Smoky scents on the breeze, distant drifts of bonfires and hazy wisps of woodsmoke, eldritch mists of morning fields in autumn – as perfume lovers, these are the sensorial delights of the season that we’re indulging ourselves with proper now…
Whether or not it’s the whiff of roaring fires, or mellow pipesmoke evoking much-patched tweed jackets and only a trace of damp canine: really nice smoky fragrances are instantly transportive, and never at all times fairly so comforting. In Romeo & Juliette, Shakespeare reminds us that ‘Love is a smoke raised with the fume of sighs,’ which might resemble the hearth in your lover’s eyes, or grow to be a ‘choking gall’. So can also smoky fragrances recall pleasure in spent fireworks, waft the standoffish cigar-tinged sneer of a ‘members solely’ membership, or cloak you within the sanctified air of a Catholic confessional. They may recall stubbed cigarettes, boozy liasons and yesterday’s eyeliner, counsel the once-furtive fug of illicit substances, appease fickle gods, or summon essentially the most lascivious demons.
It’s hardly shocking there’s many smoke-laden scents, seeing as the phrase fragrance itself arises from the Latin, ‘per fumum‘ – ‘via smoke’ – referring to aromatic supplies burned as scented prayers. Perfumers, in the meantime, may select to mix each naturals and synthetics to acheive their desired degree of vapour; from the folksy, dried hay and tobacco and even burned rubber funk of isobutyl quinolone; pitch black tarriness of cade oil, the bitter, leathery slap of birch tar or wealthy, incense-like resins such because the fruity amber purr of labdanum (from the cistus plant) or the extra powdery balsamic musk of opoponax.
Sprayed to rejoice in autumnal splendour or maybe used to summon one thing altogether extra Mephistophelian – I urge you to hunt these out and smoulder forth…
Sarah Baker, Bascule
Succulent peach juice sizzles on scorching leather-based, tobacco frottages smouldering hay whereas soapy lily of the valley and lower grass beckon a shower (following a torrid tumble within the stables). Ruthlessly seductive.
£95 for 50ml eau de parfum
In Our Store
Swinging incense trails conjure trembling sooty fingerprints stroked on pores and skin, a low thrum of sticky patchouli cloaking herbaceous freshness; the stolen kisses writhing in a mossy embrace.
£109 for 50ml eau de parfum
A extra refined swathe of smokiness for individuals who want to exude sophistication; right here flinty lavender swirls oodles of soppy tobacco into creamy vanilla, with clouds of hay-like coumarin cushioning the wooden.
£240 for 90ml extrait de parfum, selfridges.com
Moschino, Toy Boy
Totally beguiling from the get go, a bouquet of roses is tossed on the bonfire; dry clove crackles and peppercorns pop, the warmth instantly sliced via with a cool leather-based whip, soothed with cashmeran.
From £38.25 for 30ml eau de parfum
Ruth Mastenbroek, Firedance
Whenever you’re able to ramp it up: this sublimely scorching leather-based smooches Damask rose and deepest, darkest oudh. Suppose billowing bonfire-smoke clinging to your hair and chilly lips burned by passionate kisses.
£70 for 30ml eau de parfum
By Suzy Nightingale