This time of year, as many of us would normally be passing through duty free, there’s a notable boom in fragrances tapping into exotic, tropical essences that transport us to warmer climes and happy holidays.
But one of the benefits of this year’s staycations is the chance to celebrate fragrances that draw on notes that feel distinctly British.
From dew-covered pears to woodland moss and calming pine, these memories and fresh aromas can be captured in a host of summer scents.
And according to Lily Boothroyd, in-house fragrance expert at renowned London perfumery Les Senteurs, these fragrances evoke nostalgia.
‘The events of the past year have made us appreciate what we have on our doorstep or at the end of a road trip, so we’ve become even more grateful for rolling green fields and windswept beaches,’ she says.
‘In turn, fragrances that incorporate notes of the countryside or coast have become more popular as their evocative nature transports us to familiar and nostalgic British places.
‘These alternative perfumes are more rooted in nostalgic memories from our youth.’
From traditional flowers and fruits to verdant countryside and beloved places, these are the scents of our post-lockdown staycations.
From apple and rhubarb crumbles to orchard-picked pears, British fruits offer a wealth of opportunities for adding sweet, crisp or tangy notes to perfumes that are bright, clean and a touch unusual.
Floral Street Electric Rhubarb (£60), created in collaboration with the Royal Horticultural Society, brings together the sharpness of rhubarb, uplifting bergamot and soft jasmine for a sparkling result.
The rhubarb leaves used within Experimental Perfume Club Another Rose (£125), give a green twist that makes it very modern and instantly summery.
King William is the star fruit of Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia (£52). The flower and fruit duo work in harmony to create a soft, clean scent that isn’t too sweet.
If you want a more daring option, Parfums de Marly Greenley (£160, from Harrods) bursts with crisp green apple but has sexier, earthier roundness due to cedar, oakmoss and musk.
The English countryside and its floral displays can be captivating and calming. The same can be said of fragrances that draw inspiration from them and instil the wearer with a sense of peaceful bliss.
Vanderohe No.1 Enhancing Perfume Oil No.1 (£44) was created to evoke a walk through an English garden via the organic, aromatherapeutic blend of lavender, neroli and vetiver.
Meadows are the inspiration for Medeau Origin (£85), bringing together elderflower, peony and heliotrope for a white floral finish.
With the UK the world’s largest grower of daffodils, Marc Jacobs Perfect (£69, from The Perfume Shop) is a celebration of the flower alongside rhubarb, for a brightness softened by almond milk.
Be it a walk in the woods or through aromatic herbs and mosses, growing wild helps us feel grounded. The green notes in perfume evoke these times spent in outdoor spaces while adding hints of reviving, clean freshness.
With summer basil, moss and rosemary, Miller Harris Reverie de Bergamote (£85) is an aromatic citrus scent that’s an ode to early summer mornings.
Laboratory Perfumes Samphire (£80) whisks you to the coastline with a refreshing blend of samphire and rosemary, infused into a citrus and juniper berry base.
Intended as a celebration of Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Gardens, Kingdom Scotland Kingdom Botanica (£120, from Les Senteurs) is deep with a green botanical accord, plus pine needles and blackcurrant stems.
The Nue Co Forest Lungs (£85) is rich with pine, resin and vetiver, with the intention of being calming.
Cities evoke particular fragrances and feelings too.
The entire Gallivant range is dedicated to the concept of ‘perfumed escapism,’ with their London scent (£65) conjuring up flower markets, second-hand jackets and rain thanks to notes including rose, cucumber and leather.
Hairstylist Jen Atkins hones in on summer in Soho for Ouai Dean Street (£46) with crisp citrus and fruit notes including apricot, but given a deeper, muskier edge.
Or leave the city and take a trip to a favourite spot of Coco Chanel with a spritz of Chanel Les Eaux Paris-Édimbourg (£112).
Inspired by the Highlands, it’s fresh with lemon and bergamot and lush with green notes including cypress and vetiver, evoking rolling hills. Time for a road trip…
Want more floral fragrances? Try these
Midsummer luxury wax melts
Wild berry and bramble diffuser
Eau Rose hair mist
Tea Tonique body wash
Wildflower Meadows scented candle