How to choose and the best places to buy

Laveta Brigham

(Le Labo ) I’d hedge my bets that since March you’ve bought a legion of lotions and potions online. Alongside your initial bulk buy of loo roll, tinned goods and Chianti, the figures have shown us all to be beauty buffs. Selfridges reported that beauty has been by far its […]

 (Le Labo )
(Le Labo )

I’d hedge my bets that since March you’ve bought a legion of lotions and potions online.

Alongside your initial bulk buy of loo roll, tinned goods and Chianti, the figures have shown us all to be beauty buffs.

Selfridges reported that beauty has been by far its strongest category since lockdown, and the beauty category at Net-a-Porter was up 158 per cent in the second half of March compared with last year.

One of the beauty sphere’s staples that you are probably less versed in buying virtually though is perfume. After all, this whole pandemic business has rendered the whole nipping-in-to-a-department-store-to-try-a-perfume just a tad trickier.

But fear not, because a legion of brands are here to make your scent-smelling lives easier. Sustainable scent brand Floral Street has seen its online sales increase by over 300 per cent this year, crediting lockdown with the surge. In order to meet the demand, it crafted its Scentschool in a Box, which breaks down each of Floral Street’s eight signature fragrances by note, enabling you to scratch and sniff each ingredient.

“Our Scentschool in a Box gives people the opportunity to learn about our vegan fragrances virtually from the comfort of their own homes,” Feeney tells the Standard. “Our trained ‘Floralistas’ lead an interactive journey of scent discovery where people can learn about the art of fragrance”.

When branching away from your everyday scent, there a handful of rules to follow. “Consider the fragrances you already like, and shortlist fragrances with similar notes,” says Jerome di Marino, perfumer for Judith Leiber. “Also consider the smells in nature that you enjoy, and the mood you want to reflect. Do you like to smell something sweet and addictive? I would suggest a gourmand fragrance for you. Do you enjoy the uplifting scents in the kitchen such as lemon or grapefruit? Then a citrus fragrance would definitely work”.

While di Marino implores fragrance fans to branch out and try something new, he recommends focusing “on the notes and fragrance families you’ve liked before”.

In other words, look to your Ye Old Faithful fragrances and distill down the ingredients which are at their core. This will make it easier to decipher the notes you do and don’t like.

“Wearing a new fragrance is such an important part of expressing yourself, especially at home when we are dressing more casually. Fragrance has the opportunity to lift your mood and inject glamour into your life, we need it now more than ever!” di Marino says.

These are the sets which should help you on your way to buying a fragrance online.

Floral Street Discovery Set

Sample Floral Street’s eight vegan and sustainable scents in its Discovery Set. The stand-out smells? That’s up to the nose but in my opinion, pear-laced Neon Rose and marshmallow-esque Wonderland Poppy are heaven bottled.

Selfridges
Selfridges

£14 | Selfridges

Le Labo Discovery Set

Cult fragrance brand Le Labo’s Discovery Set is a foolproof winner. Including its six best-selling scents, even a perfume novice is bound to find their perfect match with this sextet. My personal favourites are the fresh yet musky Another 13 (the result of Le Labo’s collaboration with AnOther editor Jefferson Hack) and Bergamote 22, a citrusy, woody fragrance with vetiver, orange blossom and cedar notes.

Cult Beauty
Cult Beauty

£98 | Cult Beauty

Atelier Cologne Perfume Palette

The first perfume house to create pure perfumes, Atelier Cologne’s scents have longevity and are perennially fresh and easy-to-wear. This set of minis enables you to trial ten of its Cologne Absolues (spoiler: they are all delicious). My go-to is Cédre Atlas, which has notes of cedarwood, lemon and white amber.

Feel Unique
Feel Unique

£30 | Feel Unique

Jo Loves Discovery Collection

If anybody knows a thing or two about scents it’s perfume connoisseur Jo Malone. Her brand Jo Loves is a fine choice for an easy, everyday perfume that’s alluring enough to turn people’s heads. My go-to is Pomelo, which is a refreshing and energising mix of patchouli, vetiver and pomelo.

Cult Beauty
Cult Beauty

£25 | Cult Beauty

Malin + Goetz Fragrance Discovery Kit

Nonchalantly cool New York brand Malin + Goetz’s discovery set offers up mini-mes of its six best-sellers. Its Dark Rum scent is by far my stand-out, as heady and intense as the drink itself.

Cult Beauty
Cult Beauty

£22 | Cult Beauty

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