A new season merits a new scent. Out with the heavy coats and dense eau de parfums, in with diaphanous garments and sheer eau de toilettes. The new generations of fragrance consumers are more experimental than ever before, straying from the idea of a signature scent and instead playing with different sizes, styles, and formats. BeautyMatter rounded up the fragrances we are most excited to smell come springtime.
Red Hibiscus Cologne Intense: Part of Jo Malone’s vernally appropriate Blossoms Collection, which also includes Yellow Hibiscus, Frangipani Flower, and Nashi Blossoms, this interpretation opens on a bright and vibrant mandarin note before letting its titular floral accord shine. The middle note receives added depth thanks to the addition of seductive jasmine and ylang-ylang notes before settling into a vanilla base note.
Orphéon: 2021 has been a seminal year for the French fragrance house of Diptyque. What began as a singular boutique in Saint-Germain, Paris, founded by art students Desmond Knox-Leet, Yves Coueslant, and Christiane Montadre, celebrates its 60th year in business as an international mega-brand. First Diptyque gave its best-selling candles a graphic makeover, and this month, it is launching a new eau de parfum. Orphéon—crafted by perfumer Olivier Pescheux—is a tribute to the bar in which its founders met. The woody scent is composed of notes including juniper berries, jasmine, cedar, and tonka bean, meant to invoke “the softness of patinated woods meets the wisps of tobacco and the linger of make-up powder.”
Comme Des Garçons Stüssy Laguna Beach: Avant-garde fashion pioneer Comme Des Garçons and California skate/surf brand Stüssy both embody a lifestyle and possess a cult-like following. Their long-standing collaboration has now taken on fragrant form thanks to a floral aquatic dedicated to life on Laguna Beach—think sea and solar accords melting in the sun rays, with white flowers and atlas cedar and moss notes.
Mixed Emotions Byredo: Fragrance can be seen as a reflection of societal tastes and zeitgeist, and Byredo’s latest launch is no exception. Described as “an epicene scent designed to reflect the tumultuous nature of our times,” the creation smells of mate and blackcurrant, ceylon black tea and violet leaves, as well as birch woods and papyrus. To commemorate the launch, the brand released a short film directed by Fenn O’Meally, entitled Tall Are the Roots, exploring identity through the lens of four creatives: choreographer Abdourahman Njie, artist Alewya Demmisse, poet Kai-Isaiah Jamal, and dancer Deneille Percival.
M+ Collection: Escentric Molecules, the wunderkind of indie perfumery, is famed for its bestselling Molecule 01. Far from one to rest on his laurels, olfactory maverick Geza Schoen has emerged from the fragrance lab with three new incarnations of his superstar synthetic: Molecule 01 + Iris, Molecule 01 + Patchouli, and Molecule 01 + Mandarine. Each of the pairings contains a natural extract of its namesake ingredient, be it the elegant iris pallida absolute or soft Patchouli Coeur, harmoniously blended with the sensual woody notes of Iso E Super.
La Dompteuse Encagée: Roughly translated as “caged animal tamer,” the latest Serge Lutens release is a floral scent comprised of frangipani, almond, and ylang-ylang. While on paper the composition does not stray far from the SL success formula; the brand states that the fragrance “reminds us of the hazards of a society on the lookout for the slightest misstep.” Could cancel culture have found its olfactory opponent?
Tubéreuse Nue: Tom Ford is the master of sexy, so when his house takes on the goddess of all white florals, the night-blooming tuberose, the results are sure to excite. This formula adds two further florals (jasmine and lily), a dash of Sichuan pepper, some resins like styrax and benzoin, cacao, and a smooth yet complex base of suede, oud, tonka bean, and musk.
On the Beach: Jacques Cavallier-Belletrud, the nose behind Louis Vuitton’s fragrance lineup, is no stranger to success. His creations include iconic scents like Acqua di Gio and L’Eau d’Issey. In an ode to oceanside ventures, he created a citrus aromatic for the sunnier days ahead. Top notes like yuzu and neroli develop into a pink pepper, thyme, rosemary, cloves, and sand accord-filled heart note before settling on a fresh and lightweight cypress base note. If the aquamarine blue to sunset orange ombré bottle design is anything to go by, this is a summer night go-to.
Tobacolor: “I wanted to revisit the classic composition of a ‘tobacco’ scent by creating a surprising trail around the paradox of a cold hookah. I wrapped the tobacco’s characteristic smokiness with sweet, fruity and warm, joyful notes,” states Dior perfumer François Demachy. That translates to a pipe’s worth of tobacco, white tobacco, tobacco leaf, and corresponding smoke notes, tempered with honey, amber, peach, and plum. Strong without being suffocating, Tobacolor is a celebration of tobacco in all its multifaceted glory.
H24: When a heritage house like Hermès launches “the olfactory expression of the contemporary man,” it is impossible to not be curious. Christine Nagel was set with the daunting task of crafting this archetype in olfactory form, and worked alongside the house’s menswear creative director, Véronique Nichanian, to bring her vision to life. The outcome is an aromatic green concoction of clary sage, narcissus, rosewood, and the synthetic molecule sclarene, which is characterized by a warm, metallic scent. “I’ve chosen the botanical, this power of the sap, because it fits our times—it’s different and innovative. When you see the young men in Véronique’s fashion shows, you feel the vitality, you feel that they are urban men but who are rooted in their own heritage,” Nagel states. “I hope that feeling is the same with H24.”