creating succulent

by the Boujee Perfumer, Pia Long 

If cacti and succulent flesh had a pleasing smell, this would be it. I’ve always been slightly disappointed that aloe vera doesn’t smell like you’d expect it to, or that the stalk of a succulent rambler doesn’t emit a delightful gooseberry aroma when it snaps.

Succulent, the candle, started as an image in my head of larger-than-life cacti in a desert oasis. It evolved to an idea of succulents in an urban jungle – in people’s homes, in brutalist buildings, climbing over what we’ve made grey; making the concrete green and full of life instead.


How does a perfumer approach an abstract odour? It of course depends on the perfumer. In my case, everything around me either has a smell or sometimes the smell track in my mind creates one that should be there. To create the urban jungle of Succulent, I used an instinctive mixture of materials from my palette – some, like leaf alcohol, for their obvious greenness, and others more for the desired effect than what the material might be traditionally used for.

Aromas that are leafy, watery, and dewy, mixed with green woods – like the smell of peeling the still-green-underneath bark off a log cut from a leafy tree. Crushing geranium leaves in your hand. Biting into a green kiwi fruit. Those were the pieces of the collage that became Succulent.

I created it for all the lovers of greenery – even if we live nowhere near a forest or a jungle, but would like to bring some of it closer to home.