our founder's story
My name is Tonya Kidd-Beggs, Founder and CEO of STORIES Parfums, Northern Ireland’s very first luxury, niche perfume house. I am also a Cosmetic & Fragrance Consultant within the beauty & fragrance industry, specialising in perfumery, beauty, and storytelling. I am a wife and mother to four and live in a small village on the North Down coast of Northern Ireland.
I passionately believe in beauty without boundaries and have positioned STORIES Parfums as forerunners of the ‘new niche’ in premium luxury fragrance, proudly bringing luxury and sustainability together in the world of fine fragrance. Whilst our story may have started with deep roots in traditional methods and ancient craftsmanship, our ethos is that of a thoroughly modern brand. Intuitive, inclusive, and always accessible, STORIES Parfums will never define fragrances by gender or name; we will never tell your story for you.
unlock your story
the power of fragrance
My fragrance house was born as a testament of the power of fragrance and to the stories which have shaped my own life. Fragrance 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.
Being from Northern Ireland has also most definitely shaped my fragrances and bodycare. STORIES was born and resides on the North Down rugged coastline with the most exquisite landscapes which bring a breath of fresh air and a place for relaxation. These combine with woody, green, and evocative scents of the forest, and floral, herbaceous scents of the hedgerows and meadows. They are the scents of my childhood and have helped me to intuitively create my fragrances. STORIES Parfums reflects the entrepreneurial spirit and creativity of Ireland - an island of artists, musicians, and new ideas.
It all started because of my maternal grandmother whom I sadly never met as she died before I was born. My mum always told me she wore one particular fragrance, and that fragrance which lives in my mind is what connects me to her today. I have memories of playing with her necklaces and some special clothes my mother had kept and I have a vivid memory of her smell because of the connection I had to her favourite perfume. She was an extraordinary businesswoman and broke a lot of glass ceilings for women in Northern Ireland in her time.
THE OPENING CHAPTER
STORIES Parfums launched in late 2018. As I reached my mid-forties and my children got older, I went on pursuit of a hobby which led me to Grasse in the South of France. My desire was to learn the basics of perfumery and create my own bespoke perfume. It was during this process that I realised the power of fragrance to heal, release forgotten memories and transcend personal tragedy.
FROM CHILDHOOD MEMORIES
For most of my adult life, I have been unable to recall my happiest early-childhood memories, which were clouded following trauma at a young age. Later in life, I took the difficult decision to undergo counselling to remove the root of the trauma, which was hugely successful. Successful to the extent that I trained as a counselling practitioner to help others, but sadly still had no connection to my own childhood memories, until – my visit to Grasse, on the French Riviera, it was here that everything changed.
TO TRANSCENDING TRATEGY
As I sat at the perfumer’s organ, blind-smelling more than 200 notes in tiny brown glass bottles – from vetiver to tonka bean, I chose each note purely by instinct, without any individual emotional reaction. It was not until the very end, when I smelt the final perfume blends I’d created, that I sat back and was suddenly transported to a memory prior to the trauma.Those once lost memories came flooding back to me… STORIES Nº.02 was the particular scent that connected me to the young child, to the memories once clouded and overshadowed by a series of traumatic events was now having a clear, vivid memory of the joy, love and laughter that surrounded her as she played in a garden under the protective ad loving watchful gaze of my grandfather and father.
It was certainly a time of revelation and hope. I was enveloped with a wonderful feeling of peace and hope, appearing in olfactory form. After all those years, I’d been given back my precious memories – and through the process of creating fragrances, discovered that I did have a good childhood, unfortunately unhealed trauma can tell you a different story but after in depth counselling and now my newly found memories through the art of perfumery, I left Grasse with my bottled memories, and the passion to tell people my story through the art of perfumery, and STORIES Parfums was born.
I decided to share STORIES Nº.01 and Nº. 02 with the world in the hope that you too may connect with your own STORY past, present and future. The Olfactory System It should not have been a surprise to me that fragrance reconnected me to my childhood as scientific studies confirm that there is a connection between scent and memory. The olfactory bulb recognises smells and is part of the limbic system, responsible for our emotions and the formation of memories.