The British capital has seen a flourishing of small-batch fragrance brands.
As with whiskey or coffee, niche perfumes appeal because they are nuanced and distinctive. Not needing to please everyone, they can cater to a small crowd of enthusiasts. And operating at a small scale, they can more easily take creative and commercial risks.
But, by the same token, their lack of marketing muscle can make them hard to discover. We’ve found London has a flourishing of new indie perfumers of all sensibilities and backgrounds.
Outside of the city, David and Julia Bridger run Parterre at Keyneston Mill, where they also grow perfume ingredients. The couple came to fragrance from marketing and design backgrounds, but David mentions his family’s history in farming and Julia’s in craft. All of these influences came together in Parterre.
“The actual ingredients themselves are absolutely fascinating,” Julia says. “Each individual ingredient has its own history.” Their ambitious project to grow vetiver, the citrusy grass commonly cultivated in Java and Haiti, was the first attempt in the United Kingdom.
The result, Root of All Goodness, combines sparkling citrus with warm vetiver to make an exceptional summery scent that’s rich enough to wear year-round. The Hour of Dusk and Gold, a deeper, darker scent, is based around their cultivation of wild Persian carrot. The challenge is the lead times; for instance, it takes three years of growing and another three of processing to make orris root. The Bridgers are currently planting rare citrus trees, but the first fruits will take years to appear.
By Alexander Freeling, The Robb Report, Style/Grooming.
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