Latest Articles by Pia Long

Pia Long is a perfumer, freelance writer and an experienced cosmetics industry professional.

Originally from Finland, she has been in the UK since 1992 and qualified from London College of Fashion in 1996. For her continuing professional development she has read the entire CLP and COSHH regulations and several EU Opinions; completed a CLP course, is studying on an IFRA course with Orchadia Solutions and attends every lecture on olfaction and fragrance chemistry she can. She won the first David Williams Memorial Award for her work on the IFEAT Diploma in Aroma Trade Studies, is a Council member of the British Society of Perfumers and has been nominated for the Jasmine Award twice.

While working for Lush Cosmetics, Pia created some of their best-selling product perfumes, including HQ “the smell of a Lush shop in a bottle.” She is a regular contributor to Basenotes and her own blog can be found at volatilefiction.co.uk

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Our Best Fragrance Discoveries of 2015

30th December, 2015

We ask our contributors to look back on 2015 and reveal what their best fragrances of the year were.

What is really going on with EU fragrance regulations

by Pia Long, 11th June, 2015

Pia Long takes a look at the EU regulations affecting perfumery and tries to make sense of it all

Basenotes Best fragrance discoveries of 2014

31st December, 2014

As 2014 draws to a close, we ask our contributors to look back and tell us their favourite new releases and discoveries of the year.

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The Right Combination: Interview with Nina Friede and Elisabeth Modin from Friedemodin

by Pia Long, 18th December, 2013

I meet Nina and Elisabeth at an exclusive private club in London. You'd never know there were marble staircases, luxury lounges and several bars hiding behind the ordinary façade. Nina and Elisabeth have been busy juggling all the jobs that come with being a perfume start-up and have been using the club lounge as an impromptu o…

New Book: British Perfumery, a Fragrant History

by Pia Long, 04th December, 2013

Were Shakespeare's sonnets inspired by fragrant potions? Which English perfumery made its money selling Russian bear grease? Whose lavender plants were eaten by rabbits? Who applied for a job in a perfume lab still wearing his school shorts? Which aroma chemicals went into Coty's L'Origan? Whose chemist career started because he was "to…

Study Notes: 29 High Street perfume, in Lush Spa Poole

by Pia Long, 04th March, 2013

When I worked at Lush, customers often asked: “Can I buy this smell? The smell of the shop?”, to which we’d have to reply “no, but here are some other perfumes you might like”. Until, that is, I was working on the Christmas 2012 product perfumes and was given a bath ballistic that looked like the 29 High Street shop in Poole.The ballistic…

Scentsory Question Time at the Royal Society of Chemistry - report

by Pia Long, 22nd February, 2013

The British Society of Perfumers celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and their calendar of events is full of interesting items. I attended "Scentsory Question Time", modelled on the popular BBC Question Time format, on the 10th of January 2013.The panel (left to right):Lisa Hipgrave - IFRA UKSteve Pearce - CEO, Omega IngredientsPenn…

Study Notes: Monkey Business

by Pia Long, 09th November, 2012

Pia Long continues her Study Notes column, where we've been following her progress as a trainee perfumer at Lush. You can read the previous columns here.The small, colourful room was full, with odds and sods of mismatching furniture, a bird clock on the wall and shelves creaking with pigments, glass jars and books. Mark, Simon, members of…

R.I.P. BNTBTBB

by Pia Long, 24th June, 2010

When Mark pulled me aside at our international meeting last summer, I wasn’t surprised at what he had to say: “We have decided to close B.”“I see,” I said.He raised an eyebrow. Perhaps he’d been expecting a stronger reaction. I had just spent a few weeks on the road, pouring my little heart out to the B Never Too Busy to Be Beautiful sale…

A Very English Problem

by Pia Long, 01st November, 2009

"If I pay for jasmine absolute, I should get jasmine absolute", said Mark in one of our early meetings. He had gathered a small group of us to discuss the never-ending problem of essential oil adulteration. ”And the same goes for any oil we buy,” he continued, “we want the best quality. Let us do our own perfumery. Don’t dilute the st…

Back to School

by Pia Long, 26th June, 2009

When I threw my maths book into a Finnish lake one summer camp, little did I suspect I’d willingly study the subject as an adult, decades later in another country. Chemistry and physics were never really a problem at school; in fact, I rather liked knowing how things worked. During my first trip to the zoo, I spent most of the time wi…

The guerrilla perfumers: An interview with Mark and Simon Constantine (Lush & B Perfumery)

by Pia Long, 19th December, 2008

Mark Constantine (pictured) is the head and co-founder of the cosmetics retail chain Lush, and also the co-founder of possibly the most awkwardly named perfumery in the word, B Never Too Busy To Be Beautiful. He likes to call his business “guerrilla cosmetics” and has hit the headlines in UK this week for openly supporting a g…