Interview with Shelley Waddington of En Voyage Perfumes

ZeldaDo you have a smell from childhood that you loved-anything from your Mom’s perfume to your dog’s paws-and what was it?

The smell of sleepy warm kittens in the sun.  My grandmother’s bottle of Tabu by Dana.  The fragrance of hot rice boiling on the stove.  Nestle’s chocolate chips in a small ceramic ramekin.

 Are you a synesthete, do you “visualize” odors, or “taste” colors, and does it affect your output? 

Yes, each fragrance ingredient and accord is perceived as a specific color.  I have thoughts along the lines of, “This accord needs more blue”, (or white, or green, etc.)

The indigo accord of lapis lazuli, violet ink, and Parma violets, is significant to the new fragrance of Indigo Vanilla (to be released in May, 2014), and is a perfect example of my synesthesia, as well as my wish to share it with others.

How do you see people using your perfumes, as accessories, personal signatures, or therapeutically?

It depends on the person.  Some have adopted one of my perfumes as their personal signature.  Others are perfume enthusiasts with large collections, and who enjoy matching their fragrance with their personal mood and activity of each new day.  Many clients use ZELDA to scent their lingerie, linens, and clothing, and also as a special statement on nice occasions.

The therapeutic aspects are implicit in all of my fragrances.

The effect of fragrance on the chakras is indisputable, as are the esoteric synchronicities of fragrance with the Qabalah. These energetic and vibratory frequencies are simply present in all that I create.  Guided by his or her own internal wisdom, the client is attracted to the fragrances that will bring them the most healing value.

If perfumes can be categorized as narrative (like Jean Patou’s 1000) or as abstractions (like No 5) or mood altering (like Eau Dynamisante) or evocative (like L’Heure Bleue) which are yours?

Each En Voyage perfume is a specific perfumed story with its own narrative, and is based on a real character, place, texture, historical event, culture, or work of art.

Each perfume evokes a specific memory and emotion as well.  For instance,

A Study in Water evokes the innocence of fresh, clear water,

Vents Ardents, a warm man sailing the South seas.

Peche Noir, the intimate smell of a woman,

Go Ask Alice evokes the hippie Summer of Love, and

Zelda, the Golden Age of sumptuous luxury.

 Do you have a particular material you prefer to work with or that you always return to?

No.  I use different materials in each perfume.

But using a high percentage of quality natural perfume ingredients is a big part of my blending signature.

Many have said that they can always recognize a “Shelley Creation”, based on this factor,  as well as the structure, contrast, texture, and performance that are specific to my perfumes.

 What is your current best seller?


Zelda went viral upon her launch and she continues to fly off the shelves.   One of our clients recently remarked, “I chuckle when I see Zelda being talked about as a “cult favorite”.  Zelda will go from cult to classic – mark my words.”

Which of your perfumes are you proudest of, and why? 

If I have to choose only one, it would be Zelda.

bottleBy combining vintage perfume materials of the 1920’s Golden Age of Perfume, along with contemporary newer fragrances, as well as fragrances representing Zelda’s childhood, later life, and her personality,  I’m proud that I was able to honor the life and cause of this outrageous and highly talented woman who was over-shadowed by her famous husband, Scott Fitzgerald.

But I’m also very pleased to have made a perfume honoring one of the most famous black women in history.  Makeda,  the Queen of Sheba.


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4 thoughts on “Interview with Shelley Waddington of En Voyage Perfumes

  1. Very lovely interview with Ms. Waddington, Blacknall — and I enjoyed your review of her fragrances, too. Now that I’ve read it, I think I’ll make Vents Ardents my scent of the day. (Our weather here today is uncharacteristic for April: warm and summery with a balmy breeze, so Vents Ardents will be the perfect complement.)

  2. Kind of you to say so 🙂 , and that sounds like a perfect choice.

    I hope your weather is as nice as ours. We actually ventured out with our tax returns to the local PO and had a warm sunny walk. We haven’t had warmth, or sun for that matter, in ages.

  3. I really enjoyed hearing more about Shelley’s line and creative process, especially her thoughts on synaesthesia. And I will reread her comments on each scent when I come to (re-)test all the samples I have. I am a confirmed fan of Zelda (and one of those people trying to scent my bedlinen with it!), and also like Lorelei a lot – but want to spend some quality time with the other ones.

  4. Her Indigo Vanilla made me think of you and I wonder if you’ll like it? It was a very urbane combination that sounded like a non-starter to me but got on like a house on fire with the skin. Her gourmand was wonderful too- but then I’m a sucker for anything that has a great dry down!

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