With over a decade of experience in the beauty retail sector, Mecca’s Fragrance Education Manager, Laura Curtis, is an expert in designing and implementing exceptional customer experiences, creating captivating fragrance compositions, providing artistry services, and delivering science-based cosmetic training.  Retail Beauty catches up with the scent specialist to find out what the hottest trends are in the fragrance industry right now.

What are the latest winter fragrance trends to look out for?

In winter, fragrance is more fleeting – that’s because our skin and the air can be drier, so the fragrant molecules dissipate more quickly. We’re seeing more and more brands introduce ‘fragrance enhancers’ into their collections, for layering underneath perfumes as ‘fixatives’  – they keep the fragrant molecules fixed to the skin for longer, using heavy molecules as their vehicle. DedCool Milk Layering Fragrance EDP, D.S. & Durga I Don’t Know What EDP and Ellis Brooklyn Iso Gamma Super EDP are all on-trend examples!

Do you have any tips on customers buying fragrance as a gift for someone?

It’s always tricky to buy perfume as a gift because whether or not someone loves a fragrance is very personal to them. To play it safe, I recommend buying them a body lotion, body oil, hair mist or hand cream that matches their favourite fragrance, as a daily indulgence that they may not have thought to buy for themselves. If they are on the market for a new scent, a discovery set of mini fragrances is a thoughtful gift so that they have the opportunity to test and trial before committing to a full-sized bottle. If you are feeling extra generous, you could even add a gift voucher that covers the cost of the full-sized perfume so they can use it to purchase their favourite.

What are some key ingredients having a moment right now?

We’re seeing a fragrance note called Ambroxan having a moment right now. Ambroxan is a base note with a warm, mineral, velvety quality that lends fragrances a captivating radiance. It also adds depth and longevity to other fragrance notes, thereby enhancing their potency and effect on the people around us. You can smell Ambroxan in the base of Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540 EDP, Byredo Des Los Santos EDP, Le Labo AnOther 13 EDP and Escentric Molecule Molecule 02 – all beautiful winter fragrances – and all year round.

Should a fragrance change depending on the season? Why/why not?

It’s not a necessity, but many people are drawn to change their fragrance according to the season for good reason. In summertime, powerful fragrances with a lot of depth can feel to heavy due to humidity in the air and moisture on our skin. In winter, zesty or clean fragrances made up of ethereal molecules can dissipate quickly, leaving us unscented for most of the day. Generally speaking, woody, amber and spicy notes work best in cold weather to create a cocooning, comforting vibe. Fresher, uplifting notes like citrus, fruits and florals are perfect for warmer weather.  

What’s a  fragrance faux pas?

Many people over-apply their fragrance, which can be overwhelming the people around us. I recommend one spritz for a parfum or extrait, two spritzes for an eau de parfum, three spritzes for an eau de toilette and four spritzes for an eau de cologne. Remember: even though you can’t smell your own fragrance, it’s likely that the people around you can – especially when you first enter a room. Our noses can become fatigued to our own scent throughout the day, but it’s still fresh for the people in our orbit. I once heard someone say ‘fragrance should be discovered, not announced’, which is wonderful advice that I’ve shared many times since!

This article was first published in the Winter issue of Retail Beauty:

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