Monday, 21 May 2018

STEPHAN'S SIX - SVEN PRITZKOLEIT


After studying to become a pharmacist in the family business, Sven Pritzkoleit also realised a long-standing fascination with perfumery. Many years of trial and error, studying and creating, and learning about the raw materials of scent ultimately resulted in critically acclaimed fragrances under the name of SP Parfums. With praise from the industry and fans alike, and also recent collaborations with Miguel Magos and Zooloigst, I thought it was time to find out about Sven’s own fragrance memories during “Stephan’s Six”.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

EAU DYNAMISANTE by Clarins

Is it too soon to cross our fingers and hope that summer is now well and truly on its way? The first burst of sun sees people reaching for the latest spritzing blockbuster in an attempt to feel even more zesty and upbeat, but there is a beach hut full of classics that we can also call into action. One of these is the truly fantastic Eau Dynamisante from Clarins, which celebrates its thirty-first birthday this year. This was the original fragrance in their “Eau” trio, but what has made it such a favourite with both men and women? Let me show you the magic that is hidden inside that classic red spherical bottle.

Monday, 7 May 2018

STEPHAN'S SIX - DAISY WAUGH


Born into a famous literary family, Daisy Waugh forged an enviable career both as a journalist and author before starting to write under the pseudonym of E. V. Harte. The first of her Dolly Greene books featured cheap scent and tarot cards but what fragrances hold special memories for Daisy? I caught up with her at the launch of her new book, The Case Of The Fool, and managed to unearth some scented secrets for “Stephan’s Six”.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Le Jardin Retrouvé's PERFUME REVIVAL PROJECT

When a company chooses to release a new fragrance it usually goes through various hoops before it hits the shelves. From evaluation to IFRA compliance checks, most of these happen behind closed doors with the first glimpse being reserved for focus groups. Le Jardin Retrouvé have chosen a different approach for the launch of their latest fragrance and have invited perfume fans to vote for their favourite out of four options via their #PerfumeRevivalProject. Using original formulas discovered in Yuri Gutsatz’s archive, Le Jardin Retrouvé’s offerings run the gamut from solar floral to oriental, but which one did I choose?

Monday, 30 April 2018

Perfume's Passage of Time

It’s like the quest for the Holy Grail. Perfume collectors are constantly searching for a lost fragrance, a “vintage” formulation, or even a different edition of an original bottle. While the latter doesn’t pose too much of an issue, the first two can be problematic to say the very least. Everything gets older, including me, and it’s this ageing process that can have profound effects upon your “vintage” scent. What you end up buying may smell wonderfully resinous, with vanilla laden qualities, and have a depth of richness that is missing in current fragrances, but are you smelling what the perfumer really intended?

Monday, 23 April 2018

STEPHAN'S SIX - CHRISTOPHE LAUDAMIEL


Christophe Laudamiel originally studied chemistry before making the jump to perfumery and in his early career was jointly responsible for classics such as Polo Blue, Abercombie Fierce and Clinique’s Happy Heart. Now settled with his own company, Dreamair, and a 2018 Art and Olfaction winner for his fragrance Club Design, I thought it was time to discover his own scented memories during “Stephan’s Six”.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

TEAKWOOD & TOBACCO by Oak 84

You can’t have failed to notice that the fashion for candles shows no signs of fading anytime soon. That combination of the flickering flame with an enveloping scent has made them the lifestyle must-have, and no home seems complete without one. The latest company to enter the candle arena is Oak 84, but their name may still be unfamiliar to many of you. Hand produced in South Carolina, and originally exclusive to the local boutiques in the area, Oak 84 have now also gone online and their reputation is spreading fast. So, with this in mind, I thought it was time to test-drive their Teakwood & Tobacco.

Monday, 16 April 2018

STEPHAN'S SIX - ROB BLANDFORD


Rob Blandford is a successful blogger, vlogger and fragrance writer who originally hails from Hereford. A relocation to Australia may have changed the temperature but did nothing to cool his love of scent. A regular contributor to online forums, as well as his own website, I thought it was about time to find out some of his own scented secrets during “Stephan’s Six”.

Monday, 9 April 2018

Are Decants Harming The Perfume Industry?

We think of the Internet as a regular fixture in everyday life but it wasn’t always the case. In the past, and that makes me sound very old, if you wanted to share something then it would mean a telephone conversation or a letter. With the advent of email our communication got easier, but it was the appearance of Facebook that really seemed to alter the way that many people bought perfume. I’m talking about the “split sites” and “swap sites” that continue to appear on a regular basis. Whilst it seems like a great club to be a part of, is the fashion for decants actually harming the perfume industry?

Thursday, 5 April 2018

PASSIFLORA by Guerlain

It’s that special time of year again when Guerlain launches its latest Aqua Allegoria and this year it has gone in a decidedly more fruity direction. Passiflora, which is also known as Passion Flower, is the name of the 2018 creation by Thierry Wasser but the fragrance is much more about the fruit than the flower. It is described as “the spirit of passion fruit with an aquatic note” and is designed to be “invigorating, sunny and spontaneous.” So, with the Aqua Allegoria range now numbering ten, and competition for spaces relaxed at least for this year, let’s see just how Passiflora fits into the expanded lineup.

Monday, 2 April 2018

OUI À L'AMOUR by Yves Rocher

In the never-ending hunt for the latest fragrance some customers turn to the high street whilst others opt for a more “niche” company. It’s this second option that many hope will mean that their perfume is less likely to turn up on a friend or colleague. Interestingly though, what is widely available in one country may be much harder to find in another, so does that mean it could be called niche-esque? One such company is Yves Rocher, which is available in France through its network of stores but only available in the UK by mail order. So, in case you missed it, let me introduce you to their 2017 release, Oui à l’Amour.

Thursday, 29 March 2018

VERVEINE by Fragonard

Fragonard has an established history of celebrating the best that Grasse has to offer, originally as a tourist attraction for wealthy visitors and then as a perfumery in its own right. When it first opened its doors to the public in 1926 it was catering for a growing demand for “leisurely pursuits” around the Côte d’Azur but the success of its fragrances went far beyond a mere souvenir of a holiday in France. Still most famous for Belle de Nuit in 1946, this year sees Fragonard release Verveine as its new “Flower Of The Year”, although the company’s love affair with this ingredient is already well know.

Monday, 26 March 2018

FRENCH LIME BLOSSOM by Jo Malone London

One of the problems faced by established fragrance companies is that their catalogues can sometimes require some pruning to make way for new releases. Jo Malone London have accomplished this by adopting a “one in one out” approach in recent years, although last year saw both White Jasmine & Mint and Nutmeg & Ginger discontinued in favour of English Oak & Redcurrant and English Oak & Hazelnut. This year sees the phasing out of their 1995 French Lime Blossom, which has been a staple of their range for twenty-three years. So, let’s revisit French Lime Blossom before it’s too late.

Monday, 19 March 2018

STEPHAN'S SIX - RACHEL CORNEY


Rachel Corney lives in Cornwall and graduated from Falmouth University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Illustration. Her wonderfully playful style was spotted by Sarah McCartney of 4160 Tuesdays and she was commissioned to produce a series of paintings to represent their fragrances. With a love of perfume, and a knack for translating perfume into pictures, I wondered what scented secrets she would reveal during “Stephan’s Six”.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Pledge Furniture Polish - My Scent Memory

So National Fragrance Week is behind us for another year but there’s one aspect of it that continues for the full twelve months, and that is #ScentMemories. It’s a way for industry insiders, perfumers, writers and also fragrance fans to talk about the perfumed memories that have made a lasting impression on them. This isn’t always a fragrance, sometimes it’s a place or an experience, because different types of smells trigger different memories. My contribution this year concerned my mother’s obsession with cleaning and, in particular, her “joined at the hip” love affair with Pledge Furniture Polish. Let me explain.

Monday, 12 March 2018

AromAtom - What Does Space Smell Like?

The idea of “giving back” is one that many companies attempt but, unfortunately, also one that can very easily miss the mark. In an era of “Corporate Social Responsibility” it’s become very fashionable to throw money at a cause and take the glory in a burst of publicity, but it’s much harder to create and manage a project that also has an educational aspect. The latest company to attempt this, undaunted, is Marina Barcenilla Parfums with their AromAtom project. Designed to educate and stimulate both children and adults in the field of astronomy using scent, just what DOES space smell like?

Thursday, 8 March 2018

AFTER HOURS by The Perfumer's Story

The fragrance industry gets more competitive every year and so companies have to constantly produce new and exciting scents in order to keep ahead of the game. One company that seems to take this in their stride is The Perfumer’s Story. Dreamt up by Azzi Glasser, of Agent Provocateur fame, their catalogue now numbers fourteen perfumes with the latest two released just days apart. Kingsman TGC and After Hours were both launched in September 2017 but it’s the latter that I’m going to look at here. After Hours is described as “glamorous, magnetic and sensual”, but does it really live up to expectations?

Monday, 5 March 2018

STEPHAN'S SIX - NATIONAL FRAGRANCE WEEK


Today marks the beginning of National Fragrance Week, a celebration and promotion of the perfume industry. Over the next seven days you will see companies vying for your attention with events and special offers so, to ease you in gently, I thought that I would take a look back at six of my favourite “Stephan’s Six” interviews from the past two years. I advise you to hold on tight as we revisit Jo Fairley, Lawrence Roullier-White, Liz Moores, Michael Angove, Monsieur Guerlain and Odette Toilette to discover their scented secrets.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

AMBRE SULTAN by Serge Lutens

When the weather takes a turn for the worse, and snow starts falling as companies launch their latest “springtime scent”, many customers almost ricochet back to the familiar warmth and spice that you get with the great oriental fragrances. The woods, resins and intoxicating florals help transport you to sunnier climes as we fend off the icy winds. For my perfume of escape this week I chose Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens and, whilst it might not be exactly thought of as an oriental, it definitely packs a punch with the sensuous laudanum. So, let me introduce you the fragrance about which Serge warned, “don’t expect it to fit in”.

Monday, 26 February 2018

STEPHAN'S SIX - PIA LONG


Originally from Finland, Pia started her UK adventure working for Elizabeth Arden before training in perfumery. An eye for detail and a nose for success saw her move to Lush Cosmetics where she created HQ/29 High Street, “the smell of a lush shop in a bottle”. After moves to Equinox Aromas and Orchadia, Pia launched Olfiction in July 2016, which is described as “the hub for all things fragrance”. With a rich background in fragrance, what would she reveal about her own scented memories during “Stephan’s Six”?

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Everything But The Kitchen Sink

It’s a common enough expression and one that seems to be particularly apt in the current perfume market when applied to sales assistants, “everything but the kitchen sink.” In a drive to arm employees with all of the necessary information to sell their latest blockbuster, companies have increasingly passed on information in a “quantity” approach as opposed to “quality”. The details of fragrance ingredients used to be a closely guarded secret but the arrival of the internet and social media blew that wide open. So, in an ever-competitive market, and with “transparency” still the key word, what information actually helps your perfume choices?

Monday, 19 February 2018

STEPHAN'S SIX - AMANDA CARR


Amanda Carr is a freelance journalist and also the co-founder of The Women's Room and We Wear Perfume, an online blog that looks at the personal memories associated with scent. After asking others about their fragrance recollections, I though it was time to discover a few of Amanda's own as I asked her “Stephan’s Six”.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

ENGLISH FIELDS by Jo Malone London

Now in its eighth year, Jo Malone London’s annual Brit Collection has gathered a loyal following for those looking for a transitory fragrance to take them from spring to summer. This year sees the release of English Fields, which is inspired by “the goodness of grains with the freshness of flowers”, and it promises “the rich, golden fullness of harvest-ready fields”. To realise this latest collection Celine Roux, Head of Fragrance Development, has once again turned to perfumer Mathilde Bijaoui, who had previously created Myrrh & Tonka for the company. With five fragrances to choose from, what does English Fields have to offer?

Thursday, 8 February 2018

My Gift Choices For Valentine's Day 2018

Hot on the heels of Christmas and New Year comes Valentine’s Day with a new set of stresses about what to buy, when to buy and even who to buy for. It’s a gift that can so easily go wrong and one that many people greet with the phrase, “it’ll be half the price next week”. With this in mind I thought that I’d steer away from fragrances this year and focus on another perennial favourite. Candles, and everything that goes with them, are great choices as romantic gifts and there is something for the most modest budget and even the hardest of hearts. So, let me show you my top three choices for 2018.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Guerlain Opens Its Aqua Allegoria Archive

February is usually the month that we end up mourning the loss of one of Guerlain’s Aqua Allegoria range. The yearly discontinuation of one fragrance to make way for a new scent is usually met with mixed reactions, but the series always needed to remain at the accepted five and choices had to be made. This year marks a major break in tradition however with Guerlain not only keeping the current five and adding a new one but also reissuing another four from the Aqua Allegoria archives. So, let me show you the four have come out of retirement to make the new collection of ten, and see if one of them is an old favourite.

Monday, 29 January 2018

EVENING IN PARIS by Bourjois

January has been a vintage month for me this year with a chance to revisit some excellent fragrances that are sadly fading from peoples’ memories. This review is no different, but it’s a perfume that also holds family memories. When it launched I don’t think that anybody could have imagined just how successful it would become, and also how quickly its original origin would become buried beneath a copywriter’s vision. I’m talking about Soir de Paris, or Evening In Paris to give it its original name. Released by Bourjois in 1928, let me take you back ninety years and introduce you to this legendary scent.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

OLD COTTAGE LAVENDER by Grossmith

The continuing quest for vintage fragrances is one that can set you back hundreds if not thousands of pounds. Perfume fans are desperate to try original formulations in an effort to compare them with the versions that are currently available. Obviously the price is dependent on demand but that doesn’t mean that you can’t acquire your own vintage for a lot less. One fragrance that is no longer available, but was incredibly successful, is Old Cottage Lavender by Grossmith. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that this is just another lavender water because it is so much more. Let me show you what this classic has to offer.

Monday, 22 January 2018

GOODBYE PICCADILLY by 4160 Tuesdays

January can often be the calm before the storm for new fragrance releases as companies set their sights on the Valentine's Day sales with their top selling scent. It’s because of this that the first month of the year is a fantastic chance to revisit old classics or even just look through the companies' ranges to see what you may have missed. One such gem can be found in the back catalogue of Sarah McCartney’s 4160 Tuesdays. Now approaching its fourth birthday, Goodbye Piccadilly was launched on Friday 16th May 2014 but it is often overlooked in favour of the newer releases. So, let me show you just what you’re missing.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Fragonard’s Perfume Apprentice Workshop

The idea of creating your very own fragrance is something that we constantly read about in magazines and online but, realistically, with prices ranging from hundreds to thousands of pounds it is a costly exercise if you get it wrong. In an attempt to strip back the layers and present an experience that is very accessible, Fragonard has recently relaunched their Atelier Apprenti Parfumeur. Over the course of ninety minutes you learn about the classic cologne structure and its history before creating your own. So, is Fragonard’s Perfume Apprentice Workshop really the “fantastic olfactive experience” that it claims to be?

Monday, 15 January 2018

ENGLISH FERN by Bronnley

Somehow we’re already half way through January and, as the New Year sales finally start to finish, the February fragrance launches begin to loom on the horizon. Hot on the heels of Christmas we enter the realm of the Spring scents with a promise of the warmer weather to come, but what’s available if you’ve still got a little bit of that festive money left? Well, we’re going to head back to a classic British company and a fragrance that you might have missed, English Fern by Bronnley. A staple since the 1920s, and loved by both men and women, just what makes this scent such an enduring evergreen?