Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Scents of Time to Close Down in April

"In the perfume game we were up against some huge businesses such as Dior. It was like David versus Goliath except this time Goliath won. The stone in my slingshot wasn't big enough. We started strongly and it seemed to be going well but people don't have a lot of spare money for a luxury like us."

Thus says David Pybus, of Scents of Time, a historian gone the way of perfume recreation. The info and quotes come from an article on This is Kent.

After collaborating with Dragon's Den, Pybus has created five scents including Nenufar which was Cleopatra's perfume of choice, and Ankh which was inspired by the incense found in the tomb of Tutankhamen. He currently has 500 bottles left of Night Star, the Titanic scent which we had reported on these very pages, now reduced from £40 to £6.[NB. This is a local-only valid offer, as there can be no international orders arrangements at this point]

For more details please visit http://www.scentsoftime.co.uk

If you want to try out the Scents of Time fragrances there are samples (and bottles) circulating from UK locations on Ebay.


  1. Did he really compete against DIOR perfume buyers!? He was "plain" niche. That line was not luxury, as he claims. He was not a perfumer and he didn't mind getting someone in-house. Receiving Dragons' Den money, and watching him explaining to them that he is mostly a marketer is not attractive to a clientele who appreciate fine perfumery.If I am to give some more money for a "luxury" brand, then I want a story behind the scenes that shows some inspiration and effort.

  2. There are plenty of niche lines doing just fine, thankyouverymuch. Don't blame the fact that you don't "get" your market segment on your company's demise.

  3. The concept is interesting enough. But if you want to go up against the likes of Dior, Chanel, and Guerlain, maybe you need better direction somewhere, most likely marketing. In the internet age and with Makeup Alley and other perfume blogs, it would be a little easier.

  4. A,

    I really do think that his niche was a luxury: think about it, having a recreated historical perfume is an indulgence in the deepest sense of the word. It's not even for pleasing your entourage, it's for satisfying an inquisitive urge.
    I don't think he was meaning that he was competing Dior eye to eye, but he meant it in a more generalised way: small entrepreneurs against the behemoth. :/
    The fragrances do happen to be interesting and well-made. So it wasn't out of a lack of standards. In the end I think he didn't market them enough or the right way.

  5. B,

    thanks for stopping by!

    He's mostly a historian, less of a business-man, I guess. The tone of the piece sounded like he resigned to the fact that without enough agressive marketing even a worthwhile project (such as this one) is doomed to fail. I don't know, this is how I interpreted it. You think I'm too lax on him?

    It's rather sad, since it wasn't a gimmick like so many niche lines nowadays (12 roses anyone?) and I felt rather sorry for the guy myself...

  6. Eld,

    I agree 100% with what you say. It's obvious that niche needs word of mouth and word of internet. It's no accident everyone wants to approach this segment.

  7. I honestly think it's such a shame. I think the concept was refreshing in an age when we are flooded with boring same-y fruity scents from all the big perfume houses or flankers of classics. As Elena says, Scent of Time was not gimmicky and an interesting idea. I'm sad it's going :(

  8. F,

    it strung my historian heartstrings with a powerful "plooong", but not everyone is as intent on smelling reaaaally reaaaaly old-like stuff, I guess. Valid option, as well.

    Agree with you; rather a shame....

    Oh well.

  9. I was also intrigued by the concept when I read your article about the perfume from the Titanic but then i visited their page I felt rather let down. First of all the site was badly designed and you had to open PDF versions of the booklets included in the packaging to get a clue of what the fragrances are about. The Night Star seemed utterly nonsensical to me. It seems that at some point there was a female and male version of this so called historical perfume so I guess that rules out the faithful reproduction. The description lists it as a perfume from the future??? It says that it started as a reproduction but then the brief changed because there was fear that the survivors of the shipwreck (none survives by the way) would not have approved! So the perfume is now supposed to remind us of a starship!!! Then I look at Nenufar that is listed as aquatic (Cleopatra was ahead of her time I guess). I am not surprised this line hit the iceberg too...

  10. ... and don't get me started on those rhymes!

  11. K,

    I think what you're describing is EXACTLY a brand without a consolidated marketing plan behind it! It's highly ironic, since most perfume lovers complain about the marketing going on in fragrance releases all the time, yet they're so quick to condemn a brand without a good marketing scheme! And yes, a good, practical website is part and parcel of efficient marketing. Not everyone is a geek, nor do they have all the time in their hands. Smart marketing can prevent this.

    They were also wary of offending in this PC-age and this is why they have blundered in that way (changing things I mean).

    However, I need to point out it's wrong of us to always associate aquatic with 1990s perfumery onwards. Sure, the term as is is time-specific, but "watery" or "aqueous" notes existed in flowers etc (water lily and lotus) before the advent of Calone. I doubt Nenufar is 100% accurate, because it's so very difficult to bypass modern convenience that seems like a given for the primaeval approach, but I have to give it to them, they were more passionate than gimmicky. And they paid for it.
    C'est la vie!

  12. Rhymes have long been considered a way to boost remembrance. Just that, I should think. ;-)

  13. Anonymous14:40

    the scents were interesting and some quite good however pricing was simply ludicrous, no wonder people were not buying

  14. Anon,

    awww, let's not hit them when they're down. Though it makes sense that people would be deterred I suppose.
    It's a pity when a business model is responsible for effacing a good product. That's all I'm thinking.


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