That’s where Wikiparfums comes in. A pal asked me what I knew of it (nothing at the time), but honestly, it’s a gamechanger. Effectively the Wikipedia of perfumes, it’s a scent database you can tap into to edit down scents you’re likely to love.
It works in two ways. First, if you’re intoxicated by your mate’s signature spritz but don’t want to straight-up rip them off, or you already have a perfume that you love, you can type in the brand, scroll down, click on the scent and it will tell you the main notes (it’s always good to identify the notes you love). Then, it’ll suggest similar alternatives. Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle, for instance, is a flirty blend of patchouli, rose, orange, vanilla and jasmine.
Want to know what else is? Giorgio Armani’s Si Eau de Parfum Intense, which Wikiparfum flagged up on account of it’s mix of identical notes, patchouli and vanilla, similar notes, rose centifolia and mandarin and wild card, blackcurrant. Likewise, Penhaligon’s Empressa Eau de Parfum has three crossover notes (rose, patchouli and vanilla), set apart with bergamot and amber.
Recognisable brand’s like Diptyque’s Capitale, Guerlain’s Idylle Eau de Parfum and YSL’s Mon Paris Couture were all also identified as possible new faves. But if you fancy something a bit more under the radar, the search engine recommends niche picks, like Costume National’s Pop Collection or Paglieri 1876’s Romae, too – each featuring rose, patchouli and a citrus note.
Fragrances occupy the smug shelf of our beauty collection. Usually, they’re a more careful purchase. Usually, we’ve umm-ed and ahh-ed, sniffed them on those little paper sticks and on the back of our wrist and decided – after much deliberation – that they’re worth a spot in our stash. It’s not the same for lipsticks or blushers; sometimes, we don’t even swatch those.
The question is, how do we find a new perfume when we can’t (or don’t want to) go to the shops? We’ve become more experimental over the past few weeks, apparently. We’re willing to try new things! Lockdown fatigue, means we’re aching for a little variety to spice things up, both of which – variety and spice – could make pretty great ingredients for the new perfume we fancy spritzing ourselves in to signal a departure from our everyday.
If you don’t want to match to an existing perfume but have a note you know floats your boat, you can explore by raw material. Say, for instance, that nothing makes you smile as much as your morning espresso, plug in coffee. You can click straight through to results or add extra notes – sweetened up with toffee maybe, or toughened with tobacco.
I went for pomelo (I adore Jo Loves’ Pomelo, but it’s a scent I had on my desk for years and reminds me of the office) and was recommended Jo Malone’s Jade Leaf Tea (an archive fragrance only available from the flagship Regent Street store, so not a lot of people will have it), Pomelo Paradis from Atelier Cologne, an emerging brand only beginning to de discovered, and Black Saffron by Byredo, a sexier, sultrier, evening twist on the scent with soft, creamy cashmeran, warm saffron, powdery violet and sweet raspberry.
If you’re brave, you could find and order a new scent straight away. If you like a little more reassurance, at least you’ve whittled down a tight-knit edit of potential new favourites to sniff next time you have the chance.