24 hours in London with Emmanuelle Moeglin

In London, Emmanuelle Moeglin, the founder of Experimental Perfume Club, is in her element. The English capital has transformed this former perfume evaluator into a sponge molded by the encounters and dynamism of a city that never ceases to surprise us. Trained at ISIPCA, Emmanuelle worked for various major industry players in Paris, Barcelona and New York before moving to London five years ago.

In 2015, she imagined Experimental Perfume Club, a creation space, designed for creative people and all lovers of scents. Through her workshops, Emmanuelle demystifies the fragrance creation, teaching everyone how to use and reveal their sense of smell. Recently installed in a brand new studio in East London, the Experimental Perfume Club has become in only a few years, the inevitable place for perfumistas to visit from across the Channel.

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Your scented travel memories: Venice

“I arrive in the streets of Venice and the first thing I notice is the smell of mud that floats in the sunny air… It is not unpleasant, on the contrary, it reminds me that this city lives on the water, and that here boats are kings… I like this smell, which is actually accentuated as soon as you approach the lagoon or cross a bridge. Venice is an amazing city where one likes to either get lost or sail. Or both!

During a walk along the streets of this city, the smell of shoe polish calls out to me. It is not really the smell of polish as we know it, it is a shopkeeper who is repainting his facade, and a few minutes later, a man waxing the front of a kiosk. The sun seems to amplify this odor even further.

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The Ylang Ylang of Comoros

Off the coast of southern Africa, the Comoros archipelago stretches its high reliefs above the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Its tropical islands host an exceptional fauna and flora on which reigns a flower with a golden color. It is called ylang ylang, meaning the flower of flowers. She has had the pride of place in perfumes for a long time. Once distilled, its fragrance is found in more than 300 bottles from the most prestigious workshops on the planet. It is one of the most widely used raw materials in luxury perfumery.

Yet, this precious essence is in trouble. Inherited from the colonial past, production techniques are now outdated and difficult to renew. In this country, ranked among the poorest in the world, international perfumers and local NGOs are working together to rebuild an exceptional sector that benefits all; with creators from the north and producers from the south.

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The Tonka bean of Venezuela

Hot, gourmand, vanilla… the adjectives struggle to describe the enchanting scent of the tonka bean, one of the most precious natural ingredients of luxury perfumery. This heady almond comes from the fruit that produces a tropical tree, which grows only in South America: the Cumaru. The tonka bean is a rare raw material whose aromatic richness has captivated great perfumers for over a century.

The most sought-after tonka bean is found in a remote area of Venezuela, where the harvest season is expected every year with apprehension, because the plant is capricious, and no one can predict whether from one year to another the harvest will keep its promises. The tonka bean is today not only an economic issue, but also an environmental issue in this region of the world where the extraction of gold and the exploitation of wood are often more valuable than the delicate perfume of an almond.

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