Not only is it National Fragrance Week -hope you’re all double-dosing yourselves with your favourite scents in celebration- but it’s Mother’s Day on Sunday too, so I’m living in a very perfume orientated world this week, as it’s a busy time for perfume brands, who shift a lot of product around this time.
There have been so many beautiful fragrances launched over the last year, I can honestly say that it’s never been a better moment to experiment with scent. Contemporary brands are creating some truly beautiful formulas that are a long way away from the dull, stuck-in-a-rut, fruity florals that big beauty brands are flogging. See if you can persuade your offspring to club together and buy you something from the following edit. If not, consider self-gifting.
Jo Malone Honey & Crocus from the English Fields Collection
OK, so Jo Malone is not exactly a niche brand any more, but it really is a great place to pick up an interesting fragrance and I like the fact that the noses on this new English Fields range were women, Céline Roux and Mathilde Bijaoui. The new limited edition collection is innovative for its use of wholesome yeasty grains and gentle wildflower florals, combined with ‘clean-living’ honey, almond milk and nutty notes. My pick of the five scents (they are all very wearable) is Honey & Crocus, a softly elegant, milky floral with powdery hints of lavender and saffron. Well worth sniffing out.
This home-grown new British brand may suit gardeners, as many of the ingredients for each of the three launch scents have been grown at Keyneston Mill in Dorset, where the beautiful 50 acre botanical gardens, distillery and cafe would make a perfect day-out destination too. The Mill has a distillery where you can watch (and inhale) the botanicals as they are processed and there are also workshops on perfume making available if that’s your thing. My favourite of the small but high quality collection is A Tribute To Edith, a boozy rose, infused with its own grown geranium, rhubarb and yarrow (a rarely used note in fragrance) which sits over a base of warm sandalwood and rum-ish davana. A very delicious, grown up rose. Also available at Fortnum & Mason
I’d be a tad worried if I ran the Jo Malone London brand because there’s a new star in the making in well priced fragrance, and it’s called Floral Street. Founded by another fantastically inspiring grown up woman, Michelle Feeney. Michelle wanted to create a brand which would help younger women understand good fragrance and offer them a quality scent for a reasonable price. Her collection is beautifully made and uses a very high percentage of fragrance oil (20%) so it lasts a long time. I interviewed her for We Wear Perfume and really loved her joyfully floral store and the engaged, informative staff. She’s just launched a body and bath range, which is a good place to find a lovely present, try the Iris Goddess body wash at £18 or perhaps the artfully packaged Discovery Set of all eight fragrances for £12. Also available at Harvey Nichols.
After the sad death of the inspiring founder Angela Flanders, her daughter Kate, who runs the stylish fashion chain Precious, inherited the brand and has just launched her first perfume, Lawn, and it is absolutely gorgeous. No surprise really that Kate should turn out to be such a fragrant talent as often worked with her mum on the fragrance range, but Lawn really is a beautiful first offering. Inspired by the fine fabrics that Angela loved to work with and dewy green gardens, it is a soft jasmine and tuberose floral that is wrapped in an aromatic swathe of herby green notes. It’s the smell of spring, wearable by everyone. There is a SLIGHT problem with buying this for Mother’s Day as it doesn’t launch until 21sr March, but I’m sure if you mail the store, they will send it out as soon as they have it.