Monthly Archives: September 2013

The Wailing Wall… l’Heure Bleue by Guerlain The Perfumed Dandy’s Scented Letter

If sadness has a smell this may be it.

Not an ending unhappiness, you understand, nor mere momentary melancholy, this is an emotion, an experience profoundly and long felt that changes a life, perhaps millions of lives.

The first pain of loss comes quick, sharp and spicy. Coriander and anise compete in an anti-septic scratch that pierces the skin, just briefly, but leaves a scar.

Then a funereal majesty, the floral ceremonial heart of the fragrance.

A moving wall of irises, carnations, heliotrope and rose and more and more.

Favourite flowers of the deceased, the family, other mourners and florist adjutants pile up on top of one and other, wreaths placed on a royal catafalque.

As the procession passes by, a pocket square, scented with powder: sweet, resinous, vanilla-ed , is pressed into your hand by a stranger who wants to help you staunch your tears.

But still they flow.

The handkerchief, un-returned, is what you retain now.

Its silken regularity and honeyed smell transformed by grief to both momento and momento mori.

The reminder of a living love and the promise of otherworldly reunion.

That Jacques Guerlain should have known in 1912 that the sun was about to set on the bright days of the Edwardian age is inconceivable.

Yet, that his masterwork L’heure bleue for Guerlain, literally ‘The Blue Hour’ captures the faltering twilight between the bright and hopeful dawn of the twentieth century and the dark, dark night of the carnage of The Great War is equally unquestionable.

There is an opening of improvised antibacterials, of coriander and anise long known for their medicinal qualities.

What follows is not floral but floricultural.

Not a bouquet or even wreath but a field, fields of flowers a presentiment of Flanders’ poppies.


And then powder, that is more like fine fragrant dust.

The dust that settles on carefully stored away mourning clothes. Clothes that will see more use than is right in the years ahead, in dignified response to unspeakable, as yet unforeseeable, loss .

It is that preservative smell; bezoin, clove, vanilla, a solitary scent of certainty, that will come through familiarity to breed comfort rather than contempt, that will come to make L’heure bleue the ultimate smell of solace.

Just like grief, and the consoling memories of the departed’s life, this is an emotion that sits as easily yet uncomfortably on men and women, young and old.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy


Filed under Uncategorized

First steps into the spotlight… Bottega Veneta by Bottega Veneta The Perfumed Dandy’s Scented Letter

“I’ve read my Colette you know!”

It’s true, she keeps a suede backed copy of ‘Gigi’ in her fashionable handbag at all times.

And though she would never dream of really living that kind of life she likes to let you think she might.

For beyond the enfant terrible on top, underneath the surface siren is a well brought up girl from a good family who just can’t help herself but flirt.

She flirts with the photographer at fashion shoots, plays the coquette with cameramen on commercials, breaks hearts on the catwalk.

It’s what she does for a living… at least until they let her act or she can sit still long enough to write her first novel.

After all, she has an almost intellectual, at the very least aristocratic heritage.

You can see it. It’s there as much in her ready wit and arch attitudes as the poses she strikes and those unforgettably high cheekbones.

Her great aunt was a writer, someone rather famous fifty years or so ago.

She herself would have preferred to dance ballet if it weren’t for those too fragile ankles.

Perhaps the year after next, when she’s through quite so voraciously devouring Vogue, as much to see herself and her friends as anything else. Maybe when the glossy magazines cease to be an extended family album on which she comments slyly how everything in the latest issue seems like what she was wearing, “well, a month or two ago”.

Possibly when this life is over and she doesn’t need to be so delicately perfumed and perfectly made up.

If… when, that tomorrow come she will become someone a little more serious.

For now though, it’s enough to be absolutely attractive and the centre of everyone’s attention.

Bottega Veneta is an ingénue’s perfume.

An irresistibly, undeniably pretty perfume just on the cusp of being truly beautiful.

One can imagine Audrey Hepburn wearing it between breaking through as “Gigi” on Broadway and Hollywood stardom dressed by Hubert de Givenchy.

Before other perfumes became ‘forbidden’.

A gentler contemporary riff on the great leather chypres of the past, it has a decided feel of both the Jazz age and the 1970s about it, but with something of the sharp edges and strife of both eras knocked off.

Indeed, while it is that rounding and smoothing of the scent that makes it so instantly appealing to modern audiences, it is also the lack of spike and spark that means this is a terrifically good but not a great fragrance.

Bergamot gains a ‘bright young thing’ brilliance being paired with on trend pink pepper at the opening.

It is followed quickly by the translucent jasmine of the heart that seems structural, more a frame on which to hang the central themes of the fragrance than a narrative in its own right.

For the meat and drink of the piece we look to a honeyed, though far from cloyingly sweet, patchouli matched in middle to base notes with a serene oakmoss analogue that is utterly pleasant but a little too yielding.

Equally as restrained, again arguably too restrained, is the leather note that drifts into the realms of creamy suede.

Make no mistake though, the overall effect is enchanting and tantalising.

But just like a gifted starlet at the start of her career, this scent hints at greater things to come.

For a first perfume from a revitalised brand this is a brave start, moving forward, the thing to do, surely, would be to let the hair down, pay less attention to the men in marketing and take on more challenging parts.

That way a truly great performance might await us all.

We live in hope.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy. The Perfumed Dandy


Filed under Uncategorized

She’s making perfume not war…………. In Conversation with Barb Stegemann, Founder and CEO, The 7 Virtues

Barb Stegemann is a presence.

Cliché has it that some people have the power to ‘light up a room’ with their personalities, one can’t help but think that if Barb were connected to the power grid she’d produce enough electrical energy to keep a decent sized city glowing well into the night.

Tall, athletic and casually glamorous, Barb seems like a body in perpetual motion: a restless and inquisitive soul forever on the search for new experience and outlets.

When we meet for the second time at a café in London’s Selfridges department store, she is in the midst of saying farewell to a writer from The Telegraph, a British newspaper that will carry an interview with her to coincide with the launch of her perfume range The 7 Virtues at the mammoth store later in the year.

Barb embraces the young woman like an old friend before saying goodbye, slightly British and coy the journalist retreats, smiling, happy, perhaps a little overwhelmed.

She has been ‘Barbed’.

It’s a feeling I recognise all too well. The first time I encountered Barb face to face was in her capacity as an Honorary Colonel for the Royal Canadian Air Force. We had met on line and she invited me to hear her address an event to promote Anglo-Canadian trade.

She was billed as the ‘inspirational’ speaker, as so many decidedly uninspiring individuals often are. Barb though met and exceeded her billing. She was truly inspiring, engaging and motivating, setting out the story of how she came to be involved in the perfume industry and birth of The 7 Virtues.

It’s a story she refers to today “Of course you know how important this is to me. You know the reasons why I’m doing all of this.”

The catalyst for The 7 Virtues was a traumatic, near tragic, event.

Her best friend, a member of the Canadian military, was working to build community relations in Afghanistan, “fighting the battle to win hearts and minds” as Barb puts it, when he was attacked by a radicalised sixteen year old boy at a Shura, an Afghan version of a town hall meeting.

He suffered an axe wound to the head, the second intended blow would certainly have killed him had it not been prevented by the other Afghans he was meeting with.

‘It very nearly did kill him. It was touch and go for a long time.’

There followed a year of frequent visits to the hospital, providing support to Captain Green and his family.

It was during this time that the idea for The 7 Virtues formed, “I was determined that out of this terrible event something good should come. Something that marked the sacrifice of my friend and the other Canadians and international forces working in Afghanistan and, of course, benefited the Afghan people themselves”.

That idea was for a new kind of social enterprise a ‘not just for profit’ company that would take the natural resources of the Afghan people and make them available to Western consumers in an accessible form. So the essential oils of rose and orange blossom, both of which improbably flourish in the mountainous country’s terrain and are, as Barb comments, “deep and complex like people” would become a range of perfumes.

Barb is no dewy-eyed Pollyanna though and knew that “We had to pay a premium for the product if we were to persuade people away from the poppies”. Cultivation of the flowers from which opium and in turn heroin is produced is still a mainstay of the Afghan economy.

Fixing a determined stare on me, one I sense might have been deployed in many a negotiation, Barb becomes deadly serious “These people have nothing. Growing poppies pays multiples of what other crops do. It’s simple economics when you have families to feed, children to clothe”.

To realise the dream of trading ethically to put it bluntly, as Barb characteristically does “We needed money. Fast!”

So began the next chapter of The 7 Virtues story and the one which has perhaps garnered her the greatest public recognition in her native Canada.

Of her appearance on ‘Dragon’s Den’, the Canadian version of the BBC tv series in which budding entrepreneurs pitch ideas to a panel of unforgiving business ‘experts’ in the hope of securing their personal investment, Barb is, as ever, disarmingly straightforward.

“I had to do it. There was no other option, no other funding. You know I really went out and prepared for that pitch. I even ran it passed other potential funders who were enthusiastic, generous with their time and their advice but just wouldn’t or couldn’t come up with the cash.”

The Dragons’ did though, and Barb found herself in the unusual position of having to choose between a clutch of investors all willing to buy into her dream.

This is where Barb’s inner steeliness came to the fore. Apparently unflustered by her new position of strength she turned tables on the Dragons setting them a challenge. Which of them would be the most forthcoming not only with their money but their time, business expertise and connections?

“I wanted more than a silent investor, I wanted a true partner, a mentor.”

And this is what she has found in her relationship with her Dragon, W. Brett Wilson (left), who she says has become a ‘true friend and a great champion of the brand’.

We touch on some of the troubles that have beset winners of other business-themed television shows, on the ongoing and very public employment case then being pursued by a past winner of Britain’s edition of ‘The Apprentice’ against her mentor and employer Lord Sugar (a case that Sugar will ultimately win).

Barb though has nothing negative to recount on her experience “…it has been entirely positive, within hours Brett was opening doors for us, getting us into places and help forge deals that could have taken forever otherwise, if they’d happened at all”. And then, more quietly “…it’s as much about what you put in, what you ask for as what your mentor can do for you, it’s a two way – an organic – thing”.

I suspect that much of the truth lies in this statement, it’s Barb’s infectious enthusiasm, her determination and abiding sense of mission that has made this happen as much as any reality television fame and external investment. It might have taken longer, but I suspect The 7 Virtues’ success would always have happened with Barb at the helm.

And that success has been truly dramatic.

The company’s brief has expanded from Afghanistan to encompass other war zones and places of conflict, so in addition to ‘Noble Rose of Afghanistan’ and ‘Afghan Orange Blossom’, they now also have the wonderful ‘Vetiver of Haiti’ and ‘Middle East Peace’ a light, crisply refreshing citrus blend that sources its ingredients from Israel and Iran.

“By working on [the perfume] Middle East Peace, we really were giving peace a chance. Forging relationships between suppliers in very different parts of the world. Allowing them to be people. The result is fantastic, our most popular fragrance.”

“It’s a very positive story, but then I gravitate towards positive stories.”

As is The 7 Virtues own tale, it’s grown to become the best-selling fragrance line on board Air Canada’s fleet, is available across the nation at Canada’s The Bay chain of department stores, where it’s competing with the big boys, finishing once as high as sixth in terms of brand sales.

“Yep, and all that with no marketing budget, no celebrities, no big ads… we do things differently!”

Another example of doing things differently I remark is the Custom Blend Box, which launches on United Nation’s International Day of Peace, the 21st of September, today in fact. It actually invites consumers to layer The 7 Virtues scents, something some of the other established perfume producers would never dream of doing.

Barb laughs uproariously, her head craning back, her eyes flashing, “Really? Is that against the rules?” Evidently delighted she goes on “That’s me, the rule breaker.”

“But you know, the idea actually came from the ground up. It was suggested to us by the people who sell our products at The Bay. They came back to us to tell us they loved the individual fragrances but that together they were just magic and that the customers were crazy for some of the mixes.”

“And you know they were right! I love the vetiver, but have you tried it with Middle East Peace? It’s a totally different fragrance, it rocks!”

So the Custom Blend Box seemed like a natural way to give the customers what they wanted.

I’m reminded here of perhaps the greatest saleswoman the fragrance and beauty industry has ever seen, Estee Lauder, she too had an unerring sense of what the public wanted, the humility to listen to her sales staff and the flexibility to change her product range to meet the needs and desires of customers. Not bad footsteps to follow in.

I wonder if The 7 Virtues would go as far as changing the actual scents if that’s what the customers wanted.

“Oh, we’ve already done that. Messages got through that customers wanted the rose note to come more to front in Noble Rose and that though people loved the vetiver it could be too smoky. So I worked with our perfumeur to make it happen. A little less carnation in Afghan Rose and more amber less, incense in Vetiver of Haiti. And I’m so pleased with the results, The vetiver is so much softer, I love it!”

Another rule broken I laugh, perfume houses are never happy to talk about reformulation, scarcely ever admit to it. Barb’s eyes widen again, that same gently iconoclastic glee flushes her face.

“One thing I’ve learnt is that up to the age of 40 you’re a rule breaker, after 40 you’re a game-changer. What’s the difference? Mainly age and how others perceive you. But I like to think that game changers break the rules that need to be broken.”

Other dictats that Barb can do without include having sales assistants spraying unsuspecting customers as they go passed “I want people to  try our products because they want to, not have them forced on them” and trading internationally without all the travel.

“When people first heard about our work in Afghanistan they would say ‘Oh my God you’re so brave! Afghanistan, isn’t it incredibly dangerous?’ But I’ve never been to Afghanistan. We live in such a connected world today that it’s not necessary for me to travel to trade with people.”

Yes, the internet has been a major factor in allowing The 7 Virtues to have a global footprint without the carbon footprint to match, but Barb is equally enthusiastic about the role of government agencies and non governmental organisations that have done much of the enabling work that has allowed her venture to prosper.

“You know our governments and NGOs are investing huge amounts of money and doing the most fantastic work to encourage economic development and help producers in countries all over the world. It’s time for business to step up to the plate, because government can’t do this alone. What people in places like Afghanistan need now are business opportunities. They want to trade, to make money, for their communities to prosper. The want the  same as people everywhere.”

She goes on to talk eloquently about how easy it was to find producers and source suppliers in some of the most infamous places on Earth. Thanks to the work of other bodies, including The 7 Virtues was able to locate quality assured producers and form relationships with them quickly. “Building on the work of others and demonstrating their success through our own”.

They are relationships that have lasted, “We’re still working with all our original suppliers”, though the size of orders may change and new suppliers may be added to the list, Barb feels it’s important to show that trade provides “a sustainable and long term solution to poverty”.

Real success will come though when “What we do becomes boring, because everyone is doing it.”

Barb’s vision, set out in her best-selling book, is of mutually beneficial trade building a more equitable and prosperous world. She has strong views too on the role of women in constructing that future, “Women are the only natural majority, and we make up the vast majority of the world’s active consumers. If we could harness that collective spending power, just think of the change we could make happen.”

It’s a big manifesto, part of what her buyer at Selfridges has dubbed ‘retail activism’ a term that Barb has taken to heart. “I’d never heard that phrase before, but it sums up what we do ‘Retail Activism’, I like it.”

The Selfridge’s launch, then some point in the future, now in full flow (go and catch them all this weekend at the Oxford Street store if you’re in London, I’m assured ‘the stand rocks’) is occupying Barb’s mind as is her son’s possible upcoming move to London.

She switches between the two topics and host of others with undimmed enthusiasm, all of which makes her great company and an entrancing conversationalist. But what, I wonder, is she like to work with? How does she get along with her perfumeur?

The trademark laugh bursts forth again “That poor woman! Oh, I mean we get on great… now. But I think I must have been the most demanding client ever. I mean she works for major company’s and has her own brand and yet here I was, this little two-bit operation and yet I’m sure I was calling her more than all her other partners combined… you can imagine.”

And yes, I can, working with Barb must be an exhilarating, exhausting, but very, very rewarding experience.

On rewards, she talks about the benefits that a regular income has brought to one of the Afghan communities that she works with. The number of lives that have been changed by their work. Then goes on to recount a typically rebellious tale.

“But the sad thing was they weren’t able to see the end result of their work. Perfume is still banned in Afghanistan, like lots of luxuries or ‘frivolous’ things it’s not permitted under the country’s Islamic laws, so we can’t get an export license to send our fragrances back to where they came from. But via a friendly [unnamed] diplomat, we got some bottles through under the cover of diplomatic baggage and our partners could finally see where their product ended up. It was such a great moment.”

Talking about the quality of the raw materials that come from her suppliers, Barb is even more passionate than usual “What they produce is of the highest quality. Simply some of the best essential oils in the world. Working with these people is not a compromise. They have great – the best – stuff to sell. At the end of the day we are a business and we have to get the best for our customer and I’m convinced that’s what we’re doing, we’re just doing good at the same time.”

It’s a mantra that Barb is now bringing back home to Canada, she tells me with evident satisfaction that she has been able to move production of The 7 Virtues to her home province of Nova Scotia, where she herself has returned to live after many years in British Columbia.

“You know, I come from very humble beginnings, so I’m so pleased to be able to bring something back to where I come from. It’s not huge, but it’s a start.”

This encapsulates Barb, she is a woman not about empty words or easy gestures, but practical steps that deliver positive outcomes.

She lives in the real world.

Walking through the vast sales rooms of Selfridges we talk excitedly about where the launch might happen, of possible locations for the stand. Would it be better by the escalators at the centre of the Perfume Hall? Or away from the mega brands, cutting its own dash somewhere unlikely, in the book department perhaps?

“Wherever we are we’ll be just fine. It’s just great we got this far.”

Saying goodbye to Barb in the hazy sunshine outside the store’s enormous bronze art deco doors, we embrace.

I’ve been ‘Barbed’.

As she wanders off to explore London by foot I smile to myself… yes, she and The 7 Virtues will be just fine.

But I’m not amazed they got this far, with Barb out front it was almost inevitable.

Have a splendid weekend, and if you’re in town why not mosey down to Selfridges!

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

Post Script:

If you’d like to find out more about The 7 Virtues why not visit their website, where you can also catch Barb’s appearance on ‘Dragon’s Den’.

Barb also has her own site with more about her incredible story and the range of activities she’s involved with.

Of course, you can also browse on line and buy the whole The 7 Virtues range at Selfridges


Filed under Uncategorized

Heraldic beasts and out of season Valentines… le Baiser du Dragon by Cartier The Perfumed Dandy’s Scented Letter

IMG_20130919_155609 (1)

She needed to forget Paris.

To put the diamond business behind her, pack her bags and pack away all thoughts of hard rocks, hard cash and most of all hard business men with their hard, hard hearts.

What better place could there be for a doomed lover than Verona?

At least she wasn’t dead she thought, that was something she had on that pair.

Yes, it was a trade fair, but as her boss had said – this was Italy, it was bound to be more fair than trade.

Then the dates came through.

Who holds a jewellery fair in Verona on St Valentine’s weekend?

The Italians apparently.

She wanted to cancel, but the tickets were bought and she didn’t want another ticking off from on high. Her stock was low and her star falling at work, she “wasn’t on her game” they said, since, “you know, since the split”.

She arrived at Venice airport in a failing mood and the coldest winter the Veneto had known in a generation.

Her rooms were pretty but chilly and summer-ready sparse. Outside the air was so cold that her breath froze in it and the wind so sharp that it cut through her cashmere layers of comfort.

All she did was shuttle to and from the exhibition halls and her hotel, eating on the hoof or at home, drinking too much red wine too late at night.

At the show, she could muster no sparkle to match the precious stones, no gleam to glisten and gloss deals as she would have done before.

Except, at one stand, where something of her lustre returned. A local craftsman presided, only here by means of patronage to promote the city’s produce.

Here was an artisan, tanned even in the off season, with thick hands and thicker hair, shining even where it greyed at the temples.

He spoke softly and tried to sell her nothing. And yet he had the only thing she wished to buy: a small golden broach in the shape of a dragon’s head, encrusted with rubies and diamonds that gave its skin an immaculate sheen.

She must have returned to the see the dragon a dozen times, not asking once how much it cost, it was sure to be too much to treat herself.

At the end of Saturday’s session she went back for a final fleeting farewell. The stand was packed away, the dragon and its master had disappeared.

She felt as though she should weep, but not why.

Resolving to walk back, whatever the weather decided to throw at her, she passed by the Old Castle high up on the hill and in its lea next to the river a ristorante, warm lights lit within.

Without thinking she went in. After the heat it was the scent that struck her first and then the thought that she hadn’t worn perfume the whole trip.

She never forgot her fragrance.

Here was a warm cloud of gourmand steam. Of honey glazed meats roasting, and behind the soft yielding flesh a haze of the pastry chef’s creation: gently bubbling caramels, melting dark chocolate preparing to fall onto choux buns, almond tartlets just crisping in the wood oven.

Lunch had finished, but she was welcome to take a seat and wait for the dinner service.

She looked around her at thick silk wall hangings, crystal chandeliers and aged dark wood paneling and was about to decline her place amongst such luxuries.

She opened her mouth to speak and a voice, not hers, emerged up from behind a smoked glass partition, a head followed: it was the jewellery maker.

‘But you must stay, dinner’s not far away and the wine is good’.

He persuaded her into a seat, saying good bye at once to his colleagues from the business council.

She needed something to stave off hunger. He ordered biscotti di Prato and vin santo, apologising that she should be starting her meal at the end.

In his company she unfurled, she opened up to the warmth of his conversation. He ordered Amaretto with more playful apologies and cantuccini biscuits for the both of them.

The afternoon became a honeyed, slightly intoxicated evening.

She felt safe enough at last to ask.

‘What happened to the broach? The dragon’s…’

The jewel appeared.

‘The Dragon’s Kiss? It’s here. I kept it for you’.

A wonderfully romantic fragrance with the savour and scent of Northern Italy, le Baiser Du Dragon by Cartier is, like the best love affairs sensuous and consoling in equal measure.

The opening thrill, a mix of boozy Amaretto and sweet flaked almonds stays in place for the whole relationship.

As time passes and the affair solidifies into something more concrete the composition gains a rich wooden form with some patchouli that softer notes of caramel, dark chocolate and sweet amber can be draped on.

Though gourmand, the whole effect is honeyed without being syrupy, comforting rather than cloying.

This is a nurturing, nourishing passion that smoulders with a soft intensity for a long while.

The eternal question? Man or woman?

Surely in matters of the heart we are all lovers.

Well, one knows it’s some six months out of time for St Valentine’s… but Autumn needs a little comfort and warmth and Amaretto and love supply both.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy


Filed under Uncategorized

Memories of making hay… Vetiver of Haiti by The 7 Virtues The Perfumed Dandy’s Scented Selection


Summer has finally departed here.

But memories of the long, uncommonly hot and stupendously sunny season we have just enjoyed in the capital still hold court.

No image called to mind is more redolent of diamond bright afternoons spent catching rays than that of scorched wild grass fluttering in the shallow breeze.

No scent returns Summer to us more surely than that of a sweet, hay-like vetiver.

The 7 Virtues Vetiver of Haiti, is enduring sunshine bottled, available in all seasons.

Crisply citrus at the opening, with a sensation not merely of limes themselves but of the whole tree.

Perhaps there is something floral here too, the Spring blossoms maybe.

The star grass follows. Warm, sweet and soft.

Devoid of, but in no way lacking, the smokiness and spikiness we sometimes associate with vetiver.

This fragrance fleshes out another aspect of the note’s character:

Enveloping, soothing, sensual.

A warm straw bed of a scent.

A human, honeyed saltiness somewhere in the background, hinting inevitably at a certain, alluring amber-like sensuality that goes hand in hand with heat and sun-kissed earth.

This is a perfume to send temperatures rising.

The 7 Virtues is a estimable Canadian fragrance maker that The Dandy has mentioned before.

Noble Rose of Afghanistan was one of my ‘Thirteen Roses for anyone feeling unlucky in love’, while Afghanistan Orange Blossom, was a ‘Spring is in the air…’ seasonal pick earlier in the year.

This ethical perfume producer sources its highest quality raw materials from the world’s war zones and scenes of conflict and catastrophe.

It’s also a company that has a fascinating and inspiring story behind its creation, one you’ll be able to hear more about when Barb Stegemann, Founder and CEO of The 7 Virtues, ‘Talks to The Perfumed Dandy’ later this week.

Most importantly, the scents are really rather lovely too, and available at last in London, exclusively to Selfridges for the time being, having been on sale in North America from stores and The 7 Virtues directly for quite a while.

Excellent news for those of us trying to shore away a little summer against the relentless tide of encroaching Autumn.

Keep warm and think always sunny thoughts!

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

Post Script:

The Perfumed Dandy received a very nice ‘Custom Blend Box’ of The 7 Virtues perfumes from Barb when he met her recently and it is on this kind gift that the review is based.

The review contains only The Perfumed Dandy‘s own opinions and there is no ‘behind the scenes jiggery pokery’ of a financial nature going on.


Filed under Uncategorized

Thank heavens!! He arrives whole… The Perfumed Dandy returns

Dearest Friends,

“Well almost”, would seem the best the best caveat.

After two weeks of removal men, painting and decorating and endless unpacking, unpacking and even more unpacking The Perfumed Dandy is firmly ensconced in his new home.

And I am pleased to say I am more or less in one piece: a broken lamp or two, a cracked glass and a lost print excepted I am whole and the perfumes are all perfectly well: scents splendidly at home in their new surroundings.

But for The Dandy to be truly whole again the words must flow, and so they will once more with fresh reviews, an interview and a new guest writer over the weeks ahead… along with the return of The Hit Parade at the beginning of October.

Thank you all for your generous words while I’ve been away… time to repay the milk of human kindness with a few words of my own!

To fragrant times ahoy!

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy


Filed under Uncategorized

He seems to have disappeared…! Where is The Perfumed Dandy?

Dearest Alls

Thank you to those who have sent messages to enquire after my well being and whereabouts.

I am pleased to announce that, Mark Twain-like, rumours of my demise are greatly exaggerated.

In fact, as the culmination of a somewhat tumultuous summer chez The Perfumed Dandy, I am currently changing chezs for as we speak I am in the process of moving abode.

Soon I shall be settled into leafier but still very much London surrounds and come the end of next week normal service will be entirely resumed.

I do hope you will excuse this minor pause in proceedings.

In the meantime why not check out some recent highlights by clicking on the links below…

Chandler Burr talks to The Perfumed Dandy

Caldey Island and The World’s Finest Lavender Perfume

The Wonderful World of Caron:
Highlights from a season on very special makers of scent

Until we meet again dearhearts do take care and a scent three times a day.

Yours ever, though temporarily absent,

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy


Filed under Uncategorized