New balls, please! Library of Fragrance launch Wimbledon-themed scents (including one inspired by the smell of tennis balls. Yes, really…)

Few things are more quintessentially British than the onset of Wimbledon season and a sudden glut of strawberries on the supermarket shelves. Along with the inevitable rain stopping play, crowds of super-fans on Henman Hill and a fleeting resurgence of faith in British sporting hopes, the scents of summer are definitely entwined with this great tradition.

Launching a limited edition trio of perfumes that capture all the excitement of Wimbledon, The Library of Fragrance announce that you, too, can now smell of Strawberries & Cream, Grass Court and even – hold on to your straw boaters – New Balls.

Oh yes indeed, never ones to shy away from olfactory oddities these champions of the unusual, literal or never-before-bottled notes are offering the whole experience as a spritz-able phenomenon. While New Balls may be a bit of a Marmite divider of opinion (but worth it even for the snigger-inducing name alone, or as a gift for a tennis-fan, we say); the other two do exactly what they say on the bottle – as with so much of this range – and are utterly wearable.

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New Balls
‘Celebrating the distinctive fresh-out-of-the can scent of new tennis balls, this cologne is perhaps best-reserved for die-hard match fans. Wear it on Henman Hill to feel closer to the action…’
£15 for 30ml Cologne

Strawberries & Cream
‘Fresh strawberries and a generous pour of double cream are the order of the day for this sweet, cool cologne’.
£15 for 3oml Cologne

Grass Court
‘Capturing the just-mown scent of the grass court, this happy, reviving scent is Wimbledon, bottled’.
£15 for 30ml Cologne

Available as limited editions for Wimbledon from Library of Fragrance.

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Fragrance Foundation Awards: all the scents, winners and stars!

The 24th annual Fragrance Foundation Awards 2016 took place last night the garden-party themed Brewery in the City of London – and we had the very great pleasure of being there to see it all!

Hundreds of industry guests packed the venue in great anticipation for this prestigious event, so admirably hosted by Natasha Kaplinsky (who was also on this year’s judging panel for the Jasmine Awards). A host of celebrities including Callum Best, Oliver Cheshire, Sali Hughes, Jenny Packham, Laura Predalska, Lilah Parsons & were there to hand out the beautiful Lalique statuettes or simply to soak up the atmosphere and celebrate the incredible UK talent we should be so proud of in the perfume world. With a fabulous meal, Champagne flowing and entertainment provided by Kevin Simm – recent winner of BBC’s The Voice and ex member of Liberty X – it really was a night to remember, and that’s even before the awards were finally announced!

There were twenty award categories in all, with a great range of fragrance houses, both well established and newly emerging, being showcased – and to ALL the finalists in these hotly-contested and highly prized awards we send our heartfelt congratulations: it was an honour to be in a room with such diverse and equally inspiring brands and the hard-working people behind them.

Read on to find out who won a coveted Lalique Fragrance Foundation Award in each category…

Best New Female Print Campaign: Alaïa Paris

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Best New Male Print Campaign: John Varvatos Dark Rebel

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Best New Female Commercial Fragrance: Chanel Chance Eau Vive

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Best New Male Commercial Fragrance: Guerlain l’homme Ideal Eau De Cologne

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Best New Female Fragrance Design & Packaging: Alaïa Paris

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Best New Male Fragrance Design & Packaging: Alfred Dunhill Icon

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Best New Home Fragrance: By Kilian French Boudoir

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Best New Female Fragrance in Limited Distribution: Tom Ford Fleur de Portofino

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Best New Male Fragrance in Limited Distribution: Tom Ford Private Blend Venetian Bergamot

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Best New Independent Fragrance: The Perfume Garden India

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Perfume Extraordinaire: Armani Privé Sable d’Or

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Readers’ Choice Awards for Women: Leighton Denny Light & Dark Desire

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Men’s Health Magazine Readers’ Choice for Men: Dior Sauvage

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Best New Celebrity Fragrance: Rosie for Autograph Marks & Spencer

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Boots UK People’s Choice For Women: Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium

Boots UK People’s Choice for Men: Paco Rabanne One Million

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Retailer of the Year: Harrods

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Best New Male Fragrance: Dior Sauvage

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Best New Female Frgrance Marc Jacobs Decadence

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Ultimate Launch Award: Dior Sauvage

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…Phew!

Once again, massive congratulations to all the amazing nominees who made it that far – it sounds a tad clichéd, but we swear we mean this: you’re all winners in our eyes; and to the Fragrance Foundation for organising another wonderful event that was so enjoyed by all who attended. We can’t wait to see who’ll be up for nominations next year…

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Penhaligon’s launch Luna – the new Goddess scent accompanying a deeper, darker Endymion for a moonlit romance…

Inspired by the mythical Goddess of the Moon, the latest fragrance from the proudly British heritage perfume house of Penhaligon’s is an Homeric ode to a silvery, moonlit romance.

Luna is an enchantingly mysterious floral that opens with freshness and then reminds us of sunsets slowly sinking into warmly misty nights sprinkled with twinkling stars, a glowing warmth to offset the cool, inky depth – oh yes, this moon has a dark side, too…

The Goddess is not alone, for her mythically inspired fragrance partner, Endymion, has been around for a while, but Penhaligon’s have ramped up the intensity to make him positively smouldering – how can Luna (or we?) resist?

Penhaligon’s say:Endymion is a firmly established part of the Penhaligon’s collection, and now we have launched a concentrated new version, an intense eau de parfum. Endymion Concentré is a luxurious interpretation of a classic, still a fragrance of contrasts, bright and sensual, light and dark, grounded by leathery suede; distinctly masculine and deeply romantic.

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“In ancient Greek mythology, Endymion, the most handsome son of Zeus, was placed into a perpetual slumber by the Goddess of the Moon so that she could gaze upon him forever, his stunning face unmarked by the passage of time. The wishes of the Goddess were granted, and Endymion slept on for all eternity, his smile everlasting. And no wonder, for he spent his life forever dreaming that he held the moon, Luna, gently in his arms.”

So to partner Endymion we created Luna, a new fresh floral offers a feminine counterpart to the woody leather notes of Endymion Concentré.  Inspired by the light of a magnificent crescent moon that brightens one’s dreams, this luxurious new fragrance captures the intoxicating spirit of the mythical Goddess of the Moon. Hypnotic and sensual, Luna shines up from the dark water, illuminating the ink-coloured night sky.  Opening with the bitter freshness of orange bigarade, the heart unfolds with the crisp lightness of juniper berry, rounded off with the sensuality of a dark woody base.’

A romance that we hope continues for years to come, this star-struck duo are stunningly packaged, too…

Luna £128 for 100ml eau de toilette and Endymion Concentré £120 for 100ml eau de parfum
Buy them at Penhaligon’s

Jean Paul Gaultier gets eau fraiche with Popeye & Betty Boop!

Every year, fans of Jean Paul Gaultier‘s Le Male and Classique fragrances are treated to a new incarnation of the iconic bottles – always dressed to impress and collected by ‘fume-heads the world over, we think the comic-book inspired duo of Popeye and Betty Boop bottles may be the cutest yet, and with a tonque-in-cheek advertising campaign to match!

From a sassy comic book called Spinach & Stockings to flick through online, to adorable downloadable postcards, we totally heart the high spirits of it all – so in tune with Gaultier’s own wink-wink humour and a paean to the originality and way-ahead-of-their time nature of the scents themselves, now getting eau fraiche with extra ingredients added to the juice for the (hopefully) warmer months ahead…

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‘A sexy fabric softener. A fragrance built on fabric softener accord; clean and fresh like an immaculate tank top ready to slip into. Created by perfumer Nathalie Gracia-Cetto. Neroli flower and mint enrich the base. Sage, a welcome and gentle gustatory ripple marries the Tonka bean, sandalwood and vanilla, the sensual base notes because a tank top is always sexy.’

Jean Paul Gaultier Le Mâle Eau Fraiche £54 for 125 ml eau de toilette
Buy it at The Perfume Shop

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‘A torrid, sugar syrup. An unusual blend assembled around white flowers created by perfumer Daphné Bugey. Ginger, indivisible from Classique, is found as an overdose of gourmand: crystalline, reminiscent of a lemon sorbet; sharp, yes, but sweetened with sugar cane juice. Sugar cane, with a sensual edge from the Labdanum Neo. Vanilla is also present. But musk has the final word and rushes to let the brain know we’ll be back for more.’

Jean Paul Gaultier Classique Eau Fraiche £67 for 100ml eau de toilette
Buy it at The Perfume Shop

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Join us for an afternoon of tea and scent pairing with the Rare Tea Lady

The Perfume Society is delighted to invite you to a fascinating and delicious afternoon of tea and scent pairing with the Rare Tea Lady, Henrietta Lovell.

Our friends at the Rare Tea Company know good tea. (You can read about this fascinating and very ethical company and what they do here) So when we wanted to pair fragrances with their perfect matching teas for the Scented Letter, we knew who to turn to.

Now we’d like to invite you as part of a very small group to the Rare Tea Company’s Marylebone tasting rooms to sample teas that have been especially paired with fragrances that echo their notes – and you’ll hear first hand from the Rare Tea Lady herself about her thoughtful pairing process. We think you’ll leave with a new appreciation of tea – and a fresh way of looking at scent.

And at the end of the afternoon, you’ll receive a tea-based cocktail that will send you out into your Friday evening enlivened and refreshed, ready for the weekend.

Tickets are £20 – and you’ll each take home a 25g tin of a most delicious fine tea from the Rare Tea Company.


Date: Friday 13th May 2016
Time: 5.30pm – 7.00pm
Venue: Rare Tea Company, Marylebone Tasting Rooms, W1 (full address to be disclosed closer to the event)

Game of Thrones: we perfume the main players – 9 scents, but no spoilers (we promise!)

Game of Thrones Season 6 has finally begun, to the nail-biting, breath-holding anticipation of the series’ legions of fans around the world. Having once been asked for our advice on scents to suit zombies by a certain TV programme’s producers (yes, really.

We’re on standby for pretty much any fragrant conundrum here at The Perfume Society HQ!) it got us pondering how we’d perfume some of the main players from another of our must-watch shows.

GOT_PerfumeInterestingly, Game of Thrones had its very own scent for a time, with the website Think Geek selling a fragrance called ‘Fire and Blood’ – though this no longer seems to be available. Whether you’re a die-hard enthusiast of the books or TV series, or simply have an interest in boldly characterful fragrances, we think these are worth exploring, instead…

Arya Stark

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Unique and youthful, fresh, willful and difficult to define – this pocket-friendly Cologne is a tempestuous mixture of cold steel and sweetness, electricity and petrichor; that tingle in your senses of dark clouds obscuring a bright sky before the heavens open and the downpour begins.

Library of Fragrance Thunderstorm £15 for 30ml cologne spray
Buy it at Boots

Bran Stark

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 11.53.23A mysterious harmony of dark forests and sunlight fighting its way through misty undergrowth, it’s perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour’s abstract portrait of a hazelnut tree. Freshly green buds unfurl to amber-hued leaves, creamy woods slowly drip rich, honeyed droplets to an earthily sweet forest floor as tendrils of smoke hearald a slow-burning dry-down that’s alive with magic.

L’Artisan Parfumeur Méchant Loup £87 for 100ml eau de toilette
Buy it at House of Fraser

Sansa Stark

Sansa
Wild flower meadows kissed with a cold sea breeze, a tangled bouquet of delicate flowers and juicy berries surrounded by thorny stems. Capturing the dramatic landscape where land meets ocean, within the refined flacon perfectly tied with a grossgrain ribbon lurks a scent of innocence blooming into something altogether more unpredictable in nature.

Penhaligon’s Blasted Bloom £90 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Penhaligon’s

Jon Snow

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Frostily attractive with a minty herbaceousness that gives way to dryly brooding undertones, it’s been splashed on since 1988 and although it may be passed over by those seeking more spirited adventure in their fragrance journey, it should never be overlooked. Simplicity is sometimes written off as dull, but this still has an icy masculinity that longs for a secret snuggle.

Davidoff Cool Water £41 for 75ml eau de toilette
Buy it at The Perfume Shop

Cersei Lannister

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Staggeringly provocative with a vastness that can fill a room, this is full-on waxy tuberose seduction that could double as a weapon if you so wished. Razor-sharp white flowers whistle through the air like silver bullets, tempered only by a buxom bouquet of velvety roses and crown of orange blossom resting on a glamorously musky base.

Robert Piguet Fracas £95 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Selfridges

Jamie Lannister

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Classically handsome and knows it, winsomely charming with a bracingly rugged edge, 50 years ago this was the first male fragrance by Dior and broke new ground. Described as ‘absolutely wild and resolutely sensual’, this is bergamot balanced with a mossy, floral heart for the ‘new man’ or ‘metrosexual’ – a forward-thinking guy who favours facials but still hankers after a spot of sword-fighting – before the term was coined.

Dior Eau Sauvage £49.50 for 50ml eau de toilette
Buy it at Debenhams

Tyrion Lannister

Tyrion
Soaked in boozy fruits, tenaciously strong yet crowd-pleasingly smooth at heart, bobbing in the perfumed punch bowl we find juicy pineapple, orange, plump raisins and dried plums soaking up the alcohol; while cocoa, tonka and coffee lead to vine blossom, peppered honey and spiced vanilla. Definitely one for those with a taste for the finer things in life.

Frapin 1270 £98 for 100ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Bloom

Melisandre

Melisandre
‘Darker than night, stronger than desire, what is the line between passion and the urge to dominate?’ A question posed by Blood Concept – a line inspired by blood types and their inherent proclivities – and answered thus: Milky pools of liquid cedarwood charged with black pepper, laden with glowering guaiac wood and resinous patchouli sinuously seeping into the flickering heat of amberwood and incense.

Blood Concept 0 Cruel Incense £108 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Avery Perfume Gallery

Daenerys Targaryen

Daenerys
Compellingly unusual with notes of cade oil, spikenard (praised for its curative, medicinal properties) spicily perfumed cardamom pods, clearwood and darkly glistening berries; the labdanum-rich smoky base is one to clamour for. One moment it’s all refined sophistication with bone dry woods and the next, passionate, carnal, and mysterious.

Imaginary Authors A City On Fire £70 for 60ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Roullier White

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Clean Reserve: celebrate World Earth Day with sustainably beautiful scents at Space NK

Sustainability is a huge buzzword within the fragrance world at the moment, with customers demanding a more eco-conscious ethic to their beauty choices and some fragrance houses making sure they look after the raw materials so precious to their perfume formulas, while also ensuring a social responsibilty toward the communities of inigenous peoples who cultivate and harvest the crops.

Clean Reserve are one such responsibly-sourcing house, though striving for complete sustainability in the future; wherever possible they select raw ingredients cultivated and harvested using environmentally sound practices.

You may know them from previously having tried the original Clean range of scents and harmonious lifestyle products – and with a far more niche-inspired selection, they’re now in store and exclusive in the UK to Space NK. Having attended the press launch, we were fascinated to learn more about this collaboration with three of the world’s top fragrance houses. So, how do Clean Reserve introduce themselves…?

We’re making a choice:

To change the way you experience fragrance.

To create a collection that highlights your individuality.

To tap into our perfumers’ reserve of raw ingredients.

To actively engage in eco-conscious sustainability.

To remove the clutter, heaviness and complexity –

so all you’re left with is CLEAN.

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From the wooden caps sourced in Spain from certified sustainably managed forests, the fragrances themselves use ECOCERT materials and are manufactured in a facility using 100% solar energy. The alcohol is derived from corn – even the cellophane wrapping of the boxes is made from corn! – and the scent is incorporated with aloe for added calming and softening benefits on the skin. Of course, being super-sustainable is all very well, – and especially significant on World Earth Day – but how do they actually smell…?

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A gentle balance of sophisticated and sexy, this is not your average ‘dusty’ smelling oppulent rose – it’s sparkling with aldehydes (those bubbly ‘Champagne’-esque notes that add space and volume to a fragrance) and transparent in character. Touches of peony and jasmine with the tender rose petals seem to glisten with dew drops, freshly picked from the garden.

Clean Reserve Blonde Rose £79 for 100ml eau de parfum

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Incense and oudh are notes that many seem to shy away from, known for their sometimes overwhelming natures, but you definitely need not fear being smothered by this blend. Fusing incense oil with blue cypress, birch wood, pimento and honeysuckle, further freshness wafts across from jasmine and magnolia, resinously clear fir balsam and the intriguing sarcocaulon mossamedens (‘Bushman’s Candle’). Warm and earthy, the fluffy musk base of suede, patchouli, praline and amber snuggles on the skin.

Clean Reserve Sueded Oud £79 for 100ml eau de parfum

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An exploration of the polarity between warmth and cold, the opening is exhilarating with verbena, bamboo leaf, bergamot and juicy quince pear blending seamlessly into a heart of pure, dry cedar wrapped in cotton, peony and wild moss. Fuzzy musks balance the base with gold amber, cool vetiver and myrrh – a mineralic iciness keeping the base notes from ever being muddy, it’s the inviting earthiness of an untouched forest to get lost in.

Clean Reserve Smoked Vetiver £79 for 100ml eau de parfum

All the Clean Reserve fragrances are made especially to be linear in character – and therefore perfect to blend with each other without the notes fighting or becomming too complex and overbearing.

We had a go at layering the three outlined above, and found it immediately became a completely new smell – harmonising notes from all, but transforming into a bespoke scent with a personality all of its own. Suddenly, the dry grassiness of the vetiver was amplified and the soft suede became deeper, more woody – all buoyed by wisps of a white bouquet peeking through the forest clearing. As Sueded Oud and Blonde Rose are recommended as the perfect ‘his and hers’ fragrances for a wedding day – we think we may have introduced a new partner to this marriage and created a menage a trois!

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Clean Reserve have the distinction of being the first fragrance brand to reach the finalists of the US CEW Eco Awards this year, with the winners being announced in a couple of weeks time. With five fragrances in the collection at Space NK, you’re bound to find your own favourite combination, so why not go and explore?

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Sunshine and rain: 10 new scents to put a Spring in your step, no matter what the weather’s doing…

We don’t know about you, but recently our coats, woolens and winter-weight duvets have been off and on again more times than Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Some days we truly can believe that Spring has sprung, as sunshine beams through the buxomly bursting buds of magnolia trees and even the most sullen faces twist into something resembling a smile; the next day it’s back to gale-force winds, grey skies and constant drizzle. Spring may have sprung, but it’s bouncing about all over the place!

To carry on regardless of the weather, we sometimes need a bit of optimistic wish-fulfillment in our scent choices – the kind of British pluck that got us through several wars, allows us to merely tut at cancelled trains and can bally well help us pretend the sun IS constantly shining and yes it IS warm enough to go outside without legs permanently encased like sausages in 200 denier tights, thank-you-very-much. Here’s our selection of scents to put the Spring back in your step: no matter what the weather’s doing, there’s something to match your mood through sunshine and showers alike…

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Ultra-talented British perfumer Lyn Harris presides over an exquisite new boutique perfumery that’s the fragrance equivalent of visiting an Haute Couture atelier. Offering bespoke, hand-blended unique perfumes alongside an ever-changing seasonal collection of ‘ready to wear’, the latest trio features this delectable concoction of ylang ylang absolue, vetiver, angelica grain and vanilla bourbon. Cool like the first drops of rain yet rounded with a fluffiness somehow; the bouquet of jasmine, orange flower and iris is fused with the fresh air top notes and a tenderly whispered amber musk of a base. The stunning hand-blown glass bottle is an investment for sure, but refills are available for £170.

Perfumer H Rain Cloud £320 for 100ml eau de parfum
Buy it in-store at Perfumer H

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Using ‘headspace technology’ – an ingenious contraption that’s basically a high-tech bell-jar hooked up to an incredibly powerful smell-analysing computer – Vilhelm truly capture the heady scent of a live lilac veritably humming with sunshine. In the language of flowers, lilac spells the unfurling petals of first-love that blooms into full blown passion, an affair we would definitely want to be involved with while wearing this perfume…

Vilhelm Parfumerie A Lilac a Day £145 for 100ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Liberty

Molton-Brown-Dewy-Lily-of-the-Valley-&-Star-Anise-Eau-de-Toilette_bottle_KEJ183_XLOh-so-pretty lily of the valley is blended with creamy magnolia and delicate peony to gather a dew-drop sprinkled bouquet that sparkles with a cool freshness on the greyest of days. Unusual notes of green mandarin and white tea are punctuated with flecks of star anise and a lingering softly musky sandalwood dry-down that lingers mistily. [NB: You can try a sample of this in the Molton Brown Art of Fragrance Discovery Box!]

Molton Brown Dewy Lily of the Valley & Star Anise £39 for 50ml eau de toilette
Buy it at John Lewis

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A celebration of Calabrian bergamot, this is truly sunshine in a bottle – we defy you not to smile at the first spritz. Continuing with their far longer-lasting versions of Cologne, the citrus tang is definitely the main story here, but with waves of jasmine, ambrette, lavender and deeper notes of vetiver and oak moss radiating joy.

Atelier Cologne Bergamot Soleil £90 for 100ml Cologne Absolute
Buy it at John Lewis

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Part of Bronnley’s Eclectic Elements collection, this pulses with life – one moment a woodland with fresh foliage licked clean from a rain-shower, then hints of sunshine peeking through the clouds with a glisten of orange flower. The leather, amber and incense base add depth to the green woodiness as you follow the trail through shady glades and patches of brightness. We’re impressed with the stylish modern packaging and pocket-friendly price, too.

Bronnley Wild Green £35 for 50ml eau de toilette
Buy it at House of Fraser

Spring_CoralSumptuously fruity in a grown-up cocktail way, this glows likes little jewels scattered across a treasure-strewn beach. Grapefuit gets the sparkle going, buoyed by blackcurrant buds and orange blossom and shot through with bright tuberose and lemon for extra lift. Tempered by tea, gently spiced with pepper and grounded in a musky base, it’s a not-too-sweet treat to make your mouth water.

Michael Kors Coral £39 for 30ml eau de parfum
Buy it at The Perfume Shop

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 15.01.05Inspired by the original Marc Jacobs Splash collection, fans will be overjoyed to know that four scents are making a come-back for Spring 2016 (expected on-counter in May), including one of the most popular – Rain. Exuding the unique ‘petrichor’ smell that fills the air just after a downpour, we have freshly cut grass and flowers bathed in water drops together with strawberries and celementine and a more tropical storm of a heart with passion flower, white orchids and base of burnished teak dusted with a powdery white musk.

Marc Jacobs Rain £38 for 100ml
Buy it at Debenhams in May.

product_9202869bBursting with just-peeled mandarin this sings from the bottle with sheer happiness – a vibrant and mood-lifting fragrance to reach for when going outside is just too grim to imagine. Energising grapefruit joins the citrus accord, and given a creamy sandalwood base on which to rest. Part of their Jardin de Vie range launched earlier this year, the fragrances are all-natural and suitable for vegans, too. [NB: Why not try this sunshine-scent at home as part of our Exquisite Essences Discovery Box?]

Weleda Agrume £19.95 for 50ml eau naturelle parfumée
Buy it at Weleda

496-3004064-LEDP13_MA sublimely cool, calm and collected infusion that surprises with a peppery opening of bergamot, coriander seed and carrot seed, it’s the orris-rich heart – complemented by a bouquet of exotic white flowers: jasmine, magnolia and osmanthus – that will fully sparkle to seduce you. The base soothes with aphrodisiac Tahitian vanilla bud wrapped up in warm amber, the smoky coolness of vetiver ensuring it never tips into over-sweetness. Enveloping yet utterly refined, the rich base retains its elegance on your skin throughout the day, in warm weather or foul. [NB: Explore a sample of this among others in our Secret Scentsations Discovery Box]

Ormonde Jayne Vanille d’Iris from £90 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Ormonde Jayne

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Philosophy are known for the prettiest bright and breezy line of fragrances and matching scented body products, and with the very latest perfume (launching April 27th), they seek to capture the true scent of those carefree, sunny days (several in a row, perhaps!) we so long for at this time of year. Notes include the fizz of bergamot, a gentle dune rose, the creaminess of sandalwood infused with rich cocoa absolute and a splash of refreshing coconut water. Solar musks give a lift to the delicious vanilla lingering in the base, and frankly we think you should spritz this with abandon, put on your coolest shades and treat yourself to an ice cream in anticipation…

Philosophy Pure Summer Grace £33 for 50ml eau de toilette
Exclusive to John Lewis from 27th April

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Olympēa Aqua eau de toilette – a fresh new way to wear gourmand…?

We must admit totally falling for the Greek Gods featured in the stylishly sexy ad campaign for the original Olympēa, launched last year. Now, get ready to swoon once again, as Paco Rabanne have launched a new version – this time an eau de toilette housed in a beautifully frosted talismanic bottle, and intriguingly a marriage of fresh-airyness with a sizzling gourmand undertone. Think salt water slowly cascading from a perfectly bronzed body as they emerge from a crystal blue sea to the warm sand of the beach… oh yes, we’re right there.

PACO-RABANNE_OLYMPEA_BTS-12-750x400Top notes: bergamot zest, petitgrain
Heart notes: ginger flower
Base notes: woods, ambergris, salt crystal note, vanilla

It will be interesting to see if this is a gentle lapping of the scent shores or a huge tidal wave of aquatic style perfumes coming to the fore once more – something we’ve not really seen since their original entré in the 90s. Perhaps as food trends mix with fashion and fragrance, too (salted caramel has been every where the past year – not that we’re complaining!) it’s a fascinating new merging of olfacive families – a fresher approach just in time for the (we hope) hotter months ahead…

Paco Rabanne Olympēa Aqua £54 for 50ml eau de toilette
Buy it at The Perfume Shop

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Deco London’s Sophia Fannon-Howell shares her five favourite smells…

Sophia Fannon-Howell is the Founder and Creative Director of Deco London –  a vintage-inspired fragrance house for contemporary gals (and guys) about town. Indeed, you can visit our dedicated brand page to learn all about how she came to launch the company and why she’s personally connected to two of the most interesting (and some may say infamous) characters in British history…

As you might suspect for someone who has now devoted their life to all things scented, Sophia admits to being rather fragrance obsessed, surrounding herself in beautifully perfumed things whenever possible. Some of her revelations we could have expected, but the smell of painting fences and something that reminds her of childhood trips to the supermarket? Well, it’s definitely not the weirdest we’ve come across! We find asking people to connect with five deepest-rooted scent memories can be like a time-travelling psychiatry experiment… what would your top five smells of all time remind you of, we wonder?

Sophia Fannon-Howell:

  1. Creosote – Just because it reminds me of growing up in the 70s/80s and hot summers where the pavements would melt and people would be outside painting their fences. They don’t seem to do that anymore, do they? But in those days everyone seemed to be doing that every summer! As soon as I smell it, I just see bright sunshine – the days when summer seemed to last forever, outside all day on your bike or running wild in the woods with your friends. The smell of freedom!
  1. Grinding coffee – I love this smell, I think it’s because we used to go with my dad shopping to the supermarket on Saturdays, where I grew up in Farnham. It was a big event. Across the road was a little coffee shop and we’d order some, they’d grind it in front of you and put it in a little bag and put a sticker on for you. You can get good coffee all over the place, now, but then it was really quite a special trip.
  1. Lavender – I’ve always adored the smell of lavender but can’t pin it to a specific memory. I put a few drops in my kids bath every night, because it definitely does calm them down. I’d like to think, actually, that I am making scent memories for my kids, and that lavender will be one for them in the future. If they’re upset I put a few drop on their pillow, too. I always have stacks of essential oils around the house but this is the one I use most. I love it in the garden, too. In my last house we lived in the side on Box Hill, right on the chalk – I planted huge swathes of it because it loved the chalk so much. Now we’ve moved I just had to plant loads more – my husband used to keep bees and of course they love it, too.
  1. Roses – Who doesn’t adore roses? I also have a tendency toward rosy perfumes. People can be prejudiced against rose and lavender perfumes because they see them as ‘old fashioned’ but I think you can have classic scents without them being old-lady-ish. I don’t know if there’s a particular rose I love more than any other, but I like to walk around my garden just burying my nose in the roses as often as possible. Heavenly!
  1. Cedarwood – As in the actual wood, and the essential oil. It’s something that’s present in a lot of perfumes but doesn’t necessarily hit the headlines. It’s just so good, so important. We’ve got some drawers at home that the carpenter who made them lined with cedar, and every single time I open a drawer that smell hits me, I love opening those drawers! And it even subtly scents the things inside.