October 2, 2022


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12 Perfumes Inspired By Travel

These travel-inspired fragrances will take you around the world (Photo: Petit Matin)

By Coco Marett

By Coco Marett

April 12, 2021

From Byredo to Aesop, Le Labo, Tom Ford and more, these fragrances are reminding us of our favourite travel destinations

Part of the ongoing pursuit of filling that travel-shaped void in our hearts, these fragrances tell stories of lengthy drives down the coast and a longing for faraway destinations––from the wild Mojave Desert to the azure waters of Positano.

See also: Solid Perfumes: 7 Brands To Try In 2021

Inspired by: Mojave Desert, United States of America

The quiet wild of the Mojave Desert is captured in whispers of ambrette, Jamaican nesberry, powdery violet and Sandalwood in Byredo’s Mojave Ghost. Enriched with mysterious notes of musk, this heady scent is one that lingers both on your skin and in your memory. 

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Taking a page from Jack Kerouac’s 1951 novel of the same name, On the Road by London-based perfumer Timothy Han traces a journey “from the hot July streets of a New York City summer to the whiskey bars and wheat fields of Middle America, before finally ending up amongst the cedar forests and citrus trees of the Pacific Coast.”

The 100 per cent natural perfume is set in an organic alcohol base and carries top notes of lemon, bergamot and lavandin, with hints of patchouli, cedarwood and birch. Road trip!

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See also: Dior, Diptyque, and More New Perfumes To Try This Season

Inspired by: The Mediterranean

Sweet, spicy and sun-soaked is the best way to describe Lys Mediterranee by Frederic Malle. Designed to capture balmy evenings in Spain or Greece, or golden afternoons on a lush terrace in the South of France, this fragrance feels like a gust of ocean air carrying notes of orange blossom, ginger lilies and musk. 

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See also: The Art Of Perfumery According To Frédéric Malle

Chicago High by New York brand Vilhelm Parfumerie takes inspiration from the Roaring Twenties, a time of hedonistic celebration of life and a no-holds-barred approach to luxury and pleasure. The scent is described by the brand as “a sparkling cocktail of champagne and pineapple infused with honey and tobacco that leaves a leather, patchouli amber whisper behind”

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Inspired by: Mumbai, India 

Inspired by the sweet heat of Mumbai that arrests the senses, Radio Bombay by D.S. & Durga carries notes of sandalwood, iris and coconut. This electric fragrance will transport you to a balmy evening in the vibrant metropolis. 


Chloé senior perfumer Alexis Dadier remembers the day his fascination with Egypt began. His grandparents had returned from a trip to the northeast African country, bringing him papyrus covered with hieroglyphics as a souvenir.

Years later, Dadier himself was sailing down the Nile, where papyrus grows its roots in the river’s waters, when he noticed its smoky and woody, yet refreshing, scent. His fragrance for Chloé’s Atelier des Fleurs fragrance series captures this beautiful duality.

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Inspired by: Paris, France

What does the soft, gentle glow of sunrise in Paris smell like? Fresh lemon from Calabria, paired with floral notes of hawthorn and lavandin from Provence, and sleepy notes of musk and amber. Keep the theme going with Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris’ Grand Soir, which evokes the magic of crisp evenings in the City of Lights. 

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Inspired by: Japan

Have you ever wondered what the ethereal, moss-covered forests featured in Japanese director Hayao Miyazak’s Studio Ghibli movies might smell like? To be honest, me neither. But thanks to Aesop, we might just find out.

At the heart of Hwyl by Aesop is the scent of hinoki, a Japanese cypress, with vetiver bourbon grown in vanilla fields in Madagascar and frankincense to capture the enigmatic essence of Japan’s ancient woodlands. Hope we don’t get, um, spirited away.

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Inspired by: Seoul, South Korea

Seoul is the lively heart of South Korea’s thriving cultural scene, bringing the world fresh takes on music, fashion and film. So it’s only fitting that Le Labo’s Seoul-inspired scent is a burst of lemony freshness, mixed with a hint of jasmine and ginger, and structured with cedar and musks. Citron 28 is part of Le Labo’s ‘City Exclusives’ collection of fragrances that are inspired by, made for, and sold exclusively in certain cities around the world. 

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Inspired by: Positano, Italy

Inspired by the sparkling azure waters of the cliffside village on southern Italy’s Amalfi Coast, Sole di Positano by Tom Ford is a refreshing blend of sun-drenched citrus; think lemon and mandarin with Italian bergamot, petitgrain bigarade and a sharp contrast of shiso leaf.

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Inspired by: Australia 

Long drives through Australia’s vast, cloudless countryside and sunburnt flowers inform this dreamy scent. According to Goldfield and Banks, “The first inhale is an immediate mix of green stems, yellow blooms, cool air and warm light. Bold, sensual and glamorous.”

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Inspired by: Thailand 

Tropical notes of mango, coconut, vanilla and powdery jasmine rule Moonlight in Heaven by Kilian. Inspired by the Kingdom of Thailand’s signature dessert—mango with sticky rice—this fragrance is sweet with soft floral notes that are sure to tease the senses.  

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See also: 5 Brands To Up Your Home Fragrance Game In 2021