Eau de parfum: 10 unique scents you might not have heard of

AEQUILL Contemporary Scent Eau de Parfum

Aequill was born out of one thing: a love of the emotional power of scent. It's why all of our products utilise a blend of raw, refined, and natural materials, to allow the emotive benefits of the incredible fragrances to truly shine.

It's probably unsurprising, then, that our founder is incredibly passionate about fragrance, and is constantly seeking out contemporary, pioneering scents, and the talented perfumers that make them.

That's why, a few years ago, she spent the day at 'Perfume: A Sensory Journey through Contemporary Scent' in Somerset House, London

Perfume: A Sensory Journey through Contemporary Scent

This exhibition sought to share 10 unique, groundbreaking creations in the world of eau de parfum, and the pioneers that created them. This exhibition sought to avoid the usual offerings of parfum and eau de toilette that's widely appreciated, and showcase the unique.

What makes a fragrance ground-breaking?

Before we discuss the 10 pioneering scents that were featured in this incredible exploration, it's worth mentioning what exactly makes fragrance stand out in today's olfactory scene. Each of the perfumers highlighted in the session were chosen on one criteria - that they exhibited true ingenuity in their work, and created a parfum that shuns the expected. We'll be outlining the ways in which these eau de parfum choices were so unique, so do keep reading if you'd like to discover how some of the most disruptive perfumers are changing the way we think about - and smell - fragrances.

These are not your standard eau de toilette!

Purple Rain - Prada

Purple Rain Eau de Parfum by Prada

Crafted by the visionary perfumer Daniela Roche Andrier, Purple Rain is one of ten editions of Prada Olfactories, created with the intention of being completely unexpected; this, in fact, Purple Rain does incredibly well. With a complex, sumptuous iris centre note, woody Galbanum and citrusy Bergamot top notes, and a smoky Vetiver base note, it's a surprising twist on the standard iris eau de parfum, offering a modern take on this floral classic.

Comme des Garcons 2 - Comme des Garcons

Eau de Parfum - Comme des Garcons 2

Inspired by the Japanese art of calligraphy, this eau de parfum, created by Mark Buxton, is an incredibly modern unisex fragrance which plays with the concept of light and dark; top notes of floral magnolia juxtapose a middle note of ink to highlight this contrast, which is then combined with a musky, earthy Patchouli that truly brings this variety of parfums together.

Series 3 Incense: Avignon - Comme des Garcons

Series 3 Incense: Avignon - Comme des Garcons Eau de Parfum

Comme des Garcons' iconic Series 3 Incense was launched in 2002, and was inspired by the 5 main spiritual teachings of humanity. In keeping with this, Bertrand Duchaufour created this particular eau de parfum, Avignon, as an 'olfactory portrait of French Catholic mass'; with top notes of frankincense and myrrh, and a delicate blend of vanilla and chamomile throughout, it's an incredibly emotive blend that perfectly encapsulates such a unique experience.

En Passant - Frederic Malle

Eau de Parfum En Passant - Frederic Malle

Olivia Giacobetti created this gorgeous twist on a classic floral eau de parfum by incorporating the delicate fragrances of lilac and cucumber with the nutty punch of wheat, and it makes for a truly unique olfactory experience. Soft floral notes give way to fresh green notes, which in turn leave behind the intensity of wheat and make for an incredibly pioneering parfum for women.

Charcoal - Perfumer H

Eau de Parfum Charcoal - Perfumer H

Created by the nose behind Perfumer H herself, Lyn Harris, Charcoal is an achingly familiar woody scent, with an unexpected twist; a burst of cistus absolute to imbue a green, herbal undertone that really brings this eau de parfum to life in a truly surprising way. Paired with notes of isobutyl quinoline and leather, it's a warm and rich scent which invokes memories of cold winters and warm fires, and is genuinely groundbreaking in reaching such an emotive core.

Sécrétions Magnifiques - Etat Libre d'Orange

Sécrétions Magnifiques - Etat Libre d'Orange Eau de Parfum

Billed as 'olfactory coitus', it's not a surprise that this particular eau de parfum, created by Antoine Lie, made it into this exhibition of pioneering parfum. With top notes of salt, centre notes of blood, milk, and adrenaline, and base notes of iris, all inspired by the pursuit of sexual pleasure, it's not hard to see how Sécrétions Magnifiques has earned its reputation as a subversive eau de parfum. Whilst it's often referred to as an acquired taste - or smell - there's no arguing that it truly is a disruptive parfum.

El Cosmico - D.S. & Durga

Eau de Parfum El Cosmico - D.S. & Durga

Formulated by David Seth Moltz, El Cosmico seeks to encapsulate the fragrance of desert airs of the town of Marfa, cosmic axis of West Texas. As such, it combines the fragrance of Creosote shrubs with Chihuahuan mesa woods, like mesquite and oak, with top notes of desert pepper and pinyon, to truly evoke the sensation of having visited the desert town. In this sense, it is extraordinary; one whiff of El Cosmico is set to truly resonate, and it's a startling achievement that genuinely highlights the ingenuity of the perfumer; this is far from your standard eau de toilette.

Molecule 01 - Escentric Molecules

Eau de Parfum Molecule 01 - Escentric Molecules

This particular eau de parfum is a cult classic, and for good reason; perfumer Geza Schoen combined the art of perfumery with science to create Molecule 01, basing the entire fragrance around one single note: Iso E Super. This particular chemical is often used as a woody base note in a lot of well known eau de toilette and parfum, so it's a familiar, warm smell. However, by utilising its pure form, Geza Schoen subverted standard expectations of fragrance, and the result is a subtle, smooth, warm eau de parfum which ebbs and flows in waves, leaving a long-lasting, emotive scent that is already a classic in its own right.

02 L'Air du Desert Marocain - Tauer Perfumes

02 L'Air du Desert Marocain - Tauer Perfumes Eau de Parfum

Andy Tauer's distinctive L'Air du Desert Marocain is an eau de parfum that delivers exactly what it promises: a glimpse into the Saharan desert at night, evocative of Morocco. Top notes are spicy cumin and leafy coriander, with a centre of floral jasmine and woody, earthy birch, and base notes of musky patchouli and warm amber. As with some of the previous eau de parfum in this exhibition, this particular fragrance seeks to transport the wearer to an entirely different locale, using an emotive concoction - and it succeeds.

Dark Ride - Xyrena

Dark Ride - Xyrena Eau de Parfum

Concocted by Killian Wells, Dark Ride is something else entirely. This eau de parfum is described as an 'aromatic aquatic' fragrance, and for good reason...it's inspired by none other than theme park water rides! With a blend of chlorine, mildew, and incense (for that smoky ride smell), it's a truly unique fragrance choice for an eau de parfum, and whilst it's definitely not for everyone, its uniqueness is completely undeniable.

A final thought...

This incredible exhibition was truly an exploration of eau de parfum which disrupted the olfactory industry, and inspired a range of developments across perfume and eau de toilette alike. One of the most incredible traits of this industry, as a whole, is how much it is constantly growing and adapting, and seeing pioneers like those mentioned above disrupting our expectations of parfum, eau de toilette, and fragrance in general, is truly inspiring to us at Aequill.

What's the most groundbreaking eau de parfum or eau de toilette you've discovered, recently?