Thursday, 1 October 2020

SPERANZA by Sarah Ireland

There are certain regions of the world that seem to feature heavily as the inspiration for fragrances, and it’s often a fine line between originality and riding on the coattails of someone else’s success. A perfume with a huge dose of citrus for example can regularly be found sporting a reference to the Amalfi Coast, but these hesperidic uplifts often fail to excite as the scent develops on the skin. However, Sarah Ireland has gone in a wonderfully diverting direction with her interpretation of the region, and Speranza Eau de Cologne succeeds wonderfully in transporting you to the historic hillsides around the Tyrrhenian Sea.

When Sarah Ireland launched her fragrance house back in 2018 it was a huge departure from her original career as a teacher. She’d always enjoyed wearing perfume, and basking in the emotions that it could conjure up, but she also felt as though there was room for her own story as well. Her debut quartet of fragrances consisted of Pink Pepper & Ginger Lilly, Summer Serenade, Crushed Velvet, and Keahia. She started deliberately quietly, gradually building up a base of very loyal customers, before finally being recognised as a finalist in the Best Newcomer category at The Fragrance Foundation Awards in 2019.

There’s no escaping the fact that we are still very much in the middle of an emergency, and the draw on the resources of the NHS continues unabated. So Sarah decided that she wanted to try to help by releasing a fragrance that could also raise money for NHS Charities Together. One of the important decisions was that the price had to be low enough so as to be accessible but also that a decent percentage could also be donated. Speranza Eau de Cologne was the result and, at £23 for 15ml, a very generous £3 from every sale goes to the charity.

Italy, and in particular the Amalfi Coast, is one of Sarah Ireland’s favourite places and so it seemed obvious to use it as the inspiration for an uplifting and positive fragrance. She had always been struck by the historic Shepherd Trails that crisscross the region, and wanted to draw on that feeling of human determination. She also wanted to avoid the usual burst of citrus and instead focus on the hillsides that overlook the incredibly blue Tyrrhenian Sea. The bottle continues the oceanic flavour and, because it’s a screw top, can also be reused afterwards. So, are you ready to dip your toes into the Mediterranean?

Speranza is the Italian word for ‘hope’ and that positivity is present right from the outset with an oceanic juniper leading perfectly down to the more floral aromatic heart. If you imagine sunshine warming a hillside then that’s the effect you get from the notes of rosemary and lavender, which harmoniously sit alongside a carefully measured rose and jasmine blend. A combination of black pepper and hyacinth gives an almost sunshine and sea spray accord and these, in conjunction with a dusty amber, really do summon up ancient walkways that look out onto a crystal blue sea. If you long for a little more citrus then I suggest adding Sarah Ireland’s Summer Serenade Body Oil underneath, because they really do fit seamlessly together.

Speranza Eau de Cologne is available as a limited edition from the Sarah Ireland Perfumes website at sarah-ireland.com priced at £23 for 15ml. £3 from every sale goes to NHS Charities Together. [Speranza sample provided by Sarah Ireland but Body Oil is my own]

* I worked freelance for Sarah Ireland Perfumes during 2019 but all opinions within this article are my own.

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