Saturday, September 07, 2013

Perfume Around the World

Fragrance fanatics unite! If you, like us, go crazy for the latest scents, you will probably have an interest in the origins of scent around the world. Learning about the context of fragrance can give you a lot of extra knowledge that can help you pinpoint exactly what it is you love about your perfect perfume, so we’ve put together this quick guide to teach you a little bit about perfume around the world.
For many of us, the natural place to start would be France. The chic perfumes of Paris are popular worldwide, with some of the major Parisian fashion houses ­having their own fragrances, such as Chanel, Dior and Yves Saint Laurent. A trip to Paris will find you surrounded by exquisite perfume boutiques, such as the exclusive Caron brand, and there is even a perfume museum to teach you a little bit about one of the world’s favourite perfume cities.
If you want to venture off the beaten track in search of fine French fragrance, head to the South of France. Book yourself into a luxury villa in Provence and make the short trip to Grasse. It is considered the world’s perfume capital, with many perfume noses spending time training in Grasse to learn about the art of perfumery. The area is home to many flower fields which provide inspiration for the thousands of scents which have been identified here since the 18th century.
London has its own thriving perfume scene, especially in the field of cult perfumes. Many brands are difficult to find elsewhere, so there is some degree of ‘fragrance tourism’ which attracts perfume collectors to the city to pick up a selection of fragrances from brands such as Jo Malone, Penhaligon’s and L’Artisan Parfumeur, along with lots of other tiny specialist fragrance houses.
Italy offers up a very different type of perfume, with a lot of strength in comparison to some of the comparably more powdery French scents. Acqua di Parma and Prada give us some of the most iconically Italian fragrances, with Dolce & Gabbana and Fendi giving us scents from the lighter, daytime end of the spectrum.
The fragrance family ‘chypre’ (‘Cyprus’) relates to those scents from the Mediterranean countries, and are identified by their blend of citrus, spicy patchouli, sultry moss and sweet musky accords. The cult scent Mitsouko by Guerlain is one of the most famous chypres, and it is easy to see why these zingy, zesty fragrances come from this part of the world with its orange and lemon groves.
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