Monday 30 October 2017


The continuing obsession with oud fragrances is something that, until recently, had seemed to have escaped the Grasse perfumers. I'm talking here about Fragonard, Galimard and Molinard. Their usual audience were looking for rich florals, spicy orientals, delicate eau fraiche, definitely not heavy resinous oud offerings. That is until now. With a huge influx of Russian and Middle Eastern tourists the perfumeries had to adapt, and all three now offer an oud-based fragrance. Fragonard and Galimard have made theirs boutique exclusives but Molinard have gone mainstream with their latest release, Oud Magnétique.

Thursday 26 October 2017

FIRE by Tessa Williams

With bonfire night fast approaching and Halloween on the doorstep my thoughts always turn to the gloriously smokey scents of autumn. The crispness in the air and the first frosts on the ground always make me reach for my Penhaligon's matches so that I can set light to the pile of kiln-dried logs that are permanently sitting in the fireplace. The scent of an open fire is one of my favourite smells, which is why I’ve also been known to have one in height of summer, so I was intrigued to find that Tessa Williams had released a home spray simply called Fire. So, would it really smell like my wood-smoke scented sitting room?

Monday 23 October 2017


Leanne Hirsh is the co-founder of Perfumera Curandera, a natural fragrance company based in Malibu. She started her career as a makeup artist working with the likes of Vivienne Westwood and David Bailey before launching Hirsh Skincare at Bergdorf Goodman in 1998. With contributions to Vogue, Tatler and Vanity Fair, I wondered what perfume secrets she would reveal about herself during “Stephan’s Six”.

Thursday 19 October 2017


Twenty-six years ago a fragrance was launched that would go on to change the way British perfumes were perceived around the world. Conceived by a determined and strong-willed lady from Bexleyheath, the most famous Cologne since Mülhens 4711 was launched in 1991 and took the industry by storm. With its uplifting citrus notes, a "transparent" quality, and the quirky addition of a fresh aromatic, Lime Basil & Mandarin by Jo Malone became the “must have” fragrance. After a quarter of a century I thought it was time to take a look back at the creators and the creation of this now legendary scent.

Thursday 12 October 2017


has always enjoyed an unparalleled affection amongst perfume fans and part of this is the continuing transparency that they are displaying in their current releases, and also in the rewriting of parts of its history. Over time a "good story" can cover up the true facts and it is refreshing to see these being peeled away piece by piece. As part of this openness, Guerlain allowed Thierry Wasser and Frédéric Sacone’s vintage recreations to be made available to smell at the Champs Elysees boutique and this means that we can travel to Russia, via France, and discover Impérial Russe and Cuir de Russie.

Thursday 5 October 2017

EVELYN ROSE by Crabtree & Evelyn

The popularity of rose fragrances has never diminished and it doesn’t look as if it will anytime soon. The intoxicating floral that surrounds you when you wear one of the many interpretations has made it a popular choice over the centuries for women of all ages. It seemed to go through a little bit of a crisis a few years ago, there were a lot of rose fragrances to choose from and it got a bit confusing, but the stalwarts held their nerve and came through unscathed. One of these was the ever-popular Evelyn Rose by Crabtree & Evelyn but, after a name change and two reformulations, how does it hold up twenty-four years later?