“Fragrance in the Middle East is a massive part of the heritage and culture and that inspires me more every day, it’s not just about smelling good, it’s a tradition that has been a part of people’s lives for centuries and thank goodness hasn’t been lost.”
Your brand is focused on the fragrance sector of the beauty industry, why did you decide to focus on this sector?
Fragrance has been a huge part of my life for over 20 years now and it’s a part of the beauty industry that is often overlooked. I wanted to focus on internal beauty rather than external. Fragrance has such a massive impact on a person’s well-being that if naturally affects the way you look and makes you more beautiful from the inside out.
I would always see such a physical difference in my clients when I created beautiful blends for them so much so that it altered their appearance in a positive way from their posture and confidence to actually getting back their mojo and a radiant glow.
Your website identifies you as creator of fine fragrances and host of perfume masterclasses, which occupation do you most enjoy?
They are both very different, one is very private and individual and the other is very public.
I enjoy the creative side of perfume making, but it’s very personal and hard to share with anyone until the final result.
I actually prefer the Masterclasses because it gives me a chance to share my creativity and my knowledge, which I really love to do. I’m a very open communicator and incredibly passionate about educating people in a fun and hands on way.
Participants of the classes get to blend a bespoke perfume themselves, with guidance from me, but pretty much I give them creative licence to make something unique and individual and they always go away with a fragrance they love which surprises most of them.
I have always encouraged people to embrace their individuality and my classes gives me the opportunity to shout it from the rooftops.
There is a lot of success involving your perfume masterclass, do you think it is due to a sense of community, being surrounded by other people of the same interest, or a focus on individuality, creating a one of a kind perfume?
It’s all of the above. It definitely a sense of community, most people come alone and they go away with new friends who share their passion or interest.
These days there’s a lot of focus on ‘bespoke’ and ‘handmade” and people are more curious than ever to find out how things are made and if they can do it themselves. Nowadays more people want to stand out and put their own stamp on things and fragrance is such a personal thing. It’s exciting for them to create something that is their signature and say they did it.
The classes are so much fun and everyone gets to share their ideas with others and have the opportunity to be creative if only for a day, they would never otherwise have access to experiment with over 60 exotic and rare oils. It’s also something very different than the usual activities on offer over the weekend in the UAE.
In a world where so many fragrances are being marketed, from big name brands to celebrity products, what makes your fragrance collection stand out?
I like to think that my fragrances are exclusive and only available to a select amount of customers. I’m not interested in the mass market because I want them to remain niche, in a world where there are over 2,000 perfume launches every year.
The majority of perfumes, especially the cheaper or more affordable ones contain 80 to 100% synthetic ingredients and to me they all smell like different versions of each other or a copy of a classic like Chanel or Guerlain.
My perfumes contain very high quality ingredients that are mostly natural and naturally derived oils, I want them to smell like perfumes used to, when they smelled like the actual flower that was in them like Ylang-Ylang, Honeysuckle, Jasmine or Frangipani. They have a very vintage vibe, because before the introduction of synthetic fragrance materials in the early 1900s, natural oils was all that was available.
The natural setting in England first sparked your inspiration as a young child, what continues to inspire you after your move to Dubai?
The unique fragrances that I was exposed to when I moved here have encouraged me even more to be creative, I was enraptured by the exotic perfumes that Emirati women and men wore and the way the fragrance lingers long after they have gone has a sense of something mystical.
Fragrance in the Middle East is a massive part of the heritage and culture and that inspires me more every day, it’s not just about smelling good, it’s a tradition that has been a part of people’s lives for centuries and thank goodness hasn’t been lost.
Fragrance is different in every part of the world and being in the UAE has given me the wonderful opportunity to explore oils I might never have had the chance to in the UK. Oils like oudh have been used in perfumes in this region for hundreds of years and now it a global phenomenon with practically every perfume brand having their own oudh blend.
Many Emirati women make their own perfumes and often gift them for special occasions and I love that part of their community. So you could say that this region is leading the way in the perfume industry and it’s exciting to be at the heart of it.
What encouraged you to combine perfumery with masterclasses?
I love teaching and I’m passionate about sharing my knowledge and it was my customers who inspired me to start the classes, they love my perfumes. Many people would ask me to make ones with different flowers like gardenia or violet, for a small brand it’s impossible to make a range to please everyone, so I decided to start teaching them how to make their own, it also opens their eyes as to just a small part of what it takes to create a good perfume. It enables me to continue being creative, but in a group setting which I love because I’m very much a people person.
I also hold individual classes, mostly for people who want to start their own range of products. To think that I have had a hand in someone else’s success and that I’ve made a difference is inspiring in itself.
For someone who is starting out, which of your fragrance would you recommend? Why?
My classes are for beginners, and for first timers I would recommend they be led by their intuition and own preferences, there is no one fragrance base that they should choose it’s all about personal choice. I have many people who come back time and again and each time they either try something new or try to create a different version of their last perfume
Creating your own signature scent is a very personal journey and it’s one that only you can decide on because you have to wear it on your skin.