People In Perfumeland – Tara Smith Of Olfactoria’s Travels

Today I am happy to give you a more personal view on Tara, my dear friend and co-writer on this blog. Tara lives in London and is therefore my eyes and ears on the ground for all the exciting perfume events happening in this city. Her reports of Perfume Lovers London evenings are so detailed we feel like we are there too, and in her reviews she shares touching and well written pieces of her perfumed life.

I first met Tara in London in 2011, she was the first reader I ever personally got to know and we hit it off right away. Tara is a wonderful person, kind, intelligent, very pretty and full of humour. My only complaint is that I cannot see her in person more often.

Tara and Bertrand

Tara and Bertrand Duchaufour in London

A good day starts with…

Feeling like I’ve had enough sleep. I’m one of those people who can sleep around the clock.

I’d never leave the house without…

Quite a lot of things as I tend carry my life around with me. Phone, keys, purse, tissues, notebook, anti-bac hand cleanser, hat, carrier bags and – for most of the year – an umbrella.

I always feel good when…

I am living in the moment. Not brooding over the past or fretting about the future.

My favorite thing in the world is…

Spending time with my niece who is four and a half and continually teaches me how to enjoy life and have fun.

The next thing I want to buy is…

Perfume-wise my current To Buy List includes Bois d’Encens by Armani Prive and Ambre Narguile and Eau de Mandarine Ambrée, both by Hermes.

The place I always come back to is…

My parents house in west London, where I grew up.

My personal style is…

Pretty feminine because I usually wear dresses, although I try to toughen it up with more masculine touches, like a leather jacket.

My favorite perfume…

Right now it’s Ormonde Woman by Ormonde Jayne but that changes with the weather.

When I travel, I…

Usually feel stressed but I love it when I arrive. Having a Kindle and iPod with me makes it easier.

To relax I need…

A good novel, peace and quiet, and my bed.

I like to gift people with…

A listening ear. It’s important to me that my friends and family know I’m always there to listen and give advice, if need be.

When I have a bad day, I…

Usually try to talk about it to someone, take a short walk or a nap and a long, hot bath.

I find my inspiration…

In perfume, books, art and people thriving against the odds.

Something I would never want to miss…

Those times when my family and I are all together in one room. That’s when I feel happiest and most content.

My last mistake was…

Worrying myself stupid about something that never happened.

In my fridge there is always…

Bramble jelly, cheese and soy sauce.

On my nightstand I keep…

An oil burner for diffusing essential oils, a lamp and my Kindle.

The perfect weekend starts with…

A long lie-in, breakfast in bed and something to look forward to.

My role model is…

You know, I’ve never really had a role model outside of my parents. I tend to be a bit of a magpie and pick up things from all sorts of people.

Something I always want to be asked in questionnaires like this is…

Can you share something nice that someone did for you recently?

A friend sent me a card the other day with the message “Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday …and everything is fine”. I think it was made for me. 🙂

Birgit, Tara, Vanessa and Thomas

Tara among similarly famous and fabulous people. (From left to right: yours truly, Tara Smith, Vanessa Musson of Bonkers About Perfume and The Candy Perfume Boy Thomas Dunckley.)

I can find myself in many things Tara mentions, and maybe that same outlook is what makes us good friends.

What makes a good friend for you? Do you tend to bond with people very much like you or do you gravitate towards people who have what you lack?


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60 Responses to People In Perfumeland – Tara Smith Of Olfactoria’s Travels

  1. Jordan River says:

    I like Tara’s avatar and the London event reportage especially the selected quotes from audience members and perfume personalities. “Today is a gift; that is why it is called the present”; a quote from a much longer quote attributed to several people but perfect for living in the moment. Don’t let the moment end Tara.

    I take it you will be wearing Ormonde Woman for months as the weather seldom changes in London Town?

    • Tara says:

      Hi Jordan

      As you may know, my avatar is “The Sleeper” by Tamara Lempicka. Very appropriate for me 🙂

      I’m glad you enjoy the event reports and I’ll be sure to carry on including quotes from audience. It’s good to get the feedback.

      It’s actually pretty mild here for the time of year (about 11 degrees C) but still more than cold enough for OJ Woman.

  2. Undina says:

    I always enjoy Tara’s reports on those events:it truly feels almost like I visited them myself. And it was nice to see that somebody else also 1) likes to sleep; 2) carries a lot of things with her and 3) advocates being happy in the moment.

    Tara and Birgit – thank you for the interview! I hope one day to meet with Tara in one of my most favorite cities in the world (together with New York, Vienna and San Franciso) but for now it’s great to get to know her a little better through this post.

  3. Ana says:

    I can find myself in 99% of the things Tara shared with us.I am amazed!

  4. Ines says:

    Lovely to see Tara featured here and I really enjoyed her answers. I never met her, but she does strike me as being rather feminine.
    I think most of my friends are very different from myself. But that doesn’t matter as we all share a basic understanding of life on which to base our friendships.

    I love seeing that photo of you all coming together for a perfume event. 🙂 I just wish I was there somewhere as well. 😉

  5. flittersniffer says:

    Really enjoy Tara’s PLL write ups, for as has been said, they are amazingly detailed – she could have had a whole other calling as a court reporter. 😉 And the prose in her perfume reviews is as evocative as it is measured. I loved learning more about Tara through her answers – was particularly interested in the contents of her fridge and the items on her nightstand. I must look into these essential oil burners, as I do rather look up to T for her holistic lifestyle tips. I also am full of admiration for her style, for she has the most gorgeous collection of dresses. Yes, Tara is one of the loveliest people inside and out that I have had the good fortune to meet – in Perfume Land or the ‘www’ (‘whole wide world’ 😉 ). And yay for sleep!!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Ha, I love the court reporter thing! 🙂
      I’m very envious of all the lovely get-togethers Tara and you have planned for the coming weeks!

    • Tara says:

      Ha! Yay for sleep indeed.

      Thank you Vanessa for so many lovely compliments. I’m very lucky to have you as such a good friend.

      I do recommend getting an essential oil burner and they’re pretty easy to get hold of. The Body Shop did them the last time I looked. You just need a good supply of tea-lights to go with it.

  6. flittersniffer says:

    PS My friends are so varied it would be hard to summarise across them – but *some* common traits and/or interests are key. I do seek out some people I can learn from or who can be inspirational, while others – most probably – are my go- to mates for a girly natter/gossip, mutual support and a sharing of confidences.

  7. Lovely to read all about Tara here and get to know her more. Agree with you Birgit, she is kind, thoughtful and intelligent. How true it is about living in the moment, we so often forget to savour the here and now and worry about what will happen in the future.
    Ormonde Woman, what can I say? It’s a wonderful perfume I think it would smell great on everyone, just fetched my bottle and put some on now in your honour. Thanks Tara for covering the events, it’s always more fun with you there.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Thank you for that lovely comment, Lila. I smell of Ormone Woman today as well in Tara’s honor. 🙂

    • Tara says:

      Thanks very much, Lila. I love the PLL events and am grateful for all the effort you put into organising them and making them so entertaining.

      Love that you’re wearing OJ Woman today.

  8. Sabine says:

    I’ve met Tara only briefly at a PLL meet but hope to see her again for the next one. Her trying to live in the moment motto really resonates with me and I’m working on achieving a more mindfull approach to life. Perfume fits into that very well, I find. It’s fleeting and has to be enjoyed while it happens.
    I guess that sharing a general outlook on life and to a certain extent a political opinion (not just party politics) matters to me and my friends seem to come from similar backgrounds. But they all have very different personalities, which is both fascinating and helpful.

  9. Sandra says:

    I really enjoyed seeing Tara’s answers today. She seems like such a lovely person and I hope to be able to meet her one day soon.

  10. Lyubov says:

    Sweet Tara! I can relate to almost everything she said!!! Though I am not able to sleep around the clock and I prefer blackberries natural, not in jelly! I cannot agree with her more about the children’s ability to brigthen every second, even the darkest moments of life – I have one five-year-old that makes this for me every day!

  11. Hey ladies.
    Tara, very nice interview. I love it that you are most happy in your families company, that is often not the case. you are lucky.
    Birgit, these questions are so good for winkling interesting stuff from perfume people, I’ve enjoyed every one of the People In Perfume series.
    Portia xx

  12. Tara is one the loveliest and kindest people I know so I’m really glad to read all about her in this interview, thank you for the insight, Birgit! I’m especially intrigued by the idea of bramble jelly!

    I echo those who have commented on Tara’s masterful ability to capture the finest details of the Perfume Lovers London events and her reviews are always beautifully written.

    I think we can all agree that our lives are much brighter for knowing Tara 🙂

  13. Suzanne says:

    Tara is thoughtful, kind and conscientious, not to mention an elegant person and an elegant writer. I’d love to catch a whiff of her Ormonde Jayne Woman sillage, as I’m sure it smells gorgeous on her. And it was really nice to see her featured in your series and learn more about her … I love her answer about who she looks to as a role model (her reply about being a magpie who picks up things from many people – what a great way to be!)

  14. Tara says:

    Wow, what unbelievably lovely comments. I feel so lucky and grateful to be part of this warm and generous fragrant family. You’d be hard pressed to find a nicer community of people and I get to call many of them friends.

    Being such an introvert, I was more than a little anxious about putting myself “out there” but it just goes to show that if you can reveal some of your true self, then you will more than likely find others who will relate or else accept you as you are.

    Thank you so much for this Birgit. It’s a gift.

    • Olfactoria says:

      You are very welcome! I have to thank you for agreeing to do this despite your reservations – which, while I understand your feelings, turned out to be entirely unnecessary. 🙂

  15. Edward Gomez says:

    Friends are the family you choose.

  16. Asali says:

    Dear Tara, what wonderful and thoughtful answers. I’m seconding Undina here with my praise of your posts on perfumista meet-ups and interviews. I’m looking forward to more of those.
    Do get that Bois D’Incens- you won’t regret it, it’s such a beautiful incense. And as for sleeping, hear hear!

    • Tara says:

      Thanks so much, Asali. There’s another PLL meeting at the Jan about weird and wonderful perfume so that will be a fun to share with you.

      I am very tempted to get the Armani, it’s just the cost holding me back. As for liking my sleep, I do worry that it makes me sound so dull but it’s nice to know others feel the same way!

  17. So glad for Tara’s turn in the “People in Perfumeland” series. I enjoyed the chance to get to know her a bit better. 🙂

    As for what makes me bond with certain people, my closest friends have similar dispositions, interests, and/or life experiences. But that isn’t always the case.

  18. Lady Jane Grey says:

    Ach, finally – how I anticipated this ! It’s a perfect start into 2014 🙂
    Tara, dearest, you know, you already have your Mandarine Ambree, I only keep it safe for you for a while ! Hah, bramble – I had to Google…. See you soon !

  19. cookie queen says:

    Soon Tara!! With cookies. xxx

  20. Lean S says:

    I love these People In Perfumeland posts!

  21. Lavanya says:

    Lovely interview Tara and Birgit. Having just met Tara, I can add my voice to the people who say she is lovely and kind! She is!!! She is as sweet, thoughtful and kind in real life as she comes across on the internet. And OJ Woman does smell great on her!! LOVE her mad reporting skills!

  22. Natalie says:

    I am so late to the party, but wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading Tara’s edition of PiP (if I may use the acronym). Tara is a gem!

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