Around the world in 80 sprays: The perfumes that can transport you

Around the world in 80 sprays: Stuck in Blighty? Try the perfumes that can transport you

  • Ruth Mastenbroek captured the essence of Umbria with her Amorosa fragrance
  • British perfumer said scents trigger your imagination to transport you to a place
  • Jo Fairley picked a selection of perfumes for travelling in our minds this summer

Ever smelled a fragrance and been ‘Tardised’ through time and space to a holiday memory?

I always pack a new perfume to wear away for that reason; every time I smell it, even years later, I’m transported. It happens because the part of our brain which analyses aromas sits next to the areas that process memory and emotion.

For many of us, a foreign holiday this year remains a dream. So a fragrance’s ability to make us travel in our minds is this summer’s superpower.

British perfumer Ruth Mastenbroek likens it to reading a novel. ‘You open a book and it triggers your imagination so you’re transported to that place and time,’ she explains. ‘The skill of the perfumer is to do that with fragrance.’

Jo Fairley picked out a selection of the best perfumes for travelling in our minds this summer. Pictured: Acqua di Parma Bergamotto di Calabria

Ruth’s own Amorosa fragrance was designed to capture the essence of Umbria, Italy. Ruth and her husband have a holiday home there, which for the first summer ever they won’t be visiting.

Fragrance guru Jo Malone also bases many of her scents on trips abroad. ‘Holidays are such carefree times,’ she explains. ‘That sense of not having a worry in the world is what our lives are missing.

‘When I smell rose petals, I think of the South of France, while citrus fruits take me to the Mediterranean, especially Capri.’ Her latest perfume, Mango Thai Lime, was inspired by a trip to Thailand’s luxury Amanpuri resort.

‘We ate mango with a squeeze of lime, and I wanted to evoke that honeyed fruitiness, contrasted with tart lime. Every time I wear it, I want to go back!’

So whether you’re pining for a fast-paced city break, the laid-back glamour of a Greek island or the languid warmth of a tropical escape, prepare to journey around the world in 80 sprays …


Acqua di Parma Bergamotto di Calabria, £79 for 75ml eau de toilette.

Take yourself to a sunny terrace overlooking the Med with this play on bright citrus Calabrian bergamot, warmed by red ginger and with notes of skin-like musk and grassy vetiver (a fragrant grass).


Molton Brown Flora Luminare, £60 for 50ml eau de toilette.

Molton Brown Flora Luminare (pictured) is a fusion of exotic white flowers, that captures the essence of a tropical paradise 

Yearning for a languid tropical paradise? Lie back and let Flora Luminare’s fusion of exotic white flowers waft you there. Perfumer Maia Lernout was inspired by Polynesian women using tiare flowers as a love potion, smoothed through their hair.


Ruth Mastenbroek Amorosa, from £90 for 50ml eau de parfum (

Ruth Mastenbroek Amorosa (pictured) is designed to ‘to transport you to a holiday feeling, where you have left your worries behind’

As Ruth puts it, her uplifting creation is designed ‘to transport you to a holiday feeling, where you have left your worries behind.’ Exactly what we’re all missing, right now — and this really makes the wearer feel somewhere else, with its sun-warmed, flower-powered headiness, and juicy fruit twist.


YSL Paris, £67 for 50ml eau de parfum.

YSL Paris (pictured) smells like an armfuls of roses, flashes of violet and orange blossom

A chic fragrance designed to conjure up the modern Parisian woman, capturing armfuls of roses, flashes of violet and orange blossom. Like walking into one of the French capital’s flower shops.


Jo Loves Mango Thai Lime, £70 for 50ml eau de parfum.

Jo Loves Mango Thai Lime (pictured) is a tribute to Thailand’s lush, palm-fringed coastline

Juicy mango is perfectly counterbalanced by zesty kaffir lime in this brilliantly uplifting tribute to Thailand’s lush, palm-fringed coastline.


Diptyque Philosykos, £72 for 50ml.

Diptyque Philosykos (pictured) has notes of green leaves, juicy fig fruit and milky sap for the essence of Greece 

Missing Greece? Notes of green leaves, juicy fig fruit and milky sap were chosen to conjure up childhood memories of summers at Mount Pelion. It’s fig groves and sparkling coves, bottled.


Atelier Cologne Clementine California, £55 for 30ml Cologne Absolue.

Atelier Cologne Clementine California (pictured) evokes an imaginary drive through California

Put the hood down, start the engine and take an imaginary drive through California’s citrus groves with a squeeze of clementines, a dash of juniper and gusts of cool vetiver breezing through this cologne.


Kierin NYC Sunday Brunch, £65 for 50ml.

Kierin NYC Sunday Brunch (pictured) has notes of lemon, jasmine and Earl Grey Tea for the essence of Manhattan 

There’s nowhere with the energy of Manhattan, bottled by this New York label with luminous bergamot, lemon, jasmine and Earl Grey Tea. Meet you Downtown. (If only.)


Etro Rajasthan, £118 for 100ml eau de parfum.

Is a visit to the jewel-hued land of the Maharajahs on your bucket list? You’re one step nearer with this boho woody floriental scent, spiced with pink pepper, grown in India.

Etro Rajasthan (pictured) is spiced with pink pepper to conjure a visit to the jewel-hued land of the Maharajahs

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