In Sydney we’re entering week 8 in lockdown and the drudgery and groundhog-dayness of it all is starting to set in. I’ve been combing my cupboards looking for little mood-lifters. Here are a few of the olfactory variety that have been significantly cheering. Spritz with reckless abandon.

A ‘gourmand’ fragrance is French Perfumer Speak for a scent that smells a bit
like dessert. This is what I’d call a modern gourmand. It’s not your typical sickly
vanilla, caramel situation. It slightly recalls cherry flavoured sweets friends
would bring back from America when I was a kid, which is exotic in itself. There’s
also pretty jasmine sambac and rose alongside something tangy and intriguing –
plum and patchouli – over a smooth spiced woody base. It’s the one I reach for
when I want my kids to give me random cuddles.

This is pure sunshine in a bottle, definitely enhanced by the sleek sunny yellow packaging. It calls to me from my dressing table on the dreariest days, and feels a little bit like giving a rude finger to winter. Creamy notes of jasmine and tuberose hit you first, followed by a steamy sun-drenched ylang ylang alongside musk and woodsy notes. I find that it ekes its way out from underneath my cashmere jumper throughout the day, giving me delicious little reminders that the sun will always shine again.

The time that I feel most alive and happy ATM is inevitably when I take myself out for a walk or run. And this is the fragrance I wear to do it. It’s very much a cologne: light and refreshing, ideal for sweaty moments. It’s not sweet or overly floral, more green and pond-like with the lotus flowers. The fig is not your typical Diptqye Philoskos Fig, it plays a supporting role that rounds the scent out with just a hint of juiciness and yum. The dry down (what happens when the top notes that greet you first settle) is zesty and intriguing too, and keeps you going back for more.

Two Gucci’s in one story? This must be a pretty special scent, and, frankly? It is. It’s one I reach for more often than not, because it’s not your typical flowery frou-frou. A collaboration between perfumers Alberto Morillas and Alessandro Micheles, the Alchemist Garden series features pure natural plants and flowers layered with modern molecules. This scent is inspired by a walk through the forest in early autumn with cedarwood and cypress, along with spicy nutmeg, patchouli and vetiver. Despite its summer referral, I find this perfectly nuzzle worthy with a cosy jumper in winter.

Did somebody say date night? It takes a pretty magical potion to ignite passion for someone you see in the same tracksuit pants for three days straight. This scent is actually purpose built for the occasion. Chanel designed this fragrance to be worn at night. Not out on the town, but to bed, on freshly bathed, nude skin. Chanel recommends applying L’Eau Privée “on pulse points, where the skin is warmest: on the wrists, behind the ears, in the dip of the décolleté or at the nape of the neck.” A lovely ritual to embark upon before ordering that special Uber Eats.

A classic since its 2008 launch, this is one of those clean florals that feels right at home when worn with freshly laundered day wear. Fresh blooms of peony and freesia mingle with a juicy lychee that will tart up even the most tired lounge wear ensemble. It really comes into its own, though, when you make the effort to get dressed and pair it with a white shirt and denim. I did it and literally felt like a new person, even if the only people I saw were my family and my barista.

Story by Sigourney Cantelo; Photography by Alice Mahran

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