London Craft Week: scented events 8th – 12th May

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the pioneering London Craft Week, and we’re thrilled to see so many scented events are included! From sniffing bespoke fragrances inspired by ‘rebels and reprobates’ to multi-sensory experiuences and the world’s first ‘sleep bar’, there truly is something for everyone to explore…

From 8-12 May 2019, hundreds of venues across the capital will participate in ‘a five-day celebration of global creativity – its biggest, boldest and most ambitious event to date.

More than 240 makers, designers, brands, artists and galleries from 15 countries will participate over the course of the week, inviting the London public to a packed programme of exhibitions, hands-on workshops, talks, creative experiences and one-off events.’

Of course our eyes (and noses) were immediately drawn to the fragrance-themed events in particular, and so we’ve included a selection to whet your appetite, below.

Rebels & Rogues: Creating Bespoke Perfumes
Beaumont Hotel – A collaboration between The Beaumont and individual perfumiers; Ormonde Jayne, Paul Schutze, Penhaligon’s, Experimental Perfume Club, Cire Trudon, Floris, and 4160 Tuesdays who were asked to create a bespoke perfume creation – personal or ambient, in any format (candle, body spray, oil) – based on the theme of Rebels and Reprobates, inspired by one of the people depicted in The Lotos Room, the hotel’s Private Dining Room. Exhibition runs 8 – 12 May 10:30 – 20:30, no booking needed: FREE.

 

 

Sleep Bar at the anatomē store 
Celebrating Crafted at Bergdorf Goodman’s New York and London Craft Week sees the launch of the ‘anatomē sleep bar’. A collaboration between the anatomē nutritionist and aromacologist alongside visual artist Joao Zabaleta.

‘We live in an agitated and often uncertain world, politically and socially. Most of us are digitally savvy, but our attachment to social media and online living has tended to make us more rather than less anxious in daily life. The pressures and stresses of our busy lifestyles take their toll on our bodies and minds and a good night’s sleep has been one of the key casualties. As numerous scientific studies suggest, the importance of sleep has been overlooked for too long and doctors are now serious about getting us to sleep better. Healthy living requires restful sleep as part of the daily routine.

We’ve worked with the best nutirtionists, aromacologists and nutritionists to create this unique sleep map. The anatomē Sleep Bar at a is here to help you achieve just that and a worlds first launching at ‘B’ store at Bergdorf Goodman followed by out store in London. We’ve created a bespoke customer experience that tailors our x4 Recovery + Sleep aromatherapy oils to individuals’ needs in helping to ensure a more restful sleep, night after night. The cities of New York and London that never sleep will now sleep more soundly with a bespoke, unique oils to support your rest.’
Piccadilly of London, 8 – 12 May, & ‘Crafted’ at Goodman’s ‘B’ Store, 5TH Avenue NY NY, 27 & 28 April 2019, no booking needed: FREE

 

 

Scented Candle-making Masterclass with Earl of East London
Learn the art of candle making with Earl of East London at their flagship store, bonds. Kings Cross. Alongside this, take part in bath salt workshops in celebration of their new Japanese bathing-inspired line, and enjoy a collaboration with Japanese ceramic curators Gallery Eclectic. Exhibition, 8 – 11 May 10:00 – 20:00, 12 May 12:00 – 18:00; Workshop, 8 May 11:00 – 12:30, 11 May 10:15 – 11:45. Tickets £45, booking required.

 

 

Made to Measure, the Ultimate Bespoke Fragrance Experience at Burlington Arcade
Penhaligon’s Made to Measure is a programme created exclusively for Penhaligon’s with Fabrice Pellegrin, featuring four exquisite pure perfume bases: chypre, woody, amber and oriental. Once you have selected your preferred base, personalise the scent with the addition of one of four raw and beautiful essence signatures: Rose Cetefolia Absolute, Oud Wood Essence, Iris and Sandalwood. Sit back and relax with coffee, tea or champagne, while your Penhaligon’s Made to Measure fragrance is blended and bottled in front of you. Demonstration, 8 – 12 May 10:00 – 17:00 Booking necessary via [email protected], only 10 places per day available, tickets £400

Do have a look at the full programe for London Craft Week  – we’re sure whichever scented or crafty session you choose, you’ll be learning and exploring skills and creating memories that will last a lifetime…

Written by Suzy Nightingale

How can you improve your sense of smell? Watch this cute cartoon and book our 'How To' workshop!

Are perfumers possessed of magical noses gifted to them at birth – with a heightened sense of smell beyond the reach of mere mortals…?
Well, there’s an argument to made that perhaps some of the ‘noses’ behind our favourite fragrances are somewhat naturally gifted, but my goodness they had to work to get where they are. Perhaps also some of them grew up in perfume-y places – like Grasse – where the culture, history and even the streets themselves are awash with scent. But the truth of the matter is, they had to start somewhere. And those of us lucky enough to have a working sense of smell can undoubtedly go about improving that sense – and thereby enhancing every aspect of our lives.
We couldn’t resist sharing the wonderfully incisive (and undeniably cute) cartoon, below, that does a great job of explaining how important our sense of smell is in everyday life, and the basics of how one might begin mastering the sense of smell.

Apart from simple practice, practice, practice – the most important aspect, we have gleaned by interviewing those famous perfumers over the years; is learning to “fix” a smell in your head by creatively describing it in terms that are absolutely and entirely personal to you. And how on earth do you go about doing that? By attending one of our regular How To Improve Your Sense of Smell Workshops
These fun, informal (but totally informative) sessions are held in groups, some people liking to bring friends along others preferring to sniff solo, and during which you will be taught how to start building your very own volcabulary of scent – pinning those intensely personal memories and emotions that are automatically triggered the second you smell something (good or bad!) and using that to invesitage – and vastly improve – your sense of smell. We’re not pretending you’ll come out as a fully fledged perfumer – and neither is this the reason we set up the workshops. But we can gurantee you’ll not only experience your favourite fragrances in a whole new way – you will appreciate your nose like never before.

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[Photos by Essence PR]
So, do you fancy a morning or afternoon of sharing fragrances, laughter and learning to improve your sense of smell – with a fragrant goody bag at the end of it and as many biscuits and tea (or coffee) you can drink in-between? Of course you do!
Come and join us for the next How To Improve Your Sense of Smell Workshop in London on Saturday 4th February. Not a Londoner? Look here to find (or request) your nearest workshop.
How do you join in the fragrance fun? It’s simple:
How To Improve Your Sense of Smell Workshops cost £10 for VIP Subscribers – which is 100% redeemable against any box purchase on the day of the workshop
Want to bring a guest? (it’s even more fun with a friend!) £20 for Guests of subscribers or non-VIP Subscribers
Maximise the opportunity by choosing to become a VIP with your booking for £35 to include a one-year VIP subscription to The Perfume Society, £10 of which is redeemable against box purchases on the day of the workshop.
Want to read a review from a happy attendee of a previous workshop? Cosmetic Candy blog waxes lyrical about attending one of our Manchester workshops, and Samantha Grocutt, MD of Essence PR describes her experience, here.
Workshops are generally hosted by Senior Writer of The Perfume Society, Suzy Nightingale within the London area, and co-founder Jo Fairley further afield.
Simply bring along a favourite fragrance – and your nose – and we so look forward to meeting you there.
Book your tickets here.
Written by Suzy Nightingale

'Fume Chat – a new podcast show that has serious fun with fragrance…

We perfume-lovers are greedy types – ever hungry for more fragrance in all its forms: spritzing on layers of it, daily (obvs), surrounding ourselves with scented candles, reading books on it, watching shows [like Love to Smell on YouTube] about it and, now, listening to perfume-themed podcasts to-boot. More is always more, with us, and so of course we eagerly listened to the first ‘Fume Chat episode when it launched a couple of weeks ago…
Hosted by fragrance expert, writer and independent consultant Nick Gilbert and his long-time perfume blogging pal, Thomas Dunkley [aka, award-winning The Candy Perfume Boy]; ‘Fume Chat is a conversation between two highly knowledgable (and very funny) friends that you really feel part of as you listen. And for those of you who haven’t ventured into the world of podcasts yet, think of them as online radio shows that you can download and listen to whenever you wish. Particularly useful for tedious train journeys, we find!
The first episode is more of an introduction to the sorts of topics they hope to be covering, with Nick and Thomas picking some of their favourites from recently launched perfumes in their extensive wardrobes, and talking more generally about what they personally like to wear. The second episode, just released this Sunday, is themed around what will be an on-going feature: a fragranced duel.
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For each of these special shows, a perfume house is chosen – this time it was COMME de GARÇONS – and sees our hosts each picking three of their favourite examples, playing a kind of game of “smelly Top Trumps” before having a scented smack-down to agree on a winner.
As Thomas explains, the whole idea behind the show is to be informative but in a really enjoyable, relaxed way: ‘Fume Chat aims to have fun with fragrance – after all, it’s just perfume, so why it take it so seriously? We’ll be sniffing exciting scents, both new and old, battling head-to-head to see who can pick the best fragrances, and discussing many topics related to the smelly aspects of this wonderful world.’
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We’re certainly looking forward to hearing more from our scented friends, the perfect way to ease yourself into a new week over a lazy Sunday breakfast while dreaming of all the new scents you want to sniff. Anything that encourages people out there and exploring more perfumes gets our vote, and can we just say, we love the catchy theme tune, too!
Depending on their equally busy schedules, new episodes of ‘Fume Chat will be ready to listen to on a fortnightly basis, and they’re really simple to listen and subscribe to. Simply go to their page on iTunes or, if you’re not an Apple user, you can find the ‘Fume Chat RSS feed here. You can also follow ‘Fume Chat on Twitter to join in the conversation, and pay a visit to their Facebook page.
Written by Suzy Nightingale

The scent of success… Perfumer Karen Gilbert talks us through the fascinating world of 'functional fragrance'

When a perfumer creates the scent for a ‘functional fragrance’ – a product that millions of people around the world use daily in their homes or on themselves – they are composing the scent of a home, a loved one, the smell you associate with your own clean skin, perhaps. An incredibly technically challenging role, perfumers are plucked from the very same schools as those who create fine fragrances, indeed may often be the very same ‘nose’…
For a full exploration of this fascinatingly secretive cross-over between designer fashion fragrances and the scent of “clean washing”, see the hot-off-the-press Fashion & Fragrance edition of The Scented Letter magazine. But we wondered – is there room for a perfumer’s artistic expression, or does it necessarily take a differing form? We caught up with perfumer, expert consultant and teacher, Karen Gilbert, to talk about the challenges perfumers and evaluators face when evoking the scent of “clean washing”, and wondered how on earth she got into this fabric care – or “functional fragrance” – world.
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‘I fell into it by complete accident,’ Karen reminices. ‘I originally went to The London College of Fashion to train as a make up artist after working the cosmetics industry for a few years. I decided to stay on and do a cosmetics science diploma and two-week work placement at IFF [International Flavors & Fragrance]. They asked me back for a six-month temp position that turned into five years working on UK own label products as an evaluator, and running the fragrance library for the London office.’
Having interviewed the perfumer’s at IFF’s Centre of Excellence for fabric care, we knew how talented they are. But although the world of fine fragrance and fabric care/fucntional fragrances are entwined, some raw ingredients simply don’t translate because of the high temperatures and processes they’re subjected to.
Explains Karen, ‘Creating fragrances for an alcoholic fine fragrance is the easiest thing as there are much fewer technical challenges. When you are creating for a laundry care product you not only have to work with a base that already may have an unpleasant odour but you need to make sure the fragrance doesn’t get washed away during the wash/rinse cycle. There’s also the budget to consider, as most people will only pay a certain amount for something like a fabric conditioner.’
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And exactly how closely do the fabric conditioners and fine fragrances rub against each other? ‘Oh goodness everything filters down eventually to functional products. It’s so weird when people ask me to smell a perfume as I really learned about fragrance whilst I was at IFF so most of my days were spent sniffing “types” rather than fine fragrance. So if I smell a particular men’s “Aquatic” fragrance now I always think of blue toilet cleaner, and to me Tresor translated down to peach fabric conditioner. Whenever I smell a new fragrance I still find myself thinking “oh that would be good for a roomspray”  or “this would work in a men’s shower gel”. I was never a “perfumista” so my view of fragrance is quite different to the average fragrance fan I think!’
Such is the demand for perfumers to create various scented products for fragrancing every aspect of our lives that, as part of her fragrance training offering, Karen now runs a specialised course for those wanting to learn more about this intriguing yet technically challenging world. She explains that ‘…it came out of years of students coming to my live classes where we make an alcohol based EDT, who really wanted to create for their own product line.’ And that although the techniques of making a fragrance are the same ‘…there are lots of other things you need to take into consideration when creating for other types of product base.’
Aimed at anyone who want to learn more about developing fragrances for face, body and bath products – including how to professionally evaluate the performance of your products – you can find out more about Karen’s course, here
Written by Suzy Nightingale