British Fragrance is having a moment; we champion our favourite six British brands, doing things their way.
When thinking of quintessential Britishness, we’re never too far from conjuring up visions of her Majesty in a brightly coloured two-piece suit with matching hat and Launer bag to boot, English tea-rooms with warm scones, clotted cream and jam, trips to the seaside with fish and chips on a pebbled beach. Speaking of the seaside, the emotive faces in Martin Parr photographs, Brutalist imposing buildings (here’s looking at you Trellick towers) and perhaps the ubiquitous Burberry check- But how about the world of fragrance?
If we can produce some excellent wines that are just as good as our neighbours, I am thinking of Nyetimber and Chapel Down, then why should fragrance be any different? From great locally sourced ingredients, bespoke and made-to-measure services, to innovative ways of scent construction the British fragrance scene is having a moment.
With that in mind, here are six British fragrance houses that are doing things their own way and our pick of their best offerings that’ll suit both him and her.
Parterre is the creation of David and Julia Bridger in collaboration with Master Perfumer Jacques Chabert. Step into the fields (yes, you can actually visit) of herbs, flowers and grasses and you would be forgiven for thinking you were in Grasse. But you are not; you’re in Dorset, Keyneston Mill to be precise, the home of Parterre. British herbs sit beside plants that aren’t typically grown here, like vetiver (usually from Haiti) and are all key ingredients to fragrances that are harvested and distilled on site. Their fresh and unique ‘from seed to bottle’ approach to fragrance means you can expect boundary-pushing perfume. All Parterre fragrances are numbered as limited editions as the batch of ingredients varies each season.
Make magazine loves Parterre, Root of All Goodness
An incredibly warm and aromatic scent based on the brilliant aforementioned vetiver. The addition of hyssop, typically a medicinal ingredient, and earthy labdanum has an overall warming quality that is lifted with zingy ginger, bergamot and lemon.
By Sunil Makan, MAKE, Issue 7, The British Issue, Autumn 2018
Illustrations by David Bray
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