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The Lion Cupboard – The Ultimate Hug - June 20, 2014 New Fragrance Listing

Image - rubylane.com Antiques - Lion's head Carving

Every once in a while I come across a perfumer whose work sets my senses a-spinnin’. Their fragrances feel like they were made just for me, to tease and feed my olfactory hunger no matter which one I pick up and sniff. Sarah McCartney, a self-taught perfumer from London, England, is my newest discovery, an artist that I just “get”. I feel like I know her and she knows me, which is crazy, but that’s the feeling.

Her line of seventeen handmade niche perfumes is called 4160 Tuesdays, a quirky name which she explains on her Homepage:

“…if we live until we're 80, we have 4160 Tuesdays. That's all. Let's not waste them. Let's use them to write, think, make and do lovely things. On a Tuesday, do something different…

….4160 Tuesdays is all about being creative: mindful observation, nerd-like fascination, endless exploration and - fingers crossed - mixing it all up and having good ideas. At least once a week. If we can't be bright and brilliant every day, at least let's have a crack at making Tuesdays interesting.”

The names of her scents are also quirky and creative, and when I read further about Ms. McCartney (no relation to you-know-who) I learn that she was the editor of LUSH TIMES for fifteen years so her ironic humour is no accident, she owns an impressive collection of vintage perfumes, and her mentor was Mark Constantine, the perfumer and creator of LUSH stores for whom she worked.  The Great Randello, Evil Max, The Sexiest scent on the Planet. Ever. (IMHO), Sunshine and Pancakes, Invisible Ben, A Kiss by the Fireside – I want to smell all of them, just because of their names. No Eau de, no Bois de, in this smart niche collection.

And I love her simple idea – tune in and focus, be creative, make Tuesdays meaningful! So I had a crack at it this past Tuesday – I was totally mindful and observant and explorer-like, and then went into heaven-scented orbit as I became nerd-ily fascinated, my nose stuck to my wrists, a result of spritzing one of Sara’s lovely scents. It’s called The Lion Cupboard.

Before she made the transition to creating rather than writing about perfume, Sarah McCartney was requested by her sister, Ruth, to “make me the lion cupboard… the lion cupboard is the Victorian carved cabinet where my dad kept his gloves, hats and scarves. He died in 2002, without time to say goodbye, and when Ruth visited the house, she would open the cupboard doors and breathe the scent of a hug from our dad… It took us three goes, and now we have it! So it's become the scent of the hug you'd get when you'd meet on the train station." - Sarah McCartney

The Lion Cupboard is wonderful. It’s  masculine, and it is perfect. Opening with mint, citrus (lime, I think) and herbal lavender, the top accord soon takes on resiny-sweetish pipe tobacco scent, especially when the woods, helichrysum, aniseed, come up into the heart. I can smell the inside of the old oak cabinet, and I can see the carved lions peering down from their perch on the top.

A waft of juniper berry, redolent of their Dad’s gin and tonic, melts into dark patchouli, and the bottom accord becomes woody and aromatic as the all the notes rise and merge together. Deep and smooth with woods and chocolate-y patchouli, warmed by golden helichrysum, slightly spicy from lavender and juniper, the scent becomes mellow, and deeply satisfying.

Quiet and masculine, The Lion Cupboard isn’t at all metro or macho, it just smells really GOOD. It truly feels like a hug from a beloved man, strong and comforting from a father, or tender and loving from a mate, which is why I love wearing it. I love being hugged.

The Lion Cupboard is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1ml.