As we creep towards the spring, the natural world begins to turn its thoughts to courtship and nesting. Ever led by the world around us, it is little wonder that it is as the winter draws to a close that we chose to do the same. Perfume has a long association with romance and so with that in mind we asked our scent expert Hélène about the best romantic fragrances.
“For most individuals, a classically romantic fragrance tends to be floral.” Hélène explains, “We traditionally associate romance with a soft feminine scent built around a single flower such as rose or jasmine. Over the course of history, however, some of these fragrances have evolved to form heavier florals with more depth, richness and spice. These have become more identifiable as amber fragrances.”
And so, while the flowers are still firmly in the soil, join us as we take an imaginary tour through a fragrant garden bursting with the most romantic of scents.
HELENE’S FAVOURITE ROMANTIC SCENTS
First up, tumbling over doors and gateways is the queen of romance, the rose, whose romantic credentials stretch far back into Greek mythology. Said to have been created by Aphrodite to symbolise a lifetime of love, it possesses an enduring scent that has been loved for many hundreds of years. The rose has many attributes that make it is as popular and inviting as it is. It can be simultaneously powdery and feminine and woody and rich. There is also an association with opulence thanks to the price of both the flowers and their oil which adds to this flower’s particular appeal.
For our Cornflower & Meadow Rose candle we have combined this traditional fragrance with that of lavender, bergamot and the lighter florals of daisy and buttercup, to create a fresh and carefree take on a classic.
Further into our garden, a brick wall supports a cascade of Jasmine flowers. This, as with the rose, is another floral mainstay to many of the most romantic perfumes. Whilst the flowers may be delicate, the scent carries a heady sweetness that can add an intoxicating undertone to any fragrance. An alluring, more attention-grabbing scent than you’d expect from a wall flower.
As our garden is imaginary, we feel it is completely acceptable to bring you next to the wood resins of Egypt and the Indian subcontinent. Amber is another fragrance with ancient, mythological roots. Beloved by the Egyptians, this blended scent is warm and sweet with the deep mystery of wood and spice. It is this mystical warming quality that makes it perfect for the more masculine romantic fragrances.
Labdanum, the resin from the Rock Rose, is a common component in amber and our Sandalwood & Labdanum diffuser is a brilliant example of an earthier romantic fragrance. It carries deep wells of spice, comfort and dried flowers, evoking candlelit evenings with a bottle of wine.
After the warmth of wood, we return to flowers, but don’t be fooled, little about Patchouli’s fragrance is floral. Whilst the plant is light and delicate, patchouli is a dark and confident scent. It is also classically unisex. It is perhaps this aspect that lends itself so well to romantic perfumes. It is often compared to petrichor, the scent of rain drenched soil, and there is certainly something of the earth about it.
As we leave water-soaked flowerbeds behind us, we venture towards the end of our garden tour. Here sits the fragrance that most of us will find nostalgic. Vanilla, with all its soft muskiness, makes many feel instantaneously safe. It wraps us round in a comforting blanket of warmth and sets us at our ease.
Though it is often combined with sugar in food it is actually far less sweet as a fragrance. It too is powdery like rose, but it also carries a grounding femininity that lingers softly.
Vanilla sits alongside the similar fragrance of tonka bean in the base notes of our Tonka & Patchouli candle. Combined with the dark arts of Patchouli and the feminine florals of rose and carnation, it lends this scent a delicate passion that would be perfect for any evening, though perhaps especially that of Valentine’s Day.
AND SO THAT CONCLUDES OUR TOUR OF A GARDEN PLANTED FOR LOVE.
We hope we have given you a bit more of an insight into how scent can help build romance as the spring slowly arrives. For moments that call for an instant hit of atmosphere, we would recommend lighting one of our Valentine's candles. They also have the added benefit of their gently wavering light. For a scent that will release more slowly and subtly, our Valentine's diffusers would be the best option as they softly usher the fragrance out from between their reeds and into a passing eddy of air. Alternatively, the gift of a romantic scent in the form of natural hand cream or body lotion ensures the wearer will be able to carry it with them throughout the day.