From up-to-the-minute unisex colognes, to classic perfumes that stand the test of time, Rachel Marie Walsh has put together a bouquet of aromas that will make perfect scents this spring
A friend who wants a flower-less wedding (they’re overpriced, they die, she’s over them) got me thinking about alternative bouquets generally.
Cookies and balloons also go pretty fast. A PR for the makeup brand Lord&Berry, which makes a Kajal Stick, €22, that Claudia Winkleman uses for her smoky eyes, told me she sent the presenter a ‘thank you’ bouquet with liners in lieu of flowers, which is pretty creative (and an incentive to keep wearing it). I’m sure someone’s thought to make a similar bouquet of floral perfumes, even just a DIY version stuffed with oil rollerballs, mini-atomisers and cologne sticks.
It’s certainly the season for them but when isn’t it time for floral fragrance? It’s tough to be original and still get your favour flowers on.
Layering two JML colognes almost always makes a nicer fragrance, and the brand’s spring collection has painted atomisers that look better together too.
Wild Flowers & Weeds is a limited-edition quintet inspired by long hot days in the country. All five are unisex, with Cade & Cedarwood, a warm and woody scent with vanilla and juniper undertones, on the more traditionally masculine end of the spectrum.
Willow & Amber has cashmere wood, vetiver, and the prettiest bottle, all covered with weeping willow leaves. Nettle & Wild Achillea smells extremely clean, and of bergamot and yarrow as well as the titular extracts.
Lupin & Patchouli is an unexpected spicy combination of lupin, mandarin, rose and patchouli, while super-sweet Bergamot & Hemlock includes mimosa, heliotrope and powdery notes.
The brand looks to have made these colognes with spring interiors or summer weddings in mind, they are as visually uplifting as they are refreshing.
Tiffany & Co have been releasing branded perfumes since 1987, long before Ms Taylor thought to bottle her best-selling White Diamonds, so it is funny they’ve not mined their most famous product for ideas until recently.
Their scent style has been very classic, more suited to women who wear tennis bracelets in the Hamptons than a girl-about-town. Even now, the flacons look like gems, the scent is more light than flash.
Daniela Andrier, the ‘nose’ behind 2017’s Tiffany, Eau de Parfum, €59, reportedly made Holly Golightly part of her vision, but the character “wears” a German men’s cologne (4711 by Muelhens, now sold as unisex), and her wardrobe’s the most subtle thing about her.
Sheer is a spin on the 2017 launch, which was built around a super-light use of iris butter, one of the most expensive extracts used in perfume.
Iris stems were dried, then partially distilled at the fragrance house Givaudan, to remove the resinous elements from the extract but keep the flower’s powdery quality. Iris fraction, as the result is called, forms the base of Sheer.
The heart is a romantic mix of rose oil and ylang-ylang, while blackcurrant and mandarin top-notes are perfect for spring.
Viktor & Rolf got the Flowerbomb team back together for this glamorous update on the 2005 hit.
Carlos Benaïm is behind lots of fabulously feminine fragrances, including Frederic Malle’s Eau de Magnolia and the aforementioned White Diamonds. Olivier Polge is now more famous for Chanel perfumes, while Dominique Ropion created Lancôme’s La Vie et Belle, and it-girl favourite, Portrait of a Lady.
Flowerbomb is still popular,– the funny thing about it is how un-flowery it is: the citrus, candy and milk notes overpower the others.
Midnight also smells vaguely edible and warmer than the original, with blackcurrant and pomegranate top-notes giving way to a peony-jasmine hear and a sweet vanilla base.
The grenade-diamond shape of the bottle is also similar, though Midnight’s is slimmer and lighter, more clutch-friendly.
1957 was a great year for Coco Chanel. She won a Neiman Marcus Fashion Award, then prestigious enough to make her in the US (Dublin-born Carmel Snow, editor of Harper’s Magazine, won one the year before).
Nineteen is also the date of her birthday and 57 the number of the New York street where you’ll find Chanel’s largest store.
Chanel fans will know Les Exclusifs are not so easily recognised as the perfumes you find in duty free, yet retain the aldehydic sweetness that Coco pioneered.
1957 opens with a honeyed vanilla and has a sensual white musk accord, with bergamot, iris and neroli. Creator Olivier Polge calls it a clean skin scent that, more so than others, reacts with the wearer’s skin chemistry to make it personal and well as pretty.
Hyaluronic acid has been queen of all moisturisers for at least four years, so it’s about time a challenger emerged. Meet Polyglutamic Acid (PGA), a moisturiser four times as hydrating as the incumbent, and star of The Inkey List’s new serum.
A product of fermented soybeans, it does not sound exciting but makes an instant difference.
Unlike hyaluronic acid, the ingredient has large molecules, allowing it to form a thin film on the skin’s surface to prevent water loss, while plumping the appearance of fine lines and brightening lacklustre or uneven complexions.
The film is non-sticky and does not pill with makeup application. This serum has a 3% polyglutamic acid complex and also contains coconut and olive.
There’s no fragrance or alcohol involved and the price point is no higher than that of a good hyaluronic acid serum, so if you try one new thing for your skin this spring…