A fragrant tribute to the Jazz Age ...
The 1920s/30s is a golden vintage era: the clothes, the Charleston, drinking tea out of teacups, the feather boas. And of course Nancy Mitford's novels The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate (which if you haven't yet read, I strongly recommend you do.) Hence why Deco London is my latest niche perfume crush. It launched six months ago and was founded by Sophia Fannon-Howel a former geologist who is herself descended from a number of major players of the Roaring Twenties including English poet, satirist and Restoration wit John Wilmot 2nd Earl of Rochester and Grace O'Malley the Eilzabethan Irish 'Pirate' Queen.
She's a lady after my own heart - by personifying each scent with its very own character (which to a perfume writer, is half the work done for you). There are three elegant ladies and three dapper chaps to choose from, each with a delicate illustration on the bottle. "My aim was to bring glamour back to the dressing table," Sophia (pictured below) noted. "Obviously I wasn't trying to recreate the actual scents of the 1920s, but I was inspired by classic notes of the era - such as geranium which every scent contains."
There's 'Loretta' - a floral chypre whose character is "bohemian, wears her hair slightly loose and reads a lot of novels." A very musky and powdery number, one could just imagine Ms Loretta surrounded by dusty tomes, dabbing a touch of rose water behind her ears every so often. While my personal favourite is 'Millicent' which conjures up a rather haughty dazzling dame who refuses every offer of marriage she receives, much to the chagrin of her social-climbing mother. A stunning white floral, the orange blossom is this will pretty much knock your socks off. And 'Constance' is a determined flirt, but lots of fun - with a sweet bouquet of vanilla, rose and pink pepper. As Sophia describes her, she's "the one out there on the dance floor, with her red lipstick."
When it comes to the gents, Sophia has created three rather spiffing characters. For guys who prefer not to step too far out of their comfort zone, 'Ernest' is your man. A "sporting gent" he's clean-shaven, with fresh notes of lavender and a rich base of vanilla, woods and leather - one can imagine him sporting immaculate tennis whites and a slicked side parting. 'Quentin' on the other hand is slightly more daring chap - he's a patchouli scent for those who don't normally like patchouli - given a suave air with sandalwood, moss and musk. Lastly 'Lawrence' is a "successful businessman in a fedora hat" - with punchy cassis, and clary sage, definitely an ambitious type, perhaps with a penchant for expensive whiskeys.
(Also available at Indigo Perfumery in the USA)