I wish I were in NYC tonight. Something magical is happening… a rare event that I imagine will be like walking in a dream. The Clarimonde Masquerade hosted by MiN New York, produced by Lucy Raubertas, is taking place and if only my perfume, who will attend in my stead, could send me a post card from beyond the mighty river to tell me of the delights.
It was nearly a year ago that the first unveiling of the Clarimonde project perfumes and sundries happened. I was just beginning the pregnancy and a bit preoccupied, so didn’t really get the chance to talk about the project, the wonderful concept and inspiration or the perfume when it first came out. So, what am I waiting for?
The Clarimonde Project is the brain child of the wonderful Lucy Raubertas (of indieperfumes blog fame) and again she is the same visionary who put tonight’s Masquerade together. But what or who is a Clarimonde? you might ask. Well, to begin Clarimonde is a who and the starring persona of an incredibly beautiful, haunting gothic tale of an obsessive, passionate lover and his object who commands his very soul… until she reveals herself as an act of true love and he rejects her and thus their paradise is lost forever. I don’t want to give away too much as it’s a wonderful read or even to listen to and you should, you really should take the time to either read or listen. Please go check out Lucy’s blog dedicated to he project to get the whole story : http://clarimondeproject.wordpress.com/ and here’s a link to a very special version of the story: http://soundcloud.com/ondynesdemise/clarimonde-recitation
Lucy got this image perfectly right in it’s color, sensual feel and mysterious glance when choosing an image to speak to the perfume that I created to tell the story of Clarimonde: Paradise Lost. It really does feel like what I had in my head as I was designing it… although this Bronzino portrait an integral part of my design as well. It was my original visual inspiration, as well as the many visual images, colors, spacial designs, textiles and textures alluded to in the story itself.
Paradise Lost, of course with the other literary reference to Milton, seemed the perfect to fit the story for me. An ardent love is indeed a paradise until something comes to break the magic spell. Then all is lost. It can never be the same again. There is a sense of loss in this perfume; an opulent yet melancholy tone. It speaks to the time in which the story is written, during the first decade of the twentieth century, as well as the otherworldly and altered sense of time and space woven into the story. I would describe Paradise Lost as an Oriental perfume, as there is an exoticism and spiced warmth about it but it also has a distinct animalic nuance in the drydown and a very unusual twist in the opening notes. I designed a number of accords to accommodate qualities in the story that I wanted, such as “sable fur, pressed violets, faded flowers, candlewax and bloody sweet”. Certainly there are no essential oils or even compounds readily available of such notes. This was half the fun of the design and a challenge: how to create these accords and then stitch them together to make a tapestry that is complete and distinctive. (I have to admit that the bloody sweet note did double duty as it found it’s place in some multi-sensory art works I did for the Dairy Center for the Arts at Halloween last year as well…but that’s another story). The proof will be in the pudding as Lucy and the lovlies at MiN show the perfume to the party goers in NYC tonight. We’ll see what is said at the Masquerade.
Here’s the little bit of verbiage that I state at the website about Paradise Lost: “The phrase “A twilight blue oriental perfume” most captured my imagination from the first time I heard it along with the image of faded flowers along side a bed of gold and silver, attended by a negro page wearing black velvet holding an ivory cane; and the satiny hand of “Clarimonde” as she lay dying. This cool, almost misty scene that might have been a last glimpse of Clarimonde paired with an alternate universe of warm opulence in Venice were always shimmering in my mindʼs eye as I created “Paradise Lost”. Paradise Lost is a limited edition.
Paradise Lost won’t be alone on a mantle at beautiful MiN… the stage will be shared by a singer, a dancer and number of other Indie Perfumers: Ayala Moriel, Alexis Karl and Maria McElroy, Mandy Aftel and lip stain by Monica Miller of Perfume Pharmer. If only I could transform into a butterfly myself tonight and flit my way through the ethers. I would land on a lace mask and sip champagne from my hosts glass. I believe I will have found my paradise.
Now for the commercial AND a little draw:
Paradise Lost in a limited edition that found it’s way into two antique bottles: one a Parisian charm bottle with an Art Nouveau motif that is wearable on a chain and the other our classic French 5 ml flacon. Both are lovely and available at our site.
Now, since you’ve read so far, I thought that it would be fun to create a limited edition of three Paradise Lost solid perfumes and give them in a draw. To enter just post a comment about your favorite part of the Clarimonde story or a favorite aspect of the Clarimonde Project blog that Lucy has so beautifully created. Three winners will be chosen at random on Halloween, October 31.