Monday 25 April 2016


Perfume bloggers are two a penny, I know because I'm one of that crowd. What is different about some though is that their passion and measured approach are in perfect unison. That is the way to best describe Thomas Dunckley who created the enigma that is CandyPerfumeBoy. A Jasmine Award winner and a self-confessed champion for Mugler’s Angel, what would we learn about his wider fragranced memories during “Stephan’s Six”?

What is the first smell that you can remember?
One of my earliest scent memories is of my old family cat, Henry. He arrived at the same time as I did and he lived to the grand old age of twenty-one. He always used to sleep on my bed, sometimes in it (this is what happens when you grow up in a tudor cottage with no central heating - even the cat gets cold) and the warm, buttery smell of his fur was so comforting. Now I’m off to squeeze my two cats (Rupert and Paddington) extra tight.

What perfume do you remember your mum or dad wearing?
My mother always wore Ralph Lauren’s Safari when she was going out. Like any typical gay boy I used to watch her slapping on her war paint and as she traversed the house she moved in a mushroom cloud of Safari. I always associate the scent with glamour because, at that time, my mother was the most glamorous person I knew. My father wasn’t hugely into scent but I do remember him wearing the original Armani Pour Homme. Once, when I was far too young to be doing so, I decided to attempt shaving my baby face with his razor. I ended up with more than a few cuts, which were only made worse by the generous splashes of Armani I decided to throw on afterwards.

What was the perfume of your twenties?
I’m just coming to the end of my twenties and I have so many, because I am promiscuous with perfume. If I had to pick one I’d go for Angel by Thierry Mugler because that’s the one I’ve consistently worn. I remember trying it for the very first time and being utterly appalled. Why would anyone want to wear this, I thought, but after that initial sniff I kept going back to John Lewis to give it another try. Something about it intrigued me and I remember saving up my pennies to buy a bottle, and I’ve never looked back. Angel is my spirit animal. She’s a dirty stop out who flirts with both the feminine and the masculine. I will always be loyal to her.

What was your biggest perfume mistake?
When I first started getting into perfume, and was trawling the Basenotes forums, I fell into the trap of spending lots of money on bottles of Creed. When I look back I always think that money could have been better spent on more interesting niche fragrances, more Frederic Malle perfumes perhaps. So I think that’s my biggest mistake: not being open and discerning enough in my early years of being a perfume nerd.

You can only choose one perfume, what would it be?
I’m going to be controversial here and not pick Angel. I think I would pick Tobacco Rose by Papillon Artisan Perfumes because it is the fragrance my husband wears and it was his wedding scent. To me it is instantly reminiscent of the happiest moments of my life and when he wears it now I go all gooey-eyed. I wouldn’t want to be without it because to me it is his scent.

What perfume should I try?
I’m going to be cheeky and choose the whole of Mugler’s Les Exceptions collection because it’s my latest obsession. With these six fragrances Mugler resisted the classic fragrance families and injected a unique twist, creating a beautiful range that is so un-Mugler in style it’s shocking. Stand outs are Oriental Express, a vanilla-heavy take on Shalimar with a beautifully rooty carrot note, Chyprissime, a fizzy and effervescent chypre with a sharp pear note, and Cuir Impertinent, which is cut grass and leather. They are exceptional.

Thomas is a freelance writer and his website,, is compulsive reading for any fragrance fan. He is also one half of @fragrantreviews which publishes twitter's best 140 word perfume reviews. For more information on Thomas visit the website.

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