When Carrie of Eyeliner on a Cat announced that this blogging collaboration would have The Seven Deadly Sins as a theme, I rejoiced. What a great challenge!
As soon as I sat down to get to work though, I realized how hard this assignment was going to be. I had picked my two favorites of the bunch, Lust and Wrath (make of that what you will ), and now I tried to match those two with a perfume each.
My very first thought went in the direction of Vero Profumo. Rubj, the seductress seemed to be a good idea to represent lust, and the fierce Onda could easily be wrath, it has some people shaking in their boots alright.
But it didn’t quite fit… for one I didn’t want to associate the angelic Vero Kern with such sinful creations (although there is no doubt in my mind she would delight in that, because she might be angelic, but there is a good-sized devil sitting on her left shoulder, grinning about all of this). Also, I was looking for something new. Something unknown.
I wanted to experience those sins fresh and without preconceived notions.
Lust and wrath, wrath and lust – what do they have in common? A frenzy, a blind aggression, an unreflected impulse driving the sinner, pushing him, making him proceed farther and farther towards the goal. The goal? Eros and Thanatos. Life and death. Two sides of the same thing. The two guiding impulses of our lives, when we believe in Freud’s theories.
Lust and wrath are expressions of our deepest drives – to live, to die. No wonder the church wants no business with them, when what they sale only comes afterwards.
I browsed through my perfume collection, looking for inspiration, when all of a sudden I found it – the one perfume that is both lust and wrath, both positive and negative, both growling passion and screaming anger: Vintage Dior Dioressence.
The vintage in front of that name is not merely decorative, but essential, because sadly, tragically, the Dioressence that I smell on myself at the moment, is no longer available. The existing version, leading a measly, largely ignored life, I guess, at the bottom shelf of every Dior counter as part of the Les Creations de Parfumeur collection, is very far removed from the barely tamed wild thing it once was.
If you get the chance to try the vintage juice, do it.
Dioressence was marketed by Dior as le parfum barbare, the barbaric perfume, and that was no mere talk.
Created in 1969 by Guy Robert, Dioressence was a rich chypre including notes of
aldehydes, bergamot, orange, jasmine, violet, rosebud, ylang ylang, geranium, cinnamon, patchouli, orris root, ambergris, oakmoss, benzoin, musk and styrax.
The story of its creations is famously recounted by Chandler Burr in his book The Emperor of Scent (about Luca Turin): Robert was asked to create an animalic scent. He had been handling a big piece of ambergris in his lab, and later washed his hands with cheap floral soap, allegedly a Miss Dior knockoff. When he later smelled his hands he had stumbled on the idea for Dioressence – an intensely animalic base crossed with a green floral.
Dioressence smells furry, spicy, dark, full of warmth – no, heat – and at the same time exhibits a soft side. The gorgeous floral bouquet of Dioressence takes it from the low-lands of the id, to the soft grassy plains of the ego.
What about lust and wrath? Are they in here? Oh yes, they are. Dioressence contains both of these elemental forces, those lapses of the sound psyche, the exceptions to the calm seas of the rational and sober mind. But it does so with a good dose of conciousness. It is no mere unthinking beast, it trancends its most base instincts and instead uses them almost wisely.
And that is what makes it the perfect representative for our two sins: to sin means to do evil consciously.
Knowing better, yet still following your desires.
Don’t forget to take a look at my fellow sinner’s posts today: