Uncommon Scents

19th February 2010

Fragrance creates memories, explains Mary Linehan, which is why it is so very personal.

Although there is room to criticise today’s perfume industry – we must surely be at saturation point with celebrity perfumes, and fragrance clones – there is also so much more to admire. Today’s stars, such as Serge Lutens, Ormonde Jayne, Miller Harris and Annick Goutal, are delightful examples: each original, each experimental and all of them exciting – a new wave of classics. And then of course, there is The Harrods Haute Parfumerie, home to exquisite creations from the historic perfume elite such as Caron and Van Cleef & Arpels.

But the story doesn’t end there. Enjoying scent involves so many possibilities other than simply dabbing on your pulse points and spritzing over your body. You can layer using lotions and gels, you can bathe in oils, salts and creams, and there are a myriad ways to introduce it into your home and lifestyle thanks to the inventiveness of perfumers such as Jo Malone and the contemporary interiors brands.

Here’s a choice of some of the funkier ways to experience scent…

London perfumer Ormonde Jayne (where you can find some of the most beautiful, sensual and exclusive fragrances) has created the luminescent, shimmering Parfum D’Or Naturel Collection. A blend of perfume and gold dust, you simply daub onto wrists, shoulders and décolletage. It’s a wonderfully sophisticated take on eveningwear. Parfum D’Or Naturel Collection is available in three fragrances: Orris Noir, a spicy oriental; fruity floral Sampaquita and Ta’if, a stunningly seductive rose. £46.

Le Labo is an exciting, edgy perfume brand from NYC, created as the antithesis of what the company see as a ‘dumbing down’ of the fragrance industry. They have brought together a team of perfumers from Grasse, the perfume capital of the world, taken them to NYC, arguably the coolest city in the world, and created Le Labo. There is plenty to discover about this brand, with its wonderful scents, bath oils and candles – and its fabulous Rose 31 Signature Detergent (£48). Le Labo has teamed up with The Laundress™, the New York-based oh-so-chic, eco-friendly detergent and fabric care specialists, to create a wonderful fabric wash, scented with Le Labo’s supremely sexy, best-selling Rose 31. Scenting your favourite items of clothing is just a divine way to wear fragrance day or night. For a really indulgent treat, use it to wash your bed linen and fabric drawer liners or sachets.

Jo Malone, well known for her adventurous creations (Vanilla & Anise, Ginger & Nutmeg, Amber & Lavender…) also introduced the concept of Fragrance Combining™ – choose two variants from her ‘menu’ and spray them both, creating your own signature scent. In another stroke of genius, she has created a range of fragrances for living with, on the basis that what you use at home should be as inviting as the scent you wear. Her fabulously stylish Scent Surround™ Cube (£93) encases an aromatic gel and plugs in to give a subtle and continuous waft of four delicious blends such as Wild Fig & Cassis, or Vintage Gardenia & Cardamom & Myrrh.

Ormonde Jayne:
12 The Royal Arcade, Old Bond Street, London W1 • ormondejayne.com
Le Labo:
Liberty, Great Marlborough St, London W1 • liberty.co.uk
Jo Malone:
boutiques in major cities • www.jomalone.com

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