For London Craft Week 2019, The Beaumont plays host to some of the stars of contemporary British perfumery, each of whom has specially created a new fragrance for the Jimmy Beaumont Perfume Collection.
The brief was to design a bespoke scent - personal or ambient, in any format (perfume, scented candle, body spray, oil) - inspired by a character in The Beaumont's gallery of rebels and reprobates from the golden age of stage and screen.
Among those taking part are Tom Daxon, Ormonde Jayne, Floris London, Paul Schütze, Sarah McCartney of 4160 Tuesdays, The Experimental Perfume Club, and Penhaligons, and their inspirations range from Lord Berners to Dolores del Rio, F Scott Fitzgerald and Vita Sackville West.
Some of the perfumes are available to purchase; some perfumers will create bespoke fragrances.
Visitors will be able to experience the Jimmy Beaumont Perfume Collection, thus named after the hotel's fictional founder, in the hotel's striking Art Deco lobby from Wednesday 8 to Sunday 12 May, from 10.30am to 8.30pm.
Sarah McCartney has created two bespoke perfumes, inspired by Lord Berners and Dolores del Rio. For the latter, McCartney has used orange blossom, vanilla and cocoa absolute to create a fragrance for Dolores' second film career in Mexico. She loved her gardens, and adored perfume: she is said to have combed perfume into her hair "to drive men wild". Sarah McCartney recommends that Drive Them Wild is combed into hair, just as Dolores did.
Baron Berner's scent will be informed by the exotic blooms with which he filled his house, the huge pots of geraniums on his terrace, the wild rose and mock orange tangled up in his hedges and the smell of cedar bonfires.
Inspired by Stephen Tennant, The Experimental Perfume Club has created Rose Extravagant, a bespoke fragrance created from their Layers collection, inspired by Stephen Tenant, a gentleman who was bold and colourful in nature, a socialite before his time. Created with Layers Eau de Parfum: 2 parts Bergamot/Incense, 3 parts Rose/Rhubarb and 3 parts Amber/Iris, this fragrance encapsulates everything he represented, colourful yet dark, masculine yet feminine. An inviting Bergamot with spicy undertones of frankincense and juniper berry will you draw you in with its zing and brightness. A softer heart yet colourful and tangy with Rose and Rhubarb, brings vibrancy and unique personality. A powdery Amber/Iris wraps you up in comforting friendliness.
Inspired by Lady Leolia Lindsay, Penhaligon's has selected a Chypre Rose fragrance from its Made to Measure. Chypre is famously a warm and dry and mossy accord which would have been very much in fashion during the heyday of the 'Bright Young People'. It was first created by Coty in 1917, taking its inspiration from Cyprus, the land of Aphrodite. Blended with Rose de Mai from Grasse, which adds a rounded cool sensuality, Penhaligon's Chypre Rose is no doubt fitting for such a Lady as Loelia Lindsay.
Inspired by Nancy Cunard, Tom Daxon has created Iridium 71% in bespoke hand painted bottle. Inspired by the opulence of the age we have produced an unprecedently high concentration of Iridium* for Nancy Cunard. A passionate champion of the latest arts and fashions, we think Nancy would have loved Iridium's very modern take on a classic and noble ingredient: iris (the dry, gin botanicals juniper and angelica might not hurt either given Nancy's fondness for a drink…). The hand painted bottle design is a nod to Nancy's love of the Cubist art movement as well as some of the design elements at the Beaumont Hotel.
'The Great Gatsby' is one of Linda Pilkington's favourite books, so she created a perfume inspired by F Scott Fitzgerald's protagonist Jay Gatsby, who was famous for throwing extravagant parties in his gorgeous mansion, for his endless entertainment and Champagne towers on every corner. A man who essentially came from nothing, making his money from "bootlegging" in illegal side street drug stores, he fell madly in love with Daisy Buchanan, who became the object of his obsession. The Gatsby perfume is inspired by all that we desire and want from romance. It is a perfume that evokes obsession and infatuation, reflecting Gatsby's fixation with Daisy. At the same time, The Gatsby, with its three different blended vetivers with a cologne top note, exudes power and is super cool in style, conjuring up Gatsby's unflappable, fine linen suits and detached demeanour, cutting through the heat of the party churning all around him.
Inspired by the indomitable Vita Sackville-West, writer, sensualist, gay icon, libertine, lover of Virginia Wolf and creator of the wonder that are the gardens at Sissinghurst, Paul Schutze has created V.S.W.
This fragrance evokes Vita's restless energies, her oscillations between masculine and feminine, her love of the exotic from her Roma roots to her time in Istanbul, Tehran and Isfahan. One must remember that the eponymous hero of Virginia Wolf's Orlando was directly inspired by Vita's extraordinary character and singularly fluid sexuality.
The perfume contains - ambergris, eaglewood, green cognac, hay, lentisque, neroli, oakmoss, oakwood, orris, pink pepper, sandalwood, tobacco, violet leaf & yuzu.
Inspired by the audacious personality of Texas Guinan and the speakeasy of which she was the queen, Floris London has created 'The 300 Club', a bold Chypre fragrance. The perfume is as multifaceted as Texas herself, everything from classy and elegant to wild and outspoken. The lively citrus top notes announce a heady yet tender floral heart which descends into resins, moss and leather, bringing to mind different elements from the club - the forbidden liquors, fur and feathers from the showgirls' outfits and cigarette smoke flowing in the air.
A dark woody-floral scent inspired by the sense of the time, brought back to life with rare ingredients of our era.