Ginger perfumes spice things up

Ginger perfumes spice things up

By Deborah Fulsang

For all of you perfume lovers out there, can you guess what this quintet of terrific spritzes has in common: Jean-Paul Gaultier Classique, Hermès Jardin Après le Mouson, Atelier Cologne Mandarine Glaciale, Bleu de Chanel and L’Homme Yves Saint Laurent?

Yes, they’re all French. But that’s not it. Guess again.

Ginger. They all contain a ginger note in their olfactory mix.

These fragrances owe their success, at least in part, to the inclusion of this warm spicy note. And it’s ginger’s signature character—fresh yet exotic, comforting yet fiery—that has propelled the note to current popularity. And with ginger-loving cuisines also trending, from Cuban to Vietnamese, our collective appetite for ginger has been officially piqued.

Seems the way to a fragrance lover’s heart, is often through their stomach. Ginger scents, after all, are nothing if not edible-smelling. Think of holiday desserts: Ginger-laced pumpkin pie, gingerbread, mulling spices of ginger with cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg.

Last year Calvin Klein Reveal Women played with a salt accord along with pepper, and warm sultry amber, orris, sandalwood and vetiver. It was a luxe solar scent with fullness and warmth. This year, the noses at Calvin Klein debuted the men’s version of Reveal, using ginger to season the perfume recipe, along with other edible notes of agave, pear brandy, vanilla and amber. Calvin Klein Reveal Men EDT, $92 (100 ml), Hudson’s Bay, Shoppers Drug Mart, Sephora and Sears.

This scent defies being labeled: It has top notes of red ginger along with salt and citrus, a heart of magnolia and quince, and a warm base that combines amber, wood and beeswax. One senses the perfume’s inspiration—Botticelli’s canvas, The Birth of Venus—emanating from its beachy feminine vibe. Bvlgari Aqva Davina EDT, $105 (65 ml), Hudson’s Bay, Shoppers Drug Mart.

This soon-to-debut Prada Luna Rossa Sport men’s perfume—or rather Prada toilette—is due out in September, and combines ginger with warm tobacco and vanilla notes along with aromatic lavender to create a breezy, spicy yet aquatic impression. Prada Luna Rossa Sport EDT, $92 (100 ml),, Hudson’s Bay and select Shoppers Drug Mart stores, Murale and Sephora.

PHOTO: iStock
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Alexandra Donaldson is the editorial assistant at The Whale & The Rose and a freelance writer and content creator. Although she recently took up yoga in an effort to be a healthy adult, she still binge-watches cartoons on a regular basis and dreams of running away to a cottage in the woods. She has yet to nail down her favourite perfume, but knows that it smells green, earthy and maybe a little bit spicy, but definitely not sweet.