Scent-matching Bridgerton Season 3… Scents for debutantes & heartbreakers!

Dearest Reader,

Society is ABUZZ with the welcome return of Bridgerton Season 3, and the mamas of the blushing debutantes (sometimes blushing for very good reason) are all set to find their perfect matches in the ballrooms and palaces (and – ahem – bedrooms) we’ve so missed waltzing through. Yours Truly has been busy making matches, too, as you shall discover, with this Whistle[down]-stop tour through the fragrances some of the main characters should be hastily spritzing if they know what’s good for them (which most of them assuredly do not.)

Before we begin with the olfactory introductions, lets us quickly adjourn to a précis of all the best gossip, via the ever-knowing wonders of the Bridgerton Wiki website. However, gentle readers must BE WARNED for their are potential SPOILERS ahead. So do not come to us with your pearl-clutching chagrin if you have not yet watched the first four episodes on Netflix (with the final four making an appearance on June 13.) 

‘Penelope enters Season 3 finally ready to give up her longtime crush on Colin. However, that doesn’t mean she’s done with love. Instead, Penelope has decided it’s time to take a husband — and preferably one who will give her the freedom to continue her double life as Lady Whistledown, far away from the prying eyes of her mother and sisters. Lacking in confidence, Penelope’s attempts on the marriage mart fail spectacularly.

 

 

Meanwhile, Colin has returned from his summer travels with a new look and a serious sense of swagger. But he’s disheartened to realise that Penelope, the one person who always appreciated him as he was, is giving him the cold shoulder. Eager to win back her friendship, Colin offers to mentor Penelope in the ways of confidence to help her find a husband this season. But when his lessons start working a little too well, Colin must grapple with whether his feelings for Penelope are truly just friendly. Complicating matters for Penelope is her rift with Eloise, who has found a new friend in a very unlikely place, while Penelope’s growing presence in the ton makes it all the more difficult to keep her Lady Whistledown alter ego a secret.’

WELL! What a to-do. The only thing for it is to reach for a new fragrance (and possibly the smelling salts, given all the drama and passion afoot). Which of these you may also decide to plump for is entirely up to you, of course, but we urge you to try them – and be careful whose hearts you may break along the way…

Yours truly,

Suzy Nightingale

 

Penelope Featherington + Alexandre J Butterfly

Penelope wishes to be a social butterfly, but she’ll need to come way out of her comfort zone and spread her wings. Will Colin be the man who can help her to fly? There’s certain to be lots of flutterings while wearing this. Butterfly whisks one away in a flurry of florals. Imagine handfuls of tuberose and neroli petals borne aloft on ribbons of pear and pink peppercorns, streaming joyously to a buoyantly soft musky/vanilla base.

£325 for 100ml eau de parfum harrods.com

 

 

Colin Bridgerton + Goldfield & Banks Silky Woods Elixir

There’s something different about Colin – whatever could it be? He’s attracting all sorts of attention these days… Freshly returned from thrilling adventures abroad and having gathered a bronzed glow, this fragrance has heaps of wood and will waft for miles. Despite the steamy scent of the tropics, a definite greenness can still be glimpsed through the smokey, sultry swagger, and there’s comfort to be found in the reassuringly fluffy base.

£215 for 100ml elixir fenwick.co.uk

 

 

 

Francesca Bridgerton + Thameen Fanfare

There’s a sparkle to this scent that just never dulls – perfect, then, to reflect the light that shines from Francesca as she navigates her way through the tumultuous marriage market. Bursting with talent (and only truly at peace when playing the piano that’s her guiding passion), she needs a fragrance that fills a room with its presence but never has to try too hard. Inspired by London’s musically-imbued history of Covent Garden, and the flower market it was famed for; Fanfare is a clarion call of white florals amidst the refreshing brightness of crisp citrus.

£250 for 100ml Cologne elixir selfridges.com

[Pssst! Clever readers will want to try a sample within the Launches to Love Discovery Box, £27 / £19 for VIP Members…]

 

Will Mondrich + Parfums de Marly Perseus

Attempting to get used to his new life – with his son having inherited Lady Kent’s entire estate – Will requires a fragrance that’ll make him feel like a king in his own perfumed court. Breezily fresh, this veritably gallops out of the bottle with vibrant grapefruit, bergamot and green mandarin, before an air of supreme sophistication takes over, via grounding vetiver and head-clearing geranium. Vigorously masculine at times, soft as a cashmere caress at others, it’s a scent which perfectly balances brightness with a newly found elegance.

£200 for 75ml eau de parfum uk.parfums-de-marly.com

 

 

Eloise Bridgerton + Yardley English Jasmine

Oh, Eloise has got herself into such a predicament. We suggest she gets herself out of the corner she’s put herself in and goes for a long walk in the meadows surrounding the Bridgerton family home. Wearing this, the distant coolness of tuberose thaws to joyous frangipani and the dawning light of jasmine’s tenderness, while lemon and mandarin cut through any nonsense. Embracing simplicity, as it dries down, the warmth of musk and cedarwood make an appearance – as we hope her treasured friendship with Penelope might yet emerge…

£17.50 for 125ml eau de toilette boots.com

 

Craving even more scent-matching shenanigans, or craving a catch-up? Do take a look at our Scenting Bridgerton Season Two.

Magnolia: History, Scented Myths & the Science of Lust

This month, among other spring blooms that have inspired perfumers, we’re focusing on the stop-in-your-tracks beauty of magnolia. From our initial edit of some favourite magnolia-centric scents we simply can’t get enough of right now, to later features exploring the differing delicate (and sometimes surprising) aroma facets that can be coaxed from those magnificent blooms; today’s topic takes a look at some of the fascinating myths and history that surround this ancient flower…

 

Named after a renowned French botanist, Pierre Magnol, who first came up with the ingenious concept of classifying flora into ‘plant families’, the flowering of the magnolia tree has to be one of the most outrageous shows in nature – those fat fists of buds suddenly bursting and producing saucer-sized, chalice-like blooms that have so often stopped me in my tracks to gasp at their audacity.

Originating in both Asia and the Americas, there are around 200 different species, and they’re thought to be one of the most ancient flowering plants, dating back to prehistoric times: as we noted in our first magnolia feature, it’s kind of mind-blowing to realise that dinosaurs could have sniffed their blooms – though not yet been able to daub themselves in the scent, poor things.

 

 

The secret of a magnolia’s aroma is found in their thick, waxy ‘tepals’ (a primitive combination of petals and sepals), where chemical scent compounds including the citrus-y smelling linalool (a naturally occurring terpene alcohol) are exuded. As Judith Adam exclaims in the blog gardenmaking.com, ‘Creamy magnolia blossoms in the crisp spring air are the fulfilment of a gardener’s winter dream,’ and the very temperature of the air can dramatically alter the aroma of a magnolia’s blossom. ‘Consequently,’ she explains, ‘magnolias can smell like sweet candy, spicy verbena, tart lemon, citrus-honey or dusty violets.’

In ancient China, magnolias were symbolic of womanly beauty and gentleness, of nobility and dignity, and an Emperor might graciously deign to gift you a magnolia as a sign of great respect; while in the American South, bridal bouquets often contained magnolias, thought to emphasise the bride’s purity. But this innocent side of magnolia’s charm is juxtaposed by their more potently sensual charms…

The beauty of the magnolia blooms has historically been a popular image for artists to attempt to capture, and pioneer photographer Imogen Cunningham became famous (one might even say infamous) in the early 1920s for her close-up images of magnolias – her work often tut-tutted at over teatime gossip that her floral photos were overtly sexual, focusing as they did on the rather phallic arrangement of stamen and petals, and receiving the same criticism levelled at painter Geogie O’Keefe, whose exotic floral studies were thought to be rather, ahem, labial in nature.

 

Imogen Cunningham Magnolia Blossom c.1925

 

The multi-faceted magnolia is one of those white floral ingredients that perfumers (and perfume lovers) just adore, and there may be a scientific reason we’re so enraptured by their scent. And innocence has nothing to do with it.

Researchers at the Ruhr-Universitat Bochum in Germany have shown that the lining of the human nose has a specific type of receptor called VN1R1. So when we stand under a magnolia tree and inhale, methyl dihydrojasmonate [an airborne compound released by magnolia flowers] directly binds to that nasal receptor, triggering an area of the brain linked with motivation and memory.

 

 

Collaborating with a research team at the University Hospital Dresden, the scientific team also discovered magnolia activates the hypothalmus, which regulates hormone levels. According to the article ‘Sensual Scents – How Magnolias Turn on the Human Brain’ in The BioPhiles blog, ‘The effect seems specific to magnolias and jasmine,’ as further tests with other floral compounds had no effect on that receptor. ‘It seems magnolias are in fact producing the scent of romance – or at least lust,’ the piece concludes.

From evoking purity to provoking carnal lust, is it any wonder modern floral fragrances are still waxing lyrical about this creamy, dreamy scent…?

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Perfect Perfume Gifts for Anyone You Love (Including Yourself!)

We should really be telling all those we love how much we adore them – and doing that regularly, not only for one officially sanctioned day per year. But with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, the pressure builds to choose ‘that special gift’ showing exactly how much you care – or to wonder if your significant other will be thinking of you significantly enough not to just thrust a hasty bouquet of garage forecourt carnations at you this year…

We also happen to believe that it’s the perfect time of year to treat YOURSELF to a little something, too – there’s so much emphasis still on ‘V Day’ as a couples thing, that it can turn a singleton’s stomach. So we say: whether single or in a relationship, why not treat yourselves to some scented goodies this year? With everything from an entire wow-factor fragrance wardrobe to more pocket-friendly presents, here’s our edit of some fabulously fragrant ways to indulge…

 

 

 

 

Shay & Blue Fragrance Wardrobe – £150

This Fragrance Wardrobe provides a luxury explosion of 10 of the bestselling perfume blends from their London Boutique. Each pocket-sized 10ml natural fragrance creates its own mood.

The Shay & Blue Fragrance Wardrobe includes TEN x 10ml samples. 

Amber Rose – May rose blended with white amber and sweet creamy notes

Atropa Belladonna –  Cassis berries and jasmine dance with patchouli and vanilla

Black Tulip – Exotic plum flirts with white chocolate and woods

Blackberry Woods– Glossy berry juice with punk-sharp citrus

Blood Oranges – Lip-smacking burst of zest underpinned with musks, woods and smoky leather

Dandelion Fig – Fig and dandelion leaf blended with lemongrass, tomato vine and juniper

English Cherry Blossom –  Airy blossom with black cherries, fig and bergamot

Oud Alif – Oud spiked with chocolat noir, saffron and dark patchouli

Salt Caramel  – Tonka bean and sandalwood meld into sea salt

Tallulahs Camellia – Bluebells and white flowers nestle in blond woods

 

 

 

Annicke Fragrance Discovery Set – £20

Love, desire and dreams: the Annicke Fragrance Discovery Set is a collection of SIX exquisite and totally feminine fragrances inspired by the woman who dazzled their creator. Each is a story, bottled, and each will take you on a journey – as only fragrance can…

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

 

 

 

Granado Coleção Tropical Birds Discovery Set – £62

The Tropical Birds collection is inspired by the perfumery universe of Granado with a botanical illustration in vintage style that exalts elements of the Brazilian fauna and flora, represented in imposing and extremely elegant kits and sets. The Perfumes Vintage Collection kit presents the main perfumes of theTropical birds collection in an exclusive size!

Imperial – a fresh, light and elegant fragrance, which results in an intriguing duality between Brazilianness and Portuguese influence.

Jardim Real – a union between the citrus and effervescent naturalness of the notes of bergamot and mandarin with the delicacy of the flowers, highlighting the orange blossom as the protagonist of the creation.

Époque Tropical – explores the enveloping side of the woody notes of sandalwood and guaiac and balances this intensity with the citrus notes of mandarin and cashew.

Infusão Botânica – in an unusual and intriguing freshness, the spicy and aromatic notes give personality to the creation and transform it into an invigorating and pleasant fragrance.

Nostalgia – in a contemporary creation, the citrus and spicy top notes give way to an enveloping and elegant floral body of white and rose flowers.

 

 

 

Edeniste Lifeboost Love – £68 for 30ml eau de parfum

A gesture of scented self-care that twists the traditional ideals of love into a new and meaningful ritual of confidence, compassion and generosity, to oneself and to others. With its soft pink tone, sensorial bottle shape and fruity-floral aroma, Love Lifeboost™ stimulates both instant and long-lasting positivity and holistic love.

The fragrance opens with a mouth-watering splash of juicy red berries, sweet cherries and torn green leaves, crushed and softened as if ready to be tossed into pan and transformed into a syrupy jam. That’s precisely how Love Lifeboost™ evolves: notes of deep, velvety rose petals, heady tuberose and steamy jasmine gradually unfurl, swirling about with creamy almond oil into a perfumed elixir that’s warm, embracing, soul-elevating, addictive and unashamedly romantic.

Top Notes – cherry, red berries, green notes

Heart Notes – Bulgarian and Turkish rose oils, Egyptian jasmine absolute, tuberose absolute

Base Notes – Indian sandalwood oil, almond oil, benzoin resin

 

 

 

Ostens Rose Oil Isparta – £135 for 50ml eau de parfum

Unexpectedly, Ostens Rose Oil Isparta is bold and genderless; a voluptuous, addictive floral, full of ripe, jammy blackcurrant and crushed Turkish rose petals lifted by pink peppercorn. This intriguing, intense, almost middle eastern interpretation of rose is instantly warm and enveloping. Already loved by fragrance aficionados, Rose Oil Isparta is fast developing a cult following.

Top Notes – rosemary tunisian oil LMR, coriander seed LMR, cardamon ceylon LMR, pink pepper CO2 LMR
Heart Notes – blackcurrant bud absolute LMR, orange flower absolute LMR, rose essential LMR, rose oil isparta LMR
Base Notes – patchouli oil LMR, labdanum resinoid LMR, cashmeran

La Montana Divine Sunset – £65 for 50ml eau de parfum

Sunset, especially on a summer day, is a breathtaking experience. Virtually recreating that feeling at a time of year we most need it, this scent is visually extraordinary. Think of skies painted hot pink and orange, contrasted with tonalities of purple, the air is filled with the potent scent of blossoms. Perfumer Pia Long has created a floral amber burst of joy – her stunning interpretation of the open brief of a ‘hot floral riot’.

Top notes – bigarade orange, black pepper

Heart notes – orange flower

Base notes – lavender absolute, musk

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Sarah McCartney: Celebrating Shakespeare’s flowers in fragrant form

Shakespeare and his love of flowers are eternally entwined in our imaginations, and now we have hot-off-the-press news of a specially commissioned fragrance inspired by the bard…

 

Though much of what we know of Shakespeare’s life is supposition, and hotly debated by historians to this day; what we can surmise is that he loved flowers – including references to over fifty types of them within his writing, using them to highlight the emotional tone of scenes, reflect character’s thoughts or send messages his audiences would have readily understood in the ‘language of flowers.’ Artists, writers and musicians still find much inspiration in these floral allusions, and little wonder, given the veritable bouquet of creative suggestion Shakespeare proffers.

 

Botanical Shakespeare: An Illustrated Compendium, £20 (Royal Shakespeare Company shop)

 

Many of the flowers Shakespeare alluded to in his work have led to well-known phrases we still use, such as ‘a rose by any other name’ and ‘gilding the lily’, but it’s worth pointing out, lovely as they are, these are slight misquotations. In Romeo and Juliet, the rose is used to there to garland Juliet’s complaint about their families refusing to let them marry because of an ongoing feud, saying:

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose

By any other name would smell as sweet. [Act II Scene II Line 43]

As for the lily, that pops up when painted, in King John, with a courtier commenting

To gild refined gold, to paint the lily

To throw perfume on the violet …

Is wasteful and ridiculous excess [Act 4 Scene 4 Line 11]

I respectfully arch an eyebrow at the slightly scathing mention of perfume, and though of course it’s a literary way of saying that natural beauty need not be embellished, would point out that many fine fragrances have been created to evoke the violet (it being one of the flowers unable to have its scent naturally extracted); but shall forgive the courtier (and, therefore, Shakespeare) for not being privy to such scent chemistry knowledge.

 

Shakespeare’s Flowers cards, £3.99 for 5 x A5 pack, DaysEyeCards

In any case, April 23rd is National Shakespeare Day, the anniversary of the bard’s death, and though the exact day of his birth is unknown, also the day his birthday is traditionally celebrated (his baptism being recorded as taking place on April 26.) So, this would have been excuse enough for me to celebrate his gorgeous floral allusions by showcasing some fragrances I feel are particularly pertinent to Shakespeare’s love of flowers. However, Fate intervened to reveal an even more intriguing story…

While thinking about writing a general Shakespeare and fragrance type article, a little bird (in fact, fellow fragrance writer and friend Amanda Carr, co-founder of We Wear Perfume, and currently organising the inaugural Barnes Fragrance Fair) happened to mention to me that 4160 Tuesdays founder and perfumer, Sarah McCartney had recently received a rather fabulous private commission to create a Shakespearean-inspired fragrance for none other than Gyles Brandreth. A noted Shakespeare expert, broadcaster, author and language-lover.

 

 

Currently named Sonnet No.1, the fragrance is actually for both Gyles and his beloved wife, the writer Michèle Brown, in celebration of their forthcoming wedding anniversary. Describing the ingredients she used for the composition, Sarah chose: ‘Rose, violet, lavender, lily, narcissus absolute, musks and hay absolute,’ with two versions having been made, one including beeswax absolute.

Before you ask if we can all get our hands (and noses) on it, Sarah explains, ‘I only made it on Monday, so at the moment just 30mls exist, but it’s gorgeous! (Though I say it myself.) I’d like to launch it, but it would have to go through its stability tests and all the official processes before it can go public.’ Well, it probably does seem only fair to let Gyles and Michèle enjoy the fragrance first, but golly it does indeed sound gorgeous, so fingers-crossed. In the meantime, fragrance and Shakespeare lovers should consider another beautiful 4160 Tuesday’s scent. Says Sarah:

Ealing Green was originally made for a fundraising event on Midsummer Night in Ealing, and I used herbs and flowers mentioned in the play… wild rose, thyme, grassy banks, violets and oakmoss feature.’

 

 

 

We were invited to make a midsummer scent for a 2013 charity evening in Ealing, West London, using plants and flowers named in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, so we imagined the scenes taking place by Pitzhanger Manor on Ealing Green, and created the aroma of a magical summer evening. Its perfect for wearing in the heat.
It starts with a wander through the herb and flower gardens of Walpole Park, takes in a picnic on the grass and ends up lying on the lawn by the pond, staring at the clouds floating by, smelling the warm earth.

4160 Tuesdays Ealing Green £65 for 50ml eau de parfum

What better time to purchase a bottle and immerse yourself in the floral imagery of Shakespeare?

So synonymous with flowers is Shakespeare, in fact, that seed boxes of Shakespeare’s Flowers are now available from Shakespeare’s Globe shop, where you can choose from ‘…the Shakespearean Growbar, containing the seeds of three Shakespearean flowers: heartsease, marigold and columbine. Or the Tudor Herbs Growbar, containing the seeds of three herbs familiar to the Tudors: fennel, lemon balm and winter savory.’

 

Shakespearean Flowers Growbar £12

[Just don’t spray the flowers with the perfume, is all I’m saying. We know how he’d have felt about that.]

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

 

Scents to love yourself (show some self-care – for Valentine’s or just whenever!)

Why not show some self-care this Valentine’s (or whenever, just because)? We spend so long thinking of others, and yes ’tis the season for romance etc etc; but maybe you’re done with the oodles of over-priced single roses, have already given loved ones lots, or simply aren’t in (or into) romantic relationships right now?

Well we’re with you, and happen to think you deserve to treat yourself for a change. So, have a browse and decide which of these you like the sound of, then fall back in love with yourself with some of these scents… (Okay, okay – you can treat someone else, too, if you really want; but you know what they say? Self care isn’t selfish, so make sure you do you, first).

 

 

 

Map of the Heart Discovery Set £35

Co-founders Sarah Blair and Jeffrey Darling created Map of the Heart – award-winning fragrances that come from a passion for telling stories and their understanding that scent can transport the wearer in a split second. Proudly Australian, each fragrance by perfumer Jaques Huclier has a seam of sandalwood at its core, and it throbs life through the perfumed pulse of this niche house’s scents, using indigenously and sustainably sourced Santalum spicatum. Understanding that scent can transport the wearer just as words, images and films can whisk us to another world – this set showcases their wearable art forms, and is a wonderful gift for the artistic travellers who deserve some new adventures to explore.

 

 

 

Molton Brown Rhubarb & Rose (just one of the scents in the Exquisite Essences Discovery Box: £23 / £19 for VIPs)

Molton Brown are right on the trend (as always) of grown-up versions of good-enough-to-eat fragrances, here firmly rooted in cherished childhood memories of baking with rhubarb’s unique tartness sprinkled by just enough sweetness. In this utterly addictive eau de parfum, those seeking scrumptiousness can indulge with joyfully juicy raspberry and a vivacious kick of pink pepper enhancing rhubarb’s sparkle, as luscious lychee and the tender peony showcase rose’s powdered charm, with a soothingly sensual base of cedarwood and musk swathing you in a gossamer soft trail. This is one to wear when you want to smell utterly scrumptious, and simply can’t get enough of yourself. Delicious, darling!

 

 

edeniste Love Lifeboost™ £68 for 30ml eau de parfum

We adore the description the house give this scents, saying it’s ‘A gesture of scented self-care that twists the traditional ideals of love into a new and meaningful ritual of confidence, compassion and generosity, to oneself and to others.’ And it’s not just words – edeniste back up every claim of the way their fragrances make you feel with extensive research. Having worked with top neuroscientists to prove the efficacy of the way our brains react to the scents, this new addition couldn’t be more timely. Ripe cherries, green leaves, radiant jasmine and tuberose with a duo of roses feel like a wearable giggle of delight, the smooth, woody dry down a hug that keeps going.

 

La Montaña Wisteria Candle £39

Oh, this wisteria’s as lush and beautiful as an idyllic cottage, the kind where those stunning flowers have scampered up and settled en-masse, garlanded so stunningly as to make you gasp. Says Cassandra Hall, the vivacious founder of the house: ‘We have a long history with wisteria, from the flower-festooned walls in Granada on our first wedding anniversary to the wisteria we tried to grow in a pot next to our front door in England. But now (finally!) we have it growing abundantly in our garden here in Spain and it’s a divine scent that says ‘home’ to us. Wisteria is a stunning, one-of-a-kind fragrance anywhere, but when it’s flowering in pure mountain air, the beauty of its perfume is life-affirming.’ Affirm your life now by burning this beautiful candle, and lightening even the greyest of days!

 

 

 

Jean Paul Gaultier La Belle Le Parfum (Try it in our Scintillating Scents Discovery Box: £33 / £29 VIPs)

We can just imagine the fun that Givaudan’s Sonia Constant and Quentin Bisch – a most mischievous creative pairing – got up to here, fully intending to lead us into temptation, casting an olfactory spell via a succulent, sensual cocktail of vanilla, pear, almond, belladonna, musk, bergamot and roasted tonka, which dance around each other like nothing so much as naughty nymphs. Having smelled this sample we think you might succumb to the full-sized rose-bedecked bottle, but you’ll definitely agree it’s 100% fun. This is for those of us who like to kick up their heels (even if it’s just a kitchen disco), so let your hair down and live it up with La Belle!

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Funny Valentine – tips & tricks to buying a scent for someone you love

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 fragrance for your significant other, follow our guide to ensure a scented success…

 

If you just have no idea where to start

Don’t panic and just buy something random! The best idea is to get a curated 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 put together to include something for all tastes – so they’re bound to fall for one of them.

Once they’ve found ‘the one’ (or perhaps several) you can then buy a full size later, safe in the knowledge they’ve already fallen for it.

 

 

If you already know what they love (and they don’t want to change)

Great! But instead of buying just another bottle, 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! (Well, we can dream…)

 

 

If you already know what they love (and they DO fancy a change)

This is a fantastic starting point, 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’ve an idea of fragrances they like, but aren’t sure which they have

A ‘selection box’ of scents showcasing a range of fragrances from the same house is your best option, here. Brand Boxes give you breathing room if they happen to have already got one of them, but haven’t yet explored the rest of their range. It’s a brilliant way to ensure they’ll love such a thoughtful gift, while encouraging them to smell their way through others they perhaps wouldn’t have thought about trying!

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Forgot the card? Panic over, as Penhaligon's invite you to create a virtual Valentine's bouquet!

That sickening moment you realise it’s all too late: you’ve forgotten the Valentine’s card and now you’re going to be in the dog house…
Oh dear.
But fear not, forgetful ones! Penhaligon’s have created a brilliant (and gorgeously realised) way to present a virtual bouquet, and it’s all to do with the “Language of Flowers.”

‘Thank Heavens for floriography’ they say. ‘A mysterious language of love. Cryptic communications, hidden revelations and coded declarations!’
On Penhaligon’s website, you beging by choosing from a number of flowers, having read their individual “coded” meanings. They vary wildly, so be very careful how you choose, and even more careful who you send that coded message to…
When you’ve selected three flowers, you are guided to the next page where your virtual bouquet is assembled, ready for you to present via email. Ta-da!
We just love the dreamy vintage-style illustrations – and that you get to learn a little of this “secret language” (so beloved by the Victorians, in particular) of flowers and their possible hidden messages.

Even better – everyone who sends one of these virtual bouquets will be entered in with a chance to win the Penhaligon’s Portraits Collection. And once you have sighed in contentment (and relief) at having saved the day, you can see which of the Penhaligon’s perfumes would best be suited to the flowers you chose for the bouquet.
Far from a lost opportunity, and depending on how well the recipient receives your e-card, it might turn out that your forgetfulness might end in a fragrantly wonderful win/win!
Now then, we wonder: who will you be sending yours to…?
Written by Suzy Nightingale

This Valentines Day, isn't it time to love thyself? (Oh well, and thy partner if you have one.) Seven scented treats to indulge in…

In troubling times we should really be telling all those we love how much we adore them – and doing that regularly, not only for one officially sanctioned day per year. But with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, the pressure builds to choose ‘that special gift’ showing exactly how much you care – or to wonder if your significant other will be thinking of you significantly enough not to just thrust a hasty bouquet of garage forecourt carnations at you this year…
And that’s not even counting those without partners to worry about finding gifts for (or receiving from). So we say: whether single or in a relationship, why not treat yourselves to some scented goodies this year? Here’s our edit of some fabulously fragrant ways to indulge…
[Disclaimer to peeved partners of The Perfume Society team reading this: yes, yes, we’ll get you something, too. Don’t worry. But we’re totally treating ourselves from this list as well!]

It’s always more than simply perfect packaging at Jo Malone London, of course, but my goodness isn’t it lovely when the box is as fab as the contents? We are loving the denim design by British renowned florist Philippa Craddock. And the contents? The classic Red Roses perfume nestling on a bed of freshly cut blooms. Serious “wow factor” and the scent of roses with a breeze of lemon and violet will far outlast the beautiful bouquet itself.
Jo Malone London Valentine’s Day Floral Box £130
Buy it from 7th–14th February exclusively available at Selfridges
 
Would you choose a perfumed passion or scented sensuality? Well with Ormonde Jayne you can have both! Originally launched as Russian exclusives, now we too can luxuriate in lurve.
Passionate Love fizzes with energy – it’s Champagne sipped straight from the bottle to catch the foam, and then a merry barefoot romp through meadows, picking armfuls of fresh flowers, skinny-dipping in icy streams, shared laughter in bright sunshine. With oodles of warm neroli sprinkled with nutmeg and corriander seeds, it’s the swooning, classically-inspired heart of white flowers garlanded by osmanthus and violet that we fell hardest for.
A mischevious twinkle in the eye heralds Sensual Love – baskets brimming with lusciously juicy, sun warmed berries entwined with an elegant bouquet of osmanthus, jasmine and rose that prevents it being too “girlish glee”.  Suddenly the path plunges deeper in to the heart of the forest, with verdant green buds and moss-covered tree trunks softened by a voluptuously rounded vanilla. We foresee outbreaks of fruitiness whenever it’s spritzed…
Ormonde Jayne Passionate Love and Sensual Love £195 for 50ml eau de prfum
Available only in-store at Ormonde Jayne Bond Street (and Moscow!)
 

Scents set to get the pulses of perfumistas racing was the thinking behind the Heaven Scents collection – from the just-launched Aqua Celestia by genius perfumer Francis Kurkdjian to the gorgeously presented new niche brand Map of the Heart and with a bevy of fragrant beauties in between. We’re using our stylish Micallef 20th Anniversary Keychain as a cute bag charm, and the full-size (huge!) bottle of decadently rich Judith Williams body cream is perfect to layer with your chosen perfume to ‘lock in’ the scent to skin for longer-lasting wafts with which to seduce…
Heaven Scents Discovery Box £12.50 for VIP Subscibers or £17.50 to everyone else
Buy it in our Shop
 

Why not… dust your delicates? Silky under-things and bed linen, that is! Although at 10% composition, these scented sprays are gentle enough to spritz on skin before going to sleep or sprayed directly on to hair and scarves, too – one of our favourite ways to wear fragrance and enjoy it all day. An intimate and gloriously self-indulgent experience that’s kind of a gift to whomever you choose to let close enough, anyway, there are currently three scents to choose from:
Gibson Girls
A graceful mix of white flowers including jasmine, gardenia, white iris and peach for the powdery facet. Classic, with a twist of geranium, cassis, orange blossom and coumarin.
Tuberose Mexique 
A celebration of the most glamorous of white flowers. The creamy fragrance has been called ‘the sexiest scent of all time’ and this particular tuberose is the night scented variety from Mexico. Smooth, sensual and narcotic.
Rose de Grasse
The ‘Queen of Flowers’ – delicate and feminine, rosa centafolia has grown in the fertile soils of Grasse for centuries. Its scent cannot be beaten for sheer unadulterated beauty. Satin soft, feminine and timeless.
IDEO Parfumeurs Lingerie Spray £45 for 50ml spray
Buy them now at Roullier White

‘Stay in bed!’ So say the people at Miller Harris, who put together a cute animation giving us just this advice for use with their Valentine’s Day limited edition candle. And who are we to argue with such wise words? A collaoration with artist Laura Quick, the candle comes with a range of transfers and so can be emblazoned with luscious lips, winking eyes and a cheeky ‘merçi’ among other options. Turn off the lights and breathe in the scent of gentle roses wrapped in the soft, juicy tang of blackcurrant and mandarin.
Miller Harris Rose Silence Candle £45
Buy it at Miller Harris
 

Sharing is caring, so they say. And with many über-cool brands now suggesting their scents are completely unisex anyway, what a great opportunity to branch out and try something completely new! With an incredible 18 fragrances to sniff in total, from Zadig & Voltaire‘s His and Hers explorations of modern gourmands to Creed‘s must-try classics and Shanghi Tang‘s mini discovery sets, you’re bound to find a new fragrant crush for you and your beloved. Or just indulge in the maxim that ‘charity’ begins at home and keep them all for yourself! We will not pass judgement (having done exactly that ourselves. Shhhh…)
Sharing Collection Discovery Box £15 for VIP Subscibers or £17.50 to everyone else
Buy it in our Shop
Written by Suzy Nightingale

JO LOVES keep the flame burning with customisable candles

What makes a thoughtful gift even more special? Customisation, of course.
Nothing says “I swear I didn’t just pick this randomly off a shelf at the last minute” like a gift that’s been personalised – it’s proof positive that actual genuine thought has gone in to the process!
And to get you ready this Valentines Day, JO LOVES have your back.
A beautifully fragranced candle is always a great choice for those who aren’t sure which scent a loved-one likes best or just because a gorgeously long-lasting haven of scent is always gratefully received. But with their name personally emblazoned across the front? Well, your gold star rating in The Good Books just went off the chart…
‘Surround yourself with the scent of white Norma Jean rose laced with subtle strands of peppered citrus and soft cedarwood. Fresh and elegant, this fragrance literally blooms as it floats through the air. Each Jo Loves Home Candle is accompanied by a silver and glass lid to keep the wax dust free, and beautifully presented within a luxurious gift box. Hand poured in England, each 185g candle burns for approximately 40 hours.’
If you’re not a V-Day type person, then why not use this opportunity to think ahead for Mother’s Day, a forthcoming birthday or even (we’ll whisper this in case we cause convulsions) next Christmas? Whatever the occasion, this exquisitely scented candle can be customised with a name from 20 January exclusively at the JO LOVES London boutique or online at their website.
JO LOVES Customised Candle
JO LOVES White Rose & Lemon Leaves Candle £65
Buy it exclusively at JO LOVES Boutique and joloves.com
Written by Suzy Nightingale