Lautrec: At The Moulin Rouge
There is a lot of literature and art I’ve experienced which was inspired by fin de siècle 19th century Montmarte and the Bohemian art scene. It is Henri Toulouse-Lautrec who has left the most indelible impression as his paintings of the newly opened Moulin Rouge covered all aspects of society from the patrons to the performers. It took someone who could stand outside the conventions to be able to capture it.
Dawn Spencer Hurwitz was inspired by our EIC Michelyn Camen to create a perfume for CaFleureBon’s first birthday. The visual inspiration she chose was a painting by Toulouse-Lautrec, “Woman With Black Boa” and a black opal and sapphire ring. What struck me about both of these pieces is they are beautiful on a surface level but if you take the time to experience them and live with them a bit there is a whole other level underneath that surface beauty. The name of the fragrance Ms. Hurwitz created was Lautrec.
La Goulue Arrivant Moulin Rouge
In the last year Ms. Hurwitz has been almost Toulouse-Lautrec-like in her ability to turn out incredible pieces of fragrant art from her own little corner of Bohemia in Denver. The similarity between Ms. Hurwitz and Toulouse-Lautrec is both have a freedom to create without regard to boundaries and in turn that allows the audience to be drawn into their vision. Ms. Hurwitz is also working with the full arsenal available to an artistic perfumer. She likes to try and keep it natural and has shown, particularly in her entries for The Mystery of Musk and Outlaw Perfumes, that that is no hindrance to her. I believe she uses what she must to realize her vision and her intimacy with her ingredients has made her one of the best perfumers we currently have working. Lautrec, in its ability to capture a singular moment, as complex as Montmarte in the waning days of the 19th century; is a beautiful example of her aesthetic.
Henri Toulouse Lautrec: At the Moulin Rouge Two Women Waltzing
Lautrec wafts its way to your senses initially on a fruity cloud made up of orange blossom, mandarin and passionfruit. There is some lively interplay between the orange blossom and passionfruit setting the stage for the rest of Lautrec’s development. Next is an intoxicating boozy duet between absinthe and cognac. The sweetness of the absinthe stands in contrast to the cognac. The two together feel like a table for two at the Moulin Rouge; intimacy shared amid the music and smoke. Rose and jasmine slowly add a floral underpinning to the alcohol without ever really taking over. Lautrec then begins a slide into a resinous phase built around benzoin and joined by labdanum and patchouli. The base finishes with balsam and sandalwood coated in a fine layer of chocolate and vanilla.
Lautrec has extraordinary longevity and above average sillage.
Ms. Hurwitz has, once again, created a splendid bit of olfactory magic. That she created it to commemorate our first birthday at CaFleureBon makes it a gift that keeps on giving.
Disclosure: This review was based on a sample of Lautrec supplied by DSH Perfumes.
The draw for the hand jeweled bottle of Lautrec and the gemstone necklace is still open until March 27, 2011; as is the 15ml each of Timeless. Any comments on this post and on Anya's post will be entered in the draw for both prizes.
–Mark Behnke, Managing Editor
Editor's Note: 'La Gouloue' is a French Can Can Dancer from the Moulin Rouge.. better switch from the Tango with Maurice Roucel to a chorus line with Amanda, Dawn and Anya