Barbery-Coulon & her bookshelf of bottles via Into the Gloss
Into the Gloss's Top Shelf interview series is a treat for nosy folks like me, who like to peek into people's medicine cabinets (and kitchen cupboards and bedroom closets--invite me over!). In the latest installment, Lili Barbery-Coulon talks a lot about fragrance, perfumers, and smell. An excerpt:
I love opening the bottles and just smelling them, and I make my daughter smell them too, because it’s very important to get trained because we’re not used to using our nose anymore. It used to be one of the most efficient senses of all the senses. It used to enable you to be able to say, ‘Is this food going to make me sick?’ Or, ‘Is there danger somewhere?’ Or, ‘Am I attracted to this person?’ You would be driven by your nose all the time. And now, we’ve shot our connections to fragrances, to skin—like, skin has to smell fresh and clean all the time. We’re covered with products that don’t let us smell the original skin, like, no odor—our fragrance, our scent. I think it’s very important that we all train ourselves to smell because it makes you feel better when you have food. For my kid, I mean, I think parfum should be taught in school. It would be so great, to be able to read, to smell, you know? To read, smell, write—just part of everything. But of course, it’s not something that people think is important. I try to let her smell.
What would it be like to learn to smell in school? I hardly remember talking about smell in the classroom at all, except in the context of lessons about the five senses (in fifth grade, we ate an apple and a potato with our eyes blindfolded and our noses clothespinned), or when we would receive a scratch n' sniff sticker with certain hot lunches (a dill pickle sticker is nearly reason enough to endure 'barf on a rock' and other school lunch specialties). If you have children, how do you teach them to smell? About smell?