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

Sunday 9 July 2017

Hive Mind: ‘Délivre-Moi’ by Technique Indiscrète (Interlude III)

 You bee man, lifting a frame to light, count only numbers.

You are human; what bees count must be more than parts.
Breathe on them your dream of honey-smeared taste.

(From ‘30th May: Examining Brood’ in Bee Journal by Sean Borodale

Honey and beeswax are notes I love in scent.

The opulent glow of Honey Oud from Floris, Mamluk from Xerjoff’s Oud Stars, How You Love, the smooth groove sensual lilt of Dana El Masri’s Sade-inspired scent from Parfums Jazmin Seraï and the erotic slutty rush of Séville à l’Aube from L’Artisan Parfumeur are all beautiful oozing, waxen manifestations of animalic bee work. 

Foxy beeswax... ahhh the odour..

Nothing quite prepared me however for the shuddering plunge of Délivre-Moi, a violent collision of bee-porn and mega-wattage vintage sillage. Even opening the box now seems to release some ghost of a couture-clad dowager sweeping through dust-filled rooms, a mauve dress of wax and pollen-stained satin with live bees frothing at the hem and bodice. It is one of the most powerful and arresting perfumes I own and I find it mesmerising. It is immensely private, compelling you in secret to scorch the atoms in your immediate vicinity, but in reality nothing beats wearing it out and watching people swoon, recoil and flee.

From 'The Sweetest Thing' editorial for
Vogue Australia, lensed by Will Davidson,
model Cassi Van Den Dungen

The smell of you oscillates between Versailles trollop, 80s Parisian pissoir and vast ballrooms of fading jasmine. There is a huge sense of decay, dust and anxiety in the mix; the undeniable power of the floral notes counterpointed by the honey and almandine and cherry nostalgia of the admittedly huge overdose of heliotrope. You only have to use very small amounts of heliotropin for a formula to explode with powdered marzipan intensity.

Monday 3 July 2017

Canny Hand & Eldritch Fire: ‘Damn Rebel Witches’ by REEK Perfume

Witchcraft was hung, in History,
But History and I
Find all the Witchcraft that we need
Around us, every Day —

Emily Dickinson (poem 1583)

In 1589, 14-year-old Princess Anne of Denmark set sail on Danish waters bound for Scotland to marry King James VI whom she had already married by proxy at Kronborg Castle in Helsingør, the inspiration for Hamlet’s doom-stained Elsinore. Anne’s fleet was thwarted by terrible storms and forced back onto the Norwegian coast where Anne and her retainers travelled overland to Oslo to seek refuge and wait.

King James VI & Anne of Denmark

Back in Scotland, an increasingly anxious King James became concerned that some dreadful incident had occurred because of the storms. Prayers were said, candles burned, and the anxious King scanned turbulent waters. A search party was dispatched to look for his young bride to be accompanied by a letter in French written by James:

Only to one who knows me as well as his own reflection in a glass could I express, my dearest love, the fears which I have experienced because of the contrary winds and violent storms since you embarked’ 

Eventually word came from the Danish court that winter was setting in and that any attempt to cross the seas would have to wait until spring. Undeterred, James set sail with three hundred retainers to meet Anne and bring her back to Scotland. The royal couple were luxuriantly betrothed in the Old Bishops Palace in Oslo on 23rd November 1589, the ceremony conducted in French in order that both James and Anne could understand proceedings.