Under the influence: Escapist scents for summer in the city

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There’s nothing quite as deliriously happy as that ‘holiday’ feeling. Hazy days filled with summer dresses, sand beneath your toes, sea breeze in your hair, and tropical lazy evenings. The promise of carefree days in a picturesque locale might be enticing but, even if work is keeping you busy, you can still make a summer in the city feel like a foreign holiday. Get out of your own neighbourhood, explore the capital’s great markets and rooftop restaurant options and, perhaps most importantly, invest in a new scent reminiscent of a fragrant foreign destination.

There’s a plethora of evocative scents that promise to become your passport to sunny shores with one spritz. From the flora and fauna of Italy and the lavender fields of France to a sunny Caribbean island paradise, meet the fragrances promising to take you on an olfactory journey.

On the Road Eau de Parfum by Timothy Han/Edition

This vivid scent is designed to conjure up memories of dusty roads and long car rides. Founded by master nose Timothy Han, Edition is a London-based fragrance house that entwines scent and stories – specifically those of literary mavericks like Jack Kerouac, Simone de Beauvoir and Joseph Conrad.

Inspired by Kerouac, On the Road takes you on a road trip through 1950s America, encountering tobacco-filled whisky bars, cedar forests and citrus trees. Warm, sweet tonka bean and patchouli blend with lemon and bergamot for a smoky, complex fragrance that develops and matures on the skin. It is also a beautiful thing to sit on your shelf, accompanied by a photographic postcard by London artist Cedric Christie. Hans, formerly an assistant to John Galliano, handcrafts his Edition line in Dalston, with an emphasis on natural and cruelty-free ingredients, built upon a base of organic grape alcohol.


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Rêverie de Bergamote Eau de Parfum by Miller Harris

This fragrance from London-based perfume house Miller Harris promises to transport you to the sun-baked hillsides of Calabria. Created by perfumer Emilie Bouge, it has an exceptionally high concentration of bergamot at its centre, which is highlighted by a zesty, energetic opening of tangerine, summer basil and artemisia. Mellowing into a heart of soothing rosemary and lavender, and a lengthy finish of sandalwood, vetiver and moss, this is a sophisticated, summery scent that will recall memories of long holiday evenings spent ocean-side.


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Les Brumes Eau de Parfum by Ormaie Paris

Ormaie Paris is a unique line of all-natural perfumes with a distinctly modernist aesthetic. Baptise Bouygues founded the brand with his mother, Marie-Lise Jonak, a revered figure in the fragrance world. It took hundreds of attempts to arrive at the debut collection, which is entirely free of synthetic ingredients – a rare feat in the fragrance world. Each bottle is crowned by a hand-carved wooden bottle top, inspired by Bouygues’ proclivity for mid-century design.

Les Brumes transports you to a citrus tree-lined field, bright with lemon, Tuscan orange, ginger and bergamot. This ebullient scent is the perfect antidote to hermetic city living.


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Concrete Eau de Parfum by Comme des Garçons Parfums

You can rely on Comme des Garçons to transform the mundane into something desirable. An urban, concrete cityscape is reimagined in smoky sandalwood and spice, tempered by sweet rose and housed in a pleasingly tactile, concrete and glass vessel. Billed as “destruction, construction and creation”, this scent feels rather fitting for our times. Further favourites from the signature CdG collection include sensual Copper and the luxuriously bold Wonderoud.


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Iridium 71% Extrait de Parfum by Tom Daxon

Tom Daxon’s mother was the creative director of Molton Brown and, when most British children were playing in their back gardens, he was exploring the lavender-scented fields of Grasse in France, considered the fragrance capital of the world. Daxon launched his eponymous label in 2013 at just 25 – a career path he describes as inevitable – and disrupted the industry with his unisex scents and elegantly modern branding.

One of the newest additions to the line is Iridium 71%, an intensified iteration of his bestselling Iridium. He likens this luxurious, long-lasting fragrance to ‘charcoal-coloured cashmere’, stirred with comforting, earthy vetiver, warm cedarwood and soft, powdery iris. It is topped with fragrant, crisp juniper and spiced Angelica for a lively, uplifting scent. Why is it called Iridium? Due to its ‘strong silvery spine’.


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