Scented journeys: our favourite perfumes inspired by travel
Summer, more than any other season, brings with it the desire to breathe in new fragrances, to abandon oneself to the senses, to soar above daily life towards unknown destinations.
But every journey is unique, an ineffable moment with its own smells and ingredients. Many perfumes are inspired by travelling, and they unlock, from the first spray, the wonder of a place we’ve never seen or one we’ve never forgotten.
For its new collection I Giardini di Venezia, Rubeus Milano was inspired by the green and noble spaces of Venice, but also by the architectural tradition of the city, the Palazzo Ducale, Ca ‘Doro, Palazzo Venezia.
Finally, the boxes of the collection refer to Venetian Renaissance fabrics, luxuriant, rich and lively. The four fragrances in the collection bring us back to four plants prevalent in Venetian gardens: Quercia, Gelsomino, Evonimo and Calicanto.
Quercia and Evonimo rediscover typically Italian landscapes, while jasmine and calicanthus evoke oriental atmospheres: Calicanto adds deep notes of patchouli, moss and cedar wood, a soft and intriguing path.
Suddenly this Venice becomes that of Marco Polo, of travels to China, of the trade in sensual fabrics and creamy woods: a fragrant journey to an imaginary place, to a destination that lives only in collective cultural memory.
Ormonde Jayne takes a step forward and introduces a collection inspired by a journey from the ancient past: La Route de la Soie. A network of stages over 8,000 kilometers long, the Silk Road is a millenary journey that reached the Mediterranean from the Chinese Empire. The scents of the collection celebrate impressions, sensations and fragrances of some physical and historical stages.
Xi’an, inspired by the starting point of the route, welcomes us with notes of sandalwood, black pepper and nutmeg; Tanger, a fundamental port that connects Europe and Africa, wins us over with a golden bouquet of orange flowers, neroli and ylang ylang; Byzance, an intriguing labyrinth of creamy wood, cashmeran and suede, refers us to the ancient capital of Byzantium, before its transformation into Constantinople and Istanbul.
Journeys of the body, journeys of the mind – what if every destination was, by its nature, both real and imaginary? Is each journey a journey through memory, in the past as well as in the present? Could Henry Miller be right about the fact that the destination of our journey is not a place, but a new way of seeing things?
In fact, some fragrances invite us to revisit places we think we already know through a new lens. Vilhelm Parfumerie experiments with this idea through fragrances such as Chicago High, inspired by the city of Chicago during the Roaring Twenties by Jay Gatsby, with sparkling notes of champagne and deepened by leather and tobacco; and Stockholm 1978, which with its sunny bouquet of lemon, black pepper and geranium reveals a Stockholm in the middle of summer at the end of the 70s, full of expectations and possibilities.
Puredistance also searches for places of the past with Opardu, a fragrance that opens up “the Paris of the golden years”. In this case, it is the perfume itself that has a vintage, feminine imprint, in its choice of pure ingredients in high concentration.
We travel in this way in an elegant and sophisticated, nostalgic and romantic Paris. Lilac, rose and gardenia use a “classic” perfume bouquet revisited in a modern and new meaning, transforming the fragrance into a timeless journey.
And isn’t perfume, after all, exactly that? A timeless journey in an abstract space, in memories and collective memories, in sun-kissed pleasures.
"Journeys of the body, journeys of the mind - what if every destination was, by its nature, both real and imaginary? Is each journey a journey through memory, in the past as well as in the present?"