Anne Flipo – one of a handful of ‘Master Perfumers’ in the world – shares her secrets and scent loves

Anne Flipo is one of an elite group entitled to call herself ‘Master Perfumer’, a title given by IFF (International Flavors & Fragrances) to their most experienced and talented perfumers.

Anne has worked with IFF since 2004 and the list of her creations would keep you scrolling and scrolling, but highlights include Burberry Brit Rhythm, Chloé Love Story, Jimmy Choo Illicit, Paco Rabanne Lady Million (with Dominique Ropion and Beatrice Piquet), The Herb Garden collection for Jo Malone London, in which she was able to express her own passion for gardening; and more recently, the astoundingly green lushness of Frédéric Malle‘s Synthetic Jungle.

We caught up with Anne to discover exactly how she works, where the inspiration comes from, and the classic scent she wishes she could have created…

What is your first scent memory?
My first ever scent memory is the smell of my mum. She used to wear lot of huge fragrances, but I also remember her own natural smell.

When did you decide you wanted to be a perfumer and create your own perfumes?
I had a revelation during my studies at perfumery school in Versailles, near Paris. It was also a school for flavours and cosmetics, but when I began to play with fragrance ingredients and raw materials I saw it as a game, as a challenge. That’s where my passion and curiosity developed.

What are your five favourite smells in the world?

  • Wow! Well the first one, at least, is easy: neroli. I’ve always loved this extract from the blossom of the bitter orange tree. It’s very important to me because it holds personal memories from childhood. I work around this scent all the time and it’s a constant note in many of my creative processes at the lab.
  • I love basil, too, so when Céline Roux at Jo Malone London approached me about using it in the Basil & Neroli fragrance (launch: autumn 2016), I was delighted.
  • I also love jasmine sambac – a very interesting white flower. It’s the variety of jasmine most similar to the orange blossom.
  • I really like patchouli; it’s a great raw material and so effective within a formula. I use it as a ‘modifier’ to adjust a composition.
  • The last one is difficult because I have so many raw materials going around in my mind – but I do love orris for the sense of volume and quality it can bring to a fragrance.

What is the worst thing you’ve ever smelt?
Pigeons – they have a terrible smell! Especially if they land on you – it is the most horrendous odour. I used to play with a lot of odd-smelling ingredients at perfumery school – both natural and synthetic – so nothing really fazes me except that!

What is the fragrance you wish you had created?
A fragrance that I love and that I wear a lot is Guerlain L’Heure Bleue. Astonishingly, it was created at the very beginning of the 20th Century.

Do you feel that this is one of the most exciting times in fragrance history?
Absolutely – over the past five years or so it’s become a very interesting and exciting time. But I believe that if you want realnsuccess you have to take some risks.

If you could have created a fragrance for an historical figure who would it be?
I am so interested in the idea of Britishness – that’s why I love working with Jo Malone London and especially on Basil & Neroli, which is the spirit of British youth, elegance and carefree hedonism. So I would love to choose one of your own very famous historical personalities such as Sir Winston Churchill.

What was the first fragrance you bought and the first bought for you?
They were both Guerlain fragrances; the first I bought for myself was Guerlain Parure, and the first perfume given to me was Guerlain Chamade.

Do you have a favourite bottle design from those that have been used for your fragrance creations?
I am in love with all the Jo Malone London bottles! To me they are so chic and elegant, and the perfect representation of high quality. I love them.

How many perfumes might you be working on at one time?
Good question! That really depends, but usually quite a lot. Luckily they are never at the same level of development, so it doesn’t get too overwhelming. At the moment it’s not too many; I can manage!

Does your nose ever switch off?
Yes absolutely, I need to have certain forms of ‘silence’. Often during the weekends I can cut off and switch off.

How long roughly does it take you to create a fragrance?
It depends, but I would say nine months is the minimum.

Is creating a fragrance visual for you, as well as something that happens in your nose and brain? If so, in what way?
To create a fragrance I use all of my five senses. It’s very much a brainstorming experience. I can visualise in my mind some odours and after that I play with the idea through flavours, textures, smells and even sounds.

There’s a moment during the day, at the beginning of the afternoon, when I think about fragrances in my mind. I go into a meditation period, and after this time I write my formula.

What can each of us do to enhance our appreciation of fragrance?
Firstly you have to try to relax. Write down or say immediately the words that come to mind when you smell something, and don’t hesitate. Don’t worry if you make mistakes or say something wrong. In fact I personally think there is always something correct in what anyone says about a fragrance.

What is your best tip for improving someone’s sense of smell?
One really helpful exercise is to smell by contrast. So you smell one type of fragrance, and after that you smell something very different – for instance a fresh citrus Cologne and then a spicy Ambrée. That way you smell by contrast and it makes it easier to think, write or speak about each one.

If you had one fragrance note you love above all others what would it be?
Neroli – absolutely without question. I love the fragrance of orange blossom: it’s so rich and beautiful; I want to smell it every day. I really love, love, love it!

Jo Malone London Gent film: first look…

Following on from their summer announcement of the first ever ‘Jo Malone London Gent’, Britain’s own movie star John Boyega, and from their intriguing teaser on Instagram, Jo Malone London just announced ‘…a very exciting Short Film launching with our Male Ambassador,’ which they finally unveiled at 1pm today, and you can see, below.

Simply entitled ‘A London Gent’, Jo Malone London say they sought to bring ‘the power of scent to life’ with the short film, featuring proudly London born-and-bred actor (and that brand-new brand ambassador who was carefully selected to be the aforementioned ‘Jo Malone London Gent’), the brilliant Boyega.

‘The story is a medley of real life, fond memories and the wildest of dreams,’ say Jo Malone London, (which perhaps explains the mix of bikes and Boyega astride a white stallion in the photo!) ‘all seen through the lens of his life and work. Shot close to John’s family home in Peckham, south London, the creative story has very real and relevant connections to his life…’

Starring John’s family and closest friends, and local talent hand-picked by him, it was filmed near John’s family home in Peckham, south London, and shows how ‘scent triggers powerful memories, the most potent of which always bring John home.’ And Jhn says that for him, ‘The story lies in the magic, the opportunity and the undeniable spirit found all over London. There is raw talent, energy and inspiration on every corner and it certainly affected me, my view of life and my approach to work. In London, anything is possible.’

We are loving fragrance houses who truly celebrate the individual characters and lives of their ambassadors, rather than simply replying on how great they look and calling them ‘faces’, don’t you?

For those of you wishing for smell-o-vision, meanwhile, you should grab yourselves some Bronze Wood & Leather Cologne Intense, which is one of Boyega’s scents of choice. Described as ‘Sultry leather encased in a medley of woods. At once smoky and warm, bronzed by the sun’s evening rays. Enlivened with vibrant juniper and fresh grapefruit. A mysterious twist of vetiver, left lingering in the air,’ – we feel that dousing yourself with a sultry spray while re-watching the film can only add to the sensorial thrills.

For research purposes. Yes.

Jo Malone London Bronze Wood & Leather Cologne Intense £78 for 50ml
Try it at

Meet the Jo Malone London Gent – John Boyega

Following in the footsteps of the ‘Jo Malone London Girls’ –  Poppy Delevingne and Karen Elson – get ready to greet the new fragrant face and ‘Jo Malone London Gent‘: London born movie star, John Boyega.

Jean-Guillaume Trottier, Global President of Jo Malone London, explained they chose Boyega because, as a ‘…born and bred Londoner, John is intelligent, inclusive and witty. He shares our core values of generosity and creativity and is unafraid to speak his mind. His vivacity and whole-heartedness make him a wonderful fit with Jo Malone London and I am delighted to welcome him to the family.’

The boy from Peckham’s done well, that’s for sure: from recieving BAFTA’s 2016 Rising Star Award and the Chopard Trophy at Cannes, Boyega captured worldwide attention for his starring role as Finn, forst in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (which happens to be the highest-grossing US film of all time), and again in Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (the highest grossing film, worldwide, of all time).

But it’s not just the big-hitters he’s known for, as Boyega has also graced indie smashhits such as Detroit and Attack the Block, now bringing his vibrancy, vigour and versatillity to the proudly homegrown brand, and along with redefining what it means to be a contempirary gent right now, Jo Malone London say he ‘mirrors our scents which always accentuate the surprising and the bold. Whilst known for being a huge presence and personality, Boyega himself values understatement and originality in scent.’

And we’re sure you’re going to want to know this gent better, so are delighted to share with you a Q&A, below, as well as a sneak peek at his first film for Jo Malone London…

What made you join the Jo Malone London Family?

John Boyega: ‘I love the creativity and storytelling element of Jo Malone London. It’s something I resonate with, it’s how I work best: with discussion, collaboration and down to earth honesty. Jo Malone London always delivers unexpected and unique ingredient choices and scents. It’s refined, but it’s surprising too. My life is the same, a subtle contradiction: my job, my profession, and then I still come home to this town, I still go to the supermarket late at night in my pyjamas. In some ways, everything’s changed, but then again nothing has.’

What is your relationship to scent?

‘Scent is part of my everyday style. My personal style is quite casual but I like to mix it up with interesting fits with Japanese influenced jackets, fitted trousers and chains. I like that I can change up my scent to suit my style. I’m guilty, I like to layer my fragrance. You can make some really interesting smells. If my life was a bottle of cologne it would be called: Conflicts and Success. A new Boyega line.’

What is your first memory of scent?

‘My first job was before school, I would deliver post, milk and sweets. And then I used to sell a bit at school. Sell a little bit of candies, Rockies, Haribo’s. So, my childhood smells like those old school sweets, those drumsticks, gobstoppers, spicy soup.’

What Jo Malone London products would you recommend?

Bronze Wood & Leather Cologne Intense is a solid favourite. It’s a really good scent. I like to wear it on a day-to-day basis. It doesn’t attract too much attention, but at the same time it gets people looking and smelling.
I also like a bit of oud; oud is a lovely smell.’

What do you look for in a script?

‘I look for a number of things in a script. But for me, the main thing is the character arc. I don’t want my character to begin and end the movie the same. I want a change, something different. Something that happens with the character, that means you have to go on an interesting journey with him.’

What’s your favourite part of being on set?

‘My favourite part about being on set is collaborating with the people. I’ve always watched films and never had clarity in my younger days on how the magic starts and is created. So, to be a part of that and witness it is the biggest rush.’

What is something you didn’t expect about being famous?

‘One thing I didn’t expect about being famous is the fact that some things don’t change. Sometimes you have to wait in the queue like everyone else and that’s fine. I mean, I guess I got told so many things about being famous I thought that everything was going to change for me. But I still go shopping late at night in my PJ’s. Nothing’s really changed.’

What wouldn’t you go a day without?

‘I won’t go a day without wearing a comfortable pair of socks. It doesn’t matter if they’re different socks because sometimes in the wash, things get confusing. But as long as they’re both comfortable. I’m cool. I also wear scent every day.’

What do you miss most about England when you’re not here?

‘Sometimes I miss the weather, because I want to put on a jacket. And not always be surrounded by blue skies and sun. I miss the moody faces, I can’t lie, there’s something about the reality and honesty that I like. I just miss London, I miss home.’

What’s the first thing you do when you get back to London?

‘The first thing I do is take a drive. I go back around South London, then drive around Crystal Palace, all the way around Dulwich, go down to Brixton. Just go for a drive, get the feel of the city, see what’s going on. Put the radio on. I just catch a vibe.’

So now, settle down, and get ready to see the Jo Malone Gent in action! (If you happen to have a bottle of Bronze Wood & Leather Cologne Intense nearby, you could always spray that all over for some multi-sensory cinema action, as now at least we know his current favourite fragrance…)

So for his latest – scented – starring role, expect to see Boyega further ‘navigate new territory, celebrating Britishness, storytelling and fragrance as he takes on a new kind of spotlight as the first Jo Malone London Gent.’

The Birthstones Collection’s here! Jo Malone London launch limited editions tailored for you…

Karen Elson’s Birthstones by Duffy is a new limited edition collection for Jo Malone London, featuring the most beautiful bronze bottle caps inlaid with birthstones. Just the most perfect gift for the Jo Malone lover in your life, or something to treat yourself to, perhaps?

The Birthstones collection has been a personal project for the pair – Elson being a brand ambassador for Jo Malone London, and British jeweller Duffy renowned for creating beautiful, contemporary and totally desirable designs from original vintage pieces.

Having long dreamed of designing an iconic cap for a fragrance flacon, Duffy said this collaboration allowed him to flex his creative muscles by trying something completely different. ‘I’ve always wanted to make a bottle top, either for a drink or a fragrance. It was a challenge to work with an object I’ve never worked with before. It seemed like a natural pairing as Karen and I had already known each other through family connections,’ he explained.

Elson, meanwhile, has always felt a particular affinity with birthstones, revealing ‘What I love most is that they seem so charming and precious, and the idea of being able to create something coveted and collectible was really important to me.’

Each cap has been individually handmade by British jeweller Duffy in his London studio, and will be £250 per individual Birthstone Cap. Simply find the one that matches the colour of the birthstone and ’embellish your signature scent, in all its crowning glory’ by selecting the cap to purchase alongside any of their 50ml and 100ml Colognes. Choose whatever you like, but with a Birthstone Collection cap, you can truly make it your own…

By Suzy Nightingale

Jo Malone London – something for the chaps

We know countless men who swathe themselves in Jo Malone London creations, from the zestily iconic Lime, Basil & Mandarin through to darkly sensual Velvet Rose & Oud Cologne Intense. And very lovely they smell, too. So lovely that – to be honest – it had never really dawned on us that the perfume house has never put men centre-stage of its creative focus.

All that changes right now with a just-unveiled collaboration between Jo Malone London and that snappiest of Savile Row tailors, Huntsman. Quintessentially British, they’re the go-to for the cool, the smart and the traditional – and these four fragrances capture the spirit of the bespoke tailor. As Jo Malone London put it, their first men’s line-up ‘brings together four refined fragrances tailored to the modern man. For laidback days, wild nights and everything in between.’

The bottles are certainly extremely well-dressed in their own right, emblazoned with the classic Huntsman typography in glistening gold, capped in matte burgundy. (And positively begging for the acquisition of all four in order to create the line-up you see above and below.)

But – and we know you’re waiting for this bit – what of the scents themselves? Well, just as the men in our lives have often half-inched our bottles of Jo Malone London scents ‘for women’, we’ll be returning the light-fingered favour with this lot. Like most perfume world insiders, we’ve never paid much attention to the gender of fragrances, frankly, believing that you should wear what you love. So, we encourage you to check out…

Amber & Patchouli

And we quote: ‘Decadent evenings, wrapped in the sensuality of amber. A heady pairing of a legendary ingredient with deep, characterful patchouli. The tempting smokiness of guaiac wood. A supple, suede-like finish. Seductive.’ We’re finding that the amber softens the earthiness of the patchouli in a wonderful come-closer way. Pair with a sharp suit, a loosened tie and some pulsing beats, in a darkened nightclub.

Assam & Grapefruit Cologne

‘The lively, full-bodied aroma of a cup of tea in the morning. A citrus burst of grapefruit. A black tea note of Assam, unfolding. The herbal scent of maté, infused with spicy cardamom and the warmth of patchouli.’ We love the freshness of the tea notes, contrasted with the warmth of cardamon and then given that dirty-in-a-good-way, earthy edge of patchouli. Of the quartet, we reckon this is the one best suited (and booted) to wearing to the office – and the boardroom.

Huntsman fragrances line-up for Jo Malone London

Whisky & Cedarwood Cologne

Probably the most unashamedly masculine of the lot, this is ‘Footsteps after dark on waxy wooden floors. An enigmatic nightcap. Fine whisky, edged with spiced pimento, finished with warm cedarwood. A fragrance for the small hours. Daring and intriguing.’ We raise a Waterford crystal tumbler to the booziness of this, but are taken by its pencil-shavings woodsiness, too. One for pairing with a velvet jacket and jeans, we figure.

Birch & Black Pepper Cologne

‘Britain today. Its rebellious roots in punk, yet with an enduring respect for tradition. The cool spiciness of black pepper and cardamom, juxtaposed with smoky birch and an accord of magnetic ink. A scent of subtle contrasts.’ Birch & Black Pepper is tarry, leathery – and equally interesting on a woman’s skin, too, we’re finding – seasonally perfect, with its whispers of bonfire. (Would be great, worn with a chunky knit, cords and Hunter wellies, on a brisk walk.)

As wardrobes go, this pretty much covers it.

Jo Malone London Huntsman Collection £120 each for 100ml Cologne
Find them at Jo Malone London stores, Huntsman of Savile Row and

By Jo Fairley

Jo Malone London Tropical Cherimoya Cologne

Here at Perfume Society HQ, the first few glimpses of sunshine and we want to bask like lizards. After what felt like the Winter that never ends, how glorious it is to see the fresh crop of Summer-ready scents making their way onto the shelves!

The eye-popping colours of Jo Malone London‘s vibrant (practically neon-bright) new Tropical Cherimoya Cologne couldn’t help but catch our attention, but what exactly is this intriguingly named ingredient?

A fruit-bearing tree renowned by the Inca people, home for the cherimoya plant turns out to originally have been Columbia, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia, later spreading across the Andes and Central America. You probably have heard of it before, but perhaps by its better-known name of the ‘custard apple,’ so-called because of the creamy texture and particular sweetness of the flesh.

Mark Twain called the cherimoya ‘the most delicious fruit known to men’, with the botanist Seeman (and we’re not making this name up, I swear) chiming in by declaring, ‘if I were asked which would be the best fruit, I would choose without hesitation, cherimoya. Its taste, indeed, surpasses that of every other fruit, and Haenke was quite right when he called it the masterpiece of Nature.’

Awash with juicy, totally tropical temptations, the opening has the freshness of a traditional Cologne, then becomes almost milky, swirled through with a pear-like note and grounded in utterly scrumptious creaminess. Think of a passion flower glorying in sunshine, warmed by rich resins and a lightly smoked background of black tea.

Jo Malone London Tropical Cherimoya Cologne £95 for 100ml eau de Cologne

Tropically fragrant, exotically charged and part of the limited edition Hot Blossoms range, if you’re feeling like us (off to look at holiday deals and wondering if comfortable flip-flops exist) you’d best make haste to stock up for the heat, because they’re all selling like hot… well, blossoms.

Written by Suzy Nightingale


The Blame game: Judy has Jo Malone London all wrapped up with buttons and bows

When designer Judy Blame recently did an in-store signing session at Selfridges for these Jo Malone London boxes, it was a sellout with queues stretching round the department. (To be honest, the last time we saw a queue like that snaking through Selfridges it turned out to have Katie Price autographing her latest novel at the end of it.)

Subculture figure, accessories designer, stylist and image consultant to Björk, Boy George, Neneh Cherry, former creative consultant with Dior… And now with own solo exhibition, Never Again, at the ICA in London, Judy Blame‘s CV has cool oozing from every pixel.

He’s long been obsessed with London’s Pearly Kings and Queens, which are the quirky design influence for a collection of very special boxes for Jo Malone London: a quartet of designs, with a choice of special ribbons, a collectible pin and even stickers to customise your bottle. (This is the most gloriously sophisticated way to feel six again that we’ve ever encountered.)

All you need do is buy two Jo Malone London products from their website, then select one of the four designs (below): The Crown Box, The Star Box, The Union Jack Box and The Heart Box (an online exclusive – you can find the others in-store at Selfridges Oxford Street).

And we’re delighted he un-buttoned his lip to share these thoughts about design, fashion – and his love of London.

What were your earliest influences?
Spanish art and bull fighting, punk rock and Paris haute couture.

What was it like growing up in punk Britain? Does it still influence your work?
I enjoyed every minute. It was about the attitude, not the image…. It always crops up.

How did you come to fashion or did fashion come to you?
I was attracted to it. I was more interested in personal style than fashion.

Can you tell us about the Pearly Kings and Queens? Why do they inspire you?
The whole history has a certain charm and I love a good customised outfit. Buttons rule!

Can you tell us about your finished designs for Jo Malone London? Which Pearly symbols did you choose to use?
Jo Malone London asked me to modernise a traditional English look. I immediately thought of the pearly aesthetic and it was something that had influenced me for a long time. All the symbols I used mean something in the pearly language. For instance: the anchor means hope. The horse shoe means luck. The crown is for royalty. The heart means charity… Doves are peace.

You work with everyday objects – what attracts you to them?
Their ready availability and endless variety.

Do you think there are any characteristics which are unique to British design?
We are given the time to experiment. We have a respect for tradition but we don’t mind mucking about with it either.

Where do you find yourself most inspired?

Find Judy Blame for Jo Malone London on-line here

Jo Malone London - Judy Blame Collection

We’re on our travels: The Perfume Society’s coming to Scotland with two events

We are absolutely thrilled to be packing our bags and heading north of the border in March for two stunning Perfume Society events in Edinburgh.

On Friday 13th March, we will be hosting an evening event at the George Street flagship store for Jo Malone LondonTM , to celebrate Britain’s defining eras in scent with five new limited edition Colognes. Among other activities here’ll be Hand & Arm massages – and you can have your Jo Malone box personalised with a wax seal.

Jo Fairley and Lorna McKay from The Perfume Society are looking forward to meeting you, along with Jo Malone Global Fragrance Ambassador Chris Wyatt. Tickets are £25 and include Champagne, canapés and a goodie bag. To book and to find out more, click here.

And Jo and Lorna will be up bright and early next day (Saturday 14th March) to host two How to Improve Your Sense of Smell Workshops at the historic Riddles Court, in Edinburgh’s Old Town. These events are exclusive to our VIP Subscribers, who may bring a guest for just £15 to enjoy the 90-minute workshop, refreshments and a goodie bag. Find out more…

We so look forward to seeing you in Lorna’s home country!

It’s roses, Red Roses all the way as Jo Malone London scents pictures at an exhibition

This painting is surely one of the most ‘fragrant’ paintings in history: look at it, close your eyes, and smell the roses. (Which is why we chose it to illustrated the Roman era of perfumes, in our HISTORY section, here.

But at Leighton House Museum right now, that’s more than an illusion. Jo Malone London™ is bringing Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema’s painting ‘to life’, in an oh-so-fragrant way, at the exhibition currently running at the former home of one of the greatest Victorian artists, in London’s Holland Park.

Glorying in the title ‘The Roses of Heliogabalus’, this masterpiece was first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1888 and has become one of the best known images in the whole of Victorian art. It’s all about the ultimate decadence of the Roman Emperor Heliogabalus who – for his own pleasure – is causing his guests to be suffocated beneath a torrent of falling rose petals released from awnings above them. (Oh, but what a way to go…!)

And what better to evoke that roses-all-the-way atmosphere than Jo Malone London™’ Red Roses fragrance, petal-powered out of the bottle to drench our senses in a blend of seven different roses…?

If you want to enjoy this ‘scent-surround’ experience, A Victorian Obsession is open until 29th March 2015 every day except Tuesdays from 10am – 5.30pm.

Leighton House Museum
12 Holland Park Road
London W14 8LZ
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