Almond may not spring to mind as one of perfumery’s most prominent notes, but it’s quite a big deal, especially over the last few years. We’ve seen a growing trend for almond-centric fragrances, or fragrances that boast an almond facet. But what makes almond such an interesting part of modern perfumery? Well, the answer is simple: it’s simply everywhere. OK, that doesn’t mean that you’ll be tripping over almonds in the aisles of your local perfumery, but it’s more about how the scent of almond tends to pop up in unusual places….
Think about it, many flowers such as lilac, heliotrope, and mimosa have almond facets tucked amongst the many other nuances found within their complex odour profiles. Then there’s tonka bean, which has a warm, marzipan vibe. Almond is used in perfumery to create realistic floral accords and as a sweet, gourmand edge to warmer, more edible perfumes. It’s versatile and unique.
Here is a selection of almond fragrances you must sniff (AKA the almond aromas we just had to include in August’s #EscentualScents box…)
Scent A: The Handsome Almond
GUERLAIN L’Homme Ideal Eau de Toilette
One of the best almond starter fragrances is GUERLAIN’s L’Homme Ideal. The name means “the ideal man” and is a tongue-in-cheek play on how masculine fragrances have always promised to turn men into the perfect specimen. L’Homme Ideal will not make you flawless with one spritz, but it will cover you in a crunchy, sweet almond fragrance rounded off with warm woods and tonka bean. Just like the perfect man, L’Homme Ideal is attractive, fun to be around, and effortlessly stylish. My advice? Delete your Tinder account and buy L’Homme Ideal instead. You won’t find any man better.
Scent B: The Luxurious Almond
Prada Les Infusions de Prada Amande Eau de Parfum
When we think of almond, we often think of deliciously sweet, cherry-esque things such as marzipan and bakewell tarts. Almond naturally has this vivid, chewy, and sugary cherry facet, and no fragrance explores it so vibrantly as Prada’s Les Infusions Amande. Don’t let the beautifully subtle, pale blue packaging fool you; this perfume packs a punch. The first spritz is pure cherry jam, sticky and drizzling with sugar. Then the signature Prada iris fizz springs to life, carrying delicate bubbles of almond drifting off into the atmosphere. I’d call it the most luxurious almond perfume there is.
Scent C: The Multifaceted Almond
The House of Oud Almond Harmony Eau de Parfum
Almond Harmony is a multifaceted take on almond that puts the note front and centre, accented by the roasted, warm facets of tonka bean and the fresher, greener elements of heliotrope. The result is a sticky gourmand dusted in powder and served with deliciously warming resins. This is for those that want a full-on, no holds barred, unashamed almond
deliciousness, and those people only!
Scent D: The Fruity Almond
Ghost Orb of Night Eau de Parfum
First things first, it’s hard not to love a perfume housed within a crescent moon shaped bottle, am I right? Of course I am. Luckily for us, Orb of Night has a beautiful fragrance that lives up to its dreamy bottle. It’s an almond fragrance that leans fruity, where the vibrant, red, and juicy facets of cherry are the main attraction. Florals add a freshness whilst caramel and woods place it firmly in the gourmand. Orb of Night might catch your eye with its striking bottle, but its vivid cherry scent is what will keep you coming back for more.
Scent E: The Floral Almond
Yves Saint Laurent Cinema Eau de Parfum
With a name like Cinema, you may be expecting a blockbuster of a fragrance so large and showy that it would dominate the red carpet at any film festival, but YSL’s Cinema is anything but that. It’s much more Moonrise Kingdom than it is a Marvel, and it casts the understated, unusual note of mimosa in its starring role. But what does all of this have to do with almond, I hear you ask? Well, that’s an excellent question, and the answer is that mimosa flowers smell like pollen, powder, and almonds. Cinema sets a scene where powdery mimosa blooms are caught on a breeze of soft vanilla, wafting their almondy-like fragrance gently under the golden light of an endless sunset. An Oscar-worthy performance, if you ask me.
Scent F: The Milky Almond
Issey Miyake A Drop d’Issey Eau de Parfum
A Drop d’Issey aims to recreate the smell of lilacs, reflected in a single drop of perfume, using sustainably sourced ingredients in its pastel olfactory painting of nature’s most beautiful purple flower. Accenting the fresh, dewy, and green scent of lilacs is a soothing, creamy almond milk accord. It brings a touch of sweetness and, well, as you expect, a delicate, milky quality too. It’s a unique fragrance that feels creamy, floral, sweet, and aquatic all at the same time, finding striking beauty in the unexpected.
Scent G: The Gourmand Almond
Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Mandorlo di Sicilia Eau de Toilette
Picture this; you’re sitting out on a Sicilian terrace on a summer’s eve, sipping a ridiculously tiny cup of Espresso and contemplating a biscotti, all whilst the warm rays of the Italian sunset beat down on you. That’s Mandorlo di Sicilia in a nutshell (pun fully intended). The fragrance centres on a core of green almond (famous on the island) lightened by sharp citrus notes and softened by warm, tropical florals and vanilla. Fragrances with a gourmand edge can often be heavy and enveloping, but not this one. Thanks to its delicate sense of freshness, Mandorlo di Sicilia is an almond fragrance as lightweight as a Sicilian breeze.
Scent H: The Subtle Almond
Van Cleef & Arpels Collection Extraordinaire Bois d’Amande Eau de Parfum
Van Cleef & Arpels’ Collection Extraordinaire is one of those hidden gems of the perfume world. It’s a collection that doesn’t shout or show off; instead, it takes familiar materials and showcases their beauty. Bois d’Amande is no exception – it’s a delicate take on almond that weaves the note into softwoods and vanilla, creating a complex subtlety as nuanced as the bark on a tree. Try this if you want an almond that surprises with its subtle approach.