There are many reasons why people fall in love with fragrance, whether it's to create an air of mystery, class, intelligence, sex appeal, glamour, competence and professionalism, or to ponder the art form, to be inspired by it or to entertain ourselves by analyzing what we think we smell, and sometimes it's simply how a certain fragrance or a combination of notes lets us feel. For me, the swoon factor, brought upon by the perfect level of sweetness balanced by an accompaniment of supporting notes, is what it's about. The accompaniment should be as controlled as with music, in that it should never override the lead vocalist or instrumentalist who is in charge of the all-important melody. The main voice is the sweetness--the melody is the heart note. The other parts should also be interesting and not merely predictable chords that flow behind it and give it all away without a sense of mystery, but with a sense of openness like power chords in rock music, or music by J.S.Bach, like melodic parts in and of themselves which create a pattern of excitement and intensity, a structure built on intelligent melodic, as well as rhythmic, counterpoint. The arrangement never has to give it all away because I like to figure it out--yet it has to have enough happening and not be too simple and predictable. A perfume that has the power to make me swoon should only be one as perfect as Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque. It's not just in the mind--my reaction is physical, too.
Sometimes, it feels like all time has stopped and I realize I'm swooning with so much pleasure, it seems like the impossible dream. Maybe I'm a perfume masochist and the pleasure is only because it's mixed with the pain of missed opportunity. Of course, I feel like a real dope right now because I knew this would happen; now that Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque is gone from the States, I want it. I want it so badly. I don't even care that we've had our ups and downs, and that it wasn't love at first sniff or even mere attraction at first (I thought it was unbelievably medicinal-smelling when I first got a decant from a very generous and wonderful perfumista friend). A love story doesn't have to be a fairytale and I want what's real. Is it the increasingly warm weather that makes me crave this warm, ambery honey powder spiced with cinnamon and clove again? Is it the perfectly balanced mix of sweet and spicy, the cleanliness-meets-funk, the antiseptic rosy hookah smoke that has me reeling for more which I cannot have? I feel as if it's the olfactory equal to my energy if this makes sense...it's as if we are two of the same sound waves muting eachother, thus calming me down.
I've decided that one day, my first Serge Lutens bell jar purchase shall be Fumerie Turque...that's if I could ever get my sorry self out to Paris to buy it. I could've just gotten it from Aedes or someplace right around the corner this past fall, but no--I thought it was over, that I'll never love it or another one like it again. I also figured it was just another spicy Oriental that could be replaced. I recently found life in the sweet and charmingly honeylike Kenzo Amour, and it's a great scent but Fumerie Turque just smells like it's lived more and has more interesting, poignant things to say (which basically means Fumerie Turque is the heavier and spicier of the two favorites). Oh, how I weep (Thank God for decant sellers like Fishbone96 who make these sudden cravings manageable--OK, I'm not exactly crying here). It's awesome how Fumerie Turque makes me breathe a little slower, deeper, and seriously centers me. It must be why I chose it while getting ready for my CBGB's gig last summer, to help handle my stress level. You know? Music has surely been my saving grace but in many ways, so has fragrance. I'll never again think aromatherapy has no real merit--it does, and it's important to me.
Fumerie Turque by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido (2003)
Notes: currants, white honey, candied Turkish rose, Egyptian jasmine, smoked leather, beeswax, Balkan tobacco, Peru balsam, patchouli, tonka bean, styrax, juniper, vanilla.
(Image: Osmoz.com, www.salons-shiseido.com)