Indie-Scent Proposal: Six Spring Fragrances Found Around Boston

There’s nothing wrong with Chanel No. 5 or Marc Jacobs Daisy. But this season, why not stand out from the crowd with a fresh ­fragrance you can’t find at every department-store ­counter? Below, our favorite out-of-the-ordinary scents for ladies and gents.

spring fragrances boston

Photograph by Dave Bradley / Styling by Kara Butterfield


1. Providence Perfume Co. “Branch & Vine”

After daydreaming about the elements she’d use in perfumes, Charna Ethier left her job mixing scents at Aveda to launch her own line in 2009. This subtle new blend is inspired by summer gardens.

Notes: Mimosa, tomato vine, bitter orange, and violet leaf.
Perfect for: Urban outdoors enthusiasts.

$80 for 1 oz., Providence Perfume Co.

 2. Charlotte Rhys “Victor”

Crafted in Cape Town, South Africa, under the supervision of founders Janet Rhys and Shaun McDermott (who got their start making linen waters), Charlotte Rhys fragrances are sultry and elegant.

Notes: Nutmeg, rose, grapefruit, lavender, patchouli, and cedar.
Perfect for: Socialites; the fashion-forward crowd.

$50 for 50 ml., Dress.

3. Mcmc “Maine”

Anne McClaine, who studied perfumery in the south of France, creates bright, delicate fragrances in her small Brooklyn studio. This romantic scent is meant to evoke summer love and a day at the beach. (Old Orchard, perhaps?)

Notes: Bulgarian rose, sage, seaweed, and dried grass.
Perfect for: Sun worshipers; the young; the young at heart.

$98 for 1.4 oz., Ore.


4. D. S. & Durga “Boston Ivy”

Although based in New York, D. S. & Durga has local roots: Co-owner David Moltz grew up here. This zesty aroma recalls ’80s-era Boston, where, according to its makers, “green moss and ivy grew next to I.R.A. graffiti and fresh clover was salted by the sea.”

Notes: Ivy, oakmoss, and ocean water.
Perfect for: Neo–punk rockers; cool dads.

$95 for 50 ml., Pickwick’s Mercantile.

5. Eastwest Bottlers “Moonshine”

Founded by three southerners, this Austin, Texas, outfit is all about the handmade tonics of yesteryear—and this woodsy scent, which comes swaddled in burlap, is reminiscent of cigar boxes and gin. 

Notes: Black pepper, tobacco, leather, and patchouli.
Perfect for: John Wayne devotees; Dixie expats.

$88 for 100 ml., Ball and Buck.

 6. Portland General Store “Bootlegger”

Thumbing through perfume and antique soap recipes from the 1920s and ’30s inspired green-living enthusiasts Lisa Brodar and Troy Tyler to start this eco-friendly, old-school apothecary.

Notes: Tangerine, nutmeg, saffron, and sandalwood.
Perfect for: Boardwalk Empire fans.

$98 for 60 ml., Portland General Store.