The Copy Writer

The Copy Writer

The joy of reading about perfumes while on my daily commute is that I get to learn about so many brands, new and old, and try to imagine their smells through the written descriptions—a bit like armchair traveling. The downside is that if I can’t get to a sample conveniently, all I can do is try to imagine their smells through the written descriptions—a bit like armchair traveling.

One of my recent armchair (rather, train seat) discoveries was the British perfume house St Giles’ collection of personas, with The Writer being of particular interest to me. Perhaps, in this case, I might have been intrigued by the persona regardless of the perfume, but I was inspirited to see the rationale behind the ingredients per the website:

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 courtesy of castoreum absolute with sandalwood, cedarwood from the Atlas mountains and driftwood.


It didn’t take long (maybe several minutes) for me to get inspired to attempt a copy and call it… The Copy Writer!

This project was easily near and dear to my heart not only because of the clever pun (if I say so myself, ha) but also because I was a copy writer by profession a few years ago (how time flies) and I’ve been curious about using rosemary and clary sage in perfumes. I had most of the ingredients described, and possible substitutes for most of those I didn’t have.

The only note I left out altogether was frankincense. Otherwise as follows:

  • Rosemary EO enhanced by linalyl acetate
  • Black pepper EO and dihydro eugenol (instead of ginger)
  • Helional® for the aldehyde
  • Clary sage EO, petitgrain EO, and styrallyl acetate
  • Vetiver EO for the leather heart note
  • Indolene 50 and para-cresyl acetate for the animalic notes
  • Ebanol® (for the sandalwood note as I’m running low on sandalwood EO), Atlas cedarwood EO, and cypress EO
  • Iso E Super® to smoothen the mixture


The green notes are fresh but fleeting; the spicy and animalic notes, hardy. The leather seems a silhouette within those, as though luring the nose through the forest to get to the woody bases. When all else has faded, Ebanol remains.


I’m eagerly awaiting my chance to sniff The Writer.






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