Whether they focus on the memory or the prospect of them, we hereby ban discussions about foreign holidays. We are simply too fragile to withstand the whims of the UK government’s Green List at this point. And we aren’t permitted to actually enter some of the countries – namely Australia, Singapore and New Zealand – on it anyway. But at least we still have staycations. However, a dearth of any sort of holiday is entirely more tolerable with a decent holiday perfume. Unlike actual holidays, perfumes are not subject to cancelled flights and lost deposits. They also fare better out of the sun, which conveniently removes the pressure for it to make any appearance at all. Here are the best.
As a general rule, holidays to new destinations tend to be the most exciting. This might also explain the appeal of Vyrao, the new multidimensional wellness brand founded by fashion polymath Yasmin Sewell. Created with liberation in mind and containing notes of Sicilian lemon and Egyptian jasmine, Free 00 would be our choice for a holiday scent.
Launched in collaboration with Tokyo-based fragrance label retaW, KK.001 – a solid perfume that comes in a set of two – is the first olfactory offering from Kiko Kostadinov. Given its notes (cedarwood, sandalwood, leather, vetiver and musk), it’s tempting to apply it with abandon. We suggest being frugal with it and doing that with an SPF instead.
Ellis Brooklyn was founded by The New York Times beauty columnist Bee Shapiro. But that’s not the only reason it’s a brand we respect. With notes of Tahitian tiare and vegan ambergris, SALT, for example, is a trip to the tropics – one that involves absolutely no mention of the terms ‘quarantine accommodation’ or ‘rapid PCR test’ – in a bottle.
Louis XIV was known as ‘the fragranced King’, so it’s not too surprising that the French monarch should be the inspiration for La Collection Royale by 1667. In terms of holiday perfumes, we favour Citrus Oud. It instantly transports us to both Dubai and the Amalfi Coast.
Horizons are technically everywhere, but the best tend to be the ones where the sky meets the sea. And while there are several beaches near London for that sort of thing, we quite like the Maison Francis Kurkdjian interpretation: Aqua Celestia. Bergamot and blackcurrant are just some of its notes.
There is perhaps no better endorsement on earth for anything than an olfactory ode. With notes – think things like sea salt, jasmine, coconut, pine and labdanum – that conjure swimming in the sea and subsequently resting beneath pines, Eden-Roc is Dior’s olfactory ode to Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc. Oh to be there, swinging off the sea-hanging jungle gym, in a supremely sexy swimsuit.
As coronavirus continues to make life somewhat difficult, we’re beginning to think that holidays are simply not worth the hassle. Holidays to different places, that is. Holidays to different times are another matter entirely. And Escentric Molecules are taking us to Woodstock via Molecule 01 + Patchouli.
At last, a fragrance on this bloody list that celebrates somewhere we can actually go to with ease! Paris-Édimbourg is inspired by Gabrielle Chanel’s love of the Scottish Highlands. Smelling it is as much of a journey as its name implies: lemon, bergamot, juniper berry and cypress are just some of its notes.
It would seem that Sunspel isn’t only good for excellent basics – they do fragrances too. Made for both men and women, Neroli Sun is their latest cologne. Infused with rosemary, lavender and angelica (amongst several other things) it’s supposed to smell like an English summer. And now we shall never speak ill of this green and pleasant land again!
There’s something slightly ironic about including Giorgio Armani’s My Way here. After all, no matter your charm or cunning, getting your own way is a struggle these days. Still, we’re more than happy to use this feminine fragrance as a substitute until the time comes for us to scheme once more. It smells exactly like the extravgant bunch of orange blossom, tuberose and jasmine that we can now afford with the pressure of purchasing plane tickets eliminated.
We have no idea who Estée Lauder’s Bronze Goddess actually is, but we’re jealous of her. She recently went to the Côte d'Azur, which is most definitely not fair since we couldn’t even secure accommodation in Margate. Anyway, at least her trip was fruitful in the fragrance stakes: one sniff of Bronze Goddess Azur is basically like having been there with her. And by 'fruitful' we also mean that its notes include things like lemon and mandarin.
In Arabic, the word ‘rihla’ means both a record of a journey and the journey itself. On that information alone, Diptyque’s Eau Rihla – containing a long list of notes from iris to saffron – might be the ultimate holiday perfume. After all, what is a holiday – or life, for that matter – but a journey? See, we can be deep!
The pandemic has left us with a distaste for surprises. But we won’t be denying ourselves the joy of a Veronique Gabai pendant that anonymously houses any one of the brand’s travel fragrances in a hurry! That would be foolish!