By Guest Writer Alexandra
Editor’s Note: Please let us welcome regular reader Alexandra, who graciously agreed to write a post on scenting Greek Goddesses. Alexandra is a museum professional and lives in London.
A few weeks ago Birgit offered some beautiful perfume suggestions for a selection of her favourite characters; I have always found scenting people difficult because of the subtleties and contradictions of human nature. I am slowly building up my perfume wardrobe: I have formal scents, sexy scents, scents for relaxing, for working hard, for making a good impression at work and scents for warm spring days – I can’t ever imagine finding one perfume that sums me up entirely.
But the exercise did get me thinking: there is no such difficulty when it comes to the Greek Goddesses; they represent the extremes of human nature made manifest. Aphrodite is sexy, she doesn’t have to worry about an appropriate scent for a quiet night in.
I have always loved the Greek myths and have a soft spot for the Classical gods in films:
Ursula Andress as Aphrodite – GENIUS! But my perfume-loving soul now needs to add an extra dimension to them, so below are my own humble offerings to the Goddesses that make up the Greek Pantheon:
Hera – Queen of the Gods and sacred guardian of marriage and family.
Easy! A regal, grand dame of perfume that still smells like a loving embrace, for me this could only ever be Shalimar. And as Queen of the Gods she can have as many crystal flacons of the extrait as her heart desires.
Artemis – Virgin Goddess of the hunt.
Mysterious and proud, Artemis is most at home running through the depths of the forest in wild pursuit. For me Artemis wears Ormonde Woman, the bewitching scent of a dark green forest, sliced by shards of sunlight.
Athene – the Goddess of wisdom, skill and justice, born in full battle armour.
I see Athene in Mitsouko, the very epitome of civilised perfection, classical and true.
Aphrodite – not a romantic Goddess, but the goddess of pure unadulterated lust.
I was torn on this one, I initially chose Penhaligon’s Amaranthine (has Amaran-thigh ever been so appropriate?), which always reminds me of sweaty bodies (in a good way…), but in the end I opted for Fracas. Fracas is fleshy and re-blooded, but also attention grabbing, it can not be ignored – Aphrodite’s kinda perfume.
Demeter – Goddess of seasons, nature and the cornfield.
This has to be Parfumerie Générale’s Bois Blond, the only perfume I have ever smelled where you can follow the grass through summer to the hay of autumn, perfect!
Persephone – Queen of Tartarus
OK, so Persephone is not officially of the Pantheon, but I love the name, and I knew immediately how to scent her. Persephone is the daughter of Demeter and was abducted by Hades while collecting flowers. What could suit her better than L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Voleur de Roses? A beautiful flower shrouded in earthy darkness.
Finally, my knowledge of men’s fragrances let’s me down when it comes to the Gods, do let me know if you have any ideas
– may I just offer Serge Lutens’s Muscs Koublai Khan for the violent, philandering Ares?