Noir Epices by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle (Perfumer: Michel Roudnitska)
Top notes: Orange, rose, geranium
Heart notes: Nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, pepper
Base notes: Patchouli, cedar wood, sandalwood
It was one of those early autumn campfires, where there is still enough moisture in the twigs and leaves to let off a semi sweet instead of smoky dry scent. We sat there drinking hot spiked apple cider, the thickness of mulled fruit sliced and extinguished by the burn of the rum, watching every last bit of life burn down in the golden glowing embers of the fire. You sat there looking at me and I sat there looking at you and you sat there looking at me looking at you and I sat there looking at you looking at me looking at you. It was one of those nights where it made absolute sense that absolutely nothing made sense at all. You always said you hated it when I went on about pseudo intellectual shit like that. In some ways I knew you were right, but deep down I think you were just scared of approaching serious complexity in our relationship.
So there we sat across from each other, separated by the silently wrecking pile of destruction. The air was now one complex mixture of the sweet rum and apple, the light smoke rising into the cool, crisp autumn air and the heavy smell of what was soon to be the ashes. I was one step away from coming towards you, a hundred steps away from leaving you there by yourself. I couldn’t bring myself to do either.
We sat there, just us two. We spoke for hours without saying a word, simply gazing into the fire and then each other’s eyes. In the beginning, I would flinch away when your eyes met mine, and you would flinch when my eyes met yours, but in the end we both gave in. You and I didn’t need the useless babble of everyday language, I once told you. We just got each other, no actual conversation needed. But now the one thing we needed but neither of us could say was I’m sorry. As the last of the little flames burned down and the cold night air started to wrap itself around me, an asphyxiating chill from nose tip to pinkie toe, I realised we never would.
My body almost frozen from the same posture for seconds over minutes over hours on end, I finally managed to get up. I looked at you one last time, before the interlock of our eyes broke off within a second, as if it all had just been random stares from stranger to stranger on the subway train. Off I went, the soles of my leather boots crushing little twigs and leaves in colours of red, amber and yellow underneath them.
After walking through the solemn woods by myself and closing the door to my apartment behind me, I threw myself on the bed, on my back so I could stare up at the white ceiling in the hope of some zen-like moment of serenity where everything would become perfectly clear washing over me. It didn’t. Instead, all I smelt was that spicy, smoky, sweet scent. I wrapped myself further into my shearling jacket, the warmth and perfume covering me like a blanket an infant. I laid there, cradled up and very still. The smell almost suffocated me, yet I did not want to inhale anything else. Clinging on to that scent was clinging on to you. It took me weeks and weeks until I finally washed that jacket. I had naively wished that if whatever that scent was and represented could stay materialised in the sheep fur fibres, that perhaps we would somehow find our way back together. But instead, the jacket soon smelled of generic fabric softener and washed away with that smoky sweetness was every last memory of you.
Text by Carla Seipp
Dear Diane and Shaded Viewers,
Perfume isn’t just about a smell — it’s a complex artistic process, careful scientific calculation, and a harbour of memories and personal associations. All the reason to give it a more creative written outlet than just press releases and simple pieces depicting fragrance family and composition.
This is the idea behind A Shaded View on Perfume Fiction. Be it a short story, poem, or love letter, any piece of writing inspired by a fragrance, no matter the word count, should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with ASVOF Perfume in the subject line.
Looking forward to reading your work.
Read the full article here.