As I write down this lines from time to time I grab the balloon and swirl it slowly, with sensual pleasure. Oh, what a satisfaction to have big masculine hands and feel it merge into the palm, looking as the bronze rhum sways, hides and shows leaving his almost oily trace on the glass.The aroma it exhales is so powerful, woody and slightly caramel-like that's almost a perfume on its own. I can't help it but thinking of scents like Frapin 1697 or Mona di Orio's Vanille carrying its olfactory vessel just docked from the French West Indies right to my nostrils. I reach for it and get some on me adding alcohol to alcohol, mixing fragrance with fragrance. Who knows if it's been this way that the flamboyant Jean Patou in 1930 got the idea of opening inside his shop at No. 7 in rue Saint-Florentin the first bar de parfums ever.
During the prohibition years while Cole Porter was winning Paris with "Let's do it, let's fall in love!", Jean Patou was making his fortune in the States with his cutting-edge fashion and his eccentric manners. When in 1927 crisis forced him to close his overseas store, the Maison best customers coming to Europe for business trips availed themselves of the opportunity to take their wives to the boutique to buy the most à la page garnments. So meanwhile ladies investigated the collection, Patou thought about setting up a bar offering drinks to cheer up husbands. The idea was so successful to ispire the in house perfumer Henri Alméras that composed fragrances like Bar à Parfums (1929), Cocktail (1930) and the three variations Cocktail Dry, Cocktail Sweet and Cocktail Bittersweet. Much ahead of his time, Patou decided to offer his customers these bases instead of drinks, allowing women to mix them with other essences to create sort of bespoke perfumes.
Inspired by these deco atmosphere, me and my friend Antonio Alessandria from Boudoir 36 thought to bring back side by side clinking glasses and flacons, playing jazz while pourring cocktails and perfumes to please taste and smell with a pinch of esxess for alcohol and luxury. On Sunday April 22, from 6.00pm don't miss Verres et Flacons if you are close to Catania!