Last Sunday I spent the afternoon watching A Streetcar Named Desire, and I have thought about it almost every day since. I had seen it a few years ago, but I hadn’t been as immersed in the world of scent at the time, and new aspects of the film struck me during this recent viewing.
“Is Jasmine then the mystical Morn – the centre, the Delphi, the Omphalos of the floral world? Is it the point of departure, the one unapproachable and indivisible unit of fragrance? Is Jasmine the Isis of flowers, with veiled face and covered feet, to be loved of all yet discovered by none? Beautiful Jasmine! If it be so, the Rose ought to be dethroned and the Inimitable enthroned in her stead; suppose we create a civil war among the gardens and crown the Jasmine empress and queen of all,” Charles Dickens, Household Words as quoted in Mandy Aftel’s Fragrant.
Illustration by Alastair
There are other Jasmine-centric fragrances that strive to capture the essence of Jasmine freshly bloomed, in its first flush of life. Nasomatto’s stirring soliflore, Nuda, captures Jasmine after she’s been out all night in the deepest twilight hours.
In Autumn 1946 Charles “Lucky” Luciano in Naples, Italy due to an enforced deportation from the United States, received two passports with visas issue for Mexico, Cuba, and several other South American Nations. In October he set off for Caracas, Venezuela, Mexico City and finally Havana, where he was greeted by his friend Meyer Lansky upon arrival.
Luciano immediately set to work to organise a conference for the week of 22nd December that would bring together La Cosa Nostra, consisting of some of the most prominent mafia leaders in America from New York and New Jersey, Chicago, Buffal, New Orleans and Tampa, and the Jewish Syndicate. After purchasing a $150,000 interest in the Hotel Nacional, a casino and hotel owned by Lansky and his partner, Cuban President Fulgencio Batista y Zaldivar, the Havana Conference was set.
Yesterday evening I attended my first Perfume Lovers London event, Perfume and Well Being hosted by Lila das Gupta and presented by Tanya Moulding of The Perfume Mistress. Aside from running fragrance workshops, talks, private parties and perfume events, Tanya also works as an aromatherapist and had an extensive amount of information to offer to us about a variety of our favorite perfume accords, their history and the various ways she uses them in her line of work.
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.