I still remember the time when I was stopped in the street by a complete stranger who told me I smelt really nice. Before you shout ‘Time’s up!’ at your screen I can assure you there was nothing predatory about the approach: it was early morning, I was on my way to work, and as soon as he’d handed out the compliment he walked off. A compliment with no hidden agenda. It was simple, kind, confidence-boosting flattery. This was over 10 years ago, and whilst I don’t remember what the stranger looked like, I do remember what fragrance I was wearing that day: Givenchy’s Organza, with its warm honeysuckle notes. There’s no denying that scent can play a powerful role in emotions and memories. Here is a selection of the ones I’m hoping to be stopped in the street with.
The first time I wore Bulgari Rose Goldea was to pick up my little one from the childminder (yes, Bulgari for school pick-up!) and was greeted with a ‘ooooh you smell nice’. After two spritzes I felt submerged in rose and white musk, but as always after a few days my nose adjusted to the new scent and I’ve now gone Rose Goldea nose-blind. I’m mindful of not going overboard with the spritzing so as not to overwhelm passers by, but I do re-apply before going out in the evening. This is not your traditional whimsical girlie rose perfume, this is a rose for grown ups, with beautiful ingredients including jasmine, white incense and sandalwood for a rich, sweet, woody base. At £73.50 for 50ml it falls in the luxury fragrance category, as you would expect for Bulgari. The bottle alone is a work of art, with a spherical pink cap and rose gold encasing around the bottle which takes pride of place on my over-crowded dresser.
Versace is known for its glamour and glitz, and the brand’s Crystal fragrance collection doesn’t disappoint: the bottle cap looks like a cut diamond and the box is entirely covered in a baroque design. Don’t be put off by the heavy decoration if you’re after a light scent though. The Yellow Diamonds perfume is light and bright, with citrus top notes featuring lemon, bergamot and pear sorbet. The heart is floral with notes of orange blossom, freesia and mimosa, the perfect spring scent. And at £30.00 for 30ml it’s attainable luxury. Insider tip: the bottle caps make the best doorknobs if you fancy blinging up your home. I have a pair on a cupboard in the lounge. No really.
If you’re after a delicate easy-to-wear feminine perfume that whispers not shouts, I’d say Jasper Conran’s Nude is a good option. Florian Bernollin, Senior Brand Manager for Jasper Conran fragrances, describes Nude as ‘the timeless scent of gardenia wrapped in a crystal cut inspired bottle’. The floral fragrance is soft and sensual rather than fresh and green, with amber, musk and gardenia. You can spritz quite liberally with this one without running the risk of suffocating your fellow commuters. The bottle design is simple and elegant, the column decorated with vertical grooves and finished with a clear cap. Sometimes simple works best. At only £20.00 for 40ml this is the best value option reviewed here and generally speaking is a great price point for a good quality perfume.
I would never have thought of smoked tea as a fragrance ingredient, but then I’m not a nose. I can’t even describe what wine smells of at a wine tasting – ‘can you smell notes of lemon? grapefruit?’ ‘mmm, I can smell white wine’ – so creating fragrances was never going to be a career option. This British fragrance house has created a unique scent infused with earl grey and nutmeg, but it remains fresh with notes of lemon and bergamot which makes it unisex. If you want to ensure you’re not wearing the same fragrance as the person next to you, this is a good bet. The 50ml bottle retails at £75.00 which reflects the craftsmanship that goes into this creation, but if you just fancy dipping your toe in this they also do a mini 14ml bottle at £24.00.
Have you had a stopped-in-the-street moment? What is your all-time favourite fragrance? Leave a comment to let me know.