Just like its tradition of bespoke fashion, British perfume brands offer fragrances that reflect the culture, standards and heritage of the UK. Continuing our coverage of all things beauty in preparation for the upcoming Summer Olympics in London, here are a few of our favorite scents wafting across the Atlantic.
Jo Malone London
In 1994, London aesthetician Jo Malone started a mini-revolution by creating a handful of fragrances that were deviously simple. “Timeless and elegant…but always infused with a charming dash of wit and whimsy,” is how the brand describes its unforgettable scents. Inspired by and immersed in modern British culture, Jo Malone London works with master perfumers who draw inspiration from Savile Row to Sloane Street.
The fragrance “arc” as the company calls it includes citrus, fruity, light floral, floral, spicy, and woody scents. We love Jo Malone for its “Fragrance Combining” approach, which offers fragrances that can be worn by themselves or layered to create scents as individual as British bespoke clothing.
A great option for this summer, whether you will be watching the games up close and personal or at home on the telly, is Lime Basil & Mandarin cologne ($55), a classic for both men and women. The light scent of fresh limes and zesty mandarins reminds us of a cool Caribbean Sea breeze. We love the added depth of the peppery basil and white thyme to make it a truly fully dimensional fragrance.
Known internationally for quality fragrances and soaps, Yardley London is definitely a British institution, dating back to 1770. From cherished classics like Lily of the Valley and English Rose to newer, fresher fragrances like Peony and Royal English Daisy Yardley London is familiar and beloved by all. If you are in London for the games check out the recently launched Royal Diamond (£9.99) – inspired by the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – and the venerable brand’s first floral bouquet fragrance.
One can never go wrong with the English Lavender Body Spray (£2.49), which is light and long-lasting. The fragrance combines lavender leaves with neroli and clary sage with a heart of lavender oil and geranium. The base provides a deeper dimension with notes of sandalwood and tonka bean. The joy of an English summer is captured in every spritz.
Miller Harris fragrances blend ingredients from exotic locations around the world into unique olfactive works of art. The brand divides its fragrances into 5 different scent groups: citrus, floral, woody, oriental, and “nouvelle edition.”
To summon up the aura of a summer escape, check out La Pluie eau de parfum (£90), which reminds us of tropical showers on a balmy faraway island. With notes of bergamot, tangerine, lavender, ylang ylang, Tunisian Orange flowers, and vetiver bourbon, this fragrance is a perfect summer getaway if you’re stuck in an office.
The first scent by William Penhaligon was dreamt up in 1872 after he inhaled the steamy aromas from one of his neighboring Turkish baths. Called Hammam Bouquet ($120), this scent set the precedence for future inspirations; scents can come from the most unique and interesting moments and place – and they can be preserved in a fragrance. 140 years later, Penhaligon’s scents are still made in England using the finest ingredients. All of the Penhaligon’s boutiques, which are located around the globe, houses 34 distinctive fragrances.
We’re into Artemisia ($135) right now because it is both floral and fruity. Created in 2002, this fragrance has the subtle head notes of juicy nectarines and woodsy green foliage, the heart notes of green apple, lily of the valley petals, jasmine tea, violet, and vanilla. The base notes of oakmoss, sandalwood, honeyed vanilla, and warm amber spices give this eau de parfum a flirty caramel finish.
Founded in 2000 by Linda Pilkington, Ormonde Jayne’s oils are compounded and matured in the classical style at the company’s independent laboratory based in London. Harking back to the golden age of fragrance creation, essential oils and absolutes sourced from Madagascar to Morocco are infused for months before filtration and then allowed to mature again before the bottling process, to create a deeper and more intricate fragrance.
Ormonde Jayne’s perfumes are made for women (including florals, floral orientals, and woody scents) and men (featuring a woody scent and colognes). Our favorite for this summer is the cheerful scent of Osmanthus eau de parfum (£80), created with Japanese osmanthus. The top notes of pomello and pimento and the base notes of cedarwood, labdanum resin, musk, and vetiver nestle perfectly with the Japanese flower, water lily, and sambac heart notes.