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Fragrance Spring ’23 Launches Roundup

Published May 16, 2023
Published May 16, 2023

The freshly blooming tulips, lush greenery, the emergence of sunlight after a long and cold winter—spring certainly turns over a new leaf in terms of fragrance inspiration. This quarter, the creative visions range from beverage brand spritzes to scents inspired by Parisian architectural landmarks.

Designer Brands

Brunello Cucinelli: The Italian luxury fashion brand released its debut fragrances, Brunello Cucinelli pour Femme and Brunello Cucinelli pour Homme, in partnership with EuroItalia. A nod to the brand’s trademark cashmere knitwear, the resulting scents, devised by Firmenich Master Perfumers Daphné Bugey and Olivier Cresp, echo themes of timeless elegance.

For the pour Femme juice, that translates to pink pepper, mandarin, and orange blossom sitting atop notes of amber, musk, vetiver, and cedarwood. Pour Homme takes inspiration from the cypress trees outside the brand’s headquarters in Solomeo, pairing the note with spicy black pepper, ginger, and juniper, as well as more fresh notes like bergamot and lemon.

Calvin Klein: A limited-edition flanker duo of the Eternity line, which has been going strong since 1988, Eternity Reflections for Women is an eau de parfum infused with fruity notes of blood orange and pear, as well as jasmine absolute and a base note of sandalwood; Eternity Reflections for Men is an aromatic fougère with absinthe, chocolate, and oakmoss notes. The scents were inspired by intimate moments between a couple at the beach or “the quintessential summer romance.”

Cartier: Created by the in-house perfumer Mathilde Laurent, Pasha Noir Absolu is a men’s fougère fragrance with a gourmand twist. The composition combines notes of wood and charcoal with burnt-sugar facets.

Celesto: The contemporary fashion label presents its debut fragrance collection with three scents: Oasis, Celebrity Overnight, and Mascara Tears. Oasis is an uplifting mix of bergamot and mandarin; Celebrity Overnight a sweet combination of oud, amber, vanilla, and sandalwood; and Mascara Tears pairs white ambergris with saffron, tangerine, and bergamot for a moody fragrance.

Chloé: The fashion brand has released a vegan and 100% natural-origin scent, Rose Naturelle Intense Eau de Parfum, created by perfumer Alexis Dadier. The woody floral opens with lively bergamot before developing into a rose, neroli, and oakwood heart. Its dry-down reveals notes of sandalwood and cedar.

Guess: A new flanker in the Seductive range, Seductive Blue for Women is a floral fruity fragrance that opens with pear and bergamot before making way for a floral heart of peony, rosewater, freesia, and cyclamen, which settles into a base of plum, musk, patchouli, and amber. Its nose, Christian Alori at IFF, calls the fragrance a “fresh and modern interpretation of a musky rose.”

MCM: The German fashion house has made its debut in the men’s fragrance category with Onyx Eau de Parfum, described as “a futuristic woody fougère born from the fusion between luxury craftsmanship and new-tech perfumery.”  The vegan formula contains over 79% biodegradable ingredients and more than 89% green chemistry materials. Notes include ginger, lavender, baasil, vetiver, and Clearwood.

Ralph Lauren: The American brand’s iconic tradmark Polo range is continuing its eco-friendly makeover with the Polo Earth collection. In 2022, the brand had launched Polo Earth Eau De Toilette, its first 97% natural-origin scent. The new range of three fragrances—Polo Earth Provencial Sage, Polo Earth Antilles Vetiver, Polo Earth Moroccan Neroli—contains eight sustainably sourced ingredients such as Haitian vetiver and Italian green mandarin, and the fragrances are made with 97% natural origin materials, packaged in refillable, 20% PCR glass bottles.

All three fragrances share certain notes such as bergamot heart, green mandarin, sage heart, lavender heart, and vetiver. Moroccan Neroli throws in some refreshing grapefruit essence and ambrette for a softer tone. Antilles Vetiver adds in a dash of floral spider lily scent trek and lysylang extract for spicy floral and cedarwood for woody facets; and Provencial Sage incorporates petit grain oil for green facets and bourbon geranium heart for a floral undertone.

Victoria’s Secret: Velvet Petals Splash, a flanker of the brand’s Velvet Petals series, opens with tart notes of lemon, blended with a jasmine heart, and amber base. The scent was created by Givaudan Senior Perfumer Stephen Nilsen.

Yves Saint Laurent: The brand’s blockbuster scent Black Opium has received a powerhouse sibling: Black Opium Le Parfum. It features the scent’s signature black coffee accord with a heavy dose of vanilla, green mandarin, patchouli, and white flowers, created by perfumers Nathalie Lorson, Olivier Cresp, Honorine Blanc, and Marie Salamagne. The aforementioned vanilla overdose isn’t simply cranking up the volume, but combining four different types of the raw material: vanilla planifolia absolute, vanilla pod absolute, premium vanilla bourbon infusion, and vanilla tahitensis SFE absolute.

Mass Market

Fanta: The citrus soda brand released a limited-edition fragrance, Scent of Fanta, described as possessing the  “bubbly aspects of bright and juicy orange essence infused with a glimmering splash of tart lime and a sweet sprinkle of soft sugar.” Supplies sold out in less than 60 seconds, but the brand also erected[?] scented murals of the product in Toronto, Los Angeles, and Atlanta and displayed the fragrance at “The Fanta Experience” pop up exhibit in LA.

Kayali: Yum Pistachio Gelato is Kayali’s latest gourmand creation. Developed by famed noses Olivier Cresp and Sebastien Cresp, its notes list reads like one decadent dessert: pistachio (naturally) ice cream, hazelnut, rum, pear, white peach, whipped cream, marshmallow, cotton candy, cacao. However, to keep this delicacy from becoming too sweet the perfumers grounded it with sandalwood and cedar in the base notes, jasmine and lily of the valley in the heart notes, and bergamot and cardamom in the top notes.

Artisan Perfumes

Abbott: Inspired by founder Jose Alvarez’s Lake Nicaragua-based home, Papaya Isla is an olfactory homage to the tropical island, bursting with juicy papaya fruit, amber musks, and jungle green notes. The fragrance is comprised of sustainable natural and and green chemistry synthetic raw materials. Abbott partnered with the Nicaraguan charity El Porvenir for the launch, an enterprise which works to offer increased access to clean water for rural communities through projects and educational programs, with 1% of every product sale being donated towards their efforts.

Aesop: The recently L’Oréal-acquired company added to its evocative Othertopias collection with Gloam. The spicy woody floral scent is focused on the concept of introspection, adn the serenity as well as limitless possibilities it brings with it. In notes that translates to pink pepper, cardamom, and orange flower developing into a heart of mimosa, jasmine, and saffron, with base notes of iris, patchouli, and the resin copaiba.

By Kilian: Can’t Stop Loving You, made by Kilian Hennessy and Alberto Morillas, is a floral fragrance featuring orange blossom, honey, the jasmine compound Paradisone, honey, vanilla, oakmoss, and incense. The end result is a romantic, full-bodied gourmand.

Coreterno: Forever bold, the fragrance brand’s latest eau de parfum goes by the name Freakincense. Composed by Luca Maffei, the woody spicy scent builds itself around a heart of elemi, cashmeran, and incense. Refreshing lime, invigorating pink pepper, and candied violet make for an unforgettable entrance, while its base blend of vetiver, patchouli, and labdanum creates a sensual warmth.

D.S. & Durga: The creative fragrance house has unleashed two new creations into the fragrance stratosphere: Be Still (a candle) and Steamed Rainbow (an eau de parfum). Be Still aims to support the ritual of meditation with an incense-heavy blend, pairing notes of copal, olibanum, and elemi gum with Himalayan cedar and cypress. Steamed Rainbow is, as the name would suggest, an olfactory interpretation of a rainbow, in specific the one mentioned in Terry Riley’s electronic tune, “A Rainbow in Curved Air.” In terms of materials, the juice contains every color of the rainbow, blending orange, red mandarin, green cedar, indigo grass, and violet, to name a few.

Elorea: Inspired by Korean scent history and culture, the brand has released The Forgotten Words collection, created in partnership with Givaudan and featuring four scents by Givaudan Senior Perfumer Linda Song. The starting point of the range began with native Korean words that have fallen out of use in the present day. Notes also pay homage to the region’s botanicals, with ingredients such as schisandra berry and perilla leaf. Inflorescence is a floral scent with mulberry, honeysuckle, lily of the valley, plum blosson, white amber, and musk. The creation is inspired by “songari,” which translates to “an array of flowers.”

Gentle Shower, a nod to “jambi” or the unexpected moments of rain during harvest season, is a refreshing green scent with bergamot, ginger, orris, roseBASE, and labdanum. A reference to “ēnae,” the blue-tinged sky visible during sunset, Hazy Blue is an aromatic perfume with an ozone accord, lily of the valley, orange flower, sandalwood and amber. Be By My Side, an olfactory interpretation of “hūnoni” or the Korean word for “missing someone dearly,” is an amber scent with ginseng, rose,  forget-me-not, and vanilla.

Etat Libre d’Orange: Having created perfumes inspired by the manga series Ghost in the Shell and trash-inspired perfumes, Etat Libre d’Orange once again finds inspiration in the unexpected of places. Sous Le Pont Mirabeau takes inspiration from Paris’s Pont Mirabeau bridge and Guillaume Apollinaire’s poetic ode to the structure, “Le Pont Mirabeau,” emulating its strength through substantial notes of sandalwood, and cedar, the water flowing underneath it through aquatic and ozonic accords, as well as orcanox (reminscent of ambergris).

La Bouche Rouge: The luxury and sustainability-focused cosmetics brand has now taken its approach to perfumes. Founder Nicolas Gerlier set up a competition for perfumers across the globe to create an upcycled extrait de parfum, and the five winning entries went into production. All scents contained 30% upcycled ingredients and an organic alcohol base. Perfumer Coralie Spicher created Ambre, a warm concoction of pink pepper, raspberry, rose, saffron, sandalwood, and vanilla that aims to be a woody, sandy interpretation of the rose flower. Dora Baghriche devised Rouge, a spicy woody mix of ginger, patchouli, vetiver, and pink pepper to be “like a jewel adorning a woman's neck.”

Alexis Grugeon went an aromatic route with Bleu, which pairs rose with incense, lavender, and cedarwood to recreate the scent of salt water on skin. Alexandra Monet’s Nude is a soft blend of rose, fig, iris, cedar, and musk for “a silken caress” in fragrance form. Rose by Nicolas Bonneville marries rose with fruity notes of cranberry and lychee, as well as geranium bourbon and musk, inspired by the Jardin de Bagatelle in Paris. All packaging is refillable, made from upcycled and new glass.

Lake & Skye: Apaaray, inspired by the Kundalini yoga meditation in which the word (meaning “infinite”) is chanted, is a floral woody fragrance. Beginning with a creamy and grounding opening of fig and musk, the scent develops into an orris and violet creation before settling into sandalwood and amber base notes. The conscious brand’s formula is also FSC certified, vegan, and paraben- and phthalate-free.

L’Objet: Known for its high-end home fragrance and design object offerings, the company has added four eau de parfums to their catalogue. Bois Sauvage, an interpretation of the forest after rainfall, is a spicy woody mix of bergamot, cypress, tobacco, and vanilla. Côté Maquis, hinting to the shores of Corsica, contains incense and cashmere wood, with salty top notes to mimic the surf spray.

Oh Mon Dieu! takes its aromatic cues from the bohemian revolution of Paris in 1969 with seductive notes of leather, incense, and cognac, blended with sweet caramel, floral rose, and jasmine, as well as fruity plum and blackcurrant. Rose Noire, emulating a rose garden at dusk, matches its namesake floral with pimento berry, white pepper, tea, and moss for a deeper floral scent.

The house has also released two limited-edition candles in honor of its fifth anniversary, available in one-wick and three-wick, as well as green and blue options packaged in 24-karat gold porcelain vessels, decorated with the brand’s trademark Lito eye design. Perfumer Yann Vasnier developed the citrus, moss, and vetiver scent blend inside.

St. Rose: The natural and clean fine fragrance brand has released Flower Tuxedo, a floral scent centered around a heart note of orris. The opulent ingredient is blended with neroli, bergamot, jasmine, sandalwood, and vetiver. All materials are sourced from Indigenous-owned smallholder farmers.

Thameen: Bohemian Infusion is a case of opposites meeting: decadence blends with wearability in a cologne with impressive longevity (the formula is actually a cologne elixir). Following on from the release of Fanfare, inspired by Covent Garden flower markets, the latest release from the mind of Christopher Chong as part of The Britologne Collection, begins in the Piazza at Covent Garden in the late 19th / early 20th century. To illustrate the decadence of dandy and literati culture, Chong worked with Symrise Master Perfumer Maurice Roucel and Senior Perfumer Alexandra Carlin.

The scent begins with an aquatic and effervescent opening of grapefruit, blackcurrant, petitgrain, and cardamom. Longoza builds out the white floral heart of the creation, to which artemisia, responsible for the aromas of absinthe and vermouth, and myrtle add a herbaceous decadence, and cinnamon a smooth warmth. In the base, the Symrise captives Ambrostar and Amre 83 de Laire not only give the fragrance its lasting power but also a skin-like sensuality and depth. Labdanum adds a hint of subtle smokiness, while patchouli, the scent perhaps most associated with countercultural hedonists, appears to add an earthy grounding to it all.

Home Fragrance

Heretic: Douglas Little’s stylish natural fragrance line is continuing the expansion of its home fragrance category, following on from viral and bestselling candle products. The Interior Alchemy collection is a range of three scents “designed to metamorphose the ordinary into the extraordinary.” The Spiritualist is a woody warm blend of palo santo, cedar, juniper, cardamom, olibanum, and frankincense that aims to clear negative energies.

The Botanist is a grounding green scent filled with herbaceous notes of geranium, sweet mint, tomato leaves, and bergamot. The Sensualist sets a seductive mood with full-bodied tuberose, musk, citrus, and amber. All three sprays can also be worn on the skin as an eau de toilette.


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