The best new fragrances for spring 2023
It’s National Fragrance Week in the UK, but more importantly it is officially springtime. And as the weather warms and we consider a wardrobe refresh, many of us will be looking to add a little mood-boosting, sunny scent to our wardrobe too.
“Spring is all about renewal and rebirth and having a new scent to wear is definitely a great way to bring those feelings into your everyday beauty ritual,” says Sophia Panych, Head of Beauty Content at FarFetch.
This year has already seen several brilliant new launches — from the likes of eco brand La Bouche Rouge and world-first philanthropic luxury label Grace de Monaco — and some excellent follow up acts, such as the new M+ range from cult fragrance house Eccentric Molecules. Just as we begin packing away our coats and stomper boots, this time of year also brings a desire for lighter, brighter olfactory moments.
Alongside plenty of spring florals, we also clocked cherry and pistachio as major themes for 2023, plus ‘gourmand’ scents like chocolate, almond and vanilla — the latter of which ties in with the 90s nostalgia sweeping fashion. Sweet and tasty scents are firmly back on the agenda.
While perfume is undoubtedly a subjective topic, not least because the same scent can smell very different on two different people’s skin, we have tried and tested each of the below scents for beauty, balance and staying power. Looking to shift your mood in the Spring Equinox? Look no further.
Dipytyque, Eau Papier
For anyone looking for a light, daytime scent that’s unusual and has staying power — I could smell it on my skin after a shower — then Diptyque’s latest creation could be for you. Inspired by the scent of ink on paper, the perfume has sesame seeds at its heart, enhanced with sensual musky notes and finished with a powdery, floral mimosa top note. The overall effect is gently papery (it conjured an image of a beautiful library), delicate and beautifully distinctive. Its firmly unisex and neither fresh nor super sweet, but undeniably interesting and somehow calming. The white musk continues developing and unfolding, and will smell different on different skin types.
Price: L’Eau Papier Eau de Toilette 100ml, £125; shop here
Grace de Monaco, Danse Etoile
For anyone interested in a scent that does good, new brand Grace de Monaco, which launched exclusively into Harrods this month, is the first luxury label to donate 100 per cent of its profits to charity. Founded by Grace Kelly’s son Price Albert of Monaco, the brand creates perfumes, home fragrance, silks and Twillies, with all profits going to the Princess Grace Foundation USA, which supports emerging artists in theatre, dance and film. Danse Étoilée is one of two scents the brand launched with; a modern yet grand fragrance that evokes the glamour of the French Riviera and warm summer evenings spent by the twinkling Mediterranean sea.
Top notes of citrus, rhubarb and cassis entwine with a bouquet of bright flowers: Lily of the Valley, spicy geranium, fruity freesia, and roses offset by the distinctive, woody notes of sandalwood and cypriol. It’s summery, feminine and easy to wear day-to-night.
Price: Danse Étoilée Eau de Parfum 100ml, £220; shop here
La Bouche Rouge
The French beauty brand is working hard to create a luxury house that really focuses on upcycling and planet-positive products. Recovering material waste from industries like perfume, design and food processing, it has created a line of five scents in which more than 30 per cent of the ingredients (things like rose, cedar and citrus) are upcycled — a first for the perfume industry. 90 per cent of the ingredients are also natural, minimising toxicity on the skin. The ‘Rouge’ scent mixes ginger, patchouli, pink pepper and cedar wood for a scent that oozes Parisian sophistication, while the rose fragrance has a sweet, light everyday appeal. The beautiful leather bound bottles are also refillable.
Price: La Bouche Rouge Rouge Parfum 100ml, £195; shop here
Jo Malone, Osmanthus Blossom
Light, bright and easy to wear, Jo Malone London’s new limited Edition Blossoms collection comprises three floral colognes inspired by China. The Osmanthus Blossom scent stands out for its delicate floral-meets-citrus orange blossom scent, cushioned by the sweetness of apricot and an earthy cashmere wood. It’s uplifting and easy to wear – spring in a bottle.
Price: Osmanthus Blossom Cologne 100ml, £115; shop here
Hermès, Un Jardin aÌ CytheÌre
Hermes’ new scent — which comes in a refillable bottle — takes its inspiration from a hot dry garden on a Greek island, and combines grasses, olive wood and fresh pistachio for a scent that’s both citrusy and woody. It transports you to sun drenched holidays, boat trips and hikes in golden fields of grass. You can practically hear the cicadas in the background.
Price: Un Jardin à Cythère Eau de Toilette Refillable Natural Spray 100ml, £106; shop here
Phlur, Solar Power
The brand managed by influencer Chriselle Lim went viral on TikTok with its twice sold-out Missing Person scent, and now its back with Solar Power, a scent designed to evoke that lovely holiday smell of salty, sun-drenched skin. It’s citrusy at first with strong notes of bergamot and red mandarin, balanced with florals neroli, jasmine, and orange flower and wrapped in a comforting blend of musk, driftwood and sea salt. It’s warm and sunny and makes you crave a holiday.
Price: Phlur Solar Power, 50ml, £96; shop here
Escentric Molecules M+ Black tea
When Eccentric Molecules launched its first Molecule 01 fragrance back in 2006, it contained a synthetic molecule (created in a lab in 1973) called Iso E Super, that cleverly and subtly mixes with the wearer’s skin to radiate a pheromone-like scent. It has since become a global phenomenon — it’s the biggest selling product of all time at Liberty — and has come to redefine the category of niche fragrance. This spring the brand is releasing three fragrances with additional notes on top of the velvety, cedarwood of Iso E Super: Guaiac Wood, Black Tea and Ginger. The Black Tea is a beautifully enigmatic unisex fragrance that cleverly balances smokey and fresh.
Price: Escentric Molecules M+ Black tea 100ml, £95; shop here
Tom Ford, Cherry Smoke
A cherry scent could be sickly sweet but this one cleverly wraps said dark, brooding cherry in a leather jacket and gently fans it with exotic saffron, smoky wood and delicate white flowers. It’s sexy as hell, basically.
Price: Tom Ford Cherry Smoke 50 ml, £280; shop here
Aerin, Mediterranean Honeysuckle Clementina
Radiant and luminous, this new limited-edition fragrance was inspired by the spirit of the Amalfi Coast. Built on the scent of honeysuckle laced with bergamot, the scent initially dazzles with Corsican clementine amd Jasmine Sambac before settling to reveal base notes of creamy musk and earthy moss. It’s vibrant, fresh and yet warm.
Price: Mediterranean Honeysuckle Clementina Eau de Parfum, 50 ml, £100; shop here
Body Shop, Full Orange Blossom
There’s been quite a bit written about the damaging effects of chemicals in some perfumes recently, so if you’re in the market for something natural, The Body Shop’s new range of floral scents is a good place to start. Made with 91 per cent ingredients of natural origin, the Full Flowers collection is also certified by The Vegan Society. There’s rose, Iris, ylang ylang and orange blossom and it’s the latter that captured our attention with its fruity meets floral notes of orange blossom and bergamot, balanced by a leafy stem of vetiver. At £39 it’s wonderfully affordable, although you’ll definitely need to top up throughout the day.
Price: Full Orange Blossom 100ml, £39; shop here
Jo Loves, Ebony & Cassis
Since she launched her second brand Jo Loves, Jo Malone CBE has tended to focus on fresh, zingy scents with an all day wear appeal — think the splashy citrus Pomelo (a brand bestseller) or Green Orange and Coriander. This month marks the launch of the brand’s sultriest scent to date, Ebony and Cassis. Inspired by Jo’s newest venture living in the Middle East, the fragrance packs a sweet, heady punch with the warmth of nutmeg, patchouli and cedarwood. It’s balanced with a heavy dose of blackcurrant, a welcome hit of tartness. Overall the effect is rich, sweet and enveloping — the perfect spritz for long nights dancing in the summer heat (even the bottle feels disco-destined). If light and zingy is your thing, this one’s probably not for you.
Price: Ebony and Cassis 100ml, £115; shop here