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Talking Scents

The Perfume Industry Takes On The World Of Fashion crack

The perfume industry is beginning to imitate the fashion world and the latest fragrances from Pucci, Balmain and Balenciaga have descriptions which read like a Fashion Week catwalk schedule.

“Over the last twenty years we have witnessed a move towards people having a ‘fragrance wardrobe’ rather than just one signature scent,” explains Mark McCormack, owner of Rich Perfumerie (

It seems your wardrobe isn’t the only thing needing a revamp as the seasons change.

Closet perfumer

Changing your style every six months to stay on trend is an expensive fashion game, but if seasonal change appeals give your fragrance collection a spring clean instead.

“Different perfumes can now be worn for day and night but also seasonally,” McCormack says.

“Just as musky, spicy notes work well to warm you up on cold winter nights, fresher, lighter notes can refresh and cool as we approach hot summer days.

“Spring can still be a touch on the chilly side, so you will still need a fragrance that has more depth and warmth to it than a summer fragrance which is usually a light cologne or a variation of your usual scent.”

If you can’t bear to say goodbye to your signature scent, many fragrance houses are tapping into the market of fresher, summer versions of their best selling classics, such as Daisy Marc Jacobs Eau So Fresh or Jean Paul Gaultier Classique Summer.

Fragrance fauna

Just as catwalk trends dictate fashion, fragrance houses also echo the style vibe of the season.

“I have seen two main trends emerging so far for spring/summer: floral blooms and the Seventies,” McCormack reveals.

“Very Irresistible Givenchy L’Intense, and L’Eau d’Issey Florale all have roses at the heart of their floral explosions, with Clinique Happy In Bloom summing up the trend with an amazing floral bottle.”

Seventies fever has also come up smelling of roses. “There are plenty of scents that give a nod to the Seventies without being quite so strong smelling,” McCormack says.

“The decade is back in fragrance vogue with Flora by Gucci Eau Fraiche giving a nod to Seventies glam with its white capped bottle and Seventies favourite patchouli aplenty in Guerlain’s Idylle Duet.”

It’s designer, dahling!

When that It bag is just beyond your reach and those Louboutin heels are likely to send you bankrupt, you can still do the haute couture of fragrance with a designer scent.

Forget the trend for celebrity fragrances, there has been an influx of signature smells hit the luxury shelves - with a surprisingly affordable price tag.

“The most recent designer scent to cause a stir in the fragrance world is Jimmy Choo, who launched his eponymous scent to much praise,” McCormack says.

“It would be very rare for designers to launch a scent to go with each of their new season’s collections - this is because perfumes take many years to create from initial idea to launch.”

Get spritz selective

Fruity, floral or woody, whatever your poison go forth and hunt out your seasonal scent. Roni Raithatha, The Fragrance Shop expert offers her top tips:

Your spring fragrance should be light and airy with a touch of ‘summer garden’ about it. A good general rule of thumb is to avoid overpowering scents - it’s important people see you before they smell you!

Apply a fragrance you haven’t worn before on the back of the wrist then leave for a few minutes for the scent to settle, enabling the different levels of the notes to absorb into your skin and mix with your body chemistry.

Don’t test more than three fragrances at one time as your nose will become desensitised and you won’t be able to detect the complexities of each fragrance.

Use scent strips to try before you buy and take away the scent to smell. Spray the fragrance on the tip, bring the strip towards the nose then gently tap the strip, this helps release the fragrance.

For the summer season, try an EDT (eau de toilette) or EDC (eau de cologne) as you don’t want your fragrance to be too strong in the hotter months.