Friday Post: What Does Your Weekend Smell Like?

(or what to wear at brunch tomorrow)

Fragrance: get it right and you’ve found your second skin, but get it wrong and you’re stuck in the olfactory equivalent of a jumper that’s two sizes too small, or wearing a wholly inappropriate heel when everyone around you is in flats. While there’s never a good time to smell just-not-right, here at Something Purty we think there’s little worse than ruining a perfectly good brunch with a badly-fitting smell. So today’s post is dedicated to the art of weekend perfume wearing.

And so to Guerlain HQ, home of lovely smells and lovely people – in this case, Director Of Education & Development Richard Hawkins. ‘Hmmmm, how do I want to smell at the weekend? I’d say comfortable and authentic, not too polished and definitely not demanding. Yes…casual, unimposing and as it’s autumn, a little bit cosy, too.’

So far, so Saturday. Rack ‘em up then, Richard…

Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia

‘To start with, you want to avoid heady white florals like ylang-ylang, tuberose and jasmine – they’re far too sexy. Stick with softer notes like freesia, lilac and violet.’

Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia Cologne (from £34) is clean, pretty, and easy-on-the-nose – delicious but undemanding.

‘You might also want some iris underneath,’ continues Richard, ‘it’s cosy, clean and powdery, like freshly-washed laundry or the softest cashmere scarf.’ Your perfect weekend wardrobe in a bottle then? ‘Exactly. Then add a whisper of citrus and you’ve got something that smells the way you really want to feel on an autumnal Saturday – warm and cosy, groomed but not trussed up.’

With violet, musk, iris and hawthorn, Guerlain Après I’Ondée (£64) is a bottle-full of pashmina with a beautiful outdoorsy-day thrown in, says Richard. Or try Prada Infusion D’Iris – but the Eau de Toilette (from £42) not the Eau De Parfum, which is lighter, fresher, and easier for everyone.

Guerlain L'Art & La Matiere

For a full-on duvet-day of a fragrance, vanilla is your go-to note. ‘Or tonka bean, which is a more complex version of vanilla – still round and soft but with a little bit of balsamic and bitter almond. So comforting.’

Guerlain L’Art et La Maitre Angélique Noir (£145 at Harrods) is a comforting cloud of vanilla with bitter angelica for balance – think soft rather than sickly-sweet.

Miller Harris Terre de Bois

Of course, the ultimate autumnal scent has got to be a chypre. ‘Chypres give you the scent of a forest floor – moss, leaves, earth and wood, and occasionally lifted with floral notes. They’re a bright sunny day with a chill in the air.’

In the Guerlain camp, chypres range from Mitsouko (from £46.50) to Idylle Eau de Parfum (from £39). And where Mitsouko may be too bold for some, says Richard, Idylle has been freshened-up with freesia and peony. Elsewhere, try cosy-but-cool Miller Harris Terre De Bois (£64), or Chanel Les Exlusifs  31 Rue Cambon (£120), which with iris and citrus notes too, is pretty much perfect.

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  1. […] written about comforting fragrances here, and how the forest-floor notes of a mossy chypre make great olfactory companions on a blustery […]



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