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Scent Stories: Fran Brown - Fragrance Consultant
We believe that scent and storytelling go hand-in-hand. In our scent stories series, we’re delving into scent’s profound impact on the lives of some of our favourite influencers and industry experts.
Fran Brown has a career in the fragrance and luxury lifestyle industry spanning over 20 years. She’s an expert in fragrance composition and has a unique, contemporary approach to perfumery.
Fran has worked with master perfumers in top fragrance houses around the world, creating collections for a variety of luxury brands. Her knowledge has taken her from London and Paris to New York and China.
Her portfolio of British lifestyle, beauty and fashion fragrances includes Jo Malone, Crabtree & Evelyn and Bronnley – where she created a new olfactive signature. She’s also worked for TRH The Prince of Wales’ brand Highgrove.
We’re intrigued by the concept of a ‘fragrance consultant’ – can you tell us a little about your role?
I work closely with brands on concepts for new product development, drawing ideas directly from the brand DNA to provide authentic scented signatures and fragrance stories that truly resonate.
What’s the inspiration behind your work?
I’m always inspired by the entrepreneurs that I work with, their personal philosophy and the distinct worlds they’re creating.
My personal inspiration comes from the world around me. Ideas can come from anywhere if you are open to them – an object that's been in your home for years can be as inspiring as any travel experience.
What does an average day look like for you?
I plan out every day as I have both personal and home fragrances to evaluate and must have either a clear air environment or clean skin to test on. I place the candles and diffusers I’m working on in separate rooms and decide which perfumes or lotions I need to wear.
Once this has been set up, I will note the journey of the fragrances over the morning. Throughout the day I’ll also work on concepts, visual mood boards, ideas for fragrance compositions or fragrance stories.
We’re fascinated by the way that scent and memory are linked. Tell us about a scent that evokes memories for you.
I can’t smell the scent of patchouli without being transported to woodland walks after a rain shower, when precipitation lifts the aroma of trodden earth, woody bark and arching boughs into the air.
Scents have the power to help us de-stress and rejuvenate our senses. What helps you unwind?
It’s a classic but what always works for me is the scent of lavender – there’s something very soothing in its aromatic, pure character and the notion that it’s a traditional remedy for sleep.
I prefer it in a blend with an ingredient such as sandalwood to soften its smooth, woody tones. Sandalwood is also associated with having relaxing properties and is often used to support meditation.
And finally, if there’s one scent you could capture in a fragrance, what would it be and why?
I would love to create a perfume that captures the Amazon hummingbird. I imagine the movement of its tiny beating wings as the lively, volatile citrus top notes disperse quickly in the air.
I would call it ‘Flower-Kisser’ (a nickname for the birds because of their love of nectar) and create a softly blooming, exotic floral-honey heart as an ode to their sweet desires.
Finally to capture the sheer, exotic magic of this creature, only a fearless base of mysterious Oud wood, sparkling amber and verdant vetiver would do.
It seems we’re not the only perfumers who are inspired by nature – we’d love to see this hummingbird-inspired fragrance come to life.