Legacy of Leather and Roses

By Taylor Spill

On 27 April 2016, the trajectory of Kate Evans’ life changed. Her mother, Angela Flanders, beloved in the world of perfume, passed away at 88 years old. The desire to carry on her mother’s great perfume emporium started right on that April day six years ago. Evans had large shoes to fill in, to honour her mother as well as further establish her own career as a perfumer. Find out more in Legacy of Leather and Roses.

How did Kate Evans have such a legacy to maintain in the first place? To fully understand the beauty in her work, we must know about her mother, Angela Flanders. Born in Buxton, Derbyshire on 4 December 1927, Flanders was always a creative mind.

Flanders’ first career was as a costume designer. After graduating with a degree in Fashion, she started working in costume design in theatre (even working at the Old Vic at one point). She moved on to work for BBC television as a supervisor/designer along with occasional freelance work. 

Eventually, Flanders wanted a change in her career path. She went back to school and studied interior design. She then found herself working with furniture. While also dealing with antiques in Camden Passage Market, Flanders decided to open a furniture studio in East London on Columbia Road in 1985.

Angela Flanders’ start in perfume was experimental, yet personal (just like the rest of her career would be). She wanted to create the perfect Christmas scent for her studio. She started to experiment with potpourris, a mix of dried petals and spices used to scent spaces. No. 1 Seville was born from this Christmas experiment, her customers loved it, and the rest was history. 

Soon, Flanders realized that perfume was her calling. She took inspiration from the works of an unnamed 19th-century perfumer’s book, and the artistry soon came naturally. Flanders’ Columbia Road shop soon became her home. It was both a lab to experiment and create personal scents as well as a space to share the fruits of her labour, quite literally.

Her hard work didn’t stop at the constant turning of her creative mind in the mystical atelier. Ten years after the start of her career as a perfumer, she published a book, Aromatics. She was self-taught every step of the way. And even in her last days, she still found her joy in perfumery.

When Flanders was running her perfumery, Kate became her mother’s second nose. Evans’ purpose was to make sure that her mother’s perfumes were perfected, down to every detail. This mother-daughter collaboration was sacred to Evans.

In 2018, Kate Evans released her first collection under the Angela Flanders brand, the Atelier Collection. “Atelier” translates to an artist’s workshop/studio in French.

The purpose of this collection was to honour Evans’ and Flanders’ shared love for fabrics and textiles as well as their close bond. The Atelier Collection was also a culmination of Evans’ own perfume story and ability to carry on her mother’s legacy. 

The previous two scents in the collection, Taffeta (a hyacinth-scented perfume with notes of Rose and Iris, inspired by silk taffeta) and Lawn (a black Pepper, Bergamot, Galbanum, and Patchouli scented perfume with notes of Tuberose, Jasmine, and Lemon balm, inspired by lawn curtains) both met with great success. Now, added to this collection is the third facet Leather Rosa.

Just as the name Leather Rosa implies, Evans’ newest creation combines Agarwood and Oudh as a leathery-tobacco essence, Amber to create warmth, and Damask Rose with sweeter notes of Raspberry and Rose du Mai.

Notes of precious woods such as Agar Wood add a rugged inclusion to the perfume, as one may experience with the touch of leather. In contrast, the Oudh used in this perfume is a soft Oudh. It is a familiar scent to Evans, as it is one she already uses in the Atelier collection. This Oudh, smokey, soft, almost more personal and intimate.

Meanwhile, the Damask Rose, the headier of the Roses adds to the warmth that is felt, held together by leather. The notes of Raspberry and Rose du Mai add sweetness and an aspect of comfort with the Oudh.

Overall, Leather Rosa is a unique addition to Angela Flanders Perfumery. It is meant to emulate the feeling of leather on the skin. This is something that Flanders may have been familiar with in her time as a costume designer. It is a take on Angela Flanders’ legacy, in Leather and Roses.

Kate Evans being the face of Angela Flanders is in fact, not a new story. Throughout the history of perfume, relationships between child and parent have been the root of many iconic creations and collaborations in the world of fragrance.

For example, Jacques Polge was ready to retire after a successful thirty-five-year-long career as the Chanel master perfumer. His son Olivier Polge took his place. Originally, Olivier pursued a degree in art history but soon realized that his passion lay in perfumery.

Olivier at the time of his father’s retirement was extremely qualified as he was already an established perfumer. He was the creator of well-known fragrances such as Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb, Valentino Uomo, and Christian Dior Homme.

Carla Chabert, the daughter of perfume great Jacques Chabert originally saw herself as a journalist/documentary maker. Her father Jacques worked as a perfumer for over fifty years and was the man behind many iconic scents.

She had a lightbulb moment when helping her father out one day and realized that she could use her visual mind to curate fragrances. From that point on, Carla established herself as a perfumer and has gone on with her sister to work as a family of perfumers.

These perfumers, including Kate Evans, all have gone on to become leading perfumers in their own right. They are able to emulate their family’s success while also adding their own unique touches. 

Leather Rosa is representative of Kate Evans’ work as a master perfumer, as well as it is shaping her mother’s legacy, in leather and roses.

You can find Leather Rosa and other perfumes from Angela Flanders Perfumery on 96 Columbia Road, Shoreditch, London E2 7QB and 4 Artillery Passage Spitalfields, London E1 7LJ.

To find out more Leather Rosa click HERE or visit www.angelaflanders-perfumer.com for more about Angela Flanders perfumes.

If you enjoyed reading Legacy of Leather and Roses why not try reading In the Bottle

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