What better way to remember your holiday than by taking home a scent to remember it by?

The cooler seasons invoke scents from spiralling wood fires, earthiness from fallen oak leaves, crisp eucalyptus breezes, and petrichor after a downpour. With these aromas come emotions; every smell has a story and every story is as individual as the person smelling it. Of the five senses, smell is scientifically proven to be most closely linked to memory, so it is little wonder we are so ardent about the scents we dab onto our skin.

The wearing of perfume is seeped in nostalgia – the power to evoke a person, a place, a time. The ancient practice of perfumery has been around for 4,000 years; from smoking incense to distilling oils from flowers, the literal meaning of distillation is: ‘extraction of essential meaning and important aspects’. This definition eloquently epitomises the array of local retailers whose carefully curated perfumes are well worth the trip to our region. You may discover a favourite scent or create newfound memories during your unique olfactory journey with us.


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Kabinett. Photography by Lara Antonelli-Leorke

Kabinett in Kyneton has accentuated the burgeoning movement of distilling, and in perfect harmony with their cocktail and plant bar, Botanik, emphasise immersion and nostalgia on a grand and contemporary scale. The superb selection of perfumes garnered from around the world is like a hidden gem at the core of Kabinett, intended to transport you back to a time of travel.

P Frapin & Cie, founded in 1270 in France, are renowned for their cognac distillery that has continued for over 20 generations. Now their inspired perfumes are much sought-after and each scent bestows upon the wearer a sense of history only the Grand Champagne region can offer.

Ormaie from Southern France steers towards all-natural ingredients with subtle yet exhilarating fragrances. Inspired by a sculpturing grandfather and a flower-loving grandmother, this particular collection of scents are specific in their memory elevation, including one that evokes the smell of wooden floorboards in a beautiful old theatre.

Naomi Goodsir is a French-based Australian born creator of niche fragrances that will elicit goosebumps with every sniff. Utilising smell as an extension of her universe, there are exquisite notes of suede, rum and tobacco that make this collection so interesting. Memo, whose motto is ‘perfume is the journey’, was created by a Parisian-Catalan poet and an Irish globetrotter – their coupling as original as the scents they devise. Unexpected destinations like the deserts of Marfa, Texas are conjured by the intoxicating aroma of white tuberose.

Kabinett also stock BDK inspired by the heart of Paris and Via dei Mille, whose complex single notes such as neroli are quintessentially Sicilian.

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Harry & Me Eight & Bob. Photography by Lara Antonelli-Leorke

Harry & Me in Daylesford boasts an enviable list of perfumes, including one they have stocked for nearly 12 years. Eight & Bob is a brand seeped in American history glamour. Created in the 1930s by French aristocrat Albert Fouquet, the story goes that Albert created a signature scent that he refused to market. He met John F Kennedy in 1937 in Côte d’Azur and JFK was so captivated by the fragrance that he asked Albert to send him eight samples and “one for Bob”. Not realising the ‘one’ he was referring to was JFK’s brother, Robert Kennedy, Albert sent the bottles and labelled them ‘Eight & Bob’. Popularity of the fragrance grew as high profile Americans starting sending order requests. When WWII hit, the last shipment was sent to America hidden in books whose pages had been cut to fit the bottles, and this is how the perfume is presented today.

Designed in Amsterdam and made in Italy, Nasomatto and Orto Parisi have a powerful vision of scent and memory. The most refreshing part of these collections is there are no ingredients labelled; it focuses on what your nose derives and memory unlocks as opposed to the label telling you what you should smell and think. It ultimately provokes nostalgia and a fundamental acceptance of the full circle of life.

WA: IT is a modern and minimalist approach to perfume that is uber sophisticated. Created by Raffaella Grisa, an Italian who lived in Japan, it is sustainable, cruelty-free, vegan. Featuring luxury botanicals and ingredients rooted in traditional Japanese medicine, the name comes from ‘WA’ (the ancient name of Japan, also meaning harmony) and ‘IT’ the prefix that identifies Italy.

Harry & Me also stock Maison Rebatchi (France) and Carner (Barcelona).

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Manteau Noir, Trudon. Photography by Lara Antonelli-Leorke

Manteau Noir in Daylesford has a stunning perfumery section akin to an antique French apothecary. Fueguia 1833 was founded in Buenos Aires by Julian Bedel, and is a tribute to the indigenous communities who are the guardians of the aromatic and medicinal plants. The collection is an ode to connecting nature to people and the intangible essence of eternity.

Matiere Premiere, created by 7th generation perfumer, Aurélien Guichard, offers a contemporary approach, sourcing precious raw materials from around the world. The glorious bottles are handmade using crystal glasswork techniques.

Trudon has its history in candles dating back to 1643, but it wasn’t until 2017 that the historic Royal Candle Manufacturer started creating eau de parfum, including the popular Revolution with notes of wild Juniper, cedarwood and papyrus.

Manteau Noir also stocks P Frapin & Cie, Mizensir and Keiko Mecheri.

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Think Alike, Loess. Photography by Lara Antonelli-Leorke

Think Alike in Woodend stock Loess, created by a Sydney-based duo focuses on natural high-quality ingredients that are vegan and cruelty-free, housed in gorgeous 100% recyclable bottles. And Mihan Aromatics by Melbourne-based couple, whose fragrances like the effervescent ‘Sienna Brume’ aptly capture poolside daydreaming.

Into The Woods in Woodend stock Parisian brand Bon Parfumeur, whose Pantone inspired collection is clean and creative, simply numbered according to fragrance notes and exceptionally clever.

Other options around the region include Woodend General and The Green Store Trentham, both of whom stock Mimosa Botanicals handcrafted in Castlemaine. The Woolshed Kyneton stock Beso Beach and Carner. The Farmer’s Wife in Daylesford stock Essential Parfums Paris, Bon Savvy, Cra-yon, The Perfume Oil Company, Vanessa Megan and Nina Bailey., while Portal 108 in Hepburn Springs stock Bopo Women and Narrative Lab.

Hero image: Kabinett. Photography by Lara Antonelli-Leorke

About the author

Lara Antonelli-Leorke
Lara Antonelli-Leorke
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Lara’s writing career has traversed the worlds of fashion, music, film and travel for more than two decades. An accomplished editor, journalist and copywriter, Lara has gifted her global followers a front row seat to star-studded red carpets, fashion week runways, iconic concerts and wanderlust-worthy travel destinations. Born in Melbourne, she considered herself a city girl at heart, until she was wooed by the dappled light and leafy outlook of her beloved Woodend. When not being a boss lady for her marketing business, Rising Creative, or writing for her website, Pen To Paper Media, you’ll find Lara indulging in farmers’ markets, treasure hunting in vintage shops, enjoying the region’s wineries or discovering local adventures with her husband and two boys.