The turn of the year should come with a sense of freshness, and how better to welcome one, than with a brand new perfume or aftershave?
So many of our favourite brands have dropped exciting new launches for the year already, with a long list of fragrances drenched on our radar.
If you too are in the market for a new aroma this New Year – whether you like spicy, woody, musky, fruity, or sweet perfumes – see below our 10 fresh scents to seek out, now.
1. M Micallef’s “Akowa”
A woody, oriental fragrance for men launched by French niche line M Micallef, “Akowa” is an appealing au derived from the roots of African plants, with hints of orange blossom, bergamot, cocoa, amber, vetiver and white musk.
Alluring with its notes of fig leaf, vanilla and patchouli, the scent is said to be named after an African tribe – its moniker given to evoke a sense of sacred secretism and an air of mystery, which fits the fact that the fragrance spent three years in the making before being revealed.
Coming from an insider’s label, we expect the tribe of men who decide to make this their go-to scent will certainly be keeping the name on the bottle a secret for themselves. But find M Micallef’s “Akowa” (soon to be made available at Jumia) here for €195, and receive a free card holder too.
2. Marc Jacobs’ “Blush” Collections
Due for official release in February’16, the new limited editions of Marc Jacobs’ popular “Daisy” fragrances – the original “Daisy” of 2007, “Daisy Eau So Fresh” of 2011 and “Daisy Dream” from 2014 – will arrive, having been given the rosy treatment.
The new additions to the fragrance line will be named “Daisy Blush”, “Daisy Eau So Fresh Blush” and “Daisy Dream Blush”, and will come dressed in pretty pink bottles.
Intended for the sophisticated, “Daisy Blush” includes floral notes of honeysuckle, lily of the valley and delicate mimosa, for a fresh interpretation of the Spring season. “Daisy Eau So Fresh Blush” includes notes of pear, water lily and honeysuckle, and has a wood and musk base. “Daisy Dream Blush” meanwhile is a feminine and sweet scent, with violet and freesia, among other fruits and wooden aromas.
Find your favourite (ours is the “Daisy Eau So Fresh Blush”) from the collection when browsing the duty-free aisles and travel outlets, where its currently available.
3. Estée Lauder’s “Modern Muse Eau de Rouge”
If you love ultra-feminine scents, you will certainly fall for Estée Lauder’s “Modern Muse Eau de Rouge” – an oriental-floral fragrance that recalls he original “Modern Muse” scent, but offers a more modern and youthful take.
Top notes include red currant, raspberry, pink pepper and saffron; middle notes include bulgarian rose, may rose, jasmine and magnolia petals; the base notes being patchouli, vetiver, madagascar vanilla and ambrette.
Offered in 100ml, the perfume is available here for £90, or you can find the original here for N19,800.
4. Roads’ “Africa” Collection
This sophisticated quartet of scents each arrive baring gifts – by way of a specially commissioned piece of art that decorates its packaging, to please the eye along with the nose.
Looks aside, Roads’ newest scents aim to bottle the excitement and energy of the continent, with the brand’s “African Edition” fragrances each incorporating naturally-derived ingredients from across our countries.
“Big Sky”, inspired by “the changing landscapes and skylines of Africa,” includes citrus, lemon and orange flower, plus an earthy mix of patchouli, papyrus, oud and myrrh. The bottle rivals the aroma for attention though, depicting a graphic photographic piece by Cape Town-based Dylan Culhane.
“I Am Dance” is created in admiration of and “based on the freedom of African Dance”, and is fused with mandarin, pineapple and lava din upon a woody heart. The fragrance’s bottle is a colourful portrait by Tanzanian illustrator Lynnie Zulu, in-keeping up with the scent’s rhythm.
The third fragrance, called “Past Present” is inspired by the strength and conviction of Nigeria’s literary scene – an au in ode to writers like Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka, whose talent is among the melting pot of inspiration for this bergamot, black tea, jasmine and tonka bean concoction. A detailed piece by Ghanaian Yaw Tony recalls Ankara fabrics for the bottle.
The collection’s final fragrance “Afropolis” is a tribute to modern Africa – the perfume made up of gin, spearmint, oakmoss, iris, ebony woods and amber notes. Also coming to the party, providing the visuals to the scent is a design by Parisian artist Elise Hannebicuqe, whose known for her work depicting Africa and Nelson Mandela.
Pick out your perfume from £80.00, here.
5. DKNY’s “Be Delicious Electric”
A new trio of DKNY limited editions arrives to pleasure one of your senses – the collection featuring new versions of the beloved “DKNY Be Delicious” fragrance.
Titled “Be Electric” the collection is inspired by neon lights and parties in New York City, and bursts with ‘Big Apple’ Spring flavours, centred on fruits; “Citrus Pulse” incorporating citrusy accords of nectarine, mandarin and passion fruit along with Jasmine, frangipani, musk, woods and benzoin; “Bright Crush” bringing honeydew melon, bergamot, black currant and plum, plus frangipani, peony, amber and vanilla; “Loving Glow” shining with notes of grape, black currant, pineapple, purple violet, apricot and jasmine, and a base of vanilla, amber wood and musk.
If fruit’s your thing we suggest you try the range (including our favourite: ‘Loving Glow”) here at £37 each.
6. Paco Rabanne’s “Invictus Aqua” & “Olympéa Aqua”
Reviving the trend of aquatic fragrances, Paco Rabanne has launched two new editions inspired by the 2013 scent of “Invictus” and 2015’s “Olympéa” – a re-imagining made to emphasise the aquatic character of the originals.
“Invictus Aqua” is an energetic scent of grapefruit, yuzu and pink pepper, with marine and herbal violet leaf paired with guaiac wood and amber. “Olympéa Aqua” bares the fresh notes of calabrian bergamot and petit grain, with ginger flower, salted vanilla, ambergris and cashmere wood also in the mix.
The fragrances – not yet available to buy – will come bottled in the same silhouette as their originals. But while you wait for their release, why not try their predecessors, Paco Rabanne “Invictus” here and “Olympia” here, for N16,000 and £32.50 respectively.
7. Ghandour Cosmetics’ “Scent of Africa”
While we can’t claim to know much of its actual fragrance (is it woody? Zesty? Floral? The official site doesn’t say) we do know a lot about its inspiration.
Ghandour Cosmetics say they’ve “the essence of Africa, captured in a bottle” and designed the scent to;
“…Celebrate the most iconic of all continents. It is a beacon of a new future, it’s heart beats with excitement and honour.”
The bottle’s packaging continues down the celebratory theme too, with its metallic gold and silver bottles cut in the disctintive shape of the continent.
But while we don’t know much of its ingredients, it’s the scent’s faces that tell us this is one worth experiencing, with supermodel Oluchi Orlandi fronting the campaign alongside footballer Marcel Desailly, who make a fine pair in both the still and the seductive video campaigns.WATCH: OLUCHI ORLANDI & MARCEL DESAILLY STAR IN “SCENT OF AFRICA” AD CAMPAIGN
Their onscreen chemistry is reason enough to believe that whatever’s going on inside the bottle is worth investigating.
8. Giorgio Armani’s “Si Rose Signature”
Giorgio Armani’s new perfume, “Si Rose Signature” continues the story of “Si” – a fragrance first launched in 2013.
Bottled decoratively, with a pale pink silk belt and golden rings at its base and neck, the eau still includes the original chypre composition of its predecessor, but is complemented by floral notes of May, damask roses, osmanthus absolute and iris.
Signed by perfumer Julie Massé, “Si Rose Signature” is actually the sixth child of “Si”, with previous versions including “Si Golden Bow”, “Si Huile de Parfum” and “Si Eau de Toilette” which launched last year.
The newest addition to the “Si” family is due to launch next month, but while you wait, go get to know the original to “Si Rose Signature” here, for N29,400.
9. Hugo Boss’ “Hugo Extreme” & “Hugo Woman Extreme”
Launching a fresh duo from its line of fragrances, Hugo Boss, revealed “Hugo Extreme” and “Hugo Woman Extreme” at the beginning of the year – the update to its classic “Hugo Man” from 1995 and the cult “Hugo Woman” fragrances.
“Hugo Extreme” takes the original scent to a new level with a more intensive yet modern twist on the original, including its iconic green apple – made stronger for maximum olfactory effect – and the aromatic character of lavender, sage and geranium, as well as masculine notes of cedar and fir resin.
For “Hugo Woman Extreme” there’s both an intense and revitalising freshness found in notes of boysenberry and red Himalayan grass, plus jasmine, white flowers and the accords of black tea, as well as oriental osmanthus.
10. Givenchy’s “Dahlia Divin Black Ball” Limited Edition
Launched late last year, Givenchy’s special, limited edition “Dahlia Divin Black Ball” was created in collaboration with Alicia Keys, who also fronts the campaign for the original “Dahlia Divin” perfumes.
Popular for its intensely sweet, floral and fruity notes, which are warmed up with wood, the eau includes mirabell plum, jasmine and white flowers, as well as vetiver, sandalwood and patchouli.
But sweeter still is the fact that the scent is dedicated to Ms Keys’ “Keep a Child Alive” charity, co-founded by Ms Keys, which helps to fight and raise awareness of AIDS.
The limited edition “Dahlia Divin Black Ball” is available only at exclusive stores like Nordstrom, where you’ll find it here for $110, else you can try the original Givenchy “Dahlia Divin” for N22,50, here.
But what about you and your favourite new scents? Tell us about your fresh fragrances for 2016, below in the comments box or online @SPICETVAFRICA.
Image source: Fragrantica.com, Belleza.trendencias.com, Averyperfumegallery.com, Nawmagazine.com, Fragrantica.com