Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb… No, we’re not practicing being an extra in a film (it’s what they traditionally mutter while appearing to chat in the background, FYI!) – rhubarb is proving a hugely popular trend in perfumery, so let’s get to the crunch of this vibrantly fruity fragrance note.
We first started seeing rhubarb making a fizz around 2015, but now the note is hugely popular and has set its own scent trend. How come? Well rhubarb is one of the happiest notes in fragrance, its bright, zippy character is distinctive, fun yet with a properly grown up poise to it – it definitely feels more sophisticated than many fruity notes in fragrance.
While providing a modern twist to classic floral or citrus bouquets, it simultaneously has more than a whiff of nostalgia about it, too – most of us have fond childhood memories of eating it baked in a crumble, or just freshly picked, raw and dipped in sugar.
Despite rhubarb’s unmistakable tartness, it manages to play very nicely with other perfumery ingredients – melding wonderfully with violet, jazzing up a rose or other fruity cocktail-like notes, and adding an energising ZING of freshness that’s perhaps more intriguing than your average citrus.
Says CPL Aromas Marketing Executive Aitana López de Carrión: ‘It’s a great note for providing those green, fruity and refreshing accords. As a fruity note, it works particularly well, as its not as sweet and sticky like mango or strawberry.’
The perfect addition to a summer scent wardrobe, here’s some fragrances resplendent with rhubarb that we’re loving right now…
Celebrating ‘home is where the heart is’, Molton Brown showcase a duo of star ingredients often grown in our own gardens, much beloved by us Brits. Perfumer Vanessa Prudent conjures comforting childhood memories of baking, a sprinkle of sugar and pink pepper dusting rhubarb’s crispness, the leaves swagged by armfuls of soft pink roses. Marrying crisp fruitiness to the cedar muskiness of the base via silky cream ribbons, it’s an elegant reverie, bottled.
Inspired by happy summer days in the garden, sipping Prosecco with your nearest and dearest, this immediately joyous scent was created in collaboration with the Royal Horticultural Society. The unique combination of English rhubarb and sea salt give the white floral blend a much-needed jolt into the 21st Century, and it’s the perfect instant mood-lifter, much like said Prosecco (but thankfully this one won’t leave you suffering on the sofa the next day).
Forget where you are, close your eyes and inhale as Nathalie Feisthauer’s fragrance takes you ‘to a terrace overlooking the Mediterranean Sea at sunset, with a “chill out” cocktail in hand’. Mixing fizzing citrus and mint, capricious rhubarb and orange blossom sway to a groove that throbs over the amber wood, incense and Haitian vetiver base. Aromatic electronica, interpreted by NIID in the accompanying musical track = laidback vibes resonating into the early hours.
Oh we’re so enraptured by this contemporary and so-wearable take on rose – one to wear when you want to add the sense of twirling in a gauzy shocking pink gown (worn with trainers) we feel. The bright rose is entwined with sharp blackcurrant for some edge, and the sparkling, zingy rhubarb exudes throughout. Aqueous peonies add dewiness, while those blackcurrants expose its greenness. Petals, stalks and stems: this is a nose in a rosebush. Rich, jam-laced Moroccan rose absolute adds depth, for a scent that sparks a child-like joy within. Now: twirl!
If you think rhubarb in scent doesn’t spell sex appeal, this now absolute modern classic will make you think again. Yes, that familiar tang is there in the top notes, backed by some red berry sweetness. But perfumer Christine Nagel gives it some irresistible French allure, pairing the tartness with animalic white musks that lend a beautiful other-worldliness. The result is a bouquet that’s just as distinct and memorable as the brand’s more famous Eaux des Merveilles. A must have!
Hermès Eau de Rhubarbe Ècarlate £87 for 100ml eau de Colognehermes.com
As sure a sign of summer as your neighbour who seemingly mows their lawn thrice a day, Wimbledon is a welcome signal to pop the corks, open the starwberries and (for us at PSHQ) to don the whites while shouting “New bottles, please!” So, with such fragrant fun in mind, we present our whimsical scenting of the Wimbledon games to come…
MALIN + GOETZ Strawberry
Forget overly sweet or boring: this is a contemporary strawberry ‘reimagined’ by the artistic team at Malin + Goetz. They ‘deconstructed’ and reinterpret the garden strawberry, invoking its luscious freshness via bright shafts of pink pepper and bergamot, given a floral flourish by orris root, jasmine petals and warm musks. ‘A dynamic scent that challenges the conceptions around the strawberry,’ they promise. What the fruit has in common with this, however, is a decided moreishness. £78 for 50ml eau de parfum malinandgoetz.co.uk
Maison Margiela When the Rain Stops
There comes a moment during Wimbledon when, inevitably, the heavens open. Much banter ensues, British sense of humour to the fore. But at least we can revel in the scent of ‘petrichor’ after the rain stops, so beautifully evoked here in another of this so-clever niche fragrance house’s scent memories. Think nose-tingling pink pepper awakening dewy leaves, encouraging Isparta roses and jasmine to bloom. Damp, earthy moss, rain-washed air: the storm clouds, parted – a moment of joy captured forever. £49 for 30ml eau de toilette theperfumeshop.com
LACOSTE Match Point
Never mind Match Point, this is game, set and match to Lacoste for a thrillingly fresh aromatic creation that pitches two poised accords against each other. In the opening game, enjoy the green, exhilarating energy of basil and gentian, with an intriguing yet subtle bitter edge. But ultimately, as with all fragrances, it’s the base notes which win through – here, the composed, calm elegance of vetiver, smoothed by Cashmeran. From £35 for 30ml eau de toilette Lookfantastic.com
CONTRADICTIONS IN ILK Nonchalant
Inviting you to dip ripe berries into the frothing fizz of a Champagne cocktail coupe, this is one for the so-chic bystander, probably clad in vintage couture but wearing it with tennis shoes, who doesn’t really care who wins the game, as long as she gets the prize… Always perfectly powdered and ultra-cool, there are hints of spicy drama amidst the devil-may-care attitude – a sense of the swans down puff thrown in temper across a dressing room, lipstick kisses on popped corks, and countless heady bouquets from admirers filling the air. £150 for 50ml extrait de parfum Buy it here
PACO RABANNE Invictus Platinum
There is a cool feel to the metal platinum, which is echoed here by the freshness of this new interpretation of super-successful Invictus, in a flacon that somehow looks more than ever like a fabulous trophy. Awarded with this, the wearer will be invigorated and energised by a complex, powerful fusion of absinthe, grapefruit, mint, lavender, patchouli, cypress and oakmoss, powered out of the bottle by a crush of mint. Über-masculine, mega-wearable. From £57 for 50ml eau de parfum theperfumeshop.com
With the dawning light of the summer solstice comes a seasonal welcoming of midsummer (actually the begining of true, astronomical summer) and the longest day. More than the Earth tilting its face fully toward the sun, for Wiccans and other nature-based faiths it’s a reminder to seek inner growth and, along with celebrating the power of the sun, also to nurture the light within.
The light forms fragrant inspiration for perfumers, too, capturing the sunshine (and moonbeams), bottling gradients of luminescence in solar scents like some kind of fairytale’s miracle made spritz-able reality.
In a fragrance, ‘solar’ is a term that’s gained popularity recently in the descriptions houses have given, even being placed in the names of perfumes themselves. It denotes a feeling of sunshine, of course, but with it a physical feeling of being uplifted, of turning our own faces toward the light source, a languidly perfumed purr of warm-cat contentedness. Citrus notes are vital, as you might expect, but in this new genre they’re often mellowed by breezy blossoms, dappled with cooler herbs or touched with a tingle of spices and warm woods, depending on the time of the day or the place they’re attempting to conjure.
Because the light source illuminating perfumer’s imaginations isn’t limited to the ‘rosy-fingered dawn’ of Homer’s Odyssey, or a sunlit beach-scene in scented form – there are fragrances that capture the ‘mad dogs and English men’ intensity of late afternoon or a blissfully dappled shade; scents evoking spectacular sunsets, the ‘blue hour’, forest nymphs bathed in moonlight, midnight’s velvety caress and even particular qualities of light from specific locations around the world.
Why are these light-filled fragrances so popular right now? As Louisa May Alcott puts it in Little Women, ‘Some people seemed to get all sunshine, and some all shadow.’ And quite frankly, with all we’ve gone through and the state of the world at the moment, even an ex-goth like me has grown somewhat weary of shadows.
So, with the spirit of the summer solstice and welcoming whatever new beginnings you wish, use these scents as an olfactive sundial, to form your own fragrant ecliptic – the invisible path the sun follows across the sky – and bring on the light, whenever you need it most…
To the Fairest Aubine£85 for 50ml eau de parfumtothefairest.com
Sun-kissed softness celebrates new beginnings, orange blossom strengthening a honeyed hopefulness.
Ruth Mastenbroek Dagian £70 for 30ml eau de parfum ruthmastenbroek.com Grapefruit’s gleam pierces Stygian clouds, a shaft of amber warmth the olfactory embodiment of optimism.
Björk & Berries Solstice £85 for 50ml eau de parfum gb.bjorkandberries.com
Dazzling neroli and deep amber celebrate ‘the never ending light’ while swathed by soft cashmere’s nuzzle.
JUSBOX Good Morning £125 for 78ml eau de parfum selfridges.com Tangerine-tinged sea breeze a scented snapshot of the second sunlight peaks the snow-capped mountain.
Lalique Soleil £100 for 100ml eau de parfum harrods.com Pale gold fingers of light stroke pearly skin, a sip of coffee, a moment of peace, a hushed sigh of satisfaction.
Parle Moi de Parfum Wake Up World £98 for 50ml eau de parfum johnlewis.com Nurturing soul and spirit, bursts of citrus mellow to a hug of warm woodiness, a reminder to be kinder.
AKRO Awake £140 for 100ml eau de parfum fenwick.co.uk The bewitiching allure of a cosy coffee shop on a dull day – lemon-washed steamy windows, bitter luxury.
Tom Ford Eau de Soleil Blanc £178 for 50ml eau de parfum tomford.co.uk
A shiver of sunshine refracted through dewdrops, the glitter of sunlight on cresting waves.
Goutal Un Matin d’Orage £119 for 100ml eau de parfum johnlewis.com
Sunlight scatters the clinging mist of a storm’s wake, a phosphorescent unfurling as the garden awakes.
Cloon Keen Lá Bealtaine£120 for 100ml eau de parfumlessenteurs.com
A celebration of bright citrus craves heat-bloomed flowers, floaty sundresses, lemon sorbets, drowsy dreams.
Elie Saab Le Parfum Lumière £45 for 30ml eau de parfum theperfumeshop.com
Amidst orange blossom’s blizzard the tulle swirl of a white gown, dancing barefoot on sun-warmed stone.
Fragonard Soleil £39 for 50ml eau de parfum marksandspencer.com
Drowsy afternoon’s opulence on velvet cushions, a Provençal garden glimpsed through half-closed eyes.
Roja Dove A Midsummer Dream from £45 for 7.5ml eau de parfum rojaparfums.com
A warm Chypré fever-dream drapes the zing of grapefuit in a silken spiced cloak with a secret mossy lining.
Lalique Soleil Vibrant £72 for 50ml eau de parfum lalique.com Safari big cat energy via ginger-spiked jasmine, orange blossom’s meridian headiness radiating happiness.
Tom Ford Soleil Brulant £240 for 50ml eau de parfum tomford.co.uk
A sizzle of honeyed seduction in the gilded high noon sun, somewhere ridiculously fabulous.
Parfums de Marly Cassili £210 for 75ml eau de parfum harveynichols.com
Peach-blushed skyline viewed atop a romantic rooftop, flushed face turned expectantly toward another kiss.
Coach Dreams Sunset £37.00 for 40ml eau de parfum escentual.com
Inspired by ‘golden hours and one-of-a-kind journeys with friends’, pear sorbet teases twilit jasmine.
Guerlain L’Heure Bleue £109 for 75ml eau de parfum guerlain.com A heartstoppingly romantic harmony of powdered pensiveness, heliotrope prolonging the suspended hour.
Moresque Midnight London £310 for 50ml eau de parfum harrods.com Rebellious rhubarb sashays in leather trousers to an incense-infused club so cool you’ll never know about it.
Prada Olfactories Mirages Midnight Train £230 for 100ml eau de parfum (in Prada stores exclusive) Chilled ebony chocolate sucked lasciviously within the wood-panelled seclusion of a night train’s affair.
Penhaligon’s Luna £152 for 100ml eau de toilette penhaligons.com Moon-bathed goddess slinks her way in a silver robe through a jasmine-swagged fairytale forest.
AromAtom Moon Walk (try it in their Discovery Set, £69 / £65 VIPs)
Serene landscape in fragrance form – a world of sparkling dust and silvery mountains.
‘What fragragrance to wear at your / a wedding’ perfume guides are plentiful, but almost exclusively aimed at women (either as brides, bridesmaids or guests). This isn’t a phrase you’ll often hear me utter in life, but: ‘what about the men?‘ Sometimes they attend weddings, too. Sometimes (more frequently than ever, these days) they even like to smell nice. While the ripples of shock subside, I present for your delectation a guide that proposes [warning: other puns will follow] a selection of scent suggestions for men to wear at a summer wedding, and exactly how to go about finding the perfect one…
What are youwearing?
Yes, okay, extremely likely to be a suit if you’re in the Western hemisphere, but think about the colour and material. Our senses are complexly intertwined, so tones and texture of fabric can genuinely give you a head-start into fragrance families to look for. Silk blends suggest cool, smooth compositions perhaps with cardamom or sandalwood as notes, while light wool might suggest a drier, woody scent – something with cedar, vetiver or guiacwood in the base.
Even consider ‘matching’ the colour of your suit to the packaging or bottle a brand has put their fragrance in – they spend considerable amounts of time and money ensuring the way a fragrance looks evokes something of the way a composition smells. If your suit is black or grey, look instead at the accessories (tie / cravat / handkerchief) – dark red or plum colours could lead you to an opulent rose (yes, it works amazingly on men’s skin and features in many masculine launches of late!) or something with berries, pink pepper fruity notes.
This isn’t a strict guide, because everyone has differing opinions on what certain colours ‘smell’ like; but it’s a starting point. And when you’re suddenyl struck wide-eyed with terror at the overwhelming choice in the perfume shop aisle (before heading up the aisle to the altar), you need somewhere to start.
If you already love a fragrance but want to try something different
It’s a good idea to have a differing scent for a wedding – particularly if you’re the one getting married – because smell is the sense that’s most closely plugged into the section of our brain that stores memory and emotions; therefore, you can tap into those happy times again whenver you wish, simply by spraying that particular scent again. Also, we hope you’re treating yourself to a new outfit, not just whatever happens to be the cleanest and least-creased thing knocking about on the bedroom chair; so why wouldn’t you wear a new scent, too?
Have a look at our genius Fragrance Finder – simply input the name of a scent you already wear, and it’ll give you SIX suggestions of new fragrances to try with similar notes, themes or ‘feel’ about them, all in differing price ranges. It REALLY works – just try it for yourself to see!
Know your skin type.
Fragrance can waft fabulously on some people for hours, while that same scent might only have a mere whiff left after an hour of you wearing it. It depends, basically, on how oily your skin is naturally, and the climate you’re in. Fragrances are generally composed of oils in an alcohol base, and these evaporate at differing rates (hence Top / Heart / Base notes); so the drier your skin, the hotter the weather, the more quickly your scent will disappear.
If this is your experience, you might want to avoid a scent that’s mainly citrus-based or a very light formulation (such as Cologne) as those notes can evaporate within half an hour; though having said that, modern advances using aroma chemicals can help vastly prolong some citrus scents. See if the fragrance has an Eau de Parfum or ‘Intense’ version – these have a highter fragrance to alcohol base ratio so last much longer – or layer with matching products such as shower gel and body lotion. The more moisturised your skin, the longer the fragrance will cling to it.
Also consider carrying a pocket-sized version for on-the-go top-ups – many houses offer travel sizes, or you can buy brilliant (and very stylish) mini atomisers, such as Travalo, in which you can safely decant from your full-size bottle.
Characterful, suave and assured as the perfectly tailored menswear it’s the fragrant emblem of, founded in Rome in 1945, the pared-back style is perfectly reflected in Master Perfumer Michel Almairac’s hands. Green apple studded with pink pepper feels like a cool sip of gin, while violet and Ambroxan are perfectly blended with tonka bean and musk, like a second skin. Instant classic, aisle be bound! [You were warned about the puns], and there’s two other versions – one fresher, the other an Intense – also available. £95 for 100ml eau de parfum (60ml exclusive to retail) brioni.com
DUNHILL Icon Racing Red
There’s some extra pep in this engine – perhaps the sizzle of spicier notes with the warm glow of that rich amber base does it, but nonetheless we can say the red is rather racier than its somewhat sleeker (but still fabulous) Racing Blue garage-mate. Sun-filled solar notes remind us of driving, top down, ‘round winding lanes on holiday (perhaps pressaging the honeymoon?) with a carefree abandon, the zing of the citrus speeding the verdant freshness of leafy fern and geranium – a welcome reception before the nuzzle-me-closer frankincense-y infused church pews base kicks in. £94 for 100ml eau de parfum fenwick.co.uk
One for gents that desire being veiled in something more opulent and exotic, this highly refined, almost leathery iris feels like an intricately carved wooden shutter suddenly flung open to welcome evening air and blazing skies, a tang of salty shores nearby carrying waves of delicate, powdered spices on the breeze. Beneath an earthy, mossy layer nestles seams of liquid vanilla, milky ripples later reflect moonlight, harbouring the expectation and tingling anticipation of tonight’s nuptial adventures… £178 for 100ml eau de parfum penhaligons.com
GIORGIO ARMANI Acqua di Giò EDP
Requring the comfort of familiarity with a fresh feel? ‘An eternally iconic fragrance reinvented for the future’, this new interpretation reflects Armani’s sustainability commitment. Aromatic and luminous, the consciously-sourced ingredients fizz with the freshness of green mandarin, lightly musky, tobacco-like notes in the clary sage heart, and a sheer yet enduring patchouli essence. An instant hit when it was launched in 1996, this so-stylish contemporary and eco-conscious (refillable) update is to be celebrated again – Alberto Morillas working his magic with the planet in mind. £98 for 125ml eau de parfum boots.com
PARFUMS DE MARLY Greenley
A distinctly greener vibe for this much-loved niche house, bringing the feeling of a contemporary Cologne but (importantly) with the benefit of far greater staying power in a concentrated eau de parfum. Bursting with citrus up top, the petitgrain grants an immediate freshness, a fruity interpretation of cashmere wood fused with crisp apple and the shady cool of violet. Amberwood ripples throughout, making this feel like a much-needed stroll through the woodlands if you’re feeling the need to escape the wedding-planning madness. £175 for 75ml eau de parfum harrods.com
Juicy mandarin is married here to the powerhouse icon that is Molecule 01 – the first fragrance that propelled this house’s perfumed fame. The sophisticated freshness just keeps on going (and helps you hang on) thanks to perfumer Geza Schoen. ‘I’ve touched it up with a little extra shading to extend it, adding a mandarin ingredient used in flavourings to give it super-juiciness’ he explains. Then the warm-skin purr of ISO E Super sashays in: ‘That’s unusual – for a top note ingredient like Mandarin and a base note like Iso E Super to dance together naked like this, without other notes coming between them.’
Here’s a thought – if you’re nervous about that first dance, or ‘dad dancing’ as a guest, simply spray the M+ Mandarin and imagine everyone naked. Well. Maybe not everyone, depending of course on how you feel about your in-laws. But seriously, the right fragrance truly can give you an extra boost of confidence, helping you feel stronger and energised throughout the day as well as making scent memories to last a lifetime. I so hope this little guide has given you some help to finding yours…
We’ve set a fragrantly themed trail of clues to lead you around our website to a lovely perfumed prize – simply follow your noses, find the hidden lambs and one lucky winner will receive a beautiful scent from the fragrance house, THoO
One lucky winner will win 1 x 75ml bottle fragrance: EMPATHY. A floral, fruity, musky fragrance which takes us on a journey between dream and reality. The delicate bouquet of pear blossom raspberry flower and davana envelops a sensual heart of fruity tobacco and a juicy infusion of raspberry. The base is brightened up by the notes of transparent musk that penetrate the notes of the Iranian oud and the white fir. A wonderfully festive fragrance that celebrates the purest sensations of wonder, enthusiasm and openness to the others – which is what Eid is all about!
How to Enter:
Simply read the clues and set off in search for all the little lambs pictured below (FIVE in total) hidden around our website, then enter your details below telling us the location of each lamb to get the chance to win this fabulous prize. Closing date: Sunday 3rd July 2022 Midnight GMT. Good luck!
Clues to the Little Lambs Locations (all to be found on our website)
1. A page to visit for fragrant fans keen to find out more about this intriguingly woody ingredient…
2. This book follows author Celia Lyttelton on a ‘journey of the senses’…
3. The family to which most oudh fragrances belong…
4. An historic era in which perfumes began crusading to a renaissance…
5. This house specialise in the ingredient reflected in their name – their founder, Andrea Casotti, an oudh-aficionado!
The competition closes midnight Sunday 3rd July 2022 GMT. One winner will be chosen at random and contacted via email through The Perfume Society. We will not contact winners before the closing date via any external accounts. Please do not accept accounts claiming to be us. The winner will receive The House of Oud’s (THoO) EMPATHY 75ml. Due to postal restrictions, the competition is for UK residents only.
Terms & Conditions:
How to choose a fragrance as a gift is something we get asked a lot – from those looking to treat the men in lives with a new scent, and from people just starting to explore the fragrant world themselves. Either way, those endless shelves of scented posibilities can seem daunting – especially if you’re shopping online.
With Father’s Day around the corner, fragrant gifts are much on our minds, but we wanted to create a guide that gets your started on your journey and, even better, can be used for any time you find yourself confused while pondering perfumes.
If you’re buying a scented present:
Don’t leave it to random chance – that could go wrong. Tell him that something exciting’s on the way and treat him to a selection box of new scents (you can always buy the full-size of the one he loves most, later!)
Take a look at some of the suggestions, below. But first, ask yourself this:
Can the man in your life (or you) still wear, with no shame, the same jeans he was wearing aged 17? We’re hardly ones to judge (especially after lockdown!) but we’re betting most could not – and even if they could, that it would be really quite inadvisable for them to do so.
Why, then, do some poor chaps keep getting given the same old scent they’ve been using since they were first shaving?
Let’s change it up… So, think about:
What type of a chap are you buying for?
Character, hobbies and personal style are all pointers, but can never be an absolute guarantee of what he’ll prefer – he might just surprise you (and himself!) That’s why a selection of samples to try at home is the best bet. Masculine fragrances have moved on somewhat since the ‘splash it all over’ one-size-fits-all sporty-fresh-or-nothing days. Now there are ‘gender fluid’ fragrances categories, and men are offered opulent ambers along with sophisticated fougéres; addictive gourmands, bigger, bolder Colognes and even floral-forward scents that smell utterly incredible on a man’s skin.
Where to begin?
1: If you already know a fragrance they like
Have a look at matching products available, such as a gorgeously decadent grooming products like body/beard oils and shower gels or body lotions. It’s often possible to find travel-size versions of fragrances (which are always useful and well-recieved).
If you don’t want to get them the same old thing, then take a look at our genius Fragrance Finder – simply input the name of a scent they already wear, and it’ll give you SIX suggestions of new fragrances to try with similar notes, themes or ‘feel’ about them, all in differing price ranges. It REALLY works – just try it for yourself to see!
2: If you’ve no idea what they like / How to choose fragrance
Think about how they dress, or the way they decorate their home – this is an excellent indication as to their character, and therefore the style of scent they probably prefer. Are there particular materials they’re drawn towards, or colours they normally go for? Fragrance, texture and colour and have many qualities in common.
Look for scents packaged in those colours – huge amounts of time and money are spent ‘matching’ the juice to the mood evoked by those hues – or described with those words, such as ‘velvety’, ‘suede’ or ‘crisp cotton’ in the notes. Or consider their interests: sporty gym types might prefer fresher scents, artistic types might prefer a more opulent aesthetic.
But scent selection isn’t always a matter of joining the dots – some people like fragrances you’d never guess at! So the absolute best solution is to buy them a Discovery Box so they can try all manner of differing fragrances in their own time. They may even surprise themselves with their favourite!
With crowds witnessing the Queen’s spectacular Platinum Jubilee procession, and thousands busily preparing trestle tables filled with homemade food for street parties around the country for Her Majesty’s incredible 70 years as monarch – we’re scenting our Jubilee celebrations with two quintessentially British (fragrant) flavours as inspiration…
Served in sandwiches (crusts cut off, obvs) or popped in a refreshing G&T, the choice is yours– but do seek out these deliciously cool cucumber-infused scents.
4160 Tuesdays Scenthusiasm
Originally created for a private gin company’s event, fragrant inspiration fizzes via orris butter, rose absolute, lemon and orange, cucumber extract, juniper absolute and coriander, boosted with musk for longevity. From £40 for 15ml eau de parfum 4160tuesdays.com
Kilian Roses on Ice
‘Anyone for notes of gin, distilled with rose and cucumber?’ Kilian ask. A rhetorical question, as we enjoy the icy freshness of juniper berries, contrasting with the velvety warmth of rosa Centifolia, sandalwood and musk. Chin, chin! From £165 for 50ml parfum bykilian.co.uk
Perfumer H Cucumber
Opening with a gust of juicy greenness: a touch of galbanum and sea moss, alongside notes of watermelon, bergamot and lemon rind. A breeze of cedarwood and vetiver in the base is wrapped in a shrug of warm musks. From £110 for 50ml eau de parfum PerfumerH
Slathered on Victoria sponges, enjoyed in a bowl of Eton Mess or stirred in a jug of Pimms, the piquant pop of fruitiness is a delight to wear in fragrant form, too.
Christian Louboutin Loubidoo
Daphné Bugey’s fruity, feminine strawberry, rose and cedar blend beckons good (fragrant) fortune being finished with a lucky cat symbol. They say it ‘Tip-toes on velvet paws…‘ We say: Mischievously moreish! £235 for 90ml eau de parfum selfridges.com
Juliette Has a Gun Lipstick Fever
Raspberry, iris, and violet absolute evoke the comforting scent of a precious leather handbag, before the addictive sweetness of vanilla slowly emerges on the skin. As for the suitably scarlet flacon? Mwah, mwah! £120 for 100ml eau de parfum harveynichols.com
Maison Margiela Replica Springtime in a Park
Dappled light through branches, a crisp breeze, pink cherry blossom tumbling on pears, bergamots and black currants; aqueous blooms, lily of the valley and dewy roses – a perfect perfumed portrait of happiness. From £49 for 30ml eau de toilette selfridges.com
Incredibly, the iconic fragrance Chanel N°22 celebrates its 100th birthday this year – born one year after the legendary N°5 and creating its own enthused cult of olfactory aficionados (of which our Co-Founder, Lorna McKay is a firm member!) Sparkling with way ahead-of-its-time modernity, it seems only fitting to re-explore, and fully appreciate this so-prescient perfume once again…
The story of Chanel herself has become legend. After growing up in an orphanage, Gabrielle Chanel – born 19th August 1883, in Saumur – went on to open her first Paris boutique, selling hats, at 21 Rue Cambon in 1910. She made her name selling clothes that were not just beautiful and stylish, but comfortable, freeing women from tight corsetry through her innovative use of tweed and jersey, tailored with a nod to men’s clothing – including trousers. She’s also widely credited as first to introduce that essential in a woman’s wardrobe: ‘The Little Black Dress’.
Always an innovator, Chanel also designed costumes for plays (Cocteau’s ‘Antigone’, in 1923), and movies, including Renoir’s ‘La Règle de Jeu’. The clothes – and the fragrances – have been loved and worn by stars all over the world, and the silky effervesence of Chanel N°22 remains effortless, timelessly contemporary.
Chanel says: ‘Gabrielle Chanel believed in signs from the universe, symbols, and numbers. This year, 2022, CHANEL is pleased to present you with another major number: N°22, a fragrance created by Ernest Beaux and launched in 1922, one year after the legendary N°5. Though the two fragrances share the same olfactory characteristics, each one is unique in its own right.
An uncanny mirror effect that Olivier Polge, CHANEL’s In-House Perfumer-Creator, has interpreted as such: N°22 is like the surprising alter ego of N°5, so similar and yet so different at the same time. With its accord of tuberose, rose and orange blossom, N°22 is a sensual, seductive fragrance. A caressing trail, like an absolute of femininity. The singular history and craftsmanship behind the fragrance will make 2022 a year as exceptional as the last.’
Chanel N°22 £169 for 75ml eau de parfum / £300 for 200ml chanel.com
Read more of Chanel’s remarkable history in our page dedicated to the house, here; in the meantime, we suggest those of you who already adore N°22 treat yourselves to a birthday gift in honour of the anniversary, and that those of you yet to fall in love with this legendary fragrance acquaint yourselves immediately…
What fragrance to wear to your own wedding can suddenly strike fear – so much time is given to choosing the outfits, guest list, table settings and even the colour of the bows for the back of the chairs, that the special scent for the day can be overlooked. And that’s a real shame, as nothing will transport you back to the feeling and memories of the big day faster than sniffing the fragrance you or your loved one wore. It truly is a form of magical time-travel in a bottle, and so selecting the right one really is important.
You might think, well I’ll just wear my normal ‘signature’ scent. Or something else you often wear. But would you traipse up to your wedding dressed in whatever happened to be clean in the wardrobe (which you wear every day to work / the gym / any old weekend)? Don’t confuse the memories – treat yourselves to a new fragrance that will encapsulate the day for you, forever.
So, how on earth should you go about choosing the perfect scent for your ‘big day’ (or any special occasion) anyway? Follow our finding your perfect wedding scents to create an olfactory memory that will last a lifetime…
Where to Start?
Type the name of a fragrance you already know you love into our so-clever Fragrance Finder, and we’ll immediately suggest six new scents we think you’ll fall for! These suggestions are based on a genius algorithm that uses specific characteristics, not just similar note, set by the perfume houses themselves.
Need some in-person advice? Book a bespoke fragrance consultation as a couple (or on your own if you prefer) – we’ve listed seven scent sittings for you try, and many are completely free, so what do you have to lose?
Testing New Fragrances
– It’s vital to live with a fragrance for several hours (better still – an entire day) on your skin. That scent you spritz and immediately fall for may turn into something less than loveable as the notes develop.
– The very best way to try is in the comfort of your own home, with zero pressure. Scroll down to our hand-picked selection of samples for you try, below (they’re perfect for bridesmaids gifts and wedding favours, too!)
– Try not to test more than a few (up to five) fragrances at one time, because too many at once = a muddle (and you’ll likely forget which is which, anyway!)
– Following on from the previous point, when testing a fragrance in store, be sure to write down the name of it on a blotter or jot down your thoughts, and where you tested it, on your phone. By the time you get home a pile of random bits of scented paper will mean nothing to you!
Making it Last…
The fragrance (and the marriage, obvs!) Whatever fragrance you choose, one thing is for sure: if you want it to last from the minute you leave the house until the moment you slide beneath the sheets that unforgettable night, you’ll want to ‘layer’ your fragrance on: the bath oil, the body lotion, perhaps a dusting of the matching body powder, the whole works – and of course, your chosen fragrance itself, a technique which will ‘time-release’ the notes, as you warm up and cool down over the day.
When you find a fragrance you love, consider following the fragrant theme through to your floral arrangements – using some of the floral notes as actual flowers, being inspired by the colours, getting mini-versions (to give as bridesmaid gifts, wedding favours or table gifts), and matching scented candles to use for table decorations.
Samples to Try at Home…
Bursting with exciting and vibrant fragrances from cutting-edge niche scents to beautifully luxurious designer names, this is a collection for those who really want something different on their big day. From the reassuring hugs in a bottle to luminescent soul-uplifting scents and all manner of essences to indulge your mind, body and soul, it’s a box to savour.
An utterly delectable range of luminescent, characterful scents, this stunning portfolio of perfumes is a veritable box of delights to discover for nomads, free-spirits and all those who love beautiful, clasically composed yet contemporary scents. Close your eyes and bask in these (perhaps they’ll suggest a honeymoon location, too…?)
Dreaming big, the concept of this curation was built around intentions, resolutions, promises and fantasies – encapsulated in fragrant form via an incredible selection of fragrances from artistic, independently owned houses. Featuring some ultra luxe and rising star perfumer’s creations, this is one to truly reach for the stars with every scent.
Create your own bespoke fragrance experience with this fabulous selection, where each eau de parfum is a top, mid, or base layer. Specially created to either wear alone, or layer to create your perfect blend, the combinations are incredibly fun to explore, but cards within each box offer inspirations and guides to begin to your own scent experiments.
A dazzling collection specially put together to help bring you confidence and sparkle; and of course to help you to discover your absolute perfect wedding scent! Comprising head turning, show-stopping fragrances & an indulgent hand cream, you’ll definitely be in party mood: spritzing these will have you popping the Champagne corks in no time!
In the French Riviera collection, Alex Simone explores the idyllic moments of a perfect day in Monaco, each scent capturing a differing moment, bottling the quality of the light from sunrise to sunset. For full-on romance on your perfect day, you’re sure to find the moment for you, here – precious memories to make in a succession sensory snapshots.
For those of you missing Bridgerton and already wishing a new series would be delivered faster than one of Lady Whistledown‘s infamous newsletters, we present to you a themed scenting of some of the major characters in season two of Netflix’s smash-hit show. And if you’ve not yet succumbed, fear not, dear readers – it’s all scents and NO spoilers at Perfume Society Towers. So, pull on your best gloves (fragranced, of course) and get out your feathered fans for an aristocratic olfactory romp…
Simone Ashley as Kate Sharma
Fesity and fabulous, Kate’s main motivation is the happiness of her younger sister, Edwina, and she doesn’t suffer fools gladly (Anthony Bridgerton very much included). Clever, witty, often hot-headed and a brilliant horsewoman who does things her own way, we feel she’d love the simmering sensuality of Bascule. Succulent peach juice sizzles on hot leather, tobacco frottages smouldering hay while a hint of saddle-soap, lily of the valley and cut grass beckon a bath (following a torrid tumble, or a quick gallop in the park, perhaps?)
Utterly charming, Edwina’s often underestimated because of her kind nature. Enthralled by society’s welcome, and in thrall to her much-loved older sister’s wishes, there could be no better match than Delina. A sparkling rose leads the dance – swiftly followed by delicate facets of lily of the valley and peony. Lychee, rhubarb and bergamot beckon a hint of nutmeg swirled in vanilla, twirling through gauzy white musk and cashmeran. An invitation to follow your true heart…
Lady Danbury is highly respected wherever she goes, holding many of society’s secrets and always a trusted confidante. Stopping people in their tracks for decades, now, the opulent rosiness of Portrait of a Lady is shot through by piquant berries, rich sandalwood woven with resinous ripples of patchouli musk, amber and benzoin. Equally unmistakeable and unforgettable, this lady is gloriously unique, powerfully projecting and with an enormous heart.
Queen consort and wife of King George III, Queen Charlotte is always dignified, commanding respect and great loyalty in her subjects, but that’s not to say she doesn’t hold some secrets of her own (soon to be revealed in a spin-off series!) Deserving of a truly regal fragrance, the always-poised elegance of 1872 Feminine is beautifully balanced with crisp citrus atop the intense bouquet of rose de Maï, (often called the ‘Queen of flowers’) and a reassuring woody base.
Refined and warm-hearted, the Dowager Viscountess is the calmly assured matriarch of the Bridgerton family trying to keep their social standing and her children in check; and with eight head-strong offspring she certainly has her work cut out for her. We believe she’d find great comfort in the classic beauty of April Violets – a luminescent abundance of dewy violet leaves rose petals with delicate white peach, all becommingly dusted with orris and honeyed, luminous mimosa.
Burdened by grief, and his well-meaning but misguided attempts to assume the mantle of patriarchal perfection; Anthony obstinately careers between his true (passionate) nature and what high society expects. As the heart of the family tree, we think he’d benefit from the grounding nature of Quercus (Latin for oak), a true classic with a vibrant zing of lemon and basil Cologne freshness, with a warmer, woody and soft moss-swathed base (once you get to know it).
Strongly self-willed, unpredictable and often unruly, Eloise very much does things her own way. Finding the false politeness of high society utterly vile (and most of its members utterly vapid) she’s happier reading a book than dancing, and discovers her voice through subversive feminist literature. Her perfect perfume is Not a Perfume – a scent made from a single ingredient: cetalox. Zero florals or flounce, think warm, clean woodiness, your skin but better.
Artistically spirited and with a yearning for something more meaningful than glamorous but vapid parties, Benedict is keen to give himself over to his bohemian soul. Endearingly sensitive, he would be well-suited to the expressive yet enigmatic This is Not a Blue Bottle 1.1 (inspired by the Magritte’s surrealist painting). Bubbling bitter orange gives way to a heart honey-drizzled geranium, resting on an hypnotic ambered-musk base that resonates with rich patchouli.
Following his heart rather than listening to sense, Colin often comes a cropper and ignores what’s under his nose. Recently returned from Greece, Anthem will remind Colin of his travels, hailing from a Greek fragrance house and inspired by the history and rich mythology of Ancient Greece. A gilded glow of saffron illuminated by zesty lemon feels like wearing sunshine, ylang ylang and rose a reminder of romantic idealism and a spicy silage to tingle temptations
Determined to make good for her family (and herself), Lady Portia bursts into a room with all eyes on her, and often dressed in eye-popping colours. Sopoudrage is a a magnetic and vibrant composition that often surprises – the seemingly classic combo of rose and iris are beautiful but chilled at times, their contrast walzing to a harmony of brightness, here, dusted with powder for a truly lasting finish that’s way ahead of its time and cannot be ignored.
Clever, curious and treadling lightly through society (always lingering on the edges of a room), Penelope seeks solace in her close friendship with Eloise (and her deep yearning for Colin) Bridgerton. Woody has the soft paperiness of parchment lingering in the background, a whisper of a scent, with a soft cashmere hug and delicious chocolate beckoning you closer; while smoked leather, vetiver and myrrh suggests deep secrets soon to be spilled…
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