Occasionally, you can sniff out a new scent trend. Remember the fresh aquatics of the nineties, or the smell-good-enough-to-eat gourmands of the noughties?
But mostly, the over-riding trend in fragrance is … that there is none.
You see, perfume is more personal than even lingerie. A scent more than dresses our body, it melds with it – and it comes alive (or fizzles out) depending on the chemistry of our particular skin type.
What’s more, a perfume that makes one woman want to sing for joy, could make another fall in a heap and weep. That’s because our brain processes smells in the limbic system – AKA emotion central. So, a perfume sweetened by caramel notes might recall happy times spent in your grandmother’s kitchen, but one that is rich in jasmine might make you tear up at the memory of those long summer nights spent lazing around the beloved garden you used to own with your also-much-loved ex.
That’s why there’s such an array of fragrances to choose from, with ingredients hand-picked or molecules meticulously mixed together to appeal to all kinds of personalities, moods and situations. More than ever, there’s something for everyone, with a slew of exciting perfumes to choose from. Whether you like your perfumes pretty or sultry, statement or subtle, energetic or easy and breezy, we’ve got you covered. Or, at least, misted.
Makes you … want to go for a run outside (in your swish new gear from The Upside), drink a green juice and generally be shiny, happy and healthy. It really does live up to its promise of being an ‘exhilarating fragrance.’
Notes: Classified as a fruity, clean floral, Calyx features a fruit salad of notes at the top (mango, passion fruit, papaya, mandarin, grapefruit, guava), a floral heart (freesia, muguet, rose, neroli, jasmine, lily, marigold) and a lingering base of oakmoss, orris, sadalwood and vetiver.
Need to Know: Calyx was originally launched by the now-defunct brand Prescriptives; a cult fragrance from the start, it was awarded a five-star rating in the acclaimed Perfumes: The A-Z Guide by Luca Turin and Tania Sachez.
Details: $79 (50ml), $115 (100ml), from department stores
Viktor & Rolf Bonbon
Makes you … crave something sugary and gooey … although if you’re lucky, it will satisfy that sweet tooth instead (sans kilojoules).
Notes: The theme of Bonbon is caramel – it’s sprinkled over notes of peach, mandarin and orange at the top, it’s infused into a rich and creamy heart of jasmine and orange blossom, and it’s balanced out at the base with dark and woody notes such as cedar and sandalwood.
Need to Know: The raspberry-pink bottle is inspired by the designers’ love of the bow – and took one year of sculpting and glass-blowing to perfect.
Details: $99 (30ml, EDP), $159 (50ml), $199 (90ml), from department stores
Sisley Eau Tropicale
Makes You … picture yourself lazily swinging on a hammock, poolside at a resort in Palm Cove, clad in a Camilla caftan and sipping on a fruity cocktail. It’s a posh take on tropical (read: it doesn’t smell of sand and suntan lotion).
Notes: Inspired by the aromas of a rainforest, this perfume begins with notes of exotic flowers (hibiscus, passionflower, frangipani) and sparkly ginger and bergamot, before blooming into a heart of tuberose, Turkish rose and violet, then drying down into a long-lasting base of dry cedar, patchouli and ambrette seed.
Need to Know: Tuberose fragrances tend to be heavy, often cloying, but Eau Tropicale is a lightened and warmed-up interpretation of the seductive flower, making it a very wearable option.
Details: $110 (50ml, EDT), $200 (100ml, EDT), from David Jones
Salvatore Ferragamo Signorina Eleganza
Makes You … instantly feel more feminine and stylish. Call it the anti-frump fragrance.
Notes: After a quick burst of grapefruit and pear, Signorina Eleganza melts into a luscious heart of almond powder and golden osmanthus; its dry-down is a combination of patchouli and white leather, making this sit in the floriental chypre category of fragrance.
Need to Know: The note of white leather is a nod to the brand’s heritage as a designer of lust-worthy shoes – and the ribbon atop the bottle is the same ‘Varina bow’ featured on the popular Salvatore Ferragamo ballerina flats.
Details: $110 (50ml, EDP), $150 (100ml), call 1300 095 224 for stockist details
Makes You … want to wear it with a sexy-yet-also-super-pretty Dolce & Gabbana white lace dress – its sartorial equivalent.
Notes: Classified as a rich white floral, Dolce features neroli leaves and papaya flower as top notes, a heart of white water lily, white daffodil and white amaryllis, and – to counterbalance all the girlieness – a warm and spicy base of musk, cashmeran and sandalwood.
Need to Know: But it’s all about the fabulous bottle, topped off with a floral stopper, which was inspired by Sicilian marzipan confectionery.
Details: $73 (30ml, EDP), $99 (50ml), $135 (75ml), from department stores
Bottega Veneta Essence Aromatique
Makes You … want to go walking barefoot on the sands of Bali, wafting along in a breezy white dress.
Notes: This is a serious grand world tour of ingredients. Top notes are Italian bergamot and Ukrainian coriander; in the middle are Turkish rose mixed with Indonesian patchouli; and it’s all based on Australian sandalwood, which has an impressive staying power of a few hours (considerable, for an eau de cologne).
Need to Know: Eau de Colognes are traditionally targeted to men, and this one indeed is guy-friendly, being both fresh and spicy.
Details: $125 (50ml, EDC), $175 (90ml), $200 (200ml)
See by Chloé Eau Fraîche
Makes you … want to sing, something along the lines of loving Paris in the springtime.
Notes: This ultra-pretty bouquet of a perfume blends together apple blossom, water hyacinth and jasmine, with a base of vetiver.
Need to Know: It’s the little sister of the original See by Chloé (launched early last year) and – as its name suggests – is a fresher version, with water hyacinth replacing ylang ylang in the heart, and a light and citrusy vetiver base instead of big sis’s dry-down of vanilla, musk and sandalwood.
Details: $70 (30ml, EDT), $100 (50ml), $130 (75ml), from department stores
Makes You … plan a glamorous evening night out, clad in a Balmain-worthy glitzy get-up of leopard print, gold chains and shoulders out to there. And a spritz or ten of this, of course.
Notes: An oriental floral, the top notes are crystalline rose, nashi pear and osmanthus; at the heart are Sharry Baby orchid and iris; to finish, there’s amyris, cashmere wood and, of course, leather.
Need to Know: The Sharry Baby orchid is sometimes called the chocolate orchid, due to its cocoa-ish scent; and this is what gives Extatic its slightly gourmand quality.
Details: $79 (40ml, EDP), $99 (60ml), $155 (90ml), from Myer
Which is your favourite new fragrance? Tell us in the comments below!