With its acerbic fuselage of sharp, gleaming galbanum; bergamot, leaf notes and blue hyacinth; an unsentimental floral heart of narcissus and cassia, and a dry, resinous, woody base, Silences is both sexed and restrained; attractive and scary, an almost callous scent, bitchy even, despite its cool, midnight vulnerability.
I always imagined Silences on a jaded Japanese ‘hostess’ of the eighties, reclining on the black velour banquette of a nightclub in Ginza, scrutinizing you as you pass her doorway, eyes meeting yours, not shrinking from your gaze. A shrewd, black cat on the surface; in reality nervous, tender, wanting you to look deeper.
This is the house of Jacomo’s keeper, its classic, and is still sold in France, or at least it was the last time I was in Paris. Often compared to Chanel N°19, another angular, no-nonsense, green-woody floral, I find that the Chanel – more powdery, complex and beautiful ultimately – wilts nonetheless in the presence of Silences, which is more bolstered, pared-down, eye-on-the-game.
Curiously affecting on the right person, Silences, with its minimalist, verdant breaths of flowers and resin, its shiver of night garden, catches your brain with a wordless immediacy: digs her talons in with a simple, mesmerizing chord structure; fixes you with her stare; kisses you, and refuses to let go.