Bertrand Duchaufour is perfumer behind new British perfume house, St Giles.

05th December, 2017

St Giles is a new British perfume house with a range of five perfumes. The house was founded by Michael Donovan, who worked in collaboration with perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour to create the initial collection.

Donovan has worked in the fragrance industry for many years. Not only is he the owner of South London perfume destination, Roullier White, his PR company, Profile PR, has represented brands such as Frederic Malle, Mona di Orio and Creed.

Michael Donovan, founder of St Giles

side note: Back in 2006, Donovan was the first ever PR person to ask Basenotes to come to a press event — the launch of the Mona di Orio collection.

Donovan says

The St Giles collection has been created to stimulate and amplify the many different aspects of our character. This wardrobe of fragrances celebrates the parts that make us who we are, fusing the reality and the fantasy.

St Giles is the result of my personal passion for fragrance, nudged and nurtured by some the greatest talents in the industry with whom I have worked over two decades. The perfumes are made in collaboration with Master Perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour whose vision I have long admired and whose friendship I cherish.

Having worked with fragrance journalists for his entire career, Donovan realised that the most important question almost never addressed is: ‘How does a fragrance make you feel?’

“This is what we all really want to know - perfume is not a long shopping-list of ingredients nor an ephemeral title hinting at desirability. We are all multi-faceted personalities and need an olfactory wardrobe that is multi-functional and fulfis the needs of our daily lives - a scent to make us feel empowered and successful or inspired, glamorous or stylish.

The collection is designed to stimulate and amplify the different aspects of our character and celebrate the elements that make us who we are, combining the reality and fantasy of our nature.

The range is as follows:

The Writer

From novels to newspapers, poetry to periodicals, online content to cultural commentaries on social media, the written word has the greatest capacity to effect change. This fragrance, inspired by the scribes who enrich our lives, is designed to aid concentration and summon the muse.

Rosemary stimulates memory performance and its bitter green notes take centre stage. Fresh ginger joins the rosemary absolute at the top alongside the focusing fizz of aldehydes, clary sage and uplifting rhubarb. Leather and frankincense form the heart while at the base lies an inky note of castoreum absolute with sandalwood, cedarwood from the Atlas mountains and driftwood.

The Actress

A celebration of feminine glamour, this fragrance throws a spotlight on the wearer and is designed to make an entrance. Elegant and refined, she is no diva but rather the protagonist in a far more nuanced performance. She is intelligent, knowing, and quite unattainable.

The narcotic scent of the giant oriental lily takes the leading role,  combining with top notes of Calabrian lemon, bitter orange, bergamot, basil, lentisque pistachier, and tomato leaf. The supporting cast includes Egyptian jasmine, orchid, honeysuckle and pear with a base of sandalwood, patchouli and musk brushed with vanilla custard.

The Tycoon

This is a fragrance to bestow opulence and power. It dresses the wearer in self assurance and privilege, taking them confidently from boardroom to bedroom.

The scent is a chypre, the fragrance genre that speaks of extravagance. It opens with a bright bitter green galbanum and the fizz of pomelo, green lemons and fresh ginger. At the heart is cypriol, a spiced woody note that gives the scent its well-heeled warmth and stimulating flashes of black pepper, nutmeg, spicy celery, magnolia flower and tea. The classic base is formed of patchouli, labdanum and oakmoss, augmented with an animalic castoreum that means big business.

The Stylist

Stylists make the world more beautiful and interesting. The sartorially savvy use clothes to communicate, be it a timeless message expressed with impeccably teamed jeans and white shirt, or an altogether more flamboyant statement.  This fragrance stands out, not because it is loud but because it is beautifully put together with just a hint of eccentricity. 

Bitter orange bigarade combines with the flashbulb glamour of aldehydes and the cleverly coordinated separates of rum and a mango accord. Palo santo brings flair to the heart alongside frankincense and the edgy bite of tamarind. An elegant base is conjured from two cedars from Morocco and Virginia, a smooth tobacco absolute, oakmoss, musk and a trim of vanilla cream.

The Mechanic

Honouring the sensuality of physical exertion, this scent takes the smells of the mechanic’s pit - oil and rubber, fuel, hot skin – and turns them into something magnetic and muscular. With a smoky, brooding aspect, it is made for those who like to walk on the wild side.

Earthy geranium and patchouli open the fragrance, conjuring the urban jungle, and then animalic castoreum hits leather - caramel smooth, rich and potent. The base of hot rubber, musk, oakmoss and a balsamic, cracked styrax is beautifully balanced. This fragrance is untamed and very, VERY desirable!



On 14th December, The St Giles Collection will launch exclusively at Selfridges, Oxford St, London. Priced at £130 for 100mls. The fragrances will also be available at from 7th December and they are currently available for pre-order.

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      • hednic | 5th December 2017 13:59

        The Tycoon sounds interesting. Wonder if this British house will distribute across the Atlantic in the future.

      • Grant | 5th December 2017 14:29

        @hednic There are plans to, and we'll update when we know more!

      • Oviatt | 5th December 2017 16:02

        Very interesting--thanks for posting this.

      • hednic | 5th December 2017 16:24

        Appreciate it. Thank you.

      • rynegne | 5th December 2017 18:58

        Was interested in The Writer, no U.S. distribution, however.

      • Grant | 5th December 2017 22:11


        Hopefully US distribution next year. I’ve tried them and The Writer is probably my favourite of them all. :)

      • CapriDog | 5th December 2017 22:26

        Me too. Nothing wrong with that. :-)

        The notes of tycoon sound right up my alley.

        Thanks for the info, Grant.

      • Diamondflame | 13th December 2017 02:12

        They all sound amazing though The Writer appeals to me the most. I cringed a little at The Tycoon though - made me think of Donald T. Definitely a range I’d love to try particularly as a fan of Duchafour - he has a way with aromachemicals, creating complex yet light structures.

      • teardrop | 8th April 2018 11:10

        l only just became aware of these after reading Roullier White's newsletter today. The Actress sounds like one l must try, although l cringe slightly at the name!