Pillow Talk is one of the latest launches from Sarah McCartney, Grande Dame of 4160 Tuesdays. Sarah doesn’t over- launch or saturate us, but neither does she let the grass grow under her feet.
As always, there is a charming backstory to it. A Hollywood Agent dropped into 4160 HQ at Issigonis House ( it’s very nice, like a parlour) with the idea of launching her own scent. Whilst that project didn’t have lift off, the resulting perfume did and is now Pillow Talk.
Pillow Talk was intended as the smell of a shared pillow upon which secrets are shared as intimacy grows. To me, it brings to mind hotel rooms rather than bedroom: Posh country hotels where you go for a mini break once the dating has hit its stride and you tell them that you were secretly married and have a police record, and they don’t mind because they have a love child in Venezuela- you know how it goes…
I will say though, that this has a strong accord in common with 4160 Tuesdays Sexiest Scent on The Planet Ever (IMHO), so if you don’t like that I’m not sure this will be your cup of tea (Earl Grey, of course)
As visual as it is, and I find all 4160 scents very visual, I could not find a way into Pillow Talk, so I asked my son. My son Freddie is nine and memorably declared that Miller Harris Feuilles de Tabac smelled like “hot sand” . So I sprayed my arm and said “sniff this and say the first thing that come into your head” and without hesitation, he said “Liquorice”.
It did! Liquorice! Not listed, not included, but somehow, there is a hint of liquorice in this. I often find this happens- my nose finds a random note that has gone rogue. Either liquorice is in my olfactory memory and imprinted on this scent, or two notes have a baby and make a third note out of the juxtaposition. Either way, I smelled Liquorice.
Liquorice was was my way in. Once I had liquorice, it opened a portal into heavy, dark woods (dark oak panelling for some reason) which in turn led to vanilla, but not sweet shop vanilla, more drunken boozy liquor, then a fuzzy background of bergamot, followed by indelicate flowers. No petals, no tweeness: this is ladies’ talc on a thigh. It’s a bit spicy, but there’s no spice. It reminds me of the smell of the bed just after my lovely husband has left it, before his shower: a masculine undertow, but faded from the day before. The intimacy is there, and a tiny hint of complacency has set in. So what if I left make up on the pillow? He already fancies me….
Pillow Talk scores a ten on the nuzzle-o-meter
You can buy all 4160 Tuesdays scents from the website, and recently Escentual has started stocking them too, as well as the legendary Fortnum and Mason. Further stockist information is here. My sample was kindly sent to me by Sarah McCartney, to whom I am enormously grateful. Opinions are my own.