Her London Fields studio houses her multifarious collection, including the eyelash and wig-donning artist's edition of Jungle Jezebel, one of the brand's most infamous scents, designed by Miguel Matos. Inspired by drag queen Divine, the end product is as unabashedly attention-grabbing as the icon herself: a sweet explosion of banana bubblegum which segues into a full-bodied white floral begrimed in the best of ways by a heavy dose of civet. “It's loud, it moves you, and it's gender bending,” she states.
The world of fragrance she has since crafted is fantastical and glamorous, often spanning the worlds of fashion and olfaction. Her earliest collection took inspiration from luxurious fashion motifs and she recently finished a collaboration with Versace (a photographic storybook and short film entitled Baroness chronicling soap opera-esque tales of deception), while her artistic practice has explored themes of celebrity advertising and marketing luxury, alongside scent-filled performance art.
The California-native launched her eponymous fragrance brand in 2015, with Leopard and Greek Keys as the debut fragrances — a Dynasty-inspired aldehydic floral and an ozonic citrus emulating “a guy in a Versace thong wearing a gold medallion in the Greek islands” (created by Ashley Eden Kessler). However, despite the vintage references to an era remembered for its outrageously loud styles, both fragrances have a modernity and wearability to them that avoids any cliched territory.
“My love of the 80s probably goes back to my mom and being so inspired by her. She was a fabulous businesswoman and she did wear some big fragrances when she went out, so I always associated that dressing up, glamour, and decadence with that era,” Baker explains, although she is quick to point out that she would never want to limit her creative process to one decade or aesthetic.
Baker likens her line to “assembling a cast for a soap opera. It would be boring if it would be a bunch of people that were all the same. It has to be different shapes and sizes and personalities.” One such personality is Charade, a honeyed leather tuberose, crafted by Andreas Wilhelm. “I picture this one as Audrey Hepburn in the tuberose garden of her Switzerland estate, having Carey Grant over for a cup of tea, and maybe he is sitting in a leather armchair,” she reminisces. "I am interested in producing really exciting fragrances that move me and feel transportive. It has to evoke a place, a character, or a time in order for me to get into it."
This year, the artist has made her first solo debut, with two of the five scents in the S. Baker collection being of entirely independent, rather than collaborative, nature: the coastal citrus G. Clef (including notes of grapefruit, hedione, lavender, calone, oakmoss, and amber) and Flame & Fortune (a spicy, smokey, and fruit-laced white floral). Furthermore, Matos returns for a countryside picnic-inspired scent, Far From the Madding Crowd, which features notes of eucalyptus, black cassis, plum, jasmine, and cedar, as does Kessler who created Bascule, a green leather with dashes of peach and lily-of-the-valley. She also teamed up with Christian Carbonnel for Symmetry, a reimagining of the classic cologne profile (bergamot, orange blossom, petitgrain) with the addition of oud. Looks like this season's cast of Baker's olfactive soap opera will be the most diverse lineup yet.