A couple of months ago I was in the Strand Arcade visiting Robert from Strand Hatters. Whilst I was there I kept on him about an idea which seemingly no retailer was touching.
My idea, which I do hope somebody now does given that I am offloading that idea onto the winds of the internet in the hope that they reach some enthusiastic and hungry entrepreneur who is looking for something new to chew on, in a nutshell the idea is this... Travel perfume atomisers, which are the greatest invention since sliced bread, are now very cheap to buy, not more than $1 each I believe. If you were to curate a wonderful range of colognes and perfumes for each sex in a small boutique or kiosk, say a selection of the best of the best at the moment, you offer the customer a chance to choose the perfumes that they would like to try, you pump the perfume into an atomiser, then you charge them for the atomiser plus the percentage of the bottle used to to fill the atomiser.
This means that on scents from companies such as Creed, Santa Maria Novella, Tom Ford and other luxury brands, where the individual bottle is upwards of $300AUD, you can use and wear the fragrances in an atomiser form at a fraction of the price until such time as you are comfortable enough to buy a whole bottle. OR, you do no such thing, and just keep hopping between fragrances.
Robert wasn't thrilled with my proposal, it was too far removed from the superlative fedora and panama hats they sold, but he asked me to take a stroll across the Strand to another business that was selling men's perfumes and colognes, Men'z Biz, which is also a barber.
He walked over to the shelf and pulled down a tester and said "I wan't you to try this, tell me if you smell a bushfire".
Well, I'll be damned. As soon as the scent hit my wrist I could already feel the heat and scent of charred smokey embers whilst wild bushfire continued to burn in my peripheral vision. I could sense that dry arid air of an Australian summer when everything wants to burst into flames. I was so taken aback that I had to gather my senses.
"I cannot believe it. I cannot believe what that just evoked in me" I said to Robert.
"I know, it's wild", he said. He added , "She's Australian. Her name is ...... " - and I promptly forgot what he said, and the name of the perfume.
As fate would have it a few weeks back an attractive stylist who had a sort of Sophia Loren meets New York intellectual look about her came into our Le Noeud Papillon Studio in Sydney looking for clothes and accessories for a television commercial and she brought her friend with her, an eccentrically dressed woman with an extraordinarily unique style and manner about her that instantly caught my eye. Her hair was black and white, finished with a sailors hat in leather, big rings and bangles on her hands, some with beetles trapped in acetate.
As we talked and talked about all sorts of stuff somehow I came to the topic of fragrance and I asked them if they would like to smell the scent we were currently running. We meandered through that topic until I said "there is an Australian woman who makes this perfume, I tried it once, and it smells like an Australian bushfire". As luck would have it, the very same lady was who makes that perfume was standing right in front of me. "That's my perfume, my name is Naomi Goodsir".
Well, as many of our blog readers will know, over the years we've had a number of coincidences and lucky encounters, but this one had a certain level of serendipity about it that, contrary to all my usual suspicious and negative thinking, I felt was 'meant to be'.
She promised to stop by and return again and true to her word yesterday I had the pleasure of both women again at the Studio and this time I am now in possession of her wonderful scent Bois D'Ascèse - or what I would prefer to call 'Bois Des Cendres Australienne" ....
I am not much of a perfume describing type, so perhaps I just ought to shoot from the hip when I describe how it smelt for me. I sensed smoke, wood, tobacco, whiskey, amber, dried grass, rust, BBQ, church incense and perhaps some mixed spices.
Whilst Bois D'Ascèse is most definitely not an everyday scent and may not win over every passer by, it is quite possibly the most charismatic fragrance I have ever come across. If it were an actor it might be a Daniel Day Lewis, if it were a singer it might be a Freddy Mercury. This perfume is something of an outlier and whilst I highly recommend it, I might also add that it might be the kind of perfume you need to wear first before you fall in love. It might be precisely the kind of perfume that would work for my big budding business idea.
In the meantime, for those of you who trust my words - you can buy it here.
|A scent not necessarily designed for Australia but containing a winning formula which conjured up a scent akin to an Australian bushfire - Bois D'Ascèse by Australian designer Naomi Goodsir|