Monday 7 May 2018


Born into a famous literary family, Daisy Waugh forged an enviable career both as a journalist and author before starting to write under the pseudonym of E. V. Harte. The first of her Dolly Greene books featured cheap scent and tarot cards but what fragrances hold special memories for Daisy? I caught up with her at the launch of her new book, The Case Of The Fool, and managed to unearth some scented secrets for “Stephan’s Six”.

What is the first smell that you can remember?
This would be the smell of a black and white plastic woven rug that used to run along the corridor outside the playroom at a cousin’s house, mixed with the smell of laundry. I suppose I was around one when I first smelled it, and about three or four when I smelled it last. The scent made me feel that all was in order and I was safe and comfortable.

What was the first perfume you remember your mum or dad wearing?
My mother used to wear Opium by Yves Saint Laurent and I’m fairly sure she still does. To be honest, when I think about it now, it mostly evokes memories of feeling carsick. She always used to lay it on quite thick just before we got into the car to go and see friends!

What was the perfume of your twenties?
I’m afraid that I wore whatever was going in my twenties, but as a teenager I used to wear Anais Anais by Cacharel. I remember that there was a really stupid advert running on the TV at the time. It said, in a French accent, “As beeeyouutifull as a whomman’s treams” (As beautiful as a woman’s dreams) and the advertisement used to make my friends and I weep with laughter every time that we saw it.

What was your biggest perfume mistake?
I was one of the many people who bought Poison by Dior when it came out and, truly, I now think that it is the most disgusting scent that was ever sold. It was definitely my biggest perfume mistake.

You can only choose one perfume?
I think that Chanel No.5 L’Eau is delicious but it’s very annoying because, unless I am missing something, it wears off so fast that nobody ever smells it except me when I first put it on. However, I still adore it.

What perfume should I try?
I don’t know! What would you recommend? [It’s always difficult to recommend a fragrance but, as I’ve been asked, I’m going to plump for Dryad by Papillon Perfumery. Created by Liz Moores, Dryad is a wonderfully evocative chypre scent that conjures up the outdoors, distant memories, but also has a piercing quality which can’t fail to stimulate the mind. It seems perfect for a writer, and would also be perfect for the tarot reading detective Dolly Greene!]

The Case Of The Fool is published by Little Brown Books and is available from all good bookshops priced at £8.99, or for more information about Daisy Waugh you can visit
[Image of Daisy Waugh © Jeremy Young]