It’s National Fragrance Day, so I have spent today immersed in the gorgeous aroma of my favourite scents -and a few new ones,and now I am sharing them all with you!
Fragrance is a powerful thing. It is the most powerful memory-inducer I can think of, it changes our mood, it enhances our personality – a lot more than just make us smell good. But it does that too, of course.
There are so many perfumes on offer these days, it’s hard to choose. Does anyone still have a signature scent? Or do we chop and change to suit our moods? I think I probably have about half a dozen fragrances that I would always go back to, but that doesn’t stop me wearing something new if I love it.
The above pictured EDP, Gentlewoman from Juliette Has A Gun is an amazing scent I discovered last year – read the full blog post here. It reminds me of my husband’s granny – not the opening note, but the dry-down. How bizarre is that?!
Of course, I am lucky to be given perfumes to try because of my job. Choosing a fragrance is difficult. I’d suggest spraying it in store, then leaving, living with the scent on your skin for a few hours, even overnight, and then going back if you love it, and moving on to something else if you don’t.
Three of my favourite fragrances are from Tom Ford. Luxury fragrances, these Private Blend Eau de Parfum scents are absolutely beautiful, long-lasting, rich and just totally more-ish. When I first smelled Patchouli Absolu I could not stop spraying it. I was addicted to the freshness, the strange masculine, yet fresh smell. I adore it.
On my wedding day, I chose to wear Ombre De Hyacinth, from an old Tom Ford Private Blend mini collection. It’s discontinued, sadly, but I managed to get my hands on a bottle for my wedding last year, and I use this one sparingly now, whenever I need reminded of that brilliant day. My final Tom Ford favourite is another that is sadly discontinued (why do you do this to me, Tom?!), Musk Pure.
From another mini collection, a good few years ago now, this is my second or third bottle of this, and another that I use sparingly and will hold on to until it turns (it’s kept in a drawer, in the dark, to prolong its life!). It is a pure musk – not for everyone, but I love this note in perfume. Tom Ford Private Blends start at £145, from counters.
Colognes are usually lighter than EDPs and EDTs – and not so long-lasting. This frustrates me about them, so they’re not my favourite. However, Jo Malone’s classic Lime, Basil & Mandarin cologne (from £42, jomalone.co.uk) is one of my faves – it was most likely one of the first scents I received as a beauty journalist. It’s fresh, intoxicating, and perfect for spring.
A brand new cologne I’ve tried this week is Atelier Cologne Blanche Immortelle Cologne Absolue (pure perfume)(from £160, harveynichols.co.uk). This is MUCH deeper than any other cologne – it lasts longer, and thanks to the pure essential oils in it, it’s strong. From Maison de Parfum, Atelier Cologne is the first scent of theirs dedicated to Cologne. This one is full of citrus notes, as you would expect with a cologne, but it has a rich, peppery, spiciness to it as well. It’s actually quite bizarre, but it’s growing on me.
Another lovely cologne is the Couvent de Minimes Botanical Cologne of the Minims (£19, lecouventdeminimes.com). This is a classic cologne if there ever was one, with notes of grapefruit, blood orange, lemon, rosemary, neroli and benzoin. It is uplifting, and can be applied generously all over your body. It comes with two tops, one classic, one spray, so you can spray or splash, depending on your mood. There are lots of Couvent des Minimes colognes – check out the Botanical Cologne of the Cloister if you love rose scents.
Classic chypre fragrances now, and three of my favourites – and three of the most classic fragrances around. Guerlain’s Mitsouko (EDP from £76, amazon.co.uk) is the one fragrance I own that my husband really doesn’t like, which is so disappointing as I love it SO much. Launched in 1919, this is a fruity chypre, marrying a fruity note of peach with jasmine flowers and May rose. The mysterious dry-down of the fragrance blends some spicy notes with those of an underbrush and vetiver. I cannot get enough of this, the minute I smell it. Marilyn Monroe is famously quoted as wearing Chanel No5, but she loved Mitsouko too.
Talking of Chanel No5 (EDP from £49, boots.com) I do love it. There are so many more fragrances to choose from from Chanel, but I am drawn back to the soapy goodness of this classic. It’s classed as a Floral Aldehyde, and you can’t identify the notes, which is exactly how Chanel wanted it to be – you smell it as a whole. It’s a classic, and love it, or loathe it, apparently in France a bottle a minute is sold.
Finally, Clinique’s Aromatics Elixir (from £38, clinique.co.uk). It’s another one that divides opinion, and another chypre that I adore. The dark hue of the fragrance almost gives it a medicinal, tonic-like quality, so it’s no surprise it was launched in the 1970s at first as an aromatherapy scent. It’s a blend of rose and chamomile, with jasmine notes, and seductive patchouli, vetiver and amber. It’s rich and punchy and not a fragance to hide behind.
Sometimes the simplest scent is the most effective. This little bottle of Yardley’s English Bluebell EDT (£9.99, yardleylondon.co.uk) landed on my desk, and, rather than shove it to the side as I might have, I opened it up and sprayed. It’s very floral, very spring-like, and very pretty. I liked it. Sometimes less is more, and just a little touch of something fresh and simple is all you need.
What is your favourite fragrance?