Marina Torchiani

We’ve had at least one week of blazing, skin-crisping sunshine and at least one of dismal rain, which can mean only one thing: the British spring has officially sprung. And so, in the spirit of spring cleaning, it feels like a good time to refresh your fragrance collection. Besides, with the inevitable April showers and exam season bearing down on us, fragrances always prove to be a foolproof and simple way to feel not only put-together but also to add a little sophisticated spring to your step. It’s the least I can do to bring some brightness along as we definitively exit the dreary winter, so expect lots of mild florals (for spring? Ground-breaking, I know), fresh and woody scents. All of these recommendations are intended for people of all genders.

Gucci - Mémoire d’une Odeur £97

This is an old faithful for me during the warmer months of the year. When I initially had a chance to encounter this fragrance while snatching at the free samples in John Lewis, it was like listening to a Björk album for the first time — I wasn’t sure what was happening but I knew I liked it. For all Gucci’s verbose but delightful copy about this being the start of a new olfactive family (Mineral Aromatic, if you must know) it does stand up to the hype. This is, to my nose at least, a fairly unique scent. Roman Chamomile and Indian Coral Jasmine dominate the profile, blending aromatic and verdant notes with blossoming sweetness. It never strays into the cloying though, grounded by a woody base. But be warned — this is one to try before you buy, as in my experience people seem to have an immediate love/hate relationship with this fragrance.

Penhaligon’s - Quercus £115

Quercus may feel almost dangerously lemon detergent-like on first application but quickly matures to a warm citrus, underpinned by a light floral through line. It is a flash of radiance like the sun glinting off wet stones, with enough depth to anchor even my recklessly poetic description. Really one for all seasons, but its fresh bite feels most at home in the changeable spring climate.

Maison Margiela REPLICA - Matcha Meditation £99

Tea sometimes takes the back seat in scent profiles, providing anywhere from a grassy to a bitter grounding to other essences. That is not the case here, however, as Margiela creates a complex and well-rounded fragrance with tea at its heart. The depth and brightness of green tea is complemented by the florality of jasmine and soft sweetness of white chocolate. Like plunging yourself into a pool of matcha latte.

Malin+Goetz - Cannabis £130

For the more straight-edged among you, the name might feel overly provocative — but just stick with me. You might expect this fragrance to have one very particular smell, but if so I’m afraid you’ll be sorely disappointed (or delighted). It manages to sit where the axes of earthy and light collide, with a zesty, fresh, and almost spicy mix. Sensuous and yet dynamic, this perfume is like the perfect party guest — adapting seamlessly to any situation, leaving an impression without drawing attention to itself.

Aesop - Rōzu £135

This perfume takes any assumptions you have about rose-centred fragrances and blows them to pieces. There is no chance of smelling like you have a box of Turkish delight hidden about your person — the eponymous rose is tempered adroitly with a herbaceous edge and an almost creamy smoky finish. Like a rose set ablaze, layers of this fragrance peel away with time as it wanes to a woody, balanced sweetness.

Buly 1803 - Scottish Lichen €130

If you thought it couldn’t be possible to actually bottle the smell of a forest after a rain shower, then think again. The veteran Parisian apothecary has managed just that with this utterly transportive perfume. You can practically hear the water drops falling from the pine trees onto lush, damp moss. Smoky, woody accords meet wet grass in a blissful union. As with all of Buly 1803’s fragrances the formula is water-based, meaning it gives you a break from harsh formulas with an alcohol base that can prove a problem for sensitive skin. This also means the fragrance is suitable to perfume your hair, and supporters of water-based scents say they have a richer and fuller smell overall.


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