Molton Brown have long been offering us ways to escape the everyday humdrum with a vast selection of fabulously fragranced goodies – since 1973, in fact – but for the past fourteen years, only travellers on the luxurious ocean-line, Seabourn, have been able to experience this ultra-bespoke range. Created especially for the lavishly appointed ships, the scents were suitably inspired by the sea itself. Once exclusively the pleasure of passengers of the Seabourn, now Molton Brown are offering the range as a summer Limited Edition, giving us all the chance to get on board with their tantalisingly transportive fragrances and (as always) high quality formulas.
Molton Brown Say: ‘This year, for the first time, Molton Brown have created two completely bespoke fragrances that reflect the cruise line’s unparalleled luxurious guest experience. Usually available exclusively for Seabourn’s on-board guests, they will be offered in Molton Brown stores for a limited time. The beautiful collection is composed of ingredients inspired by Seabourn’s very own signature cruise destinations.’
The first thing you may notice are the exclusive bottles – standing apart from Molton Brown’s usual style with opaque white bottles, all featuring charming illustrations of the main fragrant ingredients, hand-drawn by the coast-based illustrator, Angela McKay. Completely sharable, the range encompasses shampoo, conditioner, bath and shower gel and a body lotion. And we couldn’t wait to get splash-happy…
Immersive Samphire & Eucalyptus Bath & Body Collection:
As always, Molton Brown use the highest quality ingredients possible, such as the carefully sourced, salty-green notes of Samphire picked from the French Atlantic Coast, and deliciously uplifting eucalyptus from Beijing. Philippe Bousseton, Master Perfumer at Takasago, reveals his inspiration for this collection as being, ‘A revitalising and very fresh aroma ideal for bathing, where samphire and marine notes are reminiscent of the sea and ultimately, of the Seabourn experience.’ Fabulously evocative, fresh without being citrus-y, we were immediately dreaming of those revitalising seaside walks that make you feel more alive.
Immersive Samphire & Eucalyptus Bath & Shower Gel £20 for 300ml
Immersive Samphire & Eucalyptus Body Lotion £25 for 300ml
Inspiring Basil & Vetiver Hair Care Collection:
Here, Master Perfumer of Fragrance Resources, Heidrun Harder, used herbaceous basil from Vietnam and deliciously cool vetiver, found in Haiti. Explaining the charcater of these products, Heirun says they are, ‘Very sophisticated, rounded and clean thanks to aromatic notes of basil and vetiver, perfect for hair care.’ A complete boon for those of us who require a more subtle wake-up than being blasted by grapefruit or drowning in flowers first thing, they are gentle but effective and leave hair glossy with a ready-to-go bounce.
Inspiring Basil & Vetiver Shampoo £18 for 300ml
Inspiring Basil & Vetiver Conditioner £18 for 300ml Molton Brown Seabourn Collection
Buy them now at moltonbrown.co.uk
Written by Suzy Nightingale
When a perfumer creates the scent for a ‘functional fragrance’ – a product that millions of people around the world use daily in their homes or on themselves – they are composing the scent of a home, a loved one, the smell you associate with your own clean skin, perhaps. An incredibly technically challenging role, perfumers are plucked from the very same schools as those who create fine fragrances, indeed may often be the very same ‘nose’…
For a full exploration of this fascinatingly secretive cross-over between designer fashion fragrances and the scent of “clean washing”, see the hot-off-the-press Fashion & Fragrance edition of The Scented Letter magazine. But we wondered – is there room for a perfumer’s artistic expression, or does it necessarily take a differing form? We caught up with perfumer, expert consultant and teacher, Karen Gilbert, to talk about the challenges perfumers and evaluators face when evoking the scent of “clean washing”, and wondered how on earth she got into this fabric care – or “functional fragrance” – world.
‘I fell into it by complete accident,’ Karen reminices. ‘I originally went to The London College of Fashion to train as a make up artist after working the cosmetics industry for a few years. I decided to stay on and do a cosmetics science diploma and two-week work placement at IFF [International Flavors & Fragrance]. They asked me back for a six-month temp position that turned into five years working on UK own label products as an evaluator, and running the fragrance library for the London office.’
Having interviewed the perfumer’s at IFF’s Centre of Excellence for fabric care, we knew how talented they are. But although the world of fine fragrance and fabric care/fucntional fragrances are entwined, some raw ingredients simply don’t translate because of the high temperatures and processes they’re subjected to.
Explains Karen, ‘Creating fragrances for an alcoholic fine fragrance is the easiest thing as there are much fewer technical challenges. When you are creating for a laundry care product you not only have to work with a base that already may have an unpleasant odour but you need to make sure the fragrance doesn’t get washed away during the wash/rinse cycle. There’s also the budget to consider, as most people will only pay a certain amount for something like a fabric conditioner.’
And exactly how closely do the fabric conditioners and fine fragrances rub against each other? ‘Oh goodness everything filters down eventually to functional products. It’s so weird when people ask me to smell a perfume as I really learned about fragrance whilst I was at IFF so most of my days were spent sniffing “types” rather than fine fragrance. So if I smell a particular men’s “Aquatic” fragrance now I always think of blue toilet cleaner, and to me Tresor translated down to peach fabric conditioner. Whenever I smell a new fragrance I still find myself thinking “oh that would be good for a roomspray” or “this would work in a men’s shower gel”. I was never a “perfumista” so my view of fragrance is quite different to the average fragrance fan I think!’
Such is the demand for perfumers to create various scented products for fragrancing every aspect of our lives that, as part of her fragrance training offering, Karen now runs a specialised course for those wanting to learn more about this intriguing yet technically challenging world. She explains that ‘…it came out of years of students coming to my live classes where we make an alcohol based EDT, who really wanted to create for their own product line.’ And that although the techniques of making a fragrance are the same ‘…there are lots of other things you need to take into consideration when creating for other types of product base.’
Aimed at anyone who want to learn more about developing fragrances for face, body and bath products – including how to professionally evaluate the performance of your products – you can find out more about Karen’s course, here…
Written by Suzy Nightingale