We’re always excited to attend the annual IFRA Fragrance Forum – a symposium of scent at The Royal Institution which delves deeper into current scientific research, bringing together experts from around the world who may never usually meet, but who all share the sense of smell as a common theme of their research.
This year, we’re even more thrilled, as it will be held in-person again (although online streaming options are available), the topic being Hidden Depths: Memory, language and the sense of place.
Even better news: YOU can buy tickets to attend!
IFRA says: “This year we celebrate our 10th Fragrance Forum which will be chaired by Professor Barry Smith, Director of the Institute of Philosophy at the Centre for the Study of the Senses. With Barry at the helm we will be exploring the many hidden depths of olfaction through a fantastic line up of speakers including:
Professor Noam Sobel from the Weizmann Institute in Israel – a leader in research relating to olfaction, he will be talking about some of his latest work.
Mr Peter Andrews, Consultant Rhinologist, Facial Plastic and Anterior Skull Base Surgeon, Royal National Throat Nose and Ear Hospital and National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery. As the lead for smell in relation to long-Covid, Peter will be talking about post-infection olfactory disfunction, its wider impact and new ways we can tackle it.
Omer Polak, Studio Omer Polak, Berlin. Omer will talk about the multidisciplinary approach of his studio using a variety of projects that examine the use of the sense of smell as a tool for design through images, video, sound, and smell.
Professor Asifa Majid, Professor of Language, Communication, and Cultural Cognition Department of Psychology, University of York will be focusing on olfaction and language.
Dr Tom Mercer, Senior Lecturer in Psychology and Professor Sebastian Groes, Professor of English Literature, University of Wolverhampton will be talking about two studies they have done that provide new insights into the connection between smell, memory and place, and they highlight the value of exploring region-specific smells within the context of the Proust Phenomenon.
We look forward to seeing you at The Royal Institution as we explore the hidden depths of smell together.”
If you’re a perfume lover (and we suppose you are, since you’re here!) then we know you’re going to love an historical Perfume Walk through London’s vibrant, heritage-rich Mayfair…
On March 21st, Perfumedaze are going to be sauntering through the world of scent, taking in the sights and smells of London’s historic fragrance houses, led by the very knowledgable Olga (who we often see at out own Perfume Society events, as she’s a long-time and very enthusiastic member!) So although we’re not organising the walk, we very much wanted to flag it up for fellow fragrance addicts.
Says Olga: ‘The perfume walk is an invite to have a glimpse of London history through perfumes, their creators and people who wore them. The tour takes about three hours during which walk we will visit heritage perfume shops and find out the exciting history of old English brands like Floris, Atkinson’s, Penhaligon’s and Grossmith. We will have access to places usually closed to public, like the Museum at Floris and the Georgian Suite at Atkinsons.
Floris offers an opportunity for a real time travel. The shop has been occupying the same premises for 290 years and is still run by the same family. Among his clients there are royals, famous people, actors and even literary characters. The visit to Floris also gives a chance to discuss what a unisex fragrance mean.
Atkinsons, meanwhile, is a real phoenix of the perfume industry connected to the king of English fashion Beau Brummell as well as Russian Royal Family, Queen Victoria and Sarah Bernard. We will also be walking on the street once famous for Turkish baths where William Penhaligon created his first fragrance. And the tour will finish in the mecca of modern perfumery, Jovoy Mayfair, where we will discover secrets of main perfume ingredients and discuss pros and cons of naturals and synthetics.’
All the details you need to know are on the Eventbrite ticket page, but the basics are that the walk is March 21st, 11am–2pm, and tickets cost £20 (non-refundable).
Traversing from the oldest houses still proudly proferring perfumes in the Captial, right through to exploring some of the most modern fragrances around – think of this as a way to time travel with your nose.
By Suzy Nightingale
Fragranced candles don’t get much hotter than Jonathan Ward‘s… metaphorically speaking, of course, but we were wowed from the very first time we smelled them.
You see, British candle maker and fragrant auter, Jonathan Ward, likes to do things differently. Having begun in the fashion world and created fragrances for others, Ward crossed over to the light side with his own fragranced candle house at last, and now has perfumistas filling their own homes with his scents.
As you might imagine, we’ve had our noses on a fair few scented candles in our time. The Perfume Society offices are contstantly aglow (candle-light is so flattering to the features, don’t you think? Especially when you’ve lost that post-holiday glow!) and currently we have Halcyonic wafting its magic. Inspired by the Bright Young Things of the ‘roaring 20s’, we felt it was just the thing to have burning after watching the Downton Abbey film. And as you’ll see, below, even the wayhe describes the notes feels like the an entire world and cast of characters, captured in scent…
Steam Iron Lapel, Smoked Lipstick Kiss, Tea Rose, Amber
Crab Apple, Honeysuckle, Prickle Pear, Wet Jasmine
Black Amber, Black Salt, Tuxedo Musks
Fragrance expert Stephan Matthews regularly cites Ward’s creations among his favourite in the whole world (and as we know, there’s a lot of candles out there!) and recently caught up with this coolest of candle makers to discover his scented heritage. We Wear Perfume, meanwhile, fell madly for the literary and mythological inspirations behind the brand, waxing lyrical (sorry, couldn’t resist) about the ‘complex and captivating stories for his artful scented candle collection that are akin to miniature novels.’
Indeed, these are no ordinary candles – Ward creates scented spaces into which we can escape at the flick of a flame. He likes to ‘…ignite the olfactory legacies bequeathed by artists, visionaries, prophets and poets—bringing fresh light to their thoughts and ideas.’
Where we think these candles excel is the fragrances have just as much complexity (and time spent on them) as a bottle of personal perfume. In fact, Ward admitted to We Wear Perfume that he sometimes dabs a bit of the fragrance oils he composes for the candles behind his ears, apparently even combing a bit through his beard! But be in no doubt: here’s a man who takes the compositions of these scents really, really seriously.
Another point of difference is the added benefit of the candles being completely clean-burning – Ward is one of the founders in the promotion of natural waxes, with the wicks attached using an artisan candle technique that fixes them without using glue or resin.
We’re not talking about pouring some already created scent into some wax and adding a wick, here. We mean blending your own custom scent using professional perfumer’s accords, then practice making your very own candle; from mixing the oils to pouring the wax it’ll be a hands-on experience (and a new life skill).
The workshop will be led by the immensely talented Jonathan Ward himself, who will undoubtedly share invaluable candle-related knowledge throughout the day. This will be an unforgettable workshop where guests will enjoy refreshments and take home their personally scented Jonathan Ward candle, along with being offered an incredibly generous and exclusive discount of 15% off Jonathan Ward products on the day.
Tickets for this unique day’s custom candle course are £65 and can be purchased here:
Saturday 5th October 2019
Times: 11.00 am – 2:00 pm
Venue: Johnathan Ward Candle Studio, Regent Studios, 8 Andrews Rd, London E8 4QN
By Suzy Nightingale
This year marks the fifth anniversary of the pioneering London Craft Week, and we’re thrilled to see so many scented events are included! From sniffing bespoke fragrances inspired by ‘rebels and reprobates’ to multi-sensory experiuences and the world’s first ‘sleep bar’, there truly is something for everyone to explore…
From 8-12 May 2019, hundreds of venues across the capital will participate in ‘a five-day celebration of global creativity – its biggest, boldest and most ambitious event to date.
More than 240 makers, designers, brands, artists and galleries from 15 countries will participate over the course of the week, inviting the London public to a packed programme of exhibitions, hands-on workshops, talks, creative experiences and one-off events.’
Of course our eyes (and noses) were immediately drawn to the fragrance-themed events in particular, and so we’ve included a selection to whet your appetite, below.
Rebels & Rogues: Creating Bespoke Perfumes
Beaumont Hotel – A collaboration between The Beaumont and individual perfumiers; Ormonde Jayne, Paul Schutze, Penhaligon’s, Experimental Perfume Club, Cire Trudon, Floris, and 4160 Tuesdays who were asked to create a bespoke perfume creation – personal or ambient, in any format (candle, body spray, oil) – based on the theme of Rebels and Reprobates, inspired by one of the people depicted in The Lotos Room, the hotel’s Private Dining Room. Exhibition runs 8 – 12 May 10:30 – 20:30, no booking needed: FREE.
Sleep Bar at the anatomē store
Celebrating Crafted at Bergdorf Goodman’s New York and London Craft Week sees the launch of the ‘anatomē sleep bar’. A collaboration between the anatomē nutritionist and aromacologist alongside visual artist Joao Zabaleta.
‘We live in an agitated and often uncertain world, politically and socially. Most of us are digitally savvy, but our attachment to social media and online living has tended to make us more rather than less anxious in daily life. The pressures and stresses of our busy lifestyles take their toll on our bodies and minds and a good night’s sleep has been one of the key casualties. As numerous scientific studies suggest, the importance of sleep has been overlooked for too long and doctors are now serious about getting us to sleep better. Healthy living requires restful sleep as part of the daily routine.
We’ve worked with the best nutirtionists, aromacologists and nutritionists to create this unique sleep map. The anatomē Sleep Bar at a is here to help you achieve just that and a worlds first launching at ‘B’ store at Bergdorf Goodman followed by out store in London. We’ve created a bespoke customer experience that tailors our x4 Recovery + Sleep aromatherapy oils to individuals’ needs in helping to ensure a more restful sleep, night after night. The cities of New York and London that never sleep will now sleep more soundly with a bespoke, unique oils to support your rest.’
Piccadilly of London, 8 – 12 May, & ‘Crafted’ at Goodman’s ‘B’ Store, 5TH Avenue NY NY, 27 & 28 April 2019, no booking needed: FREE
Scented Candle-making Masterclass with Earl of East London
Learn the art of candle making with Earl of East London at their flagship store, bonds. Kings Cross. Alongside this, take part in bath salt workshops in celebration of their new Japanese bathing-inspired line, and enjoy a collaboration with Japanese ceramic curators Gallery Eclectic. Exhibition, 8 – 11 May 10:00 – 20:00, 12 May 12:00 – 18:00; Workshop, 8 May 11:00 – 12:30, 11 May 10:15 – 11:45. Tickets £45, booking required.
Made to Measure, the Ultimate Bespoke Fragrance Experience at Burlington Arcade
Penhaligon’s Made to Measure is a programme created exclusively for Penhaligon’s with Fabrice Pellegrin, featuring four exquisite pure perfume bases: chypre, woody, amber and ambrée. Once you have selected your preferred base, personalise the scent with the addition of one of four raw and beautiful essence signatures: Rose Cetefolia Absolute, Oud Wood Essence, Iris and Sandalwood. Sit back and relax with coffee, tea or champagne, while your Penhaligon’s Made to Measure fragrance is blended and bottled in front of you. Demonstration, 8 – 12 May 10:00 – 17:00 Booking necessary via [email protected], only 10 places per day available, tickets £400
Do have a look at the full programe for London Craft Week – we’re sure whichever scented or crafty session you choose, you’ll be learning and exploring skills and creating memories that will last a lifetime…
Written by Suzy Nightingale
It’s easy to get stuck in a bit of a scented rut sometimes – something we’re all guilty of! But we’ve decided now is the perfect time to blow away the cobwebs and start thinking about things we’re looking forward to trying, seeing and (of course) smelling this year. Which of these have you tried already, and what are you most looking forward to in 2019…?
1: Get social with scent
The internet is, obviously, a wonderful thing (hello, we’re on it right now!) but it’s also good to remember to get our from behind our desks and away from a screen to actually interact with human beings occasionally. There’s absolutely nothing like discovering a group of people who share your passion, meeting up with them and realising you’re not alone. This is genuinely one of the greatest bits of our job – meeting all of you lovely people, and watching you form your own groups and friendships around our common love of fragrance! If you join our VIP Club, we promise you an entire year filled with fragrant opportunities…
– Exclusive perfume events – meeting top perfumers and founders of niche houses, exploring the history of a house with the very people who created it. Learning about ingredients, getting previews of new fragrances or simply finding out about new names our noses need to know…
– How to Improve Your Sense of Smell Workshops – sharing the top tips we’ve learned from the world’s best noses, changing the way we think about scent and discovering deep emotional connections. These workshops are some of the highlights of our year: fun, informative, down-to-earth and genuinely life-changing for everyone who attends!
– Exclusive competitions with fab fragrant prizes – including bottles signed by perfumers.
– An exclusive monthly ‘insider offer’ – just for our VIPs.
If you keep an eye on our Events page, we also list many other perfume events and pop-ups taking place around the country, so whey not make a pact to attend at least one this year and see how exciting they can be? You can make new friends, discover new scents to love and most of all, have fun with fragrance!
2: Be braver!
There are very few people we know (apart from professional ‘noses’ really) who don’t have preconceived ideas about what suits them, and certain ingredients they tend to avoid. Even we can be guilty of it! It’s a slippery slope when you avoid things becuase you ‘know’ they don’t work for you. Taste change – ALL the time – as we get older (or wiser), and the more things you try, the more you become accustomed to liking and the more your fragrance palate expands.
Think you hate rose? It completely depends which type of rose is being used – fruity, fresh and honeyed, or deep, dusty and velvety – how it’s been harvested, where it’s used in the composition and what other ingredients surround it. The same goes for any ingredient you care to name – the new fractionated patchouli, for example, removes the ‘dirty’ earthiness that many naysayers associate with ‘hippies’ and kept them at arm’s length all these years.
We double dare you to seek out notes, fragrances and houses you assume you don’t like, and to just try them (again or for the first time) with a new nose and fresh attitude…
It’s not only about trying things you thought you disliked, but expanding your fragrant horizon at your own pace. How about branching out just a little bit – but still within your comfort zone – by seeing what six fragrances are ‘matched’ to one you already own and love? There’s suggestions for every budget, from niche and high-end luxury, through all-time classics and highstreet-friendly names you may have overlooked. Try our Fragrance Finder, get out there and give them a try. You might find a brand new fragrant love…
3: Change it up
We know there are some of you who still feel a bit odd about fragrance layering, but honestly, what have you got to lose? If there’s a Cologne you love that sits gathering dust during the colder months, bring it out and combine with a deeper fragrance to ring the changes and bring some freshness to your scented habits. We’ve several features dedicated to the art of fragrance layering (simply type into our search box to see more), but here’s the basics for nervous noses…
Always remember: perfume isn’t a tattoo – if you don’t like it, you can wash it off!
– Add power: ramp it up by adding more base notes like patchouli, labdanum, vetiver, woods or musk.
– Add freshness: look for citrus notes like bergamot, neroli, lemon, lime or ‘green’ notes such as galbanum, tomato or violet leaf, green tea, marine/aquatic accords (synthetic recreations of sea-like, watery smells) and aldehydes (often desribed as being like Champagne bubbles).
– Add beauty: find a scent too ‘harsh’ or clinical? Look to layer it with decadently velvety or lusciously fruity rose oils, the sunshine-bottled scent of orange flower, a heady glamour of tuberose or a luminescent jasmine; try an apricot-like osmanthus flower, the fluffiness of mimosa or the powdery elegance of iris/orris.
– Add sweetness: vanilla and tonka bean can ’round’ a perfume, making it swoon on your skin (and addictive to smell), as can touches of synthetic notes described as ‘caramel’ or ‘dulce de leche’, ripe fruits, chocolate or even candy floss. Try to add less than you think you need, as adding more is always easier than taking away, and a little of these can go a long way!
4: Keep a fragrance journal
Writing down your thoughts about a new smell every day is surprisingly revolutionary – especially when noting your feelings at several points through the year about the same fragrance. It’s amazing how weather, mood and even what we’ve been eating can change the way we consider how something smells! This is homework we give attendees of our so-fun How to Improve Your Sense of Smell Workshops (see above), and even if you just jot down a few words about a new thing you smell (perfume, cooking ingredient, handcream, flower, bath gel… anything!) it gets your mind and your nose symbiotically linked, and truly helps ‘fix’ smells in your mind. Try it and see!
We love the scented notelets and journals available at Floral Street – a favourite being their Wonderland Peony Notepad / £12 (above) which makes every page a fragrant delight to fill in…
5: Make your own
Nothing gives you a greater appreciation for a perfumer’s skill than having a go at making your own. Sound simple, right? Just take all your favourite ingredients, mix them up and hey-presto! Well, uh, no. Much like mixing all your favourite colours results in a brown sludge rather than the rainbow you’d imagined as a child, it’s fascinating to attempt to try and balance notes, or to enhance them… a true art form and a kind of modern alchemy we’re in awe of. But it is possible to have a go at making your own under the watchful eye of a professional who can help guide you – and oh so satisfying to come away with a little bottle of a scent you made yourself.
The following perfumers run sessions we’ve personally attended and rate highly, and each of them offer differing workshops based on your experience – from complete beginner to something more skilled. Go on, you know you’ve always wanted to… Make 2019 the year you made your own!
Trained at the perfumery school of ISPICA, Emmanuelle Moeglin worked as a Scent Design Manager for global fragrance brands, alongside some of the biggest perfumers in the world, and now works as an independent perfumer in London. In 2015, wanting to open fragrance up to the consumer and demistify the world of perfumery, she started the Experimental Perfume Club. Choosing some of the most enjoyable elements of her training, she developed workshops to help people understand scent better – exploring the smells of individual ingredients, harmonious combinations, understanding the magic and science of fusing scents. There’s workshops available from Apprentice, through Expert Masterclass to Corporate levels, in a really down-to-earth and friendly atmosphere that encourages you to learn more.
Sarah McCartney – 4160 Tuesdays perfumer offer fun and more professional days, along with afternoon tea and a chance to get your hands on Sarah’s extensive personal collection of perfumes to smell, in her truly astounding Wall of Scent. 4160 Tuesdays are in the process of moving their HQ at the moment, but do get in touch with Sarah to ask when the next dates are, and they can also come to you if you’ve some friends or colleagues who are interested in joining in…
Those wanting to launch their own fragrance should seek out Karen Gilbert, who now runs a series of specialised courses – including making skincare products – 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.’ With courses varying from online Masterclasses – perfect for those who find it difficult to travel – days of natural perfumery and intensive 5-day professional courses, there’s something for all levels of interest.
Don’t you think there are things you could change about your fragrant habits – even if it’s just getting out there and sharing your excitement with a friend, showing them around your favourite perfumery or letting them sniff your own collection of fragrances? Whatever you choose to do, there’s a whole year of perfume excitement to look forward to, and we certainly can’t wait to share it with all of you…
Written by Suzy Nightingale