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IN CONVERSATION WITH TONYA KIDD-BEGGS OF STORIES PARFUMS
Written by Menswear Style in Interviews on the 27th August 2020 / In Conversation with Tonya Kidd-Beggs of STORIES Parfums
A fragrance range that weaves a narrative from mislaid memories, childhood dreams and long-forgotten hope; STORIES Parfums is a pilgrimage for the senses. Creative Director & Founder of the perfume house, Tonya Kidd-Beggs, curated each blend personally as a testament to the power of fragrance in her own life. Grasse, on the French Riviera, has a long-established fragrance history dating back to the 17th century. It was here that Tonya developed her first two perfumes, STORIES Nº. 01 and STORIES Nº. 02, using only the finest raw materials sourced from all over the world. Tonya employed time-honoured, traditional methods to formulate the perfumes while trusting her intuition to bring balance to the collection. STORIES Parfums is a luxury fragrance house showcasing unique ingredients from around the world. Through the art of perfumery, Tonya pays tribute to the stories that have shaped her life, allowing the wearer to connect with their own story, past, present and future. To awaken the senses: The notes and undertones in the fragrances are delicately balanced and complex. Each scent reflects a part of the brand’s story while encouraging the wearer to connect with their own nostalgia. The products are designed to inspire the redolence of memories. To be gender-inclusive and unique, the bespoke blend of aromas in each fragrance defies gender barriers.
In this episode of the MenswearStyle Podcast we interview Tonya Kidd-Beggs, Founder of STORIES Parfums about how the brand developed from a hobby into a brand, and her journey of learning the art of perfumery. Tonya worked with a fragrance house in southern France to get first-hand experience in making fragrances and to try and recreate a smell she once discovered whilst going through counselling for a personal trauma aged 12. Our host Peter Brooker and Tonya also chat about favourite fragrance notes and blending, how scents can help you recall memories, working with intuition rather than following trends, creating fragrances from stories, and the significance of the sense of smell.
Please tell us about how you started your brand
“I launched the fragrance brand in 2018, so it is still very new. It first began as a hobby and when my children got a little older I decided I wanted to do something for myself. I took my hobby in perfumery and developed a brand. I had such an amazing experience when I first started learning how to blend fragrances and about the art of perfumery, that I had a strong desire to start a business.”
Have you always had a strong interest in fragrance?
“Looking back, I can say there has been a thread throughout my whole life. I didn’t really know what that meant until I started working with fragrances about five years ago. My grandmother who I had never met was a successful businesswoman and meant a lot to me. I knew about the fragrance she wore, I had some of her jewellery and fur coats, and through that I was really able to connect with her in a way that I felt as though I knew her. I had trauma in my life when I was 12 and my life spiralled out of control in later years right through to my 20s. I went through counselling which was very successful and the root of the trauma had been removed but I had no childhood memories prior to the trauma. After the counselling my sense of smell completely changed, it was completely different. There was a certain smell that would come to me, but I didn’t know what notes I was smelling, but it was a really comforting smell. I remember saying back then that If I ever make a fragrance I would try and bottle that smell. Then, go forward twenty some years and I started contacting perfumeries in Grasse in the South of France. I would explain to them what I wanted to do, and one of the oldest perfume houses in the world kindly invited me over. I worked alongside a perfumer learning about the different scent families, notes and how to blend them. I had gone over with the idea of creating my own fragrance and I ended up creating two fragrances.”
This is a shortened transcribed edit of episode 77 of the MenswearStyle Podcast with Tonya Kidd-Beggs, Founder of storiesparfums.com. You can listen to the full version below or listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favourite podcast player.