Today marks the start of National Fragrance Week 2023 - when perfume aficionados and those dipping a nose into scent for the first time - together celebrate the world of perfumery.
Organised by the Fragrance Foundation, of which STORIES is a proud member, different facets of fragrance will be celebrated throughout the week - and in this journal, I explore some elements of particular significance to STORIES Parfums:
- stories and heritage
- exceptional ingredients
- scented memories
Stories & Heritage
Fragrance stands the test of time as it transforms with it.
It will come as no surprise that storytelling is the very essence of STORIES Parfums. My fragrance house was born as a testament to the power of fragrance and to the stories which have shaped my own life. Scent has always been a way for me to connect with who I am and what matters to me - and by sharing my fragrances I hope to give people the space to stop and connect with either their past, their present or even dream for their future. The actual inspiration for each fragrance comes by working on how I feel on the day. I do not have an idea or a strategy where my perfumes are concerned. Everything comes to life as I work, much like an artist who paints a painting. It is an expression, an art, what I like to call the art of perfumery.
The very reason I decided to share STORIES Nº.01 and Nº. 02 with the world was in the hope that you too may connect with your own story - past, present and future.
HERITAGE: FROM NORTHERN IRELAND, WITH LOVE
My heritage and Northern Irish roots have most definitely shaped my fragrances and bodycare. STORIES was born and resides on the North Down's rugged coastline with exquisite landscapes that provide the freshest air and deep relaxation. Combined with woody, green, and evocative scents of the forest, and floral, herbaceous scents of the hedgerows and meadows, these scents of my childhood helped me create my fragrances intuitively.
My love for nature and the woody, herbaceous scents of the forest are written in my skin and intuitively inspire my fragrances.
Ingredients in Fragrance
Ingredients are at the heart and soul of fragrances. How we extract from nature, create with synthetics, and build together to fit into a bottle is exceptional.
I knew from day one that STORIES Parfums would be cruelty-free. As an environmentally conscious brand with a strong sustainable ethos, our planet and its inhabitants matter to us.
Every detail of our story is considered - with connection at its heart - to our past, our customers, our environment and the future we hope to preserve. We strive to be ethical in every element of our business and are constantly looking for new ways to do so.
I'm delighted to see that a significant number of people are choosing to switch to responsibly made perfume and body products, created with ethically sourced ingredients and without animal testing.
Transparency matters to us. We are passionate about the products we make, love to share the provenance of our ingredients - and take pride in using only the highest quality materials.
The extraction procedures of raw materials are varied and constantly evolving. We are committed to using premium earth-based, cruelty-free ingredients, with a strong focus on sustainability.
Often used alongside natural ingredients, synthetic notes created in laboratories have forged exciting new paths in perfumery - enabling the industry to avoid natural ingredients that are not cruelty-free or sustainably sourced - while enjoying rare scents that are prohibitively expensive to produce.
At every stage of ingredient selection for STORIES Eau de Parfums and Hand & Body products, I had a list of essential tick-boxes, from cruelty-free and the finest quality available to lasting power and tangible skin benefits.
Our products are produced using a combination of responsibly sourced ingredients with excellent agricultural practices. Every single one is produced using the best manufacturing practices that comply with international and environmental regulations and laws.
Fragrance has the power to influence our surroundings and alter our mood.
Our sense of smell isn't only about noticing what something smells like; it's a much more complex experience - and the only sense that connects to both memory and instinct. Certain smells have the ability to transport us to distant lands, dreams and into the arms of the ones we love, even when apart.
Smelling fragrance is like being taken on a metaphorical journey. Perfume can support our wellbeing in so many ways, forging connections with our memories and empowering us to engage with our emotions. Of our five senses there is none so intricately connected to our emotions as our sense of smell.
The psychology of scent
Our response to smell is deeply rooted in psychology. It is individual to us, like a road map of our significant relationships and experiences based on smells we were exposed to at those times. When you smell a certain person, place or object, the memory centre in your brain is activated to absorb the emotions and experiences you associate with them.
Any moment of significance in life can be remembered and celebrated with scent, like sensorial bookmarks dotted throughout our lives. I love to hear and share the stories that emerge from our interaction with scent. Everyone’s experience is different and everyone’s stories are unique.
Sustainable Packaging Design
Consumers are demanding a transparency, a forward-thinking approach to products and the planet.
Pioneering sustainability in perfumery has been woven into the narrative of STORIES Parfums since we first launched - and we endeavour to continue proactively reducing our carbon footprint going forward.
A sustainable ethos infiltrates our brand culture and every last detail is considered, as we strive to be ethical and transparent in every element of the business. We were delighted to be awarded Highly Commended for Best Sustainable Fragrance Brand 2022 and Best Sustainable Packaging - Fragrance 2021 in the Marie Claire UK Sustainability Awards.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Reducing plastic waste was a priority from the first moment that I considered how STORIES would be packaged and presented. Right up there with creating a beautiful, impactful design that would make using the products a pleasure.
We believe that sustainability and luxury can coexist in perfect harmony and a true sense of connectivity underlines our commitment to ensuring that we are as sustainable as possible.
While constantly seeking improvement, our current sustainable packaging initiatives include:
- we manufacture with the lightest carbon footprint we can
- all of our paper labels are raw, made with rock paper derived from mining waste
- we use 100% recyclable Zamak caps for our glass bottles
- all of our glass bottles are refillable, reusable and recyclable
- glass perfume bottles can be returned to us for refill or the travel size refilled at home
- our Eau de Parfum boxes are made from certified FSC paper and can be repurposed
- we don't cover our labels or wrap boxes in cellophane
- we offer a 10% discount on next purchase for returned bottles with cap.
These initiatives support our commitment to recycle, reduce and reuse.
Read more about National Fragrance Week 2023 - and get involved in some of the amazing events and opportunities taking place this week. Lots of them are online and offer unique acess to some of the very best fragrance experts in our industry.