14 November 2012

The Siren's Call

Black And Roses
Vogue Italia (October 2012)
Photographer: Tim Walker
Model: Kristen McMenamy
Stylist: Jacob K.

Autumn/Winter 2012 

Autumn/Winter 2012

The earliest experience of perfume that I can recall is of roses. When I was growing up my parents always had a small glass vial of damask rose otto high on their mantelpiece. A pale gold liquid encased in glass, it was like someone had captured a piece of magic. On special occasions I would be allowed to apply an ever so tiny dab of the oil onto my wrists and neck. I used to look forward to those times, because that smell transported me instantly to a place where everything was beautiful. The smell was, and is, for me linked inexorably to fantasy. We actually used to grow roses in front of the house, and so I would pick up the fallen petals to rub together between my fingers in the hopes of discovering that magic. But the smell was never the same, it was too green. My love affair with roses continue to this day, although now I find myself drawn towards darker, more indolic rose based fragrances. As much as I enjoy the smell of lighter florals, there is for me something far more beautiful and intense in a darker floral, a darker rose. Life, death, beauty, love, eroticism, the rose encapsulates it all.



  1. Beautiful photos.

    I wanted to smell of rose when I was reading your romantic essay.

    Shiseido has product "Rose garden". I remember I presented Rose garden fragrance to my girl friend. And she showed up with this fragrance whenever I saw her for a while.

    I don't wear fragrance rarely but I want to buy this fragrance again when I go back to Japan.

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  3. I don't have a special connection to roses, for me, rose fragrances always meant headaches. For me the worst are Chanel No 5 and Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds. I always preferred the smell of my dad's cologne: CK Obsession or Chanel Pour Monsieur.

  4. P: Haha I actually shudder at the thought of No 5. As much as I love pure rose, a lot of rose-based fragrances were unfortunately ruined for me by going to weddings as a little kid and experiencing repeated olfactory assaults from over-perfumed middle age women.

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