Richard Branson’s new fragrance ‘smells like ship’…

We’ve already had weird and wonderful novelty perfumes that smell of pizza, burgers and Stilton cheese, candles inspired by fried chicken and more recently, a fragrance evoking the twinkle in Captain Birdseye‘s eye – but now the captain has a new seafairing scent to contend with: Richard Branson’s signature scent, Ship No.1. And apparently, ‘…it smells like ship!’

That’s not me being salty – I am sadly bereft of a sample to lavishly spray about my person, so I cannot tell you how it actually smells – but it’s how Branson himself proudly describes the fragrance in the extremely amusing Virgin Voyages advert, for which he places his tongue firmly in his cheek. Watch the video below and get a true sense of this ship fragrance for yourself…



Ship No.1 is more than merely a novelty item, though, as this ‘signature scent of Scarlet Lady,’ has been released to mark the launch of Virgin Voyages first ship. Nicknamed ‘Ladyships’ (as they will all have female names), the fragrance apparently ‘evokes the feeling of being at sea with its hint of sea lavender and salt air contrasted against the warmth of sun-kissed wood from a fig tree.’ What’s more, Ship No.1 will be infused throughout the ‘adult by design’ (nobody under the age of 18 will be allowed aboard the vessel) Scarlet Lady once it sets sail.

Elaborating about the fragrance for their on-brand website,, Virgin Voyages explain their inspiration. ‘…when somebody walks into the room and says, “It smells like something in here, but I just can’t put my finger on it.” Let them know. It smells like ship.



Other videos by Virgin Voyages, available on YouTube, show plans for the ship’s layout, including a restaurant with ‘nice’ food – vegetarian – that can be made ‘naughty’ by the addition of visiting the meat buffet; a ‘mermaid spa’ that turns into a party at night, complete with DJ and disco lights; a ‘singles deck’ for solo travellers, and the intriguingly themed ‘drag lunch’, details of which are not yet forthcoming. I do very much hope it’s a bunch of drag queens still hungover from the night before and making use of the meat buffet while holding court with salty anecdotes, though. If so, I’ll be booking a ticket today, and possibly considering permanent residency.

If these delights are not enough to tempt you aboard, or if you can’t quite afford such ‘Ladyship’ luxuries – at least you can drown your sorrows by smelling ‘like Ship’, I suppose, as it’s avalable for pre-order today.


Ship No.1 $50 for 100ml Parfum de Bateau*

*(A bateau is ‘a light flat-bottomed riverboat used in Canada’, according to my Googling skills)

By Suzy Nightingale