While we’ve previously gone to the trouble of suggesting perfumes for both spring and summer (not to mention telling you how to smell like your star sign), sometimes all anyone wants is to smell like flowers. Rather than adorning yourself in them (which we don’t recommend based on the bees alone), we suggest wearing a floral-scented perfume instead. The best can be found below.
Few (if any) fragrances drop a pin to the exact location of their inspiration quite like 17 Nandan Road by Ulrich Lang New York. 17 Nandan Road is the street address for Guangqi park in Shanghai, a place where osmanthus can be found in full bloom throughout October. But that particular scent – and therefore location – isn’t all there is to the perfume. Its top notes are green leaves, Sicilian lemon and bergamot. At its heart, the osmanthus is coupled with iris. Notes of ambroxan, cedar, suede and musk are at its base. Ultimately, it’s exactly what we’ve been craving since coronavirus hit in a single floral-scented perfume: world travel.
If you aren’t familiar with the fable of Androcles and the Lion, the crux of it is this: be kind to everyone no matter the circumstances. Although you might not have the opportunity to remove a thorn from a lion’s paw while escaping your master in order to enact this, you can at least wear Fable by Ellis Brooklyn. Its floral notes of neroli, violet and honeysuckle – not to mention the cedar, amber, petitgrain and blackcurrant – are acts of olfactory kindness in themselves.
D.S. & Durga have a knack for transforming obscure scenes into highly probable ones through scent. White Peacock Lily, for example, depicts a lone peacock floating over a field of flowers while harps and horns resound and a fog hangs in the distant woodlands. As soon as you acknowledge the abundance of florals – nerium oleander, white lily, Egyptian jasmine and violet – alongside the watery notes of the base and the woody cabreuva at its top, the narrative starts to make perfect sense. The addition of grapefruit, whipped cream, ambrette and vanilla account for the cacophony. An ode to imagination in a floral-scented perfume.
If you want a floral-scented perfume that is also a distinctly holiday perfume, we recommend Sirena by Floris. It has a number of lovely associations: a bouquet of roses, peonies, oleander and jasmine; being close enough to the sea to smell it; and the island of Menorca (which is even more pleasing than usual given that the Balearics were recently put on the UK government’s Green List). Aside from the aforementioned notes, expect bergamot, pink pepper, red berries, musk and sandalwood.
As floral notes go, rose tends to be particularly intense. Not – unsurprisingly – in a perfume named ‘Rose Silence’ by Miller Harris, however. As opposed to a garish bouquet of red roses (complete with baby’s breath) picked in a panic, this is a single and unassuming rose that’s been freshly picked with purpose. True love in a floral-scented perfume, in other words. But there’s more to true love than a single rose: notes of blackcurrant, mandarin, patchouli and cashmere musk, in this instance.