Tried and tested

It’s time to upgrade your perfumery wardrobe

With plenty of fresh scents to tempt you – and travel a relative no-go (thanks Covid) – there’s no better time to expand your horizons and roam from your home with the help of a fragrance. A great way to travel through time and through space *le sigh*, our edit of heavenly perfumes (and candles) will whisk you from London to Tuscany, new-age Japan to le fin-de-siècle – and there’s no need to quarantine (kerching!). So, spritz yourself, drift off and hear the waves lap as you lounge on the beach/your sofa… it’s the ultimate way to pretend that you’re anywhere other than where you’ve just spent the last aeon…


A new addition to KAYALI’s fragrance family, {Sweet Diamond Pink Pepper | 25} is a heady floral fragrance with a twist – straddling the realms of sweet and spicy with a fruity burst of bergamot, the thrum of lily, bloom of rose and kick of pepper, anchored by the mellow warmth of saffron. Not for shrinking violets, this scent commands attention – melding several bold and ‘ballsy’ notes (rose, magnolia, orchid, patchouli and sandalwood – to name a handful) – in a way that feels empowering and mystical. It’s a hot summer night in an angular flacon…


With all of the infamous {Molecules} signature magic, the M+ collection pairs Iso E Super – the phere-nomenal molecule that inspired the range – with a singular note that’s beloved by the brand’s enigmatic creator, Geza Schoen. Typically an ‘anchor’ in traditional head-heart-base fragrances, Geza made Iso E Super the star of the show and has since looked (and found!) ways to celebrate overlooked, synthetic scents in fresh, playful and beautiful ways. Now with a choice of patchouli, iris or mandarin, the {M+} collection should come with a strict ‘social distancing’ warning – their pull is so strong you’ll be forging your way through a throng of admirers (you’ve seen the film Perfume, right?).


King of the red-soled stiletto, Christian Louboutin – in collaboration with some of the world’s most notorious noses – has turned his attention to fragrance with {Loubiworld} scents; an olfactory journey that whisks you from Egypt to China (and everywhere else in-between}. Uniting all seven sensorial wonders in clutch bag-compatible sizes, the {LOUBOUTIN Scent Library} is perfect for those on a quest to enhance their allure and envelop themselves with an aura as bold as the soles of their Louboutin shoes.


What began as ‘an experiment’ has very soon ballooned into an international scent-sation… We bring you the coolest cult candles, {Boy Smells}, which defy gender tropes by successfully fusing the ‘male’ with the ‘female’ to generate stunning, non-binary blends. Housed in black glass with chic, petal-pink labels, the range puts a 21st Century spin on perfumery doctrine – rewriting the ‘rules’ to de¬light and inspire. We’re head-over-heels for {HINOKI FANTÔME} – a resinous blend that is perfect for ‘me time’ with Japanese cypress and jasmine alongside a marriage of moss and guiac. It’s mellow and meditative with a clean, earthy resonance.


Having grown up immersed in perfumery’s magical world (his grandfather created M. Dior’s fine fragrance range), Frédéric Malle now works with the globe’s most notorious ‘noses’ to generate scents with a dollop of decadence. Believing that scent is the ultimate luxury, every creation is truly unique – evocative, timeless and completely unforgettable. You’ll love the nostalgically powdery nature of {Lipstick Rose Eau de Parfum} which instantly conjures the act of applying your lipstick in front of the mirror: the fizz of parma violet, zest of grapefruit, bloom of rose and subtle sweetness of vanilla.


Descended from cognac brewers, Kilian Hennessy may not appear the most natural ‘nose’, but his childhood surrounded by complex (and heady) aromas inspired a passion and talent for perfume. Smitten with the syrupy, intoxicating fragrance of ‘the angel’s share’ (the ether from the cognac cellars), the same sexy, provocative quality fuels his olfactory offerings. {Good Girl Gone Bad} has an innocent opening – a burst of rose de mai and orange blossom – but the murkier notes of narcissus and tuberose hint at a summertime tryst in the garden (you’ve seen Bridgerton, right?)


When Belgian designer, Martin Margiela, launched his perfumery range with ‘Untitled’, the fashion world went into meltdown – clamouring to own the scent to complement their Tabi boots. Since then, the Replica line has enraptured the globe with evocative scents that create an olfactory snapshot, whisking the wearer direct to sleazy speakeasy or straight to the reverent hush of an old, wood-lined library. Perfect for conjuring warm, cosy vibes, {By The Fireplace} bottles the comforting crackle and smouldering smokiness. Fruity, spicy, sharp and mellow, you’ll practically feel your toes toasting.


With the tagline ‘made to question, not to understand’, Fugazzi Fragrances resist the long-standing perfumery classifications (you won’t find any ‘Chypres’ here) – bending traditional disciplines every which way. Challenging, timeless and ever compelling, each is created to make an empowering statement – beautifully blending a cocktail of contrary notes to create an arresting aroma. These are esoteric perfumes for the curious and we’re obsessed with {Parfum 1} – a scent that melds a wealth of global influence, from blackcurrant’s tang to the warmth of patchouli to make and enduring impression.


With a history of candle-making spanning centuries, and former fans from Napoleon to ‘Her Madgesty’ Madonna, Cire Trudon candles look the part and smell phenomenal. An understated way to demonstrate amazing taste, these seamlessly create the most sophisticated ambience – smelling like part of the (Louis XVI) furniture, rather than making a fragrant furore. The latest addition is {Cyrnos} – inspired by a villa on the Côte d’Azur that hosted late-Victorian society (including Queen Victoria herself). Conjuring the balmy, lavender-scented Provençal breeze, picture yourself on a chaise longue immersed in a book in the shade of a fig tree to get the idea of this heavenly offering. You can even choose to light it with the stunning {Scented Matches} (oh là là).


Verity Douglas

Verity Douglas

Content Editor

Cult Beauty’s Content Editor and a Cult Beauty OG, Verity loves nothing more than the marriage of language and lip balm. A quintessential Libran, she’s a self-professed magpie for luxury ‘must-haves' and always pursuing the new and the niche — from the boujee-est skin care to cutting-edge tech. Balancing an urge to stop the clock with her desire to embrace the ageing process (and set a positive example for her daughter), Verity's a retinol obsessive and will gladly share her thoughts about the time-defying gadgets, masks and treatments worth the splurge...