Carol Symons on Parks latest collection HOME

Why a new range? What’s different about HOME ?

Usually, the idea behind a range comes from a selection of fragrances around a theme. For example, a mood like Nocturne - filled with beautiful, dreamy scents. Then, as we develop the range, we’ll judge it against a set of guiding principles. The main one’s our “core purpose” – so we’ll be asking, “are we making beautifully fragranced homes?”.

With Home, the starting point was a lower price with every customer penny spent on that “core purpose” – nothing else, with stunning scents from all the fragrance families.

Why the change ?

Originally, it came from the March 2020 lockdown. We regularly look at customer reviews across all brands and saw a change. We began seeing comments focussed on the way candles burn, how long diffusers last, the strength of the fragrance. There was a sense of people spending more time at home starting to question where the real value is. Especially with the uncertainty we all felt over health, work and finances. Because what you really want from home fragrance is a beautifully fragranced home. Is a £10 paraffin candle with hardly any scent just burning money and putting parabens in the air ?

So we wanted to look at anything which could help reduce costs without compromising value where it really counts – the fragrance quality and how it fills a space.

So where did you compromise?

The test was simply whether every penny helps make a beautifully fragranced home. For example, a coloured glass can be great, but it’s not essential. There wasn’t any compromise on fragrance. We make our own scents from raw ingredients whereas other brands buy scents from fragrance houses, which costs them twice as much. So we can always deliver better quality and value at any given price point.

How did you decide on which scents ?

Again, customer reviews were really important. They tell you why a particular scent in any fragrance family is popular. For example, in the “woody” family, Sandalwood is really popular for its smooth, subtle yet rich and creamy character - alongside how it soothes and calms. We gather all that information from every brand as a starting point and build on it.

“Build” is the keyword. Reviews can only feedback on what’s already out there. The fun part is discovering how we can make it even better. That’s where blending your own fragrance from raw ingredients is so wonderful. Aside from being such an unlimited palette, you can take something quite traditional and add a little something that gives it a twist taking it to another level. That became the deciding factor, the last question we’d ask ourselves before making our final choice, “Is at another level?”.

Which is your favourite scent ?

That’s such a difficult question to answer. We’re always tweaking them – especially in the candles as part of the Coreless CleanBurn spec. Because you get variations from crop to crop – even with the wax blend. So we regularly find improvements on what we once thought was as good as it could get. I’m currently into Jasmine & Musk, the Bergamot & Neroli, the Santal Vanille and of course, Parks Original (it’s what we use for all the one-off pieces in Atelier). But it’s really hard to choose one fragrance for Home because it has scents from all the fragrance families.

Is HOME aimed at anybody in particular?

New customers. We tried to make it really accessible. For example, simple three word descriptions of the aroma as well as key ingredients (see below) so it’s easy to find either what you like, or your new favourite scent. Basically, it’s for those questioning what they’re buying home fragrance for.

What are your hopes for the range ?

I hope it will re-define the quality customers expect from a £25 candle or diffuser.

The Fragrances

FragranceAromaKey Ingredients
Jasmine & MuskFloral, Clean, FreshJasmine, White Musk, Hibiscus
Sicilian Mandarin & LimeCitrus, Herbal, CleanCitrus, Basil, White Woods
Bergamot & NeroliCitrus, Floral, FreshBergamot, Orange, Lemon
Cedarwood & Orange SpiceSweet, Woody, SpicyBlackcurrant, Fig, Orange Blossom
Lemon VerbenaFresh, Herbal, FloralVerbena, Peppermint, Honeysuckle
Rose & PatchouliFloral, Earthy, GreenRose, Patchouli, Geranium
White Hyacinth & LilyFloral, Green, FreshHyacinth, Cut Grass, Lily of the Valley
Ylang Ylang & JasmineFloral, Warm, SultryJasmine, Ylang Ylang, Woods
Sweet Vanilla OrchidSweet, Warm, SmoothVailla, Orchid, Sandalwood
Wild Rosemary & BergamotHerbal, Fresh, CoolRosemary, Bergamot, Sage
Lavender HazeCalming, Green, HerbalLavender, Pine, Rosemary
Santal VanilleWoody, Rich, WarmSandalwood, Cedarwood, Vanilla
Parks OriginalHerbal, Fresh, WarmWhite Lavender, Lemon, Amber