When choosing a new perfume or aftershave, the amount of choice can feel overwhelming. The first step towards making a decision is to make sure you understand the different fragrance scent profiles out there.
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This guide will talk you through all the basics you need to know about different fragrances, from the different scent families to the scent wheel.
There are four main scent families - Oriental, Woody, Fresh, and Floral.
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Oriental scents are decidedly unisex, as they are equally as sweet as they are rich and powerful. Inspired by eastern aromas, Oriental scents are frequently used when the sun has set, giving off sensual vibes, and long lasting enough to keep up with your dancing.
Oriental scents span from sensual cinnamon, to warm chocolates and vanillas, to rich sandalwood.
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Woody scents are typically associated as being more masculine, thanks to their earthy base, and thus play a huge part in most aftershaves. However, some of the more aromatic scents are unisex, boasting a mature calmness to them.
Woody scents consist of the aromatic warmth of cedar wood, earthy oakmoss, smokey notes and leather, to aromatic herbs like lavender.
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Fresh scents are lively, refreshing and vibrant. Think about the smells of summer - sun, sea, zesty notes and fresh herbs. They are one of the most popular scent profiles in perfumery due to their versatility, crispness, and infinite combination opportunities.
Common fresh scents span from zesty citrus fruits, to aquatic notes, light and bright herbs, to juicy berries and fruits.
Ph. Anthony Delanoix (Unsplash)
Floral scents are most popular for women's perfume, boasting a wide variety of soft feminine aromas. They can either have a singular floral fragrance or combine several flowers as an aromatic bouquet. Due to their floral base, they are often associated with the smells of spring.
Popular floral notes range from freshly cut flowers like rose, powdery florals like jasmine, to oriental florals like orange blossom.
What is the scent wheel?
Starting at the top, and working clockwise, the scent wheel consists of the following scent families and subfamilies touched on above:
● Oriental →
○ Soft Oriental → Oriental → Woody Oriental →
● Woody →
○ Woody → Mossy Wood → Dry Wood → Aromatic →
● Fresh →
○ Citrus → Water → Green → Fruity →
● Floral ↻
○ Floral → Soft Floral → Floral Oriental ↻
The bordering families blend into one another since they share similar scent profiles. For example, ‘Woody Oriental’ is the natural middle ground between ‘Oriental’ and ‘Woody’.
However, opposite families on the scent wheel have opposing properties. For example, Oriental scents are often dense and powerful, whereas Fresh scents are light and airy.
For this reason, the subfamily that falls exactly opposite another often blends with it particularly well. Just look at orange from ‘Fresh Citrus,’ and clove from ‘Soft Oriental’ - a classic Christmassy combination!
Another option is to find three subfamilies that create a triangle with one another. For example, lavender from ‘Woody Aromatic’, rose from ‘Floral’ and honey from ‘Oriental’ are a fantastic combination both for perfume and dessert flavourings!
With these things in mind, you will be one step closer to understanding which fragrances suit your tastes. Don’t be afraid to try out a few blends before settling on your favourite.
The world of scent, like clothing and beauty, is subject to the whims of shifting trends. Some patterns, like these, are cyclical, while others are driven by wider changes in the world around us.
Much to our relief, the fragrance world is finally listening. Tones and accents that have been previously blended for a distinctive gender is spilling over the counter! Finding your fragrance to fit your mood, and ambience for the vibes at hand is personal, intimate and as the Parisians swear, it’s a private ritual.
Ph. Siora Photography (Unsplash)
Confessions of a Rebel are one fragrance brand that are disclosing the secret of scents to match our desire of something emotional but unrestrictive. Regardless of your gender.
Fragrance gender fluidity is here. A recent study from UNiDAYS showed 49% of Gen Z are more inclined to buy from brands that promote gender representation and diversity in their marketing and advertising. According to Mintel, gender-neutral fragrance launches accounted for 17% of the market in 2010; by 2018 that figure had grown to 51%.
Confessions of a Rebel, has just launched in the UK and speaks out their key message on marketing diversity in their range- “We’re not afraid to provoke. Our fragrances are made to excite and inspire: some are subversive, others are straightforward, all are compelling in their own right. He, she, they, YOU - our confessions are not caged in by gender. We blend traditionally feminine notes with masculine undertones, and vice versa, to create fragrances that are anything but ordinary.”
Meet some of the rebels that dare to go beyond the binary…
LOVE HIGH (100ml spray, £100)
Somewhere between lust and lost, peach nectar tangles with orange flower and jasmine in this tantalising fragrance. Shaken up and just a little bit sweet, succulent apple reveals new textures of sensuality against powerful blonde woods. Everything goes, but first, dive right in.
ABOUT LAST NIGHT (100ml spray, £100)
Inspired by late nights, this is a bold exclamation of scent, featuring a cocktail of sparkling bergamot, pink pepper and red grapefruit. Powdery vetiver, sustainably harvested in Haiti, intoxicates the senses with cold-pressed mandarin oil and energetic spices that last from dusk until dawn.
GET A ROOM (100ml spray, £100)
All heat and plenty of skin: forbidden apple is layered with mandarin and stripped-down woody notes. A sensual medley of vanilla, praline and a touch of spice send your heart skipping a beat – and then some. Draw the blinds, bolt the door, this is going to get good.
Let's Be Real Review
On note one, Let’s Be Real Fragrance hits you with a fresh citrus wave that wakes up your senses, followed immediately with depths of vanilla and a lasting woody note of musk and jasmine. I would recommend this to be worn in the evening for deep conversation over decadent drinks. - Deborah St. Louis Founder
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In honour of World Smile Day The Fragrance Shop hosted an event loaded with all the positive energy and affirmations we are sometimes simply lacking in our hectic everyday life.
Under the motto ‘Spray a Little Happiness’, a beautifully aesthetic, calm and safe environment aka the ‘Happy House’ was constructed to showcase various new perfume releases alongside different live events the attendees were free to partake in.
Getting the opportunity to reflect on their inner self, actively work on their body, expand their knowledge on crystals, or simply relax with an evening cocktail alongside some blasting music.
The saying ‘good vibes only’ was reflected in every little detail and not only plastered on numerous signs on the walls throughout the premises. Early risers were able to start their day off with an exclusive workout conducted by professional fitness instructor Mr Oliver Lee. After boosting all those endorphins, it was time for a live recording of renowned British entrepreneur Poppy Jamie’s podcast Happy Not Perfect. The show dives into the everlasting question what it is to be human and how we can ultimately thrive from the inside out. Be it mental health, physical health, or business guidance, Jamie always tries to get the most out of her guests and pass on precious life advice to her devoted retinue of listeners.
Poppy Jamie (on the left hand side) and Sharmadean Reid (on the right) during their discussion.
This episode’s guest was Sharmadean Reid, chief executive and founder of The Stack World, a networking platform for women that originally launched with a focus on the beauty industry as a new way to book services and economically empower independent beauty and wellness professionals. Though over time it evolved to cover a far wider range, branching into different areas that are compiled in a five-pillar model, namely: beauty, wellness, business, culture, and society. It is all about encouraging ambitious women to achieve higher ground whilst forming an interconnected entrepreneurial community of like-minded people. She also founded WAH Nails, so this woman knows exactly what she is talking about when it comes to setting up a business and working on one’s self-development at the same time. Throughout the roughly 45-minute-long talk young women in the audience were seen nodding their heads in agreement upon many things Reid so well versed expounded. Topics circled around feminism, self-confidence, procrastination, how to deal with writers blocks etc. Both revealed some personal experiences and tricks to cope with these issues. Thus, the discussion midst a small audience felt very intimate and insightful. Sharmadean described her life by means of a metaphor, saying: 'I see my life as a theatre and the people close to me are the spectators.' She advised that one sometimes must 'move some of them into another row further back if you feel they negatively impact you' and 'in life people sometimes also naturally move in and out of the front row of your theatre, and that is okay!', thereby expanding upon this figurative simile, which she picked up again from time to time throughout the whole discussion. In the end the audience was able to ask her some questions themselves that might have popped up in their heads. It was a lovely experience listening to these two very adept and open-minded women, every single listener was surely able to take something applicable for their own journey from it. The live recording of this episode will shortly be uploaded to Spotify under the following link:
So, give it a listen and whilst you are at it, peruse The Stack’s Newsletter completely free of charge.
Then it was time to literally spray a little happiness, by a run through of some of the most anticipated perfume releases within the industry. One thing is clear, all of them have a rich background history, bestowing it myriad personality and a story to keep in mind when you are putting them on. These fragrances are not merely about smelling good anymore but evolved into offering yet another component for customers to identify with and express one’s own personality a tat more. Since our sense of smell is amongst the most important senses we possess, the fragrance we wear says a lot about us. Your scent is one of the first things people notice about you, so it's important to make sure it is representing who you are.
￼KON's minimalistic sustainable packaging bestow the perfume a natural and grounded feeling.
First let us start off with a real game changer, IKON. This brand makes it their mission to continuously transform the market in terms of sustainability and cruelty free fragrances, composing each note with a natural mindset. The packaging is made of recycled composable paper, bottles are made from a light durable glass that does not jeopardise the longevity of the scent. Once owned, you can get them refilled at your local Fragrance Shop, avoiding unnecessary consumption of resources. Only responsibly sourced, natural as well as vegan key ingredients and materials are used. On top of that IKON manufactures locally, thereby further reducing CO2 emissions. The brand features six eaux de parfum in total, coming in 100ml size, all reasonably priced at £60 each. They contain 18 percent fragrance concentration, making it very long lasting.All their names are made up of number combinations, referring to the dates the responsive fragrance was created. A wide range from slightly sweet to stronger balanced notes should provide something for every taste, especially because they are gender neutral, and who does not love a scent made for icons that you can share with your better half?
￼Hailey Bieber is the current face of the campaign, pictured next to crystal clear water. Likewise the bottle comes in a vibrant turquoise, embellished with the classic golden Versace Medusa head.
Versace Pour Femme Dylan Turquoise is the ultimate new floral and fruity summery fragrance for women. A spray can easily export you to faraway beaches where the deep blue ocean and hot yellow sand dunes meet. But make no mistake, it certainly is the perfect summer fragrance, nonetheless it concurrently is the perfect winter scent. Why? The indulging top notes of Lemon, Pink Pepper, Mandarin, Orange, and Jasmine create a wonderful mood boosting effect to mentally battle those frigid and gloomy winter days, transforming you to other places in a time when it is unfortunately still not as easy as it used to be to actually travel abroad. Escapism compressed in a bottle!
￼The intense version (as seen on the right) comes along slightly darker in colour and a little more spicy than the original, a perfect go to for evenings. Both flacons are designed to be refillable, by means of an innovative refill system, reducing its overall environmental impact.
Next on we have some news on the Armani front, My Way is the latest female scent by Giorgio Armani, joining in the ranks of established classics like the different Sí variations. Lots of musk, vanilla and white flower tones unveil for hours on end throughout the day. As the name suggests, the scent is supposed to encapsulate authentic experiences and encounters around the world, what exactly is associated with the top, heart and base note depends on how you have and are currently living your way. The short campaign film of the same name stars actress Adria Arjona and captures various meaningful encounters and adventures she makes during her travels through Tokyo, Sevilla, Thailand, and India. The deep blue rounded cap symbolises our planet earth, while the golden ring around it represents the journey around it.
UK based retailer Missguided on the other hand is rather new to the game in comparison, with their first ever launch having been in 2017. Due to their young target audience the perfume line is budget friendly, priced at £28 each. Though inexpensive they can most certainly keep up with pricier competitors. In accordance with their clothing style the packaging comes off distinctly youthful, all scents are bottled in metal cans alluding to fizzy drink cans. Each fragrance has a different empowering meaning behind it, reflected in its respective names, the likes of chill babe, babe dreams, babe power, babe night, and babe oud. Choose your can in accordance with the occasion and pair it with the right-hand cleanser to farther stay safe during times when it is more than ever important to keep those hands clean when out and about.
A campaign based on abundant florals and a soft pale colour coordination reflect the ingredients and smell.
Since celebrity fragrances have been all the range throughout the last few years, we end our quick rundown with two of them. Singer, Songwriter, and actress Ariana Grande just recently launched her amber floral fragrance God Is A Woman. A very soft, fruity, and sensual female scent that easily runs chance of becoming slightly addictive. This one is also big on aiding to shift a sustainable approach into the mainstream. 91 percent of the ingredients are naturally derived, 100 percent vegan (as Ariana is herself), cruelty free and all wrapped up in a reusable holder, made from 60 percent plant-based materials and a recyclable carton.
Ariana Grande's God Is A Women in the front on the right hand side, Jennifer Lopez's One in the back.
Jennifer Lopez is an old hand in the business, having released several distinctive perfumes. The latest being One, a sandalwood and nut dominated scent with hints of peach and coconut, creating a wonderful balance between strong woods, moss, as well as hints of patchouli and light, sweet fruitiness of a bright pink pepper burst, delicate florals, Jasmine and suede. All culminating in a harmonic peace inducing smell to linger on your skin.
On a closing note, The Fragrance Shop also gave space to Rays of Sunshine, a children's charity with the admirable endeavour to brighten the lives of seriously ill children across the UK. They are always on the lookout for engaged committed people to support their cause by doing something that fits your timetable but would mean the world to one of those kids. Be it fulfilling a wish for a new toy, driving to Disneyland, going to see a movie in the cinema, or simply donating. You have the power to get someone to smile and that is after all what World's Smile Day is all about.
A fitting scent that makes you feel comfortable, while ensuring to reflect your own sense of self ultimately has the power to positively enhance how you carry yourself. Having such a profound influence, we at Fashions Finest conceive it as a full holistic experience and strongly advise everyone to pay a visit to The Fragrance Shop, get a customised consultation and look for a new winter season scent, if not for yourself maybe be an early bird this year and grab a bottle for your loved ones as a Christmas present.
When it comes to perfume, personality is key, and Missguided's latest addition to its 'Babe' range is packed to the ring pull with personality.
When you were a teenager, you put all sorts of perfumes to the test, in the spirit of experimentation. But, if you’re like most people, as you grew older, you probably selected one ‘signature scent’ and stuck to it for years on end.
Twist & Spritz atomizer in glitter pink has arrived just in time for the festive season and is the perfect stocking filler.
With perfume bottles being way to heavy to carry around the compact atomizer is taking over and is now the perfect must-have handbag accessory for every woman.
Fit For A Princess, the L.K.Bennett Debut Fragrance
The Duchess of Cambridge is known to be an advocate of British Heritage brand L.K.Bennett, selling out their dresses wherever she goes. Now in an exciting move, the brand has announced its first ever foray into fragrance – Signature.
The wonderfully complex fragrance opens with hypnotic top notes of citrus, pepper and rhubarb. Heart notes of rose, jasmine and ylang ylang add a floral flavour, with base notes of warm woods, dry amber, musk and vetiver adding an air of luxurious sophistication. Could this be the fragrance Kate wore to Prince Louis christening?
RRP: 30ml (£35) 50ml (£49) and 100ml (£69), L.K.Bennett
Twist & Spritz, the ultimate handbag essential that allows you to transport your favourite perfume in a travel-sized 8ml atomizer, has introduced a new line to their popular collection.