It’s a strange paradox that smell, the most evocative and memorable of all our senses, is also the one that’s most difficult to explain. But if there’s a man better qualified than most to give it a try, though, it’s Mr Tom Daxon Bowers.
At the age of just 27, Mr Bowers founded his eponymous perfume brand, Tom Daxon after graduating university – but he was sniffing around the business long before that. His mother spent much of her career as creative director of the UK cosmetics firm Molton Brown, and it was while accompanying her on a trip to Grasse, the small town in the south of France considered to be the world capital of the perfume industry, that Mr Bowers first met Mr Jacques Chabert. A well-regarded “nose” who has previously worked for industry titans such as Chanel and Guerlain, Mr Chabert is now the man responsible for designing Tom Daxon’s range of nine classic, ingredient-led fragrances, among them Sicilian Wood, Reverie and Cologne Absolute.
To find out more about what goes into making one of his signature scents, MR PORTER accompanied Mr Bowers on a trip encompassing his home in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire and the small fragrance lab in Grasse where his perfumes are developed. At the heart of this laboratory is the perfumer’s “organ”, a fascinating workspace whose shelves are lined with bottle-green glass vials, each one carefully labelled to denote a specific fragrance compound. To anyone lacking a degree in advanced organic chemistry, names such as camphene and farnesol won’t mean much, but open one of these vials up and you’ll be confronted with the familiar scent of lavender, tangerine or lilac; open another and you might encounter rose, bergamot or pine. Watch the video, above, to hear Mr Bowers himself talking through this cornucopia of scent…
Film by Pundersons Gardens