Every summer needs a signature scent. A perfume that perfectly encapsulates the headiness of sun-drenched holidays, balmy evenings and cocktails at sunset, even when you’re slicking around the city doing the 9-to-5. Luckily, summer 2018 is a season that’s set to deliver, with a particularly intoxicating wave of new fragrances.
From the influx of better-than-ever vegan blends to the renaissance of florals (no more clouds of prim potpourri; think rare blooms with plenty of body), not forgetting the growing trend for customising your own bespoke spritz, we’ve pulled together the four biggest perfume trends that’ll wow your senses this summer. Keep scrolling for the bottles you need to buy ASAP.
That veganism is more popular than ever should come as no surprise to anyone in the room. But while vegan skincare is relatively easy to come by, and vegan makeup is fast improving its offering, what of vegan fragrance?
Research suggests that 2018 could see up to 64% of fragrance consumers on the hunt for a blend that’s guaranteed to be free from both animal testing and animal-derived ingredients, such as notes of milk, honey, ambergris or civet. Luckily, even mainstream retailers are already on it.
“We’re embracing the vegan movement and are delighted to be introducing Valeur Absolue,” says Miranda Lang, buyer at The Perfume Shop. “We’re confident both our vegan and non-vegan customers are going to love this new range.”
Comprising seven scents, from the fruity to the woody via florals and orientals, the Valeur Absolue range is formulated with essential oils and infused with mineral extracts (read: crystals—yay), to support and enhance your emotions, positivity and well-being.
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If you’re not a fan of the traditional floral, hold your judgement until you’ve sniffed one of these new breeds. Gone are old-fashioned, powdery petals, and in is a rush of heady, exotic blooms that tick all the boxes if you like a statement scent.
“The big trend this season is ‘dare to be different’ as we search for exceptional stand-out fragrances that reflect our own personality,” explains Michael Donovan, owner of London’s Roullier White Perfumery. “The Les Potions Fatales collection by Parfums Quartana is based on poisonous flowers and harnesses some of the deadliest of blooms, from Bella Donna and Digitalis to Hemlock. The latter is my favourite, a wonderfully uplifting summer scent of sambac jasmine, bergamot, crushed green leaves, a black vinyl accord and a hint of rum.”
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If you’re over the minimalism of barely there spritzes, prepare to welcome S/S 18’s Eastern-inspired scents. Though historically these have been known for heavier, richer take on florals, woods and spices, the new guard manages to hit a sweet spot between statement fragrance and universal wearability. Dab them on for the day, and top it up come evening to pack a more powerful punch.
At the top of our list is SRI London, which hails from Thailand and launches exclusively into Harrods this summer. The collection includes five fragrances named after precious stones, combining sumptuous ouds with orchids, amber, jasmine, leather and rose.
Roullier White is getting in on the action too. “Speaking of fragrances that make an entrance, The Actress, by British perfume house St. Giles, has been designed to do just that,” notes Michael. “Modern glamour comes in the form of the oriental lily, a breathtaking bloom teamed here with green leaves for a little freshness and a custard base of vanilla.”
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Fear not if you still can’t find the one that’s just right for you. Picking the perfect fragrance can be tricky, which is no doubt why custom blending your own signature and fragrance layering are becoming so popular. “In 2018 so far, we’ve seen a lot more conversation around creating a unique scent, whether that be through buying and layering two very different perfumes, or through workshops to create a personalised fragrance,” says Emily Soulsby, beauty buyer at Liberty London.
“We often see our customers buying more than one fragrance at a time to mix for a unique finish. A huge amount of customers love Molecule 01 as a base layer for their fragrance, creating a bespoke scent, different from any other.” Need some fresh ideas for layering? James Craven, a perfume archivist at Belgravia perfumery Les Senteurs, has you covered: “Everyone loves Ile Pourpre by Liquides Imaginaires—a new super-subtle fig tree accord spliced with fenugreek—while Tuberose in Blue is the latest from our best-selling Altaia range: a lighter, fresher outdoor tuberose, shining with notes of mandarin.”