Monday, 25 January 2016

STEPHAN'S SIX - SARAH MCCARTNEY


A true maverick in the world of the independent perfumer, Sarah McCartney has a wonderfully irreverent attitude to creation. She came from a journalistic background, not a chemistry background, discovered a love of perfume making, and with an eccentric approach has created some of the most challenging fragrances on the market under the name 4160 Tuesdays. Anyone who has smelt Dark Heart Of Old Havana will know that this woman has the ability to bottle pure sexual desire. So, with some trepidation, it was time to ask her "Stephan's Six".

What is the first smell that you can remember?
There is no single answer to that one I'm afraid. It depends. My favourite early scent memory is probably warm Ribena. I've been drinking it since I was two. We couldn't afford the proper stuff very often so we had Boots own brand, and the real thing as a luxury. So Ribena, and blackcurrants in all forms, are my idea of opulence, always a delight. It's why I adore Jean-Claude Ellena's In Love Again for YSL.

What perfume do you remember your mum or dad wearing?
My dad had a bottle of 4711 cologne which he would dab on his skin occasionally, and there was a bottle of Old Spice in the bathroom for about 10 years. My mother liked lily of the valley which is why I don't, except Guerlain's, and loved Le Feu d'Issey; I gave her my bottle and regretted it for years. We weren't a very scented household. Scent memories are overrated by perfumers. I think that sound, sight and taste are equally evocative. A Rowntree's Mint Cracknell, Bohemian Rhapsody or a cheesecloth shirt snap me back to my teenage years just as quickly as Aromatics Elixir, which our kind-hearted neighbour used to wear.

What was the perfume of your twenties?
I was a citrus chypre lover. Mostly it was Diorella, then L'Eau de Rochas, O de Lancome, Choc de Cardin, Chanel Cristalle and I ended in 1990 with Eau de Fleur de Cedrat by Guerlain, actually recommended to me by Roja Dove when he was visiting Dickens & Jones one day. I still love all of those.

What was your biggest perfume mistake?
I can't think of anything significant. A perfume mistake isn't going to do any serious damage is it? Perhaps selling my early Aqua Allegorias for a fiver each at a car boot sale when I was a bit broke.

You can only choose one perfume, what would it be?
I would choose Diorella because it's a joy and a wonder; fruit, flowers, woods, oakmoss - all in perfect balance.

What perfume should I try?
Get Miles from Detaille, a tiny Paris perfumer which has been in the same place on the Rue St Lazarre since 1905. It's a red fruit chypre, intended for men but ignore all that nonsense and wear whatever you like.

For more information on 4160 Tuesdays perfumes and workshops please visit the website.

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