Agence de Parfum and Myer Melbourne hosted their first Seasonal Winter Perfume and Cocktail Master Class last week; the first of many masterclasses to come. Guests were treated to perfume-inspired cocktails, designed by Melbourne mixologist and passionate perfumer Justin Ryann Forsyth of Cantina Acland Street Bar, based on ingredients from Galerie de Parfum’s most acclaimed winter fragrances.
Galerie de Parfum at MYER is the first niche perfumery in the country, bringing boutique fragrances from around the world, particularly France, to Australia for the first time. Inspired by great French perfumeries, Galerie de Parfum houses nine of the world’s most coveted niche fragrance brands with scents from Costume National, Juliette Has A Gun, Keiko Mecheri, L’Artisan Parfumeur, Mark Buxton, Penhaligon’s, Neotantric, Robert Piguet, Lubin and P Frapin & Cie lining the shelves.
The debut event was exuding luxury right from the start. As this is the Winter masterclass, there was a heavy focus on seasonal flavours and scents. “Everyone should have different perfumes in their cupboards based on seasons,” said Lucy Settle, our host and perfume expert for the evening.
We were presented with no ordinary cocktail menu. There were cocktails named after fragrances and fragrances named after cocktails. Justin led us, step by step, through each of his cocktails; the ingredients, and techniques. Of course we all knew that traditionally the rule of thumb for a stirred cocktail 25 stirs to the right and 25 stirs to the left, yes?
We were encouraged to smell a perfume, then sip its partner cocktail, then smell the scent again.
The first fragrance was Empress Eu de Toilette by Penhaligon’s. It was made with a sandalwood base and defined as a “woody Oriental” with fresh and crisp notes on the finish, and described as simplicity and luxury. The matching cocktail was a lip-smacking blend of Belvedere vodka, muddled strawberries, lemon juice, vanilla bean syrup and champagne. If you were ever wondering how to epitomise luxury in a drink, this is it. Simple, luxurious, fruity and floral.
Delving into the depths of winter next, we sampled Korrigan Eau de Parfum by Lubin, one of the oldest perfume houses in Europe. “To me, it’s just like sitting by the fireplace. Perfect for winter,” said Myer Melbourne Galerie de Parfum Manager, Ricky Katyal. The cocktail to match was unlike any I’ve ever experienced and yes, the scent and taste transported me to that spot by the fire. Justin created liquid gold with his blend of cognac, scotch whiskey, cinnamon and, in his words, “a whole heap of butter.” This decadent custard-like cocktail seemed to be the highlight of everyone’s night.
After 7 stunning scents and drinks, we finished with a Gin Fizz by Lubin. Yes, the fragrance is actually titled “Gin Fizz.” A very effervescent fragrance with Sicilian lemon as a top note. The strong citrus presence took me straight to the Amalfi Coast. Before her royal wedding in Monaco, Grace Kelly wore Gin Fizz, and the bottle design is based on the shape of her torso. The fragrance was released in celebration of Grace Kelly’s first Academy Award win. The cocktail? A gin fizz naturally. But Justin put a little autumn twist on the drink by adding some seasonal mandarin peel. A perfect palate cleanser and perfect note to finish on.
These sensory events will run seasonally with executively-designed seasonal cocktails to match the hand-picked scents. I left the winter event feeling absolutely pampered, as well as knowledgable. The spring event will be a must.
Galerie de Parfum at Myer Melbourne Bourke Street Melbourne
Contact: Ricky Katyal at Galerie de Parfum: (03) 9661 1274
For more information, visit www.agencedeparfum.com.au