Salon XX

Thursday 7th June 2012


So we had the uber glam, ex-war correspondent, and New York Times writer Elaine Sciolino to introduce us to the world of seduction, French style.  Every single transaction in Paris, Elaine explained, is seduction, even the woman who refuses to sell you something in her shop because it won’t fit you, ‘OUI’, she says, they are all prolonging the moment, leaving the opportunity open in anticipation of a love affair, because 'on ne sait jamais'.  You might pop out for Percy Pigs and find yourself hours later making mad passionate love with a Frenchie, driving to Deauville and eating shrimps till four in the morning, and she’s absolutely right, one never knows. 

We followed seduction with scent with Odette Toilette, who took us on a scent safari.  Perfumes were handed round the room and we were transported to a pre teen bedroom, a country garden in pre war Britain, and even Tilda Swinton’s Scottish estate.

Finally psychologist Claudia Hammond introduced us to the concept of Time, why it warps, how some people draw it, an insight in to some people’s minds we might never get over, anyone else see time as a spiky ball?  We all confused ourselves trying to match the event to the year, and half of the room looked at the other half in disbelief as we all answered the following question: If you have a meeting on a Wednesday and it is moved forward by two days, which day is it on. There are two answers, two approaches to time, which one is yours?



  • Odette Toilette

    Odette Toilette


    Purveyor of olfactory adventures, Odette Toilette is the perfume fanatic behind London's Scratch+Sniff events. Obsessed with scent ever since a Tinkerbell strawberry cologne was given to her on the occasion of her third birthday, and . . .
  • Elaine Sciolino

    Elaine Sciolino


      Elaine Sciolino is a Paris correspondent and former Paris bureau chief for The New York Times, writing from France since 2002. She writes the Lumière column for The New York Times’ T Magazine.  In 2010, she was . . .
  • Claudia Hammond

    Claudia Hammond

    The Time Warp

    Claudia is an award-winning broadcaster, writer and psychology lecturer. She is the presenter of All in the Mind & Mind Changers on BBC Radio 4 and the weekly Health Check on BBC World . . .


  • University Women's Club

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