True story by ecodecoarora
Originally posted elsewhere on 2 December 2010

What a wonderful, intimate evening I spent at the Alliance Française of Toronto this week seated in front of Patricia de Nicolaï, renowned perfume creator, businesswoman and great grand-daughter of Pierre Guerlain, whose namesake fragrance company is appreciated globally. She initiated her curious audience to a cursory introduction of the history, science and art of perfume creation. Her slideshow chronologically explored a story spanning hundreds of years to modern day and up to the introduction of marketing as a clever then new tool to promote what are now some of the world’s legendary perfumes. Not only was it delightful for me to engage sensorially in Madame de Nicolaï’s elegantly spoken French but it was viscerally satisfying to indulge in her passion while we sampled rare essences from her black velvet fragrance box, which we were invited to take away!

As a student living in Paris in the 90s, I had been gifted a sublime bottle of Caron perfume seductively entitled N’Aimez Que Moi. It was chosen by EL with much thought and obvious good taste and I have always loved the scent, both sensual and exotic. But until that evening I had never known its makeup. Now informed, I can say that the principle ingredients include clove, geranium and vanilla, though its composition remains a tidy secret. Lives have certainly changed since I received this special gift, but what does remain, other than the delicate architectural bottle which I still cherish, is the wonderful nostalgia this powdery smell conjures. It made me happy, mais c’etait aussi pour le plaisir d’autrui. Thankfully, my good memories have staying power.

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