Updated: Feb 27, 2020
originally published May 18, 2019
Coming back from a holiday is usually a bit of a bummer but today my spirits were lifted by a new discovery box from The Perfume Society. This limited edition Niche Collection is my favorite box yet as it’s chock full of wonderful niche fragrances that are right up my alley.
I was delighted to find a couple fragrances from perfume houses that I visited in Paris - Parle Moi de Parfum and Serge Lutens (photos to come soon on Instagram!). Un Tonne de Roses by Parle Moi de Parfum smells just as the name suggests - like a ton of dewy roses - so fresh and vibrant. I spoke with Benjamin Almairac who founded Parle Moi de Parfum with his father, acclaimed perfumer Michel Almairac, about rose perfumes. I was aware that rose fragrances sometimes get a bad reputation for being outdated and overdone but I didn’t know that the scent of rose is much more favored in the UK than in Paris. Call me British then because I happen to love rose fragrances if they’re done in a bright, fresh way, as in Un Tonne de Roses. (I lived my early 20’s in a haze of Chloé, which shares similar top and middle notes of rose, a base note of Patchouli, and was also created by Michel Almairac.)
Santal Blanc by Serge Lutens, on the other hand, is a captivating woody scent, and I literally can’t stop sniffing the scent strip I sprayed it on. It starts off spicy and crisp with notes of peppercorn and cedarwood and softens into floral musks and the creamy white sandalwood for which the fragrance was named. Wearing it feels like being wrapped in a very soft, cozy yet lightweight white blanket. Highly recommend!
Metamorphic by Kingdom Scotland stood out to me as a very visceral scent - intense and meaty with complexity and resinous depth. I feel the best way to describe this scent is to say there is a corporeal quality to it. The fragrance is inspired by metamorphic rock found in Scotland with a nod to Islay Malt whisky. When black pepper and tobacco are listed in a scent’s top notes, you know it’s going to be rich and intense. Middle notes include incense, minerals, Islay Malt, and dark rose absolute; while base notes are amber resin & leather. Not for the faint of heart or nose, this scent has a lot to offer those who love a twisted, mysterious and dark olfactive journey.
When I opened Rouge Smoking by BDK Perfumes, I was sold on the beautiful red colour of the liquid alone. And the scent was just as intriguing. My first impression was a cherry red Tootsie Pop, but in a good way. Top notes are cherry, bergamot, and pink berries, middle notes are black vanilla and heliotrope, and base notes are ambroxan, cashmeran, tonka bean, labdanum, and white musk. Seductive, gourmand, and delicious, this scent conjures images of red velvet chaise longues and cherry red lipstick.
I feel like citrus is having a moment. At least for me it is! I don’t know whether I’m finally discovering citrus fragrances I like or perhaps citrus is simply becoming more popular in niche fragrance, but whatever is happening, I dig it. Run of the River by Parterre is a good example of a beautiful citrus fragrance that is not only fresh but complex enough to hold my attention throughout the journey of the scent. Inspired by the Keynestone Mill in Dorset, several of the ingredients are grown at the watermill as well. The fragrance is bright, lemony, and herbaceous with a sweet powdery drydown. (Top notes are bergamot mint, violet leaf, elemi; middle notes are orange flower, lemon thyme, and juniper; base notes are incense, oakmoss, and maté.)
These are my top 5 picks from the Niche Collection discovery box by the Perfume Society. And the rest of the box is wonderful as well - it was very difficult to choose my favorites but I made myself do it. In the honourable mention section, my three picks would be Laconia by Tom Daxon, which smells like a Mediterranean holiday; the warm, ambery Liquid Illusion by Juliette Has A Gun, one of my favorite fragrance brands; and Oud Vert Intense by Fragrance du Bois, which is a green, spicy, and citrusy fragrance all at once, ideal for anyone who loves vetiver and cedarwood.
I would love to hear other people’s thoughts on the box or any of the 14 fragrances and 2 hand creams in it!