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High Street fragrance update: Zara X Jo Malone, Urban Outfitters, M&S, Glossier



Glossier You EDP

I just noticed that the Urban Outfitters Gourmand fragrances* that I raved about a couple of years ago (below) are back in stock. I assumed they had been discontinued. I get a lot of traffic from searches on this fragrance line, which isn’t that surprising; it’s £14 and very good. Sweet and marzipan-y if you like that ‘brunch-at-the-patisserie’ kind of smell, and the bottles are good looking too.

Urban Outfitters Gourmand perfume pistachio brulee
High Street Fragrance trends - Urban Outfitters Glossier Zara X Jo Malone

High street fragrances are having an unexpected moment in parallel to the increased popularity of niche fragrances. Zara has just launched a collaboration with Jo Malone (of Jo Loves and Jo Malone fame), which comprises of eight eau de parfums – below, including Amalfi Sunray (an energising-sounding citrus), Bohemian Bluebells (lavender, sandalwood and musk notes – sounds like a winner) and Fleur D’Oranger (orange flower, neroli and ylang ylang – kerching!), which are all priced from £5.99 for a 10ml rollerball to £25.99 for 90ml.

In case you missed the memo, Malone sold her namesake brand to Estee Lauder in 2011 and later set up Jo Loves, an equally innovative fragrance business. This Zara X Jo Malone collab brings her olfactory finesse to the budget consumer who still appreciates quality. (Although gotta say, the Zara website could use a UX upgrade!)

Zara X Jo Malone perfume Fleur D'Oranger

Packaging-wise, this range continues the trend I wrote about earlier in the year for minimalist (read: luxury-style) branding in high street fragrances. Marks & Spencer’s £12.50 eau de toilettes (Seasalt & Freesia*, Nectar & Jasmine*, below) caught my eye for their handsome bottles and pared back labels, while Jo Malone’s Zara fragrances boast the kind of spare typography and square bottles that we might expect from Celine or The Row (side note: wait, why is there no The Row fragrance?).

Marks and Spencer Seasalt & Freesia Eau de Toilette

It makes me wonder if we’ve reached peak minimalism on all fronts and what might come next. Here’s a clue. News broke last week that Glossier will launch a space in seven Nordstrom stores to sell its Glossier You eau de parfum* (£45 for 50ml). Previously only available online or in its own experiential stores, this will help Glossier push for greater visibility outside of its hardcore fan base bubble. And so the Nordstrom spaces (below, including its NYC flagship and Seattle and Chicago outposts) will be decked out in signature Glossier blush-pink decor to fully envelope customers in the musk skin scent, abetted by its tactile, curvaceous bottles.

It points to a direction in which accessible and high street brands craft stronger unique identities rather than emulating the style of luxury brands. Isn’t it time the Zaras of this world had a distinct point of view?

Glossier You eau de parfum
Nordstrom Glossier fragrance retail

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WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: Glossier, Urban Outfitters x 2; Zara X Jo Malone; Marks & Spencer; Glossier x 2
NOTE: Most images are digitally enhanced. Some posts use affiliate links* and PR samples. Please read my privacy and cookies policy here

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Positive fashion: Maggie Marilyn introduces circularity-first wear-now-recycle-later basics



Maggie Marilyn Somewhere basics collection

Here’s a very cool concept I can get on board with. Maggie Marilyn, known for its sustainable but high-priced designs is introducing a new lower-priced offer of direct-to-consumer elevated basics. Think boxy blazers, organic merino wool sweaters and the perfect white jean.

While the proportions and fabrics look great, the ‘Somewhere’ concept goes further. Marilyn will introduce a “take-back scheme” in 2021, allowing well-loved pieces to be sent back to be recycled into new ones. This circularity-first concept (similar to For Days) feels like a real shift in how we consume. (more…)



Slow beauty: Perfumer H



Perfumer H The Garnered

It’s been great seeing the slow, steady development of Lyn Harris’s Perfumer H brand. She likes to keep things manageable, working with select partners to sell her candles and exquisite natural perfumes.

Marmalade is still my number one favourite autumn candle smell and you can now buy these beautiful Michael Ruh jewel-coloured glass vessels from the brilliant craft-focused etailer, The Garnered, which ships internationally. (more…)



Positive fashion: On Zalando, activist spokesmodels and profitable ethics



At The Beauty Conversation* we have been talking for a while about the shift from models and influencers to ‘activist models’, as a vehicle for brands to express their ethical values. This shift is reaching its peak now with most brands hiring outspoken role models who have a strong social media following and a passion for activism or a cause rather than standard models or It Girls as their ‘face of’.

Example: multi brand e-commerce retailer Zalando, who has hired gender nonconforming model Rain Dove (above), plus-sized model Felicity Hayward and Gurls Talk founder Adwoa Aboah for its latest ‘Free to Be’ campaign. (more…)