There’s a veritable glut of vegetable notes cropping up in perfumes lately, from beetroots and carrots through to artichokes and even cauliflowers in this brand new gourmand category of scents. If you’ve over-indulged on rich food, consider a salad, and (far more enjoyable) getting your greens in fragrant form.
Like any other trend, newness in fragrance can be traced back through cultural patterns, a certain shift in the zeitgeist that suggests something’s in the air. One of the major happenings has been a gardening and grow-your-own vegetable boom in the UK that began during lockdowns and shows no signs of slowing. Google reported that searches relating to how to grow vegetables doubled during May 2020 to May 2021, while new research from beauty and naturopathic product producers Weleda, meanwhile, reveals that in 2021, ‘26.7 million Britons grew their own fruit, veg and herbs’, with almost two thirds claiming that ‘connecting with nature has had a positive impact on their mood.’
Leaps in technology have given perfumers access to new aroma molecules, which for the first time allow natural extracts of vegetable notes to be used in perfumery. To read even more about this remarkable vegetable revolution in the perfume world, take a look at the Spray Your Five a Day feature, which appeared in the late summer issue of The Scented Letter magazine; but meanwhile we urge you to seek out some of this bumper crop as your New Year’s scent resolution…
Salvatore Ferragamo Giungle di Seta (pea)
Inspired by Ferragamo’s exotic silk prints, the verdant sweetness of pea shoots entwine jungle vines, tempered by the powdery familiarity of peony: nature, tamed.
£86 for 100ml eau e parfum ferragamo.com
Shay & Blue Clementine (watercress)
Succulent citrus wreathed in swags of laurel leaves and the bright, peppery green of watercress; flagging spirits further revived via petitgrain’s piquant sunshine.
From £25 for 10ml eau de parfum shayandblue.com
Freddie Albrighton Someone Else’s Flowers (watercress, radish)
Rain-washed radishes, watercress and plucked peapods photosynthesise to a florist’s shop of snapped stalks and tin buckets: happy-making bouquets yet to be.
£102 for 50ml eau de parfum freddiealbrighton.com
Diptyque Eau Rose Eau de Parfum (artichoke)
Artichoke was added to enhance the original rose oil – fleshy, green, slightly bitter, it speaks of melancholy moments wandering walled gardens, arboreal amour.
£140 for 75ml eau de parfum diptyque.com
To the Fairest Élan Vital (greens/nettle)
A settling of greens and grounding vetiver on forest-y floors, the gathering of soft moss and patchouli to line a cosy bolthole with, a cover of golden leaves.
£85 for 50ml eau de parfum tothefairest.com
Comme des Garçons Rouge (beetroot)
Familiar notes are daringly subverted as blood red berries and earthy beetroot meet supremely calming swirls of iced incense and charred leather.
£120 for 100ml eau de parfum harveynichols.com
Jack Perfume Covent Garden (carrot)
The insouciant naughtiness of Withnail’s ‘Camberwell carrot’ becomes a market stroll, munching on vegetables as an aromatic, ginger-tinged breeze excites.
£95 for 100ml eau de parfum ab-presents.com
Bohoboco Wild Carrot Oud (carrot)
Carrots ripped out with roots, clods and bundled in newspaper, nestled in the crook of a leather-clad elbow, biked to a pipe-smoking lover down winding country lanes.
£96.50 for 50ml parfum frmoda.com
Maya Njie Voyeur Verde (fennel)
The comfort of cut grass and freshly washed car leather, aniseed sweets sucked on
the back seat, windows rolled-down to drink in forest air – home in time for tea.
£95 for 50ml eau de parfum mayanjie.com
Try a sample of Voyeur Verde in the Maya Njie Discovery Set for £34
L’Atelier Parfum Verte Euphorie (carrot)
The instant WHOOSH of sunshine-y citrus presages leafiness and crunchy carrot in the heart, earthy sweetness swathed in fluffiness on the softly musky base.
£59 for 50ml eau de parfum qvcuk.com
Roger & Gallet Verveine Utopie (fennel)
Fronds of licoricey fennel tickle the senses, the herbaceous verdancy rippled with spices and fringed with decadence as wormwood-infused absinthe has its way.
£127.50 for 500ml extrait de Cologne escentual.com
Stories No.2 (tomato leaf / greenhouse)
The soothing steam of a childhood memory: grandfather’s greenhouse, his pipe smoke encircling tomato plants, rose cuttings, the joy of running barefoot.
£75 for 30ml eau de parfum in our Shop
DS & Durga Bistro Waters (bell peppers)
A savoury special of juicy green peppers and aromatic, just-chopped herbs with undercurrents of fancy cocktails to follow, late-night lock-ins and snogging the chef.
£148 for 50ml eau de parfum libertylondon.com
Paco Rabanne Fabulous Me (pumpkin)
Eschewing showiness, a warm snuggle that speaks of cosiness, silky sandalwood wrapped around fleshy pumpkin; rhubarb’s tartness tempering the sweetness.
4160 Tuesdays Le Jardin de Monsieur McGregor (cucumber/celery)
Mr McGregor’s pipe smoke trail traces a rambunctious bunny through a Lake District garden: leafy greens, creamy mushrooms and nibbled strawberries.
£70 for 30ml eau de parfum 4160tuesdays.com
Written by Suzy Nightingale