Honey fragrances – get ready to bee inspired…

Our theme this month is honey – warm, luxurious and comforting, honey works wonderfully in fragrances to emphasise floral notes, or add touches of amber richness.  There’s a whole hive of honey and beeswax scent notes in fragrances, and perfumer  Christine Nagel explains why she loves using it…

‘Honey has two facets – half devil, half angel. In Ambrée structures, it has a sweet, comforting effect, taking you back to childhood. But a small touch in a feminine structure can be extremely sexy…’

There are so many varieties of honey, each taking their smell (and colour) from the flowers on which the bees that produce it have feasted.  Orange blossom honey.  Eucalyptus honey.  Acacia honey:  the variations are almost limitless, sometimes woody, flowery, herbal or even tobacco-y.  The ancient Arab perfumers were the first to capture honey’s sweetness in perfumery, but today the honey featured is generally a synthetic note – one that’s drizzled sensually over quite a few fragrances in the past few years.

Now, can you envisage getting sweet on any of these honey-centric scents…?

Guerlain L’Art & La Matière Tobacco Honey

There’s something about honey which goes beyond delicious to downright irresistible in this fragrant nuzzle-me-closer scented experience, which had us purring from first spritz. Imagine a fine tobacco that’s been kept dry in a precious, carved wooden box, yet somehow suffused with nectar; enrobed in a nugget of glowing amber, but sliced with shards of light. Defiantly rich, yet it it floats in drifts around you like a gilded cloud.

£295 for 100ml eau de parfum guerlain.com

Parfums de Marly Oajan

Talk about a honeyed charm, this fragrance has it by the jar-full! Silky honey slinks to a sizzle of cinnamon, with apricot-tinged fruity osmanthus sweetly gliding to the smoothest amber, resinous (incense-like) labdanum and and rich benzoin. Swirled with addictive vanilla and toasty tonka bean, the earthy patchouli and dried fruity note of davana grounds the base. An all-day wist or neck-sniffer, for sure.

£245 for 125ml eau de parfum selfridges.com


Floral Street Sunflower Pop

Celebrating their collaboration between the Van Gogh Museum, Floral Street unveil a scent inspired by the artist’s most famous painting. The very definition of optimism, it’s sunny to look at and sunny inside, vibrant with fresh mandarin, Calabrian bergamot, and accords of vegan honey and Bellini cocktails. We’ll raise a glass to a fresh scent that allows us to hang onto summer for a wee while longer.

From £110 for 100ml eau de parfum floralstreet.com

Or

Enter our GIVEAWAY here for the chance to win the Sunflower Pop products!

Floris Honey Oud

A really good introduction to how oudh can be used in a nuanced way – almost as a seasoning instead of the main flavour – this one is actually delicious (as in, if it came in a jar, you’d want to lick it off your fingers, or slather it on buttered toast and guzzle it, ). The spiced honeyed note intensifies as oudh softly adds depth.. Intensely nuzzle-able, there’s nothing whatever to frighten the horses, here, even if you’ve avoided oudh!

From £30 for 10ml eau de parfum selfridges.com

[NB: Also available to sample as part of the Floris Private Collection set, for only £35, and including some of their most iconic scents].

 

 

 

 

Thameen Bravi

What if the diva lost her voice and needed the power of perfume to regain her bravado? This imagined story was the starting point for the third in Thameen’s ‘Britologne’ series, Bruno Jovanovic adding aphrodisiac ginger’s tingle to decadent tuberose, seducing with the decadent wild honey, and wonderfully smoky toasty-ness of walnut throughout, this packs a seriously addictive gourmand punch. Encore!

£250 for 100ml Cologne elixir selfridges.com

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Gourmand Scents for Shrove (4160)Tuesday(s) & Beyond

Pancakes or 4150 Tuesdays perfumes? We’ll take both, thanks! And now we have many of these in 50ml or full-size bottles stocked in our shop, it’s even easier to dip in to the deliciousness.

Because we are often what we eat – or at least, our taste preferences can be mirrored in the foods we crave – we thought why not widen this and say ‘we are what we smell’? So, let us match your favourite pancake toppings to some delectably more-ish perfumes from the always delightfully eccentric British niche house of 4160 Tuesdays. Definitely not only for Pancake Day itself – this house has something for every perfumista’s palate. Scents to indulge yourself with far beyond Shrove [4160]Tuesdays…

 

‘…lemon and orange and real honey absolute for a fresh, tasty top note that makes you lick your lips. So perhaps it’s a gourmand – a scent that smells of tasty food – but the pancake bit is quite subtle – plus they are British pancakes, the sort with no sugar in the batter. Oh who are we kidding? Really it’s all about warm bodies.’

4160 Tuesdays Sunshine and Pancakes from £32 for 15ml eau de parfum

 

‘It leads out with cedrat, orange, tangerine and bergamot essential oils,  juicy fragrance reminding us of eating a lemon top ice cream on a summer day. In reality, after its happy introduction, it’s a gently but perfectly constructed floral chypre with an iris-narcissus-lily of the valley heart, with a generous topping of white chocolate mousse, tonka absolute and musks.’

4160 Tuesdays Fluffy Lemon Top from £85 for 50ml eau de parfum

 

 

‘A long time ago in a village perched on a hill, there was a house above a chocolate shop where a beginner perfume-maker’s friend lived… Over the Chocolate Shop is the gloriously rich aroma you can inhale as the chocolatiers make their first batch of pralines in the early morning. Melting cocoa butter, a dash off coffee, hazelnut extract and a drop of vanilla absolute.’

4160 Tuesdays Over the Chocolate Shop from £100 for 50ml eau de parfum

 

 

‘A light, fruity floral fragrance which smells like a refreshing glass of fruit punch with a hint of cherry jam.  So how do we create a cherry jam note? What we did was to blend citrus essential oils, flowers, woods and raspberry. We’re pleased with its scrumptiousness.’

4160 Tuesdays Fruits of the Tree of Knowledge from £25 for 15ml eau de parfum

 

 

‘…the ideal blend of tart with sweet, smooth with sharp, bright with soothing. It’s made with one part tart to 29 parts comfort – the perfect balance between two contrasting themes, a pudding in a perfume. It’s all the delights of smelling rhubarb crumble with custard, a sparky citrus fruit and Yorkshire rhubarb-inspired creamy vanilla delight.’

4160 Tuesdays Rhubarb & Custard 1:29 £100 for 50ml eau de parfum

 

The first gourmand: Brillat-Savarin – an 18th Century chemist who knew you are what you eat (and smell!)

Long before ‘gourmand’ foodie-inspired fragrances were even dreamed of and while smell was still perceived as the poor cousin of our other senses, one 18th Century polymath was championing the exquisite pleasures that taste and smell bring to everyday life. And more than mere pleasure alone: in fact, he heralded the proper appreciation and scientific study of these long-foregranted senses…
‘Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.’ So said Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, 1755-1826, a French lawyer and politician whom, apart from law, studied chemistry and medicine, and eventually gained fame as an epicure and gastronome.
 

 
His seminal work Physiologie du goût (The Physiology of Taste), contains Savarin’s philosophies and observations on the pleasures of the food, which he very much considered a science – long before the birth of molecular gastronomy and serious studies of taste and smell had begun. And smell was very much at the forefront of the gastronomique experience, Savarin had worked out; exclaiming:
‘Smell and taste are in fact but a single composite sense, whose laboratory is the mouth and its chimney the nose.’
Previously considered the least important of the senses – indeed, smell remains the least scientifically explored, though technology is making huge leaps in our understanding – Savarin proclaimed that,’The sense of smell, like a faithful counsellor, foretells its character.’
 

 
Published only two months before his death, the book has never been out of print and still proves inspirational to chefs and food-lovers to this day.
 

 
Preceding the remarkable leaps in knowledge high-tech equipment has allowed and revealing how entwined our sense of smell is to the taste and enjoyment of food, Savarin also observed how our noses protect us from eating potentially harmful substances, explaining ‘…for unknown foods, the nose acts always as a sentinal and cries: “Who goes there?”‘ while coming to the conclusion that a person’s character may be foretold in their taste and smell preferences… ‘Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.’
We devoted an entire issue of our award-winning magazine The Scented Letter (now available in print, and with online subscriptions worldwide!) to taste and smell – as of course we are gourmand fans in ALL the senses. And so it is heartening to know that Brillat was on our side here, with this extremely useful advice we selflessly pledge to carry through life:
‘Those who have been too long at their labor, who have drunk too long at the cup of voluptuousness, who feel they have become temporarily inhumane, who are tormented by their families, who find life sad and love ephemeral… they should all eat chocolate and they will be comforted.’
Wise words, indeed. We plan to enjoy all the sweet temptations that come our way, in scent form and in chocolate. Talk about having your cake and wearing it, too!
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Little lucky charms – Six lovely Lily of the Valley scents to spritz this May Day

Now, for the fragrant noses out there that don’t know, in France, May Day is known as Fête du Muguet. It is tradition on this day, to give Lily of the Valley to your loved ones and people who inspire you, to wish them happiness and good luck.

It all began in 1561 on May 1st when King Charles IX received a Lily of the Valley as a lucky charm. He decided then to offer a flower each year to the ladies of the court.

And so at the beginning of the 20th century, it became custom to give a sprig of lily of the valley, a definitive symbol of springtime, to your loved ones. It was commonplace for peasants to go out to the fields to pick many flowers and then hand-tie them to sell on May Day. In fact, now, because of this, the government still permits people to sell them tax-free.

Now, if you love the sweet springtime scent of Lily of the Valley, but just don’t want it to fade like a bunch of the innocent flowers will, here’s a list of our favourite Muguet fragrances for you to keep a little bit of that May Day feeling all year round.

penhaligons
Sweet, fresh and graceful, Penhaligon’s offering is akin to walking into a blooming field of muguet. Accents of jasmine and bergamot keep it fresh, whilst sandalwood in the base ensures a creamy trail on the skin.

Penhaligon’s Lily of the Valley £67 for 50ml eau de toilette
At Penhaligon’s

molton b
Dewy white flowers steal the show in this meadow-like scent from Molton Brown. Silky ylang-ylang, sandalwood and a soft, sensual white musk linger for a tender, enduring finish.

Molton Brown Dewy Lily of the Valley & Star Anise £39 for 50ml eau de toilette
At Molton Brown

Annick_Goutal_Le_Muguet_Eau_de_Toilette_Spray_100ml_1403081186
Paired with red berries and rose, Annick Goutal’s Soliflore is a tender and airy floral and leaves the skin with traces of a warm, sweet benzoin.

Annick Goutal Le Muguet £74 for 100ml eau de toilette
At Selfridges

o.22058
This gentle scent from Fragonard accentuates the lily of the valley at the heart by surrounding it with other similarly delicate flowers; jasmine, neroli and freesia. Secret spring garden walks bottled.

Fragonard Muguet £18 for 50ml eau de toilette
At Marks and Spencer

guerlain
Guerlain’s newest incarnation of the dainty flower is greener, pinker and even more cheerful than previous offerings. Dewy roses and subtly sensual jasmine make Thierry Wasser’s creation oh-so-wearable.

Guerlain Muguet Limited Edition of 1,872 £370 for 100ml eau de parfum
In store at Selfridges

robbie honey
The scent of the tiny white bell-like flower is captured in its truest form here in a Robbie Honey candle. Burn it for a touch of springtime in the home.

Robbie Honey Muguet Des Bois Scented Candle £42 for 190g – 60 hours burn time
At Fortnum & Mason

Happy May Day to one and all!
By Carson Parkin-Fairley