May 17, 2006

Lilacs and Roses & Men's Fragrance

This is the season in our climate when the outdoor flowering plants are very much like this painting by Manet.  We are lucky to have the most profuse and lush lilacs and roses burst out every year at this time.

Both fragrances can be most dimensional and  intense in their natural flower form, and many feel they are best enjoyed as an enhancement to an interior space.

Rose is a calming balancing aroma, once thought to be more of a man's scent than a woman's, in those days and places when men wore perfumes as much as women, such as in ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome and Persia.

More and more men are once again adorning themselves with perfumes, awakening that long ignored sense of smell and connection to nature in themselves.  Wouldn't it be interesting if  this expanded into as much ornamentation in dress as they once wore in the past.

The last time anything came close was in the Sixties, but that lasted only for a short Carnaby Street time.

Having just re-watched Peter Greenaway's The Draughtsman's Contract, I found the luxuriousness of gesture and effect of lots of fabric, lace cuffs at the wrist, long hair and boots and dramatic colors was emotionally affecting and engaging. 

At the moment it is impractical for most people to wear strong perfumes, because so many of us are all working and traveling so close together.  As we all begin to atomize and many work on our own individually, communicating over the internet instead of so often commuting, I'm wondering if in the not too distant future fashion will change again, as it always does.  It could even move back to something similar to that which held sway for thousands of years, to favor the intense and individual effects of color and scent for both sexes.

Image: Edouard Manet, Lilacs and Roses

Copyright 2006, Lucy Raubertas, All Rights Reserved

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