NEW! Our Modern Classics Discovery Box just launched

What makes a classic? A fragrance that transcends fashion and trends – because quite simply, it smells fabulous.
So for our latest Discovery Box, we’ve curated some of the bestselling and most iconic fragrances around, alongside a selection of fragrances tipped as future classics. Names include Marc Jacobs, Narciso Rodriguez, Cartier and the Illuminum scent tsaid to have been worn by the Duchess of Cambridge, together with an adorable 5ml miniature from L’Occitane – their stunning, sun-drenched new launch.
The Modern Classics Discovery Box  is available now to our VIPs for £12.50 + p&p* Not a VIP yet? Sign up here
PLUS! Everyone who purchases a Modern Classics Discovery Box between 24th February and 7th April will be entered into a prize draw to win a full size of one of the featured fragrances and extras!
Here’s a list of all the fragrances you can discover, explore and enjoy in the box. (Do share your favourites on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, tag us using #ModernClassics)
L’Occitane Terre de Lumière 5ml eau de parfum
Angela Flanders Columbia Rose 2ml eau de parfum
Cartier Basier Fou 1.5ml eau de parfum
Illuminum White Gardenia Petals 2ml eau de parfum
Kenzo FLOWER BY KENZO 1ml eau de parfum
Marc Jacobs Daisy 1.2ml eau de toilette
Narciso Rodriguez for her 0.8ml eau de parfum

Yardley London English Freesia 1ml eau de toilette
Minnies Shimmering Body Lotion 12ml
• Philosophy’s Renewed Hope in a Jar Eye Cream 7ml

* Please note, postage and packaging is charged at £2.50
 

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in to the water… Five modern aquatics to dive into

Merely mentioning the word ‘aquatics’ in perfume circles has fragrance lovers getting all dewy-eyed (or, alternatively, chlorine-soaked and weeping bucket loads) at memories of the 90s tidal wave of easy-breezy ozonic scents: perfumes that conjure images of salt-tousled, home-highlighted hair and an all-pervading smell of melon and cucumber.
The unmistakable wind of change that shook up the 90s scent scene was partly due to fragrances delighting in overdoses of the synthetic ingredient Calone – less memorably named “methylbenzodioxepinone” – first discovered by Pfizer in 1966 and then rather confusingly trade-named “Calone 1951.”
Used by perfumers to give a stylised seashore waft of a faintly floral, watermelon purity at the heart of their compositions; Calone is weirdly similar to the structure of pheromones excreted by certain species of brown algae, which is undoubtedly fascinating but not the most romantic seaside image, so it’s no surprise advertising focused on salty, suntanned skin and sunset kisses.
Calvin Klein’s Escape was a huge 90s hit, and it heralded an era of those tousle-haired beach-babes we so longed to be, taking the aquatic theme and plunging to the deep end as L’Eau de Bulgari, L’eau d’Issey, CK One and Acqua di Giò swam in similar – now unisex – streams.
Some of those original blockbusters have more than withstood the test of time and are genuinely worth revisiting – Davidoff Cool Water (literally) springs to mind, as does the restrained genius of Issey Miyake’s L’Eau d’Issey and Acqua di Gio by Giorgio Armani: perhaps the olfactory equivalent of paddling in the comfort of an oft-repeated Friends episode – you might know what you’re getting but goodness it’s nice to reminisce, they were extraordinarily high quality, and still retain the power to make you incredibly happy.
With the 90s revival having heavily influenced fashion for the past couple of years, it’s interesting to see that wave of resurgence has now reached the perfume world’s shores. With nary a hint of waxed-within-an-inch-of-their-lives Baywatch extras among them, these contemporary aquatics are less beach-body-ready and more about modern travellers exploring the world via scents that feel genuinely fresh (as in new, not simply refreshing) using clever Headspace Technology and ingenious ingredients to evoke unique locations that feel dewy, cooling and mysteriously alluring.
Pop on your water-wings and dive on in to these…

Two seas perpetually meet within this ethereally beautiful evocation of Denmark. As the waves kiss, the tide withdraws to reveal a coral glow of ambrette with orange flower, jasmine and rosehips crystalised with salt. Wisps of incense drift down shore with a warm-skin snuggle of vanilla as the sun dips low.
Nancy Meiland Églantier £105 for 100ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Nancy Meiland
The sparkling original launched in 2004, for this latest fragrance perfumer Christine Nagel keeps the effervescence but adds huge amounts of space – a sense of crisp white linen, air misted with salt on the breeze, tears of laughter tasted on the lips and an indigo depth of patchouli and dry woods as it settles.
Hermes Eau de Merveilles Bleue £72 for 50ml
Available from March, buy it at John Lewis
Humongously green – a florist-shop explosion of freshly snapped stalks, fat buds bursting and white flowers tied raggedly with twine – this would fill an entire fairytale palace with its otherworldly life-force, and echoes of salty waves mercilessly crashing on rocks as lightning tears the sky assunder.
BeauFort London Fathom V £95 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at BeauFort London

That moment when the sea melts into the sky is expressed through the seamless serenity of transparent lime, a slowly exhaled mint melding with juicy blackcurrants, softened by blowsy mimosa blossoms and the clarity of white musk. An Event Horizon of celestial bliss and graceful escapism.
Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Celestia £130 for 70ml eau de toilette
Buy it at Selfridges

Harking to their barber shop heritage, Penhaligon’s invite you to take your ease with a wet plunge from hot to cold, the deeply cooling herbaceous notes of eucalptus and rosemary balanced with the clarity of lemon and fir balsam, patted dry with fluffy white cedar scented towels and a tingle of glowing incense.
Penhaligon’s Savoy Steam £148 for 100ml eau de Cologne
Available from March at Penhaligon’s
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Want to work in perfume? The Perfumer's Story and Azzi Glasser have some exciting roles for you…

Two very exciting new opportunities have arisen to work within the very heart of The Perfumer’s Story and with scent mavern and fragrance designer herself, Azzi Glasser.
Surely the ultimate in contemporary cool, Azzi is an award-winning perfume designer who has created bespoke fragrances for the likes of Helena Bonham Carter, Jude Law, Kylie Minogue, Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, Orlando Bloom and Johnny Depp. With a staggering portfolio of artists, designer brands and celebrities who can’t get enough of her fragrances, the launch of The Perfumer’s Story collection gave rise to perfumes inspired – and to be worn by – those with ‘Character & Style.’

Azzi says: ‘We are looking for two talented people to join our team as Development Manager and also as a PA to join our creative, fast growing company.  We will send more details in response to applications…’
Those fragrantly obsessed and keen to work in this exciting industry are kindly requested to get in touch: Azzi@ThePerfumersStory.com
Written by Suzy Nightingle

Be a star of The Scented Letter! We invite you to share your stash with us…

Our next issue of our award-winning digital magazine The Scented Letter – which is a VIP Subscriber benefit – will focus on Collectors & Collections.
Without giving too much away, we’ll be sharing with you some of the world’s most coveted perfume bottles, alongside insider wisdom on how to become a collector of fah-bu-lous flacons.
But on a very practical level, we’re also keen to hear how you STORE your fragrances – and/or the samples, perhaps, that you’ve curated from our Discovery Boxes.
Do you keep them in a ‘shabby chic’ cupboard…?
A custom-made display cabinet…?
On a trolley…? (Though we’re sure some of your non-perfumista friends probably think you’re off yours. Ours sometimes do!)
A bathroom shelf, or perhaps a pretty dressing table…?
We’d love you to share a photo of your scent display/storage solutions on Instagram, tagging us @theperfumesociety and using the hashtag #scentedstorage. The ones we like best and which we feature in the magazine will not only win a prize, but receive a printed copy of that edition. (We’ll also be #reposting some to our 18,500-and-counting Instagram followers, so it’s a good opportunity to build your following!)
Do please share this widely, as not only are we fascinated by this through-the-keyhole exploration of our readers’ collections, but we think it’ll prove really inspirational.
Just remember:
@theperfumesociety
#scentedstorage
Now get snapping… (And for a little extra inspiration, see ûberhairdresser Adam Reed, below, with his impressive collection, in its mid-Century modern cabinet. Not that we’re expecting yours to rival this, necessarily!)
By Jo Fairley
 

Boucheron unveil not one, not two but SIX shimmering new scents

Take one precious jewellery name – the very first to open their doors on Paris’s Place Vendôme, now synonymous with precious gems.
Mix in five perfumers whose names are almost as glittering as Boucheron‘s jewels – and allow them free rein with the costliest ingredients, sourced from exotic faraway lands.
What you have is a dazzling new line-up of fragrances – known simply as Boucheron‘s The Fragrance Collection – which just landed exclusively at Harrods. (Find it in the Black Hall, where until 26th February these Boucheron creations claim pride of place.)
As Jean-Christophe Hérault – perfumer-creator of the collection’s swirlingly warm and sensual Ambre d’Alexandrie fragrance – explained to us: ‘It is very unusual – and very special – for perfumers to be told: “you’ve got complete freedom”. Freedom to choose the most precious ingredients, and freedom of creation…’
Each of the fragrances has an exquisite colour – and each of the satisfyingly hefty flacons is tied with a matching grosgrain ribbon; true luxury perfumery down to the last detail. They take their names from the key ingredient showcased in the composition, together with the far-flung source of that precious fragrant element. If you would like to delight your senses, they are most definitely worthy of a scent pilgrimage to Harrods right now…
 

Neroli d’Ispahan by Fabrice Pellegrin


Think of Ispahan and we tend to think of roses – but the air of this sun-drenched Persian city (which is at the crossroads of the silk and spice routes between East and West) is also sweet with the quintessentially sunny scent of neroli. At the heart of Firmenich perfumer Fabrice Pellegrin‘s sparkling creation, discover resinous cistus labdanum, alongside piquant pink peppercorn. As with everything in Boucheron‘s The Fragrance Collection, the base thrums intriguingly, with Ambrox gently warming patchouli’s distinctive earthy-woodiness.
 

Tubéreuse de Madras by Christophe Reynaud

Tuberose (an ingredient which stars in our next edition of The Scented Letter, by the way) was first cultivated in the city of Madras. In Christophe Reynaud’s hands, this exotic white floral is given a luminosity via cool, fresh violet leaf, accented by fruity passion fruit. Ylang ylang and frangipani, with its almond facets, deliver va-va-voom, with vanilla and sandalwood delivering a soft, sweet addictiveness to the tuberose absolute. A tuberose for tuberose-lovers – but with a clarity that those who aren’t converted to this uniquely heady bloom may enjoy, too.

 

Iris de Syracuse by Nathalie Lorson

Another superstar perfumer, another stellar ingredient: Nathalie Lorson is the only one of the perfumers to have ‘signed’ two of Boucheron‘s new creations – a reflection of her exalted status in the perfumer firmament, perhaps. Iris’s cooler aspect makes its presence known, first of all – alongside a crunch of pear, the tang of mandarin – gradually softening on the skin to reveal its signature powderiness. Jasmine, almond blossom and heliotrope also feature (the latter ramping up its almond-iness), before the skin deliciously warms the base notes: patchouli, vanilla and an airy white musk – giving us one of the more ethereal creations in this line-up.
 

Vanille de Zanzibar by Nathalie Lorson


Vanilla de Zanzibar is the second of Nathalie Lorson‘s beautiful confections for this Boucheron sextet – and while ostensibly this might lure gourmand-lovers (and won’t disappoint), its sweetness is just satisfying enough, without ever overwhelming. Jasmine and juicy pear (evidently one of Lorson’s signature ingredients, right now) contrast Bourbon vanilla’s comforting richness; for sure, there are caramel, syrupy, honeyed facets – but spices, to contrast, and the resinous warmth of Peru balsam. In the dry-down, white musks, sandalwood and patchouli underpin the construction – which sets out to evoke Africa’s ‘Wild Pearl’, the escapist island of Zanzibar, where the sky meets the sea.
 

Oud de Carthage by Dominique Ropion


It’s a given that all collections nowadays must feature an oudh – but here, it’s handled by a master, wrapped in resinous elements with an incense trail, subtly sweetened by honey, and finally delivering a rich, saddle-room leatheriness. Tonka bean also features – and if you love oudhs, you’ll quite simply adore the opulent sophistication of this.
 

Ambre d’Alexandrie by Jean-Christophe Hérault


As he explained to us over tea and scones at this collection’s launch at The Ritz London (hashtag #weloveourjob), IFF perfumer Jean-Christophe Hérault is obsessed by Egypt, travelling there several times a year. He’s especially fascinated by Ancient Egyptian perfumery and incense – notably kyphi, one of the mixtures burned to communicate with the Egyptian gods. Here, he introduces a modern version of Middle Eastern smoke: a note of narguilé tobacco smoke (often to be discerned in the air outside an Arabic restaurant). It surrounds the signature sweet amber with mystery; to us, Ambre d’Alexandrie is also the sexiest of the collection, hypnotising with ambergris, musk (the carnal, not the ‘clean’ kind), with cistus labdanum, benzoin and vanilla inviting you to spritz and re-spritz.
And unlike a tiara, it can – like the rest of the collection – be worn and enjoyed every darned day.
Written by Jo Fairley
Boucheron The Fragrance Collection £175 for 125ml eau de parfum
At Harrods (find it in the Black Hall)

Eating garlic makes men smell more attractive to women [apparently…]

Although it may sound completely counterintuitive, results of a 2015 study by University of Stirling and Prague’s Charles University revealed that women who sniffed the heady scent of male body odour perceived it to be ‘significantly more attractive and less intense,’ when the men had eaten garlic.
82 women were asked to smell odour samples from 42 men, collected on pads worn in their armpits, and judge them for ‘pleasantness, attractiveness, masculinity and intensity.’
[Permit us to wonder, with eyebrows firmly raised, if the same study has been repeated with the gals eating garlic.]
Researchers concluded the results possibly showed that as ‘…the health benefits of garlic consumption include antioxidant, immunostimulant, cardiovascular, bactericidal and anti-cancer effects, it is plausible that human odour preferences have been shaped by sexual selection.’

So that’s vampires bang out of luck, then.
Previous research has shown that many animals’ noses are honed to select mates in the best physical condition, and therefore human noses might well be similarly evolutionary primed to seek out partners with the most promising whiffs. Something to think about the next time your special someone reaches for that extra slice of garlic bread.
Those of you wishing to learn more about the fascinating science of taste and smell can get the juices flowing by reading our latest issue of The Scented Letter Magazine. Full to bursting with the latest news, exclusive interviews and award-winning fragrance journalism – we think you’ll find this is our most delicious issue yet…
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Our Heaven Scents Discovery Box is setting hearts a-flutter… (And you could be a winner.)

Have you got your hands on this heavenly selection…? Bloggers are loving it. (Check out iscentyouaday’s ‘unboxing’, here)
A collection to set pulses racing – featuring some beautiful ‘extras’ including a FULL SIZE body lotion from Judith Williams – Heaven Scents showcases dazzling examples of the perfumer’s art, including new-to-the-uk (and currently only available online) Map of the Heart! Expect soft florals and subtly juicy fragrances from niche and designer houses delivered direct to you.
The Heaven Scents Discovery Box  is £12.50 + p&p to VIP Subscribers/£17.50 + p&p* to non-subscribers – be sure to log in to your account to take advantage of the special VIP Subscriber price. Not a VIP yet? Sign up here
Remember: everyone who purchases a Heaven Scents before 3rd March will be entered into a prize draw to win a full size of one of the featured fragrances or extras!
Here’s a list of all the fragrances you can discover, explore and enjoy in the box. (Do share your favourites on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, tag us using #HeavenScents)
Shay & Blue Blueberry Musk 2ml Natural Spray
Weleda Jardin de Vie Rose 1.5ml eau naturelle parfumée
Map of the Heart Red Heart v.3 1ml eau de parfum
Jimmy Choo L’eau 2ml eau de toilette
Miller Harris Noix de Tubéruse 2ml eau de parfum
Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Celestia 2ml eau de toilette
Prada Candy Florale 1.5 eau de toilette

M. Micallef 20th Anniversary 1ml eau de parfum
Judith Williams Life Long Beauty Body Lotion 150ml
• Micallef 20th Anniversary Keychain

(Alas we can’t ship to Ireland or overseas, because of ‘hazardous goods’ restrictions. And yes, we’re as frustrated about it as you are.)
* Please note, postage and packaging is charged at £2.50

Forgot the card? Panic over, as Penhaligon's invite you to create a virtual Valentine's bouquet!

That sickening moment you realise it’s all too late: you’ve forgotten the Valentine’s card and now you’re going to be in the dog house…
Oh dear.
But fear not, forgetful ones! Penhaligon’s have created a brilliant (and gorgeously realised) way to present a virtual bouquet, and it’s all to do with the “Language of Flowers.”

‘Thank Heavens for floriography’ they say. ‘A mysterious language of love. Cryptic communications, hidden revelations and coded declarations!’
On Penhaligon’s website, you beging by choosing from a number of flowers, having read their individual “coded” meanings. They vary wildly, so be very careful how you choose, and even more careful who you send that coded message to…
When you’ve selected three flowers, you are guided to the next page where your virtual bouquet is assembled, ready for you to present via email. Ta-da!
We just love the dreamy vintage-style illustrations – and that you get to learn a little of this “secret language” (so beloved by the Victorians, in particular) of flowers and their possible hidden messages.

Even better – everyone who sends one of these virtual bouquets will be entered in with a chance to win the Penhaligon’s Portraits Collection. And once you have sighed in contentment (and relief) at having saved the day, you can see which of the Penhaligon’s perfumes would best be suited to the flowers you chose for the bouquet.
Far from a lost opportunity, and depending on how well the recipient receives your e-card, it might turn out that your forgetfulness might end in a fragrantly wonderful win/win!
Now then, we wonder: who will you be sending yours to…?
Written by Suzy Nightingale

This Valentines Day, isn't it time to love thyself? (Oh well, and thy partner if you have one.) Seven scented treats to indulge in…

In troubling times we should really be telling all those we love how much we adore them – and doing that regularly, not only for one officially sanctioned day per year. But with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, the pressure builds to choose ‘that special gift’ showing exactly how much you care – or to wonder if your significant other will be thinking of you significantly enough not to just thrust a hasty bouquet of garage forecourt carnations at you this year…
And that’s not even counting those without partners to worry about finding gifts for (or receiving from). So we say: whether single or in a relationship, why not treat yourselves to some scented goodies this year? Here’s our edit of some fabulously fragrant ways to indulge…
[Disclaimer to peeved partners of The Perfume Society team reading this: yes, yes, we’ll get you something, too. Don’t worry. But we’re totally treating ourselves from this list as well!]

It’s always more than simply perfect packaging at Jo Malone London, of course, but my goodness isn’t it lovely when the box is as fab as the contents? We are loving the denim design by British renowned florist Philippa Craddock. And the contents? The classic Red Roses perfume nestling on a bed of freshly cut blooms. Serious “wow factor” and the scent of roses with a breeze of lemon and violet will far outlast the beautiful bouquet itself.
Jo Malone London Valentine’s Day Floral Box £130
Buy it from 7th–14th February exclusively available at Selfridges
 
Would you choose a perfumed passion or scented sensuality? Well with Ormonde Jayne you can have both! Originally launched as Russian exclusives, now we too can luxuriate in lurve.
Passionate Love fizzes with energy – it’s Champagne sipped straight from the bottle to catch the foam, and then a merry barefoot romp through meadows, picking armfuls of fresh flowers, skinny-dipping in icy streams, shared laughter in bright sunshine. With oodles of warm neroli sprinkled with nutmeg and corriander seeds, it’s the swooning, classically-inspired heart of white flowers garlanded by osmanthus and violet that we fell hardest for.
A mischevious twinkle in the eye heralds Sensual Love – baskets brimming with lusciously juicy, sun warmed berries entwined with an elegant bouquet of osmanthus, jasmine and rose that prevents it being too “girlish glee”.  Suddenly the path plunges deeper in to the heart of the forest, with verdant green buds and moss-covered tree trunks softened by a voluptuously rounded vanilla. We foresee outbreaks of fruitiness whenever it’s spritzed…
Ormonde Jayne Passionate Love and Sensual Love £195 for 50ml eau de prfum
Available only in-store at Ormonde Jayne Bond Street (and Moscow!)
 

Scents set to get the pulses of perfumistas racing was the thinking behind the Heaven Scents collection – from the just-launched Aqua Celestia by genius perfumer Francis Kurkdjian to the gorgeously presented new niche brand Map of the Heart and with a bevy of fragrant beauties in between. We’re using our stylish Micallef 20th Anniversary Keychain as a cute bag charm, and the full-size (huge!) bottle of decadently rich Judith Williams body cream is perfect to layer with your chosen perfume to ‘lock in’ the scent to skin for longer-lasting wafts with which to seduce…
Heaven Scents Discovery Box £12.50 for VIP Subscibers or £17.50 to everyone else
Buy it in our Shop
 

Why not… dust your delicates? Silky under-things and bed linen, that is! Although at 10% composition, these scented sprays are gentle enough to spritz on skin before going to sleep or sprayed directly on to hair and scarves, too – one of our favourite ways to wear fragrance and enjoy it all day. An intimate and gloriously self-indulgent experience that’s kind of a gift to whomever you choose to let close enough, anyway, there are currently three scents to choose from:
Gibson Girls
A graceful mix of white flowers including jasmine, gardenia, white iris and peach for the powdery facet. Classic, with a twist of geranium, cassis, orange blossom and coumarin.
Tuberose Mexique 
A celebration of the most glamorous of white flowers. The creamy fragrance has been called ‘the sexiest scent of all time’ and this particular tuberose is the night scented variety from Mexico. Smooth, sensual and narcotic.
Rose de Grasse
The ‘Queen of Flowers’ – delicate and feminine, rosa centafolia has grown in the fertile soils of Grasse for centuries. Its scent cannot be beaten for sheer unadulterated beauty. Satin soft, feminine and timeless.
IDEO Parfumeurs Lingerie Spray £45 for 50ml spray
Buy them now at Roullier White

‘Stay in bed!’ So say the people at Miller Harris, who put together a cute animation giving us just this advice for use with their Valentine’s Day limited edition candle. And who are we to argue with such wise words? A collaoration with artist Laura Quick, the candle comes with a range of transfers and so can be emblazoned with luscious lips, winking eyes and a cheeky ‘merçi’ among other options. Turn off the lights and breathe in the scent of gentle roses wrapped in the soft, juicy tang of blackcurrant and mandarin.
Miller Harris Rose Silence Candle £45
Buy it at Miller Harris
 

Sharing is caring, so they say. And with many über-cool brands now suggesting their scents are completely unisex anyway, what a great opportunity to branch out and try something completely new! With an incredible 18 fragrances to sniff in total, from Zadig & Voltaire‘s His and Hers explorations of modern gourmands to Creed‘s must-try classics and Shanghi Tang‘s mini discovery sets, you’re bound to find a new fragrant crush for you and your beloved. Or just indulge in the maxim that ‘charity’ begins at home and keep them all for yourself! We will not pass judgement (having done exactly that ourselves. Shhhh…)
Sharing Collection Discovery Box £15 for VIP Subscibers or £17.50 to everyone else
Buy it in our Shop
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Superstar perfumer Calice Becker talks about her beautiful career (and more)…

When we learned that Calice Becker – perfumer behind masterpieces like Dior J’adore, Tom Ford Velvet Orchid and countless By Kilian fragrances – was collaborating on the new L’Occitane launch, Terre de Lumière, we sat up and took notice. A sign for sure that this beauty and perfume name, with its roots in Provence, is now taking fragrance Very Seriously Indeed. (Her fellow perfumers on this creation as Shyamala Maisondeau and Nadège Legarlantezec.)
Calice Eurostarred into London for the flower-filled launch, charming us with her easy manner and love for her work. In Terre de Lumière, she contrasts aromatic, fresh lavender, pink pepper and bergamot with sweet elements to create L’Occitane‘s debut gourmand perfume. Ambrette seed and acacia flower are drizzled with honey, with bitter almond taking the edge off the sweetness, and a final flourish of tonka and musk.
Calice happily answered our questions about how she became a perfumer, about how she works and what inspires her – so we’re delighted to share this latest in our series of ‘nose’ interviews with you here…
When did you decide you wanted to be a perfumer?
The heart of my perfume memories begin with my mother. I was four years old, getting out of a bath.  She opened a bottle of eau de Cologne and applied it to me. I was fascinated and curious about the smell.  So I asked her how it was made. She said, ‘It’s made from flowers…’ But I couldn’t see the flowers in the bottle! I couldn’t imagine how the flowers got into the bottle and got out, dispersing this beautiful smell. I was very confused, and I kept asking, and asking her questions.
She said: ‘You will understand it later, when you get older.’ So I give credit to my mother, who helped me find my calling. She told me I should become a perfumer, a ‘nose’, after she recognised how sensitive I was to smell. When I was very little, she realised that I couldn’t recognize people by name but, only by their fragrance.
I would tell her, ‘This person is like that one!’
And she would say, “Oh, no! They have nothing in common!”’
What I meant, and what she understood later, was that they were wearing the same fragrance.
What is your first scent memory?
My scent memories as a child show my curiosity and learning that started with the illusion of flowers inside a bottle. I continue to feel this way today, in my daily life. I’m constantly discovering ways of translating emotions that fit inside a bottle. As perfumers, we have the right resources and knowledge to reconstruct these feelings.
What are your five favourite smells in the world? 
• Lychee.
• Leather and saddlery.
• Lily of the valley.
• Honeysuckle.
• Bergamot.
What’s the worst thing you ever smelled.  (Honestly!)
The smell of hospitals. It is very unpleasant and associated to sadness.
What is the fragrance you wish you’d created?
Dior Diorissimo.
If you could have created a fragrance for a historical figure, who would it be?
Michelle Obama.
What’s the first fragrance you bought?  And the first bought for you…?
The first fragrance I bought for myself was Dürer by Dürer, while the first fragrance someone gave to me was L’Artisan Parfumeur Eau de Pamplemousse.
Do you have a favourite bottle design, from those that have been used for your fragrance creations?
The bottle of Dior J’adore is outstanding, timeless, just beautiful. Otherwise the bottle for Nina Ricci L’Air du Temps is one of my favorites. It is at the same time aesthetically beautiful and highly symbolic.
How many perfumes might you be working on, at one time?
I’m usually working on four to eight perfumes at the same time.
Does your nose ever ‘switch off’?
Yes, it does sometimes! For example when I have a cold or when I’m very tired at the end of day. (But it is more my brain switching off than my nose!)
How long, roughly, does it take you to create a fragrance?
It depends. It usually lasts from three months to a year.
Is creating a fragrance visual’ for you, as well as something that happens in the nose/brain? If so, in what way…? Is a mood-board helpful?
For me, a fragrance is at the same time visual, tactile and auditory. All the senses can help translate the olfactive emotion. A mood-board can be a starting point in a creation, as well as a harmony, or a texture.
What is your best tip for improving a person’s sense of smell?
For me, it is important to learn how to truly appreciate beautiful things. It is like tasting wine or discovering opera. You can like something beautiful at once but the more you develop your taste, the more you can understand what you like about it, the way it makes you feel. It is all about the capacity to feel emotions and share them with others. My advice would be: express and share your olfactive emotions…
L’Occitane Terre de Lumière from £58 for 50ml
Buy it at uk.loccitane.com and their many stores
By Jo Fairley