No, I am not talking about a personal lover – rather which celebrity, musician, scientist or astronaut do you admire, and what do they smell like?
My favourite musician is John Grant, an American polyglot artist and amazing lyricist living in Reyjavikk, Iceland. I’ve seen him twice in Melbourne, and the intimacy and joy of his performance has moved me to tears. When I first discovered John Grant, it was akin to the experience of being shocked that you could fall in love again. What could this fabulous, creative man wear as fragrance? I had to know! He has said his favourite scent in the world is Russian Olive trees, referencing them in his song Pale Green Ghosts. His lyrics often paint strong psychological pictures using the minutiae of everyday life. From a listener’s perspective he feels simple moments deeply and revels in overthinking for the pure pleasure of it. He must like perfume I told myself, he MUST!
I have David Nyholm to thank (deeply) for granting my wish to know. He started a wonderful fangroup for John Grant that has been lovely to read, and he came through for me with John’s current favourite fragrances.
He “especially loves” Hermés Eau d’Orange Verte and also loves Jo Malone Lime Basil. In the 80’s, he was a Kouros man (weren’t we all?), but I’d imagine he applies it with a lighter hand these days. And, for extra excitement, the niche horse in the pack is the Icelandic house Fischer‘s fragrance No. 23. Fischer was started by the singer Jónsi of the band Sigur Ros.
Have any of you tried the perfume house Fischer? Because the descriptions are wonderful, “a beached whale about to explode”, yes please! This is the first I’ve heard of them.
I was very chuffed to learn what my favourite musician wears as scent, and I’ll be splashing on the Eau d’Orange Verte in the future when I’m having a John Grant listening session.
Interviewers often ask people their favourite music, food or place to visit, but it’s a rarity for someone to be asked about their scent. Of course, if we in perfume land were journalists that’s the question we would lead with. I imagine myself, suddenly famous, letting the Guardian know that they simply must ask me about my perfume which is at least as vital a question as what books are at my bedside. “Oh yes, it’s Penhalgion’s Sartorial, it is one of my most beloved fragrances…”
Do you have someone you admire whose scent you know? Is there someone you’ve always wondered about?
Image: my own