Thursday, 14 December 2017

Can Fragrance Give Back This Christmas?

Christmas is the time for giving and receiving, but how about expanding that to “giving back”? The fragrance industry makes upwards of 20% of their annual income from the festive season, with some hitting 30%, and most Christmas trees this year will have a bottle of the latest Chanel, a Guerlain classic, a Jo Malone original or even something from one of the independent perfumeries nestled underneath it. Imagine the difference that we could make if for every bottle of perfume you purchase you also made a donation of just £1 to Shelter. How can we ensure that our fragranced frivolity truly makes a difference this year?

Monday, 11 December 2017


Samantha Scriven started writing about fragrance as a challenge to see if she could review one scent every day for a year, and that was back in 2013. Since then she has continued the blog, gone on to write freelance and was also nominated for a 2017 Fragrance Foundation Jasmine Award. After reviewing thousands of scents, what would Samantha choose for herself during “Stephan’s Six”?

Thursday, 7 December 2017

TREE PRESENCE by 4160 Tuesdays

Some perfume companies continue to surprise and delight us with a seemingly never-ending imaginative output. Not subject to the shackles of the commercial sector, these independent perfumeries are able to experiment and, in the process, create some wonderfully abstract scents that can truly challenge. One of these is 4160 Tuesdays, which was founded by Sarah McCartney, and this Christmas they have released a limited edition room spray called Tree Presence. Festive offerings sometimes end up with a tinge of “pine fresh” lavatory cleaner, but nothing could be further from the truth with this evocative marvel.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Christmas by Marina Barcenilla Parfums

Christmas is the season of the limited release with companies trying to reward and attract in equal measure. The thought of acquiring something special from your favourite brand sends gifting budgets rocketing but also means that expectations are seriously raised. Will they live up to the hype? One section of the market that seems to be more successful is the “independent”, possibly because they create in smaller quantities but also because they can make their Christmas offering truer to their own style. Marina Barcenilla Parfums has released three Christmas products this year and every one of them is a winner.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

My Top Six Candles For Christmas 2017

Christmas and candles seem to go hand in hand which is why many companies release a limited edition during November and December. Not all of these special releases hit the mark though and shoppers often fall back on their tried and trusted favourites. The gentle flicker of a flame accompanied by a delicious aroma is the perfect pairing, but a candle also makes a great gift. To help you navigate the minefield I’ve chosen six candles that have impressed me during 2017 and, hold on to your hats, it includes three Christmas stunners. So, grab the matches and a glass of port as I introduce you to my top six candles for 2017.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Beard Maintenance by Pall Mall Barbers

November 30th marks an important date for many men with the decision having to be made on what to do with that Movember moustache. Does it stay, does it go, or is it time to add on the accompanying beard? A lot of “Natural”, “Imperial” and “Handlebar” moustaches will make a hasty departure on the 1st December but for those wanting to keep them, or increase them, there are a few tricks and tips to help maintain their healthy luster. Erin of Pall Mall Barbers talked me through the required maintenance as we set about taming my own unruly beard, and she also showed me a new way to use scent.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Perfume's "Them and Us"

When you spray on your favourite fragrance in the morning or even reapply in the evening you are choosing to wear a scent that makes you feel happy, contented, confident, protected, the list is endless. Our perfume choices are very personal and that is exactly why there are so many to choose from. What I find appealing in a scent might fill you with horror, and vice versa, but both of our opinions are just as valid as each other’s. You don’t need to be trained in fragrance to know if you like the smell of something so why are the words “general public” applied to the majority of the world's perfume purchasers?

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.