Monday 13 November 2023

WŪLÓNG CHÁ X by Nishane

A bottle of Wulong Cha X perfume from Nishane
The anniversary of any perfume brand can be a tricky celebration when it comes to managing customer expectations, but it's made harder when you're globally renowned. Do you launch a new fragrance? Do you bring something back from the archives? Do you simply let it pass with no fanfare at all? This is the situation that Nishane found itself in this year as it celebrated its tenth birthday. The route that they've taken though is a wonderful way to both honour their heritage as well as looking to the future. So, prepare yourself to revisit one of their classic fragrances but from a different angle, as we discover the sensational Wūlóng Chá X.

Monday 6 November 2023

OF GOLD AND LIGHT by Fragonard

The three Fragonard Christmas candles from their OF GOLD AND LIGHT collection illustrated by Alessandro Florio
Christmas is always a time for traditions, and it’s also often the only period in the year when we can truly trust what has gone before. All of those delicious memories of food that was loved, the presents that were eagerly anticipated, and the wonderful scents that surrounded us with a feeling of security and familiarity. This also goes for the companies that we buy from, especially when it comes to candles. There are so many to choose between, especially at Christmas time, but one company that always excels is Fragonard. This year they’ve teamed up with the artist Alessandro Florio to create A Christmas of Gold and Light.

Monday 30 October 2023


A picture of the potter Daniel Martin

The world of pottery has become a massive fascination around the world, not least because of television programmes like The Great Pottery Throw Down, and it’s seen independent potters finally getting their share of the spotlight. Daniel Martin started his creative journey as a successful contemporary dancer, but there was another skill that was to become his calling. As well as being a Yoga teacher, Daniel is a self-taught potter who uses the East Sussex coastline’s mossy greens, chalky whites, and sea blues as the inspiration in his firings. With such a varied background, I thought it was time to learn his scented secrets in “Stephan’s Six”.

Monday 23 October 2023

POIVRE DE SICHUAN by Place Des Lices

A bottle of Poivre de Sichuan from Place des Lices
One of the roles that fragrance often plays is that of transporting the wearer to a different place or time. These real-life experiences may be out of our everyday reach, unless we have a time machine or a wealthy benefactor, and so indulging in some “armchair travel” really is the next best thing. Now, taking inspiration from a location or a particular period in history is nothing new, but achieving both the style as well as the substance is not always as easy as it may first appear. Thankfully it’s exactly what is on offer from Place des Lices, and their Poivre de Sichuan is ideal as we ease ourselves into autumn.

Monday 16 October 2023


A picture of author Patrick Gale taken by Daniel Hall

Patrick Gale
jokingly confesses that he's never had what many would consider a “grown up” job but, with perseverance and an instinct for fascinating subjects, he has become a critically acclaimed author. From the BBC drama Man in an Orange Shirt through to his latest book Mother’s Boy, which looks at the life of the Cornish Poet Charles Causley, his seventeen novels have been described as “gripping”, “unflinching”, while at the same time being “playful and wise”. Now based down on the tip of Cornwall, I wanted to discover what scented secrets he would reveal during “Stephan’s Six”.

Monday 9 October 2023

AMBER ROSE by Shay & Blue

A bottle of Amber Rose perfume by Shay & Blue
The call that you’ll constantly hear in department stores up and down the country from fragrance fans is, “what’s new?” It’s always a difficult question to answer because, to quote Luca Turin, “every fragrance is new to someone”. This constant quest for “newness” in terms of time runs the risk of missing out on some cracking fragrances that may have escaped you along the way, or perhaps even ones that you’ve forgotten about, and so that’s exactly what you’re going to be treated to today. So, grab your party hats because we’re heading back to 2013 to celebrate the 10th birthday of Amber Rose from Shay & Blue.

Monday 2 October 2023


A picture of composer Alexandra Harwood

There can’t be many television programmes that have been as well-received in recent years as Channel 5’s reboot of All Creatures Great And Small, and a lot of its success lies with the composer of its evocative music. Alexandra Harwood studied at the Royal College of Music and The Juilliard School, and her list of award-winning credits embrace television, film and theatre. With her musical creations mirroring the notes and chords of perfumery, I wanted to hear what scented memories she would reveal during her “Stephan’s Six”.

Monday 25 September 2023

ALMOND by Widian

A bottle of Almond perfume by Widian
The question of how a perfume company can expand its range, and at the same time potentially attract a new set of customers, is one that every brand has to eventually ask itself. It’s very easy to continue in exactly the same vein, especially if you’re experiencing success, but this can also actually limit a company’s overall growth. If you’re famous for exceptional extrait strength perfumes then the obvious route is to move into the more affordable Eau de Parfum concentration, but this needs to be done sensitively. One company that has achieved this seamlessly is Widian, and their Almond fragrance is absolutely delicious.