Bring Spring In! How Stories No.1 Candle Trio & Body Collection celebrates the original scent (& the season)…

Now that spring has truly sprung, and the weather feels that much more hopeful [looks out window to check…] we’re welcoming this change of season with the fragrances we chose to wear – but don’t forget to bring spring indoors, too, with our guide to scent-scaping your home via this scent-sational Stories No.1 Candle Trio to match the lighter, brighter mood…

‘The story of a fragrance wrapped itself around me like a cocoon. It came from nowhere; a divine aroma laced with sharp citrus and the warmth of something woody. It was this aroma I sought to create in my first perfume. STORIES No.01 tells the story of renewed hope and joy, sorrow transformed into beauty, darkness yielding to light.’

– So says Founder and Creative Director of Stories Parfums, Tonya Kidd-Begg.

 

 

 

 

She continues: ‘Uplifting citrus notes of Bergamot, Grapefruit & Orange Blossom, reassuring warmth of cedar wood, a delicate touch of Jasmine, Heliotrope and Fig. The mystery of this fragrance is revealed in its blend of Amber, vibrant Sandalwood and hint of Vetiver. Described as ‘a window to the past’, Amber is known to add warmth and depth, yet when blended with sandalwood and vetiver, results in a vibrant celebration of light.’

 

Stories No.1 £75 for 30ml eau de parfum

 

In the limited edition, sustainably made, scented candle trio inspired by the original fragrance, the individual top, heart and base notes of STORIES Nº.01 Eau de Parfum have been so-cleverly separated for you to enjoy across the three candles. This means you can choose to highlight just one section, a couple, or all three in the same place all at once. Or, consider our favourite way to enjoy them – placing the candles between differing areas of your room (or even splitting them between differing areas of your space) to waft the nuanced aspects of the scent.

STORIES Nº.01 Bougie Parfumée Scented Candle Trio

The candles come in a boxed set of three 70g candles, and though they’re inspired by the perfume, they are deliberately not identical – some creative tweaks have been employed to delight your nose and experience a fresh aspect of the scent each time you pass by.

 

To further indulge in the dewy deliciousness of the fragrance, we recommend using the wonderful Hand & Body Wash, or beautifully silky Hand & Body Lotion for an extra olfactory treat for spring every single time you wash your hands or have a shower. What a perfect way to begin your spring scent ritual.

 

Stories Parfums No.1 hand and body lotion

 

Did you know that if you are constantly surrounded by the same smell your nose can ‘switch off’, meaning you simply don’t smell it as strongly anymore? That’s why it’s so important to switch up your home scents just as you do the perfumes you wear with the seasons – otherwise you’re simply not enjoying them to their full extent. So yes, we adore this way of bringing freshness and celebrating the sense of newness into your home, and the ingenious fractioning of the fragrance across the trio of candles – or layering your seasonal scent choices with the accompanying body products – also means your nose never gets tired of the scent. Brilliant!

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Fragrances For… spectacular sunsets

The skies this time of year are ablaze with colour as the sun sets – the heavens awash with purples, reds and pinks that melt into the darkness like nature’s fireworks. And fragrances are often inspired by this spectacular display, too – perfumers creating scents that light us up even on the dullest days. Here’s five we feel so colourful wearing right now…

 

COACH
Dreams Sunset
Inspired by ‘golden hours and one-of-a-kind journeys with friends’ – which we are indeed dreaming of – this ombré bottle, echoing the colours of sunset, perfectly shows off a floriental composition crafted by the brilliant Nathalie Lorson. Refreshing pear sorbet and bergamot playfully tease the wearer, before jasmine sambac and magnolia dial up the intrigue. But what keeps this beach party rocking is the smoochy, sultry base of tonka and vanilla. We’re so there.
From £34.50 for 40ml eau de parfum
johnlewis.com

 

GHOST
Orb of Night
Setting a darker, moodier tone to the pantheon of Ghost perfumes, Night Orb glimmers with a dark cherry almond accord, kissed with mandarin before plunging deeper into a heady orange blossom, ylang ylang and freesia heart. The sandalwood base has rivulets of caramel running through it, but being rippled with a salty, slightly animalic ambergris, is rendered salty and moreish. From the rose gold bottle to the vegan certification, it impresses.
£22.95 for 30ml eau de parfum
escentual.com

 

 

BVLGARI
Omnia by Mary Katrantzou
The most glorious, iridescent sunset-esque bottle acts as a vase for Alberto Morrilas’s beautifully composed ‘maximalist bouquet’, as Bulgari describe it. A green rustle of fig leaf unfurls to billowing orange blossom and gardenia before settling to underpinnings of fluffy musk and a deeper, woody base. An exclusive collaboration with fashion designer Mary Katrantzou, this vibrant scent reflects her designs, and we can almost feel the fabric flowing around us as we wear this.
£87 for 65ml eau de parfum
bulgari.com

 

MAISON CRIVELLI
Osmanthe Kōdoshān
A sublime portrait of the apricot-y bloom, this is inspired by a trip to ‘a tropical mountain shrouded in mist.’ We sense sunsets, height and grandeur in a scent that slowly unfurls itself as it warms. Curls of fog clear to reveal a forest far below, the resinous scent of verdant vegetation and grounding woodiness rising to meet you, the osmanthus swathing your skin in a leathery embrace. Calming, mysterious, transcendentally beautiful.
From £170 for 100ml eau de parfum
harveynichols.com

 

 

PENHALIGON’S
Constantinople
On spraying this, we were immediately greeted with a highly refined, almost leathery iris – the image of 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 tomorrow’s exotic adventures…
£178 for 100ml eau de parfum
penhaligons.com

 

5 sultry, ‘spooky’ scents for Halloween… dare you wear?

With Halloween approaching and the nights drawing in, now is the perfect time to explore the sultrier, even ‘spooky’ side of fragrance…

When the weather gets colder, there’s a particular pleasure to be found in trying something new – a scent that perhaps plunges deeper than you’re used to, invites us to wrap ourselves in a cosy blanket and sit by the fireside (maybe telling a few Gothic ghost stories as we hunker down for the night?) Because there’s a delight in challenging your preconceptions, in shivering slightly as you do so, with anticipation. The Germans use the term unheimlich, which roughly translates to the experience of something feeling weirdly familiar while remaining mysterious, slightly uncanny.

We always liken wearing a bolder, more mysterious fragrance to playing dress-up (in the most fabulously sophisticated way), because a scent is more than a nice smell – it allows you to explore other sides of your character, just as wearing a costume can bring out hidden depths that might even surprise your nearest and dearest…

These intriguing scents are best worn with a nip of frost in the air, golden sunlight softly streaming through brightly-dressed trees, and sense of delicious mystery swirling through those misty mornings and rapidly darkening nights.

We dare you to try them on for size…

 

Indulge your inner libertine with this oppulent, swagger of a scent, inspired by Cassonova himself. You can smell his favourite tipple, ‘cordial orgeat,’ through dusky cognac-infused rose and bitter orange flower, with a saffron-soaked throb of leather, hot wax, animalic cumin lashed to the darker base of amber and deep woods. (P.S: There’s a sample of this one in our Niche VII Discovery Box and in their Contradictions in Ilk Discovery Set).

Contradictions in Ilk Libertine £150 for 50ml extrait de parfum
ilkperfume.com

 

 

 

Inspired by the destructive and regenerative Australian bush fires, its smoky heart of mysterious spices is spiked with shards of fresh (surprisingly fruity) eucalyptus and citrus to create a wonderful juxtaposition of hot/cold and intriguing textures. A smouldering smoky wood accord underlines this contrast of dark and light, with the house’s signature Australian sandalwood smoothing the seared edges, wonderfully.

Map of the Heart Black Heart v.2 £150 for 90ml eau de parfum
harrods.com

 

 

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. (Why not try this in the Manos Gerakinis Discovery Set?)

Manos Gerakinis Omen £185 for 100ml eau de parfum
shymimosa.co.uk

 

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The joy of spooky season is actually the cosiness of feeling scared but then being immediately comforted. Here’s a scent you can snuggle up by a wood fire with, eating spiced biscuits as another presence makes itself known when the scent of dried roses and lavender fill the room. From a hidden floral display, or conjured by ghost stories, shared…? Familiar in the best way, think flicking through old photos and smiling as you remember the happiest of days with people you love.

4160 Tuesdays Another Kiss By the Fireside from £25 for 15ml eau de parfum
4160tuesdays.com

 

BANANA_REPUBLIC_DARK_CHERRY_AMBER_

Black cherries are apparently perfumer Claude Dir ‘s favourite fruit, which he swags in blossom here before before lavishing them with praline and the resinous luxury of a glowing amber accord. Evoking plump, candoed fruits laced with something altogether darker, the tart juiciness swirls with an addictiveness that’s boozy and rich, but never too sweet. Trick or treat? The emphasis firmly on the latter, in the most indulgently lascivious way.

Banana Republic Dark Cherry & Amber £55 for 75ml eau de parfum (currently on offer at £22.99!) theperfumeshop.com

 

 

 

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Home for Christmas: seasonal smells fragrance experts love

Christmas is undoubtedly the most fragrant time of year – smells of fir trees, crackling fires and deliciously spiced foods helping us feel cosy, even if we’re actually rather stressed and craving sunshine. Nothing uplifts and comforts us quite like being surrounded by your favourite seasonal smells, and so, we wondered, what do three of our favourite fragrance experts most associate with the scent of Christmas…?

Michael Donovan, MD Roullier White, founder of St Giles fragrance
‘There are so many – sloe gin, sprouts (it’s the only time that my family ever ate them, probably why I adore them now), and my mother made rather elaborate pomanders from oranges with cloves… Drakkar was my very first Christmas gift of fragrance! I remember the warm plastic of my favourite light-up Santa – he went in the window to welcome us home and I could smell him every time I came through the door. Apricot brandy was my grandmother’s favourite tipple and smells delicious, and we always had little fruits fashioned from marzipan. My father’s ‘Grey Flannel’ and my mother’s ‘Madame Rochas’ were worn, scent for special occasions only! The smell of a new album – the vinyl and paper of the sleeves as we always received records for Christmas  – I miss record sleeves.

My grandparents ran a small grocers – ‘Donovans’ – and at Christmas they made individual Christmas lunches for sale, which was great for those who were on their own or were on a budget. The turkey was, consequently, so enormous that it wouldn’t fit into the industrial oven and the door had to be tied, half-closed, with string. The bird was cooked on a very low temperature for about 8hrs overnight and the smell permeated every corner of the building and was utterly delicious. I am a long-time vegetarian but I still remember it as my most delicious smell and laying in bed, salivating…’

If you’d rather smell of something more appealing than sprouts, might we suggest the magnificent St Giles fragrance, The Writer (well it would be our favourite, wouldn’t it?) With gloriously fresh ginger and rosemary absolute amidst a fizz of aldehydes, clary sage and rhubarb, the resinous heart wraps frankincense in leather and a darkly inky base resounds with castoreum absolute, creamy sandalwood, cedarwood from the Atlas mountains and driftwood. So perfect for a fragrant pick-me-up at any time, but most especially right now, don’t you think…?

St Giles The Writer, £130 for 100ml eau de parfum
Try it at Selfridges or stgilesfinefragrance.com

Viola Cserkuti: perfume & cosmetics history curator, student perfumer, skincare & beauty specialist
We first met Viola at a vintage fragrance event in London, where she showed her extensive (and endlessly fascinating) collection of perfumes. Being obsessed with history, vintage clothing and all things fragrant, she told us her childhood scent memories of Christmas (pictured, above)…

‘Growing up in Hungary and celebrating Christmas with my family holds the most vivid scent memories for me. In my early childhood, I remember the potent smell of sparklers, the satifying smoke after they glittered away, and the occasional burnt fir sap as they were attached to the Christmas tree. Also, paraffin church candles and our special Hungarian Christmas chocolates – Szaloncukor – had such distinctive scent. They came in many flavours but the original retro ones were filled with fondant icing. The icing for the Szaloncukor had a cold, sweet, alcoholic scent with a vanillary chocolate and fake fruit aspect that filled the room with an eccentric medley of fragrant delights, coming from the church candles, burnt chemicals and cheap victorian era confectionary…’

Carlos J Powell: aka mega-successful perfume vlogger Brooklyn Fragrance Lover

Carlos is known for his passionate reviews about perfume, sprinkled with in-depth knowledge delivered in a down-to-earth completely approachable, and often humourous way; and for his adorably cheeky cats, ‘Jean et Claude’, who can often be found knocking fragrances off shelves and chasing them around the apartment floor. His views recently topped 6 million, with over 35k subscribers around the world tuning in to hear his weekly updates. So, what are the wafts of Christmas that transport Carlos the most?

‘The smell of Christmas for me growing up was Pernil – Latino roasted pork shoulder with tons of garlic – and… lasagne! I am Dominican, but grew up with an Italian stepfather. So I wish you Feliz Navidad y Buon Natale!’

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Atelier Cologne – for autumn and beyond

Think Colognes are only for summer splashes and searing heatwaves? Atelier Cologne‘s deeper twists on the classic will make you think again…

Having enjoyed the hottest summer on record in England (joint hottest for UK overall since 1976), there’s no doubt we’ve all been reaching for those fresh fragrances to cool things down. The traditional Cologne is a thing of joy – but apart from the first splash, that joy could be fleeting, until Atelier Cologne took the best elements of the tradition and infused them with more complexity, depth and a hugely boosted lasting power.

This means we can enjoy all the benfits of their range well into the cooler months – good news for those already grieving the loss of summer and who perhaps need a spirit-reviving spritz before we get those opaque tights and cardis out of storage. Here’s our guide to five Atelier Cologne fragrances you should try for an olfactory change of seasons…

 

Top notes: Bergamot from Calabria, limette from Mexico, saffron from India

Heart notes: Sandalwood from New Caledonia, gaiac wood from India, white musk

Base notes: Papyrus from India, cedarwood from Texas, vanilla from Madagasca

Satisfyingly spicy without feeling too bundled-up already, the warm glow of saffron suffuses the zestiness of the opening like autumnal sunshine filtering through trees. Gorgeously layered woods with a wisp of soft musk and the tenderness of vanilla in the base feel like a late afternoon walk through the park.

Atelier Cologne Santal Carmin £160 for 100ml eau de parfum

 

Top notes: Calabrian bergamot, Sicilian mandarin, Guatemalan cardamom

Heart notes: rose oil, Indian tuberose, coffee

Base notes: Madagascan vanilla, cocoa pod

A unique blending of white floral and modern gourmand, the coffee really shines here, all toasty and delicious with a touch of cardamom and a swirl of milky vanilla and cocoa in the dry down. Think of those days it’s still warm enough to grab a coffee outside, chic people-watching while devoring pastries.

Atelier Cologne Cafe Tuberosa £115 for 100ml Cologne absolue

Top notes: green mandarin from Italy, Sicilian bergamot, tajetes from Egypt

Heart notes: orchid nigritella rubra, cinnamon from Sri Lanka, benzoin from Thailand

Base notes: cistus labdanum from Spain, amber, tonka bean from Brazil

A little tip-toe into snugglier scents, this amber benefits from the fresh breeziness of the green mandarin as a welcome change from your usual citrus. Gentle spices never feel dusty, bringing a sense of comfort to the richer notes, instead, and adding a real spring in your step as chillier weather sets in.

Atelier Cologne Ambre Nue £115 for 100ml Cologne absolue

Top notes: bergamot from Calabria, orange flower from Morocco, black pepper from Vietnam

Heart notes: iris from Morocco, lavender from Provence, rose centifolia from Grasse

Base notes: Gaiac wood from Central America, patchouli from Indonesia, white musk accord

Just the most whisper-soft embrace of cashmere-like fluffiness and a pretty bouquet proffered throughout the composition, imagine the sigh of contentment while wearing your favourite suede jacket and shopping at the flower market. The woody-musk base feels reassuring, a scented hug to last all day.

Atelier Cologne Iris Rebelle £165 for 100ml Cologne absolue
Exclusive to Selfridges

Top notes: bergamot from Calabria, ginger from China, Turkish rose essence

Heart notes: Turkish rose absolue, incense from Somalia, velvet oud accord

Base notes: patchouli from Indonesia, papyrus from India, benzoin from Laos

Those of you not yet ready to let go of your roses (and we count ourselves among you!) fear not – here’s an opulent plunge into the more sensual side that flower. We’re especially loving the textural richness added by a drift of incense and smooth oud accord, a fragrant trail you’ll love all day and after sunset.

Try Atelier Cologne at selfridges.com or in their stand-alone Covent Garden boutique.

Written by Suzy Nightingale

5 fragrances that guarantee winter sunshine…

There are those who claim certain scents should only be worn in summer – the lighter, more citrus-laden ones for the most part – and that we should reserve the heavier, more opulent fragrances for our winter wardrobes. But is this once foregranted ‘fact’ still true…?
Certainly, in hot weather you may find your fragrance seems ‘stronger’ or more overpowering, the heat causing the notes to evolve on the skin more rapidly and bloom around you in fragrant waves.  This is exactly why brands sometimes offer lighter versions of their bestselling scents for the summer.  Indeed, some people prefer heavier more full-bodied, comforting, almost ‘cocooning’ scents in the winter – but again, this is completely individual.
Personally, at The Perfume Society, we do tend towards richer fragrances that we love to rediscover at around the time when we reach for our opaque tights, our socks (and vests!), switching to airier perfumes for the warmer months. But never let anyone tell you what perfume to wear and when – just do what feels right for you. We say: scent ‘rules’ are made to be broken, so just follow your nose…
We find winter is actually a perfect time to refresh your senses, and re-visit those scents you perhaps didn’t quite get on with in summer – cooler weather and damper climates makes your skin react completely differently, so why not try some fragrances you may have written-off forever?
While you’re at it – have a dig around in your collection for ‘spring fresh’ or ‘summer-y’ scents that you already love and see how differently they bloom on your skin at this time of year. Just as too much turkey and endless chocolates can have you yearning for a crisp salad, it’s good to go over to the light side for a change of scent-scene now and again.
Here’s our list of five transitional scents to try for a time-travelling experience out of your comfort zone. So, shake off those heavy layers and prepare to get zingy with some winter freshness…
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Zesty to the point of mouth-watering excess, the energising burst of crushed ripe fruit uses the darker extract of sweet blood orange juice juxtaposed against bitter orange peel and warming wafts of geranium for a feel-good cloud of happiness. Formulated to last far longer than traditional Colognes but losing none of their zippiness – hoorah!
Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine £49.50 for 30ml Cologne Absolue
Buy it at John Lewis
Ignore the grey skies, close your eyes and imagine the Provençal setting sun, still warm on your skin (move closer to the fire or add another layer of clothing, if necessary…)Aromatically fresh with the fizz of bergamot and pink pepper, the true heart of honey infused lavender is balanced by the milky acacia blossoms, the nuttiness of tonka beans and balsamic warmth of the earthier base.
L’Occitane Terre de Lumière Limited Edition bottle, £58 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at loccitane.com
4905389
A lusciously fruity mixture of milky fig cut through with Turkish apricot and green tea for a deliciously refreshing blend that still feels nurturingly comforting. A wearable panna cotta with just enough wobble and topped with glistening slices of that succulent fruit – we have no doubt you’ll want to dive in.
Fresh Fig Apricot £76 for 100ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Harrods
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The tart, raspberry freshness of Turkish rose and the subtle woodiness of thorny stems enhanced by geranium melt slowly to a softly cushioned fuzziness of peonies and vibrant freesia, gently sprinkled with black pepper and drizzled with honey. Every bit as delicious as it sounds, it’s a ballerina dancing in a garden as the sun rises and blushes the sky the colour of her frothy tutu.
Aqua di Parma Peonia Nobile £78 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Selfridges
mp_english_leaf
Ripening tomatoes lovingly stroked in a greenhouse, sunlight glinting on frosty hedgerows and mint leaves floating in a pitcher of homemade lemonade – this enlivening scent whisks you to the home of the Mitchell family at Foxbury Farm. Sparkling citrus rubs shoulders with herbaceous greens and English flowers grown in their fields; drying down to the classically elegant combination of musk and cedar wood.
Mitchell and Peach English Leaf Fine Edition £55 for 50ml eau de toilette
Buy it at Roullier White
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Seasonal scented ingredients that make winter sparkle…

Frosty foliage glittering beguilingly is uplifting to the soul on wickedly cold mornings, and although our hearts (and hands!) may yearn for the warmth of summer, we can remind ourselves that the onset of winter also heralds some truly magical ingredients that are inexorably associated with the season.
We’ve listed four of our favourites, below, but where does your (cold) nose take you when the frost bites? Well, if you click on the names of the ingredients, you’ll be whisked to their fascinating and fact-filled individual pages, where you can also find a list of perfumes to try with that as the prominant note…
56698c265771b-myrrhe1
Myrrh
Long associated with Christmas (one of the three gifts given to the infant Jesus),used in religious ceremonies and magical rites; myrrh is actually a gum resin, tapped from the True Myrrh tree, or Commiphora Myrrha, and originating in parts of Arabia, Somalia and Ethiopia. Tapping the tree to make small incisions, small teardrop-shaped droplets ‘bleed’ from the trunk and are left to harden into bead-like nuggets, which are then steam-distilled to produce an essential oil. Myrrh gets its name from the Hebrew ‘murr’ or ‘maror’, which translates as ‘bitter’. It’s earthy. It’s resinous. It’s intriguing. And it’s still a key ingredient in many sensual and iconic Ambrée perfumes today…
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Pssst! Read more about the fascinating history of myrrh, and how Jo Malone London have used this precious indredient in their soon to be released latest perfume, in our hot-off-the-press glossy magazine: The Scented Letter.
pineneedle-iso
Pine
There are good pine smells, and, well… horrid pine smells. If you’ve ever sat in the back of a taxi with one of those ‘Christmas tree’-scented cards dangling from the rear-view mirror, you’ll probably get where we’re coming from. But pine can also be wonderful crisp, spicy, outdoorsy and invigorating – and it’s been closely linked to perfume creation since the time of the early Arab perfumers, who liked it in combination with frankincense, in particular…
 
cinnamon
Cinnamon
Spicily enticing, comforting and sweet, all at once.  Our love of cinnamon dates back thousands of years:  2000 years ago the Egyptians were weaving it into perfumes (though it probably originates way before that, in China). Because cinnamon bark oil is a sensitiser – and as such, you may ‘cinnamates’ on perfume packaging, as a warning – where natural cinnamon’s used, it’s likely to have been distilled from the leaves and twigs.  But it’s often also synthesised, adding a spicy warmth to Ambrées (and quite a few men’s scents)…
oranges
Orange
Studded with cloves we can hang these ultra-Christmas-sy pomanders from our trees for an instant Yuletide hit. But where would perfumery be without orange…?  The blossom of the bitter orange tree (a.k.a. neroli, when it’s extracted in a particular way) is one of the most precious scent ingredients of all.  Bigarade, from the fruit of that tree, is another key ingredient in colognes, while its leaves give us petitgrain, another popular element in citrussy scents.  And then there’s orange itself (sometimes referred to as sweet orange, to distinguish it from the bitter, ‘marmalade’ variety.)
There are many more notes to discover and explore in our Ingredients section of the wbsite, so why not take a sensorial journey and follow your nose there, now…?
Written by Suzy Nightingale