Sarah Baker fuses art, film & fragrance in a decadent soap opera feast for the senses. Watch the film and smell the perfumes…

London-based artist Sarah Baker is fascinated in the cult of celebrity, depictions of glamour and the extravagent shoulder-pads-at-dawn dramas played out in American soap operas. Though Baker’s career has thus far mainly revolved around making her own films, in to this heady mix of art and film she wanted to weave another layer of storytelling  – this time through the medium of scent.
Working with the prestigious Institute of Art and Olfaction in Los Angeles, Sarah Baker began to develop her own perfume line, collaborating with renowned perfumers, with Baker overseeing production from her East London Studio and the four fragrances finally launching at a decadent art show/party in December. Says Baker, ‘Each perfume is inspired by luxurious fashion motifs that evoke lavish scenes; while gazing at the printed bottles and smelling the perfumes, one could, for instance, be instantaneously transported onto the deck of a yacht in the Mediterranean….’
Sarah Baker Perfumes take us on a journey from the fizzing ozonic freshness of grapefruit and hedoine’s cooling breeze in Greek Keys, to the frankincense, florals and castoreum ferocious animalic growl (underpinned by fuzzy fur) in Leopard. Taking a softer turn, we have milky musk, coconut, vanilla and an ambrox sexiness of bare skin glimpsed in Lace; finishing with the full-on smokiness of open fires, heather-strewn hills, leather, hops and tobacco of Tartan. An eclectic and genuinely evocative collection, the Greek Keys and Leopard were made by perfumer Ashley Eden Kessler; Lace and Tartan by 4160 Tuesdays very own Sarah McCartney. At once enlivening, challenging and comforting – they are all a true feast for the senses.
Sarah Baker Perfumes are currently £60 for 50ml eau de parfum, and available at sarahbakerperfumes.com
The worlds of film, fashion and fragrance are set to collide this Saturday, with the showing of Baker’s 2013 film Impirioso the story of a wealth and fame obsessed fashion heiress who murders her husband when he sells the family fashion business, in the style of an ultra-glam 80s mini tv series.
And vital news for fragrance fanatics – you’ll be able to smell all the perfumes following the film. Sarah Baker explains that, in fact, ‘…Impirioso is actually the artwork which inspired me to make perfumes. It’s not about perfumes at all, it’s about a woman who murders her husband (based on Patrizia Reggiani) . Instead of using Gucci documentary/biopic-style I created a fake fashion brand “Rocco Rosso” and with it the logo and costumes, hats, home wares. It inspired me to finally make a real product, I had always wanted to produce a perfume, and that’s when I started working with Saskia from Institute for Art and Olfaction.’
You can watch the trailer for the film by clicking here
After the screening you’ll be guided across the road to Storefront – the installation where Baker’s perfumes are displayed, for smelling, wine and chats. It all sounds gloriously glamorous, and, even better – tickets for Impirioso are FREE, but booking is required.
The Hat Factory Arts Centre, Luton
Saturday 14 January
4.30pm
Trains run regularly from St Pancras Station and it’s a 1 min walk to the screening from Luton Station.
Written by Suzy Nightingale
 
 

Gift with purchase: our three favourite words! Here's a scented selection…

Yes, yes, we know ’tis the season to be stocking up on gifts for our nearest and dearest, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find a little time to treat ourselves, right?
Three of our favourite words have to be ‘gift with purchase’ and luckily, at this time of year, there’s a veritable flurry of fragrant offerings. Your only real question should be: shall I gift it as an extra surprise, or, well, y’know. One for you, one for me?
Santa must think you’ve been very good this year at Estée Lauder, with a gi-norm-ous Blockbuster Set that includes…
236613064• Deluxe Palette with 16 EyeShadows, 3 Pure Color Envy Blushes
• 2 Pure Color Envy Lipsticks (full-size)
• 2 Pure Color Envy Lip Glosses (full-size)
• Sumptuous Extreme Mascara (full-size)
• Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II (30ml)
• Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Foam, 50ml
• Revitalizing Supreme + Cell Power Creme, 15ml
• Modern Muse Le Rouge Eau de Parfum Spray, 4ml
• Travel Case
Phew!
Okay this isn’t actually ‘free’ – but you can purchase it for £58 when buying any Estée Lauder fragrance. But, BUT – it’s worth a spectacular £339! We’d plump for adding it to the Modern Muse Set and having a double-dose of Muses for your money…
Estée Lauder Modern Muse 30ml Set with Makeup Artist Collection (worth £399 alone…) £93.60
Buy it at John Lewis
The following sublimely scented add-ons are available in flagship stores when you purchase the full-size fragrance in a 50ml size or above. Only one purchase per customer, they’re up for grabs whilst stocks last (so get your skates on!)
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A dichotomy of hot and cold, the interplay of cool, mineralic stone and the warmth of skin make for a fascinating scent to surprise – particularly good when layered-up (and even longer-lasting) we found.
Alaia Body Lotion & Showel Gel set, 50ml each
Buy it at House of Fraser
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Utterly, unashamedly feminine with a snuggly warm powdery lightness that radiates the whole day through. And who doesn’t love a miniature size that you can pop about your person for emergency spritzing?
Narciso Poudrée purse spray 10ml eau de parfum free with 50ml purchase £58.50
Buy it at thefragranceshop.co.uk
 
Narciso body lotion 75ml
Or, if stylishly branded scent accessories are more your thing, why not pick up an umbrella, tote or makeup bag for your travels…?
montblanc-gwp-umbrella
There’s something about having a super-smart brolly that makes us care less about the rain, and this one is perfect for eitheir sex, too (read that as: we’re nicking it from him. Sorry!) Montblanc Black Umbrella – available nationwide when purchasing any Legend or Emblem fragrance, 50ml or above.
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Sassy, stylish and oh-so-useful there’s a huge Michael Kors tote bag free with any purchase of a 50ml sized Michael Kors fragrance at Boots. We say: get this and fill it with other gifts for a guilt-free eco-shopping trip!
 
make-up-pouch
Loving the chic-punk vibes from this Balmain Make up Pouch and Weekend Bag – it’s a House of Fraser exclusive when purchasing Balmain Fragrance 60ml and above. Ditch the shabby bag of shame you’re currently carting around and face the world afresh!
And if the thought of lugging yourself and your purchases around the shops is all rather too much to take – why not browse our SHOP section, just bursting with perfect picks available at the click of a button…?
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Chelsea Fringe: Free fragrant talks, from Georgian perfume to the scented room and beyond…

Perhaps seen as a floral equivalent of the Edinburgh Fringe, The Chelsea Fringe Festival is actually entirely independent of The Chelsea Flower Show, though acts with its full support. Intended to extend the enjoyment of gardens and all things verdant to well beyond a show ground setting, there are all manner of events taking place around the UK (and beyond) to celebrate this year.
We were particularly excited to hear about a series of talks focusing on perfume, with subjects ranging from Georgian and 19th Century perfume, the scented room, and the simulation of nature in 20th Century perfume (the last in that list being hosted by our very dear friend, Lizzie Ostrom -aka Odette Toilette!)
Chelsea Fringe say:Stephen Nelson is a plantsman and perfumer who specialises in re-creating historic fragrances. As part of the Chelsea Fringe, Town House will host talks by Stephen Nelson, centred around the English garden and its direct link to perfume over the past four centuries.’
Stephen has been commissioned to create everything from historically accurate pomander beads to perfumed leather from the 16th century, an 18th century spicy pot pourri and a handkerchief scent from the 19th century.
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Working extensively within horticulture and running his own nursery, Stephen breeds a number of fragrant plants including pinks, lilacs and lavender – some of which have been featured in planting schemes at the official Chelsea Flower Show.
What’s more, Stephen personally cultivates many of the ingredients used in his historical perfume re-creations – including damask roses, patchouli, orris, verbena, lavender and many more – putting him in the unusual position of seeing the fragrance through from seed to finished scent.
Have a look at the full range of events happening around the country, as there’s bound to be one near you!
A number of the talks are taking place at the historic Town House in London’s East End, and the series there has been dubbed ‘Garden Extracts’. Here’s the scent-centric talks that we’ll be writing in our diaries – and we can’t wait to get (our noses) stuck in…
TUE 31 MAY, 14:30pm: Free
Perfume in Georgian London – talk by Stephen Nelson.
THU 2 JUN, 14:30pm: Free
The Scented Room – talk by Stephen Nelson.
SUN 5 JUN, 14:30: Free
20th Century Perfume and the Simulation of Nature – talk by Lizzie Ostrom.
Written by Suzy Nightingale