Now I know it’s the start of a new year but let us travel back to January 2017. For someone who pretty much has an obsession with every beauty product available, who’s braved stormy weather to go to makeup launches and buys bottles of my favourite skincare before my current ones are finished so I never run out, my love affair with perfumes had been on the decline.
Tired of the same scents that try so hard to entice me with generic names and overly vanilla sweet descriptions when all they evoke is a feeling of boredom, and then there’s the other end of the fragrance scale, pricey bottles that as gorgeous as they smell I just can’t afford. As a result, I’d been left with a perfume sized hole in my life that no amount of musk would fill.
Then the whispers began. Talks of a collection created by the lady who made Creme De La Mer skincare known to the entire world, elevated MAC to the super cosmetic brand it is today and is responsible for the most iconic fake tan advert I’ve ever seen.
Yes, the wonder woman that is Michelle Feeney utilised her incredible thirty years experience working in the beauty industry to bring us eight perfumes that appeal to every personality. Contemporary fragrances inspired by the girls of London, that combine British culture with the ever changing style of our vibrant capital city, bringing something new to the world of perfume. All this and with an affordable price tag to boot. So when I was invited to the launch of Floral Street, which is exclusive to Harvey Nichols, I was more than a little bit intrigued.
Fragrances powered by flowers, each perfume was created by one of the finest perfumers in the industry, Jérôme Epinette and whilst each one is unique in its scent, all reflect the dynamic energy that London embodies.
I absolutely adore peonies, the abundance of ruffles and frills is the perfect mix of femininity and whimsy. Along with armfuls of peonies, vanilla bean, pink cotton candy and violets give this fragrance the classic sweet scent you’d expect from a floral perfume. However before you write this off as an overly girly concoction, just a dash of cedarwood imparts a woody edge whilst a zing from Sicilian lemon elevates Wonderland Peony from cute to sophisticated.
Here we go another rose fragrance, like we need another one of those right? WRONG! Although the name may give the impression of that oh so familiar scent of talcum powder, Neon Rose is in fact extremely fresh. Filled with crisp angelica leaves, sweet apple blossom and uplifting bergamot, the layers in this perfume are magic, one minute an almost honeyed floral note that then gently morphs into a citrus spice.
If there was a fragrance that defines everything that London is, it would be London Poppy. The zing of Florida oranges and zest of Sicilian lemons reflect the liveliness our capital city offers all year round. As lovely as this scent is, I do have to have a least favourite and unfortunately this is it. For me it lacks that little extra je ne sais quoi the others in this collection have. Saying that, it does instantly lift my mood whenever I wear it and if you’re after a light floral fragrance, this is for you.
I really dislike vanilla fragrances. I find them too sweet and well… vanilla, so when I saw Wild Vanilla Orchid I was convinced I was going to wrinkle my nose immediately. I couldn’t have been more wrong and it’s the floral elements of red orchid and jasmine that cuts through the vanilla cosiness to reveal an underlying sweet aroma of flowers in bloom. I find this perfume very comforting but with a sultry edge that will definitely keep people guessing. Plus when the design on the bottle has been in Vogue magazine, Wild Vanilla Orchid is a must.
Iris Goddess takes me on a trip down memory lane eating parma violets and as many sweets I could manage. This perfume is beautifully sweet with violets that is offset with earthy carrot seed and spicy red chilli pepper. Iris Goddess also contains Orris, the root of the iris plant, that takes six years to process and collect the essential oil used in perfume and as a result costs three and a half times the price of gold!! Now that’s luxury.
Pronounced shee-prah sublime, this perfume smells as exotic as it sounds. Damask rose, violets and wild geranium are the hero flowers of this fragrance, blended with the oh so fancy olibanum which is the swanky name for the already swanky ingredient frankincense. Chypre Sublime is such a lively perfume, yet it is surprisingly calming. Just one deep breath of this scent and I feel immediately relaxed, an important factor in our hectic and busy lives.
Well hello Black Lotus, it’s an absolute pleasure to meet you. Yes I will revel in your intoxicating leather arms and breathe in your saffron and peppercorn spice. Black Lotus completely redefines floral fragrances for me. It’s incredibly sensual with the centifolia rose adding depth that other flowers just don’t possess. It’s the perfect evening scent that is certain to get people asking what you’re wearing but just like this perfume, I’d say it was a secret and keep that air of mystery.
Ylang-Ylang Espresso is like the rebellious younger sister of Black Lotus. Floral but with the almost seductive scents of rich coffee and tiramisu. Yes you heard that right, sweet tiramisu that compliments the fresh rose and ylang ylang in this perfume. Don’t worry about smelling like Starbucks either, the coffee is soothing and inviting and frankly nothing like I’ve ever tried before.
For me I can really smell the main ingredients in each perfume and that’s exactly what Floral Street is all about, ingredients not notes. It’s so refreshing to wear a perfume and feel like you are contained within your own personal flower garden.
At £55 for 50 mls and £22 for the 10 ml travel size, Floral Street is really very affordable and for the quality of every single perfume, you certainly get more than your money’s worth. The entire collection is also vegan and cruelty free plus to top it off the packaging is made from recycled paper that is 100% compostable and really emphasises the unnecessary need of over packaged perfumes.
I plan to get a few more full sized so I can change my fragrance with my mood and let’s face it these bottles also look stunning on a dressing table.