Scents to Uplfift Your Spirits

This month we’re all about reaching for fragrances that make us feel better – an do more than simply smell good, but connect with us on a deeper, more spiritually-uplifting way that really connects with our souls. Given the LONGING for spring, and newness and oh goodness, simply some whole days without rain and cold and grey… it’s about time, don’t you think?

Here’s our edit of three fragrance houses your nose needs to know…

Is your fragrant future in the cards…?

Joy Isaacs is the founder and CEO of ARgENTUM, a luxury skincare brand which recently launched a range of stunning fragrances based on soul-searching, tarot-inspired ‘Archetypes’. Although she’s been fascinated by tarot and its symbolism since 2010, Joy insists: ‘I don’t think it’s some magical oracle in the sky.’ Instead, she believes ‘…we all hold our truth buried in our subconscious and are willing to project it onto many things – for example, people, life circumstances, poetry, music and of course, imagery (art). It allows us to tap into what is just below the surface and access what is really going on – with our own personal truth.’ Thus, explains Joy, ‘Our Archetype cards invite you to uncover symbolic imagery that reflect inherent energies – patterns that are common to us all.’

Using beautiful black-and-white illustrations by artist Sam Gray, ARgENTUM’s twelve cards are shuffled and used as part of a ‘fragrance reading’, whereby – rather than randomly picking a perfume – the fragrance finds you. This initial scent-matching isn’t set in stone; it’s used merely as a starting point, a way of editing down your possible fragrance choices to a more manageable number, while also making you think more deeply about them. (For those who can’t make it in person to ARgENTUM’s Notting Hill boutique – which is honestly worthy of a pilgrimage – the experience has been skilfully recreated on their website.

What we’re wearing: ARgENTUM Discovery Kit – Air Collection £28 for 4 x 2ml eaux de parfums

‘As an element, air encapsulates a masculine energy of thought and communication. Born at sunrise in the crisp breath of Spring ~ air is imaginative and intelligent, but without flow can become stifled and cruel. Moist and warm, air symbolises a nurturing energy that celebrates your knowledge and ideas, the beginning of something intangible and without permanent form. This brisk and exhilarating element stimulates the mind and cuts to the heart of your quest for connection.

  • Become: All encompassing, balancing, beginnings
  • Creator: Creative energy, trust, manifestation
  • Sage: Wisdom, knowledge, awareness
  • Ruler: Balance, adaptability, vulnerability

 

Wearable feel-good vibes…

For Vyrao, it’s all about wearable good vibes, and anyone who’s had a sluggish day or simply felt dull, blah and down in the dumps can attest – spritzing a scent can be an instantaneous remedy and our sense of smell is a potent way to make us feel brighter, more confident, and ready to face the world. With such potential power at our pulse points, Founder Yasmin Sewell sought a way to harness this energy so it could be at our fingertips whenever we need it. Having been ‘a lifelong advocate for personal self-care, wellbeing and energetic connection,’ Yasmin’s also trained in Integrative Quantum Medicine™ and Reiki, and so was well placed to reach out to Louise Mita, President and CEO of The Art Of Energy, Inc., and creator of Integrative Quantum Medicine™, who’s studied metaphysical alchemy, healing, and martial arts since 1968.

Together, they took a deep dive into researching specific ingredients they could use in the fragrances to help the wearer feel better. Explains Yasmin: ‘Science has shown that positive emotions and feelings can contribute to better health. I believe that in the future more of us will come to understand and accept the influence of energy as part of our overall well-being. We’ll know how to channel it, clear it, raise and work with it, and Vyrao is at the heart of that purpose. Vyrao helps us connect to ourselves.’

 

What we’re wearing: Vyrao High Five Collection, £79 for 5 x 7.5ml eau de parfum

If you’re new to this more soulful way of wearing scent, the High Five collection really is the best way to dip in and gain a better understanding – both of what you like, but also (more importantly) what your soul is crying out for. It may surprise you… Included in the first five fragrances from the brand, you will get to experience:

  • Free 00: To feel alive and uninhibited is Free 00.
  • I am Verdant: A fragrance sprouting fresh green growth.
  • Witchy Woo: Wake up the powerful alliance of your courage and creativity.
  • Magnetic 70: For attraction and protection.
  • Georgette: For self-love.

 

Finding fragrant harmony…

When her PR and communications job took her to Hong Kong, little did Elementals founder Deana Wyland-Fries know, it would change the direction of her life forever. There she discovered feng shui – and soon learned that it is not merely a belief or superstition in China, but a science and a way of life. As she explains: ‘For centuries, the Chinese have believed that, everything in our universe can be allocated to one of five elements – water, wood, fire, earth and metal. Not only are these elements found in our environment, but also within ourselves. What’s more, we are born with an element that dominates our lives, dictating character, relationships, career and health. If our element is out of balance, we experience a sense of discomfort within…’

Ultimately, Elementals combine the simplicity and harmony of feng shui with the classical beauty of fine French perfumery. The result is a collection of surprising, innovative creations that seek to nurture mind, body and soul – while smelling, of course, utterly divine. Deana explains: ‘Because I am working with energy, I do not apply the classical olfactory pyramid in my creations…  there are three main energies in the Universe: Heaven’s Chi, Human Chi and Earth Chi. In Chinese culture, these represent the three energies that, when working in harmony with one another, create perfect balance.’

 

 

What we’re wearing: Elementals Wood £148.50 for 100ml eau de parfum

Here we find ‘Heaven notes’ of bergamot, cedar and grapefruit to enhance concentration, with ‘Human notes’ of orris, tagetes and geranium, and a base, or ‘Earth notes’ of patchouli, Palo Santo (a sacred wood often used in meditation) and guaiacum (also known as guaiac wood). Wood represents the rising of energy, and the season of Spring, when blossoms are beginning to bloom again and signs new life are in abundance…

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Mood-Boosting Scents to Bust through Blue Monday (& Beyond!)

So-called ‘Blue Monday’ has become something of a cultural phenomenon in the past few years, and it doesn’t really matter if you fully subscribe to the theory of it being the most difficult day to get through (on average) for many people (something to do with the amount of daylight hours, weather and the fact that January seems utterly relentless). The one thing we do know for sure – thanks to incoming scientific data – is that wearing a fragrance can truly help lift your mood and give you something to focus on when all around seems a bit blah.

Do you need to sleep better, boost your energy levels and want to feel happier (all while being beautifully scented, of course)? Here are some houses that have done the research and come up with power-packed scents that do way more than waft prettiness. Reach for these and thank us later…

Blue Monday begone! The Lifeboost® essences can be worn alone or layered with any of the eaux de parfums as an extra shot of whatever you need right now. For Relax, the mellowness of ylang-ylang melds with creamy monoi – the name means “sacred oil” in Tahiti – and the pure jasmine sambac simply sighs into the smoothness of Madagascan vanilla absolute. edeniste says: ‘Relax, feel the sun shining up above, let yourself be rocked by the sound of the waves and trees swaying in the breeze… You’re in Eden.’ And honestly, don’t we all need that feeling, currently, more than ever?

edeniste Relax Lifeboost® £68 for 30ml eau de parfum in our shop

 

 

 

 

Vyrao‘s founder, Yasmin Sewell wanted to offer ‘the power of nature to amplify energy, tapping into the science of scent and its potential to activate the parts of the brain where memories and emotions are processed.’ And for The Sixth, she collaborated with Irish perfumer Meabh McCurtin who used neuroscience via ‘scientific protocols from the Science of Wellness program at International Flavors & Fragrance (IFF)’ to guide her composition. Apple, patchouli and basil radiate positivity; juniper, cedar and fir add balance, while angelica, fennel and wormwood counteract negativity.

Vyrao The Sixth £150 for 50ml eau de parfum vyrao.com

 

 

P.S: For even more emotionally-supportive scents, read all about Vyrao’s High Five Discovery Set!

 

 

 

Using IFF’s Science of Wellness computer programme for the design of Phantom, it was ‘conceived by a team of perfumers — Loc Dong, Juliette Karagueuzoglou, Dominique Ropion and Anne Flipo — who were assisted by AI and powered by neuroscience.’ Identifying key emotional benefits for the chosen ingredients, the styrallyl acetate molecule (which smells green, slightly metallic, and can be found as a component of gardenia and tuberose, among other floral notes) was used at 10x the usual dosage – as suggested by AI to increase alertness – but woven with lavender to calm and create a harmonious balance.

Paco Rabanne Phantom £60 for 50ml eau de toilette pacorabanne.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Launching with two wellness fragrances harnessing the power of neuroscience and experienced to their fullest potential using an app – 85% of people studied wearing them achieved a more focused state, while 90% reached a more meditative state. AI generated programmes of well-being rituals use smell, calming or stimulating visuals, and sound. Red Skies is a ‘functional fragrance’ designed to re-focus and energise via vibrant orange blossom, rose, pink pepper, mandarin and neroli in the top notes, blissfully enlivening jasmine, carrot seed, sap, iris and spices in the heart, resting on a grounding, earthy base of patchouli, oakmoss, resin and cedar.

Øthers Red Skies £90 for 50ml eau de parfum + 6 months app subscription others.co

 

 

 

 

This ‘scent and sound ritual’ was partially designed by AI for those ‘desperately seeking clarity of thought’ and feeling overwhelmed by ‘a rising sense of panic.’ [That’ll be most of us, then!] Using notes of cut grass and ‘green canopies’ entwined with soothing green tea, the heart resonates incense, wild mushrooms, worn leather and spices on toasted woods, while the base sinks into spiritual Palo Santo, shady vetiver, smoked amber, Hinoki wood (prized as sacred, native to Japan, with unusual hints of citrus) and a silken sandalwood. They suggest the scent and app are used in combination to ‘create a gearshift in your day.’

Øthers Mystic Zingaro £90 for 50ml eau de parfum + 6 months app subscription others.co

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

 

Bring on the Winter Zing: Getting Fresh With Neroli

Okay, yes. We tend to associate citrus fragrances more usually with warmer weather – where juicy lemon, lime, orange and even the more unusual yuzu are used for their refreshing, thirst-quenching appeal. However, holy moly, we need brightness more in these earlier months of the year than at any other.

So, what else can we look for when summer-y Colognes just feel wrong, but we CRAVE freshness nonetheless? Well, we would be well advised to lean into scents that put us in mind of the sunshine one gets on the very best of winter days. The kind of light that sparkles on frosty leaves, adds glitter to even the greyest pavement, and brings a feeling of almost childlike joy (despite the bitter weather!) An ingredient we would urge you to look for to recreate such sunshine-and-ice-kissed moments is neroli.

 

 

It’s truly one of THE most prized perfumery ingredients for gifting a uniquely floral freshness and zing to a fragrance’s formula. But where does this magical note come from, and how does it differ from other fresher notes?

The bitter orange tree – Citrus aurantium var. amara – is one of the wonders of the fragrant world. (You might better know it as the Seville orange tree and associate it with marmalade.) The leaves and twigs give us petitgrain, while the cold-pressed peel of the fruit gives us bigarade. But it’s the olfactory orgy of white neroli blossoms which get ‘noses’ (and fragrance lovers) really excited: airy, citrusy, green, but with whispers of honey and orange bubbling subtly underneath; it’s like taking scented  stealth vitamins that seep into your consciousness and make everything a bit better; or a short break to warmer climes in order to recharge your soul. In bottles, how much handier (and less ruinous) to access for instantaneous uplift, though.

 

Neroli is extracted by steam distillation of freshly-picked flowers, a process which much smell akin to perfume heaven, while the name ‘neroli’ comes from a small Italian town near Rome, and a princess who lived there. Anne Marie Orsini (aka Anna Maria de la Tremoille, and originally French, though basically adopted as Italian because that’s how it rolls when you’re noble and rich ), fell in love with the scent of neroli, which fragranced the air in spring. Can hardly blame her, really, because it’s surely one of the most universally pleasing smells in the world, and oh lord (or Princess) – how we are craving springtime right now!

Ah well. Until the opaque tights can be safely ditched, and until the actual change of season; might we suggest you make like Anne Marie, and similarly seek out these neroli-centric scents for some added joy and sparkle in fragrant form…?

 

 

 

 

Mizensir White Neroli £185 for 100ml eau de parfum

Radiating the gasp-making mood-shift of dawn’s first ray of light touching the ground, neroli gently shakes the senses awake, scattering pearlescent dew drops of hedione among the fluff of white musk and spiritual drifts of frankincense.

 

 

 

 

Granado Limāo & Néroli £52 for 100ml eau de Cologne

Encompassing the entire bitter orange tree’s gifts to perfumery, the neroli adds clarity and pale sunshine slicing through clouds, petitgrain brings leafiness, invigoratingly bracing lemon and the more herbaceous lime a tonic for the soul.

 

 

Edeniste Neroli Sensuel £68 for 30ml eau de parfum

Expressing the tender nature of neroli, the white petals are wrapped around the more biting wakeup call of petitgrain, harmonising perfectly with juicy pear and luminous peach (still sun-warmed it feels) for a fresh caress at any time.

 

 

 

 

 

Acqua di Parma Colonia Intensa £104 for 50ml eau de Cologne

The classic gets sultrified, the freshness of neroli and iconic Calabrian bergamot charismatically sizzled up with slices of ginger, atop a supple leather, cedar and patchouli-snuggled base. Marvellously smile-inducing, even on Very Trying Days.

 

 

 

Maison Crivelli Neroli Nasimba £85 for 30ml eau de parfum

The neroli smoulders unusually amidst oodles of orange blossom and luminous mandarin contrasted with the cool spice of cardamom and deep, animalic purr of Saffiano leather. Like discovering your pockets are lined with soft yellow velvet.

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

 

Get Fresh! Soul-reviving scents we need now

In these longest, greyest months of the year we’re craving ultra-fresh zings of brightness to shake off the cobwebs and get us going, how about you? Here’s an edit of some super-reviving scents that put the pep in your step, a smile on your face, and can instantly make you feel more energised!

 

edeniste Energy Lifeboost® £68 for 30ml eau de parfum

Absolutely essential at this time of year (or whenever you need a pick-me-up) – a mood-boosting blend og citrus notes really feel ‘…As bright and empowering as a tall dewy glass of freshly squeezed juice.’ Get up and glow.

 

 

Molton Brown Wild Mint & Lavandin eau de toilette£85 for 100ml

The EDT revives flagging spirits via wild mint, the vivid verdancy of freshly torn basil leaves grounded by a caress of orris, silky sandalwood and rounded by tonka bean.

 

 

Sisley Eau de Campagne £84 for 50ml eau de toilette

Evoking the aqueous juiciness of the tomato and carrot atop luscious fruits and a silvery drift of incense amidst grassy herbs, Jean-Claude Ellena’s genius use of tomato leaf is freshening as ever in this timeless masterpiece.

 

 

 

Lancôme Ô De Lancôme £41 for 75ml eau de toilette

A sparkling icon since 1969, spritz a whoosh of effervescent exhilaration, the clean floral notes of jasmine, honeysuckle and lily of the valley radiating against a backdrop of herbaceously bracing breath of fresh air.

 

 

ACQUA_DI_PARMA_COLONIA_FUTURA.

 

 

ACQUA DI PARMA Colonia Futura £92 for 50ml eau de Cologne

A head-clearing herbaceous fusion of lavender, clary sage and vetiver, with sunlit shafts of grapefruit, bergamot, pink pepper and lemon. This feels like you’ve been on holiday, even on a blustery, drizzly walk in the park!
 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Fragrances For… Feeling Warmer

Seemingly endless grey days of rain and chilliness call for a snuggle of warming fragrances, so we are currently hunkering down with soul-hugging spices and mood-shifting citrus-burst scents that have the power to uplift and slice through ‘meh’ like a hot knife through butter.

Come on, let’s buck-up via these tempting, tingle-laden perfumes…

 

 

 

VYRAO Sun Rae

Seasonally sad? Console yourself with this gloriously uplifting scent – infused with ‘a supercharged Herkimer diamond crystal for clarity and to boost energy levels’, the brilliant Lyn Harris creates her own magic from a ZING! POP! FIZZ! of citrus explosions that feel like you’re being beamed above the clouds with every spritz. Turmeric and black pepper add layers of welcome warmth while bergamot, lemon, and aqueous ginger sparkle like bottled sunshine throughout.

£135 for eau de parfum libertylondon.com

 

Try the first fragrances in VYRAO’s collection in travel-size form via their High Five Discovery Set

 

 

Parfums de Marly Althaïr

Eau. My. God. Vanilla lovers, you are going to NEED to get this on your skin. Vanilla naysayers? You’re going to need to try it, too. Swoony Bourbon vanilla (deliciously dark, decadently delicious) will be to blame for your new addiction, generously swirled through tobacco smoke rings, which seduces orange blossoms to embrace praline, convinces sparkling citrus to kiss sizzling spices and swathes guaiac wood in butter-soft leather. Go on, we dare you to succumb.

£230 for 125ml eau de parfum selfridges.com

(PSST! Try a sample of Althaïr in the Fabulous Fragrances Discovery Box – 14 x samples £19 for VIPS / £23 RRP)

 

 

Abercrombie & Fitch Authentic Self Woman

Brilliant in every sense, the vibrant yellow bottle hints at the explosion of freshness within – a zesty wake-up call at a time when spirits may well be flagging, wonderfully enlivened with this welcomingly vivacious gem. Lemon peel, sharp gooseberry and luscious pear get the nose a-tingle before a beautiful bouquet of freesia, jasmine and lily of the valley are mellowed by the woody musk of the base. And look at the price!

£39 for 50ml eau de parfum thefragranceshop.co.uk

 

 

AKRO East

Inspired by his frequent travels across the Middle East, perfumer, and co-founder (with his daughter, Anais) Olivier Cresp here explores the love affair with oudh – a note he skilfully coaxes to still surprise. Paired with raspberry, the sharpness slices through the smoky-spiced woodiness, and one can imagine it placed on a burning coal, the sootiness and succulence a marriage made in scented heaven, the fruitiness contrasting yet utterly complimenting the smouldering depths. Quite magnificent.

£220 for 100ml eau de parfum harrods.com

 

 

 

PACO RABANNE Invictus Victory Elixir Parfum Intense

When you need a fragrance that keeps going and powers you forward through any obstacle, this is the one to reach for when spirits are flagging. As Paco Rabanne says, it’s ‘A potent elixir made to push victory beyond limits. The time has come to embrace your moment of immortality.’ A thrust of freshness up top from Provençal lavandin provides aromatic, almost peppery pungency with bursts of green cardamom and mysterious, vanilla-swirled woods as it warms.

£71 for 50ml parfum boots.com

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Bring Me Sunshine: how ‘solar’ became a whole new scent category

For some time at The Perfume Society, we’ve been noticing a surge of fragrances described as ‘solar’. 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…

 

In a fragrance, ‘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’re mellowed by breezy blossoms, dappled with cooler herbs or touched with a tingle of spices and warm woods.

 

 

For prolific Master Perfumer Alberto Morillas, it was vital to use orange blossom as a note in the Mizensir fragrance (from his own fragrance line), Solar Blossom. He explains: ‘Orange puts the soleil into a fragrance – it’s sunshine in flower form.’ He cannot smell orange blossom without thinking of the sun, Alberto tells me, but insists that when creating a ‘solar’ fragrance, it’s about more than trying to make it feel sunny.

 

‘For me it goes much deeper than that,’ he says, his blue eyes twinkling as he looks out on what happens to be a grey London view. ‘I’m from Seville, and really when I’m creating a fragrance, all my emotion goes back to my home.’ He reminisces about the place where he lived as a boy, clearly remembering Seville as his true home even though he moved to Switzerland when he was 10. ‘You have the sun, you have the light and the water – always a fountain in the middle of the square – and to me, solar means your soul is being lifted upwards, you’re looking up from the cool shade of a courtyard to the sun, so powerful, above.’

 

 

 

Solar Blossom represents all these elements, he continues, and along with orange blossom, he deployed jasmine and musk to represent ‘the dimension of the sun. It’s very important, to create this dimension of space within any fragrance.’  When he was was six or seven, Morillas recalls, ‘I liked to lay on my back and look at the sky at the shapes of the clouds, fascinated by how they change all the time, the many things you can see in them. To me this is the closest form of a physical representation of perfume. It should always be changing, just like the sky. The clouds will be forever shifting.’

Mizensir Solar Blossom £185 for 100ml eau de parfum lessenteurs.com

 

 

 

 

Always-inventive perfumer Calice Becker decided altogether to eschew ‘typical solar notes’, as she puts it, for Parfums de Marly Cassili. Becker continues, ‘the combination of plum-frangipani-sandalwood creates a creamy tropical feeling that I describe as solar.’ It offers that holiday-in-a-bottle, instantaneous hit of happiness that brings back memories of stepping off the plane and being hit by a glorious wall of warm air, followed by your body’s involuntary sigh of (sunny) delight.

Parfums de Marly Cassili £230 for 75ml eau de parfum selfridges.com

 

 

 

Perhaps the ultimate ‘solar’ warm-skin scent, if we choose to express it in these terms, is Guerlain Terracotta, Thierry Wasser’s sun-soaked homage in scent to the brand’s iconic bronzing powder. There’s bergamot in the top notes, yes, but it’s all about the lactic lap of tiaré flowers against the heady exoticism of warm, waxy ylang ylang, transporting us to a faraway idyll. Oh god, yes please.

Guerlain Terracotta £75 for 100ml eau de toilette guerlain.com

 

 

 

 

 

For scents steeped in sunshine, meanwhile, it’s always been hard to beat Acqua di Parma’s Colonia. Since 1916 we’ve been reaching for the golden glow of Sicilian citrus (bergamot, lemon and sweet orange), the brightness glittering to a heart of lavender and Bulgarian rose on a smooth, woody base; a formula that’s remained unchanged to this day, reviving flagging spirits and bringing sunshine for 107 years – before ‘solar’ was a thing, and no matter the weather. Which is just as well, really, isn’t it?

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Perfumes to uplift and empower

Right now we all need a bit of help to uplift and empower our spirits, and fragrance is an instantaneous way to enable that. Apart from the lovely fragrances themselves, focusing on your sense of smell helps control your breathing and forces your mind to concentrate on something beautiful for a change.

Our sense of smell is directly linked to our limbic system, which stores memories and emotions, so using scent to uplift, unwind or soothe is a brilliant way of dealing with anxiety. Taking time to care for yourself should not be a luxury – it helps you face the day feeling revived and ready to go.

 

 

 

 

Here’s how to ward off an anxiety attack or lift your spirits with scent:

  • Take a few minutes to spray a fragrance on a blotter or thick piece of paper.
  • Close your eyes while smelling it and see where it takes you. Don’t try to guess all the notes (it’s almost impossible unless you’re a trained perfumer!) instead, let your imagination run wild…
  • If this fragrance was a place, where would it be? Allow your mind to take you there.
  • Or, if this scent were a person, who would they be? Imagine yourself as that confident character.
  • Learn which fragrances help you feel stronger – you can ‘borrow’ strength from scent any time you need it, just like a dressing-up box of perfumed empowerment!

You can try this with any fragrance you own, but here’s some new scents to try whenever you need to uplift and empower your day…

 

 

 

 

BDK
Villa Néroli
Founder David Benedek enlisted Alexandra Carlin to conjure up the rocky, sun-drenched Mediterranean playground of Capri for the newest in BDK’s line-up – ‘an invitation to live the dolce vita,’ and one that’s certainly welcome as the days shorten and the thermometer plummets. Bring summer back in a spritz via Verdelli lemon, neroli, petitgrain and orange blossom, with vetiver, patchouli, labdanum resin and vanilla drifting in as the sun sets on this imaginary villa.
£155 for 100ml eau de parfum
fenwick.co.uk

 

 

 

NANCY MEILAND
Sofia
Continuing Sussex-based perfumer Nancy Meiland’s mindful ‘Awaken’ blends, this latest fragrant attar ‘is a shimmering lilac addition’, and ‘beams with higher frequency naturals that evoke purest, white light, a return to the eternal spring of all life.’ A gentle sparkle from mandarin and mint freshens rose, osmanthus and jasmine, while rare shamama oil (herbaceous yet woody) grounds. Like starlight on water – coolly clearing, calming and centring in the madness of life.
£50 for 30ml attar
nancymeiland.com

 

 

 

INITIO
Paragon
Fragrance’s spiritual mood is expressed in this ‘mantra-centric’ creation within Initio’s Hedonist Collection, drawing on ‘sacred woods and plants’, notably powerfully purifying and protective sage and Palo Santo wood. Close your eyes and meditate on how those notes drift through bergamot, lavender, black pepper, delivering on Paragon’s promise to bestow an ‘aura around the physical, emotional and spiritual bodies.’ Olfactory enlightenment.
£240 for 90ml extrait de parfum
selfridges.com

 

 

LA PERLA
Luminous
If you have the olfactory equivalent of Seasonal Affective Disorder, veil yourself in the scent equivalent of a radiant shaft of sunlight, bottled for our enjoyment on gloomy winter days (and nights). As luminous as the name promises, this woody-floral blend showcases ambrette seed, reminiscent of ‘tropical bliss’, delivering not only warmth but a hint of fruity wine; it is entwined with jasmine, the sparkling whole tethered by a note of steam-distilled cedar.
From £57 for 30ml eau de parfum
beautybylaperla.com

 

 

 

COSMOSS
Sacred Mist
So, Miss Kate Moss has tapped into her spiritual side, embracing meditation  and mindfulness with her signature gusto. And we couldn’t be happier with that metamorphosis, expressed via her Cocomoss skincare collection, also offering us an astonishingly accomplished Chypre creation in which subtle jasmine and tuberose fuse with geranium and bergamot. It’s the sense-soothing, calming notes of oakmoss, cedarwood and tonka that we’re spritzing and re-spritzing – on and off the yoga mat.
£120 for 100ml eau de parfum
harrods.com

Fragrances For… feeling stronger

Sometimes we all need the help of a fragrance to feel stronger – something that does more than simply smell lovely, but can lift our spirits and almost act like a pair of shoulder pads in scented form. These are fragrances that we feel go beyond comfort – evoking adventurous journeys, friendship and inner strength via hemp leaf, smouldering amber, silky smooths woods and bison grass…

 

BYREDO
Open Sky
‘While being stuck in one place, our memories have become particularly vivid,’ muses founder Ben Gorham. Capturing our collective desire to travel, the scent segues from the pepper-flecked freshness of pomelo to the mind-expanding hemp leaf and spiritual palo santo hushed by vetiver in the base. ‘Beyond the physicality of spaces,’ Gorham explains, this celebrates ‘that idea of movement – of journeys, being on your way somewhere…’ Plane tickets and a plan, bottled.
£178 for 100ml eau de parfum
libertylondon.com

 

 

COMME DES GARÇONS
Rouge
A warm, ambered base grounds this wonderfully weird (and very wearable) concoction. CDG never do anything humdrum, so our eyes were immediately drawn to the beetroot note listed. Of course, we’re used to it combined with chocolate in cookery, and it blends just as well here with the Egyptian geranium to create an almost-rose. Pink pepper simmers through the layers to the smouldering incense and refined patchouli base. Clever and intriguing.
£120 for 100ml eau de parfum
Exclusive to selfridges.com

 

 

BENTLEY
Momentum Unbreakable
Master Perfumer Fabrice Pellegrin teams with up-and-coming talent Ane Ayo, to take the dual steering wheels of this scent. Dreamwood© is a key ingredient – the supremely smooth woody note being a 100% natural ingredient used in place of Mysore sandalwood (now a highly protected species), obtained through carbon-neutral biotechnology. Cool violet (another of our floral trend predictions) shimmers through verdant greenery to liquorice-y dried fruits and immortelle fluffed amber. Another instant classic.
£69.50 for 100ml eau de parfum
harrods.com

 

DIESEL
Sound of the Brave
Employing the talents of Fabrice Pellegrin – one of the world’s top perfumers – Sound of the Brave resonates with a unique heart of Bison grass accord. A reminder, says Pellegrin, of good times with friends. The sizzle of bold spices vibrate through vibrant lemon as a powerful base (or should that be ‘bassline’?) throbs with amber wood and musk. Electric blue juice inside the clenched-fist flacon and hip-hop legend Skepta as ambassador ensure it’s a hit.
£69 for 125ml eau de toilette
boots.com

 

 

PACO RABANNE
Invictus Victory

The latest incarnation of the heroically themed fragrances ‘seizes with its power and seduces with its freshness.’ Freshly squeezed lemons offer the juicy bite here while the woody notes of incense wrap tendrils of soft smoke around a purr of vanilla in the base. Spiced tonka bean is the delicious finale for this scent inspired by ‘subtly celebrating modern masculinity.’ Give this to someone you consider your personal hero – beats a golfing trophy, any day!
£56 for 50ml eau de parfum
pacorabanne.com

Last chance for sunshine with 20% off our Seasonal Scents Summer Box!

To put it, well, mildly, it’s been a peculiar summer – so we’re bringing you a way to capture those last rays of sunshine with 20% off our Seasonal Scents Summer Box!

Because we all deserve some extra sunshine in our lives, we curated this box to be filled with fragrances that feel like wearing liquid light – luminescent, mood-lifting, spirit-reviving scents that instantly bring a smile to your face from the first spritz.

To grab one of the few remaining Seasonal Scent Summer Boxes with that amazing 20% saving, simply use this code when prompted on checking out: SUMMER20 

Terms & Conditions – Code cannot be used in conjunction with any other code or used on sale products. Active from 15.09.21 12.00pm – 20.09.21 12.00am. Applicable on the Quarterly and Annual subscription, 20% off only applies to Summer Box when purchasing a Quarterly subscription.

 

 

Our Seasonal Scent Boxes have proved incredibly popular, and no wonder with the past 18 months or so we’ve all experienced. They’ve been put together to answer the many queries we get, asking which fragrances are best to wear for particular times of year. As summer-ish weather now seems to stretch anywhere from Easter to late September in the U.K. we felt it only right to prolong the pleasure by giving you this last chance to get your hands (and nose!) on these scent-filled boxes of joy!

Within each Seasonal Scents Box you will find…

Seasonal Fragrances  –  EIGHT fragrances from 2ml – 7ml, these will be kept secret until they arrive at your door, we just love the element of surprise!

Online Smelling Notes – accessible via a QR code within your box, guiding you through the fragrances and how to start smelling.

Unboxing Video –  also via the QR code, for every box our Senior Fragrance Writer Suzy Nightingale will guide you when opening your new box.

Hints, Tips and Quizzes – to ensure you get the most out of your fragrances and have fun!

 

Don’t delay and miss out on your last chance to capture the sunshine! A gift for a friend or family member you’ve not been able to catch up with this summer? A gift to self because you bloomin’ well deserve it, maybe? Whatever the occasion, these radiant fragrances will bring you happy summer memories for months to come…

The scent of wellness – when perfumes are more than just pretty

Perfumes can be far more than merely ‘pretty’ – certain scents can truly impart a feeling of wellness, uplift our moods and remind us of happy memories.

Increasingly, people are turning to aromatherapy and using smell to soothe stress, add a sense of comfort or revive their spirits. But fragrances you wear have the benefit of being emotionally restorative all day.

In fact, we’re pre-conditioned to have smell preferences, and our response is based partly on our individual genetic make-up (our DNA), and partly on our life experiences. So: that crushed tomato leaf note that reminds you of a beloved grandmother and her greenhouse – or the jasmine that was growing round a door when you were poorly on holiday, and which you can now hardly stomach.

Many people use fragrance as a boost for their spirits, perhaps without realising they’re doing so, and there is even a name for the science behind this: ‘aromachology’.

 

 

It’s been scientifically proven that different aromas can impact on mood and emotions – not just personally, but affecting those around you: Bergamot is a feel-good ingredient, peppermint makes you perkier and more alert, and grapefruit – believe it or not – apparently makes others believe you’re younger than you are!

Understanding the way differing notes in a fragrance can make us feel is one reason so many of us have a ‘wardrobe’ of fragrances, rather than just one signature scent: a perfume to make us feel ready to wind down, after a hard day staring at a computer screen; a scent to give us a weekend vibe – or simply something that we spritz on for work, in the morning, which makes us feel more focused and professional, in the same way as a smart suit or a crisp white shirt.

If you love the smell of a fragrance, allow yourself the luxury of a few minutes each day: inhaling the changing aromas as they warm on your skin and focusing on the smell alone.

 

 

Spray a scent on a blotter, preferably; close your eyes and keep sniffing for several seconds, then take the blotter away, inhale deeply, and re-sniff the blotter again. Repeat this for a minute or so, and then begin writing a few words in a notebook. It doesn’t have to be a description, and it shouldn’t ‘list’ notes – try to use words that make you think of other things. For example…

If this scent were a fabric, what would it be? What colour? If you made someone an outfit from that fabric, who would they be, where would they be going?

If it were a piece of music, what instruments would be playing? Is it classical, rock music, pop, rap or jazz?

When you’re smelling a fragrance this way, attempt to get past thinking ‘I do / don’t like this’ and focus instead on the mood it’s creating, the place or person it reminds you of. Lock a happy image in your mind, and whenever you wear that fragrance – or even think of it again – the joy of that memory or daydream will be yours to relish in, forever.

It’s genuinely life-changing!

To aid your fragrant wellness explorations, we recommend trying samples of several differing scents – even ones you wouldn’t perhaps be normally drawn to. Diversifying the range of fragrances you try will actively improve your sense of smell over time – just as eating a wider range of foods expands your palate.

 

 

Grab the opportunity to try this hand-picked selection of fragrances before they sell out – some of our very favourites for their mood-boosting effects – in the Launches We Love Discovery Box. £23 (£19 for VIPs). There’s 12 fabuoulous fragrances to try, including…

Contradictions in Ilk, Virtuous: Inspired by purity, specifically monks living in cloisters in the Tuscan hills – close your eyes and you can feel yourself walking through a fresh and cleansing herb garden, the aromatic plants offering up their therapeutic benefits as you pass them by. You then reach the cool stone walls of the monastery, catching the trailing vapours of old leather and incense coming from within, as a serene stillness settles over you.

Shay & Blue, Tallulah’s Camellia: The second you spritz this fragrance, you get an immediate sense of its personality, of who Tallulah might be – a rebellious, dancing and twirling through a woodland carpeted with bluebells, with bewitching heart notes of white florals, bringing to mind sheer, floaty dresses worn with hair untamed; a girl beholden to no-one as these soft, gauzy, dreamy notes take hold. The only thing that grounds her? A warm yet strong base of woods and white tea, entirely at one with nature and somehow, through that, very grounding.

Ahhh… now isn’t that better?