When Fortnum & Mason challenged me to capture the scent of the store within a perfumed candle, I was surprised to discover that without candles, this quintessentially English icon might never have begun.
In 1707, from a small shop in Duke Street, royal footman William Fortnum began selling candles made from the melted-down wax stubs left over from the royal household.
Three centuries of trading later, Fortnum & Mason presented me with the task of paying tribute to these humble beginnings by creating a perfumed candle which captures the feeling we get when we close our eyes and think about Fortnum & Mason.
To truly understand the perfumed candle, you need to understand the store. I invited press on a tour of Fortnum & Mason. From the beehives to the Crypt, attendees were walked through the different aspects of the store which inspired my creative thought process behind the candle.
I wanted to conjure the scent of a beautiful Grand House, luxurious and ageless. I have blended Lavender and Beeswax (harvested from the hives of Fortnum & Mason) to create the effect of precious woods that have been cherished for years, being both polished and loved.
The floral heart notes are dry and not at all sweet. The Rose I have used in the heart is warmed by a touch of Clove, which is present in some roses, and captures all that is quintessentially English. The whole has a wonderful diffusion through the inclusion of Clary Sage and Geranium leaves that capture a breath of fresh air that carries the garden with it.
Everything nestles on a warm, woody base where I worked Oakmoss, Vetiver, Cedarwood, and Tonka Bean absolute as well as a fraction of it called Coumarin, which gives a smooth, rounded warmth which is sublimated beautifully with one of the classical leather notes – Labdanum, which is one of my signature materials and one which adds depth and sensuality. In my mind it captures the understated, often unexpected, effortless, refinement that is Fortnum and Mason.