Technically speaking, perfume and music make for easy bed fellows. Both are a construction of notes and accords; however, let’s set that to one side. The beauty of considering perfume through the medium of music as demonstrated by Sebastian Wybrew at last month’s Perfume Lovers London meeting is in the immediate emotional response. Seeing perfume in this way is liberating. A perfume can once again be viewed as a whole and complete work rather than just a sum of its parts or fetishization of ingredients. It brings the act of experiencing a fragrance back to its raw, visceral level.
It may be somewhat telling that on 1st November 1755, one day prior to her birth, an earthquake, which today is estimated as having been somewhere in the range of magnitude 8.5 – 9, known as the Great Lisbon Earthquake struck Portugal causing massive devastation and sending shock-waves throughout Europe which were felt as far as Finland and North Africa.
Way to make an entrance, girl.
Last Thursday, 12th June, I had the pleasure as a member of The Perfume Society to attend a Q&A with Guerlain’s Head Perfumer, Thierry Wasser. I have transcribed my audio recording of the Q&A for you to read below, but I am afraid it just does not do justice to what a privilege it was to hear Mr Wasser answer Jo Fairley’s questions with not only humor and wit that kept the audience engaged and laughing throughout the duration of the Q&A session, but also with real insight garnered from his experiences attained through his position at Guerlain. I was really surprised at the lengths he goes to to expertly fulfill his role, and what I really loved was his pragmatic, common sense approach to it.
Last week I received this wonderful little parcel from The Perfume Society…
A tiny treasure trove packed with samples of Versace Crystal Noir, Paco Rabanne Lady Million (arguably one of my favorite commercials of all time), Nina Ricci L’air du Temps, Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy Noir, Chloe eau de parfum, Salvador Dali Wild, Atkinsons 24 Old Bond Street, Miller Harris Fleurs de Sel, and a handbag sized Crabtree & Evelyn Lily ultra-moisturizing hand therapy. There is a specially printed card to accompany each which details each sample’s fragrance family, top, heart, and base notes, a bit of history about the fragrance, and some ideas to consider while you are trying each sample.
Also included the box is a book of perfume blotters which is very useful when out sampling fragrances, and an adorable robin’s egg blue Perfume Society note book. What can I say?? I love stationery. 🙂
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.