In spring a young man’s fancy turns to a new fragrance. Every season we see new trends evolve and develop, so one cannot be categorical about what should be worn and when. However a good spring fragrance has a certain hallmark – an atmosphere of well-being, excitement and optimism: a sense of uplift without being anodyne or hackneyed. Here are our 10 best for 2011:
1. ANGELIQUES SOUS LA PLUIE – Editions de Parfums
The wonderful Jean-Claude Ellena cologne which sets the gold standard for all spring fragrances. Cool, refreshing, elegant and spare – the aroma of freshly turned earth, April rain and the budding green shoots of the garden. Minimal but exquisite oils: pink pepper (a pinch), cedar, angelica root and coriander.
2. ORIGINAL VETIVER – Creed
Punchy green explosion of vetiver at its crispest and most aromatic. Optimistic, youthful, fresh and good-humoured. Magnificent exuberance of citrus and iris notes; and,to combat the chill of an erratic English spring, there is the warmth of ginger, ambergris and sandalwood.
Creed hits the spot every time.
3.CRAFT – Andrea Maack
An Icelandic conceptual spring – for the adventurous intelligentsia;a cerebral scent enlivened by Nordic earthiness and generosity. A late spring, a cold spring with sparkling, dashing aldehydes leading into a fir forest where the snow is thawing in the first March sunshine – metallic and citrus, darkened with patchouli and incense; a dash of sunny sweetness from elemi and tonka.
One to watch!
4. MENTHE – Heeley
Cool, light, clean, slightly mentholated. Modern and natural; the style of fragrance you can wear anywhere, anytime. Totally relaxed and deliciously fresh: crushed mint leaves, cedar, a touch of bergamot. The ideal scent to wear as winter coats suddenly feel too heavy in the spring sun. Wear it straight from the shower as you dress, or take it out for the evening. Perfect balance, luxurious simplicity.
5. SILVER MOUNTAIN WATER – Creed
Follow the melting ice down the spring rivers with this Creed beauty: sketched in like a Chinese ink drawing, this is an invigorating exercise in silver birchwood, green tea and Calabrian bergamot. The genius lies in the use of sharp blackcurrant leaf to give an intriguing twist to the citrus head notes. Fresh as paint, uplifting as a vodka martini.
Always keep a bottle in the cabinet.
6. DILMUN – Villoresi
A warm Italian spring for chilly mortals. A holiday scent for the Easter Bank Holiday and those fly-away weekends in the sun. Latin elegance and dolce fa niente suggested by neroli, orange blossom and imperial laurel; sophisticated floral notes of rose, Florentine orris for tenacity and smoothness, sweet myrrh and sandalwood.
Tailor-made for a Roman Holiday.
7. ISKANDER – Parfums d’Empire
Herbal, healthy, woody: the fresh outdoor fragrance of the ancient Greek Olympics evoked in tarragon, oak moss, musk and amber. Vigorous and athletic, contrasting a warm muskiness with bitter green notes and an intoxicating breeziness. Uncompromisingly masculine but easy to wear. Very stylish, rather sexy.
A spring tonic for the mating season.
8. TERRE DE SARMENT – Frapin
One of a series of fragrances commissioned by the Frapin cognac dynasty, and celebrating the blessings of the grain and the grape. Here is the scent of warm, wet French earth in April with the vines beginning to shoot. Top notes of grapefruit, neroli and cumin meld into bitter orange, myrrh and sweet velvety muscat. For me the real treasure is in the base, the depths of rich Champagne soil – a unique inventive use of tobacco, benzoin incense oil and the blackest vanilla.
Innovative and elegant gourmand scent.
9. QUERELLE – Parfumerie Generale
Not all of us find the spring an unmitigated pleasure: some find it altogether too much of a challenge, even mildly threatening like a bad New Year’s Eve. So here is a strange, exotic, slightly sinister nomination to knock your socks off. Plenty of smoky herbal bitter notes – mate tea, caraway, myrrh and vetiver – lure you into a virile and heady turmoil of tonka, ambergris, oakmoss and orange. Yet through all this is the sensual vibration of growth,life and rising sap.
“Alone in Berlin”.
10. YERBAMATE – Villoresi
Out in the open fields in late spring surrounded by hawthorne, new grass and the trees in bud. Meadows as far as the eye can see. Tea, tarragon and mint give a dry green quality to an aromatic heart of hay, lavender and thyme. A classic fougere scent re-interpreted: heady sun-drenched base notes of galbanum, oak moss, patchouli and labdanum.
Sense and sensuality.
All of these fantastic fragrances are available from Les Senteurs. We have linked each of the above to their corresponding pages on the Les Senteurs website for your convenience. Please note, CREED is only available for purchase in store or via telephone.