|Boozy fruit = Boozy Simnel|
Having said that, I should just type a few words about a recent trip to London with a friend whose blogosphere codename will henceforth be Jem (as in To Kill A Mockingbird). He works quite closely with perfume at the moment, but he hadn't had many chances to smell niche offerings... so I decided it was time to take him over the dark side.
We started at Les Senteurs where the incomparable James Craven took Jem under his wing and introduced him to Malle, Lutens, Knize and ELDO (I'd already given him an intro to Tauer some time ago... a fact which won't come as a surprise to any of you). It was wonderful seeing Jem's reactions to his new olfactory experiences: he was uplifted by Géranium Pour Monsieur, amused by Lipstick Rose and enchanted by En Passant. His reaction to French Lover was "Now that's a proper man's smell" whereas Sécrétions Magnifiques - which Mr Craven sprayed only after donning a latex glove! - elicited a chuckle and what was to become a familiar refrain: "That's a righteous infliction!"
We then stopped off at the Amouage boutique where the ever-delightful Vanessa talked Jem through pretty much the entire range, starting with some of the fresher Opus releases before moving on to heavyweight giants like Jubilation and Gold. Never having smelt Arabian-style perfumes before, Jem was bowled over by their complexity and headiness, claiming their palpable quality made him want to sink his teeth into them. And this was before we turned our attention to the attars! He couldn't get enough of Tribute - "Oh, this is GOOD! This is SERIOUSLY GOOD!" - and when Vanessa brought out the £600 bottle of oud... well, Jem's reaction was priceless. All at once, he looked confused, intrigued, disgusted, knocked out and completely mesmerised. In short, he was hooked!
Our last stop was the Chanel perfume boutique at Selfridges where an excellent sales assistant - whose name I didn't manage to get, I'm sorry to say - sat us down for a brief, impromptu Exclusifs consultation. She introduced Jem to Sycomore, No. 22, No. 18 and Coromandel. But his favourite was Cuir De Russie: "It's really leathery, but somehow... it's also really clean, really classy."
Seeing Jem's responses reminded me why I love perfume as much as I do. For one thing, it brings people together, persuading them to share experiences and thoughts that just wouldn't come up in more 'normal' conversations. But it's also a source of endlessly moving experiences that imprint themselves on one's memory and enrich the tapestry of one's life.
Speaking of bringing people together, it's time to consult the gods of Random.org. The winner of a sample of Zeta is
Congratulations to you. Please send your post address to persolaise at gmail dot com and I'll get the sample to you as soon as possible.
And now I'm off to the kitchen to see to the fruit soaking in 500 ml of rum. They'll soon find their way into a rich Simnel cake mix...
Have a wonderful weekend, and if you're celebrating Easter: a very happy Easter to you and your loved ones.