The FT How to Spend It: Need to Know

The FT How to Spend It: Need to Know

October 22, 2014

Personal Luxuries: Need to Know

She Came to Stay by Timothy Han

A sensuous unisex perfume inspired by Simone de Beauvoir

October 22 2014
Jemima Sissons

Thanks to its seductively warm, woody notes combined with those of cedar, clove and oakmoss, Timothy Han’s perfume She Came to Stay (£100) is like a wonderfully scented autumnal walk. It starts with fresh geranium, lemon and basil top notes, its heart is a calming mixture of Indonesian clove and nutmeg, and it finishes with patchouli, vetiver, labdanum, oakmoss and cedar wood.

Often one hears about the inspiration behind perfumes being a holiday or childhood memory, but this has rather more cerebral roots, having been inspired by the Simone de Beauvoir novel of the same name. According to Han, it is a unisex perfume “that tells a story about our perceptions of a world on the edge of change and the evolving nature of relationships with those close to us”.

Han, who made a name for himself with scented candles, produces the perfume in small batches in his studio in east London. With an initial run of 500 bottles, this creation will be stocked exclusively at Browns on London’s South Molton Street and Sloane Street. These first few hundred bottles will also be housed in a box designed by American artist Kirtland Ash, with five surrealist-inspired prints of a woman’s face mounted onto it (second picture). The perfume is the first of Han’s Edition collection, and he is hoping to introduce a new scent to the market each year.

“I wanted to create a perfume that reflected the themes of de Beauvoir’s novel,” says Han, “challenging our perceptions by coming across as heady and yet simultaneously volatile in nature, by being both masculine and feminine, depending on the wearer.”

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