"As a little girl, I did not make perfumes from rose petals. That was for softies. I made magic spells and wanted to be a witch when I grew up. When I was 16 I bought a bottle of Diorella. I studied maths and sciences, practised music and French, wrote books on brands and their evil twin—counterfeiting—and online marketing, and learned to dance Argentinean tango.
For 14 years I was the head writer for Lush while the company grew from four shops—one in Poole and three in London—to 700 worldwide. I was writing 50,000 words every three months for the Lush Times, aiming to encapsulate the products' scents in their descriptions. During that time, I bought and read 200 books on essential oils and herbalism and learned the essential oils the founders gave me to educate myself.
At the end of the 14 years, I took some time off to write a novel featuring a problem-solving perfumer. In it, I described the scents that she made and I wanted to have them available for people to smell. So I set off on a quest to see if I could buy them. This turned out to be impossible - and pretty expensive - because no one was making exactly what I wanted, so I started another quest to see of I could make them instead. Of course that turned out to be even more difficult, but once I'd started, I just kept going. 4160 Tuesdays perfumes is the result."
"Venus (Aphrodite) was the goddess of love and perfume, also of pleasure and beauty. I wanted to make the ultimate fruity chypre, with backcurrant, peach and my favourite raspberry leaf and I decided that it ought to be good enough to make her want to wear it. I imagine her bathing in it before descending to earth to seduce beautiful shepherd boys tending their flocks on Roseberry Topping. (That's a hill in North Yorkshire and this perfume's alternative name, when it's at EdP strength).
"There are two fruity chypre fragrances which particularly impressed me when I smelled the originals at the Osmotheque: Le Fruit Defendu from 1914 by Paul Poiret, and Shocking by Schiaparelli from the 1940s. I wasn't even sure if it would be possible to make something that gorgeous and legal these days. Anyway, I decided to give it a try.
"The first small sample bottle was stolen; I was intending the Crimes of Passion series to inspire rash impulsive acts, but I wasn't actually expecting this."