Monday, 28 November 2016

STEPHAN'S SIX - VICTORIA FROLOVA (BOIS DE JASMIN)


Meticulous attention to detail is the quality that has set Victoria Frolova, aka Bois de Jasmin, apart from most other perfume writers. An encyclopedic knowledge and a wonderful way of making even the most stuffy subject feel exciting is why her website has become a regular stop for any perfume enthusiast. After writing about everyone else’s perfume, what would be the ones that resonate with her? I asked her “Stephan’s Six” in the hope that we would find out a little bit more about Victoria Frolova.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

MY TOP FIVE CANDLES FOR CHRISTMAS 2016

One of the best times to write about fragrance is as we approach the festive season. Throughout the previous twelve months there will have been numerous launches and products, but during Christmas we fall back on some old favourites and maybe introduce a few new ones. With this in mind I've been working hard, honestly I have, to find this year's top five candles. Whether it's delicate, inspirational or even historical that you're looking for I think that I've found something for everyone. So, close the door, pass me a mince pie, reach for the matches and let that fragrant flicker combat the winter cold.

Monday, 21 November 2016

STEPHAN'S SIX - JANE MONHEIT


Jane Monheit was described by the New York Times as having "a voice of phenomenal beauty", and anyone that has heard her will definitely agree. A graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, she released her first album, Never Never Land, in 2000 and it took the industry by storm. Twelve albums later I thought it was about time that we found out about her scented history during “Stephan’s Six”.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

GUERLAIN'S TOP FIVE
by Stephan Matthews and Monsieur Guerlain


It's difficult to imagine having to choose your top five Guerlain fragrances, but that's exactly what Monsieur Guerlain and I were asked to do. We were set the challenge of deciding our favourites from those that are still in production, and hopefully it will inspire you to add one, or possibly two, onto your Christmas list. Fragrances mean different things to different people and, whilst our choices have some similarities, there are some interesting differences. Monsieur Guerlain's five are firmly rooted in the company's classic period, but one of my choices will definitely cause a few raised eyebrows. So, get a stiff drink and let's begin the Guerlain Boys' Top Five.

Monday, 14 November 2016

STEPHAN'S SIX - MANDY AFTEL


The New York Times described her as "The World’s Most Dedicated All-Natural Perfumer" and she has certainly inspired a generation of independent brands, both independent and commercial. Based in Berkeley, California, Mandy Aftel still creates and blends by hand using a stunning collection of ingredients which have been amassed over her thirty year career. On her recent visit to Britain I asked her "Stephan's Six" so we could learn a little more about the creator of Aftelier Perfumes.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Lizzie Ostrom's CENTURY OF SCENTS

When Odette Toilette (Lizzie Ostrom's nom de plume) first told me that she was writing a book about perfume I remember thinking, how will you get the character of this madwoman into print? Lizzie is anything but predictable, and she has made her reputation by taking perfume and turning it on its head. Anyone who has witnessed her in action knows that her quirky style and approachable manner is what keeps you coming back for more. So, would this translate into a book? There have many dry, dusty and pretentious books about perfume over the years which use language that Countdown's Dictionary Corner would struggle to understand, but this is not one of them.

Monday, 7 November 2016

STEPHAN'S SIX - SYLVAINE DELACOURTE


The undisputed Queen Bee of Guerlain, Sylvaine Delacourte joined the company as a makeup artist before becoming their International Makeup Trainer. However, the perfumes fascinated her and, after much hard work, she achieved the coveted role of Director of Fragrance Evaluation and Development. Whilst still a consultant for Guerlain, Sylvaine has now launched her own brand, so what would we learn about her during "Stephan's Six"?

Thursday, 3 November 2016

The "Delightful" Leighton Denny

The wait is over! LIGHT & DARK DELIGHTFUL, Leighton Denny’s fourth fragrance, is finally released in its 70ml size on Monday. You probably already know that LIGHT & DARK DESIRE won a coveted Fragrance Foundation award this year, but did you know that his whole perfume range was almost never made? Now, I've known Leighton since 2006, when we were both based in Harrods, but I thought it was time to find out more about his “perfume journey” over a good old-fashioned Sunday roast.