The Fragrance Foundation UK



March 2016

Rachel McCormack – Glass Magazine Online Beauty and Fashion Writer

As a ‘70s child my nostalgic #ScentMemories lean towards the industrial. If I could make my own fragrance, it would have notes of salt water, oil, iron, sweat and fully-leaded petrol – the smell of a busy dock and the deck of a cargo ship. Add in some mass-market aftershave and a good tobacco note, along with a spritz of Opium, Babe or Aqua Manda perfume, and that’s the scent of my childhood – motormen and mess-girls out on shore-leave after a long watch.

PS It strikes me that my own children might become nostalgic for the antiseptic and disinfectant smells of an NHS hospital, if we don’t fight to protect them, as we never did with our merchant navy and dockworkers!

Rachel McCormack by Sin Bozkurt

Camilla Bevington Lifestyle Blogger – Flamingo Monroe / Head of Brand Marketing – HELLO!

For me, perfumes give us such sentimental value and I instantly recognise fragrances worn by those we love, we miss, and also those special times in our lives.

Chanel No. 5 will always remind me of my Grandma. A timeless scent, oozing with Parisian elegance and “girl power” – it’s no surprise Marilyn Monroe wore this perfume to bed! My Grandma was a proud, sophisticated and strong-minded woman who not only wore this classic fragrance, but the lotions that came with it. Whenever I get the faintest whiff, I think of her integrity, her rich personality and of course her beauty, inside and out.

My Mother’s signature scent is Caleche by Hermes. The freshness of Caleche reminds me of her bright character without being too overpowering. An almost vintage perfume, my Mum has worn Caleche nearly her whole adult life which simply oozes class, warmth and beauty – just like her.

My Dad wears Aramis – and to some of us may well be known as a typical “Dad cologne” (after all – it has been around since the sixties). Always worn by a man who’s traditional, classic and masculine,  I remember this scent vividly as a child and will always recognise it instantly.

I enjoy having a variety of fragrances in my beauty drawer. My favourites are Daisy by Marc Jacobs, and I’ll always have a weakness for Romance by Ralph Lauren and of course Chanel No. 5. I love trying new fragrances too. My signature fragrance has to be Red Roses by Jo Malone London. Incredibly feminine and floral, this perfume for me literally smells like a bunch of roses, my favourite flower.

So beautiful and sweet, it reminds me of love and happiness and also of my first job at the age of 15 when I worked in a florist – spending my Saturdays surrounded by beautiful blooms, especially stunning roses around Valentine’s Day.

I’ve worn this fragrance for many special occasions, and consequently justifies me extending my range to enjoy the body lotion and bath oil, and the room sprays and candles – allowing me to surround myself with a scent that make me happy.

I also like layering my Red Roses body lotion with Jo Malone’s English Pear & Freesia cologne – simply stunning! Well, I think so anyway!

So, as someone who may not enjoy a 1-million following to a beauty or fragrance blog, I still have been able to realise just how important fragrance is to us, and how it’s such a gorgeous feeling of sentiment (as well as smelling lush).



At Grossmith, we have heard some beautiful, evocative stories of people’s memories of our perfumes, in particular memories brought back by our recreated heritage scents. We are very aware of the power and importance of scent in bringing back memories. We wanted to share with you the most touching story, which interestingly also ties in with your theme of health and wellbeing which you promote so keenly.

In April 2014, Jan Allsop from Brisbane contacted us because she wanted to buy some Phul-Nana for her mother Edith’s 90th birthday later that year. Edith Elliott used to work for Grossmith in London in 1938 filling bottles of Phul-Nana. Grossmith’s premises were near St Paul’s. Jan was keen to track down some Phul-Nana for Edith to help bring back memories of her happy time working for Grossmith.

By extraordinary coincidence, Kate Brooke the great, great, great grand-daughter of the founder John Grossmith (Grossmith was founded in the City of London in 1835) was travelling through Brisbane soon after Jan contacted us and was able to meet Edith and present her with tiny vials of Phul-Nana, Hasu-no-Hana and Shem-el-Nessim. While smelling these scents, Edith was able to reminisce about her past. She described to Jan and Kate how she and the other girls perfumed the railway carriage on their way home from work with their perfume-soaked clothes! She talked about the good looking, well dressed young man who was the manager and about her workmates in Newgate Street. She remembered that her mum had stopped her from working at Grossmith after two years ‘because of the bombing’. Sure enough, Grossmith’s premises were destroyed in December 1940.

On Kate’s return to the UK we sent Edith a bottle of Phul-Nana after which Jan said she was wearing it every day and ‘she has perked up quite a bit since’ – perhaps because it brought back memories of her younger days.

We are so pleased that a tiny vial of Phul-Nana was able to bring Edith’s memories to life again. Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 15.25.34

– Georgina White, Head of Training, Kenneth Green Associates

It was 1995.

I wanted a perfume of my own: something that would make me feel like I was all grown up, desirable, someone to be taken seriously.

It’s a rite of passage, buying your first scent. I know why I gravitated to the Dior counter in Fenwick Newcastle, where I was studying at the time: my mum had always worn Miss Dior (the original of course – all sophisticated 1940s elegance; nothing like the new Natalie Portman version that’s so popular nowadays) and I had always loved it, but (naturally) wanted something more modern. I remember, as if it was yesterday, the assistant spraying Dune, and in one moment, I was sold. I don’t even remember trying any other scents!

This deliciously decadent, slightly eccentric Dior fragrance became my partner in crime; accompanying me on every daring university adventure, dates and dancing through the mid-nineties. Since these were the years I seemed to really grow into myself, I think it’s significant that I should have chosen this scent as my first “signature”. Coming back to it again recently, I reflect that it’s not a million miles away from my mum’s beloved Miss Dior. Both are woody Chypre-esque perfumes in their own way; both with a whole host of floral notes that are almost impossible to detect, adding mystery and complexity to scents that are of course timeless and iconic.

I think Dune reminds me that even twenty years ago, I wanted to be interesting, original and confident …and that, after-all, I really am my mother’s daughter!

mum and me


Leighton Denny MBE

Like most, my love for fragrance goes all the way back to my childhood and my first smell that I can remember was one of the ‘must-have’ notes in the opening of my first fragrance, LIGHT & DARK Original… It’s mandarin. I always loved the scent of oranges. It used to get me into trouble because I’d go into the kitchen and break open an orange just to get my “hit” from the zest.  I wouldn’t even eat the fruit. It was so uplifting I loved it then and still do today!

Leighton Denny headshot1

Melissa Odabash – Designer

My best memory is a old sunblock called sea and ski my mother would put all over us in the summer it was my favourite smell and beach memories I used to keep it on my desk years later so in the winter it would cheer me up.

Melissa Headshot

Stefanie Posthumus, National Trainer at Aspects Beauty

Vanilla: When I was a little girl, one of my earliest memories is of visiting my Great-grandmother…sadly most of her life she was blind but one of the wonderous things about her was that she could bake the most fantastic treats.

Watching her dance gracefully around her kitchen is one of my most treatsured memories.

Even now as I type this I am reminded of the warmth and love found in her home, every time her kitchen door opened you’d be engulfed in the warm comforting scent of freshly baked bread and vanilla.

It’s no surprise then that every fragrance I own has vanilla in the heart or at the base.Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 07.34.38

Clare Rees, Managing Director – Bell & Whistle brand management / The Library of Fragrance Ltd

When I was little my Dad worked overseas a lot, but I remember that each time he returned home, the familiar, comforting scent of his leather jacket always accompanied his big hugs. I can remember the scent even now – it was entirely unique to him and the aged, soft jacket that he always wore. Skip forward to when I first started to really take a an interest in fragrance and started to research the notes within the bottles of my [fairly expansive!] collection, imagine how mad it was to learn that every single bottle that I loved and wore regularly, featured a leather note in its composition.

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Carson Parkin-Fairley, Editorial Assistant at The Perfume Society

Damp earth. I spent most of childhood holidays in campsites around the country in the pouring rain. Of course it doesn’t matter at that age, no amount of torrential rain would ever dampen the thrill of meeting new friends and starting a thousand secret societies. A memory I hold dear is from all those nights in my bunkbed. We had a VW camper van, Mr Jones, and the roof would push up with and small bunkbeds would pull out from the sides. Lying there in my sleeping bag, all tucked up and warm, and looking out on the rain at night through the cloudy old plastic window, the smell of damp earth, that was always present in Mr Jones, filled my nostrils, and I don’t think I’ve ever felt more content. Now when I camp I feel satisfied, smelling the earth, hearing the rain patter down, whilst being all wrapped up and warm.

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