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Scents, smells and shampoo: meet the nose who knows fragrance

18th June, 2021

“I’ve loved smells and fragrances since I was a little girl. My first love was shampoo, I loved that you could wash your hair one day and again the next and it would smell completely different. I had so much shampoo it drove my Mum crazy!”

So says Stephanie Anderson, the perfumer who, together with our fragrance house, has worked the magic behind our bespokeCASA Home fragrances. That passion for fragrance that she first discovered in a shampoo bottle as a little girl has helped her hone her skill to reach the top of her trade. We chatted to her about all things fragrance to find out what a day in the life of a ‘nose’ is like.

Crafting a fragrance is “very much like a recipe in cooking”

The perfumer is the person who crafts together ingredients and blends to produce the fragrances that we eventually get to enjoy. A big part of Stephanie’s day is focused on this creation. The world of fragrance is more high-tech than you might first think. Perfumery uses advanced technology, with a robot helping Stephanie to compound different formulas and measure precise amounts of ingredients. Turns out scent is quite sci-fi.

Yet still the most valuable tool at her disposal is her sense of smell: “To become a perfumer you have to have a good sense of smell, but it’s also about learning; the more you smell, the better it gets!” Stephanie will test candles, oils and different forms of fragrance in special booths, which shut out all other smells and distractions. For example when creating candles, she will smell multiple in a row, unburnt and burning. Nothing but perfection will do.

“Sometimes you have a fragrance that just clicks into place and it is like magic, you can’t stop smelling it”

Stephanie’s passion for creating and crafting new fragrances is undeniable. “You can have an idea of what it will smell like, but sometimes magic happens and everything just comes together in a special synergy.” The work Stephanie does comes to life in all sorts of forms, from candles and essential oils to the everyday things that might we might take for granted, but which we all count on to smell great - like detergents and washing up liquids.

“The products we use can completely shape the way our homes smell”

“Home is a place of safety, comfort and security. To be part of creating fragrances that give a sense of comfort and security to people is really special.” Stephanie believes the products she uses to fragrance her own home are more important to her than perfume because home is her sanctuary. We couldn’t agree more!

“I love the CASA Home project because I’m very natural-driven.”

Stephanie believes completely in natural ingredients and tends to avoid synthetic smelling fragrances, especially at home.

“The more natural-smelling, the better. For me, nothing smells better than nature.” When something is taken down into a bottle that is natural, like the smell of a flower, leaf or wood it is very hard to compete with that. The more natural the fragrance, the more people typically like it. But she also highlights that using renewable ingredients is very important, and our use of natural ingredients has to be sustainable. None of us want to run out of lavender after all.

“Since Covid, people want to be more in touch with nature”

The Covid-19 pandemic has had an interesting impact on the perfumery industry. Stephanie has seen how worldwide people living in cities during lockdowns have become more desperate for nature and this has sparked a trend for nature-driven scents. Stephanie loves the sanctuary of nature and we can certainly understand why. Feeling more in touch with nature can bring a sense of calm and relaxation and take you away from the stress of day-to-day life. So if you’ve found yourself day-dreaming of fresh air, forests and flowers then you’re not alone.

“Light a candle at least an hour before your dinner party”

We loved catching up with Stephanie and finally asked for her top tips on how to fragrance your own home.

“You definitely have to open all the windows, this is key to keep the air moving even in winter.” Of course she loves candles and told us that “When you have a good candle, you can smell it even when it is not lit”. But when you’ve got something special planned, light a candle at least an hour before, such as ahead of a dinner party or date night. You could also use a little bit of room spray or essential oils on a tissue and place this behind the radiator. And day-to-day if you’re feeling adventurous, why not try a different fragrance in each room. Take your senses on a safari through the home.

Most of all it’s about finding the fragrances that work for you, your mood and your home. We’re all different, and the scents that help you to make the most of your home might different from person to person, room to room.

“For your home you have to find your balance and the important thing is that you love it.”

Stephanie works at the renowned IFF Laboratoire Monique Remy facility, an organization with 35 years of expertise in fragrance, emotions and how they intertwine. Stephanie has developed unique scents that are bespoke to CASA Home, each deliberately crafted with ingredients powered by science to enhance your mood and inspire your space. We hope you enjoyed meeting her as much as we did!

By Charlotte, CASA Home