Five of the best new season scents: unique autumn fragrances
Beauty: Like red lipstick or dark eyeshadow, fragrance can help create the person you feel like being on a given day
September each year sees brands issue the best of their fragrance offerings in the run-up to that season which we all absolutely refuse to mention for several more months. Most of us have a favourite perfume, and there is nothing rational about the choice. We are drawn to fragrance based on emotion, memory and association. We associate fragrance with people and places. It can be incredibly difficult to explain why we like a fragrance. The beauty of it is that we really don’t need to. The fragrance you love, even if it is produced on a mass scale, feels personal to you. Catching it on the air is a transporting moment in the day. Like red lipstick or dark eyeshadow, fragrance can help create the person you feel like being on a given day. This autumn season will see several especially beautiful releases.
Suede Galore (€130 at Brown Thomas and cloonkeen.com) is a sumptuous scent from Galway-based perfumers Cloon Keen Atelier. Rich guaiac wood and tonka, smoky incense and osmanthus give this fragrance an almost tactile element. It is softly feminine, but edgily rich too.
It is difficult to go wrong with Chanel fragrance, but the newly released Les Eaux de Chanel (€112 each) trio of fragrances is intelligent and renewed my interest in citrus fragrances, which can sometimes be a little too enthusiastic. It is Paris-Venise that sparkles for me. It might sound odd to describe a fragrance as snug, but it feels reminiscent of childhood memories of putting on radiator-warm pyjamas. With the citrus accord complemented by red berry, iris and geranium, and offset with ambery citrus, the fragrance rewards you with waves of interesting depth.
Jo Malone London Honeysuckle and Davana Cologne (from €54 for 30ml at Brown Thomas) is a fragrance I was sure I would dislike. An aromatic herb combined with the classically impossible to capture fragrance of honeysuckle sounds a little avant garde. The result, however, is buoyant, fresh and intensely interesting. It shines with a girlish ebullience, but is grounded by a mossy note that feels all grown up.
For those who adore a classic white floral, but don’t want something boring or derivative, Ralph Lauren Woman (from €76 for 50ml) is the right fragrance. The chic, impossible to lose cap is a pleasing design feature, but the structure of the fragrance is just as robust. Tuberose is difficult to get right – the waxy flower itself has an intense but sometimes elusive fragrance which changes quickly after the flower is picked. Woman captures it well, and combines it with notes such as sandalwood, hazelnut and blackcurrant to offset the intensity of the white floral notes creating a soft but intense fragrance.
If you seek something head-turningly unique, the new Tiffany Intense (from €69 for 30ml at Brown Thomas) is a truly unusual musky floral that would be as perfect on a bride as it would at an evening occasion. Buttery iris and amber combine to create something genuinely special.