Todays post is a
little okay a lot different to ones I normally write about. That’s because yesterday was a very special day. Six years ago on the 18th of January, I met my best friend.
Not only do we now share a life together, we also share the same interests and passions. I brought wildlife and conservation to the table and Mo brought his passion for perfume.
One of the first things he taught me was that the sense of smell is so powerful, it can take you back to a moment in time. A place, a memory.
We’ve been together for a while now and over the years I have been gifted with many a special fragrance that invokes memories, usually of travels, that I can cherish. We have both expanded our knowledge on the history, creation and power of perfume and we constantly yearn to know more. Together.
We have wandered through the streets of Marrakech, searching for boutique perfumers. Visited specialist houses such as Guerlain in Paris. We have even visited the perfume capital of the world, Grasse.
Every trip we have been on has led us to discovering artisans, specialists, usually locals. Mo has made sure there is a way for us to remember each adventure by, using the most powerful sense of all.
So yesterday, on the anniversary of the day we first met, I was gifted a very special addition to my ever-growing collection. I received ‘Danger’ by Roja Dove.
For those of you who don’t know who he is then I am going to let you into a little secret so you too can experience the power of scent.
Knightsbridge is home to one of the most famous department stores in the world. Harrods. A towering palatial style block, with six floors of everything you can think of. The home of luxury; people travel from all over the globe to shop and even just be seen here.
But I don’t need to tell you about Harrods, it’s nothing new and definitely no secret (and to be perfectly honest, if you’ve been once, it’s not the kind of place you need to look round over and over again). What a lot of people don’t seem to know is that tucked away on the sixth floor is the Salon de Parfums. Not accessible by the central Egyptian staircases, the final escalator is hidden amongst the ladies shoe collection on the fifth floor.
The original Haute Perfumerie was even harder to find, a subtle door at the end of the Bistro Bar. Every visit felt like we were fleeting down the rabbit hole, escaping the real world for one filled with large glass vials of perfume oil and diamond encrusted baccarat crystal bottles. Now, a little less subtle, as you reach the top of the escalators, you’re faced with the sleek sweet smelling luxury of the Salon de Parfums. Away from the mad chaotic crowds, the Salon de Parfums is an area of tranquillity, featuring eleven boutiques and of course our room of choice belongs to Mo’s perfume hero, Roja Dove.
A complete contrast to the original, what was once a dark and intimate space is now a palette of creams, soft leathers and just the right amount of crystals reflecting light through the displays right down to the gleaming white floors. Not a bank balance friendly place – the prices start at the £70 mark but go up into tens of thousands, if not more!
But for perfume enthusiasts and connoisseurs, it’s not all about the buying. It’s a place to come in contact with some of the finest fragrances that aren’t available on the high street. Harrods even created a fragrance gallery, where world exclusives were amongst some of the fragrances on show.
Last year, for our wedding anniversary, I surprised Mo with tickets to one of Roja’s lectures, after hours at the Victoria & Albert Museum. We sat on the second row amongst a crowd of perfume critics, writers and experts, whilst Roja educated and entertained us, even allowing the whole audience to smell some of the rarest scents.
This lecture meant the world to Mo, but it also meant something to me. It was the point where I realised how much I too, appreciated the world of perfumery and how something that seems so insignificant is in fact the opposite. Now that I share Mo’s passion and interest in the world of scent, being gifted ‘Danger’ by Roja Dove is an honour.
We all encounter different smells throughout our lives. It’s like a personal souvenir. One that as I mentioned earlier, conjures up memories good and bad and has the potential to take you back to travel destinations.
Even without realising it… we are all experiencing the power of scent every single day.
Still not convinced? Click here to read Mo’s thoughts on Roja Dove in his note of thanks – The Maestro
Are there any ‘scents’ that invoke your travel memories?