Over one thousands invitations for Charles de Beistegui’s Le Bal Oriental were sent out six months prior to the night of 3rd September 1951 to give guests time to design their elaborate costumes. The event, inspired by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo’s fresco The Banquet of Cleopatra at his Palazzo Labia, would see desperate Americans anchoring their yachts at the Venice Lido in the hope of an invitation.
“Jacques Guerlain built Mitsouko by breaking the power of the oak moss with a natural jasmine and, more significantly, a new synthetic molecule that had recently appeared. Jukov and Schestakow might have patented aldehyde C-14 (actually not an aldehyde but a lactone; it’s real name is gamma-undecalactone) in 1908, but Michael Edwards reports that it had been available from other suppliers, and it was probably Firmenich that introduced Jacques Guerlain to the molecule in the form of a base it called Persicol, which it had put on the market in 1908. C-14 was a marvel, a fruity, aromatic, delicious scent that gave ripe peach skin. Guerlain plugged C-14 into the equation perfectly (the rumor is, actually, similar to Chanel 5, that he in fact accidentally overdosed the stuff; who knows), and Mitsouko became a thing of subtle opulence, strength and balance and silken twilight.” Chandler Burr
Chasuble and Green Water, Les Parfums Jacques Fath, photographed by Herbert Gehr for Life Magazine, September 1949
During his lifetime, Jacques Fath, the “little prince” of post war Parisian couture, would see seven perfumes released for Les Parfums de Jacques Fath between 1945 and 1954. Two of the most famous fragrances, Iris Gris and Green Water, were created by Vincent Roubert, who also composed Knize Ten in 1924 and Coty’s answer to Chanel No. 5, L’Aimant in 1927. He also worked with Coty on L’Or (1912), A’Suma (1934), and Metéor (1949).
This past Thursday, 30th April, Fragrance Consultant Virginie Daniau lead the Perfume Lovers London group through a sampling of some of the benchmark Chypre fragrances of the 20th century. She began her talk by introducing the group to two key ingredients of Chypre fragrances, Labdanum and Oakmoss, before leading us through a sampling session that included such fragrances as Christian Dior’s Miss Dior and Gris Montaigne, Grossmith’s Golden Chypre, Ruth Mastenbroek, Atelier Cologne’s Trefle Pur, and Aromatics Elixir.
Today I attended my second Vintage Scent Session hosted by Odette Toilette at Les Senteurs. The Vintage Scent Sessions are such a fantastic way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Just as before, the Scent Session was super fun and very informative. Not to mention the delicious cakes…
On Saturday 6th December I attended the first of the Vintage Scent Sessions I booked with the brilliant Odette Toilette at Les Senteurs on Seymour Place in Marylebone. To be honest, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, but I left the session that day with any expectations I might have held very much exceeded.
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!
I had my first brush with London’s Perfuminati on Tuesday evening at the Coming to My Senses: Reading, Conversation and Sniffing event featuring the book’s author, Alyssa Harad, and hosted by Persolaise. I arrived about half an hour prior to when the event was scheduled to begin because I wanted to grab a seat close to where Alyssa would be speaking as I was planning to record the Q&A portion of the event on my iPhone and as it was my first time doing this (and as someone who is perpetually disappointed by the seeming limitations of modern technology) I wanted to be certain the app I had downloaded would be close enough to record clearly.
The full transcript of the Q&A with Persolaise and audience is available below my babbling 🙂
Alyssa greeted me as I entered the upstairs portion of the pub, and I immediately felt completely put at ease by her warm, welcoming aura. I had inadvertently emailed her a week prior to the event asking if it would be all right for me to cover on the blog to which she answered very encouragingly on the same day. She invited me to sit down with her and we spoke briefly about my budding interest in exploring perfume and writing about my experience, which I am documenting on this blog. She asked me about the types of perfumes I enjoyed the most and then she introduced me to the scent she wore on her wedding day, Annick Goutal’s Songes, which I found absolutely dreamy.