On Food and Oud Love, with Simon Glazin


Who: Simon Glazin, fashion writer and blogger. Simon writes the hugely popular fashion blog, The Very Simon G, a go-to bible for fashion, beauty and celebrity insight. Recently married to Nik (their wedding was covered by The Times) the pair are devoted to their dog Dhilly and between them have a vast scent stash, Simon reckons he has around 30-ish bottles in regular use, but we didn’t count the ones packed away in boxes……

I can’t imagine a life without fragrance, it would be dull and neutral and nothing I do is neutral.

My great grandma Rose was quite a staunch woman who liked the finer things, her flat used to smell of her perfume,Yves Saint Laurent’s Rive Gauche, where they lived all their lives. That was the first time a smell registered. And when I moved into this flat, it really reminded me of Rose. My dad has always been a real juggler with his fragrances, he doesn’t really care what he wears as long as it smells nice, which is a very male thing.

One of my first fragrances was Dior’s Fahrenheit and I still love it. I was never one for CK1, which all my friends used, but I’ve always loved anything really heady and sweet and strong and that was my first, I’ve never worn anything that blends in!


I wasn’t that into fashion when I was younger. I was a lot bigger, so I found it difficult to wear what was current. I was a comfort eater. When I was at secondary school the smell of the canteen was like home, so the smell of food more than anything was what I remember from my teenage years.

I was growing up as a gay kid having zero confidence, all my friends were going out to clubs and it was always really hard for me show myself, I was always trying to hide behind something….

Then when I was around 17 I lost about six stone, that was when I really came into my own and started being able to buy designers like Vivienne Westwood, which I’d loved forever. I always had a thing in my head about what I wanted to look like but it wasn’t really achieved until I lost the weight.

Jean Paul Gaultier’s Le Male was a big fragrance for me during that time. I loved, loved, loved it! It made me feel good about myself and I doused myself with it everyday for six years. I was thin, had lost all this weight and my JPG was the last thing I put on before I left the house. I still feel that way about it. I don’t wear it any more but whenever I’m in an airport I pick it up and spray it, it has such good memories for me.


Ouds are a signature scent for me now. I started blogging in 2007 and when I went to press days, my eyes and nose were opened so much I didn’t know which way to go! That’s when oud came into my life and since then I’ve toyed with a lot of them. Whenever I see an oud in a store, I try it. My absolute favourite is Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s range, his Oud Velvet Mood, Oud Silk Mood, Oud Cashmere Mood. I rotate all of them and layer them up with different things, like Marni Rose, which is divine, it’s like a rose bouquet, it’s such a contrast and I layer this -just two sprays -over the top of the ouds.

I wore Versace Oud Noir on my wedding day, it’s sweet and quite a commercial one, because Nik hates the strong ouds. I wear Perfume Calligraphy by Aramis, another oud and the Rose version, which was a Harrods exclusive. Elie Saab created a whole library of ‘couture’ fragrances, I love Essence Number 5, also done exclusively for Harrods, it’s a proper, weighty oud but actually feels quite feminine.


I like being an individual, I can’t think of anything worse than wearing what my dad wears! I like the fact that other people like what I’m wearing and are interested, too, I regularly get asked what I’ve got on and I’m often out walking behind someone -its often Arabian women – and want to rush up to them and ask what they are wearing because I love whatever it is.

The Le Labo Santal 33 I wear now has a number after the name to indicate how many ingredients are within it, so there’s 33 ingredients in that bottle and I like that complexity.


Penhaligon’s is a brand I love because the fragrances are so complex and don’t smell like anything else on the market. Ostara smells like a spring day. It was Nik’s 30th birthday in October and his favourite smell is Penhaligon’s Extract of Limes, which has been discontinued, so I took him to the Burlington Arcade store and we did a perfume workshop. They ask you loads of trigger questions then the pick out what you might like. There are now so many I want to buy, including Hammam Bouquet, a powdery and eastern scent I loved, I need a bottle…

I also turned vegetarian in 2004 and a lot of my senses changed with that, I think it brought new smells to my nose.


Scent’s like an accessory for me. I love the feeling of opening a new box of fragrances and spraying that first sprtiz of your favourite and that ‘ooh’, when you remember why you love it. And because it’s like an accessory, I don’t mind spending money on it. It’s the last thing you put on before you leave the house and face the world. Before I put my coat on, I put my rings on, then my perfume, then head out. When you come into contact with people, which as a journalist I do every day, I want to smell good.

I’ll pick my perfume to suit my mood, If I’ve got a meeting I’m going to find challenging, it changes what I’ll wear. So for a kick-ass meeting, I’d wear something strong and heady, so people would take notice of you as you walked in.

Images Maya Glaser, make up Hina Dohi