Monday, 29 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, 15 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, 8 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, 1 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, 24 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, 17 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, 10 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, 3 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.