For those of you crawling out of hibernation, having a good old stretch, wanting something fresh and light or sunny and new to scent yourselves with: my pick of the Spring Fragrances 2015. Although I have my year-round perfume favourites (Jo Malone’s Oud & Bergamot, Lancome’s La Vie Est Belle, anything dark and rosey) I do quite like a little change when the days start to get brighter and the trees begin to blossom. I also think that since I’ve been pregnant, I’ve been gravitating towards fragrances that are a touch greener, a little sharper, perhaps somewhat sparklier than my usual choices. And there are plenty out there to choose from, this season, but I’ve narrowed them down to just the few that have really grabbed my interest: White Rose & Lemon Leaves from Jo Loves, Geranium & Verbena from Jo Malone, Ostara by Penhaligons and (actually this isn’t at all new, or even seasonal, but I have recently rediscovered it and it’s love at second sight) Flagrant Délice from Terry de Gunzburg.
Let’s start with the (relative) oldie; Terry de Gunzburg’s Flagrant Délice. As I said, this was a rediscovery – I was actually searching out figgy, greenish spring scents for a completely different post and this stood out as one of the most complex and lovely. Often figgy scents seem to disappear quite quickly on me, but this one has good staying power and the fig is slightly sweeter and softer than your run-of-the-mill version. It’s not by any means a sharp and fresh springtime scent, but it has a lovely gardeny feel to it that makes me think of new buds and warmer evenings. You can find it at House of Fraser online here.
If Flagrant Délice is a warm evening then Ostara, from Penhaligons, is pure sunshine in a bottle. It’s heady, with a real floral hit that’s at once pleasing and very unusual; it’s hard to know what to make of it at first, but it definitely gets your attention. Ostara has been inspired by daffodils and that in itself has to be pretty rare – it’s not a flower I’d have previously associated with perfume making! It’s a blend of loads of different floral, fruity and greener, woodier notes – it’s hard to untangle them to identify them separately, but you do get this wonderful feeling that the whole daffodil – leaves, bulbs and flower – is being described. Definitely an interesting one for fragrance enthusiasts, it’s £110 here.
From sunshine in a bottle to a breath of cool air: Jo Malone’s Geranium & Verbena Cologne (£42 here), which is part of the new Rock the Ages line-up. I’ve seen lots of raving about Tudor Rose & Amber (from me, included – see here) but not so much on the Geranium & Verbena and I must say that this little cologne is far more spring-like than the rose. It’s sharp, almost sparkly, reminds me (weirdly) of homemade lemonade, and though it does have some deeper and more serious notes, for me it’s the “light and frivolous” option. It won’t be to everyone’s taste, and it doesn’t have the lasting power of the Tudor Rose & Amber, but if you’re after something fizzy and fresh with an unusual twist (it’s the “Edwardian” representative in the Rock of Ages series) then do stop by and try it.
Last in my little collection – and possibly my overall pick – is the White Rose & Lemon Leaves fragrance from Jo Loves. If you love pure, sweet, feminine rose then you’ll find this to be absolutely exquisite. The lemon peel note just makes the rose sing: it freshens it and keeps it beautifully light and delicate. You know how a squeeze of lemon juice over a salad can just bring everything alive? That’s how I feel about White Rose & Lemon Leaves – the lemon is the perfect sidekick for the rose, sharpening it but at the same time making it seem all the sweeter. If you love White Rose by Floris then you’ll love this even more. You can find it at Jo Loves here, from £45.
**UPDATE: this little number from Radley (above) almost slipped through the fragrance net. I only have a sample bottle, the real deal looks a lot more appealing, but the perfume itself has really hit a note with me (if you’ll excuse the pun) because it reminds me of a body spray I had when I was a teenager. There’s a real peachiness to it – though the guide says no peach, so it must be a combination of the bergamot and the florals – and it has the kind of musky, woody undertone that will never cease to woo me. It’s like my teenage body spray, but all grown up. You can get the eau de parfum as a set with body lotion included, it’s £37 at JohnLewis.com here.