You are my sunshine: why solar scents are soaring

What do we mean by calling a scent solar ? Although not an official fragrance family, it’s a word we’ve seen increasingly used to describe a whole range of recent launches – but how can you capture this scent of’ sunshine in a bottle’ and why are these perfumes proving so popular right now…?

Filled with sunshine, radiant and sparkling, we might once have called these fragrances ‘fresh-floral’ or, more prosaically, ‘citrus’. But lately, we’ve felt that this is no more (solar) flash-in-the-pan, but the birth of a whole new fragrance family. And that doesn’t happen every day.

As with any trend, a new style or way of referencing scent doesn’t simply spring, unbidden, from nowhere. They tap into the zeitgeist, a feeling in the fragrant waters that reflects how we’re feeling as a society and, therefore, how we want to project ourselves. In a world that for so long has seemed dark and scary, perhaps it’s only natural we’re being ever-more drawn to scents offering an olfactory ray of sunshine.

Actual solar flares are intense bursts of radiation emanating from the sun that can affect radio waves and send your Google Maps haywire. In a fragrance, yes ‘solar’ denotes a feeling of sunshine – but with it a physical feeling of being uplifted, of turning our faces toward the light source, a perfumed purr of warm cat contentedness.

Citrus notes are vital, but in this new genre they differ from Colognes because solar scents are more multi-layered: mellowed by breezy blossoms, dappled with cooler herbs or touched with a tingle of sheer spices and warm woods.

So, why is ‘solar’ trending? Quite simply, we need something that goes deeper than a quick, zesty pick-me-up; beyond merely feeling momentarily refreshed. As Louisa May Alcott puts it in Little Women, ‘Some people seemed to get all sunshine, and some all shadow.’ And quite frankly, with the state of the world at the moment, aren’t we all weary of shadows?

So, why not soak yourself in these solar scents, look towards the light, and to let the sunshine in…?

 

Wear these solar scents for instant sunshine Escentric Molecules M+ Mandarin

Escentric Molecules M+ Mandarin £95 for 100ml eau de parfum
The super-juicy zing of fruity brightness becomes super-charged, an immediate mood-boster that feels like clouds parting and ends with a hug of ‘your skin but better’ softness. Sophisticated freshness that keeps on going (and helps you hang on to hope).

 

 

Sunny solar scents for summer Floral Street Arizona Bloom 
Floral Street Arizona Bloom from £24 for 10ml eau de parfum
Jérôme Épinette captures the heart-soaring feeling of freedom – something we’ve sorely missed – in this wide-open vista of a desert-like oasis. Queen of the Night flower’s spiced by pepper, lush with Balinese coconut, grounded by woody oakmoss and salted musks.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Vitae Cologne Forte (2ml of all three new MFK eau de parfum are in Eau So Fresh Discovery Box, £23) Juicy, sun-drenched mandarin mixes with a sunny floral accord and brings to mind the warmest, glowiest early afternoon light, underpinned by the sensuality of the fragrances musk and sandalwood base.

  

ESTEE_LAUDER_BRONZE_GODDESS_AZUR.j
Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess Azur £44 for 50ml eau de toilette
Invigorating Sicilian lemon, Italian bergamot and Calabrian mandarin are shot through with sunshine and saltiness, neroli and orange flower showcased in shafts of sunlight, warming to blissfully sun-ripened fig, Ambrox, musks, coconut milk and cedarwood. Mais Oui!

 


Shay & Blue Mermaid Kisses (2ml eau de toilette is part of The Scented Retreat Discovery Box, £23)
The light, watery honeydew melon note is a pure juicy joy; think holiday cocktails on the shoreline at sunset, looking out to an endless horizon and all its possibilities, sun-warmed skin kissed by the cooler evening air and the excitement of tomorrow’s adventures.

By Suzy Nightingale

Afternoon Tea Week – celebrate in scent!

Is it just us, or do there seem to be national days/weeks/months of celebration cropping up all over the place? Afternoon Tea Week is definitely a celebration we can get behind, though, and most especially as tea is a continuing trend in perfume notes.

Softly soothing, deliciously smoky, invigoratingly green or intriguingly spiced, tea can add great depth of character to a fragrance. We’re not saying forego a lavish spread of sandwiches, scones and darling little desserts (actually, we insist you join us in indulgence – it would be rude not to) but why stop there? Indulge all of your senses by adding one (or more) of these exquisite tea-inspired fragrances into your scent rotation…

It’s remained an absolute modern classic since it was first launched in 1999 – but did you know the perfumer was wunderkind Francis Kurkdjian? Soothingly herbaceous and totally uplifting, drench your senses with rhubarb, mint and orange-infused green tea above the powdery sophistication of carnation, musk and a lightly glowing base of amber and oakmoss.

Elizabeth Arden Green Tea £30 for 100ml eau de toilette (currently on offer for £14.99)
theperfumeshop.com

Deliciously nostalgic, this house was one of the leading lights for niche perfumery and way ahead of their time, with this being launched 18 years ago. Conjures memories of cosy teatimes, sipping cups of smoky lapsang and devouring plates of sticky gingerbread; cinnamon, ginger and anise spice up the proceedings while the honey and vanilla-drizzled base proves irresitably moreish…

L’artisan Parfumeur Tea For Two £105 for 100ml eau de toilette
artisanparfumeur.com

Fancy a little tot of something more exciting in your brew? The resinous warmth of oak-casked whisky is laced through this most potent blend of their black tea, rose and juniper aromatic sensation, and harks back to the heritage of this cheekily eccentric, British brand. Named for their original address of their flagship store, it’s the kind of scent that imbues you with a uniquely winsome character.

Atkinsons 24 Old Bond Street £89 for 50ml eau de Cologne
selfridges.com

Fourth in the ever-intriguing, leafily-inspired series for Bulgari, this one, by Daniela Andrier, pays homage to the tradition of Chinese oolong tea, and surrounds you in swathe of sophistication. Lavender and shiso mistily swirl amidst the heart of violet and tea and this woody floral concoction dries down to sheer trail of musk and lightly powdered iris.

Bulgari Eau Parfumée au Thé Bleu £60 for 75ml eau de toilette
libertylondon.com

‘How many times have you let yourself be well and truly enticed by a fragrance wafting from a cafe terrace?’ asks Jovoy owner and Creative Director, Francois Henin. Not nearly often enough for our liking, so give in on a daily basis to the seductive delights of milky chai tea spiced with cardamom and ginger, as the floral breeze of frangipani flowers drifts towards you on tendrils of sun-warmed airiness.

Jovoy Paris Remember Me £130 for 100ml eau de parfum
Jovoy Mafair

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Your introduction to Spring’s floral fragrance trend…

It’s offical: flowers are back in the fragrance world. Perhaps you thought they never went away (indeed, they’re the backbone of practically all fragrance formulas) but we can assure you that Spring 2018’s launches point the way to fully embracing petal power in exciting and conemporary compositions – from bohemiams frolicking in wild flower meadows, to vampish vixens smouldering beguilingly: these flowers certainly aren’t granny’s knicker-draw anymore…

Probably the most easily identifiable notes in perfumery, you may recognise some florals at first-sniff – rather reassuring in these days of sometimes confusing contemporary scents – and they are perfect to indulge in wearing on days the sky’s the same colour as the pavement. But floral scents have several sub-categories, now – from the fruity to the so-called ‘floriental’ – so where does one category end and another begin, and which ones should you explore first depending on your personal preferences?

Rose has long been considered the ‘Queen’ of perfume, the two main varieties being rosa centifolia, found in the South of France, and rosa damascena (known as Damask rose) primarily from the Middle East, with a dozen exclusively grown May roses from Grasse famously within every bottle of Chanel No.5.

James Craven – the fragrance archivist of niche perfumery Les Senteurs, tells us that many customers (particularly women) come in confidently declaring they ‘hate rose fragrances,’ and he breathes deeply while subtly showing them some scents that beautifully harmonise the rose with other complimentary material. As they inevitably adore one of these, James then charmingly admits it’s simply swathed in the stuff – a strong case for always being led by your nose and not your preconceptions, we feel!

Jasmine is the second most-used, entwining its heady white blossoms within virtually every floral fragrance you care to mention – tiny though the flowers are, their scent is animalic, often called ‘indolic’ (referring to indoles also found within gardenia, honeysuckle, lilac, and tuberose), and utterly addictive. One ounce of fragrance, such as the classic Jean Patou’s Joy, can lavishly contain 10,600 jasmine flowers!

– For less va-va-voom in a scent, look for the powdered green of violet, delicacy of lily of the valley, suede-like softness in iris, waxy freshness of magnolia, and cashmere-like fluffiness of mimosa. Sprinkled with hot spices and exotic extractions (crossing into ‘Floriental’), juiced-up with fruit (becoming ‘Fruity Floral’) or buried within deeper, more mysterious creations – there truly is a floral fragrance for every one of us, with many men now delving into fragrances where floral notes are centre-stage.

Ready to get petal-powered? Discover some of the specially curated Brand Discovery Boxes we’ve chosen, in which the characters of florals have been fully explored – from the vampish divas to more softly swooning – there truly is a bouquet for everyone to adore…

Cochine is Vietnam’s first luxury fragrance brand – and one that we are totally obsessed with! Created to inspire you, Cochine’s collection captures the romance of a sun-warmed exotic garden as its enchanting florals unfold into the evening air. Specially selected from their portfolio of unique botanical scents, you’ll find yourself enraptured by roses, jasmine, gardenia and the newest fragrance – Tuberose & Wild Fig.
Cochine Floral Collection £35

Discover Molton Brown‘s interpretation of some of perfumery’s most precious ingredients with this colourful selection of their best-selling scents, from delicate floral Blossoming Honeysuckle & White Tea to dreaming of dozing beneath fragrant canopies of flowers with the exotic Ylang Ylang, and many floral facets in-between…
Molton Brown’s Art of Fragrance £12.50

Hand-crafted in England, created from the essences of real flowers, fruit and spices, Shay & Blue‘s invite you to explore their most-loved scents. Pocket-sized and beautifully presented in their signature blue and white stripes, the set also boasts Framboise Noire – a mesmerising floriental of cassis berries, jasmine and patchouli.
Shay & Blue Precious Miniatures £65

This limited edition collectible box has been designed especially to showcase Les Infusions de Prada in six of the most adorable and desirable 8ml miniature eau de parfum bottles… Featuring notes of iris, orange blossom, heliotrope and the often overlooked carnation (think spicy and hot yet dry and fascinating) it’s a perfectly refined way to get your nose around floral ingredients.
Prada Parfums Les Infusions de Prada £36

Written by Suzy Nightingale