All About The Base

From dreamy perfume oils by Hermès to Aesop’s heavyweight brass oil burner that scents your home, oil-based scents should be your next fragrance obsession…

BY CLAIRE BINGHAM

There’s something properly luxurious about scent that is carried not by alcohol but by oil. The silkiness of the texture and how it melts into the skin are so much more tangible than a traditional spritz application – and all the more captivating for it. It’s the bohemian mood that it puts us in. From a beauty perspective, we have been living in the age of oil for some time, but now perfume oils are also catching on as a home fragrance. Here is our pick of scented oils to bring stylish seduction to your skin or space.

Hermès ‘Hermessence’
We start with Swiss-Italian perfumer Christine Nagel, the resident nose at French luxury label Hermès since 2016, who has introduced perfume oils to the house for the very first time as part of the latest additions to the ‘Hermessence’ range. Of her five-strong Orient-inspired and layerable collection, there are two totally dreamy oil-based scents: ‘Cardamusc’ and ‘Musc Pallida’. The first is laced with fresh but spicy cardamom, the other with sensual iris. ‘I wanted to return to the origins of perfumery and immerse myself in its history,’ says Nagel of the liquid gold creations that slowly pour from similarly molten, amber glass bottles.
hermes.com 

Hermès ‘Musc Pallida’ and ‘Cardamusc’ essence de parfum, £275 each for 20ml


Aesop
Recognised for its beautiful stores, Australian skincare brand Aesop has now introduced some interiors magic to the collection. Its first Aesop Home piece, the sculptural ‘Brass Oil Burner’ was designed by Sydney-based Studio Henry Wilson, who was behind the decor of a couple of Aesop’s stores (Balmain and Crows Nest in Sydney), as well as a 2017 exhibition at Milan’s Brera showroom. Formed with an ancient wax-mould technique used to cast its solid brass shape, this weighty, one-kilogram vessel teams Aesop’s streamlined design aesthetic with functionality to disperse tailor-made essential oils. A cradle for the oil, this glowing chunk of metal was chosen not only for its looks but also for its superior heat transfer properties, tactility and warm affiliation with candle light. Just add five to 10 drops of your preferred oil blend to the oil well – choose between floral citrus ‘Anouk’, spicy citrus ‘Catherine’, minty ‘Isabelle’ or woody citrus ‘Béatrice’ – alongside a standard tea light. It doesn’t get any simpler or more appealing.
aesop.com  henrywilson.com.au

‘Brass Oil Burner’, £120; ‘Béatrice’ oil burner blend, £25 for 25ml


Lumira
Blending wanderlust-inspired concoctions, Australian fragrance and candle brand Lumira specialises in olfactory escapism with each scent a tribute to a global adventure. Founded by Sydneysider Almira Armstrong in 2013, the label follows a lifelong love of fragrance. Her tempting range of five perfume oils includes a Persian rose-scented roll-on, which combines top notes of bergamot with a dark amber base. We like. 
atelierlumira.com

Lumira ‘Persian Rose’ perfume oil, shown alongside ‘Cuban Tobacco’ and ‘Arabian Oud’ perfume oils, £39 each for 10ml


Joya
Expanding into perfume oils from candles, Frederick Bouchardy of New York label Joya loves the intimate, bespoke quality of an oil-based fragrance that changes significantly according to the wearer’s body chemistry. Handmade and poured in the Brooklyn studio, Joya’s essential oil blends come in travel roll-ons – but from a design point of view, we’re most excited about the slip cast porcelain bottles made by US ceramic artist Sarah Cihat. Did anyone mention the 22-carat gold-dipped wands? A very nice finishing touch.
joyastudio.com

Black ‘Composition No. 6’, white ‘Composition No. 1’ and dark green ‘Foxglove’ perfumes, £100 each for 75ml

Gallivant

New London scent label Gallivant creates fragrance for urban explorers

BY AMY BRADFORD

The jauntily named Gallivant is a new London fragrance label created by Nick Steward, former product and creative director of L’Artisan Parfumeur. Working with female perfumers Paris-based Karine Chevallier and Venice-based Giorgia Navarra, his first collection of unisex fragrances is inspired by travel and seeks to capture the spirit of six cities: Berlin, Brooklyn, London, Tel Aviv, Amsterdam and Istanbul.

Two of our faves include 'London', which features notes of rose (think Columbia Road flower market) with a sense of ‘wetness’ evoked by cucumber and violet leaves – just like the real thing, minus the traffic fumes. 'Tel Aviv' is the opposite – a hot, beachy fragrance with clementine, jasmine sambac and spicy benzoin. Abstract maps appear on each box and the bottles, topped with duck egg-blue stoppers, are daintily small. Why? ‘As someone who has travelled a lot, who has lived and commuted between various cities, I wanted airport-friendly sized products for the modern nomad,’ says Steward. Even more compact 2ml sprays of each scent, and a 'Discovery Set' selection of four sprays, are perfect for globetrotting. That’s our next holiday fragrance sorted...
gallivant-perfumes.com roullierwhite.com


ABOVE: Gallivant's new unisex eau de parfums: 'Tel Aviv', 'Brooklyn', 'Istanbul', 'London', 'Berlin' 
and 'Amsterdam', £65 each for 30ml
ABOVE RIGHT FROM TOP: Nick Steward, travel-obsessed founder of London indie fragrance brand Gallivant; Each box has a map of the named destination

D.S & Durga

Brooklyn duo D.S & Durga create unconventional small batch perfumes and scented candles inspired by everything from fireplaces to car interiors

BY AMY BRADFORD

We could hardly be more excited by the scents of NY husband-and-wife duo D.S. & Durga (aka self-taught perfumer David Seth Moltz and the brand’s designer Kavi Moltz, a former architect). Pioneers in the DIY scent movement that flourished in post-millennium Brooklyn, they now operate on the appealing principle that ‘perfume is armchair travel’, creating wearable scents and candles that ‘conjure unseen worlds’. Their influences include music, art, nature and design. Highlights among the wearables include 'Bowmakers', inspired by the 19th-century violin craftsmen of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, which fuses notes of violin varnish with mahogany and spiced tree resin; and 'Rose Atlantic', a bracing blend of salt spray and voluptuous roses that riffs on Sinatra’s song Summer Wind. Both come in appealingly graphic bottles with glossy black lids.

ABOVE RIGHT: Perfumer David Seth Moltz and designer Kavi Moltz
BELOW: D.S & Durga fragrances 'Bowmakers' and 'Rose Atlantic' and scented candles ''85 Diesel' and 'Portable Fireplace'

Thinking in 'angles, light, shadow and texture', Kavi seeks to create clarity in form and function for the houses of the brand's scents. The candles are packaged in apricot glass with evocative illustrations. 'Portable Fireplace' is a regular sellout, with its smoky whiff of dwarf pine, oak ash, copaiba resin and birch tar; '’85 Diesel' is a witty take on car interiors, with the notes listed as ‘saffron leather, suede, vinyl, diesel smoke and earth dirt’. If you like your scents down and dirty, this is where it’s at.
dsanddurga.com

'Bowmakers' and 'Rose Atlantic' fragrances from £139 for 50ml; 'Portable Fireplace', 'Spirit Lamp' and ''85 Diesel' candles, £58 for 200gm. Available from dsanddurga.com and libertylondon.com

Kahina Giving Beauty

The Berber tribes of Morocco have given up their skincare secrets to Kahina Giving Beauty, New York's ethical beauty company

BY AMY BRADFORD

Kahina Giving Beauty is a Moroccan-inspired New York brand that uses antioxidant-rich argan oil, much prized by the women of the Berber tribe for its miraculous healing properties; a percentage of profits from its sales goes to support programmes that improve their lives. The label’s latest launch is this range of beautifully packaged soaps, created with Brooklyn textile designer Amira Marion from Archive New York and inspired by Moroccan tile designs. We love the on-trend neo-geo designs that bring a little taste of North Africa to our bathroom cabinet every day...
kahina-givingbeauty.com  

Soaps available in Lemongrass Nettle, Rosemary Lavender and Goat Milk & Honey, £12 each from beingcontent.com