Monday 19 September 2016


In 1981 John Challis introduced the public to the character of Boycie in Only Fools and Horses. The used car salesman became a popular foil for David Jason’s Del Boy and even spawned his own spin off series, The Green Green Grass. As an actor John Challis had a successful career before and after Only Fools and Horses, which he wrote about in his autobiography Being Boycie, but what would he reveal during “Stephan’s Six”?

What is the first smell that you can remember?
My first memory would definitely have to be the smell of apples, along with the intoxicating scent of the autumn fermentation on my uncle's farm in Somerset. I’m lucky enough to have my own orchard now, and the smell of the apples always reminds me of my childhood.

What was the first perfume your parents wore?
My Mother wore Joy by Jean Patou, and its scent is engrained in my memory. I would be able to recognise it instantly, but I’ve never met anyone else who uses it! I don't remember the smell of my father at all.

What was the perfume of your twenties?
I'm afraid to say that it was Old Spice, but I am very proud to be able to confirm that I used it very sparingly. You have to remember that the interior of an old Austin full of testosterone fuelled lads was a heady place on a Saturday night.

What was your biggest perfume mistake?
Without a doubt my biggest perfume mistake was switching to what I thought was a more sophisticated cologne ... Aramis! I am sure that you could smell me a mile away.

You can only choose one perfume?
This would definitely have to be Iris Nobile by Acqua di Parma. I was lucky enough to be staying in a grand hotel in Geneva and the products were all laid out in the bathroom. I really loved the smell and, as they were freebies, I splashed it on liberally with gay abandon. I felt very suave and sophisticated!

What perfume should I try?
It has to be the beautiful Acqua di Sicilia by Santa Maria Novella because it is the most wonderful citrusy cologne, and it can be worn by both men and women. I first came across this amazing perfume in Florence when I was enticed into their beautiful perfumery shop. It truly is luxury personified. My wife loves it, I love it ... what more could you ask?! I hope that you'll love it as well.

For more details about John's autobiographies, Being Boycie and Boycie & Beyond, or for information on his tour of Only Fools and Boycie you can visit his website at

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