Thursday 29 March 2018

VERVEINE by Fragonard

Fragonard has an established history of celebrating the best that Grasse has to offer, originally as a tourist attraction for wealthy visitors and then as a perfumery in its own right. When it first opened its doors to the public in 1926 it was catering for a growing demand for “leisurely pursuits” around the Côte d’Azur but the success of its fragrances went far beyond a mere souvenir of a holiday in France. Still most famous for Belle de Nuit in 1946, this year sees Fragonard release Verveine as its new “Flower Of The Year”, although the company’s love affair with this ingredient is already well know.

Monday 26 March 2018


One of the problems faced by established fragrance companies is that their catalogues can sometimes require some pruning to make way for new releases. Jo Malone London have accomplished this by adopting a “one in one out” approach in recent years, although last year saw both White Jasmine & Mint and Nutmeg & Ginger discontinued in favour of English Oak & Redcurrant and English Oak & Hazelnut. This year sees the phasing out of their 1995 French Lime Blossom, which has been a staple of their range for twenty-three years. So, let’s revisit French Lime Blossom before it’s too late.

Monday 19 March 2018


Rachel Corney lives in Cornwall and graduated from Falmouth University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Illustration. Her wonderfully playful style was spotted by Sarah McCartney of 4160 Tuesdays and she was commissioned to produce a series of paintings to represent their fragrances. With a love of perfume, and a knack for translating perfume into pictures, I wondered what scented secrets she would reveal during “Stephan’s Six”.

Thursday 15 March 2018

Pledge Furniture Polish - My Scent Memory

So National Fragrance Week is behind us for another year but there’s one aspect of it that continues for the full twelve months, and that is #ScentMemories. It’s a way for industry insiders, perfumers, writers and also fragrance fans to talk about the perfumed memories that have made a lasting impression on them. This isn’t always a fragrance, sometimes it’s a place or an experience, because different types of smells trigger different memories. My contribution this year concerned my mother’s obsession with cleaning and, in particular, her “joined at the hip” love affair with Pledge Furniture Polish. Let me explain.

Monday 12 March 2018

AromAtom - What Does Space Smell Like?

The idea of “giving back” is one that many companies attempt but, unfortunately, also one that can very easily miss the mark. In an era of “Corporate Social Responsibility” it’s become very fashionable to throw money at a cause and take the glory in a burst of publicity, but it’s much harder to create and manage a project that also has an educational aspect. The latest company to attempt this, undaunted, is Marina Barcenilla Parfums with their AromAtom project. Designed to educate and stimulate both children and adults in the field of astronomy using scent, just what DOES space smell like?

Thursday 8 March 2018

AFTER HOURS by The Perfumer's Story

The fragrance industry gets more competitive every year and so companies have to constantly produce new and exciting scents in order to keep ahead of the game. One company that seems to take this in their stride is The Perfumer’s Story. Dreamt up by Azzi Glasser, of Agent Provocateur fame, their catalogue now numbers fourteen perfumes with the latest two released just days apart. Kingsman TGC and After Hours were both launched in September 2017 but it’s the latter that I’m going to look at here. After Hours is described as “glamorous, magnetic and sensual”, but does it really live up to expectations?

Monday 5 March 2018


Today marks the beginning of National Fragrance Week, a celebration and promotion of the perfume industry. Over the next seven days you will see companies vying for your attention with events and special offers so, to ease you in gently, I thought that I would take a look back at six of my favourite “Stephan’s Six” interviews from the past two years. I advise you to hold on tight as we revisit Jo Fairley, Lawrence Roullier-White, Liz Moores, Michael Angove, Monsieur Guerlain and Odette Toilette to discover their scented secrets.

Thursday 1 March 2018

AMBRE SULTAN by Serge Lutens

When the weather takes a turn for the worse, and snow starts falling as companies launch their latest “springtime scent”, many customers almost ricochet back to the familiar warmth and spice that you get with the great oriental fragrances. The woods, resins and intoxicating florals help transport you to sunnier climes as we fend off the icy winds. For my perfume of escape this week I chose Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens and, whilst it might not be exactly thought of as an oriental, it definitely packs a punch with the sensuous laudanum. So, let me introduce you the fragrance about which Serge warned, “don’t expect it to fit in”.