I spent last Saturday, 24th May, at Sarah McCartney’s 4160 Tuesdays studio where I attended her one day workshop on my favorite fragrance family, white florals. I couldn’t be more pleased with having spent the day
there. The atmosphere was just as I had hoped it would be, and everyone was super friendly and welcoming, all brought together by our common love of perfumes. By the time I left later that day I felt more like I had been hanging out at a friend’s rather than attending a workshop that was extremely engaging, educational, and most importantly, fun. Sarah hosts a different Perfume Day each month. A full schedule of events can be found here. Definitely worth a visit!
We began the day in the reception area of the studio chatting about some of our favorites before moving on to the upstairs work area where we began to sample a selection of white floral fragrances Sarah had selected from her very impressive Wall of Scent (I’m wondering if this is a Phil Spector reference 🙂 ).
After Sarah advised us on the proper way to sample a perfume, by a series of small inhalations rather than completely filling our lungs with a fragrance (which I love doing 😛 ), we spent the next two hours sampling Floris’s delicate Night Scented Jasmine, Fracas (the gateway drug to my white floral addiction), vintage and modern Joy Jean Patou, Guerlain’s Muguet and Lillia Bella from a previous Aqua Allegoria collection, a modern Diorissimo from Christian Dior, a pre-millennium Chloe by Jean Claude Ellena, Madonna’s Truth or Dare, Sarah Jessica Parker’s Pure Blossom and Covet, the questionably titled Suddenly Madame Glamour from Lidl. We also had the opportunity to sample Says Alice and Rome 1963 from Sarah’s 4160 Tuesdays collection.
Sarah has an incredible wealth of knowledge about the perfume industry and fragrance construction, which she was very happy to share with us never in a way that felt like we were in an actual workshop or course of some sort, but it just felt like conversation, with all of its varying degrees of information, humour, and anecdote. We then moved on to sampling some of the individual perfume ingredients used to construct notes, including hedione, which is used to enhance the scent of florals, both tuberose absolute and a recreation tuberose, ylang ylang, and a tuberose ylang ylang blend, indole, linden, aldehyde c12, maratime, timbersilk, ionone alpha, rose oxide, and iso e super. The little part of me hidden away that is utterly fascinated with chemistry could not have been happier. In fact I found just being in this space surrounded by countless bottles and jars of perfume ingredients, vials used for mixing, and various other tools of the trade Sarah uses to mix her magical perfumed potions really inspiring.
After about an hour’s break for lunch we got down to the business of perfume blending. Sarah allowed us access to almost her entire collection of perfume ingredients to experiment with to construct our perfumes. Throughout the process Sarah would come round to answer any questions we might have or pop into her special cabinet of ingredients for something that might be worth trying in our blends. It was a great bonding experience for the seven of us in the studio that day as we all hunted around for ingredients and asked one another what we thought of each other’s developing creations. I was totally having a kid-in-a-candy-store moment creating my debut fragrance, BB1, a yet-to-be-adjectived (but obviously going to be gorgeous, right!? 😀 ) blend of tuberose, ylang ylang, frangipani, indole, hedione, and a blend of chocolate and vanilla. BB1 is “resting” at the moment as Sarah advised us not to test the perfume until at least four days after Saturday so watch this space.
In addition to the 30 ml bottle of our personally blended perfume, we also received a 30 ml bottle of perfume from the 4160 Tuesdays collection. I really wanted to try Roma 1963, but Sarah only had this available in a 15 ml size so I also took a 15 ml bottle of Paris 1948. I have been spending the day with Roma 1963, which I am absolutely enchanted with and will be writing up a review of this very soon.