MARCH 27TH, PERFUME LOVERS LONDON ::::: VANILLA, BEHIND THE SCENES

 

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I was so self-absorbed in pre-talk terror and vanilla-ness that I had no idea that Duncan was even taking photos. But he was, especially of the time before the guests were arriving, when he, Helen, Grant from Basenotes, and the marvellous Lila Das Gupta were getting things ready and trying to prevent me from jumping out the window (“Get this man a gin and tonic!!!” shouted Lila very wisely), as Helen, my best friend from childhood, tried to get me to think straight for a moment and work out what order we were going to do things in; Duncan and Lila set about putting the perfumes on the shelves (how I envy that woman’s elegant handwriting), and Grant took perfumes out of bags, set up chairs, and calmly got everything in place….

 

 

 

 

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When I saw the chairs…..

 

 

 

 

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Lila wonders if this mad neurotic freak is up to the task. 

 

 

 

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So do Helen and Grant….

 

 

 

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Seating arrangements….

 

 

 

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Reservations for my parents. They sat at the back to be unobtrusive.

 

 

 

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Helen giving me a pep talk. 

 

 

 

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Deciding on the final order for the presentation…

 

 

 

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The progenitors of the narcissus arrive and make a beeline for the Lila

 

 

 

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…..and we’re OFF!

 

 

 

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The selection of different vanilla bean varieties courtesy of Beanilla seemed to go down a treat with the audience…

 

 

 

 

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 Me and the celestial Birgit of Olfactoria….

 

 

 

 

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Me and my mum. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a wonderful evening, actually. Once I had got into the swing of things I was totally in my element, as I LOVE vanilla in all its guises, as I think you may have probably realized; the audience were fun, friendly, engaged and engaging; the air was thick and cloyed with the sweetness and deliria of the finest vanilla pods and ‘fumes, and people were just milling about talking, spraying, getting samples, meeting new people (and my apologies that there aren’t any photos of that part of the evening, but we were all just too absorbed in the burnished aftermath to be thinking about documenting anything). After at least an hour and half or so of mingling and sniffing many of us then went to a local pub where we continued to chat until closing time….

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a glowing evening of fun and perfume appreciation that I will remember for always.

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks so much to everyone involved. 

 

 

 

xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

26 Comments

Filed under Flowers

26 responses to “MARCH 27TH, PERFUME LOVERS LONDON ::::: VANILLA, BEHIND THE SCENES

  1. Martha

    Thank you for posting the photos. Even though I don’t know a single person pictured, it is wonderful to see all the lovely, smiling people gathered to hear your presentation. The photos of the perfume bottles displayed on the mantel are quite luscious. It must’ve been a fantastic evening for all, but especially for you.

    Now, please allow me to retract some of my earlier, asinine comments about Tihota. Yes, I still think that it smells like cupcakes, but now I find that the fragrance is actually physically gratifying. It is as though I’ve eaten one of those delicious vanilla cupcakes when I sniff Tihota. There is no plasticky, synthetic, doll’s head aroma. There is simply a beautiful, enveloping cloud of vanilla.

  2. All so lovely, and you look so handsome! What a pleasure to have your parents come to see you strut your stuff. Thanks for letting us all in on it.

  3. Duncan is a treasure! Wonderful photos. I loved reliving the evening once more. It was such a pleasure meeting you and for me the evening could have lasted forever, I didn’t want to stop talking to you.
    xx

  4. Thank you for sharing these wonderful photos. I can see why you didn’t want the evening to end…I didn’t even want the photos to end.

  5. jtd0000

    Congratulations! Looks like a wonderful event that I’m sorry to have missed. And bravo for speaking formally about perfume from the perspective of the wearer/critic! There must be a new term for this sort of cross-sensory presentation. Choreographer Trisha Brown coined the phrase lec-dem for a lecture-demonstration of how dance phrase material is made and how the workings of a stage piece might be broken down and seen differently. Arguably more interesting than a performance of the whole company.

    So, for your vanillathon: Sniff-chat? Too informal & sounds like a phone call. Scent-briefing? Blah. Olfacto-Didacto? Too Harry Potter? Scentiloquuy? Olfact-oration? Show and Smell? Scent-Slam?

  6. Cool photos – it brings it all back beautifully. You were great on the night even if you had pre nerve jitters (but who wouldn’t). It was quite a dream of mine to actually get there and hear all about vanillas so I’m glad I made the trek. Smelling the real thing was such a treat as well. And I did have a brief chat to you and all I can reiterate is keep your own voice in your blogging as it is what makes it so unique and brilliant.

  7. ninakane1

    Great photos! It looked a very friendly and elegant event. Glad it all went well x

  8. Tara

    I can’t relive this evening often enough. Thanks to you and Duncan for the post and great pics. It was the most fun I’ve had at a PLL meet-up EVER.

    Loved “the progenitors of the narcissus”. So nice they could be there too.

  9. Dearest Ginza
    I have some song going round my head ‘Star-aahh… that’s what they call you… how long you waited to get where your are?’.
    I have no idea where it comes from… I will find out.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

  10. Lilybelle

    Looks like a wonderful evening! I wish I could have been there.

    • It was delightful, I have to say, and I would have LOVED to have met you, and the dandy there (though I am loathe to have his true identity revealed still, somehow….it scares me). I did hear some clues from certain people, but tried to shield my ears..

      • Lilybelle

        Hopefully, one day, Mr. Ginza. It would be a pleasure. 🙂 And…curiouser and curiouser, that Dandy. I wouldn’t dream of harming a hair of his mystique — even if I could. I don’t blame you for shielding your ears. I must read through all your vanilla reviews some day. Something nice to save for a rainy afternoon.

      • I was thinking about doing a full on Black Narcissus guide to, actually, collating some of those old reviews, or do you think it would be too much?

  11. tonkabeany

    ’twas a triumph! I loved it Neil (more than my arms crossed stance would imply – I was cold and a little unwell), such a fascinating evening. I felt proud (is that allowed? even though I’m not a parent?) as everybody heard what a knowledgeable, erudite, witty, and sincere friend I have. Miss you now though…

  12. Tora

    Thank you so much for letting us in to the salon to witness your nerves, your excitement, pep talks, happy audience and all the little details Duncan was kind enough to shoot. I wish a zillion times that I could have been there.

  13. Come back! We miss you already Neil. Thanks for a top night and to Duncan too for taking all those pics, brought it all back. I’d completely forgotten about the stage fright, you were so fluent and at ease. When’s the next one? x

  14. Love these behind the scenes photos and thoroughly enjoyed your talk on what is also my favourite note. About to file my rather belated report on the night myself…;)

  15. A very belated congratulations on the talk, Neil! It looks like it was a wonderful and wonderfully fragrant evening and I wish that I could have been there!

    It also looks like someone found a full-bottle of Tihota! I’m so happy as I was so nervous that I hadn’t sent enough!

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