Somerset House and The Courtauld


It’s a chilly May night and I’m listening to the Macron-Le Pen political debate on TV while planning my trip to London in June. Le Pen is combative, Macron defensive. She has just accused him of laxism towards Islamic fundamentalism and claims he’s in the hands of the UOIF (Union des organisations islamiques de France). He’s calling her a liar. Their profound dislike for one another is palpable. The debate will go on for hours and afterwards there’ll be analysis and examination. On Sunday one of these two candidates will be the next President of France. (Macron!)

In London there’s an interesting-looking exhibition at Somerset House. It’s described as a Multi-sensory exhibition featuring ten extraordinary perfumes and their pioneering creators.

(c) Kim Keever, Courtesy Waterhouse & Dodd (2)_LOW RES

You’ll be taken on an olfactory journey through a series of rooms designed to reflect the inspirations of the scents, from a sandy desert to the Scottish Highlands, a Catholic confessional to a lover’s boudoir. Each room will include visual, auditory and tactile references to the identity and influences of the perfumer to guide you on your olfactory journey. The website link to this magnificent arts and cultural centre in the heart of London is below. Check it out to see the long list of exhibitions showing there.

And if that isn’t enough, inside Somerset House you’ll find one of the finest museums in the world called the Courtauld Gallery.


The collection stretches from the early Renaissance into the 20th century. The Gallery holds an outstanding collection of fine works of sculpture and decorative arts, drawings and prints. Don’t forget that most museums and art centers in Great Britain have lovely tea shops, restaurants or cafés on the premises.

For students of all ages, there’s also the Courtauld Institute of Art which offers undergraduate and postgraduate studies.


6 thoughts on “Somerset House and The Courtauld

  1. Thanks for the info! I’ll be there for 2 days in August – might have to check this out. Looking forward to being in London again. Let me know if you go!

    • Hi Lori. Well, I am going mid-June, so don’t think I’ll go again in August becoz in September, as you know, I’ll be in Puglia. (otherwise I’d be meeting you, as previously planned, in Scotland!) Don’t forget to look at all my London blog posts for inspiration. Thanks for commenting!

      • Sorry, I meant to let me know if you go to this exhibit!!
        And I, too, love perfume – but around here, there are so many “fragrance-free” zones. I still love to spritz on my Boucheron – been my favorite for many years.

  2. Wish I could be London for this, Juliet! The Courtauld is always wonderful. And perfume! My friends are divided into two groups: those who don’t quite get it and those who do! I’ve worn Chanel 19 for 45 years. Have tried other scents but somehow this, with its greeny notes and its lovely staying power, suits me just fine. I don’t know that I understand all the ways it’s put together — not sure I smell the leather and musk. But yes to everything else!

    • Chanel 19 for 45 years! So it’s your signature perfume. I like Chanel Cristalle in the summer. Other than that, my current favorite is Mont Blanc’s Presence d’une Femme, an original fragrance with a mix of sandalwood, patchouli, orchid and other notes. Another favorite I used to wear for years was Hermès Amazone.

      Absolutely right about enjoying perfumes. Here in France, a lot of men wear perfume too. Love it !

      • I bought my husband a Fragonard scent, in Grasse a few years ago. It was kind of rosemary-ish, with some citrus. He never remembers to wear it!

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