Fragrance is like the stiletto heel of the beauty universe – completely unnecessary but for some, it’s a fundamental part of who they are and how they present themselves to the world. And like impractical shoes, fragrance reinvents itself every season, so of course I make it my business to try on a bunch of new styles. Here, I’m looking at six new-season launches all designed to turn heads/incite compliments/prompt colleagues to ask you what you’re wearing. There’s a pandemic-inspired woody redolence from Byredo, an Amouage fragrance that pays homage to greener pastures, and a sweet, intense scent from Givenchy that’s made for dance floors and dimly-lit bars.
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Diptyque Orpheon, $243. shop now
Named after the iconic Parisienne late-night bar, Orphéon is a fitting fragrance to celebrate Diptyque’s 60th birthday. It’s a warm and intoxicating fragrance, but in a way that feels wearable. Think burnished woods, heady tobacco, aromatic gin, sweet jasmine and expensive perfume trailing behind the well-to-do intellectual set of Saint-Germain in the 60s.
Byredo Mixed Emotions, $229. shop now
Ben Gorham, the founder and creative brain behind Byredo, could bottle up tap water and I’d still wear it. But the brand’s latest offering, Mixed Emotions, is a rich, complex redolence designed to reflect the times we’re living in (i.e. chaotic and in a constant state of flux). At its core, it’s a woody scent, but jarring notes of black currant, cassis and violet leaves give it a sweet, refreshing edge.
Amouage Meander, $459. shop now
Meander is essentially an olfactive interpretation rolling hills, misty mountains, crisp air and low-lying fog. It’s fresh and sweet – like the first days of autumn or a walk through thick forest. Try it if you love classic green fragrance with a twist.
Givenchy L’Interdit EDP Intense, $207. shop now
This is not a fragrance for wallflowers, but rather a rich, thick, syrupy scent that stays in the room well after you’ve left. It’s deep and dark thanks to a mix of vetiver, patchouli, orange blossom, vanilla, and most importantly tuberose (the Sophia Loren of white flowers). Wear it after dark in all black with a swipe of red lipstick.
Hermes H24 Eau de toilette, $170. shop now
While categorically a men’s fragrance, this new offering from Hermes is perfect for anyone who wants to smell fresh and clean and expensive (i.e. me). The main notes are clary sage, narcissus, rosewood and sclarene, coming together to create a scent that is somewhat similar to clean skin, laundered cashmere and freshly cut grass. And if H24 were a movie, it would almost certainly be directed by Nancy Meyers.
Narciso Rodriguez Musc Noir for Her, $210. shop now
Sweet and womanly, this scent is a modern take on traditional musk. Tempered with juicy plum, sweet heliotrope and warm leather accord, it’s a really feminine fragrance that leaves a lasting impression. It has a beautiful, warm finish on the skin as it dries down, too.