Thursday 30 March 2017

My Fragrance Foundation Scent Memories

The Fragrance Foundation was formed in 1946 by six of the largest perfume companies of the period. Chanel, Elizabeth Arden, Helena Rubinstein, Coty, Guerlain and Parfums Weil agreed that the time had come to recognise the many achievements in the fragrance industry and later on also provide training for consultants, journalists and marketing departments. This greater understanding allowed the industry to develop and grow into the huge machine that it is today. As part of their commitment they also introduced #ScentMemories which runs alongside National Fragrance Day. It brings together peoples memories on the subject of fragrance and I’ve happily contributed for the last two years, although the recolections were very different.

Monday 27 March 2017

BELLE - The New Fragrance From Worth

When a fragrance company launches a new perfume it is always met with interest from the press and the public, but when it's the first new release for eleven years then the expectations are even higher. To coincide with the smash hit film Beauty and the Beast, Parfums Worth have released BELLE, a fresh floral which they describe as "effortlessly feminine, romantic, playful and chic". Could this be the company's chance to re-establish itself in the minds of a new generation of customers and add a new fragrance to the stable of Dans La Nuit and Je Reviens? Let's see if this fairytale has a happy ending.

Thursday 23 March 2017

Three Fragrances For Mother's Day

Mother's Day is almost upon us and the usual quandary of what present to buy rears its head again. Ultimately most Mums are happy with whatever they are given, although from personal experience I always find that the card is the most important part. If you haven't bought anything yet then the chances are that it will be a mad dash to the high street on Saturday with a slight "rabbit in the headlights" look. So, with this in mind, I thought it would be useful to suggest some fragrances that make the perfect present. There are three to choose from with very different price tags, but each is guaranteed to make your mum feel special.

Monday 20 March 2017


When Sylvaine Delacourte announced in October 2016 that she would be launching her own perfume company the fragrance industry let out an audible gasp. Since 2006 she had been Director of Fragrance Evaluation and Development for Guerlain and had steered the company from an historical house to a commercial perfumer. Some of her directions and choices met with mixed responses but Guerlain was again becoming known to regular perfume customers. Her first collection of fragrances, LA COLLECTION MUSCS, offers five interpretations of this main ingredient, but is it enough to sustain a whole range?

Thursday 16 March 2017


The Jasmine Awards celebrate the very best writing in the field of fragrance and this year the competition was particularly tough. First launched in 1990, the Jasmine Awards have helped to launch the careers of many new writers and, across fourteen categories, some of the United Kingdom’s finest authors take away with them the beautiful Lalique trophy and a well deserved pat on the back. Four of this year's winners have also taken part in “Stephan’s Six” and so what better time to look back over these enlightening, and at times humorous, set of interviews. Grab a cup of tea, a digestive biscuit and prepare yourself for anything!

Monday 13 March 2017


When Grant Osborne set up Basenotes in 2000 it was one of the first websites dedicated to fragrance. An approach of fact over rumour has meant it has become a serious research tool for anyone who works in the perfume industry. A self confessed lover of Haribo, Tea, Bacon and Marmite, I wondered what would we find out about Grant’s own perfume memories when I asked him “Stephan’s Six”?

Thursday 9 March 2017

Is Being "On Trend" Really The Enemy?

The perfume industry is the same as any other industry in the twenty first century, it has to move quickly and follow trends. Yes, there are some companies who actively try to go head to head with customer’s expectations and these are to be applauded. They offer a beacon in a sea of similarity but in all honesty, and I know that I will get shouted at for saying this, is there really a problem with companies taking the lead off their competitors? The powerhouse that is Lancôme’s La Vie Est Belle has spawned multiple “homages” but so did Chanel’s No.5. So, are we being too harsh on an industry where being "on trend" is nothing new?

Monday 6 March 2017


One thing that London has a lot of is perfume shops, but carefully curated ones are more of a rarity. In August 2012 Oxana Polyakova turned her fascination for fragrance into a business and Bloom Perfumery opened its doors. Located at 4 Langley Court in London, her selective range of perfumes covers the familiar to the exclusive. So, what would we find out about Oxana’s own fragrance memories when I asked her “Stephan’s Six”?

Thursday 2 March 2017


Unless you've been living in a cave you can't have failed to see that Guerlain has launched a new fragrance, Mon Guerlain. It had a worldwide release on 1st March 2017 and, although some stores did start a little early, it is the company's biggest profile campaign, and the most structured, since the La Petite Robe Noire franchise began back in 2012. The history of Mon Guerlain has much in common with La Petite Robe Noire and, understandably, Guerlain hope that it will also emulate its success. So, with a high profile worldwide release, can Guerlain re-establish itself as the premier fragrance house?