Is this the New Religion?
If so, he is on the very cusp of being converted.
A work of worship, it started in an ante chamber with an Eastern rite of purification: an almost overwhelming and unexpected crescendo of cardamon.
In ecstasy the assembled are encouraged to give up residual resentments, forgo bitterness with a sweetness bought by bergamot rubbed briefly across your brow by way of blessing.
Progressing to the main hall of the temple you find the central act of adoration perpetually in motion.
True incense, that is frankincense, oil of olibanum, is caressed across the nape of your neck by a true believer.
Others of his brethren throw precious petals persistently into the air.
Arms like widmills in snow storms of the imagination, they create constant flurries out of jasmine and orchid clouds.
So commences the final act of complete consummation.
Recalling Roman ritual, that spice they valued most and which the contemporary world has made mere condiment, is wholly and wholeheartedly invoked.
Rich imperial pepper.
Of strange quality and quantities un-experienced for centuries it stimulates and eroticises the whole holy throng.
It’s intoxication invigorates incandescent adherents onwards to the climax of their idolatry.
Collective carnal embrace.
In the room beyond, you attempt to gather in your dignity and thoughts; foraging through feelings and folds of skin for meaning.
Your body is smoothed by suplicants with sandalwood oil whilst they replace your robes.
Only one question remains:
Are you fallen or have you joined the faithful?
A truly sacred and profane perfume Nu by Yves Saint Laurent is probably best summed up by the phrase ‘orgy in the temple’.
The original fragrance, prior to its recent repackaging and relaunch, mixes the conventions of Eastern and Western olfactory worship: opening with olibanum, cardamon and bergamot giving way to oriental florals.
It then proceeds to an highly sexualised heart; all pagan pepper and more frankincense this time with animalic musk.
This fragrant frenzy persists for a truly improper period, and is decidedly Tantric in its staying power especially in the much much to be preferred Eau de Parfum.
In both the drydown is sandalwood soft and gently reflective, possibly tinged with a subtle regret or is it a passion hangover?
Who cares? Strip away away the symbolism and everyone’s in this one for the ride!
Bi-sexual more like. And even that might be a little limiting!
I don’t think this one’s too fussy about all those fuzzy male female distinctions…
The Perfumed Dandy.