“Brenda lay on the dais. Her tray was beside her and the quilt was littered with envelopes, letters, and the daily papers. Her head was propped against a very small blue pillow; clean of make-up her face was almost colourless rose pearl…….a nereid emerging from fathomless depths of clear water…”
On the cusp of embarking on a desperate, pointless and finally unfulfilling affair with a handsome cad down in London, Evelyn Waugh’s beautiful but bored Lady of Hetton Manor (in his 1934 novel ‘A Handful Of Dust’), would have sat in a spring-scented, flower-filled room perfumed like this: breathy, on-the-brink hyacinths; roses, lilies, and honeysuckles, strewn decadently over tender balsams and the faintest memory of vanilla.
A romantic homage to Chamade (but less powdery, animalic, and ultimately less tragic), Grand Amour has effortless grace and classicism, but still, at its heart, a slightly wilted reminiscence – a sigh, like a chamber of beauteous hyacinths on the point of dying.