It is no secret that scent is a memory trigger. For beauty lovers , scent travelling is the new way to see the world during these pandemic times.
The right blend of notes can evoke vivid vistas – from the citrusy lemon scents of Italy to fresh, salty notes reminiscent of walks by the beach.
Here are four new launches designed to transport you to places far away from your postal code.
Australian skincare brand Aesop has launched not one, but three new fragrances.
The Othertopias trio of eau de parfums comprises Miraceti, Karst and Eremia, taking inspiration from the boat, the shore and the wasteland respectively.
Created with French perfumer and Aesop’s long-time fragrance partner Barnabe Fillion – the nose behind the brand’s first candle and its other perfumes – Othertopias draws from liminal spaces in dialogue with nature.
Miraceti’s woody notes mingling with labdanum resin and spice evoke the changing serene and savage sea. Karst features subtle mineral notes, cumin and sandalwood to conjure the coming and going of the tide on far-off shores.
And Eremia contrasts waxy florals and earthy undertones (notes of the galbanum plant, iris and citrusy yuzu) with powdery musk to evoke the heady scent of wildflowers against wet concrete after the rain. One can almost picture the fresh morning dew on leaves during a hike along Singapore’s green corridor.
Mr Fillion says: “A smell, whether in the air, on our skin, or on our clothes, creates a world within our world that is both physical and imagined – a phenomenon that blurs the boundaries of past and present, real and unreal, here and there.”
Info: $255 each, available at all Aesop stores and Aesop’s website
Storie di Seta by Salvatore Ferragamo
Last month, Salvatore Ferragamo unveiled an anthology of perfumes, inspired by the brand’s silk creations, to transport wearers to immersive landscapes.
The four eau de parfums in Storie di Seta are designed to be worn alone or layered with one or more scents from the collection, for a bespoke olfactory experience.
Picture yourself riding in a safari through the savannah with a spritz of Savane di Seta – a citrus floral with carrot accord (a scent made up of several perfume notes), orris heart notes and creamy undertones of Indian sandalwood.
Or trek in a jungle full of exotic flora with Giungle di Seta, a floral green blend with crisp notes of green pea, peony blossoms and musk.
Giardini di Seta, a floral fruity essence with juicy top notes of rhubarb and a warm base of Madagascar Vetiver, evokes a summer garden party. And Oceana di Seta calls to mind an underwater paradise, mixing fresh, salty top notes and softer magnolia.
An exclusive signature accord called the Filo di Seta (or a thread of silk) grounds the base of each blend, to tie the four scents together and allow for seamless layering.
Info: $136 to $190, available at Sephora and all major department stores
Chanel Les Eaux de Chanel Paris-Edimbourg
Take a trip to the Scottish Highlands with Chanel’s Paris-Edimbourg – the fifth and latest addition to Les Eaux de Chanel, a collection of fragrances debuted in 2018 and inspired by Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel’s favourite places.
According to the luxury house, Gabrielle Chanel discovered Scotland through the Duke of Westminster, with whom she had a love affair until 1930.
In the countryside, she sought refuge from society life, went salmon fishing, played cards with politician Winston Churchill and socialite Vera Bate, and split her time between the Duke’s three properties in the highlands.
For this fragrance, branded the collection’s earthiest and most androgynous, Chanel’s house perfumer Olivier Polge immersed himself in the Scottish countryside and sniffed out two characteristic odours – juniper berry and peaty wood.
The scent hence highlights the contrasting notes of juniper berry, cypress and lavender, with cedar and smoky vetiver, warmed with notes of vanilla and musk.
Info: $220, available at all Chanel Fragrance and Beauty boutiques and counters
Gucci The Alchemist’s Garden 1921
Gucci Beauty wants you to “journey along quiet, oak-lined roads, earthy moss and fresh rain” in Italy with the newest addition to its collection of luxury perfumes.
A notch above the brand’s pillar perfume line, The Alchemist’s Garden was first unveiled in 2019 as a customisable collection of scented products. Inspired by alchemy, all are built around a hero ingredient and can be layered together.
Created by master perfumer Alberto Morillas and Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele, the 1921 Eau de Parfum celebrates the city of Florence, where Gucci was born a century ago – hence its name.
It blends elegant yet fizzy neroli flowers with the sparkling zest of limone cedrato fruit from Florence, anchored with rich, earthy oak moss.
The scent is housed in a vintage apothecary bottle in transparent green glass as a homage to one of the house’s emblematic colours.
Info: $520, available at Takashimaya Beauty Hall, Tangs at Tang Plaza and Tang’s website
This article was originally published in The Straits Times.