Sali Hughes, resident beauty columnist for the Guardian Weekend magazine and weekly contributor to BBC Radio 5 Live, shares her thoughts on fragrance trends for Summer 2013.
What are your favourite spring/summer fragrances from 2012 and why?
I loved Jo Malone’s Blackberry & Bay and continued to wear it right through the autumn. It’s extremely British smelling, so seems appropriate in our unreliable climate. I also wore Byredo’s La Tulipe a lot.
It’s the perfect spring fragrance – fresh, floral and uplifting. It would be remiss of me not to mention Diptyque Philosykos as I’ve worn it every spring for a decade.
Do you think there are any fragrances trending for 2013?
I’m wary of trends in fragrance as perfume shouldn’t be fashionable – it should be personal. But reassuringly, I think we are seeing beauty customers returning to traditional perfumes – those made by a perfumer rather than a chemist with a marketing brief under his nose.
I think Tom Ford has really helped popularise ‘proper’ perfumes again. I’m also very interested in Vetivers again. Roja Dove’s Vetiver is so exquisite that it reminded me of how much I love the whole family.
Creed’s is beautiful and of course, Guerlain’s Vetiver is a reference point in perfumery. It’s obviously wonderful on men, but I think it’s extremely sexy when a woman wears vetiver with confidence. It’s also fabulous for the home – I love Melt’s Nutmeg & Vetiver candles.
Are there any 2013 fragrances that you dislike?
I am done with pink peppercorns. They are to this decade what the tonka bean was to the last. I swear, if I attend one more launch for a perfume containing pink peppercorn, I shall drink it in despair.
I also loathe anything designed to smell ‘clean’. Clean doesn’t have a smell! I’d sooner use a beautiful bar of proper soap than a yukky expensive perfume trying to smell like one.
Do you have any personal favourites and how long have you been using these?
I’m sent hundreds of perfumes every year but only a few ever make it onto my bedroom mantelpiece, where my personal-use scents live.
Here you’ll find Guerlain Mitsouko, Chanel 31 Rue de Cambon and 28 La Pausa, Diptyque Philosykos and L’Ombre Dans L’eau, Byredo La Tulipe, Jo Malone Blackberry & Bay, Prada Infusion D’Iris, Tom Ford Neroli Portofino, Serge Lutens Bois et Fruits, Roja Dove’s Vetiver, Neroli Absolute from Atelier Cologne and, of course, Chanel No5. No perfume wardrobe is complete without it.
Do you think people often get stuck buying the same fragrances and don’t try new ones that they might actually prefer? Why do you think this is?
There’s nothing wrong with a signature scent and I understand why people feel safe and confident in one favourite. But there are ways of experimenting according to mood while remaining in your comfort zone.
Look at the notes in your current perfume and choose a new one with similar ingredients. If you love the very rosy Stella, you may like Jo Malone’s Red Roses Cologne. If you love Chanel No5, try Prada’s Infusion D’Iris – they have irises in common, and so on.
A scent or fragrance can transport you back home, be it the countryside or a place filled with many memorable moments. What scented candle fragrances do you like to burn at home?
I am addicted to Diptyque’s Baies candles, and am never without one in the house. I find the rose and blackcurrant leaf smell so comforting and evocative and the throw is fantastic – the room remains scented for days after just a 30 minute burn.
I also love Timothy Dunn candles. the Violette de Lune is exquisite and burns nice and slowly. I can’t bear spending money on candles that burn in one night.
We’ve spoke about 2013 fragrance trends. How do you think candles will play a part in spring/summer 2013?
I think more and more people are realising how uplifting scented candles can be. I spend lots of time at home and a beautifully scented house just makes me happy.
Candles are as wonderful in the summer as they are in colder months. As the sun emerges, I tend to switch to warm, fruity and green varieties.
I am quite fussy about quality though. Cheap candles made with synthetic fragrances are a false economy – they burn fast, don’t ‘throw’ the scent properly around the house, and smell like air freshener (practically my worst thing).
What are your favourite candles from the Melt range?
I adore Melt candles. The quality is superb for the price – they hold their own against candles costing twice as much. I love Violet & Black Pepper, Neroli & Rose Geranium, Warm Fig & Star Anise, Joy, and Love (I’m mad for roses and violets, especially together).
I also find the Ginger & Bergamot makes the perfect congratulations gift for expectant mothers as it works wonders on morning sickness!
Is there anything you’d like to see in the spring/summer range for 2013?
I love the smell of fruit leaves and green herbs together – fig leaves, blackcurrant leaves, basil, thyme, sage. There’s something wonderfully summery about those sorts of scents.
Even if the sun never appears, a candle can make everything smell as though it has!
Thank you to Sali Hughes for answering all our questions. Be sure to have a peek at her new beauty blog: www.salihughesbeauty.com