Monday 11 September 2023


A bottle of Aphrodite perfume by SOKI LONDON
When you wake up to the rain hammering on the windows or the heating beginning to switch on by itself, your thoughts can quickly turn to the image of a sun-drenched beach and a tropical cocktail within reach. These thoughts quickly disappear though as the reality of real life makes itself known, but that’s when perfume can quickly come to the rescue. Just one spritz can metaphorically allow you to pack your bags reach fo the suncream, and grab your passport. This was the idea behind Aphrodite by SOKI LONDON. Promising to “transport the wearer to a sensual paradise”, are you ready to enjoy some autumn sunshine?

SOKI LONDON was founded by Sophie King, who started a YouTube fragrance channel back in 2015. Her aim was to simplify the complicated world of scent and, judging by her massive online following, she has achieved just that. The channel featured the latest launches and, as she admits herself, was born out of love of perfume rather than a desire to be an “influencer”. 2015 was also the year that launched and, while other writers and YouTubers may have fallen by the wayside, we’re both still here with the common aim to genuinely “put the fun back into fragrance”.

Sophie King had always had a fascination with fragrance, which originally came from her father buying her a new perfume each time he’d return from an overseas trip. This ultimately led to working in a fragrance store, and it’s here that Sophie says she learned the very important lesson to really listen to what customers were looking for. It might sound simple, but how many times have you been shown a fragrance in a store that bears no relation to what you wanted? In 2022 she released her first crowd-funded fragrance, Empress, but the groundwork was already in place for perfume number two.

The box for the Aphrodite perfume by SOKI LONDON
To create Aphrodite, Sophie turned to perfumer Ruth Mastenbroek. She originally trained at Naarden International in Northampton and, as an anonymous perfumer, was responsible for many successful fragrances but without being credited. This changed in 2010 when she launched her own brand of perfumes, candles and diffusers. In recent years, the bestselling Jo Malone London Grapefruit Candle has finally been attributed to her, and it clearly showed an ability to make complex scents appear simple, and fleeting ingredients remain anchored. So, swapping grapefruit for mango, is Aphrodite a totally tropical experience?

The fragrance opens with a deliciously mouth-watering blend of mango, redcurrant and bergamot, so it really is like a beach cocktail, before a waxy green leaf accord adds an additional tropical touch. The heart of the perfume sees the lotus flower note appear, but there’s a touch of ylang ylang in here as well, so just a hint of that creamy banana facet. Interestingly, there’s also a whisper of lavender and clove, and their aromatic edges link wonderfully to the sweetened coconut milk aroma that, once again, pushes you to that tropical location. With a final appearance of a peppery aquatic note, conjuring the water lapping at the beach’s sandy edge, and a hint of skin-warming labdanum, Aphrodite succeeds in being playful, enticing, and incredibly addictive.

Aphrodite is available from the SOKI LONDON website at priced at £69 for 50ml and £5 for 1.5 ml. [Sample provided by Sophie King]

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