Writing about perfume, and smells in general, is one of the greatest challenges for a journalist/author: how to evoke scents, with words…? But over the years, quite a few have done so very, very successfully. And if you want to build a ‘perfume bookshelf’, to deepen your knowledge of perfumery, start here…
As you become ever-more-obsessed (and we know how that feels), you may want to add to your collection – and of course, we’ll add to this section whenever new releases catch our eye. However, today we are wondering about gifts to give perfume-lovers when you’re not sure exactly what they own, but want to get them something you know they’ll enjoy. Or perhaps you’re looking to snuggle up with a good book yourself, to escape the madness of the season?
This week we have our noses stuck in the wonderful novel, The Scent of You…
I experience the world through smell – I always have.’ So begins the perfume-inspired story by Maggie Alderson, and we couldn’t agree more. Maggie was actually 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… Completely gripping, the story of a life in crisis and wonderfully observed, it’s a perfect holiday read for anyone who also experiences the world through smell (that’ll be most of you, then!)
We’d always prefer you support an independent bookstore rather than One-Clicking on Amazon – these indie stores can happily order most in-print books. However, in a super-busy world, we know it isn’t always practical. (And if you’re happy to buy secondhand – most titles are available via Amazon – this does often support smaller bookstores.)
Looking for out-of-print perfume titles in secondhand bookstores can be like searching for a needle in a haystack, meanwhile. If you’re in a hurry, we generally recommend abebooks.com, which links thousands of secondhand bookstores around the world, while Amazon can be a source for remaindered books.
The Perfume Society‘sThe Scented Letter features our annual 19-page scented gift extravaganza, with a beautiful Venetian theme. In fact, we travelled to that city to research its fascinating scented heritage, from 1,000 years ago to today. Because despite being almost written out of the perfume history books, this unique city is once again reclaiming its rightful place in the fragrant universe.
For this 60-page issue of our Jasmine Award-winning magazine The Scented Letter we travelled to Venice to explore its fascinating scented heritage. Almost written out of the perfume history books, this unique city is once again reclaiming its rightful place in the fragrant universe. And is there a more romantic place to go scent-shopping, at Christmas or indeed any other time of year…? We think not.
• Bellissima! This seasonal edition also features our annual perfume gift guide extravaganza. Across 19 pages, we hand-picked perfect scented gifts for everyone on your list, whatever your budget
• For our cover story, Venice’s Perfumed Past, Jo Fairley follows Venice’s spice routes back in time – from 1,000 years ago, right up to today
• We also lead you by the nose for the latest in our occasional series, Scents of Place: Venice – your ultimate scented shopping guide to ‘La Serenissima’
• Sharing her aromatic life in Memories, Dreams & Reflections this edition is superstar make-up artist Ruby Hammer
And of course, as usual, we bring you all the Latest Launches, news, events – and so much more!
Why not make yourself a cup of something soothing, put your feet up and bury your nose in a festively fragrant magazine for a while…?
(NB The Scented Letter is always free online for our VIP Club members – we send you a link to download or in flickable format to read online as soon as it’s published. OR, after much demand, you can order gorgeously glossy print copies, (which are sent out approximately 10 days after each new issue of The Scented Letter appears on the website. We work right up to the wire to make sure everything is truly newsworthy!)
Mary is clearly a lady after our own hearts, describing her greatest loves as ‘books, gin and perfume,’ and having previously been successful with her A-Z of Gin poster, the fragrance one seemed a natural next theme because, says Mary, ‘I love a little tot of Mother’s ruin, and a good read, and am perfume lover myself. Coming from a fashion/textile design background, I just adore the bottles and all the design detail that goes into to the packaging of perfume, and I love the alchemy involved in creating all the different scents.’
Although the perfume print was far trickier to finish (as the bottles as such hugely varying shapes and sizes), Mary says that she rather relished the challenge, even though it proved so fiddly, taking ‘at least 200 hours to complete,’ Mary explained, because ‘each perfume is drawn individually in mostly A4 size. I had some input from a fellow perfume lover who is a chemist to finalise the list and what should go in for each letter.’
The final list was necessarily ‘determined by shape of bottle and colour, to create the most pleasing composition. Fortuitously Kenzo’s Flowers was just the right shape to slip in on the second line as 26 perfumes and 5 lines don’t mathematically compute!’ And Mary had some extra support from her son, who ‘helped out with the tech part of reducing all my images, and getting them just so! He deserves a medal for his patience as it was a trial and error exercise to finalise it to my satisfaction.’
All that work was so worthwhile, we think you’ll agree, and as soon as we received our print it took pride of place on The Perfume Society office wall (see below!)
For perfumistas with a particular favourite – fear not, Mary has you covered, too. Individual bottle prints are also available, and if your all-time love isn’t represented, you’ll be happy to hear that Mary also accepts personal commissions.
So what, we wondered, would Mary’s own choice be? ‘My favourite perfume is Angel,’ she revealed,’ I wear it every day and it feels like my secret armour I spray on each morning to face the world!’
We can see this print gracing many people’s Christmas gift wish lists – and perfume boutiques and all fragrance lover’s walls – can’t you? And in the meantime, if you haven’t read our own Scented Alphabet edition of The Scented Letter Magazine (for which we were thrilled to win a Jasmine Award for journalism, earlier this year), be prepared to for a whistle-stop tour of all things fragrantly fascinating, from A – Z…
Well we told you it was limited, but we had no idea they’d sell this quickly! If you’re wanting to try a superb selection of truly intriguing Limited Edition Niche fragrances, you’d best act fast as this could be your last chance…
For a deep-dive in to the wonderful world of the Limited Edition Niche Discovery Box, we’ve put together our iconic Smelling Notes online – exclusive to The Perfume Society – in which we take you through the notes you can expect to smell, an evocative description of each fragrance we’ve included in the box, a look at the history and inspiration behind each house, and a fun (but highly educational) list of questions to ask yourself while sniffing them.
But really, time is of the scented essence, here, so we’d best give you a shorter run-down so you can choose to buy before this box goes, forever!
P.S: Thank you, Sam, writer of the perfume blog I Scent You A Day for sharing this picture (we’re always thrilled when you send us pics of our perfume boxes ‘in the wild’ as it were!)
As you can see, it’s brimming over with a fab selection of scents to try at home, and here’s what you get:
Anima Vinci Sesame Chān 7.5ml eau de parfum (full size £150 for 100ml) Atkinsons Mint & Tonic 2ml eau de parfum (£130 for 100ml) BDK Parfums Rouge Smoking 2ml eau de parfum (£150 for 100ml) E. Coudray Musc et Freesia 1.5ml eau de toilette (£65 for 100ml) Fragrance du Bois Oud Vert Intense 2ml eau de parfum (£295 for 50ml) Juliette Has a Gun Liquid Illusion 1.7ml eau de parfum (£200 for 75ml) Kingdom Scotland Metamorphic 2ml eau de parfum (£110 for 50ml) Merchant of Venice Blue Tea 5ml eau de parfum (£180 for 100ml) Modernist Geist 2ml eau de parfum (£150 for 50ml) Parle Moi de Parfum Une Tonne de Roses / 8 2ml eau de parfum (£98 for 50ml) Parterre Run of the River 2ml eau de parfum (£95 for 50ml) Prosody Rose Rondeaux 2ml eau de parfum (£135 for 50ml) Serge Lutens Santal Blanc 1ml eau de parfum (£110 for 100ml) Tom Daxon Laconia 4.5ml eau de parfum (full size £105 for 50ml)
The Limited Edition Niche Discovery Box also contains two divinely fragrant extras…
Cochine White Jasmine & Gardenia Smoothing Hand Cream 5ml (full size £14 for 50ml) Cochine Tuberose & Wild Fig Smoothing Hand Cream 5ml (full size £14 for 50ml)
Dad, it’s time to step away from the Cologne Auntie Brenda gave you when you were 19: we’re staging a scent intervention for Father’s Day…
Today, June 11, is our last cut-off day for posting before Father’s Day on June 16 – but you can use these tips whenever you’re buying a fragrant gift!
Buying a fragrance for your father – or the father-figure in your life – can be tricky. You want to gently ease them away from the one they’ve been drenching themselves in for decades because the scented landscape has (mercifully) changed; but where to begin on their new fragrant adventure?
We specially curate a selection of our Discovery Boxes with men in mind (or anyone who prefers more traditionally ‘masculine’ leaning fragrances), as well as stocking a superb selection of Brand Boxes from new niche houses and the more unusual, already established names.
Discovery Boxes/sets really are the best gifts: you’re not imposing your own taste or guessing at theirs, and with a plethora of perfumed delights to explore, the chances of scented success are greatly increased!
Choosing a new fragrance deserves time and space to properly see how they develop on your skin, and something we know you love is the chance to try things you’d perhaps never heard of before. When given as a gift, these boxes also represent the chance to gently move someone you love out of a fragrant rut…
Bringing brand new releases, much-loved classics and niche perfume houses, with an unprecedented SEVENTEEN FRAGRANCES to explore, there’s something for all to fall for in this bumper selection! Including FIVE fragrances from the Elements of Man line-up by ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA, a zing for your step from TOM DAXON Sicilian Wood, the power of the just-launched CREED Aventus Cologne – alongside classic ACQUA DI PARMA Colonia, inviting you to dip your toe in summer waters… We’ve also thrown in TWO GROOMING PRODUCTS! The evocative Milano Cento Body Wash 30ml, to pair with the same fragrance in the box, along with Jack Black Double Duty Face Moisturiser SPF20.
And if you buy this box before 28th June, you’ll be entered into a prize draw to win a full-sized fragrance or grooming product. Which you can choose to give as a second gift, or well, *cough* just keep for yourself.
If he’s something of a rebel or always up for trying the latest technology – we’d steer him toward the incredible, ground-breaking fragrances of Escentric Molecules. Creating unique duos that combine a man-made aroma-molecule with naturals, try each of them in turn, compare the four pairs, and find out why this continually innovative house are set to blow your mind. What’s more, feedback tells us these fragrances last the whole day through, and smell utterly unique.
The Escentric Molecules Discovery Set includes four duos x 2ml samples.
• Escentric 01 – the Iso E Super molecule features heavily, with the remaining formula using ingredients ‘designed to underscore its low-lit mood.’
• Molecule 01 – the ‘partner’ to Escentric 01 contains nothing but Iso E Super – a single ingredient.
• Escentric 02 – vetiver, synthetic musk, Muscone plus powdery orris, elderflower extract and hedione
• Molecule 02 – unadulterated Ambroxan
• Escentric 03 – a tribute to the more familiar side of vetiver: its dark, slightly exotic woodiness.
• Molecule 03 – Vertiveryle acetate, a refined vetiver note is celebrated at its purest
• Escentric 04 – pink grapefruit, rose and pink peppercorns
• Molecule 04 – a seriously room-filling sillage of smooth sandalwood
It’s time to switch up their scent game and move from heavier fragrances to a fresher wardrobe. We curated this selection especially for chaps looking to find something new, so there’s something for every man (and plenty of ‘borrowable’ finds) – including Bentley, Parfums de Marly, Cristiano Ronaldo and TWO duos from cult brands – Escentric Molecule and Clive Christian – among others. This is a thrilling collection to sniff your way through, and with two added extras from Penhaligon’s and Aromatherapy Associates, this box is worth over £40 to begin with, and priceless when you help them discover a new favourite…
Not all dads and father figures are fuddy-duddy, and if yours is more hipster than has-been, this box is the way to go. Featuring 14 truly exclusive niche fragrances, there are an incredible THREE LUXURY-SIZE SAMPLES perfect for travelling – the new addictive Anima Vinci Sesame Chān (7ml), fabulously fresh Tom DaxonLaconia (4.5ml) and the exotic Merchant of Venice Blue Tea (5ml). Showcasing scents from very exciting perfume houses – including decadence from Juliette Has a Gun and exquisite naturals from Prosody and Parterre – he’ll be among the first to smell BDK Parfums with the so-French Rouge Smoking and Parle Moi De Parfum’s delectable celebration of rose. And yes, men smell utterly fabulous in florals – take it from us. All of these fragrances are totally sharable and higly desirable for those who want something more unique.
If he wants ultra luxury and something we’re sure none of his contemporaries will already have, we’re delighted to introduce a very exciting new brand – Memoize London – and invite you to delve into this treasure trove Discovery Set, which includes eight wonderful new fragrances. Memoize celebrates the importance of creating a harmonious balance between fragrance and emotion.
Tristitia – the essence of calm, relaxation and pure leisure. Reminiscent of of a lazy Sunday morning, cocooning you in floral and vanilla scented sheets, no need to rise, the amber is keeping you warm…
Avaritia – the essence of insatiability, opulence and unquenchable desire. The first time you dare to think you can have exactly what you want, the need for something that is all yours.
Era – the essence of passion, provocation and power. Lose control of your emotions with this powerful fragrance; reigniting the fire within you, evoking deep seated memories within.
Luxuria – the essence of lust, seduction and intoxication. Memories of the first moment of interaction, where desire and passion consumes you. Your skin will tingle with luscious blackcurrant, tuberose and the warmth of musk will captivate you.
Superbia – the essence of self-confidence, self-love and self-worth. An overwhelming feeling of pride, joy and delight. Recalling a first day of school, the pruned rose bushes, games in the woods, the leather strap of a satchel, a mother’s proudest moment…
Gula – the essence of pleasure-seeking and self-indulgence. A fragrance of sumptuous vanilla, absorbing orange, rich clove and delicate lavender. Gula is an immeasurable mix of thought provoking scents providing unrestrained gratification for your appetites, desires, or whims.
Invidia – the essence of insatiable desire to want, to have, to be who you want to be. Envious and aspirational, your mind takes you on a sub-coconscious journey through the memories from your childhood; always wanting what you can’t have – sweet vanilla ice cream, caramels, tobacco….
Black Avaritia (Limited Edition) – the essence of indulging all of your wants and needs in abundance. Travelling through the rich and woody tones, takes you back on a journey to a foreign land. The warmth on the skin is reminiscent of the sun kissing your skin.
Knowing a lot of niche-loving chaps who want to look their best are out there, may we also suggest the second Niche box – it includes a 7.5ml of Anima Vinci Neroli Wisdom which basically smells like a Moroccan summer in a bottle. Alongside treasured houses such as Amouage and Atkinsons we’ve included exciting newness from Parterre, Stories by Eliza Grace, Memoize, The Modernist, Tom Daxon. But it doesn’t stop there… WE’VE ALSO ADDED SOME SKIN LOVING TREATS! Yes, dads need pampering, too. Keep his face glowing with the recent GOLD AWARD winning skinSense ANTI-AGING Overnight Leave on Mask (WORTH £8.50) which he can slap on overnight for minimum fuss – and ensure his hands are looked after with the wonderful bestselling Balance MeSuper Moisturising Hand Cream (WORTH £10). When you consider the value of the two grooming items alone is worth £18.50 – you’re basically getting the rest free!
Mother’s Day is on Sunday, March 31 – and it can be emotional for many reasons. Those of us lucky enough to have a mum who’s still around can take a moment to treat her for a change, and those of us who don’t can feel rather overwhelmed by the occasion. But many of us might have a ‘mother figure’ – a strong woman we look to for advice and comfort in times of stress – so why not take the opportunity to send her some scented, feel-good vibes?
Why not buy mum / your mother-figure the Feel-Good Box (along with a nice bottle bottle of wine/tub of hot chocolate and bunch of flowers for full-on spoiling) – it’s our first collaboration with the Beauty Bible and packed with beautifully fragranced body and face-care treats to soothe away stress, leaving her calmer, glowing and stunningly scented.
Then, suggest she indulges in the following routine for a guaranteed feel-good / smell great treat of a day…
1. Cleanse with the iconic Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish / 30ml – the plant-based cream removes all traces of makeup, including stubborn waterproof mascara) while chamomile, rosemary, hops and eucalyptus soothe the skin (and the senses)…
2. Slather your face with the also award-winning Neal’s Yard Rose Beauty Balm / 15g –a multi-tasking product that can be left on as an ultra-nourishing face mask, dabbed on dry cutilcles/ends of hair, and used as a lip balm.
3. Run yourself a bath and add any of these generously sized options (BOTH are included!) depending if you feel…
Stressed out? Use just half a capful of the relaxing Olverum Bath Oil / 15ml – an aromatic blend of essential oils which combine to ease stress and relax tension in both mind and body. The scented steam will fill the room and the oil’s easily absorbed by the skin (no greasy residue in the bath!)
Need pampering? Try the decadently gorgeous Molton Brown Rosa Absolute Bathing Oil / 45ml – notes of rose absolute, violet leaf, blackcurrant, raspberry, geranium, sandalwood and patchouli, infused with skin-silkifying oils of argan and Italian rose, this bathing elixir will veil your skin in a deep, velvety fragrance that clings to the body for a beautiful trail, as you emerge from the scented waters.
4. After patting yourself dry with a fluffy towel, smooth the Temple Spa Peace Be Still Calming Skin Balm / 50ml all over your body. A Gold Beauty Bible Award-winner in 2019, It’s aromatherapy and skincare in one – with extracts of coriander, lemon, nutmeg, antioxidants and a fusion of relaxing Mediterranean essential oils and vitamin B5, deeply moisturising and leaving skin silky to touch.
5. After removing the Rose Beauty Balm/mask with the muslin cloth (acting as a deeply moisturising double-cleanse); warm a few drops of the Aurelia Cell Repair Night Oil / 4ml in your hands, slowly massage into your face and allowing replenishing, renewing and restoring botanicals to work their magic. Including sinks-in-fast Kalahari oil, vitamin E-powered mongongo oil, firming Kigelia Africana and omega-rich, ‘buzz ingredient’ baobab oil, together with a blend of hibiscus and pomegranate to help fight free radicals.
6. Change into pyjamas, relax on the sofa with a glass of wine / hot choccy and allow the velvety smooth, rich Madagascan vanilla-ness of Green & Black’s White Chocolate / 100g to melt in your mouth. This indulgent treat features lashings of cocoa butter alongside organic whole milk, giving this white chocolate its wonderfully creamy texture.
7. While catching up with Netflix, massage the shea butter and almond oil-infused Heathcote & Ivory Gardener’s Handcream in for a mini-mani: The Original Gardeners Shea Butter Hand Cream is inspired by the vegetable patch, juicy with tomatoes and redcurrants, basil and mint. Hedgerow Hand Cream, meanwhile, delivers a luscious yet subtle berry scent, infused with tart rhubarb, blackberry and elderflower. Whichever you receive, we love them both!
8. Breathe deeply and apply This Works Stress Check Roll-On / 5ml to pulse points (we also love using it on the temple to relieve a headache). This concentrated 100% natural superblend of pure essential oils is the perfect antidote to stress overload. An invigorating, mind-cleansing, calming blend, it features refreshing eucalyptus, to combat mental fatigue, frankincense (to help you relax mentally and physically), alongside lavender oil, the most effective oil in helping hypertension, nervous tension and insomnia…
9. In the morning, have a fabulously scented shower with Percy & Reed Heavenly Hydrating Body Wash / 100ml – breathing in refreshing top notes of citrus and apple, heart notes of lily of the valley and rose, and comforting base notes of cedar wood, amber and musk. This nourishing formula is blended with botanical extracts to help calm and soothe the skin.
10. Take a shot of energy with Hello Day Vitality Boost / 4g – a new name in supplements, created with the help of Swiss and French health experts and doctors in micro-nutrition and phytotherapy, Vitality Boost sets out to help you feel more energetic, with stimulating and tonic properties to boost mental and physical wellbeing. Ingredients include cinnamon bark extract, to help your body feel stronger, and vitamin C to reduce tiredness and help your metabolism energy yield return to normal.
11. Before heading off to work/daily chores, glide some Scentered Focus Therapy Balm / 1.5g onto pulse points, it’s powered by memory-boosting rosemary, crisp peppermint (known to help with mental alertness), and clary sage – with its wonderfully clarifying scent – which combine to help relieve mental fatigue and promote concentration. Just what you need to carry with you through the day, for top-ups of a scented tonic!
We think you’ll agree, there’s a whole lot to explore and fall in love with in this box, and it’s the perfect gift for anyone you love who’s been feeling a bit overwhelmed or could just do with a bit of a pick-me-up… and perhaps that person is YOU? Go ahead, indulge yourself while you’re at it…
Forgotten a special occasion, when a previously-planned fragrant gift would have saved the day? Be it a birthday or anniversary, Valentine’s or simply a little something to say ‘I love you, thanks for being around’ – we’ve all done it. Either dithering at the counter or leaving a tab open on the computer insteading of clicking Add to Basket, it’s easy to be too late…
But we’re here to tell you that all is not lost! Addle-headed last-minute gifters, we have some timely suggestions to get you out of hot water, and in to their scented good books.
Let them know how important they are to you by making them a member of our Perfume Society VIP Club. For only £25 for a full year, it’s the present that keeps on giving. When you sign them up, they’ll enjoy all of these fragrant benefits:
• Six issues a year of our award-winning online/downloadable digital magazineThe Scented Letter – (virtually) the only publication in the world devoted to all things fragrant…
• Exclusive competitions with fab fragrant prizes – including bottles signed by perfumers.
• An exclusive monthly ‘insider offer’ – just for our VIPs.
• Early access to tickets for all our events – meet with leading ‘noses’ and key figures from the perfume world, attend in-store events, workshops, etc. (Our VIPs are first to hear about these.)
• A special member’s discount on any Perfume Society Discovery Boxes (normally £19 – but only £15 to our VIPs)
• Plus choose a FREE Discovery Box from the many tempting optionswe’ve arrayed, encompassing all tastes from new niche to designer classic.
The fragrantly obsessed will ADORE an anual subscription to The Scented Letter, our beautiful, multiple award-winning magazine. For £75, they’ll get to delve in to what’s been described as a ‘must-read’ by industry insiders and perfume-lovers, we are delighted that in addition to our digital magazine we can now offer this print subscription of The Scented Letter, delivered to their door and starting with the current edition.
Appearing six times a year this utterly beautiful magazine, with at least 60 pages on perfume news, features and much more, this is bound to take them ever-deeper into the scented world. Click here for a sneak-peak at our taster issue!
And if they’re not in the UK? We’re overjoyed we can now offer overseas subscribers an International Subscription to our digital downloadable magazine, The Scented Letter. (Alas, we still can’t ship our boxes overseas – and we’re as gutted as you are about it!) For only £20 a year, the subscription gives them six 60-page ONLINE editions a year of this beautiful, multi-Jasmine Award-winning magazine: the only one of its kind for perfume-lovers.
Because of the way our system works, when you click Add to Cart it will send us an e-mail – and we’ll follow up for payment. (If you buy this as a gift; please let us know in your e-mail to us if it’s for someone else.)
So you see? All is not lost for those of us who are, despite trying, still forgetful. We do it ourselves all the time, so no judgement, here. And we guarantee, any of the above will be far more welcome than a drooping garage-forecourt bouquet, any day of the week.
Are you looking to treat the man in your life with a new fragrance for Valentine’s Day, or a chap who’s just exploring the fragrant world for himself, those endless shelves of scented posibilities can seem daunting. Follow our guide of how to start sniffing out a brave new world…
If you’re buying a scented present:
Don’t leave it to random chance – that could go wrong. Better to tell him that something exciting’s on the way and treat him to a selection box of new scents – take a look at some of the suggestions, below. And first, ask yourself this:
Can the man in your life still wear, with no shame, the same jeans he was wearing aged 17? We’re hardly ones to judge, but we’re betting most could not – and even if they could, that it would be really quite inadvisable for them to do so.
Why, then, do some poor chaps keep getting given the same old scent they’ve been using since they were first shaving?
What type of a chap are you buying for?
Age, character, hobbies and career are all pointers, but can never be an absolute guarantee of what he’ll prefer – he might just surprise you (and himself!) Masculine fragrances have moved on somewhat since the ‘splash it all over’ one-size-fits-all sporty-fresh-or-nothing days. Now there are ‘gender fluid’ fragrances categories, and men are offered opulent orientals along with sophisticated fougéres; addictive gourmands, bigger, bolder Colognes and even floral-forward scents that smell utterly incredible on a man’s skin.
Where to begin?
We have put together the ideal starting point with a selection of Discovery Boxes, specially curated with a range of fragrances to suit all tastes – from classic and designer names to cult, niche houses they’ll love to explore.
A new season is approaching – and this is time for any man to switch heavier winter scents to a new fragrance wardrobe. We curated this selection especially for chaps looking to find something new, so there’s something for every man (and plenty of ‘borrowable’ finds) – including Bentley, Parfums de Marly, Cristiano Ronaldo and TWO duos from cult brands – Escentric Molecule and Clive Christian – among others. This is a thrilling collection to sniff your way through, and with two added extras from Penhaligon’s and Aromatherapy Associates, this box is worth over £40 to begin with, and is priceless when you discover that new favourite…
Our first Niche Collection sold out in record time, so we’ve chosen even more scents this time, including a 7.5ml of Anima Vinci Neroli Wisdom. Alongside treasured houses such as Amouage and Atkinsons we’ve included exciting newness from Parterre, Stories by Eliza Grace, Memoize, The Modernist, Tom Daxon. But it doesn’t stop there… We added skin-loving treats for chaps who know that pampering is self-love they can take part in, too. Keep your face glowing with the recent GOLD AWARD winning skinSense Overnight Leave on Mask (WORTH £8.50) – and ensure your hands smell and feel wonderful with the bestselling Balance MeSuper Moisturising Hand Cream (WORTH £10).
A versatile selection of Miller Harris’ best selling male scents, what an opportunity to try something from this always wonderful British fragrance house. Inspired by dreamy journeys conjured with every spritz, each of the three fragrances come in luxurious 14ml travel sizes, and are presented in precious miniature versions of their full size bottles. Miller Harris Étui Noir – suede-like leather is supported by the woods and powder of iris. Miller Harris Vetiver Insolent – bergamot and cardamom is balanced against black pepper and balsamic elemi. Miller Harris Feuilles de Tabac – an addictive blend of rich woods, honeyed tobacco leaves and hot spices.
If you’re treating yourself:
It’s best to try a whole range of differing fragrances – that way you can narrow down exactly what it is your nose is loving best. With each of our boxes, some of which you can explore above, we’ve created Smelling Notes to guide you through the process, but here are some handy tips to keep in mind:
– Try the fragrance on a blotter (also known as a perfume ‘spill’); these should be available on perfume counters – and when you buy a Discovery Box from this site, you’ll find a handy pack of blotters already inside.
– Write the name of the fragrance on the blotter, otherwise you’ll definitely forget it, later (and chances are, that one’s bound to be the best!)
– Wait a few minutes for the initial alcohol and the top notes to subside – a lot of people take huge whiffs immediately and then complain ‘it smells of alcohol/hairspray!’ Let it dry a little, first. 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.
– You really need to smell a scent on your skin! 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. We’ve lost count of the number of scents that didn’t particularly appeal at first-sniff, but which a few minutes/hours later we realised we adored. Fragrances are made to be worn on and warmed by skin, not paper…
– Ideally, try no more than two at a time on the skin – one on each wrist. We don’t believe fragrance-shopping should be rushed, but we all live busy lives. You can try one more, on the inside of an elbow – the elbows also happen to be good pulse-points.
– Try to live with a fragrance for several hours, or better still, a whole day/evening) before you part with your cash. That might mean getting a sample, if it’s available in store (or exploring the Fragrance Discovery Boxes). Try to wear the scent more than once if you’re properly testing it: mood, weather and what you’ve eaten can all seriously change how a fragrance works on your skin, and how you feel about it.
– Spray a darker-coloured scarf or inside of a jacket lining, too, and sniff it later. That way, it still warms with your body heat, but you’re not everwhelmed by it. And you can take it off!
– Book a fragrance consultation if you’d really like to make a special occasion of it. Many fragrance houses and department stores now offer this service, some of them are completely free and others you have to pay for (but it’s usually redeemable against purchase). Have a look at our round-up of some of these services; we originally wrote it for people wanting wedding fragrance consultations, but it applies whatever the occasion!
When you’ve fallen in love, only then go back and make your purchase – or flag-up to loved ones which ones you liked most, so they know for future gift-worthy occasions…
Valentines Day – love it or loathe it – is just around the corner, and it’s still the day that generates the most fragrance sales, peaking at 42% of all prestige beauty products sold. So if you’re thinking of splashing out on a scent for your significant other, follow our guide to ensuring success…
If you already know what they love
Great! Well done you. Why not have a look at matching products available, such as a gorgeously decadent bath oil, rich body cream or even a fragranced hair mist. It’s often possible to find travel-size versions of perfumes at this time of year, and if you really wanted to push the boat out – how wonderful it would be to book a couple of nights in a nice hotel or day spa trip, and add the ticket to the box of mini sizes in a golden envelope!
If you have no idea what they like
A pre-chosen selection box of scents showcasing a range of fragrances with differing styles is your saviour. First, think about their personality, their hobbies, the kind of books they see and films they love to watch.Then have a look at the list below and decide which category they most resemble. Then they can try them all home, taking time to choose their favourites from these stunningly packaged sets…
Are they a yoga lover – in to excercise as mindfulness, long walks or simply seeking inner peace and spirituality? Choose the Anima Vinci Discovery Set£15 (PS: It comes with a £15 voucher to buy a full size favourite!)
Are they a travel addict – keen to explore exotic climes, always seeking the sunshine and interested in sustainability? Choose the Sana Jardin Discovery Set £30
If you know what they usually wear, but they’d like something new
Well you’re off to a good start! Now all you need to do is type the name of that scent into our genius Fragrance Finder, and the clever algorithm – based on information we source directly from the fragrance houses and perfumers themselves – will suggest six new fragrances that, while different from the original you typed, share a similar mood, character or key ingredients.It really works!
If you just have no idea where to start
The best idea is to get a Discovery Box of fabulous mini sizes and samples from a wide range of fragrance houses, that way they can start exploring and trying them all in the comfort of their own home, and most importantly, in their own time. Each box is carefully curated to include something for all tastes – so they’re bound to fall for one of these!
Once they’ve found ‘the one’ (or perhaps several) you can then buy a full size, safe in the knowledge they’ve already fallen for it. And we’ve something to suit everyone:
The Velvet Collection £12 comes with a full size chocolate bar from Green & Blacks (so you’re alreadyon to a winner), and features a sumptuously seductive range of new, niche and ‘indie’ scents to try.
The Day & Night Discovery Box £19 includes luminescent, sunshine-filled and lighter style fragrances suitable for any day, and a number of deeper, darker scents to spritz for romantic meals or a night on the town.
The Fragrance Wardrobe Discovery Box £19 is a bumper selection of fragrances from designer fashion houses and cult brands, with a stunning suits-all lipgloss and lovely Molton Brown mini included as extra surprises.
The Treat Yourself Discovery £19 lovingly soothes and delights with body-care treats from Aromatherapy Associates, and whole host of wonderful fragrances, with something from classic houses to new niche.
Karen Elson’s Birthstones by Duffy is a new limited edition collection for Jo Malone London, featuring the most beautiful bronze bottle caps inlaid with birthstones. Just the most perfect gift for the Jo Malone lover in your life, or something to treat yourself to, perhaps?
The Birthstones collection has been a personal project for the pair – Elson being a brand ambassador for Jo Malone London, and British jeweller Duffy renowned for creating beautiful, contemporary and totally desirable designs from original vintage pieces.
Having long dreamed of designing an iconic cap for a fragrance flacon, Duffy said this collaboration allowed him to flex his creative muscles by trying something completely different. ‘I’ve always wanted to make a bottle top, either for a drink or a fragrance. It was a challenge to work with an object I’ve never worked with before. It seemed like a natural pairing as Karen and I had already known each other through family connections,’ he explained.
Elson, meanwhile, has always felt a particular affinity with birthstones, revealing ‘What I love most is that they seem so charming and precious, and the idea of being able to create something coveted and collectible was really important to me.’
Each cap has been individually handmade by British jeweller Duffy in his London studio, and will be £250 per individual Birthstone Cap. Simply find the one that matches the colour of the birthstone and ’embellish your signature scent, in all its crowning glory’ by selecting the cap to purchase alongside any of their 50ml and 100ml Colognes. Choose whatever you like, but with a Birthstone Collection cap, you can truly make it your own…
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