On the blog today, we interview the perfumer Aaron Terence Hughes in order to explore his work and uncover the secrets of his creative process. One of the most important things which makes Aaron's perfumes stand apart is that he creates fragrances which offer numerous benefits, from making you more attractive, to helping you feel less stressed and more confident.
Aaron is passionate about ethics and deeply cares about the world he lives in. His perfumes will never be sold in countries that demand animal testing. He will never use a secondary company to test his products on animals on his behalf. Aaron has always loved perfumery and his earliest pocket money was spend on essential oils. Growing up on a flower farm in Cornwall had a beautiful effect on his scent memory.
Aaron used to crush flowers directly onto his arm and was fascinated by the separation of floral compounds as his skin heated up.
''I feel that perfumery sits beautifully on the edge of art, chemistry and maths. It utilises all my abilities and constantly ignites my creativity and passion'' - Aaron Terence Hughes
We all know that dressing well ups our confidence because we feel better when we look nice. Wearing a perfume enhances that feeling, as you’ll be more fascinating and irresistible.
When you have 1200 perfumes that come out in one year, half of them, I assure you, if you were to test them all, would have the same odor and wouldn't last. You have to find something that is specific to you. Something that is yours and no one else's.
One of the most important things which makes Aaron's perfumes stand apart is that he creates fragrances which offer numerous benefits, from making you more attractive, to helping you feel less stressed and more confident!
The Perfume Collection
Mysterious and sexual, Oud is born of the night. A fierce contradiction of Oud Wood, Musk, Leather and Rose Absolute – a fragrance that doesn’t fade but instead gets stronger and more potent as you heat up. This aphrodisiac scent will leave a lasting impression.
Top notes: Leather
Middle notes: Amber, Turkish Rose (Damascena)
Base notes: Patchouli, Burmese Oud, Musk, Animalistic sex
Chocolate, Rose & Oud
Deliciously decadent, Chocolate, Rose and Oud is a modern take on the classic Gourmand fragrance. Rose Absolute and Vanilla Bean intertwine with Musk and Sandalwood, to create a delectable scent. Layer with Rose to create a truly bespoke fragrance.
Top notes: Turkish Rose (Damascena)
Middle notes: Tonka Bean Tincture, Madagascar Vanilla
Base notes: Patchouli, Sandalwood, Burmese Oud
Soft and gentle, Neroli captures summer in a bottle. Capturing nature’s most delicate and precious essential oils, Neroli combines the soft floral notes of Orange Blossom, Delicate Woods, and Jasmine to seize the scent of summers past.
Top notes: Organic Neroli
Middle notes: Jasmine Sanbac
Base notes: Sandalwood
Tobacco, Oud and Vanilla
Evocative and opulent, Tobacco, Oud, and Vanilla captures a nostalgic spirit.Dry woods and sweets tobacco flower come together with Oud and creamy vanilla. Layer with Chocolate, Rose, and Oud or Oud to create your own, bespoke fragrance.
Top notes: Tobacco Leaf
Middle notes: Madagascar Vanilla, Tobacco, Turkish Rose (Damascena)
Base notes: Burmese Oud, Cedarwood
Sensual and indulgent, Rose arouse a taste of the Orient. A blend of Rose Absolute, Exotic Woods, Spices, Sweet Tonka Bean and mysterious Dark Berries add to the depth of this indulgent scent. Layer with Chocolate, Rose and Oud to create a fragrance as unique as your personality.
Top notes: Turkish Rose (Damask)
Middle notes: Spices, Tonka Bean Tincture, Madagascar Vanilla, Lotus Flower, Tree Moss, Dark Berries
Base notes: Patchouli, Musk, Burmese Oud
Jasmine, Amber & Rose
Exotic and mysterious, Jasmin, Amber, and Rose invokes a enigmatic and intoxicating energy. Narcotic and deeply sensual, Jasmin, Amber, and Rose, fills the room with not only it’s bold scent, but also it’s intense energy. Utilising night-blooming Jasmine, Amber, and tactile Rose, this fragrance will leave an impression.
Top notes: Turkish Rose (Damask), Night Blooming Jasmine
Middle notes: Vanilla
Base notes: Burmese Oud, Amber, Musk and Patchouli
Cedarwood & Bergamot
Clean and well groomed, Cedarwood and Bergamot conjure the spirit of Spring and Summer months. Easy-to-wear, Cedarwood and Bergamot combines hearty woods with a sharp citrus and earthy Vertiver to encompass the scent of crisp spring mornings, and long summer days.
Top notes: Spanish Lavender, Sicilian Lemon, Mandarin, Neroli and Bergamot
Middle notes: Jasmine Sanbac and Vetiver
Base notes: Amber and Cedarwood
MEET AARON TERENCE HUGHES
HOW DID YOU DECIDE TO BECOME A PERFUMER?
I have always been highly aware of my sense of smell. My memories tend to have fragrance and sound attached to them. I grew up on a flower farm in Cornwall. So my earliest memories were the smell of the sea (Ozone), Vinegar on chips and flowers. I can remember the smell of flowers, leaves and twigs been broken in to individual molecular components between my fingers. There was also a pittosporum wood near to where we lived that my family had planted.
I loved to climb trees and I can remember the lush green damp trees and soil being combined with the dry Cornish summer. My earliest pocket money was spent on essential oils. But didn’t know what I was doing. So used to mix and burn them like a mad chemist and the toxic fumes would lead to my family leaving the house until the fumes had cleared. When I was 13 I dressed in Black and doused myself in Patchouli. It is still one of my favourite fragrance notes.
I used to go to Boots and smell fragrances; at 13 I bought Kouros. (We are talking the 80’s). I didn’t know it then but I was fascinated by fragrance. I supposed it was then. But I wasn’t thinking I must become a perfumer, it was an obsession. From there I became a hairdresser and most of my spare money would go on perfume. One of my favorite perfumes was Rush by Gucci.
Being dyslexic I didn’t think I could become a perfumer as I didn’t have any GCSE’s, A levels and couldn’t wright or spell. But I embarked upon GCSE’s, A levels and a chemistry degree. I went to work for some cosmetic companies. But I knew inside that my path was leading a path for myself rather then being told what to do. 7 years ago I started buying perfume chemicals and essential oils. I started buying books, watching tutorials and experimenting.
It took 3 years to come up with my first fragrance Jasmine, Amber and Rose. But after that it became quicker. I always thought that you had to have special education and training to become a perfumer so I never had this intention. But looking back on it all the signs and roads lead here.
Aaron Terence Hughes
WHO ARE YOUR FAVOURITE PERFUMERS
I love Clive Christian as a perfumer. His range is one that if I didn’t make my own I would buy. I like that he is independent and British.
Maison Francis Kurkdijan makes beautiful perfumes. I enjoy his work and love to go and sample what he has created. Again if I didn’t use my own I would buy his. His are clearly like a piece of art.
WHAT IS YOUR BRAND’S VISION AND MISSION?
I intend to open boutiques in the UK that sell Candles, Body products, Facial cosmetics and colour cosmetics. (My other business is that of a cosmetic chemist so making cosmetics is easy). I want to offer a discount service that if people bring back packaging they get a discount off their next purchase.
I want to bring back cosmetic manufacturing to the UK. Most brands left Wales which had a shampoo valley that made massive amounts of cosmetics. They left 10-20 years ago and moved to get cheaper labour costs. The factory will be zero carbon. I also want to train chemists straight from UK universities and provide employment opportunities.
When the brand is established I want to set up two charities:
1. Something where dyslexic children get extra support and guidance. Most of my family are dyslexic and from what I'm hearing the support they are given is still not very good.
2. I want to work with charities that stop the dog meat trade in Asia. As an owner of three dogs I understand how amazing dogs can be. It goes hand in hand with a highly creative person that suffer from anxiety. My dogs has been amazing at grounding me when I'm 10 years in the future rather then in the present. A dog cuddle or a dog walk can reground me and make me appreciate that it is the present moment that I can enjoy what I have done
I would like to see this barbaric dog meat trade stopped in my lifetime. It is only through education and providing some sort of opportunities to work that this will stop.
HOW DO YOU COME UP WITH THE IDEA FOR A NEW PERFUME?
I don’t really know. It is not a conscious choice. The only thing I know is that the part of my brain that creates art of music or dance ( When I was a child I was a dancer and played 2 instruments) The next perfume which I'm starting to develop is for summer 2020. I was walking my dogs and it just came into my brain. I then just follow my instincts.
I always use a lot of natural essential oils. The next fragrance is called Sandalwood extreme. I use 2 varieties of Sandalwood and blend notes around it. So with my perfumes your never have an overly blended noise. Mine have a definite main note and then other notes work around it to support it.
WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES YOU FACE AS A PERFUMER?
People are frightened to smell different to everyone else but really want to. I think this is that fragrance is such a primordial emotion. I love strong fragrances that lasts 12 hours + and to some people that can be frightening. People are also so used to perfumes massively high in chemicals and a perfume high in naturals can feel different.
A perfume high in naturals seems more alive to me. I have also learnt not to be offended if someone doesn’t like my creations. All mine are so personal that it feels like they are a part of me and it can be a bit wounding. So I have to remind myself that other people's thoughts are their’s and let them get on with it.
WHAT PERFUME MEANS TO YOU?
Everything. I live, breath and love perfume. I tend to judge people on what there wear. If they wear a very commercial brand that tells me they like to be like everyone else. On my days off I love to go and smell what other perfume houses are doing. But I do not like being bombarded by sales people. My boutiques will never be like that.
COULD YOU TELL US A FEW THING ABOUT YOUR SELF?
Sensitive, Creative, Emotional, Compassionate, Funny and Kind.
IF YOU WERE ABOUT TO BE REBORN, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE?
I fear the way the world is going. I'm not sure I want to be reborn. I'm trying to live an amazing full life fully present, so when its my time to leave, I wish I will have truly burnt the candle and left a legacy behind.