Created in partnership with STORIES PARFUMS
STORIES Parfum is designed to transport the mind. Our sense of smell is one of the most powerful ones we have, and it can take us to places – both mentally and emotionally – almost instantly. It’s something I wanted to celebrate with STORIES Parfum.
My childhood really led to the brand’s launch. When I was 12, I experienced significant trauma and lost many of my childhood memories. In later years, I went through counselling but still couldn’t recollect those memories. That was until I began to work with fragrance. They had the power to connect me to lots of my forgotten thoughts and the things that truly mattered to me. It’s why I often say the STORIES scents represent various chapters of my life.
STORIES is unique because it comes from the heart. I had no prior experience in the beauty industry, but I did have drive and passion to launch a luxury fragrance brand. I went from a full-time mum of four to launching a global brand in my mid-40s. I slightly underestimated what an oversaturated market with stiff competition fragrance is. I knew I had to surrounded myself with people who had knowledge greater than my own and became a sponge – I still am today.
The fragrances don’t focus on particular notes. I work differently to other perfumers in this respect. When I blend, I don’t look at the ingredients. Instead, I’ve learnt to blind smell. That’s why the fragrances are numbered, not named. I soon realised we all have preconceptions when it comes to thinking what we do and don’t like. I had all the same ideas in my head, but when you ‘blind smell’ you can connect more with your feelings. Fragrance should be about intuition – we’ve never tried to follow trends at STORIES – it’s about scents that express who you are, and finding the one that fits best.
Our ethos is all about eliminating boundaries. While our story may have started with traditional methods and ancient craftsmanship, we’re very much a modern brand. Intuitive, inclusive and always accessible, we don’t believe in defining our fragrances by gender or name. I want to take fragrance back to its roots, a time when there was never a division between ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’.
Luxe scents and sustainability aren’t mutually exclusive. We’ve worked hard to position ourselves as what I call ‘the new niche’. That means bringing luxury and sustainability together in the world of fine fragrance. For example, we manufacture the scents with the lightest carbon footprint possible. Our labels are made from a calcium carbonate, which is derived from marble mine waste for recyclability, while our heavily embossed perfume caps are made from environmentally friendly Zamak. Likewise, our bottles are all refillable, for sustainability purposes but also because we want to build a long-standing relationship with our customers. As for ingredients, we source them sustainably and are a proud, cruelty-free brand. I also work with an independent perfumery and never mass produce, so we know what countries our ingredients – like Bulgarian rose, honey tobacco and musk – are coming from.
Our range is small and concise. We are a self-financed, independent brand, so it takes a lot longer to scale new launches. However, the main reason we keep our line-up small is because we’re very particular about who we partner with in retail. We want to be recognised globally, but we also want to have a strong, unique presence without over-saturating our brand.
This year, our plan is to expand slowly. Our next step is to move into home fragrance. We will also add to our award-winning fragrance and bodycare ranges – both of which have been so successful. Finally, we want to introduce new collaborations and take our scent discovery masterclasses around the world. These classes encourage everyone to experience and connect to fragrance differently – this is, after all, is what’s made STORIES what is today.