Friday, February 28, 2014

Fragrance Friday

It's been awhile since I've done one of these, though not for lack of perfumes––I just haven't felt like testing anything.

This Monday was T's funeral, which just sucked; funerals are always sad, but especially when it's for a 23 year old who shouldn't have died. I wore Comme de Garçons Avignon (chamomile, cistus oil, elemi, incense, vanilla, patchouli, palisander, ambrette), an incense perfume. It's beautiful and meditative, and while it would have been even more appropriate had T been Catholic, it didn't feel out of place in the synagogue, either. I don't know what frankincense and myrrh smell like separately, as I've only ever smelled them together, but Avignon opens with a mildly stringent, though by no means brash, version of the both. It softens after 10 minutes or so, grounded by amber and vanilla, and while I cannot smell the chamomile separately, I suspect it contributes to the solemn quiet beauty of the perfume. One spray lasts a solid 8 hours, and the base remains for another few hours after that.

Avignon is not a happy perfume, for me, even before I wore it to the funeral, but it is...soothing, I suppose. It smells holy and serene, and I thought it was very appropriate for the bittersweet occasion; its emotional resonance encompasses both the joy and vivacity I associate with T, as well as the sadness and anger her years of pain and untimely death create. I am not a religious person, but I can see why incense has been so meaningful in so many religious contexts for so many millennia: it does conjure a sense of the divine, or at the very least, the grandness that is our universe.

I'd had it in my mind that it was painfully expensive, but it's a relatively reasonable $80/50 ml. I hope to never have enough occasions to warrant a bottle of such a somber perfume, but I will certainly consider purchasing another sample once mine is empty.

Unrelated to perfume, but relevant to this post, is Phildel's song Funeral Bell. I absolutely love her music, and this song is so haunting and heartbreaking and tragic and wonderful. Kind of like T's art.

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