There has been talk in these troubled times about how our buying habits will change post-Covid. Some say we will be cured of our consumerism, but the more likely outcome is that we will be more judicious.
I noticed that messages received asking advice on what to buy and where to buy it, focused, in particular, on perfume. People had run out of their usual fragrances and wanted something new. Most who made contact didn't want to simply re-order what they had, they wanted a change, to suit the changed circumstances.
The other common theme was that they wanted something uplifting. Scent is a powerful thing, with a proven ability to affect our mood and attitude, so the gut instinct of the scent-seekers was spot on. Not so much an urge to shop, as an instinct for self-care.
Chanel Chance Eau Tendre Eau de Parfum, €130, see brownthomas.com; arnotts.ie
Fans of the weightier, classic Chanel scents can tend to dismiss the Chance family of fragrances as strictly for beginners, but it comes into its own at this time of year. Chance Eau Tendre is both floral and fruity, with jasmine and rose at its heart for depth and a bit of chic drama. We think of it like a floaty, floral tea dress at an evening summer garden party; a light layer that makes a statement. "Definitely uplifting," one panellist said. "This is fresh and feminine, but not overly cute."
Best in Bloom
Jo Malone London Osmanthus Blossom Cologne, €57, see brownthomas.com; arnotts.ie; jomalone.co.uk
Jo Malone London majors in flowers about now every year, and this year is no exception. Osmanthus is among the bunch, a limited-edition return of a much-loved previous release. Based on the tiny, white flower with a delicate, warm scent that speaks of summer nights, it is like a floral hug. "This is an enveloping floral that makes you think of summer without making you miss travel," said a panellist. "It suits the staycation mood equally well."
Best Wandering Spirit
Chloe Nomade Absolu de Parfum, €60, selected pharmacies nationwide; see boots.ie
The pale-pink colour and the chic bottle with its cord of leather and gold studs contribute to the overall satisfying sensory hit of this offering. It's a tweak on the original Chloe fragrance, with deeper woodiness, richer sandalwood, and a fruity hit that is Mirabelle plum, apparently. The combination is lively, sunny and a little bit sparky, and a nice choice if you need a bit of a mood lift. "Continental city break is what this says to me," a panellist said. "If only...!"
Best Hint of Holiday
Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Eau Fraiche Skinscent, €52, see brownthomas.com
Your feelings about this scent will depend very much on how you're feeling about travelling, or not travelling, as the case might be, this summer. Without doubt, as with every year's Bronze Goddess scent release, it's highly evocative of heat, sun-kissed skin and the beach. This 'skinscent' has a light touch, making it suitable for spritzing all over with abandon, and combines a floral top note with hints of coconut, amber and vanilla. "This screams 'holiday' but in a happy way," said a panellist.
Best Flower Fix
Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Dew, €66, selected pharmacies nationwide
If you're a fan of Flowerbomb but feel that now's the time for something a bit more fresh and subtle, try this new twist. It has a spring in its step, possibly thanks to the clean, crisp notes of Dewy Rose, a hybrid bloom with a tea-rose character. There is musky warmth underlying all, and lending longevity, but essentially it's a bright fragrance.
"This evokes summer gardens without being stuffy," said a panellist. "It's young and fresh and optimistic - which is what I crave."
Sunday Indo Living