Glorious Ginger

Ginger fragrances are definitely having a moment – perhaps we’re simply gravitating toward them more at this time of the year, for their warming spiciness? But ginger can do far more than add a tingle to scent: there’s the juiciness of freshly sliced ginger root for adding an almost aqueous touch to a composition, too.

Many of us are familiar with the beige-skinned, yellow-fleshed fresh spice, which adds pungency to cooking – as the Romans, who first imported it, discovered. Those same roots we love to spice up our food with – rhizomes, to use the perfume world’s word for them – can be steam-distilled to produce this useful scented oil.

Ginger can be variously bracing, uplifting and almost nose-tinglingly spicy, depending on the type (and how much) a perfumer chooses for their formula. And ginger can be very versatile – it pairs beautifully with vanilla, woody notes and citrus, for example; as well as white flowers like jasmine and sunlight-filled neroli. This spice is used quite widely in perfumery – as well as a wide range of foods and medicines, too, produced everywhere from South America to Malaysia, the Caribbean, Japan and Africa.

With many people now enjoying ginger ‘shots’ for a bracing morning drink – using it to clear the cobwebs and ward-off colds – we’re suggesting you seek out these gloriously ginger-spiced scents for a more fragrantly lasting (and just as soul-reviving) boost…

 

When this launched as an eau de parfum, it became a best-seller, setting many hearts aflame. Now the latest to be intensified as an extrait, the orange blossom is a new, buxomly formidable accord developed by Sarah, with caramelised zest and ginger’s zing . A car chase through tuberose fields on fire, she says. Oh MY! Fan me.

Sarah Baker Flame & Fortune Extrait Pre-order for £120 instead of £145 sarahbakerperfumes.com

 

 

Alive with Asian aromatics, tingling like a ginger martini, the succulent mandarin squeezes sweetness onto ginger’s vibrantly quenching, just-grated spiciness. Wrapped in the golden glow of amber, the ginger grows spicier and drier as it warms on skin. Utterly delicious, it seems to segue through all the seasons, seamlessly.

Goldfield & Banks Ingenious Ginger £138 for 100ml eau de parfum selfridges.com

(P.S.: Try a sample as part of the Fabulous Fragrances Discovery Box – £23 / £19 for VIPs)

Oh this is much-needed at any time, but never more than in winter! A uniquely spicy green floral that boosts confidence via zingy Ethiopian ginger absolute and crisp pink peppercorn; the fresh spices tingle amidst the verdancy, with gorgeous wafts of Indian jasmine absolute and iris concrete to enhance the instant bliss.

Edeniste Lifeboost Well Being £68 for 30ml eau de parfum in our shop

 

 

 

floris-vert-fougere

 

An imagining of a fern in an English garden at twilight, lavender and patchouli entwine galbanum for a damp, earthy beginning. A cool lingering of tempered sunlight is evoked via a bitter-citrus accord of bergamot, neroli and grapefruit, the encroaching darkness cut through with ginger’s sparkle, then grounded in smoky shadows.

Floris Vert Fougére from £30 for 10ml eau de parfum florislondon.com

 

 

 

Exploring the believed ‘psychoactive and spiritual’ facets of oudh, joyous bergamot greets you like a dear friend, a surge of ginger awakening senses before cedar smooths a path to the main feature. When the oudh hits it’s like a bear hug. One to spritz on sluggish mornings when the duvet refuses to release you from its plump embrace.

INITIO Oud for Happiness £305 for 90ml eau de parfum harrods.com

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Sandalwood scents to adore this autumn

Perfumers have been seduced by sandalwood’s silky, sweet woodiness for centuries. Arabian perfume-makers would use the wood in pulverised or sawdust form as the base of solid perfumes and incense. In India, sandalwood’s soothing, pervasive scent has long been considered an aid to meditation, helping to still a whirring mind. In rituals, sandalwood oil may be applied to the forehead, the temples, or rubbed between the eyebrows. And it’s been used in many cultures as incense, burned on altars, as a way of communicating with the heavens.

 

Surprisingly, Santalum album isn’t actually a tree but a parasitic plant which grows by suckering itself to the roots of other trees, and slowly growing as high as 10 metres. To extract the deep, sweet woodiness, wood or root chippings are steam-distilled. If you ever come across a piece of the wood itself, it’s magical: the scent can still be enjoyed, years after it was harvested. (A little light sanding re-releases the scent, if it fades.)

 

 

 

In fragrance compositions, sandalwood is adored by noses because it’s so versatile – it blending seamlessly with pretty much any note you can name, it also has the benefit of working as a ‘fixative’, tethering other ingredients and keeping them ‘true’, in a composition. Because of its universal appeal and effectiveness, and because so many sandalwood trees have been cut down in India, largely for production of perfume and incense – it’s now highly protected, as it’s often been illegally harvested.

The good news, however, is that plantations in Australia are now coming on-stream, producing sandalwood oil of high quality – to the relief of perfumers, fragrance-lovers and conservationists alike. Also, a wide range of excellent quality synthetic sandalwood-like ingredients are now used in place of this at-risk wood, to give that smooth milkiness.

This autumn, we urge you to seek out some of these sandalwood scents and revel in all its qualities…

Sana Jardin Sandalwood Temple

Moroccan neroli oil glimmers like motes of gilded glitter suspended in languid, late afternoon sunshine. Atlas cedarwood and Haitian vetiver add the dappled shade of a walk through nature, marvelling at stained-glass effect of sunlight through leaves. Rich vanilla and East Indian sandalwood swirls throughout – a sacred space to sigh, contentedly.

Try a sample of Sandalwood Temple in the Sana Jardin Discovery Set: £30 for 10 x 2ml eau de parfum

 

 

 

Fragrance du Bois Santal Complet

Inspired by waves of bliss you feel on sunny but chilly days, lemon’s brightness frosted with coconut shavings gleams to the heart of soft violet and black pepper, before that creamy base sandalwood swirls like a cashmere wrap around your shoulders, a hug of warmth resonating with the amber, musk and vanilla that’s a joyously sun-filled snuggle.

£245 for 100ml eau de parfum fragrancedubois.com

 

Goldfield & Banks Silky Woods

If a fragrance can ever smell like liquid gold, this is it – a smooth, molten swoon of Australian sandalwood, harvested sustainably for the first time in the Daintree Rainforest in Tropical Queensland. Spiced with a tingle of saffron, swirled with smoked vanilla and the hug of tobacco leaves in the trail, it’s an all-day (and night) wrist-sniffer, for sure.

£180 for 100ml eau de parfum fenwick.co.uk

 

 

Escentric Molecules Molecule 04

Perfumer and founder Geza Schoen showcases the single note of Javanol – a sheer sandalwood synthetic molecule created from a natural substance at Givuadan in 2001. Mindblowing-ly fresh, and radiating grapefruit amidst the woodiness, it’s a wake-up call for the senses which reveals the multifaceted versatility of sandalwood’s appeal.

OR…

Escentric Molecules Escentric 04

Here surrounded by a supporting cast of complimentary notes, the Javanol shines like a polished gem with the added zest of lime, piquant pops of aromatic juniper and and the warm, almost sherbet-y fizz of pink pepper give an extra shot of freshness, while marijuana leaf softens the grapefruit pith (and adds to the addictiveness of the sandalwood scent).

Try samples of both these takes on sandalwood, plus EIGHT other pairings of single molecules and their ‘Escentic’ counterparts in the Escentric Molecules Discovery Set £25 for 10 x 2ml eau de parfum

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale