Brooches with a hidden bouquet. Make-up to make you smell divine. New ways to wear perfume that mean: Spritzing your scent is so last year!
- Claire Coleman puts a selection of wacky new fragrance formats to the test
- Diptyque has created a brooch that slowly diffuses a fragrance as you wear it
- Armani has debuted a translucent powder designed to be applied with fingers
How do you apply your scent? Still spraying? How quaint! Here in the modern world, we’re painting, daubing, dabbing and scribbling instead — well, that’s the impression you’d get from the latest fragrance formats.
While there have always been scented lotions and shower gels and even solid balms, perfumers are coming up with ever more innovative ways to get us to wear their wares.
Chanel recently launched a limited edition crayon version of its best-selling Chance perfume. Elsewhere, you can get your fragrance fix from pens, paintbrushes, brooches, even tattoos. We put some of the weirdest and wackiest to the test . . .
Claire Coleman shared her verdict on a selection of new fragrance formats, including Amkiri Original Scent Wand & Stencils (pictured)
EAU DE TOILETTE TATTOO
Amkiri Original Scent Wand & Stencils, £54, feelunique.com
Available in white and dark grey, this pot of scented ink is rather like an oversized nail varnish bottle, with a brush built into the lid. It is designed to be drawn freehand on to the skin, or applied using one of the stencils included. You simply stick the adhesive stencil to your skin, and fill it in with the ink. Ten seconds later, you remove the stencil, and allow the ink to dry for at least three minutes.
It’s child’s play — I trace a dark grey rose on to my arm in minutes. The unisex fragrance includes musk, cedarwood and ginger, but even when freshly applied, it isn’t as powerful as a spray perfume.
Staying power: The design lasted an impressive 24 hours, even after a shower, but the fragrance soon faded.
Verdict: Fun for parties as a scented and sophisticated alternative to a temporary tattoo. If you want anyone to smell it, though, they’ll have to be nuzzling your neck. 4/5
The Laundress Le Labo Rose 31 scented detergent, £42, selfridges.com
Claire said The Laundress Le Labo Rose 31 scented detergent (pictured) doesn’t have a scent that lingers on clothes much more than a day
If the smell of Persil Non-Bio doesn’t cut it, you can wash your clothes with laundry liquid scented with your favourite perfume.
The Laundress has teamed up with perfumer Le Labo to create a detergent that can be used for washing by hand and in a machine. (Expect to get 16 machine washes or 32 hand washes from a 475ml bottle.)
It was a doddle to use — the only trouble was that I couldn’t throw my boyfriend’s work shirts in with my stuff (I didn’t think he’d appreciate wafting about in a rose-fragranced haze).
Staying power: While the scent was noticeable on clothes straight out of the machine and after drying, it didn’t linger after the clothes had been hung in the wardrobe for a few days.
Verdict: For a stronger scent, I would use it to hand wash underwear or a special top to wear that same evening. 3/5
Jo Loves Fragrance Paintbrush, £40, joloves.com
Claire described Jo Loves Fragrance Paintbrush (pictured) as portable and easy to apply, however the scent doesn’t last longer than a few hours
Available in seven scents, this gel comes in a chunky tube with a built-in paintbrush. It came about after perfumer Jo Malone started using a paintbrush on her own skin to layer different scents on top of each other.
It’s portable and easy to apply — you simply click the button, gel soaks the bristles and you daub it on. The only drawback is that if you apply it to skin where you have make-up or fake tan, the white bristles discolour.
Staying power: After a few hours it was hard to sniff out.
Verdict: It’s a lovely idea for layering different scents, and very innovative. 3/5
Perfumed Brooch, £84, diptyque.com
Claire said the Perfumed Brooch by French fragrance experts Diptyque (pictured) doesn’t have a powerful smell
Designed by French fragrance experts Diptyque, a company famous for its candles, this metal bird-shaped brooch has a hidden compartment on the back for a scented ceramic disc, which slowly diffuses a fragrance as you wear it.
The brooch comes with two discs and refills cost £40 for four. The brand suggests that ‘to preserve the olfactory qualities’, you should replace the disc in its sealed bag after each use and change it every month.
Staying power: The scent didn’t fade during a day’s wear, but it wasn’t a particularly powerful fragrance in the first place.
Verdict: This is a cute gift, but the scent is definitely its secondary function. 4/5
Armani Si Perfumed Powder, £35, theperfumeshop.com
Claire revealed Armani Si Perfumed Powder (pictured) is ideal for travel but often needs to be reapplied
This sophisticated compact pops open to reveal what looks like translucent powder but is actually perfume in powder format, designed to be applied with the fingers to the wrists, neck and just under the ears.
The powder looks pale on your fingertip, but melts into nothing on the skin, leaving behind only the scent.
Staying power: It faded within about an hour.
Verdict: A total winner for travel as it takes up practically no space in your bag, but you would have to apply it just before an event, and keep reapplying during the evening if you wanted anyone to smell it. 2/5
HAIR SCENT SPRAY
French Leather Hair Perfume, £55, harveynichols.com
Claire was impressed with French Leather Hair Perfume (pictured), as she could still smell it the next morning
If you’ve ever been in a smoky bar, you’ll know how smells can cling to hair, making hair perfume an obvious scent option.
While many firms have produced versions of their scents for hair, most are still — as are a lot of eau de toilettes and eau de parfums — based on alcohol, which can be drying.
This one, from Memo Paris, is alcohol-free and so less likely to cause damage. I spritzed a veil over my hair after styling and went out for the night.
Staying power: Pretty good. In the morning I could still smell it.
Verdict: One of the best in terms of intensity and longevity. 5/5
None of these new perfume formats really delivers the levels of scent and staying power you’d get from a good quality eau de parfum — they definitely whisper rather than shout.
However, they’re ideal for layering with your favourite fragrance to create a signature scent, and for popping in your handbag for a quick refresh on a night out.
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