Blustery Walks, Bottled! Fragrances for Feeling Outdoors-y (when you can’t be)

Given the horrendous weather of late – snow, torrential rain and flooding, gales, hurricanes, even tornados in the U.K! – it’s not exactly been ideal for getting outdoors and enjoying a stroll. However, this is where fragrances can come into their own during inclement weather: we can wear them to get a sense of being outdoors, of experiencing the freedom and head-clearing calm of being so, without setting a foot (or wellington boot) outside the door if we don’t feel up to facing it!

 

 

 

Here’s our edit of outdoors-y scents that, while feeling seasonally appropriate, also allow an exploration of woodlands, coastal paths and countryside escapism with every spritz…

 

 

Sarah Baker Tartan Extrait

This is a classic of the collection that’s been adored since the scents were first launched. Sarah McCartney, the nose for this one, is better known as the founder of quirky British house 4160 Tuesdays, but here collaborated with Baker to compose this marvel. Picture it: Warmth and heritage envelope you after a bracing walk through mossy ruins in Scotland’s Highlands. A fire is roaring in the library. You put your feet up and slowly sip a rare single malt. Bliss!

£145 for 50ml extrait de parfum In Our Shop

 

 

Kingdom Scotland Portal

Portal is described as ‘a gateway to the ancient Caledonian forests of Scotland.’ It’s fresh, outdoorsy, gusting with herbaceous botanicals and bergamot, notes chosen to evoke verdant florals, resting on a veritable forest floor of vetiver and Scots pine. Kingdom Scotland’s description – ‘an escape to a sylvan wonderland’ – hints at its power to transport you to the shade of the tranquil forest. All the benefits of hiking minus the mud (and smelling rather more fabulous). Bonus,

£120 for 50ml eau de parfum  in our shop

 

 

Goldfield & Banks Wood Infusion

An homage to the perfect beauty of a landscape you’ve fallen in love with, this moss-nestled hug of woods feels lined in silk, being dusted with smooth iris and slicked with a sheen of sandalwood. Inspired by Australia’s heritage-listed Fraser Island, it’s an immediate escape route in a bottle – spray, breathe in, close your eyes and exude the power of nature.

£138 for 100ml eau de parfum selfridges.com

 

 

 

Houbigant Fougère Royale

Think of a scenario where you’ve found a cosy bolthole in an incongruously wonderful old pub in the middle of nowhere. The door opens, a cold blast blows through the open door, and a dapper walker removes their heavy (£££) wool coat to reveal a sprig of herbs carefully tucked into the lapel of a herringbone jacket, worn beneath. The olive from his dry Martini is sucked in a slightly lascivious manner. Suddenly much warmer than you were, you are deliciously intrigued…

RRP £165 for 100ml eau de parfum (currently £145)  libertylondon.com

 

 

 

 

Olfactive Studio Woody Mood

Close your eyes and imagine taking a walk among the giant sequoias, as legend has it so tall and densely packed that sunlight never touches the ground at their roots, a darkly woody haunt of a scent that lingers long after you’ve first sprayed, like some mischevious woodland sprite always darting further ahead. Dry with black tea, cheering with cocoa, it’s pepped up with a glow of saffron and ginger for added warmth, and beguilingly addictive.

 £140 for 100ml eau de parfum jovoyparis.uk

 

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

Are Scents Really ‘Seasonal’?

What are the right scents to wear for each season – and do they actually change on your skin during the year, or is it only how you perceive them…?

Well, have you noticed your favourite fragrance can smell different sometimes?

The fact is, all aromatic molecules need an amount of heat (usually from your skin) to work. The temperature of your skin and the air dramatically alter the rate at which the molecules evaporate and dissipate, and this then changes the way the perfume smells – to you, and others around you.

Because of this, many of us prefer to wear lighter, brighter fragrances in warmer months and swap for something cosier as the temperature drops, but is it really true you should only wear (for example) citrus / fresh fragrances in summer?

One of the things to consider when choosing a fragrance is the weather – both when you’re trying it, and when you want to actually be wearing it, because it DOES change how you perceive a perfume, and how it performs on your skin.

Hot weather intensifies the fragrance notes and makes them ‘bloom’ on the skin more quickly – when molecules heat up, they evaporate more quickly.

Colder weather slows down the evaporation rate (so top and heart notes last much longer) and you might find your scent doesn’t project as much in the winter.

But sometimes it’s not even about how they last on your skin – it’s the feeling particular fragrances evoke. So, just as you wouldn’t wear a heavy jumper in the summer, wearing a fragrance that makes you think of cashmere or velvet and roaring log fires on a sweltering day can just feel… wrong.

Having said all that – there are many cultures and people who actively prefer to ‘lean into the heat’, and wear perfumes which swathe the skin in billowing woods, sizzling spices and sticky resins at the height of summer, or perhaps choose cooler, Cologne style scents in winter; and that’s fine, too. It all comes down to personal taste, of course, but it’s true that because of temperature and humidity, scents can certainly feel right for one season and completely wrong for another.

We know it can be confusing, so with the weather in mind, we put together a specially curated selection of fragrances in a Seasonal Scents Subscription Box

How it works:

Pick your Quarterly or Yearly plan

Seasonal Scents Subscription choose plan

Discover new launches and bestsellers from well-loved brands, curated with the seasons in mind.

 

Arrives at your door for the new Season

Seasonal Scents Subscription delivery

Receive your seasonal box every 3 months and start smelling fabulous.

Get exclusive access to the online smelling notes and unboxing video.

 

Containing hand-picked fabulous fragrances, mainly female and unisex scents, from globally adored leading brands (sometimes also including the most adorable miniatures) will land at your door each passing season (approximately every three months) – so you will always have a new scent to try that’s just right for the time of year!

Seasonal Scents Subscription is

Quarterly Subscription £18 for a single box, super flexible rolling contract.

You will be charged every three months, but the subscription can be cancelled at any time up to 48 hours before the launch dates for future boxes (see below). OR you can opt for £68 for a Yearly Subscription – a great saving on all four boxes.

Only available in the UK. Postal charges are usually free but may be incurred at checkout depending on your postcode. We are currently unable to offer this subscription to Northern Ireland, the Scottish Highlands, or any offshore islands of the UK. If in doubt please contact us for advice at The Perfume Society  before ordering.

Launch dates 2023:

Spring – March 2023
Summer – June 2023
Autumn – September 2023
Winter –  December 2023

Read below to discover all the fabulous things this subscription includes…

We’re currently welcoming Spring with scents that echo the joyful sight of buds and blossom, while Summer is a chance to revel in the bliss of bright, luminescent fragrances. For Autumn, we sashay forth in fashion-forward, more sensual scents and in Winter we get our cosy on with scents you’ll want to snuggle into.

 

 

Each Seasonal Scents Box Includes:

Seasonal Fragrances  – A collection of fragrances from 1ml – 7ml, these will be kept secret until each Seasonal Scents Box is launched, 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 Head Fragrance Writer Suzy Nightingale will guide you when opening your new box.

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

So now, why not consider changing up your seasonal scent wardrobe and getting a perfumed treat delivered to your door?

Sunshine and rain: 10 new scents to put a Spring in your step, no matter what the weather’s doing…

We don’t know about you, but recently our coats, woolens and winter-weight duvets have been off and on again more times than Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Some days we truly can believe that Spring has sprung, as sunshine beams through the buxomly bursting buds of magnolia trees and even the most sullen faces twist into something resembling a smile; the next day it’s back to gale-force winds, grey skies and constant drizzle. Spring may have sprung, but it’s bouncing about all over the place!

To carry on regardless of the weather, we sometimes need a bit of optimistic wish-fulfillment in our scent choices – the kind of British pluck that got us through several wars, allows us to merely tut at cancelled trains and can bally well help us pretend the sun IS constantly shining and yes it IS warm enough to go outside without legs permanently encased like sausages in 200 denier tights, thank-you-very-much. Here’s our selection of scents to put the Spring back in your step: no matter what the weather’s doing, there’s something to match your mood through sunshine and showers alike…

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Ultra-talented British perfumer Lyn Harris presides over an exquisite new boutique perfumery that’s the fragrance equivalent of visiting an Haute Couture atelier. Offering bespoke, hand-blended unique perfumes alongside an ever-changing seasonal collection of ‘ready to wear’, the latest trio features this delectable concoction of ylang ylang absolue, vetiver, angelica grain and vanilla bourbon. Cool like the first drops of rain yet rounded with a fluffiness somehow; the bouquet of jasmine, orange flower and iris is fused with the fresh air top notes and a tenderly whispered amber musk of a base. The stunning hand-blown glass bottle is an investment for sure, but refills are available for £170.

Perfumer H Rain Cloud £320 for 100ml eau de parfum
Buy it in-store at Perfumer H

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Using ‘headspace technology’ – an ingenious contraption that’s basically a high-tech bell-jar hooked up to an incredibly powerful smell-analysing computer – Vilhelm truly capture the heady scent of a live lilac veritably humming with sunshine. In the language of flowers, lilac spells the unfurling petals of first-love that blooms into full blown passion, an affair we would definitely want to be involved with while wearing this perfume…

Vilhelm Parfumerie A Lilac a Day £145 for 100ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Liberty

Molton-Brown-Dewy-Lily-of-the-Valley-&-Star-Anise-Eau-de-Toilette_bottle_KEJ183_XLOh-so-pretty lily of the valley is blended with creamy magnolia and delicate peony to gather a dew-drop sprinkled bouquet that sparkles with a cool freshness on the greyest of days. Unusual notes of green mandarin and white tea are punctuated with flecks of star anise and a lingering softly musky sandalwood dry-down that lingers mistily. [NB: You can try a sample of this in the Molton Brown Art of Fragrance Discovery Box!]

Molton Brown Dewy Lily of the Valley & Star Anise £39 for 50ml eau de toilette
Buy it at John Lewis

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A celebration of Calabrian bergamot, this is truly sunshine in a bottle – we defy you not to smile at the first spritz. Continuing with their far longer-lasting versions of Cologne, the citrus tang is definitely the main story here, but with waves of jasmine, ambrette, lavender and deeper notes of vetiver and oak moss radiating joy.

Atelier Cologne Bergamot Soleil £90 for 100ml Cologne Absolute
Buy it at John Lewis

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Part of Bronnley’s Eclectic Elements collection, this pulses with life – one moment a woodland with fresh foliage licked clean from a rain-shower, then hints of sunshine peeking through the clouds with a glisten of orange flower. The leather, amber and incense base add depth to the green woodiness as you follow the trail through shady glades and patches of brightness. We’re impressed with the stylish modern packaging and pocket-friendly price, too.

Bronnley Wild Green £35 for 50ml eau de toilette
Buy it at House of Fraser

Spring_CoralSumptuously fruity in a grown-up cocktail way, this glows likes little jewels scattered across a treasure-strewn beach. Grapefuit gets the sparkle going, buoyed by blackcurrant buds and orange blossom and shot through with bright tuberose and lemon for extra lift. Tempered by tea, gently spiced with pepper and grounded in a musky base, it’s a not-too-sweet treat to make your mouth water.

Michael Kors Coral £39 for 30ml eau de parfum
Buy it at The Perfume Shop

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 15.01.05Inspired by the original Marc Jacobs Splash collection, fans will be overjoyed to know that four scents are making a come-back for Spring 2016 (expected on-counter in May), including one of the most popular – Rain. Exuding the unique ‘petrichor’ smell that fills the air just after a downpour, we have freshly cut grass and flowers bathed in water drops together with strawberries and celementine and a more tropical storm of a heart with passion flower, white orchids and base of burnished teak dusted with a powdery white musk.

Marc Jacobs Rain £38 for 100ml
Buy it at Debenhams in May.

product_9202869bBursting with just-peeled mandarin this sings from the bottle with sheer happiness – a vibrant and mood-lifting fragrance to reach for when going outside is just too grim to imagine. Energising grapefruit joins the citrus accord, and given a creamy sandalwood base on which to rest. Part of their Jardin de Vie range launched earlier this year, the fragrances are all-natural and suitable for vegans, too. [NB: Why not try this sunshine-scent at home as part of our Exquisite Essences Discovery Box?]

Weleda Agrume £19.95 for 50ml eau naturelle parfumée
Buy it at Weleda

496-3004064-LEDP13_MA sublimely cool, calm and collected infusion that surprises with a peppery opening of bergamot, coriander seed and carrot seed, it’s the orris-rich heart – complemented by a bouquet of exotic white flowers: jasmine, magnolia and osmanthus – that will fully sparkle to seduce you. The base soothes with aphrodisiac Tahitian vanilla bud wrapped up in warm amber, the smoky coolness of vetiver ensuring it never tips into over-sweetness. Enveloping yet utterly refined, the rich base retains its elegance on your skin throughout the day, in warm weather or foul. [NB: Explore a sample of this among others in our Secret Scentsations Discovery Box]

Ormonde Jayne Vanille d’Iris from £90 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Ormonde Jayne

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Philosophy are known for the prettiest bright and breezy line of fragrances and matching scented body products, and with the very latest perfume (launching April 27th), they seek to capture the true scent of those carefree, sunny days (several in a row, perhaps!) we so long for at this time of year. Notes include the fizz of bergamot, a gentle dune rose, the creaminess of sandalwood infused with rich cocoa absolute and a splash of refreshing coconut water. Solar musks give a lift to the delicious vanilla lingering in the base, and frankly we think you should spritz this with abandon, put on your coolest shades and treat yourself to an ice cream in anticipation…

Philosophy Pure Summer Grace £33 for 50ml eau de toilette
Exclusive to John Lewis from 27th April

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Salt is in the air: a latest trend…?

A trip to the great British seaside is always a real treat, truly to behold come rain or shine – whatever the weather actually. Though, I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who is rushing to the coast for one last dip, before we officially draw a line under summer. It’s in our DNA as Brits to want to escape to the sea, whether it’s to walk the dog and wonder how on earth you’re going to get said wet canine back in the car, or the craving of a ‘wake-up’ like none other as you brave the great ocean.

Perhaps it’s the smell that’s so addictive. In the heat it’s dry, dusty sand and sun cream, but with a twist of watery freshness blown in from the shore. In the cold, it’s the thick heavy wind that batters you from every angle, ‘blowing out the cobwebs’, so to speak. For both, there is always one key ingredient – salt. We love the stuff. Perhaps because of these experiences, or perhaps it’s the sticky, certain ‘tang’ we can’t quite put our finger on.

There are some incredible historical scents that include sea salt, of course who could forget Miller Harris‘s Fleur de Sel, or Heeley’s Sel Marin? This season, salt is in the air again and we think we’re spotting a trend floating in the undercurrent.

 Jo Malone London Wood Sage & Sea Salt  £82 for 100ml cologne

Try it at: www.jomalone.co.uk

Classified as a woody fragrance, created by master perfumer Christina Nagel, it perfectly captures the spirited feeling you experience when walking a windswept shore.  The fragrance clogs the nose with a freshened, heavy sweetness, but retains warmth, like cold, weather-beaten cheeks that burn. Notes include ambrette seed, red algae, grapefruit, as well as those key components – sea salt and sage.

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Shay & Blue London Salt Caramel £55 for 100ml

Try it at: www.shayandblue.com

Salt brings caramel alive and this is clearer than ever in Shay & Blue’s latest scent, Salt Caramel. Created by Dom De Vetta and Julie Massé – taking their inspiration from the Queen Charbonnel et Walker’s sea salt caramel truffles – it’s a truly indulgent fragrance. Notes include burnt caramel, sea salt, sandalwood, tonka bean and vanilla. Good enough to eat.

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Calvin Klein Reveal £37.50 for 100ml eau de parfum

Try it at: The Perfume Shop

Created by master perfumers Jean-Marc Chaillan and Bruno Jovanovic to summon feelings around the smell of sun-kissed skin in the evening sunset, enveloped in cashmere. The top opens with fresh and flavorful sea salt and pepper. The heart adds ambergris and powdery iris, while the base is smoothed with sandalwood, musk, cashmere and vetiver (another potential female fragrance trend we’re sniffing of late).

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Written by Alice Crocker