Nicola Parker – Brand Director of Fragrance Du Bois

Following on from my previous blog post on my first Fragrance Du Bois experience, I caught up with Brand Director Nicola Parker to find out more about this acclaimed fragrance house.

Hi Nicola, Where did the inspiration for Fragrance Du Bois come from and what is the history behind the fragrance house?

Initially the inspiration came from having a source of sustainable Oud oil. In 2011 there was a real trend with Oud fragrances however we began to realise many of them used synthetic and our USP was to bring to the market a brand that could show provenance of this material. It was also important to enhance this special juice with packaging that reflected the luxury of the fragrance. 

We also wanted to bring Oud fragrances to a bigger group. Often Oud was thought of as overpowering, we created a range that contained fresher and floral fragrances complementing these notes with the Oud which enhanced them in a new way.

Sustainability and high-quality natural ingredients are embedded in the DNA of Francois Du Bois, how does your fragrance house strike the perfect balance of providing luxury fragrances whilst adhering to these conscious objectives? 

In terms of the Oud based fragrances the material is natural and sourced mainly in Northern Thailand. This helps remote villages become an industrious source and promotes a legal source. We avoid wrapping boxes in outer plastic which has always been a key point for us. The Outer boxes can be reused and we work with suppliers through the chain who share our ethos in sustainability.

Oud is one of the main ingredients that weaves its way through the Fragrance Du Bois range, what was it about this exquisite raw material that has made it such a prominent inclusion in your fragrances? 

Fragrance Du Bois has 4 main ranges 2 are Oud based, 2 are non Oud based. For the Shades and Prive range the use of Oud enhances the notes and adds longevity. Certain constructions of fragrances can be supported by Oud rather than it being the main event. For instance London Oud was created by Francois Merle Boudain where his objective was to add the Oud to enhance the complex blend of cedarwood, cardamom, and lemon. The Oud will only ever be used to compliment notes with the exception of our pure Oud and Borneo blends.

Every batch of Oud has to be imported under CITES certification if anything is incorrect the body will impound the Oil, the regulations are incredibly strict and quite rightly so. It is a monitored product and can only be used in fragrance if the board are certain it’s from legal sources. 

Fragrance Du Bois works with some of the most respected perfumers from around, apart from their exquisite creativity what goes into constructing the perfect Fragrance du Bois scent?

The initial concept of the fragrance is tremendously important. The team are fairly hands on in focusing on what is needed to add to the collection. We are lucky enough to work with some amazing perfumers who understand our brand and can create fragrances that are perfect to join the others in the range.

In the case of the recently launched Fashion capitals range and Natures Treasures collection we wanted to achieve a slightly lower price point than the Oud range to give a broader range without compromising quality. Some of the fragrances took up to a year to finalise with the perfume houses trying to get them exactly right. All our fragrances are maximum inclusion in line with IFRA regulations and the perfumers know exactly how to blend the concentrate for us to be able to achieve this.

The fragrance concentrate is only ever bought from the original perfume house to maintain consistency and the fragrance blended at our manufacturers who were chosen initially for their understanding of niche perfumes. 

We often have to concede that materials do change with time in the case of Oud Jaune which darkens with age however the fragrance remains consistent. It just highlights how natural ingredients can change and we believe our customers understand this.

Perfumer – Guillaume Flavigny (Oud Bleu Intense & Oud Rouge Intense) photo by Fragrance du Bois

The Fragrance Du Bois collections are works of fragrant art, captured beautifully in each bottle and displayed in the most stunning packaging. What experience can people expect when purchasing one of these outstanding fragrances?

Integrity of the brand is key. We strive to deliver luxury fragrances and are mindful this can be a big purchase for customers and of course expectations are high. Fragrances react differently on various skins so we always advise customers to sample before making their purchases to really wear the fragrance for a couple of days to see how it reacts with their skin type.

In the current situation we feel it is important to be available to customers to discuss their choices, we can advise on fragrance types and also have great retail partners who can guide customers looking for their next purchase. Fragrance is a very emotional subject, we hope we are delivering a brand that is the best it can be.

Thank you Nicola, I can’t wait to explore more of the stunning Fragrance du Bois range.

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