Last launch before lockdown: Jonathan Ward Assassin Belarus

Blogger Stephan Matthews went along to the last of the live launches we’re expecting to see for a while – and reports back here, also sharing innovative home fragrance creator Jonathan Ward‘s 5 Favourite Smells, if you scroll down.

The Perfume Society will continue to share news of brands’ unveilings – because we need to ‘S.O.S’ – Save Our Scents! The industry is powered by the creativity of countless small start-up brands, alongside bigger names. As our #Smellfie Campaign 2020 acknowledged, perfume has the power to make us feel positive, uplifted and indeed, almost as if we’re wearing a cloak of armour. We’ve never needed it more than now…

Writes Stephan:

‘Inspired by the world of espionage and secrets, Jonathan Ward has just launched the latest candle in his incredible clean-burn range … Assassin Belarus. It’s a fusion of cold metal and warming mystery, so it almost feels as if you’ve combined the playfulness of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five with the hard-edged reality of crime writer Oliver Harris. If you’ve experienced Jonathan’s candles before then you’ll know what a treat is in store for you but, if you’re new to the range, then you’re in for a wonderful surprise.

Assassin Belarus took espionage as its inspiration and promises to ‘delve into the worlds that exist under those that shape our human experience.’ Jonathan has combined the dryness of black pepper and cedarwood with a decadent birch tar and patchouli, so you almost feel as though you’re in an MI5 briefing room. Spring is always a funny time of the year for scent because you feel as if you’re stuck between rich winter and sparkling summer, but this perfectly combines the two into another truly beautiful fragrance. 

We are in the middle of challenging times and there’s never been a more important moment to support independent companies if we can. Jonathan was very open about the situation. ‘Small ones like mine might not weather this storm. Many of us will be struggling from month to month, still trying to make a difference, and every one of your purchases is helping us all to keep our heads above water. Whilst we can still get to the post office we’ll all continue to send out to you, so don’t forget us.’

So get scent-shopping – and candle-shopping – if you possibly can, perfume-lovers. 

Assassin Belarus candle £48 – buy it here

In our regular series, Stephan also asked Jonathan (pictured above) his five favourite smells…

1. Comme des Garçons I’ve loved the original scent for over twenty-three years and it was the first connectivity that I had to fragrance when I was at college. I’d never smelled something so unusual and inspiring and it just immediately captured my way of thinking. I thought one day I would love to be included in this industry, but at that time I was heading in the direction of fashion.

2. Cognac It’s an ingredient that I always go back to, and I always reference when I design. It has that warm, aromatic quality and emphasises the link between flavour and fragrance. I think that really warm, deep, sensual notes do wonderful things in the structure of a fragrance.

3. Citrus For me it’s like the Marmite of scent. You either love citrus or you associate it with loo cleaner. It literally goes both ways and there’s no neutral ground. I love fragrances with Sicilian lemon in them but it’s something that I associate with summer, although I may be getting it out earlier this year.

4. A baby’s head  I remember when I was first starting out I tried to do a fragrance inspired by the scent of a baby’s head and I called it ‘Child’. It had nourishing soft milk notes, very subtle pheromones, nutmeg, and it was very sensual. But just the fact that I’d called it ‘Child’ meant that the marketing was a disaster because it just didn’t connect with customers at all. But I still love that innocent smell.

5. Black Pepper I love its spiciness, it has its own sensual aromatic accord that comes with it, and it’s the perfect ingredient when linked with other notes. It’s not challenging, some notes can drown their partners, and this one links hand in hand to give an unusual complexity that I love. It’s incredibly beautifully and I could not live without it.

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