Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Perfume

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A couple of weeks ago, following in the footsteps of Shabir, I did a fun-tastic Facebook Live with Trinny Woodall. Formerly one-half of ‘& Susannah’, she is now a Grade A beauty expert, bringing that same famous critical eye to all the beauty products she reviews – often HILARIOUSLY, by the way, but always informatively. What is less well-known is that she adores perfume, so we’d been workshopping the idea of me sharing the knowledge I’ve acquired over the years – which have led me down the path of founding The Perfume Society – with Trinny’s audience.

 

Boy, did we have a blast. (You can watch it on her YouTube channel – IN MY BATHROOM… with Jo Fairley.) I spent a lot of the hour-long chatathon answering the sort of questions that I hear time and again, about fragrance. So I thought for this month’s editorial, I’d address some of the things that people consistently seem to find most baffling, about scent. Read More…

Perfume – And The Fallen Angel Of Our Senses

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I love, love, love perfume – don’t you? From a teenager, my dressing table’s been cluttered with a joyous array of bottles: Miss Dior, Eau Sauvage, Chanel No. 22 (I prefer this little known ‘relative’ to No. 5), Hermès Calèche, Illuminium Indian Oudh, Bottega Veneta, Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb, YSL Rive Gauche – oh, I could go on (and on and on) with the guided tour. Ever since my dad (who travelled a lot) started bringing me back bottles from Duty Free to assuage his guilt after trips abroad (guilt trips in the true sense), I’ve adored fragrance for the way it can shift our mood, make us smile, make people remember us – and even maybe help make people fall in love with us…

But I agree really strongly with Helen Keller, famously blind and deaf, who commented: smell is ‘the fallen angel of our senses’. (Her own nose was so acute that she could even sense impending rain). Basically, your sense of smell is a seven-stone weakling. (So was mine). But it doesn’t have to be that way. I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with some of the greatest noses on the planet, the Arnold Schwarzeneggers of the fragrance world. In an aromatic haze of flowers, roots, grasses, primitive animal scents, essential oils and nature-identical lab-created essences, they can discern – and, what’s more, remember – thousands of different aromas. Read More…