Monday morning on October 3rd Denise Hamilton, critically acclaimed author and perfume contributor to the LA Times Magazine, stopped in for an interview. She was gathering data for her monthly column which would focus on natural perfume.
As of late Denise has been promoting her latest novel Damage Control at local book stores here in Los Angeles and beyond. While visiting at the house she mentioned that she has come across a large contingent of people who love perfume but can no longer wear them due to allergies. As an alternative for this chemically sensitive tribe, which includes myself, she decided to focus the November column of the times on natural perfume.
The perfume community has embraced Denise and her new book wholeheartedly. Here is a snippet I found written by Angela over at Now Smell This:
“When I cracked open the novel Damage Control, I knew I’d have some good reading ahead. The dedication began, “This one’s for the perfumistas.” Add that the book’s author, Denise Hamilton (shown above right), is the Los Angeles Times’ fragrance columnist as well as a bestselling crime writer, and I was ready to call in sick and spend the day on the couch, book in hand.”
Although I had “friended” Denise on facebook prior to her visit, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Upon opening the front door I felt an immediate kinship and offered her some water botanically enhanced with her choice of jasmine, frankincense, or agarwood hydrosol. After spritzing her with each one she settled on jasmine.
We sat down to chat with our jasmine elixirs and a tray freshly made cara sucias (a type of Argentina scone). I told her my story beginning with graduating from Otis when it was in dowtown up to the present. I showed her the oak grove, which with the help the local community, we managed to save. We walked out among the oaks onto the hillside to observe both thriving hives of rescued bees, one of which was from the LA Times building.
I then brought her into the studio where we began an olfactory exploration with a collection of vintage fragrances, many of which Denise was intimately familiar with. Since her most recent article for the times had focused on precious oud I had her sniff a few different varieties my my stash. She also experienced a sneak peek (sniff) of the new perfume I’ve been working on which will be released shortly.
By mid afternoon Denise was completely satiated. As she left I took her into the front garden pointing out the different plants which had been tinctured and infused for perfume.
I’m really grateful to have had the opportunity to spend some time with Denise and been included in the article, which you can read in it’s entirety by following this link.
Images: LATimes Sunday Magazine cover and page 32 full size and segment, Damage Control book cover and photo via Denise Hamilton’s website, photo of the author by Blake Little.