Looking for pocket friendly perfumes that smell fabulous but won’t break the bank? They’re the holy grail at any time, but most especially in January – the bleakest time of year – when we most need a little something to perk ourselves up.
Perfume has come to mean so much to so many more people these last few months – we can use it revive flagging spirits or grant us some courage when we need it most. A quick spritz can swathe you in comfort and soothe frazzled nerves, transport you instantaneously to somewhere else in the world or reanimate a long-forgotten memory of happier days.
But perhaps you’re like us and have just paid your tax bill (hello reality) and though you’re not feeling flush, still really, truly, desperately need SOMETHING NICE to look forward to?
Never fear! We have selected some of our favourite fragrant treats – perfumed pick-me-ups that wont break the bank but still smell utterly wonderful. There’s nothing over £50 here, but you’ll still smell – and feel – like a million dollars…
Berdoues Avoine & Coquelicot£25 for 100ml eau de toilette
The cool intrigue of cardamom is warmed with a tingle of saffron and the soothing softness of oats before the fresh bouquet of poppy, jasmine, lily of the valley and violet peek through – a heralding of spring. Sublimely powdery heliotrope swirls with creamy almond, a glimmer of amber and delicate white musk: comforting as cashmere.
Dsquared2 Green WoodGift Set RRP £44, currently £35 for 30ml eau de toilette
Invigorating lemon and aromatic santolina are sprinkled with spicy bourbon pepper, while suave cedarwood and vetiver ripple to the verdant breeze of cypriol; the base resonates with deeply warming notes of ambrox and musk. Although marketed as a ‘masculine’, this is for anyone who wants to feel like they’ve been for a head-clearing walk in the forest.
Miller Harris Lumière DoréeRRP £14, currently £9 for 9ml eau de parfum
Neroli has to be one of our all-time favourite notes – it feels like wearing sunshine – here celebrated with the golden fizz of bergamot, a luminescent jasmine and delicously honeyed orange flower. Luminous amber and reasuringly clean musks makes this a sheer delight, in every sense oif the word, and a so-welcome burst of happiness, bottled.
Yardley Daisy SapphireRRP £20, currently £16.00 for 50ml eau de toilette
Close your eyes and remember what summer felt like – waking up to blue skies, leaving the house without worrying about an umbrella or a coat… Now let the delightful flurry of green leaves and apple flutter to the heart of hyacinth and white rose before drying down to snuggle of sandalwood and musk in the base. Instantly cheering on the dullest days.
Perfumer Antoine Maisondieu invites you on a sunny road trip through the American West. Along the imaginary open road, with the roof down, you’ll encounter notes of bitter orange, juicy pear, cactus flower and gardenia, concluding your journey with notes of Joshua tree and musky Ambroxan. And we adore the apothecary-inspired new bottle!
No round-up of pocket friendly perfumes would be complete without the iconic 4711 – it’s often reached for on hot days, but don’t wait ’til summer to experience the mood-enhancing whoosh! Colognes take on a new aspect in the cooler months; the classic lemon, rosemary, lavender and neroli notes feel like sunlight filtered through unfurling leaves. escentual.com
Now those advent calendars are in the recycling already, why not treat yourself AND a superhero you know to the Super Man Discovery Box – a different scent to look forward to trying each day. Compare notes via texts or even a Zoom sniff-along!
Allow us a bit of ‘silly season’ scented musing time, here, folks, as we ponder the important question of what we might scent some of the superheroes with. The matches are predominantly male, only because we curated this selection with men and more ‘masculine’ scents in mind, but of course they can be worn by anyone.
Oh it’s okay, we know you might not be feeling particularly heroic right now – the only superhero I currently resemble could be ‘Cheesewoman’ or ‘Gin Girl’ and I don’t think they exist (they should!) But hey, having got through last year and ploughing onwards (and upwards) in the continuing face of uncertainty is heroism to be celebrated nonetheless, non?
Get your geek on…
[All original comic book images copyright of respective artists & publishers, credited individually.]
Gamora: ånd fragrance Frånk
The green-skinned alien is the last of her species (mirroring ånd fragrance’s fund-raising effort to protect frankincense) and no stranger to balancing awesome blade-wielding skills with a sharp wit. So we’ve matched her with a fragrance that celebrates the fruitier side of frankincense, where the foresty freshness zings with restless energy, a mischevious melding of citrus and banana-esque ylang ylang shot through with luscious mango, resinous myrrh and silky seams of vanilla folded in for good measure.
Wolverine: Anima Vinci Wood of Life
There’s something to be said for learning to harness one’s rage, but we really think James could do with a nice sit down and some deep breaths, bless him. This fragrance is immediately grounding and provides a soothing space for mindfulness – palo santo has been used for centuries in spiritual ceremonies, to ‘cleanse’ negative energies and promote clarity of vision. In combination with sandalwood, spices and vanilla it’s an olfactory moment of ‘OM…..’ Now put those knives away, dear, and chill.
Iron Man: Atelier Des Ors Cuir Sacré
Always an admirer of exquisite design, billionaire Tony Stark would surely fall for the gilded charms of this leather-rich fragrance. Imbued with perfectly blended hints of berries and spices, perhaps he’d forget to be grumpy and mellow into reveries of sauntering at sunset on a balmy evening while wearing a velvet smoking jacket. And if he gets stressed, he can shake the bottle to see the flakes of real gold swirl (a grown-up snow-globe, if you will) as the cedar, incense and saffron swoon to the intriguingly cool base.
The Human Torch: Caron Aimez-Moi Comme Je Suis
Smouldering ginger recalls heat and positively sizzles when the zing of grapefruit meets the unexpected pairing of hazelnut and vetiver. The wearer must be used to the fiery sensations, so who better than Johnny Storm? A founding member of The Fantastic Four, he’s used to overcoming adversity while literally aflame – talk about leaving a trail! Spritzing this to soften his edges a little (not while actually alight: health and safety first, Mr. Storm), its warm and woody aroma create an irresistibly addictive character.
Batman: Floris London Vert Fougère
Vert Fougère is moody – perfect for the sometimes sulky Batman – and embraces its mossy heritage by adding sparkling modernity. And he could do with a bit of sparkle. A bittersweet blend of grapefruit, bergamot and neroli entwine ginger and lavender for added freshness while patchouli, cedarwood and smooth cashmere in the base ensure a lasting legacy. Traditional enough to tempt the wary, exciting enough to add a sashay; we see the latest Batman portrayer, Robert Pattinson, wearing this with aplomb.
Professor X: Initio Side Effect
With his exceptional powers of telepathy and mind-control, we feel Charles Francis Xavier would appreciate the hypnotic inspiration behind this scent. An irresistible combination of rum, leather and tobacco is sprinkled with a sweet frisson of vanilla and a tingle of warming cinnamon – the effect quite spellbinding. The woodiness and smooth hints of booze are perfectly appropriate for a study-dwelling genius, while the rich spiciness instills confidence and daring. The overall impression? Those who follow your fragrant trail will be left enchanted…
Spider-Man: Jimmy Choo Man
Peter Parker always appealed to the younger comic fans first, and there’s something effortlessly youthful and effervescent about this fragrance. Aromatic and woody up top, an accord of lavender and mandarin is softened by deliciously succulent notes of honeydew melon. In the heart, pink pepper and geranium are mixed with pineapple leaf, as a sign of originality. Finally the fragrance unveils a web of patchouli, suede and ambery woods – joyfully uplifting and one for cheekily charming urban chaps on-the-go.
Captain Britain:Jovoy 21 Conduit Street
Brian Braddock very rarely gets a look-in when superheroes are discussed, (the name doesn’t help, huh?) so we wanted to give him a moment with this fragrance. Revisiting an often overlooked classic of English perfumery while giving it a decidedly modern twist; the real secret of 21 Conduit St is the richness of its dual lavender – the radiantly aromatic essential oil further enhanced with an absolute. Rippled through rhubarb, almond and fir balsam to a woody base, it feels aristocratic yet complex, much like Brian himself…
Catwoman: Kierin NYC Santal Sky
Fabulously milky, this comfort blanket of cardamom-flecked sandalwood will have all villainous feline types putting their claws away awhile, as the soothing, creamy notes of fig swirl into decadent orchid and saffron-speckled vetiver as a final twitch of the tail. There’s a sophistication to this scent but it truly feels effortless for any occasion. Rendering any gender instantly languorous, your only real problem will be getting anything done, as you’ll want to curl up and revel in how purr-fect you smell.
Wonder Woman: Laboratorio Olfattivo Tonkade
Sumptuous waves of dried fruits and a perfectly choreographed dance between resonant sweetness and powerful clouds of amber-rich mystery, this is a regal fragrance fit for a superhero whose backstory now highlights her Amazonian heritage, and explains she’s the daughter of Zeus and Hippolyta. But ‘Wonder Men’ can equally get on board with this – a stunner for anyone who should never to be underestimated: a powerhouse of potent accords that should immediately be lassoed into your own collection.
Spaceboy: Parfums de Marly Sedley
Hailing from the Umbrella Academy, Luther Hargreeves was the youngest person to become an astronaut, and struggles with his extreme physical strength (accident involving a ‘Martian space chimp’. Don’t ask) which masks his extremely sensitive nature. This feels uplifting – a sparkle of citrus awakening the power of mint, while Hivernal® Neo is a hyper-realistic reinvention of how water smells. Liquid silver, cool Sedley encapsulates a balance of opposites, where noble materials and futurist molecules collide.
Black Panther: Ruth Mastenbroek Oxford
T’Challa is one of few superoes who boast a degree, having earned his PhD in Physics from Oxford, so this fragrant memory is entirely perfect for him. Those ‘dreaming spires’ are conjured through magestic composition, from smoky, shadowy layers juxtaposed by this scent’s more luminescent jasmine and comfortingly cashmere notes. At its heart, Oxford’s bold oudh and amber offsets the softer vanilla and vetiver for a daring fragrance that’s certainly not for the faint-hearted. A perfume for the panther that stalks your soul…
Klaus Hargreeves: St Giles The Stylist
Another member of the Umbrella Academy, Klaus swaggers with the confidence and dress-sense of a rockstar, has the ability to talk to the dead while utterly beguiling the living – to the point where he accidentally becomes a cult leader and prophet (easily done). His sensual nature and natural style will thrill to the flashbulb of aldehydes and bitter orange up top, while the smooth rum, mango and triple-dose of silky vanilla cream help smother his inner demons all the way down to the base of tobacco absolute and oakmoss. Irresistible.
Superman: Versace Dylan Blue Homme
A fragrance for both ‘the man of steel’ and his everyday alter-ego of Clark Kent; the masculinity wafts forth with bold Ambroxan, refreshed with zesty hits of bergamot and grapefruit. The earthiness is zipped up with a punch of black pepper and papyrus wood before being enveloped by an intense cloak of incense, mineral musk, tonka beans and warming, spicy notes of saffron. Equal parts athletic and intelligent, it’s bound to become your go-to when you’ve no idea what to wear. No need to quick-change in a phone booth, either – always a bonus.
Samples of ALL of these fragrances are available to try at home in our Super Man Discovery Box for only £18 if you’re a VIP Club Member, (£22 to everyone else) and it also features these grooming extras…Weleda Skin Food (Thing from The Fantastic Four needs to incorporate this into his daily routine ASAP) and FISH Memory Fish Flexible Gel (which Aquaman could definitely do with).
No matter if it’s a thank you gift for a superhero you know, or a gift to yourself for just getting through all this *gestures broadly* – here’s to feeling infinitely more ‘super’ with every spritz: up, up and a spray! (Sorry).
Last-minute Christmas ideas are all very well, but what if you’ve left it so late (yes, we’re looking at you!) that you’ve already missed the last post?
Here are two thoughtful gift ideas for fragrance lovers that need no desperate scurrying for leftover crumpled scraps of wrapping paper – no wrapping or queuing at the Post Office required at all, in fact. What’s more, they last for an entire YEAR, and one of them can be sent to anyone, no matter where they are in the world. Hallelujah!
Seriously the best gift you can give anyone who loves fragrance – after purchasing, simply contact [email protected] with the recipient’s details and we’ll do the rest!
As a member of The Perfume Society VIP Club, they will receive the following exclusive benefits…
• Six issues a year of our online/downloadable digital magazineThe Scented Letter – (virtually) the only publication in the world devoted to all things fragrant. For more info on which, please scroll down…
• Exclusive competitions with fab fragrant prizes – including bottles signed by perfumers.
• Early access to tickets for all our events (when we can do these in-person again) – meeting with leading ‘noses’ and key figures from the perfume world, attending in-store events, workshops, etc. (Our VIPs are first to hear about these.)
• A special member’s discount on our Perfume Society Discovery Boxes (normally £19 – but £15 to our VIPs)
• Plus choose a FREE Discovery Box when you sign up (see options in the drop-down menu, here)
Described as a ‘must-read’ by industry insiders and perfume-lovers, and after so many asked for a printed edition, we also offer a print subscription to our multi award-winning magazine, The Scented Letter. Filled to bursting each issue with in-depth interviews with the world’s top perfumers, as well as news, hundreds of fragrance reviews and behind-the-scenes scented secrets, alongside features by leading fragrance writers – from Thomas Dunckley (The Perfume Candy Boy) to Persolaise, via Viola Levy and our Senior Writer Suzy Nightingale.
We’re overjoyed that 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 that!)
Your subscription gives you 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. To buy this as a gift; please let us know in your e-mail to us if it’s for someone else.)
So now you can gift an entire year of reading to a fragrance-lover you know, no matter where they live. And from the feedback we receive from overseas fans, we know they’ll be utterly thrilled!
So, it’s really NOT too late to send them something to show you care, to cheer up a fragrant friend you’ve perhaps not been able to see for so long – and these are perfumed presents that last a full 365 days ahead. Now that’s truly a gift that keeps on giving…
Christmas gift ideas for men? It can be difficult, we know – and especially this year, when so many of us are apart from our loved ones. But worry not. You’ve come to the right place! We’re brimming over with scented suggestions that will have him feeling fabulous, festive, AND fragrant…
For super men everywhere, we’ve included independent perfume houses making their mark: recently launched ånd fragrance with sustainable and ethically sourced ingredients at the forefront, decadent Italian niche with Laboratorio Olfattivo and Jovoy with their new creation based on the Mayfair store 21 Conduit St. Also including newness from loved names including St Giles, Parfums de Marly, Ruth Mastenbroek, Floris, Caron,Initio, Atelier Des Ors, Kierin NYC and Anima Vinci. We also bring you TWO GROOMING PRODUCTS! FISH Memory Fish Flexible Gel (50ml), and the divinely scented beard savour WELEDA Skin Food (10ml). Up, up and a-spray…!
Yes, we know we’re using the word ‘men’ here, but some chaps perhaps aren’t as advanced in their tastes, fragrance-sharing wise, and will balk at anything not specifically marketed as ‘masculine’ scents. However, here’s a way to ease them in to the modern world – with so many fabulous ‘shareable’ creations being launched, we’ve decided to put our favourites in one beautiful box, for EVERYONE to wear. Niche perfume houses rarely categorise their creations as ‘male’ or ‘female’ – and there’s plenty here with newness from Goldfield & Banks, Kingdom Scotland, BDK Parfums, Vines House Parfum and Rook Perfumes. We also showcase classics such as Goutal Paris Eau D’Hadrien and Eight & Bob Egypt, along with fabulous discoveries from Initio and Atelier des Ors, plus two ‘unisex’ body treats. We won’t be at all surprised if he decides he DOESN’T want to share with anyone else. So maybe treat yourself to one as well?
Mihan Aromatics are a true product of Australia – an up-and-coming perfume house from Down Under. Their luxury, all-natural scents capture the fascinating fragrance landscape of that vast country, created by uber-cool Melbourne couple Josh and Julia Mihan. (They’ve been likened to ‘the BYREDO of Australia…’) In this incredible line-up of gender-neutral fragrances, Josh and Jules combine native floral and spices – including Australian sandalwood, now being deployed by the fragrance industry as a sustainable alternative to Indian Santalum album. You can spray the ENTIRE COLLECTION in this divinely cool set, each one a very clear style; a lightness, a dreamy character, a mood. Try Mikado Bark, a mountainous arrangement of paper and unfamiliar books exude distinction and literary prowess. Or Petrichor Plains, conjuring up the drenching of earth and rock after a shower. Plus: a bonus ‘untitled’ fragrance, still in development, of which you get an exclusive sneak peek… HOW cool it that?!
For chaps unashamedly into decadent scents, you can do no better than choose this collection. Jovoy has a fascinating history as a Parisian house, its customers were a ‘Who’s Who?’ of the Roaring Twenties. Then scent exporter and expert in raw ingredients, FrançoisHénin, rediscovered and revived the fragrance house. So now we bring you this just-launched Discovery Set of FOURTEEN of Jovoy‘s fabulous, opulent fragrances. Created with master perfumers, it is bursting with OLFACTORY HERITAGE and beauty. From Ambre Premier, which layers unisex rose onto vanilla, musk and patchouli to La Liturgie des Heures, evoking the atmosphere of an old cathedral via incense, myrrh and labdanum – and with a dozen more to explore for yourself – each fragrance holds a place in time. Plus each set contains a 10% voucher redeemable against a full size Jovoy fragrance! Daring, decadent, divine: why not treat yourself or – someone close…?
We’ve man-y (sorry) many more fragrant sets with which to entice your senses, simply explore our shop for more ideas (and let us do the sending to save you going to the post office, if you prefer). No matter your budget or the man in your life’s tastes, we have Christmas, fragrantly covered…
Luxury fragrance gifts needn’t break the bank – Discovery Sets are the way forward! Stunningly presented, ordered at the click of a button, easy to wrap at home or have sent straight to the lucky recipient: these boxes are the perfect presents for perfume-lovers…
The joy of a luxury Discovery Set is the chance to indulge in the fragrances of ultra-luxe niche and designer houses, often giving your lucky gift recipient (or yourself, let’s face it) the opportunity to try the entire collection of a particular perfume house. Or, perhaps, allowing the luxury of sampling the scented wares from cult brands not everyone knows about yet.
Very few of us could go out and purchase full-size bottles of every brand we want to try – with these luxury gift sets, you can afford to wear every single one!
If you have someone who’s difficult to buy for, or you’re not quite sure exactly what kind of scents they like – gifting a whole range ensures they’ll fall immediately for at least one of the fragrances (and, in our experience, will come to love them all or enjoy sharing with a partner or friends).
To send to loved ones you can’t be with this year, or to treat yourself after a year of woe? Not going to lie, we shamelessly do the ‘one for you, one for me’ rule of Christmas shopping, and most especially this year. Think of the hours of bliss you’ll have! Trying all the fragrances for the first time, reading about the notes, the perfumers and history of the house (all the information you can find right here on this website, with our in-depth brand pages).
Luxury fragrance gifts are a fail-safe way of showing how much you care. Whichever of these you chose, they cannot fail to be utterly delighted…
Harvey Nichols boasts one of the best fragrance halls in the world, and in the last few years have tirelessly worked to bring in many more niche and exciting artisanal houses. We were thrilled to be asked again to curate a box of some of our favourites with them! Twelve luxury fragrances from six houses in this one, showcasing the hotly anticipated UK launch of Atelier Materi and Maison Crivelli, alongside classically adored fragrances from Creed, you can explore THREE fragrances from EACH of these beautiful perfume houses. We’ve added generous MINIATURES with just-launched Juliette Has A Gun Lipstick Fever (5ml) AND Maison Francis Kurkdjian L’Homme À La Rose (5ml)! And lest we forget, the pièce de resistance is Ramon Monegal Flamenco (10ml) swathed in a golden fabric pouch for an extra hit of luxe.
The Indulgence Discovery Box £36 (or £32 if you become a VIP!) Squeal-worthy miniature bottles & indulgence, bottled – for someone who deserves a treat.
Don’t you think you deserve to indulge in this gorgeous box of delights? It’s simply brimming with fragrant fabulousness, from the ENTIRE CARINE ROITFELD COLLECTION (former editor-in-chief of Paris Vogue, dontcha know, based on seven cities and seven imaginary lovers), to a trio of newness from Lalique, inspired by precious metals, we’re going crazy for. We’ve also included generous MINIATURES – inhale DEEP! – from our latest perfume house crush, Vines House Parfums Love Story (7.5ml), together with the so-modern beauty editor’s fave, Floral Street Chypre Sublime (10ml), the dinkiest darling bottle of the delightful Tocca Giulietta (5ml) and for some seasonal va-va-voom, the perfumista’s favourite: Versace Crystal Noir (5ml). PLUS new home fragrance from perfumer Ruth Mastenbroek, whose new candles we’re showcasing – you’ll receive either Ancient Frankincense OR Rebel County, and trust us, you won’t even WANT to leave the house…
AMOUAGEhave been drawing on the ancient, alchemistic traditions of perfume-making, creating perfumes that are loved all over the world for over 35 years. This is a luxury perfume house with its finger on the pulse-point of what modern men and women want, so we are delighted to introduce the truly magical SECRET GARDEN DISCOVERY SET featuringFOUR NICHE FRAGRANCES inspired by the floral haze of secret gardens. Spray away the darkness with a joyful leap in to Spring (oh, yes please!) with every spray from Blossom Love, Lilac Love, Love Mimosa and Love Tuberose – each fragrance crafted using the finest oils and essences sourced from around the world. Dare we say: it’sbetter than a real bouquet and therefore makes a truly WONDERFUL GIFT either for yourself, or someone special. If they like glorious gardens, gasp at flowers and adore floral fragrances – they’ll love you forever.
Taking their name from their motto: ‘Joyau, Unique and Sensoriel’ (a ‘unique sensory jewel’), this ultra-cool niche French house delight in doing things differently. Using vintage bottles in bold, neon colours, allowing their perfumers free-reign and with everything eco-conscious – the fragrances are just are vibrant, but oh so beautifully wearable. Appealing to artistic types who like to tread their own path, the scents are seductively unique (genuinely, we love ALL ELEVEN!) From the salted amber of Ambraser, coffee and oudh of Coffeeze, Cuirissime‘s leather, violet and iris; zesty ginger and absinthe in Gingerlise and darkly daring leathery floral of Noiressence. There’s the whole rose (petals, thorns, humid air) of Rosamonda, sensual rose oudh and vanilla in SexyCrush or powdery soft rose in Sopoudrage to explore. SpringPop is green shoots, fresh cut grass and sea air, while Superfusion‘s silvery musk shimmers intriguingly, and UltraHot crackles with sensual saffron and incense. Oh wow, it’s a fragrant journey alright – and we’re re-using our pots for makeup brushes and pens!
This one’s a Perfume Society EXCLUSIVE (so you can guarantee they wont have this!) Atelier des Ors Discovery Set is truly a majestic perfume house: think decadent scents for perfume-loving grown-ups, created from the best quality ingredients the world can offer. (And the full-size bottles are like snow globes for grown-ups, a-sparkle with flecks of real gold.) Atelier des Ors will fan the flames of your fragrant desires, as Jean-Phillipe Clermont, founder of Atelier des Ors, explains: ‘In every civilisation, gold symbolises the pursuit of perfection and the quest of absolute.’ Get spraying for yourself and explore FIVE NICHE fragrances in this divine set, which you won’t find anywhere else. Aube Rubis is crisp, woody, inspired by the dawn, while Lune Féline captures the brilliance of the night sky and the moon in the most creamy, dreamy vanilla. Musc Immortel sparkles with grapefruit, iris and clary sage and Nuda Veritas swathes the skin in an airy, fresh and pure floral creation. Rose Omeyyade, meanwhile, is a breath-takingly sensual rose and oudh perfume that will make you sigh. We’ve swooned, many times, over all of these…
Ostens Discovery Set £30 The créme de la créme of ingredients + the world’s top perfumers = a luxury niche house of refined elegance.
Friends and business partnersChristopher Yu and Laurent Delafon have been in the fragrance industry for over 20 years, founding United Perfumes (a prestigious fragrance distribution and development company) which afforded them unrivalled access to the finest ingredients and perfumers in the world, including extraordinary new extractions from LRM Naturals of ‘vetiver, rose, patchouli and more. We realised that if we loved those smells, then there were surely other people who’d feel the same way.’ Everyone in the fragrance world raves about these scents, and your recipient definitely will fall for…. Cashmeran Velvet cocooning with smoky woodiness, Cedarwood Heart grounding, while unexpectedly creamy and Jasmine Absolute – addictively heady, just-bloomed jasmine on a sultry day. Two patchoulis explore the note’s diversity: Patchouli Heart No.I a softer, warmer, and a more modern interpretation of the classic, while Patchouli Heart No.II is fresher, aromatic and timelessly elegant. And, oh! Rose Oil Isparta – A rose is a rose…or so we thought until we smelt the unique scent of the Rosa Damascena from Turkey. Love at first sniff…
Why not buy the same box for you and a best friend you’re missing terribly? That way, you can schedule a Zoom meeting, get the wine in and some snacks on the go, and have a live smell-along together!
Stocking fillers used to be novelty gifts, somewhat lacklustre confectionery goods and perhaps a satsuma – lovely to open as a child, of course, but now we’re finding adults are massively in to the nostalgia of exchanging Christmas stockings. And we require the fillers to be a little more… fabulous, let’s say.
Because let’s face it, the stocking presents were the highlight of Christmas – encapsulating the excitement of waking up and ripping off the wrapping paper with wild abandon. You may wish to rise at a rather more dignified hour, now, and perhaps begin the day with a cup of tea (or a long glass of Mimosa – well it is Christmas!)
But why not consider putting together a stocking stuffed with lovely little gifts to give a partner – or send a friend you can’t be with this year, and face time them as they open it?!
Here’s some mini sets and exciting fragrant finds we’d love to find in our stockings this year… Give them the whole box, break up a set to gift several friends (or keep some for yourself? We won’t tell…)
Banana Republic ICON Discovery Set£8 for four fragrances
This pocket-friendly set showcases four of the Banana Republic fragrances – scents that have fast gained a cult status among fragrance afficionados, who were wowed by their originality, longevity and and diversity. From sun-soaked orange blossom to smoky rose, a cashmere soft hug to vibrant forest-y freshness – you’ll definitely know someone who’d adore exploring these.
Sous Le Manteau Collection: £19 for five fragrances
Olivia Bransbourg discovered a 19th Century book of actual French love potions in a Parisian flea market. Fascinated by the centuries-old recipes and with the help of perfumer Nathalie Feisthauer, these potions were reincarnated into FIVE divine fragrances, in a dinky parcel that fits in the palm of your hand. You’ll be enraptured by honeyed sensuality, wrapped in a cloud, grounded in the moment, embraced by powdery kisses and tempted by feverish naughtiness…
Maison Matine Discovery Set£15 for six fragrances
This quirky French niche house urges everyone, no matter our ages, to be ‘a bit more daring every day.’ With free-spirited, immediately uplifting fragrances, each one has been created by emerging ‘noses’ and possesses its own unique charm. They believe – as we do – that perfume has the power to help you overthrow a bad morning and actively choose to change your day. Tropical odysseys, calming cocoons, zesty adventures and the whole world awaits!
Rook Perfumes Discovery Set£15 for three fragrances
Here’s a perfume house with infinite layers – rule-breaking and innovative as well as beautiful. Described as ‘a diplomat dressed as a punk rocker’, Rook was created by founder, Nadeem Crowe, as his signature scent, while Forest conjures damp earth, wet moss and cedar and Undergrowth exactly evokes ‘pulling fresh garden mint from the earth.’ Crowe happens to be an NHS frontline doctor AND actor (yes, really!) and uses the power of perfume to transport himself. Where, we wonder, will his creations transport you…?
L’Orchestre Parfum Mix Tape Vol.1£25 for six fragrances
A mix tape? It genuinely is – you simply scan the QR code to listen to tracks inspired by the fragrances (which are, in turn, inspired by musical instruments). And oh, the fragrances are stunning: carnal florals to soothing sandalwood; a fizz of electro-pop to the smoky rose throbbing with deep vibrations of a trombone. There’s something for everyone to fall for, here (particularly great for music lovers!) and we’re sure a number will strike a chord with you.
Experimental Perfume Club Discovery Set£25 for six fragrances
This fun set features fragrances to layer, explore and learn with – a brilliant gift for those wanting to become a perfumer, or hungry to explore their sense of smell. Each eau de parfum is either a TOP LAYER, MID LAYER or BASE LAYER. Wear alone, or mix them up – cards within each box offer inspirations to start to your scented experiments. Dive into the fun of discovering your own favourite combination – a unique fragrant blend that’s as close to bespoke as you can get!
Over the next few weeks, we’re going to be walking you through some of the many fabulous fragrant gift ideas we’ve got to take the stress out of shopping for scent online. So will it be a well-deserved little treat for yourself, or something to send those friends and loved ones you miss most…?
During this strangest of years, we’ve been reaching for fragrance as a way to soothe troubled nerves, remind ourselves of places and people we love. While reseraching an article for The Scented Letter magazine, on how the pandemic has changed the way we use perfume, I was contacted by many fragrance lovers who told me moving stories of why they’d been switching up their scents.
‘I changed fragrances every day so that there wouldn’t be a single “Lockdown” perfume in my memory,’ one woman related, while another agreed that ‘I’ve been forcing myself to wear something different everyday’, going so far as to put away the recent purchase of a new favourite, ‘Because I don’t want to associate this year with one particular juice…. I’d never wear it again!’
While not everyone has taken it to quite these extremes, many of you, it seems, have been adding more fragrances into your wardrobe, simply for the pleasure of experiencing new things – newness and diversity being something the majority of us have been sorely missing for so long! Because people are desperately missing getting to try new perfumes on their skin.
A busy nurse told me ‘I SO miss going to sniff new things and try them on,’ while others chimed in, expressing frustration, ‘The virus has affected my ability to travel and to ‘go sniffing’ – I think that’s where I’ve felt the biggest impact.’
But we know it can be confusing to work out where to start when searching for a new scent. That’s where samples can be so useful – a unique way to try fragrances at home, and perhaps discover houses you’ve never heard of and perfumes you’d never normally get to try (or even overlook, because you didn’t think they were ‘you’!)
Why not treat a loved one (and yourself) to one of these brilliant Brand Sets – some of the most exciting niche luxury scent houses in the world – all without having to leave your sofa…?
Perfumer Geza Schoenrevolutionised the fragrance world by showcasing fragrance molecules – both in isolation, and mixed with harmonious notes to echo and bolster the sometimes subtle complexities of the molecules alone. These molecules were the secrets of the scent world for many years – many perfume houses wouldn’t mention them, but Geza wanted to shout about how incredible they are.TEN fragrances in all – the entire range – which suits any gender or age, but will particularly appeal to those fascinated by science, ultra cool brands and wanting to smell unique.
With a background at the very first ‘niche’ perfumery house – and years at the creative helm of one of the UK’s most historic fragrance names – Nathalie Vinciguerra brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. But it’s her passion for authenticity and sustainability within the world of fragrance that finally drove her to create Anima Vinci. Nathalie genuinely believes in perfume’s power to uplift our senses, and to enhance our own ability to emotionally connect to our surroundings. Building their scents around a central ethos of literally allowing yourself time to stop and smell the roses (and jasmine, Palo Santo, citrus, sesame seeds…) these are fragrances to gift someone who’d appreciate a beautiful moment of calmness – a fragrance focus for each day.
Florals, but absolutely not as you know them, were the driving passion for founder Michelle Feeney launching British niche house of Floral Street, and they’ve since had roaring success with their so-modern fragrances that look as beautiful as they smell – and with sustainability very much in mind. Each scent is created by star perfumer Jérôme Épinette, known for his mastery of natural ingredients. As Floral Street put it: ‘These are bunches – not bouquets. Ingredients, not notes. And it’s about ease, modernity and joy.’ Michelle adds: ‘My mission is to bring fine fragrance to the modern female – so that she might build an entire fragrance wardrobe, which can express the many facets of who she is.’ Perfect, too, for younger family members or best friends who’d love to explore more…
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. Encompassing a passion for telling stories and understanding that scent can transport the wearer just as words, images and films can whisk us to another world – this set showcases their entire range, and is a wonderful gift for the artistic traveller in your life.
Over a dozen of Parterre’s perfume ingredients are uniquely grown and extracted in a state-of-the-art still at their botanic estate at Keyneston Mill, in Dorset. But the exquisite compositions themselves are the masterful work of Jacques Chabert – one of the world’s leading perfumers, who has worked with such esteemed houses as Chanel and Guerlain. This British house are completely groundbreaking in the way they work, and we fell in love with everything they do. Showcasing ferns, lavender and mosses, roses, jasmine and geranium – and did we mention the British-grown Vetiver…? The Parterre perfumes make the journey ‘from botany to bottle’ in the most exquisite way, so perhaps one to gift a gardening-obsessed loved one – they’ll find this set nothing short of magical.
Inclusive of all genders, races and life experiences, these fragrances are aimed particularly at a younger market who are searching for something extra, other than just a nice smell in a bottle that means nothing about who they are. For founder Mona Maine de Biran this means inviting people ‘…to be inspired, not defined or confined, by fragrance.’ Mona’s philosophy is that ‘wearing the right fragrance for you can be like putting on battle dress or going to peace-out in a park. I’m trying to use fragrance not only to recall memories but to help me be in the moment, to live in the present.’ One of the most talked-about perfume houses to emerge from that metropolis in years, these are scents that particularly appeal to individualists, younger loved ones who want a fragrance to express themselves, tell their own stories in scent.
Whichever of these six scent sets you choose – be assured that the recipient will love the opportunity to try something new, perhaps even find their next fragrant love, all thanks to you. And really, who wouldn’t love to receive a fabulous box of fragrant wonders through the post at any time – but most especially when we can’t be together in person…
Explore fragrance during #lockdown – it’s instantly mood-lifting and can be utterly mind-blowing! Here’s how to get perfume samples sent to your home…
Since the first #lockdown, The Perfume Society has more than ever become the go-to for perfume-lovers who want to try fragrances on their skin before buying – or simply experience the pleasure of smelling new scents.
Even during the summer/early autumn window, when stores were reopened, most retailers had removed their tester units, making it impossible for shoppers to discover what fragrances on sale actually smell like. And with the government locking down England once again, The Perfume Society is once again virtually the ONLY way for perfume-lovers to sample fragrance, via our own curatedDiscovery Boxes of samples, together with the wide range of niche brandDiscovery Sets in our online shop.
What’s more, here at The Perfume Society, we offerr a wealth of great advice about how to best test a fragrance in the FAQ section of our website – but the world’s greatest perfumers agree with us, that the only way to truly get to know a new fragrance is by trying it on your skin, first.
Fragrance takes time to develop on your skin. ‘Top Notes’ (the ones you smell first) only last fleetingly, up to fifteen minutes, before disappearing. The ‘Heart Notes’ and ‘Base Notes’ linger far longer, and these are only detectable after properly living with them as your skin warms up and the notes bloom. So a ‘spray and pray’ split-second purchase was never the best way to try perfume, anyway – something many of who’ve ever grabbed a random bottle at Duty Free and lived to regret, hours later on a long-distance plane journey (remember those?!) can relate to only too well.
While some other sectors have struggled, we’ve seen a HUGE rise in sales of our Discovery Boxes for both men and women, with feedback telling us that 70% of those who purchased one of our Perfume Society Discovery Boxes went on to purchase a full-size bottle of one of the samples they tried, and to recommend others to friends.
There’s been a massive rise, too, in people looking for personalised fragrance recommendations, via our Find-A-Fragrance tool. You simply type in the name of a fragrance you already love, and it recommends you six new scents to try (in Male/Female or ‘Unisex’ categories) based on our unique algorithm. It’s spookily accurate! In 2019 we made over 2.5 million personalised recommendations, and that figure is up 161% year on year since the start of lockdown.
We carefully curate each of our Perfume Society Discovery Boxes to include samples and mini sizes from a breadth of fragrances houses. These range from new, niche indie brands and the ‘rising stars’ of the perfumery world, to established luxury and classic high-street names. Even in ‘normal’ times, not everyone happens to live near a well-stocked perfumery or independent boutique, we have delighted perfume-lovers from John O’ Groats to Land’s End with our Discovery Boxes and Perfume House Sets, enabling them to discover, explore and enjoy fragrance in the comfort (and safety) of their own homes.
Feedback from real perfume-lovers about our most recent box include: ‘It’s a treat for me. I work for the NHS and it’s a good stress relief to enjoy them all.’
And: ‘This is the third box I’ve bought and have not been disappointed yet. Even the scents I don’t enjoy are an experience, and I’m able to share the perfume love with friends.’
Don’t suffer from a lack of new scent-sniffing opportunities in your life! Why not take this time to explore a whole world of mind-blowingly great new, niche and luxury fragrance houses you may never have heard of or not yet had the chance to try…?
The La Montaña Discovery Set is a cute wallet of home fragrance samples (to try at home) – a completely genius idea! Find out how to explore them all and use our discount code, below…
We’re all used to the idea of buying a Discovery Set of personal perfume samples – something we’ve been eulogising about for years as the best way to try new scents and be introduced to the style of a fragrance house before buying a full size bottle.
But home fragrances are far more difficult to try before we buy. And as the way our homes smell is such a personal choice, it’s completely genius to have the opportunity of trying the full range in the very home we’ll be scenting with a full size room mist, candle or reed diffuser.
Sustainability is another issue the fragrance industry is (and fragrance lovers) are making a priority right now, and all La Montañga products are sustainable, plant-derived, biodegradable, have a low carbon footprint, and are ‘non-toxic to humans or the environment.’
The La Montaña Discovery Set gives you the opportunity to try ALL NINE of their home fragrances in dinky little room mist form. The La Montaña fragrances are the same across their full range of candles and reed diffusers – so once you’ve tried the room mist samples and found your faves, you’ll know how how the other methods of scenting your space will smell. You can spray them onto the blotters provided, or La Montaña advise you ‘…spritz them into the air, wait a couple of seconds and step into the mist.’ But there’s a number of other ways you miught think of using them….
– Why not keep a set in your car? Much more chic than a garage-purchased novelty air freshener.
– Founder Cassandra says she even spritzes hers on to jumpers to snuggle up in the scent (only dark coloured fabrics, and do a patch-test, first!)
– If you’re lucky enough to be going away on holiday, these are the perfect size to slip into your suitcase to make a hired cottage or hotel room smell like home.
– We think this wallet of home fragrance samples would also be a great stocking filler gift – send to a friend and get them to pick a favourite, which you can offer to buy the full-size of, later.
Usually, the set costs £25, BUT for one week only, you can use our discount code to get it for only £10!
Have a browse of the evocative home scent descriptions – and the incredible reviews – on the La Montaña website – personally, we are huge fans of Winter Oranges to fragrance our homes at this time of year, though First Light is our first choice for the day when working at home, followed by Sacred Roses for a sublime way to wind down. Which rooms will you choose to sample them in, do you think…?
L’Orchestre Parfum harmonise perfumers and musicians to create fragrances ‘to smell and listen to.’ We just know they’re going to strike a chord with you…
We talk of perfumers ‘composing’ a fragrance, using ‘harmonic’ ‘notes’ and ‘accords’. Traditionally, a perfumer would arrange their fragrant ingredients according to ‘top, middle and base notes’, on a ‘perfumer’s organ’. We explored the long history of Music and Fragrance in The Scented Letter Magazine, and L’Orchestre Parfum are a niche perfume house that really turns up the musical inspiration to eleven…
All of the fragrances evoke the central instrument associated with particular styles of world music, with L’Orchestre‘s founder, Pierre Guguen, visiting the workshops of the artisans who create the instruments – smelling the types of wood and materials they use and, wherever possible, then getting perfumers to echo these in the notes of the final scent.
Everything L’Orchestre do has a musical inspiration, so instead of merely creating a set of samples, they wanted to produce a kind of ‘Mix Tape’ – a Discovery Set of six fragrances – which comes with a QR code to scan, so you can sniff and listen simultaneously – the perfect way to experience their greatest fragrant hits and try them on your own skin (while listening to the beautiful music at home).
Each of the fragrances dances to its own individual rhythm, and we feel certain that at least one of them will strike a very personal chord with you.
Simply click on the name of the scents to be whisked to the musical accompaniments…
Thé Darbouka eau de parfum, composed by perfumer Amelie Bourgeois and interpreted by Nicolas Leroy, evokes a Sahara desert dawn coloured by the nomadic rhythm of a darbouka, a goblet drum that has been around for thousands of years. Thé Darbouka is an elusive unisex sweet and spicy fragrance with main notes of bergamot, caraway, candied fruits, immortelle, oud, cocoa and styrax.
Bouquet Encore eau de parfum, composed by perfumer Pierre-Constantin Guéros and interpreted by POPOF with Animal & Me, evokes irresistible techno waves, a fluorescent rhythm in black light with collective adrenaline surging. It is a sublime ultraviolet bouquet of tubéreuse and jasmine amplified by explosive timut pepper. Irresistible Madagascan vanilla, ambroxan and sumptuous musks reinforce the addiction of this euphoric mix. Sensual, carnal and addictive, Bouquet Encore is a narcotic, unisex floral fragrance.
Electro Limonade eau de parfum, composed by perfumer Nathalie Feisthauer and interpreted by NIID, takes you to a terrace overlooking the Mediterranean Sea at sunset, with a ‘chill out’ cocktail in hand. A perfect mix where the fresh essences of lemons, clementines and Italian bergamot dance alongside a mint ‘canaille’ and cocktail bubbles. Rhubarb and orange blossom lead you into a night where the groove is hovering over amber wood bass, incense and Haitian vetiver. A fizzy, sparkling and aromatic electronic unisex fragrance that accompanies you until the early hours.
Flamenco Néroli eau de parfum, composed by perfumer Anne-Sophie Behaghel and interpreted by Mathias Berchadsky, evokes the gardens of the Alcazar Palace in Seville where an evening walk is guided by the subtle arpeggios of a flamenco guitar. Flamenco Néroli is a luminous unisex citrus-woody fragrance with main notes of néroli, bergamot, bigarade, ginger, jasmine, Virginian cedar and Atlas cedar.
Piano Santal eau de parfum, composed by perfumer Jean Jacques and interpreted by Edouard Ferlet, evokes white sheets and somnolent skin scents in a woody, surrealist, musical cathedral. A white woody dream, languorous, pheromonal and milky, it is a mystical moment and unforgettable movement between dream and reality. Piano Santal is a unisex fragrance with main notes of white sandalwood, cedarwood, white musks, heated skin, bergamot, ambroxan, warm milk and caraway.
Rose Trombone eau de parfum, composed by perfumer Anne-Sophie Behaghel and interpreted by Nicolas Benedetti, evokes a Jazz Club in Harlem, New York, where magnetic glances are exchanged during a torrid trombone solo. Rose Trombone is a sensual, clean and aldehydic unisex fragrance with main notes of rose, ‘clean’ notes, pear, vanilla, sandalwood, white musk and rum.
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