I think it is often underestimated just how difficult shopping for perfume is. For starters, the stuff is expensive. While parting with a few quid on a foundation that isn’t quite right doesn’t feel like a huge financial loss (with a bit of mixing, you can usually find a way to make it work), dropping three figures on a perfume that isn’t all you hoped is more difficult to swallow.
We’ve all been there. You spritz something on counter and fall in love at first sniff or smell something divine on someone and add it straight to your basket, only to get the goods home, douse yourself in the stuff and realise it gives you a nauseating headache.
And to make perfume shopping even harder, we’re now faced with what feels like hundreds of snaps of painfully pretty bottles every time we log on to Instagram. But chic bottles don’t always mean chic scents. In fact, finding perfumes that smell as good as they look can be tricky business. There is one brand, however, that I fervently believe is seriously underrated in this realm.
There’s a high chance you have already heard of Aerin perfumes. Their distinctive stone lids and beautiful gold hardware make them perfect Insta material. But you’d be forgiven for never having given them a sniff. You see, unlike so many other Instagrammable perfumes around (no, I won’t name names), the scents of Aerin perfumes are enviably unique, long-lasting and universally wearable.
The brand, which was founded by Aerin Lauder (yes, she is the granddaughter of the Estée Lauder), is all about effortlessly beautiful living. Think classic scents with an air of modern ease and luxury that makes them the ultimate reach-fors. Despite my 70-strong perfume collection, it’s Aerin scents that I find myself reaching for day in, day out. They are the epitome of laid-back luxury.
The fragrances themselves are easy to wear and powerful without being heady, and they become one with the skin in a way that has people thinking you just smell that good. In fact, I like to think of my Aerin collection much like I do my wardrobe. There’s the sort of free-flowing chiffon dress that oozes carefree nostalgia, the business suit that screams authority and the cosy cashmere jumper that radiates warmth and comfort.
I’m the sort of person who likes my signature perfumes to be mine, so in a way, I’ve kind of been putting off writing this story. Truthfully, out of all of the perfume brands I’ve ever tried, Aerin is the one that appeals most to the sort of person who likes to keep their signature scent a secret. The perfumes are unique enough to pique interest and wearable enough to have people asking after them.
So despite the fact it pains me a little to share the Aerin secret with you all, I feel like it has to be done. While I’m the sort of girl who likes to keep delicious perfumes for myself, I sense Aerin Lauder is too, and it’s because of that she’s been able to create such delectable masterpieces over and over again.
Keep scrolling to shop the best Aerin perfumes out there…
They say you shouldn’t have favourites, but this little guy makes it really hard. It’s zingy and fruity (think juicy grapefruit and orange) but richly floral at the same time. Yes, it has that sort of Mediterranean summer vibe to it, but I wear this all-year round. Like a crisp, white shirt and freshly pressed jeans, it embodies the laid-back Mediterranean way of life much more than it does warm sunshine.
The latest launch from Aerin, Cedar Violet is destined for cult status. Think crisp autumn walks through the forest that clear the mind and senses. It’s woody but not in the traditional sense. With violet leaf and golden gardenia, it’s light and floral enough to remind you of the great outdoors in early autumn rather than a crackling fireplace in winter.
For those who don’t like floral scents, you might usually be put off by the mention of jasmine. However, I challenge anyone to smell this and turn their nose up. With tuberose and jasmine, yes, it is floral, but with the inclusion of sandalwood and honeysuckle, it’s more velvety and luxe than you could possibly imagine.
This is probably considered Aerin’s most well-known fragrance, and it’s distinctly different from the rest. While most of the collection is lightweight and airy, Amber Musk is whole-bodied and warming. With amber, musk and coconut water, it’s like putting on a freshly washed jumper before you hang the washing out to dry on a sunny winter’s day.
By far the most polarising scent in the line-up, Ambrette de Noir is strong and is most definitely for those who like to make a statement with their perfume come nightfall (me). With ambrette seed, tonka absolute, vanilla bourbon and cedarwood, it’s probably the most alluring fragrance I have ever owned.
Rose-perfume haters are not welcome here. In fact, forget everything you think you know about rose as a fragrance note. Rose de Grasse is considered one of the most beautifully blended rose perfumes in existence by just about every fragrance nerd I know for good reason. It’s light but musky and leaves you smelling like a fresh bouquet of flowers all day long.
I first smelled Tangier Vanille on a friend, and the scent wrapped me up in a dizzying, tantalising hug. It’s sweet and glowing thanks to vanilla and bergamot, but amber, musk and cedarwood give it a soft depth that makes you want to spray it over and over again.
Now this is what I like to call a luxury spritz. It’s fresh and flowing like crisp green leaves in spring, but it has a powderiness to it that makes it soft and easy on the nose. Lilac Path is truly a your-skin-but-better scent.