Published on November 7, 2012 | by Elspeth Merry0
A multi-sensory experience
Intriguing by name, the self proclaimed “multi-functional, multi sensory experimental pleasure palace” House of Wolf invites eccentric audiences into its gothic inner lair to enjoy an evening of inspired creativity in dining, drinking, entertainment and art.
It is set in a converted Victorian house and when you enter the lights dim as you are greeted by an eclectic mix of disproportionate furnishings.
Giant ornate mirrors are accompanied by miniature huddled lampshades hanging from the elevated ceilings; whilst pineapples rest on the fireplace, imprisoned under clear glass cases. You feel as if you have entered a Victorian Alice in Wonderland, or have been hurled into a Tim Burton classic.
It is a Tuesday night, and House of Wolf is hosting one of its enrapturing Wolf Talks in ‘The Apothecary’— the name for an archaic word for pharmacist, you start to visualise some kind of Victorian opium boudoir.
And you are not disenchanted; the room is lit by outside antique street lamps with multicoloured empty bottles of poison adorning the walls.
The white tiled bar reads ‘Prescriptions’, with the periodic table symbols sketched on draws underneath, each indicative of a secret ingredient.
The bar men are dressed in white laboratory jackets; chemists curating their next concoctions, it reminds you that alcohol is in fact a drug— but you are left wondering if you desire the ‘Black Treacle’ or a ‘Ground for Divorce’.
It is the perfect setting for this week’s talk— The Perfume Whisperer. Azzi Glasser, Agent Provocateur and Freak perfumer and creative director is sat at the front of the room with renowned journalist Katie Puckrik.
It is like a casual talk show set up, with ardent perfume fans listening intently to how Glasser translates fantasy and imagination into a perfume: “I could never run out of ideas because it’s all about the molecules, one note with another note, then creating something else.” “It’s an alchemy.” Replies Puckrik.
The different notes are passed around for everyone to smell— an overbearing blend of distinct, shocking, and imperious aromas. Glasser tells stories of constructing perfumes for Alexander McQueen exhibitions; using the musty smell of Oud— reminding her of the monsoons in India during her childhood, whilst Puckrik talks about the intimacy of a smell—the personal and specific relationships we all have with perfume.
Glasser’s Agent Provocateur phenomenon is then passed around; with stories of Mario Testino chasing her through a Puff Daddy party because of the tense mélange of the seductive, dark and hypnotic nature of it. The air in The Apothecary is turned into an abyss of domineering smells, which adds to the heady ambience of the evening.
And before it is over our taste buds are enticed with a complimentary cocktail inspired by the alluring Agent Provocateur scent. House of Wolf truly is a multi sensory experimental pleasure kingdom, waiting for you to delve in with all your senses.
Visit www.houseofwolf.co.uk to find out about the next Wolf Talk which take place every Tuesday or Wednesday evening at 181 Upper Street, Islington, London N1.