|Elvis comes to Stafford|
"As part of the new lifestyle channel launched last month, Estée Edit, beauty giant Estée Lauder has commissioned rising star Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar to whip up the cookie version of Ms Lauder's personal perfume, 'Private Collection'. To evoke the perfume's signature Bulgarian rose scent, the Estée Cookie is made with rose extract and freeze-dried strawberries."
Okay, so the cookie recreates a facet of Private Collection the perfume, but not its distinctive green character, I infer. Even so, the Estée Cookie is a foodstuff that smells consciously of a fragrance.
|The Estée Cookie ~ Source:refinery29.com|
This in turn got me thinking about that rather oddball restaurant in Spain I featured on Bonkers last year - El Celler de Can Roca - which set out to capture famous scents in pudding form eg Shalimar, Eternity, Terre d'Hermès etc. Here is the description of the Hermès dessert again, taken from a Thai gastro blog called Sfreelife:
"Jordi had to distil the earth and pour the clear liquid over the chocolate-orange heavenly combination. The other key elements include patchouli, jasmine, pomelo, shiso and beetroot leaf."
So there are further examples of foods that deliberately set out to replicate a perfume - I'll call this 'the third degree' of perfume ingestion, on the basis that - as with burns - 'first' is the strongest / most severe.
Then the other day I clocked this comment on Carlos J Powell's Facebook wall - also, as it happens, on the subject of Shalimar. In this instance his friend was inadvertently reminded of the iconic scent by a drink:
|Shalimar-alike ~ Source: intoxicology.net|
"Tasting perfume, funny you should mention it. My sis made me a Dark and Stormy - ginger beer, dark rum, and lime - and my first reaction was, Good Lord, I'm drinking Shalimar!"
Clearly this was a pleasant experience for Carlos's friend, and to all intents and purposes this may be no different from the dishes at El Celler de Can Roca, because no actual perfume is used there either - not even in the Estée Cookie, for that matter - the perfumes are consciously or unconsciously conjured up using what are, broadly speaking, 'normal' culinary ingredients. I put 'normal' in inverted commas, as the recipe for Terre d'Hermès sounds a mite weird if you ask me. ;)
But...Carlos's original post was about a less pleasant experience, namely that of ingesting actual perfume in a crowded subway, which I will term 'the second degree'. He probably is eating the stuff in the atmosphere, albeit in fairly dilute form. Kind of fitting, given that Angel was such a ground-breaking gourmand perfume...
"Truth be told, I'm a fan of Thierry Mugler Angel, it's just a shame that most women who wear it tend to over apply. Coming home on the 6 train after work, I stood next to a woman all dolled up, obviously going out tonight, but I could taste how much Angel she was wearing." (Italics are my own)
Which brings me to 'the first degree' of perfume ingestion, which happened to me this week with some fragrance oil samples that arrived from a London-based company much given to hyperbole (thereby hangs a tale for another day), and called Signature Fragrances. The samples had very small plastic tops relative to the overall proportions of the vial, and they were terribly tight. And I mean terribly. I am quite resourceful in matters of taking tops off - only this lunchtime I channelled my mother and used the boiling water technique to loosen the lid on some homemade chutney. In other words I am not usually daunted by a plastic stopper. Till now.
|The Riddle of The Terribly Tight Vial Top|
So in the end, I used my teeth, didn't I? There simply was no other way. The sample I had the particular problem with was thankfully the less potent of the two. I would counsel readers under no circumstances to remove the top of a vial containing 'Overbearing Desire' by Déjà Vu Oils with their teeth. No, I bit off the top of the other sample of Modern Touch. Rather ironic, when you consider how low tech and primeval my grappling touch was in the end. Modern Touch is described as 'sensual, salient, calm, fruity, sweet'. Oh my goodness, I missed the strapline on the bottom of the sample cards:
"THE MOST PUNGENT FRAGRANCES IN THE WORLD"
So, sod's law that I ended up eating a perfume oil described in these alarming terms. Well, obviously I wasn't intending to eat it, but that is the unfortunate consequence of wrenching a stopper off in this way. There is an unavoidable degree of collateral ingestion. So how did it taste? Um...pass. It was sweet and oily is about the best you are going to get from me. It really wasn't an experience I would like to repeat, and I may be trying to erase it from my memory. It stayed in my mouth for a fair old while, though I did rinse with water and whatnot.
Oh, this amused me...the Yahoo answers to 'wat happens if u eat perfume':
"am pretty sure it won't harm you"
"why the f*** would you eat perfume" (Asterisks are my own)
"if it was dangerous they wouldn't be Abel to sell it"
No, they'd get 'cained' for that, no doubt...
And the moral of the story? Pliers, probably. Or get Elvis's redoubtable gnasher on the case...!
|DON'T BE FOOLED! ~ Source: stratfordshopping.co.uk|
PS Here is the video to which Tara refers in her comment below!