Sweet smell of … perfume

On Tuesday 10th March, the Kensington Park Hotel was smelling rather sweeter than usual. For one night only it was home to The Perfume Salon. Upon my arrival I was downright curious to know what was in store. Luckily for me, hostess and Perfumista Anna Katz and perfumer Sarah McCartney were on-hand to help make some ‘scents’ of it all.

Launched in 2014 by Anna Katz, and now firmly set up after three successful London salons, The Perfume Salon offers both established and emerging perfumers and musicians an opportunity to showcase their wares to an audience of intrigued ‘fumeheads’. Anna Katz holds the show together, offering her guest performers a unique opportunity to perform in interesting and often unusual venues. This Notting Hill based salon featured the wonderful Ailsa Tully, folk cellist/singer and the passionate perfumer Sarah McCartney. Sarah had chosen to launch her new fragrance ‘Centrepiece’ at the Salon and in a perfect ‘life imitating art’ scenario, Sarah was the centrepiece, showcasing her extraordinary perfume collection and talking us through her inspiration.

The evening is loosely structured around a story for a scent, meaning that the audience got to sample four of Sarah’s fragances, while hearing four of her own stories of laughter, memory, imagination and fantasy. Sarah is a brilliantly eccentric storyteller. For 14 years she was the head writer at Lush cosmetics, encapsulating the product’s scents in their descriptions while educating herself on essential oils and herbalism. At the end of the 14 years, she took some time off to write a novel featuring a problem-solving perfumer. In the book she wanted to describe the scents that she made and make them available for people to smell. However, her quest to buy these scents turned out to be impossible. So she decided to make them instead. This eventually led to the birth of her independent, bespoke 4160 Tuesdays fragrance collection. Sarah’s scents, like herself, are full of fun and wit. She injects her naturally playful ways into the crafting of her compositions. One of her perfumes, is called The Sexiest Scent on the Planet.Ever.IMHO. The name choice might be irony on Sarah’s part but as it’s enormous sales would suggest it isn’t actually far from the truth. The eclectic evening was rounded off with a return to the stage by Ailsa. As Sarah had told us earlier in the evening that she ‘smells in music’, it seemed a well composed way to end the impressive evening. annakatzperfume  sarah-mccartney

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