Post by Ainslie Walker
(Ed: Grab a cuppa or a drink, this is a fabulous LONG story of an amazing day the gang went for)
A Scented Afternoon Tea – with Perfume Lovers Meet up
Catherine du Peloux Menage, a true perfume passionista who writes for the Good Weekend magazine about fragrance, really was the hostess with the mostest on Saturday, at the Sydney Perfume Lovers’ annual Scented Afternoon Tea!
Catherine has a desire to share her lifelong love (and HUGE knowledge) of perfume with others and wants to provide courage for people around her to enjoy experimenting with scent and add new dimension to their lives…. she did just that on Saturday – their were giggles and shrieks, jaws dropping, gasps and a general buzz from the moment people began arriving until the very last person dashed off laden with perfume samples, prizes and edible goodies!!
The event took place in a private room at Baroque, a hidden gem of a venue at The Rocks. We were dazzled with a fabulous view of both the Harbor Bridge and Opera House out the window, and by the collection of Tom Dixon copper bauble lights dangling above the long set table for 30…
Catherine explained to us the afternoon was inspired by the French word gourmand which literally means a person who enjoys eating and often eats too much…they are also a connoisseur of good food…apparently the true French mean liking a little bit of something ’nice’. Either way the event was unfolding and we were about to become (high class) GLUTTONS for perfumed cocktails, scented teas and tasty tidbits!!
1. “Little black dress” Cocktail- sour cherry liqueur, rose flower water, burnt tea and essence of French earl grey tea (bergamot)
– Cherry and Candy Floss – Angel by Thierry Mugler
We smelt a perfume ingredient called ethyl maltol and agreed it was somewhere between a crème Brule smell and a candy floss – this was an important note in the oriental vanilla perfume, Angel by Thierry Mugler, released in 1992, the first of its type, fusing sweet red fruits, rose, bergamot, candy, caramel and vanilla.
– Sour Cherry – La Petit Robe Noir – Guerlain
Elegant, La Petit Robe Noir represents the sleek effortless style of the infamous little black dress. The fragrance features top notes of black cherry, bergamot, red berries, Bulgarian and Turkish rose in the heart, smoked black tea, Tonka bean, vanilla in the base.
2. A Bay leaf infused Brioche, filled with a coriander, dill, and lemon crème fresh and topped with rock salt
– Coriander, Bay Leaf, Oregano, Black pepper – Ambre Sultan By Serge Lutens
An almost savory gust of Amber overtakes the air. Ambre Sultan is no ordinary Amber fragrance and features many food notes including coriander, bay, oregano, black pepper and vanilla, along with sandalwood, patchouli, angelica, myrrh and benzoin to ensure it does not smell like a kitchen, but more of a spicy sultry friend on a balmy day…many in the group refer back to this savory and grounding fragrance as the afternoon continues becoming sweeter and sweeter…
3. Oolong Tea – Served Black
– Oolong Tea, Leather and Bergamot – Oolang Infini – Atelier Cologne
This woody, leather fragrance exudes tea, tobacco flower, guaicwood, neroli and vetivert. There was debate as to whether the tea was really the strongest feature in the mix. The group had fun picking the citrus, woods and smoke.
4. Chocolate Macaroon filled with rosewater infused cream
– Cocoa, Rum, Black Pepper, Vanilla – Elixir Charnel Gourmand Coquin- Guerlain
Chocolate, rose, vanilla and spiced rum make this fragrance rich and decadent, with the same allure of fine silk lingerie – your lover will never resist a nuzzle in the cleavage of this sophisticated scent. The Cocoa in particular creates a cozy sultry note, that, with the spices is warm and inviting. Days later my paper strip is still exuding sweet, sexy chocolate.
5. Rose infused Macaroon filled with Rosewater and White Chocolate infused cream
– Rose, Vanilla – Rosewater and Vanilla Intense – Jo Malone
Smelling exactly like the sweetest of Turkish Delights, this rose fragrance evokes visions of the Middle East. Ingredients of rose, neroli, petitgrain, vanilla and syrup-candy belly dance their way towards our nostrils. We are now giddy with sweetness – this one is definitely for those with a sweet tooth! I overheard someone mention it was just too sticky and that they would need to shower!!
6. Orange and Paw Paw infused Rooibos Tea
– Orange Blossom – Orange Blossom By Jo Malone
This lighter orange blossom fragrance combines winter Lily and lily of the valley making it a dewy white floral. Quite linear, but pretty. A welcome break, and almost grounding after the sugar rush of the previous macaroon moments (…I must admit I actually ate 3!!) Uplifting with hints of clementine and some rounded lilac notes.
7. Citrus tarts drizzled in chocolate and sprinkled with Gold!!
– Lime, Basil and Mandarin– Jo Malone
Continuing with a strongly citrus theme, lime, lemon, grapefruit, mandarin, orange and bergamot, but with the addition of some common culinary herbs such as basil and thyme. Summery, almost soapy on my skin, with patchouli really coming through, giving it an earthy edge
– Fig and Caviar – Womanity By Thierry Mugler
Yet another food filled, slightly savory fragrance, combining figs, fig wood and caviar this fragrance packs a punch and lasts for days. It was made for women, but can certainly be worn proudly by men
– Baking Biscuit– Lann-Ael By Lostmarch
Someone at the table exclaims “it’s just like the smell at cookie man!” And it’s true. The sweet wheat, dairy notes, slightly cinnamon is very reminiscent of baking cookies. The scent is light yet warm, sweet.
By now the group is inspired and filled to the brim with new knowledge of sweet vapors and sugary delights. Catherine announces we are all going home with
Guerlain’s La Petite Robe Noir 1ml in a black leatherette zip up cosmetic case
Jo Malone Red Rose Cologne 9ml, Lime, Basil and Mandarin Body Cream 15ml
AND a pack of 5 macaroons!!
We were spoilt to say the least!!
BUT IT WAS NOT OVER!
Catherine then drew our names from a hat:
2 people went home with Le Petite Robe Noir
1 with Oolang Infini
1 with Jo Malone Orange Blossom
I won a Rose water and Vanilla, Jo Malone
Talk about AFTERNOON DELIGHT- they were all full sized bottles!!
I had invited a friend who is not really a perfumista, but loved high teas when we lived in London and she was absolutely blown away that the event was only $45 and included all the food, drink, endless information from Catherine AND so much to take away!
An event like this would also be perfect for a girlie bachelorette afternoon or baby shower…we just have to talk Catherine into doing it again for us real soon!!
Ainslie Walker x