Breathtaking venue? Check. Chic ivory suit? Check. Flowers, food and fizz? Check, check, check! Now it’s time for the finishing touch: finding your wedding perfume.
While the rest of your wedding day prep might be influenced by your partner and loved ones, your bridal fragrance is the one thing that should completely, 100% reflect your personality and aesthetic. Which means if you’re not usually the kind to wear a sweet gourmand or white floral scent, fret not because there are endless cool-girl options out there to complement your vibe.
‘The best perfume for a bride will be the one that makes her feel great and happy on the day. Something very unique that will bring back the memory of the wedding every time she smells it,’ says perfumer and founder of Experimental Perfume Club, Emmanuelle Moeglin. ‘For an unexpected wedding scent, woody notes are great because they’ve been traditionally used in the masculine aisle. Leathery notes also have a lot of personality and are on the darker side of fragrance.’
At perfume boutique Les Senteurs, retail brand manager Claire Slaney cites milky sandalwoods and musks as the new go-to scent profiles for soon-to-be brides. Unsurprising, given that cashmere-soft skin scents are still a prominent trend in fragrance.
Ahead, 10 of our must-sniff wedding perfumes for the modern bride…
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Here’s the thing about Le Labo’s Another 13: there are fans who admit that they can’t really smell the perfume on themselves, but everyone seems to agree on one thing – this fragrance is a compliment magnet. Maybe it’s the generous dose of Ambrox, an elegant amber character, or perhaps it’s the cocktail of jasmine and moss. Either way, Another 13 will have you smelling divine ’til after the after-party.
Glossier You is your everyday fragrance you say…? Consider Musc Outreblanc the more glamorous older sister who’s recently relocated to Monte Carlo. It has all the things we love about skin-scents (clean, comforting, cosy) but dialled up with opulent notes of iris butter, Bulgarian rose and orange blossom absolute. Or as Perfume Delphine Jelk describes it: ‘a musky floral skin scent that’s much less demure than it looks.’
There’s no denying the enduring allure of Chanel No. 5, but if the OG veers a little too ‘mother-of-the-bride’ for you, give No.5 L’Eau a go. It opens with a burst of effervescent citrus before revealing a jasmine heart that’s more fluttery than heady. It’s just as compelling as No.5, but there’s a crystalline quality here that feels fresher and more airy.
If your dream wedding look is Camille Charriere’s risque lacy ensemble, then Santal Austral is the perfect accompanying spritz. Master perfumer Aurelien Guichard plays up spicy facets of sandalwood, giving this scent an edge that’s oh-so-addictive. The sillage is impressive, lingering on skin for hours on end.
Sweet, old-school Parma Violets this is not. Yes, there is a powdery quality here, but set against a backdrop of incense, tobacco leaf and tanned leather, Violet Ends is unexpectedly grungy and ready to turn the wedding reception into an all-night rave.
This deliciously warm composition of cardamom and sandalwood comes highly recommended by Claire Slaney, retail brand manager at London’s revered perfume boutique, Les Senteurs. ‘It’s bewitching, soft, and elegant,’ describes Slaney. One for the bride who’s rocking an ivory vintage gown for the special day.
Baccarat Rouge 540 Extrait De Parfum
Maison Francis Kurkdjian
Gorgeous, gorgeous girls wear Baccarat Rouge 540. But on their wedding day, said gorgeous girls amp it up and splurge for a bottle of the Extrait because…why not? This scent of burnt strawberry jam and money is unapologetic and sashays onto the aisle before you do, which is a vibe we’re totally on board with. It goes with anything, but we especially love it paired with an ultra-modern, satin jumpsuit.
Rose Rhubarb EDP – £98
Experimental Perfume Club
Saying ‘I do’ in a lush garden estate in the peak of summer? Do it doused in a splash of this sparkling rose fragrance. Far from the dusty florals of your gran’s dressing table (although, there is a time and place for those…), this rosy scent shines bright thanks to a hit of tangy rhubarb. Endlessly joyful, just the way your big day should be.
If the thought of blousy flowers, 5-tier meringue cakes and those tiny little pearly buttons (who has the time?) down the back of a gown is enough to break you out in hives, then Dior’s ultra-minimalist Thé Cachemire (or Cashmere Tea) might be The One for you. It smells of fresh linens, created by infusing delicate white tea notes with the lightest touch of florals and soft musk. Clean, smooth and almost soapy, without being astringent.
Devious Extrait de Parfum
Contradictions In Ilk
For something a little closer to home, try British perfume brand Contradictions In Ilk. Devious is inspired by ‘forbidden thoughts that whirr silently without sensor’, which translates here as a cocktail of bitter almond, amaretto and cherry liqueur. A sprinkling of cardamom and vanilla depth to the drydown.
‘I’ve had a few women who have chosen Tobak as as their wedding fragrance as it makes them feel sexy,’ says perfumer Maya Njie. ‘It’s been described as a “sex panther” scent more than once!’ Tobak features tobacco leaf and woody vetiver while cinnamon and (vegan) musk lend a sweet warmth.
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