Scenting the Winter Solstice

Marking the rebirth of the sun, and a renewal of hope and lighter days ahead, the Winter Solstice has enthralled cultures around the world for many centuries. That gradual waning of daylight hours – which, oh golly, has felt eternal and gloom-laden – is reversed, and in religious ceremonies, in the alignment of ancient monuments, and in households eager to fling back the curtains, we gratefully welcome the light again.

It takes time, of course, for us to notice the incremental extra minutes, then hours, that we can look to the sky and feel hopeful again; but there are things that can help. A brisk walk in whatever nature you can access (even twice around the block when you’re in a funk) can shake off some of the frosted cobwebs; and a generous spritz of a scent that has somehow captured the midwinter sunshine and magnified it – a perfumed prism of happiness, if you like – is fantastic for an instant uplift. These aren’t the balmy, beachy scents of summer, which can feel a little brash and jolting right now; but the gentle winter sunshine contained within can add a sparkle and genuinely can help boost your mood.

Until the sun feels like it’s in the right place again, please consider seeking these out to help you feel a bit lighter of spirit….

 

 

la montana first light 50ml

La Montaña First Light

A cool gasp of surprise as sunlight sets the top of a mountain ablaze, dew-sparkled fennel, the rosy-green fuzz of geranium and silvery pine needles warmed by a touch of balsam-burnished leather in the base.

£65 for 50ml eau de parfum in our shop

 

 

 

 

Moncler Les Sommets Le Solstice

Sun-glistened icicles viewed from the snugness of your luxury wooden cabin in a chic ski-resort. Smooth, powdery iris hugs cool violet and buoyantly radiant musk. It’s sipping Champagne wearing fluffy slippers time!

£175 for 100ml eau de parfum harveynichols.com

 

 

Moncler Sunrise Pour Femme

Moncler have clearly  also been inspired by sunlit mountain peaks (and why wouldn’t you be?) this time the rays ripple through bursts of grapefruit, golden pear, velvety petals and a violet-dusted woodiness that lasts ‘til dusk.

£76 for 60ml eau de parfum houseoffraser.co.uk

 

 

 

Frederic Malle L’Eau d’Hiver

Soothing whispers of endless comfort swirl in exquisite minimalism, a blanket of iris covering frosted hawthorns, radiant hedione glistening through melting icicles, the sun low but bright and rising, slicing through sadness.

£240 for 100ml eau de toilette libertylondon.com

 

 

Edeniste Néroli Sensuel 

Neroli doesn’t have orange blossom’s summer swagger, but it feels like light pouring into a room when the curtains are flung open. Crystalline pear and juicy white musk-swathed peach match the glittering, frosted aura.

£68 for 30ml eau de parfum in our shop

 

 

 

Cloon Keen Atelier Frosted Moon

Ethereal moonlight kisses frosted grass, sparkles of ice shards piercing beneath winter’s mantle to vetiver’s welcoming earthiness: spring’s bulbs warmly cocooned.

£120 for 100ml eau de parfum lessenteurs.com

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Fragrances For… The Winter Solstice

While selecting fragrances for the Winter Solstice, why not let it snow in the scents you wear? Perfumers have been inspired by frosted leaves, frozen lakes, mystical, white-tipped mountains, and all manner of wintry scenes.

Recently, we were blanketed by snow in the U.K. and the countryside was like a Christmas card come to life, while London looked for all the world like a real-life Rom Com. For a while, anyway. Though beautiful, snow and ice sadly cause travel chaos, and that pristine perfection turns to grey slush before long. But with the Winter Solstice, we want to keep the thrill of snowy scenes alive in the scents we choose…

 

 

4160 Tuesdays Doe in the Snow
A crystalline breeze brushes snowflakes on eyelashes, a world tinged white while eating peach sorbet in the midst of a magical forest’s wedding feast.
From £32 for 15ml eau de parfum 4160tuesdays.com

 

 

 

Moncler Pour Femme
In the chicest ski resort, powdered snow flecks cold metal, a crisp morning breeze of bringing the mountains closer with drifts of icy flowers’ frozen petals.
£113 for 100ml eau de parfum harveynichols.com

 

 

 

Lorenzo Villoresi Teint de Neige
Now available in sparkling scented body gel form, this crackles like a frost fairy’s mirror coated in face powder, coaxed from its ice layer by a flicker of candlelight.
£95 for 100ml sparkling body gel lessenteurs.com

 

 

 

Frederic Malle L’Eau d’Hiver
Soothing whispers of endless comfort swirl in exquisite minimalism, a blanket of iris covering frosted hawthorns, radiant hedione glistening through melting icicles.
£210 for 100ml eau de toilette libertylondon.com

 

 

 

Creed Silver Mountain Water
Cascading alpine streams conjured via chilled cassis, sparkling citrus, iced tea and the mercurial illusiveness of ambergris: purity providing welcome breathing space.
£185 for 50ml eau de parfum creedfragrances.co.uk

 

 

 

Kingdom Scotland Albaura
An icy gasp of air, the magnificence of a mountain conquered by a woman ahead of her time, marvelling at fresh snow, wild berries and botanicals, her own bravery.
£120 for 50ml eau de parfum kingdomscotland.com

The House of Oud Wonderly
Snow in the desert? Picture this: warm copper bowls of apricots, almond blossoms blooming, plumes of smoke curling skywards, snowflakes falling on sand dunes.
From £30 for 7ml eau de parfum ab-presents.co.uk

 

 

 

Roos & Roos Mentha Religiosa
An interplay of shadow and light, a crackle of mint awakens the fizz of bright bergamot, mellowed by powdery iris, threads of patchouli, and cold, clear incense.
£175 for 100ml eau de parfum roosandroos.fr

 

 

 

Zoologist Snowy Owl
Silvery snow hides life, but in the beat of a white feathered wing the owl swoops, furry voles snuggled in mossy tunnels oblivious as the world sleeps and glistens.
£210 for 60ml extrait de parfum bloomperfume.co.uk

 

Skandinavisk SNÖ Candle
A fragrant light to guide you through the darkest winter nights (and days), it fills the room with frosted berries, frozen timberwood and pushes stubborn walls back.
Now £19.20 for 90g osmology.co

 

 

L’Atelier Parfum Rose Coupe de Foudre
‘Somewhere between a shiver and a heartbeat,’ they say, ‘an intoxicating passion.’ Frosted magnolia unfurls, buxom buds bursting free; roses, berries, no regrets.
£95 for 100ml eau de parfum uk.latelierparfum.com

 

 

 

Cloon Keen Atelier Frosted Moon
Ethereal moonlight kisses frosted grass, sparkles of ice shards piercing beneath winter’s mantle to vetiver’s welcoming earthiness: spring’s bulbs warmly cocooned.
£120 for 100ml eau de parfum lessenteurs.com

 

 

 

Agonist Blue North
Spearmint-tinged botanicals, ginger-tingled herbs and cardamom-kissed woods pay scented tribute to the startling beauty of remote landscapes plunged in darkness.
£135 for 50ml eau de parfum averyperfumegallery.co.uk

 

 

 

Diptyque Neige Candle
Once upon a winter’s midnight, in the depths of a blue velvet sky, phosphorescent shapes are traced in sparkling heliotrope, a cosmic shimmer of cold white musk.
£38 for 70g selfridges.com

 

 

 

 

For further reading on the fascinating ways perfumers can conjure a sense of ‘cold’ in their compositions, and how we can actually use our sense of smell to predict an oncoming snowstorm before a single flake has fallen, read our lead feature in the winter edition of The Scented Letter Magazine – this multi-award-winning publication is FREE to read in a digital, flickable format, and to get yours, simply sign up, here.

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Let there be light – scenting the summer solstice

With the dawning light of the summer solstice comes a seasonal welcoming of midsummer (actually the beginning of 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 – celebrating the power of the sun while nurturing the light within.

The light forms fragrant inspiration for perfumers, too, capturing the sunshine (and moonbeams), bottling gradients of luminescence in ‘solar’ scents.

  

 

In fragrance, ‘solar’ denotes a feeling of sunshine, a languidly perfumed purr of warm-cat contentedness. In this new genre citrus is mellowed by breezy blossoms, dappled with cooler herbs or touched with a tingle of spices and warm woods, depending on the time or place they’re attempting to conjure.

These are fragrances capturing the intensity of late afternoon or blissfully dappled shade, scents evoking spectacular sunsets, the ‘blue hour’, forest nymphs bathed in moonlight, midnight’s velvety caress and qualities of light from specific locations around the world.

 

 

 

 

 

Why are light-filled fragrances so popular? As Louisa May Alcott says in Little Women, ‘Some people seemed to get all sunshine, and some all shadow.’ 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.

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 parfum tothefairest.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_LA_BEALTAINE.jpg

 

Cloon Keen Lá Bealtaine £120 for 100ml eau de parfum lessenteurs.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.

 

 

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale