Be sniffed at
4160 Tuesdays was borne after her first foray into writing a novel about a perfumer who solves peoples’ problems by mixing them a scent that will take them back to a treasured memory and a happier time. In telling her friends about the book, she was somewhat perplexed by the fact that no one said they actually wanted to read it. Instead they wanted their own perfumes.
“Sarah, I want to go back to summer days in Scarborough with the salty sea air, the smell of suntan lotion, pink peppermint rock and the vanilla ice cream bribe at the end of the day to get us back in the car,” said one friend, so What I Did On My Holidays was born, with top notes of lavender and coconut lotion, seaweed, salt, a waft of peppermint and those wonderful sounding heart notes of candy floss with a base note of the vanilla ice cream bribe.
That was it as far as Sarah was concerned. She had started mixing potions and she could not stop.
The requests kept coming in, so Tart’s Knicker Draw, The Sexiest Scent on The Planet. Ever, Evil Max and Ealing Green, among many others, were born.
Talking about Ealing Green, Sarah told me: “I’d long wanted to make a scent for Ealing, my adopted home. I met my husband at Ealing Studios in Ealing Green, at a wedding. Then I was invited to make a midsummer scent for a charity evening, using plants and flowers named in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, so I combined the two ideas and created the scent of Ealing Green on a summer evening, in the early 17th Century. It’s full of natural white thyme, green grass, violets and lavender, geraniums and roses with an earthy base.”
Sarah strikes a fantastic balance between her natural and synthetic scents with many perfumes infused with molecules taken straight from the original source. Her knowledge is extraordinary and clearly driven by passion. This is not about money or prestige for Sarah, it’s about a desire to create a little bit of magic.
Oh, and the name? If we live until we’re 80, we have 4160 Tuesdays. Tuesdays are, Sarah believes, for doing something different and she uses hers to make perfume.
I leave the 4160 Tuesdays perfumery clutching my Cuban boyfriend in a bottle, with my head swimming with pictures and my poor old olfactory bulb close to collapse.
The book is yet to be published, but the scents tell their own story.
n SMELL OF SUCCESS: Sarah McCartney