Undina: Today your host is Narth again, and the question was suggested by Brigitte.
Saturday Question #48:
Which Perfumer Would You Like to Meet In Person?
When in 2000 Frederic Malle started putting perfumers’ names on perfume labels, it was something almost revolutionary because until then perfumers were, mostly, like those household spirits from Scottish folklore who were coming out at night to do various chores while everybody were asleep.
These days people who create those liquid wonders that bring us so much joy are much more visible and appreciated. But would you like to meet any of them in person?
I arrive at my seat on the plane, thankful it’s only two across and I don’t have the window. A devout user of the “loo” no amount of views can compete with the peace the aisle seat affords in saving me from climbing over folk. After wrestling my bulging backpack into the overhead compartment (which always makes me think of a notorious tampon commercial that played in Australia – PM me for details), I take in the fellow at the window seat. Mostly bald, well dressed in an understated way, he’s typing on a device while the internet is still in play. Good, doesn’t look like a talker, a boozer, or someone who will spread himself into my space. He barely glances at me as I sit down, even better. I spend the time before we are aloft as I always do, studying the exciting/not menu for the next three meals and wishing I’d remembered to bring a sachet of chilli sauce, any chilli sauce, with me.
We’re in the air, all the bustle of take-off is over, and I unbuckle. I’ve decided I am going to have the fish on rice because it promises to contain lemongrass. Lemongrass, like chilli, covers a multitude of sins.
And then, the man speaks.
“Excuse me Miss [wow this really is a fantasy], can I ask what perfume you are wearing?”
I smile, knowing I have committed no unpardonable olfactory crimes. I have chosen my perfume with being entombed in a tin can with 300 people in mind.
“It’s my favourite scent, L’Artisan Dzongkha.”
The man’s face lights up, he is visibly familiar with Dzongkha. I ask him if he likes it.
“Oh well… Yes, I should like it as I made it. I am the perfumer.”
“BERT!!!!!”, I scream…
No, of course, I don’t scream and of course, I do not address Bertrand Duchaufour as “Bert”. I’ve affectionately called him that on the Internet because he is my dearest, most adored perfumer, and Australians do love their nicknames. It shows we like you. What really happens is I start to babble, naming every Bertrand Duchaufour scent I’ve owned and fangirling like a lunatic. Poor Mr. Duchaufour, how long is this plane ride?
I confess to you, dear readers, that this is an actual daydream I’ve had pretty much every time I’m swooning over a Bertrand Duchaufour fragrance. He’s the nose behind two of my most loved scents, the aforementioned Dzongkha and Penhaligon’s Sartorial. I have many of his L’Artisans, and he was my idol during my Comme de Garcon groupie days. I’m wearing Olfactive Studio‘s Woody Mood in the heat today and knowing who created it means I have an affection for the scent I might otherwise not. Though I’ve gotten sidetracked by new houses and perfumers, Bert and I go back years, back to my perfume beginnings. His ability to create scents that tell stories and make you reflect was formative in my perfume relationships. I’m not sure if I would have appreciated perfume in quite the same way if Mr. Duchaufour had instead become a painter.