Perfume preferences and menopause (part two)

— by Alyson Walsh


Photo: Harper’s Bazaar

In ‘Does our taste in scents change with the change?’ beauty writer Vicci Bentley admitted to moving over to the light side. Replacing spicy, leathery fragrances with lighter florals, post-menopause. Here Vicci picks some of her favourite, new floral scents:

Lest the Bri-Nylon spectre of granny and her Devon Violets beckon, take heart.  Menopause or not, bright, white floral fragrances (think jasmine, tuberose and ylang ylang) are trending again, possibly as light relief from the heavy rose-ouds and sickly sweet ‘fruitchoulis’ that have permeated perfume halls for far too long, now. Not that these modern florals are at all mimsy. It’s just that accents such as like hauntingly soft, cool iris, ‘hug me’ amber and ‘blue sky’ neroli are supporting features which put easy sensuality way above basic sexiness. Couture versus cleavage is the manifesto, now.

If like me, you’re a newly-fledged floral fancier, mull on these.

Diana Vreeland Full Gallop Eau de Parfum, £180 (from November. Other Diana Vreeland fragrances available HERE). Not remotely horsey, this is Inspired by the fashion diva’s love of dance – from Ballet Russe to the Tiller Girls, with whom she actually performed! Heliotrop’s marzipan moorishness is peppery and musky with powdery clouds of iris. A very high class hoofer.

Lola James Harper, The Promenade in Vincennes Wood, £34 (available HEREIngredients listed are green tea, lily and wood. To me, it’s the sweet, sharp, rusty scent of autumn in a grove of oak trees. The perfect woody-floral compromise.

Ormonde Jayne Jardin d’Ombre, £195 (Fortnum & Mason. Other Ormonde Jayne fragrances available HERE)There’s something pleasingly vintage about perfumer Linda Pilkington’s limited edition for Fortnum’s. Limey citrus notes give way to beautifully smooth iris and jasmine heart before ambery woods kick in. She denies there’s tea, but it has that cosey, hay-like appeal too.

Prada Olfactories Purple Rain, £195 (from November. Other Prada parfum available HERE) Nobody does iris quite like Prada perfumer Daniela Andrier. This is like the ‘liqueur’ version of Infusion d’Iris, cool and airy with aldehydes brought gently down to earth with the exquisitely soft, prune-leather aspect of vanilla. Light meets dark velvet. 

Bella Freud Close To My Heart, £95 (available HERE). Alyson and I debated this one. You either love or loathe tuberose as it intensifies on skin and, after a while, she found it a tad heavy. I liked the uplift of neroli and whiff of incense. The mossy, musky base has oud too, but such a light touch. Smells like cashmere feels.

Tom Ford Private Blend, Vert Bohème (available HERE). Out of TF’s four new scents on a green theme, I love this modern take on a classic chypre. Upbeat mandarin, magnolia and honeysuckle mingle with violet leaf and woods. Galbanum – the green note – gives it a ‘70s, Rive Gauche kick.



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In ‘Does our taste in scents change with the change?’ beauty writer Vicci Bentley admitted to moving over to the light side.