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NO. 30 - Early spring 2018

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editor’s letter In this edition of The Scented Letter, we invite you to share in a glorious celebration of our British fragrance heritage. Because even beyond our important role to play in the history of fragrance, Britain is once again becoming a fragrant force to be reckoned with. At the Perfume Society HQ, barely a week goes by without news reaching us of art projects, collaborations and entire new fragrance brands that are completely (and in some cases, literally) home-grown. So we couldn’t be more proud to dedicate an entire edition to all the fragrant excitement on our doorstep. We start with a fascinating timeline of British perfume houses. On p.11-26, Suzy Nightingale shares the story of many of the famous names which illuminate our scented history, from Floris (founded in 1730 and still going strong on Jermyn Street, in London’s St. James’s), right up to today, with perfume houses like Floral Street, Ormonde Jayne and Shay & Blue flying the flag for home-grown scent creativity on the world stage. Meanwhile, down in Dorset’s Tarrant Valley, one new British perfume house is daring to make scents that take us from field to flacon. We’ve all heard about field-to-fork, in food circles; today, Parterre are doing that with fragrance. They’re successfully experimenting with growing, distilling and blending ingredients from their own fields, transforming them into stunning contemporary fragrances in a production facility just a few yards away, while confounding the naysayers who doubted that vetiver (among other crops) could ever be encouraged to flourish on our soils. I paid a visit to this incredibly exciting new venture, and report back on p.28. English Fields also happen to have been the inspiration for Jo Malone London’s latest collection. Tim Walker’s amazing photographs on p.38-41 capture the countryside vibe of the range, with his usual flourish of eccentricity. But what fascinates us, at The Perfume Society, is how English grains – barley, rye, oats and more – have been captured alongside wildflowers in this innovative collection by perfumer Mathilde Bijaoui, who shares the fascinating creative process behind the five scents. And as a bit of fun, do check out this year’s favourite entries to our #smellfie competition. For the past few years on 21st March – National Fragrance Day – we’ve been inviting our perfume-loving followers to post ‘smellfies’ of themselves with a favourite fragrance (or an entire fragrance wardrobe, in some cases). We love, love, love looking at these creative Instagrams and tweets – and we think you’ll enjoy them too, on p.32.

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Can you see our flags waving, from where you are…?

The Perfume Society




scented Letter



scented The



Josephine Fairley Designer

Jenny Semple enquiries@jenny Advertising Manager

Lorna McKay Senior writer

Suzy Nightingale

Darren Scott

Victoria Evans

Darren is a writer, editor and freelance journalist. He’s written for more publications than he cares to shake a stick at. While Editor of Gay Times, he developed a keen interest in fragrance and beauty, debunking the myth that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks by figuring out how to make an old dog look younger and smell great. (And he’s not talking about his pug, Toby). Darren talks about the many things that cross his path on Twitter @darren_scott and Instagram @mrdarrenscott

Victoria is newest to join The Perfume Society team, helping to curate our Discovery Boxes, picture-researching The Scented Letter and running the all-important Customer Service Desk. After a degree in History of Art, Victoria worked as Gallery Manager for The Jerwood Gallery, and as Programme Assistant for Turner Contemporary in Margate. She has a longstanding love of perfume, beauty and fashion, and in her spare time runs a vintage store on, GoldLadyVintage. Follow her on Instagram: @oioivictoria

Carson Parkin-Fairley

Jodie Young

Carson – who helped the #smellfie campaign reach its peak this year – has recently moved to the Kent seaside town of Ramsgate (incidentally salty seaside scents are her favourite). She spends her time taking pretty pictures of perfume, dashing to launches, and interviewing perfumers. She has recently taken up smelling everything – which often delays her boyfriend whilst on long walks ­– but is essential when trying to absorb all the olfactory delights the world has to offer. Her Instagram is @carsonparkinfairley

Jodie is our Head of Marketing and Brand Partnerships here at The Perfume Society. After studying for a degree in Fine Art, she went on to work at advertising agencies in London and then Sydney. She still likes to dabble in the arts and has her own studio not far from TPS office! When she is not meeting with brands and working on our marketing plans, she can be found running. She just completed her first half marathon! Her Instagram name is @jodieleeyoung


Maggie Alderson


Carson Parkin-Fairley HEAD OF MARKETING

Jodie Young buying assistant

Victoria Evans Contact us c/o The Clubhouse 8 St James’s Square London SW1Y 4JU 07502-258759 The Scented Letter is a free online/downloadable magazine for subscribers to The Perfume Society

The Scented Letter is produced for The Perfume Society by Perfume Discovery Ltd. All information and prices are correct at the time of going to press and may no longer be so on the date of publication. © 2017 The Perfume Society All text, graphics and illustrations in The Scented Letter are protected by UK and International Copyright Laws, and may not be copied, reprinted, published, translated, hosted or otherwise distributed by any means without explicit permission. 4 The scented Letter


When We think of the great fragrance houses, our minds may wander across the water to France or the sunny climes of Italy (both of whom regularly duke it out while laying claim to being ‘the birthplace of perfumery’). But for the sheer number of historical perfume houses still flourishing – and an everburgeoning number of new perfumers and fledgling niche brands, many independently owned – here at The Perfume Society, we wanted to dedicate a large chunk of this issue to those who continue to fly the flag for British fragrance.

floris – founded 1730

This edition of the magazine could easily have become an encyclopaedia. We invite you to explore Britain’s amazing fragrant heritage over the following pages – including a quintessential scent suggestion for each perfume house that to us, captures their magic. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. 12 the scented Letter

Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa.

Selling scents for nearly three centuries, the long-distinguished house of Floris first began in the dreams of one Juan Famenias Floris, who bravely sailed from his native Minorca to London in 1730. Marrying an English girl, he settled in business as a barber on Jermyn Street within the fashionable St. James’s area, first making hair combs and then assuaging his homesickness by blending fragrant oils he’d transported from Europe. Customers soon took to ordering bespoke blends, all recorded in leather-bound ledgers, enabling Floris could re-create them should further supplies be required in the future – and thus a legend was born. Many of those original ledgers, order forms and letters of thanks are still in existence, preserved by successive generations of the Floris family, and offering a uniquely fascinating glimpse of British fragrant taste through the ages. Their books boast orders from Admirals serving under Lord Nelson, Florence Nightingale, George IV, through to Winston Churchill; in 1820, Floris received the first of 16 Royal Warrants and retains the title: Perfumers to HM The Queen Elizabeth II and Manufacturers of Toilet Preparations to HRH The Prince of Wales. And then there was Marilyn Monroe. The scent the world’s biggest sex-symbol always made sure to stock up on? In their extraordinary archive (some of which is on display in the rear of their Jermyn Street boutique), Floris happen to have an order form detailing six bottles of their surprisingly unisex and greenly fresh


Rose Geranium, to be sent to her hotel in Beverly Hills. The original Floris shop still stands on Jermyn Street. (A couple of generations ago, fragrances were actually manufactured two floors below street level, in a basement known as ‘the mine’.) Recently refurbished, the boutique many other intriguing artefacts to discover on display, along with a wide wardrobe of perfumes (both charmingly ‘vintage’ and refreshingly contemporary) to explore. Edward Bodenham – an ancestor of Juan Famenias Floris himself – is the current Perfumery Director at Floris, with fragrance clearly in his blood. As he explains: ‘I feel immensely proud to be part of the family business and to have the opportunity to help introduce our perfume house to a new generation. I have such fond memories of visiting the shop from a young age, and it is very nostalgic for me to be around the fragrances that I have grown up with my whole life. They really are like old friends to me.’ No matter how fascinating or notable their past, however, no perfume house could merely trade off their history. So as Edward notes – and new creations like sun-drenched Oriental Soullé Amber and Honey Oud testify – Floris are ‘always evolving. We have to be experimental and explorative when working on new fragrances – in just the same way my forefathers were in their day.’ Adding: ‘I hope that they would be proud of our creations today.’ No question about it, in our minds. And we say: here’s to the next 300 years or so, Floris.

Quintessential scent Enjoy the understated elegance of Floris Jermyn street, the fragrance that pays homage to their roots – blending vetiver and violet with gin-tinged juniper and coriander on a cleanly musky base. £120 for 100ml eau de parfum

our fragrant heritage THE BEST OF BRITISH With home-grown perfumery in the ascendance, our round-up of the finest fragrance houses these isles have to offer


Jo Fairley talks to the founders of Parterre – one of the boldest British fragrance ventures ever launched



smile, please #INSTAGLAM!

going with the grain FIELDS OF DREAMS

We celebrated National Fragrance Day with our annual Instagram competition for the best #smellfie on social media

The creative journey for Jo Malone London’s cereal-inspired collection (yes, really!) took Mathilde Bijaoui to meadows – and bakeries



bags of fun ANYA SMELLS (GREAT)

it takes me right back THE TARDIS

Anya Hindmarch and Lyn Harris are the dream team behind the most happy-making collection imaginable of scented candles

We think of scent as a time machine – but for editor and writer Darren Scott his touchstone smell is just that



scented Letter


on the scent of news

nosing around For this edition, we bring you news of lovely layering opportunities – and the ever-more-enchanting world of home fragrance

New & noteworthy

Ashleigh & Burwood conjure up visions of country estates, adventurous eccentrics and pioneering voyagers with their candles and diffusers. Collections have names like Sir Hoppingsworth, Monarch of the Forest and Owl Night Long. £38 each Meanwhile, East Sussex-based Lavender & Lillie’s globetrotting inspirations are reflected in their scented ranges Praslin Seychelles, Palace Road India, Grand Canal Venice and (wave a little flag, please) Dover Street London, with soaps and hand creams on offer alongside the gorgeous silver-lidded candles. From £12 for soap to £42 to candles

6 The scented Letter

Perfume follows you; it chases you and lingers behind you. It’s a reference mark. Perfume makes silence talk.

At home with Atelier Cologne


Sonia Rykiel

Exciting, or what? Leading Cologne name Atelier Cologne now offer coollooking candles in Venetian blue apothecary pots, each adorned with a leather tag. The 10 candles are inspired by places, from the Vanille Nolita candle (celebrating the hip New York district where they opened their first boutique), via Orange Positano and Bergamote Shanghai through to Rose London, which has been flickering in the corner of The Perfume Society office while we put together this issue. (The accompanying matches are striking in every way, too.) £55

Simply red… Cherished British design star Orla Kiely has chosen geranium as the ‘star’ ingredient for her eye-popping, nose-delighting new home fragrance offering, set to burn brightly in homes across Blighty. Diffuser £32/Candle £25

130 years and flickering

A big hand for… Francis Kurkdjian’s new layering options. Two beautifully-crafted fragrances have made their way into formulations set to soothe and scent our mitts. Luminous citrus Aqua Universalis and the exquisite, Marie Antoinette-worthy A la Rose mean our extremities have never smelled so gorgeous. £35 for 70g hand cream

Calling all jasmine-lovers: Lalique’s new candle is a must, based on Grasse jasmine – clean, fresh, bright and with just a hint of green to it. Like burning bliss, it comes wrapped up in the sleekest of black vessels, emblazoned with the Lalique anniversary emblem. In the absence of lighting candles on a cake, we’ll light this as a tribute. £62 for 190g (burn time 40-50 hours)


scented Letter


on the scent of news


Flower power Helping to put sustainability firmly on the fragrance agenda is Floral Street’s new bath and body line, in packaging made from a by-product of sugar cane, which is entirely recyclable. But it’s what’s inside that’s got our heart racing, though: gently cleansing Body Wash and luscious Body Cream, infused with four of their contemporary floral scents Wonderland Peony, Iris Goddess, Neon Rose and Wild Vanilla Orchid. In brightly-coloured packaging that also happens to be rather green.

Your chance to become a ‘perfumer’… Creating a bespoke perfume is something many dream of but few can afford – so step forward The Perfume Studio Bespoke Collection. A DIY kit, it offers 21 pre-blended accords to choose from, each created by esteemed in-house perfumer François Robert. Simply select on-line your favourite six to mix at home (and there’s the option to personalise your bottle for an extra £9.95). £49

£18-22 for 200ml

L’Occitane’s sweet spot Just opened on cool-again Regent Street, near Piccadilly Circus, is L’Occitane’s spacious 6,450 sq foot flagship store. As if the fragrances, body indulgences and award-winning skincare aren’t enough to lure you inside, whisking you to Provence via sounds and smells, there’s another reason to indulge yourself with a visit: treatments at the Hand Care bar are accompanied by a complimentary Pierre Hermé macaron, from the patissier’s in-store café. 74-76 Regent Street, London W1B 5RL/020-7494 0467

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We’ve heard it all, now… A spoof? Or a whole new fragrance category? Inventor and comedian Attila Csensk has been seeking to crowdfund capital to create Smart Fart, a pill that promises to perfume and mask personal gas, which he hopes ultimately to offer over 150 different fragrance options. (Just for fun, we recommend you check out – simply key in ‘Smart Fart’, and marvel.)

8 The scented Letter

a whiff of history

The great noses of our time

christopher sheldrake For this edition of The Scented Letter, we’re bringing British perfumer Christopher Sheldrake out of the wings and placing him in the spotlight. For many years, Sheldrake has been intimately involved with the creation of some truly outstanding scents – including those produced via a longstanding collaboration with Serge Lutens, for whom (under Lutens’ creative guidance) he has made almost every fragrance in the line. Most recently, Sheldrake has also been the ‘guardian’ of Chanel’s fragrances, ensuring that ‘Chanel No.5 always smells like Chanel No.5’, as he once told us. That means quality-controlling every batch of rose de Maï, ylang ylang, vanilla and more, to make certain that what we spritz onto our skin, year after year, is utterly consistent – and we’re not just talking No.5, but Chanel’s whole scent portfolio. His key role, he explains, is to monitor ‘everything that comes into the company – and everything that goes out of the company. That is what the perfumer at Chanel has always done,’ he once told ‘We regularly go to talk to the people who grow the plants, whether it’s rose, jasmine or iris in the south of France, with our specialists in the Indian Ocean – or, more recently, with our reforestation programme in New Caledonia [for sandalwood].’ Originally, Christopher Sheldrake planned to become an architect. But he switched to perfumery after spending time in Grasse, where he’d travelled to work on his French. He

took a three-month work experience placement at the fragrance suppliers Charabot; as he puts it, ‘I taught a little bit of English to the perfumers and a retired perfumer taught me a little bit about perfume. After about three months, he said, “I think you’ve got a nose. Would you like to stay?” So I stayed another three months, then six months, then two years – and architecture was in the past.’ In the early years of his career, Sheldrake spent a few years working for Chanel in Paris alongside Jacques Polge, before leaving for Quest International (now Givaudan). While at Quest, in addition to creating several signature fragrances for SpaceNK, and work for Avon, he collaborated with

Serge Lutens on literally dozens of creations. His bold and diverse signature can be enjoyed in fragrances ranging from 1992’s iconic Feminité du Bois (with fellow nose Pierre Bourdon), via 1993’s va-va-voom Ambre Sultan, right through to more recent offerings like L’Orpheline (with its notes of ashes and musk), and incensepowered L’Incendiaire. He has proved himself extraordinarily deft at translating Serge Lutens’ childhood inspirations and memories into evocative scents. In 2005, meanwhile, Christopher Sheldrake returned to Chanel as Director of Research & Development for fragrance. When it comes to his present role, he’s quoted as saying quite simply that ‘Two noses are better than one.’ Never one to seek the limelight, he is said to have been involved with Jacques Polge in creating the debut Les Exclusifs fragrances, including 28 La Pausa, 31 rue Cambon and Chanel No.18. And since Olivier Polge arrived at Chanel to work alongside his father as Fragrance Creator, Christopher Sheldrake remains a key member of the Chanel team, continuing to bring his years of expertise to one of the most dynamic and exciting perfume houses in history. You may never see his name on a perfume label. Or even on a press release, come to that. (And we’ve a hunch that’s perhaps just how Christopher Sheldrake likes it.) But can we give a welldeserved round of applause, please, for this unsung great of the olfactive world? Jo Fairley

Just a ‘taste’ (as it were) of the fragrances Christopher Sheldrake has been involved in creating


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perfumed promotion

Let there be light Fragrance experts Molton Brown #AwakenTheCultIcon with their unmistakable Orange & Bergamot – gorgeous new layerable luxuries (and a refresh of the EDT) First, let’s re-wind: to the hip Molton Brown hair salon on London’s South Molton Street. In 1973, it became the place for rock stars, actors, musicians, models and all manner of famous faces to have their tresses tamed. (The name? A combination of the street itself, and the fashion-forward emporium Brown’s, owned by the salon’s cofounder Caroline Burstein’s parents, just a few doors away.) Flash forward – to 1984, and the launch of one of the first-ever luxury liquid hand soaps. Could anyone have imagined Molton Brown Orange & Bergamot would go on to become a truly iconic scent…? But since then, this inimitable creation has become incredibly widely-loved – and also graced the guest suites of the most distinguished hotels around the world. The original eau de toilette, by perfumer Michael Pickthall, became a cult success – but Orange & Bergamot eau de toilette has now been revived and refreshed, and is poised to bring back the sunlight into your life… So: how does a contemporary perfumer work with something so iconic – staying true to the character of the original, while adding a touch of modernity to keep the fragrance utterly fresh? Wisely staying with their original English fragrance house of CPL Aromas, Molton Brown chose their Director of Perfume, Beverley Bayne, to take up the challenge. Inspired by ‘the freshness and longevity with the natural feel of citrus fruits and flowers of Michael’s original creation,’ Beverley emphasises it was important for her ‘to keep his distinctive signature, infusing contemporary ingredients such as blossoming neroli and bright amber whilst upholding its enduringly happy essence.’ ‘Enduringly happy’ is definitely the phrase we’d use to describe Orange & Bergamot. One spritz and you’re transported from the damp pavements



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of London to the light-filled royal courtyards of Seville. Bursting with bitter orange to set the senses alive, sun-drenched bergamot and mandarin trickle into on-trend neroli and a cardamom-flecked freshness of galbanum. Always pushing the fragrance boundaries, the floral touch of ylang ylang is actually found here in the base, entwining cedarwood with its warmth to leave a musky trail with tendrils of sunshine-infused happiness surrounding you like a hug that lasts all day. Destined for a next generation to fall in love with, we predict life-long fans and the newly converted will be beating a path to Molton Brown boutiques to try Orange & Bergamot’s luminescent treats on their own skin. And as if the radiantly reinvigorated eau de toilette wasn’t enough, Orange & Bergamot taps into the hot trend for layering – giving you the chance to light up your life every single day, with the new Body Luxuries collection. So we invite you to…

…Infuse your bath with the neroli-rich oil for an indulgently relaxing trip to the Mediterranean. Radiant Bathing Oil/£39 for 200ml …Refine and rejuvenate lacklustre skin with exfoliating bitter orange peel and apricot kernels for a silky-soft touch. Radiant Body Polisher/£34 for 275g …Massage nourishing dry oil for an incandescent glow (we use a smidge to tame frizzy hair for a scented swish!) Radiant Body Oil/£36 for 100ml …Lavish the fragrance on pulse points (layering with moisturising products helps the scent lock-in to your skin), adding to your scarf, hair or jacket for warm wafts of bliss all day. Eau de Toilette/£45 for 50ml We invite you to share the love for these new Orange & Bergamot indulgences via #AwakenTheCultIcon. Because don’t we all deserve some extra sunshine in our lives…?

Buy them in store or at


best of

british best of

british From the St. James’s perfumery which scented Georgian royalty through to a modern-day female Indiana Jones of fragrance who searches the jungles for unique ingredients, we present our round-up of the finest fragrance houses these isles have to offer Words:

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Suzy Nightingale


scented Letter



When we think of the great fragrance houses, our minds may wander across the water to France or the sunny climes of Italy (both of whom regularly duke it out while laying claim to being ‘the birthplace of perfumery’). But for the sheer number of historical perfume houses still flourishing – and an everburgeoning number of new perfumers and fledgling niche brands, many of them independently owned – here at The Perfume Society, we wanted to dedicate a large chunk of this issue to those who are flying the flag for British fragrance. This edition of the magazine could easily have become an encyclopaedia, actually. But we invite you to explore Britain’s amazing fragrant heritage over the following pages – including a quintessential scent suggestion for each perfume house that to us, captures their magic.

12 The scented Letter

Floris’s flagship, top, is barely changed from the picture on the opposite page. It was recently refitted (retaining many Listed elements of the interior) – but few would guess that two floors

below the parquet floor is ‘the mine’, where fragrances were once bottled on-site – as Michael Bodenham (ancestor of current Perfumery Director Edward) can be seen doing, above

Floris – founded 1730 Selling scents for nearly three centuries, the long-distinguished house of Floris first began in the dreams of one Juan Famenias Floris, who bravely sailed from his native Minorca to London in 1730. Marrying an English girl, he settled in business as a barber on Jermyn Street within the fashionable St James’s area, first making hair combs and then assuaging his homesickness by blending fragrant oils he’d transported from Europe. Customers soon took to ordering bespoke blends, all recorded in leather-bound ledgers, enabling Floris to re-create them should further supplies be required in the future – and thus a legend was born. Many of those original ledgers, order forms and letters of thanks are still in existence, preserved by successive generations of the Floris family, and offering a uniquely fascinating glimpse of British fragrant taste through the ages. Their books boast orders from Admirals serving under Lord Nelson, Florence Nightingale, George IV, through to Winston Churchill. In 1820, Floris received the first of 16 Royal Warrants and retains the title Perfumers to HM The Queen Elizabeth II and Manufacturers of Toilet Preparations to HRH The Prince of Wales. And then there was Marilyn Monroe. The scent the world’s biggest sex-symbol always made sure to stock up on? In their extraordinary archive (some of which is on display in the rear of their Jermyn Street boutique), Floris happen to have an order form detailing six bottles of their surprisingly unisex and greenly fresh

Rose Geranium, to be sent to Marilyn’s hotel in Beverly Hills. The original Floris shop still stands on Jermyn Street. Until a couple of generations ago, fragrances were actually manufactured two floors below street level, in a basement known as ‘the mine’. Recently refurbished, the boutique offers many other intriguing artefacts to discover on display, along with a wide wardrobe of perfumes (both charmingly ‘vintage’ and refreshingly contemporary) to explore. Edward Bodenham – descended from Juan Famenias Floris himself – is the current Perfumery Director at Floris, with fragrance clearly in his blood. As he explains: ‘I feel immensely proud to be part of the family business and to have the opportunity to help introduce our perfume house to a new generation. I have such fond memories of visiting the shop from a young age, and it is very nostalgic for me to be around the fragrances that I have grown up with my whole life. They really are like old friends to me.’ No matter how fascinating or notable their past, however, no perfume house could merely trade off their history. So as Edward notes – and new creations like sun-drenched Oriental Soullé Amber and Honey Oud demonstrate – Floris are ‘always evolving. We have to be experimental and explorative when working on new fragrances, in just the same way my forefathers were in their day.’ Adding, modestly: ‘I hope that they would be proud of our creations today.’ No question about it, in our minds. And we say: here’s to the next 300 years (or so), Floris.

Quintessential scent Enjoy the understated elegance of Floris Jermyn Street, the fragrance that pays homage to the roots of this perfume house – blending vetiver and violet with gin-tinged juniper and coriander on a cleanly musky base. £120 for 100ml eau de parfum


yardley london – founded 1770

Whispers of Yardley London‘s roots actually go all the way back to the reign of King Charles I, when a young man by the name of William Yardley is said to have paid the King a large sum for the concession to supply all the soap for the City of London. The Great Fire of London in 1666 wiped out exact details of the enterprise, but what we do know is that lavender was used to perfume this soap. The year 1770 marks the formal founding of the brand that we now know as Yardley, however – reestablished in the City of London by two families, called Cleaver and Yardley. Their families had become linked through marriage, when Hermia Yardley married William Cleaver. (Stay with us, here; there are a lot of Williams in this story!) Cleaver then persuaded his father-in-law to act as guarantor to Coutts Bank for a £20,000 loan against the Cleaver family soap and perfumery business – and when he couldn’t repay the loan, Hermia’s dad had to pay up. He did so – but the deal was that the business would be known as Yardley, moving forward. They went on to flourish, proudly exhibiting their wares in Hyde Park’s Great Exhibition. By 1879 no fewer than 22 varieties of Yardley soaps were being shipped to the US. Along the way, the business had several name changes – but by 1905, Yardley & Co. Ltd. (as it was by then known)

Top: This vintage ad for Yardley Bond Street references their store on Old Bond Street (above). As their contemporary packaging shows, however, Yardley are keeping pace with modern tastes

14 The scented Letter

Quintessential scent Combining crisp bergamot and earthy clary sage, Yardley English Lavender’s elegant lavender heart is perked further by eucalyptus and geranium with a flurry of jasmine, chamomile and violet petals on a woody, patchouli base. £9.99 for 50ml eau de toilette

was recognised as one of the world’s leading soap and perfumery houses – a status cemented in 1910 when they opened an elegant shop at 8 New Bond Street. The store became a real London landmark and a destination for the well-dressed to seek out their scented goods. Researching this history, it was interesting to discover how many royals have bestowed their patronage on fragrance houses throughout the years – and Yardley London have collected a fair few over the centuries. First (in 1921) was Prince Edward, eldest son of Edward VII, the fashionable Prince of Wales who later gave up his throne for Wallis Simpson. Yardley became ‘Purveyors of Soap to King George VI‘, later to our own Queen Elizabeth II, and more recently, in 1995, the Prince of Wales appointed Yardley London as his manufacturers of toilet preparations. In common with other heritage houses that have continued to thrive, Yardley didn’t rest on their laurels (or lavender, come to that), with Twiggy becoming their ‘face’ of the swinging 60s and supermodel Linda Evangelista signed to front their campaigns of the 1990s. The traditional scents are still going strong – English Rose, Lily of the Valley and English Lavender remain on their bestsellers list – but the contemporary perfumes have also gained much acclaim for their quality and value. Polaire, for example, is a genuinely stunning, modern Chypre, Ink a spiced plum and leather-laden Oriental fit for any hipster, while Daisy, a dewy green and really delightfully fresh perfume, was inspired by Catherine Middleton (now the Duchess of Cambridge). Nearly 400 years after Yardley London first began scenting royalty, city-dwellers and tourists from around the world with their lavender soap, the fragrance world certainly owes a very great deal to Hermia Yardley’s generous father.

Wood’s of Windsor – founded 1770

china pomanders using lavender When a small apothecary’s shop flowers and rosebuds, inspired by opened in 1770 – just a stone’s the original formulations. Initially throw from Windsor Castle – it they were sold from a small shop, served not only the townsfolk of converted from a storeroom at Windsor, but also the Royal family the back of the premises – but by and countless of their distinguished 1974, Woods of Windsor was being visitors, who required beautifullyshowcased in swanky department scented products to carry out their stores such as Liberty and Harrods. daily ablutions. Their sights, however, were The fact that we can enjoy these really set on one day releasing a fragrant treats today is thanks to an fine fragrance again. In 1981 they extraordinary scent discovery. It is launched a gentleman’s Cologne, surely every perfume-lover’s dream inspired by a fragrance that was to happen across the original originally used to scent Spanish recipes for a once-prominent leather. To further reinforce the house – and that happened to brand’s extraordinary heritage Roger and Kathleen Knowles. In and history, an 1850 etching was 1970, the couple bought a runadded to the logo design. By 1983, down pharmacy and set about Woods of Windsor had been truly clearing away debris that had recognised by earning accumulated in the attics a Queen’s Award and basements, left for Export, their behind when the scented goods business changed having been hands and its carried home fortunes ebbed Woods of Windsor Lily of the in countless and flowed. Valley is lushly green, sparkling like suitcases, Among the dewdrops on ruffled white petals. This a fragrant rubble and nodding flower is having a resurgence British rooms full in the perfume world – and this is a souvenir for of junk, they beautiful rendition. the tourists stumbled on £17.99 for 100ml eau de toilette who flock to a particularly swoon over fragrant treasure:

Quintessential scent

ancient recipe books and medical artefacts dating back to the founding of the shop. But the real jewel in this treasure trove was a collection of recipes for those scents, soaps and more that had served the residents of Windsor, centuries before. Fired-up by their discovery, in 1976 a newly revived Woods of Windsor released a room fragrance – Parfum d’Ambience – with scented drawer liners and a whole range of perfumery products, including pot pourri and

historic Windsor and its royal treasures every year. Today, Woods of Windsor’s portfolio of fragrances – muchloved classics, alongside contemporary creations like Blue Orchid & Water Lily, and White Jasmine – has an eye-catching new look. But look closely – on each label, there is a flag flying proudly over Windsor Castle, a fitting emblem for a fragrance name that still flies the flag for British perfumery the world over.

Woods of Windsor’s sleek, pillar bottles are adorned with a flag proudly flying over Windsor Castle, a short stroll from their store – which is seen in these thenand-now images


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Atkinsons – founded 1799

At just 18 years old, James Atkinson did something of a Dick Whittington by summoning his British pluck, packing up his knapsack and trundling from his home in Cumberland to seek his fortune as a fine perfumer in the big smoke – London (a city that badly needed scenting at that time). The French Revolution had put paid to the luxury goods trade of Paris, and so dandies and dilettantes who yearned to indulge in the vanities of wearing Colognes and using scented soaps and/or fragrant unguents for their hair, turned instead to the luxuries that London offered them. So legend has it, James Atkinson brought an actual bear on the journey from Cumberland – we imagine that made for an interesting voyage – to keep outside his first shop in Gerrard Street, a way of creating a sensation and drawing the crowds to his scented goods. The bear was utterly devoted to James, apparently,and became the icon of Atkinsons, featuring from the very start on the lids of their first product (a rosescented hair pomade for gentlemen). By 1832, more than 40 fragrances were also in production. White Rose went on to become the royal wedding perfume of 1893, with Princess Alexandra describing it as ‘a charming scent.’ Sadly in 1920, following the post-war shortages of raw materials that saw the decline of many a fragrance house, Atkinsons fell into financial difficulties, before being relaunched and revived in 2013 by Morris Profumi (egged on by John Bailey, then President of the British Society of Perfumers). Retaining plenty of their eccentric charm with a dose 16 The scented Letter

of contemporary quirkiness, Atkinsons recruited some of the most celebrated perfumers of our time – including Christine Nagel, Karine Dubreuil and Benoist Lapouza – to create more than a dozen new shareable fragrances. The result? As they put it, ‘Atkinsons and the growly bear have awoken from their slumber refreshed and revived.’ Even more excitingly, Atkinsons has now proudly opened a boutique in London’s Burlington Arcade – a few steps away from their former premises on Bond Street – proffering a selection of re-worked original scents and brand new fragrant delights. In addition to housing the most astonishing archive of bottes and labels in their upstairs ‘drawing room’, there truly is ‘something for everyone’ here (as one of their indepth fragrance consultations will prove). Scents range from the more traditional taste that nods to their heritage, right through to highly modern blends that dare to dally with exciting blends and humorous names – The Big Bad Cedar, Posh On The Green, The Oddfellow’s Bouquet. Is it a quirk of British perfumeries that they can wear their history with pride while cheekily tipping their hat to the future? We like to think so.

Quintessential scent For a time-travelling scent-sation, try the newly emblematic, awardwinning fragrance 24 Old Bond Street. Juniper, rose and black tea are swirled with oak-casked whisky for a bracingly distinctive British perfumed personality. £65 for 50ml eau de Cologne

From top: historic documents, bottles (and bear statue), now archived in their Burlington Arcade salon (centre) – just around the corner from the original Bond Street Atkinsons boutique, bottom


Penhaligon’s – founded 1870

Hot towels and steamily scented delights were the order of the day for customers flocking to the famous Piccadilly Turkish Baths on Jermyn Street and it was here that William Penhaligon (above) started working as a hairdresser in the 1860s. Originally from Penzance, Cornwall, his shrewd eye for business led to him opening a rival salon just down the street a few years later. There, Penhaligon began creating his very own fragrances, lotions and potions for a most discerning clientele to enjoy. 1891 saw what was then Penhaligon’s & Jeavons move to the even more prestigious premises of 33 St James Street and 66 Jermyn Street, with the two stores linked together at the rear. They announced to the press that not only were they the sole suppliers for the original Penhaligon’s ‘hit’ fragrance of Hammam Bouquet, but that both shops boasted a newfangled invention of electric lighting, a novelty at this point in retail. Clearly a whizz with the scissors and the scents, Penhaligon was appointed Royal Barber and Perfumer to the Royal Court during Queen Victoria’s reign and by 1903 his business was granted its first Royal Warrant from Queen Alexandra. Nearly a century and a half later, Penhaligon’s has added Royal Warrants from The Prince

of Wales (granted in 1988) and the Duke of Edinburgh (granted in 1956) to their regal roll call. 140+ years old they may be, but that doesn’t mean the techniques they use are stuck in a time-warp. Penhaligon’s consistently make the most of the newest fragrance technology – from CO2 extraction to Nature Print Technology and beyond – promising that ‘each bottle contains a blend of the very old and very new.’ Those distinctive bottles tap into their history, too; clear glass and brightly coloured bow-ties adorning the stoppers are a direct echo of William’s original design. Still made and produced in England, many of the original fragrances can still be found in the current collection, including Hamman Bouquet. Lately, however, Penhaligon’s have collaborated with some of the greats noses of modern times – including Bertrand Duchaufour, Olivia Giacobetti, Olivier Cresp and Alberto Morrillas. Penhaligon’s make it quite clear that they want to offer something more than simply traditional values, saying that for them ‘fragrance is first and foremost a passion’, and adding ‘we’re proud that our fragrances have stood the test of time and some remain on sale more than 100 years since their creation.’ Lately, a whole ‘family’ has been added to their already impressive stable of fragrances, the Penhaligon’s Portraits. Displaying more than a dash of exquisite eccentricity, we’re invited to get to know the characters, like The Ruthless Countess Dorothea, When trimming the Shah of who is ‘A most ferocious matriarch, Persia’s beard in 1871, William was known for her sharp mind, even fond of using a splash of Hammam sharper wit and a secret fondness Bouquet, his first creation. A blend of for the company of young men lavender, powdery orris, velvety rose, and scones.’ While described in creamy sandalwood and musks, it’s mischievously historical tones, the a classic for both sexes. fragrances completely have their £98 for 100ml eau de toilette fingers on the button of contemporary fashions – much like the house of Penhaligon’s itself.

Quintessential scent

William Penhaligon (top centre) attracted a high-class clientele to his stores – seen top and bottom, with a modern Penhaligon’s boutique, centre


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Dunhill London – founded 1893

At the dawn of the age of motoring, the creative spark and resolute spirit of Alfred Dunhill (left) led him from apprentice at his father Henry’s leather/ tarpaulin/equine-goods store, to owning a business that now spans the world. When Henry retired, he nominated his son to take control of the business – a wise move, for young Alfred doubled the turnover within six months. In 1896 the Public Highways Act was passed in Parliament, fuelling the craze for motoring (despite there being only 20 cars on the road at the time!) and Alfred grasped the opportunity to grow the business. Inventing the term ‘Motorities’, with a slogan that promised ‘Everything But The Motor’, he began selling clothing, goggles and all the necessary equipment these fast-living go-getters might require. Always ahead of the game, Alfred invented the dashboard clock in 1903, and with a nose to something more fragrant, the ‘Windproof Pipe’ in 1904 (allowing drivers to enjoy their smoke on-the-go). Interested in tobaccorelated paraphernalia, he opened a shop in Duke Street that eventually expanded into the Jermyn Street boutique Dunhill still occupies today. When the Dunhill shop was destroyed during an air raid, Alfred Henry Dunhill Jr. (son of Alfred) was

not be defeated. Using that ‘make- do and mend’ attitude displayed by so many during the War, he set up a table right in front of the ruined building and resumed selling pipes within 24 hours of the Luftwaffe bomb. Elegance and style were now the watchwords of Dunhill, selling blazers, tuxedos and (in 1934) they also launched their first fragrance, Dunhill For Men. After paring back their extensive fragrance portfolio, in 2016 Dunhill recruited Carlos Benaïm to create ICON, which scooped a Fragrance Foundation Award for its stunning flacon. Now in several versions, ICON has helped to ensure that the name of Dunhill – quintessentially British, with an edge of derring-do – remains synonymous with timeless style.

Quintessential scent

Dunhill retain their former retail outlet on Jermyn Street (top) – now with a flagship on Davies Street, bottom. Also pictured here are some of their glorious vintage ads, for macs and scent 18 The scented Letter

Sleek and racy, ICON’s Italian bergamot and neroli absolute pulse with black pepper, cardamom and lavender, all housed in an intricately textured bottle that doffs the cap (and goggles) to their fabled motoring heritage. £58 for 30ml eau de parfum

Paul Smith – founded 1970

where he made friends with people One of Britain’s foremost fashion from the local art college, he turned designers, Sir Paul Smith CBE his attentions to the world of art (knighted in 2000 by Queen and fashion. Taking evening classes Elizabeth II for his services to in tailoring, Paul joined Lincroft that industry) believes you can Kilgour on Savile Row, his designs ‘find inspiration in everything’ – a worn by celebrities including George mantra that reflects his signature Best. With his then Royal College of classic-with-a-twist style and the Art graduate girlfriend (now wife) eclectic references in everything he Pauline Denyer, the couple ploughed touches. From crisply-cut menswear all their savings into opening the first to immaculately-tailored women’s shop in his native Nottingham. clothing and a colourful array of The bright lights of London immediately recognisable, jaunty beckoned in 1979, and Paul Smith accessories for all, the collection was the first fashion boutique to expanded to include fragrances. open on Covent Garden’s Floral Composed by some of the most Street, his relaxed sense of style talented noses around (Olivier taking the suit from something men Pescheux, Antoine Lie, Nathalie only saved for formal occasions, to Lorson, Domitille Bertier, Anne an outfit that could be dressed down Flipo… the list goes on), Paul Smith with a bright t-shirt and sneakers. – as with all his projects – also takes An attitude of irreverent but wella hands-on approach to the entire mannered, everyday rebellion which creative process. perfectly describes the fragrances It all began as something of an that carry his name, too. accident, though – quite literally, as an injury ended Paul From top: Paul Smith in Smith’s early dreams his first boutique. His of becoming a Notting Hill flagship. professional The stylish Mr. Smith racing cyclist. today – and a Mini During his he designed, The rose at the heart of Paul Smith decorated with six-month Rose was specially cultivated for the stripes that recovery and named after Paul Smith – given as have become his in hospital, a gift from his wife. It marches out of iconic signature the bottle with an effortlessly sensual swagger, sparkling with green tea and woody violets, grounded by cedar and soft musk. £40 for 100ml eau de parfum

© The Design Museum

Quintessential scent


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Molton Brown – founded 1973 Beginning life as a hip ‘n’ happenin’ hair salon in 1973 – the name is a fusion of that first location (South Molton Street) and the fashion boutique Browns, owned by salon cofounder Caroline Burstein’s parents – Molton Brown can most definitely claim to have ‘fragrant roots’. They began mixing their original formulations above the barber shop and then, on a slightly larger scale, in the stables of the family home, with everyone rolling up their sleeves to pitch in. Today, the fragrances are to be found in the most stylish of residences, gracing the bathrooms of luxury five-star hotels and high-end department stores across the world, yet each product is still proudly blended in England.

Quintessential scent A fresh citrus trio of bergamot, lemon and mandarin, this is lushly green, with petitgrain, cardamom and galbanum revealing a final trail still redolent of dew-kissed neroli, musk and bursting with Seville orange. A hit of happiness, bottled. (To learn much more about this iconic scent, turn to p.10). £45 for 50ml eau de toilette

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Molton Brown have always been known for using ahead-of-the-game ingredients - the ground-breaking Black Peppercorn, created by esteemed nose Jacques Chabert in 2002, remains a bestseller - and fusing them with a fashion forward edge. In fact, there have been a wealth of fragrant ‘firsts’ for this house: developing the first luxury hand wash; first to showcase pepper as a featured ingredient; first to invite perfumistas to wear ‘scented tattoos’ in celebration of a launch (for 2017’s daringly smoky Russian Leather eau de toilette). Shared scents, cruelty-free, artisanal products, perfumed haircare and fragrance layering? They’ve been doing them for years…

Molton Brown has its roots in a hip hair salon on South Molton Street, where products like the range above were sold. Today, they have a much more contemporary look – as you can see from the Russian Leather and Bergamot & Neroli fragrances and their Liverpool boutique, below

Angela Flanders – founded 1985

A fragrant phenomenon, Angela Flanders was an utterly driven and always creative woman with a lifelong passion for perfume, who was still working – and creating beautiful, award-winning perfumes – into her ninth decade. Having studied fashion and design at Manchester College of Art, Angela’s first success came as a television costume designer, then as an interior designer. Opening a shop on London’s vibrantly diverse Columbia Road, selling (in her own words) ‘all manner of bric-à-brac I’d painted and cleaned up to sell,’ the charmingly restored Victorian shop began selling fragrant pot pourri among the home furnishings. Initially it was sourced elsewhere, but Angela started making her own when the manufacturer couldn’t supply her with seasonal variations she’d requested. Customers adored her creations, and began asking for matching home and body products. As with all the challenges she faced, Angela, undaunted, simply rolled up her sleeves and learned how to do it herself. It was writing the book, Aromatics, published by Mitchell Beazley in 1995, which finally set her on the path to bottling scents. Utterly fascinated by the history of fragrance (in particular the writings of a 19th Century perfumer, Septimus Piesse), Angela began to work with fine personal fragrance – creating scents from her restless imagination and creative inspiration, tirelessly learning the intricacies of ingredients and trying new combinations. Worshipped by those in the know, the house remained a word-ofmouth success until a confluence of events put Angela Flanders front and centre on the fragrance

world’s stage. Her Figue Noire was nominated for a FiFi Award in 2006/7, and she won the coveted trophy for Best New Independent Fragrance in 2012 for Precious One - a beautiful, mossy Chypre inspired by her daughter, Kate Evans, who ran a clothing boutique called Precious, a few yards up the road from her mother’s shop. A great year for Flanders, she also opened a second store in Artillery Passage. As author Tessa Williams comments in her book, Cult Perfumes, when people walk into an Angela Flanders shop ‘they know they have found something really special…’ When Angela Flanders died, bequeathing the perfume house to her daughter, Kate Evans, she left a legacy that endures. Taking the years of knowledge garnered from watching and helping her mother, Kate has now taken on the mantle of perfumer herself, launching Lawn – an exuberantly joyful ode to sunshine and shadows, beautifully rounded tuberose, jasmine, green leafiness and rain-soaked earth. We urge you to seek this and the myriad other ‘something special’ scents that this woman-powered British fragrance house has to offer.

Quintessential scent Rich, deep and velvety, Columbia Rose is a rose inspired by Columbia Road’s famous Flower Market. Opulently Oriental in character, luscious crimson Damask roses tumble on silken sheets of violet, with a wickedly dark base of patchouli and clove buds to tempt and beguile – it has ‘modern classic’ written all over it. £55 for 30ml eau de parfum

Angela Flanders - above – began her fragrant venture making pot pourri (seen in a picture from the archives, top). Centre is a pencil sketch for her very first label – little changed, today


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Clive Christian – founded 1999

We know Clive Christian today as a modern house crafting memorably contemporary and highly inventive scents. But dig a little deeper, and fascinatingly we can trace their history back to 1872, and the Crown Perfumery company. Crown was once a thriving fragrance house serving royalty (which Queen Victoria granted the symbolic use of her crown), but eventually fell on hard times. Enter Clive Christian – renowned interior designer with a passion for perfume, who purchased Crown Perfumery in 1999. He thus saved their iconic crowned bottle design from being lost forever. But rather than slavishly harking back to the past, he decided that the fragrances inside those bottles should have a finger firmly on the modern pulse. The Clive Christian Original Collection marked the launch of their now-iconic fragrance pairings; within the line-up, you will always find a masculine and a feminine interpretation of each shared inspiration. 1872 is a fragrant

handshake commemorating the brand’s Victorian heritage, X a tribute to the adventures of the Silk Road, and No.1 artfully blends some of the world’s rarest spices. Famously, that precious and costly formula was marketed as ‘the most expensive perfume in the world’. With a self-proclaimed ‘passion for transforming the expected into the extraordinary’, in recent years the fragrances – which can be explored in velvety splendour in their boutique within Harrods Salon de Parfums – have taken a more unexpected turn. Still resolutely luxurious in nature and retaining a regal bearing, the juices themselves can be inspired by thrillingly exotic and – in the case of the Addictive Arts series – daringly narcotic raw materials, such as hemlock, mandrake and more. ‘Perfumery is an art form, in the same genre as music and painting. It requires talent, expertise and most of all passion,’ observes Clive (who was awarded an OBE by Queen Elizabeth II in the 2012 New Year Honours List). As Clive Christian concludes (and he should know): ‘outstanding perfume creations are forever.’

Quintessential scent Clive Christian, top. Centre: an advert for a product from Crown Perfumery (see also the bottle, right) – which Clive bought in 1999, reincarnating the house as Clive Christian, with a contemporary collection

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Jubilantly floral, it takes 170 rose de Mai flowers for every bottle of Clive Christian 1872 Feminine – one of those ‘yes, I know I’m fabulous’ fragrances that seems to become part of the wearer. Fruity osmanthus is garlanded by swags of jasmine, violets, freesia and lily of the valley, giving way to woodland notes to ‘rouse the inner nymph.’ £135 for 30ml eau de parfum

Miller Harris


– founded 2000 When Lyn Harris originally launched Miller Harris, she helped put modern independent British perfumery firmly back on the map. Lyn spent five years training in Paris, then in Grasse at Robertet – the world’s leader in natural aromatic ingredients – and was already busy creating bespoke fragrances for clients before founding Miller Harris in 2000. More than a decade and a half on, in addition to creating exquisitely crafted fragrances that are innovative yet timeless in character, the perfume house which still carries her name is known for collaborations with an evergrowing raft of artists on creative installations in their own stores that push the boundaries of how we perceive perfume. Clearly, Miller Harris love to fuse art and fragrance – turning to some of the best perfumers in the world. These include contemporary young blood Matthieu Nardin and genius nose Bertrand Duchafour, who recently worked on interpretations for Miller Harris inspired by F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel Tender is the Night. Miller Harris breathes colour and life into the classic perfumer’s art, with complex fragrances ‘designed to tell vivid urban stories.’ The signature style endures, defined by a love of naturals: distinct greens and woods, with carefully-sourced floral notes, iris from Florence, French violet leaf, jasmine from Egypt, Tunisian orange flower. But these precious botanicals can be framed in complex and unconventional ways. Though the names on the recognisable square bottles often happen to be in French, the heartbeat that throbs through them is definitely

Quintessential scent In Tea Tonique, pure sunshine seems to be infused with that most British of beverages: tea. Celebrated in all its glory, tea swirls with an iced jasmine freshness and later, as it dries, a deeper, darker smokiness that lingers long after the setting of the sun. £75 for 50ml eau de parfum

British. As Miller Harris themselves put it, perfectly: ‘We honour nature by sourcing the finest raw materials and preserving the delicacy of our ingredients, combining and harmonising them in perfumes that combine Parisian elegance with London’s eclectic street styles.’

Founder Lyn Harris, top. Centre: The Perfumer’s Library collection pays homage to some of perfumery’s most precious ingredients, always in square bottles – a signature of Miller Harris


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Ormonde Jayne – founded 2002

As a teenager, Linda Pilkington – the event. Having mastered this challenge, true identity of ‘Ormonde Jayne’ – Linda opened the first Ormonde Jayne already had a burning passion for boutique in the Royal Arcade, off perfumery, bewitched ‘by the romance Mayfair’s Bond Street, at a time when of perfume and fragrance bottles independent luxury perfumery – a given to me by my mother and all her category that later became known as friends – to dress my bedroom, and ‘niche’ – was still truly in its infancy. give it an air of splendour,’ as she A perfectionist, Linda collaborates explains it. At that stage, Linda never with genius perfumer Geza Schoen dreamed of her hobby becoming a (made famous by his own Escentric career – instead, the next 14 years Molecules collection), taking were spent travelling and working responsibility for the quality of every around the globe, from South America single material used, sourced from to Africa, via the Far East. around the world, settling for nothing Little did she realise this bohemian but the best and incorporating the travel-bug would one day fuel a unusual, wherever possible. From that quest for exotic ingredients for her hemlock in Ormonde Woman, basmati own fragrance line. From owning and rice in Champaca, to the ultra-rare running a boutique hotel, a soya bean Ta’if rose and beyond, she’s always on farm and even a chain of ice cream the look out for a novel and unique parlours with her own exotic ice cream ingredient. Adds Linda: ‘I’m also very mixtures, Linda was clearly a born proud to have been the first western entrepreneur. On returning to her perfume house to use oudh in an home shores, she set about creating international fragrance.’ a new and unusual collection of Ever blazing a fragrant trail, the perfumes, scented candles and room perfumes and candles are now sprays. One early spray was actually internationally acclaimed (and hand-made in her kitchen with distilled distributed). And while the precious water with a Moulinex blender, before ingredients may come from the four she had an alcohol licence! corners of the world, they are still ‘The idea was to source ingredients proudly, painstakingly transformed not widely used in the perfume into exquisite finished creations right industry,’ Linda explains. ‘If a client here in Britain. asked for a woody fragrance, we showed them Hemlock – the first perfume creation in the world to use that mysterious ingredient. If they desired jasmine, then we showed them Sampaquita Otherworldly and intense, Ormonde – another fabulous Jayne Ormonde Woman transports you white flower…’ to a mysterious forest – grass, swirls of Private clients misty violets and jasmine entwined in the commissioned undergrowth, a sense of darkness beneath bespoke (as black hemlock works its woody creations, charms) and of lightness above, a cool including breeziness above the canopy of trees. Chanel, who £110 for 50ml eau de parfum requested ‘the perfect scented candle’, for an

Quintessential scent

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Top: Ormonde Jayne founder Linda Pilkington (also seen above) sleuthing out ingredients in Laos. Centre: a beautiful new-look for the Ormonde Jayne boutique in Mayfair’s Royal Arcade

Shay & Blue – founded 2012

Above: Shay & Blue founders, Dominic De Vetta and perfumer Julie Massé – and below, their Marylbone boutique

Shay & Blue founder Dom De Vetta believes that modern fragrance ‘should stand on the shoulders of giants’ of past perfume greats. And he should certainly know about those; in his ‘previous life’ he was Senior Vice President at Chanel, and Global General Manager of Jo Malone London. But his vision when establishing Shay & Blue was to create a new perfume house that encompassed ‘a company of talented individuals who will guard the flame of traditional fragrance know-how, preserving quality fragrance-making techniques for future generations.’ To that end, Dom teamed up with the talented new-generation perfumer Julie Massé, who brings to the house and their ever-growing portfolio of fragrances her fresh creativity and a traditionally trained know-how. Born in Grasse, Julie learned with some of the perfume world’s true legends, including Christine Nagel and Pierre Bourdon. Dom and Julie also tap in to the expertise of Grasse producers and their handpicked, weighed and distilled raw

ingredients. As Dom explains: ‘The blends are left to stand… to mature for over three months – for richness and depth,’ before being crafted and blended in Britain, poured into their distinctive blue glass bottles and showcased in a so-smart, antiquesfilled flagship store in Marylebone, along with many other outlets here and abroad. And the name? ‘Shay was my grandmother’s name,’ explains Dom. ‘And who doesn’t love the colour blue?’ An impressive initial collection of six scents has since blossomed into a wardrobe for diverse tastes, notching up a slew of awards: Best New Fragrance House 2014 (from The Beauty Shortlist), winner of Best Artisan Fragrances 2012 (Monocle), and Best Creative Director 2013 from the CaFleureBon website. Black Tulip is the most recent launch; a darkly glimmering, richly resinous amalgamation of snowdrops and tulip, warm white chocolate and bosomy-soft woods. With something for absolutely everyone, Shay & Blue’s creativity shows no signs of slowing.

Quintessential scent Blood Oranges is inspired by those dashingly sexy leather-citrus fragrances of the Belle-Époque’ era, with orange segments glistening like jewels against hot leather, dark woods and amber. A truly shareable scent experience. (If you’re feeling very generous.) From £25 for 10ml eau de parfum


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Floral Street – founded 2017

When Michelle Feeney announced she was unveiling a fragrance line ‘built on the streets of London’, it was bound to set pulses (and pulse-points) racing. Her track record is unrivalled: years of working for Estée Lauder, and then at the helm of revolutionary tanning name St Tropez have made her almost clairvoyant about beauty’s – and now perfume’s – Next Big Thing. Her mission: to place sustainability firmly on the fragrance agenda – packaging is made of recycled materials, for instance – while offering a range of fragrances that reaches out to a new, young audience. Floral Street’s blossom-laden offerings are as thrillingly far from your granny’s florals as it’s possible to get – each created by the star perfumer Jérôme Épinette, known for his mastery of natural ingredients. As Floral Street put it: ‘These are bunches, not bouquets. Ingredients, not notes. And it’s about ease, modernity and joy.’ The name was serendipity, meanwhile, when Michelle glanced up at a street sign in Covent Garden, and thought: ‘What a brilliant name for a fragrance house.’ And although she Beauty dynamo Michelle Feeney has now turned her talents to ‘modern floral perfumes’ – with (left) this floriferous boutique in Covent Garden

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spent decades working in New York with cult beauty brands, for Michelle London has always been the most happening spot on the entire planet. As Floral Street put it, London is ‘a city where girls are proud to bear a token of their heritage, while simultaneously embracing the fashion of now to create something entirely new.’ Michelle concludes: ‘My mission is to bring fine fragrance to the modern female, so that she might build an entire fragrance wardrobe, which can express the many facets of who she is.’ And we say: Britain’s fabulous fragrant landscape just got even more exciting. For further reading, we recommend British Perfumery: A Fragrant History, compiled by The British Society of Perfumers (editor: John Bailey)/£30

Quintessential scent A ‘love letter’ to ‘a city that sees the sun through the crowds’, London Poppy is vibrant as a brightly-lit spring morning, bursting with zesty citrus, ozonic spray like a sudden downpour amid sprigs of neroli, jasmine sambac and apricot blossom, before a base of hinoki woods, black amber and cedarwood. From £20 for 10ml eau de parfum

Available at Harrods, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols

Srn femininity FOLLOW YOUR NOSE

fabulousness FROM FIELD TO FLACON In Dorset’s Tarrant Valley, on the Keyneston Mill estate, one of the boldest British fragrance ventures ever launched is taking root. Jo Fairley talks to the founders of Parterre

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bottled, marks a farming revolution akin to the revolutions There’s a lot to be said for following your nose in British wine, cheese and gin: sniff at it now, but you will on holiday – because you really do never know where be lured in soon enough.’ serendipity might lead you. In 2014, David and Julia David and Julia certainly didn’t stint when it came Bridger were motoring around the South of France, when to recruiting the Parterre team. Their slogan might be: Julia recalled – with affection – having visited the hillside ‘Adventures in botany’, but their motto might as well be: ‘I town of Grasse, as a child. ‘I remembered the whole town don’t know how to do that… but I know a man who does.’ smelling of roses,’ she says. So the couple steered their car Actually, in several cases, a woman who does – starting in the direction of the hillside town and made a bee-line for with Virginie Daniau, President of the British Society one of Grasse’s perfume museums. Later, walking through of Perfumers and one of the perfume industry’s most the museum’s garden – a-bloom with fragrant flowers – a knowledgeable evaluators, who has been involved from the seed was sown. ‘We thought: maybe this is something we start. Virginie put David and Julia in touch with the Chabert could do ourselves…’ perfumer family – father Jacques and daughters Elsa and David’s family had been in farming for almost 400 Carla – who have between them created the debut trio of years, so horticulture runs in his veins – even though fragrances, Run of the River, A Tribute to Edith and Root most of his career had been spent in marketing. Julia, of all Goodness, as well as others in the pipeline. (Jacques meanwhile, had wide experience in advertising, going on is best-known for creating the Molton to run a luxury villa travel company. Brown classic Black Pepper, but has Together, the pair (at that point based also worked with Guerlain and Chanel.) in Hampshire) began looking around These skilled individuals aren’t the for a farm of their own to buy, before only experts David and Julia have stumbling across the ‘sleeping beauty’ recruited. Elton John’s former head of Keyneston Mill. It had fields – 50 gardener Stuart Nielson is looking acres of them. A run-down mill house after the planting (he also worked and some crumbling outbuildings. An at the Savill Garden and the Crown overgrown orchard. But lots and lots of Estate Windsor Great Park), overseeing potential not only to fulfill their dream a whole team of horticulturalists. of actually growing and distilling Nanette Wraith is Keyneston Mill’s perfume ingredients right there, in Head of Aromatic Plants & Crops, the Dorset countryside, but to show coming to the project from the Royal visitors how it’s done, as they’d so Horticultural Society, Wisley, where she enjoyed in Grasse. was in charge of the herb garden. This adventure in botany has taken David Bridger On the distillation side, Ben over four years – but the vision has Greenwell glories in the title ‘Maître du now become reality. Over 2,000 Feuillage’ – master of foliage – with his aromatic plants and flowers are now role covering anything to do with plant materials, including being grown just 20 minutes from Poole – including running the distillery. Zohra Khaliq is Head of Botanical rose geranium (more of which anon), melissa, hyssop, Extracts, managing the laboratory. And when you’re chamomile, angelica, artemisia, clary sage, yarrow, looking for a consultant chemist who really knows his stuff, bergamot mint and red thyme. Many of them have made why not aim high and recruit the former Technical Director it into the limited edition, numbered flacons of Parterre at Chanel for 18 years? Thus Alan Pettitt completes the fragrance now on sale at spiffy Piccadilly department store fragrance team, brilliantly skilled in assessing exactly when Fortnum & Mason, as well as via their own website. ‘Our each ingredient is best harvested, distilled and refined. mission is to grow the most unusual plants we can source,’ (There is an equally talented line-up behind the on-site explains Julia. ‘Each plant is then trialled, harvested bistro, The Scented Botanist, meanwhile, where local and distilled on site – and this process captures the very suppliers, wild foods, suitably aromatic dishes and fragrant essence of each aromatic variety.’ cocktails feature on a very exciting menu.) Nobody who visits Keyneston Mill, however, should be Poring over books on the growing of aromatic plants in any doubt about the determination and sheer hard work gave David, Julia and their team the first clues as to that have gone into literally bottling the Dorset landscape. which potential fragrance ingredients might flourish Alice du Parcq nailed it in The Telegraph Magazine, in the UK, on a large scale. Of particular help, David ‘When I first heard of the fragrance brand and distillery, recalls, was an 1823 volume of Curtis’s Botanical Plants, I had dismissive visions of a quaint kitchen garden with alongside Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin, hobbyists mixing tinctures in the greenhouse to sell at Steffan Arctander’s definitive work on the subject. farmers’ markets. Excuse me while I go and eat my words. ‘When the research was done, we broadly divided the This game-changing enterprise spearheads a new breed plants into: “easy and straightforward”, “tricky but of perfumery… British fragrance, home-grown and home-

After a visit to a Grasse perfume museum, we thought: maybe this is something we could do ourselves


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world-class fragrances is going to require a wider palette possible”, and “impossible,’” notes David. of notes than even Dorset can offer. Jacques and daughter Geranium, or Pelargonium graveolens, for instance, Carla, then, have taken Keyneston Mill’s high-quality looked extremely promising from the start: it has been tinctures and oils, blending them with naturals (and some grown on British soils for two to three hundred years, and synthetics) from around the world, in keeping with the usual has duly flourished abundantly at Keyneston Mill. ‘Two methods of perfume construction. Having said that, ‘the years ago, just 300 plants were in cultivation; this year, that Keyneston Mill ingredients are the foundation on which the number will rise to 3,000,’ continues David. Many different fragrances are built,’ notes David. methods of extraction are still being experimented with Crucially, ‘the amount available to Jacques of any at Keyneston Mill – including the making of tinctures, and ingredient determines how many numbered bottles we can even enfleurage – but the most widely-used is distillation, produce, dictated by the lowest quantity of an ingredient which is used for the geranium. ‘We have four steam stills: available for that particular composition,’ he adds. As a three 500-litre stills, and one 50-litre still,’ explains David. result, the bottles – hand-numbered, as are the boxes – are Julia adds affectionately that the stills have all acquired collectors’ items, with just a few hundred available of 2017’s names, along the way (Dorothy, Violet, Genevieve, Daisy). ‘harvest’, in each of the three fragrances. Parterre actually transported the smallest still – Daisy The audience at our Perfume Society evening were – to the reader event The Perfume Society staged with extremely privileged: mostly, the distillation of perfume Rakesprogress late in 2017, at that magazine’s pop-up ingredients is hidden from sight. But – inspired by that visit shop in Covent Garden – probably the first fragrance event to Grasse – the Bridgers are now opening up a workshop in history to offer live distillation (of the aforementioned within the Keyneston Mill distillery, organising an exciting geranium leaves). The audience watched transfixed as programme of perfume events and allowing visitors the a packed glass still of bright green, freshly-harvested chance to witness this field-to-flacon geranium had steam passed through process. And of course, to visit the it, gradually wilting over the space gardens, which are divided into ‘rooms’ of the evening to a somewhat less (hence the name, Parterre). In addition attractive brown mess at the bottom. to the Padua Garden (roses, jasmine, But that didn’t matter; the water geranium, etc.), there is the Fougère vapour had risen, taking with it small Garden, inspired by the ferniness of amounts of the fragrant compounds in that fragrance family (and featuring the form of oil; this was diverted into a plenty of lavender, another signature flask where it separated, allowing the fougère ingredient); in summer, you’ll amazingly scented geranium oil to be also be able to check out the collection extracted with ease. of citrus trees. (Can I also perhaps As a fragrance note, the Chaberts recommend heading for the Cocktail have placed geranium as a star Dome, to sip on a vetiver- or geraniumingredient in A Tribute to Edith – an infused tipple…?) elegant, rosy-posy ultra-feminine In addition to the astonishing confection which (as David puts it), amount of work going on in Dorset, ‘was inspired by a love of Paris, and Julia Bridger the Keyneston Mill team embarks upon the Jazz Age’. If fresh fragrances are an international foraging expedition more your thing, though, then head each year, setting out to identify for Run of the River, inspired by the other promising botanicals for extraction. There’s no Tarrant (which flows beside David and Julia’s mill home), end, seemingly, to their inventiveness. Can’t grow tonka using Dorset-grown bergamot mint, clary sage and lemon in Dorset? ‘Tonka gets its chocolatiness from coumarin,’ thyme, mixed with orange flower, lemon and lime. reveals David, ‘which is found in sweet vernal grass. So Root of all Goodness, meanwhile, ‘was created we’re experimenting with that, too.’ specifically to showcase our Dorset vetiver,’ explains David, Parterre Keyneston Mill is certainly one of the most warming the earthy dryness with spicy ginger, among other ambitious fragrance projects I’ve ever had the pleasure of elements. And who could have predicted the successful visiting. But it’s also one of the most spine-tinglingly, sensecultivation of this deep-rooted, earthily-scented grass, more drenchingly exciting. Long may the Bridgers – and their normally sourced from Southern India or Haiti, in England’s bounteous fragrant fields – flourish. (And let’s hear it, for West Country? ‘What we’ve learned is that it might not daring to follow your nose.) grow as fast as it does in 26 degrees, but the oil turmed out to be terrific.’ And there’s the rub. Because perfumer Jacques Chabert Parterre fragrances are priced £95-120 for 50ml eau de has a reputation to protect – and as he told me at Parterre’s parfum. To buy the fragrances – samples are also available launch, ‘I retain the right to refuse to use any ingredients on-line – visit, where you can which I don’t consider to be good enough.’ Happily, while also find information about garden and restaurant opening enthusiastic about using (almost literally) home-grown hours, as well as the programme of workshops. Watch our ingredients as often as possible, the Bridgers have also own EVENTS page on – we hope to been pragmatic about the fact that creating fully-rounded, organise a Perfume Society outing to Keyneston Mill.

Our mission is to grow the most unusual plants we can source – harvesting and distilling them on site

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Below: The Cocktail Dome. Right: Parterre harvest, dry and distill on the farm for their fragrances (centre)

From above left: extracted oils; rose geranium processing; vetiver growing in Dorset; Keyneston Mill farmhouse; plant ingredients macerating in oils in the distillery


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scent gets social

#Smellfie Day 2018 21st March is National Fragrance Day. And for the past four years, The Perfume Society has invited perfumistas across Britain (and indeed, around the globe) to celebrate by posting a #smellfie, via social media. Here’s a gallery of our favourites‌






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The idea: we ask you to post a photo of yourself with a favourite perfume, to tag us – and tag #nationalfragranceday, on Twitter and Instagram. The reality: despite the success of previous years, we were completely unprepared for how many of you took part this year. For the whole of National Fragrance Day (stragglers keep it up for about 48 hours, actually), we had massive smiles on our faces – wowed by the creativity, humour and sheer love for perfume which your #smellfies capture. Bloggers, perfume houses, perfumers, perfumistas of all kinds (plus the odd Instagram star dog!) get involved – and this year, even Katy Perry posted a #smellfie. (Cue whoops in The Perfume Society office.)

Here, we’re delighted to share just handful of our favourites – including the winners, who all receive a copy of The Perfume Bible (by our co-founders Lorna McKay and Jo Fairley), with a year’s subscription to The Scented Letter for the overall winner, @evenblondernow. (We’ll be sending her copies of the magazine all the way to Germany). Before that, though, the whole team at The Perfume Society would like to give a massive shout-out to Carson Parkin-Fairley, who is shortlisted for a Jasmine Award for 2017’s #smellfie day, in the Social media campaign category, was just announced. (You can see Carson’s #smellfie on p.4.) And can we suggest you put 21st March 2019 in your diaries, right now – so you can star thinking of creative ways to share the love?


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fields of dreams

When Jo Malone London unveiled the limited edition English Fields collection to us, the photo we took at the breakfast launch (overleaf) became our most-liked Instagram ever. Now, reports Jo Fairley, the wait is over for this so-British collection – which captures our landscape, in five stylish bottles. Main photos: TIM WALKER


The love shown for that #insta image can’t just be down to the millennial-friendly, so-pretty colours. (Although who wouldn’t love the ice cream shades of this Jo Malone London line-up?) No. At The Perfume Society, our hunch is that there is something about the inspiration behind the English Fields collection – a harvest of five fragrances, based on innovative notes of grains – which taps into our need to get back to nature, to feel grounded and connect with the landscape, in this high-tech world. We’ve seen interesting ‘edible’ ingredients swing into vogue, lately. Vegetable notes, sitting alongside the more familiar flowers – from green edamame in B. Balenciaga to the fennel and celery of Elizabeth Arden Green Tea, carrot seed (in Penhaligon’s Vaara) and pumpkin in État Libre d’Orange Like This. But grain notes are something new again. Here, Master Perfumer Mathilde Bijaoui – of MANE fragrance house – and Celine Roux, Head of Global Fragrance Jo Malone London, share the ideas behind a collection which takes grains and seeds and places them firmly in the fragrant frame. Explains Celine: ‘Growing up in France, I spent many summers in the countryside surrounded by fields of wheat and corn, experiencing the time of harvest and the smell when they crop the wheat. Since moving to the UK and having spent time in the English countryside, I’ve developed a fascination with the textures, ingredients and colours of grains and cereals and the harvest traditions in Britain. That’s when I started to think this could become a scent concept. Olfactive newness is constantly on my mind and I felt that the essence of these fields of gold crops could be captured and bottled.’ ‘There is so much that appeals to me when I think of English fields,’ she continues. ‘The different shades of yellow and ochre and bronze, the soft rolling horizon, the sunny warmth, wholesome smells and shots of vivid colour from meadow flowers. 40 The scented Letter

Making cereals and grains the main focus is a first for me, a new territory, somewhere as a perfumer I have never been before Mathilde Bijaoui

I love the sense of abundance and generosity each crop cycle brings. The landscape can be a bit random too; you have cultivated fields that look very organised and graphic, then pops of flowers and lush pastures that you cannot control. There is real beauty in this disorder and imperfection, and that was the twist I wanted to capture in this collection.’ Recently, Jo Malone London has tapped into the talents of perfumer Anne Flipo and Yann Vasnier, for the limited edition Herb Garden and Bloomsbury collections. But for English Fields, explains Celine, Mathilde – who had previously created Myrrh & Tonka Cologne Intense, and Christmas 2017’s hugely successful Green Almond & Redcurrant Cologne (with its matching candle) – was an obvious choice. ‘[She] has a very interesting approach to creating fragrances,’ notes Celine. ‘Mathilde thinks of smells in textures and colours – and this was a big part of the concept: to capture the warmth and sensation of walking through

meadows and fields, touching the soft grasses and dried hay and picking the wild flowers, surrounded by muted golds and greens. She likes challenges and this definitely had a lot of them. To make refined, elegant fragrances using grains is not an easy task!’ Smiles Mathilde: ‘English Fields is so unexpected – and as a perfumer I love that. Making cereals and grains the main focus is a first for me, a new territory, somewhere as a perfumer I have never been before. The way I work was a good match to this project, as I merge all the senses together – smell, touch, vision – and I love having colours in my mind when I work. It helps me create something coherent. Also, I love eating and am very “gourmand”, so this was the perfect project for me.’ ‘We wanted to focus on several cereals such as wheat, barley and rye,’ continues Celine. ‘But since they all have very different olfactive qualities it felt more natural to pair them individually with complementing wild flowers. Before we started creating the scents we already had an idea of what combinations would work for this as there was a natural rhythm to the names of the ingredients. We spoke for hours about all the flowers and cereals we could find in the English countryside, then it was a case of mixand-match. Often we spoke in colours, using terms such as primrose yellow, cornflower blue, meadowsweet, white and red poppy.’ Researching the fragrances clearly had some perks. Recalls Celine, ‘Mathilde and I visited an organic bakery to get a sense of how the various grains smelt and felt. The most interesting part was when the owner of the bakery took us to the basement where they had all the ingredients. The sweet, nutty scent of the sour dough, the texture of the seeds in the sack and the creaminess of the milled flour… we went through them one by one and we both felt the overall smell was very warm and comforting.’ Most of those notes, Mathilde explains, then had to be recreated as accords, ‘as they’re not available as natural extracts. So it was a case

of combining a few different notes to capture the concept of the grains. However I did have one unique extract: bran absolute, which was a perfect ingredient to add into some of the fragrances because it has a woody, slightly licorice effect and gives wonderful texture to a fragrance. We also used a hazelnut extract to emulate a “crunchy bread” idea, and a coconut extract to mimic the powdery silkiness of flour. For the floral notes it was all about contrasts and vibrations – something beautifully unexpected.’ And here, in greater detail, Mathilde explains how she (brilliantly) captured the English fields, flowers – and grains – in fragrant form… Our #Insta: 1,779 likes (and counting)

● Poppy & Barley ‘Poppies don’t have a specific scent, so I created an accord of green notes and red rose to express the colours and vivacity of the poppy fields. I liked how fragile poppies are – they can break so easily, and that’s why the contrast of barley works so well as it is something quite solid and secure. I added some fig and violet flowers to bring a rounded and edible facet to the scent, then used the bran absolute to emulate the nourishing and savoury warmth of barley. Celine told me she wanted a “cotton” effect, so the white musk brings that sense of softness to the base.’ ● Primrose & Rye ‘I remember sitting in a café with Celine and she told me she wanted something very yellow and sunny with a touch of smokiness. Primroses are the perfect joyful yellow flower, adding corn, coconut and mimosa to enhance that rich, hazy and solar effect. For the smoky warmth, I thought back to the bakery trip and the smell of rye; it had hints of vanilla – not sweet vanilla but spicy vanilla extract, which can be a bit woody and animalic – and an earthiness, too.’ ● Oat & Cornflower ‘I wanted to replicate the nuttiness of oats so I included some hazelnut and enhanced the fragrance with a warm, sweet tobacco, benzoin and earthy vetiver. For the cornflower effect, again there is no direct extract so I created a very poetic concept using hedione, which has a fresh, airy floral scent. It opens up the fragrance with a luminous transparency.’ ● Honey & Crocus ‘The honey note had to be just right for this. There are some honeys that are too sticky and too waxy, but for this fragrance I chose one that was closer to the smell of fresh hay. It’s soft and warm and quite similar to British lavender honey. I highlighted its freshness with a lavender extract. In the middle of working on this collection, Celine suggested adding almond milk. It brought a new texture, almost like a condensed creamy syrup that balanced out the floral tones.’ ● Green Wheat & Meadowsweet ‘I used some grapefruit to draw out the fresh youth of the wheat. I love the dryness that the vetiver brings too; it’s such an earthy note and for me it resonated with the concept of green wheat. It’s the freshest of the collection – and represents the cereals before they mature into grains.’ Jo Malone London English Fields Colognes/£47 for 30ml Cologne


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perfumed promotion

Anya Smells (great)... The much-loved British accessories designer always dreamed of a fragrance line – and it begins with this happy-making collection of candles, says Jo Fairley

Anya Hindmarch has always worn her sense of humour on her designer sleeve. Sure, her exquisite leather handbags, satchels, purses and shoppers have long been carried by stylish women the world over (she founded her business in London in 1987). But at the same time, Anya Hindmarch CBE has never been shy of putting a smile on the faces of her many fans. From her £5 ‘I Am Not A Plastic Bag’ tote (which helped put sustainability on the luxury fashion agenda all the way back in 2007), through to the ‘Build a Bag’ Creature line – which you can currently personalise via her website with cheeky eyes, goofy teeth and/or arms – the designer is renowned today not only for craftsmanship, creativity and personalisation, but for her wit. So it came as no surprise that when Anya Hindmarch launched a debut fragrance line, with a trio of sublime candles, they were created in exactly that spirit. ‘My obsession has always been with the combination of playfulness, irreverence, with the critical ingredient of craftsmanship,’ the designer explains. And so it was with this in mind, she says, that she embarked on ‘Anya Hindmarch Smells’ (even the name is tongue-in-cheek), ‘holding hands with one of the best perfumers in the business, Lyn Harris,’ Anya adds. One of the UK’s most exciting and accomplished perfumers, Lyn continues to collaborate on bespoke projects alongside her own Perfumer H fragrance venture (launched in 2016, after more than 20 years at

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Miller Harris). She explains: ‘We had been talking about this for a long time, but the actual briefing and development took over a year, because Anya will only launch something once perfection has been achieved! I loved the process. For me it was all about getting inside the world of Anya, and her magic. Although I did add a few special “Lyn” touches, of course!’ Hand-poured in England, the debut trio of candles – in their cheeky, eye-catching packaging and containers, finished with graphics from the Anya Hindmarch Sticker Shop – capture some of Anya’s most nostalgic aromas. Soft Oriental Baby Powder, for instance, was inspired by happy memories of new babies. As Lyn puts it: ‘Clean sheets, clean laundry, clean babies… rose petals, violets, vanilla and lots of musk.’ Solar floral Sun Lotion whisks us straight to carefree days, its inspiration Anya’s sun-drenched family summers. ‘Those really happy summer moments, with sun-kissed skin and suntan lotion. Orange blossom fused with a citrus sparkle,’ is how Lyn puts it. Notes of bergamot, Sicilian lemons and Tunisian orange flowers have a breeze note of sea air drifting through, with vanilla and musk – described as ‘all regrettable tan lines and ice cream drips’! Coffee captures roasted Italian coffee, being prepared in a small cappuccino bar in Italy, expressed (or perhaps espresso-ed?) via ‘café absolute, fused with cardamom, elemi, cedarwood, tonka and a hint

of frankincense,’ its perfumer tells us. Lyn continues: ‘Ultimately, these “addictive” smells embody English obsessions. ‘Everyone can relate to them. They’re about familiarity, with an edge.’ Fragrance will follow (we can’t wait), but spring 2018 sees the launch of a further trio of candles: Lip Balm (all dark cherry, plum flesh, night-blooming jasmine, rose, tonka and musk), Toothpaste (yes, really, with its notes of spearmint, French peppermint, candyfloss and rhubarb stalk), and Washing Powder (inspired by the scent of fresh-dried laundry, with notes of Calone, violet leaf, cucumber, galbanum, honeysuckle and first-bloom crocus). You can even make the boxes your own (they’re definitely too fun to throw away), by twisting them to create different phrases and faces. Can our homes smile? With these candles and their joyful scents, Anya Hindmarch makes us think: they almost certainly can.

My obsession has always been with the combination of playfulness, irreverence, with the critical ingredient of craftsmanship

Anya Hindmarch

Anya Smells candles are priced £50 (175g) and £150 (700g) at Anya Hindmarch flagships stores, selected retailers and on-line at


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first whiffs

latest launches We’re witnessing the oudh trend ebb away, with sandalwood taking its place – and roses are everywhere. Read on, to keep your finger on the pulse-point of everything that’s new in perfume

OUR LATEST LAUNCHES BOX The very best way to try a new scent is to sample it on your skin, allow it to develop – and then make up your mind. So we’re delighted to say that quite a few of the launches on on the next few pages feature in our Spring 2018 Discovery Box, for you to try at home. Find it at SHOP, price £19 (£15 to VIPs). It includes, among other fragrances...

● TORY BURCH BEL AZUR ● philosophy amazing grace ballet rose ● shay & blue black tulip ● kenzo world ● aerin hibiscus palm ● Lalique NOIR PREMIER ILLUSION CAPTIVE

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As scentophiles know, fragrances fall into different ‘families’. So we’ve used the same classification system for launches as on our website. Just look for the coloured strip above the name of the perfume, which is your visual clue to the families. These are listed below. Most of us are drawn to a specific family/families: once you know which you fall into, that colour can act as a cue – and help you take a short-cut to the ones you may want to try first.











Accessorize specialise in fashionforward accessories at affordable prices – and what is fragrance, if not the ultimate accessory…? Joining their debut fragrance, Love Lily, this is at first fruity with raspberry and orange before a gust of green sweeps in, bringing with it elements of violet, pepper, jasmine and cyclamen. Gourmand vanilla and caramel add a good-enough-to-eat sweetness to orris and sandalwood resulting in pure prettiness – at a very pretty price. £19 for 75ml eau de toilette

Doubly inspired by her mother’s love of fabrics (Angela Flanders was a costume designer before opening the eponymous Columbia Road shop), and a reflective poem written by family friend/journalist Vicci Bentley, Lawn marks the first fragrance from Flanders’ daughter, Kate. Dewy galbanum melts like morning mist to reveal pepper-speckled jasmine, translucent tuberose and lemon balm, before earthy patchouli grounds the base, beautifully. £65 for 50ml eau de toilette angelaflanders–

Sunset Fantasy smells rather as you might imagine the pop princess herself: sweet and a little fruity. All holidays and carefree summer fun, it starts off juicy, dripping with pink grapefruit and succulent Pink Lady apple. The heart mixes peach with raspberry leaves and orange blossom, conjuring up the sweet honeyed blossoms of balmy evenings on distant shores, while the base leaves creamy remnants of sandalwood, a milky accord and vanilla on the skin. £21.50 for 30ml eau de toilette

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Sunset Fantasy


Au Delà Narcisse

La Gemme Reali Nylaia

Soleil Piquant

Serious perfumistas will do a dance of joy on discovering that this San Francisco-based perfume house now has an exclusive toehold in Europe, at Dulwich’s Roullier White perfumery. Quintessentially spring-like, this classic white-floral Chypre features a very rare extract of narcissus – perfectly evoking a field of jonquils – alongside oakmoss, labdanum, Egyptian jasmine and French orange flower. Radiant, elegant (and we’ve heard it likened to the original Je Reviens). £100 for 30ml eau de parfum

Delving deep into the heart of the iris – the floral alter ego of the sapphire gem, suggests perfumer Alberto Morillas – Nylaia truly explores this exquisite perfume ingredient. He captures the ‘deeply serene yet tactile warmth’ of the flower, blending it with the warmth of benzoin, giving it an almost-honeyed, comforting sweetness. Ambergris and white musks bestow a soft glaze over the scent, downy and smooth. The chicest kind of skin-scent, we’re finding it. £235 for 100ml eau de parfum

Light-filled, carefree, sun-drenched – both the colour and vibe of the fragrance itself – Terry de Gunzburg’s inspiration for Soleil Piquant was the Balearic island of Formentera. Initially ablaze with bright neroli, it unfolds to reveal the soft floralcy of cactus flower and almond blossoms, humming with addictive notes of tonka bean and sandalwood in the dry-down. Just in time for that summer getaway, the 100ml EDP comes packaged with a security-friendly 8ml spray. £185 for 100ml eau de parfum + spray At Selfridges


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Obsessed Intense for Women

In an echo of the iconic original scent that set the fragrance world ablaze, memories of infatuation are ramped up by the additional snuggle of amber and a higher concentration of pure oils in this composition. Expect the twist of citrus seen through a haze of powdered violet, with the herbaceous sage and lavender now atop a plump bed of rich amber, labdanum and Muscenone (a particularly lingering, naughty giggle of a musk). £35 for 30ml eau de parfum




Trumpets, please! Coco Mademoiselle reclaims its territory as a seductive temptress, while remaining true to its sophisticated heritage. Oliver Polge takes the clarity of fractionated patchouli, pushing it to the limit to harness the power without relinquishing any of the freshness of bergamot and orange in the top notes. The passionate intensity of that base entwines itself around the sassy fruitiness of rose and jasmine, smouldering beguilingly. £82 for 50ml eau de parfum intense

Gaby Aghion, Chloé founder, used to say ‘my colours come from Egypt’, and the ideal Chloé woman cavorts across the continents with a boundless energy that’s reflected in their sassyyet-sophisticated fashion range. Quentin Bisch’s Nomade now evokes Chloé’s vision of escape in fragrant form, summoning the succulent ripeness of the mirabelle plum with the fresh breeziness of freesia and the grounding, mineralic whisper of oakmoss for a vintage flair. £49 for 30ml eau de parfum


Jasmin Moghol

Poison Girl Unexpected

An exquisite collection of four new fragrances based on dreams of Arabian ‘Paradise Gardens’ with Alberto Morillas as the nose? We were in a frenzy of excitement and from first sniff, these were worth the wait. Here, Morillas evokes the drowsy warmth of a Jaipur sunset, the nocturnal Indian and Chinese jasmine sighing lusciously against a creamy tuberose, ravishing Damascena rose, mystic Cypriol and soft-as-silk sandalwood, radiating like a blush, exuding sultriness. £240 for 100ml eau de parfum

Dior’s in-house perfumer François Demachy recreates the sensation of an acid drop, in scent form, playing with the contrast between a fruity element that’s at once sexy and sharp, and a ‘ginger tonic’ note that he subtly heightened with a touch of salt. Jasmine sambac, Damascena rose and peony also blossom at the heart, ultimately enveloping skin with tonka, a hint of vanilla, and smoochy musks – and the shimmering holographic flacon is as daring as the juice. £90 for 100ml eau de toilette (from April)

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Coco Mademoiselle Intense


Fleur de Peau

Musk can be tricky, teetering between the scent of a new baby and the nape of your lovers’ neck, but in Fleur de Peau, it is artfully crafted into a clean yet sexy, comforting scent. A sprinkle of aldehydes and pink pepper give it the twinkle in its eye, before ambrette seed and rose swoop in. Iris is slathered over the other accords, for an incredibly smooth finish. We think this is the way our skin was meant to smell… £115 for 75ml eau de parfum




Celebrating their 50th anniversary, Diptyque revisit the patchouli theme of the Swinging Sixties, but utterly refining and modernising that note. Combining three different extractions – each sourced from Givaudan’s sustainable supply chain on the island of Sulawesi – the effect is a vibrational thrum of delicious depth. Perfumer Olivier Pescheux weaves steamy violet leaves, damp earth and fern-strewn forests with hot spices that resonate addictively. £115 for 75ml eau de parfum

This glorious collector’s bottle of the rich tapestry that is Dolce & Gabbana’s famed The One eau de toilette is subtly patterned like damask (a favourite fabric of D&G). Inside, white petals of Madonna lily are dusted with golden pollen, highlighted by Italian bergamot essence, honeyed broom, orange blossom and mandarin, rendered silky with white peach and lychee, while vanilla, vetiver and musk make themselves known in The One’s enduring, unmistakable sillage. £55 for 50ml eau de toilette

Isn’t this just the prettiest Dolce bottle yet, with its pastel pink flower adornment and grosgrain bow? And that’s entirely matched by the scent itself, with floaty elements of juicy mandarin, sunlit neroli and breezy magnolia, together with an unusual gourmand note of coconut essence accenting the smooth almond milk accord. Sandalwood and vanilla absolute enfold exotic frangipani as the warm Sicilian sun sets on this – at once fresh, sweet and blooming lovely. £49 for 30ml eau de parfum



The One Baroque

Dolce Garden

In White

Amo Ferragamo



A swirling symphony of transparent layers, think of this as an homage to the Elie Saab original, with the lighting levels turned up. Bright sunshine illuminates dazzling orange blossom atop piquant berries and radiant jasmine as we twirl ever onwards to the gloriously sparkling white musk and soft amber that’s become something of a signature for the house. We imagine a catwalk full of bridal gowns, shimmering with texture, reflecting the light as they move. £41 for 30ml eau de parfum

Glamorous and feminine – like Amo Ferragamo’s ‘face’, Suki Waterman, and its rose and silver ‘prism’ bottle – this explodes with blackcurrant, rosemary and an Italian Bitter Accord (basically the scent equivalent of Campari!), giving way to airy jasmine sambac contrasted with maté absolute and rhubarb, before tenderly drying down to soft Tahitian white vanilla absolute, sandalwood and Ambrox. ‘I love Ferragamo’, this name translates as – and it’s hard not to, frankly. £45 for 30ml eau de parfum

Each year, Fragonard place a single ingredient in the spotlight; for 2018, it’s the turn of verbena, the pure scent of summer sunshine and sparkling water. Lemon and grapefruit accent verbena’s energy, before the white floral ylang ylang and jasmine start to bloom, in the heart. The base grounds and adds staying power via patchouli, amber and Atlas cedarwood. (We are so delighted to feature this – with gorgeous matching soap – in our Treat Yourself Discovery Box.) £18 for 50ml eau de toilette



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Music For A While

Bois d’Hadrien

Bloom Acqua di Fiore

We were astonished to discover that gentlemanly perfumer Carlos Benaïm is celebrating his 50th anniversary at fragrance house IFF – because this proves he’s still absolutely at the top of his game. Utterly transfixing, Music for a While delivers on its promise ‘to lift us up like an eternal melody’ – a crescendo of wonderfully contrasting notes that include lavender laced with patchouli, amber, vanilla and musk, with ethyl maltol and pineapple delivering gourmand moreishness. From £132 for 50ml eau de parfum

Goutal Paris is the ‘reinvention’ of the perfume house founded by Annick Goutal, the flame of which is now carried forward by her daughter Camille. With a striking new identity, this also marks a new spin on the iconic Eau d’Hadrien. And if that creation is a bright Italian morning, Bois d’Hadrien – also bottled for men (see p.56) and (here) for women – celebrates the opposite end of the day, capturing the soul-soothing warmth of a Tuscan sunset. £91 for 100ml eau de parfum At Harrods

Alberto Morillas continues his collaboration with Gucci’s Alessandro Michele with a fresh, light green bouquet to sit alongside the original Bloom. As green as new spring foliage, its watery accord of galbanum and spicy cassis buds segues into a heart of jasmine, tuberose and a new-to-us note of ‘Rangoon creeper’ – a ‘floral waterfall’, as Gucci put it – atop a base of sandalwood and musk, as warming as a cashmere throw on a cool spring evening. From £62 for 50ml eau de toilette



Delphine Jelk, co-creator with Thierry Wasser of this spin on Guerlain’s 2017 blockbuster, explains: ‘We wanted to focus on the floral aspect and have fashioned it like a bouquet of white flowers, heightening the sambac jasmine which is an integral part of Mon Guerlain’s identity.’ The necklet on the signature quadrilobé bottle is reimagined in rose gold and for us, this is spring come early. It’s pretty, pretty, pretty – and as deliciously feminine as fragrance ever gets. From £48 for 30ml eau de parfum

From Initio’s new Hedonist Collection, Rehab promises to return you to ecstatic perfume pleasure. A Bourbon note in the top mingles with a spiky black pepper, the sweet heart of coumarin blending with dry tobacco before melting away to a medley of cedarwood, sandalwood, patchouli, vanilla, amber and musks. It’s a combo that ends up smelling soft and definitely addictive, offering a reassuring comfort you want to return to time and again. £95 for 90ml eau de parfum


Baiser de Russie

Thierry Wasser conveys us to Moscow for a musky-floral addition to the Les Parisiennes line-up, bottling that city’s aromas in the much-loved Guerlain ‘bee bottle’. Bergamot touches conjure up the scent of Russian tea, vanilla and candied cranberries evoke traditional pastries, fresh and subtle wafts of pine needles take us to the surrounding forests – and the daring flourish of absinthe was chosen as a nod to cafés where Muscovites gather for warmth and conviviality. £190 for 125ml eau de parfum At Harrods 48 The

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Mon Guerlain Eau Florale





Classique Eau Fraîche

Jasmine Sambac & Marigold

Kenzo World

All aboard for this collab with graffitiinspired Parisian artist André Saraïva, with limited edition bottles acquiring the identity of his subversively cute ‘Mr. & Mrs. A’ characters. Pink stripes and smiling, cartoonish faces adorn the curves of Classique, the fresh breeze of the Bahamas beckoning with an addition of sugarcane juice in the ginger and lemon sorbet mix. Tiaré flower, orange blossoms and jasmine tea overflow from the heart to a labdanum, vanilla and musk base. £77.50 for 100ml eau de toilette

My, Jo Malone London have been busy lately. In addition to the English Fields quintet you can read about on p.38, the perfume house transports us with this to India, where the flowers chosen for this Cologne Intense are woven into the country’s culture. Setting out to capture the vibrancy of an Indian flower market, Mathilde Bijaoui’s creation garlands jasmine sambac with equally exotic ylang ylang, accented by fruity, aromatic touches of marigold. From £75 for 50ml Cologne Intense (from 1st April)

Francis Kurkdjian and Maïa Lernout collaborated on this interpretation of a fragrance whose launch ad famously went viral. And, like that commercial, this is ‘for a woman who does not take herself too seriously.’ Flirting with fruits and flowers, it bears the signature of Mr. Kurkdjian – peerless at bringing lightness and brightness to a creation – fusing pear, peony, almond blossom and orris. ‘For a joyful and mischievous woman,’ it promises – and we aspire to that. From £38 for 30ml eau de toilette



Love The Way You Taste

Inspired by the vibrant city of Miami, LTWYT is an ode to that delectable, summery cocktail, the Mojito. Housed in a flacon slathered with strokes of vibrant green paint, it’s a nod to the city’s electric energy; effervescent lemon and refreshing peppermint tingle at the top of this scent, while the heart reveals lush green leaves and magnolia. A summertime tonic – sparkling water and vetiver – lingers as twilight hours creep in at the hotel bar. £185 for 50ml eau de parfum


Samedi à Paris

Mon Premier Cristal Hirondelles Jasmine

Who doesn’t occasionally think wistfully of a Saturday in Paris…? La Maison Hédonique is the creation of half-French Lucy Atkinson, a quartet of fragrances (so far) which deliver French perfumery magic – here, via a ‘crisp white shirt’ of a scent. The morning starts sunny: Mentha citrata, mandarin, bergamot. As the day warms, cotton and soft woods stroll in – and it finishes with the irresistible whiff of coffee, alongside summery hay and glowing amber. Très belle. £125 for 50ml eau de parfum

An anniversary edition to celebrate Lalique’s impressive 130 years, the new Mon Premier Cristal Hirondelles is a sight to behold, with the iconic swallows accented with 23-carat gold. The scent within is an ode to jasmine, blending three varieties harvested in places where swallows migrate for winter – from Provence to Egypt and India – alongside another trio of white flowers. Like being wrapped in a blanket of jasmine flowers, it’s impossible not to revel in this one. £910 for 80ml absolu de parfum


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Two dazzling new Colognes are making a splash at L’Artisan Parfumeur. Champ de Baies sets out to capture ‘the aerial footprint of a mulberry tree in early morning, just before a heatwave’ via a tangle of wild brambles and raspberries, and the sorbet-like freshness of nashi pear, with rose rhubarb and bergamot bark in the heart. Jasmine, white musks, amber and patchouli deliver staying power and an elegant sillage not often experienced with Colognes. £105 for 100ml eau de Cologne (from April)

Is there a vision more lovely than a field of flowers? If so, we’d like to know what it is. Another ravishing new Cologne from what was one of the original ‘niche’ perfume houses, beautifully reinvented for today, this white bouquet gives an impression of being utterly dew-drenched. Bitter grapefruit and juicy pear are overtaken as lily of the valley and jasmine petals unfold in the heart, with white cedar, musk and amber finally enveloping skin in their sweetness. £105 for 100ml eau de Cologne (from April)

The first fragrance from what has fast became one of Kate Middleton’s favourite British fashion houses is a balmy Chypre, dazzling with peppered citrus and the on-trend note of tangy rhubarb. Smooth-as-silk rose blends seamlessly with well-tempered jasmine and ylang ylang, drying down to the shimmering warmth of woods and powdery amber. Accomplished and supremely wearable in all seasons, we also love the fact the elegant bottle’s available in a choice of three sizes. £35 for 30ml eau de toilette



Champ de Baies


Terre de Lumière L’Eau

Calice Becker streams yet more sunlight through the original Terre de Lumière, introducing armfuls of peonies to this limited edition, graceful floral. L’Occitane describe it as ‘the scent of daybreak, when the sun’s rays emerge gently over the horizon’, with pink pepper and bergamot to remind us of the crystalfresh dawn air, before those peonies unfurl their blossoms. Bitter almond essence, white musk and tonka tether this ethereal scent on the skin. £65 for 50ml eau de toilette 50 The

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Champ des Fleurs

La Nuit Trésor à La Folie

We’re loving a phrase we just learned from Lancôme: ‘lâcher prise’, meaning when time is suspended… This latest addition to the Trésor family sets out to achieve that with an addictive ‘love elixir’, its heart a-bloom with a deep red rose note. Unusually, vanilla features in the fragrance’s debut, while woodsy patchouli thrums in the dry-down. For the legions of La Nuit Trésor devotees, we’re predicting that this too will prove a love thing. From £51 for 50ml eau de toilette


Oud Extrait de Parfum

Francis’s Kurkdjian’s love affair with oudh continues, expressed visa this richly intense extrait de parfum concentration ‘born of sand, wind and gold’. Oriental/woody/spicy in character, in Francis’s hands the oudh-iness is tempered by a gourmand vanilla note, alongside ambretolide (fruity, musky and with pear accents), together with saffron, patchouli and elemi. One for afterdark – in our dreams, while glamping in an exotic desert somewhere. £275 for 70ml extrait de parfum


Oud Silk Mood Eau de Parfum

Does anyone do oudh for Western sensibilities better than Francis Kurkdjian? Probably not. Here, he offers us a masterful paring down from the original Oud Silk Mood, in eau de parfum concentration. Can silk get any smoother? Somehow this manages to be airy yet still voluptuous, the Laotian wood woven through with Bulgarian roses, Italian bergamot, Indian papyrus and Moroccan blue chamomile, with a hit of hedoine for a hypnotic dance of the seven veils. £195 for 70ml eau de parfum




Last year’s Radiance launch from M&S Beauty was, we’re told, quite the fragrant success story for the high street name. Sheer Radiance looks set to build on that with a breezy, sophisticated ‘sister scent’. If Sheer Radiance was a fabric (something we like to ponder on when smelling fragrances), it would be organza – a blend of citrusy mandarin, gardenia and pink peppercorn, accenting a transparent bouquet of flowers at once delicate, sweet and subtly fruity. £22 for 75ml eau de parfum

We are – hallelujah! – moving into the season of fragrances composed specfically to waft us to carefree days, sultry nights and distant shores. In the vanguard of the new season’s scents which set out to do just that is Michael Kors’s striking, tangerine-bottled Exotic Blossom – an almost matchymatchy orange cocktail of mango, tangerine, guava and peach pulp, enveloped in rose and peony, offering woods, musk and vanilla as the sun sets on this tropical temptation. From £44 for 30ml

Sheer Radiance


Exotic Blossom


Poudre d’Or

Fiore di Portofino

Alien Floral Futura

Poudre d’Or is the kind of beach blanket we want to snuggle up in. Weaving an olfactory fairytale that conjures up the glow of candles at dusk and those golden hours of evening light in balmy climates, it’s all lazy afternoons, warm tiaré flowerscented breezes drifting above, and a soft powderiness in the air. The last trails of this fragrance leave a creamy, musky sandalwood whispering on the skin; a luminous scent, a kind of golden veil. £165 for 100ml eau de parfum

The freshest yet in the Moresque portfolio, ‘where haute perfumery meets Arabic art’, and tends towards bottled exoticism. This is senseawakeningly lively, blending Portofino lemon, Sicilian orange and Italian basil, blooming with mimosa, iris, carnation and geranium leaves at the heart. Delivering long-lasting sillage, though, is the base of musk, Haitian vetiver and plenty of sexy amber. We’re admiring its duality almost as much as the artisan Tuscan flacon. £295 for 50ml eau de parfum At Harrods

Never has the mystical object that is the Alien bottle looked quite so striking, we think, as in this rose-tinted edition. The woody-floral inside is illuminated by an almost ethereal ‘Buddha accord’, drawing the wearer in towards its floral harmony. This includes a new-to-us note from night-blooming cereus petals – a type of fragrant cactus, helping to maintain Mugler’s reputation for innovation – alongside creamy notes of white amber and sandalwood. £42 for 30ml eau de toilette


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Santal Musc

The oudh trend seems to be fading somewhat, as sandalwood’s star soars – and here, East meets West in a balmy swoon of a scent composed by perfumers Sonia Constant and Caroline Sabas, with sandalwood bolstered by a harmonious drift of multi-dimensional amber accords that glow and sparkle intriguingly. Swathes of sheer Egyptian musk meld with sap-laden resins; the perfumers wanted this to smell ‘shiny’ – and (weirdly, perhaps) we totally get that. £135 for 100ml eau de parfum


Les Belles de Nina Luna Monsters

Olivier Cresp shows his playful side with this pair of fragrances, reworking previous creations for Nina Ricci (Luna and Nina) with a duo that every young woman who’s strayed into our office has gone simply (and appropriately) crazy for. Luna Monsters is juicy with pineapple and a squeeze of lime, while these fur-bobbled bottles by illustrator duo Ana Strumpf and Guto Requena will bring a fresh audience to Les Belles de Nina. From £50.50 for 50ml eau de toilette


Les Belles de Nina Monsters

Here, Cresp has the utmost fun with the sweet-floral fusion of sparkling pear, blackcurrant leaves, candyfloss, praline and peony. The juices is as flirtily fun as the bottles themselves – akin to toys for grown-ups. ‘We all have a monster slumbering in us,’ declare Nina Ricci. ‘What if we liberated it…?’ We can’t think of a more joyfully quirky way than with these, set to put a smile on your lips every time you spritz your skin. From £50.50 for 50ml eau de toilette




Lady Million Lucky

A Middle Eastern rose, with a fruity-Chypre edge, Empressa positively oozes opulence wherever she goes. The rich floral-fruity heart combines peach, cassis and dewberry, but is anything but cloying – rather, adding a subtle sweetness to the scent. This, bolstered up by a bounty of deep ingredients in the base – sensual swirls of cocoa, amber, patchouli and frankincense – makes for a dark, pillow-y base you could happily fall into. £168 for 100ml eau de parfum

Fans of Neela’s first six (and we count ourselves among the many thousands) will have their noses primed for this latest Bertrand Duchaufour creation. An homage in scent to the intricacies of Indian raw silk, angelica and champagne sparkle as though embroidered with gold. Iris, tea and rose shimmer beguilingly as magnolia adds a creaminess to the depth of cedar, sandalwood and leather. Ravishingly bohemian, we plan to dress accordingly. £205 for 60ml eau de parfum At Jovoy Mayfair

Oh, lucky, lucky One Million lovers. (Probably way more than a million out there.) You’ll be taking no chances with this latest to join Paco Rabanne’s blockbuster line-up, a sherbet-y rose (as opposed to Lady Million’s original white flower heart) sitting alongside juicy raspberries, then wrapped in sandalwood. As ever, the bottle is a showstopper, like a diamond, with the golden juice twinkling through the facets. We say: place your bets, please, on another hit. From £46.50 for 30ml eau de parfum


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Pure Grace Ballet Rose


La Femme L’Eau



Everything is coming up roses this season, with that floral note having its fusty-dustiness blown away by utterly contemporary rosy launches. Case in point: Pure Grace appears in two new interpretations. Here, a fresh rose pirouettes alongside peony, lychee, pink musk and woods. Equally graceful is its ‘sister’ scent, Amazing Grace Nude Rose, dewy with green notes, bright with neroli and orange flower, cocooned in the warmth of sun-kissed musks and cedarwood. £33 for 50ml eau de toilette

Trembling blossoms dancing in the breeze, this gorgeously gamine version of La Femme has been heightened with an extra crush of dew-drenched delicacy. Green frangipani flower smells crunchily crisp, its freshness enriched by lusciously juicy mandarin essence and smoothed to a glossy sheen by ylang ylang. Tuberose may seem surprising amid such tenderness, but it’s had the volume turned way down to a gentle murmur that soothes the soul. £45.50 for 35ml eau de parfum

An exciting perfumer collaboration for the American fashion brand’s first fragrant foray, with Carlos Benaïm and Loc Dong bringing their combined talent to this solar creation, capturing the rare scent of desert Torch Cactus via Living FlowerTM technology, placing it alongside orris for a second-skin effect that’s enhanced by creamy woods, musks and cashmeran. Its presentation is equally stunning, the sculptured flacon created via a revolutionary glass technology. £68 for 50ml eau de parfum



Black Tulip

Everbloom Sakura Art Edition

Joseph Quartana created ‘Les Potions Fatales’ for the modern-day femme fatale – beckoning us over to the dark side with fragrances inspired by plants associated with poison, witchcraft and even murder, including Hemlock, Digitalis, Mandrake and (here) narcotic datura. Also known as ‘moonflower’, renowned for having aphrodisiac qualities, its white floral luminosity is showcased in this opulent, super-floral blend with jasmine, tuberose and muguet, all tipsy on boozy rum. £130 for 50ml eau de parfum

Plum is smothered here in sumptuously smooth white chocolate for a surprisingly gourmand twist. Before gourmand-avoiders shuffle away, though, be reassured it’s not overtly sweet – think of it more like the ‘mouth-feel’ of creaminess amidst swathes of snowdrops and cyclamen leading to the intriguingly deep, dark heart of black tulip itself. Soft wood shavings and those curls of chocolate fall like snowflakes, quietly enriching the composition. £55 for 100ml eau de parfum

‘Giving the ephemeral its eternity’ is the bold inspiration behind this homage to the transitory nature of the sakura – a frothy pink confection of a flower with a frustratingly short lifespan, its ethereal beauty now bottled, forever. Built around two accords with a minimalism that echoes a haiku poem, green cyclamen and black cherry glisten amidst a flurry of blossoms (orange and cherry) and tenderly scented rose petals that gently flutter to a bed of musk. £44 for 30ml eau de parfum

Midnight Datura




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Bel Azur

Dylan Blue

Sunglasses, beach bags, SPF to the ready: Tom Ford’s spin on Soleil Blanc is unquestionably summer-in-a-bottle, heralding long days on the beach with its floral-amber warmth. Fresh citrus, pink peppercorn and cardamom brighten Soleil Blanc’s distinctive pistachio opening, while Moroccan orange flower, jasmine, tuberose and ylang ylang light up the heart. As the skin warms, amber, vanilla and a luscious coco de mer accord emerge. Warm, sultry, dangerously addictive. £82 for 50ml eau de parfum

We’d really quite like to redecorate our entire house to match the striking packaging of Tory Burch’s French Riviera-inspired fragrance, designed to reflect her love of the sea with its blue ombré flacon and classic, blue-andwhite patterned box. What’s inside is equally summery, a refreshing wave of bergamot breaking over sun-drenched neroli and peony, their breeziness fading into warm, sun-kissed notes of deliciously creamy sandalwood, finally tethered by earthy vetiver. £73 for 50ml eau de parfum

A tribute to modern femininity, Versace’s latest scent walks the line between strength and sensuality. The sharp tang of blackcurrant sorbet cuts through a fruity Granny Smith apple note, while icy peaches drip onto a bouquet of rose petals and imaginary wild blossoms. Dylan Blue sits in an unapologetically flamboyant flacon, dazzling with gold and emblazoned with the iconic Medusa head. The kind of good-to-be-bad bottle we love and expect from the Italian fashion house. £52 for 30ml eau de parfum




A new addition to the Flowerbomb arsenal, the heart is filled with an intriguing flower liqueur as a zesty twist of bergamot oil flows to blackcurrant syrup garlanded by swags of jasmine, entwined with orange flowers and the peachy delights of osmanthus. The luxuriance has been further enriched by the addition of an addictive gourmand accord – warm spices melting into the base of tonka bean and creamy vanilla. Pull back the pin and enjoy the explosion. £58 for 30ml eau de parfum

David Bowie fans, you’ll want to know about this – named for the musician’s years in Berlin, ‘a metaphorical ode to the genius that played beneath Bowie’s flamboyant armour’. Perfumelovers, you’ll be more interested in what’s inside the signature Vilhelm bottle (designed, of course, by Pierre Dinand), which melds blueberry and lemon with the woodsiness of vetiver, sandalwood, green bamboo, and then softens the whole caboodle with a wraparound of vanilla. £155 for 100ml eau de parfum

Ciao evokes the kind of girl who sparkles with vivacity; romantic and flirtatious but most importantly, fun. Tangy mandarin and sharp pink grapefruit are sweetened by wild strawberries and juicy blackberries, a nod to her cheeky side, while the heart of pretty petals – rose, peony, muguet and jasmine – reveals a sweet nature. A glowing amber accord appears later on, with swirls of syrupy vanilla, and an earthy, chocolate-y patchouli peppered through it. £60 for 100ml eau de parfum

Eau de Soleil Blanc

Flowerbomb Nectar

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Poets of Berlin



the men’s room


First Instinct Extreme

A rush of black pepper tingles the senses as First Instinct Extreme takes hold. Warm cardamom is shrouded in spicy pepper and saffron in the heart – but it’s the base that really steals the show here, with cashmere woods and an amber accord cocooning Extreme in their dark, addictive allure. Ultimately, it’s the skin-like, comforting trail – sprinkled with coconut water – that makes this addition to the A&F portfolio so darned irresistible, though. £46 for 50ml eau de parfum




Momentum Unlimited

Obsessed Intense for Men

The venerable Michel Almairac brings his talents to this encounter between bright fruits and polished leather. Taking Momentum from 0-60mph is a rush of bergamot, grapefruit and apple, further brightened by cardamom. Accelerating towards its cruising speed, the notes reveal the signature Bentley accord – evoking the luxurious interior via cedarwood, vetiver, sandalwood, leather, Ambroxan and Muscenone. In its striking, embossed silver and blue flask, this positively purrs. £59 for 100ml eau de toilette

The original Obsession advertising campaign by Mario Sorrenti (featuring Mario’s then-girlfriend, Kate Moss) has been revisited and reworked for Obsessed. And just as his original Polaroids have been intensified to match the new black, lacquered bottles, so the juice itself has a distinctly darker feel. A vanilla infusion with fruity top notes is pulled to a crackle of cedar leaves, cashmeran and cypriol smudged with black amber, guaiac wood and gurjum balsam. £33 for 30ml eau de parfum




Orange Mauresque

Sauvage Eau de Parfum

The Déclaration line-up acquires a contemporary new look for spring 2018, with a new, intense way to enjoy the iconic fragrance. (A great introduction to the line, if you don’t already know it). Expect your senses to be warmed by spices, leathers and resins, in a perfectly-poised (as ever) construction by in-house perfumer Mathilde Laurent. Bergamot’s luminosity gives way to orange and cardamom in the heart, elegantly tethered by cedarwood in the base. From £73 for 50ml parfum

A sophisticated stroll through a Moorish garden’s sun-drenched orange flowers, perfumer Alberto Morillas has created an enclave of crisp citrus fruits with precious neroli (surely the scent of joyfulness, distilled) to soar the spirits skyward. An amber base glows with a comforting snuggle of Siam benzoin and the sweet woodiness of copaiba balm. There are three further fragrance ‘Gardens of Paradise’ in this new collection, each equally delightful to lose yourself in. £240 for 100ml eau de parfum

Where ‘scorching air meets fresh desert night,’ the hefty bottle for the eau de parfum concentration of Dior’s so-successful Sauvage hints at the ‘twilight’ vibe of the juice itself, its deep blue glass tinged with sunset tones. Inside, François Demachy offers a ‘sensually fresh’ composition, juxtaposing lively Calabrian bergamot, pink peppercorns and Sichuan pepper with star anise, nutmeg, Ambroxan, cistus labdanum, leather, vetiver and a surprisingly green vanilla extraction. £62 for 60ml eau de parfum


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The One Baroque Edition

All dressed up for night-time are two new editions of The One (see p.47 for the women’s offering), in a livery that is a nod to the damask fabric which is all but woven into the fashion brand’s DNA. This elegantly masculine woody-Oriental struts its stuff with notes of grapefruit, basil, coriander, cardamom, orange blossom, cedarwood, amber, cedar and tobacco. Same classic eau de toilette, but with an eye-catching (and collectible) new look. £52 for 50ml eau de toilette




Oud Exquisite

Night Call

One for serious oudh aficionados, from ultra-luxurious perfume house Elegantes, now to be found at Harrods Salon de Parfums. Intense, swirling with smokiness and dark intrigue, this is an exotic encounter with animalic Oriental leather, cistus, resinous gurjun balsam, castoreum, amyris, Indonesian patchouli and plenty of natural oudh. Elegantes’ priciest flacons take the form of towering crystal decanters – but we love the hand-blown, inky blue glass of this pleasing objet. £2,625 for 200ml eau de parfum

Also landed in Harrods Salon de Parfums, this is part of a collection of Oriental fragrances ‘seen from an edgy Parisian point of view’. East collides with West in an Oriental-spicy mélange, ambrette and a delicious and innovative note of toasted sesame mellowing to a heart of beeswax, gingerbread and patchouli. Last, we encounter elements of benzoin resin and tonka bean, which make for a daring and addictive sillage. (Definitely shareable, this one, too.) £495 for 100ml eau de parfum


Bois D’Hadrien



Inspired by a whisky-distilling Scottish island of the same name, Islay is a strong, peaty limited edition fragrance that softens to an incredibly moreish, wearable blend of woods with floral subtleties. The top – like opening the whisky bottle for a first potent sniff – is dry and boozy. Cade oil and patchouli deliver that signature peatiness in the heart, but once their strength melts away, we encounter the delicate sweetness of vanilla, with an orris note that buffs the whole fragrance. £180 for 100ml eau de parfum

Eau d’Hadrien put Annick Goutal on the map – and this much-loved icon hasn’t been touched, since. But now, Camille Goutal (Annick Goutal’s daughter) brings us a new, unisex interpretation. Interestingly, it’s packaged differently for men (seen here) and women (taller and more slender), but whatever your gender, it’s easy to be seduced. At first citrusy with Tuscan fruits, it offers the briskness of Siberian pine, mellowing to heavenly sun-warmed woods. £108 for 100ml eau de parfum At Harrods

Dressed like a sailor who definitely knows all the coolest bars – in a graffiti-inspired stripy design by Parisian street artist, André Saraïva – collectors and fragrance fans alike will be adding this to their stash. Gaultier describe the scent as ‘a sexy fabric softener’, and we’re pretty sure you’ll want to snuggle up to the neroli and the comfortingly clean minty breeze of fresh air – not to mention the sage, sandalwood and moreish vanilla/tonka which throb in the base. £60 for 125ml eau de toilette

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Le Male Eau Fraiche

L’Insoumis Ma Force


Legend Night



Clean-cut and invigorating, L’Insoumis Ma Force kicks off with a fruity apple note cut through with bright spikes of lemon, leading to an explosion of cardamom, with aromatic drifts of lavender surrounding a soft, green violet leaf. To us, this is like the force of a wind – cool and uplifting but with a strong, asserting presence. It’s presented in a sleek frosted flacon with intricate glass details – because of course Lalique famously excel at bottles, as well as fragrances. £84 for 100ml eau de toilette

Those of you acquainted with the original Montblanc Legend will recognise some of its DNA here – that same fresh bite of bergamot at the top, the same aromatic lavender. But this time, it delves into deeper and darker territory. Moreish black vanilla and musks mingle to create a slightly sweet, soft scent that whispers ‘come closer’, while undertones of vetiver, patchouli and Akigalawood promise magnetic woodiness. A scent to nuzzle into, on any dark night. £32 for 30ml eau de parfum

In 2008, at the height of the financial crisis, Paco Rabanne scandalously released 1 Million in the form of a gold bar. A cult success, a whopping 60 million of the gold ingots were produced, and now a fresh generation is being lured by the charms of a platinum hue. Juicy green plums surround surprisingly delectable hazelnuts with overtly woody overtones, a blend of contemporary masculinity that urges: take the chance and live your dreams. £48.50 for 50ml eau de toilette


1 Million Lucky

L’Homme L’Eau

Tommy Weekend Getaway



The warming tingle of amber swirls through the cool powder of iris and violet, flecked with red ginger and brightened like sudden sunshine by the appearance of happy-making neroli. L’Eau’s floral elements remind us of the most beautiful note from a violin being held just that bit longer, to tug at your heartstrings. Calming shadows of cedar mingle with the soul-grounding smoothness of sandalwood for a translucent woody trail you’ll love to follow. £51.50 for 50ml eau de toilette

The beloved Tommy and Tommy Girl traditionally always get a new outfit for summer. This season, it’s an up-upand-away livery, complete with a nostalgic Airmail-inspired cap and postmark label. The scents are freshened up, too – Tommy Girl via vanilla, granadilla fruit and tiaré, with the men’s offering becoming even fresher, thanks to aromatic clary sage, a grind of fresh white pepper, bergamot and vetiver, all bathed in sandalwood’s warmth. £50 for 100ml eau de toilette

‘Widian’ is a romantic Arabic word which translates as ‘wind from the desert’. But don’t run away with the idea that this is a perfume house purely for lovers of powerful oudhs; we find plenty to delight our noses here, including this latest, London. Yes, there is oudh. But it’s used with the deftest of touches, alongside sweet floral elements of violet, lily of the valley and raspberry, delivering leather, amber and vanilla in the alluring and complex dry-down. £215 for 50ml eau de parfum



scented Letter


it takes me right back

There is a scent that set off on adventures by making transports me to another time and it ‘land’ somewhere else in the place, another life almost. So it’s house or garden. not entirely surprising that it’s the Years later, the TARDIS tent smell of a time machine. covering – which narrowly escaped Not just any time machine, being turned into an outfit to wear either. It’s the smell of the clubbing in the 90s – was dragged TARDIS. Well, if we’re going to be out of retirement. With the poles geeky about it, it’s the smell of a long missing, a new wooden particular TARDIS. Because even frame was built. Obviously with though that’s the name of the ship me now being in my 30s, I wasn’t in Doctor Who, there’s actually able to sleep inside it. But it was more than one. My TARDIS – reassuring to see it – and smell it because I was lucky enough to – sat in the corner of whatever flat own one – was a present from I was living in. And then one day, my Nana. It was the early 1980s when there wasn’t enough space and the BBC science fiction in the flat, it sat in the garden. programme was yet to wane in Braving the elements, covered popularity, before languishing in snow and gathering dirt, it off-air for 16 years. I was, it’s fair to eventually had to be dismantled, say, a huge fan. For some reason the wooden frame destroyed I had taken to decorating a very and discarded. When the cover large, very heavy wooden storage resurfaced years later, following a unit as a Police Box (the shape the spate in storage, it was in a sorry We often think of scent as a Doctor’s TARDIS has been stuck in state and would definitely require since the cult series debuted a lot of cleaning if it was ever time machine – but for editor in 1963). going to fly again. and writer Darren Scott, his Perhaps my Nana thought Instead, it was relegated to the it odd that her first grandchild balcony of yet another new home, ‘touchstone’ smell is exactly was lugging a cupboard, with waiting for the time when it would paper stuck all over it, round the get the attention it required. that (sort of...) garden, for I was soon presented Sadly that day never came; one with a TARDIS play tent, made by day it simply wasn’t on the balcony Dekker Toys. The framework was flat-packed, with poles that any more. This particular TARDIS – after nearly 30 years connected together, and the main covering slipped over the – was off on new journey that I wasn’t to be part of. It’s a top. (These play tents were quite common in the 1980s, with common experience for TARDIS travellers, I’m sure. But many popular franchises such as He-Man, Transformers and there were certain things that would take me back to that The A-Team having something similar.) all-familiar smelling place. The smell of my TARDIS will never leave me. The As I grew up and Halloween masks evolved from covering was made of PVC – and once you stepped inside brittle thin plastic offerings on elastic that would easily crack those flapping plastic doors the scent was powerful, into full PVC monstrosities, I would be reminded to say the least. Its sharp, fake, processed of that smell. People might see me wearing (and in fact almost unpleasant) smell was a mask and think I was larking around. But immediately stamped on my brain, to be actually, I was being transported to another forever associated with such happy times time and place. I’ll still inhale deeply and places. and remember my childhood so fondly Housed in my new blue plastic home whenever Halloween rolls around. - even the ‘scanner’ window above the And while it may not be exactly printed control console inside had a the same one, and it may be missing blue sheen – I would read and even those oh-so-distinctive gerbil teeth sleep on a giant square yellow cushion marks from when it got too close to their that fitted perfectly inside. I would lift the cage, I know there’s another TARDIS out whole thing up above me by the frame, there with my name on it. It’s all make that familiar ‘vworp-vworp’ noise and just a matter of time.

The Tardis

“ Once you stepped inside those flapping plastic doors the scent was powerful, to say the least” 58 The scented Letter


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The Scented Letter - Issue 30 - The Best of British  
The Scented Letter - Issue 30 - The Best of British