The relationship between food and perfume

January 03, 2014 BY PERMANENT STYLE

Among fans of craft and tailoring, I find there is a relative even split between those that are into fragrance and those that aren’t. Perhaps it is a question of the breadth of their aesthetic range. There is a direct correlation, however, between foodies and perfume-lovers. If you care about appreciation of all the finer things in life, it seems, including both clothing and food, then perfume is an obvious part of the mix.

Fragrance is also a big part of taste, of course. A man with a cold finds all his taste buds oddly deadened. It is natural that such olfactory discernment should therefore extend to perfume. And what a range there is to discover! So much greater than food, from the bitterest to the sweetest smells, plus woods and oils that would never be considered in the kitchen.

It is this range that is often sacrificed in cheaper perfumes. In an article I wrote a few months ago on how to buy perfume, I suggested that only a fragrance costing more than £80 (for 50ml) indicates that the creator has had free range of ingredients in creating his scent.

Of course there are nice, simple perfumes that use cheap ingredients. A lot of the early colognes are of this variety. Some great cooking also uses cheap ingredients – peasant food such as pizza often enjoys wide popularity for its simplicity and flexibility. But no three-Michelin-starred restaurant cooks just pizza.

Simon Crompton is a London based, freelance menswear journalist. His personal blog, Permanent Style, can be found here.