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Brand Review: Ffern

Ffern Sustainable Fragrance
Seasonal Fragrance
Our Score

issue ten : the icons & iconoclasts

A couple of a weeks ago, an Instagram ad popped up on my feed that caught my attention. It was from a UK fragrance company called Ffern. Being partial to a perfume – but often limited by the industry’s lack of transparency and use of endocrine-disrupting phthalates – their promise of organically grown, ethically-sourced ingredients, sustainably produced and packaged here in the UK and developed by world-class noses intrigued me. Enough so that I decided to treat myself to a new bottle of perfume (rather than receiving a press sample)! It is the month of love, after all, so let’s just pretend that was my excuse so I can capitalise on some Valentines Day and #selflove hashtags. In truth, it’s been a long time since I treated myself to anything luxurious and, well, I think I deserve it. This issue is all about the icons and iconoclasts. My way of honouring the history makers and the rule-breakers…and Ffern certainly fits both of those descriptions flawlessly.


What I refer to as Ffern’s iconoclastic approach, they refer to as “a new model for perfumery.” What does that mean? It means they only produce small-batch, organic, seasonal scents made from the finest natural ingredients that have been sourced sustainably.

Finessed by some of the most exceptional and provocative ‘noses’ in the business, Ffern is a fragrance-geeks dream. Francois Robert, a 5th generation master perfumer and his protégé, Elodie Durande.

Robert’s own experience is steeped in family history. His great Grandfather, Joseph Robert, was a renowned chemist and perfumery tutor. In 1884, Joseph developed a new process for extracting absolutes (pure perfume oils) from natural ingredients. Being perfectly positioned with his laboratory in the world capital of perfume – Grasse – his invention and process made a significant impact on the perfumery industry. Opening up endless possibilities inspired by natures most iconic scents.

Robert and Durande are a perfect blend of tradition and modernity, which is evident in their inspiring blend of natural scent alchemy. It has also allowed them to throw out the rule-book to how they operate as a company and how we consume fragrance in this changing world.


Natural perfume in itself is not new. Many a brand has tried and sadly, most fail. Whether its down to the lack of complexity in the scent profiles or just the actual longevity of the fragrance itself that holds them back, most pale in comparison. In essence, making an inspiring perfume that lasts is not something to turn your nose up at!

Aside from the fact that Ffern has managed to achieve what few have, what really sets them apart is their approach to business. They are primarily a fragrance subscription service. They produce four scents a year that are inspired by the seasons, in limited runs. It’s also not a free-for-all approach. To get your hands on their fine fragrances, you need to register to be included on their ledger. There are limited spaces, meaning they can tightly control their inventory of ingredients to uphold their commitments to sustainability, transparency and creativity.

While we have become accustomed to the immediacy of being able to purchase anything and everything we want at a whim, their approach feels special. The knowing that not every second person I walk past in the street is going to smell like me magnifies my uniqueness. I like that.

Ffern Perfume

To top it all off, when your perfume does arrive, it does so in a compressed corrugated box. (If you’re a packaging nerd like me, this was a delightful surprise. The mundane-ness of the exterior only amplified my delight of what was inside.) Upon opening said innovative packaging, you’re presented with a full-size fragrance, a tester and series of cards. These tell you about their story, their process and all of the ingredients in your unisex seasonal scent.

So, if you’re looking for a unique gift for Valentine’s Day, a birthday or just because someone you know (that can also mean you) deserves something a little special, this might be it.

Oh, and if you don’t like the scent, you can return the full size for free. No waste and no hard feelings.

Ffern Sustainable Fragrance
Brand Review: Ffern
Reader Rating242 Votes

untainted |ˌənˈtān(t)əd| adjective
not contaminated, polluted, or tainted: the paper was untainted by age.

UNTAINTED is a directional beauty platform, pushing the boundaries of clean, sustainable beauty. We are inspired and motivated by the Japanese philosophy of Wabi-sabi.

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