In the heart of Columbia Road – and its fragrant Sunday flower market – perfumer Angela Flanders has been quietly hand-crafting her exquisite scents, home fragrances, skincare products and therapeutics for more than 25 years. However, creating her most famous perfume, Precious One, was a genuine labour of love. Originally made for the Spitalfields boutique Precious, owned by her daughter Kate Evans (ex-fashion buyer for Harvey Nichols and Harrods), the scent has taken on a life of its own since winning Best New Independent Fragrance at the Fragrance Foundation’s 2012 FiFi Awards – the Oscars of the perfume industry. A voluptuous green chypre with seductively dark undertones, Precious One possesses a perfect tension between creamy tuberose and leathery, smoke-tinged vetiver that has unexpectedly – and deservedly – won a firm following among men and women alike.
Now, with Valentine’s Day in mind, Flanders has commissioned performance poet Tiffany Anne Tondut to pen an ode (second picture) around Precious One’s sensual composition. “It inspired me to write a poem as layered and unique as the scent itself,” Tondut comments. “Each note triggered a memory, a language or a taste. And then there was the notion of marrying sweetness [jasmine, tuberose] with acidity [oakmoss, citrus].” Tondut believes this poem is one of her more unusual and modern pieces – and no, it doesn’t rhyme. Offbeat, gently provocative yet appositely fond, it would be difficult to find such imaginative sentiments sandwiched between this year’s crop of pink hearts and flowers on the greeting-card racks.
Throughout February, limited-edition copies of the poem will be available with each purchase of Precious One Eau de Parfum (first picture, £55 for 30ml), Deluxe Perfumed Candle (£40) and new, meltingly indulgent Body Cream (third picture, £49) – which, incidentally, has all the “slow-burning” intensity of the original scent spray.
It’s a fine excuse to visit Flanders’ recently opened second perfumery in Spitalfields, though the range is also available online.