Perfume adventures: global scent shopping

Have you already jetted-off to a long yearned-for holiday, or are you planning a quick city trip to tide you over? Perfume shopping is always one of the best bits of our holidays, and so we have scoured some of our favourite fragrant destinations to bring you top tips of where to shop and what to look out for…
On our Perfume Adventures section of the website, you can find our guides to havens of heavenly scents to explore – like Le Bon Marché in Paris: Department store perfume shopping doesn’t get much sexier than this, since LVMH supremo Bernard Arnault gave Paris’s oldest department store (it opened in 1838) the most glamorous of makeovers: three floors of designer gorgeousness – and on the ground floor, a stunning perfumery showcasing many different (and not necessarily mainstream) brands.
Or why not hop to Florence and visit the veritable temple of scent, Farmacia Santa Maria Novella? Wander through the three high-ceilinged, fresco-ed rooms and drink it all in. Either explore the fragrances (there are now over 30) at your own pace at the glass cabinets, or tap into the experience of knowledgeable assistants, first checking out the upliftingly citrusy Santa Maria Novella perfume – the first the monks created – for none other than local noblewoman Catherine de Medici, who became Queen of France. It’s based on the famous Queen of Hungary’s Water (an early eau de Cologne).

In New York, those in the know (nose?) head to MiN – it’s quirkily designed:  dark wood floors, slightly scuffed antiques and custom library shelving create a clubby vibe, but the selection itself is worth a pilgrimage – from Cire Trudon candles and Culti home fragrance, Laboratorio Olfactivo, Keiko Macheri, Patricia de Nicolaï, Amouage, Etat Libre d’Orange, Jovoy and more, more, more – including a particularly quirky collection by Kerosene – seen above. (The creator is a mechanic, the labels hand-embossed from brass, the bottles sprayed with car paint.  Yes, really.)
Shopping lists and city maps at the ready? Get even more ideas for your fragrant fixes when flying away…
Written by Suzy Nightingale

I Scent You a Day honour The Perfume Society with Fellowship Award – follow a fragrant journey…

Dedicated fragrance blogger I Scent You a Day set herself the challenge of wearing a different perfume every single day of the year, without bankrupting herself by buying 365 differing bottles of scent! One of the ways she’s been able to follow this perfumed pilgramage, and write about it so entertainingly, is by regularly purchasing our Discovery Boxes of fragrance minis and samples – many of which are impossible to find elsewhere, and have led to a love for rising-stars of the niche world along with classics of the genre and even pre-launch sneak-previews.
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We were absolutely thrilled to hear that in her round-up of ‘the very best of scents’ for 2016 – a.k.a The Iscents – The Perfume Society were honoured with a Fellowship Award!
Indeed, the Fellowship Award was specifically invented for us, because we ‘[defy] other categopries.’
As explained in the post describing the award categories and why the winners were chosen,  ‘Not only do they provide white boxes of treasure that even the most jaded perfume palate would salivate at, but they’re a sort of Mothership that  we can all turn to when we get a bit lost in the  murky depths of fruity-florals-chypres-colognes-my-nose-is-confused-help!  Ever had a day like that? I have. The Perfume Society Scented Letter magazine also makes me settle down with a contented sigh and think “I’ve found my tribe” as I read what other perfume obsessives are up to.  Fumeheads, you are not alone.’
SLMagCoversSmall-350x350Blushingly, we gratefully accept this award, and are so glad to have played a significant part in I Scent You a Day’s continuing fragrant journey… and hopefully, in yours!
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Acqua di Parma serves sun-seekers a dose of Italian luxury in new Miami boutique

Jet-setters chasing the sun in Miami – and those lucky enough to live there – can now revel in the luxurious surroundings of Acqua di Parma’s newely opened boutique. Designed to evoke the spacious elegance of a stylish Italian home, the 1,000 square foot space boasts a sleekly luxurious interior outfitted with the brand’s signature style – Calacatta marble contrasts with dark Wenge wood to highlight the famous Acqua di Parma yellow of the walls. At the heart of the store, a huge leather-covered pyramid showcases bottles of the brand’s most famous and timeless Colonia fragrances.
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Fans of the brand need not confine themselves to trying the Colognes and body products, as the much-ancipated barbershop provides gentlemen with original barber’s chairs in a devoted area that evokes all the traditional charm of a classical Italian barbershop, of course finished with the flawless contemporary touches for which the brand are known. Shaving and skincare products from their Collezione Barbiere have been created to accompany each phase of this ritual performed – you will be glad to hear – by an expert barber for a truly hands-on Acqua di Parma experience.
Located in the prestigious Brickell City Centre – right in the heart of Miami and one of the city’s most desirable zipcodes – it’s sure to become a must-visit for fragrance fanatics and style-seekers. And of course Acqua di Parma offer the perfect cooling scents to spritz if the temperature gets too steamy.
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‘We selected Miami as our first city due to its international recognition in art, design and culture which are values that define the essence of Acqua di Parma,’ explained Giovanni Lepori, President North America. ‘With events such as Art Basel and Design Miami we knew this was a city we wanted to be a part of.’
We rather see ourselves wafting about in a silk maxi dress while wearing their Arancia di Capri – an aromatically uplifting blend of orange, mandarin, and lemon essential oils with the sparkle of petit grain infused by cardamon and resting on a base of sweetly smooth musk. In fact, yes, book us the plane tickets now, please!
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Acqua di Parma Arancia di Capri from £64 for 75ml
Buy it at Acqua di Parma

New Year, new you? If you're stuck in a scent rut, here's how to break free…

We’ve all done it. Clung like a limpet to a favourite fragrance because a loved one told us we smelled wonderful, or we happened to be wearing it on a particularly auspicious day and have come to believe it was blessed by the gods – but would you wear your favourite outfit every single day, whether rushing to work, attending a glamorous party or travelling to an exotic location in?  You might adore a particular food, but would you want to eat the same meal for the rest of your life?
There’s nothing wrong in having a ‘signature scent’ per se – something you’re known for wearing and family members can smile as they smell – but constantly wearing the same fragrance can mean you get so used to it that you actually stop smelling it properly. Your nose becomes so attuned to that same old scent that it ‘skips’ over those once-glorious notes and moves on to more exciting things in your environment.
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Perhaps you’re a little nervous about what to try – the choice these days can be completely overwhelming (even for us!) so you have our sympathy. But never fear. We have an ingenious way of gently nudging you out of your comfort zone and in to a whole new world of fragrant discoveries…
There’s no need to ditch that favourite altogether – simply type the name of it in to our Fragrance Editor program (named FR.eD for short) and it will whizz through thousands of possibilities to pick six new perfumes for you try!
The really clever thing is, these aren’t merely based on similar notes to your favourite fragrance, but emotions and words used in the briefs perfumers were given when creating them.
There’s a brand new favourite – maybe even several scents – out there with your name on it, just waiting for you to take the first spritz…
Whatever you choose, everyone here at The Perfume Society wishes you a very Happy New Year!
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Gift with purchase: our three favourite words! Here's a scented selection…

Yes, yes, we know ’tis the season to be stocking up on gifts for our nearest and dearest, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find a little time to treat ourselves, right?
Three of our favourite words have to be ‘gift with purchase’ and luckily, at this time of year, there’s a veritable flurry of fragrant offerings. Your only real question should be: shall I gift it as an extra surprise, or, well, y’know. One for you, one for me?
Santa must think you’ve been very good this year at Estée Lauder, with a gi-norm-ous Blockbuster Set that includes…
236613064• Deluxe Palette with 16 EyeShadows, 3 Pure Color Envy Blushes
• 2 Pure Color Envy Lipsticks (full-size)
• 2 Pure Color Envy Lip Glosses (full-size)
• Sumptuous Extreme Mascara (full-size)
• Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II (30ml)
• Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Foam, 50ml
• Revitalizing Supreme + Cell Power Creme, 15ml
• Modern Muse Le Rouge Eau de Parfum Spray, 4ml
• Travel Case
Phew!
Okay this isn’t actually ‘free’ – but you can purchase it for £58 when buying any Estée Lauder fragrance. But, BUT – it’s worth a spectacular £339! We’d plump for adding it to the Modern Muse Set and having a double-dose of Muses for your money…
Estée Lauder Modern Muse 30ml Set with Makeup Artist Collection (worth £399 alone…) £93.60
Buy it at John Lewis
The following sublimely scented add-ons are available in flagship stores when you purchase the full-size fragrance in a 50ml size or above. Only one purchase per customer, they’re up for grabs whilst stocks last (so get your skates on!)
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A dichotomy of hot and cold, the interplay of cool, mineralic stone and the warmth of skin make for a fascinating scent to surprise – particularly good when layered-up (and even longer-lasting) we found.
Alaia Body Lotion & Showel Gel set, 50ml each
Buy it at House of Fraser
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Utterly, unashamedly feminine with a snuggly warm powdery lightness that radiates the whole day through. And who doesn’t love a miniature size that you can pop about your person for emergency spritzing?
Narciso Poudrée purse spray 10ml eau de parfum free with 50ml purchase £58.50
Buy it at thefragranceshop.co.uk
 
Narciso body lotion 75ml
Or, if stylishly branded scent accessories are more your thing, why not pick up an umbrella, tote or makeup bag for your travels…?
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There’s something about having a super-smart brolly that makes us care less about the rain, and this one is perfect for eitheir sex, too (read that as: we’re nicking it from him. Sorry!) Montblanc Black Umbrella – available nationwide when purchasing any Legend or Emblem fragrance, 50ml or above.
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Sassy, stylish and oh-so-useful there’s a huge Michael Kors tote bag free with any purchase of a 50ml sized Michael Kors fragrance at Boots. We say: get this and fill it with other gifts for a guilt-free eco-shopping trip!
 
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Loving the chic-punk vibes from this Balmain Make up Pouch and Weekend Bag – it’s a House of Fraser exclusive when purchasing Balmain Fragrance 60ml and above. Ditch the shabby bag of shame you’re currently carting around and face the world afresh!
And if the thought of lugging yourself and your purchases around the shops is all rather too much to take – why not browse our SHOP section, just bursting with perfect picks available at the click of a button…?
Written by Suzy Nightingale

What do White Lies smell of? AGONIST have come to seduce you…

Ah, the seductive allure of not quite telling the truth when it suits you far better to weave a little lie. Swedish niche brand AGONIST revel in the olfactory exploration of literary and cultural themes that play a large part in our lives, and with their latest fragrance, White Lies – which we were lucky enough to smell at Pitti Fragranze earlier this month – the truth may not always be out there…
AGONIST say: ‘Like a white lie it entices you yet holds a promise of a deeper truth. With a fresh and tempting top of lemon, rasperry and lychee, it drags you in to a heart of jasmine, tuberose and heliotrope. The deep and sensual notes of patchouli, orcanox and vanilla in the base makes the composition truly unique and impossible to forget.’
Top notes: Lemon, rasperry, lychee
Heart notes: Jasmine absolute, tuberose absolute, heliotrope
Base notes: Patchouli, orcanox, vanilla
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Founded by perfume-obsessed couple Niclas and Christine Lydeen, they share a love for fragrance, intrigued and fascinated by its power. As Niclas muses, ‘We started to think about themes and ideas. We wanted to show another side to this perception of clean Swedish design. We were more inspired by a poetic, darker and melancholic side of the Swedish culture and heritage.’
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Continuing this darker exploration of poetic themes, White Lies takes you on a journey, slowly unravelling its multi-faceted nature as it warms on your skin. Explains Niclas, ‘White lies is a joyful and playful fragrance that doesn’t reveal itself at first, just like a little lie. It is a smooth sensation that becomes stronger. We wanted to create a scent that takes you to another dimension where dreams, stories and fantasies come to life. In the end it keeps its promise and becomes a symbol of truth, yet with some intriguing shades.’
Sweet at first – an Eton Mess of meringue swirled through puffs of whipped cream and sprinkled with tart fruitiness, like the lie itself, the further it goes the deeper it gets. As the floral heart blooms, so too does the base, reaching up and grabbing the blossoms with tendrils of resinous earthiness mellowed by the darkest, most delicious vanilla beans. You might say we found it rather difficult to resist…
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AGONIST White Lies £115 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Avery Perfume Gallery
Written Suzy Nightingale

AVERY Perfume Gallery branch out at Harvey Nichols

We love it when our favourite perfumeries open off-shoots in larger stores – it gives perfumistas a new place to explore while also allowing a whole new crowd of perfume-lovers a chance to stumble across some future favourites. AVERY Perfume Gallery have a particularly diverse and fascinating range of scents with something to tempt all – from a die-hard niche lover to the just-dipping-toes-in classicist venturing into waters new… and now they’re finding a home at Harvey Nichols, London’s iconic Knightsbridge store.
AVERY Say: ‘Located on the ground floor, the AVERY Perfume Gallery space brings together some of the world’s most niche fragrances, presenting artistic perfumery at its best. The display and the setting are visually curated by Cristiano Seganfreddo (Vice President and Creative Director of Intertrade Group). It is composed of polished copper fixtures adorned with precious Italian white marble and luxurious printed textiles, which are used to customise the sofa, and also includes an original 50’s style console. Visitors can savour the fragrances and fully experience each aroma utilising classic mouth-blown olfactory boules. Exclusively designed for AVERY Perfume Gallery stores as well as a series of ceramic animals and birds entirely Made in Italy with special gold-effect plating. Every “Scent Animal” is exclusively created as a design object for the AVERY Perfume Gallery stores.’

‘With a history that dates back to 1831, Harvey Nichols has always been a leader in its selection of mixed, curated and contemporary fashion since the 90’s. AVERY Perfume Gallery perfectly mirrors Harvey Nichols’ attitude: the love for beauty, quality and a contemporary shopping experience, offering a taste of olfactive and visual emotions.A Lab on Fire: is a limited production brand, encapsulating the mystery of its creator and the genius of stimulating collaborations with the most brilliant talents in the world of perfumery.’
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Among the many unique fragrances you absolutely must seek out, here’s some houses to explore further while you’re there…
Agonist: fragrances that represent the beauty of Scandinavian nature and culture. Each fragrance comes in a spray line as well as in handcrafted Swedish glass flacons.
AVERY Fragrance Collection: a collection of five perfumes (A, V, E, R and Y), devised by Celso Fadelli (President and Fragrance Curator of Intertrade Group), tracing unexpected olfactory itineraries.
Azagury: whose prét–à-couture scents and clothes are adored by the most glamorous women in the world.
Blood Concept: whose sanguine sensations run through every essence of the new 3 lines: BLACK, RED and UPSIDE DOWN.
Diane Pernet Paris: 4 one-of-a-kind fragrances from the global fashion icon Diane Pernet.
Préparation Parfumée Andrée Putman: an icon of interior design and her passions enclosed in six extraordinary scents.
Re Profumo: presenting characters from a novel as perfumes accompanied by an assortment of ceramics decorated with 24k gold.
Roads: the perfume collection by Danielle Ryan that consist of ten fragrances created in collaboration with the finest master perfumers of the United Kingdom.
Santa Eulalia: the famed fashion boutique of Barcelona created 5 fragrances that pay homage to the beauty of the Catalan’s city.
soOud: precious essences that welcome you into the world of the Orient are dedicated to the exploration of the senses.
S-Perfume: collection by former sculptor Nobi Shioya in which New York meets Japan and its traditions.

Selfridges launch Fragrance & Candle Space scent-destination for perfumistas – and we hosted the opening party!

We were utterly thrilled when Selfridges London asked The Perfume Society to host the prestigious opening party to celebrate their brand new Fragrance & Candle Space. Located on the ground floor of the department store, it’s a brave new sensorial world of scent exploration, offering a unique space in which to discover all manner of exciting brands, and some houses that were even new to us! Tickets had been eagerly snapped up – and with 100% turnout on the evening, clearly we weren’t the only ones anxious to experience this new olfactory arena…

Selfridges Fragrance and Candle Space main
The new department is spacious, elegantly modern in design and is set to expand even further later in the year when the back of the department is fully opened up. Currently housing the candle and home fragrance collection of Lola James Harper – one of our favourites ever since we first visited their press launch earlier this year and soon with their incredibly evocative fine fragrances to follow; we also spied the exquisitely revamped L’Artisan Parfumeur, the intriguing, music-inspired Justbox, the oft’ swooned over (and we certainly sniffed out why) The Fragrance Kitchen (their Spike Odyssey scent is a world exclusive) and So Oud. But seriously, you need to head there pronto to check out the full range of fabulousness.

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As glasses clinked and bubbles sipped, our Co-Founder Jo Fairley gave an introductory speech welcoming our VIP Subscribers to the event, and we led groups around key stands in the venue whose founders and brand representatives had honoured us by travelling to Selfridges especially for the party, talking about how they began, what their fragrances are inspired by and behind-the-scenes info of their processes.

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From Linda Pilkington (who began Ormonde Jayne literally at her kitchen table), to one of the iconic (arguably first ever heroes of niche) Frederic Malle team; from the charming and so-talented founder of Lola James Harper, Rami Mekdachi; and onwards to the ever-wonderful Diptyque (complete with a travelling trunk of fragrant goods we lusted over for some time…)

Of course there was plenty of sniffing, and our groups were reluctant to tear themselves away from each stand – it’s staggering to see (and smell) the hundreds of hard-to-find fragrances on offer there. On leaving, guests were handed the incredibly generous goody bag – honestly, it had to be seen to be believed. We heard gasps of delight as people opened theirs – provided by brands mentioned, above, for our party, containing a number of fragrant treats to check out at home. But as we left, the tills were still ringing with ticket-holders snapping up their scents of choice – a prospect made all the more agreeable by the £25 gift voucher also included in the goody bag!

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If you’re reading this and feeling slightly sick that you couldn’t make it or hadn’t been quick enough to secure a ticket, may we suggest you take some time out to saunter down to Selfridges and sniff out the new Fragrance & Candle Space for yourselves? You’re bound to come away with a list of must-have perfumes to lust over, at the very least.

Want to join us at future scented soirées? Why not become a VIP Subscriber – or gift a subscription to a fellow scent-lover? Only £25 for a full year, not only will you be invited to equally fabulous and exclusive events and in-depth workshops – you get a complimentary introductory Discovery Box of scents to explore (plus any others you decide to buy will be available at our special VIP rate); on-going special offers and discounts in some of your favourite stores and access to the downloadable version of our award-winning magazine, The Scented Letter, too! It’s kind of win-win-win-win…

Written by Suzy Nightingale