Thursday, 15 November 2018

STERLING and HATTERAS by Fulton & Roark

When we think about perfume we rarely also think about gadgets. The world of fragrance is almost revered and the prospect of having it sullied with gimmicks and novelties would be sacrilege. However, there have already been many questionable bottles and applicators, but the latest “gadget” owes a lot to a much-loved part of perfume’s history. Fulton & Roark have launched a range of solid fragrances that draw on the earliest tradition of having your scent contained within a wearable wax. Encased in a magnetic sliding container, they have made solid perfumes sexy. Let me introduce you to some streamlined silver.

Thursday, 8 November 2018

SEE THE MOONLIGHT by Walden

Literary inspiration is nothing new in the perfume industry but choosing a book that completely sums up a company’s ethos and philosophy can be a little more challenging. Whatever you decide to use will become permanently linked to the brand and so it really does have to be the perfect fit. This is exactly what has happened with a new perfume house based in the United Kingdom called Walden. Created by Stephan Bisse, under the umbrella of the Amarya group, he has launched six natural fragrances that each takes its inspiration from the Henry David Thoreau book. So, it’s time for you to See The Moonlight.

Monday, 5 November 2018

THE MODERNIST by John Evans

The fashion for having a “fragrance wardrobe” shows no signs of disappearing anytime soon and, indeed, you almost feel out of place if you have one perfume that you always fall back on. The idea of having a signature scent that you become known for has been replaced with the expectation of owning all of the latest niche and mainstream fragrances. This was the realisation that John Evans came to when he suddenly found that he had fallen into the trap of ping ponging between the current perfume trends. So, he decided to create his own personal signature scent and The Modernist is the result.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

THURIBLE by Rook Perfumes

When a new perfume company launches it can follow one of two paths, a sudden burst into the public consciousness or a slow and steady growth. The latter could be argued to be the more successful, because it develops a loyal customer base, and this can definitely be said of the new boy on the block, Rook Perfumes. Started in May 2018, and now boasting a collection of eight fragrances, this self-taught perfumer has impressed with the variety of scents in his catalogue and also his wonderful disregard for convention. It’s time to see what Nadeem Crowe, the founder of Rook Perfumes, has to offer.

Monday, 29 October 2018

SHALIMAR by Guerlain

One of the joys of writing about scent is that I occasionally get the chance to revisit a fragrance that can truly be described as a “classic” in the history of perfumery. The word is used too frequently to describe all sorts of fragrances, and it often feels as though it has lost a little of its importance. However, when it comes to Shalimar by Guerlain the word is absolutely spot on. For a fragrance that is ninety-three years old, this matriarch of a scent still has something to offer to younger generations, especially those who dare to be different. Let me reintroduce you to this Jacques Guerlain classic.

Thursday, 25 October 2018

MON IMMORTELLE by Fragonard

One of the questions that faces a perfume company when it launches a new fragrance is exactly how the scent will fit into their existing range. The constant drive to provide new products for customers to enjoy is always a balancing act between satisfying established fans but also attracting new followers. However, Fragonard have very cleverly managed to sidestep this issue by reorganising their range into capsule collections. Remaining true to their history, but providing something decidedly more contemporary, Fragonard launched Mon Immortelle in the Tout Ce Que J’aime series and the results truly are "golden."

Monday, 22 October 2018

CANDLE BROS - Not Just For Men

The candle market continues to grow every year with more companies wanting a piece of the pie. The number of brands and the variety of flavours can be overwhelming but it cannot be denied that the majority of the scents do fall into the more fruity floral category. For those looking for a woody and spicy collection the hunt can be a little more challenging. This is where Luke Alexander and Benjamin Cross are poised to offer some help with their new company, Candle Bros. With five scents to choose from, and each offering something more akin to the traditionally masculine side of perfumery, which will be your favourite?

Monday, 15 October 2018

"GOLDEN STILL" EAU DE COLOGNE by Grossmith

In these times of meticulously engineered fragrances I sometimes find myself hankering after a simpler era when scents could happily just be described as “nice” and “lovely” without the need for “complex” and “challenging”. The golden years of colognes siting comfortably next to perfumes, and both having their place on the dressing table, have now gone. However, a little detective work can uncover some of these forgotten gems, and this was exactly what happened when I stumbled across a bottle of Grossmith ‘Golden Still’ Eau de Cologne. Long since discontinued, I wondered just how well it had stood the test of time.

Monday, 8 October 2018

OUT OF THIS WORLD by Marina Barcenilla

Unless you’ve been living on Mars you can’t have escaped the momentous decision taken by the BBC to cast a lady as the new Doctor Who. Well, the world is still spinning after Jodie Whittaker’s debut on Sunday 7th October but she isn’t really the first woman to try and conquer space and time. Earlier this year Marina Barcenilla released Out Of This World, a fragrance that brought together the scents of the universe along with a healthy dose of Marina’s imagination. A die hard Doctor Who fan, a space scientist, and an award-winning perfumer, I was curious to see whether Out Of This World would send me into orbit.

Monday, 1 October 2018

ORLANDO by Jardins d’Écrivains

When the inspiration for a fragrance comes from a literary work the question is always “which aspect of the story shall we use?” Translating an entire book into a scent can be problematic due to the twists and turns of the narrative, but focusing on a single character is also not without its issues. Literary characters garner fiercely loyal legions of fans and so it was always going to be a brave choice for Jardins d’Écrivains to take Virginia Woolfe’s famous novel Orlando: A Biography as its source. In an era of gender fluidity, and with fragrance itself now beginning to be referred to as art, just how well does Orlando fare?

Monday, 24 September 2018

Bronnley's Bathing Ritual

With the season now starting to well and truly turn to autumn, the pull to settle back and sink into a hot bath has returned with a vengeance. An average bathtub uses around one hundred litres of water, one hundred and seventy litres if you go right up to the overflow, which is why the “bathing experience” is definitely not something that should be rushed. Anything that can add an extra layer of pampering is always welcome and that is exactly what you get with a new decadent duo from Bronnley. So, put the plug in, turn on the taps, and let me show you their Foaming Bath Relaxant and Regency Collection.

Monday, 17 September 2018

GENTRY JOCKEY CLUB by Oriza L. Legrand

When a new company is formed it gets to choose the style and direction that its customers will hopefully come to love. However, when a company is revived, regardless of how well known it may have been in recent years, there is an expectation that it will remain faithful to its history. One such company is Oriza L. Legrand, and the way that they have approached the reconstruction of their catalogue is refreshingly honest. With an impressive selection of archive fragrances, and also their first new release for over eighty years, it’s time to rediscover Oriza L. Legrand and, in particular, the fantastic 1937 Gentry Jockey Club.

Monday, 10 September 2018

STEPHAN'S SIX - PAUL SCHÜTZE


Originally from Melbourne, Paul Schütze began his training as an artist before moving on to become an award winning composer and musician. His creative flair continued into photography and film, but it was the decision to “scent” one of his audio/visual installations that sowed the seed for a range of fragrances based on olfactory memories and experiences. So, on the second anniversary of his first perfume launch I thought it was time to discover more about his scented memories during “Stephan’s Six.”

Thursday, 6 September 2018

KINGSMAN TGC by Azzi Glasser

Inspiration takes many forms when it comes to fragrance with everything from space to chocolate shops taking the place of more traditional florals. It’s no surprise then that the covert world of spies has also made its way into the perfumer’s imagination with the release of Kingsman TGC by Azzi Glasser and The Perfumer’s Story. It was originally launched to coincide with the cinema release of the film of the same name, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, but this is far more than just a novelty scent. Kingsman TGC is refined, elegant, and wonderfully sophisticated. So, let’s head to Saville Row and I’ll tell you more.

Monday, 3 September 2018

NOIX DE TUBÉREUSE by Miller Harris

As we head into autumn it’s the time when perfume companies start to release and promote their seasonal offerings. However, this is also the time when it’s good to remember that these brands have catalogues full of impressive survivors. The “newest” might not always be the right fit for you but I can guarantee that within the collections you will find some quiet gems. One such fragrance is Noix de Tubéreuse from Miller Harris. Originally launched in 2003, and created by the company’s founder, this is a magical tuberose and definitely one that deserves wider recognition. Let’s revisit Noix de Tubéreuse.

Monday, 27 August 2018

STEPHAN'S SIX - AGNES COSTA


Agnès Costa, great granddaughter of the founder of Fragonard Parfumerie, is one of the three sisters that now steer this famous company. Originally founded in 1926 in Grasse, Fragonard has stayed true to its style during the ninety-two years and has secured a very loyal following. After spending a career perfuming others, I thought it was time to find out Agnès Costa’s fragrance favourites during “Stephan’s Six.”

Thursday, 23 August 2018

LEATHERBEAR by Maître Savonitto

There are two things that I love above all others when it comes to the fragrance industry, candles and Cuir de Russie. The latter is a fragrance that many companies have released, from Chanel right through to Molton Brown, but recently they have all become shadows of their former selves due to ingredient restrictions and changing tastes. One company that has risen to the challenge however is NiceBear, which is part of Maître Savonitto. They have released a candle called LeatherBear and if you imagine muscular legs in leather boots then you’re definitely on the right track. Describing it as “sexy” would be an understatement!

Monday, 20 August 2018

ARMY OF LOVERS by LM Parfums

With summer beginning to fade into autumn it feels right to start reaching for slightly heavier scents, especially as the nights also start drawing in. Crisp and woody scents always usually lend themselves beautifully to the autumn season, but this year I found myself longing for something with more of a labdanum-charged sexiness as well. I’ve said many times before, “what’s old to one person is new to another,” and that is exactly how I felt when I was introduced to Army Of Lovers from LM Parfums. Originally launched in 2014, Army Of Lovers is a provocatively dangerous scent that simply cannot be ignored.

Monday, 13 August 2018

STEPHAN'S SIX - TANIA SANCHEZ


One half of the formidable duo behind Perfumes: The Guide 2018, Tania Sanchez is a writer and editor now based in Greece. After growing up in California East Bay, Tania moved to London to co-author the first perfume book, Perfumes: The A-Z Guide, with Luca Turin. Now married to the “Emperor of Scent”, and with a style that is arrow-head sharp, I wondered what we would find out about Tania’s own perfume memories during “Stephan’s Six?”

Thursday, 9 August 2018

EAU DE COLOGNE - Apply With Abandon

The word “cologne” has become a little misunderstood in recent years with the term being used to describe anything from strength to gender. As companies played fast and loose with this classic style of fragrance, customers no longer realised just how wonderful this bottle of freshness could be. In an attempt to unscramble the confusion I asked four perfumers to give their opinion on the style, and also to reveal their favourites. Marina Barcenilla, Pia Long, Sarah McCartney and Andy Tauer have all gathered a loyal following with their mix of creativity and knowledge, so could they help us to revisit the classic cologne?

Monday, 23 July 2018

CONFIDENCE, VITALITY and CALM by Belsans

It is increasingly difficult to keep up with all of the new perfume brands that seem to appear on a daily basis, and even harder to smell all of their fragrances. With many companies veering towards a “quantity” strategy, in other words releasing something new every month, it is always refreshing to find a niche perfumer that starts with a small core collection. One such creator is Laura Gámez, the founder of Belsans. Taking inspiration from her aromatherapy roots, but also recognising that the fragrances must work on their own, Laura has created a series of three scents that promise a “unique and exquisite experience,” but do they deliver?

Monday, 16 July 2018

EAU DE COLOGNE - LA VÉRITABLE by Cadentia

Summer is the perfect time to revisit the classic cologne, and by this I mean a fragrance that is structured in the traditional way rather than merely exhibiting a “freshness” and “effervescence” that has become associated with the style. Many companies offer scents which are described as “cologne” but have little to do with this wonderfully simple form of perfumery, but one brand still proudly specialising in these uplifting scents is Cadentia. A favourite in France, but fairly unknown outside of its native country, the company has just launched their Eau de Cologne - La Véritable range and the results are beautiful.

Monday, 9 July 2018

PERFUMES: THE GUIDE 2018
by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez

A critic, a reviewer, or an expert of any kind is never going to be able to please everybody. What one person sees as art another will see as wallpaper, what one person hears as music another will hear as white noise, and what one person smells as perfume another will smell as "pine-fresh lavatory cleaner". Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez have released their long awaited Perfumes: The Guide 2018, the follow-up to their 2008 industry-changing Perfumes: The A-Z Guide, and in the first two weeks of its release the internet has been flooded with smiles, laughter, tears and tantrums. So, what is it all about?

Monday, 2 July 2018

SP PARFUMS by Sven Pritzkoleit

There is no doubt that the “niche” fragrance market is an exciting, if perilous, place to be at the moment. Anyone can set themselves up as a “perfumer” and attach a price tag to warrant an “exclusivity”, but it’s increasingly difficult to navigate through the new launches. One man who has been creating since 2006, and most definitely deserves to be more widely known, is Sven Pritzkoleit of SP Parfums. He was described by Luca Turin as having a “beguiling combination of directness and skill” and, with seventeen fragrances currently available, shows no signs of slowing down. So, let me introduce you to my favorites.

Monday, 25 June 2018

The Scent Of The Dentist

When we talk about fragrance we always tend to focus on the perfume that we spray onto ourselves. It’s less common to talk about the scents that surround us in the “real world”. This was brought home to me this week when I had to endure that dreaded trip to the dentist. I am part of the 25% in this country that have a fear of sitting in that chair, especially when I already knew that a one-hour procedure was in store. However, the thought of the dentist always conjures up very clear aromas for me and so I decided that on this visit I would concentrate on the scents that I picked up. With this in mind, what did I discover?

Monday, 18 June 2018

4711 REMIX COLOGNE - An Explosion In Orange

If you were asked what the most famous cologne in the world is then the chances are that 4711 would probably come to mind. This classic cologne has been a favourite since it launched back in 1792 and it became a regular gift for soldiers returning from Germany to give to their wives, even well into the 1970s. Originally created by Mülhens but now owned by Mäurer & Wirtz, 4711 has had numerous companion fragrances in the past but this year sees the beginning of a new seven-year series called 4711 Remix Cologne. Described as “tangy, loud and fresh”, let me introduce you to this year’s orange inspired interpretation.

Monday, 11 June 2018

THE NEW MAN DISCOVERY BOX by The Perfume Society

There is one day every year that fills even the strongest heart with fear, and that is Father’s Day. Most men are not the easiest people to buy for in the first place, but trying to choose a gift for your own father can be a nightmare. The traditional socks, ties, cufflinks and toffee just don’t cut it anymore but trying to get some ideas out of him is often like getting blood out of a stone. Thankfully help is on hand this year from The Perfume Society in the form of their New Man Discovery Box and it’s sure to be a winner with even the most difficult dad. So, if you're still looking for the perfect gift then look no further.

Monday, 4 June 2018

SARAH IRELAND PERFUMES

The continued success of the niche fragrance market has meant that there has also been an obvious increase in the formation of new fragrance companies. The trap that some of these fall into is that the “concept” of the brand becomes more important than the “content” and so the customer is left feeling disappointed when they smell the actual fragrances. The latest company to enter the arena is the brainchild of Sarah Ireland. This self-taught perfumer has launched four scents, using music and memories as her inspiration, and the results are beautiful. So, let me introduce you to Sarah Ireland Perfumes.

Thursday, 31 May 2018

INDIA by Marina Barcenilla Parfums

When Marina Barcenilla won Best New Independent Fragrance for India in the 2016 Fragrance Foundation Awards it set in motion a complete rebranding of her company, gained her industry recognition, and also a loyal following of perfume fans that were fascinated by her approach to scent. The Perfume Garden, which she had launched in 2011, was renamed Marina Barcenilla Parfums and at the time she said, “while the name has changed the ethos remains the same, to create the finest fragrances using what nature has to offer.” Two years on I think it’s time to revisit India and see exactly why it became an award winner.

Monday, 28 May 2018

The Fragrance Foundation Online Training Course

Part of the experience of purchasing a fragrance is the interaction that you have with the sales assistant. The information about a perfume, or even the little snippets of history and advice, can turn a simple shopping trip into a memorable visit. However, “memorable” isn’t always good if the information is wrong. Most perfume companies offer training programs but it isn’t always possible to cover everything, and this is why The Fragrance Foundation now provides their Online Training Course. It’s advertised as a chance to gain more knowledge about the history and workings of the perfume industry, but does it succeed?

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”.

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?