Thursday 6 February 2020

GULA by Memoize London

In the constant rush for “newness” we often forget about companies that are confidently, and successfully, continuing to walk that niche road. These brands become whispered favourites rather than trumpeted crowd-pleasers, and often find themselves relying on loyal fan bases. These fantastic companies start to disappear from the magazine editorials in favour of the “new young thing.” This is the case with Memoize London, a fragrance brand that deserves much more exposure. Now in their fourth year, it’s time to revisit this memory based collection and rediscover one of their original fragrances, the wonderfully exciting Gula.

When Holly Hutchinson founded Memoize London in 2016 it was born out of a long held love of fragrance. This wasn’t just another company owner cashing in on the tidal wave of niche perfumery, Holly’s scented history stretched much further back. Her mother was a prolific collector of unusual and interesting fragrances and it was inevitable that this fascination would be passed on to her daughter. A set of miniature perfumes, given to her at the age of seven, truly captured her imagination and the seeds of a very successful future career were sown in that moment.

After studying Art and Design at the University of Northampton, and graduating with a distinction, Holly found herself in the world of luxury fragrance thanks to a position with Illuminum London. Her time with the company was definitely one of change and saw her heavily involved in its complete rebranding and repromotion. It was at this time that she started to think about what she could bring to the industry if she were to launch her own company. She thought back to those gifts from her mother, to places she had been, and quickly realised that memories played a key part in her life.

Memoize London originally launched with a series of fragrances that would come to be known as The Dark Range and promised to “illicit memories from your most intimate thoughts and feelings.” A year later they were joined by The Light Range which, in comparison, vowed to “immerse you in the essence of a positively rapturous aura.” Both collections were warmly welcomed and highly praised but, as is the way, they are now often glossed over in favour of this week’s newest release. So, I’m going to take you back to the very beginning because, if you don’t already know it, you simply have to meet Gula.

The fragrance opens with the most wonderfully aromatic citrus thanks to a combination of sweet orange and, one of my favourite ingredients, galbanum. This piercing green dart of scent grips hold of the lavender and pulls an androgynous jasmin and rose right into the centre of the action. Now there’s also a note of clove in here, which expertly links down to the earthy vetiver, so you have this aromatic pull from top to bottom before a pairing of sandalwood and tonka bean adds a smooth sensuality. Traces of smoky guiacwood complete the promised feeling of "unrestrained gratification" because, after all, who doesn’t deserve some delicious decadence?

Gula is available from the Memoize London website at and also from Selfridges priced at £177 for 100ml. [Sample provided by Holly Hutchinson]

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