Paul Schütze – a beautiful journey through art, photography, music and now… perfume

We first met the artist Paul Schütze some years ago, during his Silent Surface exhibition – a gallery of works exploring banned books and the power of words. The centrepiece was a magnificent tome on a plinth, the pages entirely blackened as though burned, and from which the most incredible aroma wafted – the more instense the closer you got. A scent evoking old libraries, dusty pages and fresh ink filled the room, and apparently many visitors asked if they could buy the fragrance itself. Having never seen the exercise as a commercial venture – the aroma as much an artwork as those on the walls – Paul hadn’t really considered such a thing, back then. But how things change…
Fascinated by the ability of aroma to provoke distinct emotions and long-distant memories, Paul began working even more closely with the concept of integrating artworks and instillations with our innate sense of smell – an unseen hand of the artist. Last year, Paul collaborated with Sir John Soane’s Museum on a candlelit tour devoted to exploring the sensorial heritage of the house, with Paul using aromas to evoke the sense of the family having just left the room – olfactory time-travel, if you will.
13181389_588833121284256_228160111_n
While still working on his music and stunning photography (seriously, have a look at his Instagram account for a taste of the visual treats), Paul worked extensively on creating exquisite formulas, himself  – transforming his fragrance dreams into a reality, while slowly traversing the tricky areas of perfume regulations.
Now, the trio of fragrances have been realised – each of them chosen to describe a moment in time recalled by the artist ‘for it’s unique particularity’. And there’s no doubting these fragrances are unique.
Behind The RainBehind the Rain: black pepper, conifer, olibanum, grapefruit, lentisque, linden, moss, patchouli, sweet fennel, vetiver.
The moment of being caught in a Monsoon-like downpour – sheltering beneath a tree on some exotic island’s beach, the petrichor scent of the rain istelf, drenched foliage and sweetly sodden earth, then plants blooming as heat returns and the liquid steams…
CirebonCirebon: bergamot, bigarade, cedar, cyclamen, magnolia, pettigrain, sandalwood, Tunisian orange flower, vetiver.
An hallucinogenic evocation of one sultry night in Java – the memories of an orchestra playing, their music drifting across the water on the scented breeze; a synaesthetic merging of the senses as sound and smell become one as they swirl around you…
Tears of ErosTears of Eros: ambergris, benzoin, cardamom, cedar, incense, green clementine, guaiac wood, hyacinth, labdanum, orris, pink pepper.
A rememberance of the artist working in his Parisian studio – the smouldering embers of incense from Sanju Sangendo, Kyoto, among discarded clementine skins, the heat releasing the sharp pithy notes along with the juicy freshness of the skin; a potted hyacinth on the window ledge blurring the cool air of the city beyond…
Strikingly characterful and bold, yet hauntingly ethereal, they seem almost to recall the manual method of developing photographic prints themselves – an image deepening with details, shadows emerging as they warm on the skin. Like his artworks, there’s an avant garde starkness shot through with a stately elegance – a way to transcend through scent.
1887135_orig
Paul Schütze perfumes £135 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy them at Roullier White
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Selfridges launch Fragrance & Candle Space scent-destination for perfumistas – and we hosted the opening party!

We were utterly thrilled when Selfridges London asked The Perfume Society to host the prestigious opening party to celebrate their brand new Fragrance & Candle Space. Located on the ground floor of the department store, it’s a brave new sensorial world of scent exploration, offering a unique space in which to discover all manner of exciting brands, and some houses that were even new to us! Tickets had been eagerly snapped up – and with 100% turnout on the evening, clearly we weren’t the only ones anxious to experience this new olfactory arena…
Selfridges Fragrance and Candle Space main
The new department is spacious, elegantly modern in design and is set to expand even further later in the year when the back of the department is fully opened up. Currently housing the candle and home fragrance collection of Lola James Harper – one of our favourites ever since we first visited their press launch earlier this year and soon with their incredibly evocative fine fragrances to follow; we also spied the exquisitely revamped L’Artisan Parfumeur, the intriguing, music-inspired Justbox, the oft’ swooned over (and we certainly sniffed out why) The Fragrance Kitchen (their Spike Odyssey scent is a world exclusive) and So Oud. But seriously, you need to head there pronto to check out the full range of fabulousness.
SELFRIDGES
As glasses clinked and bubbles sipped, our Co-Founder Jo Fairley gave an introductory speech welcoming our VIP Subscribers to the event, and we led groups around key stands in the venue whose founders and brand representatives had honoured us by travelling to Selfridges especially for the party, talking about how they began, what their fragrances are inspired by and behind-the-scenes info of their processes.
photo 1
From Linda Pilkington (who began Ormonde Jayne literally at her kitchen table), to one of the iconic (arguably first ever heroes of niche) Frederic Malle team; from the charming and so-talented founder of Lola James Harper, Rami Mekdachi; and onwards to the ever-wonderful Diptyque (complete with a travelling trunk of fragrant goods we lusted over for some time…)
Of course there was plenty of sniffing, and our groups were reluctant to tear themselves away from each stand – it’s staggering to see (and smell) the hundreds of hard-to-find fragrances on offer there. On leaving, guests were handed the incredibly generous goody bag – honestly, it had to be seen to be believed. We heard gasps of delight as people opened theirs – provided by brands mentioned, above, for our party, containing a number of fragrant treats to check out at home. But as we left, the tills were still ringing with ticket-holders snapping up their scents of choice – a prospect made all the more agreeable by the £25 gift voucher also included in the goody bag!
SELFRIDGES._Fragrance_and_Candle_Space_on_G_3
If you’re reading this and feeling slightly sick that you couldn’t make it or hadn’t been quick enough to secure a ticket, may we suggest you take some time out to saunter down to Selfridges and sniff out the new Fragrance & Candle Space for yourselves? You’re bound to come away with a list of must-have perfumes to lust over, at the very least.
Want to join us at future scented soirées? Why not become a VIP Subscriber – or gift a subscription to a fellow scent-lover? Only £25 for a full year, not only will you be invited to equally fabulous and exclusive events and in-depth workshops – you get a complimentary introductory Discovery Box of scents to explore (plus any others you decide to buy will be available at our special VIP rate); on-going special offers and discounts in some of your favourite stores and access to the downloadable version of our award-winning magazine, The Scented Letter, too! It’s kind of win-win-win-win…
Written by Suzy Nightingale
 

Miller Harris invite you to join their scent trail with Treasure Hunt across London for two new perfumes!

We all love a scent trail, but most particularly when it’s a clue-strewn walking trail with possible prizes of Miller Harris perfume!
In an exciting-sounding event this coming Saturday, 4 June; Miller Harris will celebrate next week’s launch of two brand new fragrances – Lumière Dorée and Étui Noir – by staging a Treasure Hunt across London.
Starting in Covent Garden Market, perfumed participants will receive a special map and instructions for tasks across London, with the final destination being Bruton Street. Miller Harris state that you’ll need to take photos along your journey to take part – sharing them on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #MHShadowsAndLight
map-mh-1
Those taking part are to receive rewards at each ‘check point’ when showing their photos to the Miller Harris store teams. And what’s more – the first ten people to fully complete the treasure hunt will win a 50ml fragrance of both Lumière Dorée and Étui Noir, before they have even launched!
PrintMiller Harris say: ‘Comfortably androgynous, one is a reflection, the other is its mirror image. Lumière Dorée is the golden aura that every morning enfolds the night. Etui Noir is the magic shadow that each night sets free the day.’
Print‘Etui Noir and Lumiere Dorée are two sides of the same person: night and day, and dark and light. They work beautifully individually or layered as a pair, where they reveal new shadows and facets.’
We are always on the hunt for new fragrances, and love this idea of actually following a scent trail across London! Do let us know if you’re lucky enough to win, and of course what you think of the new perfumes. Indeed, we can’t wait to sniff them out ourselves…
9101530_miller-harris-lumiere-doree--etui-noir_ae1a514e_m
Miller Harris Lumière Dorée and Étui Noir will be launching on June 2nd at millerharris.com and at Miller Harris in-store.
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.
Optimized-darasina-slide-4
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

Häagen-Dazs limited edition floral-themed ice creams at Liberty London (well we HAD to try them, for research, didn't we…?)

We’re well known for supporting innovative ways of incorporating scent into our everyday lives – with perfume (obvs) but also frgrancing our homes and enjoying perfume in all its myriad ways of enriching our experiences of almost anything. So of course when we heard about Häagen-Dazs releasing a limited edition Spring collection of ‘floral-themed’ ice creams exclsuive to Liberty, we just had to go and taste for ourselves. It’s reasearch, darling! Also our offices are right next door, and it’s nice to make time to go and see your neighbours, right?
Häagen-Dazs say: ‘Häagen-Dazs Lychee Raspberry Rose is a fragrant delight that is a perfect balance of aromatic rose, sweet lychee and intense raspberry, whilst Apricot Lavender is a delightful combination of fruit and aroma, blended to refresh and relax. In keeping with the Häagen-Dazs quality gold standard, both varieties are made from a base of only four kitchen-friendly ingredients: fresh cream, real milk, sugar and free-range eggs.’
PINT LRR_3D
Having taken over the iconic Carnaby Street window of Liberty’s (see main picture) with a stunning floral display designed by Rebecca Louise Law, a bespoke flower-installation artist based in London’s Columbia Road – a bevvy of blossoms entice floral fans within to celebrate the launch, and we were willing to be enticed, let’s admit it.
Attention to detail is everything with both brands, and so the union of Liberty and Häagen-Dazs resulted in really pretty illustrted tubs being specially comissioned and designed by Jardins de Babylone – a team of botanical artists from Paris – so they make a perfect match for their salubrious surroundings.
What did our research reaveal…? Well, we’re pleased to report the floral notes are subtle enough to be distinctive without at all tasting like you’re ‘eating perfume’ – it’s a whispered hint on the palate and perfectly balanced by the creaminess and cleansing slivers of fresh fruit. After extensive testing, the office team are slightly favouring the Apricot/Lavender combination; though we may have to test again, just to be really sure which our favourite is…
PINT AL_3D
The Häagen-Dazs Little Gardens range is available exclusively at Liberty London (Regent Street, W1B 5AH) at an RRP of £5.95. They’re available for the next couple of weeks only while stocks last – but we suggest you get your [ice-cream] skates on, for as you may imagine, they’re proving very popular…
To find out more, visit Häagen-Dazs.co.uk
Written by Suzy Nightingale
 

Did they 'pop the question' this Valentine's, or are YOU planning to this Leap Year? Deco London pair couples to their perfect scent match…

Did you know 2016 is a Leap Year – traditionally the time when it was deemed socially acceptable for women to ‘pop the question’, and specifically that February 29th will mark the ‘Leap Day’ of the Gregorian calendar – a date that occurs in most years divisible by 4, (so: 2008, 2012, 2016, 2020, and 2024)? For those who hold to such conventions (and really, ladies, where is your spirit and pluck if you limit yourselves that way?) 2020 is maybe holding off that little bit too long – so have those questions at the ready.
Once the deed has been done (and hopefully accepted with a positive answer!) we say forget the dress and focus on the perfect scent for the big day. To the non-initiated that may sound slightly crazy, but we genuinely know many a perfumista who began panicking about the perfume they and their partner should wear before considering anything else. Wherever perfume fits on your forthcoming wedding’s priority list, it is an important consideration at any time – nothing worse than jarring scents fighting each other to the altar and beyond.
Now, some fragrance companies are catching on to this requirement of ‘scent pairing’ and Sophia Fannon-Howell is leading the way with her Deco London range having specifically imagined characters for each fragrance – inspired by the Bright Young Things of the roaring twenties but with idiosyncrasies appropriate for any era, creating contemporary fragrances with a historical twist and bringing nostalgia, glamour and sophistication to the fore.
Creative Director Sophia says: ‘People spend years planning their dream wedding, down to the very last detail, but many forget to
consider what fragrance they want lingering in the air. Perfumes help preserve memories, you should have a scent that sets the mood and will forever remind you of the happiest day of your life…’
Launching last year with six fragrances – designed to encompass genres to suit every mood and personality – Sophia wanted to give perfume-lovers a starting point in a bewildering marketplace. The characters are there as a guide, gently nudging people to recognise something of themselves or their loved ones in the descriptions, and therefore more likely to be drawn to the fragrance itself than a completely abstract description that only lists main notes. Explains Sophia:
e89922_2a0b68c306fd4226928ab46ab8f26a3d.jpg_srz_p_980_510_75_22_0.5_1.2_0_jpg_srz
‘We looked at similar ingredients and notes, things that would compliment each other without dominating, but still held their own personality. We haven’t tried layering them, I mean you could of course, but they weren’t designed that way. They’re all little people to me – they each have their own persona, and I wanted people to be able to wear them as personalities as well as perfumes that would naturally be attracted to each other, and to the wearer themselves.’
Of course people can mix and match to their heart’s delights – and sometimes opposites attract – but Sophia suggests the perfect wedding couple in her fragrance world would be as follows…
e89922_2043cd428676413183dcf83c1127dfcf.jpg_srz_p_980_510_75_22_0.5_1.2_0_jpg_srz
Ernest, ever the gentleman, offers a blend of exotic amber, vanilla, woods and leather, giving the perfume a distinct masculine aroma, with an added burst of citrus – known to help lower stress levels.’
e89922_4a1f1668bd3b47a09638bc9b64d22a1e.jpg_srz_p_980_510_75_22_0.5_1.2_0_jpg_srz
‘His female match, Millicent, epitomises the charm and charisma of the 1920s dame, opening with bergamot and mandarin, a heart of classic wedding flowers expertly fused with woods and musk, which gives the fragrance its strong character.’
Deco London Ernest and Millicent, £75 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy them at Deco London
Have you met your fragrance match? Do let us know what you both wore (or plan to wear) for your big day, we’d love to collect your wedding scent stories for a later issue of The Scented Letter magazine…
Written by Suzy Nightingale