As a perfume junkie, even when on a budget I would have a healthy suspicion about any scent retailing around the under £30 mark and fully expect it to a) stink b) bring me out in a rash. So I was totally bowled over by H&M’s sister brand ‘And Other Stories’ range of scents.
I picked up ‘Moroccan Tea’ in there recently. It’s gorgeous, sweet, fresh and punchy. Totally different to the usual leathery, tobacco-y and woody stuff I’d normally go for but a lovely morning perfume, perfect for just after your shower & different to anything else on the market at the moment.The blurb says: “crisp spearmint & lemon with a touch of cardamom captures the deep clean woody notes of cedarwood & musk, revealing a sweet essence of brown sugar. Fresh, stimulating & cozy.” Additional notes include orange blossom, mate, almond & sandalwood.
Also in the range are the equally alluring Steel Garden, Punk Bouquet and Sirocco Sands which are also available as lotions and body mists.
What’s new about this is that up until now the cheaper end of the market have kept their prices down by using a mish mash of cheaply synthesised versions of mainstream staples, ie Britney Spears’ ‘Midnight Fantasy’ or Justin Bieber’s ‘Girlfriend’ #thehorror.
OR they’ve focussed on one pleasant but maybe uninspiring ingredient, like the Bodyshop range. Not slagging BodyShop, mind. They did the best ever Vanilla scent years ago, it’s changed recently. 😦
So it’s brilliant to see someone impacting on the budget end of the market with a niche scent. Stories’ range echoes the new trend for interesting blends of fewer and better quality ingredients popularised since the emergence of artisanal, independent perfume houses. And like them, attempting to concoct an clever narrative for each, rather than relying on celeb endorsement or ridiculously overblown ad campaign.
Step forward the perfumier behind it all Jérôme Epinette, who learned his trade in Grasse, has previous with big names like Anna Sui and Byredo AND who I have decided to crown as my favourite ‘nose’ of the moment. Mainly because of this Stories range but also his newer collabo with NYC’s Vilhelm Parfumerie.
Vilhelm is completely amazing. I always go and have a sniff of them in Liberty, the main stockist in London. They’re way more expensive but have the most beautiful ingredients and intriguing names ‘Morning Chess,’ ‘Stockholm 78’ and my favourite, ‘Smoke Show.’ Check them out if you have a spare £145 to drop on a perfume. (Then let me smell you.)
If you can’t quite justify that price tag, treat yourself to a bottle of Stories Eau De Toilette instead. It’ll probably cost less than your foundation and cheer you up no end. The other benefit of a more affordable scent is you can really whack it on liberally. Personally, I don’t consider myself to be wearing enough unless I enter a room and at least one person complains ‘bloody hell what’s that?’ So I’m a big fan of these little beauties. Check ’em out and spritz away with impunity.
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