Winter Candles & Diffusers to Bring the Outdoors In…

In the winter we can often be pining for the outdoors but feel stuck at home, hardly wanting to crack open a window in gale-force winds, or be able to sit in the garden or take a long walk to feel at one with nature. However, we can bring the feeling and freshness of outdoors inside, and transform the stuffiness and whole atmosphere of a room simply by  switching up our home fragrances via ‘green’ and woody scented candles and fragrance diffusers.

 

Whichever option you plump for, here’s our perfumed pick of perfect home scents to look for right now…

 

 

Cochine Agarwood & Amber Candle £45 for 230g

This rich candle combines agarwood with the warmth of white amber, tuberose and patchouli. Known as ‘Wood of the Gods’, agarwood is highly sought after due to the unique richness of its fragrance, and feels like living in a fairytale forest.

 

 

 

La Montaña Cloudburst Candle £39

Inspired by the mountainside after a summer storm, when the rain clouds part and strong sunshine lances through, stirring up a heavy mist of fragrance. In this haze, notes from our herb garden mingle with fresh citrus. Utterly uplifting!

 

 

 

Stories Parfums Nº.02 Bougie Parfumée Scented Candle Trio £95 for 3

Uniquely splitting the notes of the fine fragrance between three candles, you can dot these around your room to create the ideal harmonious ‘scent-scape’, with velvety moss, moonlit herbs and roses, wisps of smoke and honeyed wood.

 

 

 

Cochine Juniper & Ginger Diffuser £60 

Combining the crisp scent of juniper with the sweet spiciness of ginger, reminiscent of lush, green woods and exotic, evergreen mountains; this uplifting scent has hints of clove, bergamot and patchouli with the freshness of eucalyptus.

 

 

 

 

La Montaña First Light Candle £39 

“On our mountain, at first light, there’s a heavenly fragrance in the air” Founder Cassandra says. “Before anyone starts an engine, or lights a fire, the air is clear, and still, and silent.” Frosted herbs, wild fennel, and a soothing breeze. Blissful.

Written by Suzy Nightingale

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

We cedar-WOOD urge you to try these fragrances!

Do you remember the smell of your school pencil case? That’s really the smell of cedar, which is of course also the wood used for pencils. Of course it smells woody, but that’s just too simple: it also has a freshness, with hints of resin. If you’ve ever walked in an evergreen forest, cedar will transport you back there, too. And so many utterly fabulous fragrances employ cedar to evoke this forest-y wonderment.

It’s mostly the foliage (from trees grown in the Atlas mountains of Morocco, or Virginia in the USA) that is steam-distilled to produce the intense oil, which is also used in aromatherapy for calming and balancing. Sometimes, the roots and the wood of this slow-growing tree are used, putting some environmental question marks over its use today. Partly for that reason, there are now quite a few cedar-like synthetic notes used to give depth and a ‘grounding’ quality across some women’s fragrances – and many men’s.

As ‘nose’ Christine Nagel explains, cedar wood can be used to different effect: ‘Virginian cedar has a dry and almost “nervous” effect in a fragrance, whereas cedar wood from the Atlas Mountains is much warmer…’

Which of these cedar-infused fragrances do you want to try first? We urge you to seek them out in the colder months ahead for the comfort of nostalgia plus the magically spacious quality they can offer in a scent…

 

 

Ostens Cedarwood Heart

‘Cedarwood Heart leaves a dry, almost pencil-shavings scent on the skin that’s then softened by an unexpected, slightly creamy and almost vanilla like quality’ they say, and within seconds of this sumptuously comforting scent being on your skin, we know you’re going to fall for it in a big way. The cedar is nuanced, flinty at first then sinking into that deliciously soft creaminess, which has a natural sweetness but stays far away from the ‘gourmand’. Truly woody, with a sense that you’re floating above a forest in a dream, or are somehow living in a storybook treehouse. Magnificent!

Try a sample in the Ostens Discovery Set£40 for all six scent samples to adore!

 

 

 

Maya Njie Nordic Cedar

Within Nordic Cedar, you truly feel as though you’ve walked into one of the atmospheric photographs Maya Njie is inspired to create her fragrances around. Harking to her part Swedish heritage, although we may never have visited the exact forest this scent evokes, all of us wearing it can feel a sense of towering trees, the shadows thrown by lofty canopies far above our heads, that reassuring comfort of cedar mixed with earthy patchouli – all enclosing us in a hug as cardamom gifts brightness, ambergris adds cool mist, and it feels like we’ve been on a fabulously fragrant walk.

Try a sample (along with five other fragrances) in the Maya Njie Discovery Set – £34 for 6 x 2ml samples

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

 

 

 

Experimental Perfume Club Smell Like a King

A brilliant blending of heritage and modernity in which so-clever perfumer/ founder Emmanuelle Moeglin melds ginger, turmeric, salt-tinged woods and mellow tobacco of her Cardamom Moss with the unashamedly magnificent leather and herbaceous depth of the stunning Cedarwood Absinth base (do also try this scent on its own – glorious!) Think wooden-panelled rooms and freshly rolled cigars glinting with a verdant freshness, mellowed with a husky muskiness that exudes confidence. Easy to wear yet stylishly characterful, this really deserves a fanfare.

From £35 for 8ml eau de parfum experimentalperfumeclub.com

 

 

Laboratorio Olfattivo Tonkade

This cedar-enriched stunner is from the perfume house’s Nero collection, with an unusual opening of seasonal dried fruits, neroli, tonka bean, and a cool breeze of cardamom spice leading to a crescendo of warm woods – all swirled with that deliciously dry cedar to meld the composition. In the trail, patchouli and soft vanilla add to the moody, woody vibe which positively bursts out of the so-stylish bottle. Then as the pace slows again, enjoy a smoky-sweet base accord that swirls with soft musks – a misty perfumed path you’ll be following (and trailing) all day…

From £110 for 100ml eau de parfum pulseofperfumery.com

 

 

COSMOSS Sacred Mist

Kate Moss taps into powerful ingredients to showcase 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.

Try a sample (plus 11 other scents & a body care treat) in our Garden of Delights Discovery Box £23 / £19 for VIPs

 

 

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

Step into the woods with these stunning scents…

With signs of autumn all around us, this month we’re embracing the season with scents that remind us of walking in the woods, wisps of smoke on the breeze, and that golden sunlight that streams through the leaves and warms our souls.

Now is the time to delight in that new freshness to the air – or add an extra layer of cosiness via your fragrance – reaching for perfumes that have a more contemplative feel, perhaps, or deeper scents, tinged with spices? Whatever you may choose, it’s a time to make the most of sunnier autumnal days while we can, and savour the best of the season. Which of these could be on your list to try…?

 

 

La Montaña First Light

Picture early morning in the pine woods, a walk at dawn when the mist veils trees with jewelled droplets, gossamer spiderwebs silvered by the chill. Then, slowly, the rosy blush rises over a mountain, the breeze alive with wild herbs, fronds of fennel, a verdant stillness which seems magical. That awed alchemy is bottled, here, to perfection.

From £22 for 10ml eau de parfum lamontana.co.uk

 

 

Maison Margiela Autumn Vibes

Capturing ‘a deep breath of woody autumn air in a bottle” this is a scent that recalls the crunch of leaves underfoot, towering trees in the woods a comforting canopy while you explore, a sense of stillness as the season swings anew. Pops of spices fizz beneath the fir balsam – cardamom, pink pepper and aglow amidst the mossy, snuggly soft base.

£58 for 30ml eau de toilette johnlewis.com

 

 

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 bliss.

£138 for 100ml eau de parfum selfridges.com

Escentric Molecules M+ Guaiac Wood

Taking the ‘your skin but better’ creaminess of that original molecule and adding guaiac wood was genius, ‘It has a gentle ‘cocooning around the fireplace in winter’ feel to it.’ explains Geza Schoen; ‘It’s like emulsified smoke that melts into the Iso E Super.’ Swirling amber-hued rum, this will warm your heart and make those around you utterly swoon.

From £20 for 8.5ml eau de parfum escentric.com

 

 

 

Laboratorio Olfativo ExpLOud

Described as a ‘quintessence of woody notes’, this hums with the power of its presence – a call on the breeze, entwined with woodsmoke, drawing you to the heart of the forest. Sublime layers of scent unravel, a duo of Indian and white oudhs swirling majestically, with bright red berries glistening, a surprising brightness atop resinous patchouli.

£110 for 100ml eau de parfum libertylondon.com

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Fragrance Family Friday: Woody

As part of our continuing series exploring the differing Fragrance Families – the ways that scents are classified – today we’re getting up close and personal with Woody…

Many fragrances contain wood in some aspect, but what exactly designates a fragrance as ‘Woody’?

The clue, quite simply, is in the name – although some of these fragrances do smell like they’re closely related to the chypre family. It’s true: they share some characteristics, but generally without the floral flourishes of the chypres.

Perfumers have so a fabulous palette of woody elements to weave into their creations:  sandalwood, cedar, agarwood (a.k.a. oud), guiaiacwood, as well as patchouli and vetiver.  (These last two aren’t woods:  they’re roots and leaves, respectively – but you’d never guess, from their intensely earthy, woody character.)

Woody fragrances can be given a spin by adding spices/fruity notes, or herbs – so if you like woods (or you’re simply interested in learning what they smell like), do explore the other members of this family, too.

In the meantime, why not try some samples of this Fragrance Family at home? We can’t think of a better introduction than to plunge into the exotic delights of Fragrance Du Bois

Fragrance Du Bois Oud Noir Intense

FAMILY: WOODY
TOP NOTES: bergamot, cardamom
HEART NOTES: rose, jasmine
BASE NOTES: sandalwood, saffron, patchouli, vanilla, musk, amber, 100% organic oudh oil

A perfect marriage of bergamot and cardamom blends smoothly into floral, woody notes of rose, jasmine, amber, sandalwood, vanilla and musk, stimulating the senses with its complexity, while the oudh base adds to its strength and depth.

Fragrance Du Bois Sahraa Oud

FAMILY: WOODY
TOP NOTES: grapefruit
HEART NOTES: rose absolute, geranium, jasmine, patchouli
BASE NOTES: black pepper, sandalwood, saffron, vanilla, amber, 100% organic oudh oil

Sahraa Our immediately invokes the mystery and majesty of the desert, and has been crafted for the sophisticated palates of both Middle Eastern connoisseurs and aficionados of fine perfumes. Beautiful floral top and heart notes of grapefruit, rose absolute, geranium and jasmine, create a symphony that blends softly into base notes of patchouli, sandalwood, saffron, vanilla, amber and oudh.

Fragrance Du Bois are, quite unashamedly, so oudh-obsessed. And are we surprised? Derived from the dark resinous wood of the Aquilaria tree, oudh (often spelled ‘oud’) is an utterly fascinating material – a resin that occurs in less than 7% of trees, in the wild. Which explains why the material is so precious – and, sought-after. And not all oudh, it transpires, is harvested with the focus on sustainability that Fragrance Du Bois are renowned for.

In fact, so Fragrance Du Bois tell us: ‘Due to illegal logging, wild resources have been severely depleted. So, since 2004, all species of the Aquilaria tree have been protected under CITES [Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species].’

Created by some of the best noses in the world, each fragrance expresses true mastery of this unique ‘liquid gold’ (as oudh oil is known). You’ll fall in love, we guarantee it – even you oudh naysayers!

Be transported to exotic fragrant lands, happy in the knowledge that Fragrance Du Bois is also looking after caring for the environment, planting a tree for every full size fragrance purchased.

If your appetiete for Woody fragrances has been whetted, you can try a Fragrance Du Bois Discovery Set including these two we’ve reviewed above, along with three other of their fabulous creations, exploring the other fragrance families through oudh, for only £20!

Fragrance Family Friday: ambrée

As part of our ongoing feature – Fragrance Family Friday – today we focus on: Ambrée. What fragrances are found in this category, and which should you try? (Find a link below, too, for the perfect set to help you explore this category at home…)

With their spices, musks, incense and resins, the Ambrées are rooted in perfume’s own history, using many of the same ingredients today that were first enjoyed in the orient – India and Arabia – at the dawn of fragrance creation.

Ingredients like heliotrope, sandalwood, coumarin, orris, vanilla and gum resins are classically used within an Ambrée fragrance structure – though these can be tweaked, for men, women (and fragrances designed to be ‘shared’).

Seductive, voluptuous and with a va-va-voom, Ambrées tend to feel ‘grown-up’ – and many have a warm, heavy, diffusive richness that’s more suited to after-dark wearing.  They linger sensually on the skin:  they’re heavy on the base notes, which tend to last longer. However, there is a new ‘mini-family’ of fresher Ambrées, with a lighter touch, and a more ‘daytime’ feel.

Many of the original fragrance families have additions and cross-overs of sub-categoreies, so none of them are set in stone, and you’ll find much discussion in books and online, on eactly which fragrances should be in which families. Nobody seems to absolutely agree! So we’ll focus instead on some fragrances you might like to try under the umbrella heading of ‘Ambrée’…

Memoize London are a niche house that excel at crafting exquisite scents – Ambrées being a particular passion of theirs – celebrating ‘the importance of creating a harmonious balance between fragrance and emotion’. The discovery set has been curated to explore the Seven Deadly Sins, with ambrées being the perfect family to explore the sultry, addictive theme, hence why five of the eight fragrances are Ambrée in nature!

 

TRISTISIA

FAMILY: Ambrée
TOP NOTES: red roses, jasmine
HEART NOTES: vanilla
BASE NOTES: oudh, patchouli, civet, amber

A wonderful Ambrée blend with rich red rose and white jasmine top notes beautifully balanced with creamy vanilla heart wrapped in warm base notes of oudh, patchouli, civet and amber.

 

 

Avaritia:

FAMILY: Ambrée
TOP NOTES: orange , bergamot, armoise, Geranium
HEART NOTES: jasmine, cedarwood
BASE NOTES: patchouli, musk, amberwood, sandalwood

Moreish woods with unsparing jasmine will leave you craving for more. An Ambrée blend of amber and patchouli, with sweet musk, interlaced with vanilla and spices, and a top note of citrus and herbs.

 

 

ERA

FAMILY: Ambrée
TOP NOTES: saffron
HEART NOTES: iris, ylang ylang, jasmine
BASE NOTES: myrrh, amber, oudh, leather

A sophisticated and rich Ambrée fragrance that reveals a saffron top note that mingles with a beautiful iris, ylang ylang and jasmine heart. Exotic, warm base notes myrrh, amber, oud and leather create the depth in the blend.

 

 

SUPERBIA

FAMILY: Ambrée
TOP NOTES: rose, ylang ylang, orchid
HEART NOTES: cedarwood, sandalwood, saffron
BASE NOTES: oudh, leather, amber, musk, patchouli

A luxurious fragrance opening with floral top notes of rose, ylang ylang and orchid infused by fine woods resting on a bed of rich oudh wood, leather, amber, musk and patchouli notes.

 

 

BLACK AVARITIA

FAMILY: Ambrée
TOP NOTES: grapefruit, honey
HEART NOTES: ambrette, cistus labdanum, incense, Kashmir fusion, oudh, violet
BASE NOTES: amber, cedarwood, musk, powder, sandalwood, vanilla, vetiver

A woody Ambrée fragrance leading with top notes of grapefruit and honey. A luxurious heart of ambrette, cistus, incense fusion, kashmir fusion, oud and violet, rests on a base of sandalwood, cedarwood, amber, musk, vanilla and vetiver.

 

There’s much to explore in this sumptuous set and we know you’re going to adore it as much as we do. Apart from the five ambrée fragrances we’ve highlighted as a must-try, here; there are a three fragrances to explore, included in the set: Luxuria, a beautiful floral fragrance, opening with waves of juicy cassis and raspberry; Gula, a complex floral weaving jasmine and galbanum with sandalwood, vetiver, vanilla and black musk; and Invidia, a floriental (sub-section of ambrées) marrying white tuberose, orchid and ylang ylang with undertones of woodiness and tobacco.

So prepare to have your senses tantalised by these opulent ambrées and their equally fabulous floral and floriental friends – and be one of the first to discover this new fragrance house…

 

Memoize London Discovery Set £57 – find it here

Shay & Blue launch Kings Wood…

Shay & Blue have been exciting fragrance lovers since 2012, founder Dom De Vetta’s previous roles being Senior Vice President at Chanel and Global General Manager of Jo Malone London, joining with talented Grasse perfumer, Julie Massé, to create his very own fragrance house.

We were thrilled to get the opportunity to exclusively preview their latest – Kings Wood – in our New Man Discovery Box, and now the fragrance has officially launched, we’re able to fully celebrate. Scroll down to watch our Unboxing review of the fragrance…

Shay & Blue say: ‘Kings Wood is a unique men’s fragrance. Different and distinctive it is a real statement of confidence. Bursts of fresh pineapple are blended with the natural aromatic of fearn leaves to create layers of freshness with an intriguing depth. The base notes of fine leather and English oak leave an impression of classic masculine refinement.’

We’ve noticed a resurgence of heritage woods being used in contemporary fragrances – and here, English oak is showcased in all its majestic glory, and the pineapple makes for welcome change to those who prefer something a little more adventurous than citrus in the opening notes. Crisply green fern leaves are enhanced by a sprinkle of warm pepper on a luxuriously smooth and reassuringly solid base, and the supple leather in the dry-down just makes us want to snuggle up for a deeper sniff…

We filmed an Unboxing session live on our Instagram channel, and have now uploaded this to YouTube so everyone can enjoy – watch it, below! We get sniffing Shay & Blue Kings Wood around 23:50 on this video if you want to skip straight to it, and Part 1 of the Unboxing is also available on our channel if you want to sniff-along with all the scents.

We’re absolutely loving the pineapple in Kingswood, it’s a different kind of fruity – lusciously juicy but with a spikiness that cuts through the smoother, richer notes. But did you know that pineapples were once a symbol of wealth and welcoming, being so expensive they could be rented (at extortionate prices!) for hosts anxious to prove their importance, and still adored for their thirst-quenching exoticism?

If you want to try a sample of Kings Wood along with our other carefully curated fragrance selection, you can buy The New Man Discovery Box here. And we know those of you who’ve already got in touch to tell us how much you love Kings Wood will be anxiously counting the hours until it officially launches on 1st September, so you can finally get your hands on a full-size bottle in-store.

Shay & Blue Kings Wood £85 for 100ml natural spray
Buy it at shayandblue.com

Written by Suzy Nightingale

5 woody fragrances your nose needs to know

There’s something about woody fragrances that feels especially comforting at this time of year – a snuggle of smooth sandalwood is like wearing a cashmere blanket, dry cedar is wonderfully grounding and the all-pervasive oudh (aka ‘akigalawood’) we suddenly find is being used in fine fragrance as a sexy rumble of a base note, that beckons rather than billows-forth at full-force. Woody scents also make us think of woodlands themselves, long walks in bright, frosty forests with those cheering signs of Spring just beginning to stir – and thank goodness for that!

The only question remains, which perfume path should you choose through the woods…?

Inspired by the stark serenity of British beaches in winter, we were intrigued by the salty driftwood note at the heart of this new fragrance, peppered with bergamot and a mineral accord that stays cool and slinky on the skin, we imagine broken seashells, the rustle of dried grasses and wave-lashed coastlines. Ambroxan and patchouli in the base feel like wearing your softest sweater, pulling your scarf up to your nose and breathing deeply, your soul becalmed.

Amouage Beach Hut Woman £240 for 100ml eau de parfum
Buy it at selfridges.com

Warm in a powerful way, the cedarwood here balances a deliciously decadent accord of roses, jasmine, orange blossom and bergamot. One of those all-day wrist-sniffers, you’ll be taken on a darker journey through the distinctly shadier path of patchouli, cedarwood and an almost sticky-smelling amber at the end (think resinous, dark honey slathered on hot toast. We practically think of nothing else on cold, frosty mornings…)

Ormonde Jayne Ambre Royal £110 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at harrods.com

Inspired by the Mr. Harrod, Penhaligon’s describe the character of this scent as ‘…a flourishing businessman who has evident appeal with the ladies.’ While that could be interpreted another way, we’re here to say it’s definitely shareable! Spiced plum and patchouli sinks into a jasmine, raspberry and ambergris accord with an oudh, cinnamon, tobacco and cedarwood dry-down that could well be your nose’s new favourite thing.

Penhaligon’s Mr Harrod £185 for 50ml eu de parfum
Buy it at harrods.com

The rich sandalwood is enticingly interlaced with cardamom, coriander and rose for an all-natural scent that’s so soothingly spiced, it’s what our skins are crying out for right now. Fittingly, a percentage of every sale is given to charity – this year to the The Tulsi Trust – which funds health and education projects in Chhattisgarh, a remote area of central India. So it does good while you smell great: win-win.

Marina Barcinella Parfums India  £130 for 30ml oil
Buy it at mbparfums.com

Close your eyes and imagine taking a walk among the giant sequoias, as legend has it so tall and denseley 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.

Olfactive Studio Woody Mood £84 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at bloomperfume.co.uk

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Fragrance families: do you know your 'chypre' from your 'fougere'?

What the giddy aunt is a ‘chypre‘?
Not exactly the most immediately evocative word to get your head around when describing a type of fragrance, but that’s what we’ve been landed with and so that’s what we continue to say. But how many people outside the world of perfumery could tell you what it actually means?
When touring the country talking to perfume lovers across the UK, our co-founders Jo Fairley and Lorna McKay asked this very question just to see, and out of the many hundreds who came to see them, only a couple of people put their hand up to venture an answer. Explains Jo, ‘…chypre is widely acknowledged as the most sophisticated (and beautiful) of fragrance families – and it’s a term the perfume world certainly believes is understood by all and sundry.’
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In fact, we dedicated an entire feature in our magazine, The Scented Letter, just to explaining the mysteries surrounding this scent category – so clearly something is amiss and requires further explanation. Indeed, there are all sorts of terms bandied about in perfumery that baffle the best of us at times. And what’s more – nobody entirely agrees on the ‘rules’ of which perfumes belong in which fragrance family at all.
What about Fougere, Ambrée or Gourmand, Woody and Floriental – where to begin…?
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Well, we’ve put together a handy guide to some of the most frequently used fragrance families, with a brief history of their evolution and some iconic examples of perfumes to try in those categories, to see which family you are most frequently drawn to and perhaps discover some new ones to try. So why not get your nose stuck in and give it a go?
Written by Suzy Nightingale