Preparing my London perfume course is really preying on my subconscious mind: I woke up at 4.30 this morning, literally smelling L’Heure bleue and pondering its connections to Opium and Poison. Add to this that I’m still reeling, like Patty from the Posse, after my discovery of Cartier’s Les Heures du Parfum – the only scents that can pry me off numbers XII (L’Heure Mystérieuse) and XIII (La Treizième Heure) are Féminité du Bois and… Guet-Apens, another Mathilde Laurent. So though I tried valiantly to do a comparison test between three patchoulis this weekend -- Bornéo 1834, Parfumerie Générale Intrigant Patchouli and the new Parfums de Nicolaï Patchouli pour Homme/Intense – the only thought that sprang to mind was that the Nicolaï had an odd fresh green pepper smell throughout.
So instead of the promised reviews, I’ll enlist your help for my course at the London College of Fashion. Right now I’m waiting to hear back from the people who registered to find out where they’re at in their fragrant journey: as long as I don’t know whether they’re “laypeople” or perfumistas, or something in between, I won’t be able to adjust the type of materials I’m packing.
The point of the course is basically to tie in smells to words – descriptions, stories, culture: to get the participants to think more analytically about olfaction and, as a consequence, about perfume compositions. In other words, it’s an offspring of the blog culture and the learning curve we all underwent together in the past years.
Before plunging into aromatic materials, I want to elicit the smell-plus-words connection by presenting them with real, familiar things – from Lapsang souchong tea to rubber erasers, and grapefruit to freshly sharpened pencils. Some of these things will be presented to them while they’re wearing a blindfold; others will be to describe without directly naming the thing itself.
So my question is:
Which things do you suggest I use for these exercises?
Ideally, they should be associated to perfume notes. And above all, they should be easy to get hold of in London in December (or to carry from Paris).
I’m eagerly expecting your suggestions!
Image by Andy Julia.
Image by Andy Julia.