Monday 16 May 2016


She describes herself as “a mum and actress”, in that order, but Carol Royle has had a hugely successful career in television, film and theatre. Chanel lovers may recognise her as the face of No.19, but it was her recent role as Emilie in the BBC drama Casualty that people now remember her for. Her character had Huntington’s Disease and was the mother of two of the regular doctors, Cal and Ethan. After this emotional storyline I met with her to ask her “Stephan’s Six”.

What is the first smell that you can remember?
There are a couple of smells that I remember. The first was my dad’s greasepaint in his black metal makeup box, and the Leichner Blending Powder. There was always makeup in our home as mum gave up acting when she had me and became a makeup artist. These smells made me feel comfortable, and life was ‘normal’ when I was smelling them. The other really notable memory is of real pine, firstly from real Christmas trees, which I loved, and also from my, then, best friend’s parent’s island in Poole Harbour… yes, their island! We had no money and always lived in a little flat, but my friend had lots of money and I used to holiday with her every year - just the two of us on an island like something from an Enid Blyton. It was another life for me. I didn’t envy it, but I did love it, and it was an amazing thing to have had this fabulous holiday each year for a number of years, probably between the age of about seven and eleven.

What was the first perfume you remember your mum or dad wearing?
I really don’t remember them wearing perfumes, but I do remember my grandma, dad’s mum, wearing Oil Of Ulay cream on her face at night, and the lovely comforting feeling of being with her. Grandma also used Cussons Imperial Leather soap, and if I smell this now I am whisked back to being a child again.

What was the perfume of your twenties?
When I was about eighteen I was given a small bottle of the perfume Joy by a fabulous actor/singer, the late Valentine Pringle. He sang ‘Old Man River’ in the show ‘Showboat’ at the Adelphi Theatre, my father was playing Captain Andy. Val and I went out for quite a while. I also used a man’s aftershave called Brut as it didn’t seem as sickly as so many women’s perfumes.

What was your biggest perfume mistake?
My biggest perfume mistake was putting a bottle in my suitcase right next to a beautiful Biba dress and travelling by plane. When I opened the case the pressure had unwound the perfume bottle and its contents had gone all over the evening dress, bleaching the emerald green to white in places all over the top half. Being broke, fairly creative with clothes, and quite good at needlework, I bought some lovely bits of material that matched the dressed, cut it up and appliqued the pieces over all the blotches. I continued to wear the dress for years!

You can only choose one perfume?
I use O de Lancôme because it’s a lemony scent which I love. I suffer with migraines and have to be very careful with smells. This is the only perfume I know I’m safe with.

What perfume should I try?
Well I don’t know the answer to this really as I am very conservative about what I use. The only thing I could recommend is the Lancôme, and a deodorant by L’Occitane called Verveine Agrumes. I used to use their Stick Fraicheur Verveine which I loved, but which they have now discontinued. Neither of these contain aluminium and the scent is fresh and lemony.

For anyone who may have forgotten, below is the Chanel No.19 advert which features Carol. If you need more information about Huntingdon’s Disease please visit

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