There’s nothing quite like the soft, enveloping snuggle of cashmere – more than simply a wool to keep you warm, it’s become synonymous with supreme luxury, and fragrances that borrow the fluffy feeling of this material are the perfect comfort scent.
What does ‘cashmere’ mean in fragrant form, though? Perfumers aren’t extracting the wool itself into a scent; instead, they may use Cashmeran™, a trademarked synthetic material sometimes also called Cashmir (or Kashmir) Wood.
There’s no cashmeran bush, or tree, or root, though: this is a synthetic ‘fantasy ingredient, also sometimes referred to as ‘blonde woods’ on perfume note ‘pyramids’. (Cashmeran™ is a trademarked ingredient from the perfumer supplier International Flavours and Fragrances, or IFF.) It’s a-little-bit-musky, a-little-bit-spicy, a-little-bit-powdery qualities become even more versatile in the hands of perfumers: they know how Cashmeran™ almost ‘melts’ into many types of ingredients to add an extra, almost tactile sensuality to perfumes within a wide range of fragrance families.
Cashmeran™ also works to ‘expand’ and diffuse floral ingredients. (Lots of perfume notes work ‘synergistically’ in this way, which is why perfumery is such a complex art.) You may also be familiar with it from body products and even fabric conditioners: Cashmeran™ ‘clings’, and doesn’t rinse out well, leaving traces of its sensuality on the skin after showering, or your bedlinen after laundry day.
So now, do you need something to spritz as an extra ‘layer’ of protection (but that’s not too overwhelming), to conjure that feeling of hitting ‘snooze’ and staying in bed awhile longer; or perhaps a perfume for those occasions you could really do with a hug in a bottle? Read on, wrap up, and let’s get cosy in cashmere…
Guerlain Les Matières Confidentielles Eau de Cashmere
Intimately personal and part of a collection made to be spritzed on the skin ‘or over one’s favourite materials’, the Eau de Cashmere is whisper-soft, a creamy concoction of powdered iris and freshly plumped pillow-like lavender, with a breezy background of aerated woody and musky notes as it warms on the skin. It’s one of those ‘I don’t know what to wear’ go-to scents, and ‘Misted also over a jumper or across the entire wardrobe,’ says Guerlain, ‘it provides a pleasure of incomparable softness.’ We couldn’t agree more!
£140 for 100ml eau de toilette
Narciso Rodriguez Cristal
Perfumer Nathalie Gracia Cetto unfurls a ruffled citrus breeze that blooms into freesia and voluptuous orange blossom. The signature woody white musk is woven throughout the composition, making it unmistakably a Narciso creation, but with a crystalline gleam that sparkles enticingly. Wrapped in a whisper of cashmere-swathed warmth, think sunshine diffused by fluffy clouds, a soft stole worn insouciantly draped over tanned shoulders. One that fans will want to add to their collection.
From £55 for 30ml eau de parfum
Roos & Roos Pale Blue Eyes
From mother and daughter duo Chantal and Alex Roos, a fragrance which is almost literally light at the end of the seasonal tunnel, evoking ‘springtime, blue sky – a perfume blowing a gentle breeze into your heart.’ En route, it’s ruffling notes of blackcurrant bud, iris, rose, tonka, supremely cool cashmere wood that billows becommingly amidst vetiver and sandalwood. And we wonder: is the name a coincidence, or was it chosen because creator Chantal has the bluest eyes of almost anyone we know…?
£90 for 50ml eau de parfum
Floris Vert Fougére
An imagining of a fern in an English garden at twilight, Vert Fougère combines lavender and patchouli with galbanum for a green, damp, earthy beginning. A cool lingering of tempered sunlight is evoked via a bitter-citrus accord of bergamot, neroli and grapefruit, the encroaching darkness cut through with a sparkle of ginger. Finally, grounded with smoky cedar woods and soft cashmeres. Combining classic and modern elements, this is a verdant fougère to delight in.
From £20 for 10ml eau de parfum
Electimuss Mercurial Cashmere
A fragrance to ride with us amidst changeable moods, maybe? ‘The most popular of the gods, Mercury was adored for his irresistible charm and wit and the inspiration for this sensuous and seductive scent.’ With an alluring character, the cloud of cardamom-flecked iris swirls to the buttered warmth of tonka and amber touched by cashmere’s creamy caress. Especially good at granting you backbone and strength, we say: wear this fluffy, irresistiable scent and feel better for every possible perfumed mood-swing!
£225 for 100ml pure parfum
Written by Suzy Nightingale