Thursday, 17 January 2019


One of the constant pressures on fragrance companies is whether to release a new scent each year or rework an existing one by adding a flower here or a woody note there. The public’s constant demand for newness often sees a rapid succession of similarity, but one company has chosen to go in a different direction by reintroducing a truly adaptive product instead of a new scent. Tessa Williams has launched a “living cologne” version of her successful Fire home fragrance and it makes you wonder why this style ever fell out of fashion. With this in mind, let me show you a new way to beat the January blues.

Monday, 14 January 2019

OLD BOOKS by The Perfumer's Story

In the world of fragrance, new perfume releases seem to come so quickly that it’s impossible to catch every one at the time if its debut. Perfumes get overlooked or overshadowed by brighter, bigger, or louder launches, and some real gems can often get lost amongst the noise. One such fragrance is Old Books by Azzi Glasser for The Perfumer’s Story. It arrived on the scene in 2015 and is still something of a secret amongst patchouli lovers. In a market saturated with voluminous scent, Azzi has always retained her delicacy of touch and Old Books truly is an emotional breath of fresh air.

Monday, 7 January 2019

CAMEL by Zoologist Perfumes

The word “animalic” is often used to describe fragrances that are musk-laden, dangerously resinous, or that exude a carnal sensuality. It’s gone far beyond mere ingredients and instead has almost become a subversive trend of its own. The level of animalic-ness varies from company to company but there is one brand that is pushing the limits to breaking point. With fragrances that don’t obey the “rules” and a concept that, six years on, is still extraordinary, Victor Wong has sailed Zoologist right into the eye of the storm and the results are wonderfully challenging. So, from Bat to Beaver, it’s time to “talk to the animals.”

Monday, 24 December 2018

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Well, that’s me signing off for another year. I’ve been lucky enough to experience some wonderful fragrance launches in 2018 and have also met the most incredible perfumers, writers, owners, and readers of this blog. There are lots of exciting things planned for 2019 but, after writing sixty-eight articles for this website alone, it’s time for me to take a few weeks off. Thank you all for your continued support and for your wonderful emails, I'll always reply even if it takes me a few weeks. So, have a wonderfully fragrant Christmas and New Year, and I’ll see you all again on 7th January 2019. Best wishes, Stephan x

Monday, 17 December 2018

Opening THE BOX OF DELIGHTS with 4160 Tuesdays

In 1935 John Masefield wrote a children’s book that would end up entertaining generations of youngsters, and also maintain a loyal following as they grew into adulthood. It was a dark fantasy that put the hero, Kay Harker, very firmly in his own “story”, and the book went on to be adapted for radio, television, and also the stage. The Box of Delights is a masterpiece of description that perfectly embodies the world of 1934 England but the one thing that it lacks is scent. To my mind there is only one perfume house that can possibly fill in this missing piece, and that is Sarah McCartney and 4160 Tuesdays.

Monday, 10 December 2018

OUD OCTAVO by Prosody London

As many readers will already know, I’ve always found the “natural perfumery” side of the fragrance industry fascinating because the challenges that are experienced are not for the faint hearted. Synthetic ingredients are great at providing multifaceted layers and so the natural perfumer needs to be creative and knowledgeable in order to make their finished fragrance truly rounded. This can certainly be said of Oud Octavo by Prosody London. Created by Keshen Teo, it takes the star ingredient but presents it in a wonderfully accessible way that is missing from many of the other oud fragrances on the market.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

CULT PERFUMES by Tessa Williams

One of the problems with writing about fragrance is that it can very easily become dry and dusty. Long lists of ingredients, technical terminology, and descriptive language that would make even Shakespeare roll his eyes are commonplace when the subject of perfumery is discussed. This means that truly successful books on the subject are few are far between and, with the exception of Lizzie Ostrom’s Perfume: A Century Of Scent, there is only one other book that I regularly recommend to fragrance fans. For the perfect gift, or a treat for yourself, let me introduce you to the 2013 Cult Perfumes by Tessa Williams.

Monday, 3 December 2018

PAISLEY by Geo F Trumper

The word “traditional” can often bring to mind thoughts of old fashioned and out of date companies. It’s unfair because “traditional” also refers to quality craftsmanship and a secure understanding by a brand of their customer and his or her expectations. One company that is proudly “traditional” is Geo F Trumper. With a history stretching back to 1875, and an impressive range of products that encapsulate over two hundred years of trading, they've released a new fragrance to sit alongside their current collection. With such a loyal clientele, how will Paisley fair in the world of the cutthroat razor?