Last month when William Curley announced that they would be doing a “chocolate & perfume pairing” evening, I’m afraid to say my response on Twitter was less than complimentary…
What IS this current obsession with chocolate & perfume pairing events?? I want to smell the chocolate, not frickin’ perfume! Stop it!
Needless to say, William saw my Tweet and contacted me, asking me to come along and judge for myself. Somewhat sheepishly, I agreed, but only if I could take a female friend for back-up!
We arrived early and were greeted with Champagne and freshly prepared canapés. Lots of them. Enough that we had to make a conscious decision not to eat any more, just to leave room for the chocolate.
The format of the evening was very simple. A selection of Miller Harris perfumes had been chosen by the experts, and William had chosen a chocolate to go with each. The Miller Harris guys gave a short talk about each fragrance, what was in it and who would wear it, before William explained what was in the chocolate and why he’d chosen to pair it with the perfume. Often this would be because of a common ingredient (vanilla or citrus, for example), and it was usually clear why the matching had been chosen. That much I understood.
But the nagging question remained: Why?
As you’d expect, William’s chocolates were excellent. But they weren’t in any way improved by being matched with perfumes which obliterated the natural fragrance of the chocolate. Sure, it was interesting to learn a little about aroma, but aside from that, the event wasn’t much more than a Miller Harris marketing exercise.
Apparently they also do wine and perfume pairings, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find out they do cheese and perfume pairings or Monster Munch and perfume pairings. The choice of chocolate is fairly arbitrary.
So it was a complete waste of time, right?
Well no. The thing is, at £30 a head, the evening is actually really good value. Not only do you get to try a significant quantity of chocolate, but when you factor in the Champagne, canapés, goodie bag (with chocolate and perfume) and a 20% discount on any chocolate or perfume you buy, you can’t really go wrong.
If you like chocolate and you’re interested in perfume, and if you ignore the fact that the pairing themselves are fairly meaningless, then this is actually an interesting way to spend an evening.
You can find out about future events on William Curley’s blog.