Wednesday 20 September 2017

Sniff test - five of the best scents

 

Kilian Intoxicated
Kilian Intoxicated
Clarins Eau Ressourcante Treatment Fragrance
Lancome La Nuit Tresor L'eau de Parfum
Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum Purse Spray
Michael Kors Sexy Blossom Eau de Parfum

Sarah Caden

Smells can transport you, says our beauty expert, as our panel test five of the best scents.

Best Dark Date

Lancome La Nuit Tresor L'eau de Parfum, €88, Lancome counters nationwide

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Lancome La Nuit Tresor L'eau de Parfum
 

They say this is reminiscent of a "sultry night", with the description basically spelling out that it's sort of 'hot date' perfume. It's a dark-fruit and heavy-rose fragrance, with underlying vanilla and a "black diamond" theme - most obvious in the multi-faceted bottle, which lies, sort of insouciantly, on its side. "I love the look of the bottle, because I love how it looks lying there with my other perfumes," said a panellist, "and the smell is sort of addictively rich and deeply rosy without being too sickly or girly."

Best Overall

Clarins Eau Ressourcante Treatment Fragrance, €42, Clarins counters nationwide

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Clarins Eau Ressourcante Treatment Fragrance
 

To celebrate the 30th birthday of Eau Dynamisante, Clarins's first "treatment fragrance", they have relaunched it and repackaged it, along with its little sisters, Eau des Jardins and, this, Eau Ressourcante.

The idea is that each fragrance has a nice smell and aromatherapy qualities, too. This one is all about Zen, with basil, iris and cedar. "You spray this all over after a shower for a well-being boost, or simply use it as a conventional perfume. Either way, it's fresh and zesty."

Best Pretty in Pink

Michael Kors Sexy Blossom Eau de Parfum, €56, available nationwide

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Michael Kors Sexy Blossom Eau de Parfum
 

If you know your Michael Kors - have the handbag, have the purse, have the key ring - then you will know about his Sexy perfume line. It's young and vibrant and hits a variety of zingy to flowery notes, and this newest addition to the line falls into the latter camp. Rose, orchid, freesia and peony are among the florals, with a musky base note. "The pink bottle says it all," one panellist said, "as it's a youthful, vibrant vibe. Spring-in-your step stuff."

Best Purse Pal

Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum Purse Spray, €85, Chanel counters nationwide

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Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum Purse Spray
 

This limited-edition knacky number is Chanel's latest exercise in easy-to-carry Coco Mademoiselle. Last year, they did a gel in a lipgloss-like casing that you dabbed here and there. This year, they have this portable perfume bottle, with a suede-feel pouch and one refill, a little sister to the travel-size editions of their other scents. And that bit more edgy, too. "Chic and cute," a panellist said. "It's definitely the girl-about-town end of Chanel."

Best Splash Out

Kilian Intoxicated, €215, Brown Thomas

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Kilian Intoxicated
 

The price is not missing a decimal point; this is a dear one. Comparisons with Tom Ford are allowed, both in terms of scent and the style of its creator, Kilian Hennessy, of the cognac family. His fragrances tend towards the heady and this is a prime example, from the Addictive State of Mind collection. A cleaner, sharper experience from the same collection is Vodka on the Rocks, which smells like just that. This, however, is supposed to evoke a deep, dark cup of Turkish coffee, combined with cardamom and an underlay of vanilla. "Dangerously dark and sexy," said a panellist.

Fresh-cut grass is often the first olfactory signal that spring has sprung. You've half-noticed that the days are longer, but if the same days are no warmer, it's hard to believe that winter's gone. Then, one whiff of a mowed lawn and you're straight into spring. You're eyeing summer shoes; you're binning the tired thermals; you're keen to get a sense of seasonal shift about you.

The sense of smell is so strong that a simple switch of scent can cement that nascent desire to shed everything dull and dreary. Floral is the obvious way to go, but sensual, deep florals are in abundance this spring. Along with the sexy florals, the proliferation of vanilla brings the sweet, enveloping quality of a balmy night, while the fashion for punchy perfumes lingers into the seasons ahead.

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