Thursday night seen Stuart and I take part in a spot of culture. The Scottish Poetry Library was hosting an evening called ‘My Life in Poetry (& Perfume) with Alex Musgrave’. Alex blogs as The Silver Fox, a beautiful blog where he describes perfumes and fragrance so poetically that I can almost smell the scents wafting from my PC! As the name of the evening suggests, Alex is lover of perfume and poetry, I must admit a combination I would have never put together.
A secret of mine (that Stuart didn’t even know!) is that I have been a bit of a lover of poetry for most of my life, taking part in many a verse speaking competition as well as a kid!! I also love perfume, as indicated by the many bottles that adorn my dressing table. So in some ways, this event was perfect for me!
The evening took place in Palm House at the Royal Botanic Gardens, and thankfully it was suitably sunny making it an evening more beautiful venue. We were greeted by the sounds of music and popping of corks from champagne bottles.
After a while of mingling and sniffing the perfumes that would be talked about during the course of the evening, we were seated. Our host was Jennifer Williams from the Scottish Poetry Library, who introduced us first of all to Ian Edwards, Head of Exhibitions and Events at the Gardens, who talked to us about the flowers that go into perfumes. He also had a display of these plants and were able to have a sniff of those afterwards. He did warn us though not too sniff too hard at the Ylang Ylang, apparently its a bit of an aphrodisiac!
Jennifer then introduced us to Alex, who started by reading an excerpt from the book he is writing entitled – ‘Swoon’. Alex had chosen 9 poems (one written by himself) to read for the evening and matched them to 9 fragrances. He described the meaning of the poems, and how the the scent of the perfumes links with the poem and its meaning. Afterwards we got the chance to sniff the perfumes again, and after having heard the poems the smells meant more and you can see how he related them. We also got a chance to speak to Alex himself afterwards around the perfume table, where he talked further about the fragrances.
It was a fragrant and insightful evening, choosing a perfume will never be the same again!