Monday, 20 May 2019


We often forget that the United Kingdom, and Croydon in particular, had a rich heritage of growing lavender. It was prized around the world and was actually more expensive than anything coming out of France at the time. Land use, and war, altered the fortunes of many producers but recently the fields have starting turning to “blue gold” once more. This encouragement, and also a desire for “a simpler way of life,” saw Julia and David Bridger launch Parterre Fragrances at Keyneston Mill. Four years later, and with three scents already under their belt, they have now released the romantically titled The Hour of Dusk and Gold.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

IO and QUASI UNA ABSURDIA by Chris Rusak

With an increasingly crowded niche perfume market, companies are having to find inventive ways in order to attract customers to their brand. This is very challenging for the true artisans because, however they choose to become more visible, it still has to fit in with their beliefs. An interest in the creative process has seen many perfumers open their labs to the public but Chris Rusak has taken this one stage further by releasing a series of “works in progress.” These snapshots of his formula book have resulted in a collection of five scents that encourage introspection, and which also smell spectacular.

Monday, 13 May 2019

WINTER WOODS by The Burren Perfumery

Perfumery always used to be thought of as a French industry but, whilst it is still the dominant player, there are other countries now vying for a piece of the pie. You often hear the United Kingdom mentioned for its plethora of independent companies and creators but, back in 1972, a poet by the name of Brian Mooney introduced fragrance to Western Ireland’s County Clare in the guise of The Burren Perfumery. Still the oldest fragrance company in the Republic, and now owned by Sadie Chowen, it boasts an impressive collection of seven scents and is definitely the jewel in the perfumery crown of the Emerald Isle.

Thursday, 9 May 2019

DELICATE ROMANCE by Lola's Apothecary

In the perfume calendar there can’t be a more beautiful month than May because, after a year of hard pruning and careful tending, the expansive rose fields of Grasse and Bulgaria succumb to the start of their annual harvest. This is still carried out by hand and so is incredibly labour-intensive. When you think that it requires around ten thousand kilograms of rose blossoms to produce one kilogram of oil then you can understand the sheer workload that is involved. Now, we can’t all go and pitch in with the pickers but we can bring a little of the rose scented magic home in the form of Delicate Romance by Lola’s Apothecary.

Monday, 6 May 2019

RICH MESS by Ryan Richmond and Christophe Laudamiel

The Art and Olfaction Awards have been running for six years and have the goal of raising awareness of, and celebrating, independent perfumers. This band of artisan creators regularly push the boundaries of what is expected from fragrance and often influence the latest releases from the large companies. Winners can come from across the globe and this year saw one such recipient fly in from New York. Ryan Richmond’s first fragrance as creative director is Rich Mess, and it won the Independent Award. With perfumer Christophe Laudamiel responsible for realising the scent it was always destined to be special.

Thursday, 2 May 2019


Continuing a regular series can be a challenge for any perfume company but it’s made especially difficult when you’re having to follow an award winner. This is the situation that Bronnley found itself in with the release of their latest fragrance in the Contemporary Collection, and may even explain its slight delay. The third perfume in the range continues the theme of florals combining with fruits and, with a nod to the previous two scents, perfectly complements those past releases. One hundred and thirty-five years after originally launching, will Bronnley continue its legacy with the new White Rose & Raspberry?

Monday, 29 April 2019


From visual art to experimental scent, New England born Chris Rusak is one of an emerging group of American perfumers that is challenging the way that we wear fragrance. He understands the fine balance between individuality and wearability but where does this inspiration come from? It’s time to discover his fragrance memories during “Stephan’s Six”.

Thursday, 25 April 2019

PICAFLOR and CHOYITA by Perfumera Curandera

Even in the heavily publicised niche market there are still some companies that are quietly going about their business almost undiscovered. These individuals are the true artisans of their craft and they often don’t get the attention that they deserve. From sourcing ingredients, preparing tinctures, hand blending, and even bottling it themselves, there are absolute gems out their waiting to be uncovered. One such company is Perfumera Curandera. It was founded by Leanne Hirsh in 2009 and very quickly gathered a loyal band of followers. The twelve fragrances share a theme of healing, but there are two that absolutely grabbed me.