The olfactory system is far more powerful than we can possibly imagine, and smells — both good and bad — often make an indelible mark upon our memories. Which is precisely why I’m so particular about what scent I decide to use.
I boldly confess to owning a million bottled aromas, from potent Arabian ouds to fragrant French florals. But with celebrities churning out cheap chemical juices at the speed of light, it’s important to keep an eye out for the finer ingredients if you want to avoid smelling like a tart’s boudoir.
I’ve recently come across a handful of new-ish brands whose craftsmanship, premium raw materials and packaging ensure true quality infusions for both men and women:
Founded in 2006, Stockholm based-brand Byredo makes all its scents in-house with the finest European plant-based essences. Retailing at Bon Marche and Barneys, they use stunning Art Deco-inspired glass bottles and concoct some wonderfully inventive combinations with names to match, such as Bal D’Afrique whose notes include bergamot, black amber and Moroccan cedar wood, or Gypsy Water with fresh hints of lemon, pepper and pine needle. Their product range features a selection of scented candles, again with names and packaging to die for — Vanquish, Apocalyptic and Loose Lips are just some of my favorites.
With flagship stores in Paris and New York, since 2010 Atelier Cologne has prided itself in distilling its essences in Grasse, the world capital of perfume in southern France. All equally rich in aroma, some leanslightly towards the feminine, such as Rose Anonyme with Turkish rose and Indian patchouli, and others more masculine, like Vetiver Fatal with vetiver heart and orange flower.
2009 saw the birth of eponymous label Maison Francis Kurkdjian after the perfumer already spent years in the industry creating iconic fragrances for big fashion houses. I’m rather fond of its bestseller Aqua Universalis — an addictively fresh eau de toilette centered on lemon, lily and musk. But if that doesn’t tickle your nose buds you can always turn to Monsieur Kurkdjian’s bespoke scent service, starting from only 12,000 Euro…
Spritz away my darls!