For any situation where wine is to be tasted, wearing a strong perfume – or even any perfume at all – is a cardinal sin. The bouquet of a fine wine can be obscured by the presence of an external fragrance. Despite that, the two worlds – and the people who work in them – have much in common since perfumers and sommeliers both rely heavily on their sense of smell for work.
Whether for a perfume or a wine, both are required to identify hundreds of base ingredients by their scent. It’s even been found that master sommeliers have thicker entorhinal cortices – an area of the brain associated with sensory perception and memory capacity.
Wines can have the same olfactory complexity of a fragrance blended from multiple ingredients – layering fruits, woods, herbs and even musk, so it stands to reason then that sommeliers will have some opinions on fragrances. The Peak speaks to three about their favourites.
VINCENT TAN, HEAD SOMMELIER AT ODETTE
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