Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Portrait of a Lady, best in Bloom

In my childhood photo album there is a picture showing me all dolled up in a red velvet dress, white knee socks and black patent leather shoes. I have long forgotten who got married that day and made me a flower girl, but the dress and the shoes I remember. Or better, I remember how proud and pretty I felt wearing them. To this day velvet holds an irresistible magical fascination and when I see a velvety item in a shop I will need to touch it. Sometimes also buy it. There are a few velvet things in my wardrobe, but they don't get out much. The little bolero found in a second hand shop in N.Y. 15 years ago is now worn permanently by the vintage mannequin, the Ibiza style dress for which I'm now 20 years too old, the black graduation dress hand made by my Godmother and a few other oddities. They all mean something to me and made me very happy at some time.
So as the soft and shiny texture of velvet, its opulence and figure hugging properties will always seduce me, a perfume that can translate this into scent will have no problem to entrance me. Meet the "Portrait of a Lady" by Edition de Parfums Frederic Malle.

My visual interpretation of Portrait of a Lady by Edition de Parfums Frederic Malle

She is a rose, of course, this Lady. No surprise here. Velvety petals of the darkest red rose, soft, seductive, rich and and proud. But be aware that his is no innocent rose, probably not even a lady.... She has smoke and spice in her, and sparkling wit. I don't know what parfumeur Dominique Ropion's inspiration was, may be the Henry James novel, but I like to think that it was a very special woman and that he wanted to make any woman wearing his perfume feeling beautiful, seductive and ever so slightly dangerous. For the colour interpretation I wanted to show the shiny wafting ripples of the scent and its amazing sillage accompanied by the black resin that gives it its darker side. It doesn't change all that much on me during the dry down, it just gets a bit softer and lasts amazingly long. I think someone should name a rose after it.

How and where to wear:
The Chelsea flower show, grubby Jeans and T-shirt, killer heels, red lipstick

Rose image via flickr by aling_, some rights reserved

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