I love reading other people’s comments on perfumes. Some are full-length reviews by known “perfumistas”, others are anonymous comments on sites like Fragrantica.com. Many are very clever and evocative. For instance, this comment about the eau de parfum Cabaret, by Gres:
It is a rose chypre, somewhat melancholy in feeling but still alive. Like a ghost…. Cabaret is a great name…it also reminds me of my theatre background. Fresh soft florals, mostly rose at the top, and the base is a very dry clay smell. It is cool and elegant with a transparent, almost dusty smell. I think of the atmosphere backstage at every show I have been involved in. Antique wood counters in the dressing room, waxy makeup and powder strewn across them. Vases and vases of roses and lilies. That musky smell of fresh sweat from dancers just coming off stage.
The image that immediately came to my mind was a Cirque du Soleil show I saw this year, called “Zarkana.” It is described as being set in an abandoned theatre that mysteriously comes back to life for an evening, starting with the appearance of ghostly white figures of performers like ballerinas and acrobats with white-powdered hair and stage make up. At the start, the huge stage is lusciously draped with great swags of crimson velvet. The pale figures emerge from the darkness after the curtain swirls upward. And at the very end of the show, the cinematic backdrop turns into a rippling cascade of deep red roses, while the same ghostly performers and other more colorful characters come out to take their final bows. Maybe this perfume should be renamed Zarkana. Or at least Cirque.
Photo: Cirque du Soleil.