Stories Behind Your Scents
The Romantic One
The Osmanthus flower, a nocturnal flower native to Asia, is at the heart of Atelier Cologne’s latest scent. The flower signifies love and romance and, if you’re unfamiliar with it, it smells softly floral with a touch of peach. In this incarnation, this unique flower has been sharpened with zesty Italian lemons and warm American cedarwood.
They say: “Their burning love guided them to the park in the heart of the city. The gates were locked for the night. Following their hearts, and breaking the rules, they climbed over the fence and slipped into the still garden. The night was dark, but the stars illuminated their path. Their delicate perfume of Osmanthus trees was surrounding them. They lay down on the ground, and while looking at the moon, they sealed their forbidden love forever.”
The Sensual One
Byredo make some of the most covetable fragrances in existence and is one such scent. With African Marigold and Bergamot over jasmine and violet, with a base of black amber, vetiver, musk and Moroccan cedarwood, Bal d’Afrique is completely unique; like sun-warmed skin, it is warm and comforting.
They say: Byredo founder Ben Gorman, says, “Bal d’Afrique is one of my earliest fragrances. At the time of its formulation, I was obsessed with the translation of memories into scent. My father lived and travelled in Africa for about 10-15 years and I would read his diaries; the way he travelled on freight ships, met all kinds of different people… For me, this was the fantasy of arriving in Africa through somebody else’s words. Bal d’Afrique reflects that; it’s an imaginary journey as well as a complete celebration of how I see African culture and its influence.”
The Sun-Worshipper One
Just the name of Maison Margiela Beach Walk Eau de Toilette, £98 transports your mind to an exotic locale and its scent reaffirms that. To wear Beach Walk is to shroud your skin in the silky aroma of coconut milk, bergamot, ylang-ylang, musk, cedarwood and benzoin. It’s the olfactory substitute for a day spent on the beach, sand pressed to your skin, suntan lotion in the air. It’s utterly addictive.
They say: The perfumer behind this scent, Marie Salamagne, says, “I was inspired by a memory of a sunny summer day and a gentle stroll on the beach. For me, this is the scent of summer: feet in the warm sand, the happiness and well-being of feeling the sun touch our salty skin, the sea spray, the warm light breeze in your hair. Beach Walk is the quintessence of solar perfume. Between warm florals, milky coconut softness and radiant freshness, it’s a perfect harmony that echoes the dreams of a beautiful summer day on the seaside.”
The Well-Travelled One
Philosykos Eau de Parfum by DIPTYQUE is considered the OG fig perfume. It’s lush, creamy, earthy and green and quite hypnotic. Wherever you wear it, whether it’s on holiday in Greece or shopping for your groceries, you will be stopped repeatedly by curious men and women who are desperate to know what you’re wearing. Follow my lead and lie because this is scent that should be all yours.
They say: “Philosykos is a tribute to Greece, a place of light and mysteries where the Gods still live. In their old Renault Dauphine, by bus, boat, on foot, two of the three friends who founded Diptyque went to Greece and they went back there summer after the summer. Desmond Knox-Leet and Yves Coueslant travelled everywhere and Desmond filled his notebooks with notes and drawings. In 1996 Philosykos was created from a memory of one of their stays in Greece – a field of wild figs between the mountains and the sea. It was in Thessaly, on Mount Pelion, place of Homer’s Iliad. To get to the sea from Méliès you had to cross this field in the torrid heat. The figs’ juice dripping, the trunks seeping sap, the heated leaves giving off a scent and the countryside was covered with burning heat.”
The Relaxed One
Everything about Maison Margiela Lazy Sunday Morning Eau de Toilette, £98 brings to mind the uniquely soothing feeling of lying in bed in fresh, clean white sheets, with sunshine pouring through the window and nowhere to rush to. So, to smell it is to instantly feel calmer and more relaxed. No mean feat for a fragrance. The scent itself was developed with aldehydes (for the clean, fresh smell), musk, sandalwood and a touch of patchouli, to hint at the freshness of just laundered bed linen and clean, crisp air.
They say: The perfumer, Louise Turner says, “The idea for Lazy Sunday Morning came to me when I looked out of my hotel window in Florence. I was struck by a colour: white. Luminous, virginal, immaculate. I challenged myself to convey the sensations of colour in a scent and to create a serene sense of luminous freshness. The smell of clean sheets comes from the perfume used in the washing products that develop on the material as it dries (particularly outside) that gives the fresh air feel that we associate with clean.”