Monday, 18 September 2023

FIREFLY by Adscenture

A bottle of the perfume Firefly by Adscenture
The act of finding a new fragrance is one that can seem like a tangle of suggestions, opinions and emotions. We’re often influenced by the season, even the occasion that the perfume is going to be worn at, but hopefully the final decision is something we trust to our own noses. It’s still often hard though to cut through the marketing messages and get to the heart of the scent, but it’s this constant quest for discovery that makes it a true vocation and an exciting “scent adventure”. You'll see that Adscenture have cleverly combined these words to form their name, and their Firefly fragrance is the perfect way to start your own scented travels.

Monday, 11 September 2023

MAGIC + SCIENCE by Thursday Fragrance

A bottle of the perfume Magic + Science from Thursday Fragrance
Anybody that launches a new perfume brand in the current climate either needs a huge round of applause for throwing all of their common sense out of the window, or a serious talking to about the inevitable pitfalls that they will experience. However, when a person’s passion to create bubbles to the surface, it’s often impossible not to follow that dream. You obviously have a better chance of survival if you study hard and take expert advice, and that’s the case with Thursday Fragrance. One of the latest cabs off the rank in terms of perfume companies, they’ve done their homework, and it shows in their debut trio of scents.

Monday, 4 September 2023

GARRIGUE by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

A bottle of Garrigue perfume by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier
There are few things as instantly pleasurable as being confronted with a little piece of French history, especially when it doesn’t come with an auctioneer’s price tag. The act of holding something that harks back to a simpler time, a pre-social media time, is sometimes the much-needed reset that we all crave. Now, achieving this through genuine antiques can be costly, but that’s where companies that use traditional crafts as their inspiration can thrive. Maître Parfumeur et Gantier is one such company, and their grasp of timeless French tradition goes “hand in glove” with what a modern audience is searching for.

Monday, 28 August 2023

1828 by Histoires de Parfums

A bottle of the 1828 perfume from Histoires de Perfumes in front of two Jules Verne books
The quest for new experiences and undiscovered places is something that seems to resonate deeply with fragrance fans. This may be because the ingredients that are used in perfumery come from all around the world, perhaps it’s because we understand the exciting link between science and synthetics, or it could just be that we’re an inquisitive bunch. Whatever the reason, linking fragrance to the idea of mysterious lands and vast oceans is irresistibly tantalising. When Histoires de Parfums used Jules Verne as the inspiration for a scent it was always destined to have a nod to travel, so get ready to set sail with 1828.

Monday, 21 August 2023

LEMON by Tessa Williams

A picture of Tessa Williams' Lemon candle
Simplicity is a word that seems to be rarely used in the world of fragrance, and is almost seen as a negative concept that should be avoided at all costs. Perfumes and aromas need to be complex, they need to have a structure that fascinates and astounds the wearer, but is it starting to become exhausting? Fragrances have always been experimental, but more and more they’re becoming an assault on the senses. Thankfully, in amongst the explosions, there’s someone that continues to strip back their scents and present the beauty of simplicity. I’m talking about Tessa Williams, and specifically her Lemon Candle.

Monday, 14 August 2023


A picture of author Jane Johnson

Disappearing into a book is something that was instilled into me from childhood, and it’s still a wonderful alternative to costly airfares and long journeys. Jane Johnson is a Cornish author who splits her time between Mousehole and Morocco, and is lucky enough to work from home as a Fiction Publishing Director for HarperCollins. Her latest book, The Black Crescent, uses scented descriptions to help conjure emotions and locations, and so it’s the perfect time to discover her own fragrance memories in “Stephan’s Six”.

Monday, 7 August 2023

G CLEF by Sarah Baker Perfumes

A bottle of G clef perfume on top of a copy of Agatha Christie's Dead Man's Folly book
The way each of us interprets a fragrance is often, in a great way, completely different. The ingredients stir up memories that are individual to the wearer and, even though the perfume company may have given us their inspiration and fragranced story, the ultimate reaction to the spritzed scent is very personal. It’s also often the case that fragrances cross over into our other passions and interests, and that’s exactly what happened with G Clef from Sarah Baker Perfumes. Originally designed as a salute to “live jazz and waterfront clubs”, in my crime fiction-filled head it evoked the boathouse murder scene from Agatha Christie’s Dead Man’s Folly.

Monday, 31 July 2023


Photograph of David Benedek, founder of bdk Parfums

Launching a fragrance company is something that isn’t for the faint hearted, but the success of bdk Parfums shows that it’s possible when quality and dedication isn’t compromised. David Benedek founded the company in 2016 with a quintet of fragrances, and the collection now numbers an impressive nineteen. With a family link to fragrance that drew him to create bdk Parfums, I thought it was time to discover David’s scented memories during “Stephan’s Six”.

Monday, 24 July 2023

NATURE by Contradictions in ILK

A bottle of the new Nature perfume from Contradictions in ILK
Our natural surroundings are being destroyed and disrupted by mammoth building projects and ill-thought-out renovations. It's a fact. City streets are having their trees uprooted, parks are being locked outside of “respectable” hours, and wild habitats are being constantly covered in concrete and breeze blocks. We’re in danger of forgetting that nature and architecture used to once coexist happily alongside each other, so it’s the perfect time to be reminded by the inventive Contradictions in ILK. Famous for offering us all two sides of the same coin, you're going to love their latest fragrance Nature.

Monday, 17 July 2023


A picture of perfumer Nancy Meiland

A journey into the world of perfume can come in many ways, but for Nancy Meiland it was a coming together of two disciplines. Originally a successful actress, Nancy also worked as assistant to renowned perfumer Anastasia Brozler. Now a perfume run her own right, this combination of theatricality and technical knowledge shines through in her fragrances, but I wanted to see what scented secrets she would reveal during “Stephan’s Six”.

Monday, 10 July 2023

ENCENS ET CREDRE by 1000 Flowers

A bottle of Encens et Cedre wellness water by 1000 Flowers
There are certain fragrance styles that forever feel as though they’re pushed to the limit with overwhelming volume and aggression, and so finding one where the perfumer has deliberately gone in the other direction is always an absolute joy. Delicacy and contentment mixing with a feeling of intimacy and fascination may sound like a combination that is impossible to achieve, but I’m happy to say it has. Encens et Cedre is the latest release from 1000 Flowers and, under the ever-inspiring eye of perfumer Jessica Buchanan, sits seamlessly alongside her existing “eau de bien-être” fragrances to create an unrivalled trio.

Monday, 3 July 2023


Picture of Brooke Belldon, owner of perfume retailer Sainte Cellier

When Brooke Belldon drew on her long-term passion for fragrance to launch the retail website Sainte Cellier, she quickly gained a reputation for stocking a carefully curated selection of the best that niche perfumery has to offer. Brooke has been a well-known face in the fragrance community for over a decade but, even after becoming a go-to voice for the niche market, still playfully describes herself as “an obsessive collector and enthusiastic student”. With such a wealth of knowledge, it was great to finally sit down with her and discover her scented memories during “Stephan’s Six”.

Monday, 26 June 2023

COUNTRY (GWLAD) by Wales Perfumery

A bottle of Country (Gwlad) perfume from Wales Perfumery
The first fragrances released by a company can often set the template for everything that is to follow. Whether it’s favoured ingredients, particular scent styles, or even the inspirations, getting that first collection right is so important to the long-term success of any perfume venture. Even after the fragrances have been created, the amount of work that it takes to get them seen by customers can often feel like an uphill struggle. That’s where having an existing core base of followers can be a lifesaver. Country from Wales Perfumery is one of the company’s debut trio of scents, and the land of song is definitely singing its praises.

Monday, 19 June 2023


A picture of Ainslie Fowler, one of the three sisters that founded The St. Ives Co

Independent businesses in seaside towns have a habit of vanishing after a single season, but there’s one in Cornwall that's just celebrated its third birthday. The St. Ives Co. was founded by three sisters, Tegen, Ainslie and Safi, with the aim of championing the Cornish way of life through home, body and lifestyle products. While their iconic Grapefruit, Lime & Bergamot Body Cleanser was chosen for the G7 Summit, I wondered what other scented secrets The St. Ives Co. had? I settled down with Ainslie Fowler to discover more during her “Stephan’s Six”.

Monday, 22 May 2023

BEL ORANGER by Fragonard

Bottle of Bel Oranger perfume by Fragonard
Perfumery owes much of its magic to the actual ingredients found within a fragrance and, while the perfumer ultimately blends these into a finished scent, these building blocks can also often be the inspiration for a finished fragrance. Many flowers and resins produce one ingredient that can be harnessed and used in a perfume, but the bitter orange tree is a source of multiple oils. From the bitter orange fruit to the neroli flower, or the petitgrain leaves and twigs to the orange blossom absolute, it's a bountiful source. So, for their latest addition to the Flowers of the Perfumer series, Fragonard have chosen to celebrate Bel Oranger.

Monday, 15 May 2023


A picture of Alexandre Helwani

The world of perfumery is one that can draw an individual in many different directions, and that is certainly true of Alexandre Helwani. He's the founder and lead writer for The Perfume Chronicles, perfumer in his own right, and also the insightful brand ambassador for Histoires de Parfums. However, I thought it was time to dig a little deeper and discover his scented secrets during “Stephan’s Six”.

Monday, 8 May 2023

HERA by Papillon Perfumery

A bottle of the perfume HERA, created by Liz Moores for Papillon Perfumery
The reaction a customer feels towards a fragrance is something that is almost impossible for a perfumer to predict when they're creating a new release. Beyond the standard ideas of citruses being uplifting and vanilla comforting, the nature of fragrance is that it's individual to the wearer. This notion is challenged though when perfumer Liz Moores enters the line-up. She has an incredible gift of translating her inspiration into scent, and communicating it seamlessly to the wearer. This ability is instinctive, it cannot be taught, and her latest release proves once again why she is a leading British perfumer. It’s time to discover the astonishing Hera.

Monday, 1 May 2023


A picture of Cath Kidston-Padgham taken by Gem Hall

There are few people whose name has become a brand in itself, but Cath Kidston-Padgham is definitely one of that illustrious group. With one successful business behind her, and her latest C.Atherley range of geranium-inspired products destined to become 2023’s most desired body products, I thought it was time to coax her from the greenhouse and discover her own scented secrets during “Stephan’s Six”.

Monday, 24 April 2023

ÉGLANTIER by Nancy Meiland

A bottle of Églantier perfume by Nancy Meiland Parfums
When it comes to perfumers and fragrances most of us will be forever chasing our tails trying to keep up with the latest releases and newest creators. They come and they go, but many of them also remain slightly under the scented radar. This devilish hint of exclusivity is always exciting when it’s found, and even more exciting when it’s worn, but the discovery is often by chance. That’s what happened on a cold February evening when I was out to dinner with friends. One of them leaned in and I was captivated by their perfume. I had to ask what it was, and the answer was Églantier by Nancy Meiland Parfums.

Monday, 17 April 2023


A picture of perfumer Nathalie Feisthauer

The third of my lost pandemic interviews comes from December 2019, just before we entered the two years of uncertainty. I met with perfumer Nathalie Feisthauer in Paris, in the sight of the famous Sacré-Coeur, but neither of us knew what was to follow. So, three and half years later, it’s finally time to discover her fragranced memories and scented secrets as we revisit Nathalie’s “Stephan’s Six”.

Monday, 10 April 2023

COSMIC BURN by Ankermade

A bottle of Cosmic Burn, a perfume from Ankermade
One of the changes brought about by the curtailment of travel during the past few years was that people actively started to look for new ways to experience unfamiliar locations and unexpected situations. Whether through literature, perfume or music, it opened the eyes of customers all around the world. Shopping local is still a cause to be championed, but shopping internationally also brings with it an added originality. This was the situation when I first discovered the Los Angeles based Ankermade. Their Machine Shop fragrance had been fantastic, so I had no option but to revisit the company and bask in their Cosmic Burn.

Monday, 3 April 2023


A picture of Neil Chapman (aka Black Narcissus) taken by Duncan Hume

It’s time for the second of my lost pandemic interviews, and this time it’s from early 2021 when we seemed to be ricocheting between lockdowns and restrictions. Neil Chapman, aka The Black Narcissus, is a renowned perfume reviewer and writer, and also the author of Perfume: In Search Of Your Signature Scent. We managed to arrange an e-meet and, two years later, it’s time to finally share the fragranced memories and recommendations that he revealed during his “Stephen’s Six”.

Monday, 27 March 2023

GERANIUM No.1 by C.Atherley

A jar of Geranium No.1 Bath Salts from C.Atherley, the new company from Cath Kidston Padgham and Heathcote & Ivory
National Fragrance Week is a celebration of all things scented, and it’s seven days during which the perfume industry goes full throttle in its attempt to both educate as well as encourage customers to purchase. The main focus is always centred on liquid perfume, although more recent years have seen candles and diffusers vying for some attention as well, but there’s a whole category that often gets overlooked. I’m talking about bathroom products. These are the first things we reach for in the morning and the post-work relaxers that send us to bed at night. So, let’s raise the flag and discover the new Geranium No.1 collection from C.Atherley.

Monday, 20 March 2023


Rebecca Rose, the founder of To The Fairest perfume company

The pandemic threw many plans out of the window, and one of these was a new run of the popular “Stephan’s Six” interview series. I recently rediscovered my original notes and so, finally, they can see the light of day. The first of the three is with Rebecca Rose, the founder of To The Fairest. The brand launched in 2019 with the very successful Cécile, but what secrets did Rebecca reveal when we were allowed to meet in 2021?

Monday, 13 March 2023


Bottle of Villa Sorrento perfume by La Perla
Perfume was once the stuff of extravagant opulence and unbridled beauty, but recent years have seen that change somewhat. The gloriously bespoke bottles that accompanied a new launch have all but been replaced by pedestrian square-sided flasks, and there is very little beauty in a clear glass container. Of course, the juice inside the bottle is what really matters, but making it visually appealing to the eye doesn’t hurt either. When La Perla decided to reimagine their fragrance offering in 2021 it also extended to the bottle, and the result is magical. So, with warmer days on the horizon, it’s time to discover the sparkling Vila Sorrento.

Monday, 6 March 2023

NARCISSE by Fragonard

A bottle of Narcisse perfume from Fragonard, their 2023 Flower of the Year created by Karin Dubreuil
The winter this year has felt like a very long, and a decidedly cold three months. That’s why the first signs of spring were eagerly welcomed by us all. Those green shoots bursting through the soil, promising the flowers that were to come, gave off an excitement if not any actual warmth. This period before the garden truly springs into action can be a little barren with regards to colour, but that doesn’t mean delicate white petals aren’t something to be celebrated. For their 2023 Flower of the Year, Fragonard has fixed its sights on the perfectly formed Narcisse, and it’s as captivating as its Grecian inspiration.

Monday, 27 February 2023

GLADIATOR OUD by Electimuss London

A bottle of Gladiator Oud perfume from Electimuss created by Julien Rasquinet
When companies give perfumers the brief for a new release, there’s always the possibility that it will go in an unexpected direction. We all interpret things differently, whether that’s music or words, and the joy is often discovering how those descriptions have been translated into scent. Some perfumers will accentuate animalic notes, others revel in the piercing aromatics, but a creation will ultimately be born. When Electimuss London began work on their new release, they wanted to realise a fragrance that celebrated the Roman Gladiator in all his glory. Gladiator Oud is the result, and it’s the perfect example of excess within control.

Monday, 20 February 2023

SUNSET HOUR by Goldfield & Banks

A bottle of Sunset Hour perfume from Goldfield And Banks
One of the hardest things for any perfume company to do is try and improve on an already loved fragrance. It often results in numerous flankers, which is industry speak for variations on a theme which may or may not bear any resemblance to the original. These can be fleeting novelties, or misjudged disasters, and so they should always be approached with caution. However, the other option is to present the original fragrance in a freshly inspired bottle. This is usually accompanied by a price increase, which is why the limited edition of Goldfield & BanksSunset Hour is such a welcome change and the perfect scent to take us into spring.

Monday, 13 February 2023


A bottle of Ginger perfume from LUSH - originally launched by Cosmetics To Go
I know that many people will swear by the mantra “never look back”, but I’m one of millions that is happily enjoying the continued wave of 1980s nostalgia. This was the decade that saw me enter my teens, clumsily plant my first kiss, and begin to notice that the world was rapidly changing around me. From the strikes to the Big Snow, and of course the exciting arrival of the UK’s fourth television channel, these were ten tumultuous years. So, grab your Sony Walkman, and set the VCR to record Crossroads, because we’re heading back to 1988 to discover Ginger from Cosmetics To Go (aka LUSH).

Monday, 6 February 2023

AZZI'S ARCHIVE CANDLES by The Perfumer's Story

Azzi Glasser's new Azzi's Archive Candles
The words “Limited Edition” are enough to strike fear in the wallets of fragrance fans around the world. It’s also usually accompanied by a terrifying thought that you might miss out and, equally as terrifying, that you’ll need to decide which credit card you can fit the purchase onto. Well, just in time for Valentine’s Day, and thankfully at a wonderfully affordable price point, Azzi Glasser has launched a genuinely limited edition collection of candles. In true spring-cleaning style, The Perfumer’s Story has raided its founder’s private collection and released Azzi’s Archive Candles. So, are you ready for some flickering fun?

Monday, 30 January 2023

MARRAKECH by Tessa Williams

Marrakech perfume by Tessa Williams - the bottle surrounded by oranges
As the weather begins to warm up after months of snow, sleet and rain, many people’s thoughts turn to the climates of their favourite holiday destinations or even new ones that are waiting to be discovered. This is regularly mirrored in the perfume releases that begin to appear in early spring, with a multitude of aquatic citruses champing at the bit to escape from the warehouses, but there are already some fantastic travel-inspired fragrances ready to be worn straight away. Marrakech from Tessa Williams launched in May 2022 but, in the rush to “get back to normal”, you might have missed it. So, fancy a little scented travel?

Monday, 23 January 2023

The Coudray Curiosities

The Coudray Curiosities, which are bottles of Agua Divina and Eau Celeste perfume along with Lait d'Iris
The chances of finding a fragrance rarity while walking down the high street are pretty, for want of a better word, “rare”. Large companies are so quick to launch their latest updated version of a bestseller, or storm the shelves with a seasonal “must have”, that there isn’t room for novelty releases from their historic back catalogues. However, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t impossible. Coudray are one of the legendary French perfume houses, next to the likes of Piver, Guerlain and Lubin, and it’s from them that this surprise has sprung. It’s time to go back in time and discover the historic trio of Coudray Curiosities.

Monday, 16 January 2023

BÅRK by ånd fragrance

And Fragrance bottle of Bark perfume
There are two ways that a perfume company can approach new launches; they can either machine gun them out as fast as possible or take a more measured approach. The former is guaranteed to generate sales, but it’s the latter that’s more likely to also create loyal followers. The market is saturated with new releases every month, and so gathering this fan base is vital. That’s the direction that
ånd Fragrance have taken under the ever-watchful eye of founder Simon Constantine, and 2023 sees a new perfume join the collection. So, with Brazilian rosewood under the spotlight this time, it’s time to discover Bårk.

Monday, 9 January 2023


Terres Dorees Musc Imperial Eau de Cologne perfume bottle
Christmas and New Year are the undisputed holidays of excess, and that’s why January is the perfect time to put the brakes on and take a moment to appreciate the simpler things in life. Most tables will have been groaning with food and the base of the Christmas Tree will have been hidden behind gifts but, with a new year of demands on our bank balances, you can still slash the price tags and walk away with a fantastic new fragrance. Uplifting and effervescent perfumes are always a guaranteed winner, so let’s take a trip to France and discover Musc Impérial Eau de Cologne from Terres Dorees.