Louise McSharry: The Seven Best Spring Scents To Buy Now

Spring has arrived, my friends. The flowers came out strong and the sun made some solid appearances. I’m not exactly of the opinion that our beauty regimes need to change with the season in Ireland. Our time is relatively constant, and I think you should always just wear whatever you want on your face.

However, the one thing I tend to change with the seasons is my scent. In winter, I want to feel warm, like a good fire (hence my love of The replica of Maison Margiela by the fireside56 € via brownthomas.com), but at this time of year, I’m leaning towards a fresher scent.

I know what you’re thinking. “Flowers for spring? revolutionary. The truth is, I have trouble wearing floral scents, thanks to an overactive sense of smell. I love a whiff of someone else’s rose perfume, but if I wear it myself, I end up with a headache. Instead, I lean towards citrus scents for spring and summer.

This year, I’m investing in Tom Ford’s Bitter Peach (70€ via brownthomas.com), which focuses on the sweetness of peach, but adds elements of citrus, cardamom and rum to give it depth.

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Tom Ford Bitter Peach, €70, brownthomas.com

Tom Ford Bitter Peach, €70, brownthomas.com

Last year my favorite was Atelier Cologne Blood Orange (€151.20 via brownthomas.com), which combines blood orange (it’s always blood orange with these fancy flavors) with jasmine, black pepper and tonka bean.

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Blood Orange Cologne Workshop, €151.20, brownthomas.com


Blood Orange Cologne Workshop, €151.20, brownthomas.com

Blood Orange Cologne Workshop, €151.20, brownthomas.com

Happy Clinic (54€ through boots.fr) was a teenage girl’s favorite scent when I was growing up, so I kind of relegated it to the past until I spotted a whiff of it a few weeks ago and remembered how fresh and citrusy it was . I will definitely take this train again!

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Clinique Happy, €54, boots.ie


Clinique Happy, €54, boots.ie

Clinique Happy, €54, boots.ie

If flowers are your thing, there are plenty of brilliant options these days. Personally, I appreciate a scent with a heart of rose but other elements that add a bit of grown-up sophistication. Rose & Leather by Frédéric Malle (158€ through brownthomas.com), for example, combines rose with leather, Sichuan pepper, vetiver and cedar, leaving you with a decidedly floral scent with a masculine touch.

Video of the day

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Frédéric Malle Rose & Leather, €158, brownthomas.com


Frédéric Malle Rose & Leather, €158, brownthomas.com

Frédéric Malle Rose & Leather, €158, brownthomas.com

The Rose of Byredo’s No Man’s Land (195€ via brownthomas.com) adds amber spice to turkey red rose, leaving you with delicious warmth. Tom Ford’s Rose Sting (276€ via brownthomas.com) was inspired by Ford’s own garden. I like to think the result is a blend of the man himself with his beautiful roses – floral and spicy.

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Byredo Rose from No Man's Land, €195, brownthomas.com


Byredo Rose from No Man’s Land, €195, brownthomas.com

Byredo Rose from No Man’s Land, €195, brownthomas.com

If roses aren’t your thing, Prada iris infusion (€75.95 via mages.ie) is centered on the beautiful iris, but delicately balanced by amber woody notes. Also, I know it’s what’s inside that counts, but I have to take a moment for the gorgeous sage green packaging of the Infusion de Iris. I guess Prada knows a thing or two about style.

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Prada Iris Infusion, €75.95, magees.ie


Prada Iris Infusion, €75.95, magees.ie

Prada Iris Infusion, €75.95, magees.ie

The new Eau Extraordinaire by Clarins (29€ through clarins.be) is also delicious, a super fresh blend of floral and citrus scents.

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Clarins Extraordinary Water, €29, clarins.ie


Clarins Extraordinary Water, €29, clarins.ie

Clarins Extraordinary Water, €29, clarins.ie

Now, a tip or two on applying perfume. Like most Irish women, I’ve spent much of my life spraying perfume on my wrists before rubbing them together. I learned it from my mother and my grandmother, but it turns out that we are doing it wrong. Fragrance experts are begging us to stop, because the friction and heat created by rubbing skin can alter the course of fragrance.

Simply spray on and let it settle on its own. Also, don’t be afraid to spray your hair. Its motion will help disperse the scent, leaving everyone in your wake with a beautifully scented reminder of your presence.

lost in translation

Since we are talking about perfume, the time seems right to explain the difference between perfume and Cologne, if you are confused. These two versions of a perfume differ in their strength, and therefore in their price. Eau de parfum will be more expensive as it usually includes 15-20 pieces of perfume oil as opposed to 10-15 pieces of eau de toilette. Due to its higher concentration, eau de parfum tends to last longer and may smell a little richer than the eau de toilette version of the perfume.

Something old…

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Pestle & Mortar Superstar Retinol Night Oil, €76, pestleandmortar.com


Pestle & Mortar Superstar Retinol Night Oil, €76, pestleandmortar.com

Pestle & Mortar Superstar Retinol Night Oil, €76, pestleandmortar.com

We’re going to be a little loose on the “old” factor today, as retinol products haven’t been around that long and there’s been a lot of development over the past decade. With this in mind, I would like to recommend Pestle & Mortar Superstar Retinol Night Oil (76€ via pilonetmortier.com). Like all retinols, this is a product for anyone concerned about pores and fine lines, especially those over 40. This product in particular is excellent, thanks to its opaque black packaging (essential to keep the formula stable), its absence of perfume (good for sensitive skin), two types of vitamin A and formula. I love a bedtime oil: it makes my skin feel like it’s tucked in for the night, and it does that but also delivers real results when it comes to improving skin texture. Besides, it’s Irish!

… Something new

Trinny London is Trinny Woodall’s beauty idea – I still haven’t forgiven her What not to wear show for crimes against women’s body image, but Trinny London’s products are too good to ignore by women in their thirties and beyond.

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Nighttime Sensation, €86, trinnylondon.com


Nighttime Sensation, €86, trinnylondon.com

Nighttime Sensation, €86, trinnylondon.com

The brand has just launched a pair of retinoid night treatments: nocturnal feeling (€86), a fast-penetrating serum packed with highly dosed retinal and granactive retinoids, and Night clarity (78 €), which combines retinal with niacinamide, trinnylondon.com.

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Nighttime Clarity, €78, trinnylondon.com


Nighttime Clarity, €78, trinnylondon.com

Nighttime Clarity, €78, trinnylondon.com