It has been a gruelling week and I have had stress tension headaches. I need not elaborate.
On my desk, next to the computer, is my absolute favourite of recent scent bargains : a vintage – the label says 1967 – sealed and unopened, pristine dab bottle of Eau De Cologne Imperiale, created by Pierre Francois Pascal Guerlain in 1853 for the Empress Eugenie as a cure for her migraines.
What is amazing is that despite the fact that this exquisitely designed product has existed longer than I have, its citrus notes – lemon verbena, bergamot, petitgrain – are totally intact, and flow beautifully – smoothly and delicately – into the neroli and rosemary that form the main character.
It is fleeting, of course, but relieves and soothes – and seeing it there in its black gold and green makes me happy. This vintage version has also let me understand this perfume properly for the first time (I find contemporary versions harsher ; this is so graceful in every sense.) Eau De Cologne Imperiale is not a ‘perfume perfume’ : but rather a scent created to relieve the strain. A refinement ; an evanescence.