"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. 4160 Tuesdays perfumes is the result."
"Making Centrepiece was different from my usual method," says Sarah McCartney of 4160 Tuesdays. "I was working with a friend I first bumped into when I was out for a perfume and cake day with a group of like-minded fragrance fans. We'd just had luxurious ice creams at Fortnum & Mason in London's Piccadilly, and were touring their perfumery. We got chatting and I invited him over to the studio. While I was working on something else I gave him free rein of the materials and he chose a collection of scents he liked, some natural and some accords I'd already created. I took these and blended them with other materials to make a complete fragrance and when we all sat smelling it, we noticed that a feeling of peacefulness washed over us. Playing with the words 'peace' and 'piece,' we named it Centrepiece." And now? People in the UK can buy Centrepiece at Fortnum & Mason. How's that for a happy ending?