I am quicksilver, the fox in the night, emotional about the poetry, love & desire in scent, read me.

Tuesday 28 February 2012

Waiting for the Rain to Take Me: ‘The Smell of Weather Turning’ by Gorilla Perfume/Lush Part II

In a minute or two her breathing became more regular, her clasp of his hand relaxed and she fell asleep. The band of silver paleness along the great east horizon made even the distant parts of the Great Plain appear dark and near; and the whole enormous landscape bore that impress of reserve, taciturnity and hesitancy which is usual just before day.

From Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. 

I studied Thomas Hardy at school and his novels and images have stayed with me for over 25 years. I was lucky enough to have a teacher who was obsessed with all things Hardyian and the dramatic chessboard of his Wessex countryside. She urged us to feel the weather, the scent of harvests, apples and milk, straw and earth, the fecundity of Hardy's world. She made me realise the power and persuasion of sympathetic backdrop. I was very affected by the surge of dangerous sensuality on show as Hardy’s men and women grappled with hugely complex themes of sex, death, emancipation and sacrifice.

In Far from the Madding Crowd there is a chapter called ‘The Hollow Amid the Ferns’, where the strutting sergeant Troy dazzles Bathsheba Everdene with flirtatious and suggestive swordplay. The scene is beautifully written, aching with sexual tension, both protagonists circling their desires like wolves around prey. Even the chapter heading has subtext.   

‘In an instant the atmosphere was transformed to Bathsheba's eyes. Beams of light caught from the low sun's rays, above, around, in front of her, well-nigh shut out earth and heaven-- all emitted in the marvelous evolutions of Troy's reflecting blade, which seemed everywhere at once, and yet nowhere specially. These circling gleams were accompanied by a keen rush that was almost a whistling -- also springing from all sides of her at once. In short, she was enclosed in a firmament of light, and of sharp hisses, resembling a sky-full of meteors close at hand.’

I imagine the air alive with the rusty hay heat of The Smell of Weather Turning, Bathsheba’s skin moist with perspiration and excitement and Troy in scarlet, like blood on the grass, wooing her by slicing the air and touching her heart with his blade. Put the scent on your wrists and read the chapter. You will see, smell and feel exactly what I mean. The oakwood, hay and nettle are all aromas I imagine smeared across her skin. Mint and chamomile crushed between her fingers as she trails her dress through the ferns, waiting for Troy to symbolically pierce her reserve and tear apart her propriety. Bitter and sweet, sensual and contradictory. Bathsheba shatters hearts and triggers so much darkness. Like a sorceress, she manipulates the men around her for cruel amusement and is led to enlightenment by terrible tragedy.

Hardy’s gift was the depiction of despair, the eternal battle between the sexes, the love, hatred, need, sacrifice, the often terrible role that fate plays in our destinies. His dramas played out against dynamic backdrops of rain, wind, storms, heat, harvest, dewy gardens, desolation, fecundity, earth, forest, stone and water. No one has used landscape and the very fickle nature of British weather to mirror emotion quite like Thomas Hardy.

Gorilla perfumes take their inspiration from a eclectic range of sources: political confinement, the singer Karine Park, indoles, Brazilian beach parties, French art-house cinema, Leonard Cohen, abandonment, love and carnality. They all have a kind of signature, a trademark herbaceous sweetness running through them, an afterburn of smokiness like someone trailing past you with a vanilla soaked cigarette. They are published in anonymous black bottles and waxen rub on formulations. The focus is very much on the juice. Luca Turin (love him or hate him…) was mightily impressed by Breath of God and dropped it into his top 100 fragrances in a recently published little tome of personally chosen scents. This means it sits in the hallowed company of Diorella, Mitsouko by Guerlain, Bulgari Black, Angel, Après L’Ondée by Guerlain, Sarrasins by Serge Lutens, Timbuktu by L’Artisan Parfumeur and Patchouli 24 by Le Labo. 

But for me, the advantage The Smell of Weather Turning has over any of the above fragrances is its raw emotion. I can be moved by the chill and palatial froideur of Après L’Ondée and sensualised by the earthy heft of Annick Menardo’s incredibly deep and biological work in the Le Labo Patchouli 24. But The Smell of Weather Turning is a different kind of experience, a personal storm. On the skin, the emotions trigger a personal climate around you, feelings and desires sparking and crackling. The rain falls as tears. Memories tumble and blur. That medicinal rubbed mint rush is beautiful. You smile. Its all about the rain.

I started this post with a quote from the end of Tess of the D’Urbervilles. I have always been haunted by the final scenes of the novel, as they come for Tess in the morning mists, the sun breaking through the monoliths of Stonehenge. She knows she is to die. The symbolism of the slab-like stones is painfully obvious. The men wait for her to wake. It hurts to read it. The quiet resignation and surrender to fate is crushing. This image of natural earthy Tess is linked indelibly to this powerful and hypnotic scent and looped back to my African storm, my teenage weirdness and isolation smashed by tropical storms. My face turned up to skies, my mind saying over and over again… let the rain take me, let the rain take me.    

For more information on Gorilla Perfumes, please click below:

Image from 'Tess of the D'Urbervilles', BBC Production, 2008, starring Gemma Arterton, Eddie Redmayne and Hans Matheson. Filtered and app-ed by The Silver Fox 2012.


Sunday 26 February 2012

Waiting for the Rain to Take Me: ‘The Smell of Weather Turning’ by Gorilla Perfume/Lush Part I

I have tears in my eyes as I start to write this. This utterly strange and savage scent broke through my usually strong emotional barriers of accreted cynicism and skimmed a stone across a distant lake of memory. The ripples slowly broke on a distant shore and caught me totally unaware.

I remembered a dusty verandah in Nigeria. A layer of fine powder lying over everything, leaves, tables, fingers and hair. It was exhausting keeping clean. The air was heavy and bone dry, pregnant with something ominous. Insects threw sounds into the air. I was bored, watching ants walk in single file across the cracked soil, carrying leaves and dismembered crickets. Everything felt disconnected and muffled. 

The first cracks of thunder shattered the silence, shaking everything; even the bones in my body seemed to vibrate. The air became very very still, all moisture sucked out of it as if nature herself were holding her breath. Then the sky tore open with enormous cackling violence, jagged and brutal. Overhead, birds wheeled, scattering into the void. The manic cacophony of insects was cut short. The ants vanished. I stepped off the verandah into the garden and looked up. My hair moved slightly, skin kissed by hot moist air. There was a pause and then the sky exploded. 

The shock and awe as the rain dropped out of thrashing skies was astonishing. All around me water crashed and bounced, scattering dust and scent into the air. Hot cement, smeared marigolds, meaty smoke from the houseboy’s kitchen fire and glorious baked earth drenched in the craved for rain.

As I stood listening to the water pour to earth around me, the dizzying heat of earlier started to shimmer and play through the rain. I tilted my face to the sky. I felt like I could drown. It was a beautiful and terrifying moment.  

Then suddenly it was gone, as if the sky had been wiped clean. Everything around me was utterly silent. The heat of the rain seemed to boil and sizzle in the air. The lush heaving scents rising from the drowned earth were dizzying; mulchy, green and noxious. A crush of dead insects caught my nose, rivers of dead ants flooded past my feet in eddies of muddy water. The overwhelming odour of bruised garden and hot wet metal is a smell I will never forget.

As the sun clawed back though through the rain the mugginess fell across me like the end of the world. The weight of the weather was extraordinary. The air swirling with flickers of electricity, smashed leaves, mud, echoes of rain and something else, something melancholy and strange. Like a leaving, a farewell. I felt something had been taken from me. I never really understood what. But I shifted in myself imperceptibly.

Storms are melancholic. They wash the skies and trash the land. They can wreak havoc, shift and shatter objects, kill and displace. The skies can burn and roar and the rain falls like punishment from above. But for some of us, storms resonate inside our bony cages, the thunder booms in the chambers of our hearts, the lightning blinds us. We are blue with the drama of the tempest. The dying of the storm is sadness. The light and calm bring little respite. Just an unsettling feeling that something has gone.

The Smell of Weather Turning by Gorilla Perfumes and Lush is a magnificent olfactory experience. It is for me the scented recreation of my African storm. It is described by the folks at Lush as staging a thunderstorm in reverse. It was created by Simon and Mark Constantine to capture the sensations of rain and water on landscape after the passing of a storm. The clouds move away, the earth steams. The dampness starts to dry and radiates the aromas of sweet damp hay and eternal green comfort. The weather turns. The storm is but a memory. The sun warms the soul.

The concept is inspired and the fragrance itself is quite shocking when you first put it on. I had never worn anything quite like it. Even the wondrous and shimmering Breath of God had not quite prepared me for the overwhelming sadness of The Smell of Weather Turning.

Now I will be the first to admit I have long been a Lush snob. I still don’t like the body ranges, the bath bombs and soaps. The smells trigger my migraines. And truth be told I really don’t like the busy all over the place newsletters and instore signage. It just is not me. I know people who love and swear by it. So be it. The stores themselves radiate that smell of overpowering Lushness that you buy into you or you don’t. I never really have. I did always keep an eye on B Never too Busy to Be Beautiful, the ethical beauty sideline that Mark and Simon Constantine started in 2003. The quality of the innovative formulae fast become a staple of beauty industry insiders and incredibly popular with consumers, building up quite a cult following. The marketing was witty and different, executed with gusto and deeply personal convictions. The staff (BNTBTBB and Lush) were, and still are, wildly passionate about the brand and their roles. Yes Lush is boho and a little hippy and achingly earnest but the manifestos and beliefs are rock solid and consistent. 

I came across Breath of God about five years ago; Simon Constantine’s ‘accidental’ masterpiece, the blending of Inhale and Exhale. Sweet & clear meets smoke and stone. Inhale was inspired by the mountain air of Tibet, Exhale by monastic incense. Inhale is all top, Exhale all base. Combining the two was genius; layering transparency with solidity and transcendental depth. The complexities are melodic as they unfold on the skin. The sweet wet notes of melon and rose play against rooty vetiver and tethered with smoky cedar and sandalwood. Touches of jasmine, neroli and lemon move through the air around you like ballet dancers en pointe, barely touching the floor, but beautifully poised and elegantly formed. Every time I wear it I am moved by its weirdness, its ability to adhere and transmute. I have Exhale and Inhale separately too and like to play with the levels. The melody is different each time. On a freezing night as I walked home recently through Edinburgh’s Georgian streets, embedded in scarves and exhausted thoughts, the blend rose off me and played in the air like vibrating cello chords echoing through a frozen forest. Quite extraordinary.

Ladyboy is another favourite, again oddly twisted and strange. It has an incredibly addictive banana top note that is creamy and milkshaky, backed up by a seductive violet and seaweed accord. It is very surreal and abstract, like blindfold nudism in Hongkong perhaps. It starts off so bouncy and sweet with smiles and coy charm and then drops subtly into a cavernous and sensual base of oakmoss and cistus. This soothes like the steady rhythm of long distance trains as you watch the sun set through flashing glass. I have had so many compliments wearing this, people leaning into to smell me, almost inhaling the skin off my bones.

But I always return to The Smell of Weather Turning. On the Lush website Mark Constantine talks about the rather surreal genesis and inspiration of the fragrance. It was born out of a concept floated to them by a girl who worked for Lush who was also a witch.

Periods of strange weather have always traditionally been ascribed to witchcraft and sorcery. Sudden storms, floods, strange showers, lightening and star showers were viewed with a jaundiced eye as evidence of devilry. The ability to affect the weather, fail harvests, blight cops etc, much of this was lain at the door of many a poor defenseless woman. Mark also talks about a druid bard and his musical influences and his memories of a visit to Finland, one of the most surreal places in the world. One my friends went there years ago to study printmaking and told me a wonderful story of cycling home night in the heady sticky high summer through a field full of people lying around drunk of vodka, drunk, singing at the sky.

Mark wanted to work with ancient notes available 5,000 years ago. The climate was different, Britain would have smelled so different, the skies and countryside more pure and somehow more sacred and personal. There was a genuine awe of Mother Nature; of her harmonies, rhythms and violence. She nurtured, killed and soothed.

So the influences and ideas that flowed in and out of the creation of The Smell of Weather Turning were complex and challenging. The fragrance has an unsettling savagery to it, a raw, hand-woven quality and genuinely startles the senses as it hits the skin. I do find it an incredibly moving scent. 

For part two of this piece, please click link below: 

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Friday 10 February 2012

Rum-Soaked Love & Sorcery: ‘Vanille Absolument’ by L’Artisan Parfumeur, Part II

Most people are more familiar with the more innocuous and traditional baking personas of vanilla. Sweet, soft and safe. Cakes and biscuits, milkshakes and of course the only ice cream that really matters. Vanilla is even a byword for safe. My god, he is so vanilla…… Even that is a challenge. 

As well as multifold uses in the food industry vanilla and the isolate vanillin have been used extensively in perfumery for well over a hundred years. Vanillin is a naturally occurring isolate of vanilla in the pod. It was discovered in 1875 by the chemists Haarman and Tiemann. There is approximately 2.5mg of vanillin per vanilla pod and then it was successfully synthesized, creating a sweeter, cheaper alternative to the natural extract. It was also discovered that vanillin could be extracted from eugenol, a constituent of clove and this revolutionised both the perfumery and the food markets. 

Traditionally vanilla essence has been bitter and wan, a poor substitute for the real thing. But now, cooks, both professional and in the home want the unique creamy, custard note that only the pod and real vanilla extract can lend to flavouring. The difference in taste is shockingly different. The bitter acidity of essence compared to the fragrant smoky golden glow of pod, paste and extract.

The vanilla plant is an orchid; its name derives from the Spanish vainilla or little pod. This is the diminutive form of vaina, the Latin word for vagina; a reference to the way the pod or sheath is split open to reach the seeds. It is the Queen of Spices and the world’s second most expensive after the weird and golden bready scented saffron harvested from the crocus stamen.

Vanilla is a very labour intensive crop. The orchids are fertilised by hand after it was realised the orchid used only one species of bee, dramatically limiting its rate of reproduction. Each aromatic leathery bean ripens at its own rate, dictating a highly intensive regime of constantly checking the crop for harvestable pods. Hence the high price tag in super markets and specialist delis.  Bourbon vanilla from the spice island of Madagascar is considered to be the finest in the world. The growing conditions on this unique habitat off the South Eastern coast of Africa are said to be near perfect for vanilla cultivation.

In fragrance vanilla is a vital note in oriental perfumes, providing a deep rich background to woods, grasses and assorted floral effects. Vanilla often feels like a texture in fine fragrance, so beautifully woven through the composition, folding, wrapping, smoothing, and easing out the drydown. To me the effect is akin to threads of gold in tapestry, illuminating and adding subtlety, warmth and lustre.

Take Maison Guerlain and their famous guerlinade base that magically transforms so many of their classic perfumes. Perhaps containing jasmine, rose, orange blossom, iris, vetiver, tonka bean and of course vanilla. The legendary guerlinade is a distinctive and incredibly soft accord that rounds off the edges and drapes a gauze of mystery over surrounding notes. The true nature and form of this complex and multi-facetted blend of top-secret notes is very closely guarded by Guerlain. Its presence in their perfumes is unmistakable, lending glorious, swooning vanillic warmth. As much a signature as the Mousse de Saxe is to Parfums Caron. Guerlain’s beautiful vintage Jicky is built around vanilla and lavender, with brushstrokes of civet and oppoponax. Aimé Guerlain used a clever blend of the newly discovered vanillin and vanilla extract. Vanillin is sweeter, toothier, more buzzy and instant. The blend worked like a dream and Jicky set a pattern of vanillic sorcery that has echoed down over the years through the many Guerlain releases.

They are an addiction to many. I know because I adore them and I love this phantom of vanilla that lingers and roams through the Guerlain scents like a shade that cannot rest. It blooms through my beloved Samsara and Nahéma, lending a timeless and haunting insouciance that will never go out of style. Vanille Absolument has the same power over me, to trap and hold me. It fills the space around me, has genuine depth and emotion. Like the great past Guerlain fragrances it has texture, mood, bite and presence. It is like being haunted by a terrible restless beauty.    

Vanillin and various combinations of it with other vanilla tinted balsams and resins dominated perfumery for decades until an explosion of garish neon bright scents engulfed the market in the early 90s. Vanilla became sugar, candyfloss, caramel, lollipops, butterscotch and every other conceivable permutation of tooth shattering brightness. These were poured in liberal quantities into fragrances that radiated from the skin with the subtlety of drag queens at Mardi Gras.  The beauty and poignancy of vanilla as a base, it’s power to wrap, sooth and seduce was slipping away into the past.

However in recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in the use of true vanilla, the pod and its patisserie rich extract. Three of the best have been The Tobacco Vanille for Tom Ford, Vanille Galante by Jean Claude Ellena for the Hermessences series and the Double Vanille Spiritueuse for the Guerlain Art et Matière series by Annick Menardo. All three of these powerful, rich vanillic oriental scents use the highest quality vanilla absolutes to achieve quite different effects.   

The smoke and honey of Ford’s hazy addictive scent is a porn shoot with overflowing ashtrays and sweating skin. Leather and sunshine bleed though it as it drops onto the skin. But the vanilla and honey accord is warm and inviting as if to say, hey it may be porn, but porn is sex and sex is sweet.

Ellena’s Vanille Galante is an indulgent finger-licking dessert of layers of trembling creams whipped through with air and traces of spice and jasmine and a strange almost smoked caramel effect. It is the sweetest of the three and very French. It reminds me so much of living in Paris as a student and visiting a patisserie on the corner of a street near the Gare de Lyon where I used to buy huge milles feuilles and indulgently peel back the layers and indecently savour every last lick of cream.

Annick Menardo’s complex and divisive scent for Guerlain, Double Vanille Spiritueuse is astonishing, disturbing in its vanillic intensity. Obscene and churchy, the vanilla smells distilled and almost pornographic. You feel you should be atoning for it in confession while muttering obscenities under your breath. It is an incredible fragrance, so liberting and sensual. It burns off my skin like sweet brown fire with wafts of crème brulée and singed woods. It makes me want to fling open the confessional doors, spray liberally and burn the church to the ground as I leave.             

And now we have Vanille Absolument, another deeply sensualised interpretation of vanilla. Bertrand Duchaufour has imagined the pod as skin, wrapped around the most delicious rum and raisin internals, underpinned with dripping balsamics and the most exquisite amber and woods. His trademark atmospherics vibrate, shimmer and open out on the skin, widening Vanille Absolument into a panoramic wonder. The top has clove and a moreish dried fruit note he used to great effect in his dirtyfilthysexy Al Oudh. The dried fruits reek of booze, like the bowl of mixed fruits my mother used to drown before adding to the Christmas cake each year. The smell is intoxicating and very nostalgic. As the fruit starts to drink in the alcohol the osmosis is sublime. There is of course a heady rum note in the top as well as a subtle dash of mandarin that I missed for a while but it drips down through the heart with grace and a golden piquancy.

The initial blast can be dizzying in its intensity, pungent with a whiff of what seems like burnt butter. This butyric twist is lit through with plumes of smoky tobacco and rounded off with the Sophia Loren like beauty of tonka, the forest green licorice of immortelle and beautiful narcissus absolutes. This heart of smoke and mirrors precedes the final dazzling act of vanilla absolutes, smoked woods, musk, benzoin, tolu balsam and mosses. These base elements sway slowly across the skin like an ancient ritualistic dance in a room walled in amber, the air tense with a mood for love. Dancers clad in fibres spun from golden spider silk. The rhythms are slow and liquid, heads and fingers roll, skin sparks fire. The scene unfurls like a sensory hallucination. Everything is honeyed, sweet, smoked and warm, lulling the senses. Skin feels kissed and caressed.

The trademark Duchaufour depth gives Vanille Absolument a dangerous and giddying addiction. It is like wearing a` dream of abandonment. The more I wear and wrap his scents around me the more I am convinced he is a latter day sorcerer, akin to Prosopero, manipulating the elements around him to dazzle and disturb us with perfumed majesty and iconic quietude. I will wear this and wear this and love my skin forever. 


Sunday 5 February 2012

Rum-Soaked Love & Sorcery: ‘Vanille Absolument’ by L’Artisan Parfumeur, Part I

I have not been so besotted with a scent for years. I am in love. My heart races, my skin flushes, I lift away from myself, aroused and unsettled. Flung recklessly on clothes, skin and hair, it swirls around me in conflicting waves of olfactory emotions. I crave comfort, shelter, sex, skin, fucking, licking, darkness, sun, kisses and love, loss and mourning.

Can lashes of desire be this languorous as they bite the skin? The answer is a sweet smoky yes. This boozy tobacco tinted hymn to the vanilla pod is unbearably beautiful. Extreme and emotional, divine and dirty. It moves with an animalic grace over the body, intoxicating and teasing the senses. Some experts claim that vanilla increases endorphin levels in the body. I virtually fall apart as it hits me. It feels like a drug kick, alcoholic and vaporous, wrapping it’s oh so sweet musky arms around me. I imagine myself in an old Buick, pulled over on a hot Southern road, being kissed till I bruise, fingers clawing at condensation and car seat.

I am talking about Vanille Absolument by L’Artisan Parfumeur. Created by perfume savant Bertrand Duchaufour and launched in 2009, this atmospheric and edible Eau de Parfum was originally called Havane Vanille. This gives more definitive clues to its inspiration and soul, as it was the latest (at the time) in the series of fragrances inspired by perfumers’ travels that L’Artisan Parfumeur have been releasing for some years now.

This intriguing micro collection contains some of L’Artisan Parfumeur’s most original and striking work: Timbuktu, Dzongkha and Fleur de Liane by Bertrand Duchaufour and my two personal favourites Bois Farine, the extraordinary smeared nut and patisserie dough scented wonder by Jean Claude Ellena and the bravura Traverseé de Bosphore, also by Bertrand. (Please see previous blog on this entitled – ‘Sweet Fetish: Traverseé du Bosphore by Bertrand Duchaufour’)

Vanille Absolument was inspired by the sights and scents of Cuba. Rum, rhythms, tobacco, sweetness, spice and magical sensuality. A scent of history, tobacco rolled on thighs, rum sweetened with cane sugar, skin sticky with night heat. The ghosts of piracy shimmering across the island. Rum, sodomy and the lash. Woods and potions, spells and rituals, all swaying to a sensual beat, echoing through bars and cafes, days and nights, regimes and history. The forbidden mingling with the tolerated underground beats of a near mythical Cuba.

Sadly, conflict over the name forced the company into a name change to the safer and truth be told, slightly less interesting Vanille Absolument. But the original name and marketing campaign was around long enough for the connections to be made and the visions and influences acknowledged.

I sometimes feel these travelogue fragrances by L’Artisan Parfumeur are not given the recognition they truly deserve. Arguably they are art. Depictions and impressions of a place and time, locales, ambience, emotions; all distilled into a vibrant and evocative collection of natural essences, aromachemical accords and stylish olfactory storytelling.

Duchaufour’s rendering of the Wusulan beauty ritual of Malian women scenting their body and hair with spices and incense is all there in Timbuktu, alive and beating, earthy and deeply real. Images of cold temple stones surrounding sacred fire in the high pure mountains of Bhutan rise and fall through Dzongkha. Fleur de Liane oozes with the fleshy sap of tropical vines and moist heat of Panama. Jean Claude Ellena’s childhood memory of his mother’s kitchen-scented hands are mirrored in the scent of a sacred tree found only on the Ile de Réunion and cleverly reproduced in the unique and compelling Bois Farine.  

This dedication to presenting a deeply personalised perfumed vision of the external world is rare in fragrance and the fact that the results are so diversely evocative proves that L’Artisan Parfumeur is a House with a unique and singular vision. The only other comparison I can think of is Mathilde Laurent’s beautiful and hypnotic work at Cartier on Les Heures de Parfum collection of fragrances. The aesthetics are different; the L’Artisan Parfumeur fragrances have tremendous character and emotive direction. The Cartier brief is incredibly glossy and abstracted, pulling references from all over the place. But Laurent’s talent is such that she can weave magic from such disparate elements and present a collection that is both haunting and classically referential.  

Vanille Absolument is not their first run at vanilla; that honour goes to Vanilia, a heady snarling gourmand with lethal yet perversely perfect doses of ethylmaltol poured into it. It was glorious and trashy in a Studio 54 kind of way. It should not of worked, but it did. No longer part of their catalogue but worth searching out, it can be giddily glorious as the lights go down and the music starts to take you.

There is a liberating unleashing of piracy in the brain, synapses sensually firing when Vanille Absolument hits the skin. A fantasy blend of The Crimson Pirate and Jack Sparrow set against an edgy dreamscape of marauding sexual boats, salt stained wood, hot skin and rum soaked violence. In idle moments I fancy myself a pirate lover deep in the creaking bowels of an aging galleon, lolling amid barrels of spices and plunder, rum and liquor leaking into the skin of the aching ship. I imagine kisses torn from me; skin rubbed and pushed, the air awash with clove, booze, leather and tobacco, the cargo shifting and creaking around us as the ship rolls with the rhythm of the waves.  We carry vanilla pods, bound for Europe, worth more than gold. My dirty lover splits the pods, running a finger down the sheath and smearing the sticky black resin on our skins, the air filled suddenly with a memory of pudding and distant winters. Rum from a flask is dashed into open mouths, our laughter stifled with fabric reeking of smoke, sweat and spices. Our eyes cloud over with sweet druggy abandon as waves crash around us and the crew shout and sails crack above. This is my dizzying vanillic romance, swirling in a golden brain.

Such a dramatic and persuasive fragrance, aromas to burn alive too. Vanille Absolument is fucked skin, dirty, sweet and smooth. Sugared, porny and utterly compulsive. Nothing I have worn really comes close to the aching ‘touch me hard’ signals it throws out from the skin. It forces a compromising of personal space, to reach through and kiss, violate and ravish. 

To read part two of this pice, click link below:

For more information on L'Artisan Parfumeur, please click link below: