Sarah Ireland | Summer 2019
First of all, what was the inspiration behind the collection of perfumes you curated for this quarterly box?
I found it very difficult to decide which 3 to present you with. I still keep changing my mind! I launched my brand with 4 perfumes and they sit within the seasons of the year. They all explore and represent totally different fragrance experiences. So with 4 to choose from I found it almost impossible to decide which one not to include!
In the end I decided that I would include Pink Pepper and Ginger Lily as that was the first complete perfume that I made and therefore has a special significance for me. Secondly I decided on Summer Serenade - as we are coming in to the summer season and it hopefully will be a lovely holiday scent for your subscribers to try. Finally Crushed Velvet is a wonderfully rich complex fragrance and is a good balance with the other two.
(I hope Keahia will forgive me!)
Going through each of the three fragrances, what makes them special to you?
Pink Pepper & Ginger Lily
This scent is inspired by my time living in the middle of an orchard. This was during my school days and the fragrances that would glide up to my bedroom window would be a mixture of the blossom from the tree and the slightly balsamic nature of the wooden stakes.
“Trees hung with blossom welcome you as you walk through their delicate sweet scents. A sea of pink and white fills the sky as a promise of the spring warmth to come. Nature begins to renew and the aged peppered wooden supports are once more as one with the rhythm of the earth. I dedicate this to my mother and all of the inspirational women who hold us together, because Pink Pepper and Ginger Lily celebrates both femininity and strength.”
Every summer I used to sing in a concert held in the open air and this scent takes its story from those experiences, a warm summer day that is heading serenely to evening. A light orange blossom and jasmine note hangs in the air very subtly.
I often use music when I create perfume and the piece that is neatly associated with this scent is Charles Villiers Stanford – The Bluebird.
“Sitting on the grass, feeling at one with the summer heat, the sun touches your face with a vibrant caress. Blue sky, edging into a warm glow, gives you contentment in cathedral cloisters. The effervescence of champagne and the birds gliding soundlessly above succumb to a setting sun whilst musical notes, sung by a choir, float through the air on the evening breeze. On days like these you are soothed by their Summer Serenade”.
The cello always takes me to thoughts of richness, and velvety textures with dark luxurious colours. I listened to Dvorak’s 8th Symphony and its connections with the story of this perfume link together beautifully.
“Excitement surrounds you as you head into the night for an evening of luxurious decadence. Through windows you glimpse the flicker of candles and a fire warming the heart of a home. The air is cold and crisp with a jeweled bite but it is invisible against the anticipation of the opulent fabrics and deep colours that await you. From the theatre, the ballet, and the opera, rousing music echoes the sensual enveloping feeling of Crushed Velvet”.
What kind of activity or occasion do you imagine is best suited to each scent?
Well I think that is purely personal. Each scent will evoke feelings, moods and emotions which are unique to each individual. Those may change over time too. Each scent can be worn without feeling too much need to be bound by directions. However, the story behind each of the perfumes may direct in some way.
Pink Pepper & Ginger Lily is spicy, balsamic and peppery initially and settles into a soft rose floral scent. It is spring like in nature and it may fit well if you want to feel feminine yet strong.
Summer Serenade has its roots in the escapism of a summer evening picnic listening to music soar into the skies above. The gentle citrus nature lends itself easily to a wedding day or a day relaxing in the sun.
Crushed Velvet in my imaginings is for a glamorous evening out when you want to feel you are wearing something rich, deep & complex in nature.
Can you talk about the key notes and accords in each of the three scents? In other words, what might jump out at our subscribers when they wear them?
As fragrance experiences are so unique to each individual I think each person will have a slightly different reaction, and each will have different elements that will resonate particularly with them. These are the key notes:
Pink Pepper & Ginger Lily: This spiced floral fragrance centres on the delicious Bulgarian rose, with its raspberry nuances, and pairs it with subtle hints of jasmine. The vibrant combination of cardamom and pink pepper blends with the spiced ginger lily but it is the frankincense that gives the perfume a decadently resinous and balsamic aspect.
Summer Serenade: This aromatic citrus fragrance takes its lead from an invigorating blend of bitter orange, pink grapefruit, mandarin and bergamot. The combination of sweet and tart aromas is accented by a wonderfully green neroli before the finest jasmine joins an evocative geranium, which also provides the merest hint of lavender.
Crushed Velvet: This rich, sensuous, oriental fragrance combines ylang ylang’s exotic qualities, geranium’s earthy androgynous edge, and tuberose’s heady extravagance. The pairing of Bulgarian and Moroccan rose contrasts the fruity with the spicy but the wonderfully smooth sandalwood and earthy patchouli is both elegant yet challenging.
Is fragrance important?
Of course! Smell is the underrated sense. It is there all the time, influencing us in many ways a lot of which are subconscious.
A lot has been written about scent and its power to immediately transport us to a different place in time. So it may seem rather obvious or trite to mention but the connection between memory, emotion and fragrance is palpable and I find that fascinating.
There will be scents you have strong reactions to – negative as well as positive – which are entirely subconscious. You may be drawn to a fragrance without really knowing why. Imagine the scent a flower dispersed in your grandparents’ garden when you used to play there happily for hours or a particular favourite toy that had an incidental smell about it. It will likely evoke a feeling of fondness even without you knowing.
What’s the story behind your brand? How did it come to be?
Sarah Ireland: I came to developing a perfume brand after a totally different professional background having worked in the fields of teaching, psychology and nutritional therapy. I have always loved perfume and it has been my way of expressing myself, feeling elegant and comfortable. I came to a place in my life where I wanted to explore my own creativity and get involved with developing something beautiful. After moving to Dorset and becoming much more at one with the natural surroundings of the forest and the sea I knew that the time was now! Each perfume in my collection came to being through a complex process which begins with the design, the image or story in my mind and emotions that eventually become translated into the perfume!
What do you think makes your brand special or unique?
Sarah Ireland: Perfumery has a sort of mystery around it. It is only really in recent years that people who had not grown up with perfumery in their family could even consider going in to this world. My brand is special because it is about a real connection with the client or perfume wearer. Each process is done by hand and this brings creator and wearer into a closer connection. This is quite unusual in the world these days.
I am sharing a little bit of me in each perfume story but when it is worn by someone else it takes on a new life, and is part of the wearer’s own story.
Describe your brand’s perfume personality or style in 3 words
Sarah Ireland: Evocative, Expressive & Elegant
Who or what inspired you to become a perfumer?
Pure love of perfume. When I first began the road into perfumery it was more exploratory than driven by a need to do it professionally. I wanted my perfume creations to be borne out of love and I still feel incredibly lucky to be doing what I am doing.
Are there any myths or erroneous beliefs about perfume that you wish would just go away?
Gosh, that is a loaded Bare&Bond!! Where to begin?! It’s safe to say there are a few. I think the important thing is to just enjoy perfume, it should be something to be cherished - explore all sorts of different types and brands.
Finally, what advice do you have for people looking for a new fragrance or a signature scent?
It is very difficult not to be drawn to the look or perhaps even description of a perfume in the first instance but really the only way to discover if a fragrance is for you is to wear it. Perfume will develop on your skin so wear it on different occasions, under different circumstances and see how you feel. I understand the desire to find your own personal scent that you feel represents ‘you’ at all times but that is a tricky concept as I find that may change depending on so many other variables! I have a collection of all sorts of different fragrances and always have done – my choice each day depends mainly on my mood and how I want to feel.