In the days leading up to my visit to the seaside I found that I was really looking forward to it, and I am sure if I could have gotten away with it, I would have brought along a bucket & spade, a fishing net for use in the rock pools and flip-flops.
Then, … I remembered that I had not seen or used my seaside essentials in over thirty years.
(Well, … that is my version of events and I’m sticking to it)
After booking into a small family run hotel, I decided that if I was going to the seaside, then staying in one of the large chain run Hotels was not on.
So, on my first evening there, I went for a walk along the beach.
(Sorry, … but you will have to read a little further on for the ‘sex on the beach’ part)
The sun was setting and a beautiful warm breeze was blowing off the sea, I was in Heaven and had decided to keep an eye out for shops that would sell my seaside essentials after all.
It may have been tiredness or the simple fact that I was so delighted to be by the sea, but it was not until the following morning when I went for a walk on the beach before breakfast and heading off to work, that I noticed that the Seaside had ‘Lost its Smell’!
As a Perfumer for me the World revolves around smell, and if an aroma as distinctive as the Sea is not discernible, then there is something seriously amiss?
If someone asked you ‘what does the sea smell of’ or ‘why does the sea smell like the sea’, would or could the answer be sand, sea breeze or even as the Victorians believed Ozone?
Not one single note can truly conjure up the smell of the sea.
So, … while standing wondering where the seaside smell had gone and at the same time burying my toes in the sand, which is something along with paddling that is a prerequisite when at the seaside,
I noticed that there was not a single strand of seaweed anywhere to be seen on the beach, no seaweed, no seashells only driftwood.
I was delighted to see that there was no rubbish on the beach, but not a single strand of seaweed either?
Then I remembered reading an article where scientists have finally discovered how the seaside odour is produced and it can all be traced back to an enzyme that allows algae to survive in their salty seawater environment.
The smell we recognise as ‘The Sea’ is produced by algae on the ocean surface that release an aromatic compound called dimethylsulfide (DMS) into the air.
While scientists identified ‘DMS’ as the molecule responsible for the distinctive smell of the ocean some years ago, exactly how it was produced in the ocean was unclear.
What was clear was that the molecule plays an important role in cloud formation and also provides chemical attractants that guides various marine animals including some sea birds, invertebrates, and even mammals – toward potential food supplies.
So in our world it is the equivalent to a restaurant sign saying it is open for business …
The researchers also noted that the gene appears to be present in many other marine organisms including ‘Seaweeds’ that also release DMS.
This may explain why so many plants that grow under the ocean or along the coastline have such a distinctive seaside odour, it may also explain why on some days the smell of the sea can be stronger than on others as different algae blooms flourish.
It may also be the reason why we not only know the smell of the sea, but the food that it provides has that distinct flavour that we all associate with it, a fresh brininess that creates that ocean flavour.
When discussing this phenomena with another Perfumer, they mentioned reading an article that spoke about seaweed reproduction, and the fact that during certain times of the year seaweed has a stronger ‘Seaside Odour’ than normal and, …
that scientists had discovered that during the seaweed reproductive cycle the female produced a lot more of these volatile compounds, so that all those handsome virile male seaweed swimming around in the ocean would smell this wonderful Perfume and come a calling.
This gives a whole new meaning to ‘Sex on the Beach’.
So, … the next time you have the opportunity to visit the seaside, spare a thought for that humble wonderful edible seaside dweller, that not only helps provides us with the Seaside smell we love so much, but helps with the formation of clouds and that feeds a myriad of other marine life.
Another thought that should pop into your head is, that if this very special algae is smart enough to use a Perfume to attract their perfect mate.
Then this is the perfect definition of ‘Sex on the Beach’!
What are you waiting for?
A trip to the Seaside perhaps?
Or, … would your time be better spent finding out what is your ‘Perfect Perfume’?
Pine: a woody, resinous note with the essence of pine needle
We expect that around the sculpture will be a unique fragrance sensation reminiscent of a Fougère (Fern in English) with its interaction between:
a woody, earthy & green note on the one hand, and
watery, damp and cool freshness on the other.
Fougère / Fern is not derived or extract from a ingredient. Instead, it is an accord that endeavours to recreate the note of a green, damp forest through the combination of Lavender, Oakmoss and Coumarin. Fougère Royale by Houbigant is typically credited with being the first of this kind, which has today become a classic masculine fragrance category.
Here at Pairfum London we have two wonderful fragrances in our perfume collection that are classified as Fougère or Fern:
Both perfumes are available in our online boutique in various Home Fragrance products:
Magnificent Magnolias blooming in Great Windsor Park in Spring offer a spectacular sight.
The Valley Gardens, together with The Savill Garden, provide a home to a National Collection of Magnolia trees. Here are some examples:
On leaving the Savill building, visitors are welcomed to a fantastic show by a mature Magnolia loebneri ‘Merrill’, covered in ice-white flowers.
In a far corner of the garden, close to the summer house, is a Magnolia sprengeri ‘Eric Savill’, with large, bold pink flowers.
The Valley Gardens features a glorious collection of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and magnolias, best viewed in the spring from the top of the valley, with views down to Virginia Water.
The magnolia family can count approx 200 species mainly found in two regions:
The Magnolia tree was named after Pierre Magnol, the French botanist behind the current nomenclature of botanical classification.
Magnificent Magnolias are significant flowers in Chinese and Japanese culture, and has been cultivated for centuries.
The ‘Magnolia Virginiana’ species (from Virginia) was the first Magnolia to be introduced into Europe. In 1687, it was sent across John Banister, an English missionary and naturalist, to Henry Compton, English bishop and a passionate gardener.
Shortly afterwards, Europe was introduced to Chinese Magnolias (Magnolia Denudata and Liliflora).
In the middle of the nineteenth century, the beautiful Star Magnolia (Stellata) from Japan was planted in Europe.
The “queen of Magnolias”, the pink Magnolia Campbellii from the Himalaya, was discovered at the beginning of the last century.
Magnificent Magnolias in Perfumery
Magnolia flowers (Magnolia Grandiflora) frequently have a fragrance. Their perfume is creamy sweet with hints of citrus. Magnolia is a popular ingredient in floral perfume accords, and there have been some fragrances where Magnolia is the main floral ingredient.
‘Magnolias in Bloom’ by PAIRFUM
Here at PAIRFUM we are proud to have captured the essence of Magnolias in our fragrance ‘magnolias in bloom’:
A spring flowers accord with the fresh top note of ozone, soft white flower petals and a hint of watery melon. The heart is complex and floral with magnolia, lily, geranium, rose and violet, while the base shines with musks and warm rosewood.
‘Magnolias in Bloom’ is available in the following luxury scented candles and natural reed diffusers:
Reed Diffusers (petite, classic and large size and in the bell, cube and tower shapes)
Daffodils are considered one of the heralds of spring.
Their common name is Daffodil and their Latin, botanical name Narcissus. They are a bulb that is part of the amaryllis family, Amaryllidaceae.
Planted between September and October the previous year, the bulb develops roots before the beautiful yellow and white flowers burst out the following spring from February to early May. They can be found in borders, containers but also parks and by the roadside.
Their typical height and spread are 5cm (2in) to 50cm (20in). They prefer sun or light shade and are an easy to grow bulb. The plant is very resistant and most sorts survive cold winters to flower for many years.
The flowers are either yellow or white, trumpet or star-shaped and grow on a long stalk with green leaves. In all, there are about 26 wild varieties but many hundreds of cultivated versions.
Mainly based on their flower form, Daffodils are categorised into 13 groups, mainly based on the form of their flower:
Trumpet: flowers with cups (the corona) that are longer than their petals
Large-cupped: with large cups but the corona is not longer than their perianth segments
Small-cupped: the flowers have small cups, much shorter than their petals
Double: double blooms, with a ruffled appearance, but no clear distinction between petals and cup
Triandrus: small-flowered daffodils with pendent blooms, up to five, which naturalise well in grass
Cyclamineus: small flowers with petals sweeping back from the cup (i.e. reflexed perianth). These are an early flowering species and naturalise well in grass
Jonquilla and Apodanthus: These are the fragrant varieties and they display up to five small flowers per stem
Tazetta: another fragrant variety with up to 20 small flowers per stem, with sadly some only half hardy
Poeticus: another variety that can be naturalised in grass. They have small cups with a contrasting colours to their large white petals
Bulbocodium: in this variety the cups are much larger than the petals and they are short, with delicate, rush-like leaves. They naturalise well in grass.
Split-corona (Collar or Papillon): they look like orchids, with a cup split into segments. In the papillon type (typically with a whorl split into six segments) the face appears flatter and more open.
Species daffodils (including wild narcissi): these small species grow well in rock gardens and pots
Miscellaneous: daffodils that do not fit any of the above groups
History of Daffodils
Daffodils originate from Southern Europe and North Africa, but some varieties can be found in Asia and China. Some claim that narcissus originated from Persia and was brought to China in the 8th century by travelling traders along the Silk Route.
The flower is linked to the Greek myth of Narcissus, who became so obsessed with his own reflection, that he knelt down to gaze into a pool of water. Sadly, he toppled into the water and drowned. The Narcissus plant sprang from where he died.
The name probably has its origin in the Greek word of ‘narke’, which became ‘narce’ under the Romans, meaning ‘numb’ and is a reference to its narcotic effect.
For more than a thousand years, Narcissus oil has been used for many different purposes, in both ancient Rome and the middle East:
Narcissinum was the name the Romans gave the fragrance they created using narcissus unguent.
In Arabia it was used in perfumery but also to cure baldness
In India, the oil of the narcissus (as well as fragrant oils of sandal, jasmine, and rose), is utilised during ritual cleaning before attending prayers.
The French used it as a scent in early cosmetics (powders, soaps and lipsticks) but they also treated epilepsy and hysteria with it
In China narcissus is associated with good fortune and gain. Even today, narcissus remains as a symbol of awakening and hope.
The oil was historically extracted through a technique called ‘enfleurage’, whereby the individual petals are placed on plate of lard. The fat draws the oil from the petal and after a few days the petals are replaced by fresh ones. This is repeated until the lard is saturated with oil. At this stage it is called the ‘pomade’. The pomade is then filtered and distilled to produce the oil.
Nowadays, the oil is typically extracted using volatile solvents. About 500 kg of flowers are required to produce 1 kilogram of concrete or 300 g of absolute. ‘Concrete’ and ‘Absolute’ refer to different stages of refinement of the natural extract. It explains, however, why natural narcissus oil is so precious and expensive.
Today, the major quantities of natural narcissus essential oil are produced in the Netherlands and in France.
The main varieties used for oil extraction are Narcissus poeticus, Narcissus tazetta and Narcissus jonquill.
Have you tried smelling a Daffodil or wondered what this wonderful member of the Narcissus family smells like?
Most hybrid and over-bred bulbs you find in some Garden Centres today (and there are several hundred cultivated varieties) will not produce a fragrance and yet there are many wild daffodil varieties (around 26) that are marvelously fragrant. This means in turn there are many different scents and yet the typical olfactive profile associated with Narcissus reads as follows:
heady floral with sweet and green nuances.
The scent of narcissus oil is strong and rich. It reminiscent of dark green leaves with traces of hyacinth and jasmine.
We have also been able to smell some varieties that were ‘spicy’ and others with ‘musky’ or ‘vanillic’ tonalities.
Narcissus would generally be classified as a ‘green-floral’, together with hyacinth and lily of the valley.
Daddodil Fields in Great Windsor Park
If you would like to experience the joys of spring, feast your eyes on an acres of daffodils in the wind and actually smell some beautiful daffodils, then head over to ‘Great Windsor Park’ (near Windsor).
The fields of yellow you will enjoy, perfectly illustrate this poem by William Wordsworth:
I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o’er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host of dancing daffodils Beside the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze
Daffodils in Home Fragrance
Here at PAIRFUM we don’t have a true Daffodil fragrance but our ‘Trail of White Petals’ contains Daffodil oil and this floral perfume has the sweet and green nuances typically associated with Narcissus. Trail of White Petals is available in perfumed candles, natural reed diffusers, perfume room sprays and many other products.
Bring the scent of spring into your home with Daffodils !
There is nothing more enjoyable than a PAIRFUM Flowerwax Candle or Reed Diffuser in ‘Trail of White Petals’, spreading the scent of spring in your home.
Daffodils & Narcissus in Perfumery
Here in the gallery below you can see a few perfumes where the narcissus plays a prominent role in the fragrance accord.
You will notice that we have included both classical fragrances, e.g. Nacisse Noir by Caron for women, and also modern interpretations, e.g. Eau de Narcisse Bleu by Hermès, for both women and men.
As you can see ‘Daffodils’ or ‘Narcissus’ are quite clearly fragranced and they play a prominent role in perfumery.
Sadly, through breeding many varieties we see today have lost their scent.
Should you be passing Windsor Great Park in the UK in Spring, we invite you to visit the fields full of Daffodils. It is a feast not just for your eyes but also your nose.
Today, the 22nd of April, is “Earth Day” around the world and in its honour, people are sharing their passion & support for our wonderful planet with inspirational photos.
This year’s theme is “protect our species” and it is the 49th celebration of this day.
Perfumery, Nature and our Planet are intrinsically linked, which is why this day is very close to our hearts here at Pairfum London.
We would therefore invite everybody to celebrate the beauty of our planet today through your noses!
On a few occasions today, we invite you to slow down for a second and to look at what is next to you:
Take in the beauty of what you see and ‘nosy’ around to take in the scents that are close to you.
This is Earth Day through the eyes (or nose) of a Perfumer.
In this post and as one way to illustrate the close link between perfumery and our dear planet, we have linked images of individual fragrance ingredients with their olfactive groups, i.e. a visual ‘bridge’ between nature and perfume.
After a cold winter, barren of colour and fragrance, we all embrace the joys of Spring when Easter arrives and brings with it the smells and sights of a new season: the Flower Fragrances of Easter.
It is a time of renewal, a time to refresh and a time to start dreaming of those lazy hazy summer days that uplift our mood.
For many today, Easter is dominated by chocolate eggs and as perfumers our thoughts immediately turn toward fragrances with cocoa. However, Easter is also a time to connect with family, start planning activities and throw off the winter clothes to connect more with the outdoors and nature, which naturally leads into the scents and colours of a new season.
The sights, smells and fragrances of Easter greet us like an old friend.
What are your favourite Flower Fragrances of Easter?
Below we present some of the flower fragrances of Easter that get our senses excited for Spring. We are also sharing with you the wonderful fragrances we at Pairfum London have created to bring Spring in to your home to help you create the perfect Easter & Spring atmosphere.
We hope that the flower fragrances of Easter inspire you for the season ahead.
Easter Lilies, whose scientific name is Lilium Longiflorum, are perhaps the best-known type of lily and one that we would all recognise.
Easter lilies are native to Japan. World War I soldier Louis Houghton brought Easter Lily bulbs home to share with fellow gardeners in 1919 and the popularity of the flower has grown quickly.
Lilies have held a significant place in world history because of their aroma, grace and beauty. From ancient Crete to the flower shop down the street, people always regard the lily as “the pure flower.”
There are few rivals when it comes to the stunningly beautiful fragrance of Lilies. The exquisite perfume and wonderful flowers certainly lift spirits as we enter Spring.
Daffodils are considered the first heralds of Spring time. They are also known as Narcissus and Jonquil. Narcissus being the botanical name for this bulbous plant of the amaryllis family, Amaryllidaceae!
The stunning daffodil originates from Southern Europe and North Africa, but some varieties can be found in Asia and China. The flower is linked to the Greek myth of Narcissus who became obsessed with his own reflection, that he knelt to gaze in to a pool of water where he toppled in to the water and drowned. The narcissus plant sprang up where he died.
The fragrance of the daffodil is light, cool, and spring-like in its notes. The scent is often sweet, captivating, and unique to only daffodils. These are fragrances that have been treasured since ancient times and ones that remind us of new life and Spring.
The Crocus name is derived from the Latin crocatus which means saffron yellow. The flower has three stigmas and parts of it are often dried and used in cooking as a seasons or colour agent. It is native to Southern Europe and Asia. There are about 80 species of crocus and was first cultivated in Greece.
Crocuses that bloom early in spring have cheerful heads, reminding us that Spring is around the corner. With so many varieties to choose from you can have an abundant array of colour and fragrance which is sweet and luminous.
The Tulip was originally cultivated in Turkey and then imported in to Holland in the sixteenth century. They became popular in 1592 through a book by Carolus Clusius. Indeed, they became so popular they created an economic bubble known as Tulip Mania!
The scent of Tulips cannot be mistaken. The fragrance is fresh – fresh like the ozone! It also has hints of floral with a base of warm honey and musk. It is almost like nature was making perfume herself within tulips!
The stunningly beautiful Bluebell is another sign of Spring time with the vast spread of tiny blue flowers dazzling around parks and gardens. This beautiful flower is a protected species in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
Also known as wood bells, fairy flowers and wild hyacinth, they have carpeted our woods, and parks for many years. In a 2015 Spring poll by botanical charity Plantlife, bluebells were voted the favourite wild flower of England.
Unfortunately, Blue Bell’s cannot be harvested but we can still enjoy the sweet fragrance when we are out walking. Bluebells are usually at their best during the morning time, making it a fantastic time to visit the woods or parks or when there is some sunshine allowing their scent to waft through the air.
Spring Fragrance by Pairfum London
These are just five of the fragrances of Easter which fill our homes, our gardens, and our parks. If you would like to fill your home with the stunning fragrance of white lilies and daffodils, we at Pairfum London are delighted that our fragrance Trail of White Petals includes these stunning ingredients and is available in our range of Home Fragrances (candles, reed diffusers, room sprays, fabric sprays,…).
Choosing the right perfume for your home to herald the arrival of Spring can be difficult. So, … take the guess work out by ordering the luxury fragrance of Trail of White Petals in your favourite product from our online boutique.