There is something truly hypnotic about a good fragrance. When you find the right one – it can truly lift your mood and make you feel on top of the world. The fragrance industry is worth more than 1.5bn in Europe so it’s no surprise that every celebrity brings out a scent. But away from the pomp and packaging, there is no escaping the fact that a great perfume, when you find it, can complete any outfit. Here is Belle About Town’s guide to fragrance type, what it means, and which brands we think are the best.
1. Floral: This is by far the most popular type of perfume. The floral fragrance is often a romantic, light and slightly sweet scent. These perfumes are a blend of flowers such as rose, violet, lily, jasmine and lavender. Most mens floral scents have orange blossom at their heart, which gives an alluring tone. A floral scent conjures up a romantic mood – which is probably why they are so popular among women. Try Parisian Millefleurs Flower Water by Crabtree and Evelyn, £45. This scent remains true to the original idea of creating a perfumed blend from a diverse collection of wild and exquisite blooms. An array of contrasting floral notes is brought together with the aroma of fresh-cut leaves and exotic resins in this intricate scent, seemingly composed from a thousand flowers. In a fresh and spicy fusion, notes of narcissus, rose, tuberose and violet flourish in vibrant harmony. This hot and heady bouquet is balanced by a sparkling green accord of French juniper and cypress then deepened with nuances of benzoin, French elemi and creamy woods. Buy it from www.crabtree-evelyn.co.uk/
2. Fruity: These fragrances please the nose with the bright and familiar smells of apple, peach, berry, mango and other juicy fruits, often blended with florals to create a compelling aroma. This scent tend to be pretty without being overwhelming, which makes it ideal for date night. Try Eau des Sens by Diptyque, £60, which is the most unique, non-sickly fruity scent you will have the privilege of smelling. This beautiful scent is a harmony of orange blossom, bitter orange, juniper berries, angelica and patchouli. The unique scent comes from the bitter orange which resonates with spicy and woody notes. You will certainly wow your partner, and every other man, when you have this scent on. Buy it from www.diptyqueparis.co.uk
3. Oceanic: These perfumes are a modern invention, first appearing with Christian Dior’s Dune in 1991. These scents use a blend of synthetic compounds to evoke natural aromas such as mountain air, ocean spray or clean linen. Crisp and fresh, they are an ideal choice for job interviews. Try The Body Shop’s Fijan Water Lotus Eau De Toilette, £18. Let the sparkling freshness of Fijian Water Lotus scent your skin with a marine, floral fragrance. Once believed to be divine, the essence of water lotus has been used in perfumes and rituals since ancient times. You can layer this with other products in the Fijian Water Lotus range to build the scent. Buy it from www.thebodyshop.co.uk
4. Spicy: These scents have a comforting ability. With notes of cloves, ginger, cinnamon, cardamon and pepper. Spicy perfumes are alluring in an old-fashioned way. This type of fragrance is favoured by men over women. But ladies do tend to enjoy a fragrance with a spicy base in the evenings. Try Molton Brown’s Black Pepper Fragrance, £39. This iconic spicy black pepper fragrance has been enhanced in a rousing eau de toilette with more natural notes for an intense, sophisticated and longer-lasting scent. The fragrance’s top notes are black pepper, lemon and ginger – which gives it a lovely spicy scent. It is great for men on its own but ladies also use this as a layering scent. Just use one spritz over your usual floral or fresh scent for a great evening scent. Buy it from www.moltonbrown.co.uk.
5. Woody: These scents are built on base notes of bark and moss, conjuring winding forest paths. Although these are more unisex than other fragrance categories, that’s not to say these scents are masculine. They evoke a particular brand of no-nonsense femininity. Woody perfumes often have light top notes with a muskier heart. They are often made from sandalwood, patchouli and oakmoss. These warm, dry and musky notes provide an air of sophistication and mystery to all who wear them. If you’re looking for a scent with woody base, but one that is not too heavy and wearable then try Botanical Essence No.100 Eau de Parfum, £49 from Liz Earle. This scent gains its lovely warming nature from sandalwood and Bourbon vanilla. But it is far from feeling heavy and musk. Instead, the blossoming notes of Damask rose, orange flower and Indian jasmine make it light and refreshing. It is great to use morning and night. But pregnant women may wish to seek advice from their doctor before using essential oil-based products. Buy it from uk.lizearle.com/fragrance
6. Fresh: Commonly known as citrus or green notes, the fresh fragrances are often made from lemon, orange and bergamot – then accented with herbal notes, such as mint, to give that refreshing scent and revive the senses. These are a great choice for an uplifting springtime essence for both men and women. Try Jo Malone’s White Jasmine & Mint Cologne, £85. The top note for this fragrance is mint – but don’t worry, you won’t smell like a toothpaste. Instead, the wild mint adds a dash of eccentricity to an exuberant bouquet of jasmine, lily, orange flower and rose. The result it utterly refreshing and very sophisticated. Don’t be surprised if people stop you regularly to ask you what fragrance you’re wearing. Jo Malone’s colognes have a uniquely wonderful scent– but this one is especially a delight to wear. Just one spritz transports you to an English garden in the height of summer. Buy it from www.jomalone.co.uk.