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Emily Cameron, Co Founder of Ffern
Emily Cameron, Co Founder of Ffern

At the beginning of this year, I penned an article predicting that 2024's trends would focus more on how we shop rather than what we shop for. A principle that guides my spending decisions is 'Make It Make Sense'. This is where, instead of concentrating on pieces that come from large, hollow brands whose manufacturing and wealth distribution are murky, to say the least, you spend your hard-earned money on companies you feel safe with, companies that may not be cottage industries but whose ethics are clear and whose product is a hearty reflection of those ethics. Ffern is the perfect embodiment of this ethos.


Founded by siblings Owen Mears and Emily Cameron, Ffern is a unique perfume company rooted in their upbringing in a Georgian village in Somerset, near Exmoor. The village's landscape was rich with scents from a nearby biodynamic herb farm, where lorries of cumin, cardamom, and other exotic spices mingled with the local English floral aromas, creating a vivid olfactory experience. On a windy day, a cacophony of smells would meet your nose. As we do, Emily and Owen took this for granted. Owen, in particular, yearned for the smells of home. He would bring rosewood and lavender into his Oxford dormitory, using each distinct smell to mark a different term.


When they returned home for Christmas, Owen would ask Emily, who was then the editor at Toast, working on their magazine and other parts of the brand, when they could finally work together. In the years that passed, they were lucky enough to meet François Robert and Elodie Durande, the noses behind Fern.


François Robert comes from a distinguished French lineage of perfumers. His great-great-grandfather was the head nose at Chanel, and his great-great-great-grandfather was Joseph Robert. Joseph Robert, a perfumery tutor to the renowned François Coty, revolutionized natural perfumery in Grasse by developing a process to extract absolutes from natural ingredients—a method that remains crucial to modern perfume creation.


So, with this extremely well-matched foursome, they created Ffern, a perfume company like no other. They aimed to dismantle the guarded secrets of the perfume world, emphasizing the provenance of their ingredients and placing sustainability at the heart of their brand—a novel concept in the saran-wrapped perfume industry. A world where recipes are expected to be as consistent as the flavour of Coca-Cola, Ffern challenges this norm; each bottle will have variants, due to the natural workings of crops and seasons.


Their first bottle was released in the winter of 2018, and since then, they have expanded brilliantly, boasting a team of over forty and a constantly growing waiting list for their newest releases. In their most recent collaboration, they partnered with Casa Italiana S. Vincenzo Pallotti, a vibrant Italian club in Clerkenwell that serves as a meeting spot for Italians across London. As Emily described their new perfume, "we wanted to capture Tuscan Sun in a bottle for you." This fragrance features a delightful blend of fennel, blood orange, champaca, bergamot, and many more mouthwatering scents.


As you can see I am a signed-up member of the Ffern fan club, I believe whole heartly in their approach and product. I was so happy to speak to Emily and hear the story of Ffern, and even more so that she agreed to take part in Tete a Tat.


Ffern is currently running a Crowdfunder to support the ongoing activities and maintenance of the club. Click here to find out more.



 


What is the best gift you have been given?


A painting by Alice Mumford. Whenever I look at it I see different things. Sometimes the sea, sometimes clouds. I love that it is never settled.


Do you believe in ghosts?


I believe in places having a feeling or perhaps a spirit..


Osip Restaurant Bruton
Osip

Do you like poetry? If so, what is your favourite poem? (or one of them)


I do. My favourite poem is “Snow” by Louis MacNeice. I like it so much that last winter’s fragrance was inspired by it.


Favourite Restaurant?


Osip in Bruton.


Any good advice? Who gave it to you?


“Take the road less travelled”. My grandfather.


Pet Peeve? (eg - mine is people not saying thank you if you hold the door open etc)


Jackets that don’t come with hanging loops.


Ffern Film Italy
A Still From The Recent Ffern Film

What language would you like to be able to speak?


Italian. Always but especially this season as we’ve met so many wonderful Italians during our summer 24 launch! I wish I could chat more with them.



If money was no object, what painting would you like to own?


John Singer Sargent’s Lady Agnew of Lochnaw


What is your signature dish?


Damson jam.


What film can you watch over and over without getting bored?


A Month in the Country by Pat O’Connor


What song will always make you tap your foot?


“May You Never” by John Martyn



 

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