Thursday 8 November 2018


Literary inspiration is nothing new in the perfume industry but choosing a book that completely sums up a company’s ethos and philosophy can be a little more challenging. Whatever you decide to use will become permanently linked to the brand and so it really does have to be the perfect fit. This is exactly what has happened with a new perfume house based in the United Kingdom called Walden. Created by Stephan Bisse, under the umbrella of the Amarya group, he has launched six natural fragrances that each takes its inspiration from the Henry David Thoreau book. So, it’s time for you to See The Moonlight.

The natural perfume sector is a steadily growing part of the perfume industry as a whole and still owes much of its success to the work of Mandy Aftel. She was a “natural perfumer” before it was even recognised as a category and championed the use of natural ingredients over their synthetic counterparts. Like the other respected perfumers in her field, the choice to use naturals comes down to a love for the myriad complexity of the ingredient. The unpredictability of using naturals requires a very different skill to a commercial perfumer and Walden have achieved this with their first collection.

When Amarya was looking to add a perfume range to their existing catalogue the decision was taken to create a whole new brand. Their background in the natural beauty market meant that it had to fulfil certain criteria in order for it to fit with the current products, namely that it had to 100% nature derived. The decision was made for Stephan Bisse to take charge of the project and it started with an extensive grounding in the world of perfume creation. He went on to create the six fragrances that form their debut collection and the results are impressive.

When it came to naming the company it became apparent that the idea of a natural and sustainable perfume house fitted alongside an 1854 book by Henry David Thoreau. Entitled Walden (aka Life In The Woods), it looked at his experience of living for two years without the everyday luxuries of nineteenth century life. He says in the book, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach.” Each fragrance is inspired by a section of the book, but my favourite has to be See The Moonlight.

The fragrance opens with a wonderful rush of bergamot but the oakmoss, which makes this into a delicious chypre, also seems to come through at the same time. This ingredient usually arrives much later and so it makes a welcome change for any chypre lovers. Its dry earthiness is warmed with a resinous labdanum, whose own animalic quality is then pushed even further with a hefty dose of jasmine, before the combination of powdery orris and smooth sandalwood make this feel incredibly decadent. A final touch of whiskeyed ambrette secures this as an excellent addition to the natural fragrance market.

See The Moonlight is available from the Walden Perfumes website at and is priced at £70 for 50ml or £10 for 5ml. [Sample provided by Walden Perfumes]

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