There are two people in this world: fragrance loyalists and fragrance lotharios. Loyalists have one scent they wear day in and out – it’s synonymous with who they are. Sometimes, you can smell a fragrance loyalist walking toward you before you can physically see them. Fragrance lotharios are the polar opposite – they wear a new scent daily (sometimes more) depending on their mood, outfit, or the season. They can be floral one day, woody the next. And they’re constantly on the hunt for their next olofactory conquest.
I proudly identify as the latter. I have the utmost respect for those who wear the same scent for years, but in my opinion there are too many beautiful fragrances in this world and I need to try them all. This trait also lends itself incredibly well to my career as a beauty editor – what kind of fragrance commentator would I be if I didn’t wear them, sometimes all at once (sorry, Uber driver).
Spring is an exciting time because it’s full of new fragrance launches – traditionally those of a light, floral redolence. This makes perfect sense, but I’m always fond of a scent that goes against the grain slightly. Florals for spring – while divine – are hardly groundbreaking, so why not mix it up a little?
One such rule breaker this season is Aesop’s latest offering, Rōzu. It’s the fourth fragrance from the chic Australian lifestyle brand, but the first that’s categorized as a floral (technically speaking). It’s inspired by the work of modernist designer Charlotte Perriand (see examples below) known for her artistic fusion of Eastern and Western influences. It plays on this idea of dichotomy – light and dark, soft and strong – resulting in a floral fragrance that’s anything but traditional.
Created by perfumer Barnabé Fillion, the scent is unmistakably rose, but somewhat gritty and deep. Unlike other fragrances that smell like the flower itself, this articulates the entire life cycle, from Earth to bloom and then the fading of petals. It’s woody and mineral (thanks to shiso accords and spice) but you can still pinpoint the floral heart. It’s a gender-less, dirty rose that feels modern and cool and unmistakably Aesop. In short, I’m in love.
Aesop Rōzu, $200. SHOP NOW
But obviously, given my penchant for scent-hopping, there are a few other new launches that have piqued my interest this season. Keep reading to discover.
Who is Elijah Haze, $145. SHOP NOW
Who Is Elijah is a boutique fragrance label hand-made in small batches in Sydney. Gender-neutral and cruelty-free, the scents are like little time capsules; memories translated into redolence by founder Racquel Bouris. Haze is rich and punchy – an evocative mix of vanilla, pink pepper clove and woods. It’s an ode to the 70s – think big hair, disco heroines, neon lights and lucid colors. This is literally the opposite of a light spring floral, but beauty “rules” were made to be broken.
Miller Et Bertaux pimento, $199 via Libertine parfumerie. SHOp now
I love this scent because the notes are almost indiscernible. It’s described on the website as a Mexican cocktail and I have to say I agree wholeheartedly. It’s bright and fresh thanks to pimiento, ginger and geranium, but chili, saffron and a crushed ice accord give it a zingy, fresh, almost spicy appeal. Picture yourself on the beach in Tulum sipping a spicy margarita – this fragrance smells like that.
Aerin Ambrette de Noir, $320. shop now
This scent is like the antithesis to spring but I love it regardless. Forget the clean, crisp florals Aerin is famous for. Instead, this is deep and sophisticated and a little bit sweet (without being cloying). It’s sumptuous feminine and warm – Aerin Lauder herself actually told me over Zoom it was partly inspired by the rich tapestries in her grandmother’s New York townhouse. Think luxe velvets, heavenly silks and a touch of glamour. Rose petals, freesia and peony keep it soft.
Recreation Bondi Beach Sun-kissed, $109. SHOP NOW
If you could bottle up a Bondi sunrise, this would be it. Recreation is a clean, Bondi-born beauty brand and it shows. This juice is a delicious blend of fig, lemon, sandalwood and jasmine – think light, fresh and impossibly sunny. Wear it with linen over a long lunch at Icebergs (I know I will).