Sense of smell may rule the heart, new study finds…

According to research run by dating site match.com, the biggest romance-killers are a bad smell (94 per cent) and poor sense of humour (89 per cent) far moreso, apparently, than basing judgements on how someone looks (though 73 per cent still admitted to being put off by this.)

Nearly half (43 per cent) of singles who took part in the study said the scent of their potential mate had an impact on their date’s success, while more than one in four (26 per cent) said they’d prioritise smell over looks when checking someone out. Almost a third (31 per cent) of females said they were more likely to notice a man with a good scent than one with good looks.

The study was commissioned by Match to mark the launch of Eau.M.G. – a store exploring the role of scent in attraction.


Match opened the unique pop-up store ‘Eau.M.G.’ (‘Eau Mon Garcon’), where male Match members apparently had ‘their natural odours’ (whatever that means!) bottled into scents for single ladies to sniff out a date this Valentine’s Day. The bespoke scents have been created in partnership with Parisian laboratory, CARACTER, which uses ‘…brand new technology to capture the scent of humans and, literally, bottle it.’ Match sent six of its bachelors’ clothing to CARACTER’S lab, in order to distil their ‘olfactory portraits’ and bottle them into personalised scents.

Visitors to the pop-up store, located in Clerkenwell’s Exmouth Market, will be encouraged to ‘…follow their nose as well as their hearts in this unique experience that explores biological compatibility and innate attraction, allowing singles to go beyond just profile pictures.’

Dr Caroline Allen from Newcastle University says: ‘Research suggests that we can get a lot of information about a person from their body odour. Humans have distinct odour ‘fingerprints’, and so smell may be more important to us than we once thought – perhaps especially so when selecting a sexual or romantic partner. Studies have found that we prefer the odour of an individual who is genetically dissimilar to us, which suggests that we can get information related to the genetic compatibility of a potential partner from their body odour.’

‘There are a whole range of traits which we seem to be able to detect in body odour such as quality of diet, health, and personality, how masculine or feminine someone is, as well as their current emotions – all of which might be useful to us when choosing a romantic partner, or for attracting a potential partner to us.’


The Eau.M.G store was only open for four days in the run-up to Valentine’s Day, helping to match new couples based on their instinctive attraction to the different pheromones bottled in each. So will they have sniffed out the scent of L.U.R.V.E? We await to hear what happened with baited breath…!

Written by Suzy Nightingale

 

Stuck for a gift? Follow our Galentines guide & treat yourself, too!

Here at The Perfume Society, we’re all about celebrating Galentines – it’s a word we first saw popping up last year, but do you know what it signifies?

Well, January seemed about seventy three days long, everyone we know has had (or is still recovering from) ‘flu and just about all of our gal-pals have been having a really difficult time of it, lately.

Feel the same?

We thought it was about time to treat ourselves to something nice – and to show our best gal-pals how much they mean to us (at what can be a very difficult time of year for those struggling with depression or just trying their best to keep on top of things!) So forget V-Day for a while and celebrate ‘Galentines’ with us.

Why not have a look through these top picks and see if there’s a sweet treat you could surprise someone special with, or give yourself something to look forward to? Showing someone you care, adding a simple note saying ‘hey there, thinking of you’ – and being kind to yourself – can mean a lot, and we think these would make great gift ideas or pick-me-up presents for any time of year…

REEK is the house to head for when seeking gifts for those perfume-loving pals who definitely want to stand out from the crowd. Proudly promoting positive body images for women (none of their photos are re-touched to make the models look unnaturally ‘perfect’) the fragrances celebrate rebellious women through history. Choose from Damn Rebel Bitches or Damn Rebel Witches (we’re loving the names, the ‘fumes and the attitude!) and celebrate the fact that for all orders over £50 between now and V-Day, they’ll throw in a free gift card and a free mini ‘Love Potion’ tote bag. Order this and some of their fab stickers to treat your best witch bitch!

REEK Witch Bitch Set £45 for 2 x 7.5ml eau de parfum
Buy it at reekperfume.com

As the old saying goes – if you don’t love yourself, who else will? Everyone deserves a little luxury now and again, and we believe our Treat Yourself Discovery Box is ideal for anyone (yourself included) who needs a little extra TLC right now. The power of perfume to transport you is well documented, so why not fly away on a fragrant cloud to the tranquillity of a deserted beach, a vista of Moroccan orange blossom trees, the fragrant imaginings of two perfumers’ translating literature into scents, a field of lavender and a ground-breaking house inspired by the most intelligent women in the world? And that doesn’t even nearly cover the treats in store! From cult niche to designer opulence, your ultimate escape beckons…

Treat Yourself Discovery Box from £15
Buy it from our online shop

Izia launched last year, and immediately scored a hit for those seeking a scent that straddles the gap ‘between pretty and impertinent” as Sisley put it. Rose but not as you know it, this manages to be both pretty and uplifting with a carefree, bohemian edge. To celebrate their one-year anniversary, Sisley turned to the rock-n-roll style of British artist Quentin Jones for a whole new spin on the packaging. This limited edition features fluorescent ink, rose collages and paint flecks for vibrant pops of colour contrasted with the luminescent, sparkling cheerfulness of that rosy juice. If you know a Sisley-addict (and there are many) or someone who adores rose perfumes but can’t abide dustiness, this is guaranteed to brighten their whole year.

Sisley Izia £95 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at houseoffraser.co.uk

When everything seems dark and gloomy, there’s nothing like lighting up your life with a box of perfume that’s simply bursting with exotic blossoms. Not sure what your friend’s favourite floral is, or want to branch-out and try some flower-filled scents for yourself? Cochine‘s discovery set is the perfect choice. A trio of fragrances inspired by the beautiful location of Saigon (where founder Kate Crofton-Atkins was tempted to move after quitting her high-powered beauty job in London – and who can blame her?) there’s the delights of White Jasmine & Gardenia, Vietnamese Rose & Delentii and Tuberose & Wild Fig to revel in. Great size for travelling or popping in your purse, too!

Cochine Floral Collection £35 for 3 x 8ml eau de parfum
Buy it from our online shop

Sarah Jessica Parker turned the world of celebrity fragrances on its head with the release of Stash, which converted many niche-only perfumistas into full-on fans of the scent. The second of the opus – Stash Unspoken – is an exquisitely werable plunge into prettiness with an edge, featuring pink peppercorns and the honeyed addictiveness of quince atop a floral heart that feels like twirling in a tulle gown: wisteria, honeysuckle and peony entwine with the rich almond-y muskiness of the base (and a hint of woozy booziness to reel you right in.) Fans of Sex and the City, fashion-mavens and fragrance lovers alike will thank you for this addition to their wardrobe, and at a very purse-friendly price.

SJP Stash Unspoken £25 for 100ml eau de parfum
Buy it at superdrug.com

What if your gal-pal is miles away? We have a few best friends who live abroad and it can be really tricky sending presents via air-mail, so a great idea you can send and she can receive immediately is an International Online Subscription for our award-winning magazine dedicated to perfume: The Scented Letter. Solving a myriad last-minute present problems, it’s bursting with our reviews of all the latest launches your nose needs to know, exclusive interviews with the world’s best perfumers, full-length (and gorgeously illustrated) features on ingredients, the history of the perfume houses, trends and fascinating peeks behind-the-scenes. And the best bit? It’s eight 48-page digital editions a year, so really is the gift that keeps on giving!

The Scented Letter Magazine International Online Subscription £20

A lovely name for a really beautiful fragrance, Precious One is a bewitching blend of soaring fleur des nuits, tuberose and jasmine on the softest green chypre base of oak moss and layers of smoky vetiver swirling from the depths. Awarded Best New Independent Fragrance in 2012 by the Fragrance Foundation UK, Angela Flanders was the most wonderful British perfumer – a vibrant character who sadly passed away in 2016 – and this perfume was created for her daughter Kate Evans’s Precious boutique (also nearby in Spitalfields). A great way to to tell your friend how special they are to you, and now available in this handy travel-size.

Angela Flanders Precious One £28 for 10ml eau de parfum
Buy it from angelaflanders-perfumer.com

Okay so perhaps you can’t jet-off to Bali with your bestie, but how about arranging a weekend away or even a spa-day to enjoy together? We also suggest treating both of you to the Try Before You Fly Discovery Box (pssst! Grab it at the sale price while you can!) bulging even more than our handluggage usually is with all manner of scented delights. Close your eyes and think: tanned skin and flowers in your hair with soft bouquets from Miu Miu, Jimmy Choo and Barbour. Take in the sights of stylish Scandinavia with Agonist or sip espresso on the piazza with The Merchant of Venice, among the many specially curated scents in this selection. Have a look for some special last-minute deals to escape the gloom or book-ahead and dream of holidays to come…

Try Before You Fly Discovery Box from £10
Buy it from our online shop

There are few people who don’t appreciate the gift of a gloriously scented candle – and you don’t even have to know their favourite fragrances to pick one they’ll love (though we’d hope you at least know your best friend’s fave!) If you’re a trio of gal pals, why not have a splurge and treat all three of you to a Diptyque mini candle? This set features Baies – still their best selling candle – with its bouquet of roses and blackcurrant leaves, Figuier – comfortingly warm fig wood, the freshness of leaves and milky sap, and Roses – baskets of roses overflowing with abundance. Each mini candle is 70g and handily portable for travellers who crave their scented spaces. Which one would you choose?

Diptyque Mini Candles Set £65 for 3 x 70g candles (also avaiable separately and in other fragrances for £24)
Buy it at diptyqueparis.co.uk

Still searching for a gift?

If you know your friend’s favourite fragrance and want to treat them to something new (but are worried about getting something they don’t like) never fear! We have a genius solution. Simply type the name of their signature scent into our clever database, FR.eD (short for Fragrance Editor) and you’ll be given several suggestions based on fragrances with similar characters, shared notes or styles they’re bound to love. It really works! Give it a try, now, and find your perfect fragrance match

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Which perfume matches your personality for Valentine’s Day…?

Valentine’s day remains one of the hottest dates for the fragrance world – it’s the perfect time to be exchanging scented gifts with those we love – but with so many to choose from, where to begin?

Fragrances create life-long scent memories – the emotional response we feel way kicking in way before logic has time to register what we’re smelling – and so asking for your beloved to gift you a new scent when you’re in a relationship can be something of a rocky road. Ideally it needs to be something new to both of you. Have you (like us) ever rejected a potential date based on the love-interest favouring an ex’s scent. Or worse, a parent’s? *shudder*

The burning question is, though, do you ask for a specific scent (which can seem somewhat brazen if you’re not feeling that brave), hint your way to a hopeful present of ‘the right one’, or just cross your fingers and leave it to the Gods of fragrance fate?

Worry ye not, dear reader. We’ve got your back. Forward the potential gift-giver the link to this page (okay it’s not subtle, but since when did subtlety get you anywhere?) and ask the question: ‘which of these descriptions do you think sounds most like me…?’ You can put a winking emoji if you’re that way inclined – the somewhat less romantic modern equivalent of flirting with a flick of your lace fan. We’ll leave that up to you.

Oh and, spoilers: we happen to think all of these are pretty fabulous, so no matter which you’re given, it’s bound to please both of you…

A contemporary art-lover with an eye for style, you’re secretly (at heart) a romantic soul. Let yourself give in to the narcotic pleasures of indolic white flowers at play in this perfume – the heady narcissus and jasmine are beautifully blended and we just know you’ll want to keep breathing deeper and deeper until your nose can’t get enough. As for your lover…? They’re bound to be addicted, too. And when you’re not gazing gooily at each other and admiring the, um, base (the dry down’s an intriguing mixture of sumac and pipe tobacco), you can gaze in marvel at the gallery-esque bottle.

Map of the Heart Pink Heart £150 for 90ml eau de parfum
Buy it at harrods.com

Carefree and a bit of a bohemian, you’re generally positive, can charm the birds from the trees and probably love a bit of bunting. Given half the chance you’d be twirling barefoot through a garden at sunset in a gauzy gown, no matter the weather. Pretty as a picture, and smelling far more high-end than the price tag might suggest, this perfume from the Sweet Treats collection features a delicious lemon-drop top note, pepped up with ripe raspberry and blackcurrant atop a finger-lickingly good base of patchouli and golden amber.

Ted Baker Mia £18 for 30ml eau de toilette
Buy it at tedbaker.com/uk

Unapologetically a girly-girl, you may be dreamy with your head in the clouds, but your feet are firmly planted on the ground. Young at heart no matter your age, we feel you’ll adore this tribute to one of our favourite flowers of all time: the shamelessly blowsy and short-lived peony, allowed to linger the whole day through, here perfectly blended with Sicilian lemon, pink berries, pink guava, and a softly powdered violet. Raspberry flower snuggles with creamy vanilla beans, pink cotton candy entwines itself around cedarwood, and laconic vetiver sits back and makes us swoon.

Floral Street Wonderland Peony £55 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at floralstreet.com

Sophisticated and refined but never ever prissy, you’re slightly obsessed with the natural world but wouldn’t ever call yourself a hippie (bit old-hat, darling.) Marking an incredible 20 years of Liz Earle goodies, the house collaborated with Grasse-based perfumer Domitille Bertier for a Damask rose-rich celebration in a bottle. Infused with a sparkle of pink pepper, bergamot and mandarin, it’s the intriguing carrot seed heart with jasmine and an amyris/sandalwood dry down that pulls you in for more and more… 87% derived from natural ingredients, too.
Plus Liz Earle have a wonderful offer on right now, when you purchase a 50ml fragrance from the range, you receive a complimentary 10ml fragrance of Botanical Essence Number 01, 15 or 09. 

Liz Earle Botanical Essence No.20 £54 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at lizearle.com

Strong-willed and totally sensual, everything is an adventure for you – the world is your playground and you intend to live life to the full, perhaps with a love of classic movies, torch-songs and vintage chic. The ‘Edith’ in question here is right up your street – none other than the Parisian chanteuse herself: Édith Piaf. The fragrance itself pays homage to her sultry sophistication and the daring liveliness of the era, featuring rose, geranium (grown in their own British fields and a remarkably fabulous one, we must say!) you’ll thrill at the unexpected touch of lightly camphorous yarrow and dark patchouli for the smoothest kind of hip-wiggle in scent form…

Parterre A Tribute to Edith £120 for 50ml eau de pafum
Buy it at parterrekeynestonmill.com

Bookish but never boring, you’re tantalised by literary worlds you can escape to, drawn to the poetic side of life and the dramatically beguiling. Two perfumers created fragrances based on the the novel Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Mathieu Nardin’s Scherzo an ode to the contrast between dark and light. Blood orange, davana and golden olibanum collide in a kaleidoscopic splash of wild, bright colour, while dark rose mingles in the shadows with patchouli and oudh. Bertrand Duchaufour offers ink swirled through leather, saffron and geranium on a flickering, amber-ish base. But it’s held aloft by the fizz of a pink pepper C02 extraction alongside aldehydes and the most incredible green hyacinth opening, shimmering to cyclamen, incense and a drily metallic base.

Miller Harris Tender/Scherzo £120 each for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy them at millerharris.com

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Forgot the card? Panic over, as Penhaligon's invite you to create a virtual Valentine's bouquet!

That sickening moment you realise it’s all too late: you’ve forgotten the Valentine’s card and now you’re going to be in the dog house…
Oh dear.
But fear not, forgetful ones! Penhaligon’s have created a brilliant (and gorgeously realised) way to present a virtual bouquet, and it’s all to do with the “Language of Flowers.”

‘Thank Heavens for floriography’ they say. ‘A mysterious language of love. Cryptic communications, hidden revelations and coded declarations!’
On Penhaligon’s website, you beging by choosing from a number of flowers, having read their individual “coded” meanings. They vary wildly, so be very careful how you choose, and even more careful who you send that coded message to…
When you’ve selected three flowers, you are guided to the next page where your virtual bouquet is assembled, ready for you to present via email. Ta-da!
We just love the dreamy vintage-style illustrations – and that you get to learn a little of this “secret language” (so beloved by the Victorians, in particular) of flowers and their possible hidden messages.

Even better – everyone who sends one of these virtual bouquets will be entered in with a chance to win the Penhaligon’s Portraits Collection. And once you have sighed in contentment (and relief) at having saved the day, you can see which of the Penhaligon’s perfumes would best be suited to the flowers you chose for the bouquet.
Far from a lost opportunity, and depending on how well the recipient receives your e-card, it might turn out that your forgetfulness might end in a fragrantly wonderful win/win!
Now then, we wonder: who will you be sending yours to…?
Written by Suzy Nightingale