Monday 28 November 2016


Meticulous attention to detail is the quality that has set Victoria Frolova, aka Bois de Jasmin, apart from most other perfume writers. An encyclopedic knowledge and a wonderful way of making even the most stuffy subject feel exciting is why her website has become a regular stop for any perfume enthusiast. After writing about everyone else’s perfume, what would be the ones that resonate with her? I asked her “Stephan’s Six” in the hope that we would find out a little bit more about Victoria Frolova.

What is the first smell that you can remember?
My great-grandfather’s bookcase. Before I could read, I sat with my nose glued to the spines of the thick leather-bound books and I loved their smell of smoky vanilla and iris. This memory loses some of its romantic overtones when I realise that the only shelves I could reach at that age contained the entire collection of Lenin’s writings.

What was the first perfume you remember your mum or dad wearing?
My mother wore Diorissimo by Dior. I was born in Ukraine, when it was still part of the Soviet Union, and French perfume was a rare and precious thing. Diorissimo smelled so exquisite and different from any other fragrance I knew, and once my mom put it on she seemed like an otherworldly being. In those early memories everything is black and white, apart from my mom and her Diorissimo silage that appear as a splash of colour.

What was the perfume of your twenties?
My twenties were the continuation of my love affair with perfume, and especially Guerlain. I remember wearing Shalimar to teach a political theory class.

What was your biggest perfume mistake?
The tie would be between breaking a bottle of vintage Guerlain Mitsouko and spilling a sizeable jar of indole in a lab, an accident that made the whole floor reek of mothballs on steroids for weeks.

You can only choose one perfume?
Iris Silver Mist by Serge Lutens. It's a dramatic and unsentimental take on iris.

What perfume should I try?
Chanel Bois des Iles. Coco Chanel wanted an elegant but unconventional fragrance with a touch of the exotic. Ernest Beaux came up with a composition of woods intertwined with his trademark floral aldehydic accord. Ninety years later, Bois des Iles is still spectacular.

For more information on Victoria Frolova and her writing you can visit

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