Welcome to our series, My Life in Perfume. We’re asking our favourite fragrance fans to reveal all – from their first perfume purchase to their signature aroma; here are their scent stories…
Richard is the Merchandising Manager here at Escentual, and he’s worked here since 2011! His team is responsible for all things products, including liaising with our brand partners and launching new releases, a perk he says ignited his love of fragrance over a decade ago. Here’s Richard’s life in perfume…
My First Perfume
My first ‘real’ perfume was Paul Smith Man 2. I was hooked by the fruity opening, and I had no idea a fragrance developed over time. I constantly resprayed it for that zesty aroma, and I still have the bottle to this day, but there’s not much left now. It’s still nice to spritz occasionally, but I don’t wear it all that often.
My First Perfume Purchase
Paco Rabanne BlackXS Eau de Toilette Spray was my first perfume purchase. Before its recent reformulation, it was heaven to me. It was the first fragrance I purchased in Escentual, back in 2012. It came with a skull candle gift with purchase that I still own – that sold it for me; however, I have not brought myself to burn it yet. The scent opened with a citrusy blast giving way to sweet fruity notes and a woody amber base. The opening really did it for me; it was love at first spray and was themed around the rock and roll life that I was really into at the time.
My First Mind-Blowing Fragrance
The first aroma that blew me away was Dior Hypnotic Poison Eau de Parfum. I was mesmerised by this fragrance back in 2014. Although marketed as a female fragrance, I adore this. After discovering it many moons ago, I purchased it very quickly, and I went through a period of it being my going ‘out out’ scent. It’s still something I apply on an occasion that warrants it. It is something that I always get complimented on by men and women.
My All-Time Favourite
A surely impossible question to answer with a single fragrance. Almost as bad as asking who’s your favourite child or favourite Star Wars film, both answers are, of course, all of them. Perfume always evokes memories and feelings, making it a tricky question to answer with a single fragrance, so here’s a selection of my top fragrances, most of which contain vanilla in the base.
Side Effect by Initio is a relatively new discovery to me, and it is probably my newest favourite, discovered when we launched the brand on-site last year. I could not stop spraying it; it was a true delight and a wonder to the senses. Atkinsons Pirates’ Grand Reserve is a fantastic experience, laced with rum (my current drink of choice) and woody notes; it’s truly one to keep a bottle handy for any occasion. Azzaro Solarissimo Levanzo is my usual summer fragrance. This year it has some competition with Parfums de Marly Greenly, which launched last year and was recently chosen as my favourite launch of 2021. Eight & Bob’s Original Eau de Parfum is a remarkable fragrance with its rich story, something straight out of Hollywood itself. Bvlgari Man in Black (All Blacks Edition) is essentially rum, leather and wood in a bottle that is spicy all over!
My Everyday Scent
I don’t have a single everyday perfume that I wear. It depends on the day, the weather, how I want to feel, or who I’m meeting. For work, it’s either Acqua di Parma Colonia Pura or Issey Miyake Nuit d’Issey Polaris.
My Most Sentimental Perfume
It’s not my perfume but that of my wife, Escada Pacific Paradise. When I first met my now wife, this was her scent. Throughout our first summer together, this was her signature scent. It was discontinued quickly after it came out, so it became a rarity to find. I managed to track down a bottle once for a birthday, which went down really well. When we got married, I was on a mission to find this fragrance. Eventually, I tracked down a bottle from Iraq, but I was dubious about its authenticity. Luckily, it seemed fine upon arrival. Potentially the best gift I have ever bought or will buy again due to the sentimental value. It’s always a fragrance I associate with my wife and our first years together.
My Favourite Brands
There are many! I specifically adore the Bvlgari Man In Black and Serge Lutens Collection Noire ranges. Initio is a new brand discovery and one that hooked me straight away. Acqua di Parma, because how can you not love the Italian giants? Their Colonia Pura launched around the time of my daughter’s birth, and it was a family campaign, so at the time, it pulled me in, plus the fragrance is amazing. Issey Miyake is known for its aquatic fragrances but has a spicy dark side that I’ve fallen for over the years. Each iteration seems to beat the last, and I’m constantly looking forward to the next launch.
My Perfume Collection
I have a very bad habit of not finishing bottles, so it’s probably bigger than it should be. If I’m getting halfway on a bottle, I tend to slow down its usage and start wearing something else purely because I don’t want to finish it and lose the scent. I’d describe my collection as quite varied, some niche fragrances but some very commercial ones. There are some that I only wear seasonally, and some for special occasions. I’ve separated my collection into day-to-day usage, special occasion and exceptional occasions. I have an affinity for a vanilla base, but I’m still relatively picky with what I like and dislike. I’ve tried many fragrances throughout the years through working at Escentual, but I’m still very selective with what I like. I’m a fan of dark and spicy fragrances, but they have to be just right for me.