This April Miss Selfridge is launching something rather special, a fragrance and body range created by world-renowned perfumer, Azzi Glasser and the Miss Selfridge team. Being a lover of both Miss Selfridge and all things beauty, I was excited to meet with Azzi and ask her a few questions. She kindly hosted our interview in her beautiful London home - vintage bottles and pieces from her travels fill the white canvas of each room and with her studio packed to the ceiling with perfume bottles – it really was the most Pinterest-able home I’d ever seen. We settled ourselves at her beautiful mirrored dining table and chatted through her the two fragrances and the inspirations and influences behind the scents.
Can you talk us through the Influences behind the two fragrances?
Yasmine Usif, the creative head behind Miss Selfridge was fantastic, she had a room full of vintage pieces.. I shopped in Miss Selfridge in the 80’s, and it hasn’t changed. It’s about getting a few outfits and making them work for every occasion. Because of this, we couldn’t just create one fragrance as it didn’t fit. So we decided on having a fragrance for the day and the night.
Can you talk us through the differences of each scent?
Beau is fresh, light, and clean at the same time. I also got a lot of influence from the skin tones, almost that pale, dusky pink like the packaging. Etoile is fun and sensual and warm, you get that feeling of skin in there but this time it’s more like skin at dusk, so it’s got a lot warmer for the evening and softer.
How long did the creative process take?
I started by having a meeting with Yasmin, looking at the concepts for design. I worked on a selection of fragrances with different balances and formulations. Then picked the final fragrances from there. The whole process was just over 12 months.
How do you think the fragrances differ to other high street fragrances?
Yasmin asked me to do the whole process exactly how I would with a designer brand. It was all done in house and in the end it was more expensive than most premium perfumes. If you smelt it blind, it would rank with the high end names.
When you were designing these, did you have a particular girl in mind?
Probably me in the 80’s. (laughs). I’ve got friends who’ve got teenage daughters and they’re really cool and trendy and love dressing up. There’s one girl in particular who looks fantastic every time I see her, she just puts clothing together really well and dresses up for different occasions, day and night.
Can the two fragrances be interchangeable?
Yes you can layer them, you can do a layering effect by showing with the body wash, then moisturizing your body with a lotion. They I would suggest to spray the fragrance and then for the finishing touch the shimmering powder. Fragrance is so subjective and smells different on each individual, it’s up to you how you want to wear it. but it’s having the choice that’s important.
Do you like matching your fragrance to your style?
Yes and I think matching your fragrance to your style is really important and I think a lot of people can get it wrong, they can look fantastic and then they have a scent on which I would see as not going together. It’s difficult because you can have stylists for your clothes but not your perfume.
I then run through some questions from my twitter feed for Azzi…
For those of us who have a rather large perfume collection, how long should perfume last before needing to be repurchased?
It’s different depending on where the fragrances are kept, they shouldn’t be in direct sunlight but you don’t need to put them in the fridge! It’s good to keep it cool but not cold, that’s not good for keeping the fragrance temperature stable. You’d be surprised at how long perfume can last but most packaging will state no longer than 36 months.
Is it important to have one signature scent?
It’s important to get it right and to have a fragrance that suits you, taking into account your eye colour and makeup and even your hair. You should get comments every day on your perfume. Having someone say you smell nice is so much better than being told you look good.
Where are the best places to spray for a long lasting scent?
One really good place is the back of the neck; it’s also quite good to spray your hair as well. I wouldn’t advise specific hair perfumes because you’re going to end up with a clash in scents. Just spray your own perfume on your hair, you head heats up a lot and gives of a smell that will catch others when you pass them.
Can you name one brand you would love to work with in future?
Chanel – because they’ve never been able to top No 5 and I like a challenge!