“Do you want to smell my personality?” my colleague accosted me in the lift at work, brandishing the tiniest yellow Selfridges bag I have ever seen and waving his wrist in front of my nostrils; clearly it was a rhetorical question.
Having read a review of the pop-up bespoke scent bar at Selfridges, I was curious to hear about his experience. For the same price as a your regular mass-produced perfume you can supposedly get your perfect fragrance by answering some personality questions on an iPad. If you want a more in depth analysis you can have a one-to-one consultation for a slightly higher price. I have to say I was rather impressed and envious of the scent my colleague came back with, sadly I don’t think I’ll have the time to go but it sounds like jolly good fun as you only have to pay if you want the bottle of your concoction and not for the process. You might find something surprising about yourself. This acquaintance was my incentive to research into Selfridges current ‘Beauty Project’. Normally, I’m quite cynical about these events which aim to boost store footfall but with all credit to the nation’s yellow department store chain they appear to have some interesting events planned which aim to provoke discussion about today’s concept of beauty. In our image and media bombarded lives we cannot fail to pass judgement on the good, the bad and ‘oh dear me!’ fugly, and as these events make clear, we are not just rating girls. Among London’s Jo Malone box printing session and debate on body enhancement debate chaired by Professor Alessandra Lemma, Birmingham hosts an evening with Warwickshire County cricketers Laurie Evans and Richard Jones centred around the topic of how the looks of sportsmen have become increasingly linked to their careers.
Some events have already taken place but a there are still more on the bill at all the stores nationwide and a photography exhibition by the photographer and filmmaker Norbert Schoener which features eight un-known models chosen to represent different definitions of beauty until June 12th. You can try convincing yourself that some retail time is some cerebral exercise..