I Consult My Parfumier

Saturday 3rd September 2016

August, the black month, has passed. But this year it wasn’t black. Usually Tuscany is required to drive away the blackness. August in London – death! But I regained from Normandy on August 10th and was in residence until 25th. And wasn’t black. What happened?

In the meantime, perfumes have been in crisis, as you know. Joshua Baring came up trumps as always (what that boy doesn’t know about: he’s even a medical expert, you know. Attended medical lectures at uni although his degree was English – for the breadth). On Thursday I stopped off on the way to the Prom (Bach B Minor Mass: choral bits dullish: the counter-tenor filled the hall; magnificent: ¬†William Christie and Les Arts Florisantes quivering on the brink: sublime yet of this earth). I stopped off in the Burlington Arcade for a consultation with my parfumier: Frederic Malle Editions de Parfums, main London shop as indicated by Joshua Baring. The two fumes I’m worried about – ‘Monsieur’ and ‘Geranium pour Monsieur’ are both by Frederic Malle but bought from another supplier, Les Senteurs, Seymour Street. A Frenchman was in the tiny shop, sitting at the desk having a consultation with the whippy, coiffed young man in charge. ‘That’s very girly,’ he was saying, of a sample fume. ‘Men don’t buy that for themselves! Pah!’ ‘But they do,’ Mr Whippy said. ‘Pah! Their girlfriends buy it for them and they don’t use it.’

I formed the impression that this performance had stepped up after I entered the premises. I was wearing my summer sleeveless shirt by Guaglianone which is a silk brocade in azure with organdy overlay on the sleeves. My slacks were Zara silver mauve.

What is the point of a display of macho swagger in a perfume shop?

Anyway that man fucked off with some samples (oh yes!) and it was my turn. I explained my agony and the over-heating at Les Senteurs. But he could smell my ‘Monsieur’ which I’d worn especially for the visit. ‘Is it right?’ I asked. ‘Yes,’ he said. ‘It’s not damaged.’ He said it would take a lot of heat AND light to wreck a fume. I was reassured about my bottle of ‘Geranium pour Monsieur’ as well, which could have been wrecked in my bathroom by that heat wave in July. ‘It’ll be quite all right if it was in a cupboard.’

‘All the same,’ I said. ‘The perfumes don’t seem to have much staying power or intensity at the moment. When I sampled “Monsieur” in the winter it was much stronger.’ ‘Ah, the winter,’ the young man said.

It seems that the present season is not good for perfumes. When humidity is high, as it has been, and the temperature is high, fumes are on the wane. Come colder weather, and our fragrance will be on the rise. By deepest winter we’ll be reeking.

So my confidence in smell is restored. Thank you, thank you, Frederic Malle Main London Branch. Also my confidence in Les Senteurs as a shop. Had that gone, I, and many other Poor Little Rich Gays, would have been lost.

Thank You, Thank You for Restoring Hope re: Smell and Perfume Viability

Thank You, Thank You for Restoring Hope re: Smell and Perfume Viability


Posted Saturday, September 3, 2016 under Adrian Edge day by day.

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