I’m literally drowning under new fragrance samples right now, but I’ve narrowed down my current three favourites that are launching this autumn. They’re all very different and I do admit to being swayed as much by the branding as the scent in some cases…
JO MALONE LONDON WOOD SAGE AND SEA SALT
Like Burberry, Jo Malone London is very good at evoking that traditional romantic, slightly windswept Brit imagery. They did a great job with London Rain last February and with Blackberry & Bay a couple of years before that. This autumn it’s about a sophisticated seaside feel, with the scent of minerals and salt spray familiar to anyone who has staycationed along the British coastline. I actually find my sample on the subtle side, the fresh woodiness comes across much stronger in the candle. The accompanying imagery is a total winner, photographed by Tim Walker and featuring the kind of nostalgic tea-dress-n-cardi styling that gets me every time. Wood Sage & Sea Salt cologne comes in 30ml (£40) and 100ml (£82) accompanied by a body crème (£50), body and hand wash (£28) and home candle (£40), available from September.
SHAY AND BLUE SALT CARAMEL
More saltiness comes from Shay & Blue, cut with an intensely gourmand note of caramel. Salt Caramel is inspired by Charbonel et Walker’s sea salt caramel truffles but don’t write it off as sickly, it’s not at all. I find this deliciously warm, comforting and quite seductive. The top notes are liquid caramel and sea salt, with a heart of tonka beans and bourbon vanilla and sandalwood base notes. (Are you licking the laptop yet?) This officially launches in September but I’ve seen it on counter already at John Lewis and online at Shay & Blue and Harvey Nichols. 100ml natural spray is £55 and 30ml is £30.
AESOP MARRAKECH INTENSE
Aesop’s Marrekech Intense (an update on an existing scent) is one of those Marmite fragrances but if you don’t like it on first spritz, I do think it will grow on you. Some say it’s too strong, I don’t agree at all. It’s a beautiful woody oriental (with a sharp twist of bergamot). I have the 50ml eau de toilette (£53) but I’m tempted to buy the 10ml roll-on parfum, for better intensity and portability. This goes very well with the excellent Aesop deodorant (£23) and of course, both are suitable for men and women in their handsome amber bottles, so handy for sharing. It launches next month.