When thinking about perfume, it’s beneficial to consider the idea of colour. Just think, when you smell something, you’re often able to associate it with a colour. For example, if it smells fresh and oceanic, one might say it’s blue or grey, while a fruity, berry fragrance may evoke feelings of pink and purple. Brands know this link too well and use different hues in their advertising and on their bottles to give us an idea of what we’re about to smell – it’s very handy!
I want to give you some tips on how you can inject your fragrance wardrobe with pops of colour. That can be as simple as picking some colourful, graphic bottles, but it also can be about having some fragrances that are strongly associated with one shade or more. Sometimes the bottle and the juice can offer different tones and tints, twisting our perceptions and making things even more fun! Here are five colour-filled fragrances to get you started.
#1 Ruby Red
Narciso Rodriguez and colour go hand-in-hand. When the first Narciso fragrances launched, they pioneered a unique internal lacquering process that made bold colours, whether they were black, pink, or white, pop from behind the glass. The scents themselves have been inextricably linked to the colours of their bottles – taking inspiration from them and creating an olfactory representation of these bold shades.
Narciso Rouge Eau de Toilette uses squeaky clean musks to create a vivid shade of red, via an interplay with rose. The result is a baby powder-esque floral, all clean and finely-milled but filled with blank space, allowing it to project tremendously for a fragrance so soft and clean. Wearing Narciso Rouge Eau de Toilette is like draping oneself with a sheer veil of scent – it’s enveloping and transparent, but ever so boldly red!
Why stick with one colour when you could have an entire spectrum? I mean, why not have all the colours?! I think a rainbow explosion is a splendid idea. If you want your fragrance to be as colourful as your personality. Imitation Woman by Amouage is a total excess of colours; it’s a scent that isn’t afraid to be bold, and dare I say, a little bit fabulous too.
Taking inspiration from the glamour of 1970s NYC, Imitation Woman is the fragrance equivalent of a disco ball hanging high over the dance floor of Studio 54. It reflects the big hair, the shoulder pads, the hairspray and the amazing floral fragrances worn by the many glamazons dancing there, but in a modern way. It opens with a tart, fizzy blast of aldehydes and blackcurrant buds, twirling between fruity and animal, before blooming into a heady bouquet of jasmine and ylang-ylang. You could not wish for more colour.
I see Violet Ida as one of the most covetable of objects. I mean…. Just. Look. At. That. Bottle. Have you ever seen something more gorgeous? But what fragrance is hidden behind this violet-named and violet-shaded bottle? It’s somewhat of a surprise!
Violet Ida is all about powder and suede. It’s a warm, vanillic amber with hints of leather and lots of beautifully fluffy, resinous things. There is a hint of the sweet and earthy tone of violet; this dash of colour brings to mind an opalescent appearance where a white base shade fires off hints of purple and pink as the light catches it. Colour, yes, but subtle.
#4 Blood Red
Nothing says red quite like a rose, and no rose fragrance says red quite so beautifully as La Fille de Berlin; this is an example of a fragrance that presents a vivid colour, and whilst the blood-red colour of the juice will lead one to think of rouge things, it’s the scent itself that really drives the idea of colour.
Inspired by Marlene Dietrich, La Fille de Berlin is an austere and androgynous rose unlike any other. As one would expect, given its muse, the presentation of a rose here is angular, aloof and beguiling. It has a jammy, tart, fruity quality in the top notes but it quickly settles to an ice-cold rose with thorns, supported by a spider’s web of patchouli and the mineral softness of earth. La Fille de Berlin is the drop of blood that drips from one’s thumb after a rose’s thorn pricks it.
#5 Blue and Purple
Are you in the mood for some nostalgia? Do you like your perfume housed within a strange, bakelite-style spaceship? Would you say that blue eyeshadow was very much your vibe? Well I have just the thing for you, and you’re in luck, because those big syrupy florals of the 1980s are coming back into fashion. Enter LouLou.
LouLou is a whirlwind of colour that shows a contrast between the shade of its bottle and the colour of the scent inside. While the outside is all baby blue, the inside is a royal purple that glows like a black light. The fragrance is a rich, intense blast of purple fruits with brazen white floral notes and makeup powder. It may have felt like a costume ten years ago, but in the age of contoured makeup, LouLou is back to being cool again!