A Perfumer’s Guide To Somerset In Spring With Ffern’s Emily Cameron

A Perfumer’s Guide To Somerset In Spring With Ffern’s Emily Cameron

The creative director behind the cult perfume brand shares her tips on spending a fragrant spring weekend in the English countryside

up in Somerset, on the lower levels of Exmoor, Emily
Cameron’s childhood was suffused with beautiful smells: the honeyed
notes of garden roses, a local herb farm’s botanical bouquet, the
bundles of sage that hung in her family bathroom. “I realised how
important scent had been in our lives,” she tells SUITCASE. “I set
out to create fragrances that could help other people make

Ffern Flagship Store, Soho, London
Perfumes, Ffern Flagship, Soho, London

Ffern flagship, left, and inside the Soho shop | Photo
credit: Edvinas Bruzas

The sensory backdrop of her childhood inspired Ffern, a couture perfumery
created to restore the art of scent to its artisan roots. Launched
by Cameron and her brother Owen Mears, the brand’s subscription
model supplies fragrances that are organic, vegan and produced
using high-quality, sustainably sourced ingredients. Releasing just
four fragrances a year, the team aims to craft an ever-changing
fragrance landscape that aligns the wearer with the cycles of
Somerset’s seasons. Last year, they opened a first showroom on Beak
Street, Soho, but the brand’s lifeblood remains the duo’s childhood
home county. Read on to discover Cameron’s tips for exploring
Somerset, from its spring blooms to its apple harvest.

A perfumer’s guide to Somerset, England

When’s the best time to visit Somerset?

Late summer, just before the harvest.

Any towns we should circle on our map?

Definitely Wiveliscombe, which is home to so many artists now.
It has a couple of lovely pubs, and a little town square that hosts
events throughout the year.

What is the county’s defining smell?

Apples before the harvest.

Hadspen House, The Newt, Somerset, England
Exterior, The Newt, Somerset, England

The Newt, left, and the Somerset estate’s Hadspen

Where should we stay?

. It has been pioneering in its development of the
surrounding gardens and landscape, and the food offered there is
simply delicious.

Where’s the best-smelling coffee in the county?

Brazier Coffee Roasters – you can smell the beans from
a mile away.

Where should we go for breakfast?

The smoked trout bagel served at the White Post
is particularly good. Or, if you’re vegetarian, try the
sweet potato fritters.

Somewhere for an al fresco lunch?

It’s just over the border, in Devon, but The Lost
is wonderful.

Quantocks, Somerset, England
Pancakes, White Post Café, Somerset

The Quantocks, left, and White Post Café

A pub with a brilliant beer garden?

Try the White Horse Inn in Bradford on Tone. For dinner
indoors, we’d say Woods in Dulverton (again, it’s Devon, but
we’re claiming it as our own).

Somewhere to catch sight of spring blooms?

If you’re in the market, Triscombe Nurseries, at the foot of the

Somewhere for a hike?

Head to the Quantocks and retrace the footsteps of a famous poet
along The Coleridge Way.

Any shops we can pick up a picnic from?

For the best homemade pies in the county, head straight to
Wellington Cheese and Wine Shop. Homity, pork, apple –
they have the lot. The homemade chocolates are also delicious.

Hauser & Wirth, Bruton, Somerset
Hauser & Wirth, Bruton, Somerset

Hauser & Wirth | Photo credit: Lois GoBe /

Where do you head when you’re seeking inspiration?

To Hauser
& Wirth
in Bruton. They’ve brought contemporary art to the
Somerset landscape, and the garden designed by Piet Oudolf is

Any other gardens you’d recommend?

. It’s beautiful – we filmed our Spring 21 campaign in the
glass house.

What should we do on a rainy day?

Explore Silver Street Antiques in Taunton – you can pick up an
incredible bargain in there. Don’t be put off by the unassuming

Something to enliven our senses?

Try some wild swimming near Cow Castle on Exmoor.

Is there a secret, only-known-to-locals spot you could share
with us?

Sadly, we’ve signed the Somerset Secrets Act and we can’t

A book to enjoy while exploring the county?

Jane Austen’s Persuasion is a classic, incredibly romantic West
Country novel, or, for something contemporary, you can never go
wrong with Tessa Hadley. Her 2015 novel The Past is set in an old
house deep in the Somerset countryside. For nature lovers, Robert
Macfarlane’s Holloway is a must-read – there are many ancient
holloways in Somerset, including along The Coleridge Way.

What would be a good souvenir to take home?

A bottle or two (or three!) of cider from Sheppy’s Cider.

Main photo credit: Aloha Bonser Shaw

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