I was standing in a hotel, tracing my fingers over the ice crystals that had formed on the outside of the window. My skin exuded immortelle, burnt sugar and lavender. My lover was still asleep, but I was up early, imprinting Eau Noire on my skin, Paris and my memories.
There is a beautiful void in Eau Noire, a gathered darkness I still find incredibly compelling. It is my thunderstruck, lightning ripped sky. I am partial to melancholy. Indulgent perhaps, but introspection requires silence and time alone, something it seems to be increasingly hard to find in this buzzing, light-filled, socially obsessed world. Eau Noire slowly filled the room with soft cedar and liquorice. Trails of violet and vanilla and settled like the remnants of a waking dream. I kept thinking tweed, tweed, dark green tweed. I’d packed two Harris Tweed jackets, re-cut and fitted to me more sharply and they looked wonderful. I’d been wondering what scent to wear with them: something with tar and leather? A counterpointing vanilla and amber with a whisper of iris? Perhaps a neglected Guerlain; Vol de Nuit, or Jicky? Or maybe Sycamore by Chanel, woodsy and grassy, with a whiff of crushed hazelnuts and a sense of twilight as cypress rises and blends with a beautiful Vétiver note.
I had been toying for years with the concept of a scented wardrobe, matching and layering fragrances with shirts, jackets, accessories, colour, texture, mood and skin. Mixing fragrance with the vagaries of thermal motion: skin and the delicacy of the evaporation curve. I like to take time and think about how I might enhance a fabric or an outfit with the right fragrance. The reverse is true as well; fragrances can be framed and enhanced by texture, finish and detail. You can play with or against the grain. The concept of silk on steel if you like. Powder and heliotrope with dirtied denim and killer heels. Oriental rose and leather buried (only just..) under Burberry Prorsum tailoring. Or the simplicity of limes and orange blossom wrapped in cashmere and walked along a city riverside.