SWEET, MUSKY, HEADY, HEAVENLY: SCENT MEMORIES
Today is National Fragrance Day, so we tasked the team with bringing in their favourite bottles to join in with the Fragrance Foundation’s Scent Memories hashtag and share our favourite perfume stories.
For the most part, we're a fragrance loving lot. Creative Director, Nick, runs workshops with The Fragrance Foundation and regularly waxes lyrical on the subject of scent – The Power of the Niche. We have a self-confessed frag hag, always on fragrance forums or attending perfume workshops, a secret collector who’s only just revealed the depth of his addiction (*how* many bottles?!) and a handful who will happily discuss the relative merits of rose, Ylang Ylang and bergamot.
But just as yin needs its yang, for every fragrance-loving fiend in the studio, there is a perfume-shy person admitting to only having one bottle (if any!). Which just goes to show just how personal perfume really is.
Yet what we all agree on is that smell really is the most evocative of the senses, for good, bad and otherwise.
I bought BYREDO Accord Oud in Liberty during a fragrance testing session. I’m not usually an ‘OUD’ person but when this touches your skin it transforms! – Just goes to show it’s better to try on your own skin rather than on testers. It’s a complex scent – woody, spicy, and leathery – its warmth and depth remind me of beautiful trips to India and Morocco.
Nick Vaus, Partner + Creative Director
Guerlain Aqua Allegoria reminds me of my account director I learnt so much from when I was starting out, it was always in her car when we drove to meetings, and spritzed liberally! I discovered Mandarine Basilic flying home from a long trip away, browsing around duty free looking at new brands and devouring the packaging. I love this fragrance as it smells like summer, fresh, vibrant, invigorating and distinctive and no one else I know wears it!
Sara Jones, Partner + Client Services Director
First: Lancome La Collection, Mille & Une Roses
This is my third bottle of this niche fragrance, only available in Lâncome boutiques. I first bought it in 1999 as the limited edition, 2000 et Une Rose in a stunning teardrop shaped bottle, which I wore to a suitably hedonist masked ball for the Millennium. Long before rose rose to preeminence in fragrance, it took the flower and grounded it with all sorts of dirty notes like amber, black pepper and musk. Due to the price, it only comes out on special occasions when I feel like being a femme fatale, but it always takes me back to that hedonist era and puts me in the mood to (elegantly) party…
Second: Sleep Knot, 4160 Tuesdays
This fragrance is a lesson in being open minded and to revisit previously strongly held assumptions – a salutary lesson for life. Having long held that white flower fragrances were the work of the devil, a perfume workshop with fragrance maverick Sarah McCartney of indie house 4160 Tuesdays left me clutching a bottle of this heady jasmine that is softened and spiced with Ylang Ylang, sandalwood and black pepper. I wear it to conferences and anywhere I need to network and go in with an open mind. Proof if any were needed, that fragrance has the power to change mood and inspire.
Joanne Bell, Brand Development
Gucci Envy for Men is my treasured scent. Launched in 1998 it was the first fragrance by Tom Ford while creative director at Gucci. And while not especially complex or niche its spicy, zingy green juice instantly transports me back to the turn of the millennium when I moved to London. It oozes sex appeal and the monolithic, oversized black lid feels really confident. What makes it especially sacred now is because it was discontinued in 2007 after a change in licensing. I found this bottle on eBay which I keep under lock and key for very special occasions, when I feel like a trip down memory lane.
Matt Gilpin, Design Director
Bvlgari, Jasmin Noir is a balance of masculine and feminine notes, at once deep & evocative and light & fresh. I first discovered it during a summer spent boating on the Loire river, in the wine region of France – reminding me of gothic villages, heavy red wine and oh my, the cheese! It’s a scent I feel really comfortable in on any day.
Emily Ingram, Studio + Social Media Manager
Escentric Molecules 'Escentric 01' is my new fragrance discovery. Earlier this year a friend was wearing it and both my husband and I just had to find out what it was and get our hands on a bottle. I prefer wearing a subtle fragrance and I love how Eccentric Molecules 01 reacts to your natural pheromones and creates a scent unique to you. With warm musk and woody tones its an ideal unisex fragrance so we have his and hers bottles in our household, which is great because when I run out I can pinch my husbands bottle.
Amber Barrow, Senior Account Manager