Work! Whether we regard it as the curse of Adam or as life-affirming fulfilment our lives revolve around our work. Preparing for it; performing it; retiring from it. And, since the Les Senteurs ethic believes that fragrance is essential to life, we naturally desire to perfume ourselves impeccably for the work sphere.
And yet, the choice of scent depends on so many different factors: the sort of work we do, the style of work environment, and what gives each individual wearer confidence and a sense of well-being and competence. The choice of fragrance is likely to be very different depending whether it is to be worn on the stage, in a classroom, the law courts or the operating theatre.
It is often said that perfume in the work environment should not invade a colleague's space. Of course, this is very true; no more so than in our sensitive times. But we do believe that if you have chosen your signature fragrance carefully and instinctively, it will only enhance and reflect your personality in the very best way. A sense of self-assurance serenity and well-being will radiate from you. You will probably discover that your workmates begin to greet your daily arrival with unusual warmth and a new enthusiasm!
Allow us to make a few light-hearted but sincere and informed suggestions for those who find themselves in a perfume quandary between 9 to 5!
1. The Classic, Clean & Fresh
Clean, discreet, beautifully made fragrances that smell of gardens after rain, of the spring breeze, of the shower and of mountain cascades. They work for all genders and give the wearer a feeling of quiet fresh confidence. These are scents that do not excite the emotions but rather tranquillise and soothe them.
Try something from the Altaia range - delicacy and subtlety are the keynotes here: the woodedleafy shade of Ombu or the ambiguous flowery breeze of Don’t Cry For Me. Frederic Malle's Angeliques Sous La Pluie smells like March showers falling onto freshly-turned earth and is exquisitely invigorating. Jardin du Poete by Eau d'Italie is an aromatic Sicilian herb garden. Few can resist Serge Lutens' L’Eau de Paille: the clean bucolic scent of new hay and straw. Or Sel Marin - Heeley's airy evocation of a perfect day on an English beach - a Devon cove, perhaps.
2. The Citrus Failsafe
For those who feel especially shy or hesitant at being judged by their fragrance we recommend a nice bright citrus. Easy to wear, delicious to smell!
Every perfumer yearns to create the perfect hesperidic scent so Les Senteurs can offer you every possible permutation of lemon, orange, lime, yuzu and mandarin.
Frederic Malle's classic citrus Cologne Bigarade & Bigarade Concentree are always in demand; Heeley's Saint Clement's has a unique twist of Earl Grey tea to make it very special; Tomboy Neroli / 65 by Parle Moi de Parfum is smooth and cool in every sense. Valkyrie by Sylvaine Delacourte is a warm slightly spicy orange; and the new popularity of yuzu scents appeals to those who'd like to try their citrus with a little greener bite!
3. Dressed to Impress
You'll always stand out from the crowd with these extroverted exquisitely crafted scents that spell success, confidence, class and well-buffed shoes. Perfumes that get you recognised and make your boss, your PA and your colleagues sit up a little straighter. Heads will turn!
We must mention Frederic Malle's legendary Vetiver Extraordinaire and his French Lover in this context. And of course, Creed's iconic Aventus line, Viking, or that perennial summer meadow Heaven which is Green Irish Tweed. The Les Bains Guerbois range is stunning: eaux de parfum in concentration, but featuring riffs on traditional cologne formulae with herbs, incense, precious woods, fruit and even sulphur. And take a gander at Les Eaux Primordiales - they're all memorable but Abstraction Raisonnee is an absolute peaky blinder with its strange and lovely melange of vetiver, leather, nutmeg and green mango.
4. Go Retro! And Stand the Rest of Time
Knock 'em dead with an impeccable slice of style from the past: Caron's smooth lavender and tonka Pour Un Homme has been a trendsetting best-seller since 1934. Aromatic Tabac Blond clocks up its first hundred years this year. We're the only shop in Britain to keep in stock the exclusive and eccentric Knize Ten - nearly a century in the business, beloved by such as Marlene Dietrich and Kaiser Bill. Or, for the bold, why not experiment with Phul-Nana by Grossmith? 100 years ago this was the UK's best-selling perfume - it's massive and great for all genders: - green, intense, dark and makes you feel totally in charge!
5. The Office Goddess... And God
They manifest in a cloud of mysterious loveliness, choosing perfumes such as Tapis Volant ( 'Flying Carpet' - need we say more?) by Liquides Imaginaires; Portrait of a Lady by Malle; Baccarat Rouge 540 by Maison Francis Kurkdjian; Andy Tauer's Incense Rose or L’Air du Desert Marocain; and Musc des Sables by Les Indemodables.
These are scents which shimmer like a halo around the wearer, but which defy analysis: they just smell unbelievably wonderful. The God and Goddess are equal to the challenge: they dominate the fragrance which seems to exude from their very pores like nectar and ambrosia.
So, now you have this catalogue of masterpieces before you. All you need is to decide which one is perfect for you. If you are wearing the right scent - why, the whole world is at your feet. You won't have to work too hard!
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Check out our full selection here.