Cosmetics advice - fragrance is a fashion statement

Fragrance combining: Jo Malone

Fragrance combining: Jo Malone - Credit: Archant

Every woman should aspire to a new fragrance this Christmas

Let’s face it - you’re Pilates toned, the facials, moisturisers and maybe a bit of Botox have done their work but what’s this? You’re still wearing the fragrance of your youth? Be warned! Your perfume can date you like the rings on a tree trunk.

Today fragrance isn’t just about smelling nice it is also a fashion statement and a way of saying who you are.

That’s not to say you can’t have your “signature” scent. Marilyn Monroe is still remembered for wearing Chanel Number 5 (in bed with nothing else), Princess Diana, ever the devoted perfume aficionado, loved 24 Faubourg by Hermès a powerful white floral with top notes of peach and Rita Ora has admits to loving Chanel’s Chance.

But now you are expected to treat your favourite as the “Little Black Dress “ of your fragrance wardrobe - “accessorising” it with trendy newcomers that make it clear you definitely aren’t stuck in a rut.

Kate Middleton showed her fragrance cred when she opted for White Gardenia Petals by British brand Illuminum for her wedding Prince William - an offbeat choice that put her ahead in the fragrance game and Kate Moss and Madonna are both fans of Demeter Dirt which is supposed to smell like the fields in Pennsylvania - a choice that really puts them in a category of cool and unusual.

And there are literally hundreds of fragrances out there for you to try - so how do you find the right one for you?

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Peter Murray who owns Pulse of Perfumery in Knutsford has spent 30 years in the business says: ‘Somebody may come to us and say they want a bottle of Chanel Number 5 - but which one? There are five of them. In our shop we take people on a journey and they love it!

‘You spend 25, 30minutes and find you the perfect perfume and often you end up not only loving the fragrance you love the story that goes with it.’

He has seen plenty of changes in the industry but says the idea of just having one fragrance to suit every occasion is definitely a thing of the past.

‘We encourage people to try something new. We say it’s cold day, you’re dressed in Ugg boots a warm sweater, a lovely coat, you wouldn’t dream of wearing that for evening, or when it’s warm. We encourage people to think of perfumes that way. Would you really wear a heavy scent when you’re out having a pizza for lunch? You want something soft and floral.’

At Selfridges Exchange Square, there are experts ready to help you on their niche fragrance counter. Here you can try out some of the hippest luxury perfume on the market. I loved the experience of discovering something new and even though I thought I knew what I liked, started exploring perfumes with Oud an essential oil distilled from the resin of Asian Aquilaria trees and actually very popular in men’s fragrances. In the end I chose Acqua Di Parma Colonia Intensia Oud, which is a fabulously heady and dare I say it masculine fragrance that’s been remarked upon every time I’ve worn it.

Jo Malone counters specialise in something called fragrance combining - another way in which you can discover a perfume that’s more uniquely yours.

They say: ‘There’s something magical about finding a signature scent. So imagine creating your own with Fragrance Combining.™ Because while every Jo Malone™ cologne is stunning worn solo, any two can be layered for truly bespoke effects. Deepen a fruity fragrance with dark, rich spices. Give florals a zesty citrus twist.’

Jo Malone:

Pulse of Perfumery:


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