Wales Perfumery

Being a fragrance house based in Wales is unique enough, but set within ‘a Secret Walled Garden’ and being directly inspired by the landscape, heritage and culture of that magnificent country means the Wales Perfumery should be on every fragrance lover’s “must sniff” olfactory map…

‘My love for perfumery started when I was ten years old,” says Wales Perfumery founder and nose, Louise Smith. Recalling her earliest memories of connecting with her sense of smell, and using that to explore the world around her, she continues: ‘I played with my grandmother’s beautiful fragrance bottles. I’d pull out the stoppers and smell the incredible scents within.’ We speak to so many perfumers and fragrance house founders for whom their passion for perfume was set in childhood, and the same is certainly true for Louise. Those early days of fragrant foraging led to a more academic perusal of her interests, and Louise remembers that ‘Chemistry became my favourite subject in school.’

While most of us were perhaps still playing with putting handfuls of rose petals into jars of rainwater and imagining a magical perfume would emerge from within the disappointingly murky receptacle, Louise had already discovered the invisible world of the science behind smells and says that ‘it was the idea of those scented molecules that made me want to learn more.’ And so, from that deceptively simple decision (and her innate curiosity), her life’s journey into scent was set in motion.

Later on, and still on the perfumed pathway, Louise undertook extensive training in France, Italy and London, until she felt confident enough in her own abilities, and ‘…eventually started my own perfume workshops here in Monmouth’s beautiful Wye Valley.’  Now using her knowledge and skills to teach her other enthusiasts to create their own scents, it’s clearly always been important to Louise to share her passion. From there, extraordinary that some countries (such as those Louise trained in) have such a rich history of fragrance and an olfactory heritage that runs through centuries, yet others remain so unexplored, olfactory speaking. Often this is because the very ingredients for the foundations of fragrance have been grown and distilled there, but this isn’t always the case. Do, something we’re thrilled at is the increasing diversity of places and voices within the perfume industry. Because the more histories and cultures that been explored and captured in a bottle the better, we say! 

Louise and the HQ of Wales Perfumery could not be more connected to the land, and Louise knows how privileged she is, to be working from ‘…a lab that looks out onto our amazing Secret Walled Garden. I’m constantly inspired by the scent of nature and the history of the landscape in Wales,’ she beams. A trio of initial fragrances were launched – each a celebration of what Louise is lucky enough to see out of the window. As she describes:

‘COAST – ARFORDIR transports individuals to the rugged shores of Wales, where the salty sea breeze mingles with the earthy undertones of coastal flora. COUNTRY – GWLAD, a fragrance that resonates with the sprawling meadows and rolling hills, evokes a sense of tranquillity and connection to the Welsh countryside. Meanwhile, FOREST – COEDWIG envelops wearers in the woody embrace of Welsh forests, capturing the essence of ancient woodlands and moss-laden trees.’ Met by a fervent enthusiasm from fragrance lovers from Wales or far beyond, a celestial addition the collection arose in STAR – SEREN, which Louise explains is inspired ‘…by the enchanting dark skies reserves of Wales, this new addition unfolds like a celestial tapestry, weaving together notes that mirror the mysterious beauty of the night sky.’ So, no matter if you want to escape to the lush, rolling hills, verdant forests, swirling seas of explore ‘the vastness of the Welsh skies’ via your nose, your journey to fragrant freedom to roam begins within Wales Perfumery….
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