Thursday 30 June 2016


Historic companies all face the same difficult task at some point in their lifetime, how to modernise without losing the essence of their founder. One way of adapting to the changing market is to keep a classic back catalogue while introducing new products, that way you cater for your traditional customer but also reach out to a new generation. The latest company to face the challenge is Bronnley, whose one hundred and thirty two year history is a testament to family ownership and hard work. Zealous Flower couldn't be more different to a tradition of triple-milled soaps, but a link with the past is very evident.

Monday 27 June 2016


A well known face at perfume launches and events, Suzy Nightingale was born in Kent and very quickly developed a love of fragrance. After working for various websites and publications the position of Senior Writer for the Perfume Society became available, and she jumped at it. Under the expert guidance of Jo Fairley, a co-founder of the society, Suzy has gone on to win a coveted Jasmine Award for fragrance writing. So, with the spotlight firmly on her for a change, what would we learn about Suzy during "Stephan's Six"?

Thursday 23 June 2016

GUERLAIN - The King Of Colognes

It's a rite of passage, a marker of acceptance, an honour above all others. It's a very select club which currently only has five members. A company which became famous for a very special Eau de Cologne continues that tradition by asking each of its perfumers to create their own cologne to sit alongside previous generations. I am of course talking about Guerlain. Each perfumer through its history has contributed their own interpretation to this exquisite collection. With a span of one hundred and fifty seven years from the first to the last you know that you're going to run the whole gamut. So let's take a look at the Perfumers' Collection.

Monday 20 June 2016


The subject of Chandler Burr's The Emperor of Scent, Luca Turin is a biophysicist with a love of all things olfactive. He started his famous perfume column for NZZ Folio in 2003 and was immediately respected for his honesty. With words that can cut you down to size, but still winking at the same time, he is a popular speaker and writer. When someone has spent thirteen years discussing perfume, I wondered what more we would learn during the Emperor's "Stephan's Six"?

Thursday 16 June 2016


Many reviewers describe fragrance as a "time machine" which can take you on a journey into your past, but that is always dependent on your having a link to the fragrance in the first place. What if a perfume came along which catapulted you back to the eighties without ever having smelled it before? I'm not going to lie, I was a little scared of this beast initially because the late eighties and early nineties were not known for subtlety. However that is exactly the joy of this powerhouse, which is back after a twenty four year absence. Pick up your VHS, reach for your Dynasty shoulder pads, and let me reintroduce you to Milano Cento.

Monday 13 June 2016


Familiar to a generation of children as the face of the BBC's Broom Cupboard, Debbie Flint reinvented herself as an anchor for BSB, a game show host and is now best known as a long serving presenter on the shopping channel QVC. In amongst all of this she also finds time to be a busy novelist, so I was pleased that she managed to squeeze me in. For someone who spends their life around fragrance on QVC, what would she reveal abut her own perfume memories during "Stephan's Six"?

Thursday 9 June 2016

Agatha Christie - The Scent Of Murder

Fragrance has always been regarded as one of the best triggers for our memories, but we sometimes forget just how much trouble it can get us into as well. Perfume on a collar, whisky on your breath, cigarette smoke in the air. One lady who put fragrance to full use was the Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie. In three of her books it is the scent, and even the lack of it, that helps Poirot's "little grey cells" to solve the mystery. With "scented" book suggestions by Agatha Christie expert John Curran, along with contributions from Nick Gilbert, Odette Toilette and Luca Turin, let's look at those stories and, alongside a perfume suggestion for each crime, we'll investigate the Scent of Murder!

Monday 6 June 2016


A corporate solicitor is not the first person that you would imagine as the brains behind a new British beauty brand, but that is exactly what Robert Hallmark was. He trained in law, and for seven years worked in Birmingham and London before setting up Gruhme in March 2013. Now, I love his fragrance, Gruhme No.14, but I was interested to find out what led him to release that particular fresh scent. Would the answer lie in "Stephan's Six"?

Thursday 2 June 2016

Does HABANITA Still Have Her Bite?

“Le parfum le plus tenace du monde” was a huge statement to make about any fragrance, but the one that was being described definitely deserved the accolade. Outside of its home town it translates as “the longest lasting perfume in the world”, and it is interesting to note that this “tenacious” fragrance actually came about by accident. I’m talking about Habanita by Molinard, and in her ninety-fifth year it’s time we looked back on this sensual grand dame. How did she become such a phenomenon, what does it share with Chanel No.5, and are the rumours of a discontinuation really true?