The first light of spring awakens the child in us. Life becomes lighter, more carefree. And as the world shifts from sepia tones to full technicolour, our senses, forever connected to the world around us, respond in kind – especially our sense of smell.
Just as we relegate our trusty winter coat to the closet and opt for something lighter, so too must we rethink our fragrance wardrobe. After all, the sheer weight of the perfume that saw us through the last six months might feel overwhelming or, at the least, repetitive, by April.
Odour molecules evaporate off moist skin and travel with greater ease in warm weather, so there is no need to shout with your spring scent. A lighter fragrance will last just as long as your winter staple and have just as much projection in spring. The whisper of a clean citrus note can cut through humid air like a cool, mirrored blade while verdant, herbaceous blends, full of fresh-cut grass and floral accords echo nature’s renewal. ’Lighter’ should never be confused with bland or boring. If anything, a lighter, dynamic fragrance will help boost your mood and energy.
Breezy scents that are fresh, fruity, floral – and, above all, uplifting – are obvious spring choices for men and women. They complement the shifts in both temperature and temperament. Previously, this meant citrusy colognes featuring bergamot, lemon or bitter orange for men and soft, powdery florals for women… but such hard-and-fast rules seem outdated in 2022.
An expertly blended floral, for example, is just as suitable for a man (we’re particularly fond of the boozy rose, jasmine and neroli heart in Amber Aquilaria) and a crisp, green scent works beautifully on women.
Choosing seasonal scents for men and women
The Western gender norms that exist in the world of mainstream fragrance – leather and sweat for men, flowers and candy for women – are the invention of marketing teams, rather than perfumers or fragrance lovers (much like blue for boys and pink for girls). Perfume lovers enjoy scent playing with scent as a form of self-expression, a way to (temporarily) make real aspects of us that might not take centre stage all the time without the constraints of cultural constructs.
Such fluidity isn’t a modern invention; history is replete with examples of men and women who didn’t think in such an arbitrary, binary fashion when it came to fragrance. And it also differs across cultures. The Roman Emperor Nero, for example, was particularly fond of roses. So much so that he had a reversible ceiling in his golden palace designed to shower the inhabitants with petals and spray them with perfume.
“The supper rooms were vaulted, and compartments of the ceilings, inlaid with ivory, were made to revolve, and scatter flowers; while they contained pipes which shed unguents upon the guests. The chief banqueting room was circular, and revolved perpetually, night and day, in imitation of the motion of the celestial bodies.”C. Suetonius Tranquillus, Nero
Be fearless, daring and unconstrained in your choices. Don’t be held back by the labels or gender constructs, enjoy the journey with your nose, your heart and your emotions. So where do you start? Here are a couple of our favourite ideas…
Start with associations and memories
If this is your first time selecting a spring scent, personal associations and memories are a great place to start. Think of the places and experiences that bring you joy at this time of year and work from there. Perhaps it’s the salty sea air that invigorates your spirit? The romance of a garden in bloom? The sticky, sweet taste of chocolate and confectionery at Easter? Or incense in places of worship during religious festivals. Most people know exactly which aromas they like; the trick is in pulling them out of your unconscious mind and matching them with the right fragrance.
Engage your senses
Another way to approach fragrance selection is through your other senses. Spring is about colour, highly saturated greens (herbaceous notes), yellows (citrus) and pinks (blossom) that are inextricably linked to our sense of smell. Think of the colours that lift your mood, and seek out their olfactory counterpart.
Spring scents need to retain an element of brightness, a vitality that elevates your mood and reaffirms your connection to nature. Experiment with our Spring Sample Set and see what works for you!