According to S+S: "This event is all about the scent of desire. We’re going to be exploring the world of animalic, indolic and hypnotic (dare we say disturbing) perfumes, almost dangerious to wear in too large quantities…. and that have been used to express sexuality, romance and love.
We’ll be exploring the definition of ‘decadence’ in olfaction, and what it’s meant for scent to fully express a lifestyle of excess, from Ancient Egypt, to the 18th century, up to the present day. For this edition of Scratch+Sniff, come with a gang of friends, come as a couple, or come on your own and meet new people. One thing is sure, you’ll leave smelling wonderful and we can’t take responsibility for the consequences."
[HR][/HR]Live Reporting starts here (newest updates will be at the bottom, excuse typos!)
18:44 We're ready. Laptop set up. Just had a sneaky whiff of some of the scents we are trying tonight. I think the attendees are going to have fun...
19:45 Lizzie is handing out a mystery scent - attendees are being asked to describe it and whether they are drawn to it or repulsed. "clean, fresh" say people that were drawn to it. The people repulsed by it say it is sweet, overwhelming, like the 1970's, smells like medicine.
The fragrance is Muscs Koublaï Khän by Serge Lutens
19: 52 Rowan Boyson is on stage to explore the link between scent and pleasure.
She introduces extracts from "The Song of Songs",
Kiss me, make me drunk with your kisses!
Your sweet loving
is better than wine.
You are fragrant, you are myrrhs and aloes.
All the young women want you. (1.2-3)
My king lay down beside me.
And my fragrance wakened the night.
All night between my breasts
my love is a cluster of myrrh,
a sheaf of henna blossoms in the vineyards
of Ein Gedi.
Who is that rising from the desert
like a pillar of smoke,
more fragrant with myrrh and frankincense
than all the spices of the merchant! (3:6)
There is a discussion of the use of fragrance in the extract. Boyson is now talking about the use of spice and scent in ancient Arabia.
19:58 We are now smelling Arabie, by Serge Lutens
Comments from audience: Fly spray, cardamom, minty, fig, anise...
20:03 - we're having laptop and server issues. Going to try to continue on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/basenotes
20:46 - I think we're back - each table is being given a 'pleasure thermometer' which is based on an illustration by Hogarth. We've all been given four fragrances to smell, describe and plot on the thermometer.
20:53 The pleasure thermometer...
It's annoyingly turned up the wrong way round - but from top to bottom (top being most pleasurable...)
I like the way Madness appears at the top and near the bottom!
21.02 The fragrances are labeled 3-6, and we don't know what they are. We'll update with comments from the audience shortly... Before the break, while we were away with technical problems we also smelt Charogne by Etat.
Fragrance 3 is described by the audience as:
21.22 The fragrance is revealed as Frapin's Passion Boisee
Revealed as Rose Kashmirie
Lizzie asks if any of the guys like it. She reveals it as Delicious Closet Queen to much laughter.
No surprises with this one... (and everyone picks 'suicide' on the thermometer) Secrections Magnifiques
21:35 Lizzie's rounding up now and hoping any couples on a first date aren't put off!
Round of applause's all round...
Next week's Scratch + Sniff is entitled "Rakes to Rambo: Male Identity and Scent" Until about 100 years ago, there were no fragrances specifically for men. You’d wear the same as women, usually a floral, bouqueted creation, a far cry from today’s myriad range of aftershaves. Now, men have their own ‘smells’, from fine colognes right though to that peculiar phenomenon, Lynx.
There are still a few tickets available so if you're in London next Tuesday, why not pop over to the S+S website and book your place.