Despite being totally obsessed with perfume and owning a frankly obscene number of bottles, there’s no doubt that my favourite perfumes tend to be united by a few key notes: musk, vanilla and patchouli. Not always together, you understand, but it’s these warm and cosy aromas that appeal to my senses time and time again. Whether it’s Byredo Velvet Haze, Maison Margiela Replica Whispers in the Library or Jo Malone Myrrh & Tonka Cologne, warming, woodsy perfumes have undoubtedly become my signature scents.
So when summer rolls around and the new perfume launches become lighter, fresher and undeniably citrusy, I tend to give them a quick sniff and pass them on to a home where they will be much more loved than mine. Why? Well, over the years, I have cultivated a belief that zesty lemon and juicy orange aromas just aren’t very “me.” Generally speaking, fruitier notes just don’t have the staying power on my skin that things like amber and cedarwood do—and I like my fragrances to linger. But more than that, I think that we are all, to some extent, creatures of habit, and I am well and truly in the confines of a perfume safety net.
That was, of course, until Marks and Spencer’s new Provenance perfume collection dropped through my door during a particularly sticky, sweaty and humid week here in London. Suddenly, the thought of spritzing on a refreshing, uplifting mist of bergamot and mandarin felt incredibly appealing. And, thankfully, I wasn’t disappointed.