Most people know what their favourite fragrances are and rarely deviate from a chosen few (mine are Molecule 01 and Agent Provocateur), but even someone who's as deeply suspicious of change as I am likes to introduce something new into the mix and the change of the seasons is as good a time as any
I’ve given up on spring actually arriving any time soon, despite the tentative appearance of narcissi and blossom in the front garden, and am retreating inside, polo-neck-clad to play with these new scents instead. I love everything rose-based, so two of my picks are new variations on that theme (it’s the safest way to try something new – base your choice on what you know you like, remember I hate change!)
First up is a pretty pricey one - CB I Hate Perfume’s ‘Tea/Rose’, which is an eye watering £120. However, once you’ve smelled it you’ll understand why it carries that price tag – it’s the most rosey-smelling rose perfume I’ve ever encountered. Plato’s ‘form of the rose edt’ if you will... *pretentious A-level Philosophy student*
CB I Hate Perfume is the brainchild of Christopher Brosius – a former New York taxi driver who got fed up with the cloying fragrances worn by passengers in his cab and decided to create his own perfumes (I have no idea how much of this story is actually true, but I like it). He uses the purest ingredients available which in this case means Rose Damascena blended with real Indian Black Tea to create a warm, subtly intense scent that’s as far from the lab-produced, saccharine ‘rose’ fragrances as you could possibly get.
In the spring, brands tend to release lighter fragrances but they don't do a lot for me because all the fruity, floral notes have a sickly sweetness that I just can't bear. It's amazing how hard it seems to be for even the big brands to get it right - or am I just being a massive fusspot? It feels like the smaller, more independent fragrance makers are doing more interesting, creative things with scent.
Saying that, I'm really interested in what legendary British perfumer Lyn Harris is doing for M&S right now - her exclusive line for the brand is impressive and the level of quality seems to be as high as with her own fragrance house, Miller Harris.
I'm currently torn between La Rose Eau de Parfum (of course - rose on a base of patchouli, sweet musk and amber) and La Fleur Eau de Parfum (white gardenia and Indian tuberose flowers against a background of vanilla bourbon and musk). They're all currently £20 down from £25 at marksandspencer.com.
And because fragrance isn’t just something to spritz on your wrist, but something that can improve the atmosphere of your home too (especially if your cowardly cat is being terrorised by the neighbourhood Tom and spraying his own ‘scent’ everywhere, ugh, gross), here’s a delightful scented candle from the legendary Diptyque.
I’ve tried many other candle brands and this one is Simply. The. Best. The fragrance is always clean and fresh – it’s natural where other candles smell synthetic and give me a headache. For spring I went for Gardenia because it’s a lightly perfumed floral that reminds me of my childhood in Africa where gardenia bushes grew everywhere and also sun-soaked summer holidays in Greece – all good memories to retreat into on a sleety day in London.
Yes, it’s £40 for the large size (most cost effective than the little one which is £20 and waaay smaller) but with candles you really do get what you pay for; I only need to burn this for 15 minutes a day to fill a room with its heady scent and the one that just finished lasted for three months. That’s 43p a day ie. a bargain! I got my mum the Freesia scented one for Mother’s Day and that has a beautifully light, spring-like feel too.
Do you swap your olfactory wardrobe each season too or do you stick to the same scent all year round? Are there any other rose perfumes I should know about? Share!