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    Over the last four months we've had the most bonkers project in the history of 4160Tuesdays, making four car fragrances for Dacia, the Romanian car company with a sense of humour.

    Here is the whole story on the Dacia website. It's really worth watching the spoof commercial.

    Anyway, two weeks ago they sent over three top notch press photographers; they entirely rearranged the studio and asked me look alternately serious and smiley, and somewhere in between, like this one, which is my favourite. Me looking baffled, with a 1950s analogue balance on the left (which I keep ready for the apocalypse) dropping Silk, Lace & Chocolate Eau de Parfum over and over into the same flask. Also, they hadn't told me I was going to be in the photographs which was just as well, or I might have worried in advance.

    I was sworn to secrecy, so I could only hint about what we were up to; in fact I had to make four fragrances to scent printed pieces of board the size and shape of your average beer mat but not as absorbent, then devise a formula that would stay in place. Then we had to apply it to 4 x 1000 of them. Currently the studio pretty much smells of Calone, thyme and cheese and I'm going to have to replace the table coverings.

    But not to worry, I ended up in the Shropshire Star, so there's one more life goal achieved! 

    Now I am back in the lab doing normal perfume things again, but creating The Jurassic Coast with fossils and ice cream, The Highland 500 with haggis, the Coastal Path with seaweed, or the Cheddar Gorge with cheese was an adventure.

    I would like to say that this is not the normal life or an indie perfumer, but I have started to redefine normal. 

    Ten years!
    🇮🇹 🇮🇹 🇮🇹 🇮🇹
    October 2013. We had just moved into our Acton studio and I got a call about making a perfume for Perroni Nastro Azzurro's 50th Birthday for the House of Italian Style.
    At the time, this was the ultimate brand experience, a takeover of the Institute of Physics in Regent Street (a few bemused physicists were found wandering through the cocktail bar, which was usually their library).
    I had a day to make a perfume with the wonderful Italian stylist @silviabergomi who was invited by Peroni to be the creative director. I admit I'd been a bit scared, until Silvia arrived and announced that this was her dream come true.
    The fragrance was to be based on a scene from Fellini's Giulietta degli Spiriti, featuring tuberose, ylang-ylang, tobacco absolute and cedar. A hot day in a pine forest, with a secret tree house love nest.
    It was displayed in a Venetian blue glass bottle with a long long stopper.
    "Don't buy it," I said, "It'll get broken." They ignored me and it was smashed in less than 24 hours. A litre of fragrance soaked into the Institute of Physics carpet. It probably still wafts reminiscences of Suzy and her seductive ways.
    And so Rome 1963 came to be. At the time is was pretty unusual, but in the last 10 years adventurous perfumery has become less of a surprise. I made it with materials which were all available in 1963, so it could have been made then - vintage style, with authentic ingredients.
    Batch 3 has been sitting there gradually getting smoother. Whenever you're ready for it, we'll bottle some for you.