A Beautiful Distraction - The power of scent to change the mood and the mindset.
One evening at home, as we sat down for dinner, Wayne leaned over to hand me the bowl of pasta. As he handed it off to me, he stopped to comment on the fragrance I was wearing . He took another more deliberate sniff of my neck, and told me I looked beautiful. It felt like a 1st date with my boyfriend-turned-husband 25 years later.
I share this with you to make the point that scent informs one of our most primal reactions and should be utilized whenever possible. It adds a very sensual element to ones presence, personality, and style.
The ancient Egyptians were the first to incorporate perfume into their culture, followed by the ancient Chinese, Hindus, Israelites, Carthaginians, Arabs, Greeks, and Romans.
Perfumery came into Europe as early as the 14th century. France quickly became the European center of perfume and cosmetic manufacturing.
Perfume came into its own when Louis XV came to the throne in the 18th century. His court was called "la cour parfumée" (the perfumed court). Madame de Pompadour ordered generous perfume supplies, and King Louis demanded a different fragrance for his apartments every day. The Court of Louis XIV was even named for the scents applied daily to the skin and clothing, fans, and furniture. Perfume substituted for soap and water. The use of perfume in France grew steadily. By the 18th century, aromatic plants were being produced in France's Grasse region to provide the growing perfume industry with raw materials. Even today, France remains the center of European perfume design and trade.
After Napoleon came to power, exorbitant expenditures for perfume continued. Two quarts of violet cologne were delivered to him each week. He is said to have used sixty bottles of double extract of jasmine every month. Josephine had stronger perfume preferences. She was partial to musk, and she used so much that sixty years after her death, the scent still lingered in her boudoir.
Along with this brief history and my affection for a fine perfume, I thought it was the perfect time to introduce you to our new Perfume Bar at Baby & Company. We are proud to introduce the launch of a stunning new perfume label out of NYC called Vilhelm Parfumerie.
I was introduced to the Vilhelm Parfumerie Label when an unexpected package showed up at the store one day. The ambitious sales rep cold-called me with an expansive box full of the Vilhelm Parfumerie samples. She was familiar with our store and acknowledged our love of fragrances given our past offerings, such as Saint Rita Parlor, Fiele & Mad et Len.
I opened the box, and my curiosity went to work. One by one, I sampled the fragrances. I went wild for each one. The names, descriptions, and ultimately the complex fragrance notes turned me into a fervent fan.
It was with one of those fragrances, Dear Polly, that I snared my husband's attention at dinner that evening. Together with his verbal proclamation, the intoxicating fragrance made me FEEL beautiful.
We hope you will read through the descriptions and explore each of our featured fragrances' scent profiles to find one that piques your interest and makes you a Vilhelm fan yourself!
We have samples ready to send out for examination and experience to enable you to find your own beautiful distraction from a world gone berserk!
Look for the Vilhelm Fragrance Bar at our Sun Valley location or at our Seattle Pop Up Collective coming this May! We will be hosting a series of Sip & Sniff fragrance events to create a much-needed dose of vivacity, combining perfume sniffing and champagne sipping. This may not be everyone's idea of fun and pleasure, but it sure is for this Baby!
PS: If Cleopatra, Coco Channel & Louie the XV were alive, they would surely be in attendance!
Born in Sweden and now living in Paris, Jan Vilhelm Ahlgren is a polymath who leaves no stone unturned. He continuously pursues a specific idea of luxury, from photo studios and perfume organs to leather goods workshops. His style: impeccable. Tailored suits, a custom blend perfume – Vilhelm Parfumerie, of course. His lifestyle: simple pleasures and lavish times – always with friends, always with laughter. His home: Paris, Lake Como, the French Riviera but also wherever the wind takes him. Consider him a modern Mr. Gatsby, one for whom charm and playfulness are the keys to getting ahead in life. Everything done with elegance, gentleness, and heart.
More than a perfume, Vilhelm Parfumerie is a library. If some scents are silences, these are tales. Within identical bottles, fragrances are narratives that call to all senses. Housed in a hefty bottle of spun glass, dressed in a yellow saffron label that nods to a piece of Bakelite found in a Parisian flea market, Northern lights, or Hollywood highlights. North and South. Freshly cut grass and caressing oud. Bracing freshness and burning summer warmth. Simple pleasures and luxurious times. Each fragrance is the culmination of a broad, creative and collaborative process – a rare blend of vintage and new that sparks recognition but not familiarity. From its dynamic, innovative scents to the heritage design and timeless prints, Vilhelm Parfumerie is a nod to the past, expressed in our contemporary olfactory language and aesthetic.
AN AFTERNOON ON MULDOON CANYON ROAD
As we have made you aware through our previous posts, there is no shortage of exceptional landscapes and backdrops in this valley to present our seasonal editorials. We chose a place Wayne and I have hiked out on Muldoon Canyon Road just past EE-DA-HO Ranch for this latest photoshoot.
We chose the arid backdrop to signal a retreat from the cold and snowy weather that was finally on its way out.
We caught the perfect afternoon light to show off the latest Spring/Summer outerwear from OOFWear.
BABY COME BACK
Baby & Company Spring / Summer Pop-up coming this May!
While our Sun Valley Outpost is to remain our fixed location, for the time being, Seattle is still our hometown!
We plan to come back seasonally to host a series of dynamic Pop-ups that will include collaborations with various local businesses and colleagues to create new and exciting retail experiences.
We have something inspiring in the works, but before we make a formal announcement with exact dates and location, we still need to work out the logistics to ensure we can provide a safe and welcoming environment for all to gather and enjoy.
We hope to bring a sense of community and fellowship back to our fractured city and beloved neighborhoods so severely bruised by the previous year.
Stand Tall, Seattle!
Hope to see you all very soon!
Jill & Wayne