The Best New Confidence Boosting Scents

Fragrance is moving towards a ‘how does that make you feel’ period, as perfume brands piggy back the burgeoning wellness movement in beauty and start to talk about the mood altering ingredients of what’s in the bottle. You’re not just smelling good with today’s new modern fragrance, you’re feeling good too.

This is all good news in our opinion, our recent feature on scents that created inner calm and quiet was the first in our series on this trend, but feeling good is not always about being relaxed, sometimes we need a boost of confidence, a scented uplift if you like, for those more challenging moments life has to offer us.

So here is our selection for the times when you need to really rock the moment and exude self-assurance. What we’re talking about here are fragrances to help you shine, should you find yourself in the spot light.

The Actress by St Giles – confidence building

The new St Giles range has been created by renowned perfumer Betrand Duchaufour, and legendary perfume PR Michael Donovan, (he was Frederic Malle’s UK PR for years) who also owns the lifestyle and perfume store Roullier White. We know Michael and he knows his scented stuff, when we heard he was launching his own range our pulses raced, as we knew standards would be high and he hasn’t disappointed.

Slightly ahead of the curve, Michael’s created the St Giles range around how a fragrance makes someone feel. He claims it’s a first within the industry. Our favourite is The Actress, a beautiful lily-based floral that exudes elegance and charm and aims to impart a little confidence when you most need it. We’re thinking of when you have an equivalent ‘red carpet at Cannes’ moment in your life.

There’s a quiet, grown up assurance to it; it’s soft but no push over. It features an assortment of clever ingredients prescribed to empower; there’s uplifting citrus at the start, to open up your breathing, basil to help concentration, a mix of delicious florals – lily, honeysuckle and jasmine – to reassure and then soft sandalwood to ground you within the dry down. The perfect helper for when you need to command the stage.

Ylang Ylang Expresso by Floral Street – reassurance in a bottle.

Floral Street, the new fragrance brand launched by Michelle Feeney, aims to remove the confusion around fine fragrance selection and get you closer to finding your perfect scent selection. This is confidence-building enough, but Michelle is on a mission with her brand to open up good fragrance to everyone and make it easy to shop.

One of the brand’s instant hits has been Ylang Ylang Expresso, a joyfully candied floral with a hit of top quality coffee to inject just the right amount of caffeined zing to your morning. It’s a unisex fragrance, where the gourmand notes of pepper, cream, cocoa beans and expresso meld with a contemporary floral accord. Michelle calls the scent powerful, with its own current of electricity, we’d say it was the perfumed equivalent of have a friend say “Go for it!’

Insulo by Jeroboam – a scented emotional safety net

The Jeroboam range of extrait de parfum all come in smallish, 30ml bottles. But do not be misled by their size, they all pack a masterful punch when it comes to uplifting aroma, none more so that our favourite Insulo. Pure perfume or extrait is a very personal way to wear scent, it’s intense in concentration yet keeps close to the skin, you wear it for yourself rather than to impress others. It lasts for ages and can be relied upon to be there when you need to feel the best version of you. You can read more on the power of perfume concentrations here.

Insulo has the reassuring comfort of baked vanilla, wrapped in a sweetly supportive cloud of musky, textural warmth. The best description we’ve heard of this scent (from the ever perceptive Jo Fairley) is ‘sexy custard’, which sums it up nicely. Vanilla – with its nostalgic association with warm kitchens and the comforting fug of cake baking – can evoke a feeling of home and of being safe and if this resonates with your memory bank, then we urge you to try it. The rich dry down is all about brown-sugared skin, musky and delicious, an almost lickable delight. Definitely a ‘we’ve got your back’ fragrance.

Our beautiful photos are by Kate Anglestein, with set design by Bettina Vetter.