If you’re hankering for a new parfum to partner your new season wardrobe, you’re in luck.
This spring, there are dozens of newbies to choose from - and for once, they’re not all boringly airy and elegant.
“Spring risks being one big cliche for perfumes, in which we are encouraged to get as dainty as Sandra Dee and switch over to delicate florals like lily of the valley,” says fragrance expert Lizzie Ostrom aka Odette Toilette (www.odettetoilette.com).
“There’s nothing wrong with these kinds of perfumes, but there’s an awful lot more to enjoy beyond the usual suspects wheeled out at this time of the year.”
Break the rules, Ostrom says: “Personal preference is much more important. Spicy scents often only get attention in the winter, but they can as much convey the energy of spring, as the crackling fires of winter.”
So shake off those eau de toilette assumptions and take your pick from spring’s most potent perfumes...
THE BRITISH BLOOM
In spite of the name, the rose accord doesn’t dominate in Jo Malone’s Tudor Rose & Amber, but that’s no bad thing at all. Lovers of sister scent Pomegranate Noir will be equally enamoured with this juicy Tudorian tonic, one of a quartet of British history-inspired new offerings. Peppered with spicy clove and ginger notes, it’s as rich and sumptuous as the red velvet band that rings the bottle top.
lJo Malone Tudor Rose & Amber, £42 for 30ml
THE ANGEL IN DISGUISE
The latest addition to the Ange ou Demon family is undoubtedly on the demonic side. Le Parfum is a feline mix of sambac jasmine and musk, while the tiny black vial of powerful Accord Illicite enhances the patchouli and leather notes of its paramour, expertly marrying the angelic and the illicit.
lGivenchy Ange Ou Demon Le Parfum and Accord Illicite, £63.50 for 40ml.
THE COOL CONCOCTION
Inspired by a visit to the wilds of Alaska, the latest publication from the kooky Library Of Fragrance is as clean, green and icy as the Mountain Air after which it’s named. That doesn’t mean it’s barely detectable, though - this unisex scent has surprising staying power.
lThe Library Of Fragrance Mountain Air, £15 for 30ml.
THE SORBET SELECTION
If sugary ‘gourmand’ scents excite your senses, you’ll want to collect all three of the ice cream-inspired limited edition scoops from DKNY. Fruity Rooty and Dreamsicle are so sweet they’ll make you want to brush your teeth, but Cool Swirl, a tantalisingly tropical pistachio and coconut cocktail, has wider appeal.
lDKNY Delicious Delights Limited Edition Cool Swirl, £36.50 for 50ml
THE CREAM OF THE CROP
Also falling firmly in the gourmand camp is Philosophy’s new dairy delight, Fresh Cream. The recipe infuses the aroma of whipped cream with almond blossom, vanilla and carob-like tonka bean, resulting in a toffee-sweet but slightly floral scent that those in possession of a sweet tooth will crave.
lPhilosophy Fresh Cream, £34 for 60ml
A perfume range inspired by death and decay? Sounds pretty icky, doesn’t it? But fear not, Lush’s new collection doesn’t actually smell like that. In fact, Stayin’ Alive is a heady frankincense, vanilla and caramel blend that encourages you to disco dance in the face of mortality.
lLush Stayin’ Alive, £75 for 50ml
THE LUSH MUSK
Don’t be deceived by its cool alabaster exterior, Clinique’s Aromatics in White is an intensely warm and enveloping fragrance. Crisp top notes of Sichuan pepper and violet leaf make way for an orange flower and patchouli heart, before the addictive amber and musk finish.
lClinique Aromatics in White, £49.50 for 50ml.
Like stepping into a church (but without the associated guilt), the holier than thou aroma of La Religieuse conjures visions of burning candles, stained glass windows and a haze of incense. Photographer-turned-perfumer Lutens is famed for his cerebral scents and this musky meeting of light and dark is no exception.
lSerge Lutens La Religieuse, £88 for 50ml
THE EASTERN ADVENTURE
Rooted in the 19th century Moroccan seaport of Essaoiura, As Sawira delivers more exotic ingredient notes than a colonial shipping merchant. Bergamot, saffron, absinthe, sandalwood and patchouli mingle over a dense base of oud and myrrh, the result is an intense, spicy brew that lasts and lasts.
lPenhaligon’s As Sawira, £150 for 100ml.