Thursday, 8 August 2019

The FRAGRANCE DISCOVERY BOX
by Harvey Nichols and The Perfume Society

It’s very true that “variety is the spice of life” but, in the world of perfume, the continuous stream of new fragrances can become a little overwhelming. In the niche market it can be even more intimidating because the increased price means that you don’t want to make a costly mistake. So, where do you start? This month sees the launch of the Fragrance Discovery Box which is a collaboration between Harvey Nichols and The Perfume Society. Eight curated niche companies, many of them exclusive to the store, are gathered together in one scented experience and the results are, in the words of Edina Monsoon, “absolutely fabulous!”

When The Perfume Society launched back in 2014 it was with the aim of making fragrance more accessible to everyone, although still retaining a little of the magic. One of their ideas was to produce a Discovery Box that could be delivered to your own home and where, with the tasting notes provided, you could “discover” the latest fragrance releases. This was usually a selection of 2ml samples, based around a central theme, with many being pretty difficult to find outside of London. However, when they were approached to collaborate with Harvey Nichols it was clear from the beginning that it was going to be something special.

Knightsbridge is home to two of the most famous department stores in the world, Harrods and Harvey Nichols. The former has always had the reputation of being a one-stop experience for perfume fans but Harvey Nichols is fighting back with its selection of carefully curated scents. Whilst the number of brands is significantly smaller, the strategy seems to be one of assembling intriguing and inspirational perfumes that perfectly compliment the store’s more familiar choices. Many of these fragrances are exclusive to Harvey Nichols and so deciding on the final eight must have been wonderfully fragrant but incredibly difficult.

Let’s start with the presentation. The box itself has a fairly simple slipcover with hints of the design underneath and, from the side, the Harvey Nichols building is surrounded by blooms. However, when this is removed the full design can be seen and it is stunning. I can only imagine the face of the person if you gifted this to them. The box then folds open to reveal eight compartments and behind each of these is a fragrance. Think of an advent calendar where you can open all of the doors in one go, and not get told off! The accompanying booklet also gives wonderful background to the fragrances and the companies featured, and is sure to be something that you will keep referring to.

The selection of eight companies in the Fragrance Discovery Box spans classical to experimental and, by having a combination of traditionally “masculine” and “feminine” scents, the collection really does have something for everyone. The companies featured are ELLA K (Memoire de Daisen 8ml), Experimental Perfume Club* (Rose Rhubarb 8ml), Goutal (Eau D'Hadrien 7ml), Maison Francis Kurkdjian (Gentle Fluidity Silver 5ml), MEMO Paris (Eau de Memo 10ml), Robert Graham (Fortutude, Valour, and Courage 2ml each), Serge Lutens* (Un Bois Vanille 5ml), and Tiziana Terenzi (Bella Oudh 15ml).

The Fragrance Discovery Box is available from Harvey Nichols in-store and online at harveynichols.com, and also from The Perfume Society at perfumesociety.org, priced at £45. [Sample provided by Harvey Nichols]

*The Experimental Perfume Club fragrance will be randomly selected from Amber Iris, Black Bergamot, Fig Neroli, Neon Jasmine, Red Hot Wood, and Rose Rhubarb. The Serge Lutens fragrance will be randomly selected from Féminité du Bois, Fleurs d’Oranger, and Un Bois Vanille

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