Angela Flanders was the most magical of perfumers and the most generous of women. She gave everything – her time, her advice, her sympathy, her wonderful gifts. The warmth, charm and intelligence of her personality shone through her dazzling creations. Angela Flanders’ genius as a perfumer derived from and reflected her deep appreciation and understanding of human nature, emotions and desires: empathy and sympathy flowed from her like a sixth sense. She knew about perfume and she knew about life. Her fragrances – to use the words of Elizabeth Tudor – made windows into men’s souls. Angela played many parts in her long and richly varied life: the good fairies at her birth showered her with many talents and all these were woven into her exquisite scents.
To know Angela was to respect, admire and most of all to love her. Magnetic and charismatic are much-overused words today, but Angela Flanders personified these adjectives. If she didn’t actually invent charisma she demonstrated to perfection to all who encountered her exactly what this rare quality is all about. Her appearance at Les Senteurs Summer Party in 2014 delighted all who were lucky enough to meet her. Angela had a very highly developed and robust sense of humour, an acute shrewdness and a youthful, ageless sense of fun: anyone fortunate enough to be in her company laughed a very great deal. Angela loved a party; meeting new people and old friends; to be up and doing. Her mind was always teeming with new ideas and plans: whenever you telephoned her, it was to find some new scheme or inspiration being pondered. (She was by the way the most entertaining and accomplished exponent of the nearly-lost art of letter writing). This kept Angela seemingly eternally young. She was optimism, curiosity and vivacity incarnate. Like Marlene Dietrich, whom she admired, she had “energy and discipline”. Angela had also a great belief in fate and destiny: a profound spirituality which gave her always a serene and tranquil air, like that of the beautiful cats she adored. Like her cats, she, too, preserved her mystery.
Wonderfully dressed, jewelled and scented Angela invented her own style; a figure of grace and elegance illuminated by joy and kindness. She moved like an empress, was as modest and self-deprecating as a nun and as clever as paint. All of London will miss her desperately but she leaves an immortal legacy not only as a gifted perfumer but as an irreplaceable friend and phenomenon.