Monday 17 April 2017


Susie Willis is no stranger to success. She sold her first company, Plum Baby, in 2010 for £10m but she still had a desire to further investigate the natural ingredient market. So, in 2016 she launched the skincare range Romilly Wilde and their first fragrance, Idle, was listed in two categories in the 2017 Fragrance Foundation Awards. With nominations for Best New Fragrance In Limited Distribution and Best New Independent Fragrance, I wanted to find out Susie's own perfume memories during "Stephan's Six".

What is the first smell that you can remember?
I remember the smell of Honeysuckle perfume by Avon, and I think I had the soap too. It makes me think of summer, my yellow floral dress and the smell of my skin after it has been in the sun. I always go brown like a nut and in those days my hair was wavy blonde. It makes me think of the innocence of youth. I also distinctly remember the smell of lipstick. Back in those days it was probably made up of all kinds of nasty things, so you rarely get that same smell nowadays, but it makes me think of my glamorous grandmother.

What was the first perfume you remember your mum or dad wearing?
My mother wore Rive Gauche, which makes me think of patent leather kinky boots of the Seventies and broad brimmed hats. So chic and elegant. My father had terrible psoriasis so never wore aftershave, but I remember the carbolic smell of his Wright's Coal Tar Soap, sandalwood shaving soap and Brylcreem.

What was the perfume of your twenties?
I wore so many perfumes in my twenties. I particularly remember Giorgio Beverly Hills, Christalle by Chanel and Anais Anais by Cacharel. The stronger scents of Guerlain were always a huge draw, especially Nahema, and I also adored (and still do adore) Aperge by Lanvin. Apart from Giorgio Beverly Hills, I still find all of these stunning. Oooh and Calyx by Prescriptives.

What was your biggest perfume mistake?
I honestly can’t remember a mistake or even a situation that has stuck with me. So, for fear of making something up, I will leave this blank. Sorry.

You can only choose one perfume?
It would have to be my "go to" fragrance, Eau des Sens by Diptyque. I think it is so feminine, alluring and compelling, without the floral complexities that so many commercial perfumes have.

What perfume should I try?
It would have to be Idle by Romilly Wilde. It is so abstract, yet compelling, and it is fascinating to see how people react when they try it. It takes them a while to decipher the notes and tells a different story to everyone. The outcome is always the same however, which is that it evolves continually.

For more information on Susie Willis, Romilly Wilde and Idle you can visit the website at

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