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Scent is one of our strongest senses that’s capable of evoking vivid memories and emotions. Renowned perfumer Francis Kurkdjian says that perfume is the art that makes memory speak and we couldn’t agree more. Just like a beautiful painting or a romantic song, an aromatic fragrance can transport you to a faraway place bringing out your wanderlust spirit.
Perfume is also very personal—a single note can remind you of a specific moment in time that, in a wonderful way, makes a fragrance a type of mental time-travel mechanism that enables you to go back and re-live a happy moment.
To help you daydream a bit, we rounded up some of the best luxury fragrances that were inspired by the most gorgeous destinations in the world.
Paris: Frederic Malle En Passant Perfume
Parisian weather, especially in the spring, is notoriously moody. En Passant composed by perfumer Olivia Giacobetti, is inspired by the breezy and often rainy days of Paris when light showers bring the aromatic smell of flowers in the air. It is a romantic, almost nostalgic, fragrance that invites you to pause for a second and breathe in the divine scent of lilac, orange leaves, cucumber, and white musk.
To buy: $185, neimanmarcus.com
Positano: Eau d’Italie Eau d'Italie Eau de Toilette
The first fragrance from Eau d’Italie, which bears the same name, was inspired by one of Positano’s most iconic hotels, Le Sireneuse (the two also share the same owners). The fresh aroma of citrus groves and the salty sea breeze that fills up the air in the summer was interpreted with top notes of Incense, Bergamot, and Blackcurrant Buds.
To buy: $140, neimanmarcus.com
The French Riviera: Chanel Paris-Riviera Eau de Toilette
Located in hilly Roquebrune-Cap-Martin on the French Riviera, Coco Chanel’s summer villa, La Pausa, is a serene oasis that sits among fragrant lavender and olive trees. It is exactly this dreamy setting that inspired Chanel’s floral Paris-Riviera eau de toilette. Thanks to the sweet scent of Sicilian Orange and warm Neroli, one whiff of this fragrance is enough to transport you to a sun-drenched garden on the glamorous Côte d'Azur.
To buy: $130, chanel.com
Japan: Dior Sakura Eau de Toilette
Composed by Dior’ perfumer François Demachy, Sakura is a celebration of Japan’s breathtaking cherry blossom trees, the smell of which, he says, followed him everywhere after a trip to the Land of the Rising Sun. “Tiny and fragile though it is, it nevertheless releases a perfume with incredible presence evoking the breathtaking landscape of thousands of cherry trees in bloom,” he stated.
This floral fragrance has notes of jasmine, rose, Japanese cherry blossom, and white musk.
To buy: $220, dior.com
Vietnam: Diptyque Do Son Eau de Parfum
When Yves Coueslant, one of Diptyque’s co-founders was a child, he spent his summers in Do Son in the spectacular Halong Bay in Northern Vietnam. The musky scent of the tuberose flower, which is extremely popular in this part of the country, inspired, decades later, the creation of Diptyque’s Do Son fragrance.
With notes of rose, iris, musk, pink pepper and, of course, tuberose, it is easy to close your eyes and see the magnificent Halong Bay with its emerald waters and lush, towering islands.
To buy: $180, neimanmarcus.com
Tahiti: Chantecaille Tiare Eau de Parfum
The name “tiare,” a type of gardenia native to Tahiti, literally means “a strong fragrance” in Tahitian and it has became synonymous with the beauty of the Polynesian islands.
Chantecaille’s Tiare fragrance evokes the rich, floral scent of this delicate flower and is complemented by notes of cyclamen, lily of the valley, jasmine, ylang-ylang, orchid, musk, and vanilla among others that bring to mind the turquoise waters of the Tahitian lagoons, the lush tropical forests, and balmy breezes of French Polynesia.
To buy: $185, beautyhabit.com