Monday 27 February 2017


The words “fragrance historian” are used very freely in today’s perfume industry, but one man who truly does deserve that title is James Craven. Based at Les Senteurs in London, his knowledge is extraordinary and his stories are always entertaining. So, after spending his life talking about other people’s fragrances, what would he reveal about his own memories during “Stephan’s Six”?

Thursday 23 February 2017


One of the signs that the long, cold days of winter are about to be left behind for another year is the appearance of the Spring Collection. This has become a regular fixture from perfume companies in recent years as they grab our attention ready for the big summer release. One company that really has embraced this idea is Jo Malone. Each year their customers are treated to a new selection of fragrances that form the Brit Collection. Manufactured in a strictly limited quantity, this year's collection is called The Bloomsbury Set and it really does challenge the traditional Jo Malone style.

Monday 20 February 2017


The first fragrance can be a make or break moment for any perfume company, but it can also be the same for a new perfumer. When Guerlain launched Idylle in 2009 it was the first release that was created by Thierry Wasser in his new position as in-house perfumer for the company. His previous three fragrances, Iris Ganache, Quand Vient la Pluie and Guerlain Homme, had been created whilst he was working for Firmenich, but Idylle was released under his own name. It would eventually be joined by three variations, Duet Rose-Patchouli, Eau Sublime and Duet Jasmin-Lilas, but it is the second one that I’m going to revisit.

Thursday 16 February 2017

LE JARDIN RETROUVÉ - Honouring The Father

Perfume companies come and perfume companies go, with some failing to make their presence felt in an ever-expanding market. In recent years there has been a "rebirth" of companies that, after a period of dormancy, are deemed to be financially viable once more. Now this can take one of two routes, either under the control of a new owner or by the descendants of the original founder. Le Galion staged an impressive rise from the ashes thanks to a new purchaser, Nicolas Chabot, whilst Grossmith was revived by Simon Brooke, the great great grandson of its founder, John Grossmith. The latest company to reemerge is Le Jardin Retrouvé, and their story truly is one of family values.

Monday 13 February 2017


On 4th July 2016 the subject of “Stephan’s Six” was Lawrence Roullier-White. He had been a great supporter when I started my writing and I was determined to get him to open up about his own perfume choices. He was surrounded in his store by the most beautiful scents and so I was interested to see whether his choices of what to stock had been influenced by his fragrance memories. My interviewees usually give me far too much material to use and so it gets archived for future articles, but I never imagined that I would using his as a tribute. Lawrence died in January 2017 but just reading this material makes me remember a remarkable man.

Thursday 9 February 2017

TERRE DE LUMIÈRE - L'Occitane's "Golden Hour"

When Olivier Baussan first started manufacturing soap in 1976 nobody could have imagined that he would go on to form the globally recognised L’Occitane. With an emphasis on sustainability he attracted a loyal following, which meant that he was able to open his first store in 1981, but it was a focus on the Provencal traditions that set him apart when he ventured into fragrance in 1991. L’Occitane’s most recent release is Terre de Lumière, a “Gourmand Aromatic” fragrance, and it is definitely one that will surprise a lot of people. Come with me as we discover what is known as the “Golden Hour”.

Monday 6 February 2017


ISIPCA is a school based in Versailles that teaches the formulation of perfumes, cosmetics and flavours. Now, many perfumers have passed through its doors but one of the newest is Daniel Pescio. His background in cinematography has definitely influenced his style, with bold choices littering his creations, and when I met up with him in Paris I took the opportunity to find out more about this new perfumer during “Stephan’s Six”.

Thursday 2 February 2017


You often read about the power that fragrance has for transporting us back into the past. Those forgotten perfumes, that selection of banned ingredients, these are all ways of "experiencing" the scents that would have been worn in previous decades. However, bottling a true snapshot of real life is a little more difficult. There are so many things to consider and, ultimately, it will be an interpretation based on facts and memory rather than a real "fragrance photograph". So, you can imagine how excited I was when I got to experience a real journey back in time to 1960, and even the mess that it caused was worth it.