Thursday 29 December 2016


We all get so entrenched in our family lives over the festive period that many Twitter and Facebook posts go unread. I am the first to admit that "offline" time is something that I hold very dear, especially at Christmas, but even I couldn't resist when I was asked to create a series of seven posts for Le Jardin Retrouvé. Not heard of them? They were the first "niche" fragrance house and started life in 1975 under the guidance of perfumer Yuri Gutsatz. After almost disappearing following his death in 2005, his son Michel has begun the task of reestablishing the name of Le Jardin Retrouvé for a new generation.

Monday 26 December 2016


This final week before the start of a new year is always a little bit of a “limbo land” for perfume articles. Everyone has so many other things to do during these final seven days but, in case you are looking for something to read this week, I’ve gone through the past twelve months of “Stephan’s Six” interviews and picked my favourite four. There were over forty this year to choose from, ranging from perfumers to painters, and picking between them was difficult because they were all different and fascinating in their own ways. So, I hope you enjoy my “best of” selection from “Stephan’s Six”.

Thursday 22 December 2016

If You Can't Say Anything Nice...

One of the reasons that I started my website on 5th May 2015 was as an attempt to put some fun back into the online fragrance world. By this I mean that some bloggers had decided that they would make it their mission to be as vindictive and cutting as possible, thereby single-handedly attempting to destroy a perfume before it even had a chance to gain a foothold. After working in various parts of the fragrance industry I thought this was a very narrow minded approach and, when some of these perfume companies are also family run enterprises, potentially catastrophic. So, what gives bloggers the right to criticise a perfume?

Monday 19 December 2016

The Christmas Panic

Hands up anyone who's now started to panic that Christmas is on Sunday? You've had fifty-one weeks to get ready for the big day, but I appreciate that real life can often get in the way. So, unless you're going to plump for next day delivery on internet purchases, and risk them not arriving, then your best bet is to brace yourself for some old fashioned high street shopping. There are three things to remember; try to stay calm, queue politely and don't be swayed by desperate shop assistants. To help you along I've chosen four fragrances that can be found in any department store that are guaranteed to impress on Christmas Day.

Thursday 15 December 2016

Forty-Eight Hours in Paris

"Travel broadens the mind" … it’s a well-used motto, but in the case of the last two days it certainly rings true. I spent forty-eight hours in Paris meeting perfume companies, perfumers, distributors, trainers, and still found time for some retail therapy. What I came away with though was far more than flacons; I came back excited that there are still creators with a sound understanding of perfume construction that doesn't just revolve around bells, whistles and bangs. From lush florals to Russian leather, sparkling colognes to the definitive muguet, I experienced them all.

Monday 12 December 2016

CHARLIE ... A Most Original Fragrance

"Legendary status" are two words that seem to be written very easily about today's fragrances, but one was released in 1973 that truly is "legendary". It was reacting to a period of change for women when they were gaining more independence and finally making a dent in the long struggle to sexual equality. Released by America's sweetheart, Revlon, this powerful aldehydic floral would remain a firm favourite because it was sold with an affordable drugstore price tag. Forty-three years after its launch it's about time we lavished some well deserved praise on this ignored classic. So, come with me as we rediscover CHARLIE!

Thursday 8 December 2016


So we’re well and truly into the Christmas season now with queues starting to form and products selling out. Are you still looking for inspiration? Well, every day in the run up to Christmas I’m posting things on Twitter which might be helpful for the perfumistas that you need to buy for, but there’s also twelve months of reviews on here for you to look through. I guessed that you probably don’t have much time so I’ve had a rummage thought the files myself and picked out five of my favourite products which I think would make excellent gifts. Hopefully one of these might be added to your cart by the end of the day.

Monday 5 December 2016


There are times when you suddenly rediscover a lost favourite and wonder why you ever stopped using it. This happened to me a few weeks ago, and the emails that I got after I mentioned it on twitter made me realise that it needed to be reviewed again. We are constantly bombarded with perfume release after perfume release but it’s an occasional glance back to the past that makes you realise some of these "new" fragrances actually owe a lot to earlier scents. I’m talking about ORIGINAL MUSK by Kiehl’s, their most famous fragrance, and getting to know it again has been a pretty sexy experience.

Thursday 1 December 2016

BLACK OSMANTHUS by Marina Barcenilla

Renaming and rebranding is one thing, but taking your company outside of its original fragrance style is completely different. This is the situation that Marina Barcenilla finds herself in with the release of her first perfume under the Marina Barcenilla Parfums label. Four weeks ago, on 1st November 2016, The Perfume Garden changed its identity but took five of the most popular perfumes with it. With one of these being the FiFi Award winning India there were high expectations for the new company's debut fragrance, Black Osmanthus. Would a new name signal a new style or would it just be a case of "the emperors new clothes"?