“What does the summer smell of?” we asked ourselves – and then had a sniff around.
Good perfumers are now almost as sought-after in the world of scents as designers are in the world of fashion. It’s not just labels that want signature scents – people, too, find that having a distinctive fragrance is a way to express their personality – and it often says much more than you could fit on a business card. The fragrance is added to laundry in the washing machine, is sprayed into the bathwater, and even whole homes smell of it.
This is no new obsession. Even the eccentric Cleopatra used to dabble every body part with a special scent. Tradition has it that she even had the sails of her boat perfumed before she received Mark Anthony. Ointments made of aniseed, lemon and rosemary were particularly in demand in her day. Now, the perfume market comprises some 1,000 scents. And every year, 80 to 100 new fragrances are added, though only a few manage to leave an impression on our memories. Which is why perfumers are increasingly creating small perfume artworks that exude exclusivity in their limited editions.
What does shopping smell of? That’s what Bond No. 9 in New York wanted to find out, so created the first shopping scent – something along the lines of a shopping aphrodisiac. After the first bank fragrance and the first digital fragrance, they turned their hand to a kind of city scent signature, which smells of apple, black blackcurrant and bergamot, of patchouli, jasmine and pralines. After being sprayed on in the morning, it is said to make the wearer yearn to spend a day on Madison Avenue.
Orchid Soleil wraps late summer in a cloak of bitter orange, pink pepper and chestnut purée. A scent for the sensory transition from summer to a colourful autumn. Presented in a fluted glass flacon, the fragrance is available from August.
Under the numerical combination 27 87, Romy Kowalewski has been designing olfactory statements for the digital native generation with perfumers like Daniela Andrier and Mark Buxton since 2016. The label is where you can find scents like #hashtag and Wanderlust, which aims to cast a spell over digital and analogue globetrotters alike. They smell of aniseed, fennel, sand, mint, of violet leaves, iris and incense. By the way, 27 87 refers to founder Kowalewski’s date of birth.
Despite withdrawing from the fashion industry, the Austrian designer’s fame hasn’t faded and his perfumes remain unforgotten. Panic broke out when the stocks started running dry. In 2014, the fans’ begging and pleading was finally answered. Helmut Lang’s iconic scents Eau de Parfum, Eau de Cologne and Cuiron came back.
In 1992 Miyake launched his L’Eau d’Issey and his beguiling freesia and rose scent instantly became a cult fragrance. Hardly any other perfume is so memorable and distinctive. Released in 2016, L’Eau d’Issey Pure is something akin to a revised edition. Still without any citrus notes. A rarity in the perfume industry.