A fragrance is often used as a mood-lifter or that finishing touch before you leave the house. Depending on your destination, that might something sensual or delicate, powerful or polite. To me, perfume is one of life's pleasures and adventuring into the more obscure or less mainstream scents is something I really enjoy. Those in the beauty community may be familiar with most of these, however I would say that there may be some lesser-known treasures here for those who are thinking of a unique gift for a loved one.
L'air de Rien, Miller Harris:
This is a controversial fragrance in the perfume world due to its unique concept. It was created with actress Jane Birkin to emulate the scent of a nostalgic space filled with dusty books. Its notes include neroli, oakmoss and vanilla and I can indeed confirm that it is a very niche scent. On first application, it is somewhat 'dirty' and definitely conjures up images of old vinyl records and 70s era cologne- there is something quite sexy to me about this, although it may repulse others! On dry down it is tamer and softer with a sweetness about it. I've not found a more complex and captivating scent to date- it is like a time machine back to Birkin's prime era- one to try before you buy.
Rose Silence, Miller Harris:
Almost a complete contrast to L'air de Rien, Rose Silence is sweet, fresh and youthful. The rose is in no way overpowering (hence the title). The top notes are mandarin and blackcurrant with rose at the heart and patchouli and musk at the base. It is not a sharp fruity scent on first spray, but rather a gentle and refreshing rose. The silage is a lot better than expected for such a soft fragrance. This reminds me of being young and having a ballerina music box- maybe because my mum or nan might have given me rose-scented soaps or toiletries along with the box as a Christmas gift. It is a very feminine and pure fragrance that many people would love.
Eau des Sens, Diptyque:
This is a orange blossom scent with juniper berry and patchouli. I love this bright, warm perfume as it has great lasting power and makes me feel very womanly and grown up! I wear Eau des Sens to lift my mood in the morning and to make me feel ready for a day at work. It could be worn at any time, however, as it feels classy, but not at all overwhelming.
Molecule 02, Escentric Molecules:
With its synthetic ambergris (very rare substance produced by whales!) this scent is warm and subtly sexy. This brand produces amazing scents that are said to attract people to you due to the pheromonic effect of the fragrances. Like Molecule 01, you often cannot smell this on yourself, yet others will. For this reason, it would be worth trying this and asking a friend to give you their opinion. Molecule 01 is fresher and more aquatic on me; whereas this is warmer and more easy to detect on myself. I love them both, particularly the effortlessness of the scent; you will never be the person who assaults the office with your pungent "look at me!" perfume when you wear this. It is one for those that like to turn heads in a more subtle and less try-hard way.
What I did on my Holidays, 4160 Tuesdays:
I have to admit that this was a blind buy, fuelled by pure childlike curiosity. For that reason, it is not a fragrance I wear often, but as a room spray or a holiday scent, it is magical. With notes of mint stick of rock, coconut sun lotion and candy floss, this smells exactly like a trip to the seaside. The dry down is very sweet and pleasant, however the initial spritz is a very sharp menthol-mint that I find hits the back of my nostrils in quite an offensive way! Overall, I would recommend this brand for true niche scents as they have a wide range of amazing-sounding concoctions; however it would be good to track down a store that sells them and try before you commit to the price tag. I would love to sample more of their fragrances, but as yet have not found a way to do this without going into London. For a list of stockists, click here.
Have you tried any fragrances by these brands? I'd love some more recommendations.