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The Perfume Lover’s Guide to Finding Your New Favourite Fragrance

Feature: Long Read
Words by Anna Lao-Kaim

The bestselling fragrances in the UK have all found fame for a reason. Whether you turn to a sparkling floral to make you feel perfectly prepped for the day ahead (bonjour, Coco Mademoiselle), spritz on YSL Libre for a confidence boost or turn to Tom Ford Ombré Leather after dark, the most popular perfumes all have one thing in common – they’ve got an unmistakable identity.

Knowing what you like in perfume is a fantastic springboard for fragrance discovery. It could be that you’re committed to a particular fragrance family and crave a new, niche scent within it. Maybe your signature scent is running empty and you’re in the market for something that smells like roses but has a woody twist – here’s looking at you Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady. Perhaps a particular fragrance house or even perfumer has captured your heart (and nose) and you’d like to explore other fragrance notes with a similar vibe. Whatever your reasoning for looking for a new fragrance, we’ve got your ultimate guide to scent alternatives that you might not have thought of.

Woody Fragrances

If you like Le Labo Santal 33, opt for intense, woody notes
A unisex scent inspired by American westerns, Le Labo Santal 33 is an addictive blend of rich woody notes spiked with aromatic spices and soft leather – it’s one of those shapeshifting perfumes that can be worn by everyone and anyone (and likely has, given that it’s one of the world’s most popular perfumes). If you’re already a fan, try Sana Jardin Sandalwood Temple, it will go down a treat. There's also TOM FORD's Ébène Fumé, and Gucci's A Midnight Stroll, they both share fiery, spicy notes.

Lancôme Ô de Lancôme Eau de Toilette and Parfums de Marly Darcy Eau de Parfum
Citrus Fragrances


If you like Ô de Lancôme, go for zingy, sharp scents  
Ô de Lancôme Eau de Toilette set the bar for refreshing, zingy citrus fragrance when it launched in 1969. Top notes of lemon, bergamot and mandarin fuse with herbal heart notes, with base notes of sandalwood and oakmoss for woody depth. It’s no wonder it’s still considered the perfect scent for spring and summer. The sweet citrus Parfums de Marly Darcy Eau de Parfum also has woody base notes and lemon and orange top notes but is slightly more floral thanks to the addition of rose, jasmine and patchouli. Wear Ô de Lancôme during the daytime and layer Parfums de Marly Darcy on top when the sun goes down.

Jo Malone London Pomegranate Noir Cologne and Bottega Veneta Parco Palladiano XIV Eau de Parfum
Fruity Fragrances


If you like Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir, fruity notes are your friend
One lap around the Beauty Halls and you’ll no doubt get a waft of Jo Malone London Pomegranate Noir Cologne – it remains a Jo Malone London bestseller since its launch in 2005 and the genderless perfume is at once familiar and distinctive. It’s fruity without being too sweet and top notes of pink pepper, combined with woody base notes, give it a spicy edge. Another pomegranate scent to turn to is Bottega Veneta Parco Palladiano XIV Eau de Parfum. Soon to be your next special occasion scent, the unisex aroma goes big on ripe pomegranate with cedarwood base notes to anchor the fragrance and create intensity.

Hermès Jardin Sur Le Nil Eau de Toilette and Goutal Ninfeo Mio Eau de Toilette
Green Fragrances

If you like Hermès Un Jardin Sur Le Nil, lean towards fresh, herbaceous perfumes 
A famous Hermès fragrance that’s as fresh as ever, Hermès Un Jardin Sur Le Nil Eau de Toilette may be a teenager in the perfume world (it was created in 2005), but it’s a lively, energetic blend that evokes a wander round an island garden with every spritz. Goutal Ninfeo Mio Eau de Toilette is also in the fresh and herbaceous world. It's modelled on the aromas of the Garden of Eden, and its mix of Mediterranean greenery and woody accords make it a magical scent. Mist it on at midday when you need a lift.

Tom Ford Black Orchid Eau de Parfum and Floral Street Wild Vanilla Orchid Eau de Parfum
Sensual Fragrances

If you like TOM FORD Black Orchid, embrace sweet, heavy scents
Drawn to syrupy sprays? You'll know that Black Orchid offers a patchouli, chocolate and sandalwood aroma. Therefore the sweet spritz of Floral Street Floral Street Wild Vanilla Orchid is another great addition to your fragrance wardrobe. It's rich and creamy, with notes of vanilla beans, red orchid and cassis. All of the perfume ingredients used to create Floral Street’s fragrances are also vegan and sustainably sourced and we promise that the illustrated bottle will really pop on your dressing table.

Gourmand Fragrances

If you like YSL Black Opium, acquaint yourself with tonka bean aromas
Black Opium is a mysterious, rich scent that its creators describe as “rock’ n ‘roll”. Coffee notes dominate the mouthwatering scent, with vanilla, bitter almond and liquorice for extra flavour.Floraiku Sound of a Ricochet should most definitely be on your scent shopping list if you’re a tonka bean lover.Sound of a Ricochet Eau de Parfum fuses vanilla with delicious tonka bean for a scent to savour – plus it’s exclusive to Harrods so you can bet that one spritz will set you apart from the crowd and have admirers asking what you’re wearing. Whether you share your fragrant secret is totally up to you.

YSL Black Opium Eau de Toilette and Floraiku Sound of a Ricochet Eau de Parfum
Floraïku Sound of a Ricochet Eau de Parfum Bento Box (50ml with 10ml Refill) primary image


Sound of a Ricochet Eau de Parfum Bento Box (50ml with 10ml Refill)


Discover Your New Favourite Fragrance

Take your fragrance search offline with a trip to the Salon de Parfums, where you’ll have the opportunity to meet a new scent suitor IRL (or choose one as a gift for a loved one). The world’s best fragrance experts are on hand to unpack your fragrance history and learn what you love before introducing you to exquisite new scents, many of which you’ll only find within the polished marble walls of the Sixth Floor fragrance gallery. Let the experts be your nose, or if you have something even more tailored in mind, visit the Roja Dove Haute Parfumerie. Here you can enjoy an haute couture fragrance ‘fitting’ to discover your innate fragrance preferences before the search for your perfect fragrance match begins. Crave an even more personal signature scent? The noses at Roja Dove can bottle your own semi-bespoke perfume which can only even be owned by 50 people at once. If you’re looking to fall in love with fragrance all over again, the Salon de Parfums is the place.

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