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….
When I saw the chairs…..
Lila wonders if this mad neurotic freak is up to the task.
So do Helen and Grant….
Reservations for my parents. They sat at the back to be unobtrusive.
Helen giving me a pep talk.
Deciding on the final order for the presentation…
The progenitors of the narcissus arrive and make a beeline for the Lila
…..and we’re OFF!
The selection of different vanilla bean varieties courtesy of Beanilla seemed to go down a treat with the audience…
Me and the celestial Birgit of Olfactoria….
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.