Some time ago, I started this blog in order to have a platform to explore my growing interest in the creative art of perfumery and its links to art forms I had more experience in, such as poetry and visual art.

It was a great joy for me to work on but I found after some months that I was spending too much money on perfume (!) and not enough time on poetry, so I have archived it for the time being, but perhaps it might come back to life someday… and I hope what is here might be of interest for those who come across it.




I haven’t posted in ages, mostly because I realised I was obsessing over perfume and spending too much money buying all the perfumes I wanted to smell. It’s tricky that, being so interested in something that you really need to physically experience to appreciate properly, but not being able to access it unless you have the cash!

I’ve been trying to follow the advice of my new favourite Internet guru Anna

.20130408-193518.jpg of And Then We Saved because she is SO cool and beautiful and she has so many great ideas about saving and spending. I have a lot of debt that I’m trying to pay off, having worked at humble arts jobs for a long time and having a penchant for taking holidays and buying clothes, makeup and perfume on my credit card… Eek! So I’ve been trying to follow the Spend Fast and to spend no money at all except for absolute necessities, and perfume doesn’t seem to come under that heading, sadly. Well, if I ran out completely I could probably justify buying some more, but I probably have enough in my closet to last me at least a couple of years. And my friend Lilias at work keeps giving me half empty bottles of Guerlain perfumes that she’s decided she doesn’t like enough, lucky me! But I still find it so hard to read about beautiful perfumes and not be able to smell them! I guess that’s the joy of samples when you can get them.

I am, by some glorious chance, on the By Kilian mailing list which means that every couple of months I get sent a padded envelope from France with a beautiful embossed piece of print and one or a few exquisite perfume samples inside. Amazing!

Anyway, I guess it’s all about balance. I haven’t done very well at all this month with my Spend Fast as first I watched Project Nim on iPlayer and decided I couldn’t bear to use products that have been tested on animals if I could possibly help it, so I searched everywhere for cruelty free products that might be good for my skin and decided to try Paula’s Choice new natural range. I’ve always loved her products and it’s great to know that they are cruelty free and that there’s a really natural line available now. It all made me wonder if any of my perfumes are tested on animals… something I’ll be checking for in future!

Well, that cost a pretty penny, and then I had some bills to pay, and then I found a few clothing items on eBay and in a pop up shop that I couldn’t seem to resist (one is a dress with tiny horses on it!). And voila, I’ve gorged rather than fasted! I feel like an alcoholic that’s fallen flat off the wagon onto my face.

Ah well, I guess I just have to start again next month. It’s great to have goals!

I’m gutted to realise that I meant to post this at the beginning of July and forgot to, so please have a look now at what these amazing folks are up to, and keep an eye out for future events (which hopefully I’ll manage to post in time!).

7 Through the Nose by Josely Carvalho

“7 Through the Nose” will expand upon Josely Carvalho’s longstanding work with the olfactory. Participants will explore their own senses of smell and its powerful relationship to memory and emotion. Starting in Times Square and sniffing through Flushing, the group will identify synthetic smells (i.e. smells created to entice sales: such as french fries and store-specific fragrances) and existing natural urban smells, (i.e.sweat, herbs, fish, bread and urine). Via memory, metaphor and association, Josely will work with each participant to record smells in individual and collective scent journals; an evanescent geography of odors.

Each walk holds 12 people and will begin in Times Square and end around the Flushing-Main Street subway stop.

Date / Time: Tue, Jul 10, 2012, 6:30pm

Thu, Jul 12, 2012, 6:30pm

Sat, Jul 14, 2012, 4:00pm

Starting Point: 40th Street and 7th Avenue, New York, NY

Duration: 2 hours

(This is not my hair!  But it’s more like that now than it used to be.)

This morning my friend Abby noticed that I have changed my hair colour yet again – it was getting blonder and blonder until a recent hairdressing appointment saw me leaving with what my partner’s sister described as ‘turbo blonde’ hair.  That dye job was painted on bleach and it hurt!  I even had blisters on my scalp for a few days.  I decided that I’m never doing that again.  Also, it looked great for about two weeks until the roots started to grow in.  Bad!

So, I decided to go the Lush Henna route.  This was a big decision as henna, as I have learned in the past, does not take kindly to mind-changing.  I had hennaed hair a number of years ago, decided to bleach it blonde, ended up with green and pink hair that mostly needed to be cut off, dyed dark brown, and treated very carefully for a long time until it grew out.  So going from blonde back to hennaed brown felt like a potential disaster but it worked out quite well actually.  I had to do it a couple of times, and have a feeling I might need to henna it a little more often than usual at first to help my super bleached hair hold the colour, but thanks to Caca Brun I’ve now got rich chocolate brown locks that feel thicker and in better condition than they have in AGES.

I feel so empowered as well, knowing that I can do this myself and that I don’t have to spend £100 in the hair dressers every time my roots grow in.  Phew!

Anyway, when Abby saw my hair, she said – now you can wear a different perfume!  And I was fascinated and asked her what she meant.

Apparently it’s something her mum told her when she was little – brunettes can wear musky perfumes, blondes can wear florals, or something along those lines.

While I don’t exactly agree, and generally believe anyone can wear any sort of perfume they like (whatever smell, whatever gender), I do think it’s a sweet notion.  I want to know now what sort of perfume red heads should wear!  And do different hair styles necessitate different styles of perfume?

Have you ever heard about this and do you think certain smells go better with particular hair colours/types (curly, straight, etc) or styles?

I’m wearing Lush’s delectable Breath of God today, which I think I’d wear no matter what colour my hair was, as it’s so darn beautiful!

PS Abby’s response to the post:

On that note, I propose lovely sandalwoods and single notes for  redheads…

On the single note note though, have you come across Demeter single note perfumes – they have an incredible range – Earl Grey, pavement, and lettuce, laundromat, vinyl among others (yes, lettuce).