Spring is here, and as we fold away the woollens and trade soups for salads and spring greens, we’re switching our perfumes from earthy scents of wood, leather and spice to fresh, fruity and floral fragrances. Here are our favourite new Australian releases and contenders for your new signature scent.
Ficifolia is a luxe new fragrance line inspired by the scents of Melbourne. Label founder Sophie Marcoux calls them “reverse-engineered scent memories” – in other words, a trio of fun fragrances that’ll transport you to Fitzroy for a morning of vintage shopping, Collins Street for an evening at the theatre, and the Yarra for a knock-off drink in the sun. The latter, called Out of Office, is “the sweetest, fruitiest of the bunch”, says Marcoux. Inspired by after-work Aperol Spritzes on the river, it features notes of mandarin, rose, patchouli, jasmine, musk and fairy floss. Five dollars from every bottle sold is donated to the Stars Foundation, which helps support young Indigenous women through high school, tertiary education and full-time work.
This new botanical perfume brand uses whole plant extracts (instead of isolates) for its natural fragrances, which are housed in packaging made with environmentally friendly materials; for example, it swaps plastic for rice husk for its bottle cap. Adelaide-based founder Amanda Thompson works with farmers at origin to source raw ingredients. Her first release, Ulysses, combines green, zesty and woody notes to create a well-rounded smoky and citrusy scent. Inspired by the journey of The Odyssey’s protagonist, it captures the scents of salty sea air, resins and citruses with Calabrian bergamot, Japanese yuzu, Madagascan vetiver, Australian sandalwood, Australian blue cypress and clary sage.
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Jewellery and fashion designer Lucy Folk has launched her own fragrances in partnership with Melbourne-based perfume laboratory Perdrisat. Formulated and bottled by perfumer Callum Rory Mitchell, the two limited edition scents can be worn together or alone. Fleur de Sel is the more feminine fragrance, conjuring rose petals cured in sea salt, and the scent of skin in summer. Coeur de Bois is more earthy and smoky, and designed both as a standalone unisex scent and to be layered with Fleur de Sel. For Folk, the scent drop is a natural extension of her brand. “Fragrance, quite like jewellery, is a deeply personal choice and a special thing to buy for a loved one or as something for people to treasure for themselves,” Folk says. “I have struggled for a while now to find a scent that felt like me, and I also think the balance of masculine and feminine in the two scents is important in all aspects of my brand.”
Sydney-based genderless, vegan and cruelty-free perfume house Who Is Elijah has just introduced two new fragrances to its collection – Wall Street and Rebel Rose – which can be worn alone or layered together for a completely different scent. The first has floral, smoky and woody notes, reminiscent of a warm fireplace, while remaining fresh. The latter is all rose, spice and wood with a deep amber hue.
Flâner is a French word meaning “to stroll”, usually in a leisurely fashion through city streets, without any specific goal or destination. It’s also the inspiration behind Melbourne perfume brand Flaner, which aims to capture “the beauty in city life that may seem small, discovered unknowingly but always incredible”, according to co-founder Andrew Hardeman. He and counterpart Mary Fox have created five non-gendered eaux de parfums, each evoking a different snippet of city life, including a vibrant scent inspired by 1920s Paris in springtime (with Vive la Fleur). The fragrance heroes magnolia and embraces more florals with tuberose and rosewood alongside notes of moss, musk and amber, and a refreshing burst of citrus.
Ouranon is the sixth and final fragrance in Aesop’s Othertopias collection and, like all the brand’s perfumes, it’s designed for all genders. Ouranon’s blend of woody, resinous and spicy notes opens with the sparkling citrus of petitgrain and vibrant spice of elemi, with middle notes of chamomile, hay and frankincense, before making way for dark earthy and amber-y myrrh, patchouli and tonka. It’s created with the help of Barnabé Fillion, who has developed other scents for the brand (he’s also worked with Paul Smith and Le Labo, and has his own brand, Arpa) and follows the existing releases from Aesop’s Othertopias collection: Miraceti, Karst, Erémia, Eidesis and Gloam.
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