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6 Unusual Fragrances That May Just Become Your Next Favourite

Controversial, niche and unmissable
Reading time 4 minutes

Sure, we’ve got the Diptique Baies and Le Labo Santal 33s of the fragrance world, which are all around universally appealing, but sometimes, taking olfactory risks and venturing into the niche and the unusual is the way to go in finding a scent that’s uniquely yours.

And while not all of the fragrances featured are as extreme as Gwyneth Paltrow’s “This Smells Like My Vagina” candle, Paltrow is not the first to come with fragrances that come from unexpected inspiration sources. 

With inspiration coming from as wide as inks to trash, here are the 6 best unusual fragrances that might just surprise you and become your next personal favourite.

Mémoire; d’une Odeur by Gucci 

Alessandro Michele says that the Mémoire; d’une Odeur is a ‘hybrid scent that resembles memory as much as possible’. Genderless and timeless, this perfume is surprisingly unconventional. Grassy floral, with a light musk, chamomile comes at the heart of the fragrance, making the scent soothing, wearable, yet never boring. It’s certainly a niche fragrance that may just become your next favourite.

M/Mink by Byredo 

This daring unisex perfume by Byredo has incited mixed reviews, and has been described as almost “pungent and animalistic.”  Yet, it has developed a cult following for those who have taken to it. The scent contains notes of incense and floral, reminiscent of what can only be described as metallic and sweaty. Created in collaboration with creative studio M/M (Paris), the perfume was inspired by a block of solid ink brought in by Asia, with expressions of incense, patchouli leaf, amber, honey, aldehydes, sea notes and floral notes. So if you’re looking for a bold, unusual fragrance, take this for a whiff.

Not a Perfume by Juliette Has A Gun

The secret is in its simplicity here with Not a Perfume. The fragrance contains Ambroxan, the only key ingredient here which is typically used as a base note of perfume compositions. The result is a feminine, slightly musky, and long lasting scent that is light and subtle, making it unlike most perfumes. So if you’re looking for a fresh and clean scent without making too much of a statement, this is the fragrance for you.

Portrait of a Lady by Frederic Malle 

If we were to personify this perfume by Frederic Malle, it smells like a well-to-do woman, with oriental floral notes that include Turkish rose, raspberry, patchouli and musk. Unlike other rose perfumes, Portrait of A Lady took a rose overdose with about 400 flowers per 100ml bottle, to give you a potent blend of a warm, spicy rose fragrance for an added touch of mystery and elegance -- it's certainly not for the faint hearted.

I Am Trash: Les Fleurs du Dechet by Etat Libre d'Orange

The provocative title of this perfume by Etat Libre d'Orange tells you exactly what you are in for right at the start. The scent is made from an intoxicating blend of upcycled ingredients, such as cedar, rose and musk notes. But the tongue in cheek perfume smells like anything but trash -- it produces a clean and fruity fragrance.

Nevermore by Frapin

Taking inspiration from renowned gothic writer Edgar Allan Poe may be a pretty strange choice, but with this spicy, cold rose scent, by French perfume and cognac house Frapin, it works. The rose comes with a blend of musky amber, black pepper, atlas cedar and saffron to make you feel like you’re coming out of a gothic fairytale.

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