Rome, year 305 A.D. The Roman Empire faces serious problems, and the Emperor Diocletian is trying to prevent disintegration. Even at the cost of very unpopular measures. He tries to unify the empire on all fronts. Among other things, it will also harm the Christian community, because in a stubborn effort to unite everything, including religious thought, one of the last great persecutions of Christians in the Empire occurs only 8 years before the Milan Edict is enacted and converts the whole Roman Empire to Christianity.
I wanted to start by saying that I couldn’t quite separate perfumes (as well as anything else) from social and political events. Then I realized that while I might be able to, I don’t want to. Therefore, in the current situation, I looked at the Turkish brand Nishane with some distance. But then a friend asked me to smell the wonderful scents of Santalové and Tuberóza and – yet careful – love was born. And when I discovered that this year they issued a fragrance in honor of the abandoned Armenian city of Ani, which is located in Turkish territory, and invited Cécile Zarokian, a famous perfume with Armenian roots to create it it, they got all my fondness.
I have a great weakness for the local perfumery in general and for those “ours” – Czech and Slovak specifically. For I am convinced that, as with any kind of art of man, the creation is affected by the environment in which he lives, in which he grew up, whatever he experiences. And so it yields an amazing variety in results, which can never be achieved by “ordinary” perfume houses with noses concentrated more or less in one place in France, and moreover, those from our cultural sphere have much more to tell us, or simply about us.
It’s all Chagall’s fault… So you go to Chagall’s Villa in Nice. You are still full of impressions when browsing through things in the museum shop on the exit. You willy-nilly grab a few of violet-themed souvenirs and then your whole car smells like violets for hours and you know: this phenomenon certainly deserves a deeper examination.
No surprise I spent the whole evening googling (fortunately my obsession to always check the fragrance manufacturer to see whether it is not missing from our parfumanie.cz database helped this time again) and driving to the mountains right the next morning.
The turn of the 80’s of the last century. The Iron Curtain breaks. Finally, it is possible to buy luxury fragrances in a different way than occationally in the pivilidged-access Tuzex store, or have them smuggled in from the outside of the country. Not that we didn’t know anything other than Living Flowers (Živé kvety) or The Smells of the Moscow (Duchy Moskvy), thanks to the cooperation (read selling semi-slave labour) with Dior we could get some classic Dior’s before, even a Dior boutique opened in the Bratislava city, where we went religiously to smell the beauty.
I admit that I underestimated this brand initially. The packages looked very nice to me, I like such cheerful minimalism, but somehow I did not expect much from these colorful liquids. And that was a mistake. The simple look and lightweight design conceals truly sophisticated scents.
Some people, when they find themselves at a crossroads of life, travel to meditate alone in a secluded place. Mostly they choose Nepal, or some Buddhist or other monastery hanging somewhere on the edge of the cliff just due to the willpower, the prayers of the monks and some malfunction in the laws of physics. I wish them well, each according to their taste, but for me, I picked the French Riviera.
When you have an aviatic enthusiast at home, you just need to see a hint of a propeller and you know where you are. But seeing the propeller on the perfume bottle is quite unexpected. Not that aerial inspiration is something rare in the perfume world (for example, Guerlain’s Vol de Nuit, Caron’s En Avion, Sisley’s Eau d’Ikar, Cartier L’Envol, Joop! Nightflight, or – my apologies to the more sensitive readers – even Man & Airplane from Manufaktura), but this is the first time I see the whole brand brand on it.
I was navigated today to perfumerie Fann in the small town nearby where I go sometimes to see a medical specialist. Well, I was ready to see somehow limited selection, less novelties and stuff, but what awaited me there was a flashback to perhaps 30 years ago. Unfortunately, the timecapsule contained the attitude and poor selection, not that they would have fragrances from the time.