I was a-travelling with Olfactoria when I happened upon Brie in New York.
Before Brie’s star started twinkling in the The Fragrant Stratosphere she was given an Egyptian-style perfume bottle with a gold stopper, filled with an ounce of Mysore sandalwood oil. The gypsy woman who gave her this gift advised application on her third eye. The advice and bottle was discarded and well, this is a regret that Brie has learnt to live with.
There is nary a drop of Mysore Sandalwood left in the world until the vast Australian plantations are ready for harvest. Maybe I should have said nary a drop that is easily available. There are vaults of vintage Mysore sandalwood available to certain perfumers, but it seems to me that Neela Vermeire has either options or owns the vats and the vaults.
Note: There is an Australian native sandalwood that only Serge Lutens has been able to make sing with Santal Majuscule. The Mysore root stock has been planted in Australia and the scented results await our noses in the near future. We will be reporting on this sustainable harvest shortly. Right now we are zoomin’ over to New York to hear a story from Brie.
The Man in the Black Cowboy Hat
The Powerful Seduction of Drakkar Noir
Guest Post, by Brie in New York
The Fragrant Man recently quoted me as saying
These words never rang more true for a circumstance that forever altered my life.
Come, travel back in time with me.
It is the summer of 1995 in New York City. I have just completed my first year of graduate school and to celebrate my girlfriend and I spend a humid August afternoon perfume shopping at our favorite haunt, Saks Fifth Avenue. By evening we were sticky, exhausted and parched. By chance we passed by a Country Western Club called Denim and Diamonds and decided to go in for a drink and bite to eat. After satiating ourselves we floated towards the dance floor and enjoyed watching partners two step. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted a man across the room in a black cowboy hat with the most mesmerizing blue-green eyes I had ever seen. Ten minutes later he was standing by my side, asking me to dance.
Being in such close proximity while dancing with him allowed the scent that was emanating from his sweaty body to penetrate my nostrils and I was enthralled. A boozy, woodsy, incense and manly vanilla that made me want to swoon. It was one of those rare, never to be replicated moments where all visual and auditory input ceased to exist. There was just him and I, dancing together with that intoxicating aroma wafting from his neck.
And just like that he was gone. A week later I dragged my poor friend back to that club in hopes of seeing that great smelling man with the piercing eyes again. As chance would have it, there he was. Now, there are times in my life when my reticence and fear of rejection preclude me from engaging in that which would prove to be highly rewarding. Fortunately this was not such a moment, for, much to my surprise, I marched up to him and asked him to dance.
By our third date I got up the nerve to ask him what fragrance he wore. It was Drakkar Noir. He confessed that he only bought it after overhearing two young ladies announce that they would do anything for a man who was wearing Drakkar Noir. Eventually he stopped wearing fragrance all together and when I asked why he responded with a wink, “Well, I already ensnarled you, didn’t I ?”
The scent that I most associate with him nowadays is Dove soap. My fragrant friend Neil Chapman tells me that a clean soapy smelling man isn’t such a bad thing after all and to this I would agree.
However, every once in while I dig into our medicine cabinet and pull out that vintage black matte bottle, unscrew and sniff. I am instantly transported to 1995 and reminded of the incredibly seductive power of fragrance which fortuitously lured me to my husband and the father of my three children.
Information from Basenotes
Perfumer: Pierre Wargnye
Lemon, Lavender, Tangerine
The latest on Neela Vermeire Creations from Kafka
Portia Turbo interviews Neela Vermeire
Santal Majuscule Review at Bois de Jasmine