Right, you’ve packed your best swim gear, way too many pairs of shoes, every cosmetic under the sun (and for the sun – gotta use that sun protection, folks! Ceryn, Chelsey and Emma will tell you that!), your camera and just about everything you can shove into your suitcase, which never feels big enough! That’s it, you’re ready to go, right? Wrong! You cannot board that plane, train or automobile without at least one holiday fragrance, I absolutely forbid it. So to help you pick I’ve put together a quick guide of scents to pack for that perfect beach holiday, city break, spa retreat, or camping getaway. If you’re anything like me you will pack all of them just in case…
In the words of the great Nicki Minaj on her magnum opus ‘Starships’, “let’s go to the beach, each, let’s go get away” and Her Minajesty has got the right idea, because it’s blooming lovely spending time on the beach. One can waste away the hours soaking in the sun, playing volleyball, paddling and swimming in the sea, reading and just generally relaxing. It’s the perfect place to simply chill and is best enjoyed with a cocktail, and a banging white floral!
My beach picks are simple – first up there is the hugely tropical Songes by Goutal Paris, which takes the sumptuous, sweet floral note of frangipani in full, tropical bloom and pairs it with exotic vanilla. The result is a gorgeous, solar fragrance that smells like sexy, sun-kissed skin. It’s the perfect thing for that island getaway. For those holidaying closer to the home there is the fun Sunshine & Pancakes from 4160 Tuesday, which evokes the idea of warm bodies and lemon pancakes. It’s a weird mix but it smells creamy and smooth – just the thing for a warm beach day in dear ol’ Blighty!
My favourite kind of holiday is the city break. There is something magical about getting lost in an urban space abroad, soaking in the food, wine and culture. Why not take in a museum or take a stroll through a park – if you have time you could visit a street food market, artisanal brewery or, if all of that makes you tired, why not just sit and simply people watch. There is so much to see and do and on a quick city break one only just scratches the surface.
Complimenting those urban spaces we have Concrete by Comme des Garcons – a surprisingly soft and tactile rose that is paired with exotic spices to create the feeling of another place. It’s powdery and smooth, giving the impression of an old town filled with crumbling buildings. For the modern, sky scraper scattered cities there’s always L’Eaud’Issey Pour Homme which, with its intensely clean and fresh signature, creates a sense of futurism. Spray it on and revel in abstract waves of fruits, herbs, spices and woods as you traverse a new urban landscape. You’ll be the coolest guy in town, that’s for sure.
Ahh, the relaxing solitude of a spa retreat – a place where one can be pampered, massaged and yoga-d into complete and utter bliss. Sign me up, please, just let me sneak in a McDonald’s at least once! Spas are about detoxing, not just physically, but also emotionally. One goes to get away from the stresses of life, whether that be work, social media, or personal stresses. Book yourself in, get a nice treatment or two and enjoy getting to know yourself again.
For a spa fragrance, one wants something that doesn’t invade their space too much. Something that smells good but doesn’t overwhelm – something like Nuxe’s Prodigieux Le Parfum. Inspired by the brand’s iconic oil, and featuring a number of the ingredients, this fragrance may smell like a citrus-inflected day at the beach, but it’s just so calming you’ll want to slather it on under your robe and revel in its blissful tones whilst you get that hot stone massage. For the gents at the spa there is Acqua di Parma Colonia Pura, a clear and steamy fragrance that uses clean musks to create a heady contrast that feels like an ice cold sauna. Ahhh, pure bliss.
Sometimes the best way to relax is to get back to nature and what better way is there to do that than to pitch a tent right in the wilderness? OK, so it doesn’t have to be plonked right in the middle of nowhere, I’ll allow you to consider campsite with all of the amenities, but it is important to go for the authentic experience. My memory of camping as a kid is a rich tapestry of smells – the smoke of fires, the damp fabrics of tents and sleeping bags, bacon cooked on a gas stove and marshmallows caramelised into oblivion. Whilst they can be the most basic of holidays, a camping trip really can be something special.
So what to pack next to the walking boots and waterproofs? Well first of, you’re going to need something that works beautifully with all those campfires you’re going to build, after all, it doesn’t pay to sing songs round the fire if you don’t smell good. May I suggest Interlude Man by Amouage – a smoky leather fragrance that burns with vanilla embers? You’ll smell like someone set fire to a bag of marshmallows and you’ll love it. For those who are in the wild to appreciate the beauty of the landscapes then something more botanical is in order – something like the cerebral Tender by Miller Harris. This fragrances evokes the idea of a rose in decay, pairing fresh, juicy notes, with mineral facets and greenery to create the sense of melancholy amongst the beauty. It’s a reminder that all in nature is ephemeral.
Now, someone hand me a marshmallow…