Perfume @ Somerset House
Perfume @ Somerset House

“Metal, Flowers, Blood, Smoky Ink, Milk, Sweat, Wood, Purple Iris, Semen, Saliva, Roots, Hot Sand, Creosote, Chlorine, Fog Machines, Sandalwood, Smoke, Souk Spices, Cookies.”

The first thing one sees when entering Perfume: A Sensory Journey Through Contemporary Scent, the brand new and very exciting exhibition held at Somerset House, London, is a list of words that describe a variety of odours. These disembodied smells represent the ethos of the exhibition, which is to remove perfume from the commercial setting and allow it to be experienced as something more immersive than one would find on the department store shelves, despite the fact that the scents themselves can be found in such a place. This is perfume as an experience, rather than a consumable product. It shows that it can be something more than just a pretty smell to make a person smell good.

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The Perfume Society Trip to Paris

Have you ever wanted to raid the archives at La Maison Guerlain in Paris? I know I certainly have and if you have too, then The Perfume Society have arranged the perfect trip for you. On Saturday 25 February 2017 they will be hosting a group of Guerlain-addicts at the brand’s Champs-Élysées HQ to sniff a number of scents recreated masterfully from the Guerlain archives. The event is described as follows:

La Maison Guerlain is inviting you via The Perfume Society for a very special two-and-a-half hour session at which you’ll be able to smell treasures including the original Après L’Ondée, Guerlain’s own Chypre de Paris, Coque d’Or, Pourquoi J’Aimais Rosine?, Rue de La Paix, and other lost legends: fragrances which had literally vanished, until Thierry and his colleague Frédéric Sacone brought them back to life, following the original formulas in the historic ‘recipe’ books. They can only be smelled at these very exclusive, private workshops, which take place in the beautifully appointed private drawing room. So we’re delighted to be able to share this incredible behind-the-scenes experience over tea with our subscribers.

Mr Malle is Coming to Town!
Mr Malle is Coming to Town!

Newsflash, Perfume Lovers! Frederic Malle is coming to London for a meet and greet at Selfridges on Oxford Street on Thursday 17 November 2016. Being at the helm of one of perfumery’s greatest brands, Frederic Malle is quite the scented celebrity and he’ll be in Selfridges greeting customers and signing bottles of fragrance from his line. It’s an opportunity not to be missed!

The Candy Perfume Boy for Perfume Lovers London
The Candy Perfume Boy for Perfume Lovers London

I am absolutely thrilled to announce that the wonderful Lila Das Gupta of the equally awesome Perfume Lovers London, has invited me back for the third time to host an event in October. In a departure from my two previous summer-themed talks, this year I will be taking my Jasmine Award winning Guide to Violet on the road for an interactive look at some of the world’s most beautiful and fascinating violet perfumes.

‘The Candy Perfume Boy’s Guide to Violets’ will be held at the October Gallery in London on 23 October 2014. Tickets are £16.50 and can be found, along with further event details, on the Perfume Lovers London Meet Up page. I do hope that you can join me, as the event promises an entertaining evening of sniffing along with refreshments, and where possible a sample of your choice.

I’ll see you there…

The Wall of Scent at 4160 Tuesdays
The Wall of Scent at 4160 Tuesdays

4160 Tuesdays is an exciting niche brand, there’s no denying it. Perfumer Sarah McCartney successfully blends British eccentricity, good-quality ingredients and unique accords to create perfumes that are unusual, fun and unsurprisingly, rather beautiful. It’s hard not to fall for the charm of a perfume brand that is founded on the principle of not-wasting away one’s days and doing something different with those 4160 Tuesdays one has before reaching the ripe old age of 80 – I certainly have.

I therefore, could not resist an invitation to Sarah McCartney’s London studio this past weekend for ‘The Wall of Scent’, a regular event scheduled at 4160 Tuesdays HQ as an introduction to the world of perfume; it’s families, ingredients and masterpieces. It’s an informative day that allows one, no matter whether they’re an expert or a novice, to really get to grips with the way perfumes are made and some of the raw materials, whether natural or ‘synthetic’, that are used in making the perfumes one wears on a day-to-day basis.

Carven Le Parfum
Carven Le Parfum

Following the release of their new fragrance – ‘Le Parfum‘ – historic french brand Carven have scheduled a fragrance masterclass with perfumer Francis Kurkdjian at the luxury London department store Selfridges. Having created Le Parfum and a number of other luxury fragrances, Kurkdjian is a fascinating individual with a unique insight to the perfume industry.

“The afternoon event invites guests to enjoy a glass of champagne and canapés whilst Francis journeys through the intimate and captivating charm that encapsulates the couture spirit of the legendary Parisian fashion house, Carven. Guest will discover the history, delicacy and grace of the Carven woman and discuss the raw ingredients of the beautiful new Carven female fragrance, Le Parfum.”

The Candy Perfume Boy
The Candy Perfume Boy

Last night I hosted another Summer Special with the lovely Lila Das Gupta of Perfume Lovers London. The theme of the evening was an ‘olfactory summer holiday’ and all who attended strapped themselves into the seats and set off on a fragrant journey around the world, smelling fragrances that were evocative of specific times and places.

The evening was great fun and it was wonderful to yet again meet with like-minded perfume nerds and discuss all things olfactory. As I was the evening’s host I won’t post a blow-by-blow account of the event, but I would like to briefly share with you the perfumes I had selected and the places they represent. You can look out for Tara’s full write-up of the evening on Olfactoria’s Travels soon.

Update: You can read Tara’s wonderful write up here.

On our olfactory world tour we stopped in: