“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
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…
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.
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.