Chelsea Flower Show 2024: blossom & bloom with these joyful spring scents!

As flower and garden lovers we are, of course, super excited about this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show – the annual event celebrating the very best of garden design, the growers, movers and shakers in the horticultural world. And of course, it’s the season when the perfume landscape is naturally burgeoning with florals for late spring and early summer.

 

 

 

At The Perfume Society, we have rooted out some florals for you to fall for – no matter if you are lucky enough to have a ticket for Chelsea Flower Show, are looking forward to visiting some spectacular public gardens over the coming weeks, or simply enjoying your own garden or local park.

Here you will discover a whole garden of floral and seasonally sublime samples – SO brilliant for trying before you buy a full-size – with earthy tones, fruity notes and even a subtle dusting of spice. Each fragrance sample has been specially picked to form a panoramic view of all the blossoming promise a floral fragrance can bring. They’re perfect for popping in your pocket or throwing in a bag for travel, too.

 

 

We know even those who thought they didn’t like floral and scents have fallen for several of the seasonally perfect perfumes from this selection! And you can find them all handily gathered within the Seasonal Scents Box Spring Box. Which will you pick to wear first? In the box you’ve got ALL these blossoming glories to try samples of…

 

 

4160 TUESDAYS SONNET No.1 eau de parfum
Fragrance Family: FLORAL

‘We first made a limited edition of Sonnet No. 1 for the Barnes Fragrance Fair, and the aim was to blend the aroma of Shakespeare’s flowers. Shakespeare’s first sonnet mentions “beauty’s rose” hence the name. To rose – both the absolute and essential oil – we added lavender, beeswax, narcissus and hay absolutes, and evoke the aromas of lily and violet. It floats on a bed of white musks. This is the most expensive fragrance we’ve ever made…’

 

 

BRIONI ESSENTIEL eau de parfum sample
Fragrance Family: WOODY AMBRÉE

‘The intriguingly green opening with sparkling bergamot and bright aromatic cardamom create a play of light through tender tomato leaves. Earthy patchouli enhances the heart’s woody facets which features an exclusive tonka bean variety, used for the first time in perfumery. The enveloping amber drydown brings out two truly spiritual notes – resinous frankincense and creamy sandalwood – and reflects a sense of calm and well-being.’

 

 

CREED SPRING FLOWER eau de parfum sample
Fragrance Family: FLORAL

‘Pretty in pink, Spring Flower is a playful and unapologetic celebration of femininity. Succulent peach extracts and soft florals blend effortlessly into notes of jasmine and white flowers, transporting you to a quintessential English garden on a perfect spring morning. Sensual ambergris and musk follow, adding depth and tranquillity to ensure every accord of this powerful female fragrance is fully savoured.’

 

 

 

GOUTAL PETITE CHERIE eau de parfum sample
Fragrance Family: FLORAL FRUITY

‘Petite Chérie is the irresistible fragrance Annick Goutal bestowed on her daughter Camille as a gift. Petite Chérie is a bright and cheerful floral-fruity musky perfume. Beneath its soft, mischievous and carefree airs, the fragrance unveils captivating, devilishly tempting and dangerously endearing charms. It seduces firstly with its playful notes of sweet and juicy pear and freshly-cut grass then blossoms into sumptuous and sensual rose with petals as velvety-soft as skin. It is said to be reminiscent of a young girl’s cheek that you want to lovingly kiss.’

 

 

 

FLOWER BY KENZO IKEBANA eau de parfum sample
Fragrance Family: FLORAL WOODY

‘This second fragrance in the FLOWER IKEBANA collection brings the Japanese mimosa to the fore. The Mimosa Absolute is at the heart of the scent and offers a unique floral expression close to nature. The verticality of hinoki wood supports the entire composition, with golden sesame extract resonating in a sillage of addictive comfort.’

 

 

LALIQUE SOLEIL VIBRANT eau de parfum sample
Fragrance Family:  WOODY FLORAL

‘Woody, floral, with a hint of vanilla. Soleil Vibrant Lalique bottles a beaming energy whose scent is a joyful ode to femininity and wildness. A fragrance that smells as delicious as sun-kissed skin. That makes you feel as happy as a summer day.’

 

 

 

MOLTON BROWN DELICIOUS RHUBARB & ROSE eau de parfum sample
Fragrance Family: FLORAL FRUITY

Firmly rooted in cherished childhood memories of baking with rhubarb’s unique tartness sprinkled by just enough sweetness. In this utterly addictive eau de parfum, those seeking scrumptiousness can indulge with joyfully juicy raspberry and a vivacious kick of pink pepper enhancing rhubarb’s sparkle, as luscious lychee and the tender peony showcase rose’s powdered charm, with a soothingly sensual base of cedarwood and musk swathing you in a gossamer soft trail. This is one to wear when you want to smell utterly scrumptious, and simply can’t get enough of yourself. Delicious, darling!

 

RUTH MASTENBROEK SIGNATURE eau de parfum sample
Fragrance Family: CHYPRE

‘A story of freedom…set along a winding path of wet and earthy leaves that lead to a secret garden. In Signature, fresh fruity notes of mandarin, bergamot and pineapple waltz elegantly together with rose on a stage of patchouli and oakmoss. The result is a sparkling and elegant perfume with an evolving woody base, that lives as an accolade to times gone by.’

 

 

 

SHAY & BLUE CEDARWOOD GRAPEFRUIT eau de parfum sample
Fragrance Family: WOODY CITRUS

They say: ‘Huck the Fipsters! This fragrance is not just for beards. Sparkling pink grapefruit will put some style in your step contrast with coffee bean for character. Finish with refreshing cedar wood for a sense of mystery.’ Discover Cedarwood Grapefruit Eau de Parfum from Shay & Blue, an uplifting scent with notes of juicy pink grapefruit, neroli, vibrant coffee bean and cedarwood. This gorgeous scent will make a refreshing addition to any perfume collection.

 

 

 

TOCCA COLETTE eau de parfum sample
Fragrance Family: FLORAL AMBRÉE

‘Colette is a heady bouquet of florals with warm, spicy edges that linger everywhere she goes. Sparkling citrus and pink peppercorn swirl around jasmine and violet, drying down to musk, vanilla, and sandalwood. Spicy. Mysterious. Seductive.’

 

So, whether you’re looking for a new signature scent, want to settle down with a Shakespearean-inspired floral, or even dream of some Parisienne armchair travel, throw open the windows as we indulge in the Spring Seasonal Scents Subscription Box

Wedding Guest Scents: What to wear? Match Fragrances to Fabric!

For ‘what to wear’ as a wedding guest (or any of the posh parties and events one might get invited to in the warmer months) it can often be a bit of a struggle to wonder which fragrance we should reach for – something that feels dressed up, but not too overpowering. Where to start…?!

 

 

 

Help! Suddenly, those going ‘out-out’ scents we saved for dressy occasions can feel rather too cloying or stifling in the summer, and so we urge you to reach out and match the feel of your fragrance to the fabric used in the outfit you’ll be wearing. There are so many scents out there evoking the sensual textures and moods of silk, cotton and linen. So, start with the look for inspiration and finish with the fragrance that best enhances it as your invisible accessory. It’s the most cohesive way to feel put-together and instantly event-ready, no matter the occasion…

 

 

 

 

Juliette Has a Gun Musc Invisible

If you’re wearing something more simple but beautifully cut – say, a stunning cotton dress, the airy perfection of broderie anglaise, or the clean lines of summer two-pice –  you don’t want to overwhelm the look. Pair with this dreamy blending of radiant jasmine absolute with deliciously soft cotton flower, resting on a featherbed of soul soothing white musk. Want a scent to wear every day, not only for a special events? This is your new go-to for any occasion.

from £100 for 50ml eau de parfum Johnlewis.com

 

 

 

Cacharel Noa

Created by none other than famed nose Olivier Cresp, this is a timeless masterpiece of understated loveliness – and perfect for those on a budget (if you pushed the boat out for the outfit!) Who doesn’t want to be wrapped in a whisper of white, soft cotton and pretty, powdery peonies? Weightless yet fluffed around the edges, the soothingly nuanced freesia nuzzles fuzzy peach skin, ylang ylang and a shower of sheer rose petals to the creamy, transparent incense base.

£21.99 for 30ml eau de toilette theperfumeshop.com

 

 

 

FLORIS_TUBEROSE_IN_SILK

 

Floris Tuberose in Silk

A ‘celebration of voluptuous tuberose’, think elegantly draped silk – the captivatingly iconic flower enrobed in the solar breeze of jasmine, the soft musk of warm skin and a surprisingly fruity benzoin base. Sourcing a natural tuberose absolute from southern India, there’s sunshine folded within, so it blooms beautifully for hours. In-house perfumer Penny Ellis worked with perfumery director Edward Bodenham to create this hand-poured, small batch edition. Stock up now!

£180 for 100ml eau de parfum florislondon.com

 

 

Creed Queen of Silk

For something more va-va-voom, this wows with the intricacy of a lavish pattern that emerges from a roll of the finest silk. Fusing the opulence of tuberose with the rich qualities of patchouli, think of those notes as the warp, the scented structure of this composition, while succulent passion fruit balances smooth vanilla and amber-rippled woods act as the colour-shift weft. Threaded together, they drape with magisterial presence for a perfume that demands attention.

£270 for 75ml eau de parfum creedfragrances.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Estèe Lauder White Linen Legacy

‘I named it White Linen because I envisioned the woman who wore it as fresh, crisp and clean’ said Mrs. Estée Lauder of her original masterpiece. Reimagined here with the help of Frederic Malle in the Legacy collection, White Linen feels elevated beyond simplicity to become, as they describe it, more ‘geometrical.’ The pureness feels exquisitely tailored, a symphony of airy aldehydes, breezy rose and jasmine wafting to the warm, musky, hay-like vetiver base. Sublime!

£250 for 100ml eau de parfum esteelauder.co.uk

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Guerlain Muguet Millésime 2024 – excuse us while we swoon…

Every year in the month of May, Guerlain releases their much-anticipated Muguet – a limited edition, Bee-bottled fragrant homage to the the spring season, and artistically referencing legends surrounding lily of the valley…

 

Only available on guerlain.com and in Guerlain boutiques, this annual exquisite collectors piece represents Guerlain’s olfactive ode to their heritage – utilising a beloved floral symbol which we happen to adore at The Perfume Society, too, lily of the valley being the emblem we chose for its fragrant folklore meanings (and because we began ten years ago on May 1st, when bouquets of lily of the valley, or muguet in French, are traditionally bequeathed to loved ones.

Guerlain Says: ‘Like every year, the House of Guerlain celebrates the arrival of spring with its emblematic Muguet in a limited, numbered pieces edition. For this long-awaited and exclusive lucky rendezvous, Guerlain reaffirms its commitment to arts and crafts by collaborating with Anne Lopez.’

 

 

 

 

‘On the iconic Bee Bottle, the sculptor brings to life subtle bells fashioned in stucco and enhanced with 22-carat fine gold, turning the 2024 Millésime into a singular sculptural work. A trail, which freshness reminisces of a freshly-picked sprig of lily of the valley.’

Artist Anne Lopez was chosen to design the precious flaçon this year, and Guerlain explains that ‘The adornment of lucky bell-shaped flowers was born from her delicate sketches, drafts that create a singular vision. Fashioned in stucco, a coating made of marble powder, the twenty-four bell-shaped flowers illuminated with gold and the two green leaves are sculpted by Anne Lopez directly on the glass. Just like a delicate necklace, the lily-of-the-valley sprig composition unfolds in a considered way around the bottle’s curves : plump bell-shaped flowers at the top, then gradually refining into an utterly graceful string.’

 

 

 

 

Although each year the bottle design and embellishments change depending on the artist Guerlain is collaborating with, the stunning scent remains – gracefully, gratefully – unchanged. ‘It is to Guerlain’s Master Perfumer that we owe the feat of reproducing the fragrance of lily of the valley.’ And Guerlain reminds us that the this flower is one of the trickiest to translate in fragrant form. ‘Described as “mute”, its natural essence is impossible to extract. Guerlain’s Muguet, composed since 2016 by Thierry Wasser, captures as faithfully as possible the scent of the lucky sprigs. In a burst of freshness, the green notes meeting the floral preciousness of jasmine and rose adorn this emblematic trail with soft and pearly green and rosy facets. At the heart of this bouquet, the olfactory illusion of a freshly picked sprig of lily of the valley emerges.’

Of course this is a dream piece – these are collected, and beloved all over the world. But how wonderful that such artistry can still be found, and admired (even in simply gasping at pictures of the work, or watching the bottle spin in the film found on Guerlain’s website). Drink in the artistry of the images, and (we urge you) do go and smell the scent in-store, and allow yourself to be awed awhile by something beautiful. It’s good for the soul…

 

 

 

Guerlain Muguet Millésime 2024 (4885 limited and numbered collection pieces), £675 for 100ml Bee Bottle + 30ml Spray Bottle guerlain.com

 

By Suzy Nightingale

Fragrant Folklore: Seven Scents of the Uncanny (for May Day & More!)

With a history firmly rooted in Celtic, Christian, Nordic and Germanic folklore, the many myths and legends that entwine our superstitions – and filter through to current day celebrations – also provide a host of perfumed inspiration across many cultures.

May is a month particularly ripe in these traditions in the British isles, though, with May Day and the annual Jack in the Green parades around the country providing part mirth, part whimsical terror in the form of mobile hedgerows and Morris Dancers and May Poles.

 

The Jack in the Green parade, Hastings, East Sussex.

 

With the start of this new month, now seems the perfect time to frolic in a contemporary retelling of fragrant heritage. Indeed, we’ve noticed a slowly building pattern for fragrance houses dipping into traditions, and reviving ingredients more often seen in vintage perfumery, and with ‘creepy’ scents that were only usually trundled out at Halloween being launched and revelled in all year long. But with recent issues of The Scented Letter magazine featuring articles on celestial and astrologically-inspired scents, and the current issue being all about The Rites of Spring, this surge of new-age spiritualism comes hot on the heels of a report in The Face magazine on the return of folk culture, and rave reviews for The Red King – a new Wicker Man-esque drama series.

 

The Red King [TV Drama, Alibi]

Are we collectively seeking some semblance of comfort in embracing ‘the old ways’, or has there always been an inherent fascination for folklore that’s simply bubbling to the surface as a new trend? Whatever the reason, cast aside notions of the uncanny being confined to Halloween and join us in donning floral crowns – including lily of the valley, of course – and revelling in these frolicsome fragrances…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you go down to the woods today… swathe yourself in the spirit of the forest with this so-evocative scent. There’s an otherworldly quality to the composition, to be sure, with all the mossy, mulch-y mysteries of fir needles and fallen cedar branches; but the verdant stirrings of new life, and your part of nature’s cycle, is apparent in the leafy unfurling of buds, the trilling of birdsong. Wrapped in an earthy base, warmed by saffron, it’s your scented spell of protection at any time of year.

Wales Perfumery FOREST – COEDWIG £54 for 30ml eau de parfum walesperfumery.com

 

 

 

Shay & Blue Atropa Belladonna 100ml

A slowly creeping intoxication of transparent jasmine and luminescent white narcissus work their magic beneath greedy handfuls of succulent berries snatched in woodland thickets – a sense of half-glimpsed, tulle-draped ghosts flitting between the trees. Inspired by the notorious Deadly Nightshade, by the time you reach the chocolate-y patchouli base and musky vanilla dry down, it will already have cast its spell.

Shay & Blue Atropa Belladonna £65 for 100ml eau de parfum in our shop

 

 

Socrates supposedly drank black hemlock to poison himself, but it’s used here to far greater fragrant effect – oodles of the absolute lending mysterious shadows to a dusky forest, soft, grassy whispers wafting amidst the verdant undergrowth, all set against the backdrop of a violet-streaked, vetiver rich, amber-tinged, sunset. This one captivates crowds, and could charmingly convert newcomers to your cult, should you so wish.

Ormonde Jayne Ormonde Woman £235 for 88ml eau de parfum
ormondejayne.com

 

 

If you need to summon up strength of heart and creativity, brilliant perfumer Lyn Harris has conjured this composition to aid your quest. Simmering with a spiced heart of cinnamon, nutmeg and black pepper, swags of of roses (thorns and all) are stirred into the melting pot, along with oodles of powdery orris for an enchanted cloak of protection. What’s more, each Vyrao scent comes charged with a naturally sourced Herkimer diamond crystal for extra good vibes.

Vyrao Witchy Woo £135 for 50ml eau de parfum selfridges.com

[Or try a travel-size via the Vyrao High Five Set]

 

 

 

Dare you follow the strangely flickering light that leads to the heart of the woods? Fern fronds and bundles of lavender twist together – the brightening weather beckoning sunshine tomorrow, but if the shadows still tap at the window, you need this… One to wear for feeling emboldened, we say, when you need an extra layer of loveliness to bring you safely home (and have others demanding to know what beguiling scent you’re wearing along the way).

Maison Crivelli Absinthe Boréale £75 for 30ml eau de parfum lessenteurs

 

 

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. 

Manos Gerakinis Omen £205 for 100ml eau de parfum shymimosa.co.uk

[Or, why not try this in the Manos Gerakinis Discovery Set?]

 

 

Portal is described as ‘a gateway to the ancient Caledonian forests of Scotland.’ It’s fresh, outdoorsy, gusting with herbaceous botanicals and bergamot, notes chosen to evoke verdant florals, resting on a veritable forest floor of vetiver and Scots pine. Kingdom Scotland’s description – ‘an escape to a sylvan wonderland’ – hints at its power to transport you to the shade of the tranquil forest. You’ll be welcomed by the others that dwell there, and possibly made Queen…

Kingdom Scotland Portal £132 for 50ml eau de parfum  in our shop

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

The Scented Story of 4160 Tuesdays Tokyo Spring Blossom

Sarah McCartney, perfumer-founder of 4160 Tuesdays, has featured her scent Tokyo Spring Blossom from the time she launched her perfume house, in 2011. It’s the most beautiful essence of spring, and though it feels so effortless to wear, the story of how Sarah actually captures that blossom-y blooming sensation is quite another matter…

 

In the spring issue of our Scented Letter magazine – sign up to get your FREE digital copy delivered to your inbox! – Jo Fairley focussed on blossoms in her joy-filled fragrance feature for the season, and Sarah revealed the complications of capturing that airy, cheery, breezy scent in a bottle, explaining: ‘I’ve attempted to capture a few blossoms in my time. The technical way is headspace analysis, capturing the air around the flowers and identifying all the different molecules they emit, then reassembling the aroma from its components. But artisan perfumers like me do it by nose and experiment, so we might arrive at the aroma by a completely different route.’

 

 

For Tokyo Spring Blossom, which remains a much-loved fragrance in her line-up, Sarah explains, ‘I wanted a general impression of walking through a park in cherry blossom time, and used a touch of rose geranium with raspberry leaf, violet and balsam for the effect.’ And the intricacies of the perfumer’s art to create these textures, feelings of light and colour, of spaciousness, are not something we might even consider the scientific skills behind (as quite rightly, we’re caught up in the beauty of wearing the scent itself!) However, it’s fascinating to know just how it’s achieved. Says Sarah:

 

 

 

 

‘Essential oils and absolutes very rarely represent the exact scent which blossom wafts out, when we bury our noses in it. The extraction processes lose volatile molecules along the way, so we add synthetic materials to restore the impression of living flowers. Ironically, when someone comments that a blend smells fresh, light and natural, it’s because I added Hedione – or Methyl dihydrojasmonate, to give it its chemical name.’

 

 

 

Tokyo Spring Blossom is one of 4160 Tuesdays’ earliest fragrances, first made in 2011 for a charity fundraising event in a tiny Tokyo cafe. We made it for our friend Urura, whose name means “the breeze through spring blossom”. It is one of those fragrances which  is so unusual that people have to spend a while deciding whether they adore it or are afraid of it. It is built around oppoponax, cabrueva and tolu, with soft violetty ionones, with pink peppercorn, rose, tangerine, geranium and grapefruit, with Ambrox and raspberry leaf absolute at the base. Imagine the breeze through spring blossom, but in another universe.’

 

 

Tokyo Spring Blossom £65 for 50ml eau de parfum in our shop

 

Purchase your stunning glossy print copy of The Scented Letter Magazine featuring the full blossom-scentric feature, £15 / £12.50 for VIPs.

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Iris – the most intriguing floral fragrances you can find…?

Oh how we adore iris – the flowers, of course, but also the fascinating fragrances conjured from what has to be one of the most unlikely-looking ingredients in perfumery (but happens to be one of the most expensive)…

Because it’s not the flowers that grant us the ingredient used in iris scents, it’s a rather unprepossessing looking root with a heavenly, suede-like aroma. You might say that curiosity combined with ingenuity altered the history of perfume forever. Who was the first person rootling around in the earth beneath the gloriously flowering iris, discovering the fleshy, creeping rootstocks (known as rhizomes) that look for all the world like the key ingredient in a fairytale’s curse, and pondering, “what if…?”

Taking those roots, putting them in a cave to age further (the older iris rhizomes get, the more pungent they become), and grinding, distilling and extracting the essence, only then does it transform into the uniquely powdery, skin-like, sometimes almost bread dough-esque scent that lingers and clings low to the skin for hours.

 

 

 

 

Lauded for centuries as a symbol of majestic power, dedicated to the goddess Juno and revered by Egyptians who placed the flowers on the brows of the Sphinx and scepters of kings – the three petals of the blossom supposedly representing faith, wisdom and valour. In both ancient Greece and Rome, orris root was already highly valued in perfumery, with fragrant unguents of iris widely used in Macedonia, Elis and Corinth, for which they became famous.

Iris fragrances can smell as sweetly innocent as freshly laundered linen, or hint at the siren call of the boudoir – lipstick, powdered skin and silken underthings that gradually take on the body scent of the wearer. This is an ingredient you’ll long to snuggle in the bosom of, and once truly appreciated you’ll never want to be without.

Intrigued? You will be by these…

 

 

MALIN + GOETZ Strawberry

Banish thoughts of any strawberry (or iris!) scent you’ve ever sniffed and imagine a freshly picked garden strawberry with stalk still attached, orris root adding soft spring floral notes with a flurry of jasmine petals and soft musks.

£86 for 50ml eau de parfum malinandgoetz.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Vyrao I Am Verdant

Sprouting acres of grass and green verges with every spritz, cyclamen joyously bursts through the undergrowth, swags of moss-bedecked ivy draping the powdery comfort of iris, and bergamot bolstering the brightness of orange flower

£135 for 50ml eau de parfum selfridges.com (Try a sample in the Vyrao High Five Set for £79)

 

 

 

 

Prada Infusion d’Iris

Allow your mind to drift from the fragrant sensation of wearing an immaculate white shirt line-dried in spring, to crisp sheets on bare flesh: the allure of clean linen waiting to be sullied. Achingly lovely, it begs to be billowed.

£135 for 100ml eau de parfum prada.com

 

 

 

JULIETTE_HAS_A_GUN_LIPSTICK_FEVER

 

Juliette Has a Gun Lipstick Fever

Capturing ‘mummy’s handbag’ in fragrant form a slash of iris, violet absolute and raspberry softening to the woodsiness of patchouli and cedar-swathed vanilla. Echoing the scent of vintage makeup amidst leather, it’s simply mwah, mwah!
From £130 for 100ml eau de parfum harveynichols.com

 

 

 

 

MAISON_CRIVELLI_IRIS_MALIKHAN

 

Maison Crivelli Iris Malikhân

Iris’ innocence unfurls into something altogether more sinful, the opening a gentle stroke via galbanum and cypress, then a tickle of incense, a hint of skin. The heart purrs, powdery iris then the throb of the mimosa-infused leather. Oh my.

£175 for 100ml eau de parfum harveynichols.com

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

The Secret Language of Spring Flowers… (and matching scents)

Spring is a time of joyfully watching the flowers bloom and the gardens come to life again, and of course it’s also a season for gathering bouquets; but did you know there are many ways you can send a secret message via the flowers you select – and perhaps one you might play with in the fragrances you wear (or gift)…?

 

For thousands of years, secret coded ‘messages’ have been attributed to flowers, and the cultural or social settings in which they’re given as tokens or displayed. The Victorians were particularly fond of this sentimental ‘Language of Flowers‘, with a number of books and pamphlets devoted to the subject – informing the reader how they may go about creating their own secret message via the flowers they gift a loved one, or decoding what that bouquet from an admirer actually meant. Think of it as the far more aesthetically (and sensorially) pleasing alternative to emoji’s sent in today’s text messages, or shared on social media!

 

 

Floriography: An Illustrated Guide to the Victorian Langauge of Flowers by Jessica Roux – read our review, here.

 

We rather love the idea of making a bouquet or floral fragrance gift extra special by sending one of the various modern interpretations or reprints of charming ‘Language of Flowers’ books alongside – or simply smiling secretly as you wear your own favourite floral scent while billowing a message only those in the know (or nose? Sorry) might recognise. Meanwhile, to get you started, here’s some Spring flower’s possible meanings and suggestions of accompanying scents you might like to furtively waft forth…

Bluebell = Humility

‘If you go down to the woods today… a fragrant carpet of bluebells awaits. Breathe deep. Citrus, hyacinth, clove. An eau de toilette reminiscent of childhood escapades in the fresh, dewy spring.’

Penhaligon’s Bluebell £135 for 100ml eau de toilette 

 

 

 

 

Lily of the Valley = A Return of Happiness

‘As bright as a spring morning, this romantic floral bouquet blossoms with the freshness of lily-of-the-valley, Christian Dior’s lucky flower and the emblem of Dior Couture.’

Dior Diorissimo £82 for 50ml eau de toilette

 

 

 

 

Violet = Hidden Virtues 

The cool and green undertones of April Violets are enhanced by beautiful mimosa and the zing of citrus, a speckle of powdery orris, the creaminess of vanilla and a perfectly, smoothly-rounded sandalwood in the base.

Yardley April Violets £17.50 for 125ml eau de toilette

 

 

 

 

Lilac = First Feelings of Love

‘A stroll down a country lane where lilacs dance in the spring breeze, casting their lush fragrance into the fresh air. Elegant notes of privet blend with the delicate scent of orange flower and lilac, a dreamy memory of a long weekend.’

Aerin Lilac Path £105 for 50ml eau de parfum

 

 

Shay & Blue Black Tulip 100ml

Snowdrops = Hope, Love & Compassion

Contrasts abound as smooth white chocolate swathes gently spiced plum, bright snowdrops and creamy cyclamen hugged by drifts of fresh wood shavings, curls of chocolate falling like spring snowflakes melting in welcome sunshine.

Shay & Blue Black Tulip From £25 for 10ml eau de parfum

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

April Shower Scents – for any kind of spring weather!

Lately we’ve had all possible spring weather, from beautiful bright days to downpours and even hail storms thrown in. While we await true spring laying ball for several days in a row, instead of cursing any rain showers, we’ll be wearing rain-scented fragrances and embracing the weather while we can!

‘It is certain that the best soil smells like a fine unguent… It is the odour often recognised at sunset… at the place where the ends of the rainbow meet the earth, or when rain has soaked the ground after a long drought. Then it is that the earth exhales her own divine breath, received from the sun, and of incomparable sweetness.’ Pliny the Elder, Natural History, AD 77

Petrichor is the term given to that unique scent following a rain shower on parched earth – when the world seems breathe a sigh of relief, and we, unconsciously perhaps, breathe in a little more deeply, savouring its so-pleasurable smells.

Some people mistakenly assume the word alludes to smell of rain itself, but they are mistaken. It’s in the moment raindrops kiss the arid land the magic happens. Rainwater releases micro-organisms called geosmins hidden in the earth, mixed with the smell of plant oils and ozone itself: that’s petrichor.

 

 

Petrichor smells, somehow, like the earth revealing a secret. It is an aroma that has been remarked upon over centuries, and which humankind long seems to have been drawn to, but only relatively recently has it been investigated. It was while out observing cattle that scientists Isabel Joy Bear and Richard Thomas first coined the term ‘petrichor’ in 1964, using it in their study published that year, The Nature of Argillaceous Odour.

Noticing the cattle seemed to react strongly to the scent of fresh rainfall, following it as a trail to seek fresh drinking water, these scientists, metaphorically and literally dug deeper until the genesis of these odour-releasing geosmins were understood. To give it a name, Bear and Thomas formed the poetic-sounding word petrichor from the Greek petra (stone, rock) and ichor (or I-KORE) which, in Ancient Greek mythology, referred to the liquid that flowed in the veins of the gods.

Harold McGee, author of the award-winning olfactory book, Nose Dive: A Field Guide to the World’s Smells [John Murray/Hachette UK], discusses the chemical process behind it for us in relatable terms, explaining petrichor as ‘…the veneer of volatiles that had been emitted by microbes, fungi, plants, animals, humans, and our technologies, and accumulated on mineral surfaces.’ McGee remarks that ‘These volatiles are usually too sparse and omnipresent for us to notice them in the air around us. But when rain suddenly drives them in greater amounts from mineral surfaces into the air, the volatiles become perceptible.’

 

 

 

 

Perfumers, perhaps unsurprisingly, have long been enthralled by this (literally) atmospheric smell. Distillers in the Indian capital of perfume, Kannauj, in Uttar Pradesh, for example, have been capturing the scent of a monsoon for centuries, via an extract of wet clay called mitti attar or gill attar.

More recently, we’ve seen a veritable downpour of these rain-soaked scents, which give the beauty of florals a freshness beloved by those of us not enamoured by a full-on heady type o floral fragrance. Think: blossoms and green leaves, the delicious smell of drenched soil and new blades of grass shining with droplets like jewels as the early sunshine re-emerges. And bury your nose in one of these sparkling spring shower scents…

 

 

 

Maison Margiela When the Rain Stops Play

Nose-tingling pink pepper awakens dewy leaves, encourages Isparta roses and jasmine to bloom. Damp, earthy moss, rain-washed air: the storm clouds, parted.

£60 for 30 ml eau de toilette sephora.co.uk

 

 

 

Creed Silver Mountain Water 

Effervescently intriguing, sudden clarity via smoky clary sage, the brightness of bergamot, lushly milky musks lulling us to warm rain in a tropical paradise.

£165 for 30ml eau de parfum creedfragrances.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Mihan Aromatics Petrichor Plains

Abstinence drenched by fat droplets, an aching of asphalt and hot, mineralic rocks in a thirsty, urban landscape that welcomes the relief of sudden rain.

Try a sample for £33 in the Mihan Aromatics Discovery set in our shop

 

 

 

 

Maison Crivelli Patchouli Magnetik

Humid crackles captured in a wearable mood-board of storminess, tropical gardenia and wild frangipani deluged by a thunderclap of electrically charged earthiness.

£205 for 50ml eau de parfum selfridges.com

 

 

 

 

Goutal Un Matin d’Orage

The soapy cleanliness of citrus caressing lushly dripping gardenia transports you to an ambient stroll in a Japanese garden. A welcome, wearable sigh of relief.

£165 for 100ml eau de parfum johnlewis.com

 

 

 

 

Molton Brown Lily & Magnolia Blossom 

Quietly hopeful, endlessly beautiful, dewy lily of the valley and silky sandalwood are entwined with rain-kissed magnolia blooms. Creamy and soft, it’s the essence of spring’s awakening.

£85 for 100ml eau de toilette moltonbrown.co.uk

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

More Magnificent Magnolias (your nose needs to know…)

You may have noticed we’re fully embracing a spring-fling of magnificent magnolia fragrances to wear this season, so from that initial edit of some favourite magnolia scents, and having taken a closer look at the science and history behind why we (and perfumers) adore the smell of magnolia; now we’re going in for a second floral frolic.

Which of these have you tried so far? Your nose is going to need to smell them ALL, and we’re pretty sure you’ll fall – or rather, spring – for at least one…

 

 

Sprig of magnolia on a marble worktop
Magnolia branch

 

 

 

The Merchant of Venice Blue Tea

 

THE MERCHANT OF VENICE BLUE TEA

With each fragrance celebrating rare ingredients traded on the Spice Routes in their ancient home of Venice, it’s fitting the mysterious blue tea takes centre stage, here – housed in possibly TMOV’s most glorious bottle to date. The wardrobe-style box reveals the be-tasselled Chinoiserie flacon – and inside that, a melange of hushed magnolia magnificence, butterfly pea-flower leaves (never before used in perfumery) adding freshness to the floral and nutmeg infusion, which offers a deeply satisfying woody finale.

£205 for 100ml eau de parfum harrods.com

 

 

 

Dsquared2 Wood

 

DSQUARED2 WOOD POUR FEMME

This magnolia-fused scent bubbles over with the vivacity of an escaped giggle – Sicilian mandarin and raspberry leaf dancing with the clarity granted by lily of the valley and the clarity of that magnolia. Shards of luminescent jasmine pierce the peach-skin fuzziness of osmanthus, and the musky, woody base feels like ice crystals formed on a cashmere scarf. A joyfully exuberant yet totally modern take on laid-back, cheeky chic.

£59.50 for 50ml eau de toilette theperfumeshop.com

 

 

 

Memoize London Concordia

MEMOIZE LONDON CONCORDIA

‘Despite life’s greatest challenges and difficult moments, your inner smile, sense of composure and stability has always shone through,’ says Memoize. Fruity pomegranate, bergamot and orange with a hint of pink peppercorn fizzes to the floral heart of floral orris, mellow magnolia and transparent jasmine, as more fruitiness sustains via green fig and ripe plum. The complex dry-down offers notes of opulent patchouli, vanilla and white musk, juxtaposing cool, green vetiver.

£177 for 100ml eau de parfum In our shop

 

 

LABORATORIO OLFATTIVO DECOU-VERT

 

LABORATORIO OLFATTIVO DECOU-VERT

Binding the sultry side of magnolia to a flourish of green leafiness, an extraordinary aquatic feeling is evoked – the sensation of water droplets gathered in buds which then bloom into a whole wild woodland of flowers: lily of the valley, wild jasmine, lilac trees granting a shady pathway as the perfumed warms on skin. Later, the beguiling but light trail of white musks is suffused with drifts of pollen from the magnolia trees. Hypnotically beautiful.

£90 for 100ml eau de parfum parfum-muse.com

 

 

 

Yardley Magnolia & Fig

Yardley Magnolia & Fig

Brimming with joyfulness, this light-filled ode to spring is bursting with those opulent magnolia flowers – there’s a feel for the textures of the tree here, from the elegant branches balancing the blooms to the bright green leaves all soaked from April’s showers then warmed in gentle sunlight. The fig note adds a creaminess, reminiscent of the waxy-petalled flowers, as piquant cassis balances smooth patchouli and the dewy grassiness of vetiver in the base.

£16.99 for 100ml eau de toilette boots.com

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

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