A Certain Slant of Light
This past summer I had occasion to write a short description of Dominique Ropion’s Une Fleur de Cassie. It’s short enough to reproduce here:
Une Fleur de Cassie is a trophy fragrance, a perfume that stands out from the rest of the pack like a Vionnet gown stands out in a starlet-of-yore’s closet. It isn’t about glitz or post-Eighties’ sex-appeal. It’s about Eleganz. It’s about a Bugatti Type 41 “Royale” crunching the gravel on its 5mph procession up a long driveway somewhere in Cove Neck. It’s about a cool April night when you’ve left all the windows open in hopes that spring (and love) have come to stay. Your nose is greeted with the most marvelous scents wafting in from the garden, but you must admit, as you reach for the box of tissues, that you’re a tad cold.
Sure, he used some very pricey ingredients - mimosa absolute, jasmine absolute, cassie absolute, rose absolute - but the parts do not justify the whole, which is much more complex than any ingredient list. It’s as if Ropion let a certain slant of light enter in between each layer of the finished product, and what’s more, he used sandalwood and vanillin in his base with such mastery as to create something on par with vintage Guerlain but worlds - galaxies - apart in style.
Just thinking about Une Fleur de Cassie makes me happy, and there are few perfumes that do that these days.
Image credit: Dale Chihuly, “Macchia” blown-glass bowl (1982), courtesy of ArtNet.