Sensory overload? Sure and no

I form of went awol final week. So much on, being my excuse.

Beginning with the extra banal … effectively, work – and when work calls, it calls. Plus, automotive wanted to go for its tax appointment (which entails drive there, bus again, return to storage by bus, after which, lastly, house with accepted automotive). All tax returns needed to be handled. You get the purpose.

So, what wasn’t banal within the week? you would possibly ask.

I bought a severe deal with.

A number of months in the past, I bought an e mail from Portia – sure, our Portia: “I’m going to be in London in a bit and have X and Y free. You wanna meet up?” Hell yeah.

I’ve finished meetups previously with perfumistas I’ve solely identified over the online, one among which included a go to to Ormond Jayne’s tiny store close to Bond Avenue and a chocolate fondue at Fortnum & Mason.

However I digress.

I haven’t finished lots since covid that hasn’t included individuals I don’t know effectively, so this was a little bit of a leap of religion.

Effectively value it.

I like day journeys to London — the entire ritual of prepare up and again, plus minor purchasing at Paddington Station earlier than again on the prepare house, and not too long ago rides on the brand new Elizabeth Line. And no matter different metropolis actions are deliberate.

Anyway. We determined over the interweb to do Harrods and Harvey Nicks as they each have very respectable fragrance choices. I imply, after all this is able to centre round fragrance.

Met up outdoors Harrods (see pic – I hate most pics of myself, however Portia seems to be so fetching), hugs throughout, and off to the intense enterprise of the Perfume Corridor.

Suffice it to say we smelled numerous stuff (most of which I’ll discuss subsequent week) however one of many highlights was watching Portia work together with the SAs from varied homes. I don’t know what their common clients are like however they bought to expertise the total wattage of a beneficiant and extremely amusing perfumista soul. A few of it was hysterical (I believed the Themeen SA together with his astonishing blue eyes was going to vault over-the-counter and tag together with us earlier than main Portia off to someplace darkish and decadent).

As soon as they realised we weren’t going to purchase however merely work together most relaxed, speaking about greatest sellers, who usually purchased them (and what number of at one time – this was Harrods, in any case). None pressured us – it was simply nice interactions.

Then, it was off to the sixth flooring ‘unique’ providing – the lengthy corridor (see pic) with particular person small rooms.

Extra sniffing (in a single place we had been merely left alone to faff). Two standouts had been the Fueguia 1833 kiosk (had by no means heard of this home) with its enormous providing – and peculiar ‘smelling’ from the delicate the other way up chemistry beakers. This was the one place I attempted something on pores and skin: a cocoa perfume that began off nice: dry correct cacoa with some spice and a little bit of pong (sadly, this changed into merely overly candy twitchiness by the point I bought house in late night which cried out to be showered off).

After which off to Guerlain, the place Portia had a ‘factor’ with the SA – like watching ping pong: “Have you ever tried this?” “Sure, I personal X variety of iterations”. “What do you consider this bottle?” And many others, and so forth.

I believe we managed round shut to 2 hours of fragrance earlier than going off to Harvey Nichols for afternoon tea. That was the non-perfume (principally) chat time – all around the map.

After which one other temporary trawl by means of HN’s fragrance (I have to pattern extra Memo perfumes) and again to Harrods for the meals corridor (“go straight, flip proper at Gucci”). Appreciation of the gorgeous fruit and veg and a little bit of candy purchasing earlier than off to tube, parting at Inexperienced Park.

Portia is a hoot – and so stuffed with fragrance and different nice tales.

Pics are mine or Portia’s