In celebration of National Perfume Day on Thursday 14th April, The Perfume Shop are urging fragrance fans to show off their ‘shelfies’ – photos of their scent collections – by posting images on Twitter, mentioning @theperfumeshop and using the hashtag #wherewillittakeyou.
We know many of you have cabinets simply groaning with the weight of your collections (some of whom we feature in our #ShareMyStash section of our award-winning magazine, The Scented Letter!) or perhaps are begining to build up a more moderate, carefully curated perfume wardrobe and still want to show that off, too.
Well of course we wanted to get involved and took a snapshot of our very own in-office ‘shelfie’ to post them – something we add to and update constantly as we never know what mood our noses will be in on any given day. Fancy a sneak-peek? See below…
Having shown you ours, we’d love to see what you share with them – and please do get in touch if you think we’d like to come and sniff out your very own scent collection – we’re always on the look out for more to feature in the magazine!
The Perfume Shop will be celebrating National Perfume Day with in store activities, a 10% discount in store all day and a fragrance giveaway for the best shelfie with the hashtag #wherewillittakeyou.
Etro are one of those word-of-mouth fragrance ranges doing marvellous things under the radar – interesting perfumes beautifully packaged, but whispering about their charms rather than shouting from the rooftops.
Inspired by and named for exotic regions, traditional patterns and luxurious fabrics, they are whimsically unique poetic perfumes and fit perfectly into the brand’s fashion-led history of delicately intricate yet impactful designs.
Etro say: ‘A textile of words, a landscape of colours, a whisper of iconic style in each perfume. Each essence evokes a new place, a new frame of mind, the rediscovery of forgotten myths and memories… a treasure trove of associations, words, colours, moments and memorable places. Abandon convention, the challenge is rediscovery: the sensuality of a floral bouquet, the nocturnal notes of wood and spice, and, above all, the unique nuances that speak to individual style. This originality and unconventionality has characterised the entire Etro perfume collection for a quarter of a century.’
Founded by Gimmo Etro in 1968, the house is built on a lifestyle concept with exquisite materials being their mainstay, and perhaps most widely known for their use of the paisley pattern – since 1981 a motif the brand has cleaved to and made their symbol.
The latest to join the expanding fragrance collection (now burgeoning with over 25 fragrances) will be Shantung – a symbiotic relationship with the scent being exclusive to Liberty in the UK – a store known for their love of luxurious fabrics. Inspired by the beautifully rich yet flowing silk, Etro give the scent a kind of sub-heading of ‘Fairie Flowers’ – a reference to the gossamer-light touch of peony woven through with a sheer rose, fresh mandarin, blackcurrant and cedar with the whole composition kissed by the softness of cashmere woodiness in the dry-down. Launching in the coming weeks at Liberty, we think this will be a fragrance to transition you through from Spring and right through the warmer months of Summer ahead…
Etro Shantung £118 for 100ml eau de parfum
Exclusively in-store at Liberty
We could have begun by saying ‘instead of an Easter egg this year, why not treat yourself to a new fragrance…?’ But sod that, life is too short: buy the choccy egg AND the perfume. For those of us who not only enjoy the softly yielding slide of chocolate as it melts in our mouths, but would quite frankly like to bathe in the stuff, it is to the Gourmand family we turn – pulses quickening, pupils dilated and ready for the dose of dopamine (a pleasure-inducing neurotransmitter released by the brain when we eat – or perhaps even smell – chocolate).
Indeed, scientific researchers have concluded that chocolate doesn’t have to be eaten to stimulate that hit of happiness and promote a sense of wellbeing – it seems the mere whiff of chocolate alone may lead us by the noses to react favourably to a situation. A team of scientists led by Lieve Doucé at Hasselt University in Belgium conducted a study that involved releasing the scent of chocolate in selected bookstores, and noting particular changes in their customers purchasing habits. The scent was subtle yet strong enough to be noticeable, and dispersed for half of the shop’s opening hours. Apparently customers not only spent longer browsing the shelves, on average, but spoke to the staff more frequently, too. Published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, their conclusions were that ‘…customers were 2.22 times more likely to closely examine multiple books when the chocolate scent was present in store, compared with the control condition.’ Sales of books related to food and drink along with romantic novels reportedly increased by a whopping forty percent, suggesting a sniff of chocolate had a direct influence on the genre of books they were buying, too.
It seems that smelling of a chocolate-like fragrance could well have you perusing bookstores and being more loquaciously friendly, while also being more romantically inclined – a win-win-win situation if we ever heard it. Though perhaps make time to eat some chocolate, as well. Just to be doubly sure, you know…
Inspired by Mugler‘s childhood memories of fairground smells, this candy floss, caramel and chocolate concoction was groundbreaking when first launched in 1992 – often cited as the first true ‘gourmand’ – and retains that power to this very day. Once sniffed, never forgotten, it’s the much copied mixture of berries and patchouli that cuts through the sweetness and swaggers onwards for hours, years, miles…
Thierry Mugler Angel £50 for 25ml eau de parfum
Originally released as a limited edition for Valentines Day it quickly sold-out, and when chocoholics across the pond began demanding it from American perfume retailer Luckyscent, indie-perfumer Sarah McCartney took the hint. Made with an intense dose of pure cocoa absolute mixed with a touch of strawberry, the sugar’s cut through with a tart tingle of bergamot. It’s the next best thing to writhing around in a huge box full of reassuringly expensive chocolates while being dusted with cocoa powder, but don’t let us stop you trying that, too.
4160 Tuesdays Silk, Lace & Chocolate RRP £40 for 30ml eau de parfum (currently on offer at £24)
At 4160 Tuesday
Redolent of dipping just-cooked cinnamon-dusted churros into an unctuously glossy pot of chilli-spiced chocolate sauce, wearing this perfume conjures colourful Mexican festivals and sultry dances that sashay long into dawn. The unmistakably carnal tang of hot-body-like cumin and night blooming jasmine lend a distinctly animalic edge that could well lead to other dopamine-inducing activities, we feel duty bound to warn you.
Arquiste Anima Dulcis £125 for 55ml eau de parfum
There are times when one wishes to smell as though you have glided straight from a couture catwalk – an immaculately put together, properly grown-up lady with clicky heels, a perfect coiffure and very likely carrying one of those handbags that snaps shut with a terrifying metal clasp. I’m not going to lie to you – this is not the scent for that occasion. But yet there are also times when one wishes to smell like a Bourbon biscuit (yes there are, be quiet ye snobs) and revel in childhood memories of licking the spoon clean of cake batter and then skipping giddily around the garden dressed as a fairy on a sugar high. And this is my incredibly pocket-friendly guilty pleasure for exactly those kind of days.
Al-Rehab Chocomusk £1 for 3ml perfume oil
Milk chocolate aficionados are sure to love the cocoa absolute mixed here with meltingly creamy Brazillian Cumaru wood, infused with marzipan-esque tonka bean, smoothed with comforting vanilla, gently warmed by an amber accord and wrapped in a silver foil-like white musk. A sophisticated way to enjoy your favourite treat, we suggest informing the family they can cook their own flippin’ Easter banquet if they want it, and ramping up the pleasure of freedom while wearing this, retiring to a velvet chaise lounge with a good book and a bar of chocolate, the better to indulge your frivolous side. And don’t forget to lock the door.
Parfumerie Générale Musc Maori £81.50 for 50ml eau de parfum
At Les Senteurs
Sometimes you need a scent that simply does what it says on the tin (or, well, bottle) and The Library of Fragrance excel in this, with a huge selection of perfumes made to be worn alone or layered-up to create your own bespoke blend. Perfect for those who wouldn’t dream of purchasing a bar that doesn’t scream 80%, shudder at the mere mention of white chocolate and raise an eyebrow while silently judging those who prefer the milky blends; here’s a hit of satisfyingly chocolate noir. You needn’t fear an overdose, either, as the formula’s subtle enough that it can be re-sprayed whenever the need arises. Layering suggestions include trying it with their Musk scent for a crisp white sheet freshness, or with the Fig for a fruity finish; but a favourite combo is dousing with Frankincense for a smoky incense wallow in chocolate as a spiritual awakening.
The Library of Fragrance Dark Chocolate £15 for 30ml eau de toilette
At BootsIf you have ever experienced lifting the gilded lid of a beautifully packaged box of Charbonnel et Walker‘s Sea Salt Caramel Truffles, you’ll know the smell can immediately transport you to a world of soon-to-be satiated lust. Chocolatiers to the Queen, no less, we imagine HRH doesn’t leave these hanging about the place too long, and bet they don’t make it to a Tupperware container, either. Nothing is more disappointing than lifting that lid only to find the sad rustle of empty paper casings because some blaggard has beaten you to it, so huzzah for Shay & Blue founder Dom De Vetta for enticing perfumer Julie Massé to create this photo-realistic longer-lasting fragrant interpretation of the addictive cocoa confection. Caramel and bourbon vanilla rock on the precipice of sweetness before being dashed through with a hint of freshly-hewn sandalwood and an ultra-intriguing definite note of the salt crystals to set your taste buds salivating.
Shay & Blue Salt Caramel £30 for 30ml eau de parfum
At John Lewis
The Fragrance Foundation’s Jasmine Awards are often called the ‘Oscars’ of the fragrance-writing world – held at BAFTA in Piccadilly, with Lalique statuettes polished and gleaming, Wednesday 16th March saw the gathering of excitedly chattering nominees shortlisted for 2016’s crop of awards. We have to say, the whole Perfume Society team was thrilled to be honoured with nominations this year – not merely for features we’d written online or published in our magazine The Scented Letter, but with fellow journalists also nominated for features they’d written about The Perfume Society.
What happened next? Well read on as we veritably squeal with excitement…
Presiding over the event were Chairman of The Fragrance Foundation – Annalise Fard, and Cecile Budge – Managing Director P&G Prestige & Chairman of The Jasmine Awards, said:
‘Congratulations to all the winners today. As always, the quality of the entries from both the finalists and the winners was very high. We saw great creativity throughout and pieces that truly inspire consumers to try and then buy fragrances. We had entries from a wider range of publications and individuals this year, which is really encouraging to see. We also saw increased participation from retailers this year.’
The judging panel this year were industry expert Joanna Norman ‑ Chairman of the Judging panel, alongside Paula Hawkins – Author, Gill Hudson – Editor, Millie Mackintosh – Fashion Designer & Blogger, Natasha Kaplinsky – TV Presenter, Sanjay Vadera – CEO The Fragrance Shop, & Daphne Wright – Author.
Best Article in a Customer Magazine: The judges chose Deborah Bee & Jan Masters for ‘Birth of a Fragrance’ in Harrods Magazine.
Best Digital Article on Fragrance: The Perfume Society co-founder Josephine Fairley (hoorah!) was chosen to receive this prize – for ‘Perfume Notes: Smoke and Fire Fragrances’ published on the telegraph.co.uk.
Jasmine Visual Award: This category had some stunning visuals were original and eye-catching; the prize went to ‘Birth of a Fragrance’ from Harrods Magazine, Words by Jan Masters, Creative by Deborah Bee.
Most Creative Visual Award: This is for a stand‑alone piece with minimal words which stood the test of inspiring the reader by its visual impact. The judges found this a tough decision due to the high quality of entries, but it was decided that the prize should go to ‘The Forever Fragrances’ from marksandspencer.com, by Emma Robertson with the creative by Karen Davidson.
Jasmine Literary Award: Lucy Pavia for ‘What Does Pleasure Smell Like?’ from InStyle.
Jasmine Rising Star Award: Shannon Peterʹs ‘A Perfumer’s Business Card’ – Stylist Magazine.
Winners of the ‘Junior Jasmines’ – the Mighty Nose Awards – were utterly adorable, and their poems incredibly creative! This section of the awards was set up to challenge and inspire primary school children to write poems specifically about the sense of smell. The judging panel comprised of Richard E. Grant – Actor, Director & Chairman of the Judging Panel, Nicky Cox MBE – Editor of First News & Josh Lacey – Children’s Author.
Years 3 and 4 – First prize went to Isaac Littlewood from St Mary’s CE Primary School Edwinstowe, for his brilliantly funny poem – ‘The Smells Inside my Brother’s Room’. Runner up was Emily Wates for her poem ‘In My Dreams’ from Cranleigh Preparatory School.
Years 5 and 6 – First prize went to Tess Garrett for her excellent poem ‘The Smell Olympics’ from Bedford Girls School. Runner up was Anya Hemingway for her poem ‘Smells of a Summer Walk’ from Sheffield High School.
Truly, we have to keep pinching ourselves and aren’t quite sure it’s sunk in yet! Many, many sincere congratulations to ALL nominees – we were proud to be among you, and in a room full of such talent.
For thousands of years, coded messages have been attributed to flowers, and the cultural or social settings in which they’re given as tokens or displayed. The Victorians were particularly fond of this sentimental ‘Language of Flowers‘, with a number of books and pamphlets devoted to the subject – informing the reader how they may go about creating their own secret message or decoding what that bouquet from a loved one actually meant.
With one of the biggest floral gift-buying times of the year mere days away, let’s explore a way you could add extra heartfelt meaning to your scented Mother’s Day offerings, be they bottles of perfume or fragrant bouquets…
Bluebell – Humility
Sometimes, mums do know best. We surely all have occasions when mother has proffered some timely advice, at which we’ve rolled our eyes, and has later been proved entirely correct. Sorry for doubting you, ma!
Penhaligon’s Bluebell £67 for 50ml eau de toilette
Buy it at Penhaligon’s
Carnation (pink) – I’ll never forget you:
Unforgettable, that’s what you are… Before we break into song (inadvisable) let’s pay homage to the eccentric mums out there, who do things we may cringe at in youth but come to admire as adults. Maybe. Try a mini of this one in our gorgeous Les Infusions de Prada Discovery Box, too!
Prada Les Infusions de Prada Oeillet £90 for 100ml eau de parfum.
Buy it atSelfridges
Iris – Your friendship means so much to me
As we get older, it’s lovely to be able to treasure time spent with our mums as friends, rather than the sometimes fraught parent/child relationships we can all struggle with over the years. Perhaps make some time to get your know your mum as a person, too?
Ormonde Jayne Vanille d’Iris £110 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Ormonde Jayne
Rose (dark pink) – Thankfulness
Everyone likes being told ‘thank you’ every now and again – even if you think they should know you’re thankful by now, it’s still always nice to actually hear it expressed. Why not let her try a sample of this in our Jet Set Discovery Box…?
Violet – I’ll always be true
We’re taking this to mean family loyalty rather than always telling the absolute truth to our mums, because… yeah. Blood being thicker than water in emotional ties, we may hve been through the wars with our mums, but if we’re lucky enough to still be on speaking terms and have them in our lives, it’s good to have a hug and let them know you’re always there…
Yardley April Violets £6.66 for 50ml eau de toilette
Buy it at Boots
Did you know 2016 is a Leap Year – traditionally the time when it was deemed socially acceptable for women to ‘pop the question’, and specifically that February 29th will mark the ‘Leap Day’ of the Gregorian calendar – a date that occurs in most years divisible by 4, (so: 2008, 2012, 2016, 2020, and 2024)? For those who hold to such conventions (and really, ladies, where is your spirit and pluck if you limit yourselves that way?) 2020 is maybe holding off that little bit too long – so have those questions at the ready.
Once the deed has been done (and hopefully accepted with a positive answer!) we say forget the dress and focus on the perfect scent for the big day. To the non-initiated that may sound slightly crazy, but we genuinely know many a perfumista who began panicking about the perfume they and their partner should wear before considering anything else. Wherever perfume fits on your forthcoming wedding’s priority list, it is an important consideration at any time – nothing worse than jarring scents fighting each other to the altar and beyond.
Now, some fragrance companies are catching on to this requirement of ‘scent pairing’ and Sophia Fannon-Howell is leading the way with her Deco London range having specifically imagined characters for each fragrance – inspired by the Bright Young Things of the roaring twenties but with idiosyncrasies appropriate for any era, creating contemporary fragrances with a historical twist and bringing nostalgia, glamour and sophistication to the fore.
Creative Director Sophia says: ‘People spend years planning their dream wedding, down to the very last detail, but many forget to consider what fragrance they want lingering in the air. Perfumes help preserve memories, you should have a scent that sets the mood and will forever remind you of the happiest day of your life…’
Launching last year with six fragrances – designed to encompass genres to suit every mood and personality – Sophia wanted to give perfume-lovers a starting point in a bewildering marketplace. The characters are there as a guide, gently nudging people to recognise something of themselves or their loved ones in the descriptions, and therefore more likely to be drawn to the fragrance itself than a completely abstract description that only lists main notes. Explains Sophia:
‘We looked at similar ingredients and notes, things that would compliment each other without dominating, but still held their own personality. We haven’t tried layering them, I mean you could of course, but they weren’t designed that way. They’re all little people to me – they each have their own persona, and I wanted people to be able to wear them as personalities as well as perfumes that would naturally be attracted to each other, and to the wearer themselves.’
Of course people can mix and match to their heart’s delights – and sometimes opposites attract – but Sophia suggests the perfect wedding couple in her fragrance world would be as follows…
‘Ernest, ever the gentleman, offers a blend of exotic amber, vanilla, woods and leather, giving the perfume a distinct masculine aroma, with an added burst of citrus – known to help lower stress levels.’
‘His female match, Millicent, epitomises the charm and charisma of the 1920s dame, opening with bergamot and mandarin, a heart of classic wedding flowers expertly fused with woods and musk, which gives the fragrance its strong character.’
Deco London Ernest and Millicent, £75 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy them at Deco London
Have you met your fragrance match? Do let us know what you both wore (or plan to wear) for your big day, we’d love to collect your wedding scent stories for a later issue of The Scented Letter magazine…
Nicki Minaj’s latest scent is devised to empower its fans to flaunt their own uniqueness. Entitled Onika, which was actually Nicki’s birth name, the fruity floral composition housed in her iconic Minaj-shaped bottle combines sensuous fruits and delicate florals alongside a base of sheer musks.
Top notes of fresh pear, starfruit and mandarin, layer a heart of water lily, orchid and osmanthus. The base dries down to reveal sugar cane, white musk and cedarwood.
Throughout fashion month, we’ll be focusing our attention on the backstage creatives and the fragrances they’re choosing to wear throughout the shows (and beyond).
Hair stylist Adam Reed is best known for his beautiful creations backstage at the likes of House of Holland. As one half of Percy & Reed hair care and Henry Holland‘s go-to guy, he’s consistently on top of the latest trends, working alongside the industries most masterful make-up artists to create some of fashion months most incredible beauty aesthetics.
He takes us into his wonderfully fragrant world, and explains when he first fell in love with his signature scent…
‘My all-time favourite scent would be Santa Maria Melograno. I first discovered it on a school trip to Florence and have had it in my fragrance wardrobe ever since then.
I love the clean classic aroma of it, it leaves you feeling – as well as smelling – the cleanest you can be. At first, I was unaware that it has notes of pomegranate, as there is no real fruity scent to it. It’s just clean, fresh and powdery.’
A trip to the great British seaside is always a real treat, truly to behold come rain or shine – whatever the weather actually. Though, I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who is rushing to the coast for one last dip, before we officially draw a line under summer. It’s in our DNA as Brits to want to escape to the sea, whether it’s to walk the dog and wonder how on earth you’re going to get said wet canine back in the car, or the craving of a ‘wake-up’ like none other as you brave the great ocean.
Perhaps it’s the smell that’s so addictive. In the heat it’s dry, dusty sand and sun cream, but with a twist of watery freshness blown in from the shore. In the cold, it’s the thick heavy wind that batters you from every angle, ‘blowing out the cobwebs’, so to speak. For both, there is always one key ingredient – salt. We love the stuff. Perhaps because of these experiences, or perhaps it’s the sticky, certain ‘tang’ we can’t quite put our finger on.
There are some incredible historical scents that include sea salt, of course who could forget Miller Harris‘s Fleur de Sel, or Heeley’sSel Marin? This season, salt is in the air again and we think we’re spotting a trend floating in the undercurrent.
Jo Malone London Wood Sage & Sea Salt £82 for 100ml cologne
Classified as a woody fragrance, created by master perfumer Christina Nagel, it perfectly captures the spirited feeling you experience when walking a windswept shore. The fragrance clogs the nose with a freshened, heavy sweetness, but retains warmth, like cold, weather-beaten cheeks that burn. Notes include ambrette seed, red algae, grapefruit, as well as those key components – sea salt and sage.
Salt brings caramel alive and this is clearer than ever in Shay & Blue’s latest scent, Salt Caramel. Created by Dom De Vetta and Julie Massé – taking their inspiration from the Queen Charbonnel et Walker’s sea salt caramel truffles – it’s a truly indulgent fragrance. Notes include burnt caramel, sea salt, sandalwood, tonka bean and vanilla. Good enough to eat.
Calvin Klein Reveal £37.50 for 100ml eau de parfum
Created by master perfumers Jean-Marc Chaillan and Bruno Jovanovic to summon feelings around the smell of sun-kissed skin in the evening sunset, enveloped in cashmere. The top opens with fresh and flavorful sea salt and pepper. The heart adds ambergris and powdery iris, while the base is smoothed with sandalwood, musk, cashmere and vetiver (another potential female fragrance trend we’re sniffing of late).
Designed by Gucci’s Creative Director, Frida Giannini, comes a fragrance with all the charisma of an ‘Art Deco’ and ‘Oriental’ blend. Gucci Oud is for those who can confidently adorn the ancient, intensive scent of agar wood, as well as the stamp that is Gucci.
A unisex perfume made with oudh that is certified as 100% pure and sustainably sourced from Laos, Gucci Oud opens with fruity top notes of pear and raspberry. The heart blends Bulgarian rose, orange flower and tingles with the spicy opulence of saffron. The base settles into rich, heady amber, musks, Gucci scent-signature – patchouli and that all-important oudh wood.
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