Why solid perfumes are the perfect travel companion | Fragrance

SSolid perfume is an underrated marvel and the ingenious alternative to packing perfume bottles in socks, sweaters and plastic bags for travel. They’re small enough to last all day in a very small purse or pocket, then snap open and dab on with your fingertips or glide onto pulse points straight from the packaging.

Jo Malone London‘s Solid Cologne is an incredibly useful and decently valued gift when filled over a long lifespan. You start with a very smart, robust and luxurious Solid Perfume Duo Palette with two sliding sides (£26), each housing a solid refill (£20) that can be swapped out in perpetuity. Jo Malone is all about pairing and layering scents, but even if you stick with one scent at a time, this design allows you to pack two scents for a trip while taking up no more room in a suitcase than a box of matches.

Personally, I’d fill in with Blackberry & Bay, a sharp, sophisticated fruity scent for people who find most fruity scents a sweet, sticky abomination, and Dark Amber & Ginger Lily, the warm, cozy but not overwhelming aroma of cardamom and frankincense.

I firmly believe that Glossier You is among the best perfumes of the last decade, and I continue to wear it often. So I’m glad the brand has reintroduced their solid version (£24), which allows for afternoon refills while the glass bottle stays safe at home. It’s topped up for a friendly £14, and again the compact is built to last, which is handy as its very nice pebble shape means I can barely put the damn thing down.

The fragrance inside the case is very wearable – an extremely appealing paradox of cool sparkling and musky warmth – and also works wonderfully as an unobtrusive base for most other fragrances.

The first solid perfume I bought was Diptych, the company that can rightfully be credited with reinventing the category. The number of flavors offered in its solid format is limited, but among the best. The painted Bakelite-style travel compact is pricey at £48, but is loaded with fragrance and looks and feels suitably special, almost like jewellery.

Refills cost a reasonable £29 for two identical pans. I wouldn’t hesitate to choose Philosykos, a fig masterpiece, and L’Ombre dans l’eau, an enticing blend of oily, moist, velvety blackcurrants and roses that quietly seduce the woman or the man.

Sarah C. Figueiredo