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.
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!)
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?).
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?
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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