I like to think that I’ve been doing this whole perfume thing for quite a while now, so trust me when I say that there really is no brand quite like 4160 Tuesdays. Based in Acton, London, 4160 Tuesdays is the brainchild of self-taught perfumer, Sarah McCartney. Sarah spent 14 years as Head Writer at cosmetics giant Lush, writing for their Lush Times magazine. After a sabbatical that never really ended, Sarah wrote a book about a “problem-solving perfumer” who bottled people’s memories. To cut a long story short, Sarah set out to take the perfumes from the page and bring them to life, and she didn’t stop there, and thus 4160 Tuesdays was born. The concept of the brand is simple – if we live to the ripe old age of 80, we will live through approximately 4160 Tuesdays, so the idea is that these days are important and should not be wasted. 4160 Tuesdays therefore celebrates the joy in life with a line of fragrances that are, amongst many other things, funny, unconventional, quirky, beautiful and emotional.
Sarah McCartney has a unique ability to inject humour into her fragrances, she also has a real knack for bottling specific moments or places in time without ever being too literal. The art of abstraction is never lost. So, with 4160 Tuesdays one is able to visit European cities such as London, Paris and Rome during specific moments in the past, smelling the rich tapestry of odours these places send forth in fragrances using ingredients available at the time. One can also travel further afield to smell the spring blossom in Tokyo (whilst nonchalantly munching on a jam sandwich) or even take a trip to Scarborough to paddle in rock pools and eat sticks of rock until a tummy ache is inevitable. There are also scents that take us deep into Sarah’s very own back story – fragrances that hold emotional links to places, people and objects that she holds dear.
In this edit, I’d like to take you on a quick guided tour of some highlights from the collection, ranging from the beautiful to the boastful, and to the bizarre. I mean it when I say that 4160 Tuesdays is one of the most exciting independent perfume houses out there. Of course, there are many houses out their crafting beautiful fragrances with exceptional ingredients but what sets 4160 Tuesdays apart is their contagious spirit that is irresistibly happy. These are bold, bright and vibrant fragrances that serve as a reminder that perfumery doesn’t always have to be about stroking the ego, or the opposite sex for that matter, it can also be a whole heap of fun.
Tokyo Spring Blossom
Let’s cut right to the chase and discuss my absolute favourite in the collection – Tokyo Spring Blossom. Inspired by a warm breeze blowing through the vast rows of cherry blossom trees that span the sprawling metropolis of Tokyo during the months of March and April, Tokyo Spring Blossom is happiness and joy liquified and bottled.
Tokyo Spring Blossom is a dreamy blend of glistening citrus (bergamot and mandarin) and a sweet heart of rose, and violets. Its most remarkable facet is the big dollop of sticky raspberry jam that folds itself delightfully into the rose and violet, creating something that is surprisingly tranquil. Tokyo is a fascinating city – a vast and bustling place unlike any other, but amongst all of the buildings, the movement and the people, are small pockets of peace – beautiful gardens or temples that present an oasis of calm. Tokyo Spring Blossom captures the spirit of these places in scent form and it’s gorgeous.
The Sexiest Scent on the Planet. Ever. (IMHO)
The Sexiest Scent on the Planet. Ever. (IMHO) may have somewhat of a boastful name, but one should remember that this moniker has been bestowed with tongue firmly pressed in cheek. Originally created as a base for a scent project with the Gin Garden, this scent smelled so good in isolation that a journalist ordained it as The Sexiest Scent on the Planet, EVER. Sarah then decided to make it a stand alone fragrance, and thus history was made.
But what makes The Sexiest Scent so darn sexy? Well, it’s the simplicity here that is key. The note at the heart of the fragrance is vanillin (the bit of the vanilla pod that makes vanilla smell the way it does), a wonderfully complex material that smells sweet, spicy, smoky and slightly honeyed. Vanillin smells pretty fab on its own, so the subtle adornments here really just add to it to make for an incredibly addictive fragrance. Bergamot adds a fuzzy, early grey tea vibe, whilst cedar extends this to a woody sharpness in the base, and ISO E Super, the olfactory equivalent of polyfiller, smoothes everything out. I honestly think that everyone should have a bottle of this in their collection.
New York 1955
With New York 1955, Sarah invites us into an ice-cream parlour in the heart of the legendary American city. The walls are decked out in pastel colours accented by vibrant neon signs, and the floor is a vast chequerboard of black and white tiles. The ice-cream itself is just as vibrant, served up in a fragrant sundae consisting of three generous scoops of raspberry, rose and violet. The result is suitably delicious and colourful.
I like to think or rose, raspberry and violet as the holy trinity of scent. These three ingredients seem made for each other, with the raspberry emphasising the jammy damascenones of the rose, and the violet drawing out the red flower’s wispy ionones. All together, New York 1955 feels like a blast of bold colours and sweet flavours, with a just enough lightness and fizz to ensure that it is never sickly or cloying. I’ll take two portions, please.
What I Did on My Holidays
Nearly every person in this green and glorious kingdom will have experienced a trip to the British seaside. Many of us will have sat on a beach, 99 in one hand, bucket and spade in the other whilst the weather leaves a lot to be desired. Sarah McCartney appears to have experienced this on at least one occasion if What I Did on My Holidays is anything to go by.
What I Did on my Holidays is a tale of a summer’s day at a British beach. It’s an unusual blend of mint, vanilla and marine notes that really does conjure up the idea of time spent smashing bits of mint rock, catching crabs in rock pools and throwing a little bit too much ice cream down the hatch. This is a summer fragrance unlike any other and where so many try, and fail to speak of exotic climes, What I Did on My Holidays sets its sights a little closer to home. It’s weird and wacky, but also utterly magical.
Pillow Talk (Exclusive to Escentual)
Now to finish off, let’s have a little bit of Pillow Talk. Now don’t worry, dear reader, I’m not going to start whispering sweet nothings in your ear (I am a married man, after all). You are safe. No, Pillow Talk is the name of one of the most recent additions to the 4160 Tuesdays collection and it presents something a little bit more sensual. Pillow talk is a bit of a sexy little number. It pairs the erotic tones of white flowers, namely jasmine and ylang ylang, with smooth woods and pepper to make a dreamy fragrance that feels soft, but hot at the same time. I for one, am happy to let this pillow do the talking.
So there you have it, highlights from one of the most exciting, humorous, beautiful and fun independent perfume lines out there and luckily for you, Escentual have added 17 fragrances in the collection to the site for you to explore and enjoy. So, if you’re looking for a touch of British eccentricity in your scents, or perhaps you’re just on the look out for something new and a little bit subversive. Whatever the reason, 4160 Tuesdays offer so much that is well worth a sniff. And let’s not forget, we’ve only got a limited number of Tuesdays in our lives, let’s not waste them with boring fragrance – let’s have fun and smell some things that are a little bit different.
To celebrate the launch of 4160 Tuesdays at Escentual, we have three fantastic prizes to give away: What I Did on My Holidays Eau de Parfum 100ml, The Sexiest Scent on the Plant. Ever. (IMHO) Eau de Parfum 100ml, and The Dark Heart of Old Havana Eau de Parfum 100ml.
All you have to do to win one of the fragrances is post a comment below and tell us which of the three you most want to try, and why. Best of luck!
Competition close date: 8th July 2015.
No purchase necessary. A purchase will not improve your chances of winning. Contest begins 1st July 2015 and ends 8th July 2015. Winners will be selected in a random drawing on or about 8th July 2015. Three prize winners will each receive one fragrance. If the winner doesn’t respond within 7 days, the competition will be redrawn. Prizes must be accepted as awarded; not redeemable in cash or credit.