So they got Sophie Dahl to do a column on perfume.
A while ago, the husband bought me the book on perfume (called, I think Perfumes) by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez that covers almost every scent since it was first made commercially available – except my favourite, Jardin Clos by Diptyque – and in the process creates a whole new syntax and vocabulary for describing olfactory moments.
I loved Patrick Suskind’s Perfume when it came out and was amazed that he could sustain his hypnotic descriptiveness of these moments across three hundred pages of historical serial killer suspense.
Anyway, back to Vogue. I’m slightly nervous when I hear Sophie Dahl is going to have her own column. She’s a published writer and the grand-daughter of the granddaddy of them all, but will she actually have the time to write all the words herself? I hope so, because they’re lovely words and I’m enjoying the column and, guess what, it worked, and this kind of one-stage-removed subliminal sales stuff almost never works on me.
She described Cristalle, by Chanel. I wore it when I was in my twenties and doing fun stuff like falling in love and reading a LOT of books. I must have been happy, because the smell of it now makes me supremely content. And I’m smelling it now because when I was out shopping, with my MW cardigan fresh in my bag, I bought a bottle in Liberty.
My Perfumes book gives it five stars – an exceptional, timeless scent – but points out that it can be a bit scary and reminds you of a glorious woman getting up and putting her clothes back on after a night of sublime passion. Not the promise of it, but the suggestion that the woman in question, although perfectly capable of it, has other things to do.
It doesn’t suggest this to me at all, of course, although they’re usually right in that book so I bow to their judgment. To me it suggests writing a children’s novel people are starting to like and shopping with my stepdaughter (we went to Abercrombie & Fitch and she looks jaw-dropping in the results, no surprises there) and finding THE LAST MW CARDIGAN IN LONDON and coming home to the man who buys me surprise dresses when I make enough suitable hints.
I may be wearing it for a while.