Monday, 27 June 2016

STEPHAN'S SIX - SUZY NIGHTINGALE


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"?

What is the first smell that you can remember?
Vicks Vaporub - not the most glamorous smell, but I had pneumonia often as a child and the menthol scent of it still makes me feel comforted, protected and loved. Even thinking of the smell, I can feel the sensation of my mum rubbing it on to my back. It used to stick to my hair, though. That wasn't so pleasant!

What was the first perfume you remember your mum or dad wearing?
My dad really just smelled of coal tar soap, and occasionally Brut on a special occasion. My mum's favourite perfume was Clinique's Aromatics Elixir, the one she wore most often, and it always left a trail around the house. I once smelled it on a stranger walking past me in my first week at university, and immediately burst into tears because I felt so homesick and unsure of myself. How embarrassing.

What was the perfume of your twenties?
I used to drench myself in Loulou, because I very much wanted to resemble a 1920's starlet - all bee-stung lips, feather boas and sultry glances - and imagined this is what they'd smell of in the modern day. I went back to wearing Chanel's Coco because of this hankering, too. In fact I'd begun wearing Coco when I was ten years old - the first perfume I chose when asked what present I wanted. Probably quite unsuitable for a young girl, but it matched my twenties perfectly. I vamped it up.

What was your biggest perfume mistake?
I once spilled a bottle of Thierry Mugler's Angel over myself in a shop. I'd enjoyed wearing it when it first came out, but drowning yourself is possibly not the best idea! I think it killed it for me. I still like smelling it on other people, though. It's outrageous, and people shouldn't be afraid of wearing their character proudly.

You can only choose one perfume?
Oh lord, this is a cruel question! I honestly don't think one perfume exists to satisfy my every mood or fantasy. I guess I can only answer by revealing the perfume I chose today ... and that's Ormonde Woman. I never tire of it, and it always seems to get compliments, people asking me what it is and where they can get it. It's mysterious, enticing and strangely comforting, like being lost in a beautiful forest.

What perfume should I try?
Well, for a real eye-opening (nostril-widening?) experience, I'd suggest you have a sniff of BeauFort London's fragrances. They're incredibly evocative - the most provoking is 1805 Tonnerre. Gunpowder, smoke and lime. It's a force to be reckoned with. I do get that not everyone wants to smell strongly of powerful perfumes, but even if they're not forceful, they should have a depth of character to be interesting, for me. Quietly meek is not my style...

For more of Suzy's writing you can visit perfumesociety.org, making sure that you read her piece on Galbanum, or you can follow her on Twitter at @BeyondPale

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