Leonie Hutch speaks to the founder of the British perfumer about the scents that represent the big smoke, and what we should be smelling to calm our nerves during lockdown.

Where did Memoize London start? 
I have always been a perfume fanatic and after moving to London in 2011 I landed a position in a niche perfume house, working my way from the ground up. With all that experience I realised it was my time to shine and let my creative flair flourish. I embarked on the journey over 18 months - developing fragrances, designing packaging and logos and creating a concept that was personal to me. The connection between scent and memory has been integral in my life, from early childhood memories, to holidays, life experiences, and now the scent of a new baby. Scent is intrinsic to memory and this is what brought Memoize to life. 

The way that you describe your perfumes “The essence of…” is intriguing. Could you say a little about it?
The name of each scent has a meaning. And it is from that the fragrances are created. There are characteristics we look to create in order to achieve the scent that fits best with the product. “The essence of” is suggestive. Everyone’s memories are different, but these fragrances are Memoize's interpretation.

Do you think being based in London has affected the way you approach scent-making at all? 
Being London based, means we understand we are a multicultural society. Understanding the nuances and tastes of many different people is a challenge we happily accepted. Knowing that different fragrances are popular with an array of different people, many different cultures, both men and women of all ages, shows me that we got it right. And being niche means we are not everywhere. Our customers seek to find us and appreciate that we cannot be found on the corner of every street. They are unique like we are.

Could you tell me a little about the decision to form a ‘Light’ and ‘Dark’ range? 
What distinguishes the perfume collections from each other? The scents are based on feelings and emotions. We drew inspiration from the 7 sins and the 7 virtues - creating scents the are evocative and unique. It also allowed us to create bolder, intense fragrances and comparatively lighter more wearable fragrances.

Do you have a personal scent? 
Luxuria is the scent I created and wore on my wedding day. When I wear it I am reminded of all the excitement of the run up to our special day and the wonderful time we had celebrating with all our friends and family. Every guest received a his and hers fragrance with their name engraved on the top - this was their place card and wedding gift. Now when I meet my friends they often wear the Luxuria perfume and I am transported back to that special day.

This crisis is obviously a stressful time for many. Which of your scents would you recommend to create a mood of calm or to destress and rebalance?
Castitas is a balance of delicate white florals and based on the concept of charity and human kindness. We have seen so much generosity, thoughtfulness and kindness in this frantic time, Castitas reminds me of all the wonderful things we are doing to care and support each other in our hour of need.

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