She said it sternly, with that single-mindedness that only brides to be seem to be able to bring to bear.
“Strangely, I haven’t forgotten that I have elected to get married in August and on the Algarve.”
She looked around at her assembled brides maids, her mother, her mother in law to be, her wedding organiser and assorted bridal wear suppliers, then straight ahead at the middle distance.
“But I still chose to wear a purple velvet dress and will happily accept the consequences whatever they may be.”
There was a general hush, a collective sidewise exchange of glances. Her look remained resolute, unflinching, implacable.
Too scared to even whisper a word of contradiction, gradually party’s pursued lips relaxed and melted into smiles, nervous laughter filled the air and the tension ebbed way as they accepted the simple fact.
The lady was not for turning.
When she insisted the outfit be cut in the shape of a Balenciaga ball gown, even though it was to be a beach-based ceremony, no one spoke up.
The bouquets of heavily scented violets and irises complete with roots revealed beneath the gathering bow, were allowed to pass too without by nor leave.
That the page boys be dressed in multi-coloured suits that had them resembling the liquorice sweets she adored was agreed by all to be a brilliant idea, a way of persuading small boys to dress smartly without squirming protest.
A toast of Pernod and blackcurrant cordial was met with silent resignation.
Only when it came to the vows was any dissent heard.
The celebrant, she had no truck with religion, swallowed hard when she ‘suggested’ that rather than the usual ‘Will you take this woman…’ tediousness, she address the groom directly, commanding him to swear unending fidelity to her.
The former curate faltered that perhaps this was a little ‘unconventional’, that it might be seen as a touch ‘pressurising’, that some people might even find the tone somewhat ‘domineering’…
She looked him up and town then fixed her eyes once again into no man’s land. Saying only one word:
When the day arrived the weather was not as hot as it should have been.
A brisk wind came in persistently from the sea playing havoc with the bride before in a fly away dress.
Not for her the same fate.
Her silhouette in near starched, stroke-me satin velvet remained perfect.
Against the overcast sky her female attendants in lilacs and fuscias formed a human flower arrangement.
Alongside the little boys in rainbow raw silk suits and bow ties were gem stones scattered across the sand.
The profound purple of her dress sequestered what little sunshine there was, seeming to shimmer: a radiant darkness at the shoreline.
Then the moment.
In a voice of perfect nerveless clarity she elocuted:
“Do you agree from this day forth to take this woman to have and to hold, to cherish and adore, to honour and obey… to love me?”
All those brought together on the bay in unison mouthed…
As he alone and petrified spoke the word.
Aimez Moi by Caron is a supremely single minded scent almost to the point of being downright scary.
It is a profound, heavy, unerring perfume that takes a core accord and extends it into a peerless operatic piece of work.
At the opening it is a tale of two lovers: anise and violet.
Yet any of the usual sweet, sentimentally romantic notions one might have of either note are instantly nullified.
The violet is dark, as tangible as cloth, as otherworldy as the Gothic.
The anise meanwhile is savoury, earthy, dirty almost, bringing forth the root of the iris, the third member of this love triangle, who appears in the second act.
Our protagonists’ brooding passions are played out with an accompaniment of spicy cardamom, a peppery mint and an amber that seems to be the near unsmelt structure holding the whole thing together.
Somewhere in the maelstrom, as so often in such affairs, there is a suggestion of alcohol.
The whole effect is indeed intoxicating, not least for its strength and gasp-inducing sense of bravado.
This is a hard liquor Liz Taylor, Richard Burton and Debbie Reynolds sort of a scent.
Not to be taken lightly. Certainly not for minors.
Beware, for this could prove to be addictive.
A life long love affair.
The Dandy adores violets and savoury liquorice too, so in languid and lustful mood he’d be more than happy to wear this.
Whether all men are up to such emotional endurance sports is another matter altogether…
The Perfumed Dandy.