Well technically it wasn’t a “sell-out” crowd because the Westmount Public Library didn’t sell tickets to my lecture but pretty well all 60 seats were taken! It was quite a thrill!
You know… I’m always stunned when people show up at my perfume lectures because it’s a very odd topic and I would say that perfume is very badly covered in the press and on tv. So often, the focus on perfume is centred around what women should wear… you know, personalities and perfume types and that’s not my thing. I always tell people to wear what they want to wear… period! Before one of my lectures a woman approached me and asked me what I thought of Fémininité du Bois because someone who apparently had the power to just look at you and tell you what perfume to wear had decided that FdB was for her! I told her to wait… Fémininité du Bois was part of my line-up of perfumes for the evening and that she should decide for herself. At the end, she said that of the 25 perfumes that she sniffed, FdB was the least liked. I rest my case.
So… when I come along and talk about dates… and chemistry… and world history… and anti-semitism… and fads… well, smart people get it right away! One comment heard after my Westmount lecture was that the person couldn’t believe that I could talk about perfume for 90 minutes! You know… they were right. I can’t! I need at least two hours… and even then, I’m taking shortcuts. Lots of them.
But whether I’m talking to a “sell-out” crowd in the stunning Westmount room or to a handful of people in a library basement with no Internet connection and nothing but a beige wall to project on… I ALWAYS have a great time and I’m ALWAYS grateful for the opportunity. It’s the people that I love… their stories and their memories. It’s ALWAYS a privilege to meet people interested in perfume.
And last Wednesday I even had my own Oprah moment. The good people at Jo Malone of Holt Renfrew had prepared little sample kits of 3 different colognes for each participant. So… at the end of the lecture, I could tell the participants that they were all going home with A NEW CAR (!!!)… well, not a car but a Jo Malone sample kit… it was magical!
I hope to continue writing during the holidays but if you don’t have time to come back… Season’s Greetings to everyone!
Top image : Yours truly in the Westmount room. Photo taken by Sébastien Roy©2012
Bottom image : Photo of the Westmount greenhouse (adjacent to the Westmount Public Library) taken the evening of the lecture by Sébastien Roy©2012