Smells make in­vest­ment scents for TV’s Dragons

ARO­MATIC AD­VEN­TURER: Per­fume world’s In­di­ana Jones ready to launch range

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - OPINION -

KNOWN as the In­di­ana Jones of the per­fume world, David Py­bus is em­bark­ing on his big­gest ad­ven­ture yet. The per­fume his­to­rian and au­thor, who lives in Sandgate, has been busily build­ing his busi­ness since ap­pear­ing on BBC Two’s Dragons’ Den. On the show he came face-to­face with the judges as he tried to con­vince them to in­vest £80,000 to launch his line of his­toric per­fumes, in­clud­ing scents recre­ated from Pom­peii and the time of Cleopa­tra. “The world has gone crazy since I was on the show,” he said. “I am a pre­sen­ter and ac­tor and I do cruise ships and the Ed­in­burgh Fes­ti­val, so con­fi­dence isn’t a prob­lem for me. “But for peo­ple who aren’t used to that, the Dragon’s Den ex­pe­ri­ence could be quite scary. “You have to be cer­tain of your prod­uct and your­self. I went up those stairs when I was feel­ing least ready to take them on be­cause it had been such a long day. “They were a bit nasty but as far as I am con­cerned, I got the best deal.” Judges Peter Jones and Theo Paphi­tis in­vested £80,000 in the busi­ness in re­turn for 40 per cent of the com­pany shares. Three of the per­fumes are set to be on sale this year. For Mr Py­bus, 60, who worked at Ash­ford fra­grance com­pany Quest In­ter­na­tional, now Gi­vau­dan, for more than 20 years, this is the break he has been look­ing for.


He be­came known as per­fume’s In­di­ana Jones af­ter he was in­volved in the re­search on a case of per­fumes re­trieved from the wreck of the Ti­tanic five years ago. Since then he has fol­lowed his nose around the world, search­ing for aro­mas with a story. “My trea­sure isn’t gold or sil­ver, it’s per­fume. “When I was re­search­ing the con­tent of fra­grance from the Ti­tanic, I found the very fra­grant Jac­queminot rose which was named af­ter a gen­eral of the Napoleonic Army. “What I like about that is it the word has Jack and Rose in it, the names of the lovers in the film Ti­tanic. “I have also worked with arche­ol­o­gists in Pom­peii and have ended up with nine per­fumes lost in time and recre­ated.” While he may not have come out smelling of roses with busi­ness ty­coon and gym owner Dun­can Ban­natyne, who called the fra­grances ‘re­volt­ing’, Mr Py­bus says he be­lieves in their suc­cess and will con­tinue to use his Folkestone gym nev­er­the­less. “They are great per­fumes in their own right and they carry a story,” he said. “A rose was still rose 200 years ago, cin­na­mon still cin­na­mon and jas­mine still jas­mine. “Per­fumers then had just as good a nose and brain so why shouldn’t th­ese per­fumes be fit for mod­ern times? “An­cient man didn’t know what was not safe so we have taken out any­thing toxic but kept the aroma. In Ro­man times the car­rier of per­fume wasn’t al­co­hol like now, but was olive oil or al­mond oil so we have changed that as well.” A chemist by trade, Mr Py­bus says he will never lose his pas­sion for per­fume. “I am a frus­trated artist but in­stead of paint­ing with colour or play­ing mu­sic, I make sym­phonies with aroma. I am cre­at­ing art but in a dif­fer­ent form. “I am re­ally ex­cited about what is hap­pen­ing and build­ing the busi­ness. This is go­ing to be a real ad­ven­ture.”

David Py­bus’s next book Trans­ports of De­light, pub­lished by Folkestone pub­lish­ers Global Ori­en­tal, is out next month. To find out more, visit www.scentsof­t­

Per­fume pro­fes­sor David Py­bus is en­joy­ing the sweet smell of suc­cess af­ter ap­pear­ing on hit television show Dragon’s Den. Hav­ing trav­elled the globe find­ing fra­grances from hun­dreds of years ago, he is now pre­par­ing to launch his busi­ness. Kirsty Parkin spoke to the for­mer Quest em­ployee.

Pic­ture: Terry Scott pd1173207

Per­fume his­to­rian David Py­bus

The judges on Dragon’s Den

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