I need to leave the maelstrom of my life and just float about in places like this, or record shops, to leave the brain behind
Watching ‘Only God Forgives’ on DVD again tonight – that lurid, oneiric, pungent, light-soaked film starring Ryan Gosling and Kristen Scott Thomas set in Bangkok, I find myself drifting back in my mind’s eye again to the backstreets of Jakarta, last August, where I had forgotten that I had found, quite unexpectedly and to my surprise, a vintage perfume shop, open at midnight, ‘selling’ rare and unwanted perfumes that probably nobody was ever going to buy: dusting and unloved, but proud and upright on shelves, which I tested for authenticity (they definitely weren’t fakes: that was real Monsieur Rochas).
We never found that same street again, but I fortunately did take a couple of photos, much to the older daughter’s consternation, as she barked out information to her older relatives, sitting out of view in the beyond of…
View original post 117 more words
Guerlain’s strange and exquisite Après L’Ondée has a cool, primeval innocence, yet a wise, sage, intuition; as new as a just-blossomed flower, but as ancient as its knowing, tearful DNA. The soft diluvial transparency it breathes makes the perfume by far the most natural and air-kissed of the classical Jacques Guerlains, while the unusual bouquet garni of anise, cassie, rosemary, heliotrope, carnation and hawthorn contrasting emotionally, and perturbingly, with the vanillic-lined silken flower dust beauty of its powdered iris, violet, mimosa and musks make the scent quietly Arcadian: mythological, almost in its shy but steadfastly feminine beauty. A poignancy: rainsoothed; unfathomed.
out March 21st
I do quite like this new title.
Hope you do too.
I have written about Metallica, Guerlain’s dreamily beautiful semi-oriental of carnation, orange blossom and spiced, cushioned balsam vanillas before (in my lengthy treatise on carnations).
But this morning, upon lazily waking up in the p.m and reaching out onto my dresser, I found that, instinctively spraying myself with Olivia’s very generous decant of this now rare and discontinued Guerlain (she and I have very similar appreciations in perfume, which is how we ended up meeting at my Vanilla talk at Perfume Lovers London), I raised up the back of my hand and I sighed……
How is it that such genuinely mysterious, and quite mesmerizing, scents just fall away by the wayside? Perfumes you can’t quite prise apart, that are beautifully, intuitively anti-intuitive and hermetically unseamed. That blossom like fresh, living and breathing flower petals on the skin, while below, in the dusky musks of their hollows, reveal tantalizing glimpses…
View original post 197 more words
A SINISTER AND REPUGNANT SLICK OF AROMACHEMICALS NOT FIT FOR THE HUMAN BODY
: A SHAME ON THE PERFUME INDUSTRY.
I just thought I would check in to this unfamiliar place seeing that I don’t at present have the time to come here anymore.
I am currently about 95% finished with the initial text for my perfume guide, which has been an incredibly demanding, new, thrilling, and exhausting experience that I don’t even know how much I can actually talk about ( for a person as fiercely independent, rebellious and difficult as myself all of this has been entirely unchartered territory : I am having to learn to work as a ‘team person’ and relinquish control – for an aesthetic control freak a very difficult thing to do: there are demands, legal obligations, deadlines…. all while doing a pressurized teaching job).
Sometimes I watch the whole process from afar like some abstract performance art piece ( it is only very recently that I have actually realized it is all real): me as a commercial reality, sold in a shop rather than this malleable, deletable digital presence.
Life has changed immeasurably. We have no time to go anywhere or do anything else ( Duncan is helping me with it all and that aspect of the ‘process’ has been my favourite, even if the house has turned into a gay pigsty – see picture). It feels, a little, like having your head in a vice/vise, and sometimes it has actually all been quite insanity inducing.
But even though I have overshot deadlines and possibly tried the patience of my publisher with my dillying and dallying, the main text will be finished by this weekend, and then the whole EDITING process will begin in which I have to willingly kill my own darlings ( the book, as it is now, is way too long to fit physical realities).
By November it should be done. Just to remind you, this is not The Black Narcissus attempts the ‘ Proustian novel ‘ but more like a luxurious ‘pop bijou’ to be read in the toilet : a book with bite sized reviews for the perfume newbie as much as the confirmed perfumist. I have no idea how it will be received ( it comes out March 21st – title still not decided (!))and we will see then if anyone buys it : there will be events in London : perhaps I can meet you at one of them? but I am just riding the wave right now to see where it takes me.
When it is all done and dusted, though, much as I am enjoying the novelty of the experience, I am still looking forward to having autonomy: no word limit, to be able to read the New York Times all the way through in bed, and to just ramble and roam on here to my pretentious heart’s content.