Sharing YOUR Stories: National Storytelling Week 2023
National Storytelling Week celebrates the power of sharing stories - in itself, the very essence of my brand. My fragrance house was born as a testament to the power of fragrance and the stories that have shaped my own life.
Fragrance had the power to connect me to good memories once forgotten; those once overshadowed by darkness were now dancing before me in a burst of olfactory goodness.
Our sense of smell is the most powerful of all our senses, connected to our memories through our olfactory system.
On a transformative trip to Grasse on the French Riviera, I discovered the healing power of fragrance... which had the ability to restore my precious early childhood memories, long overshadowed by trauma. I left with bottled memories and the passion to tell people my story through the art of perfumery... and STORIES Parfums was born!
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. So to celebrate National Storytelling Week 2023, I'm so happy to share some of your stories on your earliest fragrant memories and how scent has impacted your life...
Emma Togwell - Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Digital Creator
“For as long as I can remember I have loved fragrance. Adored it even, pre-teen me would stalk department stores collecting fragrance blotters and samples (which were plentiful back then!).
I even managed to snag a few dummy bottles of Chanel and Dior fragrances with the help of my mother! These I would display proudly on my bedroom shelf next to my trusty copies of Harpers And Queens and Vogue, ever the magpie for beautiful things.
The memories scent can evoke are so personal and vivid….
YSL Opium - my mum, circa 1986 clad in Mondi kissing me goodnight on her way out for dinner.
Givenchy’s Eau Sauvage - my dad picking us up from school and greeting my brother and I with great big bear hugs.
Jean Paul Gaultier - my first proper grown up fragrance at aged 12, takes me back to my childhood bedroom resplendent in copies of Smash Hits and Just Seventeen.”
Muriel Urguhart - Lecturer & STORIES customer
"This scent (STORIES Nº.02) instantly transported me back to Bùth Dhòmhnaillean, a shoe shop/cobbler that has long since closed down. The best part of the whole shop wasn’t the shiny new shoes and rails of fresh white trainers, but the repair shop - a tiny windowless room where the boys chatted with the locals who would drop by and the air was thick with pipe and cigar smoke.
It also took me back to my granny’s attic room, where I’d sit for hours reading old books and comics in a walk-in wardrobe in the eaves.
Don’t be put off though - it doesn’t just smell of stale air and fusty books - it also manages to make you smell filthy rich! Best part is you can try a sample size before you buy. Brilliant idea!"
Sonya Lennon - Entrepreneur, Founder, Board Director, Equity & Social Impact, Public Keynote Speaker
"When I was about six, we lived in the UK. The fence around our home was treated with creosote, a noxious and highly dangerous chemical, now widely banned. I remember the impact on my nostrils. It wasn't pleasant, but its power and potency intrigued me. It evokes memories of fishing for minnows, Wombles posters and Walnut Whips.
But this was the early '70s and other olfactory influences created different associations. My mum was always glamorous, stylish and vivacious. Watching her getting ready to go out was my ultimate joy. Head in my hands, I'd lie on the bed on my stomach and watch the layering of sequins, ankle straps being buckled, curlers setting, and a finishing swoosh of Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche. That fragrance told me a story: I am modern, I am glamorous, and I am sexy.
She has always been my inspiration, and scent is so important to me. When I select a scent, it matters to me how natural it smells. Could the elements exist in nature? How dense and deep the notes are - and always elements of spice, wood, frankincense and vetiver. These are my favourite smells, from the church pew to the wood fire.
I am a winter baby, through and through."
Hakim - Influencer & Blogger
“I remember loving the fragrance that my dad wore, the classic and very famous Pour Un Homme de Caron. From the first sniff it gave me a beautiful and different feeling... I loved this classic masculine scent. Even though I was too young, I wore it every morning to school; it always made me feel happy, fresh and stylish.
Always, when I wear Pour Un Homme de Caron it brings back this memory of the beautiful nostalgia, like a souvenir. It was my first proper grown up fragrance and takes me back to my childhood. Through this, I began discovering fragrances and smelling perfumes from stores... buying and collecting different fragrances from many different brands.”
National Storytelling Week runs from 28 January to 5 February 2023. You can read my personal story here - and I'd love to hear your #scentstories @storiesparfums