Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Autumn Paraphrase: Brûme d’Automne

Jean Paul Guerlain’s Brûme d’Automne (2008) brings to mind those lines of Wallace Stevens’: “The wind of Iceland and / The wind of Ceylon, / Meeting, gripped my mind.” (I had the good fortune to obtain a small decant from Guerlain, extremely rare in part because, at present, it is only available in the limited edition coffret, Les Quatres Saisons, which is mega-expensive.)

If a scent could represent the meeting of two currents, or two jet streams, from vastly different worlds it would be this. From one direction we have cooling green notes of rosemary, coriander and slightly savory pink peppercorn; from the other warm, sensual notes of ylang-ylang, rose, patchouli and vetiver. The composition literally does what its name means, as le brûme denotes “mist,” the phenomenon precipitated by cool air moving above warmer land or water. Of course, ever since types like Wordsworth, Shelley (Mary, too) and Caspar David Friedrich began playing with impressionable minds, mist has become a mood-building device and a metaphor for the numinous, the barely grasped.

It supposedly was inspired by the memory of a long-lost love and a journey to Piascassier, a hilltop village near Grasse. Such histoires sentimentales are nothing new for the house of Guerlain. But who can balk when the product of sentimental reverie is so unbelievably pleasant...and different from everything else on the market? If it ever gets released in the Les Parisiennes line, it will be taking its place alongside such other magisterially moody scents as Jicky and Derby.


Blogger ScentScelf said...

Holy cow, this sounds fantastic. Thanks for the wonderful description...even if I may only encounter this mist in reviews, yours made it a pleasant (albeit all too brief) journey.

September 6, 2008 at 6:05 AM  

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