The Scented Story of 4160 Tuesdays Tokyo Spring Blossom

Sarah McCartney, perfumer-founder of 4160 Tuesdays, has featured her scent Tokyo Spring Blossom from the time she launched her perfume house, in 2011. It’s the most beautiful essence of spring, and though it feels so effortless to wear, the story of how Sarah actually captures that blossom-y blooming sensation is quite another matter…

 

In the spring issue of our Scented Letter magazine – sign up to get your FREE digital copy delivered to your inbox! – Jo Fairley focussed on blossoms in her joy-filled fragrance feature for the season, and Sarah revealed the complications of capturing that airy, cheery, breezy scent in a bottle, explaining: ‘I’ve attempted to capture a few blossoms in my time. The technical way is headspace analysis, capturing the air around the flowers and identifying all the different molecules they emit, then reassembling the aroma from its components. But artisan perfumers like me do it by nose and experiment, so we might arrive at the aroma by a completely different route.’

 

 

For Tokyo Spring Blossom, which remains a much-loved fragrance in her line-up, Sarah explains, ‘I wanted a general impression of walking through a park in cherry blossom time, and used a touch of rose geranium with raspberry leaf, violet and balsam for the effect.’ And the intricacies of the perfumer’s art to create these textures, feelings of light and colour, of spaciousness, are not something we might even consider the scientific skills behind (as quite rightly, we’re caught up in the beauty of wearing the scent itself!) However, it’s fascinating to know just how it’s achieved. Says Sarah:

 

 

 

 

‘Essential oils and absolutes very rarely represent the exact scent which blossom wafts out, when we bury our noses in it. The extraction processes lose volatile molecules along the way, so we add synthetic materials to restore the impression of living flowers. Ironically, when someone comments that a blend smells fresh, light and natural, it’s because I added Hedione – or Methyl dihydrojasmonate, to give it its chemical name.’

 

 

 

Tokyo Spring Blossom is one of 4160 Tuesdays’ earliest fragrances, first made in 2011 for a charity fundraising event in a tiny Tokyo cafe. We made it for our friend Urura, whose name means “the breeze through spring blossom”. It is one of those fragrances which  is so unusual that people have to spend a while deciding whether they adore it or are afraid of it. It is built around oppoponax, cabrueva and tolu, with soft violetty ionones, with pink peppercorn, rose, tangerine, geranium and grapefruit, with Ambrox and raspberry leaf absolute at the base. Imagine the breeze through spring blossom, but in another universe.’

 

 

Tokyo Spring Blossom £65 for 50ml eau de parfum in our shop

 

Purchase your stunning glossy print copy of The Scented Letter Magazine featuring the full blossom-scentric feature, £15 / £12.50 for VIPs.

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Sarah McCartney: Celebrating Shakespeare’s flowers in fragrant form

Shakespeare and his love of flowers are eternally entwined in our imaginations, and now we have hot-off-the-press news of a specially commissioned fragrance inspired by the bard…

 

Though much of what we know of Shakespeare’s life is supposition, and hotly debated by historians to this day; what we can surmise is that he loved flowers – including references to over fifty types of them within his writing, using them to highlight the emotional tone of scenes, reflect character’s thoughts or send messages his audiences would have readily understood in the ‘language of flowers.’ Artists, writers and musicians still find much inspiration in these floral allusions, and little wonder, given the veritable bouquet of creative suggestion Shakespeare proffers.

 

Botanical Shakespeare: An Illustrated Compendium, £20 (Royal Shakespeare Company shop)

 

Many of the flowers Shakespeare alluded to in his work have led to well-known phrases we still use, such as ‘a rose by any other name’ and ‘gilding the lily’, but it’s worth pointing out, lovely as they are, these are slight misquotations. In Romeo and Juliet, the rose is used to there to garland Juliet’s complaint about their families refusing to let them marry because of an ongoing feud, saying:

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose

By any other name would smell as sweet. [Act II Scene II Line 43]

As for the lily, that pops up when painted, in King John, with a courtier commenting

To gild refined gold, to paint the lily

To throw perfume on the violet …

Is wasteful and ridiculous excess [Act 4 Scene 4 Line 11]

I respectfully arch an eyebrow at the slightly scathing mention of perfume, and though of course it’s a literary way of saying that natural beauty need not be embellished, would point out that many fine fragrances have been created to evoke the violet (it being one of the flowers unable to have its scent naturally extracted); but shall forgive the courtier (and, therefore, Shakespeare) for not being privy to such scent chemistry knowledge.

 

Shakespeare’s Flowers cards, £3.99 for 5 x A5 pack, DaysEyeCards

In any case, April 23rd is National Shakespeare Day, the anniversary of the bard’s death, and though the exact day of his birth is unknown, also the day his birthday is traditionally celebrated (his baptism being recorded as taking place on April 26.) So, this would have been excuse enough for me to celebrate his gorgeous floral allusions by showcasing some fragrances I feel are particularly pertinent to Shakespeare’s love of flowers. However, Fate intervened to reveal an even more intriguing story…

While thinking about writing a general Shakespeare and fragrance type article, a little bird (in fact, fellow fragrance writer and friend Amanda Carr, co-founder of We Wear Perfume, and currently organising the inaugural Barnes Fragrance Fair) happened to mention to me that 4160 Tuesdays founder and perfumer, Sarah McCartney had recently received a rather fabulous private commission to create a Shakespearean-inspired fragrance for none other than Gyles Brandreth. A noted Shakespeare expert, broadcaster, author and language-lover.

 

 

Currently named Sonnet No.1, the fragrance is actually for both Gyles and his beloved wife, the writer Michèle Brown, in celebration of their forthcoming wedding anniversary. Describing the ingredients she used for the composition, Sarah chose: ‘Rose, violet, lavender, lily, narcissus absolute, musks and hay absolute,’ with two versions having been made, one including beeswax absolute.

Before you ask if we can all get our hands (and noses) on it, Sarah explains, ‘I only made it on Monday, so at the moment just 30mls exist, but it’s gorgeous! (Though I say it myself.) I’d like to launch it, but it would have to go through its stability tests and all the official processes before it can go public.’ Well, it probably does seem only fair to let Gyles and Michèle enjoy the fragrance first, but golly it does indeed sound gorgeous, so fingers-crossed. In the meantime, fragrance and Shakespeare lovers should consider another beautiful 4160 Tuesday’s scent. Says Sarah:

Ealing Green was originally made for a fundraising event on Midsummer Night in Ealing, and I used herbs and flowers mentioned in the play… wild rose, thyme, grassy banks, violets and oakmoss feature.’

 

 

 

We were invited to make a midsummer scent for a 2013 charity evening in Ealing, West London, using plants and flowers named in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, so we imagined the scenes taking place by Pitzhanger Manor on Ealing Green, and created the aroma of a magical summer evening. Its perfect for wearing in the heat.
It starts with a wander through the herb and flower gardens of Walpole Park, takes in a picnic on the grass and ends up lying on the lawn by the pond, staring at the clouds floating by, smelling the warm earth.

4160 Tuesdays Ealing Green £65 for 50ml eau de parfum

What better time to purchase a bottle and immerse yourself in the floral imagery of Shakespeare?

So synonymous with flowers is Shakespeare, in fact, that seed boxes of Shakespeare’s Flowers are now available from Shakespeare’s Globe shop, where you can choose from ‘…the Shakespearean Growbar, containing the seeds of three Shakespearean flowers: heartsease, marigold and columbine. Or the Tudor Herbs Growbar, containing the seeds of three herbs familiar to the Tudors: fennel, lemon balm and winter savory.’

 

Shakespearean Flowers Growbar £12

[Just don’t spray the flowers with the perfume, is all I’m saying. We know how he’d have felt about that.]

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

 

Gourmand Scents for Shrove (4160)Tuesday(s) & Beyond

Pancakes or 4150 Tuesdays perfumes? We’ll take both, thanks! And now we have many of these in 50ml or full-size bottles stocked in our shop, it’s even easier to dip in to the deliciousness.

Because we are often what we eat – or at least, our taste preferences can be mirrored in the foods we crave – we thought why not widen this and say ‘we are what we smell’? So, let us match your favourite pancake toppings to some delectably more-ish perfumes from the always delightfully eccentric British niche house of 4160 Tuesdays. Definitely not only for Pancake Day itself – this house has something for every perfumista’s palate. Scents to indulge yourself with far beyond Shrove [4160]Tuesdays…

 

‘…lemon and orange and real honey absolute for a fresh, tasty top note that makes you lick your lips. So perhaps it’s a gourmand – a scent that smells of tasty food – but the pancake bit is quite subtle – plus they are British pancakes, the sort with no sugar in the batter. Oh who are we kidding? Really it’s all about warm bodies.’

4160 Tuesdays Sunshine and Pancakes from £32 for 15ml eau de parfum

 

‘It leads out with cedrat, orange, tangerine and bergamot essential oils,  juicy fragrance reminding us of eating a lemon top ice cream on a summer day. In reality, after its happy introduction, it’s a gently but perfectly constructed floral chypre with an iris-narcissus-lily of the valley heart, with a generous topping of white chocolate mousse, tonka absolute and musks.’

4160 Tuesdays Fluffy Lemon Top from £85 for 50ml eau de parfum

 

 

‘A long time ago in a village perched on a hill, there was a house above a chocolate shop where a beginner perfume-maker’s friend lived… Over the Chocolate Shop is the gloriously rich aroma you can inhale as the chocolatiers make their first batch of pralines in the early morning. Melting cocoa butter, a dash off coffee, hazelnut extract and a drop of vanilla absolute.’

4160 Tuesdays Over the Chocolate Shop from £100 for 50ml eau de parfum

 

 

‘A light, fruity floral fragrance which smells like a refreshing glass of fruit punch with a hint of cherry jam.  So how do we create a cherry jam note? What we did was to blend citrus essential oils, flowers, woods and raspberry. We’re pleased with its scrumptiousness.’

4160 Tuesdays Fruits of the Tree of Knowledge from £25 for 15ml eau de parfum

 

 

‘…the ideal blend of tart with sweet, smooth with sharp, bright with soothing. It’s made with one part tart to 29 parts comfort – the perfect balance between two contrasting themes, a pudding in a perfume. It’s all the delights of smelling rhubarb crumble with custard, a sparky citrus fruit and Yorkshire rhubarb-inspired creamy vanilla delight.’

4160 Tuesdays Rhubarb & Custard 1:29 £100 for 50ml eau de parfum

 

Freshly Laundered – the scent inspired by one of the nation’s favourite smells

The smell of fresh laundry regularly tops the lists of people’s favourite smells, and recently, 4160 Tuesdays founder and perfumer, Sarah McCartney, was asked to create a fragrance for Samsung, for which they produced a series of spoof ads starring Olympic gold medallist, Max Whitlock.

Samsung questioned 2000 British adults to reveal the nation’s favourite smells. The results, they announced, ‘…positioned fresh laundry at the top of the pile, closely followed by clean bedsheets, cakes baking in the oven, the seaside air and freshly cut grass.’

The new Freshly Laundered – Eco Editionfragrance was recently made available to customers who purchased a new ecobubbleTM washing machine from Samsung KX, an experience space in Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross. But what is it, exactly, that makes us love the smell of fresh laundry so much?

It’s a question that continues to provoke much research, the answer being worth billions – not only in the ‘functional fragrance’ market, but worked into many fine fragrances, home scents and body care products. Earlier this year, we reported on a scientific study that finally revealed exactly what makes fresh laundry smell so good; and out of three possible options Sarah McCartney presented to them, the final fragrance Samsung chose contained, ‘… four musks which evoke the smell of a fresh garden and fresh water, paired with aromas of lily of the valley.’

 

 

The series of adverts for the perfume put an amusing ‘spin’ (sorry, couldn’t resist) on classic fragrance ads, by paying reference to some famous examples. Says Samsung:

‘The launch video pays homage to Brad Pitt’s infamous commercials for Chanel No.5 – with our greatest young Olympian in philosophical and moody mode as he ponders the mysteries of life and laundry. The Team GB Olympian sends up some of the industry’s clichés by seductively running his hand over the edge of a washing machine and spraying himself with perfume before sniffing a Union Jack flag. Max can also be seen putting his spin on well-loved and celebrated ads such as Dolce & Gabbana’s Light Blue commercial (originally starring David Gandy) and Versace’s 2014 advert for Eros.’

While you can’t go out and buy the Samsung Freshly Laundered fragrance separately, it’s fascinating to see that we still cling to familiar scents – perhaps moreso now than ever, in these troubled times – when asked about our favourite smells. How many, from the official list, would make your personal list…?

 

Full Top 20 best loved smells according to British Adults:

  1. Freshly washed laundry (77%)
  2. Clean bedsheets (69%)
  3. Cakes baking in the oven (60%)
  4. The seaside (59%)
  5. Freshly cut grass (58%)
  6. New flowers (55%)
  7. Freshly brewed coffee (53%)
  8. Fresh air (52%)
  9. Roast dinner (45%)
  10. Bacon (44%)
  11. Rain / Thunderstorms (39%)
  12. Vanilla (35%)
  13. Citrus (35%)
  14. Food cooking on the BBQ (34%)
  15. Pine needles (33%)
  16. Chocolate (32%)
  17. New car smell (28%)
  18. Shampoo (24%)
  19. Leather (23%%)
  20. New books (21%)

 

By Suzy Nightingale

Fragrance – a conversation through design

We often liken a fragrance to texture – ‘velvety’, ‘smooth’, ‘suede’ – or colours, temperatures and emotions. With so few words in our language dedicated to smell alone, we must reach out with our other senses and make a connection between them and what we are smelling.

Arun Sispal is an artist and designer who sought to explore these connections in a tangible way, translating them into fragrant form with the help of British indie perfume house 4160 Tuesdays. You can now experience the results at his exhibition within the Royal College of Art – which is FREE but ends 1st July 2018, so we urge you to make haste before you miss it!

Scroll down for full details of how to get there, but for now we caught up with Arun, and asked him to explain the concept in his own words…

Arun Sispal: ‘The sentence I use to summarise what the work is about is -“If you were unable to experience the qualities of fragrance through the olfactory system, how could you experience its qualities through senses of touch and sight?”

Essentially, this project is to be viewed as a ‘conversation’ and ‘enquiry’, as opposed to a design piece with a final end outcome. The work discusses notions of ‘Interpretation’ and ‘blended senses’, and how the senses can influence one another. The conversation is made up of 3 stages:

Stage 1– I created a bespoke scent
Stage 2– I responded to the scent created through design and material creation
Stage 3– The design work was taken to 4160 Tuesdays, where Sarah McCartney created a fragrance response to the design work.

Stage 1– I created a scent at 4160 Tuesdays with a perfumer named Harry. We had several attempts and I described the type of scent I wanted. I needed the scent to have body and definition, as opposed to being something that was very silent and undefined – this was to allow for a successful material interpretation of the scent; because if it was quiet and did not have many facets, I don’t feel the design response would have been engaging or understandable.

In the end, we created a super heavy, dark and dusty scent, with a veil of Dorinia rose that glistens on tops, eventually drying down to something quite powdery. It is a scent than keeps changing, and shows new sides, and that is what I wanted- for it to fleet between these quite dramatic moments.

Stage 2– I then spent time responding to the scent. Thinking about the colours it evokes, the journey of the scent and how it develops over time, its weight, texture etc. (all of these elements that are both tangible and intangible, but once sprayed and in liquid form, this sense of physicality is no longer present). I also got those around me to tell me what the scent evoked for them and any memories, and the responses were so varied and unexpected- depending on their age, location etc.

In terms of the colours… Initially these super dark charcoals and blacks, quite scratched on surface, as the scent isn’t forgiving or a wallflower, but it shouts, and these tones reflected the intensity of the smoke. Also, a refined selection of bitten pink and metallic blush, reflecting the Rose when it is both shrouded in smoke and at its most brightest, clean stage. An abundance of mid tones that do not necessarily sit under the ‘pink’ or ‘grey’ heading, but instead are quite unsure of their identity, and shift between the 2, reflecting the transiency and ephemerality of the scent, and how it develops so much.

And in terms of the materials, using heavy wool felts in super flat, monotone charcoal and gunmetal coloured metal aspects, to reinforce the weight of notes like the agarwood, karmawood and white birch, and then contrasting this with delicate degrades of embroidery in metallic pink that shimmer on the surface, like the softness of the rose.

Stage 3– The design work was then taken to Sarah McCartney of 4160 Tuesdays, who spent time understanding and looking and touching the materials, and trying to create a connection between their physicality, and the array of ‘ingredients’ at the facility. One of the most prominent and interesting elements that Sarah picked up on was the use of gunmetal coloured wire that lay on top of the wool felt in a regimented, slightly aggressive way, and how its edges ‘poked’ out of the surface.

She wanted to use a note that had the same ‘pokey’ feeling – eventually opting for pink and black peppercorn- due to their instant ‘hit’ that knocks your head back when you smell it. This was such an exciting part of the project, as it was great to see the way that a professional perfumer is able to interpret the visual and aesthetic, which is the job of a designer.

The work was an experiment that had materials at the heart, how to tell a story in a multisensory way. It is about sensitivity, and it is also quite romantic…’

Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, Kensington, London, SW7 2EU
12-6pm, 28th June- 1st July (closed 29th June)
Located in ‘Textiles’

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Our Modern Lives – 4160 Tuesdays new (natural and anti-allergenic) scents for body and space…

Amidst the chaos of modern-day life, there are times (now, more than ever) we need to take some time back for ourselves. However we choose to do this, Our Modern Lives is a completely new range of fragrances made by purveyors of quirky, indie scents we know and love already – 4160 Tuesdays.
Founder and perfumer, Sarah McCartney has been a long-time yoga teacher alongside her fragrant commitments, and initially created five yoga-room fragrances for own use. With weekly requests from perfume lovers who wanted all natural fragrances or from people allergic to certain ingredients commonly found in the majority of ranges, Sarah came to realise that something had to be done – and that she was the someone to make it happen…
Sarah McCartney: ‘Every week we’re asked for two things: 100% natural fragrances, and safe scents with no allergens. People often imagine they can have both in the same bottle, or that one implies that you get the other. It’s not that simple’ Sarah laughs wryly – a point she has often made but that’s seemingly quite difficult to get through to people.
And the reason perfumers can’t just use all “natural” ingredients and make them entirely safe for people to wear on their skin? ‘The issue is that nature is naughty – there are allergens in most essential oils, including jasmine, rose, lavender, all citrus fruits and the spices – which means that natural fragrance has to be handled really carefully to be safe, to be legal and still to smell great.’
For Our Modern Lives, Sarah created seven 100% natural fragrances, ‘We’re using all our experience to make these complex blends beautiful and safe,’ and two 100% synthetic fragrances with no allergens. ‘Here we’re choosing simple blends of molecular compounds to create soft, smooth, long-lasting sensual fragrances.’

The Naturals:

Red – Harvest – Gratitude: A sense of security, nature’s bounty, reaping what we sow. For us it feels like a rich red berry in colour. Materials include: hay absolute, Turkish rose absolute, raspberry leaf absolute, oakwood CO2 extract, hazelnut CO2 extract, labdanum, wine essential oil, davana essential oil, pink peppercorn C)2 absolute.
Orange – Sunset – Peace: A sense of serenity as the sun goes down, lighting up the sky in shades of blood orange, Materials include: neroli essential oil, Honeybush CO2 extract, vanilla absolute, cocoa absolute, peach natural liquid, bran absolute, rose geranium essential oil, Virginian cedarwood essential oil.
Yellow – Sunrise – Hope: A sense of vitality, but because it’s early we’ve added in a dash of coffee for a touch of real life. Materials include: lemon petitgrain, fennel, cardamon, clementine, yellow mandarin, blood orange and sweet orange essential oils, coffee absolute, narcissus absolute and cabreuva essential oil.

Green – Leaf – New: A sense of revival. The smell of spring when green shoots appear from the cold and dark. Materials include: jasmine tea CO2 extract, green mandarin essential oil, Calabrian bergamot essential oil, cucumber natural liquid, bergamot mint essential oil and spinach absolute.

Aquamarine – Waves/WiFi – Clarity: A sense of connection. The colour of the clear warm sea, and sharp hit of citrus and deep seaweed. Materials include: white grapefruit and rosemary essential oils, olive fruit CO2 extract, jasmine sambac absolute, blue hemlock essential oil, organic English lavender essential oil, seaweed absolute.
Blue Screen/Blue Horizon – Perspective : A sense of balance. We spend too much time looking at screens, not enough at the horizon. This is a scent to help you meditate. Materials include frankincense essential oil, lavender absolute, vetivert absolute, eucalyptus mint essential oil, patchouli essential oil, hyacinth absolute, organic English lavender essential oil.

Indigo – Into the Night: A sense of the infinite. A 3a.m. scent of total darkness, when night feels endless. Materials include: Cognac absolute, black tea CO2 extract, osmanthus absolute, Atlas cedarwood essential oil, jasmine sambac absolute, labdanum absolute, rum CO2 extract.

The Synthetics:

OML α – a soft, mildly ambery woodsy fragrance that really lasts well, made with seven synthetic materials, completely clear in colour. Some of the beautiful aroma molecules we use here are more expensive than most naturals.
OML β – even softer and smoother and very long lasting. We chose to make OML β with materials which are widely used in perfumery, including costly niche fragrances, but they are out of patent so their prices have fallen. We wanted to make a really good, affordable fragrance, so here you are.
We’re sure these fragrances are going to be very popular indeed – not only for people who prefer all-natural products, those allergic to many commonly used perfumery materials – but for anyone seeking serenity through scent. Because these are not simply “diet” versions of “proper” perfumes – Our Modern Lives perfumes smell glorious first and foremost, and just happen to be entirely wearable by absolutely anyone who loves perfume – no matter what their concerns are. We’d call that a win-win!
Currently, Sarah McCartney is following the same successful IndieGoGo launch route for Our Modern Lives that she has followed for previous perfumed projects. A “crowdfunding” website, it allows small and indie businesses to directly receive funding from individual consumers interested in supporting them. A sliding scale of investment opportunities with benefits attached to them range from £15 (for a scented, hand-stitched eye mask) to £850 for a completely bespoke, all-natural perfume. In between, investors can plump for try-me or full sizes of specific scents at less than the eventual RRP.
Those interested in learning more and wanting to purchase the scents themselves should assume the Perfumista Position (fingers on buttons, ever ready to spritz or order more to try!) and head to Our Modern Lives IndieGoGo page
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Pitti Fragranze 2016 – our fragrant journey to the Florentine perfume trade fair…

An annual affair dedicted to showcasing artistic and artisinal fragrance houses to buyers, distributors and press from around the world, it’s always an eye (and nostril!) opening experience to visit glorious Florence and the Stazione Leopolda – an old train station repurposed as a huge and atmospheric conference and event venue.

©PittiImagine

Pitti Fragranze 2016 took place last weekend and marked the 14th successive year of the trade fair, with visitor and exhibitor numbers greater than ever, and we plunged into the seehing crowd with noses twitching to discover what was on offer this year…
sarah-arthur-of-4160-tuesdys
We were thrilled to see many of our fragrance friends there, bumping into 4160 Tuesdays floral-bedecked founder and perfumer Sarah McCartney spritzing her Mystery of the Materials (scents with a story to tell) into teacups (how wonderfully British) for eager sniffers to discover, and causing much swooning by revealing the photograph of her much-admired helper Arthur McBain – an actor when not helping out at her Ealing studios, and currently starring as the model in her just-shot advertising photos. Sarah says customers have been known to write him fan-letters and apparently come over all peculiar when they receive a package with a note in from him. We couldn’t possibly comment…
beaufort-london-fathom-v
Just around the corner, ‘fiercely independent’ Beaufort London were causing something of a buzz – appropriate given the honeycomb-themed decoration of the area – with their five uniquely maritime-inspired fragrances, including the latest launch, Fathom V – a fantastically other-worldly salty, ultra-green scent that puts us in mind of a Pre-Raphaelite Ophelia surrounded by flowers and giving herself up to the embrace of the icy depths…
andy-tauer-atelier-des-ors
In the same golden-hued area was dear friend to The Perfume Society, Andy Tauer, on great form as ever and here showing two new fragrances: Tuberose Flash (an iridescent and totally sparkling tuberose with zero screechiness) and the much-anticipated Au Coeur du Désert (think bestselling Air du Désert Marocain in extrait beauty!)
It was also a joy to bump into the lovely Atelier Des Ors founder and Artistic Director, Jean-Phillipe Clermont – you may recall we were rather excited when they launched in the UK – and sniff the exqusite new Iris Fauve – softly suede-y with a distinctly addictive edge.
di-ser
We thought it was really interesting seeing a Japanese natural fragrance brand showing at the fair – Di Ser – not a culture historically known for their perfume brands, this one uses unsual oils and essences from around the world blended with fabulous quality native natural ingredients, thoughtfully composed and beautifully presented. Interesting, too, to learn that Japanese ladies have long scented their kimonos with delicate fragrances – as Middle Eastern cultures have wafted their robes with highly scented smoke…
pitti-intertrade
Intertrade‘s room is always a must-visit, with their fingers on the perfume pulse of cool, edgy and just beautifully curated brands that carry genuinely interesting but always totally wearable fragrances, available at Avery Perfume Gallery. With the theme of ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner’ they laid a huge table with coloured glasses and ‘place settings’ for each fragrance house. There we saw, and sniffed, new launches – some standouts being Blood Concept‘s gender-bending David Bowie-inspired XX and XY, AGONIST‘s incredibly evocative (and intriguingly named!) White Lies (so-new the bottles weren’t ready yet, but we snapped their previously released, soothingly smoky Hope), and the ravishingly sexy A Lab on Fire‘s cheekily named Messy Sexy Just Rolled Out of Bed
barbara-herman
You see absolutely everyone at Pitti, no matter where you are – and we met the marvellous Barbara Herman – vintage perfume expert and author of the book Scent and Subversion: Decoding a Century of Subversive Perfumes, in the cafe of all places! The perfect excuse for a quick sniffing session of Eris Parfums – a trio of frgrances Barbara worked with a perfumer to create, all based on interpretations of animalic ‘beasts’ (with huge glugs of beauty to balance). Irreverently opulent, glamorously modern with echoes of vintage va-va-voom. And we got a sneaky sniff of the 4th, equally show-stopping scent.
Perfume, a Certain Tradition film
An real treat for cinephiles and fragrance fanatics alike was the private viewing of Perfume, a Certain Tradition – a film by Amsterdam-based Short Notes Portraits offering in-depth portraits of some of the greatest living perfumers – including infamously reclusive or seldom interviewed figures such as Pierre Bourdon, Michel Roudnitska, Frédéric Malle, Mark Buxton, uber perfume-collector George Stam (seriously jaw-dropping pieces!) and the iconically irreverent Serge Lutens… a roll-call of noses and creators that would intimidate many but which the Amsterdam-based company clearly relished the challenge of. A charming, witty and fascinating film, you can watch it on their website and we will be sure to keep you up to date with when the film is released on DVD – so watch this space.
vintage-market-florence
With so much to see and smell, it’s really quite an overwhelming experience – and nigh on impossible to see absolutely everything – but though we were exhausted at the end, we managed to fit in a quit flit to Florence’s wonderful Sunday-morning vintage market. And – ever nosing around for interesting things – we came across a stall laden with vintage parfums, including the most humungous bottle of Lanvin‘s Arpege – sadly our of our pocket, but We Wear Perfume‘s Amanda Carr [NB watch out for the imminent issue of our magazine, The Scented Letter, featuring Amanda’s scent memories] snapped up the Bvlgari scented pencils.
Until next year, dear Firenze
Written by Suzy Nightingale

4160 Tuesdays launch IndieGoGo project – The Mystery of the Materials: Four Scented Stories

‘We do things differently, here in London W3…’ Sarah McCartney, founder of independent perfume house 4160 Tuesdays, explains. ‘All our fragrances have a story. This year we want to bring out four new editions; eaux de parfum each with its own mystery story, inspired by the classic crime novels of the 1930s.’

Having successfully reached out to the fragrance community and many long-time fans of her distinctively quirky scents, last year saw the crowd-funded Crimes of Passion collection selling out and winning awards. Crowd-funding has become popular over several online platforms recently, with small companies and independent entrepreneurs reaching out for public support to give them a much-needed initial cash investment they then use to fulfill  project they could otheriwse only dream of, with those initial investors receiving a number of bonuses or gifts in reward for their belief and support. Fragrance expert and vintage perfume aficionado Barbara Herman also used this technique to launch her Perfume X range of vintage-inspired fragrances, which were composed by Antoine Lie.


Last year, 4160 Tuesdays launched seven fragrances to evoke ‘unexpected acts of devotion’ and included Dirty Honey, which won the EauMG Best Indie Scent 2015; Maxed Out having been one of Lucky Scent’s Top 12 Perfumes of 2015 and currently in the running as one of the finalists for The Fragrance Foundation‘s 2016 award for Best New Independent Fragrance; along with yet another of the series – Midnight in the Palace Garden – also having made the final list of nominees.

photo 1
This time the collection is entitled The Mystery of the Materials: Four Scented Stories, and each will be themed around specific 30s style mysterious tales that Sarah has written, with a specific perfume and specific ingredients in mind.

The scented stories are enticingly described as follows…

The Search for Flora Psychedelica
The story: ‘A tale of botany and skullduggery.’

The scent: ‘A blend of rare flowers with intoxicating spices and herbs.’

The Mystery of the Buddhawood Box
The story: ‘Horatio Kimble had sailed for Australia to seek his fortune. Twenty years later, his lawyers invite the relatives to a meeting.’

The scent: ‘Four distinctive woods, with a note of multicoloured opalescence.’

Up the Apples & Pears
The story: ‘Cissy and Dotty Shuttleworth defend their London pub from an unscrupulous property developer.’

The scent: ‘Autumn fruit in a tiny London orchard.’

Captured by Candlelight
The story: ‘When the lights go out at Dolderbury Hall a portrait goes missing, but which one was it?’

The scent: ‘Traditional plum pudding, covered in brandy and set alight, with a background of oak panels and oil paintings.’

Those who invest in the scheme can contribute from as little as £5, with a range of benefits and bonuses available varying from a signed, bound book of the stories, a specially reduced price of the perfume, and sample sets of the finished scents.

Talking about the sliding scale structure of investment in such schemes, Sarah said:

‘We’re starting with a very affordable dip of the financial toe, right down to a deep plunge of a bespoke service, story and scent. Perfume is an unusual thing to buy before trying, so we’re doing sample sets to reduce your risk, but there are great incentives to take a chance on buying before you try them.We’d love to invest in more amazing materials which you don’t find in big brand fragrances; we’re a tiny company so crowdfunding makes it possible. If some of these scents sound exciting to you, join in! We’d love your help to invest in interesting materials and to use them to create something marvellous…’

photo 2
Sarah’s ‘wish list’ of ingredients:

Australian Buddhawood
Boronia flower absolute
Granny Smith apple creation
Colombian enfleurage lily and gardenia
Natural pear creation
Brandy CO2 extract
Absinthe essential oil
Artemisia essential oil
Davana essential oil
Hemlock essential oil
Broom absolute
Hazelnut CO2 extract
Oakwood CO2 extract

If you’re crossing your fingers and hoping it all goes ahead so your favourite-sounding scent gets made, never fear. Says Sarah: ‘We shall definitely be making the perfumes, no matter how many people join in; but the more supporters we have, the more of these lovely materials we can acquire, and the more beautiful our story books will be. We’re also planning a rather interesting launch event…’

We’re duly intrigued and shall be keeping an eye on further crowdfunding schemes in fragrance world – a fascinating way that fans of smaller, independent perfume houses can directly invest in the purveyors of their perfumed delights.

If you’d like to get involved or find out more, visit 4160 Tuesdays IndieGoGo page.

Written by Suzy Nightingale