It’s a clever human that understands fragrance. It’s a rarity to find anyone who completely understands why one note can make us shy away in horror or another can elicit a smile or a shiver of delight. Building a fragrance brand puts you completely at the mercy of individual olfactory preferences and visceral responses – you have to hope that something within your creations strikes a chord of delight. And frankly, as a consumer, if you’re not delighted by your fragrance, you have the wrong one.

I feel enormously proud to introduce the St Giles Collection because it’s created by a dear friend, Michael, who I have known all my journalistic working life. Back in my very newbie days writing about toys and parenting and Michael PR’d a well-known children’s store amongst his fashion clients, we bonded over artisan high chairs and expensive toddler cutlery. He acquired beauty and fragrance clients instead of more educational card games while I moved off from features such as The 10 Best Children’s Paddling Pools (five of which had to be set up in my garden for photography – the rabbit escaped – it was one hell of a day) to write about lipsticks and botox and we’ve muddled along happily ever since.

When you have passion, it shows, both in your nature and your creativity. After so many years devoted to learning about fragrance from the most famous noses to work as effectively as possible for his clients, and because the passion was already there without him really knowing it, he found the most beautiful words to articulate feelings about scents that often elude the most seasoned writers.  While I was still writing for print, my biggest dread was a fragrance feature – I can’t tell you the number of times he helped me craft them with inspiration. I don’t have the words because I don’t have the passion and yet from Michael, the descriptions just flowed.  Not just me, I might add – a journalistic ‘help me’ call was nothing unusual.  There isn’t room for examples of his sense of humour that literally makes me weak with laughter, the enormous dignity and the immaculate suits…but oh, I wish there was! So many stories.

So, here it is. His next moment in time. Each fragrance, created with master perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour, uses a statement character – someone you are, someone you could be or someone perhaps you want to be. It’s not for nothing that the brand’s tag is ‘scents as complex as you are’. They’re symbolic of possibilities, hosts of the myriad of emotions that fragrance can produce; desire, ambition, nostalgia or those deeper things that you can’t quite name. Often, scents communicate the things that words cannot if crafted from the heart.

So, I hope you feel you know this clever human just a little bit and that you’ll find St Giles exciting. I’m running through each fragrance in brief because the descriptions on the Selfridges site are so thorough (written by Michael I imagine!).

For myself, I picked out The Stylist (and insisted on taking the sample bottle home – very precious), sweet and powdery at first with bitter orange, rum and mango absolute giving it fruity depth. The rest of the family is as follows:

The Tycoon: A chypre with bitter green galbanum, pomelo and grapefruit up top followed by cypriol, black pepper and nutmeg and ending with patchouli and oakmoss.

The Actress: A powerful lily scent overlaid with lemon, bitter orange, bergamot with a middle of jasmine, orchid and honeysuckle that finishes on patchouli, musk and vanilla.

The Writer: This is driven by rosemary and ginger with clary sage and rhubarb. With a middle of leather and frankincense, it finishes on castoreum absolut and sandalwood that create an inky note (see…clever!).

The Mechanic: Well, it’s the sex scent. Oil, rubber, hot skin – matron, the curtains! Geranium, patchouli, leather, caramel, musk and oakmoss…

Each bottle is £130 worth of complex, perfectly tuned deliciousness. You can find St Giles HERE.


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All products are sent to me as samples from brands and agencies unless otherwise stated. Affiliate links may be used. Posts are not affiliate driven.