Peter Briggs, The Solid Cologne Project
It may come as a surprise that such clever little tins of wonderful scent are produced by Peter when he isn’t working full time in his IT job for the oil industry. Before it all started, he was looking for something creative to fill his spare time. Then he read an article about a guy who goes hillwalking with a tin of scented wax in his pocket. “When things get tough, this guy opens the tin and gets a smell and it gives him a bit of comfort so he can keep going. I thought, ‘I could make that’,” says Peter. So, he threw himself into learning how to make a scented wax-based cologne. He found an Aberdeenshire fragrance company who helped him choose 8 scents, masculine and feminine “I got lucky”, he says. “The lady who owns it helped me a lot, giving me advice on how big to make batches, what temperature to heat to...”
So he made prototypes and asked friends and family to vote on their favourites. Before long he was filling his little tins, sending it off to gift shops around the Northeast and loving his more-than-a-hobby. In spite of his success, Peter is keen to keep his making to the kitchen table. He points out that many a small business fails by taking on a monthly rent for a production unit, then losing money. Though he’d love to give up what he calls his ‘boring corporate IT job’ but for now he’s just happy he’s found something he finds so rewarding. It’s not rocket science, he points out, but by focusing on the Scottish elements (the scents are all named after the Scottish outdoors – forager, rosewood, granite…) as well as good service, he’s giving people something local that isn’t too expensive and that’s as good as the High Street giants.