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  1. #1

    Default London Perfume Lovers Meetup Report (with pics!)

    When I read on Basenotes the announcement for a forthcoming London Perfume Lovers meetup whose theme was to be ‘leather’, there was really no question: I was going! And so it was that last night I found myself climbing the staircase at the swanky New Cavendish Club in Marble Arch. Any anxiety I may have had about walking into a room full of strangers was quickly allayed as Lila Das Gupta greeted me with a warm smile and the magic words: "Would you like a drink ?"

    Glass in hand, I soon fell into conversation, the hot topic being the twenty or so bottles of perfume neatly arranged on the mantelpiece: Whilst many were familiar, some I knew by name only. As the last of the attendees (including Katie Puckrik) arrived for the sell-out event, we took our seats. Aided by her glamorous, iPad toting assistant Grant, Lila began her presentation with a brief history of leather perfumes, linking their development with the more archaic practice of scenting leather itself.

    Our olfactory journey proper however, began in the ‘20s, with classics such as Knize 10 and Chanel’s Cuir de Russie. Leather is a notoriously polarising note, and reactions to the mouillettes being passed around encompassed the nostalgic (“it reminds me of my grandmother”) as well as the downright erotic (“oh my god, this is ssoooo seeexxxy”). Progressing through the decades, Lila was keen to demonstrate how shifts in the public’s perception of leather could be charted through the kinds of advertising used to promote such scents.

    A blind-sniff, facing-off L.T.Piver’s Cuir against Dana’s English Leather marked the transition from a chronological to a thematic based approach to categorising leather fragrances: Leather-florals such as P.G.'s Cuir d'Iris in one camp, skanky, butch leathers such as Dior’s Leather Oud in another.

    One of the real highlights for me however, was having the opportunity to smell some of the more common ingredients used in leather perfumes. These included natural birch-tar alongside synthetic aromachemicals like suederol.



    The evening also included a Basenotes Fragrance Awards ceremony, hosted by Grant (replete with gold envelopes). With much hilarity, nominations for Creeds and Dior Homme were met with such questions as “Which batch code of GIT are you talking about?”. A poignant moment came when Mona di Orio was named as last year’s top perfumer, and Lila read out a message from Mona’s partner which spoke of her legacy. All the perfumes up for awards were laid out to sniff, and with the formal presentations finished, we were free to sniff till our noses could take no more.



    A huge thanks to Grant and Lila for organising such a friendly, fun and informative evening. May there be many more to come!
    Last edited by gandhajala; 23rd March 2012 at 03:23 PM. Reason: typos

  2. #2
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    knit at nite's Avatar
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    Default Re: London Perfume Lovers Meetup Report (with pics!)

    GREAT REPORT Dr G! I am totally green.........
    A Scent Rescuer
    Every great perfume deserves a good home

  3. #3

    Default Re: London Perfume Lovers Meetup Report (with pics!)

    Gandhajala,
    thanks for a fabulous report on the evening. It was lovely to meet everyone there - as usual, it's the audience that makes it fun.
    I'll be posting up a list of all the leather perfumes gathered together shorty. Cheers, Lila

  4. #4

    Default Re: London Perfume Lovers Meetup Report (with pics!)

    Thanks for an awesome report, G.! I am curious to see that list of leather perfumes, Lila! I wish I could have been there, too.

  5. #5

    Default Re: London Perfume Lovers Meetup Report (with pics!)

    Thanks for the write-up these things are always fun, it's great meeting real live human beings that you only knew from here.

  6. #6

    Default Re: London Perfume Lovers Meetup Report (with pics!)

    As many of us were unable to attend, thanks for the super report Gandhajala and like Larimar, I look forward to seeing the list Lila
    Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart; but the heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as a fragrant forest.

  7. #7

    Default Re: London Perfume Lovers Meetup Report (with pics!)

    Who is Lila, besides being a new member? Which of the two ladies shown is she?

    How many people altogether?

  8. #8

    Default Re: London Perfume Lovers Meetup Report (with pics!)

    Thank you, wonderful report.
    DONNA

  9. #9

    Default Re: London Perfume Lovers Meetup Report (with pics!)

    I wonder how I could convince my wife to move to London...
    My Wardrobe
    II est de forts parfums pour qui toute matière/Est poreuse. On dirait qu'ils pénètrent le verre.

  10. #10

    Default Re: London Perfume Lovers Meetup Report (with pics!)

    great report G, wish i was there..

  11. #11

    Default Re: London Perfume Lovers Meetup Report (with pics!)

    Wow G! That was fantastic. What a wonderful event!


    Discover my Guest Reviewer Of The Day here

  12. #12

    Default Re: London Perfume Lovers Meetup Report (with pics!)

    Sounds like fun!

    Which perfume or perfumes resemble the natural birch tar you smelled?

    for swap/sale:





  13. #13

    Default Re: London Perfume Lovers Meetup Report (with pics!)

    I've joined the group ran by Lila but I haven't had the time to attend any events yet. (I'm also really keen to get to one of Odette Toilette/Lizzie's events soon!). The irony of being so immersed in perfume-work that one can't find the time to be a fangirl! (Not a bad dilemma, I'll admit!).

    There's some holiday coming up soon so if any events happen to fall on those blissfully quiter weeks I will definitely be there.

    Thanks for the great report & pictures!

  14. #14
    Basenotes Member maitiu's Avatar
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    Default Re: London Perfume Lovers Meetup Report (with pics!)

    Bring one to Ireland

    We just had the MTV awards in my city of Belfast. Is that a good selling point?
    Top 10 at the moment:

    1.Kouros
    2.Terre D'Hermes
    3.Fahrenheit
    4.Creed Royal Oud
    5.Eau Sauvage
    6.Dior Homme Sport
    7.Creed Bois du Portugal
    8.Givency PI
    9.Dior Homme
    10.Ralph Lauren Polo Blue

  15. #15

    Default Re: London Perfume Lovers Meetup Report (with pics!)

    Bravo gandhajala! It sounds like you had a great time, resulting in a thoroughly enjoyable read for us. Thank you!
    Science is not only compatible with spirituality, it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light-years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. ..Carl Sagan

  16. #16

    Default Re: London Perfume Lovers Meetup Report (with pics!)

    I saw that too late and it was full. Thanks for the report and pics.

  17. #17

    Default Re: London Perfume Lovers Meetup Report (with pics!)

    Quote Originally Posted by maitiu View Post
    Bring one to Ireland

    We just had the MTV awards in my city of Belfast. Is that a good selling point?
    I second this! How about Galway too? If it is good enough for the volvo ocean race finale 2012....... ;-)

    Thank you for this report Gandhajala, do let us know what your favourite leather fragrances turned out to be and why...
    Last edited by galwaygirl001; 23rd March 2012 at 03:08 PM.

  18. #18

    Default Re: London Perfume Lovers Meetup Report (with pics!)

    Great report G. I love that you explain that they went from a chronological context to a thematical one. When you contrasted them what stood out for you? Was there anything unexpected? More. More !!

  19. #19
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: London Perfume Lovers Meetup Report (with pics!)

    Sounds like a good time was had by all.

  20. #20

    Default Re: London Perfume Lovers Meetup Report (with pics!)

    Thanks for the report, Gandhajala! I enjoyed that. Lovely pics.

  21. #21
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    Mimi Gardenia's Avatar
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    Default Re: London Perfume Lovers Meetup Report (with pics!)

    Loved it !
    Nukapai - great to see you , P.
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/370...o-Profumo-Onda
    For sale. Carnal Flower and Vero Profumo Onda.

  22. #22

    Default Re: London Perfume Lovers Meetup Report (with pics!)

    Fantastic, I am jealous I was not there;-)))) Congratulations!

  23. #23
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    Default Re: London Perfume Lovers Meetup Report (with pics!)

    Nice one, G . Thanks for a highly entertaining read - thoroughly enjoyed every word.

  24. #24

    Default Re: London Perfume Lovers Meetup Report (with pics!)

    Sounds like a wonderful way to spend an evening! Thanks for the report ...
    I've trademarked the color bleu

  25. #25

    Default Re: London Perfume Lovers Meetup Report (with pics!)

    Thanks for the lovely report! +1 on Foustie's comment:


    Quote Originally Posted by Foustie View Post
    Great report G. I love that you explain that they went from a chronological context to a thematical one. When you contrasted them what stood out for you? Was there anything unexpected? More. More !!

  26. #26

    Default Re: London Perfume Lovers Meetup Report (with pics!)

    Quote Originally Posted by hedonist222 View Post
    Which perfume or perfumes resemble the natural birch tar you smelled?
    Good question, Hedonist.
    On smelling the birch-tar, two things stuck me:
    1. At high concentration, this is seriously potent: A tiny dab on the end of a mouillette was sufficient to scent the entire room.
    2. It is far smokier than I had previously imagined.

    From the perfumes available on the evening, perhaps Tauer's Lonestar Memories best captures that smokiness of birch-tar. More generally, Sonoma Scent Studio's Fireside Intense also comes to mind.

  27. #27

    Default Re: London Perfume Lovers Meetup Report (with pics!)

    Quote Originally Posted by gandhajala View Post
    Good question, Hedonist.
    On smelling the birch-tar, two things stuck me:
    1. At high concentration, this is seriously potent: A tiny dab on the end of a mouillette was sufficient to scent the entire room.
    2. It is far smokier than I had previously imagined.

    From the perfumes available on the evening, perhaps Tauer's Lonestar Memories best captures that smokiness of birch-tar. More generally, Sonoma Scent Studio's Fireside Intense also comes to mind.
    Very interesting Gandhajala. Thanks.

    for swap/sale:





  28. #28

    Default Re: London Perfume Lovers Meetup Report (with pics!)

    Looks like a lot of fun...!
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  29. #29
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    Default Re: London Perfume Lovers Meetup Report (with pics!)

    Hi!
    Just 'unsticking' this thread as it seems a little old now - if that's a problem, please p.m.
    Thank you!

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