Flower shops have an intoxicating fragrance; an aroma mash-up of roses, freesias, lilac, peonies and whatever else is dewy-fresh from the market that morning feels like the BEST idea for a perfume. I often go into a florist and think ‘This smell, bottled, please’. It’s such an effortless thing, blossoms heavy with scent sitting next to each other take you on a botanical scent journey that rarely misses a beat, even if it’s peppered with the bitter trail of ivy or an earthy pine branch on the way.
Not surprisingly, the odd florist has realised the perfume inspiration potential. Our favourite is Antonia’s Flowers, created by florist Antonia Bellanca, back in 1985, who had a popular flower shop in The Hamptons. It’s a cool, bright blast of freesia, jasmine, magnolia and lily and smells like you’ve walked into a bunch of top quality blooms. The fragrance is now considered a classic and its success has led Antonia to produce Floret, which smells like sweet peas. I’d recommend this as a good starting place for trialling.
A more literal translation can be found at Demeter, which has Flower Show, a simple floral with a good heart – excellent for those who like a cleaner, less blowsy approach. It’s also good value. The closest I’ve got to the knock-out scent-hit that comes from a bunch of fragrant roses is A La Rose, by Maison Frances Kurkdjian. It uses two varieties of rose in its mix, Centifolia and Damascena, giving a more layered texture to the smell, it really is like sticking your nose into a bowl of blooms. Queen of fragrance Jo Malone created 42 The Flower Shop for her Jo Loves brand as a tribute to her time as a florist.
Finally one of Jo Malone London’s most successful fragrances and a good ‘pure florist’ smell is Red Roses cologne. Although it IS roses through and through, there are hints of freesia, honeyed sweet pea and that spring blossomy freshness you often get at the entrance to a flower shop. A delight.
Do you have a favourite florist shop fragrance?