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5 Minutes With Rachel Vosper

Chandler & Belgravia Local

Rachel Vosper is a leading chandler, who has designed signature scents for royalty and celebrities alike. We take five minutes with Rachel to discuss her work and designing bespoke fragrances for your home.

Rachel Vosper photographed by Aun Callender

Tell us who you are, what you do and how long you’ve been doing it.

I am a candle chandler and home fragrance expert with over 24 years in the industry.  My career began with a chance encounter on a beach in Barbados with a candle maker back in 1994. She had just started her company and was rushed off her feet.  She asked if I could help out in her studio and I just fell in love with the whole process at first pour. I ended up buying the company and never looked back.  My six-month trip extended to four years as I built up a successful business and this sparked a passion that would lead to me opening my Belgravia flagship studio in 2011.

When someone commissions you to create a bespoke scent for their home, how does the process begin? Where do you find inspiration?

Of all our senses, smell is most strongly tied to our emotions, yet so many people don’t make the connection between how the feelings we experience on a day-to-day basis are influenced by smell.   So, when a client is trying to choose a bespoke fragrance I always start by asking them to describe their favourite smell, such as a parent’s cologne or a memorable holiday destination and often find these memories generate a complex mix of nostalgia and emotions.

What are some of the different ways someone can bring aromas and fragrances in to their home?

I would recommend a combination of candles and reed diffusers will ensure your house always smells wonderful and will become a signature scent that guests will remember whenever they come into your home.

Are there any unwritten rules (advice) for pairing different fragrances with different rooms in the house?

There are no rules as such, but it is always better to keep it simple. Whilst I fully endorse layering scents, I would typically advise no more than two in each space. I also think it is important to select the scent according to use of the room, so for example in the kitchen, fresh and light scents such as Sage and Lemongrass or Echinacea work well. Whilst in the bedroom something with hints of patchouli, amber or sandalwood are sexy and mysterious and when blended with jasmine or rose they become more sensual.

Which scents are currently in vogue and which would you say have a timeless appeal?

We have just launched two new fragrances, Scent 69 and Scent 10, both of which give a nod to the current trend for zingy citrus. For Scent 69, I have blended top notes of grapefruit and lime with earthy notes of cedar and amber in the base, to give the fragrance a more sophisticated finish. Scent 10 explores the more heady mix of oriental blooms and honey-sweetened citrus. Rose and Sandalwood are both classics that never date and can also be blended with unusual fragrances to add a modern twist.

What are some of the ways you make your products bespoke to your customers?

As well as creating bespoke scents and candles for corporate and private clients, I also offer a unique refill service, which allows clients to bring back their vessels to be refilled and enjoyed time and time again.   I have always loved the idea of breathing new life into beautiful objects that might have been forgotten at the back of a cupboard such antique crystal or a favorite vase and it allows my clients to have something entirely personal to them.

What are some of the most famous spaces you’ve created fragrances for?

In London, The Berkeley Hotel and Dover Street Arts Club have my candles burning. I have also made candles for a number of celebrities and members of various Royal Families. My new collaboration with Virgin Atlantic is very exciting and launched earlier this year.  I have created a bespoke scent for them which will be present at various points throughout the Virgin Atlantic experience such as check in, the clubhouse and when boarding the aircraft.