Meet the founder
WHY I LOVE PERFUME
"When I was 16 a friend gave me a piece of treasured advice. She told me to always change my perfume when I found myself with a new boyfriend. I followed her advice religiously - except the boyfriend bit. It turns out I was racking up new experiences faster than new boyfriends, so I altered the advice and wore a new perfume every time I found myself in a new situation - changing school, going to university, first holiday overseas... It was only years and years later that I was able to experience the true gift of her advice. I had unknowingly been marking the chapters of my life through scent. To this day I can revisit the dark vampy nightclubs of my early twenties with a sniff of Hugo Boss Dark Red, or re-experience Christmas in Melbourne with a spritz of Gucci Rush Summer."
"I ended up using scent most effectively to “enchapter” my travels. So as strange as it may seem to others, the Hong Kong in my memory will always smell like dark chocolate and oranges (Missoni - Missoni) and Mexico like a seedy Parisian bar heavy with the smell of narcotic Jasmine and sweet tobacco (Etat Libre d’Orange - Jasmin et Cigarette). For this reason, one could say the inside of my dresser is like a time travel machine.
To make the memories sharper and clearer, I've had to find more unusual, interesting scents. This is what led me to discover the art that is niche perfume.
WHY I FOUNDED THE CLUB
I decided to start Chemical Poetry Club because I’m actually a frustrated customer.
Last year more 2000 new perfumes were launched around the world, and nearly half of these are from niche and independent perfume houses, but apart from a handful of specialist stores in the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, you cannot buy, let alone try these fragrances anywhere. Despite being able to research 41,000 perfumes online, even the biggest department store only stock 150 brands at most.
Add to this the fact that your nose is limited in how much it can smell on any one occasion and the muddled air of department stores and duty free are clearly not the best places to experience new scents.
Which means that to hunt down something unique takes time and dedication that very few people have. And of course, even if you do find yourself in one of these lovely little specialist stores, your nose tires very quickly and soon you can’t tell the difference between Chanel and shoe polish.
Did you know, a bottle of Chanel no. 5 is sold every 30 second somewhere in the world? This is a perfume that was launched more than 96 years ago! It’s a stunningly beautiful perfume, no doubt, but the quality and distinctiveness of the perfume alone cannot account for its unshakeable popularity.
The ubiquity of Chanel no. 5 is a little bit like living in a world where everyone you know has the Mona Lisa hanging in their living room, or where every restaurant you go to only plays Mozart on repeat.
So I’d like to help showcase some of the extraordinary creativity of the independent perfumers out there. And in the process make the world smell better and smell a hell of a lot more interesting!