Kelly Jones broke the cardinal rule of wine tasting. She wore perfume on a visit to a Napa Valley winery. “Who is wearing vanilla?” asked the winemaker pouring a glass of buttery, oaky Chardonnay for Kelly. He explained to her why she shouldn’t have on perfume in the winery tasting room, that perfume interferes with the wine’s bouquet and aromas. But Kelly thought that the vanilla in her perfume enhanced the vanilla notes in the Chardonnay. She loved the sensory experience of how the wine and perfume co-mingled.
The winemaker did not kick her out, but Kelly was frustrated nonetheless. “I want to wear perfume while I’m drinking wine, those are my two favorite things to do.” Call it her “aha” moment, when she thought there might be more to pairing wine with perfume. She went home inspired to see if she could create fragrances that complemented wine. “I’d been studying perfume for quite a while and I had my own scent studio.” She went out and bought bottles of her favorite white and red wines.“One by one I sniffed and I sniffed and I went into my fragrance library and trying to find the notes that would actually celebrate what I was smelling in each glass.”