Floral fragrance fancies

Eshew the mainstream offerings for a grown-up floral scent


Easter is like a lightbulb moment in my otherwise muddle-along life, when the extra long weekend allows for a review of clothing and make-up that won’t be worn for the next six months. Ditched or delegated to the attic, they’ll be carted back down come September. The exception to this rule is fragrance, which I simply cannot bear to box away as I’m almost as in love with the flacons themselves as the scents they contain.

I do like a spring fragrance to echo the flowering buds at this time of year; but unfortunately many have a habit of either being teenybopper sickly sweet or full-on fusty old lady. If you’re after something a tad more sophisticated, eshew the mainstream offerings for a grown-up floral from one of the niche fragrance houses.

l Surrounded by scents in her shop in East Hampton, New York , former florist Antonia Bellanca-Mahoney began producing a small range of perfumes for her discerning clientele. Antonia’s Flowers is full of the spring scent of her favourite flowers, freesia. £74 space nk.
l Although Fleurs d’ Oranger from Serge Lutens is unashamedly feminine and understated, like many of his fragrances, it has a complex twist; hibiscus breaks the sweetness of the orange blossom, and musk and cumin add warmth and softness.
€80.87, House of Fraser.
l 21st-century hippies can revisit their love of patchouli with Tom Ford’s White Patchouli . Thankfully, the main ingredient is not at all overwhelming as it’s tempered by the softness of elegant white flowers. €92, Brown Thomas.
l If you want your scent to reflect what’s currently in bloom, look no further than Love In White , by Creed, the family-owned perfume house which has been producing unusual scents since 1760. A blend of of magnolia, daffodil and hyacinth, all white of course. €105, Harvey Nichols.
l If you like your florals sharpened with a bit of a citrus edge, try Calyx , a true classic loved by fragrance aficionados and now available again (after a lamented absence) on Clinique counters. The name is the Latin for “sepals”, a protective layer which surrounds a budding flower. €62.
l Maison Martin Margiela’s Replica collection plays on our memory association with scent, aiming to produce smells that invoke a mood or impression. The set includes Lazy Sunday Morning and Jazz Club and the delicious Prom enade in the Gardens , an homage to shady floral paths of an Oxford garden. €75, Brown Thomas.