As the number of jet-setters grows and more far-flung places become accessible (Cuba, anyone?), more fragrances that bring a true sense of place are popping up on shelves. Krigler, the German-based perfume brand that was beloved by Hollywood icons including Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn, recently launched a “Charming California” Eau de Parfum, with exotic spices, aromatic florals, hearty woods and a warm, lingering finish of Californian Cedar Wood ($255 for 1.7 oz.).
During the holiday season, the brand will resurrect Elegant Schwan 06, a noble, spicy rose fragrance inspired after the perfumer visited Bavaria’s Neuschwanstein Castle, known for its swan motifs.
The U.K.-based Clive Christian, whose motto is “a life made up of moments remembered,” has the world’s most expensive perfume (£350 for 100 ml), and launched a new Private collection in August. The brand’s masculine scents draw on the olfactory heritage of Ancient Rome and are anecdotally inspired by Emperor Nero who immersed his troops in the scent of clary sage before heading into battle.
Founders of the niche fragrance line Nateeva ($125 for 3.4 oz.), Hope Freeman and Jay McSherry, have dedicated perfumes to islands in the Caribbean including St. Martin, Jamaica, and Aruba. Hope Freeman said that each fragrance is about “experiencing the island itself,” and inspired by the blooms of hibiscus, plumeria, and Lignum Vitae. Each is a true journey, a tangle of notes from creamy coconut to warm vanilla and frangipani.
The perfume house Royall Lyme ($32 for 8 oz.) of Bermuda combines the essence of tart West Indian limes with oils to reflect the spirit of the island, in a bottle reminiscent of sea glass, wrapped in parchment paper and sealed with a crown cap.
Susan Sexton, a master perfumer trained in France by one of the old perfume houses that were established in 1747, says fragrance is essentially about memory, and combines beautifully with places. “Notes of Oud bring memories of ancient Egypt and the East, and smelling a rose is like walking in a fresh English garden,” she said.