November 11, 2008

The Fragrant Hours

One of the highlights of the big Fall Sniffa extravaganza experience is coming away with a lot of samples of new things, and also many others that may not be so new but are new to me. Some of them teach me the worth of keeping an open mind, because through them I am exposed to a range of things I might not necessarily seek out on my own, but which in the company of others who appreciate their aesthetic, become more attractive. Giving them another try I sometimes start to acquire a taste for certain elements which did not appeal to me before. For example Fracas, because of its strong tuberose, was one I have generally shied away from. This time, because of additional exposure to its appealing back-story and talk with others who are fans, I am open to trying it again. Having on hand a number of different forms like bath gel and body lotion and a scented candle, it has become possible for me to truly appreciate it. It is a classic and it's good to understand why that came to be, at first hand.
With such a wealth of diverse new samples, I have been trying a number of different ones over the course of a day.
Today, I got up early, as usual, and put on Roxana's Illuminated Perfume "Q", which is based on a tincture of oak leaves. It accompanies me like a small furry animal while I make and have breakfast, and read my favorite papers online. I love the idea of capturing the essence of oak leaves, especially the late autumn browned ones. It has a light, smooth and sweet resinous quality which is wholesomely organic. It also has an unobtrusive magic-happy-spell quality to it which works well towards setting me up for having a good day.
In the shower, I use Fracas shower and bath gel. Hot water and steam dilutes and expands the white floral tuberose/jasmine without allowing it to become heady. It turns into an aromatherapy experience which after toweling off leaves only a quiet trace in the atmosphere, like a mysterious blooming sensed through the open door of a conservatory. It is a good way to perfume a small apartment just a bit.
With little time left to get out the door, while rushing to get dressed, in service to my current craving for a cold weather rose I decide to use Paestum Rose. This fragrance holds close to the body, which is a good thing on a workday. It combines with my personal chemistry and mood in such a way as to embody the qualities of an ideal persona, one to which I have been aspiring lately. Qualities of both darkness and light, deep rose and dry mineral, an arms length embrace between the natural and the composed design of the skillfully art-directed. Lots of roses in a vase sitting on a polished stone table in an airy room with plenty of light and shadow, filtered through the windows hung with translucent linen that has been pulled back halfway. I reapplied a tiny bit just at 1pm, to maintain the sensory uplift within my personal space.
That lasted me until I got home. After dinner and a walk with Dante I settled down at the desk, and chose Cuir Ottoman by Parfum d'Empire from my Sniffa stash.
I applied it to both arms and at the throat, since in the privacy of my own home I am free to be self indulgent and so wear as much as I want. Soft leather treated with balsamic resins wafts up around me and with my face close to my wrists I find that my tiredness lifts. This scent awakens my brain while at the same time is relaxing. I am keeping it on to wear to bed and expect that as the top notes burn away the remaining traces will combine and evolve together with the deeper notes into a darker shadow, that will encourage falling asleep.

Above, Sylvia Mangano in Pasolini's Teorema, 1968. She looks to me like she is probably wearing Fracas.


chayaruchama said...

Is Mangano NOT magificent ?

Agreed; open mind, under less duress than Sniffa madness- enables us to more fully appreciate all the possibilities.

Cuir Ottoman is a jewel.
It comforts me, but may not have that effect on the general populace, LOL.
That's why 'medicating in the privacy of one's own abode' is NOT such a bad thing...

Love to you.

Lucy said...

Dear C, she is indeed.

Today I tried Amouage Lyric for Woman, and Man, and they had a strong effect on me. Those Sniffa troves of samples are such a pleasure.

Love to you too!

ScentScelf said...

It is a pleasure to come back from an event with those samples and work with them at your leisure. I love being able to find my way through (and to) a fragrance that way...

G. Knight said...

It is always great to go to events and then be able to enjoy the treasures later...great article

Lucy said...

Thanks much, GK. Good to meet you at the Sniffa.