Monday 5 April 2021


Described by The New York Times as “the glamorous vocal equivalent to diamonds flashing,” Monica Mancini is a double Grammy Award nominee. Daughter to the legendary film composer Henry Mancini, she has gone on to release five albums that truly are the perfect soundtrack to the imminent lazy summer days. So, put your feet up, grab a glass of wine, and discover Monica’s fragrance memories during “Stephan’s Six”.

What is the first smell that you can remember?
The first smell I recall is from when our family would vacation in Hawaii over Christmastime. When we disembarked from the ship that brought us over, the Hawaiian dancers greeted us with their hula and placed leis over our heads and a kiss on each cheek. The leis were made from the pikake flower, tiny white fragrant buds which I still remember to this day. I used to keep the leis until they turned to dust but that smell is forever!

What perfumes did your parents wear?
My dad didn't wear fragrance and, even though I’m sure that she did, my mother’s really isn’t memorable. However my best friend’s mother at the time drenched herself in Guerlain’s Shalimar which you could smell wafting in the air on the approach to her house. Because she was so glamorous, I thought this stuff must cost a fortune, almost like liquid gold, and that when I grew up I would have a husband who would buy it for me. It turns out when I did grow up, and bought some myself, it smelled terrible on me. It was sickeningly sweet and I felt like an old lady!

What was the perfume of your twenties?
I was very influenced by television adverts and magazine inserts. I remember wearing Opium by Yves Saint Laurent for a while, because I loved the pitch in the ads, and thought it smelled sophisticated. Also, there used to always be full sized fragrances in the swag bags from charity and industry events. So I got one from Tiffany at one point which I used till it ran out, and then I moved on. I’m not all that loyal with perfume and so no one could ever say that they knew me from my scent.

What was your biggest perfume mistake?
I was pretty lucky actually. I remember being with someone who clearly needed an editor (because they were doused in perfume) and I vowed I would never make that mistake. So, I gravitated to lighter scents, so that if I wore something that turned out to be offensive then it would wear off soon enough.

You can only choose one perfume?
Lately, my “go to” is J’adore from Dior. I had been paying attention to the ads on TV with Charlize Theron because, since she is a goddess, it's hard to take your eyes off of her. My husband Gregg has the same reaction, and I’m okay with that. Then I came across it in a magazine and decided to rub the smelly part on my wrist... and I fell in love with it. This was about four years ago so I guess you could say this is the one.

What perfume should I try?
As with building contractors and hairdressers, I never recommend anyone try anything - except maybe a recipe. However, both my husband and I really enjoy Jo Malone London. I travel with the mini sizes that I used to only find at Harrods, but now you can find them everywhere. They're friendly scents, easy and approachable, and I also use the Pomegranate Noir home spray around the house.

For more information about Monica Mancini, and to listen to selections from her five albums, you can visit her website at

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