Sensory overload? Sure and no

I type of went awol final week. Loads on, being my excuse.

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

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

I received a severe deal with.

Just a few months in the past, I received an electronic 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 executed meetups prior to now with perfumistas I’ve solely identified over the web, one among which included a go to to Ormond Jayne’s tiny store close to Bond Road and a chocolate fondue at Fortnum & Mason.

However I digress.

I haven’t executed rather a lot since covid that hasn’t included individuals I don’t know properly, so this was a little bit of a leap of religion.

Effectively price it.

I like day journeys to London — the entire ritual of practice up and again, plus minor buying at Paddington Station earlier than again on the practice residence, and just lately 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 exterior Harrods (see pic – I hate most pics of myself, however Portia appears to be like so fetching), hugs throughout, and off to the intense enterprise of the Perfume Corridor.

Suffice it to say we smelled quite a lot of 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 prospects are like however they received to expertise the complete 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 finest 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 ground ‘unique’ providing – the lengthy corridor (see pic) with particular person small rooms.

Extra sniffing (in a single place we have been merely left alone to faff). Two standouts have been the Fueguia 1833 kiosk (had by no means heard of this home) with its big providing – and bizarre ‘smelling’ from the delicate the wrong 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 become merely overly candy twitchiness by the point I received residence 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 many others.

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 transient trawl by HN’s fragrance (I must 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 buying 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