What does it mean to be both an artist and a perfumer? Writer and fragrance editor Nicola Thomis ponders this question, along with numerous others, and puts them to Sarah Baker in an interview that she has released as a podcast entitled ‘Fragrance and Art with Sarah Baker’ on her popular The Sniff site.
"She came from America, land of the free, with nails as red as blood and a trail of broken hearts in her wake. London was her home now, as much as any place could claim her. And many places had tried. She spent her days training in the elusive art of perfumery so she could steal souls and take names, fragrantly, of course." - Nicola Thomis in her podcast intro.
Less of an interview and more of a conversation between Nicola and Sarah, the result is informative, revealing and fun. Nicola’s rollicking, hyperbolic intro, itself an homage to Sarah Baker’s work as an artist, is a masterclass in how to grab the audience’s attention from the get-go.
Niclola puts interesting questions to Sarah that go beyond the world of perfumery, starting out with Sarah’s practice as an artist. But, don’t be worried that it’s a heavy, intellectual exercise: Nicola is just as inquisitive for a bit of benign celebrity gossip such as what it was like for Sarah to work with Donatella Versace and Helena Christensen on special projects. What did they talk about on the set between takes? Or the story of how Sarah came to interview Jackie Collins. Who wouldn’t want to know, right?
This discussion of Sarah’s work as an artist and across media in other disciplines such as fashion and design provides a really interesting context before they get down to details of perfume making, the realities of running a fragrance house and the process by which Sarah made some of the fragrances that she’s published as a perfumer such as Flame & Fortune.
If you are interested in knowing more about how Sarah’s work as an artist informs her work as a perfumer and running a fragrance house, this really is a go-to, access-all-areas insight into the brand, all the better for taking the form of a relaxed podcast shaped by Nicola’s thought provoking questions and astute insights.
“We are interested in how each one of our fragrances does have a story to tell, with characters and places. We’ve kinda decided to go back and refocus on that. So, while we do have upcoming releases, we’re taking a little bit of time to go back to all of our fragrances and retell the stories more explicitly.” - Sarah Baker
Thank you so much Nicola for this fantastic opportunity to share the really key relationship between art and fragrance at the House of Sarah Baker.
To hear exactly why we've enjoyed listening to this podcast so much, just click "play" below.