I am a recent convert to the pleasure of scented body cream. I used to think that a plain lotion was sufficient, and for fragrance a spritz of a perfume. Yet, when a friend gave me a jar of Chanel No 5 Body Cream, I discovered a new pampering ritual (£65 for 150ml).
To ensure a lasting scent, selecting a formula with a high proportion of aromatic oils is essential. I recommend testing a cream the way one would a fragrance – by applying it to clean skin and inhaling throughout the day to observe how the scent evolves. For instance, Chanel No 5 Body Cream has a brighter floral fragrance than the matching perfume, but its musky dry-down lingers for the whole day. It creates an intimate sillage, ideal as a daytime scent. While it can be layered with No 5 Eau de Toilette or Eau de Parfum, the Body Cream also pairs perfectly with Chanel Les Exclusifs scents such as La Pausa, an iris composition, or a violet bonbon like Misia (both £155 for 75ml).
Frédéric Malle’s decadent Body Butter is scented with some of his opulent fragrances, including Carnal Flower, Musc Ravageur and Une Rose (from £115 for 200ml). The Iris Poudre Body Butter is particularly sumptuous, with the softness of tonka bean, iris and musk enhancing the velvety texture. The scent is similar to the original perfume created by Pierre Bourdon, but the accent is on suave iris and roasted almonds. And it lasts well, making an extra layer of fragrance superfluous.
While creams lend themselves to the rich, enveloping aromas of musk, vanilla and white flowers, L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Premier Figuier Body Lotion offers a different experience (£31 for 300ml). Inspired by the house’s bright fragrance of green figs, it smells crisp and effervescent, evoking a salty sea breeze, cool sand and the taste of a sun-warmed fig plucked straight off the tree. In other words, a perfect Mediterranean summer fantasy.
Victoria Frolova has been writing her perfume blog boisdejasmin.com since 2005. Her explorations of fragrance touch upon all elements that make this subject rich and complex: science, art, literature, history and culture. Frolova is a recipient of three Fragrance Foundation FiFi Awards for Editorial Excellence and, since receiving professional perfumery training, has been working as a fragrance consultant and researcher.