Monday, 29 March 2021

STEPHAN'S SIX - FREDDIE ALBRIGHTON


The emergence of self-taught perfumers continues to create wonderfully artistic waves in the perfume industry, and the latest person to try his hand is self-confessed wanderer Freddie Albrighton. This successful tattooist launches his debut collection on Saturday and so, to get us in the mood for the arrival of Mabel’s Tooth, Boys, and Bernadette Margaret Evelyn Theresa, it's time to find out his scented secrets during “Stephan’s Six.”

What is the first smell that you can remember?
It would be the smell of the ET ride at Universal Studios in Florida. It’s so specific and I used to think I was the only person that loved it, but it turns out there are forums of people trying to find a room spray or something that smells similar. People have even done candles based on it. The building that the ride is in is designed like a forest with aliens everywhere, so when you’re a kid it’s kind of terrifying. They pump this fragrance in that’s like a damp, humid, foggy smell, and when I went two years ago it’s still the same. For me it’s absolute nostalgic childlike joy, because it reminds me of being three again.

What perfumes did your parents wear?
My mum always loved patchouli, and back in the day she was a punk, a skinhead, but she’s not like that now! She used to wear Angel a lot, I remember that, and then Opium - which has inspired one of my releases. Well, it’s kind of the idea of Opium but it’s actually nothing like Opium, if that makes any sense? My Dad used to wear A*Men, so they were like the Mugler power couple at one point, and he also wore Aramis and Cool Water - so typical manly things. That’s what I remember them wearing, but it would change regularly, so it's not like they wore the same one for twenty years.

What was the perfume of your twenties?
In my twenties I discovered the niche world, and so was basically wearing everything, but my teens were pretty interesting. I met someone on a night out, who I fancied, and he smelled fantastic. The next morning I saw him putting the fragrance on, it was Vivienne Westwood Boudoir, and so I then wore that for like four years. In my late teens at college I was always drawn to the weird shit that no-one was wearing. I wore Eden and LouLou by Cacharel for ages, Alexander McQueen's Kingdom, and even Samsara from Guerlain. I was an eighteen year old boy wearing Samsara! What was that about?

What was your biggest perfume mistake?
Probably wearing LouLou by Cacharel. I’d drench myself in that every day for college, add more between every classroom because I loved it, and everyone always knew that I would stink of something “old lady”, which is a term I hate. Because the bottle was so ugly, and I knew it was ugly, I was almost drawn to its tacky kitsch vibe; a pastel blue art deco thing with a maroon stripe. I didn’t know what it was back then but I now know that it’s tuberose heavy, although to be honest it just feels like a big powdery sweet thing. It really was ridiculously loud and obnoxious.

You can only choose one perfume?
These days I’m drawn to easy and effortless scents. I’ve gone through years of trying to find the weirdest, craziest shit I can wear that smells like metal or whatever, so now it’s literally something like Cuir d’Ange by Hermès. Jean-Claude Ellena’s powdery, barely-there leather is something I could wear every day and never get bored of. For years if something was getting torn to shreds, was the weirdest thing ever, then I would want it. Whereas now I have ten Aqua Allegorias that I live in because I literally don’t need to think when I put them on. A few years ago I’d have found that very boring, but now I feel that a novelty is almost not exciting anymore. I like it now and again, if someone does something super creative, but I’m more into minimalism.

What perfume should I try?
I feel like Bernadette Margaret Evelyn Teressa is a good start, because it’s kind of where everything began. It was the first fragrance I created that slipped into place quite quickly, and came together very effortlessly. I probably only did about ten or twelve versions of it, and kept going back to maybe number two or three. I got early feedback from perfumer friends that maybe it needed a shock factor or something. So I worked on the base more, I increased this and that, but it quickly started to lose its effortlessly 'pretty to wear' quality, so I stuck with the original and just refined it.

For more information about Freddie Albrighton, and to discover more about his debut collection of fragrances that launch on Saturday April 3rd, you can visit the website at www.freddiealbrighton.com.

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