Happy Birthday, Floral Street! The sweet smell of success

Florals, but absolutely not as you know them, were the driving passion that launched British niche house Floral Street in to the perfume world, and we’re thrilled they are now celebrating their second birthday (and the sweet smell of success!) So let’s take a look at exactly why we think they’re blooming…

When we first encountered Floral Street, suffice to say we were blown away by their concept – and oh boy did they deliver in the execution of the fabulous new spins on floral fragrances. Within their standalone Covent Garden store having expanded into several other department stores around the U.K. (including John Lewis and Liverpool’s Harvey Nichols), and now, completely thrillingly, recently having been stocked in the mighty Sephora internationally!

Time-travelling backwards for a bit, our co-founder, Jo Fairley, has known Michelle Feeney for longer than either of them care to admit – back to Michelle’s time at the Estée Lauder Companies, and then at the helm of revolutionary tanning name St Tropez. So when she announced she was unveiling a fragrance line ‘built on the streets of London’, we were rather excited by the whole idea and the stunning reality…

Floral Street’s fragrances are as far from traditional (what some see as ‘old fashioned’) florals as it’s possible to get – each created by the star perfumer Jérôme Épinette, who is known for his mastery of natural ingredients. As Floral Street put it: ‘These are bunches – not bouquets. Ingredients, not notes. And it’s about ease, modernity and joy.’ Michelle adds: ‘My mission is to bring fine fragrance to the modern female – so that she might build an entire fragrance wardrobe, which can express the many facets of who she is.’

At the heart of each fragrance is a specific flower (sourced by the legendary fragrance house Robertet) – but each creation brings an unexpected twist,   treated in a way that brilliantly ignites the senses.

The fragrance which most excited our editor, Jo, is Chypre Sublime: an utterly modern take on this sophisticated fragrance family, blending incense with Damask rose absolute, midnight violet, pink pepper and geranium, on a stunning base of benzoin, labdanum and olibanum which – as Floral Street nails it – ‘offers a resin-soaked wood table for the flowers to perch on. A fragrance for musicians, painters and poets.’ We absolutely knew this HAD to be included in our perfume pick for the Precious Perfumes Discovery Box.(Scroll down for more information and how to get your hands on the samples we chose!)

All of us in the office have recently been gravitating toward the daringly delicious Ylang Ylang Espresso: A strikingly modern and supremely wearable blend of red rose, ylang ylang and jasmine resting atop a soothing cloud of just-brewed coffee, fresh cream and Sichuan pepper – sustainably harvested from the foothills of the Himalayas. ‘A fragrance to get lost in’ they say, and oh how we love to do just that. There really isn’t anything to compare, you have to try it for yourself, among the myriad delights of the Precious Perfumes Discovery Box. (Scroll down to snag your scents today!)

Wild Vanilla Orchid (see main picture) is vanilla, yes, but definitely not as you know it – and we’ve ‘turned’ several previous nay-sayers with this one! A raw-edged confection of creamy vanilla beans, blossom, cassis and citrus, dressed in a bunch of just-plucked jasmine. Offsetting the lingering sweetness; bamboo and sandalwood bend and fold underneath. Laid-back but exquisite. White tulle and high top, in fragrance form. It’s such an unusual evocation of vanilla that we were untited in agreeing that it had to be the third pick for the Precious Perfumes Discovery Box

Precious Perfumes Discovery Box £40 (£35 for V.I.P. club members)

Bursting with NINETEEN niche fragrances, many of them full-size or generous minis, prepare to be dazzled by each of the three Floral Street fragrances, and salivate over our curation of these fragrant gems for you to try at home…

By Suzy Nightingale

Jérome Epinette: A Working Nose

Had he not become a perfumer, Jérome Epinette says he’d likely have been a sommelier. Growing up in the famous wine region of Burgundy, he loves to attend wine tastings, comparing notes just as he does in perfume. And if it wasn’t wine, it could just as likely have been a food career that beckoned – in his spare time Jérome is an accomplished cook, particularly enjoying blending unique combinations of herbs and cooking traditional French dishes.

Luckily for us fragrance lovers, Jérome’s passion for perfume had also been realised at an early age – his mother worked in a fine perfumery, and he would join her there during school holidays to help out. Having earned a Master’s Degree in Biochemistry in Dijon, France and attended the Grasse Institute of Perfumery in Grasse, Jérome’s career really began when he joined Robertet’s Paris office in 2003 and was part of the U.S. team to launch the New York Creative Center in 2006, where he now lives.

Known for his love of exceptional quality naturals and how elegantly he blends them with the finest synthetics, you’ll very likely have worn and loved many of his creations already – houses from Atelier Cologne, Byredo, Frapin, Olfactive Studio to Vilhelm have fought for Epinette to be their nose. Now, Jérome has turned his talents to the self-proclaimed ‘upstart’ fragrance house of Floral Street, who won the Fragrance Foundation Retail Award 2019 and are wowing fragrance fans the world over with their contemporary spin on floral ingredients.

We had the pleasure of meeting Jérome at our Perfume Society event in their Covent Garden flagship store, just as Electric Rhubarb was launching – a fragrance collaboration with Chelsea Flower Show, and a fruity/floral like no other. Of course we couldn’t wait to ask this brilliant perfumer exactly what makes him tick, and how he goes about creating a fragrance.

Describe your office and how you like to work…

‘It’s a very neat, white office, a white wooden floor, everything very minimal. My desk is bright white, very clean, I try to keep very tidy as I can only work like that. I couldn’t have a pile of blotters tumbling everywhere and a mass of stuff around me, that would drive me crazy.

Usually my nose is more efficient in the morning, I start working at 8:30am and smell all of the drydowns from the night before, it’s only then you can judge their longevity or see which aspects need adjusting. You need that time for it to develop overnight, but you also need time to let go of thinking about it, to come to it fresh. A fresh mind and a fresh nose.’

How do you like to think about a fragrance – do you use mood boards, go for a walk, read, listen to music…?

‘For Floral Street we use mood boards, because Michelle [Feeney – Floral Street’s vibrant founder] is very visual, as is the brand. I get an immediate idea from the pictures and colours, and I work from there. I think I’m very lucky to go to work by walking. I have a 25 minute walk and that gives me time to set my head up for the day. It’s a treasured time to reflect. I couldn’t take the subway, that’s too fast.

When I go home I walk through Central Park, and I think about what I’ve done that day, but when I get home I switch everything off and just relax with my family. Although I do spray my wife with fragrances I’m working on… she’ll sometimes say “have you put that ingredient I don’t like?” There are some things she likes so much she wishes I wasn’t selling it! I can’t listen to if my family and friends like a perfume, as such, because I’m not making it for them, but I see how it works on different skins.’

What did you want people to experience when smelling Electric Rhubarb?

‘For me this is buzzy, it has an energy, there’s a luscious juiciness and then a surprising smoothness. It’s so important to try on the skin, only then do I know to push the wood or whatever tweaks I need to do. You need to follow the perfume, how it behaves. When you smell the ingredients, like the sandalwood I’ve used in this one for example, you only then get the creamy aspect, a silkiness that only happens when it radiates on your skin, the full evolution of the fragrance.’

What are your favourite ingredients, and why?

‘I have tonnes of flowers I love, but gardenia is one of my all time favourites – I have one on my terrace and I can smell it whenever I walk past, and I’m always transported – that’s why I chose it for Electric Rhubarb. In the woody character, I think part of my signature is using patchouli and sandalwood, I’d say I use these practically all the time, in differing ways of course, but every perfumer has their signature, and that’s definitely mine.’

What do you say to people who ask why you use synthetic as well as naturals in your perfumes?

‘I’d say we need both, it’s as simple as that. If you ask me tomorrow to make 100% natural perfume, that’s incredibly challenging to make it smell good – you have a much smaller palette for a start, and synthetics add a complexity, they allow you to link everything together, the beautiful naturals and the clever synthetics make something whole.’

Jérome Epinette interviewed by Suzy Nightingale

Fabulous Floral Street! The affordable niche house shaking the petals of the perfume world

When we first encountered Floral Street, suffice to say we were blown away by their concept – and oh boy did they deliver in the execution of the fabulous new spins on floral fragrances, and within their standalone Covent Garden store.

Our co-founder, Jo Fairley, has known Michelle Feeney for longer than either of them care to admit – back to Michelle’s time at the Estée Lauder Companies, and then at the helm of revolutionary tanning name St Tropez. So when she announced she was unveiling a fragrance line ‘built on the streets of London’, we were rather thrilled by the whole idea and the stunning reality…

Floral Street’s fragrances are as far from your granny’s florals as it’s possible to get – each created by the star perfumer Jérôme Épinette, who is known for his mastery of natural ingredients. As Floral Street put it: ‘These are bunches – not bouquets. Ingredients, not notes. And it’s about ease, modernity and joy.’ Michelle adds: ‘My mission is to bring fine fragrance to the modern female – so that she might build an entire fragrance wardrobe, which can express the many facets of who she is.’

At the heart of each fragrance is a specific flower (sourced by the legendary fragrance house Robertet) – but each creation brings an unexpected twist,   treated in a way that brilliantly ignites the senses. Take Wonderland Peony, which not only features armfuls of that flower, but pink berries and violets, Anything but cutesy, it’s given a woody-balsamic warmth by cedarwood, alongside vetiver.

London Poppy is ‘a love letter’ to the capital city, ‘a city that sees the sun through the crowds’. Bright as a sun-filled London morning, it bursts into life with Florida orange and Sicilian lemon, a marine note adding a splash of seaspray to the neroli, jasmine sambac and apricot blossom at London Poppy’s heart, before the base of hinoki woods, black amber and cedarwood ventures forth.

The fragrance which has scent critics and beauty editors most excited, perhaps, is Chypre Sublime: an utterly modern take on this sophisticated fragrance family, blending incense with Damask rose absolute, midnight violet, pink pepper and geranium, on a stunning base of benzoin, labdanum and olibanum which – as Floral Street nails it – ‘offers a resin-soaked wood table for the flowers to perch on. A fragrance for musicians, painters and poets.’

Perfumistas have recently been gravitating toward the daringly delicious Ylang Ylang Espresso: A strikingly modern and supremely wearable blend of red rose, ylang ylang and jasmine resting atop a soothing cloud of just-brewed coffee, fresh cream and Sichuan pepper – sustainably harvested from the foothills of the Himalayas. ‘A fragrance to get lost in’ they say, and oh how we love to do just that.

What’s more, all the packaging is recylable and sustainable, and the boxes have been cleverly designed to be used as seed trays, instead of being thrown away! You can read more about the ethos behind the brand on our page dedicated to Floral Street.

We could wax-lyrical about the entire collection, but the very best way is for you to try these exciting new ways to wear floral on your own skin (or to give as the perfect gifting experience). With that in mind, we’re so happy to be stocking the Floral Street Discovery Set, where you can try all 8 fragrance for just £14!


Written by Suzy Nightingale

Try the Floral Street Discovery Set!

If you think floral fragrances are a bit fuddy-duddy, think again! With creations by one of the world’s leading perfumers, the new perfume house Floral Street is going to shake up your opinions about florals with their contemporary spin.

Floral Street’s are as far from your granny’s florals as it’s possible to get – each created by the star perfumer Jérôme Épinette, who is known for his mastery of natural ingredients. As Floral Street put it: ‘These are bunches – not bouquets. Ingredients, not notes. And it’s about ease, modernity and joy.’

Smelling is believing, right? So we cannot urge you enough to get on board the floral revolution by wearing them on your own skin. Each scent takes a single flower as its theme – (sourced by the legendary fragrance house Robertet) – but each creation brings an unexpected twist, treated in a way that brilliantly ignites the senses, and builds an intriguing new chapter to the story. We guarantee these are quite unlike anything your nose will have discovered thus far…

Try all eight fragrances for yourself, with this must-have Discovery Set! (At just £12, we think it’s a total steal, by the way).

Which one will best suit your own scent style? Read the descriptions, below, for a glimpse of the fragrant journey you’re about to travel… and remember – you get to try them all!

Wonderland Peony This not only features armfuls of that flower, but pink berries and violets, Anything but cutesy, it’s given a woody-balsamic warmth by cedarwood, alongside vetiver.

Chypre Sublime An utterly modern take on this sophisticated fragrance family, blending incense with Damask rose absolute, midnight violet, pink pepper and geranium, on a stunning base of benzoin, labdanum and olibanum.

Black Lotus The classic English-Rose dressed in a black leather jacket. Intoxicating, spirited, bohemian and alive. Complex and multi-faceted, the sweet honeyed scent of centifolia rose adds depth to lighter, spicy nuances by way of red peppercorn and saffron.

Iris Goddess There’s nothing shy about these violets. An explosion of powdery petals collide with ripe red fruits. Black vanilla, warm musks and earthy carrot seed bring exoticisim and depth, sparkling lemon zest and red chilli pepper add a jolt of life.

London Poppy A love letter to London: a city as tough as ever-lasting poppies. The scent that opens with a bright beam of light. Sicilian Lemon and Florida Orange bring the zing. A salt-spray marine note adds an unexpected sea-facing view.

Neon Rose You will never have smelt flowers like these. Freshly chopped jasmine draped around your neck. Roses around your wrist. And yet no roses were harmed in the making of this showpiece – these buds were cooked up in a lab for extra punch. Crisp, green Angelica leaves bring a botanical dimension, while fresh Bergamot floats overhead.

Wild Vanilla Orchid It’s vanilla, but not as you know it. A raw-edged confection of creamy vanilla beans, blossom, cassis and citrus, dressed in a bunch of just-plucked jasmine. Offsetting the lingering sweetness; bamboo and sandalwood bend and fold underneath.

Ylang Ylang Espresso  A strikingly modern blend of red rose, ylang ylang and jasmine cross paths with a soothing cloud of just-brewed coffee, fresh cream and Sichuan pepper – sustainably harvested from the foothills of the Himalayas. A fragrance to get lost in.

PS: It it isn’t just the fragrances which are strikingly innovative, but the packaging. Each of Floral Street’s full-size bottles showcases a stunning, decadent flower artwork by renowned fashion photographer Matthew Donaldson – whose flower-powered photography also adorns this Discovery Box.