In 2015, there were over two thousand fragrances launched around the globe, that’s just new fragrances, on top of the thousands already out there. How the heck do you find the one that’s right for you out of all that lot? It’s tricky, but we are here to help. As well as our scent stories, where you can discover what fragrances other stylish people wear, we will be rounding up the absolute best of what we’ve discovered on our travels, including the ones that have made the most favourable impression on our testing team.
We’re talking about the fragrances that make people go ‘wow!‘ when they smell them.The ones where people stop us and say ‘what is that scent?’ and tap the name carefully into their phones. The ones which, from the MANY we’ve tried, are constantly spritzed from our scent cupboard because our testers have fallen in love with them and come back for more. The dross has been edited out and the ‘meh’ ones left to one side, leaving just the winners. They are what we are really wearing right now.You are very welcome.
The Orchid Man by Frapin, a new classic for men. We interviewed the thoughtful David Frossard, creative director of Frapin Perfumes, when he launched this quirkily named fragrance. Inspired by the French boxer, Georges Carpentier, nicknamed The Orchid Man, due to his style and elegance in and out of the ring, the scent has created a stir among everyone who’s sniffed it at WWP. It’s a classy, Savile Row-wearing modern man in a bottle, with impeccable taste and smart charm. It is an elegant citrus, opening with bright bergamot to give it a classic cologne feel. It warms down to a leathery patchouli – included to evoke sweat and boxing gloves – giving it a warmth and sensuality that is full of restrained style.
We’re talking groomed gorgeousness similar to the likes of Pierce Brosnan or maybe Tiny Tempah. It’s certainly a beautifully dressed scent, once applied even the scruffiest bloke will seem a tad sharper. It can of course be worn by women too, its sensuous woody undertones are subtle, and did we already mention stylish? Truly a keeper. The Orchid Man is £98.00, but samples can be bought for £2.00 at Bloom
Salome by Papillion Perfumery, a new classic for women. Liz Moores, the founder of Papilllion perfume has only made four fragrances since launching her brand in 2011, but all command rave revues from critics, who see her as an interesting new talent. Her latest, Salome, is a grown up floral oriental in the classic sense (think Chanel No 5 style), mixing jasmine, rose and carnation floral notes with a slightly dirty, musky undercurrent of mischief. It’s Monica Bellucci-in-a-luscious-silk-shirt-and-immaculately-tailored-pencil-skirt-clutching-her-Hermes-Birkin-bag of a scent. This is not a young girls perfume; its richly sophisticated punch of knowing sexiness implies experience and knowledge, rather than innocence. It’s the type of scent you find and stick with, a signature scent (although we’d prefer you never restrict yourself to just one smell) which you discover with a giant sigh of ‘I’ve found you’ relief. We love it. You can buy all four of Liz’s scents in a tester box for £15.00, which is a smart and relatively inexpensive way of discovering her scents. Salome is £98.
Vetiver Insolent by Miller Harris, Miller Harris is on a roll. The nose-in-residence at Miller Harris is Frenchman Mathieu Nardin, a whipper-snapper of a lad who looks far too fresh faced to have created such an earthy, sexy smell as this vetiver-heavy scent. Nardin also created Rose Silence and Tea Tonique, both beautiful scents from the Editions Range. With a refurbishment to the London store and new stylish packaging, the brand is really elevating its position as purveyor of intriguing, far-from-average fragrances.
Vetiver Insolent has that earthy, sack-of-potatoes hit of vetiver on first sniff, wrapped in an uplifting hit of cardamom and peppery citrus, think of a cool basement pantry storing spices and root vegetables. It warms down on the skin to a sexy fug of mossy, leathery amber, like we’ve walked passed the butler’s room where a gentleman’s shoes line up to be polished, finishing with a smooth, powdery iris. Definitely unisex, this packs an initial punch of earthiness but is nuzzle-worthy in its final, sensual dry down. A great transition fragrance from winter to spring. Prices start at around £65.00.
Cafe Rose and Patchouli Absolu by Tom Ford, king of patchouli. Have you ever been to the Salon de Parfums at Harrods? Thought not, it takes a brave person to ride the hard-to-find escalator to the 6th floor, cross the marble corridor into one of the beautiful fragrance emporiums. Although fabulously luxurious, it does tend to frighten the bejesus out of customers. Currently one needs to stride purposefully to one of the jewel-like spaces – in our case to Tom Ford – to find sanctuary and scent.
We had been invited to try Tom Ford’s Private Blend Collection, where layering and blending of the top quality scents is encouraged. We admired Oud Wood, a top seller, the fresh sparkle of Neroli Portofino, the luscious softness of White Suede and the complex, sexy darkness of Noir de Noir, one of the original twelve Private Blend scents. Mr Ford, who lets nothing into the fragrance range without his strict say-so, is a passionate fan of patchouli. His Patchouli Absolu is a decedent slick of sexiness, worn either on its own or as a sensuous blend-base for layering something on top of, such as Cafe Rose, a rich, bright charmer of a floral. Layered together, the two scents mingled and merged on the skin to create something sensuous and headily addictive. So if you are a patchouli lover, don’t be frightened, head to Harrods and create your own magical blend. Prices start around £145.00.
TW#234 by Illuminum – Food and herbs are the next big thing. Illuminum is a brand that’s hard to come by currently, which may appeal to those who don’t want to smell like anyone else. It has just launched a small range in collaboration with chefs, The TW#234 scent is the most intriguing, as it is both grassy green in hue and smells brightly, oddly and surprisingly, of fennel. It was created byTom Wolfe, an experimental chef and favourite for raw and vegan orientated celebrities such as Madonna and Stella McCartney. The herbaceous and lightly aniseed nature of this uplifting scent makes it a really fun one to wear, it has a bright zing that cheers up the dullest of days. It’s an ideal spring fragrance and would be an excellent present for any go-your-own way individuals that are otherwise hard to please. Illuminum fragrances start at £70.00.