You might say perfumer Pia Long thrives on unconventionality. She's co-founder of both Olfiction, a UK-based fragrance consultancy, and Boujee Bougies - the recently-launched scented candle brand with names like 'Cuir Culture', 'Gilt' and 'Hellflower' that's already reached cult status.

Her passion for diversifying the voices of the fragrance world is reflected in a newly created membership category within the British Society of Perfumers. As their first Associate Perfumer Pia's role represents those noses 'whose route to career was not conventional.' she explains.

Traditionally, perfumers (usually male and often French) would study at lofty institutions such as ISIPCA having obtained a chemistry degree beforehand. Nowadays they may have studied a more diverse range of courses, be self-taught or, like Pia, have learned their trade on the job or been apprenticed for many years to another perfumer. With access to the finest ingredients, having made many successful fragrances and scented candles for other houses, and now also creating compositions for her own brand; we thought it would be fascinating to find out which scents Pia chooses to fill her own house with, Room by Room...

Pia Long: "If I'll ever write an autobiography, its unofficial title will be 'How to ruin a perfectly good hobby', as I came into perfumery as a fan and collector first, behind-the-scenes formulator second. It's this passion for all aspects of how scent interacts with our lives that drives my professional curiosity - the choices I make in creating fragrances as well as what I wear to scent myself and my space. I take lab samples of candles and diffusers in development to my home and burn them in the rooms and spaces they are intended for. This is an unofficial (but very effective) supplemental evaluation activity to the more formal testing that goes on. It does mean I have very little time to enjoy creations that are finished. When I do, I think I appreciate them more for that reason."


"The hallway is my favourite place to have a gourmand or otherwise mouth-watering scent. It gives the impression of opening a door and a true Moominmamma effect wafting out as you do - a house in which delicious things are made and served. In this vein, the Queen Jam candle from our brand Boujee Bougies fits the bill perfectly, because of the Nordic berry influence of its scent. I also like an abundance of crisp roses in bloom welcoming visitors, so really love what True Grace has done with its Moroccan Rose classic candle. There's just enough spice in there, too."

Living Room:

"I almost always have a candle that I'm working on burning here, but when I take time out, and especially for holidays, I choose something special that either celebrates a project we've finished or someone else's gorgeous creation. Last Christmas, to bring in our Boujee Bougies launch, I burned through an entire Gilt large candle because it felt comforting and precious at the same time. I am a big fan of Cire Trudon candles and living room is where they work so well as display objects, too.

From Parks, the Cherry Blossom Ceramic Candle is my favourite as I have a black, white and green colour theme there, with lots of plants and a bust sculpture of me as a five-year old by the late Finnish sculptor Kari Ovaska. The ceramic containers and elegant but powerful floral scents work well in this space. Right now in the summer heat, I love having the Boujee Bougies Hellflower candle on display - even when it's not burning, the whole room smells of sparkling grapefruit and dreamy jasmine petals.


I rarely burn candles here, but when I do, it's good to have something herbal, green or citrusy to combat kitchen odours and to bring a breath of fresh air in. I love the Diptyque Figuier for this, as well as Parks Ceramic Royal Neroli.


My office is at the perfume lab and my desk and shelves are full of fragrance samples in development - for perfumes, candles, and more. This is where I definitely don't burn a thing as it's all about 'smelling' them in my mind and working on the current formula.


Genuinely, my bedroom's predominant room fragrance mostly comes from the scented body creams I get obsessed with when I have the free time (not working on other fragrances!) in the evenings to wear them. I tend to swim in the evenings, then have a shower before bed and use a luxury body cream with scent.

My current favourite is Aura by Mugler, and I also adore Elie Saab Le Parfum scented body cream. As far as candles go, bedrooms deserve something opulent and the wooden pomander Amber Boule by L'Artisan Parfumeur is amazing for this, as is the Boujee Bougies Cuir Culture candle.