Fruity Florals Worth Your Time and Skin

 

By Laurin

I’ll come clean – I
think most fruity florals smell like shampoo*. In the minds of many a
perfume lover, “fruity floral” is a byword for bland, safe and
indistinct. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with them
exactly, it’s just that to me, they’re the fragrant equivalent of
settling for a semi-detached house in Bromley when you had your heart
set on a studio above a gay underwear emporium in Soho. They mostly
smell of resignation and barely supressed rage.

Having said all that,
I’ve recently found myself occasionally longing for fragrances that
have no hidden agenda or awkward pronouncements to make over Sunday
dinner. Listen up: despite what breathy marketing materials may have
you believe, no fruity floral is going to make you smell sexy,
seductive or even especially sophisticated. That’s a job better
suited to an oriental or a chypre. A good fruity floral should simply
make you happy to be alive. And on some days, that’s enough. Here
are four stand-outs to evoke a sense of rosy-cheeked well-being.

Salvatore Ferragamo
Signorina Eleganza
, £60 for 50ml at www.houseoffraser.co.uk

I confess I was having a
bad day when this arrived in the post, but it brought a smile to my
face at first sniff. It opens unusually with a burst of juicy pear,
sweet almond and a refreshing twist of bitter grapefruit that fizzes
joyfully up from the skin. The fragrance sails along on a breath of
osmanthus before finally drying down into soft, pillowy white musks
which have the soupy warmth of an afternoon nap after an al fresco
lunch on an unexpectedly sunny day. Wear with white linen and an air
of rude good health.

Amouage Interlude Woman,
£175 for 50ml at www.lessenteurs.com

Each time I smell this I
want to break into a rousing chorus of “Oh! You Pretty Things!” I
am certain that this is how mermaids smell. Nothing with a top note
of kiwi fruit has any right to be so enchanting, but a dose of spicy
immortelle, dark rose, a dusting of incense and the merest hint of
oud all beckon you to break the surface of Karine Spehner’s
shimmering composition. Wear this, and know that the best days are
yet to come.

Guerlain La Petite Robe
Noire
, £63 for 50ml at www.debenhams.com

I
was pretty awful about LPRN when it first came out, and I’m still
not sorry. Stupid name, stupid bottle. Apparently the name is a
reference to the “dark” ingredients (black cherry, black tea,
black rose and patchouli), but the cynical side of me (both sides)
reckons it’s an attempt to draw in a younger customer who probably
associates Guerlain with her grandmother. Fortunately, the juice
itself is not just good enough to bear the name of its house, it’s an absolute delight to wear. It bursts out of the bottle with
all the joy of a child running into a sweet shop: there are cherry
lollipops, liquorice allsorts, candied almonds and Turkish delight
all in there, waiting to rush straight to your head. I picture this
on Lydia Bennet – all bouncing boobs, curls and giggles. Wear for
dancing the night away with thoroughly unsuitable men.

By Kilian In The City of
Sin
, £75 for 50ml at www.lessenteurs.com

A few weeks back, Sali
Hughes wrote that in order for fruity scents to be suitable for
grown-up women, they must have a hint of tartness to elevate them
above the usual sugary tweenage offerings. I tend to agree, but I’d
also make a concession for herbs or warm spices. Here we have ripe
plum and apricot stewed with bitter cardamom and finished off with
crushed rose petals and pink peppercorns. It’s incredibly moreish
on the skin without quite tipping into gourmand territory, so no one
will mistake you for a crumble. Save this one for late summer, and
buy the 50ml refill spray, unless you’re desperate for a gold
snake-embossed clutch (and maybe you are, I don’t know you your
life).

Still not convinced?
Would you sooner punch an Innocent Smoothie in the back of its stupid
knitted hat than rise at dawn for sun salutations? Fine, I’ve got
something for you as well. Get your clenched fists on a bottle of
Etat Libre d’Orange Rien, and join me on a trip down memory lane to
That Time The Neighbour’s Cat Weed on The Leather Seats of My
Uncle’s 1979 Pontiac Bonneville on a Sweltering July Day. Let’s
wear black and recite Sylvia Plath and refuse to go outside. Best.
Summer. Ever.

* Did you see what I did
there? [self five]

The Fine Print: Mixture of PR samples, and perfumes from my own collection

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