After months of Almost-Winter-But-Never-Christmas, March is here. I’ve always thought that having the year begin in January is a mistake bigger and huger than not letting Julia Roberts shop in your fancy store because she’s wearing thigh high pleather boots and you can see her nunny.
January is not a time for newness. It’s only good for eating biscuits. But March is when our thoughts turn to pubs and picnics and pastel blazers. We start to feel that daylight is working with us, not against us. If someone suggests going for a run or eating a salad, you might screw your face up thoughtfully and say “That’s not completely crazy”, rather than hitting them over the head with a handy drum of Quality Street and screaming “You are a witch! A witch a witch a WITCH!”
And as the season slips into something a little more comfortable, so should you. The newly warmed earth is no longer Winter scented – it smells of softness and blossom. Nature pretty much demands that you dash out and buy a lovely new perfume to inspire you and celebrate the real beginning of 2013. (Surprisingly nature has retained its pre recession, pro Carrie Bradshaw spendy stance). These recently released fragrances are all lovely and new. Check them out.
Yardley Polaire, £19.99 for 50ml
This is twenties inspired but very much of the moment – Yardley’s first premium fragrance sparkles on your skin like a spoiled heiresses’ tennis bracelet. The amber and patchouli heart is smoulderingly, dangerously sexy, but freesia, pear and pink pepper will make you feel dashing and daring – you might just roll your skirt up, bob your hair and start sneaking out of the window to late night jazz clubs. It might be out just in time for Mother’s Day, but there’s nothing matronly about it. Interestingly, no-one who smelled it on my enthusiastically proffered wrist could believe it cost less than twenty quid.
Floris Cherry Blossom, Eau de parfum, £99 for 100ml
I’ve seen a few perfume bottles in my time, but this symphony of pink and gold made me feel slightly giddy with luxury. It’s the sort of thing that Marilyn Monroe probably got sent by lovesick billionaire fans. And the fragrance is all giggle and wiggle – it opens with bergamot, tempering the sweetness with freshness, and the creamy floral notes at the heart give it a sophisticated fullness and warmth. This is the one to wear when smiling coyly at a crush as you accidentally let the strap of a dress fall from your shoulder.
L’Occitane Rose Aurore Eau Fraiche, £37 for 75ml
Rose is always underrated, and L’Occitane always gets it right, because they understand the rose. They get it. Rose naysayers often think “Romantic in an obvious way, bit pricey, smells like…flowers?” But they know that roses can evoke forests and fairytales, or velvet and satin, a hot day or a hot date. Rose Aurore is startlingly pure. If you’ve always thought it’s a fragrance that you’re too cool for, the amber and lotus flower will get you – just you wait. Try spraying it over something you already wear and love for a mindblowing fragrance makeover.
Roja Parfums, Fetish, Eau de Parfum £195 for 100ml
Roja stuff is always alarmingly sexy, and this creaks with erotic intent. It smells like amber, sandalwood and the most expensive leather going – the sort of leather that even Elton John would put on his Christmas list instead of rushing out and buying. But it’s subtle and knowing – it doesn’t whip you, but takes you to the nanosecond before the lash falls. It’s pupils engorged with desire. An unspoken ‘I want you’. If Alex from The O.C. crossed over into Gossip Girl land, this is what she’d wear.
Rouge Bunny Rouge, Vespers, Eau de perfume, £86.60 for 100ml
This is a mysterious one. If I were advertising it, I’d have some beautiful pixie lady discover it emerging from a rock in a violet wood. Everyone would be intoxicated by her fragrance, but the advert would be somehow spooky too. This is a terrible concept and there is no way of executing it without making it look like a Blue Oyster Cult video, but that’s Vesper. Gorgeously odd and slightly spooky. It smells like violets emerging through snow from a bonfire, and I resent telling you all about it because I want to be the only one who ever gets to smell like this.
Jimmy Choo, Flash, Eau de parfum, £45 for 50 ml
Do not be fooled by the name! This doesn’t smell like a zesty cleaning product. It’s strawberry played off against tuberose and tangerine, and goodness, it’s sexy. It smells of hope and hotels with heavy glass revolving doors. Wear it to work if you must, but it works best with black satin backless cocktail frocks and martinis that give you no change from a £20 note.