Neil Morris Fragrances: American Perfumer Interviews

Hi there Posse. Recently I introduced you all to a new business called American Perfumer. The name says it all. Independent Artisan American Perfumers being put on display so you can find a large selection of them in one spot. Genius! From that initial post I was inspired to meet some of the people behind the perfume brands that are for sale at American Perfumer. They all get the same 10 questions so we can see how they differ and how they are similar. After I will give you a quick review of one or two of their perfumes. Today let’s meet Neil Morris of Neil Morris Fragrances

Neil Morris Fragrances: American Perfumer Interviews

Neil Morris Fragrances: American Perfumer Interviews

What do you recall of your families fragrances as you grew up?

My mom loved perfume and had a very sensitive nose! She used to wear Emeraude and Tigress when I was a kid. When she was really serious and going out for some fun she would wear Chanel No. 5, a perfume that I also wear! (There are no men’s or women’s fragrances. Just marketing!) When she was older she loved Estee Lauder’s Private Collection, which I smelled one day in an elevator a few years ago. It immediately conjured my mom! My father wore Canoe and Old Spice, of course!

Where is your dream vacation spot?

Hawaii! I’ve been there 17 times! I also love Ireland. And Finland! I lived there for a year way back in the late ’70’s.

How do you like to start your day?

With a green smoothie!! I’ve lost 55 pounds since January and green smoothies really helped!

Tell us about your life, family, business or career before perfume?

There was a before perfume?? LOL! Well, I worked many years as a beautician, which certainly blends well with perfumery!

How did you find yourself in perfumery?

That story would take up more time than we have here! Suffice to say that I have always experienced much of life through my “nose”! I created oil blends back in the 60’s, my hippie days. I would blend for friends and soon other people were asking me to blend something for them. In the early 90’s I was blessed to meet a wonderful and talented lady named Paula Goldstein. She owned Desana Fragrances on Newbury St. in Boston and we became instant friends.She knew I shared her passion for fragrance creation and when I told her I was contemplating creating a business she said: “Yes! Just f***ing DO it!”. So, I did! I’ll always be grateful to Paula for giving me the proverbial kick in the butt!

What is your favourite perfume note and why?

I know it’s boring but it would have to be Vanilla! Don’t most people love the smell of vanilla? I think for me it’s a childhood-safety-comfort-cake-kitchen thing! Anyway I love trying to find new ways to work with it. And it’s a challenge because so much has already been done with it! Love Shalimar and Angel!

How did you decide on your companies name, what is its relevance?

Haha! That was pretty self explanatory! My name! David, my business partner at the time, said: “You’ve got a good name and it’s easy to remember.”

What was the last novel or biography you read (current if appropriate)?

The last novel I read was “The Death of Mrs. Westaway” (an excellent mystery) by Ruth Ware and now I’m reading Rue McClanahan’s “My First Five Husbands” and I’m loving it! I always loved (and still do!) The Golden Girls and Rue especially always made me laugh! I’m really enjoying this book!

Hypothetically: If you had to pick a Signature Perfume that you didn’t create, what and why?

Hmm… good question! Angel wears really beautifully on my skin as does Chanel No. 5. But I think it would be a toss-up between Dawn’s Nourouz and Hermes’ Une Jardin Sur Le Nil.

Who are your fragrant heroes?

Paula Goldstein (now Paula Rigby), Sarah Horowitz-Thran, Dawn Spencer Hurwitz, Akuura Kulak of Aroma Sanctum (All of whom know each other from Essence on Boston’s Newbury St), and Jean-Claude Ellena of Hermes. I love his minimalist approach!


Thanks Neil for letting us see a little into your head and heart.

You can buy Neil Morris Fragrances at American Perfumer

Neil Morris Fragrances: American Perfumer Interviews

Fetish: Neil Morris Fragrances

Fetish Notes: Myrrh, oud, leather, benzoin, rosewood, musk, patchouli, ambergris

In the sweltering Sydney heat Fetish wears resinous and lightly minty, I think it might be part of the rose that’s giving me this . Luxurious and calm, the animal is contained but barely. The musks feels very human, like the dry, fleshy, morning smell of a healthy person that showered before they went to bed. You know, it smells a bit like Jin’s pillow after he’s left early morning for work and I roll into his spot.


March also loves Neil Morris Fragrances

Neil Morris Fragrances: American Perfumer Interviews

Portia also writes for Australian Perfume Junkies

  • rosarita says:

    Portia I’m enjoying this series so much, thank you! I recall March swooning over Neil’s perfumes years ago 🙂

    • Portia says:

      You’re so welcome Rosarita,
      I’ve just been talking to Dave about getting some more interviews. It’s really exciting for me, and some of you guys too, to meet the perfumer even in such a short way. They give us a little insight into their fragrance through themselves.
      Neil was particularly good.
      Portia xx

  • Musette says:

    Neil was the perfumer who introduced me to the idea of men wearing really ‘femme’ scents (like Carnal Flower) and the effect it could have on women – I spritzed El O with CF and had to beat the womenses off with a stick! lol! seriously. A man in Chanel No 5? A glorious thing!

    I just finished – and loved – The Death of Mrs Westaway. My first Ruth Ware but definitely not my last!

    xoxoxo to Neil – and to the always-fabulous Portia, for this marvelous interview!


    • Portia says:

      Heya Musette,
      LOVE a man unafraid of the gender markings on a bottle. He’s right.
      I bet the girls went La La for your dude in carnal Flower. It doesn’t have that name without reason.
      Portia xx

      • rosarita says:

        My big he man husband smells fabulous in Shalimar. We can wear it at the same time and it smells so different but wonderful on both of us. He’s developed a crush on Hypnotic Poison lately too.

  • ElizabethC says:

    Great interview 🙂 I have a bottle of Prowl and it is beautiful and amazing!!!!

    • Portia says:

      Thanks ElizabethC,
      You can really feel a little bit of what I imagine Neil to be like through his answers. It’s nice.
      So glad you already love his work,
      Poria xx

  • matty says:

    Thank You Portia for the interview with Neil. I always enjoy these interviews.
    Now there was a blast from the past…….Emeraude. I used to wear this many many moons ago. About a month ago I discovered that All beauty had it on their website. Very reasonable price as well.I know it will have been reformulated, but of course I had to buy it for old times sake XXX

    • Portia says:

      You’re welcome Matty, it’s so fun getting to know some Indie perfumers a bit better.
      Oh yes! Emeraude! Tell us how it went when it arrives please.
      Portia xx

      • matty says:

        It’s already arrived along with a bottle of L’aimant (free postage over £20). I had to have that as well.Trip down memory lane. I have any packages delivered to my daughters address. Stupid me has left package there.., so I haven’t had a spray yet.

  • Neil Morris says:

    Thank you so much, Portia, for posting this! I really appreciate it. I’m also very appreciative of David Kern and American Perfumer! Such a great concept and so many talented perfumers. And thank to you too, Brigitte, for your kind words!

    • Portia says:

      OMG! Neil Morris! As I live and breathe!
      Thanks for dropping in you handsome, scented stud. It was so nice to get the chance to interview you. The pleasure utterly mine.
      Dave is doing something really worthwhile, I hope it generates a load of interest and sales for you all. American Perfumer is a genius idea, let’s hope the timing is right too.
      Portia xx

  • Brigitte says:

    Neil is a gem and has been making beautiful perfumes for a long time. Thank you for this interesting interview (I love vanilla as a note too!)

    • Portia says:

      He seems like a really good guy Brigitte and so many people I adore really like him too. Yep, vanilla is YUM!
      Portia xx