JUS Interview No. 9 – Ali Forbes, Marketing Officer at the Traverse Theatre

JUS perfume interview


Your name – Ali Forbes

Your work – Marketing Officer at the Traverse Theatre



  1. What first attracted you to the world of perfume / scent / fragrance?


One of my first jobs was working as a perfume girl for Harvey Nichols.  Every day I would try and wear a different one, the good, the bad and the ugly!


  1. What perfume would you rescue from your collection if an evil perfume tax collector came round and said he was going to take every scent but one?


Serge Lutens, Jeux de Peau


  1. If you won the lottery, what would be the first perfume in your shopping bag?


All of Andrea Maack’s perfumes.


  1. If you could only wear one scent for the rest of your life, what would it be?


I think I would blow the budget and have a scent created for me.


  1. What is a smell, or combination of smells, you wish was a perfume that you’ve never come across in any bottle before?


Hot grass and the smell of going on holiday.


  1. Can you describe a moment of passion or poignancy in your life linked to a scent?


I think it was probably becoming aware of just how emotive scent can be.  My mum is a New Zealander and I spent a lot of time visiting there while I was growing up, especially the farm she grew up on.  There was an enormous Jasmine plant by the gate to the farm.  I remember smelling that scent back in Scotland and being instantly transported to being barefoot in the dry New Zealand heat by the Jasmine plant.


  1. What is your earliest memory of perfume?

In terms of my first awareness of perfume, that probably came from being a younger sister!  One of my most distinct memories is being in Hong Kong with my sister, who is eight years older than me.  We were in a beautiful black marble effect lift in probably the tallest building I had been in and she was wearing Obsession.  Of all the sensory experiences of being in Hong Kong, one of the smells that has stayed with me is of her perfume.


  1. Is there a perfume you wore in the past that you no longer wear, and why?


O dear…lots of Tommy Girl, Ralph Lauren Light Blue, Cool Waters….


  1. Is there a particular figure or house in the world of perfume that you admire, and why?


I think Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez – purely for their ability to write to eloquently and evocatively about perfume.


  1.  Is there any art (literature, poetry, theatre, visual art, music, etc) that you have experienced that uses scent in a provocative or beautiful way?  If not, can you think of an idea for scent in art?


Karla Black – although not using scent directly, the use of cosmetics or soaps in her art creates a particular smell that becomes indistinguishable from the art itself.  The art creates both a visual and a sensory memory.




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