I don’t want to call it, but I think Spring might be here, maybe, sort of, kinda. The trouble with the British weather is that it is indecisive at the best of times and it seems to think that it is acceptable for it to be snowy one week and a mini heatwave the next. So at this time of year, one has to start thinking about making the switch fragrance-wise, which means all those heavy, winter scarf scents are pushed to the back of the cupboard in favour of freshness, freshness and more freshness. I’m not sure if the weather is truly ready for the switch just yet, but I think it’s safe to say that we’re more than prepared.
In this guide, I’d like to offer you some fresh inspiration to give your fragrance wardrobe a much-needed injection of freshness for spring, and hopefully summer (if it arrives). I’m sticking with the classic fragrance families and have picked a fragrance for each that stays true to the genre but adds a surprising and beautiful fresh twist. So, if you’re in need of a fresh new scent, or even an entirely fresh wardrobe of scent, we here at Escentual have got you covered. Now, all we need is the weather to play ball…
A Fresh Floral Fragrance
A rose wouldn’t typically fall within the floral genre so I’m kicking this guide off with a little bit of cheating, but if you were to smell Rose Silence you would most certainly forgive me. This is the perfect rose – an olfactory snapshot of a blush pink bloom taken at first light whilst the air is still moist with dew and cold from the preceding night. It smells like freshly cut roses, with the green stems still attached and the petals preserved like pink porcelain. Rose Silence is so beautiful that I often find that I am at a loss for words to describe it so I shall just say this: you need to smell it.
A Fresh Cologne Fragrance
In spring and summer, there are few things more pleasant than a simple cologne – this is a cold, hard fact. I’m not sure about you, but when I think ‘cologne’ I think Acqua di Parma, not only because their signature Colonia has been around for a million years, but also because they have a veritable wardrobe of colognes, both classic and modern, on offer. Colonia Pura, their latest interpretation of cologne, is their freshest and most current to date, relying heavily on white musks (the note du jour) to power a fresh signature of narcissus, cedar, jasmine and patchouli. It smells like a cool mist in an icy shade of grey. It’s one of those fragrances that is so smoothly blended it smells of one odour – an odour that is greater than the sum of its parts, is cooling and fresh and entirely enveloping.
A Fresh Oriental Fragrance
Orientals have a bad rep for being too much. They are tarred with brushes of too much opulence, weight and density (I blame the 1980s). This, however, is not a problem for the punk perfume brand Etat Libre d’Orange, who’s very mission is to subvert the perfume industry and do things entirely different – they are, as the name of this fragrance would suggest, quite remarkable people indeed. This scent takes on the lavish oriental with a vivaciousness that makes it sparkle. The top notes are all bubbles, with grapefruit and champagne, whilst the foundation of the fragrance is a gingerbread-like accord of sandalwood, labdanum and lorenox. To me, Remarkable People smells like a millennial version of all those big 1980s orientals – it’s the lightened up generation with a vibrant personality that never stops partying.
A Fresh Woody Fragrance
In terms of woody materials, none are more sun-loving than sandalwood. This nutty, spicy and creamy material is so evocative of hot days, giving a ‘your skin but sexier’ vibe to anyone who wears it. One popular sandalwood material is javanol – what’s remarkable about javanol is that it has an intense freshness to it, adding a layer of sparkle to the milkiness of sandalwood. In Juliette Has a Gun’s Sunny Side Up, beachy, sun-lotion-soaked skin is evoked by a blend of sandalwood, javanol, jasmine, iris and vanilla. It’s creamy, fresh, powdery and very sexy. The perfect thing to smell super glam on the beach.
A Fresh Aquatic Fragrance
By their very nature, aquatic fragrances are pretty darn fresh, after all, they are evocative of the most refreshing substance on Earth – good old H2O, which makes it a little bit tricky to find one that is super fresh. For me, the perfect, super-fresh aquatic brings an element of citrus to it and a scent that does this perfectly is L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme Fraiche by Issey Miyake. The original L’Eau d’Issey is an abstract wave of synthetic, ozonic notes and pale woods, evoking the idea of water within a blank, cuboid space. This Fraiche version allows nature to trickle in, in the form of a vibrant grapefruit note that is sharp, acerbic and spicy. The complexity of the grapefruit adds a citrus shock that freshens (and livens) Issey into something that is addictively fresh.
A Fresh Chypre Fragrance
Unlike the aquatic, the chypre is not often associated with freshness. Inspired by the rocky landscapes of the island of Cyprus (it literally translates as ‘Cyprus’ from the French) the chypre is an often aloof and standoffish style of scent. Historically, chypres have been heavy and baroque, filled with moss, labdanum and patchouli, but the modern style is somewhat more approachable with rose, patchouli and musk contrasted to create a gauzy air that is incredibly chic. Narciso Rodriguez is the king of the modern chypre and his Fleur Musc is a wonderful example of the genre freshened up a bit with the dewiness of peony and the vibrancy of pink pepper. Also, the bottle is the most beautiful shade of pink in the history of perfume-kind.