Confronting a new reality in the wake of a global health crisis, faced with self-quarantine, fragrance can be easily dismissed. However, now more than ever, the olfactory landscape you’re surrounded by can offer fortitude.
Spring’s top scents are defined by such a proposition, at their heart, a sense of relief, strength or nostalgia.
While the smell of ethanol is perhaps an accepted part of your daily life, soothing alternatives abound. For one, try Diptyque’s softening hand wash, prized for its restorative properties that leave hands relieved as opposed to clinically oppressed.
Replace acrid ethanol with true lavender taken from the rolling fields of Provence in the South of France. Concerned with cleanliness, at least there’s an option to do it in style.
With working from home playing a starring role in our lives, the scent of your at-home office demands more attention than ever before. To make the working day ever so calmer, light a candle: Byredo’s Tree House evokes childhood memories with notes of bamboo, hay, and myrrh, while Cotton Poplin is a simpler, comforting aroma equipped with luminous white cedarwood, lemon and sweet musk reminiscent of freshly washed linens.
With the home-office a reality for most men, many will go without that bolstering gesture that punctuates their morning, right before they leave the house to endure rush-hour traffic and the daily slog of an office job: the spraying of a fragrance.
Your fragrance of choice is a personal statement. It communicates parts of our personalities, our likes and dislikes. Is it light and approachable, vivacious and fresh, a touch woody or dizzyingly heady?
The newly launched unisex Eau de parfum line from French fashion house Celine recalls their creative, artistic and image director Hedi Slimane’s personal memories of Paris. He pays homage to the Parisian attitude of “pronounced classicism and dissonant sophistication”. A welcome escape in turbulent times, look to a bottle of Saint-Germain-des-Prés which immortalises the artistic quartier.
According to a press release, it is inspired by ‘the eternal youth of the Left Bank and their allure, looking like heroes from a novel and the movies, young people Hedi Slimane never tires of observing, sitting in a café at Saint-Germain-des-Prés, his favourite part of Paris since he was 20-years-old.’ While memories of luxuriating in the people-watching seem distant, its scent is now eternal.
Throughout the self-isolation state, strength of mind and character are necessary attributes. Consider Bleu de Chanel Parfum from Chanel, already a staple in many cabinets around the country. Following 2010’s eau de toilette and 2014’s eau de parfum, 2018’s parfum release is defined by an intense concentration of New Caledonian sandalwood.
“We had to avoid simply repeating what had already been done. Intensity and refinement can be expressed without throwing an olfactory punch. That is why I wanted to give more space to the sandalwood, to let it fuse with the cedar and fresh top notes,” said Olivier Polge, Chanel’s perfumer.
The result is intoxicating but softened by a blend of citrus and floral brightness, simply put by the brand as “an intensely masculine signature that exudes self-confidence”. How about some reassurance at a time of uncertainty.