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From fresh laundry to old library books; the world's most unusual perfume scents


From gin and tonic to divorce papers, the strangest scents in the beauty market have got us thinking, "Who would want to smell that way?"

But unusual perfumes don't just have to be bizarre and gimmicky. We recommend 10 unique and evocative fragrances that smell absolutely beautiful.


1. Smells like: ageing library books

Dead Writers Perfume

Bookworms will love the latest fragrance from cult line Sweet Tea Apothecary. The historically-inspired perfume specialists have released a scent that echoes that musty smell of dog-eared tomes. The smoky unisex fragrance "evokes the feeling of sitting in an old library chair paging through yellowed copies of Hemingway, Shakespeare, Fitzgerald, Poe, and more". With notes of black tea, vetiver, clove, musk, vanilla, heliotrope, and tobacco, it's a comforting and nostalgic perfume that will make you want to curl up with your favourite read in a warm corner somewhere. 

£27 for 15ml, sweetteaapothecary.com

2. Smells like: fresh laundry

CLEAN Fresh Laundry

Imagine freshly laundered sheets drying under open blue skies. Clean Fresh Laundry captures the crisp and comforting scent of freshly washed linens. It offers crisp top notes of Brazilian Orange, Mexican Lime and freshly mown Grass and a floral blend of Rose Otto and night blooming Jasmine combine.

£33 for 30ml, beautybay.com

3. Smells like: Angel cake

Demeter Angel Food

While Demeter's fragrance is based on the American Angel Food Cake rather than the three-layer British equivalent, it still smells of delicious vanilla and sugar. While it is certainly a smell for the sweet tooth, wearers say it is mild enough to not feel like you're a walking dessert.

£24.94 for 120ml, amazon.co.uk

4. Smells like: a fruit basket


The fragrance captures the scent of a ripe, sweet and bold barrel of fruits. But it's not your typical run-of-the-mill fruity-florals scent. Imagine a strong, modern and powerful bomb of blackcurrant, fig, red apple, and peach flavours.

From £88 for 50ml, byredo.com

5. Smells like: Pastry bakery

Serge Lutens Jeux de Peau

Perfume art director Serge Lutens has dear memories of the smell and feeling of warm bread fresh from a bakery against the cheek even more so, evoking a familiar sensation from my childhood. This fragrance captures the warmth of that moment in one bottle, with notes of toasted warm bread, milk and butter.

£74 for 50ml, feelunique.com

6. Smells like: macarons

Nina Ricci La Tentation De Nina Limited Edition

Olivier Cresp, Nina Ricci's Master Perfumer, and Vincent Lemains, the head chef of the famous Parisian patisserie Ladurée, teamed together to create the ultimate temptation: a fragrance inspired macarons (likewise they created a line of macarons inspired by the perfume called Nina). It smells just as you would imagine it - sweet, slightly nutty and topped with raspberry jam, lemon drops and rose flavouring.

£24.99 for 50ml, fragrancedirect.co.uk

7. Smells like: a tropical beach

Olivine Amongst The Waves

Imagine walking on a beach in the heat of the day, your toes still in the surf, the tropical breeze washing over your skin still wet from the ocean. You smell the scent of salt air, the coconut oil on your body and tropical flowers. That is what Amongst The Waves is all about. Inspired by Hanalei, Hawaii, it has notes of ocean salt, black coconut, waterlily and tiger lily.

29.73 for 5ml (perfume oil), etsy.com

8. Smells like: Parisian flower market

Maison Martin Margiela Replica Flower Market

Flower Market carries the scent of fresh cut flowers "in the buckets and vases of a Parisian flower market in 2011," according to master perfumer Jacques Cavallier. Its composition includes notes of crushed leaves, freesia, sambac jasmine from India, Egyptian jasmine, tuberose, rose from Grasse, peach, cedarwood and oakmoss.

£65 for 100ml, houseoffraser.co.uk

9. Smells like: 1940s screen siren

Etat Libre d`Orange Jasmin et Cigarette

A tribute to the seductive and elusive actresses of the silver screen such as Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich who would leave behind a trail of smoke and jasmine. The fragrance marries together jasmine asbolute, tobacco notes, apricot, tonka beans, curcuma, cedar, amber and musk.

£63.52 (80 €) for 50 ml, etatlibredorange.com

10. Smells like: baby powder

Demeter Baby Powder

This perfume captures the wonderful fresh baby powder smell without feeling too "babyish". It's a clean, delicate and feminine fragrance perfect for when you've stepped out of the shower.

£29.19 for 120ml, amazon.co.uk



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