This little pepper went to Paris

It’s not often that the fragrance you create ends up being stocked in Paris at one of the world’s most discerning niche fragrance stores. 
Dover Street Market Parfums, owned by Rei Kawabuko (Comme De Garçons) and her husband Adrian Joffe, is probably the high temple for niche fragrance brands around the world, so it's very humbling to see the signature scent I created in collaboration with Troye Sivan and Steele Mellet for their new lifestyle brand, Tsu Lange Yor, perched on their shelves.
The real hero of this story is the key ingredient of the scent — Australia’s native Tasmanian Mountain Pepper — which has allowed us to introduce a new smooth, rich, green, earthy, spice note as a “world first” ingredient to the perfumer’s palate in fine fragrance.
Chris Read has worked for decades as a farmer helping to bring Tasmanian Mountain Pepper to market, mainly as a native food ingredient. He’s a bit of a legend in the industry due to the pioneering technical research he did at university in relation to Mountain Pepper. He has led the industry and his farm, Diemen Pepper, continues to play a vital role in bringing the best genetics to market. His sourcing includes wild harvesting under license from certain native forest areas in the remote western wilderness of Tasmania and he oversees a sustainable replanting program to ensure a healthy supply of the plant in the future. 
Essential Oils of Tasmania, a pioneer behind Australia’s supply of native blockbuster boronia, has worked with Chris over many years to assess the genetics and yield from Mountain Pepper in order to arrive at more efficient extracts of its essential oil. 
I had previously been given samples of the oil as a perfumer but found it too challenging to work with. It had a lot of very rough edges. It was very difficult to soften and demanded so much remedial work that its beautifully complex spice notes were compromised. I was very much in the “no thank you” camp. And as for the rest of the fine fragrance world, this ingredient never made it to the perfumer’s palette.

A few years ago the lab team at EOT sourced some of Chris’s wild harvested leaves and instead of processing them using hexane, the traditional liquid solvent used in the fragrance industry, they processed them in a more complex manner using CO2 gas. The result was extraordinary. 
Fast forward to an evening I spent in Hobart and, after meeting with EOT, I was secretly shown a small brown vial in a car park in Salamanca in the dead of night. To the casual observer, it would have looked like a dodgy drug deal. However, it turned out to be an opportunity to be one of the first people in the world to smell the unique CO2 extract of Mountain Pepper. It was incredible. 
I hadn’t smelled anything like it before. It was so close to the actual odour profile of the plant itself. Rich, green, earthy, spicy, yes……. indeed. But the thing that held my attention the most wasn’t the complex spice notes, it was the smoothness of the scent. All the problematic, rough, jagged edges were gone. I had just witnessed something very special. I knew we had to share it with the world. 
Fast forward to a meeting in my studio with Troye and Steele where I was taking them through their paces and doing a deep dive into the world of fragrance ingredients, trying to observe and gauge Troye’s scent preferences. 
I waited a couple of hours until we were about halfway through the session and then as we stepped through the spice family I introduced the secret CO2 extract without identifying what it was. Troye immediately spun around and said, “Oh my god, what is that”? Steele’s reaction was similarly effusive. I knew in that moment that we had genuine unity about its beauty and it was destined to become the hero of the signature fragrance I was creating for them for Tsu Lange Yor. 
Fast forward again, and that little pepper from a wild forest in Tasmania’s rugged west features as the hero in Tsu Lange Yor’s signature scent, TLY5755 — and it has just landed in Paris at one of the world’s most prestigious niche fragrance stores. 

A big thank you to farmer Chris, the team at EOT, my amazing collaboration partners Troye and Steele who helped guide the ship to Paris, and of course to the team at Dover Street who saw something special being created in Australia. Thanks to you all this little pepper from Tasmania got to have its Paris runway moment in the world of fine fragrance. 

If you can’t make it to Paris, TLY5755 is also available in-store at our flagship, The Embassy, Paddington, or purchase online HERE