Earlier this month on a sunny Friday morning we had the pleasure of meeting interior
designer Victoria Cator at her stunning home in London. We caught up to find out all about
Victoria's love of fragrance and her wonderful 16-scent candle collection.
Can you tell us about yourself and the story behind your brand?
I started off my career working for the government. I spent 5 years working in Hong Kong
and then in New York. I then had a complete change of direction and took up a Job at
Tiffany & Co., launching their china and glass department in London. I was then head-
hunted by Christian Lacroix to run their London store.
After marrying in the mid 90's, I fell pregnant with my first son and decided to do an Art
Foundation course at Christies. I set up my interior design business in 1997. I have always
had a passion for fragrance having spent many holidays in Grasse as a child and wanted to
create my own fragrances redolent of my memories. After two years of development I
launched my scented candle range 'Victoria Cator London' in November 2016.
Where does your passion for fragrance and candles stem from?
My childhood was a peripatetic one but the continuity of smell that was created wherever we
lived gave me the security of being 'home'. My mother was a great home maker and
wherever we moved to, she was very skilful in recreating my bedroom - the same bed,
pictures, patchwork quilt, my prized ornaments and assorted pony rosettes. But even more
enduring was the mix of exotic aromas, the scents that greeted me when I walked through
the door that told me I was home. These included my mother's sandalwood burning incense
along with the smell of tobacco, the waft of her signature scent, 'Caleche' by Hermes,
freshly ground coffee, sweet peas, (her favourite flowers that she grew where ever we lived)
and the Trumper's of Jermyn Street hair oil my father wore.
Where do you draw inspiration from when creating new products?
It can come from very many sources but often it's places I've travelled to. For example, my
newest fragrance 'Chez Bagetelle' was completely inspired by my love of Marrakesh and the
wonderful mix of spicy aromas.
How would you describe your brand aesthetic and what makes your candles unique?
First of all, its packaging which my eldest son helped to design - I wanted it to appeal to
both men and women and I think the teal and gold has achieved that. I also wanted the
glass itself to sit elegantly in any room. Secondly the mix of wax and the two wicks (4 wicks
in the larger size) ensuring an even burn along with the 12% fragrance content to achieve a
good throw of scent.
Where can your candles be purchased, and which scent is your current favourite?
My candles are available online and at Fortnum and Mason. My current favourite is
'Calagrande' which was inspired from a dear friend's home in Italy.
What advice would you give to someone starting-up their own business?
Follow your dream and don't be daunted by setbacks.
Can you walk us through a day in your life?
Every day varies, but I'm an early riser and I try and fit in a pilates class a couple of days a
week before the working day kicks in. This is often followed by meetings. The afternoons
tend to be at my desk, catching up on emails and working on my new bath collection.
How do you make your clothes work for you and your busy lifestyle?
Jeans and heels or skirts and flat boots depending on my mood...
If I wasn't running Victoria Cator London... I'd take up the piano and brush up on my French.
The best thing about my job... Enjoying the power of scent
Words to live by... Embrace the little things, for one day you may look back and realise they were the big things
My ideal breakfast... Toast and marmite
On my Christmas wishlist... A touch down charger
My handbag essential... A bottle of water
My favourite London hangout... 50 Cheyne