Monday’s Leadership Track on the Shutterstock Stage closed with Trish Halpin, Editor-in-Chief of Marie Claire, interviewing screen legend Richard E. Grant, and his theatrical telling of how he moved from film to fragrance. Richard weaves colorful tales that took delegates on a crazy rollercoaster from when Richard was 12 and growing up in Africa, through his film career, to the catharsis of writing and directing a story about his own traumatic childhood.
Lesson 1 came from Trish Halpin: One can maintain poise and professionalism among the antics of a dramatic interviewee, without revealing anything impertinent about oneself, such as age.
Lesson 2: There’s something to be said about raw talent. Richard was tested by the world-renowned fragrance specialist, fragrance historian, and perfumer Roja Dove at Harrod’s, and was told by Roja, “You have nuclear nostrils.” Clearly Richard E. Grant was built for his passion of perfume.
Lesson 3: Hearing “no” is a choice. Richard, after being given the contacts, the reassurance that he did in fact have the talent, and even the avenue for production, got handed a lawsuit over the choice of name and branding for his new perfume. He fought it anyway at significant cost because he refused to hear “no,” and today has his “bespoke” perfume, Jack, for sale at Liberty London.
Lesson 4: This is the biggest lesson. Who you are, what made you, is your strength. Use it to your advantage. Richard E. Grant has a heart-crushing tale of his father and of his youth, but he used those stories, those memories, to drive himself to success. His perfume, Jack, as he says when referring to a childhood trip to London, “It was 1969, and so I put my sexual awaking in a bottle.”
With the perfume containing notes of lime, marijuana and mandarin…the energetic story of the summer of 1969 in London, the suggestion of putting the moment of “sexual awakening” in a bottle, you can feel yourself transported to key points in your own life. The biggest take away is to find your own way to bottle what made you, and drive yourself forward.