Monday, 30 December 2019

THE SORCERY IN SCENT

The art of perfumery has always felt as though it had a slightly mystical side to it with those gloriously scented potions being mixed to attract, empower, or even relax the wearer. The way that the ingredients combine to create that magically fragranced result is a testament to the skill of the perfumer, but could there be something else at play here? We’ve all heard people say that they’ve “fallen under the spell” of their favourite scent but it set me wondering whether there could be a little more to this than merely just the romantic language of perfume. Could there be something else at work within your favourite fragrance?

Monday, 23 December 2019

IT'S A BLUE CHRISTMAS

When Chanel launched Allure back in 1999 we had been on the brink of a new century and the company wanted to mark this with the release of a new scent for men. The Allure range would go on to spawn many flankers, the industry’s term for variations on an original idea, with the most successful arguably being Allure Homme Sport and Allure Homme Edition Blanche. However, in 2010 it was decided that the time was right to move away from this series and to introduce, what Chanel described as, “the spirit of a man who chooses his destiny.” Bleu de Chanel was born and the latest chapter in men's fragrance had begun.

Thursday, 19 December 2019

MY TOP CHOICES FROM 2019

They say that time passes quicker as we get older and that definitely seems to have been the case this year. It only feels a moment ago that we were celebrating the start of 2019 and here we are, twelve months later, getting ready to slide into a new decade. Over the past year I’ve written ninety two articles for stephanmatthews.com, with another two to come, and thought that it would be fun to revisit a few of my favourites. It was difficult to choose what to include but, from Bengals to bamboo, there were a few that really stood out for me. So, I wonder whether I've included one of your favourites?

Monday, 16 December 2019

UNSCHEDULED WANDER by Elementary

Starting a new perfume company is a venture that can be fraught with delays and disasters but, if you’re lucky, can also prove to be one of the most exciting rides of your life. Everyone offers opinions on bottle styles, graphics, and even launch dates so navigating people’s good intentions can be tricky. Sometimes coming at the whole enterprise from a different angle can reap its own rewards and this is where we find ourselves with the latest addition to the perfume market. Elementary has launched Unscheduled Wander, an olfactory Time Machine that positively revels in the androgynous beauty of the chypre fragrance.

Thursday, 12 December 2019

What’s Really Happening On The High Street?

With the run up to Christmas now in full swing you’ll often hear how important this time of the year is for retailers. November and December sees businesses take upwards of 30% of their yearly money in just two months, so you can understand just how much importance is placed upon the festive period. There has been a lot of talk about the death of the high street and the end of retail “as we know it” but what is it really like on the front line? In an effort to understand what is actually happening on the shop floor I temporarily returned to my retail roots and became, once again, one of the many beacons in black.

Monday, 9 December 2019

HERITAGE SOAP by Jim Baker

Have you ever found yourself in a situation and thought that it reminded you of something that you had previously seen or read? This feeling of “life imitating art” is not uncommon but it is more surprising when it relates to a whole lifestyle change. As we grow older our goals, aspirations, and outlook on life alter. What we once saw as important we may now regard as trivial. This was the situation that ex-actor Jim Baker found himself in and his solution was to start Heritage Soap. The Northumberland company is every soap lover’s dream and it should definitely be under every Christmas tree this year.

Thursday, 5 December 2019

My Top Three Diffusers For Christmas 2019

Christmas has always focussed on candles to provide the homely scented warmth that, for many, typifies the festive season. However, the fashion for diffusers is now starting to take a real chunk out of the candle market as customers turn to a more constant way to scent their tree-dominated rooms. The advantage of diffusers is that you don’t need to worry about blowing them out and, once Christmas is over, they can even be packed away with the decorations. With the hundreds out there to choose from I thought that it would be fun to pick my favourites in my first ever Top Three Diffusers For Christmas.

Monday, 2 December 2019

My Top Five Candles For Christmas 2019

The decorations have been retrieved from the loft, the grapple with the Christmas tree lights has begun, and you still can’t remember buying the twenty metres of tinsel that’s just fallen on your head. Alongside the mix of old and new baubles that all need to be hung on the tree, every house is destined to have the gently flickering flame of a festive candle at the heart of the celebrations but, with an ever-increasing choice, it can be hard to make that perfect decision. Choosing a good quality, beautifully scented candle can be a minefield which is why I’m here to help you out with my annual Top Five Candles For Christmas.

Thursday, 28 November 2019

OMNOSTRE by Chatillon Lux

One of the Christmas rituals that I’ve always loved is sitting down in front of the television and watching an old MGM musical, especially if it’s Meet Me In St. Louis. Whether this is as a family or in sole ownership of the remote control, you’ve got to have a heart of stone not to feel your spirits lift as Judy Garland launches into “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”. This year I’ll have an addition to the experience in the shape of Chatillon Lux’s Omnostre, their 1904 inspired fragrance, and it promises to bring the film’s glorious spectacle vividly into focus as we visit the Louisiana Purchase Exposition.

Monday, 25 November 2019

SP MUSK by Sven Pritzkoleit

Over the years the ethical arguments surrounding the way certain fragrance ingredients are harvested has caused some to disappear from the perfumer’s palette. When I say “harvested” I don’t just mean picking a few flowers or pulling up some roots, I’m referring to the killing of animals so that we could get our hands on their hidden scented gems. One such example is deer musk. A staple of many perfumes for over a century, it is now replaced with synthetic or plant based alternatives. However, the scent has recently been recreated in all of its glory by SP Parfums and proudly released as SP Musk.

Thursday, 21 November 2019

CAPRI by Berdoues

Reinvention is often seen as the way to keep perfume companies relevant in the fast paced world of “here today and gone tomorrow.” Unfortunately many that go down this path lose sight of the special magic that made them successful in the first place, and so end up pushing their loyal followers away. A wonderful example of how to actually make this process seamless is Berdoues and, in particular, the latest addition to their Grands Crus Collection. By taking inspiration from the past and mixing it with a little Mediterranean magic, Berdoues have added some much-needed sunshine to the winter months in the form of Capri.

Monday, 18 November 2019

1681 by Carthusia

One of the wonders of fragrance is that it allows perfume companies to weave elaborate stories that aim to entice and enthral their customers. Over time it often becomes difficult to separate the fact from the fiction but, if you like the fragrance that you’re smelling, does it really matter if the language is a little flowery? Exaggeration and embellishment are all part of the scented storytelling and it helps to weave a web of desire that draws us all in. Carthusia is a perfume company that is based on the island of Capri and, alongside a wonderfully colourful history, they also produce the impressive 1681.

Thursday, 14 November 2019

LANTERN REED by Prosody London

When companies launch with a strong début collection it’s always interesting to see what direction future releases will take. Many brands stay firmly within their established style but others take the opportunity to experiment. Certain fragrances can quickly attract a loyal following and so you risk dividing your audience if you steer too closely to a favourite. This is the situation that Prosody London found themselves in after launching their original series of six perfumes. From Neroli Nuance through to Oud Octavo, the fragrances spanned refreshing to resinous but the new Lantern Reed sits apart with its evocative night-time warmth.

Monday, 11 November 2019

The BARON SHOWER BAR by Geoff Thornton

One of the biggest problems for many companies at the moment is trying to reconcile environmental impact with customer expectations. The issue of exactly how a product is manufactured goes hand in hand with the packaging that it ends up wearing, and it’s the latter that is often the biggest problem. In an effort to reduce the amount of plastic that the world uses, many companies have started to offer alternatives for our everyday essentials and the latest is Baron. They’ve taken the humble bar of soap, they’ve given it a slick new design, but they haven’t charged the earth. Welcome to the Baron Shower Bar.

Thursday, 7 November 2019

LE PASSANT by Ormaie

The knowledge that you accumulate as you go through life is always, whether you believe it or not at the time, a valuable resource that can be called upon in later years. This can be even more useful in the fragrance industry because it gives you plenty of inspiration for creations and ideas in an arena where individuality is key. It’s this idea of translating experiences and memories into scent that has seen the launch of Ormaie, the new natural fragrance brand. Created by a mother and son partnership, it contains many jewels but Le Passant was the fragrance that immediately called to me, and I couldn’t resist.

Monday, 4 November 2019

A Christmas Trio by JOIK

One of the concerns that many companies face at this time of the year is how to offer their customers exciting products that are “festive” and yet still maintain their core values. After all, it’s very easy to sell out and produce a beautiful box containing questionable novelties or repackaged favourites with an increased price tag. One company that has truly excelled again this year is also one that may be unfamiliar to you but, if you’re a fan of scented candles, is a sure-fire hit for some fragranced ambiance. Joik have rereleased their trio of Christmas candles and your hardest decision will be which one to light first.

Thursday, 31 October 2019

SOMETHING WICKED by Ivy's Poison

When we think about niche fragrance companies, or artisan if you prefer, we often conjure up images of perfumers hunched over a cluttered wooden desk with a single incandescent bulb burning dimly in the corner. It’s the world that Patrick Süskind described in his book, and later the film, Perfume. Now, things have thankfully moved on a lot since then but the important point about artisan perfumers is that they can work anywhere in the world. It’s this opening up of the industry that has resulted in some terrific new companies emerging, and one such example is the Canadian based Ivy’s Poison.

Monday, 28 October 2019

ATHENA and NARCISSUS by Aaron Terence Hughes

The road that many people take to starting their own perfume company can be a complicated series of forks and detours but, with perseverance and determination, it can also result in the most wonderful rewards. Perfumers come from many backgrounds and the days of it being simply for the elite of society has long gone. Talent is talent, regardless of where you were brought up, and it’s often this closer connection to “real life” that results in the most incredible fragrances. The latest entrant into the hall of fame is Aaron Terence Hughes and he’s called on divine intervention with his two new fragrances, Athena and Narcissus.

Thursday, 24 October 2019

AURORA by Charles Wong

Anyone that launches a new business of any description in the current climate deserves the utmost admiration, but even more so if that person chooses to enter the perfume industry. This marketplace is full to the brim with established brands and artisan creators which means, in a nutshell, that you’re fighting an uphill battle from day one to be heard and to be seen. However, there are still those that choose to take on this challenge and, with a little bit of luck, manage to be noticed. One such person is Charles Wong who promises to provide us all with some much-needed timeless elegance in the form of Aurora.

Monday, 21 October 2019

DAGIAN by Ruth Mastenbroek

The general speed of fragrance has gone from sedate to supersonic when it comes to the number of releases that a company will tend to launch in a year. In an effort to keep their customers interested, and in order to generate those much needed column inches in the press, new launches seem to come thick and fast. Whilst this offers quantity it doesn’t always offer quality. One perfumer who takes a much more measured approach to her creations is Ruth Mastenbroek. Two years since her last release, this month sees the launch of the much anticipated Dagian and it has most definitely been worth the wait.

Thursday, 17 October 2019

POÈME DE SAGANO by Sonia Constant

The job of the perfumer is very similar to that of an actor, both professions require you to adapt your skills to the latest role or challenge. An actor will play many parts during their career but we often forget that numerous fragrances, be they luxury or high street, are often created by the same talented “nose”. Perfumers create to a brief, and often to a strict budget, but all of that changes if they are brave enough to venture out on their own. Sonia Constant has recently launched her ELLA K range and, whilst inspired by empowered journeyers, her Poème de Sagano offers some much needed space for contemplation.

Monday, 14 October 2019

STEPHAN'S SIX - OLIVIA BRANSBOURG


Olivia Bransbourg is no stranger to the world of perfume. From Christine Nagel and Benoist Lapouza’s Attache-Moi to a three year stint at Takasago, Olivia’s role as Creative Director has resulted in some truly spellbinding fragrances. Currently enjoying success with her new Sous le Manteau collection, which was created in collaboration with Nathalie Feisthauer, I thought it was about time to discover her own scented secrets during “Stephan’s Six”.

Thursday, 10 October 2019

MADAME by Marie Krnakova

The selection of perfumes that is available to fragrance fans gets bigger every day, but so does the various qualities that these scents possess. From natural to organic, and vegan to mixed media, there really is something for everyone. Our individual tastes determine which direction we go in, but it’s often difficult to differentiate the fact from the fiction when it comes to a company’s values. Thankfully there are some out there that are wonderfully transparent, and one such company is MW Perfumes. A natural fragrance brand, and a Fragrance Foundation Award Nominee in 2019, it’s time to meet Madame.

Monday, 7 October 2019

STEPHAN'S SIX - SONIA CONSTANT


After training at ISIPCA in Versailles, Sonia Constant joined the world-famous Givaudan and went on to create for the likes of Guerlain, Narciso Rodriguez, and Alexander McQueen. She possesses the rare talent of combining passion with precision and so when I met her at the UK launch of her own perfume range, ELLA K, I wanted to discover the perfumer’s own fragrance memories during “Stephan’s Six”.

Thursday, 3 October 2019

TEISENDDU by Frassaï

There are scents from our childhood that have such a strong association that they almost conjure up an emotion inside you rather than a memory. That wonderful wash of happiness, or sadness in some cases, cannot be contained and bursts through the dam-like walls of our very souls. Sometimes even the description of a fragrance does it and that was exactly what happened to me when I read about Teisenddu by Frassaï. Proudly described as “the first woman-owned niche fragrance house from Argentina,” I knew that I had to discover more about the fascinating links with my native Wales.

Monday, 30 September 2019

STEPHAN'S SIX - ISABELLE GELLÉ


With a perfume heritage stretching back to 1826, Isabelle Gellé has dedicated herself to the creation of natural fragrances. One hundred and eighty years later, in 2006, she finally launched her own company and currently has three collections that take inspiration from travel right through to time. With a new home series about to launch, it’s time to discover Isabelle’s own perfume memories during “Stephan’s Six”.

Thursday, 26 September 2019

ENGLISH LAVENDER by Atkinsons

It’s impossible to predict which fragrance will become the iconic scent in a company’s range and it’s even harder when the perfume company has fans across the world, but that is exactly the case with Atkinsons. The company recently went through a major rebrand worldwide but its Italian market still demands some of the original packaging and scents, including the legendary English Lavender. By combining fashionability with familiarity, Atkinsons have succeeded in rejuvenating the legacy for their existing customers whilst still managing to attract new ones. Happily, there’s even room for a little bit of retro.

Monday, 23 September 2019

STEPHAN’S SIX - JONATHAN WARD


Creativity shows itself in many ways and, for Jonathan Ward, it’s the second bite of the cherry that has proved to be the sweetest. After a successful career in fashion, Jonathan launched the attention-grabbing Scents of Time candle collection in 2018 and expanded it last month to include the accompanying diffusers. After creating aromas for others I thought it was about time to discover his own scented secrets during “Stephan’s Six”.

Thursday, 19 September 2019

VERT FOUGÈRE by Floris London

With heritage comes tradition and, unless it’s managed carefully, can easily become a double edged sword. Customers are naturally drawn to the latest and loudest fragrances and, if you’re not offering something similar, you run the risk of being left behind. Floris definitely has heritage and tradition, which are both impressive to say the least, but what they also have is a determination to remain loyal to the standards originally laid down by the founder, Juan Famenias Floris. The latest fragrance, Vert Fougère, combines traditional apothecary aromatics with the refined fashions of Jermyn Street and continues Floris' famous heritage.

Monday, 16 September 2019

STEPHAN'S SIX - ADRIANA CARLUCCI


Adriana Carlucci is the force behind the wonderful Ancienne Ambiance store in London’s fashionable Chelsea. The boutique came about as an extension of her family’s love of antiquity and quickly developed a very loyal following for its fragrances and home products. To celebrate the company’s fifteenth birthday I thought it was time to discover Adriana’s own scented secrets during “Stephan’s Six”.

Thursday, 12 September 2019

RYDER by Ex Idolo

The niche market is the same as the mainstream market in that the vast quantity of releases every year makes it absolutely impossible to try everything when they actually launch. Many brands simply get lost under the weight of the latest, the biggest, and the brightest new perfume but they bide their time until they're rediscovered. One such company is Ex Idolo and it’s a name that will be new to many people. This British brand, which launched in 2013, now has four fantastic fragrances in their collection. Whilst all have been created with passion, Ryder is a journey into the private world of mahogany, pipe smoke, and cognac.

Monday, 9 September 2019

EAU DE MENTON by Prestige de Menton

One of the joys of summer is a welcome return to the glorious eau de cologne style of scent. The effervescent and bright explosion of citrus and aromatics is wonderfully cooling and incredibly uplifting. This category of fragrance has seen a remarkable resurgence in recent years, accompanied by some ridiculous price tags, but there are still some classic companies that have never stopped producing their celebration of sunshine. One such brand is Presitge de Menton and, after two years of sympathetic updating, their new Eau de Menton collection retains the original Provençal charm but adds a touch of Parisian chic.

Thursday, 5 September 2019

STONE and HONEY BADGER by Yates Perfumes

There are times when you feel as though you’ve read about every possible journey into the world of perfume and then, out of nowhere, you are confronted with the most incredible career change story. It’s always fascinating to discover the direction that perfumers took before they entered the industry but I wasn’t prepared for the incredible twists and turns that led to Melissa Hale launching Yates Perfumes in 2010. With an apothecary feel to her creations and an uninhibited style that presents itself as fearless, it’s time to visit Lakewood Ohio and be bewitched by her evocative Stone and Honey Badger fragrances.

Monday, 2 September 2019

MARARI by Thomas O'Brien

For every perfume release that is trumpeted as the latest “must have” fragrance there are thousands that, for one reason or another, never get to see the light of day. These can be rejected submissions, modifications of the same scent, or even creations that the perfumer chooses not to release. However, during a perfumer’s training they also make fragrances as experiments and these rarely get to be tried by anyone outside of the course. One such perfume is Marari by Thomas O’Brien, his graduation piece from The Perfumery Art School. So, it’s time to discover what secrets this unreleased oriental fragrance holds.

Thursday, 29 August 2019

Natural Room Mists by Bramble & Blossom

The reasons for starting a company are always incredibly varied but the days of “I want to be successful and then be bought by a large corporation” are thankfully on the wane. The vast increase of new brands has diluted the industry to such an extent that it’s now very rare for smaller houses to make enough of a mark to be noticed, or even seen as a rival. When Bramble & Blossom was launched in March 2019 it was out of a desire to produce products that respected the environment and provided relief from the mass market offerings, and they’re definitely one company that is well worth noticing.

Monday, 26 August 2019

SANTAL VOLCANIQUE by Maison Crivelli

In the world of retail there are certain “buzz words” at the moment that every new company attempts to throw into all of their communication. “Sustainability, authenticity, and traceability” are important concerns for customers and so it’s not surprising that they are trumpeted as loudly as possible. Now, not all of the companies are quite as transparent as they claim to be but one brand that is flying the flag for honesty in perfumery is Maison Crivelli. With an ethos and philosophy born out of the founder’s personal experience, this is most definitely a fragrance collection with an eye on the future.

Thursday, 22 August 2019

ALPH by the House of Purple Rose

One of the great joys in life is disappearing into a good book. The words on the page are offered freely from the writer to the reader but it is in your own mind that the people and places are given their landmarks and features. They become personal to you and that’s one of the reasons why a film or television adaptation is always met with mixed reviews. When Samuel Taylor Coleridge first published Kubla Khan in 1816 he could never have dreamed that it would still be in print over two hundred years later, and certainly never imagined that it would also be possible to experience a journey down its famous Alph river.

Monday, 19 August 2019

PERGOLA by Exaltatum London

The fact that our reaction to fragrance is so personal is one of the reasons why it can often be so difficult to gauge how a perfume will be received. Many companies launch scents with very specific stories and, if the customer doesn’t engage with them, they can end up overshadowing the actual fragrance. Exaltatum London has overcome this by simply relating their scents to the inspiration and encouraging the customer to draw on their own memories and experiences. The company’s current collection of three fantastic fragrances are all created by Eglija Vaitkevice but, within the trio, Pergola truly is theatrically majestic.

Thursday, 15 August 2019

LOS ANGELES by Gallivant

Summer sees many people jetting off for their holidays and often means that they end up exploring a new country or city. This idea that “travel broadens the mind” is one that many perfume companies have tried to replicate with numerous travel themed fragrances, but it has often proved problematic for those that have attempted it. A person’s impression of a location is, for want of a better word, “personal” and so appealing to a wide audience can be difficult. One company that have excelled at this concept though is Gallivant and their new fragrance, Los Angeles, demonstrates the perfect balance between the impression and the reality.

Monday, 12 August 2019

VAPEURS DIABLOTINES and FONTAINE ROYALE by Sous le Manteau

When it comes to matters of the heart it is very unusual if you don’t end up asking for some measure of advice from friends. The blindness of love can often mean that we make questionable choices that seem absurd in the cold light of day. In the past you could have consulted a pharmacist to make a love potion to either attract or ensnare but in modern times it’s a little trickier. However, that is until you discover Olivia Bransbourg and Nathalie Feisthauer’s stunning new range, Sous le Manteau. Inspired by real nineteenth century love potions, it makes you question “would you rather seduce, or be seduced?”

Thursday, 8 August 2019

The FRAGRANCE DISCOVERY BOX
by Harvey Nichols and The Perfume Society

It’s very true that “variety is the spice of life” but, in the world of perfume, the continuous stream of new fragrances can become a little overwhelming. In the niche market it can be even more intimidating because the increased price means that you don’t want to make a costly mistake. So, where do you start? This month sees the launch of the Fragrance Discovery Box which is a collaboration between Harvey Nichols and The Perfume Society. Eight curated niche companies, many of them exclusive to the store, are gathered together in one scented experience and the results are, in the words of Edina Monsoon, “absolutely fabulous!”

Monday, 5 August 2019

THREE SENSATIONALLY SCENTED SOAKS

We often think that soaking in a bath belongs to the autumn or winter months but what would you say if I told you that summertime bathing is making a real comeback? Those people who don’t have the luxury of a pool in the back garden are turning to the bathtub to provide some much-needed respite from the continuing heat. Now, bubbles just don’t seem to cut it in hot weather but clear, fragranced water is an absolute joy to relax in. So, grab a book and a glass of wine because I’m going to introduce you to three sensationally scented soaks that are perfect for summertime bathing.

Thursday, 1 August 2019

ANCIENT LAND and RING O' ROSES by Claira Carnell

Perfume is something that we take for granted in our modern lives but, if you do a little digging, the combining of scents and ingredients played a much more powerful part in the past. Apothecaries, herbalists, and even those practising witchcraft depended on the flora and fauna around them to produce perfumes, potions, and preparations. It was therefore with some trepidation that I ventured into the world of Screaming Mandrake Perfumes, a range of fragrances that have been created by Claira Carnell, but I quickly found myself bewitched by the simplicity and style of Ancient Land and Ring o’ Roses.

Monday, 29 July 2019

4711 REMIX COLOGNE by Christiane Plos

Reinvention is something that we all must secretly wish that we could do at some time or another but it’s a concept that can be very dangerous for a perfume company. Many brands survive because of the loyal following of its fans and, if you start to alter things, they can easily start to look elsewhere for their fragranced fix. One company that has successfully managed to reinvent itself, and still kept hold of its followers, is 4711. The idea of modernising their classic scent may have seemed like sacrilege to many but, once again, this year’s Remix Cologne has been handled with a lot of tender loving care.

Thursday, 25 July 2019

N°19 by SG79

It seems as if discovering the world of independent perfumery is a little bit like travelling around the globe at the moment. France, America, and the United Kingdom have always been centres for niche perfumers but, more recently, its influence has spread further afield. One of the latest sees a journey over to Stockholm in Sweden and the debut collection from SG79. The company promises “scents with no limitation to fashion or lifestyle, just fine fragrance for you to explore and enjoy.” With a range of eleven to choose from there is something for everyone, but I found N°19 to have an arresting delicacy.

Monday, 22 July 2019

PAUSE ROOM DIFFUSER by Eloise Hall

In the same way that some people have a “fragrance wardrobe” for different seasons, it’s not uncommon to see candles side-lined in the warmer months in favour of diffusers. Candles always remain popular for garden tables and alfresco dining but, inside the home, there is a definite pull towards the constantly scenting properties of a diffuser. There are many excellent ones on the market, even if they can often lack a certain originality, but if you’re looking to bring a little of the garden into your home then you need to discover Pause, one of Eloise Hall’s range of natural room diffusers that really are a breath of fresh air.

Thursday, 18 July 2019

MON ÂME by 1907 Perfumes

When a new perfume company is launched it is often because the founder has a love of fragrance or has previously worked in the perfume industry. However, occasionally it is because there is already a family heritage that exists, whether it be dormant or not, and that sparks the idea to tread gently once more into a very overcrowded marketplace. With many brands vying for a piece of the pie, some carefully curated history can help to set you apart from the others. This is exactly what happened with Evka Škovranová when she launched 1907 Perfumes and, four years later, the beautiful Mon âme.

Monday, 15 July 2019

RÉGLISSE NOIRE and ROSE CASSIS PARADIS by Jessica Buchanan

The road to becoming a perfumer is an incredibly varied one with choices and sacrifices needing to be made from the very beginning. One of the biggest decisions though is whether to train privately or as part of an institution, or even to dispense with formal training all together. When Jessica Buchanan took the brave leap to move from western Canada to Grasse she really did put all of her eggs in one basket, but she was determined to succeed. Twelve years later she is the founder of her own company, 1000 Flowers, and the creator of the exquisite fragrances Réglisse Noire and Rose Cassis Paradis.

Thursday, 11 July 2019

BLUEBERRY & BERGAMOT by The Otter Candle Co

When you’re launching a new brand it’s important to match the image to the product. This may sound like a very basic idea but, unfortunately, it is often something that is misjudged. Once the world has seen the way your company looks it’s very difficult to reinvent yourself. Now, major corporations can spend millions to get this right and so it always comes as a surprise when a small, independent company gets it right first time. The Otter Candle Co was launched in September 2018 and has managed to perfectly combine its playful scents with the cheekiness of the animal, but how do the candles actually perform?

Monday, 8 July 2019

GUESS 1981 LOS ANGELES by Clément Gavarry

The perfumes that launch with the name of a fashion house or a celebrity on them are often looked down on by certain sections of the fragrance industry and also some customers. It is wrongly assumed that they will be low quality, unbalanced affairs that have been hastily put together and will disappear as quickly as they arrive. However, this isn’t the case and just as much effort often goes into them as you would expect from a Dior, a Chanel, or even a Guerlain. The latest fashion release is Guess 1981 Los Angeles and, if you’ve shied away from fashion houses in the past, you may be surprised by this beautiful summer fragrance.