Trend alert! Powdery fragrances are in, and at Escentual, we’re here for it in a big way. Powdery fragrances have been around since the 1920s, back when big, exotic ambers drenched in iris powder were very much the thing. The style has evolved, with equally significant cosmetic-powder-filled floral fragrances being a big part of the 1980s. Nowadays, powder has become lighter and sweeter, with some icing sugar sprinkled in for good measure. However, still, this genre remains hugely popular, and we see quite a few new launches with a powdery facet, all showcased in different ways.
So, what makes a perfume powdery? Well, it’s all about the texture. These are those fragrances that feel soft and plush. They may have a lovely iris note (often used for its powdery effect) or other florals such as mimosa, not to mention some powdery wood notes like cedar too, or maybe even something warmer, like amber – they can even be a little bit suede-like too. Many things can bring a touch of powder to a scent, and whether they are decadent or transparent, fluffy or smooth, powder fragrances are here to stay – here are a selection of our favourite powdery new launches.
1. The Delicate Powder
What we’re finding particularly interesting about the powder trend is how fragrances are moving away from voluptuous, velvety swathes of rich cosmetic powder to a much lighter, airy and translucent style. Flowerbomb Dew is a perfect example of this more delicate powdery effect. It’s a dewy rose finely milled into a soft powder, with misty dewdrops thanks to some delightful, sparkling citrus notes. Like Flowerbomb, Flowerbomb Dew has sweetness, but the impression is much more muted, and this version gleams like a beautifully pearlescent makeup powder, ready to make you shine.
2. The Iridescent Powder
For something a bit fizzier and more transparent, there is La Vie Est Belle Soleil Cristal. Imagine for a second that a delicate dusting of iris powder was iridescent sequins, all tiny and shiny in the sun – that is the impression this fragrance gives. It’s sparkly and effervescent, with fresh notes of mandarin and bergamot and the electric zing of pink pepper. Warm notes of coconut and orange blossom whisk you away to a tropical island, where the radiant sun makes the ocean glisten like diamonds. La Vie Est Belle Soleil Cristal is powdery, yes, but in an unusual, luminous way.
3. The Soft Powder
It’s not just iris that can bring a powdery texture to a fragrance; wood notes can achieve this too. Miller Harris’ gorgeous Le Cedre is a perfect example of this. It focuses on the warm, intimate and spicy note of cedar, which has a soft, finely-milled texture, and it amplifies this plushness with the pollen-like warmth of mimosa, plus the velvety feel of musk and cashmere wood. Le Cedre smells like a delicately spiced cloud of wood dust dancing in beams of sunlight. Also, that new black and gold bottle is to die for.
4. The Explosive Powder
Powder isn’t just for the girls, though, and Gaultier’s Le Mâle Le Parfum (one of last year’s most exciting launches) acts as proof that masculine fragrances have been sprinkled with a light dusting of powder too. The original Le Mâle has a bit of a pampered, preened vibe, with a barbershop signature that almost feels like a smooth bottom gently patted with a delightful lavender-scented powder (what?! He’s a cheeky sailor that Le Mâle). Le Parfum amplifies this effect, warming it up with the nutty, toasted facets of tonka bean. The result is a rugged, less delicate, but ultimately still very well-groomed fragrance.