Every so often I return to some of my favourite and well thumbed books which were my inspiration during the years I studied aromatherapy and beauty – I still love the intelligence and gentleness of these books, the healing powers of plants and the oils extracted from them have been known since time immemorial and the fondness for books inspiring us to follow these natural methods of health and beauty are more popular than ever.

Last week whilst I was in Paris I had the opportunity to visit the popular cult apothecary l’Officine Universelle Buly on rue Bonaparte, this beautifully curated store has become one of the favourite destinations for visitors to Paris.


Victoire de Taillac and Ramdane Touhami, the couple behind the creation of Buly have now written a book, An Atlas of Natural Beauty – Botanical ingredients for retaining and enhancing beauty – the book lists ingredients and raw materials plus tested recipes encouraging it’s reader to experience the benefits of naturally made products. This is a fabulously informative book and has now become a valuable addition to my own library – taking natural care of ourselves is the most rewarding and enjoyable of lifestyles.

My séjour in Paris also included meeting the lovely perfumer, Stéphanie de Bruijn in her small boutique/laboratory on rue de L’Universite.

Before coming to Paris Stéphanie began her training in the Art of perfumery through notes of music, playing the piano, studying music theory and opera for 10 years. She then studied  the science, biology and physiology of plants after which she travelled to Grasse where she created her first perfume composition. Returning to Paris she opened her first boutique in 2008 offering bespoke perfumes.

Stéphanie is a very warm unpretentious perfumer and I believe her perfumes radiate her personality, she plays with the most basic materials and the most precious to compose sonatas of scents, they are both distinctive and elegant – the collection includes:


Paris-Saint Germain des Prés –   a perfume inspired by the atmosphere of the Left Bank of Paris,  a Jasmine floral with rich notes of lemon, raspberry and peach, the savouring notes of vanilla, jasmine, Turkish rose and sandalwood add a warm body to this very fine perfume.
Paris- Saint Honoré –  a warm oriental patchouli fragrance inspired by Paris of the 1970s, elegant, colourful rock’n’roll fashion, Woodstock and summer music festivals.
Paris-Montaigne – an oriental Vanilla, inspired by the very elegant women taking tea at the Plaza Athénée.
The collection also includes:
Délice –  a sweet and sensual fragrance.
Cashmere, a woody spicey perfume.
Paris-Bombay – a tribute to the whole sensuality of India.
Paris- Istanbul –  a  perfume with white musks, sweet vanilla and almondy notes,  reminiscent of the aromas surrounding the splendour of the Topkapi palace in Istanbul.
Cupidon – a fresh and sparkling fragrance.
Promenons-nous dans les bois, – woody oriental –  a sensual fragrance, sweet and spicey including notes of mint, lemon, sage, heliotrope and vanilla.
Oud Oud Oud! –    An oriental fragrance – mysterious, powerful and voluptuous.


House Stéphanie de Bruijn – Parfum Mesure – 52 rue de l’Université – 75007 Paris  – now available exclusively at Fortnum & Mason, London

Officine Universelle Buly, 6 rue Bonaparte – 75006 Paris