Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Bold Friendship and Gift: Miss Charming, Juliette has a Gun

Choosing a fragrance for a friend can be intimidating, but it can also be an intimate gesture if we take the time to think about the person we love. A gesture that reminds us that we hold someone in high esteem, and that we want only the best for their higher self. Surprisingly, I was the receiver of such a gift. It came to me not because I was celebrating a milestone, but rather because my friend was. We have spent most days together over many years, but this was ending, and she was taking an inspiring leap. With gift in hand my friend anxiously told me there was a gift receipt neatly tucked in the box, just in case. So as I unwrapped my gift, and the Juliette has a Gun box emerged, I was certain that she knew what was right for me even before I did, as friends often do. I would also like to think that my incessant talking about fragrance on the job made her feel confidant in choosing a fragrance as a gift, maybe it's a little of both. Comparing my friend to Balanchine I was reminded how he presented all of his Prima Ballerina's with their signature fragrances, and somehow these fragrances spoke to an essential part of them, or what he saw in them. So I had faith in my friend, and as I sat at my desk feeling very much like an office Prima, Gun's Miss Charming, a straightforward fruity floral surrounded me, on top there is a big hit of Rose that comes across almost green and fresh, the Rose mixes well with tart red berries, and Cassis, which is perfect because it's more green than it is sweet. The dry down is gorgeous and comforting with its green, creamy, and musky ways. One of the few Musk bases that I like. Miss Charming, EDP is a playful fragrance, just perfect to keep me cheerful while I'm missing my friend. Somehow it reminds me of my friend, her smile and our enduring friendship.

Anyone wearing a fragrance that reminds them of someone special?

Still credit: Silkwood, 1983

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Details

A year has gone by since I started Soliflore Notes, and this got me thinking about all the sniffing and non-sniffing experiences I have had, but didn't write about. Some of them self-imposed, and others gently stumbled upon. 

It was February when I began to notice a change. I went to San Francisco to take a perfume-making workshop with Yosh, and besides making my first blend-a green floral, I began to see even more opportunities to bring olfaction into my daily life. There is no need for separation. While all of this was happening I read the most curious article about Karl Lagerfeld in Harper's BAZAAR.  It described the specifics of his daily life. The rigor of his aesthetic was fascinating, alarming, and I have to say intriguing.  It got me wanting to sneak a little of this back into my life.  I thought of my conversation with Carlos Huber and his love of detail and the way he easily recalled the poetry of Baudelaire. He described a poem where a man is wearing a headdress of roses in various states of decay that begin to slowly fall away. There is so much opportunity in detail, when we don't get too caught up in it. I continued to notice fragrant things all around me, the sachets that don each perfect garment in Anne Fontaine’s shop, the enormous floral arrangements at Gilt (restaurant) perfectly placed in enormous vases in the quiet prior to dinner service. I noticed the Springtime like never before, and appreciated the many folk who stop on city streets to smell a bud or two, and the aggressive way the mint in my garden has already come out to greet me. To this day I am still chilled by Christophe Laudemiel show wear he featured various scent tents, one of the them entitled, “Fear.” Metallic, mossy, my heart raced as I felt utterly alone as I stood in the tent with people all around me inhaling his creation. Next up,  I am going into my son’s kindergarten to get he and his classmates sniffing.

For now though, please check out my latest post celebrating National Library Week entitled, Fragrance, Literature, and Reflection on CaFleureBon, where I am a monthly contributor. All my best, and thanks for visiting here and there.  Valerie

Here is the link to the CaFleureBon post and the New York City Library.