heroic?

Okay so he might not exactly be a caped crusader but he tries his best, and he’s your hero. If his taste mightbbe described as ‘changeable’ or he’s not really sure which style of fragrances he likes, this discovery box is your scent saviour! Filled to the brim with something to suit all, it’s for super men everywhere.

We’ve included independent perfume houses making their mark: recently launched ånd fragrance with sustainable and ethically sourced ingredients at the forefront, decadent Italian niche with Laboratorio Olfattivo and Jovoy with their new creation based on the Mayfair store 21 Conduit St. Also including newness from loved names including St Giles, Parfums de Marly, Ruth Mastenbroek, Floris, Caron,Initio, Atelier Des Ors, Kierin NYC and Anima Vinci.

We also bring you TWO GROOMING PRODUCTS! FISH Memory Fish Flexible Gel (50ml), and the divinely scented beard savour WELEDA Skin Food (10ml). Up, up and a-spray…!

The Super Man Discovery Box £22 / £18 VIP price for 14 fragrances + two extra gifts

 

Rebellious Rocker?

 

If he’s still firmly attached to his skinny jeans and faded band-t-shirts (or can sometimes be lost for hours playing along to vinyl rarities) chances are he’s not going to want to smell hum-drum and ordinary. Offering a true sense of olfactory rebellion, dance into this so-sassy collection, all of which should be worn with a devil-may-care attitude.

ROOK PERFUMES are the perfect meeting place between art and science – with more than a little rock ‘n roll in their DNA. They were launched by a frontline doctor/actor (yes, really), Nadeem Crowe, who became enraptured with the world of perfumery, who says ‘I feel totally comfortable with pipettes, beakers and weighing scales. The outcome, though, is a piece of art.’

Discover ALL THREE UNISEX FRAGRANCES, Undergrowth, Forest and ROOK. The latter was created by Nadeem for himself, inspired by his Middle Eastern roots, and described as a ‘diplomat dressed up as a punk rocker’. Nadeem loves to hear the stories of how his fragrances transport others – so let us know which transported you…? 

Rook Perfumes Discovery Set £15 for three fragrances

 

Modern Maverick?

If he’s slightly eccentric, obsessed by science or futuristic technology and always ahead of his time, he’s bound to appreciate the loving fragrance nerd-ery behind this iconic cult house. Perfumer and founder Geza Schoen is, himself, a bit of a maverick. If you’re new to the Escentric Molecules world, you should know that Geza was dedicated to trying something new – and it was seen quite shockingly brave, but caused a scent storm of interest.

The reason? Schoen shook up the perfume world by creating a scent with one ingredient – an aroma-molecule non-existent in nature, called Iso E Super. Now this molecule has been expertly blended with other ingredients to really ramp up the individuality.

Geza says: ‘I’ve used two qualities of patchouli here. The biggest chunk is Patchouli Coeur which is a very clean, soft patchouli oil fraction with the camphor-like topnote removed. I have also included a patchouli oil from Indonesia to round it out with a little bit of a topnote. The result is a sophisticated, clean patchouli that pairs fantastically well with Molecule 01.’

Escentric Molecules M+ Patchouli £95 for 100ml

Geza says: ‘Mandarin is all about the instant hit. It’s so alive, the way it radiates off the skin with that citrus zestiness. But there’s more to mandarin, it’s very fruity and aromatic as well. It’s a beautiful ingredient. Its transparency means that it vanishes quickly. I’ve touched it up with a little extra shading to extend it, adding a mandarin ingredient used in flavourings to give it super-juiciness.’

Escentric Molecules M+ Mandarin £95 for 100ml

3 top tips to choosing a fragrance – for a gift, or for yourself. Our guide makes it easy

Our 3 top tips to choosing a fragrance take all the worry and confusing out of selecting a scent – be that a gift for someone else or as a treat for yourself.

With Father’s Day around the corner, fragrant gifts are much on our minds, but we wanted to create a guide that gets your started on your journey and, even better, can be used for any time you find yourself confused while pondering perfumes…

 

3 top tips to choosing a fragrance

1: If you already know a fragrance they like

Have a look at matching products available, such as a gorgeously decadent grooming products like body/beard oils and shower gels or body lotions. It’s often possible to find travel-size versions of fragrances (which are always useful and well-recieved).

If you don’t want to get them the same old thing, then take a look at our genius Fragrance Finder – simply input the name of a scent they already wear, and it’ll give you SIX suggestions of new fragrances to try with similar notes, themes or ‘feel’ about them, all in differing price ranges. It REALLY works – just try it for yourself to see!

 

3 top tips to choosing a fragrance

2: If you’ve no idea what they like (or want to get them something new)

Think about how they dress, or the way they decorate their home – this is an excellent indication as to their character, and therefore the style of scent they probably prefer. Are there particular materials they’re drawn towards, or colours they normally go for? Fragrance, texture and colour and have many qualities in common.

Look for scents packaged in those colours – huge amounts of time and money are spent ‘matching’ the juice to the mood evoked by those hues – or described with those words, such as ‘velvety’, ‘suede’ or ‘crisp cotton’ in the notes. Or consider their interests: sporty gym types might prefer fresher scents, artistic types might prefer a more opulent aesthetic.

But scent selection isn’t always a matter of joining the dots – some people like fragrances you’d never guess at! So the absolute best solution is to buy them a Discovery Box so they can try all manner of differing fragrances in their own time. They may even surprise themselves with their favourite.

 

3 top tips to choosing a fragrance

3: How do I know if a fragrance suits me?

Give it TIME on your skin. So many of us spray, sniff immediately (that’s just the alcohol you’re smelling, with perhaps a mere whiff of top notes) and either make a snap purchase or walk away. Those opening notes can disappear in mere minutes, you really need to let it settle for twenty minutes or more to smell the middle or ‘heart’ notes. The ‘base’ notes are made from ingredients with the heaviest molecules, so these can take several hours to warm and then evaporate on the skin.

If possible, try the fragrance on a blotter first (also known as a perfume ‘spill’); these used to be available with testers on perfume counters, but because of new Covid-19 safety measures, many stores don’t allow these now. (We always tend to take our own – and include a handy pack in each of our Discovery Boxes).

Allow a few minutes for the alcohol and the top notes to subside, and then smell the blotters. At this stage you may be able to eliminate one or more, if they don’t appeal – but it is really the heart notes and the lingering base notes which you will live with, and which are crucial. Remember: blotters are a useful way of eliminating no-hopers and lining up possibilities, but they’re not really enough to base a perfume purchase on.  You really need to smell a scent on your skin.

Don’t try more than about four or five at a time. Your nose will become overwhelmed. Just sniff a sweater or a patch of your own bare skin to ‘re-set’, or go outside and get some fresh air – smelling coffee beans is a fallacy, it’s just filling your nose with another smell!

Jot down a few words to describe how you feel about each fragrance. These should be emotional words or things it reminds you of (a fabric / musical instrument / colour / place / time of day). They might sound abstract, but are a true reflection of how a fragrance is melding to your personality (or otherwise). Come back to the blotters several hours later and smell again – see if those words have changed.

The best way to find a new fragrance – as a gift or for yourself – is to try several samples at home in a Discovery Box, a curated selection of scents from a large number of houses; or a Brand Discovery Set, showcasing the entire range of fragrances from a single house. With time to let them develop, zero pressure and scents you may have overlooked in-store (or never even heard of before), it’s the perfect way to find that new perfume love…

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

Your scented summer reading list

If you can’t get away this year, at least we can enjoy planning a scented summer reading list. Have a look at what’s on ours… Now the weather’s playing nicely we can finally plan some outdoor activities, chief among which, for us, includes sitting in the sun (slathered in SPF, obvs) with a good book.

We’ve whole shelves full of Fragrant Reads and perfume-themed books for you to peruse, but here we’ve selected some favourites to entice your senses while (hopefully) finding time to relax in the sunshine this summer….

 

 

The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro [Harpercollins] waterstones.com

A novel after our own hearts (and noses) this ‘richly evocative tale is a ‘secret history of scent, memory and desire’ and begins in the 1950s with newly-married socialite Grace Munroe’s life being turned upside down by the arrival of a mysterious letter, naming her as the beneficiary of a woman called Eva D’Orsay, who, it turns out, was the darling of high society and a fragrant muse for perfumers in the 1920s. The journey of discovery leads Grace to the heart of the perfume world, travelling to Paris and exploring the life and death of this shadowy benefactor. Traversing decadently through the decades in New York, Monte Carlo, Paris, and London, as Grace finds out more, and indulges her own senses, she will be changed forever when forced to choose between the image of what society experts of her, and who she really is…

 

The Secret Ways of Perfume by Cristina Caboni [Black Swan imprint] foyles.co.uk

Granted a rare gift of a superior sense of smell, Elena’s passion for perfume has been passed down through generations of her family; but it’s a power that can all too often overwhelm her, as this ability means painful memories about her mother are carried on the breeze, and so she can never truly escape her past. When a betrayal destroys her dreams, fragrant events are set in motion when Elena’s best friend invites her to Paris, and she grabs at the chance to start afresh. Lured by the landscape, immersing herself in the world of scent once again, the ancient art of composing perfume beckons our protagonist. Searching for a secret recipe within her family’s historic archives, Elena’s new goal becomes the replication of a composition noone in her family managed to master. Having met a man who’s harbouring his own clandestine past; before long, she’s following the scent trail to discover all manner of mysterious. Because, ‘Remember Elena, perfume is the truth. The only thing that really counts. Perfume never lies, perfume is what we are, it’s our true essence…’

 

A Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman [Vintage Books] amazon.co.uk

The title doesn’t do this justice: Ackerman’s writing is poetically exquisite and immediately evocative – exploring and explaining not just the sense of smell, but all the senses. In the first chapter – Smell – she looks at scent and memory, at roses, at sneezing, at the way our health (and what we eat) impacts on our body odour. Something to read that shakes the very foundations of how you’ll look at smell and fragrance. Although this book is over 20 years old, it’s timeless and deserves to be read by anyone with even a passing interest in smell and how it relates to our everyday lives. Thumbing through this (which we have a hunch you will do, many, many times over the years), you’ll learn answers to questions you never knew you had, and though of course we wish it was ALL about smell, with ‘dissertations on kisses and tattoos, sadistic cuisine and the music played by the planet Earth…’ think of the other four chapters as simply a gift with purchase that will similarly engage all your senses.

 

The Scent of You by Maggie Alderson [Harper Collins] waterstones.co.uk

‘I experience the world through smell – I always have’ it begins,  and we couldn’t agree more. Maggie was inspired to write this novel by spending time in our own Perfume Society office, attending launches and meeting perfumers, learning the history of perfume and developing a burning passion for it along the way. Central character, Polly, is a perfume blogger who loses herself in the world of fragrance while her own world falls to pieces around her – something many of us can empathise with. We love the fact Maggie was inspired to name her after falling madly for Vilhelm’s perfume, Dear Polly, and that she even created a blog and Instagram account for Polly to share her perfume reviews. Polly, having grown up surrounded by the beautiful perfume bottles of her ultra glam (ex-model) mother, and learning to explore the world by sniffing ‘…everything!’ she is now distracting herself with, among other things, ‘Guy, the mysterious, infuriating and hugely talented perfumer.’ We’re rather wondering who this may have been based on, as that description doesn’t sufficiently narrow it down…

 

Scents & Sensibility: Perfume in Victorian Literary Culture by Catherine Maxwell (OUP) blackwells.co.uk

Gathering the fragrant thoughts of luminaries from Oscar Wilde to H.G. Wells, don’t be put off by the scholarly look – it’s a sumptuous plunge that presents perfume as a character in its own right. And it will spark a whole new ‘must read’ list! Did you know that Victorian ladies were warned off wearing tuberose in case it caused involuntary orgasms, so headily narcotic was the aroma? Read about this and more in Perfume Society VIP subscriber Catherine Maxwell’s fascinating book, which also features the astonishingly scathing observations of Virginia Woolf, quoted from her diaries, on women who wore too much perfume. What she has to say about fellow author Katherine Mansfield’s chosen fragrance is one of the shadiest things we’ve ever read!

By Suzy Nightingale

Perfumed Plume Awards 2021 – Winners announced!

The Perfumed Plume Awards 2021 have just been announced, and we’re popping the fizz on a school night!

These awards are an independent, annual showcase of international journalism that gives ‘an inside view of the cultural, historic, scientific and personal approaches to fragrance design and what it takes to create an evocative scent.’

The organisers said: ‘Considering the ongoing challenges even now, we applaud each and every finalist (not to forget all the writers who submitted) for their masterful writing. It is always an honor to receive so many entries.’

‘We look forward to celebrating the winners this year, whether virtually or in person, and we are happy to kick off the award festivities by announcing the finalists as below,’ comment award Co-Founders Lyn Leigh and Mary Ellen Lapsansky.

‘The creativity in both the descriptive word and the visualisation of scent in all its glory is on full display this year and is nothing short of stupendous,’ added Miranda Gordon, Vice President Fine Fragrances Marketing & Evaluation, MANE. ‘Deserving of much recognition and admiration for their talent and commitment to the art of fragrance. Please read their stories. You will be rewarded!’

We were, once again, thrilled to be shortlised as finalists – especially with regular writer for The Scented Letter Magazine, Persolaise, being our fellow finalist in the first category, below. Given the number of extremely talented entrants from around the world, we’re even prouder to say… we won an award!

Many congratulations to all finalists, and winners, whom we’ve highlighted in bold type. We so hope we can all meet in person next year! Meanwhile, please do go and read these stories, linked below: you’re in for a fragrant treat…

 

 

PERFUME STORIES IN MAINSTREAM MEDIA – PRINT – MAGAZINES & NEWSPAPERS

The criteria for judging: quality of editorial content; originality & creativity; accuracy & depth of information:

Modern Florals (Heavy Petalling)
WINNER: Suzy Nightingale – The Scented Letter
The Changing Face of Fragrance
Persolaise – The Scented Letter 

PERFUME STORIES IN MAINSTREAM MEDIA – DIGITAL – MAGAZINES, NEWSPAPERS, BLOG POSTINGS, WEBZINES

The criteria for judging: quality of editorial content; originality & creativity; accuracy & depth of information:

 

 

SHORT ‘N SWEET PERFUME STORIES – PRINT OR DIGITAL

The criteria for judging: quality of editorial content; originality & creativity; accuracy & depth of information:

 

 

VISUALISATION OF PERFUME STORIES – PRINT & DIGITAL

The criteria for judging: design concept; how design relates to content:

 

 

INSTApost – PERFUME STORIES ON INSTAGRAM

The criteria for judging: originality/creativity of visual element(s); quality of the post content:

FRAGRANCE BOOK OF THE YEAR

Winner determined by the Perfumed Plume Consulting Committee:

Zaza’s Scent-sational Super Power
SPECIAL AWARD: Alexis Wintrob and Illustrator Shera Serrulha

Eight & Bob – the scented story of the socialite, the president, his brother & a muse

The remarkable story behind Eight & Bob brings together a dashing perfume-lover, a president, his brother and now we’re introduced to a stunning 1930s society muse named Annicke. Settle down and grab a cuppa as you learn the secrets behind the founding of this extraordinary niche house, and the stories which continue to inspre the creation of its contemporary, so-wearable scents..

We begin with the tale of how Eight & Bob got its name: One night during the summer of 1937, so we’re told, in the French Riviera (Côte d’Azur), Albert Fouquet, a young socialite and perfume connoisseur (who loved to blend his own essences), met an American student who was touring France: John F. Kennedy. Within minutes of being introduced, the vain JFK was captivated by the essence that Albert wore. John’s charm and congeniality persuaded Albert to leave him a sample of his cologne with a note at his hotel the following morning:

 

In this bottle, you will find the dash of French glamour that your American personality lacks.’

The shade of it all! Rather daring to address one of the Kennedys in such a manner, but we guess if you were a particular kind of socialite, you could get away with such cutting remarks.

Eight & Bob continue the story by describing how, on returning from vacation, ‘Albert received a letter from JFK thanking him for the fragrance and informing him of its success amongst his friends. He requested that Albert send him eight samples, “and if your production allows, another one for Bob”. (‘Bob’ being Robert Kennedy). And so, the legend of the house begat its name. You can read all the details in our page dedicated to the history of Eight & Bob.

The Eight & Bob Iconic Discovery Set is just £20 to delve into six timeless scents, including (of course) the original signature of JFK. The others are scented snapshopts, if you like, that dive deeper into the era and the characters at play, and you can click on the link to read the notes and full reviews of each.

Though initially put together by the house with men in mind, here at Perfume Society HQ we implore everyone to explore this divine collection and discover the timeless aromas loved by the stars of old Hollywood. We enjoy weraing many of these scents ourselves, so be sure to keep them safely locked away, chaps, if you want to keep them for yourselves!

Cap d’Antibes  – a fragrance that captures the essence of  long summer days

Champs de Provence  – an exquisite fragrance, inspired by the beauty of Provence

Egypt – based on Albert Fouquet’s fascination of ancient Egyptian culture

Eight & Bob Original –  the fragrance that was a great success with both JFK and his friends

Mémoires de Mustique – capturing the magic of this unique Caribbean island

Nuit de Megève – based on mountain air, the smell of wood smoke and elegance.

Now the Eight & Bob history unfurls a little further with the telling of founder Albert Fouquet‘s own tale – or rather, that of the woman who turned his life upside down. One evening in the French Alps, he attended a high society soirée (it seems he was paiting the town varying shades of scarlet almost every night) and at this particular party was introduced to the strikingly beautiful Annicke.

The Annicke Fragrance Discovery Set is also just £20 to explore all six scents, and has been created as a contemporary tribute to Fouquet’s love. The exquisite fragrances are inspired by that single, muse in the 1930s, but the love story lives on today in this line-up of six numbered scents – each exploring a differing facet of her personality. Because yes, Albert, a woman can be drop dead gorgeous but SO much more, as he found out…

Annicke 1 – an ode to the extraordinary beauty and elegance of a woman with feminine floral aromas of lily of the valley, peony and jasmine

Annicke 2 – deliberately sensual and irresistible with harmonious notes of fruity fig and mandarin that uplift the senses, and hazelnut that brings a delicate touch of sugar

Annicke 3 – inspired by the sophisticated and glamorous charm of the early 1920s as white rose unfurls an air of vintage femininity across a dancefloor

Annicke 4 – inspired by an enchanted forest with woody and earthy undertones of Cashmeran and oakmoss, with spring-like floral notes of rose, ylang ylang and jasmine

Annicke 5 – discover the art of seduction via rich notes of full-bodied plum, golden honey with a dash of spicy rum and a base of sensual patchouli

Annicke 6 – personifying the complex dimensions of a woman, through juxtaposing notes of Sichuan pepper, bergamot and carnation.

Whichever scent you first fall for – the iconic original, the world-tour of scented snaphots or the six scented love letters to Albert’s muse – we’re sure you’ll enjoy trying all of the president’s scents…

By Suzy Nightingale

Jasmine Awards 2021 – The finalists are announced (and we’re overjoyed!)

The Jasmine Awards 2021 finalists have been announced, and we’ve news of all those shortlisted… (including *blush* *squeal* *scream* The Perfume Society!)

These annual awards ‘recognised as the most prestigious journalistic awards in the beauty industry,’ were begun in the UK by The Fragrance Foundation in 1990. They present the Jasmines in order to ‘…recognise and reward the talents of journalists & visualisers whose difficult task it is to translate the complex art of perfumery into words and pictures.’

With a new panel of judges recruited each year, for 2021 the mammoth task of reading all the entries fell to Catherine Mitchell, (also acting as Chairman of the Judging Panel) of IFF; Beth Horn – Facebook’s Head of Industry for Retail & Ecommerce; Brix Smith – songwriter and guitarist best known for her work with The Fall (and an avid fragrance lover); Sali Hughes – author, journalist and broadcaster (and a previous Jasmine Award winner, whose fragrance collection rivals our own) and Sarah Jossel – the award-winning journalist, writer and TV presenter.

 

The Jasmine Awards 2021

LITERARY

Cosmopolitan – Kate Pasola – When did we all start smelling the same

Financial Times – How to Spend It – Nicola Moulton – Which scents made sense in the year of no scent?

thegloss.ie – Sarah Halliwell – Where the Wild Roses Grow

The Scented Letter Magazine – Suzy Nightingale – Don’t Stand So Close To Me

The Scented Letter Magazine – Suzy Nightingale – Note Perfect

The Candy Perfume Boy – Thomas Dunckley – Trapped in a Scent Memory

 

CREATIVITY

YouTube – Luca Turin – The Secret of Scent Lectures

instagram.com/RoseGallagher – Rose Gallagher – Various submission

Stylist Magazine – Shannon Peter – Good Clean Fun

The Perfume Society Instgram – The Perfume Society Team – Smelfie Campaign 2020

Fume Chat (Podcast) – Thomas Dunckley & Nick Gilbert – Fume Chat S3 EP06 Bon Anniversaire, Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle!

The Candy Perfume Boy – Thomas Dunkley – Material Focus: Cashmeran

 

PRACTICAL GUIDE

Glamour Magazine – Alice du Parcq – The 5:2 Fragrance Plan

We Wear Perfume – Amanda Carr & Tamara Fulton – The Long Read: why the future of buying fragrance is online

The Scented Letter Magazine – Suzy Nightingale – Modern Florals

The Scented Letter Magazine – Suzy Nightingale – Straight to the (Pulse) Point

The Candy Perfume Boy – Thomas Dunckley – Material Focus: Cashmeran

 

SHORT PIECE

marieclaire.co.uk – Fiona Embleton – Perfume became the soundtrack to my lockdown

marieclaire.co.uk – Fiona Embleton – Where are all the black perfumers…?

The Scented Letter – Nafia Guljar – It takes me right back – Night blooming jasmine

How To Spend It, The Financial Times – Rosanna Dodds – It’s a real headturner

The Scented Letter – Suzy Nightingale – Petrichor & Pluviophiles

The Scented Letter – Suzy Nightingale – Vellichor: Capturing the Scent Memories of Old Books

 

The Jasmine Awards 2021 shortlist announcement is now part of the seven-day scent-fest of The Fragrance Foundation National Fragrance Week celebrations. You can join in the fragrant fun and see the other olfactory events occuring by cheking out their website, here.

The award ceremony itself is due to be held in September, with all winners being announced during the glam-filled affair, when the scent of success (and oodles of perfume, obvs) fills the air.

Until then, we raise a glass to ALL the worthy finalists, in what must have been very difficult decisions for the judges to make. We’re utterly thrilled to have SO many nominations, and are especially honoured to be among such great names. Cheers!

 

Escentric Molecules M+ – why more is MORE (and how the cult house continue their scent revolution)

Escentric Molecules M+ fragrances are a trio that’s once again revolutionising the world of scent. It all began with the cult Molecule 01 – the iconic scent that can be said to have kickstarted the obsession with niche fragrance, and of course made us more aware of the genius behind aroma molecules and why ‘synthetic’ isn’t a dirty word.

If you’re new to the Escentric Molecules world, you might like to start by reading exactly how they started (and why Geza was so dedicated to trying something new – and quite shockingly brave at the time!) in our page dedicated to everything Escentric Molecules.

TL;DR: Schoen shook up the perfume world by creating a scent with one ingredient – an aroma-molecule non-existent in nature, called Iso E Super. Ultra-smooth, swoon-inducing, gently musky and vanilla-like, the synthesised ingredient had already been used since 1973 by perfumers in small doses – though it remained an industry secret: that special something that made a fragrance utterly irresistible.

Now it’s time to discover how more can be even more, and why you need these in your life, because as perfumer Geza Schoen himself puts it:

‘Molecule 01 is an exceptional molecule: radiant, velvety, cocooning. It’s mysteriously effective on its own, but I started to wonder if there might be another way to play with it. What if I could take the molecule and add just one other beautiful ingredient and see how they danced together in the bottle?’

Molecule 01 + Patchouli – has a cool, rather aloof woodiness to it.

Molecule 01 + Iris – iris is luxury, with a creamy powderiness.

Molecule 01 + Mandarin – radiates off the skin, with a citrus zing.

You could begin your fragrant journey with the M+ Discovery Set, where for only £20 you can explore each of these new fragrances at home. A brilliant gift idea to treat someone else, too! But when you’ve smelled them, we know you’re going to swoon for at least one, and then there’s nothing else for it but to decide which full-size bottle you’ll treat yourself to. We’re absolutely thrilled that not only did Escentric Molecules ask us to help launch their fragrances, but you can now buy the full-size M+ collection in our Perfume Society shop.Escentric Molecules M+ Patchouli £95 for 100ml

Geza says: ‘Patchouli is a unique natural. Unlike 99% of perfume ingredients we associate it with a particular period, with the sixties and seventies and that bohemian spirit. It has a cool, rather aloof woodiness to it. I love it for its moody beauty.

I’ve used two qualities of patchouli here. The biggest chunk is Patchouli Coeur which is a very clean, soft patchouli oil fraction with the camphor-like topnote removed. I have also included a patchouli oil from Indonesia to round it out with a little bit of a topnote.

The result is a sophisticated, clean patchouli that pairs fantastically well with Molecule 01.’

Escentric Molecules M+ Iris £95 for 100ml

Geza says: ‘It’s not easy to describe iris’ smell as such, but if you smell a fragrance without it, and then with it, you understand immediately what it does. It adds a creamy powderiness. It brings a physical dimension to a fragrance.

I have had a long-standing love affair with iris. Every Escentric fragrance has an iris note somewhere in there. To me, iris is luxury. The iris pallida absolue I’ve used here is one of the most expensive ingredients in perfumery. You can find iris extracts for way less than that. But they do not have the great and subtle beauty of this absolue. It’s radical to put this much in a fragrance. The sillage is fantastic. This is a bomb, but a subtle bomb.’

Escentric Molecules M+ Mandarin £95 for 100ml

Geza says: ‘Mandarin is all about the instant hit. It’s so alive, the way it radiates off the skin with that citrus zestiness. But there’s more to mandarin, it’s very fruity and aromatic as well. It’s a beautiful ingredient. Its transparency means that it vanishes quickly. I’ve touched it up with a little extra shading to extend it, adding a mandarin ingredient used in flavourings to give it super-juiciness. Then as it begins to fade, Molecule 01 syncs in, bringing a warm, erogenous feeling to play with that zinging freshness. That’s unusual – for a topnote ingredient like Mandarin and a base note like Iso E Super to dance together naked like this, without other notes coming between them. And then the mandarin is almost gone and you are left with the elevated simplicity of Molecule 01.

That’s what I love about Molecule 01 + Mandarin – it may be a dance of two but the story changes completely from beginning to middle to end.’

So, the only thing to do for this journey or Escentric Molecules M+ discovery is to put that first foot (nose?) forward, and find out which molecular pairing ‘dances naked together’ best on your own skin…

We’re going on The Scent Trail – A Journey of the Senses

As we’re still not able to travel very far physically, so many of us have turned more than ever to fragrance as a way to ‘travel with our nose.’ Today we are traversing time and space with Celia Lyttelton‘s  beautifully written and so-evocative book, The Scent Trail, that follows her journey to discover the secret of scent…

Penguin say: ‘When Celia Lyttelton visited a bespoke perfumers, she realised a long-held ambition: to have a scent created solely for her. Entering this heady, exotic world of oils and essences, she was transported from a leafy London square to a place of long-forgotten memories and sensory experiences. And once drawn into this world, she felt compelled to trace the origins, history and culture of the many ingredients that made up her unique perfume…

And so began a magical journey of the senses that took Celia from Grasse, the cradle of perfume, to Morocco; from the rose-growing region of Isparta in Turkey, to the Tuscan hills where the iris grows wild. And after journeying to Sri Lanka, the home of the heavenly scented jasmine, Celia ventured to India, the Yemen and finally to the ‘Island of Bliss’, Socotra. Here she traced the rarest and most mysterious agent in perfumery, ambergris, which is found in the bellies of whales and is said to have powerful aphrodisiac qualities.

 

From the peasants and farmers growing their own crops, and the traders who sell to the great perfume houses, to the ‘noses’ who create the scents and the marketing kings who rule this powerful billion-dollar industry, Celia Lyttelton paints a mystical, sensual landscape of sights, sounds and aromas as she recalls the extraordinary people and places she encountered on her unique Scent Trail.’

We say: While on the quest for ‘the perfect perfume’, author Celia Lyttelton had a bespoke fragrance made by Anastasia Brozler in London, an encounter that set Lyttelton off on a tour of the world to trace the history and provenence of the ingredients used. From a collection of precious oils contained in an old wooden box to the growing, harvesting and distilling of the materials and exploring cultural responses and mythological beliefs surroung scent, this book is a must-have for anyone who wonders where, exactly their perfume originated. And what a tour to take! With new scent adventures beginning with sentences such as: ‘We arrived on a plateau of dragons’ blood trees and desert roses…’ you will doubtless be Googling far flung fragrant climes, just as we did, while reading this (and now knowing exactly what you’d do following a Lottery win!) Movingly written, and full of the insightful, utterly fascinating pieces of fragrant history that she collected along the way, this book is a deep-dive into perfume ingredients that will satiate your travel-lust until such time we may pack our bags and set off into the scented sunset…

 

 

Celia Lyttelton The Scent Trail: A Journey of the Senses, Bantam Books amazon.co.uk

Looking for a gift or just the next thing you need to get your nose in to? Have a browse of our ever-expanding selection of favourite books – some are exclusively about perfume, others are more scholarly tomes on the history and scientific advancements of smell and the senses; while others still follow a path of examining fragrant ingredients in poetic, funny or awe-inspiring ways. Every page is a journey in itself. What are you waiting for…?

By Suzy Nightingale