• Joanna

Sneak Peek: Sniffing Around the Sarah Baker Perfumes Studio


Written by: Joanna


Whenever I see my first cardinal, I know spring can’t be too far away. My mind wanders to thoughts of sunshine, green grass, sandy beaches and… for the love of god, step away from the custard-filled croissant from Climpson & Sons. Only a couple months 'til sundress and bathing suit season. It’s time to get in shape, let some fresh air in, toss out that dried up mascara, and update my perfumes. I walk right past the bakery, through London Fields promenade, pass by the fit women working through their HIIT routines (I’ll work out tomorrow, I promise), and over to Sarah Baker Perfume’s studio. Let’s see what she’s brewing for the spring.

Okay, A LOT is happening here! I see Daryl Hannah and Tom Hanks in a 1984 Splash promo shot. There’s a gorgeous Gucci model with a silk scarf (Sarah tells me it’s Charlotte Casiraghi, granddaughter of Grace Kelly, Princess of Hanover, and ninth in line to the throne of Monaco). Possibly another Gucci ad (Sarah has always had an affinity for all things Gucci), a reclining nude in a barn looks like the cover of a romance novel. And then I notice Lana Turner emerging from an oyster!

I got a chance to smell some of the variations. Notes of leather, peach, iris, carrot, florals… in no particular order. Some of the mods smell like the interior of a classic Rolls Royce, some have ambergris, and some smell like a nude man lying in a barn (not that I have experience in such farm romances!) I am not even sure if any of the mentioned notes will be in the final compositions!

I’ve witnessed Sarah’s workspace in the midst of projects before, and today was no different. It’s a veritable feast for all senses as I pour over hundreds of her carefully curated inspiration images and found-object tableaus for her forthcoming new perfumes while smelling all the possibilities. Sarah has been working on these fragrances for over a year. The images are culled from fashion magazines, Instagram, wheat paste street posters, billboards, supermarket tabloids, television, vintage films and art history books, Sarah is honing a very specific story with each new image. This is her process. And it’s a large part of a lengthy and thoughtful exchange with her perfumers, as images and mods are traded back and forth in the development of a new scent.

Dear Reader, I’m afraid this is all I can say right now. I snuck a few snap shots during my studio pop-in. Stay tuned for the announcement of Sarah’s new scents. For now, I can’t spoil the surprise any more than I already have.

Meanwhile, back to the park. Then perhaps some shopping. Best to start with a beach wrap before the new bikini. And maybe some new rain boots before the strappy sandals. The countryside is still so muddy this time of year.

XO, Joanna


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