Walking home from the gym in the leafy Stellenbosch this week I caught whiffs of gardenia and jasmine, and immediately realised that spring is almost upon us. Think spring dresses and short jackets, with light scarves and kitten heels, as the days gets longer and the temperatures start rising.
With just a month left till spring, it is definitely the best time to start doing your research on this season’s hottest new fragrances. With such a variety on the market, I’ve combed through the shelves and found my five favourite scents for this spring, leaving behind the darker notes of winter for a lighter, more floral bouquet.
Elie Saab In White
From R890, select department stores
For spring, I prefer a fresher, lighter perfume and the white tones of this Elie Saab fragrance just transports you to lazy afternoons in the sun at the V&A Waterfront. Although this fragrance is still a bit heavy, it is the perfect transition between the moodier winter notes and the bright spring fragrances.
It is still a distinct Elie Saab smell but with muskier tones and just a hint of that jasmine I keep smelling in town. Just the mention of Elie Saab conjures up the distinct image of their very first fragrance advertising campaign with the model in the stunning rose gold dress – Elie Saab In White does not stray far from that vision.
Zadig & Voltaire This Is Her! Capsule Collection
From R790, select department stores
Zadig & Voltaire This Is Her! is no stranger to the spring fragrance scene, but recently the bottle and packaging was given a redesign as part of the French fashion house’s limited edition Capsule Collection. Illustrations that can be found on both the bottle and the box are reminiscent of Botticelli’s Venus and the term cornucopia comes to mind.
This is Her! has more woody notes with a distinct vanilla base. Although this makes the fragrance sound quite heavy, I could still detect a definite floral character with top white blossom notes. If you are in the market for a signature fragrance, this might just be for you. It is quite a unique scent but still light enough to wear every day.
L’eau D’Issey Pure Nectar
From R925, select department stores
The signature cashmere base notes of the Issey Miyake fragrance collection reminds me of my mother. She used to wear the original Issey Miyake with a crisp white shirt and a long string of colourful beads. During her battle with cancer, she would swop the beads for a colourful head scarf – just like the fragrance, a crisp base note, with a colourful top note.
Pure Nectar carries that same allure. It retains the distinct cashmere base tone but rounds off with a flirty, floral rose top note that is perfect for those very first hot spring nights. For me, Pure Nectar is a bit strong for an everyday wear but for those special moments under the September moon, the combination of these scents will entice your senses.
Alaïa Nude Eau de Parfum
From R880, select department stores
The delicious musky notes of this scent by the French fashion house is like nothing I’ve ever smelt before. My favourite of the five, this fragrance is tender with a clear almond note that reminds me of macaron dough. The scent, as well as the bottle with its patterned design and gold cap, gives you the impression that it’s fit for Marie Antoinette’s boudoir.
What makes the fragrance really unique is that the musk does not overpower the top floral scents. It is a wonderful unison that creates a smoothness, which is exactly what I love so much about spring – the warm afternoon sun that glides into cool evenings. I also find this to be a very grown-up scent, reminiscent of a woman that walks with confidence, comfortable with herself and where she is going.
Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium Glow Eau De Toilette
From R1 230, select department stores
The oriental notes of Yves Saint Laurent’s Black Opium range can be quite mesmerising, with the eau de parfum being very distinct with a complicated scent profile. The Black Opium Glow has a bit of a daring edge, a fizzing addition to the original eau de toilette.
The signature woody base of the Black Opium stays intact with the refreshing addition of a zesty finish. On first take the fragrance feels too dark to be a spring scent but as it settles, the oriental and floral tones combine in a way that make you think of street cafés and boozy lunches with girlfriends.
Which of these fragrances would you try? Pop your thoughts in the comments section below, we would love to hear from you!