Sarah McCartney – 4160 Tuesdays

2 minute read. 464 words.

4160 Tuesdays – what does the name mean?
If we live until we’re 80, we have 4160 Tuesdays. So on a Tuesday, do something different. At the moment, we’re using ours to make perfume.

Sarah 4160 Tuesdays

4160 Tuesdays is an award-winning micro-perfumery that hand-makes perfume in London, in small batches using methods that were popular from the 1880s to the 1970s.

The perfumes themselves seem to have their own personality – with names like The Dark Heart of Old Havana, Evil Max, The Sexiest Scent on the Planet Ever (IMHO), and Tart’s Knicker Drawer. I’m intrigued and want to know all about them – to see if we clash or if we are going to be best friends!

Their perfumes are inspired by a place or a person at a certain moment, and created by perfumer, Sarah McCartney (who isn’t related to any of the other more famous McCartneys but she does get asked quite often). Born within the sound of the North Sea crashing on Saltburn beach, Sarah McCartney is 75% Teesside, 25% Cockney. Boro supporter, Iyengar Yoga teacher, clarinetist, knitter of socks (and the sweater in that photograph) and writer of books. Guilty pleasures: playing on the swings at the park, red lipstick, watching Nashville, drinking champagne, Eurostar, Hotel Chocolat.

sarah's workshop

Sarah: As a little girl, I did not make perfumes from rose petals. That was for softies. I made magic spells and wanted to be a witch when I grew up. When I was 16 I bought a bottle of Diorella. I studied maths and sciences, practised music and French, wrote books on brands and their evil twin – counterfeiting – and online marketing, and learned to dance Argentinean tango.

For 14 years I was the head writer for Lush while the company grew from four shops – one in Poole and three in London – to 700 worldwide. I was writing 50,000 words every three months for the Lush Times, aiming to encapsulate the products’ scents in their descriptions. During that time, I bought and read 200 books on essential oils and herbalism and learned the essential oils the founders gave me to educate myself.

At the end of the 14 years, I took some time off to write a novel featuring a problem-solving perfumer. In it, I described the scents that she made and I wanted to have them available for people to smell. So I set off on a quest to see if I could buy them. This turned out to be impossible – and pretty expensive – because no one was making exactly what I wanted, so I started another quest to see of I could make them instead. Of course that turned out to be even more difficult, but once I’d started, I just kept going. 4160Tuesdays perfumes is the result.

Sarah is “an incredibly gifted and entirely off-the-wall self-taught perfumer” according to Jo Fairley of the Perfume Society. And Lila das Gupta (Basenotes) says her perfume-making events are “a must for anyone who wants to have a perfume education. Book early as places are limited and will sell out”.

To see more about Sarah visit 4160 Tuesdays website.


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