While studying chemistry at university, Kyle Fearn took to visiting the local Penhaligon’s boutique, where he gained a great knowledge of the fragrances on his frequent return visits, and became so friendly with the staff that, as Kyle recalls: ‘…when they were short of Christmas staff, I did a few shifts to help them out!’ Clearly a man after our own hearts. Little did Kyle know that his scientific studies and love of fragrance would coalesce in an olfactory entwining of career paths, which ultimately led him to setting up his own British niche perfumery house of Redolescent.
But perhaps Fate doesn’t always play such a large part in the way our lives turn out? Perhaps, instead, when we allow our passions and talents to live alongside each other, they will find a way to merge? Certainly, that seems the way for Kyle, whose innate characteristics led him by the nose to become a perfumer and indie brand founder. ‘I’ve always walked a line between scientific and creative,’ says Kyle, ‘…stage performances, musicals, nowadays pottery, but still a scientist at heart. Perfume seemed to marry the two worlds together for me, a place where creativity meets science in a way that is accessible.’ And it takes a trigger to spark the flames that drive a dream into being a fragrant reality.
‘It was around 2015/16’ recalls Kyle, when his partner ‘was due to be spending a year in Japan for his language studies, and I wanted something which could keep us connected despite the distance, and so I started searching for a signature scent.’ Having only experienced high street perfumery at that stage, (and nothing wrong with that!) Kyle explains that he’d never tried niche, artisanal style fragrances. So that during his search for this sacred scented bond between him and his partner, ‘When nothing ‘clicked’ for me (nothing seemed to resonate or had that weight and meaning that I wanted), I turned to my own skillset as a chemist and got curious about how fragrances are actually made.’ It’s a long road of learning, of course, and as Redolescent’s own telling of the backstory continues: ‘Fuelled by a passion for the art and science of perfume, Kyle delved into its secrets, exploring the building blocks through courses and self-guided study.’ Beginning his dive down the rabbit hole (a metaphor that shall also become apparent, later in this tale…) Kyle’s searches for information began on the internet and followed a contemporary path of perfumery schooling. ‘From there I began almost a decade of self-teaching through online resources, meeting with great people in the industry, and plenty of trial and error!’ Kyle smiles, saying ‘I’ve met some amazing people along the way, and the fragrance community is a special one.’ A sentiment we wholeheartedly agree with.
Experimenting with creating formulae is one thing (albeit a huge undertaking), but what is a fragrance without the meaning behind it – the creative input that brought it to life? Kyle agrees that for him, the magic of fragrances need to be grounded in an authentic inspiration. ‘For me it is all around telling stories through scent. Scent is a huge component of memory and emotion,’ he intones, ‘so I like to tap into that and create stories within the bottle which people can explore and discover in a meaningful way.’ And meaning, emotion, scent memories, deeply personal references are part of what Kyle has drawn on in his building of Redolescent and the fragrances he’s thus far created. Explaining his creative process of inspiration, Kyle says: ‘It can be a mixture of things. The first collection I launched came from personal moments of my own life, an autobiography in scent. It touches on some deeply personal moments, and talks about topics which aren’t always easy to discuss. But scent makes a brilliant conduit to have that conversation.’ From this semantically imbued start of the scents, the next collection was more literary based. ‘I then launched the Alice collection, which imagines characters from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in fragrance form. [There’s that rabbit hole, again!] What does the Mad Hatter smell like? How do you capture the innocence and striving maturity of Alice? That was a great collection to do, and it has been received really well,’ he enthuses.
Importantly, as a fragrance-lover, who’d been on his own significant quest for ‘the one’, though, Kyle also understands the part a customer plays. ‘I can only take the story so far; once the fragrance is in your hands, the next chapter starts. It is wonderful to know that you continue to develop that story with your own memories and experiences with the fragrance.’ As for the name? ‘Redolescent is more than a label;’ he says: ‘it’s a portmanteau of ‘redolent’ and ‘scent,’ encapsulating our mission to create multisensory experiences. By crafting a unique word, we ensure our name is as exceptional as the scents we offer—a bespoke journey for each discerning individual.’
Born from passion, driven by the desire to share scented stories and create wearable art forms that live and breathe on the skin, each Redolescent is ‘meticulously handcrafted in the heart of the UK, each bottle a testament to the artistry, care, and attention invested in its creation.’ Inviting you to enter a world where scents are ‘not just perfume, but stories waiting to be unfolded’, Redolescent say: ‘Whether you’re a curious explorer or a returning friend, we extend an invitation to be part of the Redolescent family. The fragrance community is warm and welcoming, and we’re excited to share this aromatic adventure with you.’ Now then, where will you begin that journey of discovery, we wonder…?