Monday, 20 November 2017


Now that the first frosts have really fallen on the British countryside there are two things that are forefront in everyone's minds. Firstly, the sprouts that you buy will be slightly sweeter in taste (my mother always swore that the frosts did this to these divisive greens) and secondly, people will begin reaching for their “winter” scents in ernest. However, for those ladies that prefer a fresher scent during the colder months, because they long for the warmth that Spring promised, help is at hand in the form of this year's release from Bronnley, in collaboration with the Royal Horticultural Society. Say hello to Orchard Blossom.

Monday, 13 November 2017


He’s arguably Britain’s most famous bear and, even after fifty-nine years, has once again managed to awaken the child in us all. Paddington Bear may not be the first character that you think about pairing with a fragrance but that’s exactly what I did after seeing his latest film, “Paddington 2”. A bear from “darkest Peru” could make you think of deep animalic scents or the feeling of soft fur, but for me it was something a little more playful. Paddington’s most famous attribute, besides his wellington boots and blue jacket, has to be his love of marmalade, and to my mind that instantly conjured up Mandarine Basilic by Guerlain.

Monday, 6 November 2017


I’ve said before that the constant quest for “newness” means that many perfumes are overlooked in favour of the latest, the biggest, the brightest and the loudest new releases. Companies have fragrances that gather loyal followers but sometimes these scents get overlooked in later years. One of these is Dark Heart Of Old Havana by 4160 Tuesdays. Roullier White described the company as putting “the fun and the feeling back into British perfume” and, with a whirlwind of a founder at the helm, this is a perfect description. So, four years after it launched, let’s revisit the dangerously seductive Dark Heart Of Old Havana.

Monday, 30 October 2017


The continuing obsession with oud fragrances is something that, until recently, had seemed to have escaped the Grasse perfumers. I'm talking here about Fragonard, Galimard and Molinard. Their usual audience were looking for rich florals, spicy orientals, delicate eau fraiche, definitely not heavy resinous oud offerings. That is until now. With a huge influx of Russian and Middle Eastern tourists the perfumeries had to adapt, and all three now offer an oud-based fragrance. Fragonard and Galimard have made theirs boutique exclusives but Molinard have gone mainstream with their latest release, Oud Magnétique.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

FIRE by Tessa Williams

With bonfire night fast approaching and Halloween on the doorstep my thoughts always turn to the gloriously smokey scents of autumn. The crispness in the air and the first frosts on the ground always make me reach for my Penhaligon's matches so that I can set light to the pile of kiln-dried logs that are permanently sitting in the fireplace. The scent of an open fire is one of my favourite smells, which is why I’ve also been known to have one in height of summer, so I was intrigued to find that Tessa Williams had released a home spray simply called Fire. So, would it really smell like my wood-smoke scented sitting room?

Monday, 23 October 2017


Leanne Hirsh is the co-founder of Perfumera Curandera, a natural fragrance company based in Malibu. She started her career as a makeup artist working with the likes of Vivienne Westwood and David Bailey before launching Hirsh Skincare at Bergdorf Goodman in 1998. With contributions to Vogue, Tatler and Vanity Fair, I wondered what perfume secrets she would reveal about herself during “Stephan’s Six”.

Thursday, 19 October 2017


Twenty-six years ago a fragrance was launched that would go on to change the way British perfumes were perceived around the world. Conceived by a determined and strong-willed lady from Bexleyheath, the most famous Cologne since Mülhens 4711 was launched in 1991 and took the industry by storm. With its uplifting citrus notes, a "transparent" quality, and the quirky addition of a fresh aromatic, Lime Basil & Mandarin by Jo Malone became the “must have” fragrance. After a quarter of a century I thought it was time to take a look back at the creators and the creation of this now legendary scent.

Thursday, 12 October 2017


Guerlain has always enjoyed an unparalleled affection amongst perfume fans and part of this is the continuing transparency that they are displaying in their current releases, and also in the rewriting of parts of its history. Over time a "good story" can cover up the true facts and it is refreshing to see these being peeled away piece by piece. As part of this openness, Guerlain allowed Thierry Wasser and Frédéric Sacone’s vintage recreations to be made available to smell at the Champs Elysees boutique and this means that we can travel to Russia, via France, and discover Impérial Russe and Cuir de Russie.