Scents of Somewhere Else: What to Wear When We’re Going Nowhere - The Gloss Magazine
1 month ago

Scents of Somewhere Else: What to Wear When We’re Going Nowhere


Transportive perfumes to compensate for the holidays we’re not having …

When I was a teenager I was in a band which, for some reason, we called Going Nowhere Fast (a name that proved to be all too prescient). And it certainly rings true for current times – although a small minority (and the odd frontline influencer) continue to push the boundaries, most of us are staying put for the foreseeable. So the key word in perfume right now is transportive. Now, more than ever, we yearn to be somewhere else, and the right perfume can help to move us – in mind and spirit, at least. Since scent has an unequalled power to conjure up other places and other moments in time, in full-colour detail, we’re turning to bottles that can conjure a sense of being elsewhere …

Solar notes are a recurring signature of Chanel perfumer Olivier Polge – in many of his perfumes, such as the bright floral Gabrielle Chanel, you’ll bask in more than a hint of sunshine. Gabrielle Chanel Essence (from €99) celebrates creamy white Grasse tuberose – you could be in the south of France. Even in Polge’s most recent creation, the sultry Le Lion de Chanel, there’s a bright solar note that illuminates the rich dark leather and depths of patchouli. Chanel’s ultimate travel scents are the Les Eaux de Chanel trio inspired by sunny spots the designer herself loved, particularly the neroli-centred Venise. Personally, it’s No.19 that always transports me, as its green and smokey mood perfectly captures sitting on the terrace of a Parisian cafe. If only …

Timely as ever, Tom Ford has re-released his Costa Azzurra, a brightly sunny and aromatic scent. It first launched in 2014 as part of the Private Blend line, in a cool blue bottle. While the new golden iteration is chic, the blue captured its seaside vibes better – it’s all seaweed notes, myrtle and juniper, inspired by the woody coastline of Sardinia. I love the salty, slightly herbal take on rugged Mediterranean beauty – it’s pure escapism. There’s a mini 10ml available, €41; €90 (50ml) at

For Armani, escape is about Pantelleria, the rocky remote island off Italy where the designer has a home (and the setting for Luca Guadagnino’s stylish film A Bigger Splash, starring Tilda Swinton and Dakota Johnson). A new Armani/Privé scent, Cyprès Pantelleria, launches this May, and it’s another cool coastal blend, capturing the wind blowing through island’s cypress trees. In the meantime, 2019’s Orangerie Venise (from €103.29, at by Dominique Ropion is, to me, one of the most glorious transportive scents: inspired by an Italian greenhouse, it’s beautifully uplifting, a celebration of the brightest notes in perfume, neroli, Bigarade orange and bergamot.

Memo Paris is a brand centred on travel – each perfume offers an olfactory suitcase. From Marfa in Texas to the heart of Paris (as captured in the gorgeous French Leather), these offer the chance to visit a map-full of exotic places. Irish co-founder John Molloy drew on his home for Irish Leather, the scent of green fields and wild horses – so while you’re restricted by your 5k but want to dream of being in the Irish countryside, this is the one. €206.58, at

For an affordable journey, try 4711’s floral takes on their classic cologne blend: the summery 4711 Jasmine eau de cologne is €23 for 100ml at, so you can spray it generously. In fact Boots has some good half-price deals currently available: I’m adding to basket LouLou for €18 (30ml), a whopper of a floral, as it transports me to a time rather than place – the 1980s. It will instantly take me back to the days of blue eyeliner, Miss Selfridge Running Bare lipstick and a ton of hairspray, and most of all loitering upstairs in Wimpy, smoking with friends. Worth it for the nostalgia blast alone.

Other transportive scents to consider: Jo Loves Cobalt & Patchouli (, from March) conjures a blue sky and crisp clean air. Aesop Marrakech Intense edt (€75, is woody and spicy with hits of clove and cardamom plus creamy sandalwood, bright and atmospheric.


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