Honey fragrances – get ready to bee inspired…

Our theme this month is honey – warm, luxurious and comforting, honey works wonderfully in fragrances to emphasise floral notes, or add touches of amber richness.  There’s a whole hive of honey and beeswax scent notes in fragrances, and perfumer  Christine Nagel explains why she loves using it…

‘Honey has two facets – half devil, half angel. In Ambrée structures, it has a sweet, comforting effect, taking you back to childhood. But a small touch in a feminine structure can be extremely sexy…’

There are so many varieties of honey, each taking their smell (and colour) from the flowers on which the bees that produce it have feasted.  Orange blossom honey.  Eucalyptus honey.  Acacia honey:  the variations are almost limitless, sometimes woody, flowery, herbal or even tobacco-y.  The ancient Arab perfumers were the first to capture honey’s sweetness in perfumery, but today the honey featured is generally a synthetic note – one that’s drizzled sensually over quite a few fragrances in the past few years.

Now, can you envisage getting sweet on any of these honey-centric scents…?

Guerlain L’Art & La Matière Tobacco Honey

There’s something about honey which goes beyond delicious to downright irresistible in this fragrant nuzzle-me-closer scented experience, which had us purring from first spritz. Imagine a fine tobacco that’s been kept dry in a precious, carved wooden box, yet somehow suffused with nectar; enrobed in a nugget of glowing amber, but sliced with shards of light. Defiantly rich, yet it it floats in drifts around you like a gilded cloud.

£295 for 100ml eau de parfum guerlain.com

Parfums de Marly Oajan

Talk about a honeyed charm, this fragrance has it by the jar-full! Silky honey slinks to a sizzle of cinnamon, with apricot-tinged fruity osmanthus sweetly gliding to the smoothest amber, resinous (incense-like) labdanum and and rich benzoin. Swirled with addictive vanilla and toasty tonka bean, the earthy patchouli and dried fruity note of davana grounds the base. An all-day wist or neck-sniffer, for sure.

£245 for 125ml eau de parfum selfridges.com


Floral Street Sunflower Pop

Celebrating their collaboration between the Van Gogh Museum, Floral Street unveil a scent inspired by the artist’s most famous painting. The very definition of optimism, it’s sunny to look at and sunny inside, vibrant with fresh mandarin, Calabrian bergamot, and accords of vegan honey and Bellini cocktails. We’ll raise a glass to a fresh scent that allows us to hang onto summer for a wee while longer.

From £110 for 100ml eau de parfum floralstreet.com

Or

Enter our GIVEAWAY here for the chance to win the Sunflower Pop products!

Floris Honey Oud

A really good introduction to how oudh can be used in a nuanced way – almost as a seasoning instead of the main flavour – this one is actually delicious (as in, if it came in a jar, you’d want to lick it off your fingers, or slather it on buttered toast and guzzle it, ). The spiced honeyed note intensifies as oudh softly adds depth.. Intensely nuzzle-able, there’s nothing whatever to frighten the horses, here, even if you’ve avoided oudh!

From £30 for 10ml eau de parfum selfridges.com

[NB: Also available to sample as part of the Floris Private Collection set, for only £35, and including some of their most iconic scents].

 

 

 

 

Thameen Bravi

What if the diva lost her voice and needed the power of perfume to regain her bravado? This imagined story was the starting point for the third in Thameen’s ‘Britologne’ series, Bruno Jovanovic adding aphrodisiac ginger’s tingle to decadent tuberose, seducing with the decadent wild honey, and wonderfully smoky toasty-ness of walnut throughout, this packs a seriously addictive gourmand punch. Encore!

£250 for 100ml Cologne elixir selfridges.com

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Inside the House of Kajal

Moe Khalaf is the founder of Kajal, but his passion for fragrance began long ago in childhood – suitably enough, with his first sniff of the Calvin Klein scent of Obsession

 

‘I managed to get my hands on a bottle that I kept hidden,’ he smiles, ‘and would spray small spritzes of just to enjoy the scent. I think the love of amber, vanilla and spicy notes in scents was fuelled by this first fragrance – I was quickly frag-addicted.’ As we all know, this first fragrance adoration is a slippery slope for any perfume-lover, but for Moe, that first sniff can truly be said to have changed the course of his life. You see, he’d grown up in a household where no fragrance was ever used, as his father had various allergies that were exacerbated by perfume; ‘So, fragrances were not something that we could spray or have readily,’ he recalls, ‘…but I guess this fuelled my passion for scents.’

However, before this secret passion took him to his fragrant fate, Moe began his career in another sensorial direction. ‘The “creator” in me started when I worked in a high-end, fine-foods company and I produced a line of gourmet capers and sun-dried tomatoes,’ Moe explains.  ‘This passion was ignited once again when during my work with Esteé Lauder Companies, and I was asked to create a fragrance brand/line that was relevant to the region that we oversaw as a subsidiary. I felt that this was my calling…but since I had planned to immigrate to Canada, my tenure ended at the very start of this project.’

 

 

 

How easily he might have completely abandoned any notions of entering the fragrance world, except we all know how persistent the call of perfume is in our souls… The idea of founding his own house to honour his culture simply wouldn’t disappear, and so, he says, ‘That is when I decided to continue this journey that I very much enjoyed, and it set the pillars of creating Kajal Perfumes.’

Moe knew that he wanted his perfume house to authentically resonate with his culture and traditions, so working with some of the world’s finest noses, he created, ‘A brand that truly depicts the essence of East meets West’ because fundamentally, Moe continues, so ‘Kajal is an ode to timeless beauty and cultural reverence. Rooted in the Indian tradition, ‘kajal’ signifies the mystique of kohl-lined eyes, a symbol of allure and enchantment. Yet its core significance delves deeper, mirroring the Arabic term ‘Khajal’, which captures the virtues of humility, modesty, and the gracious act of viewing others with dignity and esteem.’ This ethos of cultural traditions and the worldwide reverence for beauty is a thread that traces through ‘all the inspirations and stories found in all our fragrances,’ he says, which ‘reflect an instance, portray an image of the beauty of the world we live in.’

 

 

 

 

Wearing fragrance truly is a way to connect outer, physical manifestations of beauty with the inner sense of beauty within our souls – and Kajal Perfumes invite you to waft your innate beauty (inner and outer) with the joy of celebrating beauty in the world around us…

Now, we invite you to explore these meaningful creations – you can read the entire history of the house, and read all the perfume’s descriptions, in our page dedicated to Kajal – but for the moment, let’s take a look at some scented highlights from the fragrance collection…

Kajal

“Eyes that seek beauty in all that they behold,
Cast light upon the overlooked splendour surrounding us,
Transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary.”

[By Christian Carbonnel.] ‘Veiled in understated allure and seductive whispers, Kajal draws inspiration from ‘Khajal’, an Arabic term signifying modesty and self-awareness, highly esteemed across Arab cultures for its profound respectfulness. By welcoming others with respect, regardless of their journey, we reflect our own integrity and acknowledge the inherent dignity that exists in every soul. The essence of our true spirit is often illuminated by the magnetic allure of our eyes. Captivatingly beautiful, eyes that radiate kindness, sincerity, and compassion highlight the luminous purity of a virtuous heart.

Kajal opens with the refreshing vibrancy of Amalfi lemon, mandarin, and bergamot, renowned for their ability to enhance spiritual awareness. As the heart notes unfurl, Turkish Rose makes a graceful debut, gradually blossoming into a rich, velvety embrace, complemented by the luxurious softness of orris. The base notes settle into an intoxicatingly warm, sensual embrace of musk, amber, Madagascan vanilla, tonka beans, and a hint of Mysore sandalwood, cherished for its ability to promote a sense of serenity.’

£168 for 100ml eau de parfum kajalperfumes.com

 

 

 

 

Warek

“While the darkness may feel eternal,
Only we have the power to grant it permanence,
A tenacious desire for life rewards us sublimely.”

[By Christian Carbonnel.] ‘Warek, an Arabic ode to history, captures the allure of meticulously hammered and flattened silver coins, each a symbol of astonishing fortitude. As Silver endures each relentlessly forceful strike, it is stretched and thinned to the brink of fragility. It may relinquish its former shape, but it emerges more magnificent, shining with unparalleled clarity. This exquisite metamorphosis serves as a poignant metaphor for resilience and rebirth. It reminds us that the trials and hardships we endure do not diminish our essence; rather, they reveal our true strength, purpose, and beauty.

Warek opens with an earthy and ethereal blend of Saffron and Incense. Saffron was chosen for its known properties to increase inner peace and enhance emotional healing. As the heart notes emerge, we discover an enticing fusion of Rose, Patchouli, Amber, and Guaiac Wood, each associated with promoting positive energies. The base notes reveal a captivating unity of sumptuous Vanilla, the timeless elegance of rich Leather, and the mystifying allure of Oud. Warek, ignite your inner resilience, unveil your radiant essence.’

£168 for 100ml eau de parfum kajalperfumes.com

 

Kajal Yasmina

“Yasmina is…power.”

[By Valérie Garnuch-Mentzel.] ‘A jasmine flower, when held in the hand, can be perceived as delicate, soft, and fragile. But the inner hidden secret of this flower is its scent, which is symbolic of strength, projection, and power. “My childhood memories of jasmine are strongly linked to my grandmother – calling out to me to run into the gardens at the break of dawn to pick figs from the tree in our farmhouse. I remember running to the tree through weeds of chamomile, thistles, and dandelions. I would climb the first branches to get to the softer, juicier figs at the top, and I would take care not to get some of the white sap on the stem of the fruit onto my skin. But the most important part came next –after filling the bowl with enough fruit, it was imperative that I run to the jasmine tree and carefully pick the delicate flowers. I’d fill the bowl with jasmine so that the figs barely showed. The scent would fill my nose, and I remember even sucking on the base of the cut flowers to get a very mild sweetness from the nectar.” – Moe Khalaf (Founder & Kajal Creative Officer)

This memory has been captured by perfumer Valérie Garnuch-Mentzel from Drom. Yasmina… delicate yet powerful, bold and strong. On the first whiff of this majestic scent, you discover the strength of Yasmina: confident and animalistic, demanding attention and position. The fragrance notes of Yasmina are surprising, revealing rough cardamom, saffron and rose. The animalistic properties of jasmine and orris give this scent a captivating power. In the middle, you get a rugged leather aroma mixed with a unique whiskey scent. Some tameness is felt at the base with vanilla and tonka beans combined with patchouli – an overall powerful scent.’

£184 for 100ml eau de parfum kajalperfumes.com

 

 

 

 

Kajal IV

“The warm embrace of an exotic breeze,
The intoxicating allure of adventure.”

[By Kevin Mathys.] ‘Infinite grains of sand form an undulating golden panorama, vast and untamed, blending harmoniously into spectacular glowing skies. Sun kissed skin shimmers, evocative of the celestial stars soon to emerge. The gentle caress of a sultry, aromatic breeze encapsulates the elation of adventure. Our footprints may be a momentary reminder of our presence, but the memories we make last forever.

Spiritually, four represents calmness and balance, the stability of feeling connected to the present moment. It also symbolizes the wholeness of the universe, four elements, four seasons, four cardinal points, connecting us all. Kajal IV is a celebration of nomadic exoticism, echoing the wilderness of the African Savannah. An inviting opening reveals the mysterious warmth of Davana Gaze, infused with a vivacious blend of Cassis, Rum, and cardamom. At the heart, the exotic sweetness of Jasmine and Palm flowers merge deliciously with a tranquil Leather richness. The base notes lead to a wild, natural paradise where lush palm trees bear delectable Kholas Dates, adding a fruity freshness to a seductively charismatic combination of Musk, Woods, and Vanilla.’

£184 for 100ml eau de parfum kajalperfumes.com

Masa

“Patience and hope, never fade with time,
Despite the darkness and pressure, we must endure.”

“We emerge in a light, so precious, sublime,
Shining with beauty, exquisitely pure.”
– Jo Khalaf

[By Marc Daniel Heimgartner.] ‘Masa, the Arabic name for a singular diamond. If we had an eternity to sift through a sea of diamonds, we would never find two the same, they are renowned for their uniqueness as much as they are for their astonishing beauty. Diamonds represent resilience, eternal love, purity, and new beginnings. These enchanting attributes highlight the ambiguous elements of this gem’s invincibility and the inherent delicacy of the one who wears it.The Moon is a symbol of illumination, each Lunar phase is represented in the design of Masa in Silver, which is associated with strength, abundance, and enlightenment.

Masa embodies the precious luminosity of the diamond through a perfect balance of herbal freshness and ambered wood notes. Masa opens with a delicious combination of bergamot, Mirabelle and grapefruit highlighted by the warm spice of Ginger root. The heart notes consist of a fresh blend of Patchouli, Aquatic accord, Petitgrain and Cardamom. In the base, we find a wrapping mixture of Amber, Vanilla, Atlas Cedarwood, Vetiver, Guaiac Wood, and Violet which enhance the vivid radiance of the diamond within each bottle of Masa.’

£184 for 100ml eau de parfum kajalperfumes.com

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

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.

Chelsea Flower Show 2024: blossom & bloom with these joyful spring scents!

As flower and garden lovers we are, of course, super excited about this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show – the annual event celebrating the very best of garden design, the growers, movers and shakers in the horticultural world. And of course, it’s the season when the perfume landscape is naturally burgeoning with florals for late spring and early summer.

 

 

 

At The Perfume Society, we have rooted out some florals for you to fall for – no matter if you are lucky enough to have a ticket for Chelsea Flower Show, are looking forward to visiting some spectacular public gardens over the coming weeks, or simply enjoying your own garden or local park.

Here you will discover a whole garden of floral and seasonally sublime samples – SO brilliant for trying before you buy a full-size – with earthy tones, fruity notes and even a subtle dusting of spice. Each fragrance sample has been specially picked to form a panoramic view of all the blossoming promise a floral fragrance can bring. They’re perfect for popping in your pocket or throwing in a bag for travel, too.

 

 

We know even those who thought they didn’t like floral and scents have fallen for several of the seasonally perfect perfumes from this selection! And you can find them all handily gathered within the Seasonal Scents Box Spring Box. Which will you pick to wear first? In the box you’ve got ALL these blossoming glories to try samples of…

 

 

4160 TUESDAYS SONNET No.1 eau de parfum
Fragrance Family: FLORAL

‘We first made a limited edition of Sonnet No. 1 for the Barnes Fragrance Fair, and the aim was to blend the aroma of Shakespeare’s flowers. Shakespeare’s first sonnet mentions “beauty’s rose” hence the name. To rose – both the absolute and essential oil – we added lavender, beeswax, narcissus and hay absolutes, and evoke the aromas of lily and violet. It floats on a bed of white musks. This is the most expensive fragrance we’ve ever made…’

 

 

BRIONI ESSENTIEL eau de parfum sample
Fragrance Family: WOODY AMBRÉE

‘The intriguingly green opening with sparkling bergamot and bright aromatic cardamom create a play of light through tender tomato leaves. Earthy patchouli enhances the heart’s woody facets which features an exclusive tonka bean variety, used for the first time in perfumery. The enveloping amber drydown brings out two truly spiritual notes – resinous frankincense and creamy sandalwood – and reflects a sense of calm and well-being.’

 

 

CREED SPRING FLOWER eau de parfum sample
Fragrance Family: FLORAL

‘Pretty in pink, Spring Flower is a playful and unapologetic celebration of femininity. Succulent peach extracts and soft florals blend effortlessly into notes of jasmine and white flowers, transporting you to a quintessential English garden on a perfect spring morning. Sensual ambergris and musk follow, adding depth and tranquillity to ensure every accord of this powerful female fragrance is fully savoured.’

 

 

 

GOUTAL PETITE CHERIE eau de parfum sample
Fragrance Family: FLORAL FRUITY

‘Petite Chérie is the irresistible fragrance Annick Goutal bestowed on her daughter Camille as a gift. Petite Chérie is a bright and cheerful floral-fruity musky perfume. Beneath its soft, mischievous and carefree airs, the fragrance unveils captivating, devilishly tempting and dangerously endearing charms. It seduces firstly with its playful notes of sweet and juicy pear and freshly-cut grass then blossoms into sumptuous and sensual rose with petals as velvety-soft as skin. It is said to be reminiscent of a young girl’s cheek that you want to lovingly kiss.’

 

 

 

FLOWER BY KENZO IKEBANA eau de parfum sample
Fragrance Family: FLORAL WOODY

‘This second fragrance in the FLOWER IKEBANA collection brings the Japanese mimosa to the fore. The Mimosa Absolute is at the heart of the scent and offers a unique floral expression close to nature. The verticality of hinoki wood supports the entire composition, with golden sesame extract resonating in a sillage of addictive comfort.’

 

 

LALIQUE SOLEIL VIBRANT eau de parfum sample
Fragrance Family:  WOODY FLORAL

‘Woody, floral, with a hint of vanilla. Soleil Vibrant Lalique bottles a beaming energy whose scent is a joyful ode to femininity and wildness. A fragrance that smells as delicious as sun-kissed skin. That makes you feel as happy as a summer day.’

 

 

 

MOLTON BROWN DELICIOUS RHUBARB & ROSE eau de parfum sample
Fragrance Family: FLORAL FRUITY

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!

 

RUTH MASTENBROEK SIGNATURE eau de parfum sample
Fragrance Family: CHYPRE

‘A story of freedom…set along a winding path of wet and earthy leaves that lead to a secret garden. In Signature, fresh fruity notes of mandarin, bergamot and pineapple waltz elegantly together with rose on a stage of patchouli and oakmoss. The result is a sparkling and elegant perfume with an evolving woody base, that lives as an accolade to times gone by.’

 

 

 

SHAY & BLUE CEDARWOOD GRAPEFRUIT eau de parfum sample
Fragrance Family: WOODY CITRUS

They say: ‘Huck the Fipsters! This fragrance is not just for beards. Sparkling pink grapefruit will put some style in your step contrast with coffee bean for character. Finish with refreshing cedar wood for a sense of mystery.’ Discover Cedarwood Grapefruit Eau de Parfum from Shay & Blue, an uplifting scent with notes of juicy pink grapefruit, neroli, vibrant coffee bean and cedarwood. This gorgeous scent will make a refreshing addition to any perfume collection.

 

 

 

TOCCA COLETTE eau de parfum sample
Fragrance Family: FLORAL AMBRÉE

‘Colette is a heady bouquet of florals with warm, spicy edges that linger everywhere she goes. Sparkling citrus and pink peppercorn swirl around jasmine and violet, drying down to musk, vanilla, and sandalwood. Spicy. Mysterious. Seductive.’

 

So, whether you’re looking for a new signature scent, want to settle down with a Shakespearean-inspired floral, or even dream of some Parisienne armchair travel, throw open the windows as we indulge in the Spring Seasonal Scents Subscription Box

The Fragrance Foundation Awards 2024: and the winners are…. (squeal!)

Forgive us for floating on a cloud (of perfume, obvs) for the next few weeks (okay, months!) because we’re still buzzing from the most exciting night in the scented calendar – The Fragrance Foundation U.K. Awards 2024. And this year in particular, we had a LOT to be excited about! Let’s gather ourselves a moment and let you know ALL the winners (and the next scents your nose needs to be in search of…)

Recognised as the most prestigious journalistic awards in the beauty industry, the Fragrance Foundation U.K awards began in 1990. They are split into two distinct sections: The Jasmine Awards – which recognise and reward the talents of journalists & visualisers whose difficult task it is to translate the complex art of perfumery into words and pictures; and The Fragrance Foundation U.K. Awards for individual fragrances, ad campaigns, expert sales assistants and fragrance retailers. Altogether, it’s an overview of the hottest (and best-smelling) names to know right now.

A new panel of judges is recruited annually and includes experts from the worlds of journalism, literature, fashion, lifestyle, PR and fragrance consultancy. The panel is chaired by an expert in the fragrance industry, and you can read all about the judges here, which this year included the world’s foremost fragrance expert and author, Michael Edwards.

Okay. Drumroll, please…

 

Literary Award: The Scented Letter magazine, Up in Smoke: Fragrances Flagrantly Defying the Smoking Ban by Suzy Nightingale

 

Short Piece Award: perfumesociety.org Green with En Vie by Suzy Nightingale

 

Creative Award: On the Scent Podcast ‘Scented Story’

by Suzy Nightingale & Nicola Bonn

 

Practical Guide Award: We Wear Perfume – Who Am I? New Ways to Make Your Perfume Personal by Amanda Carr & Tamara Fulton

 

Rising Star: Highsnobiety, Fragrance, Unfiltered: What Shoppers Want Perfume Brands to Know by Alexandra Pauly

 

 

 

We must also take a moment to pop some Champagne corks for our own Scented Letter magazine editor / writer, Jo Fairley (no stranger to awards, with a shelf-full of them over the years!) for being a finalist in in two categories: Literary, for When Your Back Garden is a Tuberose Field, and Practical Guide for her piece The Wash Gets Posh. And of ourse for the brilliant Scott McGlashan who was a Rising Star finalist for his Scented Letter magazine feature It takes them right backabout finding his beloved gran’s favourite (now discontinued) fragrance of her youth, because her eyesight is failing and she wanted to return to treasured scent memories. It was so moving to so many, and we know Scott’s star is certainly rising – a name to watch for sure.

Don’t forget – you can sign up to get FREE copies of the digital edition of The Scented Letter magazine delivered to your inbox each time they published!

 

 

Now, let’s take a breath and raise our glasses to the incredible fragrance awards winners – many of which are fragrant friends of The Perfume Society, and all of which we whooped with joy for seeing their names on the big screen…

 

 

Media Campaign: Diptyque Do Son

 

Design & Packaging: Penhaligon’s Potions & Remedies

 

Interior Fragrance: Byredo Summer Rain

 

Independent Fragrance: Vyrao Sun Rae

 

Perfume Extraordinaire: Ella K Camélia K

 

The Evening Standard Readers’ Choice: Billie Eilish, Eilish No.2

 

People’s Choice: Burberry, Burberry Goddess

 

Newcomer: Victoria Beckham Beauty

 

Innovation: Diptyque Les Mondes de Diptyque

 

Limited Distribution: Maison Margiela Replica Under the Stars

 

National Distribution: Tom Ford Beauty Café Rose

 

Retailer of the Year: Harrods H Beauty

 

Online Retailer of the Year: Harrods H Beauty

 

Best New Collection: Victoria Beckham Beauty Fragrance Collection 

 

Ultimate Launch: Yves Saint Laurent MYSLF

 

The prestigious judging panel had to read SO many submissions, and we were full to the fragrant brim with gratitude for this recognition, and send huge congratulations to ALL the finalists, and to the winners, which we were over the moon to be among.

Until next year, fragrant friends, we’ll be wafting along and glowing just a little bit more brightly than usual…

Fragrant Folklore: Seven Scents of the Uncanny (for May Day & More!)

With a history firmly rooted in Celtic, Christian, Nordic and Germanic folklore, the many myths and legends that entwine our superstitions – and filter through to current day celebrations – also provide a host of perfumed inspiration across many cultures.

May is a month particularly ripe in these traditions in the British isles, though, with May Day and the annual Jack in the Green parades around the country providing part mirth, part whimsical terror in the form of mobile hedgerows and Morris Dancers and May Poles.

 

The Jack in the Green parade, Hastings, East Sussex.

 

With the start of this new month, now seems the perfect time to frolic in a contemporary retelling of fragrant heritage. Indeed, we’ve noticed a slowly building pattern for fragrance houses dipping into traditions, and reviving ingredients more often seen in vintage perfumery, and with ‘creepy’ scents that were only usually trundled out at Halloween being launched and revelled in all year long. But with recent issues of The Scented Letter magazine featuring articles on celestial and astrologically-inspired scents, and the current issue being all about The Rites of Spring, this surge of new-age spiritualism comes hot on the heels of a report in The Face magazine on the return of folk culture, and rave reviews for The Red King – a new Wicker Man-esque drama series.

 

The Red King [TV Drama, Alibi]

Are we collectively seeking some semblance of comfort in embracing ‘the old ways’, or has there always been an inherent fascination for folklore that’s simply bubbling to the surface as a new trend? Whatever the reason, cast aside notions of the uncanny being confined to Halloween and join us in donning floral crowns – including lily of the valley, of course – and revelling in these frolicsome fragrances…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you go down to the woods today… swathe yourself in the spirit of the forest with this so-evocative scent. There’s an otherworldly quality to the composition, to be sure, with all the mossy, mulch-y mysteries of fir needles and fallen cedar branches; but the verdant stirrings of new life, and your part of nature’s cycle, is apparent in the leafy unfurling of buds, the trilling of birdsong. Wrapped in an earthy base, warmed by saffron, it’s your scented spell of protection at any time of year.

Wales Perfumery FOREST – COEDWIG £54 for 30ml eau de parfum walesperfumery.com

 

 

 

Shay & Blue Atropa Belladonna 100ml

A slowly creeping intoxication of transparent jasmine and luminescent white narcissus work their magic beneath greedy handfuls of succulent berries snatched in woodland thickets – a sense of half-glimpsed, tulle-draped ghosts flitting between the trees. Inspired by the notorious Deadly Nightshade, by the time you reach the chocolate-y patchouli base and musky vanilla dry down, it will already have cast its spell.

Shay & Blue Atropa Belladonna £65 for 100ml eau de parfum in our shop

 

 

Socrates supposedly drank black hemlock to poison himself, but it’s used here to far greater fragrant effect – oodles of the absolute lending mysterious shadows to a dusky forest, soft, grassy whispers wafting amidst the verdant undergrowth, all set against the backdrop of a violet-streaked, vetiver rich, amber-tinged, sunset. This one captivates crowds, and could charmingly convert newcomers to your cult, should you so wish.

Ormonde Jayne Ormonde Woman £235 for 88ml eau de parfum
ormondejayne.com

 

 

If you need to summon up strength of heart and creativity, brilliant perfumer Lyn Harris has conjured this composition to aid your quest. Simmering with a spiced heart of cinnamon, nutmeg and black pepper, swags of of roses (thorns and all) are stirred into the melting pot, along with oodles of powdery orris for an enchanted cloak of protection. What’s more, each Vyrao scent comes charged with a naturally sourced Herkimer diamond crystal for extra good vibes.

Vyrao Witchy Woo £135 for 50ml eau de parfum selfridges.com

[Or try a travel-size via the Vyrao High Five Set]

 

 

 

Dare you follow the strangely flickering light that leads to the heart of the woods? Fern fronds and bundles of lavender twist together – the brightening weather beckoning sunshine tomorrow, but if the shadows still tap at the window, you need this… One to wear for feeling emboldened, we say, when you need an extra layer of loveliness to bring you safely home (and have others demanding to know what beguiling scent you’re wearing along the way).

Maison Crivelli Absinthe Boréale £75 for 30ml eau de parfum lessenteurs

 

 

Pythia, the mythical oracle of Delphi inspires this scent – as high priestess she delivered her oracles ‘after entering a state of delirium by inhaling the vapours emitted by the sacred chasm beneath the temple.’ A crisp apple is studded with bay leaves, the juice mingling with wafts of spiritual smokiness that richly swishes leather, amber, oud and ambergris in a cloak that surrounds, comforts and beguiles in equal measure. 

Manos Gerakinis Omen £205 for 100ml eau de parfum shymimosa.co.uk

[Or, why not try this in the Manos Gerakinis Discovery Set?]

 

 

Portal is described as ‘a gateway to the ancient Caledonian forests of Scotland.’ It’s fresh, outdoorsy, gusting with herbaceous botanicals and bergamot, notes chosen to evoke verdant florals, resting on a veritable forest floor of vetiver and Scots pine. Kingdom Scotland’s description – ‘an escape to a sylvan wonderland’ – hints at its power to transport you to the shade of the tranquil forest. You’ll be welcomed by the others that dwell there, and possibly made Queen…

Kingdom Scotland Portal £132 for 50ml eau de parfum  in our shop

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

The Scented Story of 4160 Tuesdays Tokyo Spring Blossom

Sarah McCartney, perfumer-founder of 4160 Tuesdays, has featured her scent Tokyo Spring Blossom from the time she launched her perfume house, in 2011. It’s the most beautiful essence of spring, and though it feels so effortless to wear, the story of how Sarah actually captures that blossom-y blooming sensation is quite another matter…

 

In the spring issue of our Scented Letter magazine – sign up to get your FREE digital copy delivered to your inbox! – Jo Fairley focussed on blossoms in her joy-filled fragrance feature for the season, and Sarah revealed the complications of capturing that airy, cheery, breezy scent in a bottle, explaining: ‘I’ve attempted to capture a few blossoms in my time. The technical way is headspace analysis, capturing the air around the flowers and identifying all the different molecules they emit, then reassembling the aroma from its components. But artisan perfumers like me do it by nose and experiment, so we might arrive at the aroma by a completely different route.’

 

 

For Tokyo Spring Blossom, which remains a much-loved fragrance in her line-up, Sarah explains, ‘I wanted a general impression of walking through a park in cherry blossom time, and used a touch of rose geranium with raspberry leaf, violet and balsam for the effect.’ And the intricacies of the perfumer’s art to create these textures, feelings of light and colour, of spaciousness, are not something we might even consider the scientific skills behind (as quite rightly, we’re caught up in the beauty of wearing the scent itself!) However, it’s fascinating to know just how it’s achieved. Says Sarah:

 

 

 

 

‘Essential oils and absolutes very rarely represent the exact scent which blossom wafts out, when we bury our noses in it. The extraction processes lose volatile molecules along the way, so we add synthetic materials to restore the impression of living flowers. Ironically, when someone comments that a blend smells fresh, light and natural, it’s because I added Hedione – or Methyl dihydrojasmonate, to give it its chemical name.’

 

 

 

Tokyo Spring Blossom is one of 4160 Tuesdays’ earliest fragrances, first made in 2011 for a charity fundraising event in a tiny Tokyo cafe. We made it for our friend Urura, whose name means “the breeze through spring blossom”. It is one of those fragrances which  is so unusual that people have to spend a while deciding whether they adore it or are afraid of it. It is built around oppoponax, cabrueva and tolu, with soft violetty ionones, with pink peppercorn, rose, tangerine, geranium and grapefruit, with Ambrox and raspberry leaf absolute at the base. Imagine the breeze through spring blossom, but in another universe.’

 

 

Tokyo Spring Blossom £65 for 50ml eau de parfum in our shop

 

Purchase your stunning glossy print copy of The Scented Letter Magazine featuring the full blossom-scentric feature, £15 / £12.50 for VIPs.

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Iris – the most intriguing floral fragrances you can find…?

Oh how we adore iris – the flowers, of course, but also the fascinating fragrances conjured from what has to be one of the most unlikely-looking ingredients in perfumery (but happens to be one of the most expensive)…

Because it’s not the flowers that grant us the ingredient used in iris scents, it’s a rather unprepossessing looking root with a heavenly, suede-like aroma. You might say that curiosity combined with ingenuity altered the history of perfume forever. Who was the first person rootling around in the earth beneath the gloriously flowering iris, discovering the fleshy, creeping rootstocks (known as rhizomes) that look for all the world like the key ingredient in a fairytale’s curse, and pondering, “what if…?”

Taking those roots, putting them in a cave to age further (the older iris rhizomes get, the more pungent they become), and grinding, distilling and extracting the essence, only then does it transform into the uniquely powdery, skin-like, sometimes almost bread dough-esque scent that lingers and clings low to the skin for hours.

 

 

 

 

Lauded for centuries as a symbol of majestic power, dedicated to the goddess Juno and revered by Egyptians who placed the flowers on the brows of the Sphinx and scepters of kings – the three petals of the blossom supposedly representing faith, wisdom and valour. In both ancient Greece and Rome, orris root was already highly valued in perfumery, with fragrant unguents of iris widely used in Macedonia, Elis and Corinth, for which they became famous.

Iris fragrances can smell as sweetly innocent as freshly laundered linen, or hint at the siren call of the boudoir – lipstick, powdered skin and silken underthings that gradually take on the body scent of the wearer. This is an ingredient you’ll long to snuggle in the bosom of, and once truly appreciated you’ll never want to be without.

Intrigued? You will be by these…

 

 

MALIN + GOETZ Strawberry

Banish thoughts of any strawberry (or iris!) scent you’ve ever sniffed and imagine a freshly picked garden strawberry with stalk still attached, orris root adding soft spring floral notes with a flurry of jasmine petals and soft musks.

£86 for 50ml eau de parfum malinandgoetz.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Vyrao I Am Verdant

Sprouting acres of grass and green verges with every spritz, cyclamen joyously bursts through the undergrowth, swags of moss-bedecked ivy draping the powdery comfort of iris, and bergamot bolstering the brightness of orange flower

£135 for 50ml eau de parfum selfridges.com (Try a sample in the Vyrao High Five Set for £79)

 

 

 

 

Prada Infusion d’Iris

Allow your mind to drift from the fragrant sensation of wearing an immaculate white shirt line-dried in spring, to crisp sheets on bare flesh: the allure of clean linen waiting to be sullied. Achingly lovely, it begs to be billowed.

£135 for 100ml eau de parfum prada.com

 

 

 

JULIETTE_HAS_A_GUN_LIPSTICK_FEVER

 

Juliette Has a Gun Lipstick Fever

Capturing ‘mummy’s handbag’ in fragrant form a slash of iris, violet absolute and raspberry softening to the woodsiness of patchouli and cedar-swathed vanilla. Echoing the scent of vintage makeup amidst leather, it’s simply mwah, mwah!
From £130 for 100ml eau de parfum harveynichols.com

 

 

 

 

MAISON_CRIVELLI_IRIS_MALIKHAN

 

Maison Crivelli Iris Malikhân

Iris’ innocence unfurls into something altogether more sinful, the opening a gentle stroke via galbanum and cypress, then a tickle of incense, a hint of skin. The heart purrs, powdery iris then the throb of the mimosa-infused leather. Oh my.

£175 for 100ml eau de parfum harveynichols.com

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

The Secret Language of Spring Flowers… (and matching scents)

Spring is a time of joyfully watching the flowers bloom and the gardens come to life again, and of course it’s also a season for gathering bouquets; but did you know there are many ways you can send a secret message via the flowers you select – and perhaps one you might play with in the fragrances you wear (or gift)…?

 

For thousands of years, secret coded ‘messages’ have been attributed to flowers, and the cultural or social settings in which they’re given as tokens or displayed. The Victorians were particularly fond of this sentimental ‘Language of Flowers‘, with a number of books and pamphlets devoted to the subject – informing the reader how they may go about creating their own secret message via the flowers they gift a loved one, or decoding what that bouquet from an admirer actually meant. Think of it as the far more aesthetically (and sensorially) pleasing alternative to emoji’s sent in today’s text messages, or shared on social media!

 

 

Floriography: An Illustrated Guide to the Victorian Langauge of Flowers by Jessica Roux – read our review, here.

 

We rather love the idea of making a bouquet or floral fragrance gift extra special by sending one of the various modern interpretations or reprints of charming ‘Language of Flowers’ books alongside – or simply smiling secretly as you wear your own favourite floral scent while billowing a message only those in the know (or nose? Sorry) might recognise. Meanwhile, to get you started, here’s some Spring flower’s possible meanings and suggestions of accompanying scents you might like to furtively waft forth…

Bluebell = Humility

‘If you go down to the woods today… a fragrant carpet of bluebells awaits. Breathe deep. Citrus, hyacinth, clove. An eau de toilette reminiscent of childhood escapades in the fresh, dewy spring.’

Penhaligon’s Bluebell £135 for 100ml eau de toilette 

 

 

 

 

Lily of the Valley = A Return of Happiness

‘As bright as a spring morning, this romantic floral bouquet blossoms with the freshness of lily-of-the-valley, Christian Dior’s lucky flower and the emblem of Dior Couture.’

Dior Diorissimo £82 for 50ml eau de toilette

 

 

 

 

Violet = Hidden Virtues 

The cool and green undertones of April Violets are enhanced by beautiful mimosa and the zing of citrus, a speckle of powdery orris, the creaminess of vanilla and a perfectly, smoothly-rounded sandalwood in the base.

Yardley April Violets £17.50 for 125ml eau de toilette

 

 

 

 

Lilac = First Feelings of Love

‘A stroll down a country lane where lilacs dance in the spring breeze, casting their lush fragrance into the fresh air. Elegant notes of privet blend with the delicate scent of orange flower and lilac, a dreamy memory of a long weekend.’

Aerin Lilac Path £105 for 50ml eau de parfum

 

 

Shay & Blue Black Tulip 100ml

Snowdrops = Hope, Love & Compassion

Contrasts abound as smooth white chocolate swathes gently spiced plum, bright snowdrops and creamy cyclamen hugged by drifts of fresh wood shavings, curls of chocolate falling like spring snowflakes melting in welcome sunshine.

Shay & Blue Black Tulip From £25 for 10ml eau de parfum

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Shakespeare’s Scents – flowers he loved, fragrances we adore…

Shakespeare’s exact birthday isn’t known, though scholars generally suppose it to be somewhere in late April (his baptism being recorded as taking place on April 26), while April 23rd is National Shakespeare Day, the anniversary of the bard’s death in 1616. Therefore, at this time in spring our thoughts turn to the man who is still the most well-known poet and playwright in the world; and our thoughts, in particular, turn to fragrances we can connect to Shakespeare’s love for flowers

 

 

 

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

 

Though much of what we know of Shakespeare’s life is supposition, what we can surely surmise is that he loved flowers – including references to over fifty types of them within his writing, using blooms and blossoms 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.

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’, though often their context gets lost in the repetition. In Romeo and Juliet, for example, 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]

 

 

 

 

Sarah McCartney, founder and perfumer of British indie perfume house 4160 Tuesdays explains her personal inspiration for creating a Shakespearian scent:

‘We first made a limited edition of Sonnet No.1 for the Barnes Fragrance Fair, and the aim was to blend the aroma of Shakespeare’s flowers. Shakespeare’s first sonnet mentions “beauty’s rose” hence the name. To rose – both the absolute and essential oil – we added lavender, beeswax and hay absolutes, and evoke the aromas of lily and violet. It floats on a bed of white musks.’

‘This is the most expensive fragrance we’ve ever made, even topping Floral Psychedelica and The Waft From The Loft, although that was a lot more complicated to make. For batch number one we only made 500mls, but we loved it so much we decided to add it to the collection in 2024.’
Sonnet No.1 £60 for 15ml eau de parfum – a sample is available in our Seasonal Scents Spring box

 

But this wasn’t 4160 Tuesday’s first foray into Shakespearian-themed fragrances…

 

‘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.’ – Sarah McCartney

 

 

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

 

Well, what better time to purchase a bottle and immerse yourself in the floral imagery of Shakespeare? And apart from these two meadow-frolicking, star-crossed lover-evoking stunners from 4160 Tuesdays, here’s two other blooms of Shakespearian-esque scents you might care to try, and feel inspired while wearing…

 

 

 

Exploring the nuances of what femininity means – the house’s name imagining the most swooning-ly romanticised heroine armed with a pistol – they explain that ‘JULIETTE illustrates what our heroine would be in 2024. A symbol of untamed femininity, powerful, free, passionate, she aims to be the one and only in the spotlight, she’s leading the dance!’ Black cherry, pops of pink pepper and a sizzle of spices keep the nose dancing to this olfactive melody.

Juliette Has A Gun JULIETTE from £25 for 8ml eau de parfum exclusive to spacenk.com

 

 

‘Inspired by William Shakespeare’s most famous comedy- A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Set in a forest where mythical fairies live, a place where dreams and reality are oddly mixed.’ An amber gourmand that opens with citrus notes of bergamot, grapefruit, neroli, the honey-like tones of the amber meld like liquid gold, granting an other-worldly glow to the more ethereal brightness. Beautifully balanced, it’s a delight from first spritz to that final, tantalising trail. Magical!

Clive Christian Jump up and Kiss me Hedonistic (try it in the Clive Christian Around the World Discovery Set £150)

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale