Photo Credit: Enrico Perini
You could be forgiven for getting a little French when the topic of fine fragrance comes up. After all, there’s no denying a decidedly Gallic mastery when it comes to the art of perfumery. However, just a peek beyond the Pyrenees and you’ll find yet another super power of scent. Boasting its own perfume prowess, Spain rules a distinctive olfactive world that has long enthralled fragrance aficionados.
First, a crash course in Spanish sabiduría (knowledge). Much is owed to the Arab influence (and this is true of all perfumery). The Arab presence in much of Spain for more than 700 years would have a huge impact on everything from architecture to cuisine and, yes – fragrance. It was the Islamic culture that would perfect the extraction of fragrances through stream distillation and also introduce a treasure trove of ingredients like oud, amber, jasmine and saffron to name a few. Spaniards took note, soaking up these scent secrets to create their own formidable fragrance creations. Today there are plenty of Spanish classics to choose from as well as ultra-chic options of what’s on the pulse of right now.
Going back four generations and also celebrated as the founders of the quintessentially Spanish brand, Myrugia (creators of the iconic Maja powders and soaps), this venerable brand continues to thrive and drive a loyal following with its imaginative and gorgeously crafted scent experiences. Passionate and brimming with the finest ingredients, this is a classic that strives for sense-stirring experiences.
Ramon Monegal’s latest creation, Ten Fresh Notes, taps an array of citrusy and sensuous ingredients like lime, bergamot, cassis, vetiver and musk for a full-on sensory escapade that’s both fresh and intensely unforgettable.
Available: Ramon Monegal
Founded in 1863, this fragrance and fashion brand is steeped in Spanish tradition and considered a benchmark for luxury in Barcelona. An ever-evolving collection includes fragrances that seize the emotions of this world class city together with its unique Mediterranean ease and elegance.
Marinis – The essence and magic of the sea is at the heart of this marine fragrance that washes over you with a sense of exhilaration. Perfumer Celso Fadelli concocts a fragrance that’s light, luscious and deeply transportive with notes of mint, patchouli, cedarwood and lemon.
Available: Santa Eulalia
Born in Barcelona in 2010, Carner straddles the best of what’s classic and what’s cool with a lineup that brings to life some of Barcelona’s hot spots like the trendy El Born neighborhood. Known for its galleries and cafes by day and its chic party scene by night this is a must for anyone visiting. One spritz of this honey, lemony musky fig scent and you’re there.
Available: Carner Barcelona
Life is literally a beach for this Spanish lifestyle brand known for its high-end restaurants in dreamy destinations like Formentera (Spain), Tulum (Mexico) and Sitges (Spain’s Catalonia region). Now the party comes to perfume with a collection of beachy bliss scents like: Bendito Beso, Beso Canalla and Beso Negro.
Bendito Beso by renowned perfumer, Olivier Cresp conjures up warm, tanned bodies emerging from sparkling waters, sun on skin and a paradise-like mood that’s kissed with notes of neroli water, Absolute leaf orange from Tunisia, heliotrope and musk.
Available: Beso Beach
The creative spirit and a deep appreciation for self-expression is a potent force in Spain and also the inspiration for this brand dedicated to the artist in all her/his glory. Seven fragrant masterworks capture the boho brightness of the artist’s life – including Ballerina, Writer, Sculptor, Actor and Musician. Both the inspiration and the gorgeously complex compositions prove the artist is present.
Fancy a little role-playing? Reach for Actor – this fresh, fearless fragrance created by Gaël Montero is infused with notes of pink pepper, rose and incense is a revelation with every spritz.