Atkinsons’ Love In Idleness is such a romantic, beautifully feminine fragrance – I mentioned this in my Valentine’s Day post as a springtime alternative to the more predictable rose scents, but it’s good for all-year-round-wearing, really, so long as you like your perfumes light and pretty.
I don’t know too much about Atkinsons as a brand, other than the fact that they sell their fragrances in big, 100ml hip-flask type bottles that feel slightly as though they should be part of an Alice In Wonderland set… I know also, from the tatters of my baby-brain memory, that its a brand with quite the heritage – founded over 200 years ago, and, at one point, the official perfumer to the royals.
Despite my lack of background knowledge, I’ve tried quite a few of Atkinsons’ perfumes, including the golden-bottled Oud Save the Queen, but Love In Idleness is the first I’ve adopted into my personal fragrance arsenal. (The one I keep in the house, rather than the stacks of fragrances I have in my office, waiting to be tested!) It made the cut primarily because I love the smell of violets and I rarely come across one that doesn’t smell artificial, like bottled Parma Violets.
Love In Idleness is the sort of powdery violet perfume I’ve been hunting down for years. It’s soft, sugary and rather frivolous, but not one of those silly, giggly scents that belong in a twelve-year-old’s body spritz. The mossy, woody base notes prevent it from being too young, but they never really come to the front of the stage, so to speak, so the overall effect of the perfume is that it’s light and fresh, almost sparkling.
The inspiration behind the fragrance is (you may have guessed from the name) Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and it really does spark little thoughts of fairies’ bowers and magical forests and long, summer nights. I’d love the base notes to come through a little more, if I were to be very picky and incredibly selfish, but I do think that this makes for a wonderful lightweight scent. It has a naughty edge – or mischievous, I should say – that stops it from being too sickly sweet.
You can find Love In Idleness at Selfridges here – it’s £100 for 100ml.