Monday 29 August 2016

QUENTIN by Deco London

Inspiration comes in many forms, with everything from fabric to fantasy, but periods of history and literary characters have also featured heavily. Whether an "homage to" or a "recreation of", they can help a perfumer move outside of the established styles and trends. 4160 Tuesdays' Sarah McCartney successfully achieved this with the Gatsby and City ranges, using ingredients that were in circulation at the time, and Goodbye Piccadily, which is a recreation of a moment in history using current ingredients. It is this second approach which Deco London also took with their first collection, so come with me and let's meet Quentin.

Thursday 25 August 2016


The constant challenge for companies to create the latest blockbusting fragrance is one that many now approach with a reserved optimism. They often stay firmly within an olfactory style or even reinvent past favourites in an effort to hold onto an existing brand loyalty. The idea that past triumphs can again become the latest fashion is not as crazy as it sounds. After all, we can only reinvent the wheel so many times. It was with all of this in mind that I approached Bronnley's latest release, Pink Peony & Rhubarb. The name sounds like Jo Malone, the ingredients sound like Bronnley, but where will the scent take us?

Monday 22 August 2016

Happy Birthday INSOLENCE

It’s hard to believe that it’s ten years since the world was first dominated by Guerlain’s iris and violet fragrance bomb. To some it was a new interpretation of the classic L’Heure Bleue whilst to others it was seen as a link between Guerlain's expanding “travel exclusive” range and the boutique customers. Either way, 2006 marked the launch of a fragrance which took department stores and boutiques by storm. You couldn't escape any beauty hall without being sprayed with Insolence and so it was easier to just succumb to the “overdosed, high-voltage” pink explosion, and once smelled it could never be forgotten.

Thursday 18 August 2016

LAUDER FOR MEN - The 1985 Powerhouse

Estée Lauder built her entire empire with the sole aim of making "every woman beautiful" and encouraging their independence. What is interesting is that a nod to the men in her customers' lives came much later, thirty-nine years later to be precise, but it was worth the wait. Lauder for Men arrived in 1985, thirty-two years after the debut of the famous Youth Dew, but why did it take so long? Well, Ms Lauder had been toying with men's fragrances since 1964, under another guise, but her first male fragrance under the name of Estée Lauder had to be something special, and it was. So, it's time to rediscover the magic of Lauder for Men.

Monday 15 August 2016

CHANEL No.5 L'EAU by Olivier Polge

When it was announced in May that Chanel were going to launch a new interpretation of their classic No.5 the internet went crazy. You had praise and damnation in almost equal measure, and nobody had even smelled it at that point. Created by the new nose of Chanel, Olivier Polge, for some it seemed a step too far, we already had Eau Premiere, whilst to others the news was greeted with fan club enthusiasm. With an approaching UK launch date of September 1st I think it's time to see if Chanel No.5 L'Eau really is a new interpretation for a new generation, or merely a dilution of the brand's heritage.

Thursday 11 August 2016

Smell The Quality

It's back, and unfortunately it's one of those terrible phrases that you hear come out of the mouths of beauty consultants all over the wold, "you can smell the quality". It seemed to have disappeared but recently it's made a return with a vengeance. Maybe it's bad training or perhaps it's a calculated approach to selling more perfumes than the neighbouring counter? Either way it's simply not true. Whether it costs £5 or £500, you cannot "smell quality". Fragrances are designed in different styles for different customers, so what is the "quality" that you actually perceive when your spray that little card in the perfume department?

Monday 8 August 2016


From PR to Prime Time, Dave Lackie’s career has taken him around the world in search of the best beauty products. I caught up with him before he headed to Mexico, and Nina Ricci’s L’Air du Temps retrospective, to find out the perfume secrets of the Canadian King of Beauty during another “Stephan’s Six”.

Thursday 4 August 2016


A company’s first fragrance can be a make or break release. It’s the perfume that customers will often associate the brand with long after it first appears, and so you want it to be a good one. If number one goes to plan then the next challenge is the follow up, and this is sometimes where things can go horribly wrong. In a quest for novelty this successor can often go off on a tangent, but thankfully that didn’t happen with Leighton Denny and the LIGHT & DARK range. With his fourth perfume launching tomorrow, let’s take a quick recap of the previous three releases before we look at the new LIGHT & DARK DELIGHTFUL.

Monday 1 August 2016


If your father owned one of the most luxurious perfume brands then it seems inevitable that you would end up sharing his passion, but for Victoria Christian it was a performing career which first interested her. After studying Ballet and Theatre Studies at Urdang Academy, and performing in London’s West End, she eventually chose to give up the stage and has become the Brand Ambassador for Clive Christian Perfumes. So, what secrets would we discover during “Stephan’s Six”?